Voice of the Faithful Focus, April 14, 2023

April 14, 2023


Report details ‘staggering’ church sex abuse in Maryland
More than 150 Catholic priests and others associated with the Archdiocese of Baltimore sexually abused over 600 children and often escaped accountability, according to a long-awaited state report released Wednesday (Apr. 8) that revealed the scope of abuse spanning 80 years and accused church leaders of decades of coverups. The report paints a damning picture of the archdiocese, which is the oldest Roman Catholic diocese in the country and spans much of Maryland.” By Lea Skene, Brian Witte, and Sarah Brumfield, Associated Press

Jesuit resigns from pope’s clergy abuse commission, criticizing group’s leadership
“One of Pope Francis’ key advisers on clergy sexual abuse has resigned from the pontiff’s child protection commission and has launched searing criticisms against the organization’s leadership and its alleged lack of transparency. The president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, announced on March 29 that one of the commission’s founding members, German Jesuit Fr. Hans Zollner, had asked the pope ‘to be relieved of his duties as a member … In an unusually blunt 400-word statement issued several hours later, Zollner said that after nine years of service on the commission, it was “impossible” to continue given his mounting concerns ‘in the areas of responsibility, compliance, accountability and transparency.’” By Christopher White, National Catholic Reporter

Clergy abuse and the church’s silence leave deep wounds for Catholics, study finds
“The more stories he heard from clergy abuse survivors, the more Marcus Mescher realized that their suffering wasn’t just emotional or physical − it was a moral trauma. Clergy abuse victims often feel alone and empty − if not ‘dirty,’ said Mescher, an associate professor of Christian ethics at the Jesuit-run Xavier University in Cincinnati He and his co-researchers at Xavier published a report in December, demonstrating the abuse of children and subsequent concealment by the church resulted in ‘persistent psychological and emotional distress, moral confusion, spiritual anguish, social alienation and distrust for institutions.’” By Deena Yellin, NorthJersey.com

North American synod gathering focused on concerns about pope’s process, says participating bishop
“A U.S. bishop who helped draft the synthesis document for the North American continental phase of the ongoing process for the Synod of Bishops said he saw “notable differences” in this phase’s virtual listening sessions, compared to input from the previous parish- and diocesan-level phase. ‘Concerns about the direction of the synod were more pronounced,’ said Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, noting that among the concerns of those delegates, who were handpicked by bishops, were restrictions against the pre-Vatican II Latin Mass, possible changes to Catholic doctrine, the focus on inclusivity and the synod process itself.” By Heidi Schlumpf, National Catholic Reporter


Accountability for lay groups destined to be test of sex abuse reform
“Depending on who you ask, Pope Francis’ 2019 decree ‘Vos Estis Lux Mundi’ (‘You are the Light of the World’), coupled with updates to the policy announced March 25, is either a watershed in the Church’s fight against sexual abuse or a major disappointment — or, perhaps, both at the same time. Originally issued in the wake of a summit of the heads of bishops’ conferences from around the world to discuss the abuse scandals, ‘Vos Estis’ was designed to promote a culture of accountability, not just for the crime of sexual abuse but also for the cover-up.” By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com, on AngelusNews.com

Shattered: Catholic community confronts its founder’s lies
“The findings of an initial expert report were astonishing: One of the 20th century’s revered Catholic leaders, who built an international movement of community care for people with intellectual disabilities, perverted Catholic doctrine about Jesus and Mary to justify his own sexual compulsions and abuse women. The findings of a second report were even worse: The movement he created had at its core a secret, mystical-sexual “sect,” and was founded for the precise purpose of hiding the sect’s deviant activities from church authorities.” By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press

Pope broadens rules for investigating abuse allegations
“Pope Francis has updated the procedures for investigating sexual abuse allegations, specifying that leaders of international Catholic lay associations and movements have the same responsibilities over their members that bishops have over diocesan priests. The updated version of Vos Estis Lux Mundi (You are the light of the world), published on Saturday (Mar. 25), also expanded the categories of victims covered by the regulations to include vulnerable adults.” By CathNews.com

Catholic watchdog group names bishops tied to sex abuse and urges pope to act
“Prominent researchers of accountability for clergy sexual abuse called on Pope Francis on Wednesday (Mar. 18) to release the names of bishops investigated by the Vatican since the implementation of 2019 rules that overhauled how the church responds to abuse accusations. The watchdog group, BishopAccountability.org, criticized the pope at a news conference for failing to give a ‘full accounting’ of the impact of the revised rules, which they called a landmark effort to combat abuse. The organization also released a list, based on news reports from around the world, of 40 bishops who have been investigated under the four-year-old law.” By Marissa Iati, The Washington Post


Synod’s ‘messy,’ ‘joyful North American phase concludes with a call to mission, moves to Rome
The final document for the North American phase of the 2021-2024 Synod on Synodality was released April 12, capturing a process of dialogue and discernment that two participants described as ‘messy,’ ‘joyful’ and unifying — like the synod itself. ‘It’s amazing what comes about when … you invoke the Holy Spirit in the conversation,’ Julia McStravog, a theologian and co-coordinator of the North American team for the synod’s continental phase, told OSV News.” By Gina Christian, OSV News

Oceania bishops finalize response to Synod’s working document
“Representatives of the four bishops conferences in Oceania have approved the region’s final response to the working document published last October for the Synod of Bishops for a Synodal Church. The new executive council of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania recently met via videoconference, along with members of the discernment and writing group tasked with drafting the Oceania response.” By CathNews.com

Vatican’s highest-ranking nun, Nathalie Becquart, talks synodality with young Catholics
“Sister Nathalie Becquart, the highest-ranking woman at the Vatican, dropped into St. Paul the Apostle Church in Manhattan on Tuesday evening (Mar. 28) to talk to and about young Catholics, and particularly young women in the church. The French nun, who is shepherding a worldwide survey of Catholics ahead of a fall meeting of bishops on the future of the church, didn’t have answers for the women in the audience so much as she had advice.” By Meagan Saliashvili, Religion News Service

Cardinal McElroy on the voices of synodal dialogue
“Last year, the Catholic community in the United States undertook the largest non-governmental process of interpersonal dialogue and consultation ever held in our nation’s history. More than five hundred thousand men and women gathered together in prayer and discernment in their parishes, schools, cultural communities and service organizations to share their joys and their sorrows, their hopes and their fears for the life of the Church. This initial process of dialogue produced a rich sense of exhilaration and unity among its participants.” By Robert W. McElroy, Commonweal

Synod preparatory commission aware of ‘high expectations and anxiety’
“Three members of the preparatory commission for the assembly of the Synod of Bishops, including Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, said they know some Catholics have high expectations for the process while others have intense anxiety. The seven-member commission met at the Vatican on March 13-16 and had an audience with Pope Francis on the last day of their gathering.” By CathNews.com

Hope for change endures decades after Vatican II and Detroit’s ’69 synod
“Countless pieces of analysis have used the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the election of Pope Francis to argue that he is a breath of fresh air as he urges the church to consider difficult topics, most notably through the ongoing synodal process. And while that’s true, the spirit of synodality can also trace its origins in the United States to much earlier. In the years immediately following the Second Vatican Council, Detroit’s Archbishop John Dearden launched a process that feels thoroughly in sync with the goals of Francis.” By Christopher White, National Catholic Reporter

India: Catholic ministry to migrants to be more synodal
“The National Commission for Migrants of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), is calling on Indian dioceses to take up the challenging mission of working with migrants with a synodal approach, to foster a Good Samaritan attitude both in institutions and society. The issue was discussed this week during a three-day conference in Bangalore titled ‘The Pastoral Care of migrants in the Multicultural context of India: A synodal way.’” By Lisa Zengarini, Vatican News

Synod vigil to be expression of ‘ecumenism of solidarity,’ pastor says
“Planning an ecumenical prayer vigil for the Catholic Church’s Synod of Bishops and making a commitment to participating in it is an expression of ‘an ecumenism of solidarity,’ said the Rev. Anne-Laure Danet, ecumenical officer for the French Protestant Federation. ‘It is extraordinary,’ she said. ‘We can pray for one another, but the best way to do it is to pray with one another.’ Rev. Danet spoke to Catholic News Service and Vatican News March 15 after she and some 60 Catholic and Protestant representatives met Pope Francis at the end of a three-day gathering to plan the ecumenical prayer vigil that will be held Sept. 30 in St. Peter’s Square.” By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Pope Francis seeks a synodal church that is always reforming
“The Second Vatican Council was a council of reform. We see this in the speeches Popes John XXIII and Paul VI delivered at the beginning of the first and second periods of the council’s work. The former spoke of aggiornamento (‘updating’). The second spoke of renovatio ecclesiae (‘ecclesial reform’) … The ecclesial form to which the conciliar reform aimed was described by one of the most brilliant minds of Lumen gentium, Belgian Cardinal Leo Suenens. Shortly after the 1965 conclusion of the council, Suenens emphasized that the two richest elements of the ecclesiological renewal were the image of the People of God as a whole and the co-responsibility in the mission for all its members.” By Rafael Luciani, National Catholic Reporter

Commission focuses on ensuring synod will be prayerful experience
“At the end of their first meeting, three members of the preparatory commission for the assembly of the Synod of Bishops said they know some Catholics have very high expectations for the process while others have intense anxiety. The seven-member commission met at the Vatican March 13-16 and had an audience with Pope Francis on the last day of their gathering. Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas, who has been coordinating the synod process for the bishops of the United States, was one of the members whose appointment was announced by the Vatican March 15.” By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service


Pope Francis faces chance to radically reshape U.S. Catholic hierarchy: 13 American archdioceses and 21 dioceses could need new bishops by 2025
“If Pope Francis continues to serve as bishop of Rome for another two years, he may have a notable opportunity to refashion the U.S. Catholic hierarchy. Dozens of bishops, several in historically significant archdioceses, will be required by canon law to submit resignation letters upon turning 75. At least 13 archdioceses and 21 dioceses could have new episcopal appointments by February 2025 … The number of episcopal openings could increase because of deaths or resignations.” By Brian Fraga, National Catholic Reporter

A disappointing 10 years of Pope Francis on abuse
“A widely known and well-respected world figure is once again taking on the Catholic Church over its abuse crisis, speaking more forcefully than ever before. Asking for forgiveness “is not enough,” he says. Victims, he says, have to be “at the center” of everything. He insists there must be “concrete actions to repair the horrors they have suffered and to prevent them from happening again.” The Catholic Church must set an example in helping to solve the problem and “bring it to light,” he says. Strong words, no? Here’s the problem, though: the man saying these things is the man who can do these things.” By David Clohessy, National Catholic Reporter

Iowa conference celebrates Pope Francis
“Although a number of universities, Catholic organizations and even NCR held events for the 10th anniversary of Pope Francis’ election, the only multiday conference in the U.S. dedicated to marking a decade of his pontificate was held in Davenport, Iowa. Nearly 300 people from 17 states and three countries attended the March 16-18 ‘Francis at 10: A Papacy of Possibilities’ conference at St. Ambrose University, while another 100 joined online. Yes, if you build it, they will come. (OK — I know the ‘Field of Dreams’ is in Dyersville, near Dubuque, not Davenport, but close enough!)” By Heidi Schlumpf, National Catholic Reporter

Francis’ papacy has been good news for U.S. Catholics
“This month marks the 10th anniversary of the election of Pope Francis who, as the leader of the Roman Catholic Church and its 1.3 billion members, continues to capture the attention of Catholics and non-Catholics worldwide. Several historical firsts accompanied his papal election: first Latin American, first Jesuit and first to choose the name Francis. Along with these ‘firsts,’ Francis’ pontificate has also signaled some possible ‘lasts,’ even if temporarily.” By Hosffman Ospino, National Catholic Reporter

The legacy of a decade of Pope Francis
“When Pope Francis was elected 10 years ago, I was sitting in front of a BBC camera preparing to be interviewed and uttered a word I cannot print in my column. Luckily, my mic had not been turned on. All I knew about Jorge Bergoglio was that my friends in Latin America, liberation theologians and Jesuits, did not like him, calling him conservative and authoritarian … Within a couple of weeks, we learned how wrong we both (Thomas Reese and George Weigel) were. The cardinals had elected as pope a man who would change the style of being pope, attack clericalism, empower the laity, open the church to conversation and debate and change the pastoral and public priorities of the church.” By Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter


German bishop resigns, cites responsibility in abuse scandal
“Pope Francis on Saturday (Mar. 25) accepted a resignation request from a German bishop who asked to step down because of his mistakes in handling sexual abuse cases. Franz-Josef Bode, who has been the bishop of Osnabrueck, Germany, since 1995, said in a personal statement that his decision to resign ‘has matured in me in recent months’ and he hoped it would have a liberating effect on the diocese. Bode explained that an interim report released in September on abuse by clergy in the diocese had revealed his mistakes. He acknowledged his responsibility as a bishop and said, ‘Today, I can only ask all those affected again for forgiveness.’” By Kirsten Grieshaber, Associated Press, on ABCNews.go.com


Inside the effort to identify Catholic-run boarding schools for Indigenous children
“For 150 years, the United States government financed more than 400 boarding schools across the United States, educating tens of thousands of Native American children but subjecting them to abuse, neglect, cultural oppression, and sometimes even death. But while the government has a list of every Navy ship the nation has floated, it has never compiled a list of the boarding schools it ran. ‘There was no central place where all this information was held,’ said Brenna Cussen, the religious communities liaison for the Nuns and Nones Land Justice Project.” By Dan Stockman, National Catholic Reporter, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter


Sister Nathalie Becquart will be the first woman to vote with bishops at a synod. Her advice for young women?
“Sister Nathalie Becquart, the highest-ranking woman at the Vatican, dropped into St. Paul the Apostle Church in Manhattan on Tuesday evening (March 28) to talk to and about young Catholics, and particularly young women in the church. The French nun, who is shepherding a worldwide survey of Catholics ahead of a fall meeting of bishops on the future of the church, didn’t have answers for the women in the audience so much as she had advice: Listen.” By Meagan Saliashvili, America: The Jesuit Review

UN women’s commission examines global gender divide in digital technology
“In her ministry in Zambia, Sr. Kayula Lesa knows all about digital divides. Many places in Zambia and rural Africa simply don’t have adequate internet access despite the importance of computer skills, creating an access divide. But a gender divide also exists based on the culture in some countries that says male students should have priority in acquiring computer and digital tech skills. In both cases, girls lose out, and gender inequality does not get solved.” By Chris Herlinger, National Catholic Reporter


Debate over clergy exemption pits sanctity of confession against child safety
“Since January 2019, Fr. Jim Connell of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has been urging state legislators around the country to repeal clergy-penitent privilege in mandatory reporting laws that exempt Catholic priests from notifying authorities of any sexual abuse they hear about in the confessional. Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki has suspended Connell’s faculties to hear confessions and grant absolution, citing his advocacy ‘for the removal of the legal protection of the confessional seal, suggesting there are situations where it is permissible to violate it.’ Listecki said in a March 22 statement that Connell’s ‘false assertions’ that the seal of confession should not apply in some situations had caused ‘understandable and widespread unrest’ among Catholics.” By Brian Fraga, National Catholic Reporter

Review: ‘Ghosts of the Orphanage,’ by Christine Kenneally
“Even after Spotlight, even after Tuam this book was a shock. Christine Kenneally’s exposé of the abuse and torture of children in 20th-century orphanages fits neatly alongside those earlier stories of religious institutional child abuse. And yet, readers might find themselves emotionally unprepared. Kenneally’s book, “Ghosts of the Orphanage,” focuses primarily on St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Burlington, Vt., though it also touches on Native boarding schools as well as institutions in Canada, Ireland and Australia. Most were run by the Catholic Church. The appalling stories from all of those places are chillingly similar.” By Laurie Hertzel, Star Tribune

‘It’s gutless’: clergy abuse survivors and their families outraged by legal stays that thwart cases
“Victims of crimes committed by clergy such as Marist Brother ‘Romuald’ Cable speak out about handling of civil claims — Two hours after Audrey Nash forced her son Andrew’s bedroom door open, finding him dead by suicide at just 13, she received a surprise home visit from a now notorious member of the Catholic clergy. Marist Brother Francis ‘Romuald’ Cable, one of New South Wales’ worst Catholic school pedophiles, fired off a strange series of questions to the shocked and grieving mother. ‘[Cable] asked me, ‘Did Andrew leave a note?’ she told the royal commission in 2016. ‘I said, ‘No.’” By Christopher Knaus, The Guardian


Omaha archdiocese poised to group churches in families
“Facing a shrinking pool of priests, declining Mass attendance and population shifts from rural to urban areas, the Archdiocese of Omaha is expected to finalize plans by the end of the month grouping its 133 parishes into 33 families. Placing parishes in families will allow for more sharing of resources — both human and financial — and of outreach to groups such as the poor and the elderly, said Deacon Tim McNeil, chancellor of the archdiocese.” By Julie Anderson, Omaha World-Herald

Priests asked for input on possible closure of St. Louis Catholic parishes
“Local Roman Catholic pastors have until Tuesday (Mar. 28) to respond to a request from the Archdiocese of St. Louis for opinions on whether a merger or closing of their parish is warranted. In a form letter dated March 13, the pastors were asked for feedback on the viability of their parishes ‘in terms of the number of parishioners and the real estate and financial assets to order divine worship, provide for the support of the clergy, and exercise works of the sacred apostolate and of charity, for the next 10-15 years.” By Blythe Bernhard, St. Louis Post-Dispatch


Clergy abuse survivors group seeking investigation of Catholic bankruptcies by California AG
“The national Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests wants Attorney General Rob Bonta to investigate the bankruptcy proceedings launched this week by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa and perhaps Oakland as well. The survivors’ group, known as SNAP, decided to act in the wake of the Oakland bishop’s announcement Thursday that he was ‘giving strong consideration’ to filing Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That announcement came just four days after Santa Rosa Bishop Robert F. Vasa submitted his own bankruptcy petition to the court.” By Mary Callahan, The Press Democrat

Additional charges filed in Vatican finance trial
“The Vatican’s prosecuting attorney has leveled additional charges against four of the defendants who have been on trial since July 2021 for their alleged roles in the Vatican’s failed investment in a property in London. Alessandro Diddi, the prosecutor, announced the new charges March 30 at the end of the trial’s 54th session. Raffaele Mincione, Gianluigi Torzi and Enrico Crasso were charged with bribery in addition to the original charges that included embezzlement, fraud and money laundering. A money-laundering charge also was made against Fabrizio Tirabassi, a former official in the Vatican Secretariat of State, who had been accused of corruption, extortion, embezzlement, fraud and abuse of office.” By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter

U.S. dioceses’ bankruptcies highlight complex tensions
“Recent and potential bankruptcy filings by California and New York dioceses, made in response to clerical sexual abuse claims, highlight the complex tensions between civil and canon law regarding church assets — including those at parishes — and their availability for settling lawsuits … A key issue for those in the pews is ‘whether the parishes are part of the debtor’s estate,’ said attorney L. Martin Nussbaum, cofounder and partner of the Nussbaum Gleason firm, who has advocated for dioceses in litigation. He told OSV News, ‘Crystal clear it is not … because parishes and dioceses come into existence not by an act of the state, but by an act of the church.’” By UCANews.com

Why priests steal – researchers look to ‘fraud triangle’ in parish life
“Priests who steal are often motivated by resentment, envy, and a desire to cover up for other moral lapses, new analysis has found, adding that isolation and weak oversight can contribute to the rationalization of theft through ‘moral licensing.’ But the same analysis concluded that a relatively small number of priests have been caught stealing from parishes, and that the priesthood does not seem to attract fraudsters or financial con artists. A new scholarly article, ‘Exploring Embezzlement by Catholic Priests in the United States: A Content Analysis of Cases Since 1963,’ documented almost 100 instances of stealing by priests, which have sometimes involved hundreds of thousands stolen.” By The Pillar


Religious make ‘powerful; call against clericalism Synod summary
“Contributions from religious to the Synod on Synodality contained a ‘powerful and fearless critique’ of clericalism and a ‘clear call’ for lay people and religious to be involved in the formation of seminarians. Delivering an address at Trinity College Dublin, Dr Gemma Simmonds CJ, a member of the group charged with drawing up the summary, said members of religious orders felt that lay and religious involvement in formation might help a ‘more participative and welcoming’ Church to emerge and ensure that ordained ministry was seen not as ‘a clerical caste’ but a ‘refined form of the baptismal vocation’ in line with the teaching of Vatican II.” By CathNews.com

Pre-Vatican II Mass was formed by ‘clericalization,’ says papal preacher
“Clericalization led to the separation of the clergy from the faithful in the church’s liturgy celebrated before the Second Vatican Council, said Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the papal household. In his Lenten reflection March 24, the cardinal told Pope Francis and officials of the Roman Curia gathered in the Vatican audience hall that Vatican II’s reform of the Mass was a return from ‘a relatively recent past to a more ancient and original one.’ Through descriptions of the Mass from St. Justin in the second century and St. Hippolytus in the third century, he said, ‘we obtain a vision of the Mass that is certainly closer to the reformed one of today than to that of the centuries behind us.’” By Justin McLellan, Catholic News Service, on ChicagoCatholic.com

IADC director among editors of new volume on Catholic theology and theological ethics in response to the abuse crisis
“A pioneering new book which charts fresh territory for Catholic theology and theological ethics in response to the abuse crisis in the Church has been published. Edited by the Australian ethicist Daniel J. Fleming, Boston College professor of theological ethics and founder of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church (CTEWC), James F. Keenan SJ, and director of the Institute of Anthropology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Hans Zollner SJ, the new volume features contributions from 22 scholars from 15 different countries spread across Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Europe and Oceania.” By IADC Staff

Laity in Africa cautioned against fostering clericalism, elevating ‘the clergy too much’
Clericalism is not just a problem of the clergy, members of the newly constituted Synodality Resource Team (SRT) for Africa have said, and called on the laity to play their role in de-clericalizing the Church. In a two-day workshop they held to devise ways to deepen the understanding of a Synodal Church on the continent, the SRT members who shared their experiences with the Synod on Synodality noted that the phenomenon of clericalism had surfaced prominently in synodal conversations.” By Agnes Aineah, ACIAfrica.org


Pope Francis rejects optional celibacy to increase vocations: ‘We must not be naïve’
“In an interview with the Argentinian media Infobae, Pope Francis revealed that he considers it naive to think the solution to the shortage of priestly vocations is for them to get married. Instead, he considers the lack of vocations to be a cultural problem. He used the example of Lutheran priests, who can get married. But he explained that this has not increased the number of ministers. Pope Francis also spoke about celibacy with the authors of the book, The Pastor. He emphasized that he is in favor of the tradition of the Western Church where priests do not marry. But the Pope added that he will leave that decision to his successor.” By Catholic Diocese of Raleigh


‘Manufacturing the Clerical Predator
A new film from Nate’s Mission and ending Clergy Abuse

When a Catholic diocese goes bankrupt, does it help or hurt sex abuse survivors
“Catholic dioceses throughout the United States, including several in New York and California, are considering or already taking steps toward declaring bankruptcy, partly in response to a flood of sexual abuse lawsuits filed after states adopted laws that eliminate or pause statutes of limitations … Lawyers and advocates for survivors say that dioceses seeking bankruptcy protections use the process to shield church assets from individuals who were harmed by the church … Some bankruptcy experts, however, say the process allows for a thorough process that can ultimately lead to a more just outcome for those who were harmed.” By Michael J. O’Loughlin and Christopher Parker, America: The Jesuit Review

Commentary: Forsaken again
“On March 15, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany filed for protection under Chapter 11 bankruptcy. That day I watched in despair as Bishop Edward Scharfenberger justified his decision as ‘the best way to protect everyone’ while acknowledging ‘it may cause pain and suffering.’ The public has the right to know exactly what that pain and suffering looks like. Not from the loudest attorney or a diocese spokesperson, but from a victim of clergy sexual abuse. I was one of over 400 plaintiffs under the New York Child Victims Act seeking civil relief from the Albany diocese.” By Daniel Thompson, Albany Times Union

Catholic priest releases memoir focused on spiritual abuse, healing
“Morganton native Jeffrey Kendall no longer works as an active Catholic priest, but that doesn’t mean he has given up looking for God. ‘I’m always going to be Catholic – I can never change that,’ Kendall said. ‘I’m not antichurch. I’m antiabuse.’ Kendall left his post in the Diocese of Charleston due to what he calls ‘a culture of cruelty.’ He said the abuses of power and mistreatment he experienced left him broken and distant from God.” By Jason Koon, The News Herald

Church needs creative ministries to care for abuse survivors, advocate says
“A ministry for homebound victim-survivors of clergy abuse to receive the Eucharist in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is an example of the creativity needed to help abuse survivors find healing, said the executive director of the Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection for the U.S. bishops. ‘It’s the Holy Spirit at work,’ said Deacon Bernie Nojadera, who has led the post at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for the past 12 years. He said this new program is ‘leading the way with its ministry,’ noting that it has brought ‘blessing and grace’ to the person receiving the Eucharist and the person bringing it.” By Carol Zimmermann, The Tablet

Kansas sex abuse survivors’ efforts bear fruit with a hearing. But we owe children more than that.
“Kansas owes its kids. It owes them protection. It owes them a better future. For those who have been wronged through sexual abuse, it owes them justice. With a hearing Thursday Mar. 23), the Kansas Legislature has finally — after years of delay — inched toward recognizing that fact. At 10:30 a.m., the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on Senate Bill 317, which eliminates the statute of limitations for criminal prosecutions of child sexual abuse. It also extends the deadline for pursuing civil action by 10 years, among other changes to state law.” By Clay Wirestone, Kansas Reflector

The sacramental seal, sinners, and saints
“Mothers and fathers would have good reason to think of child abuse—sexual or otherwise—as the greatest of crimes. Parents, after all, see the physical, emotional, and spiritual fallout from abuse in their children’s lives. Everyone, particularly parents, should be interested in measures that would detect child abuse earlier or prevent it entirely. It’s therefore not surprising that lawmakers continue to try to find ways to protect children.” By Dawn Beutner, The Catholic World Report


New Maryland law stops statue of limitations for survivors to sue sex abusers
“Maryland Gov. Wes Moore signed dozens of bills into law Tuesday (Apr. 11) afternoon, hours after the 2023 legislative session ended. One of those new Maryland laws will open the door to new lawsuits brought by survivors of child sex abuse. Survivors of child abuse have been pushing lawmakers to pass the “Child Victims Act” for decades. Finally, Senate Bill 686, House Bill 1 is now a law. There is no longer a statute of limitations for survivors of child sex abuse in Maryland to sue their abusers.” By Paul Gessler, CBS News Baltimore

Commentary: Open the courthouse to child sex abuse survivors
“A proposed bill, now pending in the Texas Legislature, could bring a measure of justice to many survivors of childhood sexual abuse. As introduced by state Rep. Ann Johnson, a Democrat from Harris County, House Bill 206 would allow a person who was sexually abused as a child to bring a civil lawsuit ‘at any time’ to recover for injuries arising out of the abuse. If the bill is passed, the law would apply retroactively, effectively reforming archaic statutes of limitation to give child sex-abuse survivors access to the civil justice system, even if their cases would have been time-barred under prior law.” By Christa Brown, San Antonio Express-News

Get ‘predators off the street’: Kansas Senate ends limits on child sex abuse prosecutions
“When Sen. Cindy Holscher was 5 years old, she did what most young children would do on their family farm: play with animals, spend time with family and enjoy a few blissful months off from school. But one day, things turned much darker. A farmhand entered a barn while Holscher was playing with kittens and their conversation began innocently. Quickly, however, the man suggested playing a game ‘like Simon says’ that involved showing private parts.” By Andrew Bahl, The Topeka Capital-Journal

After weeks of waiting, Kansas survivor of child sex abuse eager for legislative hearing
“Every week since the beginning of the legislative session in January, survivors of childhood sexual abuse have staffed a table near the main public entrance to the Statehouse. Every week, they have met with senators and representatives, working toward a compromise on legislation that would remove barriers for other survivors who seek justice through criminal charges and civil litigation … This week, on Thursday (Mar. 23), a Senate panel finally plans to hold a hearing on legislation that remains a work in progress. Senate Bill 317 would establish a legal climate in Kansas where there is no statute of limitations on criminal charges, and where survivors could seek damages through civil cases until they turn 31 years old.” By Sherman Smith, Kansas Reflector

Maryland Senate passes law repealing statute of limitations
“Much to the chagrin of the state’s Catholic conference, the Maryland Senate passed legislation late on March 16 that would repeal the statute of limitations on sexual abuse lawsuits, creating a ‘lookback window’ for survivors to take legal action no matter how far back the abuse occurred. The 42-5 vote in favor of the Child Victims Act of 2023 paves the way for it to become law. It was cross-filed with a Maryland House bill of the same name, which is expected to pass with ease, as similar House legislation has in recent years. Gov. Wes Moore has also publicly expressed his support for the bill.” By John Lavenburg, Cruxnow.com


A new Catholic ministry brings the Eucharist to survivors of sexual abuse
“At the time (in 2018, when the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis emerged from bankruptcy court), Archbishop Bernard Hebda said, ‘Our efforts to reach out to those hurt by people in the Church is just beginning and will continue indefinitely, along with our core commitment of creating and maintaining safe environments for all.’ A new ministry within the archdiocese is doubling down on that commitment. Starting in March 2023, victims of sexual abuse in Saint Paul-Minneapolis who still wish to receive the Eucharist but find it too traumatic to enter a church can have the sacrament brought to them.” By Christopher Parker, America: The Jesuit Review

We don’t know enough about the causes of clergy sexual abuse. One Jesuit initiative is beginning to change that.
“After three years of searching archives, surveying Jesuits and the laity, and struggling to honor the stories of survivors of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, we released the final report of Fordham University’s Taking Responsibility initiative on Feb. 9, marking an ending that actually feels like our work is just beginning. While our research was conducted at and frequently focused on the history, impact and prevention of sexual abuse at Jesuit institutions, we believe that our work is relevant to the entire church.” By Bradford E. Hinze, America: The Jesuit Review

Pope Francis extends ‘Vos Estis’ decree to counter both lay and clerical abuse
“Pope Francis permanently decreed Saturday (Mar. 25) an updated version of Vos estis lux mundi, his landmark legislation to counter sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. The decree promulgated March 25 extends the Church’s norms for handling of abuse to cover lay leaders of international associations of the faithful recognized by the Vatican.” By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency

Defrocked Catholic priest accused of molesting a boy still runs charity for kids
“A defrocked New York priest ‘credibly accused’ of sexually abusing a minor runs a charity that provides scholarships to Catholic schools for underprivileged children, according to public records. John J. Voglio, 65, is president of Mary F. Clancy Charities, which was founded in 2000 by another former priest, John Harrington, who was also accused of sexually abusing a minor, according to the Archdiocese of New York.” By Corky Siemaszko and Kate Martin, NBC News

‘It crucifies you every time’: the ‘crushing’ new tactic the church uses to block claims y abuse survivors
“In the small workshop behind his home in the Victorian country town of Broadford, Craig Waters was huddled on the floor, rocking back and forth. He’d been back there for hours, crying and alone, trapped anew in childhood nightmares. Waters was trying to process what the Catholic church had just told him: it was threatening to thwart his attempt to receive justice for the horrors he says he experienced as an eight-year-old boy at St Brendan’s Catholic primary school in western Sydney. There, a Catholic nun he dubs ‘the witch’ would take him away from his friends at lunchtime, lead him to a small dark room off the main assembly hall and shut the door.” By Christopher Knaus, The Guardian


Diocese warns that Stockton priest accused of sexual abuse is performing Masses illegitimately
“An ex-priest is reportedly hosting private, religious gatherings despite his dismissed status, the Diocese of Stockton warns. The former priest in question is Leo Suarez, who was ousted from the church back in 2010 and formally laicized in 2016. The diocese says he is not allowed to perform any priestly ministry in the diocese or elsewhere. Wednesday (Mar. 22) diocese officials told CBS13 they obtained proof through photographic evidence that Suarez has been celebrating Masses and quinceañeras in Diocese of Stockton halls as well as private homes and event spaces.” By Ashley Sharp, CBS-Tv Sacramento

Oakland Catholic diocese may file for bankruptcy over 300 sex abuse lawsuits
“The Diocese of Oakland is trying to get ahead of what appears to be around 330 looming clergy sexual abuse lawsuits, announcing they may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which critics say is just a tactic to avoid testifying and paying damages. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland had a pretty ugly run of sexual abuse of children allegations back in the early 2000s, and in 2005, they paid a $56 million settlement to 56 victims. In today’s dollars, those settlements would likely be larger. And that’s a crucial consideration, as KRON4 reports that the diocese now suspects it’s facing ‘approximately 330’ sex abuse lawsuits from victims, and announced Thursday (Mar. 16) that they may file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.” By SFist.com


Pensacola Catholic Church deacon inappropriate conduct with minor accusation deemed ‘unfounded’
“The investigation into a Pensacola Catholic Church deacon carried out by the Florida Department of Children and Families on a claim of sexual misconduct was deemed ‘unfounded,’ according to a statement from Chief Operating Officer of Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, David Ell. In February, the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee ‘became aware of a report of inappropriate conduct with a minor female,’ involving Deacon Tom Gordon, while serving at Little Flower Catholic Church in Pensacola.” By WKRG-TV5


Report of Child Sexual Abuse in the Archdiocese of Atlanta and Diocese of Savannah
“On January 31, 2019, the Attorney General, Christopher M. Carr, facilitated a meeting. … During this meeting, with the consent and cooperation of the Archbishop of Atlanta Wilton D. Gregory and the Bishop of Savannah Gregory J. Hartmayer, the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Savannah expressed a willingness to permit the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council to conduct a third-party review of any records, files, documents, and reports concerning suspected child abuse in the possession of the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Diocese of Savannah.” By Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia


Evergreen Park priest reinstated after child sexual abuse accusation
“An Evergreen Park priest was reinstated Tuesday (Mar.21), two weeks after the archdiocese launched an investigation into a child sexual abuse accusation from about 40 years ago. The Rev. Paul Guzman returns to his position as associate pastor at Most Holy Redeemer Parish. Guzman was reinstated after a review board found that there was ‘insufficient reason to believe he was guilty of the allegation,’ according to a letter from Cardinal Blase Cupich.” By Mohammad Samra, Chicago Sun-Times


Report: Ex-Slidell Catholic priest’s juvenile molestation trial delayed again
“The trial of a former Slidell Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy has been delayed again. As The Times-Picayune reports, the trial date was delayed Monday (Mar. 20) as jury selection for Patrick Wattigny was supposed to begin. The north shore District Attorney’s Office said the trial will be rescheduled at a later date but did not say when that rescheduled date might be.” By Kenny Kuhn, WWL-TV4 News


How Baltimore lawyers helped the Catholic church manage sexual abuse claims
“In 1987, a lawyer for the Archdiocese of Baltimore contacted a prosecutor with a question: was the church obligated to report a priest who had recently been accused of attempting to rape a teenage girl a decade earlier? The answer was no, according to last week’s extensive report into sexual abuse and coverups in the archdiocese. But the priest could be charged with assault, battery or attempted rape, the assistant state’s attorney said.” By Madeleine O’Neill, Maryland Daily Record

Two women detail alleged abuse by Catholic priest in Batimore: ‘I was in total shock’
“For more than 50 years, Teresa Lancaster wanted the Catholic Church to believe her when she said she was sexually abused by Father Joseph Maskell at her high school in Baltimore. She said she was 16 when she went to see Maskell for help, and that within five minutes, he took her clothes off and set her on his lap. ‘I was in total shock,’ she said.” By Nikki Battiste, CBS News

Report detailing sex abuse within Catholic Church of Baltimore to be released Wednesday
“Maryland Attorney General Anthony Brown said he will release a redacted version of a long-awaited 456-page grand jury report that details decades of sexual abuse within the Archdiocese of Baltimore on Wednesday (Apr. 5) after privately meeting with survivors in the morning. Baltimore Circuit Judge Robert K. Taylor Jr. on Tuesday approved the release of the report ‘as the Office of the Attorney General shall see fit.’ The attorney general’s office will post the document on its website at 1 p.m., according to an email sent to survivors of clergy sexual abuse.” By Liz Bowie and Dylan Segelbaum, The Baltimore Banner


Former Flint-area priest faces April trial date in sex abuse case
“A former Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting underage boys may stand trial just shy of four years after being charged with several counts of criminal sexual conduct. Vincent DeLorenzo, 84, is scheduled to face a jury at a trial before Genesee County Circuit Judge Brian S. Pickell on April 26, online court records show. DeLorenzo, a former Flint-area priest accused of sexually assaulting two boys in the mid-1990s, when the alleged victims were under 13 years old, appeared before Pickell on Monday, March 27, for a final pretrial hearing.” By Joey Oliver, MLive.com


Diocese takes Eucharist to abuse survivors too traumatized to attend church
“An American archdiocese is bringing the Eucharist to survivors of clerical sex abuse who hunger for Communion but find church-going traumatic. ‘People really want the Eucharist. They want to be fed and healed by it,’ said Paula Kaempffer, outreach coordinator for restorative justice and abuse prevention for the Archdiocese of St Paul and Minneapolis.” By Bess Twiston Davies, The Tablet


Archbishop apologizes for priest abuse
“Archbishop John Wester wrote he was ‘ashamed’ by decades of sexual abuse committed by Roman Catholic priests in an open letter to those who’d filed complaints and lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. In a letter dated Thursday (Mar. 16) and read during Mass on Sunday, Wester professed his ‘profound regret and sorrow over the tragic and inexcusable harm done to you,’ referring to the hundreds of claimants in a scandal that rocked the archdiocese for many years” By Santa Fe New Mexican


Priest at St. Therese of Lisieux Church in Brooklyn removed from ministry
“The Diocese of Brooklyn has removed from priestly ministry Father Bony Monastere, the parochial vicar for St. Therese of Lisieux Church in East Flatbush, after a sexual abuse allegation involving an adult was substantiated, according to the diocese. Bishop Robert Brennan announced the decision via a letter that was read aloud to parishioners by Auxiliary Bishop Neil Tiedemann on Sunday, March 19.” By Paula Katinas, The Tablet

NY deacon gets 16 years for ‘enticing’ minors via Grindr
“A deacon of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, has been sentenced to 16 years in prison after he admitted to prosecutors that he engaged in sexual acts with minors he met on the hookup app Grindr. Rogelio Vega, 52, was sentenced March 15, two years after he was arrested in an NYPD sting operation using Grindr. Vega, who previously served in the Brooklyn diocese’s parish of St. Sebastian, Woodside, pled guilty last September to three counts of ‘enticing a minor’ to engage in sexual acts with him” By The Pillar

Former Buffalo Diocese chancery official put on leave a second time following additional abuse claim
“Bishop Michael W. Fisher has put a Cheektowaga pastor on administrative leave for a second time after an additional claim of child sexual abuse was made against the priest. The diocese received a recent ‘proof of claim’ alleging abuse by Monsignor Peter J. Popadick, pastor of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Parish, according to diocese spokesman Joseph Martone. Popadick was removed from ministry in 2019 due to a previous allegation in a Child Victims Act lawsuit and reinstated four months later after a diocese investigation and a review board examination of the claim.” By Jay Tokasz, The Buffalo News


Three women sue Parmadale, Catholic Diocese over sexual abuse allegations spanning decades
“Three women filed lawsuits Tuesday (Mar. 21) that allege they were sexually and physically abused at a now-shuttered children’s group home that had been run by the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland. One of the women who was at the Parmadale Children’s Village in the 1970s said in her lawsuit that the priest at the time, whom the document referred to as ‘Father Leahy,’ sexually abused her at his cottage on the property while men he invited there watched.” By Cory Shaffer, Cleveland.com


A BuzzFeed writer exposed abuse at a Vermont orphanage. Her new book reveals even more.
“Journalist Christine Kenneally sparked worldwide headlines in 2018 when her BuzzFeed exposé about a history of abuse at Burlington’s now-closed St. Joseph’s Orphanage, ‘We Saw Nuns Kill Children,’ spurred local and state authorities to launch a review that confirmed misconduct, if not the story’s 75-year-old claims of murder. ‘Allegations were never investigated when they should have been,’ former Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan said after the probe ended in 2020 with an apology but no criminal charges. ‘It is my hope that through a restorative process, we can bring peace, we can bring justice, we can bring reconciliation for so many of these survivors who still struggle today.’” By Kevin O’Connor, VTDigger

Clergy reporting bill fails to make key legislative deadline over constitutional concerns
“A bill that would end clergy exemptions for reporting child abuse and neglect appears dead as it failed to meet a key legislative deadline for passing out of a committee Friday (Mar. 17). The bill, S.16, had been assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held hearings on the matter, including one that featured Vermont Catholic Bishop Christopher Coyne, who testified in opposition to the legislation. Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, the committee’s chair, said Thursday that due to ‘constitutional concerns’ the bill was being shelved, at least for now, and therefore will not move out of committee.” By Alan J. Keays VT Digger


Concerns raised over Washington state mandatory reporting bill that lacks confession exception
“A bill that would require clergy to report child abuse or neglect in Washington state is under consideration by the Legislature, but some have expressed concern that this bill could force Catholic priests to violate the civil law in order to uphold church law regarding the seal of confession. SB 5280, sponsored by state Sen. Noel Frame, D-Seattle, would make members of the clergy mandatory reporters, people required by law to report suspected or known instances of child abuse or neglect.” By Kate Scanlon, OSV News

Former Tacoma Catholic nun and priest added to clergy abuse accusation list
“A former Tacoma Catholic nun and a priest were added to an official list of clergy and others accused of abuse, the Archdiocese of Seattle announced Friday (Mar.31). Sister Jerry Lyness and Father Thomas Phelan were added to the official list of ‘Clergy and Religious Brothers and Sisters for Whom Allegations of Sexual Abuse of a Minor Have Been Admitted, Established or Determined to be Credible.’ Lyness was a teacher at St. Patrick Catholic School from 1976 to 1994 and she served as co-principal there from 1991 to 1994. Phelan served as pastor at St. Ann Parish from 1973 to 1983. Both are dead.” By Craig Sailor, Yahoo.com


A retired priest pushed to require clergy to report sex=-abuse confessions; now he’s banned from hearing confessions
“Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki has stripped a retired priest of his permission to hear confessions after the priest advocated publicly for requiring clergy to report abuse revealed in confidential settings. The Rev. James Connell said he got word Wednesday that Listecki had ordered him to stop speaking publicly about repealing what’s known as clergy-penitent privilege. Listecki also removed Connell’s ‘faculty’ to hear confessions and offer absolution.” By Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

DOJ investigation leads to discovery of additional credibly accused priest in La Crosse Diocese
“A new name has been added to the list of credibly accused priests within the La Crosse Diocese as a result of the Attorney General’s inquiry into abuse perpetrated by clergy and other faith leaders across the state. John J. Cullinan, who served at St. Paul’s Church in Mosinee and St. Mary’s Church in Wausau, was added to the list on Dec. 20, over two years after the diocese first published their list, the attorney general’s office confirmed this week.” By Laura Schulte, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Win for victim-survivors as Vic Court of Appeal finds Catholic Church liable for sexual abuse be priests
“A decision by Victoria’s highest court to uphold a landmark ruling that holds the Catholic church vicariously liable for the abuse by its priests has been hailed as a win for victim-survivors. An attempt by the church to appeal the ruling was quashed by the Victorian Court of Appeal on Monday (Apr. 3). The original decision involved the case of a then-five-year-old boy, known as DP, who was abused by Catholic priest Bryan Coffey at his parents’ home in Port Fairy in 1971. The church had argued Coffey was not a formal employee and therefore it could not be held liable.” By Kyra Gillespie, ABC South West Vic

Marist Brothers Catholic Order’s use of pedophile’s death as shield from abuse claims sparks outrage in Australia
“A pedophile’s death allegedly has been used as a shield from abuse accusations in the Catholic Order in Australia. The Marist Brothers, a Catholic order, will argue in court that they should not be held liable for abuse claims related to Brother Francis ‘Romuald’ Cable because he is dead, despite allegations that the order concealed his crimes for years. Even though Cable had been accused of abusing children as early as 1967, the Marist Brothers took no action to expel him from the order or alert the police.” By A.J. Paz, Christianity Daily


Vancouver archdiocese and private school deny wrongdoing, sue alleged abusers
“The Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver and a private Catholic school have denied wrongdoing after claims of sexual abuse from former students and have filed their own lawsuits against the alleged abusers. The archdiocese and St. Thomas More Collegiate in Burnaby filed separate lawsuits last week against the men who belonged to a Catholic order and were transferred to B.C. from Mount Cashel, the Newfoundland orphanage notorious for the sexual abuse that took place there.” By The Canadian Press

Survivor calls on Archdiocese of St. John’s to release names of accused priests
“Gemma Hickey wants the Catholic church to start naming names. As a survivor of clergy abuse, and an advocate for other survivors, Hickey is tired of chasing down the church for information and pushing it to right historic wrongs. Now they want to see the church lay it all out there for the public to see. ‘Newfoundland and Labrador is ground zero when it comes to this type of abuse,’ said Hickey, who uses they/them pronouns. ‘When it erupted here in the ’80s, it erupted everywhere else. And so that’s why it’s really important, particularly here, to have lists that contain the names of credibly accused priests.’” By Ryan Cooke, CBC News

Former principal, teacher at Winnipeg’s St. Paul’s among Jesuit priests accused of sexually abusing minors
“Two former teachers at St. Paul’s High School in Winnipeg, one of whom also served as principal, are on a list of accused sexual abusers in the Jesuits of Canada. ‘I am incredibly saddened,’ St. Paul’s president Kevin Booth said in a statement posted Monday (Mar.20) on the school’s website, after it was revealed two former St. Paul’s educators — Father John Pungente and Father George Topp — were on the list of 27 priests and brothers released Monday by the Jesuits, a religious order of the Catholic Church.” By Darren Bernhardt, CBC News

10 out of 27 Jesuits ‘credibly accused’ of abusing minors worked at a residential school or a First Nation
“Over a third of the Jesuits who are ‘credibly accused’ of sexually abusing minors worked in First Nations or at the Spanish Indian Residential School in Spanish, Ont. The religious order released a list of names, along with the places they were assigned to work, on Monday (Mar. 20) as part of an attempt to be more transparent and accountable. Among the 27 priests and brothers named, 10 worked at the residential school in Spanish and/or in First Nations communities.” By Ka’nhehsi:io Deer, CBC News


French bishops outline new anti-abuse measures, warn of ‘social fractures’
“France’s Catholic bishops have announced new steps against sexual abuse – while also urging national dialogue to deter current nationwide protests over a proposal to raise state pension age and warning against new government moves to legalize euthanasia. ‘Our precise intention was to find ways of building a safer church, and this order has been honored with remarkable work by 100 working group members,’ the bishops’ conference explained in a March 31 statement at the close of its spring plenary at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.” By Jonathan Luxmoore, OSV News, in Detroit Catholic


German prosecutors not pressing charges in Catholic Church abuse scandal
“The Munich I public prosecutor’s office said on Tuesday (Mar. 21) that it has closed its investigations based on the abuse report on the German archdioceses of Munich and Freising. In each case, the investigations had not yielded sufficient suspicion of criminal conduct on the part of the personnel managers, the public prosecutor’s office announced at a news conference in Munich. According to the public prosecutor’s office, among those accused at times was also the late ex-Pope Benedict XVI, who was archbishop in Munich from 1977 to 1982.” By Anadolu Agency, aa.com.tr


‘Church knew about abusive priest years ago. I thold them’: Victim says inaction put other women at risk
“A victim of a former priest convicted of sexually abusing a young woman as he drove her to rape counselling has criticized the Catholic Church for allowing his offending to continue after she raised the alarm. Father Joseph Dunne, 81, who was sacked as a priest in Scotland, indecently assaulted the woman on a number of occasions after befriending her in hospital in Ireland, where he now lives. Now a Scottish woman who says she was assaulted when Dunne was a priest at St Paul’s church, Whiteinch, Glasgow, in the 1980s has spoken of her anger …” By Janet Boyle and Marion Scott, The Sunday Post


Archdiocese to list names of abusive priests, allow survivors to tell their stories
“The Archdiocese of Agana has committed to publishing on its website the names of priests and other clergies who were identified as child sexual abusers, and to allow survivors of clergy sexual assaults to tell their stories if they so desire. These are among the archdiocese’s nonmonetary commitments as part of its court-approved bankruptcy exit plan, which also includes multimillion settlement payouts to more than 270 clergy abuse claimants.” By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert, Pacific Daily News

Chancery, FIP properties sold for $$5.8M to help pay clergy sex abuse claims; court approves sale
“Ownership of the Archdiocese of Agana’s two major real estate properties that include the chancery will soon officially change hands after a federal judge on Monday (Mar.20) approved the total $5.8 million sale, proceeds of which would help settle clergy sex abuse claims and pay other costs in the Catholic church’s bankruptcy case.” No one objected to the archdiocese’s $2.3 million sale of its chancery property in Agana Heights to ‘Phoenix Foundation or nominee’ by the court’s March 16 deadline.” By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert, Pacific Daily News


Catholic priest booked for sexual harassment in Kanyakumari district

The Kanyakumari district cyber police have registered a case against a Catholic priest after a nursing college student levelled sexual harassment allegations against the priest. For more than a week, obscene videos and pictures involving the priest went viral on social media. The videos and photos were stolen from his laptop by some people and uploaded online. Under these circumstances, a first-year nursing student has filed a complaint with the superintendent of police stating that Fr Benedict Anto posted at the Our Lady of Assumption Malankara Church at Pilankalai was harassing her online.” By Times of India


Clergy sex abuse victims feel ‘vindicated’ after Vatican talks
“Survivors of Roman Catholic clergy sex abuse from Britain and Ireland said on Thursday (Mar. 24) they finally felt vindicated after ‘transformative’ meetings with Pope Francis and leaders of the Comboni Missionary order. The survivors were abused as teenagers in the 1960s and 1970s, while studying to be missionary priests at a Comboni seminary in Yorkshire, northern England.” By Alvise Armellini, Reuters


Catholic prevention organization: Mexico ranks first in human trafficking and child abuse
“Sister Karina de la Rosa Morales, a nun with the Xavierian Missionary Sisters of Mary and a member of the Rahamim network that is fighting against human trafficking, lamented that Mexico holds ‘first place in human trafficking, child abuse, organ selling, sex tourism, child abduction, and child pornography.’ ACI Prensa spoke with several of the nuns and a laywoman who belong to the Rahamim prevention network.” By Ana Paula Morales, Catholic News Agency, in The Catholic World Report


Catholic Church abuse survivors group says Pope ignored their letter

“A support group for survivors of abuse within the Catholic Church has sent an open letter to the pope claiming a coverup, secrecy and denial of abuse by the church in this country. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP, said the church’s redress process was secretive and denied a survivor’s right to natural justice. SNAP said it wrote to Pope Francis in September last year, but never got a reply. ‘We informed you of ongoing coverup and denial of credible complaints of clerical abuse and child sexual assault through a secretive A Path to Healing – Te Houhanga Rongo redress process. ‘We are disappointed to not have had the courtesy of a reply or acknowledgement of our letter.’” By Radio New Zealand


A case of clerical child rape, 1
“The many incidents of child sexual abuse by clerics has shamed thousands of good bishops and priests who have been justly angered by the rampant and tolerated child sexual abuse of their fellow pedophile priests and some bishops. They feel helpless when their bishop protects the pedophile priests and calls him ‘his son.’ They hunger for justice for the victims and wish to exonerate their own vocation and blemished priesthood.” By Fr. Shay Cullen, Panay News


Vatican hands over files of priest accused of abuse to Polish court for first time
“The Vatican has for the first time handed over to a Polish court the case file of a former priest on trial for child sex abuse. The move came after the local Polish archbishop informed the judge that he was unable to make the documents available himself. The transfer of the material took place in the autumn of last year, when the Vatican handed the 200 pages of documents over to the Polish embassy. But it was only reported yesterday for the first time by the Gazeta Wyborcza daily because the trial of the former priest is being conducted behind closed doors.” By Notes from Poland


Bishop of Porto suspends three priests for suspected sexual abuse of children
“The Bishop of Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city, has temporarily suspended three priests suspected of pedophilia, the Diocese of Porto announced Thursday (Mar. 16). In a brief statement, the church said the priests were all named in a recently finalized investigation of sexual abuse in Portugal’s Catholic Church. Last Friday, the Diocese of Porto said the investigators sent them a list of 12 Porto clergy who were all suspected abusers. Of the 12, four had died and one had left the district, according to a statement. The diocese said it would investigate the seven remaining priests further.” By Alyssa McMurtry, aa.com.tr

Portuguese Catholic Church highlights problems in abuse commission’s report
“Portugal’s Catholic Church has reiterated new safeguarding commitments in line with an independent commission on sexual abuse by clergy, although most of its dioceses also reported inconsistencies in the commission’s findings. ‘We renew our gratitude for the work carried out, which has made it possible to cross reference information between victim testimonies and data from our archives,’ the Portuguese bishops’ permanent council said March 14.” By Johathan Luxmoore, National Catholic Reporter


Spain’s ombudsman registers 445 church sex abuse complaints
“Spain’s ombudsman said Monday (Mar. 20) that an independent commission set up a year ago to investigate historic sex abuse by the Catholic church has collected testimonies from 445 victims, as the nation tackles an issue other European countries acted on long ago. Spain’s parliament voted on March 10, 2022 to open the first official investigation, led by ombudsman Ángel Gabilondo, into the extent of sexual abuse committed by priests and church officials. The government was forced to act after allegations of abuse involving more than 1,200 victims were published in Spanish newspaper El País, provoking public outrage.” By Associated Press


Number of child sexual abuse cases increases by 33 percent in 2022 in Turkey
“Turkey has experienced a spike in cases of child sexual abuse in 2022, the Justice Ministry’s statistics revealed. According to the 2022 Justice Statistics, the number of child sexual abuse cases filed in Turkey has increased by 33 percent in 2022 compared to 2021. Children’s rights advocates have been calling for better sex abuse prevention for years. Experts say prevention involves increasing gender equality, educating children on their bodies and sexuality in age-appropriate ways, teaching about sexual abuse through awareness campaigns and training public officials. But under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), talking about sexual issues is still considered taboo.” By DuvarEnglish.com