Voice of the Faithful Focus, July 14, 2023

July 14, 2023


To reach and keep young Catholics, the church must recognize women’s leadership / Opinion
“Women play a vital role in passing on the faith to the next generation. But when 99% of Catholic churches will have a male preacher this Sunday in a world where 50% of the Catholic population are women, it’s time for our daughters and granddaughters — and sons and grandsons — to see us naming out loud a problem we’ve endured quietly in our hearts. What seemed normalized to my devout Catholic Cuban grandmothers and became uncomfortable for my mother and has become unacceptable for me, is now unbearable for my nieces and many of our daughters. This will have untold consequences for the future of Catholic ministries.” By Ellie Hildagdo, Miami Herald

Synod document sets stage for wide-ranging debate on women, Catholic ministries and structures
“When prelates and lay delegates gather in October for the Synod of Bishops, they will be asked to directly confront a number of pressing questions — including the possibility of women deacons, access to the priesthood for married men, the integration of LGBTQ+ Catholics, and penance for sexual abuse and the abuse of power, conscience and money — in consideration of how the Catholic Church might transform and expand its structures to become more welcoming to all its members. In a much anticipated document released June 20, the Vatican’s synod office set the stage for a wide-ranging discussion for the first session of a high-stakes meeting that is attempting to respond with ‘missionary urgency’ to the challenges of church life in the modern world.” By Christopher White, National Catholic Reporter

Assembly of U.S. Catholic priests discusses calls for women’s ordination
“Her (Cecilia González-Andrieu) son’s experience can serve as a reminder of the need to truly see ‘la realidad’ — the reality of life — of marginalized people, and women especially, as the Catholic Church continues its three-year journey exploring Pope Francis’ invitation to synodality, she said. Synodality, González-Andrieu explained, is meant to highlight the rich diversity of the voices and talents of the people of God. Her talk turned to the word ‘difference’ and how through the diversity of people and cultures and animal and plant life ‘God’s creation loves difference.’” By Dennis Sadowski, National Catholic Reporter

German police search church properties in probe of Cologne archbishop over perjury allegations
“German police and prosecutors searched Catholic Church properties on Tuesday (Jun. 27) in connection with a probe of the archbishop of Cologne in western Germany over perjury allegations, authorities said. The searches included the vicar general’s office and the premises of an IT company that provides email services to the archdiocese headed by Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki … The cardinal is under investigation on suspicion of having falsely testified to court about when he became aware of reports of clergy sexual abuse in the archdiocese.” By Kirsten Grieshaber, Associated Press


New Vatican doctrinal chief admits mistakes in handling abuse allegations against priest
“Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández, chosen by Pope Francis to head the Vatican office that ensures doctrinal orthodoxy, conceded July 9 he made mistakes in handling a 2019 case of a priest accused of sexual abuse of minors. The case has drawn allegations by critics that Fernández tried to protect the priest, a charge that he has denied. ‘Today I would certainly act very differently and certainly my performance was insufficient,’ he told The Associated Press during an interview after celebrating Mass in La Plata, about 70 kilometers (40 miles) south of Buenos Aires.” By Almudena Calatrave and Natacha Pisarenko, Associated Press, in National Catholic Reporter

Bankruptcy judge questions Buffalo Diocese spending asa legal fees soar to $12.5 million
“Legal and professional fees paid by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo have ballooned to $12.5 million, prompting the federal judge overseeing the diocese’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case to remark that he was puzzled over how the diocese was able to afford such costs. ‘The question is, ‘Where is the money coming from for these legal fees?’ Chief Judge Carl L. Bucki of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Western District of New York asked the diocese’s lawyers at a recent hearing. ‘I’m just having trouble discerning how an entity can be profitable after paying over $12 million in legal fees, an entity of this size.’” By Jay Tokacz, The Buffalo News


Synod on Synodality: Read the full list of delegates
“The Vatican has published the names of those participating in the upcoming Synod on Synodality assembly in October, including laypeople who will be full voting delegates at a Catholic Church synod for the first time … In total, 363 people will be able to vote in the 16th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, according to statistics released by the Holy See Press Office on July 7. Among them, 54 of the voting delegates are women.” By Catholic News Agency

Synod 2023 – Reversing Vatican II
What evangelical purpose will be served by more “listening” to what the IL suggests will be identical contestations at Synod-2023? How does any of this bring the light of Christ to the nations? The Synodal Assembly in October will have to rescue the Synod from its Working Document. This was done in 2014, 2015, and 2018. It can and should be done again, in fidelity to the spirit and letter of Vatican II.” By The Catholic World Report

A ‘listening Church’ – but Synod organizers aren’t listening
“In several recent essays about the Synod on Synodality, I have made the argument that the Synod organizers are asking the wrong questions. Is anyone paying attention? If this really is a Synod on Synodality (as Pope Francis and his preparatory team insist it is) then the main topic of discussion should be how the Church should address difficult questions—since a synod is a meeting convened for that purpose. Then, with the procedural issues subject clarified, a future Synod could take up the specific controversies that trouble the Church today. But the preparations for this Synod have leapt over the question of how to answer questions, instead inviting all Catholics—and non-Catholics, for that matter—to raise the questions they want answered.” By Phil Lawler, Catholic Culture

Synod on Synodality: your questions answered
“The Vatican released a new document on June 20 outlining key questions for the upcoming 16th General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, more commonly known as the Synod on Synodality. Here is what you need to know …” By Courtney Mares, Catholic News Agency

Synod document asks how to increase unity, participation, mission outreach
“In a Church that ‘bears the signs of serious crises of mistrust and lack of credibility,’ members of the assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be asked to find ways to build community, encourage the contribution of every baptized person and strengthen the Church’s primary mission of sharing the Gospel, said the working document for the October gathering. ‘A synodal Church is founded on the recognition of a common dignity deriving from baptism, which makes all who receive it sons and daughters of God, members of the family of God, and therefore brothers and sisters in Christ, inhabited by the one Spirit and sent to fulfill a common mission,’ said the document, which was released at the Vatican June 20.” By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, in Our Sunday Visitor


Pope Francis appoints men and women to build a synodal church
“Lately, Pope Francis has been busy appointing men and women who support his vision of a synodal church to positions where it matters. This is evident in his recent appointments to the college of cardinals, the synod, to the Roman Curia and to archdioceses. These appointments are important because, as every management consultant will tell you, ‘personnel is policy.’ An organization can have wonderful policies, but if the people responsible for implementing them are not on board, those policies will fail.” By Thomas Reese, Religion News Service


Pope Francis names 21 new cardinals, including Vatican’s ambassador to U.S.
“Pope Francis on July 9 named 21 new cardinals, including the Vatican’s ambassador to the U.S., Archbishop Christophe Pierre; American-born Archbishop Robert Prevost, who oversees the appointments of Catholic bishops worldwide; and the new head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández … Of the 21 new cardinals, 18 are under the age of 80 and would be eligible to vote in a papal conclave. As of Sept. 30, with the new additions, the total number of eligible cardinal electors will be 137.” By Christopher White, National Catholic Reporter

State health examiner agrees that McCarrick is unfit to stand trial
“Former cardinal Theodore McCarrick is not competent to stand trial on criminal sexual abuse charges in Massachusetts, a mental health expert hired by the state said after examining the disgraced ex-prelate. The update in the case could lead to the dismissal of the first criminal charges against McCarrick, 92, following several accusations of sexual abuse of minors and seminarians, which led to his removal from the clerical state in 2019. Criminal sexual assault charges filed against McCarrick in Wisconsin in April are still pending, as are a number of civil lawsuits.” By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency


Forced resignations of Catholic bishops, justice by teardrop
“Countries with better performing systems of justice and more independent media, such as Canada, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and France provide a better context for victims to achieve a measure of relief, a measure of justice. It has been a long process. Major changes in key principles of civil law have happened in such countries. We have witnessed the reports coming from Grand Juries in Pennsylvania and reports from the General Attorney in Illinois, and other jurisdictions in the United States.” By Rodolfo Soriano-Nüñez, LosAngelesPress.org

Judge dismisses Texas monastery’s lawsuit against Fort Worth bishop
“A Texas judge has dismissed a Carmelite monastery’s civil lawsuit against Fort Worth Bishop Michael Olson. Without comment, Tarrant County District Court Judge Don Cosby, sitting in Fort Worth, issued a ruling June 30 granting the Fort Worth Diocese’s motion to dismiss the monastery’s complaint, which accused Olson of theft, defamation, and abuse of power.” By Shannon Mullen, Catholic News Agency

Bishop accountability group voices concerns about Archbishop Fernández appointment
“A bishop accountability group that tracks sexual abuse in the Catholic Church released a statement July 1 voicing serious concerns about Pope Francis’ new appointment of Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández to head the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith. The group keeps an online database of sexual abuse by clergy on its website, BishopAccountability.org. In its statement, written by co-director Anne Barrett Doyle, the group called Fernández’s appointment ‘a baffling and troubling choice’ for a position that ‘will have immense power, especially when it comes to judging and punishing priests who abuse children.’” By Peter Pinedo, Catholic News Agency

Two U.S. bishops were recently subject to Vatican visitations. What do these interventions mean?

“So, what is an apostolic visitation, and why is the process so secretive? An apostolic visitation is when one or more representatives travel to a diocese, religious congregation or ceremony to investigate it on behalf of the Vatican. As America’s veteran Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell explained for a forthcoming episode of the ‘Inside the Vatican’ podcast, ‘The decision to have an apostolic visitation is a signal of something very serious in a given diocese … It means there’s something really problematic in the diocese.’” By Colleen Dulle, America: The Jesuit Review

Minnesota auxiliary bishop who resigned over handling of abuse cases to return as vicar
“Bishop Lee A. Piché, who eight years ago resigned from the office of auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis amid charges that the archdiocese had ignored warning signs of a priest abusing minors, will return to service in the archdiocese as the archbishop’s representative to retired priests beginning July 1. In his time away, Piché, 65, ‘has embraced a life of prayer and penance for the intention of victims of abuse in the archdiocese, and for efforts to bring healing into the lives of those who have been impacted in any way by clergy abuse,’ the archdiocese said in a statement June 22 announcing the assignment.” By Joe Ruff, OSV News, in National Catholic Reporter

Knoxville prelate acknowledges controversies as factor in early resignation
“After the Vatican announced Tuesday (Jun. 28) that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville, Tennessee, Stika attributed his early departure to years of life-threatening health scares, and, in part, to the physical and emotional weight of controversies surrounding his leadership. Stika, 65, had his resignation accepted by Pope Francis on June 27 about nine years before his 75th birthday.” By John Lavenburg, Cruxnow.com

The U.S. Catholic bishops’ spring meeting, or Clericalism 101
“The optics of the latest meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Orlando this past week tell the story. It is not about us. OK, it is a conference of bishops. And of course, Catholicism does not ordain women as bishops, or as anything else for that matter. But the view from the pews is of men talking about men.” By Phyllis Zagano, Religion News Service


We researched ‘just one Jesuit’ credibly accused of sex abuse. Here’s what we learned.
“Two years ago our research team of one theologian, one criminologist and one historian set out to assess the impact of just one credibly accused Jesuit on the social fabric of a Catholic city like Omaha. We focused our study on Kenney, who earned the moniker “the Monkey Priest” by carrying around a monkey hand puppet he called Buford. But in focusing on just one Jesuit in one place, we learned that clergy sexual abuse is never about just one person, place or phenomenon. And the harms take many forms, with some taking years — or, as in Ryan’s experience, even decades — to surface.” By Julia Feder, Heather Fryer and Rebecca Murray, National Catholic Reporter

‘No discussion’ – Priests respond to USCCB address on priesthood
“Priests reported that they are less likely to seek personal support from their bishop than they are from any other source, and said they believe bishops regard priests as ‘liabilities’ and ‘expendable.’ One of the most eye-catching findings of the report was the significant gap in perception between bishops and their priests on how supportive the bishops are of their clergy: 90 percent of bishop respondents told researchers they would respond ‘very well’ to a priest who came to them with personal struggles. But only 36 percent of priests agreed.” By The Pillar


The Vatican’s synod document is good. But how long must women wait?
“Yet despite the pages of expansive language on the dignity of women, the question of opening ordained ministries to women is reduced to ‘envisaging’ the inclusion of women in the diaconate. While many of us don’t require much imagination to envisage such a thing — for certainly women serving in diaconal roles is a reality around the world, officially recognized or not — I found this a reductive proposal. Can we not also envisage women’s inclusion in the priesthood?” By Kate McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

A high-profile French nun is inspiriting hope for Catholic women. But can she really bring change?
“In her years running Catholic youth programs in France, Sr. Nathalie Becquart often invoked her own experience as a seasoned sailor in urging young people to weather the storms of their lives. ‘There’s nothing stronger than seeing the sunrise after a storm, the flat calm of the sea,’ she says. That lesson is especially applicable to Becquart herself as she charts the global church through an unprecedented — and at times, tempestuous — period of reform as one of the highest-ranking women at the Vatican.” By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, in Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter


More than half a million left Germany’s Catholic Church last year as abuse scandal swirls
“More than half a million people formally left the Catholic Church in Germany last year, significantly higher than the previous record as the church wrestles with a long-running scandal over abuse by clergy and with calls for far-reaching reform. The German Bishops’ Conference said Wednesday (Jun, 28) that 522,821 left the church last year, up from 359,338 in 2021, the previous record … The departures left the number of Catholic Church members in Germany at nearly 20.94 million, just under a quarter of the population.” By Geir Moulson, Associated Press


Ex-priest stole more than $100K from Granby church to buy power tools, video games
“Tomasz J. Gorny, 43, of Amherst, will be arraigned on a charge of larceny over $1,200 on Friday, June 16, the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office said. Gorny served as a priest of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Granby until the Diocese of Springfield began an internal audit after leaders noticed some accounting irregularities, authorities said. They turned over their findings to Granby detectives, who opened an investigation into him.” By Josh Lanier, Hampshire Franklin Daily Voice


What haunts child abuse victims? The memory, study finds
“For generations, our society has vacillated about how best to heal people who experienced terrible things in childhood. Should these memories be unearthed, allowing their destructive power to dissipate? Should they be gently molded into something less painful? Or should they be left untouched? Researchers from King’s College London and the City University of New York examined this conundrum by conducting an unusual experiment.” By Ellen Barry, The New York Times

We remain hopeful about the synod process
“When the Vatican released the working document for the synod on synodality on June 20, many Catholics, including those calling for church reform, expressed hope that the next steps toward the October 2023 and 2024 gatherings will continue a process of dialogue, openness and potential for change. We agree: The 60-page document, called the instrumentum laboris, includes several positive signs that the three-year synodal process may be the beginning of a significant shift in the church. At the very least, it looks like it will not be a “done deal,” as were gatherings of bishops under previous popes.” By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff

Prebuttals to the synod have begun, and they don’t persuade
“The prebuttals have begun. With last month’s release of the instrumentum laboris, or working document, for the October synod in Rome, and the announcement of synod members this morning (Jul. 7), most people with whom I speak are enthusiastic about the synodal process. But those who thought the long reign of John Paul II had settled all issues within the church, and settled them for all time, those people are anxious. They are now trying to throw whatever sand into the mechanisms, hurl allegations of hidden agendas and generally aim to make sure that the synodal process is stillborn.” By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter

Is the Catholic Church evading justice?
“(Joey) Piscitelli is now an advocate for other victims, having won $600,000 in compensation from a 2006 jury trial against the Diocese of Oakland — which last month declared bankruptcy, after receiving more than 330 legal claims of sexual abuse. It’s part of a growing trend in the Catholic Church of the United States, which Piscitelli and other campaigners believe is an attempt by the church to skirt its responsibilities — but the reality is not as clear-cut as it may seem.” By Elle Hardy, Yahoo.com News

Cardinal Serah: No synod can invent a ‘female priesthood’
“Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect emeritus of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, stressed that ‘the priesthood is unique’ and warned that ‘no council, no synod’ can ‘invent a female priesthood.’ In his conference on the priesthood, entitled ‘Joyful Servants of the Gospel’ given July 3 at the Conciliar Seminary in Mexico City, the cardinal assured that no one ‘has the power to transform this divine gift to adapt it and reduce its transcendent value to the cultural and environmental field.’” By Ana Paula Morales, Catholic News Agency

The U.S. deserves some legacy bishop appointments, too
It is time for this pattern of legacy episcopal appointments to come to the United States. Earlier this year, my colleague Brian Fraga and I both wrote about the large number of dioceses and archdioceses in which the incumbent hits the mandatory retirement age of 75 in the next couple years. Pope Francis needs to view them all as a chessboard, in which the next generation of episcopal leaders are vaulted into the most important sees.” By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter

Is the eucharistic revival an exercise in cheap grace?
“I will admit to a certain reluctance in writing a column that could be interpreted as criticizing the spiritual practices and devotion of others. The Eucharist is — and has always been — an important source of nourishment for me. Yet I have serious misgivings about the amount of corporate time, money and energy that our U.S. bishops are devoting to their three-year National Eucharistic Revival, now entering its second year … While there may be positive devotional outcomes for Catholics who participate in the revival, I can’t help but worry that our bishops are inviting us to a massive exercise in cheap grace.” By Christine Schenk, National Catholic Reporter


New Kansas law helps child sex abuse survivors – but it has two crucial omissions
“On June 25, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly ceremonially signed S.B. 2127, a bill intended to advance the cause of justice for victims of child sex abuse. This legislation received unanimous support in both chambers thanks to the tireless advocacy of survivors. As a state representative and attorney who has represented survivors of child sex abuse and human trafficking for over a decade, I was one of the legislators who pushed for the bill’s passage. But while it was certainly a step in the right direction, there is more to do to protect our kids from sex abuse and provide justice to those who survive.” By Bob Lewis, The Wichita Eagle


Catholics want justice for abuse victims and more LGBTQ inclusion, Vatican says
“The Vatican on Tuesday (Jun. 20) released the results of a two-year canvassing of churches around the world that showed that rank-and-file Catholics want more rights for women in the clergy, justice for victims of widespread sexual abuse within the church and acceptance for previously shunned groups, including divorced and remarried and LGBTQ+ parishioners—but it’s unclear how the Vatican will act on the findings.” By Mary Whitfill Roeloffs, Forbes

Vatican’s secretary of state: clerical abuse not linked to homosexuality
“The Vatican’s secretary of state has dismissed the claim that clergy sexual abuse is linked to homosexuality, labeling it a ‘serious and scientifically untenable association.’ ‘Homosexual orientation cannot be considered as either cause or aspect typical of the abuser, even more so when it is decoupled from the general arrangement of the person,’ wrote Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin. The cardinal’s remarks were published as the preface to a new book, Il dolore della Chiesa di fronte agli abusi (‘The Pain of the Church in the Face of Abuse’), a volume that includes contributions from a number of Catholic theologians, psychologists and other experts on clergy sexual abuse.” By Christopher White, National Catholic Reporter


Two active East Bay priests accused in recent child sex abuse suits
“At least two priests actively serving Catholic parishes in the East Bay are among hundreds of Bay Area clergy being accused of abusing children in a flood of recent lawsuits. On a legal call with its bankruptcy creditors last week, the Diocese revealed two of its accused priests are still in ministry, according to a plaintiff’s attorney and a former Oakland priest who were on the call. One of the active priests now facing abuse allegations is Fr. George Mockel, the current pastor of Santa Maria parish in Orinda, which NBC Bay Area has confirmed through a review of state court records.” By Candice Nguyen, Michael Bott and Michael Horn, NBC-TV Bay Area News

Oakland Catholic diocese files motion to keep names of accused child sex abusers secret
“The Catholic Diocese of Oakland is trying to keep the names of priests who abused children a secret. They filed that motion in a federal bankruptcy court as the diocese faces hundreds of new lawsuits. A state law gave survivors of sexual abuse by clergy until this past Dec. 31 to file lawsuits, no matter how long ago it happened. So many new claims came in, it drove the diocese to bankruptcy. The attorney for the Catholic Diocese of Oakland first raised the issue at a hearing earlier this month … Then, she filed a motion to keep the names and contact information of priests and other diocese staff who may have committed child sexual abuse confidential, “to avoid the risk of identity theft and harassment.” By Dan Noyes, ABC-TV7 News


Colorado priest cleared of criminal charges, reinstated into church service
“Following the conclusion of a police investigation into an allegations of child sexual abuse, the Archdiocese of Denver has closed its own internal review of the claims made against Rev. Michael O’Brien and found them ‘baseless’ and ‘false.’ O’Brien was accused in September 2021 of sexual assault. He was immediately placed on administrative leave by the Archdiocese. Now exonerated by the police and the church, O’Brien will return to St. Anthony of Padua in Julesburg and St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Crook as the Pastor on July 1st. O’Brien had been with those churches only a short time before he was placed on leave.” By Logan Smith, CBS News


Former priest gets seven years for sexual abuse of boy at Evanston hotel
“A former Catholic priest has been sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to molesting a boy more than two decades ago at an Evanston hotel. Kenneth Lewis, 62, entered the plea Thursday (Jun. 29) to felony aggravated sexual abuse in a deal with Cook County prosecutors that saw other charges dropped, including predatory criminal sexual assault, court records show. Lewis was immediately sentenced by Cook County Judge Anjana Hansen and will be required to register as a sex offender for life after his release.” By Matthew, Hendrickson, Chicago Sun Times

Father John Clemens reinstated after investigation into sex abuse claim: Cardinal Blasé Cupich
“A priest has been reinstated following an accusation that he sexually abused a minor decades ago. Father John Clemens is cleared to return to ministry. Cardinal Blase Cupich sent letters on Tuesday (Jun. 20) to Our Lady of Hope Mission parishioners in Rosemont and Mary Seat of Wisdom parishioners in Park Ridge. The Archdiocese Independent Review Board determined that there is no reasonable cause to believe that Clemens abused a minor in an accusation dating back nearly 50 years.” By ABC-TV7 News


‘Evil snake’: Mike Foreman’s quest for justice after sexual assault by Kansas Catholic priest
“Mike Foreman is not a Catholic. This is a sentiment he has echoed repeatedly through his years of campaigning for justice for sexual assault victims, and the phrase is also the name of his website, through which he tries to broadcast his own story of abuse and coverup by the Catholic Church in Kansas. In an interview for the Kansas Reflector podcast, Foreman said he was haunted by a lack of true reparations from the church.” By Rachel Mipro, Kansas Reflector


Ex-priest sentenced to 25 years for drugging and molesting men he met in New Orleans tourist area
“A former Catholic priest in Louisiana has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to drugging and molesting 17 men he met in a popular tourist area in New Orleans, a prosecutor said. WVUE-TV reported that Stephen Sauer, 61, targeted people in the city’s French Quarter who appeared drunk, lost or in need of help, according to Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul D. Connick Jr.” By The Associated Press on ABCNews.go.com

A New Orleans priest confessed to abusing children. He returned to work and was never charged.
“Three days after the Feast of All Saints in 1999, Lawrence Hecker confessed to his superiors at the archdiocese of New Orleans that he had either sexually molested or otherwise shared a bed with multiple teenagers whom he met through his work as a Roman Catholic priest. The roughly 15-year period, beginning in the mid-1960s, during which the admitted conduct unfolded ‘was a time of great change in the world and in the church, and I succumbed to its zeitgeist,’ Hecker said in a two-page statement which he gave to local church authorities serving a region with about a half-million Catholics.” By Ramon Antonio Vargas, The Guardian


Archdiocese of Baltimore adds 42 accused individuals to child sex abuse list
“The Archdiocese of Baltimore on June 30 added 42 names to its list of individuals accused of child sexual abuse. The addition of the names to the “List of Priests and Brothers Accused of Child Sexual Abuse,” first published in 2002, comes following Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown’s April report on child sexual abuse in the archdiocese dating back to the 1940s … The 42 names that were added to the archdiocese’s list consist of 39 individuals who were included in the attorney general’s report; the three other individuals added weren’t named in the report.” By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, The Catholic World Report

Survivors give horrific accounts of ‘parade[ of sexual abuse at Catholic high school
“Four survivors shared their stories more than 50 years after they were brutally, physically and sexually assaulted by priests at an all-girls high school in Baltimore.” By CNN


Former Santa Fe priest makes plea in sexual abuse case
“A former Santa Fe priest is accused of sexually abusing a minor. He pleaded not guilty to the charges. Daniel Balizan was arraigned in front of a federal judge this morning. He’s accused of sexually abusing a minor from 2012 to 2022 while he was a priest of the Santa Maria de La Paz Catholic Church in Santa Fe.” By Laila Freeman, KRQE-TV13 News


RI Supreme Court rules I favor of diocese, says they are not perpetrators of abuse
“The Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled Friday (Jun. 30) that a state law that extended time limits for filing suit against priests who molested children does not also change the time limits for filing suit against church higher-ups who supervised the offending priests. The high court upheld a ruling by a Superior Court judge who had dismissed three lawsuits against officials of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence brought by people who said they were abused by priests when they were children.” By Paul Edward Parker, The Providence Journal


Argentine bishop named to Vatican office rejects criticism of his handling of abuse allegations
“An Argentine bishop named by Pope Francis to lead a powerful Vatican office that ensures doctrinal orthodoxy on Monday (Jul. 3 rejected accusations that he refused to believe victims of sexual abuse by a priest, saying he took actions when the allegations resurfaced in 2019. Monsignor Victor Manuel Fernández, archbishop of La Plata, Argentina, was appointed to head the Holy See’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, whose mandate includes handling sex abuse allegations lodged against clergy.” By Almudena Calatrava, Associated Press


35 Catholic priests to be investigated over sex abuse allegations in Bolivia
“Bolivian prosecutors are investigating 35 members of the Catholic Church after more than a dozen victims accused them of sexual abuse, authorities said Tuesday (Jun. 27). The statement comes as the country is reeling from confessions of abuse that were found in the personal diary of a Spanish priest who died in Bolivia in 2009 after decades of service there. ‘At present, 35 people are accused and under investigation,’ Daniela Caceres, a department head at the Bolivian attorney general’s office, told a press conference. ‘We have 17 people, identified victims, but out of respect and as a precaution for the protection of the victims, we are not going to give specific details,’ she added.” By NDTV.com World News


Two class-action lawsuits alleging sexual assault against Quebec priests move forward
“A pair of class-action lawsuits against two Roman Catholic organizations in Quebec involving sexual assaults alleged to have occurred over the past 80 years can move forward. The Superior Court in Montreal on Friday (Jun. 16) authorized the two lawsuits, which name the dioceses of Joliette and Longueuil as defendants. A total of 41 people have joined the suits, which accuse over a dozen priests of sexual assaults dating back to the 1940s until the present, according to the firm behind the lawsuits, Arsenault Dufresne Wee (ADW).” By Keila DePape, CTV News Montreal


Pope firs Catholic pastor for abuse
“A Catholic minister sentenced to 12 years in prison for multiple abuses has been released from the clergy. At the request of Cardinal Rainer Maria Woelki, Pope Francis imposed this maximum penalty under canon law, as announced by the Archdiocese of Cologne. As a result, the former clergyman will lose all rights and privileges associated with priestly ordination forever. According to the Archdiocese, he is no longer allowed to administer the sacraments, to be pastoral or to exercise the priestly ministry in any way.” By David Sadler, Globe Echo


Catholic priest tried to play the victim in court … but is convicted of sexually abusing teenage boy at sleepover in his presbytery 30 years ago
“A priest who escaped justice for three decades is facing jail after being convicted of abusing a theatre star, 17, who idolized him during a sleepover in his presbytery. Father Reginald Dunkling, 63, struck after inviting the teenager to stay overnight at Our Lady of Muswell in north London in the early nineties. Dunkling – known as Father Reg – was so trusted he had already been allowed to take the boy to Tenerife with another male friend.” By Dan Sales, Daily Mail


Catholic church confirms priest arrested for alleged sexual abuse
“The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kingston has confirmed that a priest was detained by the police on July 5 following an allegation of sexual abuse. It says it will be cooperating fully with the relevant authorities on the matter. ‘Acknowledging the implications and seriousness of this case, the Archbishop immediately removed the priest from all active pastoral ministry in the diocese,’ it said in a media release on Monday (Jul. 10) evening.” By The Gleaner


The Spanish priest who sexually abused children in Senegal for 25 years: ‘When he saw children, he couldn’t resist’
“The victims express the same initial astonishment at what they experienced and, later, the same shame about denouncing the abuse, especially in a society like Senegal’s, where homosexuality is a taboo subject. ‘The problem is that we have all grown up, most of us have wives and children, it is difficult to talk about this now, we are ashamed. We only understood what was happening when we grew up,’ says Phillipe.” By José Naranjo, El Pais