Voice of the Faithful Focus, July 28,2023

July 28, 2023


U.S. Bishops’ Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection releases annual report
“The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection has released the 2022 Annual Report – Findings and Recommendations on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The report is based on the audit findings of StoneBridge Business Partners, a specialty consulting firm headquartered in Rochester, New York, which provides forensic, internal, and compliance audit services to leading organizations nationwide.” By USCCB Office of Public Affairs

‘I don’t know who is stopping this’: advocates urge Mass. AG to issue report on clergy sexual abuse
“Twenty years ago this month, the then-attorney general of Massachusetts, Thomas F. Reilly, issued a report on an investigation of child sexual abuse at the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. ‘The Office of the Attorney General initiated an extensive investigation, which involved prosecutors, State Police, civilian investigators, and the Grand Jury,’ the report read. ‘It is essential to create an official public record of what occurred so that this type of widespread abuse of children might never happen again here or elsewhere.’ In the two decades since, the state’s top prosecutor has not published a report on clergy abuse at the three other dioceses in Massachusetts — Springfield, Fall River or Worcester.” By Nancy Eve Cohen, New England Public Media

Roman Catholic diocese in northern New York announces bankruptcy filing amid sexual abuse lawsuits
“The Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg in northern New York said Monday (Jul. 17) that it was filing for bankruptcy protection as it faces more than 100 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse. The diocese, like others in the state, is dealing with lawsuits dating to when New York temporarily suspended the statute of limitations to give victims of childhood abuse the ability to pursue even decades-old allegations against clergy members, teachers, Boy Scout leaders and others.” By Associated Press

Synod raises hope for long-sought recognition of women in the Catholic Church
“When Pope Francis called two years ago for a worldwide discussion among rank-and-file Catholics about the main challenges and issues facing the church, the question of women’s ministry and leadership echoed loudly in parishes and bishops’ assemblies. The question is resounding more loudly as the summit of bishops and lay Catholics known as the Synod on Synodality, scheduled for October, draws near. Participants and observers alike recognize that any conversation about reforming church hierarchy or promoting lay involvement, Francis’ twin goals for the synod, has to include honest exchanges about the role of women.” By Claire Giangravé, Religion News Service


Portugal is starting the atoning process for clergy sex abuse. Here’s what other countries have done
“While the Catholic Church in the U.S., Australia and some other countries began coming to terms with their clergy sexual abuse legacies years ago and set up mechanisms to compensate victims, the hierarchy in Portugal has only recently offered an account and bungled its initial response to victims … Here’s a look at the countries that have articulated plans for providing financial reparations to victims beyond legal judgments or settlements.” By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, on abcnews.go.com


At the Catholic Church’s worldwide synod, the deacons are missing
“In addition to Pope Francis, among voters and non-voters alike there will be some 273 bishops, 67 priests, 37 non-ordained men and women religious, 70 other lay men and women, and one deacon, Belgian Deacon Geert de Cubber. You would not know from the list that de Cubber is, in fact, an ordained deacon. He is listed as ‘Mr.’ not ‘Rev. Mr.’ or ‘Dcn.,’ as is the general custom. There are a few other mistakes. San Diego Cardinal Robert McElroy’s name is spelled incorrectly. Two priests, the Rev. Eloy Bueno de la Fuente (Spain) and the Rev. Eamonn Conway (Ireland) are not noted as such. There may be a few other minor errors here and there. There may even be another deacon or two, but most probably not.” By Phyllis Zagano, Religion News Service

George Weigel is mistaken. Synodality gives life to the vision of Vatican II
“I was not surprised by George Weigel’s continuing criticism of Pope Francis and the coming Synod of Bishops (The Catholic Weekly, 9 July, 2023) … I have no special access to the mind of Pope Francis, but it has seemed clear for a long time that he is dedicated to implementing the full vision of the council. His emphasis on the importance of synodality in the life of the church will give effect to Vatican II’s teaching that through baptism all believers are called to holiness as members of one people “established by Christ as a communion of life, charity and truth” and “sent forth into the whole world as the light of the world and the salt of the earth” (LG 9).” By Gerald Gleeson, The Catholic Weekly

What the Synod should be about
“Back when the synod on synodality was only an item on Pope Francis’s to-do list, I wrote a column saying conservative Catholics like myself should get on board the pre-synodal bandwagon instead of standing on the sidelines making negative comments. Otherwise, I said, the synod on synodality could fall into liberal hands. With the first assembly of the synod fast approaching in October, that is still a matter of concern.” By Russell Shaw, Our Sunday Visitor

Cardinal Hollerich: ‘The Synod is not Vatican III’
“I sat down with Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich at the Jesuit Curia in Rome on the afternoon of June 30. The following article, based on that conversation, is the second part of that interview. The first part can be found here. In the second part of this interview, Cardinal Hollerich, the relator general of the synod of bishops that opens in the Vatican on Oct. 4, explains that the synod seeks to recover the synodality that existed in the earlier history of the church, but which had largely disappeared.” By Gerard O’Connell, America: The Jesuit Review

New cardinal says October’s synod is not about changing church teaching
“Days after his appointment by Pope Francis, OSV News spoke with Cardinal-designate Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the U.S., who shared his thoughts on his new role, the Synod on Synodality, and why both the synod and the National Eucharistic Revival are ‘just the beginning’ of a fresh encounter with Jesus Christ. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.” By Gina Christian, OSV News, in America: The Jesuit Review


Church sex abuse revelations are unwelcome distraction as Pope Francis visits scandal-hit Portugal
Pope Francis will wade into the quagmire of Portugal’s reckoning with its legacy of clergy abuse and cover-up when he arrives in Lisbon next Wednesday (Aug. 2) to participate in World Youth Day, the international Catholic youth rally. While there is no mention of the scandal on the pontiff’s official agenda, he is expected to meet with victims during his visit. Francis will also visit the shrine at Fatima, a rural Portuguese town that is one of the Catholic Church’s most popular pilgrimage destinations.” By Barry Hatton, Associated Press, on abcnews.go.com


Francis now has the cardinals he needs for the next conclave. Is it enough?
“Since he was elected in 2013, Pope Francis has been remaking the College of Cardinals in preparation for the next conclave that will elect his successor. He has made the college more international, less European, less curial, more pastoral and less ideological. Like every pope before him, Francis has been looking for men who reflect his priorities for the church.” By Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter


Jesuits make it official: artist-priest accused of abuse is expelled from the order
“A month after announcing the expulsion of the artist-priest Father Marko Ivan Rupnik, accused of sexually abusing several adult women, on the grounds of disobedience, Pope Francis’s own Jesuit order confirmed the decision Monday (Jul. 24). Father Johan Verschueren, the permanent delegate of the Society of Jesus for houses, works and inter-provincial Jesuits in Rome, who oversaw the order’s investigation into allegations against Rupnik, made the announcement in a July 24 letter.” By Elise Ann Allen, Cruxnow.com

Priests’ meeting put into practice living synodality in a polarized world
“It was a most welcome surprise to work with the Association of United States Catholic Priests recently. There has been such public resistance among a certain group of bishops and laity to Pope Francis’ vision and the reluctance to embrace the spirit of synodality, that to gather with close to 200 priests from around the country to explore unity through synodality was a needed shot in the arm. These men who continue to minister within the spirit of the Second Vatican Council take Francis’ vision seriously and have chosen contemplative dialogue as their process for when they gather in their annual assembly.” By Nancy Sylvester, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter


Sisters model women’s diaconal ministry in the Amazon
“Earlier this summer, I traveled to the Amazon region of Porto Velho, Brazil, with my colleague Casey Stanton. As co-directors of Discerning Deacons. We wanted to see firsthand how Catholic women like Pereira Manso are vital to the work of accompanying indigenous peoples who serve as the vulnerable protectors of God’s handiwork in the world’s largest rainforest … Pereira Manso was recently appointed as vice president of the Ecclesial Conference of the Amazon, or CEAMA, which was created in 2020 following the Synod for the Amazon, for which Pereira Manso served as an auditor. CEAMA is the first of its kind to include women in a leadership position.” By Ellie Hidalgo, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter


Joy and hope amid struggle at Women of the Church event
“At the third Women of the Church conference for Catholic women leaders, a morning prayer service began with a reading of the Gospel account of Mary of Magdala witnessing the resurrected Jesus outside the tomb. Participants were then asked to call out a word from the scripture passage that spoke to them. The most frequently shared word was ‘weeping.’ Catholic women have much to weep about, and many at the conference expressed pain, frustration and hurt by experiences of sexism in the church. But the overall vibe at the three-day event was one of joy and hope — brought on not only by the opportunity to pray, network and celebrate together, but also by optimism about the church’s upcoming synod on synodality and what it might mean for women’s leadership in the church.” By Heidi Schlumpf, National Catholic Reporter


Bringing laity into Church decision-making process ‘a momentous thing’
“Renee Kohler-Ryan says that as a lay theologian and mother of five, she was struck by the significance of her inclusion in the upcoming Synod of Bishops. Professor Kohler-Ryan, national head of philosophy and theology from the University of Notre Dame Australia, was this month named as a non-bishop voting member of the Synod. She is one of 10 Oceania representatives who will join more than 360 cardinals, bishops, priests, religious and other lay men and women in having a vote at the Synod.” By CathNews.com


In Portugal for World Youth Day, pope will find a Catholic Church that ‘is losing influence’
“when Pope Francis arrives in Lisbon on Aug. 2 for the 42nd international trip of his papacy and his fourth World Youth Day — a major gathering of Catholic youth that takes place in various cities around the globe every few years — he will find a weakened Catholic Church experiencing the same difficulties it has in much of the developed world … While nearly 80% of Portuguese identify as Catholic, less than 20% attend  weekly Mass.” By Brian Fraga, National Catholic Reporter


U.S. bishops announce where millions of dollars in charitable donations are going
“The United States Catholic bishops announced Thursday (Jul. 20) where millions of dollars raised by American dioceses will go for charitable purposes around the world. The funds raised from parish collections, mail-in donations, and other initiatives were coordinated by the U.S. bishops’ National Collections Committee. Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup, New Mexico, chairman of the USCCB Committee on National Collections, said in a statement announcing the grants that ‘St. Paul wrote that when one Christian suffers, all Christians suffer — because we are all part of one Body of Christ.’” By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, in National Catholic Register

Vatican prosecutor accuses Cardinal Becciu of orchestrating failed investment
“The Vatican’s chief prosecuting attorney began his closing arguments outlining final charges against 10 defendants, including a cardinal, stemming from an investigation launched in 2019 by internal reports of suspicious financial activity. Now, Alessandro Diddi, the prosecutor, was set to present his case over the course of at least six hearings starting July 18, marking the final stage of a two-year-long Vatican trial investigating the mismanagement of Vatican funds.” By Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service, National Catholic Reporter

Omaha priest gets probation; gave homeless man $700k
“ An Omaha priest pled guilty last month to two misdemeanor charges of theft, almost two years after he was charged with stealing nearly $200,000 from an elderly priest. The priest was also accused of stealing thousands from a Nebraska parish where he was pastor. Fr. Michael Gutgsell, 74, pled in a Douglas County courtroom June 29 to two misdemeanor counts of theft, and was sentenced to two years of probation.” By The Pillar

Prosecutor cites risky investments as ‘grave’ violations, in closing of Vatican financial case
“The Vatican prosecutor insisted Tuesday (Jul. 18) that his indictments of 10 people, including a cardinal, for alleged financial crimes held up under two years of testimony, criticism and defense motions, as he began closing arguments in a trial that exposed the unseemly financial underbelly of the Holy See. Prosecutor Alessandro Diddi opened two weeks of hearings to summarize his case by accusing officials in the Vatican secretariat of state of committing ‘grave violations’ of internal norms and canon law when they decided in 2012 to start investing the pope’s money in ‘highly speculative’ investments, including in a 350 million euro (US $390 million) London real estate venture.” By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press


The Eucharistic Revival is mission something: the blood of Christ
“There is much to hope for in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ project of local and national revitalization. It rightly emphasizes education, formation and devotion. Centering on the doctrine of transubstantiation, the bishops have called attention to eucharistic adoration and processions as a way of deepening our participation in the Mass. But to peruse their website and their proposed activities, one cannot help but notice something is missing. To put it simply, where is the blood?By Terence Sweeney, America: The Jesuit Review

‘No Guilty Bystander’ celebrates Bishop Gumbleton’s radical legacy
“‘I can’t do this.’ It was a wail from the bowels of the Archdiocese of Detroit chancery office by a promising young priest, tasked with framing the agonies of failed marriages into bloodless canonese so that couples might please the powers in Rome to grant their annulment. It was a necessary penance and rite of passage for the clerically upward bound, chosen ones already by virtue of this assignment, some fantasizing about that oh-so-tall bishop’s miter that could someday be theirs — when it would be received, of course, ‘in all humility.’ For Fr. Thomas Gumbleton, it was 1960 and priests simply and unquestionably did what the archbishop bid them do.” By Paul Wilkes, National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis’ new Vatican doctrinal chief signals enormous change for Catholic Church
“Pope Francis’ naming of his long-time Argentine collaborator, Archbishop Víctor Manuel Fernández, as the new prefect of the Vatican’s Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith marks the most consequential curial appointment of this 10-year-old pontificate. The appointment is noteworthy both for who was appointed and for the pope’s bold articulation of a new mandate for the notorious dicastery. Many supporters of Francis have been disappointed over the years by his reluctance to appoint figures to curial leadership more in keeping with his vision for the church. Often, he seemed too willing to allow outspoken curial critics of his papal ministry to remain in office. But now, the pope has appointed an enthusiastic supporter of his reformist program to lead one of the most powerful curial offices.” By Richard Gaillardetz, National Catholic Reporter


Church insurer’s insolvency battle amid abuse claims
“Catholic Church Insurance is planning to enter a scheme of arrangement amid uncertainty over the quantum of historical sexual abuse and other claims, and to avoid formal insolvency. CCI chair Joan Fitzpatrick has written to policy holders proposing a scheme of arrangement, which is a common procedure in global insurance markets amid uncertain future claims. Ms Fitzpatrick said that it was possible that further claims could emerge that could endanger CCI’s solvency, ‘resulting in significant impacts on policy holders.’” By CathNews.com

Abuse report from global Catholic group Focolare leaves many questions unanswered
“The Focolare movement, one of the largest lay organizations in the Catholic Church with members in countries across the world, published its first report on cases of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults within its ranks on March 31. The report, which was done internally and not by an independent firm, focuses on accounts of abuse received by the movement’s Commission for the Welfare and Safeguarding of Members from 2014 to 2022. The findings indicate that from 1969-2012, 66 members of the global movement were accused of abusing 42 minors (29 between the ages of 14 and 18, and 13 under the age of 14) and 17 vulnerable adults.” By Federica Tourn, National Catholic Reporter


Mobile’s Catholic archdiocese asks district attorney to investigate now-defrocked priest
“A little more than two years ago, as the nation was reeling from the Covid pandemic, Mobile’s Archbishop Thomas Rodi welcomed a new priest to the Catholic church and especially to those parishioners at Corpus Christi Church. ‘As you lay on the floor in front of the altar,’ Archbishop Rodi would say, ‘know that the prayers of the people are washing over you, asking God to guide and strengthen you in your ordained ministry of word, worship and service.’” By WPMI-TV15 News


Arizona Court of Appeals holds employer not liable for employee’s sexual abuse of a child
“In Doe v. Roman Catholic Church of Diocese of Phoenix, the Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal of the Plaintiff’s direct and vicarious liability claims against St. Mark parish and the Diocese of Phoenix, based on sexual abuse committed by a priest that served at the parish. In dismissing the direct liability claims against the Diocese Defendants, the Court applied the traditional tort rules holding an employer can be independently liable for an employee/agent’s sexual misconduct but only if the employer did something negligent, knowing or having reason to know the employee/agent was a risk of harm to others.” By JDSupra.com


Colorado victims of childhood sex abuse, blocked by state Supreme Court, hold out hope for future chance at justice
“One afternoon last month, Miranda and Jennifer Wetzler answered a call from their attorney in shock: The Colorado Supreme Court had blocked the sisters’ chance to right a decades-old wrong after their alleged abuser had walked free more than 30 years earlier. ‘When I heard the news, I started crying and I just thought, ‘Not again,’’ Miranda Wetzler said … Colorado’s Child Sexual Abuse Accountability Act, which took effect Jan.1, 2022, provided a three-year window for adults who were sexually assaulted as children to bring forward lawsuits over abuse they allege happened between 1960 and 2022, even if the statute of limitations for criminal charges had long since expired.” By Lauren Penington, Denver Post


Sexual abuse allegation against late South Bend priest found credible
“ A South Bend priest who was killed in a hit-and-run crash last year allegedly sexually abused a minor during his time serving with the Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The diocese says it was recently made aware of an allegation that Father Jan Klimczyk engaged in sexual abuse of a minor. Officials say that allegation has been found credible. It was not specified when the alleged abuse took place, but the diocese says it received the allegation after Father Klimczyk’s death. As a result, Father Klimczyk has been placed on the diocese’s list of clergies credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.” By WNDU-TV16 News


Archdiocese’s lawyers make millions as hundreds of sex abuse survivors haven’t seen any money
“As hundreds of sexual abuse survivors keep waiting for years to see any money from a bankrupt New Orleans Archdiocese, new court filings show the church is paying $25 million to lawyers and consultants in federal bankruptcy court. That includes $13 million and counting to the church’s own bankruptcy lawyers and accountants, who have fought at every turn to justify the church’s need for protection from creditors and to keep details of clergy abuse from being released to the public.” By David Hammer, WWL-TV4 News

Former New Orleans priest gets 25 years on sexual assault charges
“A former Jesuit priest has pleaded guilty to sex crimes committed in and around New Orleans, in which he was charged with drugging and raping 17 adult male victims, many of whom were visiting the popular tourist area. Detectives also believe that there are more than 50 victims who remain unidentified. Stephen Sauer, who reportedly left the Jesuit order by his own request in 2020, was sentenced to 25 years in prison on July 7 in front of a Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, judge. He will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life and is barred from contacting 12 of the victims for life.” By Joe Bukuras, Catholic News Agency, in The Catholic World Report

Sentence for clergy about raises concerns among advocates and attorneys
“Advocates for survivors of clergy abuse and legal experts are questioning a five-year sentence handed down for a Northshore priest convicted of molesting juveniles. They argue that individuals convicted of other sexual offenses often receive much harsher penalties. In a courtroom filled with tension, a victim of former priest Patrick Wattigny’s sexual abuse recounted his decades-long ordeal, only for his attorneys to leave the courtroom feeling frustrated and angry.” By Rob Masson, FOX8 News

Behind the rare criminal conviction of a Catholic cleric in New Orleans
“For years, leaders at the Roman Catholic archdiocese of New Orleans – the second-oldest organization of its kind in the US – maintained that none of its recently serving clerics had been credibly found to have abused children. This was after the global church approved safety measures meant to root out predator priests and deacons about two decades ago. That belief was eventually shattered when the city’s archbishop, Gregory Aymond, received a complaint in February of 2020 that Patrick Wattigny was sending inappropriate text messages to at least one child at the local Catholic high school where he was chaplain.” By Ramon Antonio Vargas, The Guardian


Maryland AG looks to expand clergy investigation
“Maryland’s Attorney general is looking to beef up the investigation into sexual abuse by the catholic clergy. According to a report by the Baltimore Sun, the AG is looking to add four new positions for the ongoing investigation. He reportedly told the state’s Board of Public Works that his office has seen an increase in tips since releasing a report earlier this year.” By FOX-TV5 News


Lawsuit alleges incidents of sexual assault at the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Rochester Catholic Schools
“A lawsuit filed on Wednesday (Jul.19) claims a former Lourdes High School student was sexually assaulted multiple times by a former clergyman with the Diocese of Winona-Rochester nearly 50 years ago. According to court documents, the alleged abuse took place from 1972 to 1974, when the plaintiff was between the ages of 14-16 years old. The suit names Father Joseph Cashman as the alleged perpetrator, who was first ordained by the diocese in 1960 before having his ministerial privileges suspended in 1992 after he was accused of making sexual approaches to several children prior to 1986.” By KAAL-TV6 News


$50.75 million added to settlement for survivors of Diocese of Rochester clergy abuse
“Another $50.75 million was added to the total settlement reached by survivors in the Diocese of Rochester’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case Friday (Jul. 21). According to the law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates, the total settlement is now up to $126.35 million. That includes $55 million from the diocese and parishes, $20.6 million from insurers LMI and LMI Underwriters, $50 million from insurer Interstate, $750,000 from insurer First State, and the latest $50.75 million sum.” By James Battaglia, Nexstar Media Group, on mytwintiers.com

New York bankruptcy judge sets a deadline of roughly 100 days for diocese to reach deal with survivors
“Today (Jul. 18), U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn ordered the Diocese of Rockville Centre to file a reorganization plan by October 31, 2023. This gives the Diocese 105 days to reach a settlement with survivors. In a hearing this morning, Judge Glenn emphasized that the Diocese is operating on borrowed time and if the case cannot be resolved, survivors are entitled to their day in court. He also noted that in order for the parishes and other third-party entities controlled by the Diocese to get released from the case, their contributions need overwhelming support from the survivors.” By AndersonAdvocates.com


Former Catholic priest for Virginia accused of child sex abuse
“A retired Catholic priest who served at a number of parishes throughout Virginia has been accused of child sex abuse, according to the Catholic Diocese of Richmond. The allegations against Fr. Walter Lewis stem from an incident that occurred in the 1980s when he was serving as a pastor of St. Anne Catholic Church in Bristol. Lewis was ordained a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond in 1979. He served as pastor or parochial vicar at a number of parishes.” By Tannock Blair, WIRC-TV8 News


Archdiocese of Seattle settles two sexual abuse claims against clergy members
“The Archdiocese of Seattle announced final settlements for two separate claims related to allegations of sexual abuse by clergy members a few decades ago. The claims involved Brother D.P. Ryan who served at O’Dea High School in Seattle in 1986, and Father John Forrester, who was at St. Teresa Catholic School in the early to mid-1970s.” By FOX13 News Staff


Roman Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse remanded
“St Catherine Parish Court Judge Natalie Creary-Dixon has asked for documentation on the criminal history of Kenyan Roman Catholic priest Lawrence Muvengi, who is accused of the alleged sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl. The request was made today when the 39-year-old made his first court appearance. Muvengi, who is charged with rape, sexual grooming, having sexual intercourse with a person under 16, and abduction, was remanded to return to court on July 19.” By The Gleaner Media Company


Sex abuse scandal in Bolivia: who had the Jesuit priest’s diary, and when?
“The personal diary of the Jesuit priest Alfonso ‘Pica’ Pedrajas, who died in 2009, has been at the center of a sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the Society of Jesus in Bolivia in recent months. The document, which refers to at least 85 incidents of sexual abuse of minors and involves other priests and superiors, is already in the hands of the Bolivian authorities, but the route the diary has taken in the investigations leaves unanswered questions.” By Julieta Villar, ACI Prensa Staff, on CatholicNewsAgency.com


Catholic priest in Peterborough, Ont., charged with sexual assault, interference with a minor
“A Catholic priest working in Peterborough, Ont., faces charges of sexual offences involving a youth following an investigation by police. According to the Peterborough Police Service, the investigation led to the arrest of a man on Wednesday (Jul. 26). Neil Pereira, 33, of Peterborough, was charged with sexual assault and two counts of sexual interference.” By Greg Davis, Global News

Residential school survivors still waiting for next steps a year after papal visit
“When Piita Irniq picked up his handmade wooden drum to perform for Pope Francis last year in Iqaluit, he was reclaiming an Inuit tradition that the Roman Catholic Church tried to erase through its residential schools. ‘I wanted him to know that this is what you cut off as part of colonialism,’ Irniq said. ‘You thought it was a witchcraft. You thought it was a pagan religion when, in fact, drum dancing has always been a celebration of life.’ One year later, Irniq and many other residential school survivors are still waiting for the Roman Catholic Church to outline the next steps it wants to take in repairing its relationships with Indigenous Peoples.” By Olivia Stefanovich, CBC News

Judge signs off on Montreal archdiocese sex abuse class-action settlement
“A Quebec Superior Court judge has signed off on a sex abuse class-action settlement involving the Montreal archdiocese. The agreement, announced earlier this year, includes a minimum $14.8 million in compensation for victims of sexual abuse committed by diocesan priests and lay employees of the archdiocese since 1940. The lead plaintiff in the class action was a victim of Brian Boucher, a since-defrocked priest who was convicted of sexually abusing two boys under his supervision and sentenced in 2019 to eight years in prison.” By The Canadian Press Staff on GlobalNews.com

Military priest accused of sexual abuse in B.C. case
“A B.C. man is alleging he was sexually abused in Victoria by an unnamed priest under the supervision of Canadian Catholic military officials and the Diocese of Victoria. The allegations come in Kevin Shawn Palmer’s July 7 notice of civil claim filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver. It names as defendants the Bishop of Victoria and the Roman Catholic Military Ordinariate of Canada. The claim said the bishop was responsible for governance of Chapel Our Lady Star of the Sea premises and who had access to children there.” By Jeremy Hainsworth, Alaska Highway News


Bulk of French bishops attend Vatican abuse training
“Almost three-quarters of France’s active bishops have attended special Vatican sessions on recognizing and reporting sexual abuse of minors, prompted by the shocking 2021 report on abuse in the French Church. The bishops travelled to Rome in three groups – in February, May and July — for two days of discussions with the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Dicastery for Bishops on their responsibility when confronted with clerical abuse of minors.” By Tom Heneghan, The Tablet


Sex abuse survivors rage as inquiry judge pockets £2m while vitims awarded £10k
“Survivors of child sexual abuse have slammed the huge sums being earned by professionals involved in the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry. A Daily Record investigation has revealed Lady Smith – the judge who has chaired the inquiry for seven years – was paid the same amount as some survivors receive in compensation for a lifetime of suffering for just two weeks of work. Figures obtained from the Scottish Government show she has received just short of £2million in salary and pension contributions so far.” By Marcello Mega, Daily Record


Clergy abuse ‘swept under the carpet’ in Indian Church
“On June 1, the Vatican accepted the resignation of Indian Bishop Franco Mulakkal, almost five years after police arrested him on charges of raping a nun. The Vatican ‘requested’ his resignation, said a statement from the apostolic nunciature in India, adding that this action should not be seen as a ‘disciplinary measure imposed upon’ the bishop. The Mulakkal case has once again revived the demand for speedy and transparent action into allegations of clerical abuse in India as delays can lead to embarrassment for Christians, who make up 2.3 percent in the Hindu majority nation of 1.4 billion people.” By UCANews.com

Indian Catholic priest held for sexually abusing minor girl
“A Catholic priest serving as the principal of a diocese-run college in a southern Indian state has been remanded in judicial custody for allegedly abusing a minor girl. Police arrested Father Francis Fernandes, principal of Sacred Heart College under Shimoga diocese in Karnataka, on July 20 following a complaint from a girl, reported to be below 18 years of age. Local media reports said the priest has been charged under provisions of the stringent Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POSCO) Act and the Scheduled Caste (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.” By UCANews.com


$800,000 bail for priest accused of sexually assaulting 12-year-old girl
“The Kenyan Roman Catholic priest accused of assaulting a 12-year-old girl was granted $800,000 bail in the St Catherine Parish Court in Spanish Town on Wednesday (Jul.20). Lawrence Muvengi is to return to court on September 27. He was given bail with up to two sureties and was also ordered to surrender his travel documents. The priest is to report to the Matilda’s Corner Police Station on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and is not to be seen in the parish of St Catherine, except for court. The court is alleging that Muvengi sexually assaulted the child on the church premises.” By Jamaica Observer


Vatican’s top abuse investigators to probe scandal-plagued lay group in Peru
“Next week the Vatican’s top two investigators will arrive in Peru to conduct an in-depth inquiry into the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), a scandal-ridden lay group whose founder has been sanctioned for various abuses, including the sexual abuse of minors. According to sources with knowledge of the visit, Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Spanish Monsignor Jordi Bertomeu will begin their work on Tuesday, July 25, speaking with both victims and the leadership and top members of the SCV.” By Elise Ann Allen, Cruxnow.com


Polish Catholic order to compensate former care home resident over physical and emotional abuse
“A Catholic religious order in Poland has been ordered to pay 500,000 zloty (€113,000) in compensation to a 31-year-old man for physical and emotional abuse – including rape – he suffered as a child in a religious-run residential care home. Taking the case was a 31-year-old man identified only as Paweł who sought one million zloty (€226,000) in compensation and a monthly pension to cover the cost of lifelong medical treatment. He was just 18 months old when he was handed over to the Special Care Centre in the town of Zabrze, 100km northwest of Krakow in southern Poland, run by the Sisters of Mercy of St Borromeo.” By Derek Scally, The Irish Times


Clerical sex abuses crisis: Spanish priests hit with sanctions
“The Diocese of Mallorca in Spain has sentenced Father Julià Cifre Vandrell to three years of not celebrating Mass ‘in any place other than at his home’ and to leading ‘a secluded life of retirement, prayer, and penance.’ The priest was also ordered to ‘write a letter to the victim apologizing for all the pain he has caused’ and refrain for life ‘from coming into contact with the victim or her relatives.’ The penalty was imposed ‘once the criminal administrative canonical procedure against the priest was completed,’ according to a statement from the diocese.” By Nicolás de Cárdenas, Catholic News Agency, in The Catholic World Report