Voice of the Faithful Focus, May 20, 2022


Pope Francis highlights danger of staid liturgies that ‘deny Vatican Council II
“There is an old saying: ‘During Holy Week, there is nothing more useless than a Jesuit.’ The magnificent liturgies of that holiest of times requires a profound liturgical sense. Members of the Society of Jesus have never been known for their liturgical flair and Pope Francis is no exception. When he presides, it is in a very unembellished, straightforward manner. Consequently, his remarks to the members of the Pontifical Liturgical Institute last weekend (May 7) were a bit surprising. No one should be surprised that a man of such spiritual solidity entertains deep spiritual sentiments about the liturgy, but to hear him share them was a rare insight into what makes the Holy Father tick.” By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter

Ministry & Governance: What might ‘Praedicate Evangelium’ have started
“There is great rejoicing in heaven today, or at least in that little corner where Yves Congar is still toiling away. No other twentieth-century Catholic theologian was so insistent on the close connection between baptism and mission. Now that Pope Francis has made clear in his motu proprio, Praedicate evangelium, that because “the Pope, bishops and other ordained ministers are not the only evangelizers in the church,” and “any member of the faithful can preside over a dicastery,” Congar’s great work, Lay People in the Church, comes to full fruition.” By Paul Lakeland, Commonweal

New Vatican constitution will create more space at the table
“ An interview with scholar Phyllis Zagano on the new constitution and the roles of women in the church – On March 19 Pope Francis issued a new apostolic constitution for the Roman Curia, the offices that help him govern the Catholic Church. Praedicate Evangelium (Preach the Gospel) has been in the works since the beginning of Pope Francis’ pontificate nine years ago … One significant change in the new constitution is that leadership of Vatican offices traditionally run by cardinals is now opened to all baptized laypersons. This includes women. According to internationally acclaimed scholar Phyllis Zagano, this move is less about making changes to women’s roles in ministry than it is about the pope’s determination to involve as many competent people as possible in the management structure of the church.” A U.S. Catholic Interview

Catholic News Service closure opens the door to partisan and ideological church coverage, Catholic journalists warn
“With the decision by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to close the U.S. bureaus of Catholic News Service later this year, editors and other journalists at Catholic newspapers throughout the United States worry that coverage of the church will suffer. ‘We can’t cover national news with a staff of five people,’ Malea Hargett, the editor of Arkansas Catholic, told America. ‘We can’t cover what’s going on at the Supreme Court or what’s going on at the U.S.C.C.B. We just don’t have the staff.’ Ms. Hargett predicted that ‘there’s going to be a big gap in what our parishioners are going to know about what’s going on in the U.S. and throughout North America.’” By Michael J. O’Loughlin, America: The Jesuit Review

Italy’s Catholic Church at crossroads over sexual abuse investigation
“Francesco Zanardi has spent the past 12 years documenting sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests in Italy, filling a vacuum he says is caused by the refusal of the country’s Church thus far to launch a major investigation. When Italian bishops meet next week to elect a new president, Zanardi is hoping to see the start of a long overdue reckoning for the Church, whose leaders will discuss whether to commission an independent investigation of abuse similar to those carried out in France and Germany.” By Angelo Amante and Philip Pullella, Reuters


Sex abuse suit filed against Oklahoma City Catholic school
“Ten current and former students of Mount St. Mary Catholic High School in Oklahoma City and six parents or guardians are suing the private school, alleging it fostered ‘a rape culture’ for more than 10 years. School officials have known since 2011 that female students have been victims of rape and sexual assault by students, teachers and coaches and done nothing to stop the attacks, according to the lawsuit filed Monday (May 16). ‘MSM fosters a rape culture that values the safety, bodily integrity, education, and future of men and boys, over that of women and girls,’ the lawsuit said.” By Ken Miller, Associated Press

Report identifies abuses of Native American children in U.S. boarding schools, some run by Catholics
“Hundreds of boarding schools supported by the U.S. government for 150 years sought to forcefully assimilate Native American and Indigenous children into white society, a first-of-its-kind report from the Interior Department said. The report, issued May 11, identified 408 schools in 37 states or territories that tens of thousands of children were forced to attend from 1819 to 1969. The period largely coincides with the forced removal of many tribes from ancestral lands. It also said there are at least 53 marked or unmarked burial sites associated with the schools.” By Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service

  • Report details brutal treatment of Indigenous children attending U.S. boarding schools, By Judy Woodruff, PBS News Hour

Some $30M in assets, still-undisclosed insurance money, 190 scholarships, 50 burial plots to settle Guam clergy abuse claims
“Survivors of Guam clergy sexual assaults could be entitled to a minimum of about $30 million in Catholic church assets, on top of still undisclosed insurance payout, along with 190 scholarship vouchers, 50 burial plots and protocols to help prevent future abuses. All this was presented Friday morning in a status hearing on the Archdiocese of Agana’s three-year-old bankruptcy case. The archdiocese and its creditors, mostly abuse survivors, have a May 20 deadline to file a joint plan to get the archdiocese out of bankruptcy and to pay the nearly 300 abuse claimants.” By Haidee Eugenio Gilbert, The Guam Daily Post


Pope discusses synodal process with professors from Americas
“Emilce Cuda, Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, led a group of university professors in meeting with Pope Francis on Friday (May 13), as part of an initiative linked to the Synod of Bishops. The team of professors hails from Loyola University in Chicago, and were part of the group that held a virtual meeting with the Pope on 24 February entitled ‘Building Bridges North-South.’ Other educators from the United States and various Latin American universities took part in the papal audience and are holding a series of other meetings at the Holy See.” By VaticanNews.va.en

Robust synodal reports stand witness to the courage of participants in the process
“(The structure of the Church remains hierarchical, paternalistic and almost exclusively male.) It might seem premature to make any pronouncement on the synodal process at this stage, and yet, with the ink hardly dry from episcopal signatures we are entitled to wonder what we have learnt about ourselves, our Church, and its place in the society in which we live. The first, and most obvious point, is that the process was a success, at least in being held at all.” By Frank Callus, The Tablet

First US diocesan synod results show need to reach youth, marginalized
“Key findings cited in the first U.S. diocesan synod report available for public consumption highlight a strong desire from parishioners for the church to better reach out to the marginalized, be more transparent, be more consistent in moral teaching, and focus on the ‘critical’ need to reengage youth and young adults in the faith.” By John Lavenburg, Cruxnow.com


Pope Francis changes canon law to allow lay brothers to lead religious orders with priests
“Granting an exception to canon law, Pope Francis said the Vatican office that deals with religious orders can permit men’s communities that are made up of both priests and brothers to choose one of the brothers to be a provincial superior or even the superior general. A rescript from the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life published by the Vatican May 18 said the approval for appointing or electing a brother to head a ‘clerical institute’ would be given ‘discretionally and in individual cases.’” By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service

Pope to visit Canada, part of apology aims for church abuse
“Pope Francis, struggling with a bad knee, is going ahead with plans to visit Canada this summer so he can apologize in person for abuse suffered by Indigenous peoples at the hands of the Catholic Church. The Vatican on Friday (May 13 announced that Francis will head to Canada on July 24 and visit Edmonton, Quebec and Iqaluit, a small town where about half the population is Inuit, before returning to Rome on July 30.” By Associated Press in New York Post

Pope calls on church to be increasingly synodal
“‘The Church must become increasingly synodal,’ Pope Francis says in his message for this Sunday’s World Day of Prayer for Vocations. In the message, released yesterday (May 5), comes as Catholics are participating in a global consultation process leading to the 2023 Synod on Synodality. The Pope emphasized that vocations have a communal as well as a personal dimension. He wrote: ‘Each of us shines like a star in the heart of God and in the firmament of the universe. At the same time, though, we are called to form constellations that can guide and light up the path of humanity, beginning with the places in which we live.” By CathNews.com


By closing Catholic News Service, bishops show they’ve lost interest in civic engagement
“The decision by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to close down Catholic News Service was terrible in terms of lowering the standards of Catholic journalism. It was terrible, also, because of its ecclesial significance, which is a related but different concern, one that strikes at a deeper issue for the nation’s bishops. The commentary from Fordham University’s David Gibson, published here at NCR, touched on some of the reasons why closing Catholic News Service was ill-advised pastorally. Gibson observed that CNS is ‘a counterwitness to the proliferation of ideologically driven Catholic media platforms that are driving the church apart, and regular Catholics around the bend — often right out of Catholicism.’ That is surely true.” By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter

Chilean bishop facing misconduct, abuse allegations leaves country
“A Chilean bishop has left the country for an unspecified period of ‘recovery of his physical, psychological and spiritual health,’ following reports of accusations of sexual misconduct and abuse of power against personnel of the Archdiocese of Santiago, Chile’s capital city. Bishop Cristián Roncagliolo, who served as the Vicar General of Santiago, disclosed his departure for Spain in a WhatsApp message to priests of the archdiocese.” By Inés San Martin, Cruxnow.com

Bishop to step down as abuse spokesman for German bishops’ conference
“Bishop Stephan Ackermann will step down from his position as spokesman on abuse issues for the German bishops’ conference in September, the conference announced May 12. The bishops also announced that they will reorganize their reappraisal of sexualized violence in the context of the church. Ackermann, 59, of Trier recently was criticized for naming a female victim in a sexual abuse case. He said a new and broader structure of responsibility was needed as soon as possible so that the Catholic Church in Germany could do more justice to the complexity of the issue of sexual abuse and the dimension of the task. He said he would therefore relinquish the office at the autumn plenary assembly of the bishops’ conference, KNA reported.” By Catholic News Service on Cruxnow.com

Catholic bishops ask US Supreme Court to review California’s sex abuse law
“Could California find itself in another conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court? Nine California Catholic dioceses and archdioceses have asked the nation’s highest court to review their case against a 2019 law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom, which created a three-year window for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to file legal claims against alleged perpetrators at school, church or elsewhere, regardless of when the alleged abuse occurred. The law also allowed defendants to be sued for a new offense: ‘cover up’ activity.” By Emily Hoeven, Cal Matters


Catholic Diocese of Buffalo drastically reducing number of priests
“The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo is making drastic cuts to its stable of priests following its clergy abuse scandal and ensuing bankruptcy. The diocese confirmed Wednesday it invited 132 active priests to apply for just 36 open positions — that’s one priest for each ‘parish family’ as outlined in the diocese’s ‘Road to Renewal’ initiative. The program is meant to address financial issues brought on by Child Victims Act lawsuits filed against the diocese and a decline in attendance.” By Spectrum News Staff


USIG plenary concludes, calling sisters to renewal, transformation and inclusivity
“With song, prayer and ritual, leaders of women’s religious congregations from around the world concluded five days of meetings in Rome on May 6, affirming their commitment to the process of synodality and embracing a journey of vulnerability that they believe is vital for the renewal of the church, religious life and their own communities. The pledge was a culmination to the May 2-6 plenary of the International Union of Superiors General, during which numerous sisters, theologians and speakers voiced their support for Pope Francis’ vision of a synodal church that embraces its early historical roots, affirms the need for diversity, listens, and is more welcoming to those on society’s margins.” By Chris Herlinger, Gal DeGeorge and Christopher White, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter

Argentine Carmelites pledge fidelity to bishops after convent takes prelates to court
“After a group of Discalced Carmelites in Northern Argentina sued their archbishop and a Vatican envoy for ‘gender violence,’ the country’s other Carmelites sent a letter to the president of the bishops’ conference saying that ecclesial communion is ‘a priority.’ The religious women sent the letter to Bishop Oscar Ojea of San Isidro, and it was read last week during the bishops’ conference’s general assembly.” By Inés San Martín, Cruxnow.com


Theologian: Laity has grown numb in Church, must know voice is important
“According to one of the theologians advising the Vatican office organizing the synod of bishops, the laity has grown numb after centuries of simply saying ‘amen.’ The synodal process began last October and will continue until Oct. 2023, when a summit of bishops will be held in Rome. Spanish theologian Cristina Inoges Sanz said that for many lay members of the church, ‘this is the first time that they are aware that their voice is important.’” By Inés San Martín, Cruxnow.com


At Vatican trial, Cardinal Becciu returns to testify
“Taking the stand for a second time at his Vatican trial, Cardinal Angelo Becciu spent more than two hours reading a statement in which he claimed accusations of financial impropriety were an attempt to stain his reputation. At the trial May 5, Cardinal Becciu said he felt ‘immense pain’ when Pope Francis forced him to resign in 2020. ‘I was thrown on the front page of newspapers, almost like a monster,’ he said. /Many believers around the world have been troubled in their faith’ by the accusations against him.” By Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter


Pope decries divisions caused by old-school liturgy fans
“Pope Francis on Saturday (May 7) blasted Catholics who, hewing to old-school versions of liturgy like the Latin Mass, have made an ideological battleground of the issue, decrying what he described as devil-inspired divisiveness in the church. Francis pressed his papacy’s battle against traditionalists, whose prominent members include some ultra-conservative cardinals. They have resisted restrictions, imposed last year by the Vatican, on celebrations of the old Mass in Latin in St. Peter’s Basilica and, more generally, for years have disparaged the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s.” By Frances D’Emilio, Associated Press, on ABCNews.go.com


Why is the church failing in the West?
“There are numerous signs that the Catholic Church is failing in Western countries. There are few vocations, church attendance is down and young people are leaving the church in droves. There are as many theories explaining this decline as there are commentators, but the theories can be collected in two major baskets: those that blame culture and those that blame the church itself. The Catholic hierarchy tends to blame contemporary culture for the church’s problems.” By Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter


The Vatican and Moneyfal: What’s changed?
“After around 10 years and five progress reports, Moneyval has announced that the Holy See’s financial system will now be subjected to regular checks. The decision was disclosed in the European anti-money-laundering watchdog’s annual report. Does this upgrade mean that all previous issues have been resolved? There is certainly an attempt to establish a narrative in which the new management of the Vatican’s internal financial watchdog (ASIF) has brought significant benefits. But a closer reading of Moneyval’s assessment offers a contrasting point of view.” By Andrea Gagliarducci, Catholic News Agency, in The Catholic World Report


In closing Catholic News Service, U.S. bishops undermine their pastoral work
“That Catholic News Service was the first to report on its own demise was both a tribute to the legacy of the 102-year-old outlet’s editorial independence and perverse proof of what a bone-headed decision the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops made in opting to gut CNS. The May 4 announcement that effectively shutters CNS’ domestic operations eliminates a rare source of credibility for the hierarchy, a critical tool for reliably informing American Catholics about the church beyond their own diocese, and a counterwitness to the proliferation of ideologically driven Catholic media platforms that are driving the church apart, and regular Catholics around the bend — often right out of Catholicism.” By David Gibson, National Catholic Reporter

Justice is coming, slowly, in clergy sex abuse cases
“The road toward justice for the victims of clergy sex abuse has been long, tortuous and littered with legal minefields. But increasingly in the past few years, it has led to milestones involving accountability for the Catholic Church, and restitution for individuals preyed upon as children. That it has taken two decades in many cases is maddening, but breakthroughs even at this late date are critically important.” By Washington Post Editorial Board


End statute of limitations on civil child sex abuse claims, Iowa Democrats say
“Iowa has one of the nation’s most restrictive laws for when an individual can file civil claims concerning sexual abuse of a child. Statehouse Democrats are pushing to change that. Last year, Iowa repealed its statute of limitations on criminal charges for child sex abuse. But that new law did not include a similar repeal of the statute of limitations on civil claims, under which victims can seek financial damages. At this time, an Iowan has until his or her 19th birthday to file civil claims for child sexual abuse. That makes Iowa one of 11 states that caps the time when an individual can file civil claims at 25 years old or younger, according to the national advocacy organization Child USA.” By Erin Murphy, The Gazette

Child Victims Act sunsets on Dec. 31
“Some years back a horrific scandal hit the Roman Catholic Church throughout the world. Shocking revelations of child sexual abuse by clerics, first emerging in Boston in 2002, spread like wildfire as it was also discovered that church leaders offered sanctuary to their pedophile priests for years at a time. Justice was difficult. There was resistance to these explosive charges even at the most elite levels of the Catholic hierarchy. An Associated Press article, ‘Papal spokesman likens sex abuse allegations to anti-Semitism,’ published in 2010, began this way: “At a solemn Good Friday service, Pope Benedict XVI’s personal preacher likened the tide of allegations that the pontiff has covered up sex abuse cases to the ‘more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.’” By John Crawford, Pasadena Star-News


We have a responsibility to safeguard vulnerable children and adults
“Merriam-Webster defines ‘safeguard’ as ‘to make safe or protect.’ With the many forms of abuse that are being discovered in modern society, we are using this word more than ever, as we see the need to create safe places for children and vulnerable adults in our families, churches, schools, institutions and societies. The UNICEF Convention on the Rights of the Child invites governments, agencies, families and institutions to make it their policy to adopt measures that will protect children and vulnerable adults.” By Jane E. Deinanaghan, Global Sisters Report, National Catholic Reporter

Jesuits suspend prominent Chilean priest pending abuse investigation
“The Society of Jesus has suspended a prominent Chilean priest as it investigates accusations with a ‘sexual connotation,’ according to the Jesuits. In a statement May 3, the Jesuit province in Chile said, ‘a complaint was received April 29 from an adult woman against Jesuit Father Felipe Berríos for acts of sexual connotation. Such events would have occurred when the complainant was a minor.’” By Catholic News Service in National Catholic Reporter


Mary Alexander & Associates Files California Clergy Abuse Lawsuit
“Mary Alexander filed a lawsuit on behalf of a man who alleges he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest when he was a young boy. The man, named John Doe in the complaint, alleges that Father Murrough Wallace and two young priests sexually abused and assaulted him when he was 10 years old. The alleged abuse took place in Holy Angels Catholic Church and School in Yuba City, CA in 1965. The man alleges Father Wallace took him to the rectory, where two younger priests held him down while the older priest sexually assaulted him. The plaintiff in this matter also accused Father Wallace of using a brass incense burner to knock him unconscious as he was fighting back against the priests.” By Mary Alexander & Associates


Chicago Archdiocese settles with sex abuse victim for $1.2M
“The Archdiocese of Chicago will settle with a victim of sex abuse out of court. The Archdiocese of Chicago, one of the most prominent dioceses in the U.S., avoided a sex abuse lawsuit with a $1.2 million settlement. The victim said he was sexually abused multiple times in 2005 by the disgraced former priest Daniel McCormack. The victim was reportedly 12 years old when the abuse took place at St. Agatha’s parish. ‘Anyone who’s been harmed can say they’re whole and that might not be the best way to express it. He has been compensated and can move forward in a better way because of compensation,’ the victim’s attorney, Lindsay Markley, told FOX 32 Chicago.” By Timothy H.J. Nerozzi, Fox News Live


Catholic Church loses bid to dismiss sexual abuse lawsuit in Kansas
“The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan., has failed to defeat a sexual abuse claim by claiming the allegations of a former altar boy were too late. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled April 22 that an eight-year statute of limitations does not doom a man’s claims that he was abused in the 1980s as a child but did not remember until he was an adult. The ruling allows a John Doe to pursue his lawsuit against the Archdiocese and a priest at St. Matthew Parish.” By John O’Brien, Legal Newsline

Decades later, Kansas City dioceses strive to focus on survivors of sexual abuse by priests”
“Bishop James V. Johnston, Jr., stood on the altar at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, flanked by about a dozen Catholic deacons and priests. Since 2016, Johnston has led a service to offer the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph’s commitment, prayers and atonement to those harmed by clergy sexual abuse. The choir from St. Pius X High School sang at this year’s April 26 service, a Tuesday afternoon. The Hope Box, a simple wooden container, was available for people to place written personal petitions of their pain and hopes for healing. Blue pinwheels, a national symbol of childhood innocence often used at child abuse prevention events, were displayed in the vestibule.” By Mary Sanchez, FlatlandsKC.org


Catholic Church in Louisiana loses legal bid against victims of the church’s child sex crimes
“On May 3rd, 2022, the Society of the Roman Catholic Church of the Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana lost its bid to turn over a lower court’s decision on the constitutionality of the new SOL reforms for childhood sex abuse in Louisiana, when they filed an application of writ to the 3rd District appeals court. The church has been on both sides of the statute of limitations reform bill since its inception last year. When the bill was in committee, they filed opposition to the bill. When it passed the house and senate, and Governor Edwards signed the bill into law, Archbishop Gregory Aymond withdrew his opposition for the bill and publicly voiced support for the new law. Now that the law is enacted, the Archdiocese of the Ecclesiastical State of Louisiana are now fighting the constitutionality of the new law.” By Richard Windmann, scsaorg.org


Former Baltimore Catholic priest gets 22 years in prison for child pornography
“A former priest with the Archdiocese of Baltimore was sentenced to serve 22 years in prison Wednesday (May11) after he admitted to taking nude photographs and videos of children younger than five years old. Fernando Cristancho, 65, of Bel Air, previously served as a priest in Baltimore County and at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in Harford County in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He also confessed to sexually abusing a boy during that time.” By Timothy Swift, WBFF-TV25 News


Legal loophole in MA leaves teens vulnerable to sexual predators
“A legal loophole in the State of Massachusetts prevents prosecutors from going after teachers, coaches, and other adults in positions of authority who sexually prey on teenagers in their care. Survivors, like Liz O’Neil, say it happens more than you may realize. ‘Predators like the man who abused me hide in plain sight,’ O’Neil said, reading from a victim’s statement she submitted to the Massachusetts Legislature months ago. It began when O’Neil was 16.” By Victoria Price, WHDH-TV7 News

Parishioners at St. Brendan Church, church at epicenter of Boston clergy sex abuse crisis, fight to keep doors open
“A Catholic church in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood that was home to defrocked priest and convicted child molester John Geoghan is at risk of having its doors closed for good. Parishioners at St. Brendan Church said they have been fighting for years to save it but said the Archdiocese of Boston has not responded to their ideas. The current pastor, the Rev. Chris Palladino, told parishioners May 31 could be the last Mass, citing poor attendance, mounting debt and a laundry list of needed repairs. Hundreds of parishioners are now rallying for the church to stay open.” By Katie Thompson, WCBB-TV5 News


Archdiocese lawyer gives judge upbeat assessment of possible settlement
“An attorney for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe expressed hope Monday (May 16) a resolution could be announced Tuesday in its 3 ½-year bankruptcy case. ‘I’m pleased to tell the court that we are very, very close,’ Tom Walker of Albuquerque told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Thuma in an update. Walker asked that a status conference scheduled Monday be moved to Tuesday to allow for more negotiations, and Thuma complied. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December 2018 and has been trying to raise money to work out a settlement with about 400 people who allege sexual abuse perpetrated by Catholic clergy members.” By Rick Ruggles, Santa Fe New Mexican


Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany adds retired priest to list of ‘credibly accused’
“After an extensive investigation, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany announced Sunday (May 15) that it will add Father Gregory Weider, a retired priest of the Albany Diocese, to its List of Credibly Accused for ‘reasonable cause’ related to allegations of sexual abuse against minors. Announcements will be made in the parishes where Fr. Weider served. (The List of Credibly Accused can be found at www.rcda.org/crediblyaccused.) Before he was removed from public ministry in August 2021, due to a yet unresolved Child Victims Act allegation, Fr. Weider had been serving as a Sacramental Minister at Sacred Heart in Margaretville and its mission, St. Anne’s in Andes.” By WRGB-TV6 News


Vermont Catholic Diocese settles sex abuse lawsuit targeting South Burlington priest
“The Vermont Roman Catholic Diocese has settled a lawsuit involving a former South Burlington priest accused of sexually abusing a child in the 1960s. But advocates are demanding more accountability. The victim, now in his 60s, accused Father Roger W. Carlin of molesting him in 1966 and 1967, when the nine-year-old was training to be an altar boy at St. John Vianney church in South Burlington. The diocese last summer said it was the first allegation it had received concerning Carlin. It comes after an independent review board of laypeople combed through thousands of documents dating back to 1950 and identified 40 priests as being sexual abusers. Carlin, who died in 1980, was not one of them.” By Melissa Cooney WCAX-TV3 News


WA Catholic priest Richard Doyle handed four-year prison sentence for sexual abuse of young girl
“An elderly Catholic priest has been sentenced to four years in jail for sexually abusing a young Perth girl more than 40 years ago after asking her for ‘back scratches.’ Richard Doyle, 85, was found guilty earlier this year after a judge-alone trial in the District Court, convicted of four charges of indecently dealing with the girl when she was between 6 and 10 years old.” By Joanna Menagh, ABC News

Catholic high school music teacher, 47, admits raping one child and a series of other sickening sex attacks on youngsters in his care – as parents say they were kept in the dark
“A performing arts teacher at a private Catholic high school has admitted a range of sickening child sex offences, including the penetration of a child under 16. Brian Wallwork, 47, was charged with 17 offences initially, but instead pleaded guilty to four rolled up charges at Melbourne Magistrates Court on Friday. The offences include an indecent act with a child, sexual penetration of a child younger than 16 and sexual penetration of a child (aged 16 or 17) in his care.” By Jade Hobman for Daily Mail Australia


Late Edmundston priest accused of sexually assaulting mother and son for 10 years
“A woman and her son are suing the Edmundston Diocese of the Catholic Church and the estate of a local priest, alleging he repeatedly sexually assaulted them for more than 10 years. The priest, Rev. Georges Fournier of Edmundston, died in 2021 at the age of 91. The suit says the diocese was aware of the assaults against the woman, now in her 70s, and her son, now in his 50s, or at least should have been. The lawsuit also names the Edmundston Diocese Foundation.” By CBC News

Priest used threat of eternal damnation to facilitate child sexual abuse, lawsuit claims
“Sexual abuse at the hands of a Calgary Catholic priest nearly a half-century ago has caused a lifetime of heartache for a central Alberta man, a $2.95-million lawsuit claims. The suit, filed by a plaintiff using only his initials, says Father Frank Van Tighem’s abuse included using the threat of eternal damnation to facilitate his criminal behavior. It names Van Tighem and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Calgary as defendants.” By Kevin Martin, Calgary Herald


Chilean government contemplating investigation into clerical abuse
“After a prominent Jesuit priest was accused of sexually abusing a girl, Chilean President Gabriel Boric announced he is contemplating opening a nationwide investigation into the Catholic Church. Father Felipe Berrios, who spent the last seven years living in the La Chimba camp for migrants in the north of the country, was accused by a woman who said he abused her starting in 1998 when she was 12 until 2003 when she was 17. It happened while she was in a school in eastern Chile.” By Inés San Martín, Cruxnow.com


Catholic priest sanctioned after confessing to sexually abusing child
“A Roman Catholic priest working in the Diocese of Essen in Germany has been suspended following an allegation of sexual abuse that dates back 30 years. The diocese said on Thursday (May 12). The man, who was accused of sexually abusing a minor, was subject to a criminal probe that had since been terminated due to the statute of limitations, it said in a statement. When the case was closed, the victim contacted the diocese to inform them of the matter. When confronted, the priest apparently confessed to the crime and was immediately suspended.” By Peoples Gazette


Portuguese commission has received 326 testimonies into church abuse since January
“The Portuguese commission investigating the sexual abuse of minors within the Catholic Church has already received 326 testimonies on this type of case since it began work last January. It is the latest tally of the commission, which includes more men than women, from all regions of the country, all ages and school levels and all types of abuse, as revealed today by a member of the group, the sociologist Ana Nonnen von Almeida. During a conference organized by the Commission in Lisbon and with the participation of international experts, Nunes de Almeida explained that, in addition to these 326 direct testimonies, ‘there are other people who say that they have been victims of abuse,’ so that the number amounts to ‘many, many hundreds.’” By Sahley Cornell, SpamChronicles,com


Switzerland: Ecclesiastical Resistance in the Diocese of Church
“Some priests are challenging the Code of Conduct intended to combat abuse in the Church, which was signed by Msgr. Joseph Bonnemain, the new bishop of Church, on April 5, 2022, and which was associated with the vicars general and the representatives of the ecclesiastical corporations of the diocese. The document has met with strong opposition from a number of priests who accuse it of violating Catholic doctrine on several counts.” By fsspx.news