Voice of the Faithful Focus, Feb. 9, 2012
Highlighting issues we face working together
to Keep the Faith, Change the Church
Rome Symposium on Clergy Sexual Abuse Enters Third Day
The symposium in Rome on clergy sexual abuse scandal, Toward Healing & Renewal, has entered its third day and is drawing worldwide attention. Vatican organizers hope results will inform dioceses around the world to develop effective guidelines for dealing with the scandal in time to meet the May deadline for sending such guidelines to the Vatican for review. Voice of the Faithful remains cautiously hopeful of the outcome. Here is a link to the symposium’s opening statement by Cardinal William Levada, prefect for the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and some of the latest media coverage:
Legislative Battle over Pennsylvania’s
Child Sex Abuse Statute of Limitations Continues
Pennsylvania legislator Rep. Louise Williams Bishop recently told a crowd gathered for a public meeting in the rotunda of the capitol in Harrisburg about her personal experience with child sexual abuse—which she had kept hidden for 60 years—and she vowed to continue the fight to abolish the state’s child sexual abuse statute of limitations.
Archdiocese Hit for Secret Balance Sheet
Voice of the Faithful of Greater Philadelphia chairperson Marita Green has published a guest column in the Delaware County Pennsylvania Daily Times decrying a “secret balance sheet” the archdiocese has maintained in the face of school and parish closings.
Earlier Abuse Claims to Be Allowed at Priest Trial
Philadelphia prosecutors overseeing a child sex-abuse case involving three Roman Catholic priests can reference molestation claims against more than 20 other clergymen to try to establish a pattern of how such allegations were handled.
Church Officials Knew about Priest’s S&M Letter
The Philadelphia district attorney has said the archdiocese learned of a letter in 1968 about teenage brothers on a sadomasochistic outing but continued to allow the former Rev. John Mulholland to work and minister at parishes across the region until 2002, which could help prove that church officials endangered children 30 years later.
Priest Forced to Resign after Refusing
To Recite New Liturgy Word-for-Word
Because he doesn’t agree that a priest should be restricted to the exact words of the Missal, including new changes in the Mass that were intended to more closely interpret earlier Latin versions, the Rev. Bill Rowe, a priest for 47 years, has resigned under pressure from his bishop.
Retired Cardinal Edward Egan Criticized
For Taking Back Abuse Apology
Retired New York Cardinal Edward Egan is facing criticism from representatives of clergy sexual abuse victims for saying he regretted apologizing for the priest abuse scandal in 2002 when he was bishop of Bridgeport.
Scandal Triggered by U.S. Nuncio Won’t Go Away
The Vatican seems terribly vexed by the recent scandal surrounding Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the new U.S. papal nuncio – which is one part about Viganò’s charges of financial corruption and another about his exposing internal Vatican power politics.
Expert Finds Hierarchy Uninterested in Embezzlement
No one seems to have found the stories about Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s Vatican financial reform efforts more fascinating than Michael W. Ryan, a retired U.S. Postal Service security specialist, who has been trying for 20 years to save the American church millions it reportedly loses through the embezzlement of Sunday collections and other sources.
Milwaukee Archdiocese Angers Many by Contesting Claims
The Milwaukee Archdiocese seemed to go out of its way over the past couple of months to encourage clergy sexual abuse survivors to come forward before a bankruptcy filing deadline. More than 550 people claimed abuse by Roman Catholic priests or church employees. The archdiocese immediately balked at the number and is now facing mounting anger from survivors for trying to get 95 percent of the claims thrown out.
Church Worker with Secret Past Embezzles $1 million
For eight years, the woman worked in accounts payable for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, gaining the trust of her superiors, but at the end of January, she was charged with embezzling more than $1 million over seven years from the archdiocese.
Judge Blocks Testimony From Church’s Expert Witness
A judge in Waterbury, Connecticut, has ruled the Catholic Church cannot defend itself from a priest sex abuse case by arguing that its response to the abuse, considered by many to be inappropriate now, was generally accepted when the abuse occurred 30 years ago.
Dutch Socialists Want Inquiry into Church Sex Abuse
The Dutch Socialist Party is calling for further research into sex abuse in the Catholic Church in the Netherlands and the role played by the government, and believes the research should eventually result in a parliamentary inquiry, in which witnesses can be heard under oath.
Church Rebels Worry the Vatican
Reports have emerged that the highest representatives of the Austrian Catholic Church gathered recently with Vatican officials to speak about a group of priests who have declared themselves “disobedient.”
September Trial Date Set for K.C. Bishop, Diocese
The trial of Bishop Robert W. Finn and the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, diocese, the first bishop and diocese to face criminal charges in the decades-long clergy sex abuse crisis, will take place in September.