Voice of the Faithful Focus, May 16, 2013
Highlighting issues we face working together
to Keep the Faith, Change the Church
USCCB Audit Shows Major Weaknesses Remain in Child Protection Process
The Catholic Church’s process for protecting children from clergy sexual abuse still has major weaknesses. Annual audits assessing compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People still do not allow fully independent auditors complete access to all information. And auditors still are discovering weaknesses in compliance at the parish level. Everyone knows it, and no one is doing anything about it.
— Annual Compliance Audit Shows Decline in Abuse Allegations, Victims, Offenders
— $2.62 Billion is Abuse Scandal’s Total Cost in America since 2004
Voice of the Faithful® Expects Pope Francis to ‘Act Decisively’ in New Jersey Clergy Sexual Abuse Case
The Roman Catholic archbishop of Newark has allowed an admitted child molester to continue contact with young people, and Voice of the Faithful® expects Pope Francis to “act decisively” as he has said the Church must do in cases of clergy sexual abuse. Will Pope Francis hold the archbishop accountable?
— Pope Francis on Sexual Abuse by Priests: Catholic Church Must ‘Act Decisively’
— Sexual Abuse by Catholic Clergy Demands Disclosure, Exposure, Prosecution and Explanation
— Newark Archbishop John Myers Must Go: Editorial
— New Jersey Catholics Have Anger, Disgust for Abuser Priest in Ministry
— Newark Archbishop Is Criticized for His Handling of an Abuse Case
— Assemblywoman: Newark Archbishop John Myers’ Priorities are Appalling: Opinion
— Newark Archbishop Shielded at Least Four Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse
After Rebuke by Archbishop, Cardinal Mahony Takes Higher Profile
When Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez stripped his predecessor Cardinal Roger Mahony of public duties for mishandling clergy sex abuse cases, a church spokesman said the retired prelate’s life would remain largely the same except that Mahony would no longer preside at confirmations. But three months later, Mahony is back doing confirmations.
— Mahony Unbound
No Room for ‘Careerists’ or ‘Social Climbers’ among Clergy, Pope Says
Pope Francis said May 8 that clergy who were “careerists” or “social climbers” were doing serious damage to the Catholic Church, his latest utterance aimed at instilling a sense of frugality and service in the Vatican and beyond.
Pope Francis Expresses Gratitude for Global Sisters, Stresses Obedience
Pope Francis met May 8 with leaders of orders of Catholic sisters and nuns from around the globe, focusing on three themes, to keep their lives centered on Christ, to think of authority in terms of service, and to hold a “feeling with the church that finds its filial expression in fidelity to the magisterium.”
— Pope Francis to Nuns: Don’t Be Old Maids
THE FUTURE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
Switching Sides: Latinos Ditching Catholicism for Evangelical Churches
Alfredo De Jesus is a fire-and-brimstone preacher who represents a global groundswell of Hispanics who’ve left the Catholic Church to become Protestant Evangelical Christians.
Governance Involves Catholics Learning to Speak and Listen
In media coverage leading up to the papal conclave, commentators were not concerned with the ethics of what were already acknowledged as moral failures in the church; it was the lapses of governance that allowed things to get so out of hand.
For LCWR, the More the Papacy Changes, the More It Stays the Same
The more something changes, the more it stays the same. It’s a cliché, yes, but it seems to be an increasingly apt one to apply to the situation between women religious and the Vatican.
LCWR President Talks Church Authority, Dialogue
Obeying church authority involves listening to how you hear God speaking to you from the community as well from the mandates of church leaders, the head of the U.S. sisters’ group that was ordered to place itself under the review of bishops has said.
— LCWR Head to Global Sisters: ‘Serious Misunderstandings’ with Vatican
Global Sisters’ Leader: Dialogue with Vatican Is Key
If the LCWR could effectively dialogue with the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said Franciscan Sr. Mary Lou Wirtz, president of the 600,000-strong International Union of Superiors General, it “would be wonderful.” Wirtz spoke at the sidelines of the group’s triennial assembly in Rome May 5.
— Sisters Search for New Leadership Models at UISG Meeting
Vatican Religious Prefect: ‘I Was Left Out of LCWR Finding’
The Vatican decision last year to place the main representative group of U.S. Catholic sisters under the control of bishops was made without consultation or knowledge of the Vatican office that normally deals with matters of religious life, the office’s leader said May 5.
— Vatican Official: Reporting on Rift over Sisters ‘Precise’
— Vatican Denies Rift over Handling of US Sisters
Vatican Bank to Publish Balance Sheets Online
The Vatican Bank will start publishing its balance sheets online by the end of the year, its president said May14. In his first full staff meeting since assuming the post in February, Ernst von Freyberg added that other documents would also be made public on a special website.
Fr. Conleth Byrne Gets Suspended Sentence for £145,000 Fraud
A Catholic priest who admitted giving £145,000 of church money to a woman has been given a two-year sentence suspended for three years. Fr Conleth Byrne, 78, took the money from church funds in the parish of Loughinisland, County Down between 2008 and 2009.
Vatican, US Sign Anti-Money-Laundering Memo
The Vatican continued its efforts to update its financial standards by signing an agreement with the United States to allow the two countries to exchange information to prevent money laundering and terrorism funding.
Ex-Top Catholic Official in New Hampshire Accused of Misusing Church Money
The leader of one of the nation’s top clergy treatment centers resigned May 6 over allegations involving an inappropriate adult relationship and misuse of church funds in New Hampshire, where he previously served in numerous leadership positions with the Diocese of Manchester.
— St. Luke Institute President Resigns as Investigation Continues in N.H.
— Priest Who Heads Top Clergy treatment Center Accused of Impropriety
Amid Pending Investigation, President of St. John’s Says He Will Retire
The longtime president of St. John’s University, the Rev. Donald J. Harrington, announced his retirement May 3. He acknowledged going on trips with a former dean who committed suicide while on trial for corruption.
CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE
Editorial: Institutions Protect themselves in Sexual Abuse Cases
The Catholic Church presumably has a moral obligation to protect the weak and the young, but the vulnerable kids were the ones so frequently winnowed from the herd at the hands of skilled pedophiles.
Change Sought in Massachusetts Limit on Sex Abuse Lawsuits
An attorney who helped lead an $85 million child sexual abuse settlement against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston before revealing that he had been a victim of child molestation urged state lawmakers to raise the statute of limitations on sex-abuse lawsuits.
Panel of Advocates Discuss Catholic Church’s ‘Mortal Sins’
Rumors that the Roman Catholic Church’s clergy sex abuse crisis is a problem of the past have been greatly exaggerated. “The bishops’ public relations machine has persuaded the people that it is a problem that was, not that is,” Jeff Anderson says, “and that is a living lie.”
Who Is Afraid of Justice for Child Sex Abuse Victims, and Who Is Fighting for It
The movement to eliminate the child-sex-abuse statutes of limitations so that victims can obtain justice is stronger and more impressive than ever. Never before has there been so much activity in so many states at once.
LA Archdiocese Wants Key Clergy Abuse Suit Tossed
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles wants a judge to throw out a lawsuit filed by a man who claims he was molested by a foreign priest who remains a fugitive 25 years after fleeing to his native Mexico.
A Church Leader’s Posthumous Fall from Grace
The letter came to rest on then Los Angeles Archbishop Roger Mahony’s desk. “It’s my turn to stand up and set the record straight,” the shaky cursive read. “Msgr. Hawkes was not a great priest, he was a sick man who used his status to abuse many.”
Berlin Priest Pleads Guilty to Child Endangerment Charges; Faces Five Years in Prison
A Catholic priest faces five years in prison after he admitted in Superior Court on Thursday that he had child pornography on his computer and chatted about sex on the Internet with underage boys.
Former Preist at Schaumburg church Sued for Sexual Abuse
A former parishioner at St. Matthew Catholic Church in Schaumburg sued an ex-Roman Catholic priest and the Archdiocese of Chicago in Cook County Circuit Court May 9, accusing the former church leader of sexual abuse.
New Mexico Man’s Suit against Priest Names Worcester Diocese
A New Mexico man who says he was raped about 25 years ago by the Rev. David A. Holley is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester in federal court — charging that local church authorities knew the diocesan priest was a pedophile, but nonetheless allowed him to practice his ministry in other parts of the country.
Minnesota Senate Passes Bill Removing Civil Statute of Limitation on Child Sex Abuse Lawsuits
A bill that would make it easier for Minnesotans who were sexually abused as children to bring civil lawsuits against their abuser or the institution that enabled that abuse could soon become law.
Archbishop Removes Priest from Ministry
The St. Louis Archdiocese has said it permanently removed a priest from ministry after an independent advisory board had determined a recent allegation against the Rev. LeRoy Valentine, 71, was credible.
— Long road Toward Priest’s Removal Traces Church’s Abuse History
Advocates for Sex Abuse Victims Demand Investigation of Newark Archbishop John J. Myers
A coalition of groups representing victims of sexual abuse has called for an investigation of Newark Archbishop John J. Myers by the National Review Board, a lay panel created to guide the nation’s bishops on matters of reform and accountability in the wake of the clergy sex abuse crisis.
— Appreciation for Those Who Stood Up to Catholic Church Hierarchy
— Church Protected Abuser
— Newark Archdiocese Hires Renowned Defense Lawyer Amid Former Wyckoff Priest Investigation
— Accused Priest at Center of N.J. Scandal Resigns
— Three More Resign in Scandal Swirling around N.J. Priest
— What Is to Be Done about Archbishop Myers?
Lawsuit against Dioceses Alleges Abuse by Three Priests
An Albuquerque man is suing the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and others, claiming the church failed to do anything about the priests who molested him during his childhood more than 25 years ago in Alamogordo.
— One-Time Altar Boy Sues Catholic Church, Claiming Three Priests in Alamogordo Molested Him
Haunted for decades by ‘Sex Abuse’ Nightmare at School for Deaf
It was a pedophile’s paradise. That’s how Marlene Hodge, now 52, remembers the girls dorm at a New York boarding school for deaf children, where she and nearly a dozen former students allege a staffer molested his charges at night for almost 20 years.
Uganda Priest Ostracized for Publicizing Sexual Abuse
In going public, Rev. Anthony Musaala has forced the Roman Catholic Church in Uganda to confront a problem it had insisted didn’t exist. The Ugandan priest has been suspended indefinitely by the archbishop of Kampala for exposing what he calls an open secret: Sex abuse in the Catholic Church is a problem in Africa as well as in Western Europe and North America.
Catholic Priest Commits Suicide over Sodomy
A Catholic priest charged in a Turkana court for allegedly sodomizing a student has committed suicide.
— Former Catholic Priest Hit with 64 More Charges relating to Child Sex Assault
Pell to Appear before Vic Abuse Inquiry
Australia’s most senior Catholic, Cardinal George Pell, will appear before a Victorian child abuse inquiry. Cardinal Pell, the archbishop of Sydney, and Melbourne Archbishop Denis Hart will give evidence to the parliamentary inquiry’s next public hearings later this month.
Catholic Church Sex Abuse Inquiry Opens in NSW
An inquiry has opened in Newcastle into an alleged cover-up of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in the New South Wales Hunter Valley.
— Catholic Priest Warns of Bitter Truths from Sex Abuse Inquiry
— New South Wales Police Warned of a Possible Catholic Church Pedophile Network as Early as 2004
— Accused Priest ‘Said He’d Beat Charges’
— Police Investigate Former Parramatta Priest for Alleged Assaults on Alter Boys
Former Irish Priest to Be Extradited from the UK to Face Sexual Charges
A former Catholic priest who was described as “a serial abuser of children” by an investigation into clerical child abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin, is to be extradited from Britain to Ireland to face charges of indecently assaulting children.