Voice of the Faithful Focus, May 2, 2013
Highlighting issues we face working together
to Keep the Faith, Change the Church
Fr. James Martin’s friend, a priest, told him, “I make sure that I am never alone with my nephews and nieces,” while talking about the most sensitive topic imaginable: the fallout from the clerical sexual abuse scandals and the way that has affected their priesthood.
Star Witness’ Story in Philadelphia Sex Abuse Trials Doesn’t Add Up
Former Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Ralph Cipriano says that after sitting in on all 16 weeks of the two archdiocese trials in Philadelphia, he came away with a different take than the district attorney on his ‘historic’ prosecution of the church. He says what he witnessed was a couple of show trials shrouded in official secrecy and staged for political benefit.
— Editorial: Philadelphia Was a Shallow Victory
Catholic Church ‘Facilitated’ Abuse
The Catholic Church in Ballarat “effectively facilitated” child sexual abuse by leaving known pedophiles in ministry and was “unChristlike,” former Ballarat Bishop Peter Connors told an Australian inquiry. He said his predecessor, Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, made ”terrible errors” and showed ”great naivety” in moving known child abusers from parish to parish.
— Abuse Inquiry Slams Church Spokesman’s Comments
— Church Elders Front Abuse Inquiry
Sex Abuse Accountability Should Be Universal Law
Maltese Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna told Italian journalists in February, “From now on, no one will be able to say they know nothing about what goes on regarding clerical sex abuse.” … Zero tolerance for clergy child abusers is now the universal law of the church. Pope Francis’ task is to lay down laws that will hold bishops liable for their actions and inactions, too. Bishops’ accountability to the people they serve must also become the universal law of the church.
Pope Francis ‘to Appoint More Women to Key Vatican Posts’
Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras said he was backing more posts for women after the Pope named him to lead a task force of eight cardinals from around the world to reform the Roman Curia, an alleged hotbed of intrigue, infighting and corruption.
Archives Reveal LA Cardinal’s Attempts to Head Off John Jay Investigation
In 2003, with the U.S. focused on the Church’s sex abuse scandal, a senior U.S. church leader attempted behind the scenes to head off the investigation of the crisis by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, disparaging the institution and its researchers as inadequate.
Pope Francis Redirects Employee Bonuses to Charity
Vatican employees won’t receive the special bonus they are traditionally awarded when a new pope is elected, the Vatican confirmed on Thursday (April 18), under orders from Pope Francis to give extra money to charity instead.
Lifelong Friend of Pope Francis Says He’ll End Priestly Celibacy
Lifelong friend of Pope Francis Clelia Luro is convinced that he will eventually lead the global church to end mandatory priestly celibacy, a requirement she says “the world no longer understands.”
Francis’ Reform Club: ‘Cleaning Up’ the Curia
The new Pope’s unprecedented decision to create a commission of cardinals to study how the Catholic Church is governed has been seen by many observers as a response to recent Vatican scandals. But it is a far more radical move than that, as analysis of his choice of commissioners shows.
Pope Cuts Bonuses for Vatican Bank Commissioners
No more bonuses for the Cardinals watching over the Vatican bank. Each Cardinal already has a “salary” of five thousand euro per month. This money used to be called “piatto cardinalizio” now the name has been modernized to “Cardinals’ cheque.”
Pennsylvania Priest Sentenced for Taking $380K from Parish
A Roman Catholic priest in central Pennsylvania will serve 11-1 /2 to 23 months behind bars for stealing more than $380,000 from his parish.
CHURCH REFORM / FUTURE OF CATHOLIC CHURCH
A Reformed (and Re-Formed) College of Cardinals
The recent papal interregnum and conclave underscored the importance of re-forming, and reforming, the College of Cardinals.
Vatican, LCWR Approaching Critical Crossroads
Pope Francis has said that, in the process of “going out,” the church always risks running into “accidents …” The U.S. Catholic sisters have been building a church that works on behalf of mercy, peace and justice. Yet, despite occasional laudatory words, these faith-filled women have been demeaned and tarnished with accusations of alleged infidelity by the very men who have inflicted great damage to the church by repeated patterns of sex abuse cover-up.
‘Tained by Radical Feminism?’ More Like ‘Living the Gospel’
Suddenly everyone in the world, it seems, wants to know what is happening to the nuns and what they can do next. “Next,” of course, means what they can do now that the Vatican is back to questioning both their intelligence and their faith.
Pope Francis Should Meet with Sisters
Nuns are reacting emotionally in their disappointment at the news from the Vatican April 15 that Pope Francis had “reaffirmed” the conclusions of the doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious and the program of reform ordered last year by the Congregation for the Doctrine for the Faith.
Vatican Plays Politics with American Nuns
Sister Simone Campbell tells how she and her sisters have been hurt by the reaffirmation of the censure of the LCWR and by extension of NETWORK, the Catholic social justice lobby she leads. The nuns continue to be caught in macro-church-politics of a group of Catholics at odds with the CDF.
Pope Francis, the CDF and the LCWR
The Vatican’s CDF has issued a statement about the ongoing oversight and “reform” of the LCWR. Pope Francis has “reaffirmed” the LCWR “program of reform.” Several things need to be kept in mind before people jump to conclusions about what this may or may not portend.
— New Pope Sends Bad Signal to Nuns
WOMEN IN THE CHURCH
Women Catholic Deacons ‘No Longer Taboo’
Germany’s top Roman Catholic has called for women to be allowed to become deacons, which would enable them to perform baptisms and marriages outside of mass – a novelty for Catholic women.
Pope Francis, Women and ‘Chauvinism in Skirts’
In the six weeks since Pope Francis’ election, those who have followed him in the media have been treated to a series of tantalizing headlines about his promising views on women.
CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE
Head of Catholic Church Watchdog in Ireland to Do Similar Job in Australia
The head of the Catholic Church watchdog into clerical abuse in Ireland is to head up a similar review panel in Australia. Ian Elliott said he will leave his post in the summer after examining the records of 16 diocese and four religious orders in Ireland.
Hard Work Awaits Pope and Abuse Survivors
Pope Francis must once and for all embody justice and mercy for sexual abuse victims. This soul-searing crisis never has been about the priests who abuse and always has been about the ecclesiastics who protected them while lying to the people of God, including victims.
Truth, Justice and Healing Council Holds First Meeting
Council holds first meeting amid discussions ranging across document procurement for the Royal Commission, systematic issues related to the protection of children and future communications about the Council’s work and the Commission’s progress.
Fairfield University, Perlitz Lawsuit Can Proceed
A judge has ruled that 23 Haitians may go forward with their lawsuit against Fairfield University, Father Paul E. Carrier, S. J., the Society of Jesus of New England, Hope Carter and the Knights of Malta–the people and institutions that the lawsuit says should have protected the homeless boys from the sexual abuse they suffered in a school founded for street children by 1992 Fairfield University graduate Douglas Perlitz.
Men Allege Abuse, Sue religious Order in Cook Court
Unable to get restitution in federal bankruptcy court, 31 Chicago-area men have filed a lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court, accusing the Congregation of Christian Brothers of putting them in harm’s way decades ago.
Two Iowa Priests Suspended Due to Molestation Claims
Two Catholic priests in eastern Iowa have been temporarily removed from the ministry during an investigation into allegations that they sexually molested children decades ago.
Understanding the Needs of Male Sexual Assault Victims
Historically, male survivors of sexual victimization are often an unrecognized, underserved and unmentioned population when the issue of sexual assault is discussed. Yet one in five males will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, many before the age of 16.
St. Louis Priest Indicted on Federal Child Porn Charge
A Roman Catholic priest from St. Louis, the Rev. William F. Vatterott, was indicted April 24 on one federal child pornography charge. The indictment says Vatterott, 36, possessed at least two images of an unidentified nude boy on his computer between June 2010 and June 2011.
— St. Louis Catholic Priest Indicted on Child Pornography Charge
— Catholic Priest Indicted on Child Porn Charges, Could Face Up to 10 years in Jail
— St. Louis Priest Father William Vatterott Indicted on Child Pornography Charge
Newark Archbishop Allows Priest Who Groped Boy to Continue Working with Children
To avoid retrial on charges he groped a boy, Rev. Michael Fugee entered a rehab program, underwent counseling and signed an agreement dictating the remainder of his life as a Catholic priest. Now, it appears he violated that agreement, and with the approval of New Jersey’s highest-ranking Catholic official, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers.
— Priest with Molestation History Found Working with Kids
— Priest Calls on Vatican to Investigate Newark Archbishop John J. Myers
— Priest with Molestation History Working with Kids
— Rev. Michael Fugee Should Not Have Been Allowed in Youth Ministry at Colts Neck Church
Philly Judge Defends Church Official’s Trial, Landmark Conviction for Child Endangerment
A judge is defending her decisions in the trial of the first Catholic Church official in the United States to be charged and convicted in the cover-up of the priest abuse scandal. Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina concluded in a recent opinion that Monsignor William Lynn lied to perpetuate a church cover-up of child sexual abuse.
Fort Worth Diocese Settles Another Priest Abuse Claim
The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth reached a settlement Apr. 17 with one of the victims reportedly abused by former priest James Reilly.
Milwaukee Priest Wants Archbishop Myers Investigated
Fr. James Connell, a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and an outspoken advocate for victims of clergy sexual abuse has sent a letter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith asking for an investigation into Archbishop of Newark John Myers’ handling of the case of Rev. Michael Fugee, who pleaded guilty to groping a boy but was kept in ministry.
Milwaukee Catholic Officials Knew of California Sex Abuse Allegations Against Priest
Catholic Church officials in Milwaukee had known for 10 months that Father Robert Marsicek was under investigation on suspicion of molesting two children in California.
Archbishop Jerome Listecki Suggests Church Erred in Wauwatosa Priest Case
Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki suggested in a letter the Catholic Church erred in its handling of a Wauwatosa priest suspended from leading two parishes and schools after a teacher reported what she considered inappropriate contact with a child in March.
Argentina Bishop Forced to Pay over Priest Sex Abuse
An Argentina court ordered a bishop from a town outside Buenos Aires to pay damages of $30,000 plus ten years’ interest to a priest sex abuse victim.
Catholic Church Paid $30 Million to Child Abuse Victims
The insurers of the Catholic Church say they have paid out $30 million to about 600 victims of child sexual abuse in Victoria. The church’s insurance arm, Catholic Church Insurance (CCI), has appeared before the Victorian inquiry into child sexual abuse.
Catholic Priest Faces Sex Abuse Charges in a Melbourne Court
Catholic priest Julian Fox appeared in a Melbourne court on Friday to face 10 charges of alleged child sexual abuse.
Abuse Inquiry to Start in May
Australia’s first commission of inquiry into child sex abuse in the Catholic Church will be held at Newcastle Supreme Court from May 6.
— Ballarat Diocese Admits to Destroying Documents Detailing Accusations of Pedophilia
— Catholic Investigators Deny Abuse Cover-up
— Church Abuse: No Cover-up Say Orders
Royal Commission Is at a Turning Point
The Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses To Child Sexual Abuse is a critical turning point for the Australian community, but perhaps now a pathway to justice and healing will emerge.
Melbourne Catholic Priest Charged over Historic Sex Abuse
Victorian Police have charged a Catholic priest with child sex offences after he returned to Melbourne from Rome. Detectives arrested the 67-year-old man in relation to alleged historic child sexual abuse matters committed between 1976 and 1985 in Sunbury and Ferntree Gully.
— Vic Priest Charged over Sex Abuse Cases
— Australian Catholic Priest Faces Sex Abuse Charges on Return to Homeland
Full Truth about Residential Schools Symied by Discord
Canadians may never learn the full history of the Indian residential school system because the federal government and a commission responsible for studying the matter are at odds over how to assemble the facts.
Catholic Church in Ireland Outlines New Child Protection Measures
Ian Elliott, the Catholic Church’s own watchdog on child protection measures in Ireland, has detailed the policies now in place to prevent child abuse in several dioceses. It is part of a nationwide review of each diocese and Religious Order in the wake of a series of damning state inquiries into the extent of pedophilia in the clergy and subsequent cover-ups.
Former Catholic Priest Bill Carney Arrested in Britain Accuses of 32 Counts of Pedophilia
Nearly 30 years after he was originally convicted, former priest Bill Carney has finally been arrested in London. Having avoided punishment of any sort, and receiving $39,283 from the Catholic Church to leave the priesthood, his case has been called “tragic” and “nothing short of catastrophic.”
Laity Key to Irish Church’s Renewal, Dublin Archbishop Says at Fordham
Renewal of the Catholic Church in a “post-Catholic” Ireland depends on a homegrown effort by the laity to overcome clericalism and witness the Christian message in a secular society, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin told a New York audience.
Catholic Church Review Not Showing Extent of Child Abuse Says Amnesty International
Responding to the publication of reports by the NBSCCC, Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International, said: “Today we got yet another glimpse into the horror of abuse suffered by children in parishes in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and the way in which figures in the Church hierarchy permitted the abuse to continue.
Watchdog Elliot Played Key Role in Catholic Church Child Safety Reform
Some in the Catholic Church have felt it has been less than good to know him, but maybe it’s just the beginning of a longer farewell involving the chief executive of the church’s child protection “watchdog-with-a-helluva- bite” and the authorities in Maynooth.
Retired Bishop Criticized over Handling of Child Abuse Allegatons
The former Bishop of the cross-border Catholic diocese of Clogher Joseph Duffy has been criticized for unsatisfactory responses to child abuse allegations and risky behavior by priests.
— Allegations of Abuse against Three More Priests in ‘Notorious’ Ferns Diocese
— Clogher Clerical Abuse Report: Former Bishop Accepts Criticism
— Retired Bishop Admits Mistakes
Archbishop Pledges to Heal Wounds Left by Abuse Scandals
Eamon Martin delivered a call for renewal in the church as he was ordained into an interim post ahead of eventually succeeding current Primate of All Ireland Cardinal Sean Brady.