Voice of the Faithful Focus, Nov. 15, 2012
Highlighting issues we face working together
to Keep the Faith, Change the Church
Convicted Prelate Apparently Not on Bishops’ Agenda in Baltimore This Week
Bishop Robert Finn of Missouri stands convicted of covering up for a priest caught with thousands of images involving “child sex” on his computer. That this is a travesty is an understatement. That Bishop Finn has not resigned or been removed or even censured by his brother bishops is abhorrent. As U.S. bishops gather for their Fall General Assembly, Nov. 12-15, in Baltimore, Bishop Finn’s situation appears not to have made the agenda.
Key Church Lawyer Alleges Cover-up
The senior lawyer who reviewed the Catholic Church’s Towards Healing protocol says he can point to alleged contemporary cover-ups in the Catholic Church.
Women’s Ordination Off Table, But Women Deacons a Distinct Question
Roman Catholic hierarchs will not entertain questions about ordaining women priests. While priestly ordination is seemingly off the table and out of bounds, what is emerging is a fairly open discussion about ordaining women to the permanent diaconate.
Eastern Catholics Explain Tradition, Value of Married Priests
In Eastern Christianity — among both Catholics and Orthodox — a dual vocation to marriage and priesthood are seen as a call “to love more” and to broaden the boundaries of what a priest considers to be his family, said Russian Catholic Fr. Lawrence Cross.
Monica Yant Kinney: New Sex Abuse Charges Put Institutional Leaders on Notice
After the mixed-message end to the criminal trial of the Rev. James J. Brennan and Msgr. William J. Lynn, speculation is that even one conviction would rock both the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the state legal system.
Association of Catholic Priests Saddened by Bishops’ ‘Snub’
A group representing hundreds of Irish priests (850 out of 4,500 priests in Ireland, but ACP claims 1,000 members) has said it is disappointed that the Irish Catholic Church’s Bishops Conference will not meet them.
Watchdog Group Asks IRS to Probe Catholic Bishops
A public watchdog group is charging the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops with openly politicking on behalf of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and it wants the Internal Revenue Service to explore revoking the hierarchy’s tax-exempt status.
University Withdraws Theologian’s Invitation after Pressure from Financial Contributors
Disinvite linked to Vatican supported group
The University of San Diego has canceled a visiting fellowship for a British theologian less than two weeks before her scheduled arrival at the university because of pressure from financial contributors, according to a letter from the university’s president.
Church of England Bishop’s Arrest Part of Broad Inquiry into Chichester Diocese Child Abuse
The arrest of Bishop Peter Ball on suspicion of sexual offences against boys and men at addresses in East Sussex and elsewhere is the latest development in a wide-ranging and often contentious series of official inquiries into decades of alleged child protection failures in the diocese of Chichester on England’s south coast.
USCCB FALL GENERAL ASSEMBLY, NOV. 12-15, 2012
Catholic Bishops Told They Have to Reform Themselves
After sweeping setbacks to the hierarchy’s agenda on Election Day, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan on Monday (Nov. 12) told U.S. Catholic bishops that they must now examine their own failings, confess their sins and reform themselves if they hope to impact the wider culture.
USCCB Should Disinvite Bishops in Sex Abuse Cases from Conference
This week, all of America’s Catholic prelates are invited to the annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Because of their recent recklessness with children’s safety, some don’t deserve to be there.
Is There a Plan B for the Bishops?
As the bishops gather in Baltimore this week for their annual meeting, they, like everyone else in the country, will be talking about last week’s election. The U.S. Catholic bishops took a beating at the polls.
Convicted Bishop Is Catholic Hierarchy’s Elephant in the Room
As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops gathers for its annual fall meeting in Baltimore next week (Nov. 12-15), one of the biggest issues confronting the prelates won’t be on the formal agenda: a sitting bishop convicted of covering up a priests possession of images of child pornography.
Words Fail Us: Priests Respond to the New Missal a Year Later
The new missal has made priests watch their language, but after one year most say the meaning of the Mass is getting lost in translation.
What is the Future of the Liturgy?
It may not seem like it at the parish level, but at official levels, mostly behind the scenes, the direction of Catholic liturgy since Vatican II is being called into question.
Bishops and American Nuns Hold ‘Cordial and Open’ Meeting
Three Catholic bishops met with leaders of the American nuns’ group they are tasked with overhauling in an “open and cordial” meeting on Sunday (Nov. 11), according to a joint statement.
Climbing the corporate ladder in our business-driven culture is generally applauded. So influential is this supremely American and capitalist value that it may be creeping even into the church.
Ex-Penn State President Charged in Sandusky Case
Former Penn State President Graham B. Spanier was charged Sept. 8 with hushing up child molestation allegations against Jerry Sandusky, making him the third school official charged in the alleged cover-up.
St. Emeric Catholic Church Reopens after Two and a Half Years in Limbo
Hundreds gathered Sunday to celebrate the reopening of St. Emeric Catholic Church, a Hungarian parish founded 108 years ago near the West Side Market.
Lombardi Praises Scicluna for Fight against Pedophilia
The scandal surrounding the cases of clerical sex abuse against minors and the developments in the Vatican’s finances are illustrative of the Holy See’s efforts to become more transparent.
Don’t Let Anyone Tell You Vatican II Didn’t Change Much
The charter that was written at Vatican II is the only thing that will save the Church, the people-of-God Church, not the hierarchical Church.
Gospel & Culture after Vatican II
Just prior to his opening of the final session of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI, in his encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, complained of a rising tide of secularism within the Church, and he was critical of those who thought that the reform of the Church should consist principally in adapting to the modern secular world.
Vatican II – An Unprecedented Event, a Council Like No Other
Vatican II was a council unlike any preceding one. It was a special event for many reasons. Even though it stands in a long line of councils, it was in many respects a new kind of council.
Pope John XXIII’s Opening Address to the Second Vatican Council
Pope John XXIII gave his opening address that laid down the framework for what turned out to be the four sessions of the assembly.
The Council’s “Mothers” Paved the Way for Greater Female Presence in the Catholic Church
Twenty three “mothers” attended Vatican II as members of the audience, with no right to speak. It was partly thanks to them that the male monopoly on theology ended.
AFTER THE ELECTION
Editorial: Election Results Show We Live in a New America
Welcome to the new America, in which the fastest-growing minority, Latinos (overwhelmingly Catholic), vote for their most pressing interests, ignoring the warnings by some Catholic bishops that they were endangering their very souls.
What’s Next for Religious Conservatives
Mitt Romney failed in his bid to win the White House back for Republicans, but the biggest losers in Tuesday’s voting may be Christian conservatives who put everything they had into denying President Obama a second term and battling other threats to their agenda.
Political Activity by Religious Groups Continues Unchallenged as IRS Not Enforcing Rules
For the past three years, the Internal Revenue Service hasn’t been investigating complaints of partisan political activity by churches, leaving religious groups who make direct or thinly veiled endorsements of political candidates unchallenged.
Catholics Choose Conscience over Church
Many Catholics are insulted by the notion that local clergy—not high on most people’s list these days given the priest pedophilia and episcopal cover-up scandals—would dare to dictate how they might vote.
WORLDWIDE SEXUAL ABUSE SCANDAL
Another Alleged Victim Sues Church
A third sexual abuse lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Stockton and a former priest who ministered in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties was planned to be filed this morning in San Joaquin County Superior Court.
Green Bay Diocese Found Negligent in Priest Molestation Civil Lawsuit; Ordered to Pay $500,000
The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay has been ordered to pay a half-million dollars in a civil lawsuit involving a priest accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy.
Former Priest’s 20-Year Sentence Upheld
A former Catholic priest who sexually assaulted two teenage boys in Elm Grove in the late 1970s and early 1980s will have to finish his 20-year prison term, an appeals court ruled Wednesday.
Archdiocese Rolls Out New Policy for Protection of Children
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput has announced the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s latest polices for the protection of children, 20 months after a grand jury investigation blasted archdiocesan officials for their handling of clerical sex-abuse cases.
Victims First? State’s Sordid History of Abuse Cases Shows It’s Time to Change the Laws
The latest charges against former Penn State President Graham Spanier, Athletic Director on leave Tim Curley and former Vice President Gary Schultz are yet another reminder that the university’s former administrators placed PSU’s image above the lives and well-being of young boys.
‘No Noise, No Talking’: Priest Plied Boys with ‘Acrid-Tasting’ Milo
As former Catholic priest David Rapson began to abuse boys one night at the Salesian College Rupertswood, he told another priest who was urging him to resist the temptation: ”God made us this way and it’s his fault,” a court has heard.
Australia Orders Federal Child Sex Abuse Inquiry
Australia’s prime minister ordered a federal inquiry Nov. 5 into allegations of child sex abuse in state and religious institutions and community groups following a string of sexual abuse accusations against priests and claims of a Catholic Church cover-up.
—Vic Priest Speaks Out against Pell
— Australia’s Catholic Church Acknowledges “Shame” of Child Abuse
— Brothers ‘Pack Raped’ Boys
— Catholic Church Can’t Be Trusted to Conduct Internal Investigations: Parliamentary Inquiry
— Top Cop Attacks Catholic Church
— Clergy Abuse Inquiry Shockingly Shallow
— Pedophile Worked at Catholic School for Five Years
— Abuse Inquiry Effectiveness Queried
— Priest Pleads for State Action
Diocese of Antigonish Wraps Up Sex Abuse Settlement
A Roman Catholic diocese in Nova Scotia will try to close a dark chapter in its history this week as it wraps up a sex abuse settlement with 125 people, but the lawyer representing them says they continue to heal their emotional wounds.
Six Men Suing the Catholic Church for Alleged Sexual Abuse
A group of men from a northwestern Ontario First Nations community is suing a Winnipeg-based Roman Catholic order and others to seek redress for alleged sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of their community priest as young boys.
Britain Orders Inquiry into New Abuse Claims
Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron ordered an investigation Nov. 5 into newly raised allegations related to a major child abuse scandal in north Wales in the 1970s and 1980s.
Catholic Church Confirms Child Abuse in Iceland
The investigative commission of the Catholic Church in Iceland presented its report on Nov. 9, confirming that Rev. Ágúst Georg, principal of the church-run elementary school Landakotsskóli, and one of its teachers, Margrét Müller, abused their pupils.
Historical Abuse Inquiry: 101 Apply to Take Part
A total of 101 people have applied to take part in the inquiry into abuse in care institutions in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995.
Irish Priestly Vocations in Worrying Decline
For a week last June, the International Eucharistic Congress, held in Dublin, was a beacon of light and vibrancy that Irish Catholicism has been sadly lacking in recent years. Almost two decades of clerical abuse scandals, bishops resigning for failing to protect children, and an often-hostile media reveling in the Church’s misfortune have taken their toll.