Voice of the Faithful Focus, Oct. 4, 2012
Highlighting issues we face working together
to Keep the Faith, Change the Church
Responding to Clericalism and Sex Abuse
The sexual abuse of children and young adults by a tiny minority of Catholic priests is itself a terrible stain on the institutional church—but the repeated failure of the bishops and other priests to report and remove the perpetrators has magnified and deepened, beyond immediate repair, the erosion of trust and the crisis of faith within the Catholic community.
Ten Years after Revelations of Massive Sex Abuse Cover-Ups
Many Victims Never Get Their Day in Court
The recent revelations that the Boy Scouts of America have spent years covering up sexual abuse reports against their scout leaders came as no surprise to Professor Marci Hamilton. “Boy Scouts, the Catholic church, the Citadel, Penn State, the Mormon church – it’s all the identical problem,” says Hamilton.
Laity Can Help Determine Cardinal’s Successor
Chicago-area Catholics have an unprecedented opportunity to express their concerns and recommendations about our next leader of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Voice of the Faithful Honors Hofstra Professor
A Hofstra University religion professor, Phyllis Zagano, known for advocating in favor of women deacons in the Roman Catholic Church has won an award from Voice of the Faithful, a Catholic group that is highly critical of the church hierarchy and its handling of the sex abuse scandal.
Psychologist Provides Analysis a Decade
After Catholic Church’s Sex Abuse Scandal Publicized
At the height of the clergy sex abuse scandal in 2002, Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea urged the nation’s Catholic bishops to lead “the revitalization and restoration of souls” damaged by sexual abuse. A decade later, Frawley-O’Dea paints a far less-hopeful portrait of the Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse.
Why Not Women?
Can women receive sacred orders? Let us consult several authoritative sources. Canon 1024 of the Code of Canon Law states, “A baptized male alone receives sacred ordination validly.”
Vatican Lifts Suspension of Priest Who Altered Prayers at Mass
An Illinois priest who was forced out of his parish by his bishop for improvising prayers during Mass has had his suspension reversed by the Vatican.
New Doctrinal Head Hopes to Reduce Tensions in the Church
Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, new head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says he sees the polarization between traditionalists and progressives as the most important challenge faced by the Church.
New Head of Doctrinal Congregation Says Abuse Victims Are First Concern
The senior Vatican official with authority for investigating priests accused of sexual abuse said in such cases,” always and everywhere the most important concern is for those who have been the victims of this terrible abuse.”
VATICAN II – 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF OPENING SESSION THIS MONTH
Vatican II – Half a Century Later
Catholics have been arguing about the Second Vatican Council—about what it did and didn’t do, about what it meant and still means or what it never meant and could never mean—for half a century.
On Oct. 11 Pope Benedict XVI, will celebrate the golden jubilee of the opening of the Second Vatican Council with a Mass at Saint Peter’s Basilica. Vatican II was a council of reform, which re-imagined a centuries-old institution as the people of God, so that the holiness of the church would become visible through the full participation of all the baptized.
The Catholic Church’s Lost Revolution
The Second Vatican Council, which convened 50 years this month, has been described as the most momentous religious event of the 20th century. Meeting in four sessions over three years, the world’s Roman Catholic bishops sought to reimagine the role the church — the spiritual home of more than one-sixth of humanity — could play in a rapidly changing world. Yet Vatican II so dramatically failed to fulfill its promise that it registers very little in common memory today.
Vatican 2.0: A Look Ahead to the Next 50 Years
Fifty years after the game-changing council a new generation helps the church respond to today’s signs of the times.
St. Bernadette Priest Steps Down Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations
Rev. Gary M. Miller, the senior pastor at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Evergreen Park, has stepped down from his duties as pastor amid sexual misconduct allegations with minor over 30 years ago.
FALL RIVER, MA
Child Protection Still an Afterthought
Attorney cites the delusions of the diocese of Fall River in asking parents to sign a no-liability agreement when their kids are in the presence of clergy during religious education events.
Lynn Priest Accused of Child Sexual Abuse
A Roman Catholic priest who has worked at a church in Lynn for the past three decades has been placed on paid administrative leave because of an accusation of sexual abuse of a child, the Archdiocese of Boston announced Sunday.
Deal Could Be Near between Archdiocese, Sex Abuse Victims
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee and victims of sex abuse by priests and others in authority have extended their court-ordered mediation, prompting speculation that one of the Catholic Church’s largest bankruptcies could be nearing a close.
Defrocked Catholic Monsignor Who Raised
Funds for NYC Archdiocese Sues Church over Sex Scandal
A defrocked Roman Catholic monsignor who once led fundraising for the Archdiocese of New York has sued the church for libel.
Philly Judge Reinstates Sex Charges against Priest
A Philadelphia judge has reinstated felony sex-assault charges against a suspended Roman Catholic priest, weeks after a different judge dismissed them.
Archdiocese of Philadelphia in Serious Financial Shape
The fortunes of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and its more than 250 parishes are deeply and torturously entwined. But too many parishes have seen attendance fall and offerings shrivel, rendering them unable to support themselves.
Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput Talks
To Parents of Victim of Clergy Abuse During Trip to Harrisburg
Ever since their son killed himself in 2006 after years of enduring sexual abuse at the hands of his priest, Art and Elaine Baselice have been trying to get a private audience with a high-ranking Catholic Church official.
Prosecutors Deny Priest Was Urged to Lie in Abuse Case
The Philadelphia district attorney’s office has challenged a claim by lawyers for a convicted Roman Catholic monsignor that prosecutors had persuaded another priest, now defrocked, to falsely admit to sexually abusing a 10-year-old boy in order to obtain the conviction.
Focus Is on ‘Healing’ in Policy that Joins Archdiocese, Victims
A group of survivors of sexual abuse by clergy and the Archdiocese of San Francisco have jointly created a first-of-its-kind policy on how the archdiocese can better serve victims, one that aims to engage and empower them in the healing process.
Stockton Diocese Sued over Alleged Priest Abuse
The Roman Catholic diocese in Stockton is facing another lawsuit alleging child abuse by a defrocked priest who spoke openly about molesting children in a 2006 documentary.
Push for Reform Grows in Austria
As Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna prepares to meet privately for a second time with leaders of a group of priests who are pushing a reform agenda for the Catholic church, other Catholic leaders are calling for wider discussion of church reform.
Austrian Priest: Dissent Aids Healthy Church
The leader of the Austrian Priests’ Initiative said the dissident group’s call to disobedience reflects the lack of accountability among those who exercise power and authority in the Catholic Church.
Catholic Church Upheld 618 Child Sex Abuse Cases
Number could be much higher, as only one in 10 were reported
The Catholic Church in Victoria yesterday admitted that it had upheld 618 cases of criminal child abuse by clergy in the past 16 years.
— Australian Roman Catholic Church Admits Child Sex Abuse
— Australian Bishops Pledge Cooperation with Abuse Inquiry
— Church Lodges Submission to Vic Abuse Inquiry
— Pell Should Face Up and ‘Fess Up
German Bishops: Catholics Who Formally Leave
The Church Cannot Receive Sacraments
The German Catholic bishops have announced that any Catholic who formally withdraws from the Church, by announcing a decision not to pay the “church tax,” will not be allowed to receive the sacraments or hold office in the Church.
— German Bishops Defend Exclusion of Catholics Who Stop Paying Tax
— German Court Upholds Catholic Church’s Right To Exclude Believers Who Won’t Pay Religious Tax
— UPDATE: German Court: Catholics Who Don’t Pay Religious Tax Must Leave Church
— German Catholic Activists Rap Decree Excluding Church Tax Opt-Outs
From Priests to Boy Scouts – It’s Time to Lock Up Child Molesters for Good
The criminal justice system needs to do a much better job of holding child abusers accountable.