Archive for April, 2013

Star Witness’ Story in Philadelphia Sex Abuse Trials Doesn’t Add Up / National Catholic Reporter

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. Cipriano says what he witnessed was a couple of show trials shrouded in official secrecy and staged for political benefit. While (Monsignor William) Lynn became the main focus of the prosecution, the men at the top of the church hierarchy who gave Lynn his orders (including Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, Bishop Edward Cullen and Bishop Joseph Cistone) were given a pass.”

By Ralph Cipriano, former reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Los Angeles Times, in National Catholic Reporter. Read Cipriano’s article by clicking here.

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James Martin, S.J., Talks about One of the Effects of the Clergy Sexual Abuse Scandal on Priests

In his column called Papal Embrace, which  in the May 6 issue of America magazine, editor-at-large James Martin, S.J., wonders if the Pope’s embracing of children will change anything for other priests in the wake of the clergy sexual abuse scandal. Click here or on his byline below to read the entire column.

I make sure,’ said my friend, ‘that I am never alone with my nephews and nieces.’ That comment came from a priest. We were talking about the most sensitive topic imaginable: the fallout from the clerical sexual abuse scandals and the way that has affected our priesthood. It is something that many priests often discuss among themselves.” By James Martin, SJ, America magazine

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Former Australian Bishop Agrees Church ‘Effectively Facilitated’ Child Sexual Abuse

The Australian Royal Commission into child sexual abuse has begun hearing testimony. The following story in the Victorian newspaper The Age reports on former Ballarat Bishop Peter Connors comments before the commission.  Click on the headline to read the entire story.

Catholic Church ‘Facilitated’ Abuse

The Catholic Church in Ballarat ‘effectively facilitated’ child sexual abuse by leaving known paedophiles in ministry and was ”unChristlike”, former Ballarat Bishop Peter Connors conceded on Monday. His predecessor, Bishop Ronald Mulkearns, made ”terrible errors” and showed ‘great naivety’ in moving paedophiles Gerald Ridsdale and Paul David Ryan from parish to parish despite knowing they were child abusers, Bishop Connors told the Victorian inquiry into how the churches handled child sexual abuse.” By Barney Zwartz, The Age

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Irish Prelate Cites Clericalism & an Increased Role for the Laity As Necessary in Renewal of Church

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 (at Fordham University).” By Beth Griffin, Catholic News Service

Read the entire article quoting Archbishop Martin, “Laity Key to Irish Church’s Renewal, Dublin Archbishop Says at Fordham,” by clicking here.

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Sex Abuse Accountability Should Be Universal Law / National Catholic Reporter

In late February, Maltese Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna told Italian journalists, ‘From now on, no one’ — and when he said ‘no one’ he meant the 117 cardinals coming to Rome for the conclave that would elect Pope Francis — ‘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. 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.” Editorial in National Catholic Reporter

Read the entire NCR editorial by clicking here. Bold-face emphasis above added by Voice of the Faithful®.

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Sr. Joan Chittister / LCWR: ‘Radical Feminism’ or ‘Living the Gospel’

The BBC just called, an incident that in itself may well be a measure of the larger import of the situation. It’s a strange moment in history: 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. In fact, what self-respecting journalist could possibly skip the story? After thousands of years of life-giving service to the church at poverty level — building its schools, its orphanages, its hospitals, its missionary outposts, its soup kitchens, its homes for the indigent, its catechetical centers — the nuns are told the problem with their work is that it has been “tainted by radical feminism”? And that by a group of men whose chance of knowing what the term “radical feminism” even means is obviously close to zero.” By Sr. Joan Chittister, National Catholic Reporter

Read this entire story, ‘Tainted by Radical Feminism?’ More Like ‘Living the Gospel,’ in the National Catholic Reporter by clicking here.

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Archives Reveal LA Cardinal’s Attempts to Head Off John Jay Investigation / National Catholic Reporter

In 2003, with the country newly focused on the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic church, 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.” By Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter

To read the entire article in National Catholic Reporter, click here.

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Nuns on the Bus Leader Responds to Reaffirmation of Vatican LCWR Mandate

Vatican Plays Politics with American Nuns by Sister Simone Campbell, Commentary in The Washington Post

I would be lying if I wrote that I was not hurt by the reaffirmation of the censure of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and by extension of NETWORK, the Catholic social justice lobby that I lead. I had hoped that the censure would quietly disappear in an Italian bureaucratic way. But this is not to be. Rather we are to continue to be caught in macro-church-politics of a group of Catholics at odds with the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).”

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Vatican, LCWR Approaching Critical Crossroads / National Catholic Reporter Editorial

He (Pope Francis) went on to say in the process of “going out” the church always risks running into “accidents,” adding, “I prefer a thousand times over a church of accidents than a sick church.” A church of accidents … a church willing to take risks on the edges … a church dedicated to service of the most needy … a church working on behalf of mercy, peace and justice… This sounds a lot like the church U.S. Catholic sisters have been building in recent decades. Not only U.S. women religious, but also women religious around the world have been at this work. It is the women who have lived closest to the marginalized; it is the women who have worked on the “peripheries;” it is the women who have gone precisely where Francis is encouraging others to go. And what has been their reward? Have they been acclaimed by their church leadership? No. Despite occasional laudatory words to the contrary, these faith-filled women have been too often demeaned and too often tarnished with accusations of alleged infidelity.” By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff

Read the entire National Catholic Reporter editorial by clicking here …

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America Magazine Commentary Sees Hope for the American Nuns

Pope Francis, the CDF and the LCWR by James Martin, S.J., in America magazine

Today (April 15) the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a statement about the ongoing oversight and “reform” (to use their word) of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the main umbrella organization of women religious in the United States, which represents roughly 80% of American Catholic sisters and nuns. In their statement, the Congregation noted that the new prefect of the Congregation, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, as well as Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, the Holy See’s Delegate for the Doctrinal Assessment of the LCWR, met with the Presidency of the LCWR. Archbishop Müller also noted that he had spoken with Pope Francis, who “reaffirmed” the findings of the Assessment, and the “program of reform.” The LCWR issued a statement, which listed the participants in the meeting in full, and said that the meeting was “open and frank.” Several things need to be kept in mind before people jump to conclusions about what this may or may not portend.

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