Archive for June, 2013
A Vatican official. A private plane. And 20 million euros in cash. Claiming to have foiled a caper worthy of Hollywood, or at least Cinecittà, the Italian police on Friday arrested a prelate and two others on corruption charges as part of a complex plot last summer in which they say the priest — already suspected of money laundering — plotted to help wealthy friends sneak the money, the equivalent of about $26 million, into Italy while evading financial controls.”
Read The New York Times article by Rachel Donadio and Elisabetta Provoledo article, “Cleric and Two Others Arrested in Vatican Bank Inquiry,” by clicking here.
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley is banning an Austrian priest from speaking at a Catholic parish in Dedham because the priest advocates ordaining women and making celibacy optional, stances that place him in opposition to church teachings. The Rev. Helmut Schuller was invited to speak at St. Susanna Parish July 17 as part of a 15-city tour of the United States called ‘The Catholic Tipping Point: Conversations with Helmut Schuller,’ sponsored by a coalition of reform-minded Catholic organizations, including Voice of the Faithful, based in Needham.”
The shortage of Catholic priests is an economic drama playing out across major countries to a yawn by the news media. In the United States, 20 percent of parishes have no priests. Since 1995, bishops have sold more than 1,700 churches – on average, that’s a church shuttered once a week for 18 years — down-sizing a religious infrastructure that had grown steadily between the end of the Civil War and the 1969 voyage that put Americans on the moon.”
By Jason Berry in GlobalPost.com. Click here to read is entire article.
Reformist Austrian Catholic Priest Will Undertake U.S. Speaking Tour — Calling for institutional change and an inclusive priesthood
Amid calls for institutional change and an inclusive priesthood for the Roman Catholic Church, Austrian reformist priest Fr. Helmut Schuller is touring the United States this summer to raise awareness of his campaign.
Fr. Schuller’s speaking tour, called The Catholic Tipping Point: Conversations with Helmut Schuller, will cover 15 U.S. cities. The worldwide Catholic Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful® is a member of a coalition of Church reform organizations sponsoring his tour and is directly sponsoring his talks in New York City on July 16; Dedham, Massachusetts, on July 17; and Manhasset, New York, on Long Island on Aug. 7.
VOTF supports Fr. Schuller’s calls for transparency in Church governance, a greater lay voice in running the Church and the ordination of married Catholic men as priests.
Fr. Schuller founded the Austrian Priests’ Initiative in 2006 to address a global priest shortage and his U.S. tour comes in the midst of a crisis in the number of Catholic priests. A 2009 National Federation of Priests’ Councils study found that for every 100 priests who retire, only 30 are available to replace them.
In 2011, he led a “Call to Disobedience” among Austrian priests that was well received by more than 70% of them. Pope Benedict XVI rejected this initiative, and Fr. Schüller, who once served Cardinal Christoph Schönborn as vicar general, was stripped of his honorary title of “Monsignor, Chaplain of His Holiness,” though he remains a priest in good standing.
For more information about Fr. Schuller, his initiatives and his U.S. tour, click here.
Voice of the Faithful Offers Prayers for Success of Association of U.S. Catholic Priests June 2013 Assembly
A worldwide movement of reform-minded, faithful Roman Catholics, Voice of the Faithful® offers its prayers for success for clergy attending the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests’ second annual assembly June 24-27 in Seattle.
Like VOTF members, trustees, officers and staff, the priests of the AUSCP are working toward, among other things, greater participation in the administration of the Church by the entire People of God. The Church hierarchy has too easily and for too long ignored the voice of lay members, men and women religious and priests—to the Church’s detriment. Our prayers are with these courageous men as they start their important work at this year’s assembly.
Voice of the Faithful® is prayerful as a matter of faith and mission, always attentive to the voice of the Spirit, always seeking God’s wisdom, courage and strength to nurture his Church. This influence of the Spirit is what we pray for AUSCP members in Seattle.
Last year, the Capuchins opened their files to an independent audit of sexual abuse allegations made against them. The audit showed that, over eight decades, the Capuchins had placed protecting themselves above protecting children. Here are three news reports of the audit findings and a link to the audit report:
- Report Illuminates Eight Decades of Capuchin Province’s Poor Handling of Sex Abuse by Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter
- Audit Finds Sexual Abuse Was Topic Decades Ago by Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times
- SNAP Member Abused by Capuchins Responds to Reports by FOX-6 Now News
- Report of the Audit and Review of the Files of the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph
In June 17th National Catholic Reporter, John L. Allen, Jr., writes:
Francis seems determined to function as a pastor, at least as much as a primate or politician, so the right model may not be the one used to assess chief executives. Rather, it’s how Catholics tend to think about a parish priest. Their basic question usually isn’t what his policy positions are, but whether he inspires. Perhaps the root lesson of Francis’ first 100 days is that when it comes to spiritual leadership, sometimes style really is substance.
Read Allen’s entire article, “Francis at 100 Days: ‘The world’s Parish Priest,'” by clicking here.
The Catholic Church is battling statute of limitation reform in New Jersey with paid lobbyists, and at least two editorials are wondering where the justice in this lies:
Catholic Church leaders are sparing no expense to try to stop legislation that would make it easier for victims of sexual abuse to seek damages in court – a move that sends a strange message at a time when many Catholics are calling for reform within the church bureaucracy and an honest accounting of past actions. Click here to read entire editorial, “Sexual-Abuse Lawsuits / Unseemly Battle,” in Press of Atlantic City.
What if, during his recent travels with a couple of Catholic youth groups, the Rev. Michael Fugee had a relapse and groped another child? There’s no evidence that happened, but it’s a legitimate concern. There’s a reason prosecutors made him promise never to work with children again. Years from now, what if a child says Fugee crossed a line? Click here to read entire editorial, “The Bishop’s Big Guns in Trenton,” in the New Jersey Star-Ledger.
In a sentence that stunned the packed courtroom, a Philadelphia judge today sentenced a Catholic priest to 6 to 12 years in prison, and a former parochial teacher 8 to 16 years, for the serial sexual assault of a 10-year-old altar boy in the late 1990s.” By Philadelphia Inquirer staff writer Joseph Slobodzian
Voice of the Faithful® has called repeatedly over many years for accountability for bishops who have covered up clergy sexual abuse. Why? Read Nicholas Cafardi’s article Accountability Gap, which appears in the June 11, 2013, issue of Commonweal magazine. Cafardi is a civil and canon lawyer, dean emeritus and professor of law at Duquesne University School of Law and one of the original members of the USCCB’s National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Youth.
When the spotlight of the national press was on them, it appeared that the bishops had acted responsibly. But, as an inaugural member of the bishops’ National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Youth, I had a different perspective. When the board went looking for national data about the phenomenon of sexual abuse by clergy, the California bishops, led by Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles (now retired), strongly resisted the audits. By Nicholas Cafardi, Commonweal