Archive for July, 2014

Bridgeport VOTF will take part in diocesan synod

Voice of the Faithful® in the Diocese of Bridgeport, Connecticut, in an extension of its contacts with Bishop Frank Caggiano, will send delegates to the diocesan synod to begin this fall and run through the diocese’s next fiscal year.

An article announcing the synod, which appeared in the July 15 Darien Times, said, “The process has already begun, with parishes and schools throughout Fairfield County that belong to the diocese choosing delegates to represent them during the spring … Caggiano said approximately 300 to 400 delegates have been chosen and there will also be a group of young people who will parallel the synod. Other groups represented will include immigrants, ethnic groups and Voice of the Faithful. Caggiano broke the Diocese of Bridgeport’s long-standing policy of rejecting Voice of the Faithful since its inception … Diocese communications director Brian Wallace told The Darien Times earlier this year that ‘one of the first things Bishop Caggiano did after arriving here was to reach out to the Voice of the Faithful, and in four months he has had several conversations with the VOTF leadership.'”

Click here to read the entire article in The Darien Times.

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“Betrayed by Silence”

The hour-long documentary Betrayed by Silence on Minnesota Public Radio presents the systemic coverup by three archbishops of the St. Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese, including the current one, over the sexual abuse of children in that diocese — all the while, the archbishops were professing publicly to the contrary. Whether one believes it represents lying, denial, or anything else, the piece demonstrates conclusively what has become the systemic pattern of Catholic hierarchy’s response to the pervasive evidence of sexual abuse of children by clergy. In no other part of our society would such blatant contradictions be tolerated without accountability of those responsible.

Click here to listen to this documentary.

Posted by William Casey, former Voice of the Faithful® Board of Trustees Chairman

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Calls for resignation mount for Minnesota archbishop in scandals / The New York Times

Just two years ago, the Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis was making headlines as a leader in the battle against same-sex marriage. But for the last year and a half, the archbishop, John C. Nienstedt, has been battling to hold onto his post in the face of a series of scandals, which further deepened on Tuesday (July 15) with the filing of an explosive affidavit by the former chancellor of the archdiocese.

“The troubles started in May 2013 when the accountant for the archdiocese pleaded guilty to stealing more than $670,000 in church funds, and intensified when the chancellor, Jennifer M. Haselberger, quit and went public that autumn with allegations that the archbishop and his inner circle had covered up the actions of pedophile priests in recent years and funneled special payments to them.

“This month brought new revelations, first reported by the Catholic journal Commonweal, that Archbishop Nienstedt had earlier this year commissioned an investigation of himself in response to allegations that he had a series of inappropriate sexual relationships with men, including seminarians and priests he supervised, as he moved up the church’s hierarchy in Detroit and Minnesota.”

By Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Former chancellor: Twin Cities ‘far, far from best practice’ on abuse / National Catholic Reporter

After weeks of depositions from top officials exposing how they handled abusive priests and allegations that arose in the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese, sworn written testimony from a former chancellor pulled back the curtain further to reveal a system ‘far, far from best practice.’

“In a 107-page affidavit made public Tuesday (July 15), Jennifer Haselberger — the canon lawyer whose leaking of documents and files promulgated the region’s current abuse scandal — disputed the accounts of her former coworkers and described in compelling detail the mistakes, oversights and omissions she witnessed during her tenure as chancellor of canonical affairs.

“At one point, Haselberger characterized the archdiocese as having a ‘cavalier attitude towards the safety of other children.’”

By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story

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On sex and money, Pope Francis sets his course / The Boston Globe

As anyone who paid attention in history class knows, when Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés landed in what’s now Mexico in 1519, he promptly scuttled his ships, thereby leaving his men no choice but to press on in conquest of the Aztec empire. For centuries, that rash act has loomed as an object lesson in total commitment.

“This week (week of July 7) Pope Francis scuttled some ships of his own, on two fronts which have been sources of scandal and heartache for the Catholic Church: sex and money.

“On Monday (July 7), Francis held his first meeting with victims of clerical sexual abuse. Two days later, the Vatican announced a sweeping financial overhaul, including new leadership and a sharply limited role for the troubled Vatican bank.”

By John L. Allen, Jr., The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Pope Francis says one in 50 in the Church are pedophiles, including some cardinals and bishops / The Tablet

Pope Francis has reportedly claimed that ‘pedophilia inside the Church is at the level of two per cent” and includes “priests and even bishops and cardinals.’

“In an interview with the Italian newspaper la Repubblica he said that the statistic was provided to him by advisers in the Vatican.

“Assuming the Pope was referring to those who have taken vows, that would mean that about one in every 50 Catholic clergy and Religious is a pedophile.”

By Hannah Roberts, The Tablet — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Church Needs to Show More than Legal Compliance on Sexual Abuse / UCANEWS.com

It’s been a big week for the clergy and their dealings with the police across the world. In legal matters in countries covering four continents – India, the Dominican Republic, Italy and Australia – clerics are being held to account by police and civil courts … But the rule of law will flounder and eventually deliver far less than it should if there is not something else. The necessary values underpinning institutions that manage the rule of law also have to work. Without transparency, accountability and a readiness to recognize that public trust is much more important for the Church than just about anything else, the reforms of legal procedures inside the Church and a willingness to see justice done according to the rule of law will fail.”

By Fr. Michael Kelly, UCANEWS.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Archbishop Nienstedt Under Investigation for Same-Sex Relationship

Archbishop Nienstedt Under Investigation

Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis is being investigated for ‘multiple allegations’ of inappropriate sexual conduct with seminarians, priests, and other men, according to the archbishop’s former top canon lawyer, Jennifer Haselberger. The investigation is being conducted by a law firm hired by the archdiocese. Nienstedt denies the allegations.” By grant Gallico, Commonweal — Click here to tread the rest of this story.

Minnesota Archbishop Nienstedt Under Scrutiny for Same-Sex Relationship

A Catholic archbishop in Minnesota who has been one of the hierarchy’s most vocal opponents of gay rights is himself the target of an investigation into allegations that he had a series of sexual relationships with priests, seminarians and other men, it was reported Tuesday (July 1). The investigation of Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt is being conducted by a prominent Minneapolis law firm hired by the archdiocese after church officials received numerous allegations against Nienstedt.” By David Gibson, Religion News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph to Pay for Failure to Report Abuse / The New York Times

According to The New York Times, an arbitrator’s ruling could set precedent in holding the Catholic Church accountable for promises to protect children, and the arbitrator also wrote that the diocese “was and is constitutionally incapable of placing the preservation and protection of the clergy culture in a subordinate position to any other consideration, including the timely reporting of a priest involved in the use of diocesan children as pornography models.”

A Roman Catholic diocese in Missouri has been ordered to pay $1.1 million to victims of sexual abuse for breaking its promises on improving the way it deals with abuse cases.

“An arbitrator ruled that the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is responsible for damages after concluding that, contrary to a prior agreement, it did not promptly report a priest who had taken hundreds of pornographic photographs of young girls, according to a filing in circuit court in Jackson County, Mo …

“Lawyers said the arbitrator’s ruling could provide a template for other victims of sexual abuse across the country who have reached settlements with the Catholic Church but feel church officials have not lived up to their assurances that they would improve procedures to stem abuse …

“Hollis Hanover, the arbitrator, wrote in the court filing that he believed the diocese ‘was and is constitutionally incapable of placing the preservation and protection of the clergy culture in a subordinate position to any other consideration, including the timely reporting of a priest involved in the use of diocesan children as pornography models.’”

By Julie Bosman, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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