Archive for July, 2015
While Pope Francis is wowing vast crowds on a triumphant homecoming to Latin America this week (July 7), one of the pivotal moments of his papacy is set to begin back in Rome on Saturday with the opening of a criminal trial for former papal diplomat Józef Wesołowski on charges of sexual abuse of minors.
“Ultimately, it’s the threat of criminal sanctions from Vatican tribunals that underlies new accountability measures Francis has created to face the two most chronic sources of scandal he inherited when he was elected in March 2013 – sexual abuse and financial misconduct.
“The Wesołowski trial is the first major test of that criminal justice system under Francis. And it will have a great deal to say about whether this pontiff’s celebrated vow that there will be no ‘daddy’s boys’ on his watch, meaning clerics able to remain above the law, actually has teeth.”
By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The Catholic Church needn’t wait for a national redress scheme. It can act morally now. / The Guardian
By acting unilaterally to adequately compensate victims of sexual abuse, the Catholic church would send a powerful message …
“The Catholic church is but one of the institutions that failed to take adequate steps to prevent children from being molested and raped. The royal commission has exposed many others including the ultra-Orthodox Jewish institution, Yeshivah, the Anglican church and the Salvation Army. The case for distinguishing the Catholic church rests on at least three propositions.
“First, by virtue of its size, the scale of child sexual abuse within the Catholic church is extraordinary …
“(second) Decade after decade, the church shielded criminals within its ranks assiduously …
“Thirdly, the Catholic church ruthlessly protected its assets from victims seeking redress.”
By Josh Bornstein, Commentary in The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this story.
St. Cloud Diocese to undergo unprecedented abuse investigation
The St. Cloud Diocese faces the prospect of making unprecedented disclosures about priests accused of sexual misconduct, under a ruling filed Monday (June 29) in Stearns County court that builds on a series of legal victories for Minnesotans claiming clergy abuse.
“Judge Kris Davick-Halfen ruled that lawyers can proceed with a ‘public nuisance’ claim against the diocese by an alleged victim of priest sex abuse — a move that allows attorneys to investigate the diocese’s records and documents on all priests who have been accused of misconduct over decades.
“Four of Minnesota’s six dioceses now face similar court-ordered scrutiny. Judges have made similar rulings on the public nuisance claim in the dioceses of Winona and New Ulm as well as the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The motion is under advisement in a case against a priest from the Diocese of Duluth …
“’This is a novel strategy that is particularly valuable because it focuses on the need of the public to be warned about potential child predators, said (Marci) Hamilton a law professor at Yeshiva University in New York and a national expert on clergy abuse litigation).”
By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this story.