Archive for January, 2016

Archbishop Nienstedt, Bishop Robert Finn have new homes outside former dioceses / National Catholic Reporter

Two U.S. bishops who prematurely resigned their posts amid clergy sexual abuse scandals each have found new landing spots outside their previous dioceses.

“A southern Michigan parish announced over the weekend that Archbishop John Nienstedt, formerly head of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese, will help out temporarily in the coming months, while Bishop Robert Finn, former head of the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo. diocese, began last month as chaplain for a Nebraska community of women religious.

“Within the span of two months last spring, Finn, 62, and Nienstedt, 68, stepped down — years before the traditional age of 75 when bishops must submit their resignations to Rome — as shepherds of their respective dioceses, both of which teemed with anger and anguish for their church’s handling of child sexual abuse allegations.”

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

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In new scandals, Catholicism feels the birth pains of reform / Cruxnow.com

Recently news broke in Germany about widespread sexual and physical abuse at a well-known Catholic boys’ choir, news that ricocheted around the world because when the abuse occurred, the choir was being directed by Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, the brother of emeritus Pope Benedict XVI … Around the same time, the Vatican was reeling from the latest twists in the ‘Vatileaks 2.0’ saga, centering on leaks of secret papal documents revealing various kinds of financial corruption or dubious expenditures … Both stories are embarrassing for the Vatican and for the Church, and both raise troubling questions … Lost in the shuffle, however, is another point that both the German abuse story and Vatileaks 2.0 have in common: Neither would have come to light had the Church itself not made the decision to get to the bottom of things.”

By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Part 1: In new interview, Francis pushes for a church big on mercy, tough on law / National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis has offered his most detailed outline yet for the role of the Catholic church in the modern era, saying in a new book-length interview (published in three parts) the church needs to follow Jesus’ example more closely and seek to ‘enter the darkness’ in which many of today’s people live.

“The pontiff has also responded sharply to church leaders who have criticized his focus on the boundless nature of God’s mercy and who suggest that the focus obscures church teachings.

“Francis compares such criticisms to ‘angry mutterings’ that Jesus also heard ‘from those who are only ever used to having things fit into their preconceived notions and ritual purity instead of letting themselves be surprised by reality, by a greater love or a higher standard.’

“In the new book, titled ‘The Name of God is Mercy and to be released Tuesday (Nov. 12), the pope states: ‘Jesus goes and heals and integrates the marginalized, the ones who are outside the city, the ones outside the encampment. In so doing, he shows us the way.'”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story. Also by Joshua J. McElwee, “Part 2: The Pope’s personal encounters with mercy” and “Part 3: Francis explains ‘who am I to judge?'”

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Pope Benedict’s brother says he was unaware of abuse / The New York Times

The Rev. Georg Ratzinger, the elder brother of former Pope Benedict XVI, said in an interview published Sunday (Jan. 10) that he had no knowledge that young boys in an internationally known German church choir he directed for 30 years had suffered sexual abuse.

“‘I did not hear anything at all about sexual abuse,’ Father Ratzinger, 91, told a Bavarian regional newspaper, Passauer Neue Presse. ‘I was not aware that any sexual abuse was taking place at that time.’

“Reports of physical and sexual abuse in the choir, the Regensburger Domspatzen in Bavaria, first emerged in 2010 as part of a nationwide wave of revelations linking officials of the Roman Catholic Church in Germany to the mistreatment of children.”

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

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Lawsuits claim Portland diocese concealed priests’ sex abuse / Associated Press

Six men have sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, claiming Church leaders concealed allegations that a priest sexually abused children for decades.

“The suits, filed in November by men from Maine, New Hampshire, and New York, were made public this week and accuse the diocese of covering up abuse by the Rev. James Vallely. The men say Vallely sexually abused them from 1958 to 1977 when they were ages 8 to 15.

“Their lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, said Tuesday that the suits claim the Church ‘fraudulently concealed’ Vallely’s abuse. Vallely died in 1997 in Florida.”

By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Catholic Church’s ‘ticking time bombs’ set to detonate / Adelaide Independent News

The Catholic Church knew it had pedophile ‘time bombs’ in its midst.

‘It not only let them keep ticking away but also covered up the pedophiles’ evil deeds to protect its reputation.

‘The extent of the cover-up is still being dissected by the child abuse royal commission but victims advocacy group Broken Rites spokesman Dr Wayne Chamley expects its report will be absolutely scathing of the Catholic Church.

”The commission is unpicking a conspiracy,’ Dr Chamley said.

“‘These bishops collectively have been running this conspiracy certainly since 1992.'”

By Megan Neil, Adelaide Independent News — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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The countdown is on for Pope Francis’ big decision on the family / Cruxnow.com

Pope Francis celebrated a Mass for the Holy Family on Sunday (Dec. 27), designed as a reminder of the spiritual and pastoral importance of the family in the context of his Holy Year of Mercy. Plans called for similar Masses to be held around the world in basilicas where there’s a holy door for the jubilee year …

“In terms of Church politics, however, Sunday’s Mass was also a reminder that we’re on a countdown to perhaps the biggest decision of Francis’ papacy, on a question that arises directly from his two recent Synods of Bishops on the family.”

By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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