Archive for August 2nd, 2016
Monsignor William Lynn freed from jail
The city’s (Philadelphia) top prosecutor vowed on Tuesday (Aug. 2) to retry a former church official imprisoned for nearly three years over his handling of abuse complaints, even though the monsignor’s conviction has twice been overturned.
“Monsignor William Lynn was the first U.S. Roman Catholic Church official ever charged or convicted of helping to shield child molesters within its ranks.
“A judge on Tuesday agreed to release Lynn from prison days after the state Supreme Court threw out the conviction, concluding the 2012 trial judge allowed too many priest-abuse victims not directly tied to the case to testify. Prosecutors had called the witnesses to show a pattern of behavior at the Philadelphia Archdiocese.
“Lynn was charged with endangering a boy by transferring a suspected predator-priest to his parish in the late 1990s.”
By Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press — Click here to read the rest of this story. And this is from Brian Roewe at National Catholic Reporter, “Msgr. Lynn free on bail, Philadelphia DA pledges a retrial.”
Pope Francis establishes commission to study women’s diaconate; appoints Voice of the Faithful St. Catherine of Siena Award recipient as member
Pope Francis has established a commission to study ordaining women as deacons in the Catholic Church and has appointed a recipient of Voice of the Faithful’s St. Catherine of Siena Outstanding Layperson award as a member. Among the 13 members, six are women, and four of those are lay women.
Voice of the Faithful has long sought women’s equality in the Church and, as part of that initiative, a women’s diaconate. This came closer to reality today (Aug. 2), as the Vatican announced Pope Francis’ “Study Commission on the Women’s Diaconate,” particularly to look into the role of women deacons in the early Church.
Appointed to the commission is Phyllis Zagano, Ph.D., senior research associate-in-residence at Hofstra University in New York. She has written widely regarding a women’s diaconate, has spoken often to VOTF audiences and received VOTF’s St. Catherine of Siena Outstanding Layperson award at its 2012 10th Year Conference in Hartford, Connecticut.
When Pope Francis said in May that he would consider such a commission, VOTF reiterated its call for all baptized Catholics, women and men, to have equal access to all positions within the Church and a voice in all decision-making processes.
At that time, Zagano said, “I am delighted that in this time of Pentecost the Spirit has brought the question of women deacons to the Holy Father’s mind, and I hope and pray that I will be able to assist whatever commission he establishes.”
Today, Zagano’s prayer was answered, and VOTF looks forward to the commission’s study and, eventually, a diaconate for women in the Church.
Voice of the Faithful presents its views on women deacons on its website in a paper it commissioned from Carolyn Johnson, Ed.D. Click here to read “Women Deacons: How Long Will It Take the Catholic Church to Open This Door,” and click here to see a bibliography of suggested readings on women in the Church that VOTF compiled for its 10th Year Conference in 2012.
Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in the governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at www.votf.org.
Francis institutes commission to study female deacons, appointing gender-balanced membership / National Catholic Reporter
Pope Francis has created a commission to study the possibility of allowing women to serve as deacons in the Catholic church, following up on a promise made last May in what could be an historic move towards ending the global institution’s practice of an all-male clergy.
“The pontiff has appointed an equal number of male and female experts as members of the commission, which will be led by Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria, a Jesuit who serves as the second-in-command of the Vatican’s doctrinal congregation.
“The Vatican said in a release announcing the commission Tuesday (Aug. 2) that the pope had decided to create the group ‘after intense prayer and mature reflection’ and wanted it particularly to study the history of the female diaconate ‘in the earliest times of the church.’
“The formal name given to the group is ‘Study Commission on the Women’s Diaconate.’ The commission’s members include experts in patristic theology, ecclesiology, and spirituality.”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.