Archive for category Clergy Sexual Abuse

Summit, lawyers discuss what’s needed to solve church’s abuse problem / Catholic News Service in The Pilot

There are “twin crises” of leadership and sexual abuse, said Kathleen McChesney, a former FBI agent and former head of what is now the Secretariat for the Protection of Child and Youth Protection at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Survivors have been telling us for 15 years that there are two crises.” (Catholic News Service in The Pilot)

Permanent solutions to the church’s sexual abuse crisis are going to require a greater level of lay participation and more legal muscle.

“These were conclusions discussed at two events in Washington: a lawyers’ panel at the Catholic Information Center, sponsored by the Thomas More Society Jan. 31, and a media conference Feb. 2 following the Leadership Roundtable’s Catholic Partnership Summit Feb. 1-2.

“The summit, which included three cardinals, university and college presidents and canon lawyers representing 43 dioceses, is expected to issue a document with recommendations in a couple of weeks.

“The key term at both discussions was ’emerging best practices’ for identifying abusers and bringing them to justice.

“Some of the participants in the summit spoke to the press in a teleconference afterward.

“There are ‘twin crises’ of leadership and sexual abuse, said Kathleen McChesney, a former FBI agent and former head of what is now the Secretariat for the Protection of Child and Youth Protection at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. ‘Survivors have been telling us for 15 years that there are two crises.'”

By Catholic News Service in The Pilot — Read more …

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The law that could hold Catholic bishops accountable / The Rivard Report

We don’t know the details of the many ways in which church authorities covered up the scandals, often leading pedophiles to be transferred to other parishes where they were free to victimize more children. (The Rivard Report)

The list of credible sexual abuse cases listed by the Archdiocese of San Antonio last week (Feb. 1) was long and depressing. It was also incomplete.

“It included the names of 54 priests and one deacon whose alleged crimes ranged from six decades ago to recent. The details were sterile. They did not include accounts of the actual abuses, but the bare bones of where the men served and how they were dealt with: sent to Mexico for treatment, suspended from priestly duties, or in a very few cases, referred to law enforcement and prosecuted.

“Missing was any account of how bishops and other church authorities actively covered up sex crimes involving minors, often leaving the perpetrator to victimize more children.

“Yet these church authorities are as responsible for the devastation of lives that now confronts the church as the perpetrators themselves. And they should be held just as accountable.

“We don’t know the details of the many ways in which church authorities covered up the scandals, often leading pedophiles to be transferred to other parishes where they were free to victimize more children. But here is one example of such efforts, and of a law passed by a young San Antonio legislator in an attempt to pierce the secrecy.”

By Rick Casey, The Rivard Report — Read more …

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Prominent survivor submits recommendations for Vatican abuse summit / Cruxnow.com

In explaining her recommendations, (Marie) Collins said she wanted the officials to “move forward efficient and effective means by which minors can be better protected in the Catholic Church globally without further delay.” (Cruxonw.com)

A prominent survivor of clerical sexual abuse has called on the Church to clearly define abuse in canon law and implement a zero-tolerance policy at the Feb. 21-24 Vatican summit on the issue.

“Irishwoman Marie Collins was appointed by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in 2014, but resigned in 2017, citing Vatican resistance to reform.

“On Jan. 29 she made a submission to the organizers of the February meeting, which will bring together the heads of the world’s bishops’ conferences. She published it on her website Jan. 31.

In her submission, she made seven recommendations for the bishops to consider ,,,”

By Charles Collins, Cruxnow.com — Read more …

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New York Senate votes to give victims of child sex abuse more years to sue, ending years-long battle / NBC News

Alleged sex abuse victims would be able to sue the Roman Catholic Church and other groups for damages. (NBC News)

The long and bitter battle for legislation that would allow New York sex abuse victims to sue the Roman Catholic Church and other organizations for monetary damages ended with victory Monday (Jan. 28) when the state Senate passed the Child Victims Act.

“The vote was 63 to nothing, a spokeswoman for one of the bill’s sponsors, state Sen. Brad Hoylman, said.

“The new law does away with the statutes of limitations that have prevented some alleged abuse victims from going to court to seek damages. And it includes a one-year ‘look-back window’ that will allow others who weren’t able to sue in the past to file fresh claims.

“‘Passage of the Child Victims Act is an exhilarating and empowering moment for those of us who have been waging this battle in Albany for a dozen years,’ Stephen Jimenez, a sex abuse survivor and advocate for other victims, said after the vote.”

By Corky Siemaszko, NBC News — Read more …

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Curb the crisis: 10 essential lessons for investigating church leaders / National Catholic Reporter

Based on my many years of supervising and teaching how to do complex investigations, and having closely followed the investigation of (former St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop John) Nienstedt and conduct related to it, I have identified 10 of the most important lessons to be learned from the initial success and then ultimate failures surrounding that investigation. (National Catholic Reporter)

“The Catholic Church is in serious and deepening crisis, primarily as a result of grave sins and failed leadership involving clergy sexual misconduct. This tragedy is most recently exemplified by the alleged abusive, long-standing behavior of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. In order for the church in the United States to determine and learn from how it failed to address McCarrick’s decades of alleged misconduct, new guidelines and procedures must be established and implemented for investigating him and any high-ranking church leader.

“For the last five years, the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese has grappled with this challenge, having had to investigate its former Archbishop John Nienstedt for alleged personal sexual misconduct and failed leadership involving abuse by other clergy.

“Many painful lessons were learned from that investigation, which was prematurely terminated and never resumed. Egregious clergy abuse by an archdiocesan priest and the failed leadership that permitted that abuse to occur ultimately led to criminal charges being filed against the archdiocese and Nienstedt’s abrupt resignation. Those lessons should be examined and heeded by every American cardinal, archbishop and bishop to avoid their repetition elsewhere …

“Based on my many years of supervising and teaching how to do complex investigations, and having closely followed the investigation of Nienstedt and conduct related to it, I have identified 10 of the most important lessons to be learned from the initial success and then ultimate failures surrounding that investigation.”

By Hank Shea, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Despite denials, D.C. Cardinal Donald Wuerl knew of sexual misconduct allegations against Theodore McCarrick and reported them to Vatican / The Washington Post

McCarrick’s case is reportedly about to be decided in one of the highest-profile clergy sex abuse trial processes to come before Rome. (The Washington Post)

Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl knew of sexual misconduct allegations against ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick and reported them to the Vatican in 2004, church officials confirmed Thursday evening, despite portraying himself since last summer as unaware of any complaints surrounding McCarrick.

“Robert Ciolek, a former priest who reached a settlement with the church in 2005 after accusing clerics including McCarrick, told The Post he recently learned that the Pittsburgh Diocese has a file that shows that Wuerl was aware of his allegations against McCarrick. The file includes documentation that Wuerl, who was bishop of Pittsburgh at the time, shared the information with then-Vatican ambassador Gabriel Montalvo.

“The content of the document, which Ciolek told The Post he saw in December, clashes sharply with Wuerl’s public statements about McCarrick since the older cleric was suspended in June due to a complaint that he groped an altar boy decades ago.

“The explosive allegations against McCarrick, which include two other accusations of abusing minors as well as those of harassment of seminarians, tipped off a full-blown crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States. All along, Wuerl has largely rejected charges that he played a role in it.”

By Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post — Read more …

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French sexual abuse trial casts new cloud on Catholic Church / Voice of America News

This is not the French Church’s first sexual abuse scandal, but it is the highest profile one to date. (Voice of America News)

Lyon’s archbishop, Cardinal Philippe Barbarin and five other figures are on trial on charges of failing to act against sexual abuse allegations targeting a priest in his diocese. This is the latest pedophilia scandal rocking the Roman Catholic Church before a key Vatican conference on sexual abuse.

“The sexual abuse allegations date back to the 1980s and 1990s. They involve Father Bernard Preynat, a priest in France’s Lyon diocese, who has admitted to wrongdoing and is due to go on trial later this year.

“But one of country’s most prominent clerics, Lyon’s archbishop Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, is accused of covering up the abuse. If found guilty, he faces up to three years in jail and a $54,000 fine.

“Barbarin denies the charges. He says he took action as soon as he found out about the sexual abuse allegations — many years later.”

By Lisa Bryant, Voice of America News — Read more …

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