Posts Tagged Anne Barrett Doyle
Our assessment so far of Vos Estis, based on the cases we’ve tracked in Poland, the United States, and elsewhere: Too few bishops have been found guilty, they’ve been punished too lightly, and next to no information about their misdeeds has been disclosed.By Anne Barrett Doyle, National Catholic Reporter
“Three years ago, as the Catholic Church faced an unprecedented reckoning with clergy sexual abuse, Pope Francis introduced a church law that promised to hold bishops and religious superiors accountable for abuse that they commit or cover up.
“Entitled Vos Estis Lux Mundi (‘You Are the Light of the World’), the law was touted by papal spokesmen as a turning point in the fight to end child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.
“It’s ‘revolutionary,’ said Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich.
“‘The silence, omertà and cover-ups can now become a thing of the past,’ said Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the pope’s trusted abuse investigator.
Vos Estis, a motu proprio that was signed on May 9, 2019, was originally enacted for a three-year trial period that ends this June 1. As we wait to see if Francis will now make the law permanent, it is a good time to assess what will likely be this pope’s most significant response to the Catholic abuse crisis.
So far, the Vatican has released no information about the number or names of bishops investigated under Vos Estis. BishopAccountability.org has been able to identify 28 cases where it has been used to process allegations of cover-up or abuse by bishops. We hope it is being used more widely than this — there are 5,600 living Catholic bishops! — but we can’t be sure.
By Anne Barrett Doyle, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
“… there is the matter of history and some fundamentals to the long and ugly narrative that cannot be ignored …”
New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan may have the purest of motives in designing the new compensation program for victims of clergy sex abuse. He must realize, however, that he is working against a history of activity, including his own, of members of the U.S. hierarchy that hardly inspires trust …
“The devil, in this instance, is in both the details and the larger context. Two details raise concerns for (Anne Barrett) Doyle (BishopAccountability.org):
- Victims are required to sign a legal agreement that appears to bind them to privacy and confidentiality.
- As part of the agreement, victims receiving an award agree, in releasing the archdiocese from future liability, not to sue the church in the future.
“That second point is important because of the context. The archdiocese is engaged in an ongoing and persistent effort to keep New York state from passing the Child Victims Act, which would extend the statute of limitations allowing victims a longer time to sue following abuse … Dolan’s timely initiative could also be a legal strategy aimed at eliminating those who might make future claims against the church under a new law.
“If that appears terribly cynical, there is the matter of history and some fundamentals to the long and ugly narrative that cannot be ignored …”
By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.
N.Y. cardinal’s new compensation program for victims will keep sex abuse hidden / National Catholic Reporter
“While the fund certainly will help some victims, its biggest beneficiary will be Dolan and his management team. This is a legal strategy in pastoral garb, a tactic by the powerful archbishop to control victims and protect the church’s assets and its secrets.”
Cardinal Timothy Dolan is trying something new. After years of successfully opposing legislation that would give New York abuse victims more time to sue, he has launched a victims’ compensation program — a first for the New York archdiocese …
“The surprise move is winning the cardinal praise. The often critical New York Daily News commended him, citing his ‘remarkable moral courage.’
“As a researcher of the Catholic abuse crisis, I see his plan differently. While the fund certainly will help some victims, its biggest beneficiary will be Dolan and his management team. This is a legal strategy in pastoral garb, a tactic by the powerful archbishop to control victims and protect the church’s assets and its secrets.
“On its face, the plan is reasonable. A victim submits a claim form with documentation about rape or molestation by a priest or deacon. If deemed credible, the victim receives an award, which the archdiocese promises to disburse quickly — within 60 days …
“But there’s a catch — two catches, actually. Victims must sign a legal agreement to abide by ‘all requirements pertaining to privacy and confidentiality,’ and they must release the archdiocese from future liability — i.e., never sue it. (See section III, paragraph G of the IRCP’s Protocol webpage.)”
By Anne Barrett-Doyle, co-director, BishopAccountability.org, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article.
When he visits the United States this week, Pope Francis is likely to repeat his acclaimed vow of ‘zero tolerance’ for clergy who sexually abuse minors.
“For most Americans, this will have a reassuring ring. We assume we know what the pope means — that the global Catholic Church now adheres to the same ‘one strike and you’re out’ policy that, at least in theory, has bound all US bishops since 2002.
“That rule says that clergy guilty of ‘even a single act’ of sexual abuse will be ‘removed permanently’ from ministry.
“But this isn’t what the pope is saying. The troubling fact is that zero tolerance still is not compulsory in the global Catholic Church. It exists in the United States only because of the public outrage that engulfed American bishops in 2002, following revelations that they had kept child molesters in ministry. They obtained special permission from the Vatican to adopt a tougher measure.”
By Anne Barrett Doyle, Commentary in The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story.