Posts Tagged Associated Press
Report details ‘staggering’ church sex abuse in Maryland / Associated Press
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Catholic Bishops, church reform, Clergy, Clergy Sexual Abuse, Voice of the Faithful on April 10, 2023
‘The staggering pervasiveness of the abuse itself underscores the culpability of the Church hierarchy,’ the report said.By Lea Skene, Brian Witte, and Sarah Brumfield, Associated Press
“More than 150 Catholic priests and others associated with the Archdiocese of Baltimore sexually abused over 600 children and often escaped accountability, according to a long-awaited state report released Wednesday (Apr. 8) that revealed the scope of abuse spanning 80 years and accused church leaders of decades of coverups.
“The report paints a damning picture of the archdiocese, which is the oldest Roman Catholic diocese in the country and spans much of Maryland. Some parishes, schools and congregations had more than one abuser at the same time — including St. Mark Parish in Catonsville, which had 11 abusers living and working there between 1964 and 2004. One deacon admitted to molesting over 100 children. Another priest was allowed to feign hepatitis treatment and make other excuses to avoid facing abuse allegations.
“The Maryland Attorney General’s Office released the findings of their years-long investigation during Holy Week — considered the most sacred time of year in Christianity ahead of Easter Sunday — and said the number of victims is likely far higher. The report was redacted to protect confidential grand jury materials, meaning the identities of some accused clergy were removed.”
By Lea Skene, Brian Witte, and Sarah Brumfield, Associated Press — Read more …
Jesuit case underscores secrecy, leniency for abuse of women
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Clergy Sexual Abuse, Vatican, Voice of the Faithful on December 15, 2022
(Rev. Marko Ivan) Rupnik is unknown to most Catholics but is a giant within the Jesuit order and the Catholic hierarchy because he is one of the church’s most sought after artists … When the 2021 case (unspecified problems in the exercise of his ministry) became this month, fellow Jesuits called for the Vatican to shed more light on why Rupnik wasn’t sanctioned by the Holy See after he was accused.By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press
“Revelations that the Vatican let a famous priest off the hook twice for abusing his authority over adult women has exposed two main weaknesses in the Holy See’s abuse policies: sexual and spiritual misconduct against adult women is rarely if ever punished, and secrecy still reigns supreme, especially when powerful priests are involved.
“The Jesuit order, to which Pope Francis belongs, was forced to admit Wednesday (Dec. 14) that its initial statements about the Rev. Marko Ivan Rupnik, an internationally recognized religious artist, were less than complete. The order had said Rupnik was accused in 2021 of unspecified problems ‘in the way he exercised his ministry’ but that the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith determined the allegations were too old to prosecute.
“But under questioning by journalists, the Jesuit superior general, the Rev. Arturo Sosa, acknowledged the Congregation had prosecuted Rupnik for a separate, prior case from 2019 that ended with his conviction and temporary excommunication for one of the gravest crimes in the church’s in-house canon law: that he used the confessional to absolve a woman with whom he previously had sexual relations.”
By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press — Read more …
Report on sexual abuse in German diocese faults retired pope / Associated Press
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Clergy Sexual Abuse, Voice of the Faithful on January 20, 2022
‘In a total of four cases, we came to the conclusion that the then-archbishop, Cardinal Retzinger, can be accused of misconduct,’ said one of the reports’ authors, Martin Pusch.Associated Press
“A long-awaited report on sexual abuse in Germany’s Munich diocese on Thursday (Jan. 20) faulted retired Pope Benedict XVI’s handling of four cases when he was archbishop in the 1970s and 1980s. The law firm that drew up the report said Benedict strongly denies any wrongdoing.
“The findings, though, were sure to reignite criticism of Benedict’s record more than a decade after the first, and until Thursday only, known case involving him was made public.
“The archdiocese commissioned the report from law firm Westpfahl Spilker Wastl nearly two years ago, with a mandate to look into abuse between 1945 and 2019 and whether church officials handled allegations correctly. The law firm examined church files and spoke to witnesses.
“The archdiocese and the law firm said top church officials weren’t informed of the results ahead of its publication. The current archbishop — Cardinal Reinhard Marx, a prominent reformist ally of Pope Francis — was faulted in two cases. Marx scheduled a statement later Thursday.”
By Geir Moulson, Associated Press — Read more …
French report: 330,000 children victims of church sex abuse / Associated Press
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Clergy, Clergy Sexual Abuse, Voice of the Faithful on October 5, 2021
“Victims of abuse within France’s Catholic Church welcomed a historic turning point Tuesday (Oct. 5) after a new report estimated that 330,000 children in France were sexually abused over the past 70 years, providing the country’s first accounting of the worldwide phenomenon.
“The figure includes abuses committed by some 3,000 priests and an unknown number of other people involved in the church — wrongdoing that Catholic authorities covered up over decades in a ‘systemic manner,’ according to the president of the commission that issued the report, Jean-Marc Sauvé.
“The 2,500-page document was issued as the Catholic Church in France, like in other countries, seeks to face up to shameful secrets that were long covered up. Victims welcomed the report as long overdue and the head of the French bishops’ conference asked for forgiveness from them.”
By Sylvie Corbet, Associated Press — Read more …
Ex-Cardinal McCarrick, 91, due in court in sex assault case / AP on Cruxnow.com
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Catholic Bishops, Clergy Sexual Abuse, Pope Francis, Vatican, Voice of the Faithful on September 7, 2021
Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the once-powerful prelate who was expelled from the priesthood for sexual abuse, is due in court Friday to face accusations that he sexually assaulted a 16-year-old boy during a wedding reception in Massachusetts nearly 50 years ago.
McCarrick, 91, is scheduled to be arraigned and is expected to enter a plea in suburban Boston’s Dedham District Court more than a month after he was charged. McCarrick is the only U.S. Catholic cardinal, current or former, ever to be criminally charged with child sex crimes.
McCarrick’s attorney, Barry Coburn, said after the charges were filed in July that they “look forward to addressing the case in the courtroom.”
McCarrick, who now lives in Dittmer, Missouri, faces three counts of indecent assault and battery on a person over 14, according to court documents. He can still face charges because he wasn’t a Massachusetts resident and had left the state, stopping the clock on the statute of limitations.
By Associate Press on Cruxnow.com — Read more …
Vatican finances lead the news
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Catholic Church Finances, church reform, Pope Francis, Vatican, VOTF Focus News Roundup on July 27, 2021
As worldwide debate regarding the efficacy of Pope Francis’ financial reforms continues amid Vatican financial scandals, the Roman Catholic Church’s patrimony is leading the news. Here are just two recent stories:
Vatican trial opens into financial scandal rocking papacy
“A cardinal who allegedly induced an underling to lie to prosecutors. Brokers and lawyers who pulled a fast one over the Vatican No. 2 to get him to approve a disastrous real estate deal. A self-styled intelligence analyst who bought Prada and Louis Vuitton items with the Vatican money that she was supposed to send to rebels holding a Catholic nun hostage. Vatican prosecutors have alleged a jaw-dropping series of scandals in the biggest criminal trial in the Vatican’s modern history, which opens Tuesday (Jul. 27) in a modified courtroom in the Vatican Museums. The once-powerful cardinal and nine other people are accused of bleeding the Holy See of tens of millions of dollars in donations through bad investments, deals with shady money managers and apparent favors to friends and family. They face prison sentences, fines or both if convicted.” By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press
The Vatican revealed its real estate portfolio for the first time – and it includes over 5,000 properties
“On the eve of a trial for financial malfeasance connected to the Vatican’s purchase of a property in London, the office that handles most of the Vatican’s investment portfolio, including real estate, made public a summary of its annual budget for the first time. The Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, known by its Italian initials APSA, released its budget synthesis July 24, and its president, Bishop Nunzio Galantino, described it as ‘a step forward in the direction of transparency and sharing.’ APSA directly administers 4,051 properties in Italy and entrusts to outside companies the administration of some 1,200 properties in London, Paris, Geneva and Lausanne, Switzerland, the report said.” By Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service, in America: The Jesuit Review
Vatican indicts 10, including a cardinal, in London deal / Associated Press
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Catholic Church Finances, financial transparency, Pope Francis, Vatican, Voice of the Faithful on July 6, 2021
Five former Vatican officials, including Cardinal Angelo Becciu and two officials from the Secretariat of State, were indicted, as well as the Italian businessmen who handled the investment.Associated Press
“A Vatican judge on Saturday (Jul. 3) indicted 10 people, including a once-powerful cardinal, on charges including embezzlement, abuse of office, extortion and fraud in connection with the Secretariat of State’s 350 million-euro investment in a London real estate venture.
“The president of the Vatican’s criminal tribunal, Giuseppe Pignatone, set July 27 as the trial date, though lawyers for some defendants questioned how they could prepare for trial so soon given they hadn’t yet formally received the indictment.
“The 487-page indictment request was issued following a sprawling, two-year investigation into how the Secretariat of State managed its vast asset portfolio, much of which is funded by donations from the faithful. The scandal over its multimillion-dollar losses has resulted in a sharp reduction in donations and prompted Pope Francis to strip the office of its ability to manage the money.
“Five former Vatican officials, including Cardinal Angelo Becciu and two officials from the Secretariat of State, were indicted, as well as the Italian businessmen who handled the investment.”
By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press — Read more …
New Vatican law criminalizes abuse of adults, even by laity / National Catholic Reporter
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Clergy Sexual Abuse, Pope Francis, Vatican, Voice of the Faithful on June 1, 2021
‘It’s the first time church law has officially recognized as criminal the method used by sexual predators to build relationships with their victims to then sexually exploit them. The law also removes much of the discretion that had long allowed bishops and religious superiors to ignore or cover up abuse, making clear they can be held responsible for omissions and negligence in failing to properly investigate and sanction errant priests.”National Catholic Reporter
“Pope Francis has changed church law to explicitly criminalize the sexual abuse of adults by priests who abuse their authority, and to say that laypeople who hold church office can be sanctioned for similar sex crimes.
“The new provisions, released Tuesday (Jun. 1) after 14 years of study, were contained in the revised criminal law section of the Vatican’s Code of Canon Law, the in-house legal system that covers the 1.3 billion-strong Catholic Church.
“The most significant changes are contained in two articles, 1395 and 1398, which aim to address major shortcomings in the church’s handling of sexual abuse. The law recognizes that adults, too, can be victimized by priests who abuse their authority over them, and said that laypeople in church offices, such as school principals or parish economists, can be punished for abusing minors as well as adults.
“The Vatican also criminalized the “grooming” of minors or vulnerable adults by priests to compel them to engage in pornography. It’s the first time church law has officially recognized as criminal the method used by sexual predators to build relationships with their victims to then sexually exploit them.
“The law also removes much of the discretion that had long allowed bishops and religious superiors to ignore or cover up abuse, making clear they can be held responsible for omissions and negligence in failing to properly investigate and sanction errant priests.”
By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, in National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
Pope asks U.S. bishop to resign after cover-up investigation / Associated Press
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Catholic Bishops, Clergy Sexual Abuse, Pope Francis, Voice of the Faithful on April 13, 2021
Hoeppner was the first bishop known to be investigated by the Vatican under a 2019 law that Francis approved laying out the procedures to conduct preliminary investigations against bishops accused of sex abuse or cover-up.Associated Press
“Pope Francis asked a bishop in the U.S. state of Minnesota to resign after he was investigated by the Vatican for allegedly interfering with past investigations into clergy sexual abuse, officials said Tuesday.
“The Vatican said Francis accepted the resignation of Crookston Bishop Michael Hoeppner on Tuesday (Apr. 13) and named a temporary replacement to run the diocese. Hoeppner is 71, four years shy of the normal retirement age for bishops.
“The Roman Catholic Diocese of Crookston said in a statement that the pontiff asked Hoeppner to resign following the Vatican probe, which it said arose from reports that the bishop ‘had at times failed to observe applicable norms when presented with allegations of sexual abuse involving clergy.’
“The Vatican had tasked St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop Bernard Hebda with conducting a preliminary investigation. Last year, Hebda’s office announced that the Holy See had authorized a more in-depth probe.”
By Associated Press — Read more …
Nun appointed to high-level Vatican post by Pope Francis says the ‘patriarchal mindset is changing’ / Associated Press in America: The Jesuit Review
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Pope Francis, Vatican, Voice of the Faithful, Women in Catholic Church, Women in the Church on February 12, 2021
“A French nun who has become the first woman to hold a voting position at the Vatican said Wednesday (Feb. 10) that her appointment is evidence the ‘patriarchal mindset is changing.'”Associated Press in America: The Jesuit Review
“A French nun who has become the first woman to hold a voting position at the Vatican said Wednesday that her appointment is evidence the “patriarchal mindset is changing” as more and more women assume high-level decision-making responsibilities in the Catholic hierarchy.
“Sister Nathalie Becquart said during a news conference that her appointment as an undersecretary in the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops office was a “brave signal and prophetic decision” by Pope Francis, who has repeatedly stressed the need for women to have a greater say in church governance.
“‘What I hope is that this will be seen also in the field, in the dioceses, in the parishes,” she said. “I hope this act will encourage other bishops, priests, religious authorities, and that all this will include women more and more.'”
By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, in America: The Jesuit Review — Read more …