Posts Tagged Boston Archdiocese
The Vatican has defrocked a priest after a church investigation found he was guilty of abuse of a minor, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston said Thursday (Mar. 31).
“Thomas H. Maguire, who was ordained nearly 40 years ago, had in the past bemoaned the personal and spiritual effect the church sexual abuse scandal had taken on his colleagues and the archdiocese.
“Maguire had been removed from public ministry since 2012, when he faced an allegation of inappropriate sexual conduct in the presence of minors.
“At that time, Maguire was pastor at St. Helen Mother of the Emperor Constantine in Norwell, and church officials said the alleged behavior had happened near the time he was removed from ministry.
“Law enforcement reviewed the case, and could not substantiate the accusations against Maguire, the archdiocese said. But church officials said other accusers came forward with reports of ‘inappropriate sexual conduct which had occurred in the mid-1990s and before.'”
By Andy Rosen, The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The Archdiocese of Boston has agreed to settlements involving cash and counseling with seven people who say they were sexually abused by priests, including one case that stretches back to the 1930s, according to the attorney for the alleged victims.
“Two other settlements with religious orders have been reached in cases involving priests who allegedly abused victims while they worked in the archdiocese, according to the attorney, Mitchell Garabedian.
“Another, separate settlement with the Carmelite Order involved a brother who had been accused of abuse in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles before being assigned to a chapel at the Northshore Mall in Peabody.”
By Brian MacQuarrie, The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story
“But lame apologies for criminal actions, euphemistically described as mistakes, and impotent prayer services will not get the job done.”
“Spotlight” was awarded an Oscar for the best motion picture of 2016 and it more than deserves such recognition. It brings a whole new level of attention to this outstanding film and the problems it addresses especially the abuse of authority in the Roman Catholic Church.
“It is a wake-up call for people in the United States and in countries around the world to recognize the egregious damage done to children and deal with the epidemic, the pandemic really, that childhood sexual abuse is …
“Revelations following the Boston Archdiocese’s implosion were catastrophic.
“The abuse of power by men in a rigidly structured patriarchal society, the narcissism and the sociopathic behavior of sexual offenders cry out for accountability, transparency, and ultimately, for justice. But lame apologies for criminal actions, euphemistically described as mistakes, and impotent prayer services will not get the job done.”
By Sister Maureen Paul Turlish, Delaware County Pennsylvania Daily Times — Click here to read the rest of this column.
With ‘Spotlight’ movie an award contender, Catholic reform movement assesses scandal / National Catholic Reporter (‘Spotlight’ received Best Picture Oscar a few days after the post was made)
The critically acclaimed movie ‘Spotlight’ could receive a Best Picture Oscar this Sunday. The film about how The Boston Globe investigated and brought to light clergy sexual abuse of children and its cover up in the Boston archdiocese has brought renewed awareness to the scandal worldwide.
“But many Catholics have had a heightened sense of the crisis all along. Some of those Catholics — determined to remain faithful while addressing the scandal — formed Voice of the Faithful only a couple of months after the Globe’s sensational January 2002 story appeared.
“VOTF continues its work nearly a decade and half later because the scandal remains — ‘a mass psychological dysfunction hidden in plain sight, which has stretched back decades or even centuries and will, unchecked, do precisely the same in the future,’ according to Peter Bradshaw’s “Spotlight” review in The Guardian.
“Amid the passionate indignation the scandal created, VOTF grew rapidly to comprise an international membership. Key to members is to remain faithful Catholics and to help redress and prevent scandal by changing the way the Church operates …”
By Donna B. Doucette, Executive Director, Voice of the Faithful, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.
Voice of the Faithful applauds Boston Archdiocese’s program for helping secure parish donations against theft
Catholic Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful applauds the Archdiocese of Boston’s parish “Offertory Collection Controls Initiative,” which helps make sure Sunday donations make it to the bank. The pilot project was initiated in Brockton, Mass., in July. “It’s been a long time coming – more than 25 years by my counting,” said VOTF member Michael Ryan.
Ryan has been advocating at least that long for more secure practices for parish collections. He is a retired federal law enforcement official with experience in conducting financial audits and security. He also wrote Nonfeasance: the Remarkable Failure of the Catholic Church to Protect Its Primary Source of Income, which was published in 2011.
The Church’s Canon Law requires that administrators ‘exercise vigilance so that the goods entrusted to their care are in no way lost or damaged.’ (Canon 1284 §2)
“Despite Canon Law, easy opportunities for theft exist throughout the Church’s parishes and dioceses,” Ryan says. “Considering there are more than 17,000 parishes and nearly 200 dioceses in the U.S., you can see the potential enormity of the problem. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops could end that nearly Conference-wide vulnerability by simple decree (under provisions of Canon 455), but for reasons best known only to them, they have steadfastly refused to do so.”
Statistics back up Ryan’s concern. A 2007 Villanova University study estimated that 85% of responding dioceses discovered losses and thefts within the previous five years. Eleven percent of these reported losses of more than $500,000. A 2014 University of Cincinnati study found that 64 percent of small businesses, which parishes resemble in size and number of employees, say they experience employee theft, but only 16 percent of them report it. And National Catholic Reporter said in a 2012 story that, “according to the most modest estimates, at least $89 million donated each year by the people never gets to the intended Catholic cause or recipient due to theft.”
Ryan has long contended that parish practices as simple and low-cost as using tally sheets, multiple counters and secure collection bags could significantly cut down on the possibility of theft from parish collections. These are exactly the practices the Archdiocese of Boston is now promulgating with its “Offertory Collection Controls Initiative.”
The initiative is explained in its “Offertory Collection Controls: Responsible Stewardship” video (https://player.vimeo.com/video/133384564?badge=0), in which Cardinal Sean O’Malley, archbishop of Boston, said, “We want to make sure that the whole process is safe and transparent so that all the people’s donations will be properly cared for and banked.” The archdiocese plans to implement its initiative at all parishes during the 2016 fiscal year.
VOTF already counts the Boston archdiocese as among the most financially transparent dioceses in the country. Ryan, an active member of VOTF’s Financial Accountability & Transparency Working Group, said he is hopeful Pope Francis’ renewed emphasis on financial accountability and transparency will be fully accepted and embraced by the USCCB and its members.
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.
A prosecutor’s motion to keep in prison an ex-priest convicted of child sexual abuse highlights how civil rather than Church authority continues to try to hold perpetrators accountable.
Prosecutors move to have ex-priest declared ‘sexually dangerous’
A former Catholic priest who was at the center of the sexual abuse crisis in the Boston Archdiocese could remain in custody even though he has completed his prison sentence, as Essex prosecutors push for him to be declared a dangerous sexual predator.
“Ronald H. Paquin pleaded guilty in 2002 and received a 12-to-15-year sentence for repeatedly raping a Haverhill altar boy between 1989 and 1992. He completed the sentence for three counts of rape of a child in late May, officials said, but remains in confinement until his status is resolved.
“Facing the possibility that Paquin would be released, Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office is moving to have the 72-year-old Paquin declared a ‘sexually dangerous person.’ Blodgett filed a petition to keep Paquin locked up in the spring, before his sentence actually ended, the district attorney’s office said.”
By John R. Ellement, The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Two priests from the United States, one with ties to Chicago and the other a veteran of the Boston archdiocese, have been named to key Vatican roles by Pope Francis in his clean-up effort with regard to the Church’s child sexual abuse scandals.
“At the same time, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston has also been confirmed as president of a new anti-abuse commission created by the pontiff in December 2013.
“Prior to this point the Vatican officially had described O’Malley only as a member of the commission, though behind the scenes he played the key role in its activities, including organizing a July 7 meeting for Francis with victims of abuse.”
By John L. Allen, Jr., The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley, among cardinals who will elect Benedict XVI’s successor, appears to be following a better path as a diocesan leader, according to the Boston Area Council of Voice of the Faithful®. “We value the contributions he’s made in Rome so far,” said VOTFBAC chair Anne Southwood of Marshfield.
“As diocesan leader in Boston,” she said, “he has faced Catholics directly about clergy sexual abuse, about transparency in diocesan financing and about other issues that concern us deeply and has given us financial transparency.”
“Equally important,” she added, “Cardinal O’Malley has said in media interviews from Rome that policies for dealing with accused abusers should include procedures for dealing with bishops who protect abusive priests.”
O’Malley also is among American cardinals in Rome who have been forthcoming about their General Congregation meetings before the conclave. “With daily press conferences,” Southwood said, “they appeared to heed our calls for transparency and were intent on communicating with us. Although the press conferences were stopped, ostensibly to avoid another ‘Vatileaks’ scandal, we should applaud their efforts. We hope the other cardinals recognize the value of this kind of connection with Catholics at a crucial time.”
As a follow-up to Southwood’s remarks, VOTF trustee Ed Wilson offered some perspectives on hopes for the next pope. “The next pope,” he said, “must be attuned to what is valid in societal changes of the past 50 years and must listen to the voices of honest people like those who responded to the recent Pew Forum opinion sampling and The New York Time-CBS poll of U.S. Catholics. We would not expect the Vatican to accept all of the conclusions from such polls, but, as the people of God, we do expect our leaders to listen and try to understand what is valid and what can be improved. They cannot simply dismiss every new idea as ‘relativism’ or ‘secularism.’ God lives in the 21st century, too, not just the 16th century. As Americans, we ask our church leaders to observe and respect the opinions of all the faithful.”