Posts Tagged canon lawyer
The Vatican has failed to support survivors of sexual abuse in the church for decades, with prominent Catholics demanding action at a royal commission.
“A whistleblower priest who was one of the first to report allegations of sexual abuse to the Vatican in the 1980s told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he was punished for speaking out.
“Father Thomas Doyle, an American canon lawyer, told the second day of the inquiry into Catholic Church authorities, secrecy, cover-ups and betrayal of victims were hallmarks of the institution’s response to abuse.
“‘One of the massive holes in the Roman Catholic Church’s approach to this issue today is a failure to completely comprehend the spiritual damage that is done to victims, to their families . . . and the community itself,’ he said.”
By Rachel Browne, Sydney Morning Herald — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Retired priest’s letter calls upon Pope Francis to investigate Kansas City bishop / National Catholic Reporter
A judge’s recent affirmation that the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese pay $1.1 million for breaching abuse settlement terms has led a retired Milwaukee priest to again request that the pope initiate a penal process investigating Bishop Robert Finn for violations of church law.
“In a letter dated Aug. 21, Fr. James Connell, a canon lawyer, wrote to Pope Francis to inform him of recent developments that ‘solidify the need for a penal process in this matter.’”
By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
When Pope Francis met earlier this month with victims of rape and sexual abuse by priests, he vowed to hold bishops accountable for covering up the scandal instead of confronting it.
“A good place to start is with the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese, where calls are mounting for the resignation of Archbishop John Nienstedt, a warrior against same-sex marriage who, it turns out, is facing accusations that he indulged in improper sexual conduct in the past with priests, seminarians and other men.
“The archbishop has denied the accusations as ‘entirely false,’ saying they date back over 10 years and do not involve minors or criminal conduct. But he felt obliged to hire a law firm to investigate them.
“Meanwhile, his handling of the pedophilia scandal is under fire from all sides. This week (week of July 14), an affidavit from Jennifer Haselberger, the former canon law chancellor for the archdiocese, accused the archbishop and his ranking prelates of systematically ignoring warnings about abusers in a five-year period, while failing to inform civil authorities of possible criminal acts.”
Editorial by The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.
It is time for Archbishop John Nienstedt to go.
Reading the affidavit of Jennifer Haselberger, the former chancellor of the Archdiocese of St. Paul, is grim. Caveat: A lawyer friend told me that a good defense attorney could drive several trucks through the document and that may be true. But, even if a quarter of what is asserted in that document is true, it is obvious that the Archdiocese of St. Paul has failed to live up to the bishops’ own requirements regarding the protection of children. Instances of suspected child abuse were not reported to the civil authorities. Clergy were not removed from active ministry as required by the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children. Almost every page of Haselberger’s affidavit illustrates a clerical culture that, when confronted with evidence of proven or potential sexual abuse of a minor, instinctively reacted with the thought, ‘poor Father.”’
By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.
Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis is being investigated for ‘multiple allegations’ of inappropriate sexual conduct with seminarians, priests, and other men, according to the archbishop’s former top canon lawyer, Jennifer Haselberger. The investigation is being conducted by a law firm hired by the archdiocese. Nienstedt denies the allegations.” By grant Gallico, Commonweal — Click here to tread the rest of this story.
A Catholic archbishop in Minnesota who has been one of the hierarchy’s most vocal opponents of gay rights is himself the target of an investigation into allegations that he had a series of sexual relationships with priests, seminarians and other men, it was reported Tuesday (July 1). The investigation of Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt is being conducted by a prominent Minneapolis law firm hired by the archdiocese after church officials received numerous allegations against Nienstedt.” By David Gibson, Religion News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul Archdiocese is struggling with accusations by its former canon lawyer, Jennifer Haselberger, who has a long and accomplished history with the church. She was five years into her “dream job” as a canon lawyer for the Catholic archdiocese when she alerted law enforcement officials last spring to what she believed was child pornography on a priest’s discarded computer.” By Dan Browning, Star Tribune
Read the rest of Browning’s story about this whistle blower by clicking here.
A leading Swiss abbot is calling for a change in how bishops are selected, saying that the nomination process should include greater local input, and he wants bishops and theologians to join him in pressing for the change. ‘We are faced with serious systemic problems in our church. For me, as a canon lawyer, solving these systemic problems has absolute priority, as our other problems can only be solved if the structures are consistent and the procedures transparent,’ Benedictine Abbot Peter von Sury of Mariastein said in an interview with the Swiss Catholic press agency Kipa/Apic last month.” By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, Austrian correspondent for London-based weekly Catholic magazine The Tablet, in National Catholic Reporter
The present Vatican process for selecting bishops also recently was challenged by priests and laity in Nigeria where they rejected the pope’s recent bishop appointment. Among reports of this protest was the Jan. 13, 2013, article, Ahiara Catholic Faithful Protest, in the Nigerian newspaper Daily Independent.
Voice of the Faithful® has long been an advocate of greater local lay input in bishop selection. VOTF promulgated the Primer: Organizing Lay Input in Bishop Selection during its 10th Year Conference this past September in Boston, Massachusetts, and maintains a Lay Input In the Bishop Selection Process page on its website.
If you’re wondering how far the Catholic Church still has to go to address the clergy sexual abuse scandal properly, and how important it is for all of us to continue to work toward healing and renewal, read this short blog on the Canon Law bishops should be following, and read the blog comments, as well. Canon lawyer Rev. James Connell of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will be the closing speaker at Voice of the Faithful’s 10th Year Conference this September in Boston.