Posts Tagged Cardinal Sean O’Malley

Top cardinal demands Vatican get tough with bishops on sex abuse / Reuters

(Cardinal Sean) O’Malley said he was “deeply troubled” by the case of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and that it and others “raise up the fact that when charges are brought regarding a bishop or a cardinal, a major gap still exists in the Church’s policies on sexual conduct and sexual abuse.” (Reuters)

A leading Roman Catholic cardinal and key adviser to Pope Francis called on Tuesday for the Vatican to ‘swiftly and decisively’ adopt strict policies for cases of sexual abuse involving bishops and top clergy.

“Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston issued the appeal with the Church in the United States still reeling from allegations that another cardinal was involved in abuse of minors and sexual improprieties with adult seminarians years ago.

“O’Malley said he was ‘deeply troubled’ by the case of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and that it and others ‘raise up the fact that when charges are brought regarding a bishop or a cardinal, a major gap still exists in the Church’s policies on sexual conduct and sexual abuse.’

“His forceful statement also comes as the Vatican has been hit by a major scandal that has engulfed the Church in Chile.

“Last month, the Vatican ordered McCarrick, 88, the retired archbishop of Washington, D.C., to cease public ministry after finding that allegations he sexually abused a teenager almost 50 years ago were credible.”

By Philip Pullella, Reuters — Read more …

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Pope revives sexual abuse commission / The New York Times

The first, three-year mandate of the commission (Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors) ended in December, and its lapsing coincided with growing criticism of the pope’s commitment to addressing sexual abuse in the church. The group plans to begin its work in April by hearing the testimony of abuse victims. (The New York Times)

After his spirited defense of a Chilean bishop accused of covering up sexual abuse prompted the greatest crisis of his pontificate, Pope Francis reactivated an abuse commission on Saturday (Feb. 17) that had lapsed into dormancy.

“It was the latest in a series of measures by the Vatican to counter criticism that fighting abuse was not a priority for Francis’ papacy.

“Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston was reappointed as the leader of the group, called the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. A Vatican statement said the panel would include some victims of clerical sexual abuse.

“‘The Holy Father has ensured continuity in the work of our commission, which is to assist local churches throughout the world in their efforts to safeguard all children, young people, and vulnerable adults from harm,’ Cardinal O’Malley said in a statement.

“The Vatican statement said the abuse victims on the commission preferred to keep their histories private.”

By Jason Horowitz, The New York Times — Read more …

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Head of Vatican child protection commission pledges pope’s continuing commitment to rooting out clergy sex abuse / National Catholic Reporter

“Let there be no doubts: no other topic is more important for the life of the church,’ Cardinal Sean O’Malley said.”

“In the midst of a month in which the effectiveness of Pope Francis’ measures to fight clergy sexual abuse has come into question, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley pledged Thursday (Mar. 23) that the pontiff is still ‘thoroughly committed to rooting out the scourge of sex abuse.’

“O’Malley, the head of Francis’ Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, told participants of an education seminar hosted by the group that ‘there is simply no justification in our day for failures to enact concrete safeguarding standards for our children.’

“‘Let there be no doubts: no other topic is more important for the life of the church,’ said the cardinal. ‘If the church is not committed to child protection, our efforts at evangelization will be to no effect; we will lose the trust of our people and gain the opprobrium of the world.’”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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In sign of resolve, Pope taps O’Malley for Vatican office handling abuse cases / Cruxnow.com

In a move likely to be read as an attempt by Pope Francis to show resolve in the fight against clerical sexual abuse, the pontiff has named Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, widely seen as the leading reformer in the Catholic hierarchy, as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the powerful Vatican department that handles abuse cases.

“The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, traditionally known as the “Holy Office,” is headed by German Cardinal Gerhard Muller. Its main responsibility is defending Catholic teaching, but since 2001, it’s also played lead in prosecuting cases under Church law for priests charged with sexual abuse.

“Last June, Pope Francis also announced that the congregation would house a new legal section designed to impose accountability not only on abuser priests, but also on bishops and other Catholic superiors who covered up that abuse.

“Since then, however, the launch of the new tribunal has been delayed amid legal and administrative wrangling, and O’Malley’s appointment may well reflect a desire by Francis to kick-start the process.”

By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Vatican launches website after child sex abuse scandals / CNN

“The website includes a template for local churches around the world to use in establishing their own norms for protecting minors from clerical sex abuse.”

The Vatican has launched a new website detailing its efforts to protect children from sexual abuse by clergy.

“It’s the first time the Vatican is publishing the documents and resources in one place, including an email and phone number to contact its commission for the protection of minors.

“The commission was established in 2013 and is headed by Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

“‘It is very important to the Commission that we are as transparent as possible,’ project coordinator Emer McCarthy told CNN Tuesday (Dec. 6). ‘Our members want people to know that they are doing their level best to carry out the commission of the Holy Father.'”

By Delia Gallagher, CNN — Click here to read the rest of this story. Also, “Vatican commission launches child protection website” from Catholic News Service.

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Voice of the Faithful asks again, what does zero tolerance of clergy sexual abuse really mean?

Considering convicted priest’s reinstatement and Pope Francis’ pronouncements, what does zero tolerance of clergy sexual abuse really mean?

On the heels of complaints that the Curia is blocking child protection policy reforms already approved by Pope Francis comes word that a priest convicted of child sexual abuse has been reinstated in India and that new bishops have been told they are not required to report child sex abuse to civil authorities. Neither situation conforms to the declarations Pope Francis has made that there must be zero tolerance for child sex abuse.

VOTF is left to wonder, as many Catholics do, whether Pope Francis is simply declaring a zero tolerance policy while allowing the Vatican Curia to block any meaningful child protection reforms.

In the India case, despite the so-called zero tolerance policy, The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith reportedly told Bishop Arulappan Amalraj of the Ootacamund Diocese in India that he could return Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul to ministry, which he did. Jeyapaul pleaded guilty and was convicted in 2012 of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in the Diocese of Crookston, Minnesota. Allegations involving a second teen were dropped in a plea deal.

In the bishops’ case, the Vatican allowed a priest to tell new bishops that reporting child sex abuse was not required, that it was a choice they had. The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, created and supported by Pope Francis, fired back this week with a press release stating that reporting abuse not only is a requirement, it’s also a bishop’s moral and ethical responsibility to do so. The statement went out over the signature of Cardinal Sean O’Malley, chair of the Pontifical Commission. The Commission had prepared a module for teaching bishops how to handle reported abuse—yet none of the commissioners, the proper leaders on the issue, was asked to deliver that message.

VOTF thus asks again, is Pope Francis promulgating recommendations of his own Pontifical Commission “for show” or is he, and the Church, serious enough about zero tolerance to actually enforce it? Seeing bishops who have covered up abuse brought before the new tribunal for bishops would be a step in the right direction. It would at least demonstrate that people who reinstate convicted abusers or tell new bishops to ignore zero tolerance will be held accountable.

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.

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Papal commission: Bishops must report sex abuse charges / Cruxnow.com

A commission created by Pope Francis to advise him in the fight against child sexual abuse has reiterated that Catholic bishops have ‘a moral and ethical responsibility’ to report suspected abuse to civil authorities.

“The statement comes amid controversy over a Vatican training course for new Catholic bishops around the world held in September 2015, in which French Monsignor Tony Anatrella, a psychologist known for his views on homosexuality and ‘gender theory,’ told bishops they had no obligation to report abuse charges to law enforcement.

“Anatrella argued that the decision to report should be up to victims and their families, and that while bishops have the right to inform police and other public authorities, they are not required to do so under Church law.

“However, in a strongly worded statement Monday (Feb. 15), the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, a body created by Pope Francis in 2014 and led by Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston, insisted that Catholic officials should make such reports.”

By Crux Staff on Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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