Posts Tagged catholic diocese

Church sex abuse boards often undermine victims, help clergy / Associated Press

The AP checked all the roughly 180 dioceses in the U.S. for information, reviewed thousands of pages of church and court records and interviewed more than 75 abuse survivors, board members and others to uncover a tainted process where the church hierarchy holds the reins of power at every stage. (Associated Press)

Facing thousands of cases of clergy sex abuse, U.S. Catholic leaders addressed their greatest crisis in the modern era with a promised reform: Mandatory review boards.

“These independent panels with lay people in each diocese would review allegations fairly and kindly. And they would help bishops ensure that no abusive priests stayed in ministry.

“But almost two decades later, an Associated Press investigation of review boards across the country shows they have broadly failed to uphold these commitments. Instead, review boards appointed by bishops and operating in secrecy have routinely undermined sex abuse claims from victims, shielded accused priests and helped the church avoid payouts.

“The AP also found dozens of cases in which review boards rejected complaints from survivors, only to have them later validated by secular authorities. In a few instances, board members were themselves clergy accused of sexual misconduct. And many abuse survivors told the AP they faced hostility and humiliation from boards.”

By Reese Dunklin, Mitch Weiss and Matt Sedensky, Associated Press — Read more …

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U.S. dioceses consult Catholics on family issues for fall synod / National Catholic Reporter

Catholics who want to give input to their local bishops ahead of October’s global Synod of Bishops on the family have ample opportunity — but they better hurry.

“A preliminary sampling of 21 dioceses around the U.S. found all were seeking input from individual Catholics through online surveys or parish consultations, and information on how to provide that input was easily available through the local diocesan newspaper, the diocesan website, or both.

“But most dioceses in this preliminary sampling are closing the consultation in early March, and at least a few are closing the consultations as early as Friday. Many dioceses issued the invitation to participate in surveys in January. Juneau, Alaska, seems to be earliest, issuing an invitation Jan. 14.

“In 2013, Pope Francis initiated a two-year churchwide consultation on the family that included an extraordinary Synod of Bishops, which met at the Vatican in October 2014, and an ordinary Synod of Bishops, which will meet Oct. 4-25 at the Vatican and focus on the theme, ‘The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World.’”

By Dennis Coday, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Kansas City is still waiting for the bishop and the Catholic diocese to do the right thing / The Kansas City Star

The only reassuring news to come out of an arbitrator’s recent finding against the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph is that its Victim Advocacy Program, created in 2008 in response to the priest abuse scandal, is operating well.

“But every other conclusion of the arbitrator — upheld last week by Jackson County Circuit Judge Bryan Round — brought shame to the diocese and provided more than enough reasons for Bishop Robert W. Finn, already convicted of a misdemeanor, to resign.

“In ordering the diocese to pay $1.1 million for violating its agreement with sex abuse victims, arbitrator Hollis Hanover was blunt: ‘Where they (the victims) expected protection, they received desertion; where the assertion of authority on their behalf was required, they received betrayal.’

“He also said he hopes ‘that I am dead wrong in my opinion that this Diocese as presently constituted will not mend its ways.’

“Everyone hopes that. But there’s little reason for optimism.”

Editorial in The Kansas City Star – Click here to read the rest of this editorial.

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Vatican Looks into German ‘Luxury Bishop’ Charges / Reuters

The Vatican launched a rare review of a German Catholic diocese on Monday (Sept. 9) following accusations its bishop spent lavishly on a new residence, putting him out of step with the new ‘church of the poor’ promoted by Pope Francis.” By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor, Reuters

Read Heneghan’s entire article by clicking here.

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