Posts Tagged Catholic News Service

Australian church completes first phase of historic plenary council / National Catholic Reporter

The landmark meeting … is already bringing to the surface debate about the role of the laity in the church and other reforms that are becoming more urgent in the wake of the ever-growing global sexual abuse scandal. (National Catholic Reporter)

The Australian Catholic Church has completed the first phase of its 2020 Plenary Council, in which laypeople will be allowed to vote and decisions could be binding on the nation’s Catholics, once ratified by the Vatican.

“The meeting’s organizers have received more than 20,000 submissions from more than 75,000 Catholics around the country in a 10-month ‘listening and dialogue’ process that finished March 13.

“The landmark meeting that will take place in two Australian cities during 2020 and 2021 is already bringing to the surface debate about the role of the laity in the church and other reforms that are becoming more urgent in the wake of the ever-growing global sexual abuse scandal.

“The Australian meeting will be only the third plenary council to held anywhere in the world since World War II; the Philippines held one in 1991 and Poland in 1993. There were three plenary councils in the United States before 1884, but none since.

“The Australian council was announced in 2017, during the five-year Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.”

By Michael Sainsbury, Catholic News Service in National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Cardinal Pell convicted of sexual abuse, will appeal verdict / Catholic News Service in National Catholic Reporter

Before the appeal, Pell is expected to be sentenced to serve jail time for the five count. (Catholic News Service in National Catholic Reporter)

An Australian court found Cardinal George Pell guilty on five charges related to the sexual abuse of two 13-year-old boys; sentencing is expected in early March, but the cardinal’s lawyer already has announced plans to appeal the conviction.

“While the appeal is in process, Pope Francis has confirmed the ‘precautionary measures’ prohibiting Pell from publicly exercising his ministry as a priest and from having contact with minors, Alessandro Gisotti, interim director of the Vatican press office, told reporters Feb. 26.

“The jury’s verdict that Pell, shortly after being named archbishop of Melbourne in 1996, sexually assaulted the two boys was handed down in December, but the court demanded the verdict and details about it not be reported until after a second trial on allegations that he abused several boys in the 1970s.

“The judge lifted the reporting ban Feb. 25 after prosecutors announced they would not proceed with the second trial against the 77-year-old cardinal.”

By Catholic News Service in National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Theology, history, canon law may figure in lay role in addressing crisis / Catholic News Service on CatholicPhilly.com

Reform is a constant in church history, he (Carlos Eire, a professor of history and religious studies at Yale University) added, because “corruption is a constant in human history.” (Catholic News Service on CatholicPhill.com)

 A panel of academics at a Feb. 6 conference on the clergy sex abuse crisis noted that the current crisis is not the first scandal to confront the church, and that the church has had trouble putting those scandals to rest.

“The clergy has had ‘the power to correct themselves,’ said Carlos Eire, a professor of history and religious studies at Yale University, ‘but throughout all of this time, that power has been used very unevenly and ineffectively.’ Reform is a constant in church history, he added, because ‘corruption is a constant in human history.’

“Eire was one of three panelists at the second in a series of programs called ‘Healing the Breach of Trust’ at The Catholic University of America in Washington. The Feb. 6 program was subtitled ‘The Role of the Laity in Responding to the Crisis: Theological and Historical Foundations.’ It was sponsored by the university’s Institute of Human Ecology.”

By Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service, on CatholicPhilly.com — Read more …

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Summit, lawyers discuss what’s needed to solve church’s abuse problem / Catholic News Service in The Pilot

There are “twin crises” of leadership and sexual abuse, said Kathleen McChesney, a former FBI agent and former head of what is now the Secretariat for the Protection of Child and Youth Protection at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. “Survivors have been telling us for 15 years that there are two crises.” (Catholic News Service in The Pilot)

Permanent solutions to the church’s sexual abuse crisis are going to require a greater level of lay participation and more legal muscle.

“These were conclusions discussed at two events in Washington: a lawyers’ panel at the Catholic Information Center, sponsored by the Thomas More Society Jan. 31, and a media conference Feb. 2 following the Leadership Roundtable’s Catholic Partnership Summit Feb. 1-2.

“The summit, which included three cardinals, university and college presidents and canon lawyers representing 43 dioceses, is expected to issue a document with recommendations in a couple of weeks.

“The key term at both discussions was ’emerging best practices’ for identifying abusers and bringing them to justice.

“Some of the participants in the summit spoke to the press in a teleconference afterward.

“There are ‘twin crises’ of leadership and sexual abuse, said Kathleen McChesney, a former FBI agent and former head of what is now the Secretariat for the Protection of Child and Youth Protection at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. ‘Survivors have been telling us for 15 years that there are two crises.'”

By Catholic News Service in The Pilot — Read more …

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‘Elitist, clericalist’ church allows abuse to thrive / Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

The root of the problem, he (Pope Francis) said, is elitism or clericalism. The two attitudes foster “every form of abuse. And sexual abuse is not the first. The first abuse is of power and conscience.” (National Catholic Reporter)

Sexual and physical abuse by priests and religious and the scandal of its cover-up by church authorities thrive in countries where the Catholic Church is “elitist and clericalist,” Pope Francis told Jesuits in Ireland in August.

“‘There is something I have understood with great clarity: this drama of abuse, especially when it is widespread and gives great scandal — think of Chile, here in Ireland or in the United States — has behind it a church that is elitist and clericalist, an inability to be near to the people of God,’ the pope told the Jesuits during a meeting Aug. 25 in Dublin …

“The root of the problem, he said, is elitism or clericalism. The two attitudes foster ‘every form of abuse. And sexual abuse is not the first. The first abuse is of power and conscience’ …

“In confronting abuse and the church culture that allows it to fester, Pope Francis told the Jesuits, ‘Courage! Be courageous!'”

By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Letter confirms Vatican officials knew of McCarrick allegations in 2000 / National Catholic Reporter

The 2006 letter not only confirms past remarks made by Ramsey, but also elements of a document written by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who served as nuncio to the United States from 2011 to 2016. (National Catholic Reporter)

A top official from the Vatican Secretariat of State acknowledged allegations made by a New York priest in 2000 concerning Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, according to a letter obtained by Catholic News Service.

“Fr. Boniface Ramsey, pastor of St. Joseph’s Church Yorkville in New York City, told CNS Sept. 7 that he received the letter dated Oct. 11, 2006, from then-Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, the former Vatican substitute for general affairs, asking for information regarding a priest of the Archdiocese of Newark who studied at Immaculate Conception Seminary and was being vetted for a post at a Vatican office. He made the letter available to CNS.

“Sandri wrote to Ramsey, ‘I ask with particular reference to the serious matters involving some of the students of the Immaculate Conception Seminary, which in November 2000 you were good enough to bring confidentially to the attention of the then Apostolic Nuncio in the United States, the late Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo.'”

By Robert Duncan, Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Prominent Catholics see larger role for laity in church’s abuse response / Catholic news Service

“It’s heartening that finally after all these years, and we hope it’s more than just verbiage, that the very things that the bishops attacked us for saying, they’re saying it now,” she (Donna Doucette, Voice of the Faithful Executive Director) added. (Catholic News Service)

An independent lay-run board that would hold bishops accountable for their actions, a national day for Mass or prayers of reparation, and encouragement to parishioners to become more involved in their diocese are among steps suggested by prominent lay Catholics to right the U.S. church as it deals with a new clergy sexual abuse scandal.

“Those contacted by Catholic News Service said that it was time for laypeople to boost their profile within the church and help begin to dismantle long-standing clericalism that has sought to preserve the reputation of offending clergy at the expense of the safety of children.

”Their credibility is gone and the trust of the faithful is gone,’ Francesco Cesareo, chairman of the National Review Board, said of the U.S. bishops as they worked to develop steps to promote greater accountability on abuse …

Cesareo was not alone in calling for a separate body to be established to handle accusations of abuse involving bishops. While details varied, the basic premise envisions that such a board would review abuse allegations or complaints of improper handling of an abuse claim by any bishop.

Just such a body has been sought since 2002, when the abuse scandal arose in the Archdiocese of Boston, by the church reform group Voice of the Faithful, said Donna Doucette, executive director.

By Dennis Sadowsky, Catholic News Service — Read more …

 

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