Posts Tagged child sex abuse
Francis mandates clergy abuse reporting worldwide, empowers archbishops to do investigations / National Catholic Reporter
Under the scope of the new laws, such disclosure (of abuse or coverup) could be rather wide-ranging, even retroactively. Article six of the apostolic letter makes clear that anyone who is serving or has served as a bishop can be investigated for acts committed during the time of their ministry. (National Catholic Reporter)
Pope Francis issued sweeping new laws for the Catholic Church on the investigation of clergy sexual abuse May 9, mandating for the first time that all priests and members of religious orders worldwide are obligated to report any suspicions of abuse or its cover-up.
“The pontiff has also established a new global system for the evaluation of reports of abuse or cover-up by bishops, which foresees the empowering of archbishops to conduct investigations of prelates in their local regions with the help of Vatican authorities.
“The new norms, contained in a brief apostolic letter titled Vos estis lux mundi (‘You are the light of the world’), are exhaustive in scope, applying in some way to every ordained or vowed member of the 1.3 billion-person church. They also encourage lay people to make reports of abuse, and provide for involvement of lay experts in investigations.
“In his introduction to the document, which goes into effect June 1, Francis says he has created the new laws so the church will ‘continue to learn from the bitter lessons of the past, looking with hope towards the future.'”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
Cardinal admits to Vatican summit that Catholic Church destroyed abuse files / National Catholic Reporter
Marx’s admission to the church’s destruction of files may have special significance in his native Germany, where an exhaustive September 2018 report on abuse in the country detailed cases involving 3,677 children but said files in at least two dioceses had been changed or destroyed. (National Catholic Reporter)
A top cardinal has admitted that the global Catholic Church destroyed files to prevent documentation of decades of sexual abuse of children, telling the prelates attending Pope Francis’ clergy abuse summit Feb. 23 that such maladministration led ‘in no small measure’ to more children being harmed.
“In a frank speech to the 190 cardinals, bishops and heads of religious orders taking part in the four-day summit, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx said the church’s administration had left victims’ rights ‘trampled underfoot’ and ‘made it impossible’ for the worldwide institution to fulfill its mission.
“‘Files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible were destroyed, or not even created,’ said Marx, beginning a list of a number of practices that survivors have documented for years but church officials have long kept under secret.
“‘Instead of the perpetrators, the victims were regulated and silence imposed on them,’ the cardinal continued. ‘The stipulated procedures and processes for the prosecution of offences were deliberately not complied with, but instead cancelled or overridden.'”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
The officials ‘‘imposed on him the penalty of dismissal from the clerical state.’’ (Associated Press in The Boston Globe)
Pope Francis has defrocked former U.S. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after Vatican officials found him guilty of soliciting for sex while hearing Confession and sexual crimes against minors and adults, the Holy See said Saturday (Feb. 16).
“The punishment for the once-powerful prelate, who had served as the archbishop of Washington and had been an influential fundraiser for the church, was announced five days before Francis is set to lead an extraordinary gathering of bishops from around the world to help the church grapple with the crisis of sex abuse by clergy and systematic cover-ups by church hierarchy. The decades-long scandals have shaken the faith of many Catholics and threatened his papacy.
“Defrocking means McCarrick, 88, who now lives in a friary in Kansas after he lost his title of cardinal last year, won’t be allowed to celebrate Mass or other sacraments.
“The Vatican’s press office said that on Jan. 11, the Holy See’s doctrinal watchdog office, the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, had found McCarrick guilty of ‘solicitation in the Sacrament of Confession, and sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and adults, with the aggravating factor of the abuse of power.'”
By Frances D’Emilio and Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, in The Boston Globe — Read more …
Their continued presence on the C-9 had been a source of scandal for Francis, given the explosion of the abuse and cover-up crisis this year. (Associated Press)
Pope Francis has removed two cardinals from his informal cabinet after they were implicated in the Catholic Church’s sex abuse and cover-up scandal, shedding embarrassing advisers ahead of a high-stakes Vatican summit on abuse early next year.
“The Vatican said Wednesday (Dec. 12) that Francis in October had written to Chilean Cardinal Javier Errazuriz and Australian Cardinal George Pell thanking them for their five years of service on the so-called Group of Nine, or C-9.
“Francis also bid farewell to Congolese Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, who hasn’t been implicated in the scandal but at age 79 recently retired as archbishop of Kinshasa.
“Errazuriz, 85, has been accused by Chilean abuse survivors of having covered up for predator priests while he was archbishop of Santiago, a charge he has denied. Pell, 77, took leave from his job as the Vatican’s economy minister to stand trial in his native Australia on historic charges of sex abuse, which he denies.
“Their continued presence on the C-9 had been a source of scandal for Francis, given the explosion of the abuse and cover-up crisis this year.”
By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press — Read more …
The most senior Catholic cleric in the world to be charged with concealing the child-sex-abuse offences of another priest will face a two-week hearing starting today (Nov. 28 in Australia).
“In what is seen as a test case for the potential prosecution of others accused of not disclosing such crimes, the Archbishop of Adelaide, Philip Edward Wilson, faces up to two years in jail if convicted of ‘concealing a serious indictable offence.’
“It is alleged the 67-year-old had information he knew or believed about Hunter Valley priest James Fletcher that he failed to pass on to investigating police between April 22, 2004, when Fletcher was charged with child sex offences, and July 7, 2006, when Fletcher died in jail. Prosecutors say Archbishop Wilson, a former president of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, knew Fletcher had abused a 10-year-old boy in 1971 but failed to notify police. He has denied the allegation.
“Since he was charged in March 2015, Archbishop Wilson has made three attempts to have the charge against him dismissed or permanently stayed …”
By Sam Buckingham-Jones, The Australian — Read more …
“As the Vatican deals with criticism of its handling of the case of a papal diplomat recalled to Rome from Washington facing allegations of child pornography use both in the U.S. and Canada, it’s backing a major summit at Rome’s Jesuit-run Gregorian University this week designed to tackle the growing problem of child vulnerability in an internet age.” (National Catholic Reporter)
On the heels of its own child pornography scandal involving the computer of a papal diplomat, the Vatican is lining up behind a major summit this week at Rome’s Jesuit-run Gregorian University devoted to the broader theme of keeping children safe in an internet-saturated age.
“Titled ‘Child Dignity in the Digital World,’ the Oct. 3-6 conference brings together leading experts on child protection, law enforcement officials, executives of Internet and social media companies, NGOs, and others, to discuss how to promote child welfare online.
“The idea is for those various players to hammer out a plan of action, which will be presented to Pope Francis on Friday (Oct. 6) when conference participants meet him in an audience.”
By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com — Read more …
University report lifts the lid on child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church / National Catholic Reporter
“The research team’s conclusions in this highly readable 379-page document confirm the view of the psychologist Philip Zimbardo that if you find many bad apples in a barrel, there has to be something wrong with the barrel. The pattern of abuse and cover up was the same all over the world.” (National Catholic Reporter)
“The most comprehensive report ever published on the systemic reasons behind child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has recently been released.
“The August 2017 report, Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church: An Interpretive Review of the Literature and Public Inquiry Reports, examined 26 commissions of inquiry, scientific research and literature since 1985 to find common features in the culture, history and structures of the church and the psychological, social and theological factors that contributed to the tragedy.
“The report, five years in the making, comes from a research team at the Centre for Global Research at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University headed by Desmond Cahill and Peter Wilkinson.
“The research team’s conclusions in this highly readable 379-page document confirm the view of the psychologist Philip Zimbardo that if you find many bad apples in a barrel, there has to be something wrong with the barrel. The pattern of abuse and cover up was the same all over the world.”
By Kieran Tapsell, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …