Posts Tagged Grant Gallicho

In Chile decision, Pope Francis risks reputation as reformer / dotCommonweal

Episcopal installation Masses don’t usually involve teeming protesters, shouting matches, and popping balloons. But Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid’s did. Last Saturday (Mar. 28), Barros was installed as bishop of Osorno, Chile, following allegations that he covered up for a sexually abusive priest who had been his mentor. ‘Barros, get out of the city!’ chanted the demonstrators, waving black balloons. The bishop’s supporters tried to drown them out, brandishing white balloons. Some demonstrators attempted to climb the cathedral altar. The service was cut short, and Barros was escorted by police through a side door. Chile’s cardinals, along with most of its bishops, were not in attendance. Familiar with recent history, they knew it was going to be an ugly scene …

“Some had hoped that pressure brought by members of the pope’s new sexual-abuse commission—several of whom recently expressed grave reservations about the appointment—might persuade Francis to act, or Barros to resign. After all, just last month the pope said that “everything possible must be done to rid the church of the scourge of the sexual abuse of minors and to open pathways of reconciliation and healing for those who were abused.” He even seemed to chide bishops who had used the excuse of not giving scandal to avoid addressing the issue. But yesterday the Holy See released a terse, curiously worded statement responding to the growing controversy: “Prior to the recent appointment of His Excellency Msgr. Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid as bishop of Osorno, Chile, the Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment.” If this is Rome’s last word on Barros, then Francis should know that his decision has imperiled not only the Diocese of Osorno, but also his own reputation as a reformer.”

By Grant Gallicho, dotCommonweal — Click here to read the rest of this story. Click here to see Voice of the Faithful’s statement on the Bishop Barros situation.

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The curious case of Carlos Urrutigoity / Commonweal

This Commonweal series from Grant Gallicho is packed with all the elements of scandal portrayed as Greek tragedy in the person of Carlos Urrutigoity. Unfortunately, this tragedy isn’t fiction.

The curious case of Carlos Urruitigoity (Part 4)

Urrutigoity planned to build a liberal-arts college and a village for traditionalist-minded Catholics. His profligate spending, along with a string of sexual-misconduct allegations stretching from Argentina to Pennsylvania, ensured none of that would ever come to fruition.” By Grant Gallicho, Commonweal (Story contains links to Parts 1, 2 and 3.)

We posted this about Urrutigoity in early June, After U.S. sex abuse scandals, an accused priest arises again in Paraguay. From that post, “He has spent two decades flitting from diocese to diocese, always one step ahead of church and legal authorities, before landing in this lawless, remote corner of South America. Here, in the pirate-laden jungle near the Iguacu falls, he has risen to a position of power.”

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Nienstedt Deposed / Commonweal

On April 2, Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis was deposed by attorney Jeff Anderson as part of a lawsuit filed by a man who claims he was molested by a priest in the 1970s. The plaintiff alleges that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, along with the Diocese of Winona, created a public nuisance by failing to disclose information about clerics accused of sexual abuse. At a press conference this afternoon (Apr. 22), Anderson released as lightly redacted transcript of the deposition. The archdiocese posted the transcript and full video to its website, noting that Anderson did not ask any questions about the abuse allegations that occasioned the deposition.” By Grant Gallicho, Commonweal — Click here to read the rest of this story and listen to Nienstedt’s deposition.

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Cardinal George Revises History / Commonweal

On Tuesday (Jan.21), the Archdiocese of Chicago released six thousand pages of documents related to the cases of thirty priests credibly accused of sexual abuse. The files, made public as part of a settlement with victims’ attorneys, offer a predictably depressing view of archdiocesan failures over the past several decades …

“For releasing these documents and for making public the names of known abuser-priests, Cardinal Francis George–archbishop of Chicago since 1997–takes some credit. ‘Publishing for all to read the actual records of these crimes,’ he wrote in a letter warning Chicagoans about the document dump, ‘raises transparency to a new level.’ Perhaps. But he didn’t volunteer these files. They wouldn’t have come out if it hadn’t been for victims who pressed for their release as part of a legal settlement. Still, it’s difficult to take seriously Cardinal George’s brief for transparency when he seems so intent on obfuscating his own role in the scandal.

“That letter was repurposed as George’s latest column in the Catholic New World. It’s titled “Accountability and Transparency” — because, the cardinal says, the archdiocese is “committed” to both. “For more than twenty years,” he writes, “the archdiocese has reported all allegations of sexual abuse to civil authorities and to DCFS [Department of Child and Family Services].” He makes it sound like every allegation the archdiocese has received has been promptly reported to civil authorities. That’s not what happened.”

By Grant Gallicho, Commonweal — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Mahony Unbound / dotCommonweal

Retired archbishop of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony has been presiding at Confirmations, apparently flouting present Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez’s censure in January. On Feb. 1, Voice of the Faithful® issued a National Statement saying VOTF saw “some slight, long overdue justice” in Gomez restricting Mahony’s public appearances for “abetting clergy sexual abuse.” Amid the flurry of media reports surrounding Mahony’s actions, dotCommonweal has posted the following from Grant Gallicho, which is a good overview of the situation with many links to other reports:

Remember how in January, after nearly a decade of legal filibustering, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles finally made public the priest-personnel files it agreed to release as part of a 2007 settlement with abuse victims, except the files were heavily redacted, and remember how those files contained damning memos detailing the lengths to which archdiocesan officials — including Cardinal Roger Mahony — went to shield abuser-priests from civil authorities, and how soon after those memos made news, Archbishop Jose Gomez garnered praise for announcing that Mahony would “no longer have any administrative or public duties,” and how several media outlets reported that Mahony had been “barred from public ministry,”except he really hadn’t, and then he took to his blog to dress down Gomez for “not once over these past years…[raising] any questions about our policies, practices, or procedures in dealing with the problem of clergy sexual misconduct involving minors,” yet, as Mahony’s then-spokesman explained, he had “cleared his calendar of confirmation appointments this year”? Well, he’s doing them again.

Read the rest of Gallicho’s account by clicking this title, “Mahony Unbound,” which appeared on dotCommonweal this past Friday, May 10.

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