Posts Tagged Reuters
“In Portugal, more than 200 Catholics sent a letter to the Bishops’ Conference earlier this month urging them to launch an investigation similar to Frances’s, arguing that child sexual abuse was a ‘systemic’ problem ‘directly related to the exercise of power’ within the church.”Reuters
“Portugal’s Roman Catholic Church said on Thursday (Nov. 11) it would create an independent commission to investigate historical child sexual abuse allegedly committed by members of the clergy following pressure from prominent congregants to lift a veil of silence around the issue.
“Portugal’s Bishops’ Conference said in a statement that it decided to create the commission to improve the way cases are handled and to ‘carry out a study to clarify the history of this serious issue.’
“The announcement comes after a major report by an independent commission in France revealed last month that around 3,000 priests and religious officials sexually abused more than 200,000 children over the past 70 years. read more
“It was the latest blow for the Roman Catholic Church, which has been rocked by sexual abuse scandals around the world, often involving children, over the past 20 years.
“In Portugal, more than 200 Catholics sent a letter to the Bishops’ Conference earlier this month urging them to launch an investigation similar to France’s, arguing that child sexual abuse was a ‘systemic’ problem ‘directly related to the exercise of power’ within the church.”
By Catarina Demony and Sergio Goncalves — Read more …
(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 …
Vatican arrests monsignor on suspicion of possessing child pornography / Reuters in The New York Times
If indicted, the monsignor will have to stand trial in the Vatican and face up to 12 years in prison on conviction. (Reuters in The New York Times)
A monsignor who had been recalled to the Vatican as a diplomat in the Holy See’s Washington Embassy was arrested on Saturday (Apr. 7) on suspicion of possessing child pornography in the United States and Canada.
“Msgr. Carlo Alberto Capella was arrested by the Vatican police on a warrant issued by the Holy See’s chief magistrate, the Vatican said in a statement.
“Monsignor Capella, who was recalled from the Vatican Embassy in August, was arrested according to articles of a 2013 law signed by Pope Francis. The articles cited by the statement related to child pornography.
“If indicted, the monsignor will have to stand trial in the Vatican and face up to 12 years in prison on conviction.
“The arrest was the latest blow to the Roman Catholic Church as it struggles to overcome repeated cases of sexual abuse among its clergy. The case was also the worst involving a diplomat since that of former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who in 2013 faced charges of paying boys for sexual acts and downloading and buying pedophile material while he was the Vatican’s ambassador in the Dominican Republic.”
By Reuters in The New York Times — Read more …
(Vatican spokesman Greg) Burke said that among the options discussed was to decentralize procedures by setting up regional tribunals that would hear cases under the auspices and guidance of the CDF. (Reuters)
The topic was a main point of discussion in three days of meetings between the pope and a group of nine cardinals from the around the world who gather four times a year at the Vatican to discuss reform, Church finances and other issues.
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said they had discussed “various options” to shorten procedures in cases of abuse.
They are currently handled by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Vatican’s doctrinal department.
Burke said that among the options discussed was to decentralize procedures by setting up regional tribunals that would hear cases under the auspices and guidance of the CDF.
The CDF hears canonical cases, applying Church laws that could lead to the defrocking of accused priests if found guilty. The Church procedures are distinct from criminal procedures in civilian courts in places where the crime is committed.
By Philip Pullella, Reuters — Read more …
Pope reminds bishops of zero tolerance for clergy abuse in 2017 letter, but cover-ups continued in 2016
Pope tells bishops to have zero tolerance for sexual abuse
“Pope Francis has told bishops around the world they must adhere to a policy of zero tolerance for clergy who sexually abuse children and begged forgiveness for ‘a sin that shames us.’ In a letter sent on Dec. 28 but released by the Vatican only on Monday (Jan. 2), Francis said: ‘I would like us to renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst.’ Since his election in 2013, Francis has taken some steps to root out sexual abuse in the Church and to put in place practices to protect children. But victims’ groups say he has not done enough, particularly to hold to account bishops who tolerated sexual abuse or covered it up.” By Philip Pullella, Reuters, Jan. 2, 2017
Top 10 of 2016 – No. 1: Report alleged diocese covered up sex abuse
“The Tribune-Democrat is counting down the top stories of 2016, as determined by the newsroom staff who covered them. One story appeared each day in print and e-editions through the end of the year. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona–Johnstown allegedly covered up the sexual abuse of children for decades. Victims were violated by at least 50 priests and other religious leaders, while the church, led by former Bishops James Hogan and Joseph Adamec, reportedly took steps to protect the accused from facing justice, according to a grand jury report released by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General in March. The report, culled from ‘secret archives’ and interviews, rocked the diocese and local Catholic community.” By Dave Sutor, Tribune-Democrat, Dec. 31, 2016
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released its 2015 annual audit report on the implementation of its Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People this past Friday, May 20, 2016. The report was not entirely complimentary of the Church’s efforts:
By Scott Malone, Reuters
“Annual audit of reports of sexual abuse by members of the U.S. Roman Catholic clergy released on Friday (May 20) showed sharp increases in the number of new claims and in the value of settlements to victims.”
By Matt Rocheleau, The Boston Globe
“The Catholic church paid $153 million in the United States last year to settle lawsuits, and fielded hundreds of new accusations, as fallout continued form the clergy sex abuse scandal exposed in the early 2000s, a new report from church leaders says.”
By Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service
“The annual report on the implementation of the U.S. bishops’ ‘Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People’ warns against complacency in dioceses, and the firm contracted to conduct audits of dioceses and parishes said there was ‘plenty of room for improvement’ in implementing two of the charter’s articles.”
By Dennis Coday, National Catholic Reporter
“The U.S. bishops’ conference released this morning (May 20) its 13th Annual Report on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The report, which covers the period July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015, is really two reports in one …”
Compiled by BishopAccountability.org
“As of May 20, 2016, information published by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) indicates that the conference has counted 6,528 clerics ‘not implausibly’ and ‘credibly’ accused of sexually abusing minors in the period 1950 through June 30, 2015, with several gaps. Out of a total of 116,153 priests who have worked in those years, this latest number represents 5.6% of the priests.
“This interim number is instructive. As recently as November 2002, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then in charge of all abuse cases for the Vatican, said in an interview that in the United States ‘less that 1% of priests are guilty of acts of this type.’ Meanwhile, in the few U.S. dioceses where investigations or disclosures have provided adequate data, including Boston, we are seeing rates as high as 10%. If that is ultimately found to be the percentage nationally, the total would rise to 11,615 priests accused of abuse.”
The Vatican on Saturday (Nov. 21) ordered five people, including two Italian journalists, to stand trial for leaking and publishing secret documents, in the latest development in a leaks scandal which is rocking the papacy.
“The trial stems from the publication of two recent books which depict a Vatican plagued by mismanagement, greed and corruption and where Pope Francis faces stiff resistance from the old guard to his reform agenda.
“The Holy See was embarrassed and angered by the books, which it said used information that should never have been allowed to leave the walls of the city state.”
By Reuters on Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this story.
… When Pope Francis makes his first visit to the United States this month, he will find that wounds from the U.S. Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal are still festering – and draining its finances – more than a decade after it burst onto the national stage.
“The tensions are being played out in courtrooms and state legislatures, where the Church is using its legal and political clout to oppose bills that would extend the statute of limitations for victims of child sex abuse. A statute of limitations forbids prosecutors or plaintiffs from taking legal action after a certain number of years.
“The pontiff has vowed to root out ‘the scourge’ of sex abuse from the Roman Catholic Church, and this year created a Vatican tribunal to judge clergy accused of such crimes.
“But U.S. victims’ advocates contend the biggest obstacle they face in giving victims more time to report abuse remains the Church itself, and want the pope to change that stance.”
By Scott Malone, Reuters — Click here to read the rest of this story
After winning praise around the world for his fresh and open style, the honeymoon period seems to be over for Pope Francis.
“A tumultuous two-week Vatican synod exposed polarization in the Catholic Church over his push to reform its traditional approach to sexual morality by becoming more welcoming to gays and easing restrictions on divorced and remarried Catholics.”
By Tom Heneghan, Reuters — Click here to read the rest of this article.
Editor’s Note: An earlier post on this topic has been taken down because a link in the post became corrupted.
The Vatican refused to provide a United Nations rights panel with information on the Church’s internal investigations into the sexual abuse of children by clergy, saying on Tuesday (Dec. 3) that its policy was to keep such cases confidential.” By Naomi O’Leary, Reuters — Click here, to read the rest of this story.