Posts Tagged Roman Catholic
“‘Amoris Laetitia’ calls for church leaders to accompany Catholic families, learning from them along the way.” (America: The Jesuit Review)
While much of the debate over ‘Amoris Laetitia,’ the controversial 2016 document from Pope Francis about pastoral outreach to families, has focused on the question of Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, more than three dozen cardinals, bishops and lay theologians gathered at Boston College this week to explore the broader implications of the letter—and to strategize ways to promote it in the United States.
“‘I would caution us that there are other dimensions of family life that the pope treats in ‘Amoris Laetitia’ that have to do not just with the moral questions but also the social life, the economic constraints and the difficulties that people face in raising families and raising children,’ Cardinal Blase Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago and a co-host of the conference, said on Oct. 5.
“‘We want to make sure that we keep in mind as pastors and theologians that we’re in touch with that reality as well, in terms of where God is revealing where God is working in the world,’ he continued. ‘What are some of the questions there that need to be looked at?'”
By Michael J. O’Loughlin, America: The Jesuit Review — Read More …
I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola Marymount University between 1981-1985. I often think fondly of the priests and nuns there — with whom I was a doting student, and with a few became friends — but the memories of most of them are bittersweet.
“My LMU years happened to fall almost exactly 20 years after the three-year span of Vatican II, from 1962-1965. The male and female clergy at LMU who were over 40, as most were, had been fresh, idealistic novices during Vatican II. Without exception, they were all deeply affected both by that brief period of optimism and upheaval, as well as the aftermath of the recoil as those institutional doors snapped back shut.”
By Amy Morris-Young, National Catholic Reporter — Click here or on the title above to read the rest of this commentary.
Clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania may bring federal racketeering charge; victims and lawmakers act
Feds may seek racketeering suit for clergy abuse in diocese
By Associated Press
A federal prosecutor may file a racketeering lawsuit against a Roman Catholic diocese where a state grand jury found two former bishops helped cover up the sexual abuse of hundreds of children by more than 50 clergy over a 40-year period.
“The ongoing investigation of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese grew out of the prosecution of the Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr., U.S. Attorney David Hickton said Friday (Apr. 1).
“The 71-year-old Somerset County priest was convicted last year of molesting two street children during missionary trips to Honduras. He was sentenced to nearly 17 years in prison, fined $50,000 and forced to pay his victims $10,000 each.
“Hickton said the ongoing investigation concerns whether diocesan officials engaged in a pattern of criminal activity that would fall under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as RICO.”
Click here to read the rest of this story.
As Pennsylvania confronts clergy sex abuse, victims and lawmakers act
By Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times
By the age of 12, Maureen Powers, the daughter of a professor at the local Roman Catholic university, played the organ in the magnificent hilltop Catholic basilica here and volunteered in the parish office. But, she said, she was hiding a secret: Her priest sexually abused her for two years, telling her it was for the purpose of ‘research.’
“By her high school years, she felt so tied up in knots of betrayal and shame that she confided in a succession of priests. She said the first tried to take advantage of her sexually, the second suggested she comfort herself with a daily candy bar and the third told her to see a counselor. None of them reported the abuse to the authorities or mentioned that she could take that step.
“So when a Pennsylvania grand jury revealed in a report in March that the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, which includes Loretto, engaged in an extensive cover-up of abuse by as many as 50 church officials, Ms. Powers, now 67, decided to finally report her case. She called the office of the Pennsylvania attorney general and recounted her story, including the name of her abuser, a prominent monsignor who was not listed in the grand jury report.”
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Six men have sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, claiming Church leaders concealed allegations that a priest sexually abused children for decades.
“The suits, filed in November by men from Maine, New Hampshire, and New York, were made public this week and accuse the diocese of covering up abuse by the Rev. James Vallely. The men say Vallely sexually abused them from 1958 to 1977 when they were ages 8 to 15.
“Their lawyer, Mitchell Garabedian, said Tuesday that the suits claim the Church ‘fraudulently concealed’ Vallely’s abuse. Vallely died in 1997 in Florida.”
By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Pope Francis on Sunday (Oct. 4) told bishops gathered at the Vatican for the opening of a synod on family issues that the church must stay true to its teachings on the ‘indissolubility’ of marriage between a man and a woman. But he also called on them to be sensitive to the complexity of modern society and not be judgmental of it — and to ‘seek out and care for hurting couples with the balm of acceptance and mercy.’
“The church must be a bridge, not a roadblock, for the faithful, the pope said in his homily during the ceremonial Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica that signaled the beginning of the three-week council, in which bishops from around the world will discuss how the church should respond to the needs of the modern Catholic family.”
By Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.
As we continue to assess the effects of Pope Francis’ first U.S. visit and look forward to the opening in a couple of days of the Bishops’ Synod on the Family. we get this interesting take on events from Daniel Burke at CNN.
The day before Pope Francis met anti-gay county clerk Kim Davis in Washington last week, he held a private meeting with a longtime friend from Argentina who has been in a same-sex relationship for 19 years.
“Yayo Grassi, an openly gay man, brought his partner, Iwan, as well (as) several other friends to the Vatican Embassy on September 23 for a brief visit with the Pope. A video of the meeting shows Grassi and Francis greeting each other with a warm hug.
“In an exclusive interview with CNN, Grassi declined to disclose details about the short visit, but said it was arranged personally by the Pope via email in the weeks ahead of Francis’ highly anticipated visit to the United States.
“‘Three weeks before the trip, he called me on the phone and said he would love to give me a hug,’ Grassi said.
“The meeting between Grassi and the Pope adds another intriguing twist to the strange aftermath of Francis’ first-ever trip to the United States. Since news broke on Tuesday (Sept. 29) of Francis’ meeting with Davis, conservatives have cheered the seemingly implicit endorsement, while liberals have questioned how much the Pope knew about her case.
“In a statement on Friday, the Vatican said that the meeting with Davis was not intended as a show of support for her cause and said “the only real audience granted by the Pope at the nunciature (embassy) was with one of his former students and his family.'”
By Daniel Burke, CNN Religion Editor — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Prosecutors in Minnesota filed criminal charges Friday (June 5) against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, accusing church leaders of mishandling repeated complaints of sexual misconduct against a priest and failing to follow through on pledges to protect children and root out pedophile clergymen.
“The charges and accompanying civil petition, announced by the Ramsey County prosecutor, John J. Choi, stem from accusations by three male victims who say that from 2008 to 2010, when they were underage, a local priest, Curtis Wehmeyer, gave them alcohol and drugs before sexually assaulting them.
“The criminal case amounts to a sweeping condemnation of the archdiocese and how its leaders have handled the abuse allegations — even after reforms were put in place by church leaders to increase accountability — and the charges are among the most severe actions taken by US authorities against a Catholic diocese.”
By Mitch Smith, The New York Times, in The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Percentage of U.S. Catholics drops and Catholicism is losing numbers faster than any denomination / Cruxnow.com
For years, two truisms dominated coverage of the US Catholic Church: about one quarter of the population is Catholic and each year at Easter, Catholics entering the church offset those leaving it.
“But new data suggests a new story.
“A report released Tuesday (May 12) by the Pew Forum finds that the total number of Catholics in the United States dropped by 3 million since 2007, now comprising about 20 percent – or one-fifth – of the total population.”
The Holy See this morning published the statutes for the Commission for the Protection of Minors, giving that body canonical and juridical status within the Roman Curia. It may not seem like they are very earth-shattering or, in the event, Church-shattering, but they are. First, there is the fact of a commission … (Second) the new commission specifically has the task of working with local churches and coordinating efforts within the Roman Curia to deal with the scourge of clergy sex abuse. Third, and perhaps most significantly, the new statutes stipulate: ‘The Commission is an advisory body at the service of the Holy Father’ … Fourth, apart from the chair and the secretary, there is no requirement that the commission members be clerics at all.”
By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.