Posts Tagged sexual abuse of minors
In February 2019, Pope Francis invited the presidents of every episcopal conference to the Vatican for a Meeting on the Protection of Minors in the Church to address the issue of the sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy. A similar meeting focusing on the region of Central and Eastern Europe will take place in Warsaw from September 19-22. In this article, Fr Federico Lombardi puts this regional meeting into the context of the Church journey thus far —
“The Church must confront the challenges present in today’s world, the most fundamental being the faith and the proclamation of the God of Jesus Christ, with all the grandiose cultural and anthropological transformations present. There are also specific challenges, however, that profoundly influence the life of the Church and its evangelizing mission. One of the most critical challenges that has emerged in the last few decades, is that of the sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy. This has undermined the Church’s credibility and, therefore, its authority and its capacity of proclaiming the Gospel credibly. It has cast the shadow of inconsistency and insincerity over the Church as an institution, and on the entire community of the Church as a whole. This is indeed extremely serious.
“Over time and with experience, beginning with the sexual abuse of minors – which is the most serious – we have learned to broaden the perspective to include various aspects. Thus, today, we often speak of abuse suffered by ‘vulnerable’ persons. And we know the abuses sustained are not only sexual, but also abuse of power and conscience, as Pope Francis has often stated.”
By Father Federico Lombardi, S.J., Vatican News — Read more …
Members of Vatican abuse commission question Francis’ inaction in Chile / National Catholic Reporter
Two members of the new Vatican commission advising Pope Francis on clergy sexual abuse (Peter Saunders, United Kingdom, and Marie Collins, Ireland, both clergy sexual abuse survivors) say they are both concerned and surprised at the pope’s decision to appoint a bishop in Chile who is accused of covering up abuse, even witnessing it while he was a priest.
Speaking in brief NCR interviews Thursday in personal capacities, the commission members also said some in their group are considering traveling to Rome to speak to the pope face-to-face on the matter.
Bishop Juan Barros Madrid was installed Saturday as head of the diocese of Osorno, Chile, amid protests in the cathedral. Chilean survivors accuse Barros of covering up abuse by Fr. Fernando Karadima, a once-renowned spiritual leader and key Chilean church figure who was found guilty by the Vatican in 2011 of sexually abusing minors, when Barros was a priest.
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Marie Collins of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, who is quoted in this story, will be the featured speaker at the VOTF 2015 National Assembly in Hartford, Connecticut, on April 18.
U.S. priest tells Irish safeguarding meeting: Church is not haven for abusers / National Catholic Reporter
The Catholic church is “no longer a safe haven for child abusers,” said a top priest psychologist who advises the U.S. bishops on child sexual abuse. Msgr. Stephen Rossetti told hundreds of Irish delegates to the first national conference on safeguarding children that the Catholic church in the United States spent $43 million on child abuse prevention and education just last year …
“Rossetti, a professor at The Catholic University of America and a visiting professor at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, thanked Marie Collins*, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and a victim of clerical sex abuse, ‘and all those like you who have stood up and told your story. More than anything, this is what is turning the tide.’”
By Sarah MacDonald, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
*Marie Collins will be the featured speaker at the Voice of the Faithful 2015 National Assembly in Hartford, Connecticut, April 18.
Pope Francis sounds genuinely contrite for the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy, and he has promised that those responsible will be called to account. Yet as an institution, the church still seems stuck in the habit of protecting clergy members from secular criminal justice systems.”
Editorial by The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.
Pope Francis has removed a bishop from his diocese in eastern Paraguay following an apostolic visitation that found he had shielded a priest from accusations of sexual abuse of minors.
“Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, 69, has been removed from heading the Ciudad del Este diocese, a statement from the Vatican press office said Thursday (Sept. 25).
“‘This was a difficult decision on the part of the Holy See, taken for serious pastoral reasons and for the greater good of the unity of the Church in Ciudad del Este and the episcopal communion in Paraguay,’ the Vatican statement said.”
By Dennis Coday, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
When Is a Priest Not a Priest? When He’s Molesting a Child, Diocese Says of Lawsuit / The Star-Ledger
Chris Naples says something snapped inside him that January day.
“The Burlington County man sat in the gallery of the Delaware Supreme Court, watching as a lawyer for the Diocese of Trenton told the justices that the Rev. Terence McAlinden was not ‘on duty’ — or serving in his capacity as a priest — when he allegedly molested Naples on trips to Delaware in the 1980s.”
By Mark Mueller, The Star-Ledger — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The directness and urgency with which Pope Francis addressed the problem of sexual abuse of minors by clergy during his May 26 talk with journalists is encouraging. His decision to meet with victims of clergy sex abuse is also a clear signal that Francis understands the gravity of this issue in a way that was not clear earlier. While we understand, and to some extent share, the concerns of victims’ groups that the meeting and Mass with victims could be little more than media theater, we have more hope for the gathering. Francis has given us reason to believe that his pastoral instincts will guide him and that the outcome of this encounter will bring the church to a new place in this decades-long tragedy.”
Editorial by National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.
This issue brings together two strains of church life that NCR has been tracking for some 30 years: the sexual abuse of minors by clergy, and the finances of dioceses. It is in these two areas that church leaders are at their most vulnerable.
“The sexual abuse of minors by clergy and the subsequent cover-up by those in the church leadership structure have sapped the hierarchy of much of its moral authority. Many times, the church has seemed to be moving on from the immediacy of that crisis, and then something happens — a priest in Newark, N.J., who is supposed to be on restricted ministry is found on youth retreats, or leaders in the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese ignore their own guidelines and the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People — and we are plunged headlong back into that morass.”
Click here to read the rest of this editorial by National Catholic Reporter.
Carl grew up in a devout Catholic family free of mental illness, substance abuse or any kind of violence. His older sister and younger brother are successful professionals and happily married with children. Carl was a straight-A student and a gifted athlete until the seventh grade, when Fr. L, Carl’s parish priest, asked him to work in the rectory on Saturdays. His folks were delighted that their priest had shown an interest in Carl, and encouraged him to accept the offer.
“Within a few weeks, Fr. L invited Carl to his room, where he ran his hand along the boy’s thigh, brushing his genitals, while praising him for being a good worker. Afterward, he told Carl he could help himself to beer kept in the rectory’s kitchen.”
By Mary Gail Frawley-O’Dea, author of “Perversion of Power: Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church” and a psychologist who has been working with sexual abuse survivors for 30 years, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column.
The heartbreaking reality is that the marginalization of survivors is all too common in the Christian community. I have encountered many abuse survivors who want nothing to do with Jesus because of being marginalized by the very community they had hoped would care most, the Church. Just like the Priest and Levi in the parable of the Good Samaritan, we are often so quick to embrace ‘rationale excuses’ for why we walk away. When we do this, we marginalize the very lives that God sees as beautiful and infinitely valuable. When we do this, we marginalize Jesus.”
By Boz Tchividjian, Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this article.