Posts Tagged The Guardian
“The patriarchal nature of Catholic institutions meant that abuse went unchallenged and, while a small number of nuns were abusers, the report found the risk of offending was much higher in institutions where priests and religious brothers had minimal contact with women. The report estimated about 7% of clergy had abused children between about 1950 and 2000.” (The Guardian)
Mandatory celibacy and a culture of secrecy created by popes and bishops are major factors in why such high rates of child abuse have occurred in the Catholic church, a comprehensive study has found.
“The report, which looked at the findings of 26 royal commissions and other inquiries from Australia, Ireland, the UK, Canada and the Netherlands since 1985, found that while the endangerment of children in institutions has been considerably lowered in Australia, children remained at risk in Catholic parishes and schools and Catholic residential institutions in other countries across the world, especially in the developing world where there are more than 9,000 Catholic-run orphanages, including 2,600 in India.
“The patriarchal nature of Catholic institutions meant that abuse went unchallenged and, while a small number of nuns were abusers, the report found the risk of offending was much higher in institutions where priests and religious brothers had minimal contact with women. The report estimated about 7% of clergy had abused children between about 1950 and 2000.”
By Melissa Davey, The Guardian — Read more …
‘Criminally negligent’: Catholic archbishops criticize church’s handling of abuse scandal / The Guardian
Australia’s most senior Catholic leaders have conceded that the church’s handling of the child sexual abuse crisis was ‘hopelessly inadequate,’ had catastrophic consequences, and amounted to ‘criminal negligence.’
“Five of Australia’s metropolitan archbishops appeared before the child abuse royal commission on Thursday (Feb. 23), asked to explain how the church had allowed the abuse of at least 4,444 children between between 1980 and 2015.
“Perth archbishop, Timothy Costelloe, said a major cause of the abuse complaints and the abysmal response to complaints was the leadership’s belief in the ‘untouchability of the church,’ which filtered down to bishops and priests.
“‘The church in a sense saw itself as a law unto itself; that it was somehow or other so special and so unique, and in a sense so important, that it stood aside from the normal things that would be a part of any other body,’ Costelloe said.”
By Christopher Knaus, the Guardian — Read more …
Catholic Church’s ‘pontifical secret’ stops disclosure of sex abuse allegations, expert says / The Guardian
The Catholic church’s ‘pontifical secret’ rule is still preventing bishops from disclosing child sexual abuse allegations in some states, an expert has said.
“he royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse on Thursday (Feb. 9) began to examine how canon law contributes to the secrecy surrounding child abuse within the Catholic church.”
By Christopher Knaus, The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this story. Also of interest, “Vatican enforces Church ‘secrecy,’ royal commission hears,” By Rhian Deutrom, The Australian
“Church accused of using ‘mob boss approach’ to pressure lawmakers who support bill that would give victims of sexual abuse more time to sue abusers.”
The Catholic church in Pennsylvania has been accused of employing ‘mafia-like’ tactics in a campaign to put pressure on individual Catholic lawmakers who support state legislation that would give victims of sexual abuse more time to sue their abusers.
“The lobbying campaign against the legislation is being led by Philadelphia archbishop Charles Chaput, a staunch conservative who recently created a stir after inadvertently sending an email to a state representative Jamie Santora, in which he accused the lawmaker of ‘betraying’ the church and said Santora would suffer “consequences” for his support of the legislation. The email was also sent to a senior staff member in Chaput’s office, who was apparently the only intended recipient.
“The email has infuriated some Catholic lawmakers, who say they voted their conscience in support of the legislation on behalf of sexual abuse victims. One Republican legislator, Mike Vareb, accused the archbishop of using mafia-style tactics.”
By Stephanie Kirchgaessner, The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Hundreds of child sex abuse complaints made against Christian Brothers, royal commission hears / The Guardian
In Australia, 853 people have made a claim or substantiated complaint of child sexual abuse against one or more Christian Brothers, with 75% of victims under the age of 13 at the time, a royal commission has heard.
“The royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse has turned its attention to the Christian Brothers as the third round of its hearings into the diocese of Ballarat began on Monday. A religious community within the Catholic church, the Christian Brothers primarily worked in educational facilities for children.
“In all, 281 individual members of the Christian Brothers in Australia have been subject to one or more claims or substantiated complaints of child sexual abuse, the commission heard, with 45% of that abuse occurring in Tasmania or Victoria.”
By Melissa Davey, The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The Catholic church knew it had child abuse ‘time bombs’ ticking away in a number of Australian dioceses, an inquiry has heard.
“A special issues committee meeting at the Australian Catholic Bishops conference in 1992 noted: ‘It was agreed that there are serious time bombs ticking away in a number of dioceses at the present time’ …
“(Bishop Hilton) Deakin (Melbourne vicar general, 1987-1992) said when he was an auxiliary bishop he spoke to the Apostolic Nuncio, the Pope’s representative in Australia, about a priest called Peter Searson.
“‘I was telling him about this priest, who was a most evil person, doing evil things to little children in a school and had been doing it for quite some time,’ he said.
“‘I was hoping and praying that something would be done.’
“He said the Apostolic Nuncio thanked him and walked away.”
By Australian Associated Press in The Gudardian — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Catholic church failed to act on pedophile priests, says Melbourne archbishop / Australian Associated Press in The Guardian
The Catholic church failed to act on the ‘horror story’ of pedophiles in its midst, Melbourne archbishop Denis Hart has told the royal commission.
“‘What is now apparent to me is that there was knowledge and a failure to act,’ Hart told the child abuse royal commission.
“‘Reading the victims’ statements that I have in preparation for the commission, I have just been totally appalled by the extent and the depravity of the offenders and the suffering and ruination of lives of the survivors.’
“Hart said there had been a terrible failure by the church resulting from the passivity or inactivity of his predecessors.
“But he excluded Cardinal George Pell, the Melbourne archbishop from 1996 to 2001, from the criticism.”
By Australian Associated Press in The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this story.
If Satan were ever to consider deploying a PR strategy to gloss over all his crimes and misdemeanors he could do worse than contact one of his oldest adversaries, the Catholic church in Scotland.
“For more than two decades now, the church has been revealed to have been exhibiting behaviors and conduct that would have led to a full public inquiry and suspension of its activities pending the outcome. Yet, following decades of child sex abuse by several of its priests, and subsequent cover-up by its hierarchy, it has managed to escape proper scrutiny and any degree of accountability.”
By Kevin McKenna, The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.
In a day of remarkable evidence before the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, Bishop Geoffrey Robinson offered damning assessments of the most senior Catholic clerics on the planet. Pope John Paul II ‘handled the abuse poorly’ Cardinal George Pell was a ‘most ineffectual bishop’ and ‘the majority of the priests wished he’d get transferred somewhere else.’ Even Pope Francis is not providing ‘real leadership.’
“But his most chilling and telling statement about the Catholic church was the one he made about the church hierarchy’s response to revelations about child sexual abuse: “What we got was silence, so bishops were loyal to the silence.”
Commentary by Kristina Keneally in The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this column. Kristina Keneally is a Guardian columnist and 42nd premiere of New South Wales, who holds a Master’s degree in theology.
Untraceable cash transfers and a culture of secrecy made the Vatican bank one of the world’s most notorious financial institutions. But Pope Francis’ attempts at reform are meeting ferocious resistance—At 6.30 on the morning of 28 June 2013–just three months into the reign of Pope Francis–officials of the Guardia di Finanza, the Italian law enforcement agency for financial crime, pulled up in front of a rectory in Palidoro, a quiet seaside town west of Rome. When they rang the bell, the cleric who came sleepily to the door was informed that he was under arrest. A few hours later, wearing a well-cut grey suit, Monsignor Nunzio Scarano was shown into a cell in the Regina Coeli, Rome’s most overcrowded prison.”
By Paul Vallely, The Guardian — Click here to read the rest of this story.