Posts Tagged The Washington Post
West Virginia bishop gave powerful cardinal and other priests $350,000 in cash gifts before his ouster, church records show / The Washington Post
The gifts — one as large as $15,000 — were detailed in a draft of a confidential report to the Vatican about the alleged misconduct that led to Bransfield’s resignation in September. (The Washington Post)
In the years before he was ousted for alleged sexual harassment and financial abuses, the leader of the Catholic Church in West Virginia gave cash gifts totaling $350,000 to fellow clergymen, including young priests he is accused of mistreating and more than a dozen cardinals in the United States and at the Vatican, according to church records obtained by The Washington Post.
“Bishop Michael J. Bransfield wrote the checks from his personal account over more than a decade, and the West Virginia diocese reimbursed him by boosting his compensation to cover the value of the gifts, the records show. As a tax-exempt nonprofit, the diocese must use its money only for charitable purposes.
“The gifts — one as large as $15,000 — were detailed in a draft of a confidential report to the Vatican about the alleged misconduct that led to Bransfield’s resignation in September. The names of 11 powerful clerics who received checks were edited out of the final report at the request of the archbishop overseeing the investigation, William Lori of Baltimore.”
By Michelle Boorstein, Shawn Boberg and Robert O’Harrow, Jr. — Read more …
Despite denials, D.C. Cardinal Donald Wuerl knew of sexual misconduct allegations against Theodore McCarrick and reported them to Vatican / The Washington Post
McCarrick’s case is reportedly about to be decided in one of the highest-profile clergy sex abuse trial processes to come before Rome. (The Washington Post)
Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl knew of sexual misconduct allegations against ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick and reported them to the Vatican in 2004, church officials confirmed Thursday evening, despite portraying himself since last summer as unaware of any complaints surrounding McCarrick.
“Robert Ciolek, a former priest who reached a settlement with the church in 2005 after accusing clerics including McCarrick, told The Post he recently learned that the Pittsburgh Diocese has a file that shows that Wuerl was aware of his allegations against McCarrick. The file includes documentation that Wuerl, who was bishop of Pittsburgh at the time, shared the information with then-Vatican ambassador Gabriel Montalvo.
“The content of the document, which Ciolek told The Post he saw in December, clashes sharply with Wuerl’s public statements about McCarrick since the older cleric was suspended in June due to a complaint that he groped an altar boy decades ago.
“The explosive allegations against McCarrick, which include two other accusations of abusing minors as well as those of harassment of seminarians, tipped off a full-blown crisis in the Catholic Church in the United States. All along, Wuerl has largely rejected charges that he played a role in it.”
By Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post — Read more …
Want to address priest sexual abuse? The Catholic Church needs to overhaul its seminaries / The Washington Post
Young men who feel called to priesthood, although well intentioned, often have enormous gaps in their prior formation and upbringing. (The Washington Post)
Although clergy sexual abuse scandals aren’t new, the ones that have rocked the Catholic Church this summer revolved around a group seldom focused on before: seminarians. The sexual harassment and abuse of seminarians, and the response of seminary leaders, have been at the center of the case of former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, whose removal from ministry in June began months of focus on abuse.
“Many Catholics share a heightened, even unprecedented, level of concern for the well-being of Catholic seminarians. They rightly wonder, as well, whether our seminaries can not only screen out potential sexual predators, but also rise to the challenge of preparing for life and ministry men who are emotionally mature, and psychologically and sexually healthy. This requires training for contemporary American society.
“The convergence of these concerns invites a long-needed conversation about reform in American seminaries.
“Many of us who have labored in seminary formation for years consider 2018 a watershed moment, in fact, to insist on long-overdue adjustments and enhancements to seminary training. In retrospect, many of our institutions have too often failed miserably in preparing men for ministry, and many still fall far short of the goal of forming happy, healthy, holy priests. The church urgently needs new approaches to preparing men for priestly ministry given today’s sexualized, secularized culture and the personal challenges facing seminarians.”
By Rev. Thomas V. Berg, The Washington Post — Read more …
New York attorney general’s office has issued subpoenas to every Catholic diocese in the state / The Washington Post
As Catholics looked to their own leaders to follow Pennsylvania’s and now New York’s example — D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, for one, has said that his phone has been ringing off the hook since the Pennsylvania report — some states have noted they have different laws than Pennsylvania. (The Washington Post)
“The New York attorney general’s office has issued subpoenas to every Catholic diocese in the state, becoming the latest U.S. state to embark on a major investigation of sex crimes committed and covered up by Catholic priests. And New Jersey quickly followed on Thursday (Sept. 6), announcing a criminal task force focused on investigating sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.
“A person familiar with the New York investigation said that the attorney general’s office sent civil subpoenas to the eight Catholic dioceses. The Associated Press first reported the subpoenas.
“The subpoenas are part of an ongoing civil investigation by the attorney general’s Charities Bureau, which is looking into whether the nonprofit dioceses covered up sexual abuse of minors. Separately, the criminal division is working with district attorneys in the state who might convene grand juries to investigate crimes committed by priests. On Thursday, Attorney General Barbara Underwood announced a telephone hotline and an online form for victims and witnesses of child abuse committed by clergy in the state of New York to contact investigators.”
By Julie Zauzmer and Mark Berman, The Washington Post — Read more …
More than 300 accused priests listed in Pennsylvania report on Catholic Church sex abuse / The Washington Post
The report has helped renew a crisis many in the church thought and hoped had ended nearly 20 years ago after the scandal erupted in Boston. (The Washington Post)
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Tuesday (Aug. 14) released a sweeping grand jury report on sex abuse in the Catholic Church, listing more than 300 accused clergy and detailing a ‘systematic’ coverup effort by church leaders over 70 years.
“State Attorney General Josh Shapiro said at a news conference Tuesday that more than 1,000 child victims were identified in the report, but the grand jury believes there are more.
“The release is the culmination of an 18-month probe, led Shapiro, on six of the state’s eight dioceses — Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Scranton, Erie and Greensburg — and follows other state grand jury reports that revealed abuse and coverups in two other dioceses.
“Shapiro said that the report details a ‘systematic coverup by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican.'”
By Michelle Boorstein, The Washington Post — Read more …
In three years at the helm of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has been a source of inspiration for millions of faithful around the world. In one critical respect, however, he has fallen short of his own promise: to come fully to terms with decades of child sex abuse by clergymen and the institutional cover granted to them by bishops and cardinals.
“Francis has pledged “the zealous vigilance of the Church to protect children and the promise of accountability for all.” Yet there has been scant accountability, particularly for bishops. Too often, the church’s stance has been defiance and obstruction.”
By The Washington Post Editorial Board — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.
‘Payout chart’ for molstation: Secret archive held chilling details of clergy abuse / The Washington Post
A Catholic diocese in Pennsylvania announced Thursday (Mar. 3) that it will post the names online of priests credibly accused of sexually abusing children, a decision that came two days after a dramatic grand jury report alleged a decades-long cover-up.
“Advocates hope that the grand jury report, which was announced just two days after the movie ‘Spotlight’ focused national attention on child sexual abuse by winning the Oscar for Best Picture, will lead to new legislation permitting more prosecutions of abusive priests and those who supervised them …
“‘These findings are both staggering and sobering. Over many years hundreds of children have fallen victim to child predators wrapped in the authority and integrity of an honorable faith,’ the grand jury wrote.”
By Michelle Boorstein and Julle Zauzmer, The Washington Post — Click here to read the rest of this story.