Posts Tagged Thomas P. Doyle
When it comes to holding bishops and religious superiors responsible for the cover up of clergy sex abuse, Pope Francis’ June 4 apostolic letter on ecclesial accountability is not only a distinct improvement over the proposal made a year ago to establish a tribunal to hold bishops accountable, it is possibly the most positive and hopeful signal to come out of the Vatican to date.
“Canon lawyer Kurt Martens — among others — told NCR, ‘Everyone seems to be excited about the new [apostolic letter] but there is really no change.’ However, there is something breaking with this pronouncement — the official recognition by the church’s highest authority of hierarchical negligence in dealing with sex abuse by clerics. It is not only acknowledged but named as a crime.
“The apostolic letter, or motu proprio known by its Italian title, Come una madre amorevole (‘As a loving mother’), has some remarkable positive points that deserve mention …”
by Thomas P. Doyle, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article.
This essay is adapted from a speech by Dominican Fr. Tom Doyle at the 2014 annual convention of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. It has been edited here for length. The full text of the speech appears in a recently published biography, Whistle: Tom Doyle’s Steadfast Witness for Victims of Clerical Sexual Abuse, by Robert Blair Kaiser and now available at Amazon and Kindle.
“A letter sent by the vicar general of the diocese of Lafayette, La., to the papal nuncio in June 1984 was the trigger that set in motion a series of events that has changed the fate of the victims of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy and clergy of all denominations.
“The letter informed the nuncio that the Gastal family had decided to withdraw from a confidential monetary settlement with the diocese. It went on to say the family had obtained the services of an attorney and planned to sue the diocese.
“This began a long process that has had a direct impact on much more than the fate of victims and the security of innocent children and vulnerable persons of any age. It has altered the image and role of the institutional Catholic church in Western society to such an extent that the tectonic plates upon which this church rests have shifted in a way never expected or dreamed of 30 years ago.”
By Thomas P. Doyle, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this essay.
Canonization of Popes Focuses Attention on Decades of Change, Conflict, Record on Abuse / National Catholic Reporter
Wrapping Up Two Decades of Change, Conflict, Francis Saints Two Popes
“And just like that, 56 years of church history — from the unexpected calling of the Second Vatican Council through the sometimes tumultuous and radical response to its modernizing moves for Catholics around the world — were wrapped up in about six minutes.
“That’s how long it took Sunday (Apr. 27) for Pope Francis to formally declare his predecessors John XXIII and John Paul II saints of the Catholic church, from the first prayers of the formal canonization rite to the formal decree.”
By Joshua McElwee, posted Apr. 27, 2014, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Records Show That John Paul II Could Have Intervened in Abuse Crisis – But Didn’t
“Sitting on a bookshelf in my office is a red leather-bound copy of the Code of Canon Law. This isn’t just any copy of the church’s rulebook. It was signed by Pope John Paul II for me at the request of my former boss, the late Cardinal Pio Laghi. It is dated 6-6-1983 in the late pope’s own hand. I was definitely a fan in those days.
“On Sunday (Apr. 27) after John Paul is promoted to sainthood, it will become a second-class relic. I will not venerate it, nor will I join the cheering crowds.
“The past 30 years have led me to the opinion that his sainthood is a profound insult to the countless victims of sexual assault by Catholic clergy the world over. It is an insult to the decent, well-intentioned men and women who were persecuted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith during his reign, and it is an insult to the memory of Pope John XXIII, who has the misfortune being a canonization classmate.”
By Thomas P. Doyle, posted Apr. 25, 2014, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column.
The countless victims of clergy sex abuse have been waiting for 30 years for the Vatican to show it really understands the depth of the problem and is willing to do something real about it. Judging by the latest move, naming members of a pontifical commission, victims will have to keep on waiting. Those who have been deeply involved in this issue for the long haul had little hope the promised commission would make a difference, and we probably won’t be disappointed.”
By Thomas P. Doyle, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column. Fr, Doyle will lead a workshop on “Survivor Support: What You Can Do” at the Voice of the Faithful® 2014 Assembly April 5.