The Government has rejected a call by Fianna Fáil to reinstate a full-time Irish ambassador to the Vatican to coincide with the election of a new pope.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said last night there were no plans to revisit the issue, and he described as “inappropriate” any attempt to politicise Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to retire.
Fianna Fáil whip Seán Ó Fearghaíl said the election of a new pope in the coming weeks would be the perfect opportunity to appoint a full-time ambassador once again to this important role in Rome.
“Ireland has always had an ambassador in this important post, and now that the Government are saying the economic picture is improving there is no need for any further delay in my view,” said Mr Ó Fearghaíl.
By RHIANNON WILLIAMS
Published on Friday 1 March 2013
THE archbishop who is temporarily replacing Cardinal Keith O’Brien spoke of the “pain and dismay” he shares with worshippers, as he took Mass for the first time since being appointed.
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia told those gathered at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh yesterday that he understood the archdiocese was in a “state of shock for the loss of its shepherd” following the cardinal’s resignation.
The Pope appointed the Archbishop of Glasgow to govern the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh until a permanent replacement is chosen.
Benedict XVI, who stepped down yesterday after nearly eight years as pope, named him apostolic administrator after Cardinal O’Brien resigned from the post on Monday amid allegations, which he contests, of inappropriate behaviour towards fellow priests.
Archbishop Tartaglia told the congregation: “I am glad to be with you today,…
The resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien was triggered by a claim of inappropriate behaviour towards a priest in 2001, that was lodged with the Vatican in October.
Details of the accusation emerged for the first time last night. It is the fifth such allegation to be made public but the first, historically, to have been made by a priest or former priest against the former leader of the Catholic Church in Scotland.
Attorneys from Boston and Johnstown, Pa. are teaming up in at least one lawsuit against Catholic religious leaders accused of allowing Brother Stephen Baker access to hundreds of children at schools across the Midwest that he allegedly molested.
Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who successfully negotiated high-five figure settlements for 11 former students that were molested at Warren’s John F. Kennedy High School and St. Mary’s Middle School, and Johnstown attorney Richard Serbin, who has filed two other lawsuits on behalf of Bishop McCort students that were allegedly molested by Baker, filed another lawsuit Thursday in Blair County Court.
Serbin filed a second lawsuit Thursday on behalf of another alleged victim. Earlier in the week, he filed a lawsuit for three other victims.
A Greensburg, Pa. attorney, Susan Williams, has filed two lawsuits for seven total clients.
Serbin said on Tuesday he expects the number of clients and…
Radio New Zealand
Posted at 23:02 on 28 February, 2013 UTC
Fiji police say they have questioned a Catholic priest who is suspected of having committed several rapes.
A police spokesperson, Naina Ragigia, has told the Fiji Times that the priest is the prime suspect in a series of alleged rapes.
She said a complaint was lodged last week and since then other victims have come forward.
The Archbishop elect Father Peter Loy Chong says he is aware of the incident and has spoken to the priest concerned.
His name and his abuse had been hidden for decades.
“I was John Doe 76C,” the now-45 year-old recalled.
Then Jim Keenan lifted the veil of anonymity and went public.
“It just felt empty. It was over,” Keenan thought.
He was a 13 year-old Apple Valley alter boy when, he said, his parish priest abused him. The abuse continued for two years, Kennan alleges.
When Keenan was 38, he sued the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona, which ultimately led to his name being revealed publicly. But last year, the Minnesota Supreme Court threw out the case, deciding the statute of limitations had long since expired.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
Posted by Steve Geier on February 28, 2013
Very sadly, today, Benedict XVI finished his time as Pope without ever once apologizing for his involvement in covering up the crimes of Fr. Lawrence Murphy, who sexually assaulted me and over 200 other students when we were youngsters at St. John’s boarding school for the deaf, operated by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.
We pleaded with Benedict, when he was Cardinal Ratzinger and the head of the powerful head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Faith (CDF) to remove Murphy from the priesthood so he could harm no other children. The Pope had at his desk thousands of pages of direct criminal evidence and testimony that Murphy had destroyed and was likely destroying the lives of so many young deaf children. We wanted the Pope turn Murphy over to criminal authorities, and alert…
Cardinal Roger Mahony Blogs LA
It is now 8:01 PM on Thursday, February 28, 2013, and history has just been made: the Church has a Sede Vacante/Vacant See of Peter, but we still have a Pope Emeritus living.
Bells pealed all over Rome continuously from about 4:55 PM to 5:15 PM, the window of time for the Pope’s helicopter to depart the Vatican and fly to Castel Gondolfo in the mountains outside Rome. It was Rome’s final tribute to a Pope whom Catholics and the world came to admire and cherish.
A Sede Vacante, but no Funeral Rites to be performed; no lying in state; no major Funeral Mass in St. Peter’s Square. So different than the last 600 years.
Tomorrow morning, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Dean of the College of Cardinals will send a special letter to all the Cardinals of the world informing them officially…
The Fiji Times
Margaret Wise And Felix Chaudhary
Friday, March 01, 2013
SCANDAL is threatening the Catholic Church in Fiji as police confirmed the questioning of a priest in connection to allegations of rape by multiple victims.
It all began when a complaint of an alleged rape incident was lodged at a police station in the Western Division last Saturday.
Police said investigations established there were more than one victim and since then “other victims have come forward”.
“I can confirm that a Catholic priest has been questioned and is the prime suspect in a series of alleged rape cases,” said Naina Ragigia, the west media police spokeswoman.
“After the initial report was received on Saturday and after investigations had begun, it was established that there were more than just one victim. Other victims have come forward and investigations are continuing before charges are laid.”
Kiki Van Son
Benedict the XVI is officially no longer pope. While he cited poor health and a demanding schedule as the main reason, this hasn’t stopped competing explanations from entering the fray. While allegations that the pope was involved in some sort of gay cover-up, or is even gay himself, many are overlooking a little-remembered incident that occurred last March, when suspicious financial activity surrounding the Vatican’s account No. 1365, opened in 2009 with JPMorgan Chase, caused the global bank’s branch in Milan to shut it down.
The account was operating as a sweep account, which facilitates an automatic flow of money at the end of each business day from cash accounts to investment accounts, where the money accrues higher interest. The account was primarily being swept to Vatican accounts in Germany. However, an estimated $1.5 billion had been processed in the short amount of…
Within a few hour period, (1) the ex-Pope, Joseph Ratzinger, left all the Cardinals his “final” marching signals, (2) his oldest colleague, Hans Kung, gave his informative assessment and a final warning , and (3) a major human rights group filed a comprehensive report with the well regarded UN Committee on the Rights of the Child on the Vatican’s worldwide cover-up of priest rape of children supporting the Committee’s pending summons to the Vatican to account shortly. The Vatican is subject by international treaty to the Committee’s juridiction and has for over a decade failed to comply fully with its treaty oligations.
Today’s final signals to Cardinals are set forth in Cardinal Mahony’s unexpected report accessible by clicking on at:
[Cardinal Roger Mahony Blogs LA]
Hans Kung’s brief and perceptive assessment of the current papal election situation is accessible by clicking on…
BOSTON —Local Catholics and victims of the church sex abuse scandal are speaking out Thursday, and some say Cardinal Sean O’Malley should be the next pope.
Bernie McDaid, a clergy sex abuse victim from Peabody, was one of the few victims to meet with Pope Benedict XVI. He believes the crisis played a huge role in the pope’s decision.
“Change is here, folks, whether you like it or not. It’s here,” McDaid said.
Now, McDaid is looking past his differences with O’Malley, saying he understands the gravity of sexual abuse and has truly listened to the victims.
“Sean O’Malley should the next pope and very well could,” he said.
He said unless the church hears the voices of victims, “I believe the church is doomed.”
National Secular Society
Posted: Thu, 28 Feb 2013
The Supreme Court has this week refused to hear a case from the Catholic Church that it could not be held responsible for abuse committed by one of its priests because he was not an ’employee’. This means the Catholic Church can now be financially liable for child abuse by priests working under its control.
The case arose when a Portsmouth woman brought a civil action against the Church after claiming she was abused by a priest at a children’s home run by the Church.
The woman, identified in court as Miss E, was seven years old when she was admitted to the Firs Children’ Home in 1970. She alleges she was sexually abused by Father Wilfred Baldwin, a priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth, who died in 2006.
In November 2011, High Court judge Mr…
Nearly 90 million Mexicans profess to being Catholic and will be closely watching who is chosen to lead the Church.
Catholics in the country who allege they were sexually abused by members of the clergy, say they are still waiting for the Vatican to acknowledge their suffering.
Millions of Mexicans and people throughout Latin America have abandoned the church in the past decade.
Many are demanding a change in the Church’s attutude towards sexual-abuse victims when the new pope succeeds Benedict XVI.
[the court decision]
Owen Bowcott, Legal affairs correspondent
The Guardian, Thursday 28 February 2013
The Catholic church could facing spiralling compensation costs after an attempt to avoid liability for abuses committed by priests and nuns was dismissed by the UK supreme court.
The decision will have implications for a wide range of organisations by expanding the principle of “vicarious liability” to other churches, local authorities, charities that rely on volunteers, as well as Scouts and Guides. Lawyers said it could even affect claims involving Jimmy Savile’s abusive past.
The refusal by the UK’s highest court even to hear the church’s challenge that clerics are not “akin to employees” marks the end of a potential legal escape route from responsibility for compensation.
Lawyers for the trustees of Portsmouth Roman Catholic Diocesan Trust had appealed against a decision in the court of appeal that they…
Bill Donohue comments on an op-ed by Hans Küng in today’s New York Times:
Yesterday, I took on the unfair reporting by the Times on the pope [click here for my Newsmax piece]. Today, I will address one of Benedict’s most virulent critics, Hans Küng, an embittered ex-Catholic theologian.
Küng says the pope “irritated the Protestant churches, Jews, Muslims, the Indians of Latin America, women, reform-minded theologians and all pro-reform Catholics.” He blames the pope (when he was Cardinal Ratzinger) for covering up the sexual abuse of minors, and cites “Vatileaks” as a problem. He also says the two major scandals of his tenure were giving “recognition” to the “Society of St. Pius X, which is bitterly opposed to the Second Vatican Council, as well as of a Holocaust denier, Bishop Richard Williamson.”
It is true some Protestant churches were angry after the pope welcomed…
A woman who claims she was sexually abused by a priest is set to sue the Roman Catholic Church after it was refused a last chance to reverse a ruling holding it responsible.
The church argued it could not be held liable as no formal employment relationship with its clergy existed.
It lost a High Court case in 2011 and has now been refused permission to take the appeal to the Supreme Court.
The woman said she was abused a priest of the Portsmouth Diocese.
Lawyers for the claimant, who is set to pursue a civil case, said it was the first time a court had been asked to rule on whether the “relationship between a Catholic priest and his bishop is akin to an employment relationship”.
LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A Southland woman who sued the Roman Catholic Church 1984, saying she was sexually abused by seven priests, including one who impregnated her, plans to return to the limelight today to discuss the abdication of the pope and the propriety of having Cardinal Roger Mahony help elect the next one.
Rita Milla said she was sexually molested over a four-year period, starting when she was 16, when she was a volunteer at St. Philomena’s Church in Carson. She sued the church after her daughter, Jacqueline, was born, eventually settling with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Coinciding with the pope’s last day in office, Milla will hold a news conference at the law offices of attorney Gloria Allred late this morning. Allred said her client wants to talk about what the next pope should do about sex crimes in the church, about…
By Naomi O’Leary
ROME | Thu Feb 28, 2013
(Reuters) – On the final day of Pope Benedict’s papacy, a victim support group asked the United Nations to censure the Vatican for failing to protect children from sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy.
Speaking at a press conference meters from the walls of the Vatican City on Thursday, the head of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said his group had made a formal submission to the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child.
“It’s a long submission of 30 pages based on government reports by five different nations,” David Clohessy told reporters, surrounded by photographs of children he said were members of his organization, at the age they were abused.
“We hope that the U.N. speaks out very forcefully and says that the Vatican is in violation of the treaty that it…
HuffPost Italy | By Stefano Baldolini Posted: 02/28/2013
The theologian Hans Kung has always been very hard on Joseph Ratzinger’s papacy, and was particularly disappointed by Pope Benedict XVI’s last audience. He did not expect that the resigning Pope would decide to stay in the Vatican to wield his influence. A situation without precedent.
Two Popes in the Vatican?
Let’s be clear, I don’t have anything against Joseph Ratzinger. I wish him all the best. I have nothing against a nice life, in a place where one can rest. We are the same age. … Initially I thought that retreating in a convent to pray was a good decision. But now it seems this is not the plan. It is very dangerous to have a former pope living in the actual Vatican. Who does not live in a monastery. He will not live with monks,…
2 March 2013
In a corner of the Sistine Chapel, below Michelangelo’s hell, is a door to the little chamber they call ‘the room of tears’. Some painter-decorators are in there, frantically doing the place up. That’s because, in a matter of days, a new Pope will be led into the room. According to tradition, at that moment, as he first contemplates the magnitude of his role, he will weep.
A myth, you might think. But we can be sure that the next Supreme Pontiff — whoever he is — will have plenty to sob about. Since Benedict XVI’s resignation two weeks ago, each day seems to have brought yet more bad news. Scandal is swarming around the upcoming papal conclave like a Biblical plague.
There’s the poor old Scottish cardinal Keith O’Brien, who resigned on Monday after reports of ‘inappropriate acts’…
The Telegraph (United Kingdom)
The Vatican admitted on Thursday that it had secretly bugged clergy within the Holy See as part of the investigation into the Vatileaks scandal, which resulted in the Pope’s butler being imprisoned for stealing confidential pontifical documents.
By Nick Squires, Rome
Like much of the rest of his papacy, Benedict’s last day in office was overshadowed by claims of secrecy and intrigue.
An Italian news magazine, Panorama, claimed that Vatican authorities had conducted, and are still conducting, an extensive covert surveillance programme, tapping the phone calls and intercepting the emails of cardinals and bishops in the Curia, the governing body of the Catholic Church.
The surveillance operation was to weed out Vatican insiders who may have helped Paolo Gabriele, the butler, steal and leak to the press compromising papal documents, in a scandal that rocked the Catholic Church and reportedly contributed to Benedict’s…
Von Annette Langer
Wenige Stunden vor dem Rücktritt des Papstes sorgen Gerüchte aus dem Vatikan für Unruhe: Benedikts wichtigster Helfer, Kardinalstaatssekretär Bertone, soll laut einem Magazinbericht dafür gesorgt haben, dass die Kurie überwacht wurde. Keine gute Ausgangssituation für das Konklave.
Rom – Der wichtigste Helfer des scheidenden Papstes, Kardinalsstaatssekretär Tarcisio Bertone, soll systematisch Vatikanangehörige ausspioniert haben. Ziel sei es gewesen, ein mutmaßliches Netzwerk um den wegen Dokumentendiebstahls aus dem Privatbesitz des Papstes verurteilten Paolo Gabriele auszuleuchten. Dies berichtet die heutige Ausgabe des italienischen Wochenmagazins “Panorama”.
Demnach habe Bertone den Chef der Vatikan-Gendarmerie, Domenico Giani, damit beauftragt, Telefongespräche, Unterhaltungen und den E-Mail-Verkehr von Bischöfen und Kardinälen zu überwachen. Es handele sich um die “massivste und flächendeckendste Abhöraktion”, die es je im Vatikan gegeben habe. Detailliert sei aufgezeichnet worden, wer den Vatikan zu welcher Uhrzeit betreten und wieder verlassen und wer sich mit wem getroffen habe. Beweise für die…
Papst Benedikt XVI. ist gescheitert. Er gesteht dieses Scheitern ein und zieht sich ins Schweigen zurück. Ein Schweigen, das diesem Mann des Wortes besonders schwerfallen dürfte. Da ist also auch Größe, die der Gegner anerkennen muss – auch ich, der ich ein Buch mit dem Titel “Der gefährliche Papst” geschrieben habe. Am Ende ist Joseph Ratzinger kein gefährlicher Papst geworden, sondern ein tragischer.
Berlin (ots) – Papst Benedikt tritt zurück – und die Deutschen ziehen ein insgesamt recht positives Fazit seiner Arbeit.
In einer repräsentativen N24-Emnid-Umfrage bewerten 52 Prozent der Befragten die Arbeit des Papstes als “eher gut”. Nur 23 Prozent der Deutschen halten die Leistung Benedikts XVI. für “eher schlecht”.
Trotz des insgesamt eher positiven Urteils sehen die Deutschen bei der Katholischen Kirche einen klaren Reformbedarf. 78 Prozent der Befragten halten grundlegende Reformen in der Katholischen Kirche für notwendig, nur 12 Prozent sehen keinen Reformbedarf. Bei Frauen ist der Wunsch nach Reformen mit 83 Prozent deutlicher ausgeprägt als bei Männern (72 Prozent).
Berlin (nd). Für »unwahrscheinlich« hält es der Religionswissenschaftler Hubertus Mynarek, dass der wahre Grund für den Rücktritt von Papst Benedikt XVI. ein Sexskandal im Vatikan ist, wie italienische Medien mutmaßen. Dabei geht es um ein angeblich im Zuge der Vatileaks-Ermittlungen aufgedecktes geheimes Netzwerk homosexueller Priester. »Jemand, der wie Ratzinger Jahrzehnte in der Kurie tätig war, dürfte von solchen Berichten wohl kaum überrascht sein«, sagte der ehemalige Dekan der Katholisch-Theologischen Fakultät der Universität Wien im Interview mit »neues deutschland«. Hingegen hält es Mynarek für »nicht abwegig«, dass auf den Papst wegen dessen Eingriffen in die Vatikanbank Druck ausgeübt wurde. Er erinnerte in diesem Zusammenhang an Papst Johannes Paul I., der sich mit Machenschaften des päpstlichen Geldinstituts befasst hatte und 1978 nach nur 33 Tagen Pontifikat überraschend verstorben war.
Hoffnung auf Reformen in der katholischen Kirche nach dem Rücktritt von Benedikt XVI. hat Mynarek nicht.
Aschaffenburg (ots) – Anlässlich der Ausstrahlung des Filmes “Und alle haben geschwiegen” fordert das ehemalige Heimkind Alexander Markus Homes, dass die Kirchen endlich Verantwortung für die Gräuel übernehmen, die den Heimkindern angetan wurden. “Es ist völlig inakzeptabel, dass trotz der bekannten Fakten die Kirchen sich noch immer aus der Verantwortung stehlen. Es findet keine umfassende Aufklärung statt und die Kirchen sind auch nicht gewillt, die Opfer angemessen für das erlittene Leid zu entschädigen”, so Homes.
Der Buchautor von “Prügel vom lieben Gott”, dessen Erstveröffentlichung 1981 maßgeblich zum Bekanntwerden der Missstände in den christlichen Heimen beitrug, sieht aber nicht nur die Kirchen in der Verantwortung: “Es ist beschämend mit ansehen zu müssen, wie staatliche Institutionen mit der Frage der Heimkinder und mit dem Missbrauch in kirchlichen Einrichtungen umgehen.” Weder der Runde Tisch Heimerziehung noch der Runde Tisch Sexueller Kindesmissbrauch hätten laut Homes akzeptable Ergebnisse gebracht. “Es ist höchste…
February 28, 2013 by Susan Matthews
Community concern over St. John Vianney, a psychiatric treatment facility for priests, was addressed last night. The meeting was held in response to a recent incident of a patient trespassing on Bishop Shanahan property during school hours.
Unlike most other treatment centers, St. John Vianney allows “approved” patients to leave their premises to walk through the neighborhood.
Please note it was a parent who finally called the police after the archdiocesan high school administration neglected to take action in regard to her concerns.
In a press conference this morning, the Vatican spokesman discussed the allegations made by an Italian news magazine about the Vatican Secretary of State placing the Curia under surveillance for a year
Vatican Insider staff
“During the Vatileaks affair the Vatican’s investigating judge may have ordered some interceptions and checks; nothing major, just two or three.” The director of the Vatican Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, said this during this morning’s press conference, in reference to some claims made by Italian current affairs magazine, Panorama.
“Interceptions and surveillance activities were not as described,” Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi said, in response to journalists’ questions regarding the content of an article published by Panorama magazine, on an investigation apparently ordered by the Roman Curia, involving the interception of telephone calls during the Vatileaks scandal.
By Vince Chadwick, Barney Zwartz
March 1, 2013
PROMINENT Australian Catholics have rejected claims by Cardinal George Pell that the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI weakened the papacy, and dismissed notions the Sydney Archbishop was angling for the top job.
It came as the Pope had a last day to match his shy personality, with surprisingly little ceremony.
He was to meet cardinals from around the world, followed by a private parting ceremony in a Vatican courtyard in mid-afternoon, followed by a helicopter flight across the Vatican, the world’s smallest state, to the papal retreat of Castel Gandolfo near Rome.
Earlier, Cardinal Pell – in Rome, where he will help choose Benedict’s successor – said that the resignation could set a dangerous precedent.
As Pope Benedict XVI steps down today, we turn to a former Catholic priest who was silenced and expelled by the Pope, then Cardinal Ratzinger, in the 1980s. Matthew Fox chronicles his story in the book, “The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved.” Pope Benedict’s tenure was marked by several scandals — most notably his handling of the widening sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church, including allegations that he ignored at least one case of abuse while serving as a cardinal. Documents show that in 1985, he delayed efforts to defrock a priest convicted of molesting children. “I will take the Pope at his word here when he says he is tired. I would also be tired, too, if I had left as much devastation in my wake as he has,” Fox…
National Catholic Reporter
by Tom Roberts | Feb. 27, 2013
A coincidental confluence of monarchical events occurred in 2005, during the period between the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Benedict XVI.
In a span of less than three weeks, John Paul died (April 2), Prince Rainier of Monaco died (April 6), Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles were married (April 9) in England, and Benedict was elected pope (April 19).
Through all of it the international media followed the flow of mourners, celebrators and ornately bedecked imitations of bygone eras as they made their way from castles to famous churches and back. It was a manner of reverse time-travel. All of the braided gold rope and draped epaulettes, feathered hats, shiny silver helmets, chests full of medals, gilded coaches, and endless reminders of dead kings and popes was enough to…
The New York Times
By HANS KÜNG
Published: February 27, 2013
THE Arab Spring has shaken a whole series of autocratic regimes. With the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI, might not something like that be possible in the Roman Catholic Church as well — a Vatican Spring?
Of course, the system of the Catholic Church doesn’t resemble Tunisia or Egypt so much as an absolute monarchy like Saudi Arabia. In both places there are no genuine reforms, just minor concessions. In both, tradition is invoked to oppose reform. In Saudi Arabia tradition goes back only two centuries; in the case of the papacy, 20 centuries.
Yet is that tradition true? In fact, the church got along for a millennium without a monarchist-absolutist papacy of the kind we’re familiar with today.
It was not until the 11th century that a “revolution from above,” the “Gregorian Reform” started…
By FIONA HENDERSON
Feb. 28, 2013
A VICTIM of clergy sex abuse has called on members of a parliamentary inquiry to recommend the establishment of an independent watchdog to protect future generations.
Peter Blenkiron was one of five victims who gave evidence in Ballarat this morning to the Victorian Parliamentary into child sexual abuse by members of religious organisations.
In his submission, Mr Blenkiron also pleaded with the inquiry members to put measures in place that would stop further victim deaths.
In an emotion charged morning, several victims broke down while detailing their horrendous abuse, prompting inquiry chairwoman Georgie Crozier to praise their “extraordinary courage” in speaking out.
March 1, 2013
ANNE Ryan’s 25-year career as a Catholic school teacher ended abruptly in 1996 when her job came under threat over her trying to expose sexual abuse.
”I resigned that day,” Ms Ryan told a parliamentary inquiry into institutionalised child abuse sitting in Ballarat on Thursday.
Fellow Catholic school teacher Michael Crowe also told the inquiry his career had been destroyed for trying to report inappropriate priest behaviour.
”I’ve been persecuted, harassed, bullied,” Mr Crowe said.
The Center for Constitutional Rights
Groups Submit Report on Worldwide Sex Abuse Crisis
February 28, 2013, New York and Rome – Today, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) filed an alternate report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child documenting the ongoing worldwide sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. The UN committee has summoned the Vatican to report on its record of ensuring children are protected from sexual violence and safeguarding children’s well-being and dignity, the first time the Holy See will have been called to account for its actions on these issues before an international body with authority. The first meeting will take place in Geneva in June.
The SNAP-CCR report to the Committee lays out the depth and breadth of the problem, the policies and practices…
Cardinal Roger Mahony Blogs LA
This morning at 11:00 AM, Pope Benedict XVI met with all of the Cardinals who were in Rome for the Conclave. It was a very moving and touching event as we were participating in the final apostolic work of our Holy Father. His words to us:
Dear beloved brothers
I welcome you all with great joy and cordially greet each one of you. I thank Cardinal Angelo Sodano, who as always, has been able to convey the sentiments of the College, Cor ad cor loquitur. Thank you, Your Eminence, from my heart.
And referring to the disciples of Emmaus, I would like to say to you all that it has also been a joy for me to walk with you over the years in light of the presence of the Risen Lord.
As I said yesterday, in front of thousands of people…
National Catholic Reporter
by John L. Allen Jr. | Feb. 28, 2013
John Allen is offering a profile each day of one of the most frequently touted papabili, or men who could be pope. The old saying in Rome is that he who enters a conclave as pope exits as a cardinal, meaning there’s no guarantee one of these men actually will be chosen. They are, however, the leading names drawing buzz in Rome these days, ensuring they will be in the spotlight as the conclave draws near. The profiles of these men also suggest the issues and the qualities other cardinals see as desirable heading into the election.
During the run-up to the conclave, most of the buzz around papal candidates is generated by pundits and church-watchers, as opposed to the cardinals who will actually vote. As an index of broader opinion in the church, the…
The Associated Press
VATICAN CITY—The Vatican is playing down an Australian cardinal’s comments that Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign was “slightly destabilizing,” saying cardinals are not media savvy.
Cardinal George Pell told Australian Broadcasting Corp. that the pope “was well aware that this was a break with tradition, slightly destabilizing.” The comments were interpreted by the Italian media as unusual criticism of the pope.
But in the interview, Pell also seems at pains to defend the pope, saying: “He felt that because of his weakness and sickness … that he just didn’t have the strength to lead the church.”
Los Feliz Ledger
[James Ford – Los Angeles archdiocese]
By Colin Stutz, Ledger Contributing Writer
—For two months in 2010, Our Mother of Good Counsel Catholic Church on Vermont Avenue had Rev. James Ford—who had previously been involved at least one sexual abuse case of a minor—conduct mass at the parish.
According to OMGC’s Father James Mott, Ford was dispatched to OMGC by the Los Angeles Archdiocese. Mott said he was unaware of Ford’s history.
Ford was listed as a priest who had sexually abused a minor, from 1968 to 1971, at Holy Family Catholic Church in Orange, in a 2004 report released by the Los Angles Archdiocese titled “Report to the People of God: Clergy Sexual Abuse.”
More details of Ford’s abuse, some 340 pages—and the possible cover-up by the Archdiocese—were released on the Archdiocese’s website Jan. 31st. A total of 12,000 pages in…
Filed by KOSU News
February 28, 2013
Today is the last day of the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI. Just two weeks ago, the German-born pope stunned the world by announcing he would be the first pope to resign in 600 years. After eight years on the throne of St. Peter, Benedict leaves behind a church in crisis.
Since the announcement, bulletins issued by the Vatican have ranged from the lofty — how Benedict will retire to a life dedicated to prayer and study — to the mundane, such as the details of packing the pope’s personal belongings and what he’ll leave behind.
In a sign that even the Vatican was totally unprepared for the resignation, it took two weeks to decide Benedict’s new title and what he would wear. …
Before becoming pope, as theological watchdog, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger had overseen many cases of…
Over the last half century, the place known as Holy Wisdom Monastery in Westport, Wisconsin, has changed as the Catholic Church has changed.
And today as history is made with Pope Benedict XVI resigning, the first pontiff to do so in 600 years, this simple, white building here with its modern architecture as a symbol of a global Catholic Church that is deeply polarized, and which some fear could even be fracturing.
But it wasn’t always that way.
In the early 1950s, Holy Wisdom Monastery was a Catholic girls’ school run by the Sisters of St. Benedict. In time, the school closed, and in 1966 the sisters, spurred on by the reformist ideals of the Second Vatican Council, transformed it into a retreat center, one that thrived in the confident spirit of a church opening its windows to the modern world — the metaphor used…
28 February 2013
Pope Benedict XVI has promised his “unconditional reverence and obedience” to his successor in his final words to his cardinals, a poignant farewell before he becomes the first pope in 600 years to resign.
The pontiff appeared to be trying to defuse concerns about possible conflicts arising from the peculiar situation of having a reigning pope and a retired one.
Delivering an unexpected speech today, Benedict also urged the “princes” of the church to set aside their differences as they elect the next pope, urging them to be unified so that the College of Cardinals works “like an orchestra” where “agreement and harmony” can be reached despite diversity.
He said he would pray for the cardinals in coming days as they choose his successor.
“Among you is also the future pope, whom I promise my unconditional reverence and obedience,” Benedict said in…
By Randy Engel
On Monday, February 25, 2013, at St. Patrick’s Seminary in Menlo Park, Calif., Cardinal William Levada gave a media conference at which he defended the presence of retired Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony at the upcoming papal conclave in Rome. Readers of The Rite of Sodomy will recall that St. Patrick’s Seminary was where the now deceased homosexual predator Bishop Joseph Ferrario used to bring his young prey David Figueroa for homosexual liaisons.
So it appears a bit hypocritical that Cardinal Levada would use the same location as an occasion to defend the Homosexual Collective, clerical and secular, by claiming that there is a sharp divide between homosexual men and “pedophile priests.” According to Levada, “By nature homosexuality is a not a predatory activity, it is a sexual activity that the Catholic Church does not condone.” By contrast, he states “pedophile priests are…
The Archbishop temporarily replacing Cardinal Keith O’Brien has spoken of the “painful and distressing times” affecting the Catholic Church.
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia will celebrate mass at St Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh later.
It will be his first service as administrator of the Archdiocese of Edinburgh and St Andrews.
Cardinal O’Brien is contesting allegations of inappropriate behaviour made by four priests in the 1980s.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien stepped down on Monday amid allegations he behaved “inappropriately” to three serving priests and a former priest.
Archbishop Philip Tartaglia is due to tell worshippers they are having to bear the impact of sad events and disturbing media reports.
My Fox Boston
WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) – A Roman Catholic priest who once served at a Fitchburg parish has avoided jail time after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography and stealing from his church.
The Rev. Lowe Dongor was sentenced Wednesday in Worcester Superior Court to 2 ½ years in jail, with the entire term suspended for five years of probation.
The 37-year-old Dongor was assigned to St. Joseph’s parish when he was initially charged in 2011. Prosecutors said child pornography was found on his computer, and he was also accused of stealing church collection money.
The Victorian enquiry into sexual abuse in religious organisations has heard how a teacher who blew the whistle on a priest who was abusing a student, was hounded out of his job.
National Survivor Advocates Coalition
February 28, 2013
Our hope is slim and sliding rapidly away but hope’s DNA is resilience and therefore we will hover over it until the hour strikes when hope is slain and an abdicating pontiff punts the largest crisis in the Roman Catholic Church in the last 500 years into the Vacant See.
In the waning hours of his papacy, we hope that Pope Benedict XVI removes criminally convicted Bishop Robert Finn as head of the Diocese of Kansas City- St. Joseph, MO, lifts the seal of secrecy from the documents that Vatican knows detail the crisis, and removes from the priesthood all of the priests who are credibly accused whose cases have been sitting for years within the protection of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.
In the name of all that is good and holy we hope that…
By Daniel Nee
A Roman Catholic priest from Brick Township who was arrested in July 2012 on sex charges has been indicted on those allegations, as well as in two additional incidents – one of which includes a third victim.
The seven-count indictment against Fr. Marukudiyil C. Velan, 64, was handed up by an Ocean County grand jury Feb. 7, court records obained by Patch show.
Velan, who was known as “Father Chris” to parishioners at Visitation Roman Catholic Church on Mantoloking Road in Brick, where he last served, was arrested July 14, 2012 and charged with a single count of criminal sexual contact against an adult victim, and one count of criminal sexual contact plus one count of endangering the welfare of a child against a victim who was a minor.
At the time, County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford said Velan, whose full name is…
February 26, 2013
The Catholic Archdiocese of Anchorage is moving forward with plans to defrock a long-time priest suspected of inappropriate behavior with five women. In 2009, the archdiocese forced Father J. Michael Hornick to resign for inappropriate physical contact with two adult women, according to a Catholic Anchor Online article dated May 2011.
After another complaint surfaced in January 2011, the archdiocese immediately suspended Hornick of all priestly ministries; he could no longer identify himself as a priest or wear priestly clothing, the Catholic Anchor reported.
Archdiocese spokesman Father Thomas Brundage told KTVA the priest broke the church’s code of conduct with “occasional touches, and then attempts at kissing.”
The Telegraph (United Kingdom)
Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s most senior Catholic, has criticised the Pope on his last day, describing his historic resignation as destabilising, while questioning his political prowess.
Cardinal Pell, Australia’s representative at next month’s secret conclave to elect a successor, said Benedict XVI was a “brilliant teacher” but “government wasn’t his strong point” in a candid interview on the eve of the pope’s departure.
“I think I prefer somebody who can lead the Church and pull it together a bit,” Cardinal Pell said.
He pointed to the so-called “Vatileaks” scandal, in which Benedict’s butler leaked secret papal memos revealing intrigues between rival groups of cardinals, though he said it was “very easy to be wise after the event”.
“I think the governance is done by most of the people around the Pope and that wasn’t always done brilliantly. And I’m not breaking any ground…
The Center for Constitutional Rights
I. General Considerations: Overview
As a result of the efforts of survivors and advocates who have come forward in different countries over the past few decades, often with considerable personal sacrifice and risk, the widespread and systemic rape and sexual violence of children by priests and others associated with the Roman Catholic Church is now well-documented and incontrovertible.4 The revelations of sexual violence by clergy arising in recent years in Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, Poland, the United States and elsewhere demonstrate that the rates of abuse in any one country or diocese are not an anomaly but part of a much larger pattern and practice. In light of these revelations, some observers have estimated that the number of victims of sexual violence occurring between the years 1981-2005 is likely approaching 100,000, and…
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
[Fghting for the Future]
Posted by David Clohessy on February 27, 2013
■Victims blast Vatican in new United Nations filing
■In 30 page document, they say church breaks UN convention
■SNAP says top Catholic officials submit one report 14 years later
■Group accuses Holy See of falling short on prevention & extradition
Holding signs and childhood photos at a news conference, two clergy sex abuse victims who are long time leaders of an international support group for victims will disclose and discuss a new 30 page filing calling on a United Nations committee to act against Catholic officials for multiple alleged violations of the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (which was ratified by the Vatican).
Thursday, February 28 at 2 p.m.
Orange Hotel, 86, Via Crescenzio, 00193 Roma…
By Deborah Becker February 28, 2013
BOSTON — Among those closely watching as Catholic cardinals gather in Rome to choose the next pope are clergy abuse survivors and their advocates in Boston.
The survivors say the next church leader faces unfinished work on the clergy abuse scandal since it first erupted in Boston 11 years ago. Some of them say that the man who led Boston through the crisis should go on to do the same as head of the world’s Catholics.
Bernie McDaid was among the first clergy abuse survivors to meet directly with Pope Benedict XVI in 2008. McDaid says while that event was important, it was largely symbolic for survivors and for the pope.
“When I confronted him he grabbed my arms and he wouldn’t respond to anything I said — he would just say ‘Yes, yes, my son,’ ” McDaid said. “There…
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo might be in Rome preparing to elect the new Pope, but he will be keeping in touch with local Catholics on the archdiocese’s website.
A new page, archgh.org/conclave, launched this week with background information on the secret election process for a new pope, live updates from the Vatican’s news office and a new blog about DiNardo’s trip titled, “When in Rome.”
“That will be updated as frequently as we get a post from the cardinal, whenever he has time available,” said Jonah Dycus of the archdiocese’s communications office. “Obviously, when the conclave starts there will be no transmissions.”
YouTube – Channel 4 News
Published on Feb 27, 2013
Alex Gibney who made a documentary on church sex claims says the Catholic Church covered up “crimes”, but Father Robert Gahl from Rome’s Pontifical University says the pope dealt robustly with abuse.
The Jewish Daily Forward
By Paul Berger
Edited By Jane Eisner
Published February 28, 2013, issue of March 08, 2013.
Rabbi George Finkelstein was quietly forced out of Yeshiva University High School for Boys in 1995 because of inappropriate wrestling with students that some of them considered abusive.
But the Forward has learned that the wrestling did not stop after his departure from Y.U. It continued during Finkelstein’s next two posts, as dean of a Jewish school in Florida and as director general of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue in Israel, where he worked until abruptly resigning this past December.
The most recent wrestling incidents documented by the Forward were in 2009.
Finkelstein, 67, has been a respected figure in the Modern Orthodox community for decades, first as an administrator at Y.U.’s high school in Manhattan and later at the Jerusalem Great Synagogue. But allegations that he…
By Ruben Rosario
You can’t get more red-blooded American macho than Al Chesley. Now 55, he is still — at 6 feet 3 inches and at least 250 pounds — a bear of a man, a former NFL middle linebacker nicknamed “Mad Dog” who played on a Philadelphia Eagles team that went to the Super Bowl.
But at age 13, he was but a child — putty in the hands of a larger-than-life and revered neighborhood police officer who loosened him up with booze, showed him porn flicks, then molested and raped him for nearly five years.
“He told me that he wanted to teach me how to become a man — how ironic,” Chesley said this week about his childhood molestation. It took him more than three decades to overcome the guilt and shame to brave speaking about his victimization.
Cardinals are about to begin the spectacular sideshow in Rome to try to save many in the Catholic Church’s hierarchy from criminal prosecution and/or financial bankruptcy. The Catholic Church’s current salvation is, however, really in the invisible hands of Protestant political leaders in Berlin and Washington DC, as the Church’s salvation during the Reformation was principally in the hands, not of the Council of Trent, but of the Catholic Holy Roman Emperor, then ruler of much of Europe and the Americas.
The Vatican Cardinals’ sinful ways have been publicly exposed, but other subservient and unorganized Cardinals acting alone, even with a new Pope, are not expected to have the clout to change these Vatican Cardinals’ unChristian ways, notwithstanding the mystical webs that will be spun to the contrary over the next few weeks.
Some Cardinals desperate recent ploys, such as mentioning permitting married…
By Kernan Andrews
THE DIFFERING reactions to the Magdalene Laundries over the years have been mirrored in the responses to Patricia Burke Brogan’s Eclipsed, which will have a staged reading in Galway next week.
Set in 1963 in a convent laundry at St Paul’s Home for Penitent Women in Killmacha, Eclipsed explores the practice of making pregnant and unwed Irish mothers work as ‘penitents’, supervised by nuns who regarded them as vessels of evil. In these laundries the women were treated as virtual slaves while their infants were forcibly put up for adoption.
Eclipsed will be given a performed reading by eight of Galway’s leading actresses in the Druid Lane Theatre, on Friday March 8 at 8pm.
The cast is Órla McGovern, Fiona Kelly, Helen Gregg, Liz Quinn, Sarah O’Toole, Laura Crosby, Lynelle Colleran, and Andrea Kelly, who also directs.
More than 700 women have contacted the Department of Justice about eligibility for supports and the fund to be established for survivors of the Magdalene laundries, the Minister for Justice has said.
Alan Shatter also told the Dáil Minister of State Kathleen Lynch and he would shortly meet the four religious congregations involved, for talks about the McAleese report.
Their discussions would include the need to access the laundries’ records again to assist with the operations of the scheme that will be established for the women, he said. He reiterated the Government’s commitment to address the Magdalene laundries’ issue “as quickly, effectively and compassionately as possible. That is the least we can do for the women who were admitted to and worked in the laundries.”
NEARLY 800 PEOPLE have been in contact with the Department of Justice in relation to accessing the fund that will be set up for survivors of the Magdalene Laundries.
The Department confirmed this morning that at the close of business yesterday evening there were 790 calls to it in relation to the fund which survivors are being asked to register their interest in.
Survivors are being asked to fill out a form on the Department’s website and include details of the institution they were based in, their date of entry, length of stay, reason for entering laundry, and details of any records they have from the institution.
A spokesperson said that at the moment it was simply a process of registration and that incomplete forms are not being returned and will not be discounted from processing.
Los Angeles Times
Cardinals aren’t allowed to read the dossier on leaked papal documents, but they may still be influenced by it as candidates jockey for the post.
February 26, 2013|By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
VATICAN CITY — Deep inside a safe in the papal apartment lies a top-secret report — for his holiness’ eyes only — that has become the most talked-about document in Rome.
Written by three elderly cardinals, the dossier delves into the most damaging security breach in the Vatican in living memory: the recent leak of private papers belonging to Pope Benedict XVI. The pontiff commissioned the senior prelates to find out how such a major lapse could have occurred and why.
Where the fingers point — already a matter of fevered conjecture in the Italian press — could become a factor in the selection of the next pope after Benedict’s retirement…
By Ralph Cipriano
Michael E. Wallace, criminal defense lawyer, has a cardinal rule: don’t ever believe anything your client tells you.
Wallace’s client in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia sex abuse case was Edward V. Avery, a defrocked priest with a history of sexually abusing young boys. So when Avery told Wallace he didn’t touch “Billy Doe” — the former altar boy who accused Avery of raping him — Wallace was skeptical.
“Father, you’re saying Mass for me this Sunday,” Wallace told the former priest. “And next Sunday. And the Sunday after that.”
Wallace had Avery stop by his law office on the 12th floor of 2 Logan Square. Every Sunday morning, the lawyer would serve the former priest a cup of tea, and then grill him about the details of the crime. “After 65 Sundays of cross-examination, I believed him,” Wallace said….
Press TV (Iran)
Pope Benedict XVI has given his final papal address amid the Vatican’s decades-long scandalous record of pedophilia, sexual abuse, theft and bribery.
Outgoing Pope Benedict XVI held his final all-purpose speech in St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City on Wednesday, reminding the 1.5 billion Roman Catholic followers that he will pray for and try to look past the Vatican’s history of transgression.
“Then there have been times when the seas were rough and the wind against us, as in the whole history of the Church it has ever been – and the Lord seemed to sleep,” said the 85-year-old high priest, while describing the tumultuous role of the papacy.
Pope Benedict confessed that “in recent months, I felt that my strength had decreased”, that I was too weak to carry out the duties of the Church along with the vices “that seems to push…
The Guardian, Wednesday 27 February 2013
‘Sexual intercourse began/ In nineteen sixty-three,” wrote Philip Larkin. And to judge by recent coverage, sexual abuse began last year, in 2012. Well, it had been going before, apparently, but no one knew too much about it. Except those actually being abused, who were on the whole young, female, damaged, unreliable and not “credible” witnesses. This is what anyone who has watched the media coverage of the past few months might ascertain. From Savile to the Socialist Workers Party, from the resignation of Cardinals to the allegations about Lord Rennard. No one knew much at the time at all! Raping a child is not the same as putting your hand on the leg of an adult woman, but what is this but a spectrum of systematic abuse being uncovered?
And what is our response? Still, the…
By Jacqui Peake
Victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy are calling for the church to be opened up to compensation claims.
A number of Ballarat victims, from the group known as The Survivors, are making submissions to the hearing of the Victorian Parliamentary inquiry into institutional abuse.
Keith Whelan was abused when he was a schoolboy and has told the hearing the church coerced him into signing a deed which prevents him from seeking compensation.
“The Towards Healing process was more about the church being seen to be doing something than healing for victims,” he said.
“I want support and funds to start my own business. We need ongoing medical and counselling support.”
By JOANNE McCARTHY
Feb. 27, 2013
THE NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into child sexual abuse allegations in the Hunter will open an information centre at Wallsend from next Monday.
Commissioner Margaret Cunneen SC said the centre was to help make it as easy as possible for people to speak to the commission, which is investigating church and police handling of allegations against Catholic paedophile priests Denis McAlinden and Jim Fletcher.
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell ordered the inquiry after allegations raised by Hunter Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox last year, including that police had ordered him to stop investigating McAlinden.
The inquiry is also investigating church knowledge of McAlinden’s offending from 1949 to 1995, and the church’s response to allegations involving Fletcher.
Samantha Parent Walravens
As Catholic cardinals from around the world gather to elect a new pope, they face the growing ire of an international community that has lost confidence in the moral integrity of the Church. New details are emerging every day about Catholic priests who have committed acts of child sexual abuse and a Church hierarchy that has for decades worked to protect them.
Amid all the names, the one that has attracted the most anger in the U.S. is Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop emeritus of Los Angeles. Last month, a court ordered the release of files relating to more than 120 priests accused of child sex abuse which showed that Mahony, along with other officials, had protected the clerics. He was publicly reprimanded by his successor and stripped of his public and administrative duties.
The Catholic Church is in crisis, no doubt. The…
Updated 28 February 2013
By Suzanne Smith
New South Wales police are facing fresh questions over whether they forged an unhealthy relationship with the Catholic Church in dealing with sexual abuse allegations against priests.
Lateline can reveal that for eight years to 2004, a senior police officer was an integral part of Towards Healing, the church’s internal process for handling sexual abuse cases.
The state’s former director of public prosecutions says that was a serious conflict of interest for police and should never have been approved.
In the mid-1990s, the Wood royal commission into police corruption was highlighting the need for greater child protection measures in the church.
THE Catholic Church harassed victims of sexual abuse and coerced them into signing legal settlements, a Victorian inquiry has heard.
The parliamentary inquiry into sexual abuse within religious organisations heard personal accounts from a number of victims in Ballarat today.
One victim who was bashed and molested by two Christian brothers in the 1970s, said private detectives hired by the church had called victims asking them if they were continuing with their complaints.
He told the inquiry he had received such a call himself.
He said he threatened the caller before telling police.
“This is what happens when you go against an organisation such as the church. They harass you,” he said.
Another victim said he had felt coerced into accepting a settlement under the church’s Towards Healing program.
Frank Brennan February 28, 2013
Last night I attended the opening night of the Big Picture Film Festival in Sydney. The festival is the brainchild of the Reverend Bill Crews who sees a place for film enhancing the community’s commitment to social justice.
On the very eve of Pope Benedict’s last day in office, the program included the Australian premiere of the American documentary about clerical sexual abuse Silence in the House of God: Mea Maxima Culpa followed by a panel discussion with Tom Keneally, Geraldine Doogue and myself. It was a very confronting and draining night, particularly for me, the one Catholic priest in the audience.
Crews introduced the festival declaring that the common theme of all films chosen for the week was ‘Hope’. For the next 90 minutes the audience took in the relentless and overwhelming portrayal of child sex abuse in the Catholic…
Not a day goes by without further allegations of rape and sexual abuse being made against the Catholic Church. The vast majority of accusations relate to abuse perpetrated outside the Vatican’s walls, in dioceses around the world. Evidence suggests, however, that high ranking members of the Church’s hierarchy were well aware of these despicable acts and actively shielded the perpetrators from criminal investigations. This has led to repeatedcalls for Benedict XVI to be held personally accountable for the grave harm inflicted on innumerable children.
To date, attempts to prosecute Benedict have been stymied by his immunity as the Head of State of the Vatican City. His resignation, however, changes the game and opens up the possibility that warrants will now be issued for his arrest.
Prosecuting a former head of state
The status of the Holy See and the Vatican under international law is anomalous. But…
There is little hope that even with Pope Benedict XVI stepping down, the Catholic Church will see an end to high-profile pedophile scandals. All Catholic clergy are culpable, David Lorenz of a priest abuse survivor network told RT.
Nothing has been done by the current pope to support the victims of pedophile priests, and nothing will be done in the next papacy, Lorenz said.
David Lorenz: We are working to raise awareness for sexual abuse crimes crisis that’s plagued the church a minimum of 25 years, if not hundreds of years longer. We want the church to take real action. There’s been a lot of words and a lot of apologies, but there hasn’t been a lot of action and we want those people who have sexually abused children to be held accountable.
RT: According to Pope Benedict, he decided to resign for health…
Filed by KOSU News
February 27, 2013
Among those watching the papal transition closely are survivors of clergy sexual abuse, including a handful who were selected to meet with Pope Benedict XVI five years ago as the crisis raged.
The group left the meeting hopeful that that Benedict would make significant changes in how the church handled both past and current cases. Among those at the meeting were Olan Horne and Bernie McDaid.
It would be hard to blame Horne or McDaid for being cynical, having survived repeated sexual abuse by their priest only to find out that it had also happened to thousands of others and was covered up by the church. It’s little wonder they reacted as they did when they heard the pope was resigning.
“My mind just immediately went to that there was a scandal or something behind it,” says Horne.
By Patrick Caruana
February 28, 2013
CATHOLIC priests who hear confessions about the sexual abuse of children should be obliged to report the crimes to police, a Victorian inquiry has heard.
Priests aren’t subject to mandatory reporting requirements if they suspect child abuse and are obliged by the church to keep secret anything divulged to them during confessions.
Former Victorian MP and lawyer Dianne Haddin says laws covering the church’s disclosure obligations need to be toughened.
The protection of children must be paramount, Ms Haddin told a parliamentary inquiry into sexual abuse within religious organisations in Victoria.
“We can no longer accept that a priest can abuse a child and continue to abuse a child and be protected by the church and canon law,” she told the inquiry in Ballarat on Thursday.
Senior Staff Writer
Pope Benedict XVI made history when he announced he would resign at the end of February, citing his poor health as the reason for his decision. Unfortunately, being the first pope in 598 years to resign will not be the only legacy Benedict XVI leaves behind.
Much of Benedict’s papal reign has been tarnished by continued allegations claiming the Catholic Church participated in covering up instances of sexual abuse done by their priests. The latest news in this scandal also happens to be one of the pope’s last acts in office and concerns the resignation of a high-level official.
Cardinal Keith O’Brien, the Archbishop of Scotland, had previously announced to the pope and to the public he would resign effective upon his 75th birthday on March 17. In spite of this, O’Brien’s resignation was made effective immediately…
By Fiona Henderson
Feb. 28, 2013
TWO teachers told a parliamentary inquiry into child sexual abuse by religious organisations that their careers had been destroyed for trying to expose offenders.
Anne Ryan resigned from a 25-year career while Michael Crowe hasn’t worked since 2010 for trying to report inappropriate behaviour by a parish priest.
Ms Ryan said her entire career had been spent teaching in the Ballarat diocese until she began to have concerns about sexual abuse.She complained to the then Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns – who she said described paedophilia as an “illness” – and representative Catholic bodies, but was ignored.
“Due to the inaction within the church, I began to use my voice more publicly,” Ms Ryan said.”I contacted Broken Rites, I wrote letters to the editor, I even went on a Four Corners program to try to raise the issue.
CBC News (Canada)
By Karen Pauls, CBC News
Posted: Feb 28, 2013
Many devout Catholics in Europe feel that church doctrine and social reality have drifted too far apart – and that it’s time for a change.
But no matter who is chosen as the new pope, it won’t be enough to spur Chris Fischer to return to the parish pews.
“For me it’s over, it’s really over. Because I think there are so many things they [the Catholic Church] have to change,” he says, taking a deep breath and gazing out the window of a restaurant near the Munich Cathedral.
Fischer and countless others say they have been victimized twice. First, by priests or nuns who sexually or physically abused them. Second, by a church structure that protected the perpetrators and has been slow to offer help and healing to the victims.
Fischer was 12 years old…
By Adrianne Murchison
When news of Pope Benedict’s resignation was released, the first thought that came to many minds was that it must be related to a child sexual abuse scandal. Are children safe within the Catholic Church – Sandy Springs and North Fulton included?
Today is Pope Benedict XVI’s final day as the leader of Catholics around the world. Stories swirling around his resignation prompts many questions. The most pressing one: Are children safe within the Catholic Church – Sandy Springs and North Fulton included?
Last week, during a “CBS This Morning” town hall segment on the state of the Catholic Church, a mother said, “At this point, if I had to leave my child with a priest for him to watch him for the day, that would not happen.”
In full disclosure, I am Catholic. But as much as I love the holiness of the…
By Jen Heger
On Pope Benedict XVI’s final day as head of the Catholic Church, attorney Gloria Allred, and her client, Rita Milla, who went public in 1984 and filed a lawsuit against the church, accusing seven priests of sexual abuse, will hold a news conference in Los Angeles on Thursday to discuss newly revealed documents about the case that point to a massive cover-up and obstruction of justice by the Archdiocese, RadarOnline.com is exclusively reporting.
The famed civil rights attorney filed the groundbreaking lawsuit almost two decades before the priest sex abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church made international headlines. On the day that Allred filed the lawsuit on Milla’s behalf in 1984, all seven priests mysteriously disappeared from their parishes. Milla filed the lawsuit after giving birth to a child fathered by one of the priests.
According to a Los Angeles Times report…
Hobsons Bay Weekly (Australia)
ROME: A frail Pope Benedict made his public farewell to the world’s Catholics on Wednesday morning, hours after one of his closest allies – Sydney Archbishop George Pell – criticised his decision to resign and said the church needed a stronger leader.
Cardinal Pell, who was close to the Pope when both served on the key Vatican watchdog congregation and played an important role gathering support for him at the 2005 conclave at which Benedict was elected, said the resignation created a precedent and left the church in an even more uncertain position.
Cardinal Pell, Australia’s only voter at the coming papal election, was unexpectedly candid in a television interview.
He said: ”People who, for example, might disagree with a future pope will mount a campaign to get him to resign.”
By Mary Wisniewski
CHICAGO (Reuters) – The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago announced on Wednesday that it had suffered setbacks during the economic downturn and would cut about 14 percent of jobs in its central offices, as well as close or consolidate 5 schools.
Chicago Cardinal Francis George wrote about the cuts in a column on the archdiocesan website — he has gone to Rome for the conclave to choose the next pope to replace Pope Benedict XVI, who gave his last general audience Wednesday.
The Chicago Archdiocese is the third-largest in the country, with 2.3 million members.
George said that administration operations have run operating deficits of more than $30 million in each of the past four years and the trend is “unsustainable.”
By MICHAEL KELLY
Published on Thursday 28 February 2013
ALLEGATIONS against Keith O’Brien elicit more compassion than anger from Catholics. The Church faces far more important issues, writes Michael Kelly
I never realised that there were so many opinion formers who were Catholics. However, this week I’ve met them all traipsing in and out of radio and television studios pontificating on the sensation that has surrounded the resignation of Keith O’Brien as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh, squeezed between the horsemeat horror and balloons in Egypt. For the few remaining conspiracy theorists, I should emphasise that I did not previously know them all to be Catholics, much less agree a party line with them to defend the Church. But I found a common thread among those gurus that I did manage to say a brief hello to as we passed each other on the way…
Roman Catholic Diocese of Anchorage
Process underway to remove J. Michael Hornick from priesthood
Two new accusations of inappropriate physical relationships have surfaced in regards to J. Michael Hornick, a priest of the Anchorage Archdiocese. Hornick was suspended from all priestly duties in 2011 for similar accusations with three separate women.
The new allegations, from two adult women, accuse Hornick of inappropriate behavior when the alleged victims were minors.
Following the Anchorage Archdiocese’s protocols for the protection of children and vulnerable adults, the Anchorage Police Department was immediately contacted in both cases.
The process to permanently prohibit Hornick from practicing as a priest will begin through an internal church court.
By Chris Klint
Channel 2 News
3:13 p.m. AKST, February 27, 2013
The attorney for an Anchorage priest accused of improper conduct with five women says the allegations are unfounded, and that he will fight attempts by the Catholic Archdiocese of Anchorage to defrock him.
Father J. Michael Hornick was named in a Tuesday statement from the archdiocese as the source of allegations from five women that he engaged in inappropriate physical contact with them — two of whom recently came forward, saying the incidents occurred decades ago when they were minors.
Hornick’s attorney, Wayne Anthony Ross, says in a Wednesday statement that Hornick hasn’t seen details on the new claims against him, but “vehemently denies” them.
“Such allegations are easily made and one made, they cannot be recalled and unfairly tarnish the reputation of Father Hornick, who has faithfully performed…
Orange County Weekly
Documents released by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles shows again how the Orange diocese is still not telling the full story of its sex-abuse scandal
By GUSTAVO ARELLANO Thursday, Feb 28 2013
Over the past month, Southern Californians have largely turned their backs in communal revulsion at former Archdiocese of Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony. The outcry emerged after a judge forced the archdiocese to release tens of thousands of pages of once-secret priestly personnel files that told in exacting detail how Mahony and his cronies tried to shield pedophile priests from the law during his career. Because of his inactions, Mahony is now largely exiled from church life, his name forever tainted in any future analyses of his career.
Of course, the vile revelations are nothing new to longtime watchers of the Catholic Church—indeed, some of the breathless tales heralded by major media outlets…
Aleksandra Sagan, CBC News
Posted: Feb 27, 2013
As Pope Benedict XVI prepares to retire this week, and the College of Cardinals readies to elect a new Roman Catholic Church leader, many wonder if Benedict’s successor will take a more liberal position on women joining the priesthood, a sacrament currently forbidden to women.
‘Whereas the Western world may be ready for women clergy … a lot of the world is just not ready for that yet.’—Terence Fay, theology teacher
“Respecting women and giving them a larger role in the church is very important,” Terence Fay, a Jesuit priest who teaches at the University of Toronto’s school of theology, told CBC News. “But, that takes time to move in that direction.”
He said the pope is the CEO of the largest corporation in the world and, like any administrator moving into a new leadership position, can only…
MIAMI (CBS4) – In Rome Wednesday, Pope Benedict took a final lap around St. Peter’s Square and delivered a goodbye address to hundreds of thousands of cheering, adoring faithful.
In Miami, bells were tolling at the Archdiocese as advocates for alleged victims of sex abuse by Catholic priests called on the out-going Pope to fully reveal the scope of the Church’s sex scandals.
“This case implicates the Vatican,” said attorney Jeffrey Herman, referring to “John Doe #97,” now 52-years-old, who has filed suit accusing a disgraced, defrocked priest of sexually abusing him as a child at Our Lady of Divine Providence church in Miami-Dade.
Advocates for children of sex abuse by men of the cloth called for the departing Pope to fully confess the sins of the Catholic fathers.
“The Vatican is still protecting priests, is still not transparent, and is still not coming clean,” said…
There were about seventy cardinals present at St. Peter’s for this morning’s General Audience. Mahony, Pell, Wuerl and Marx were all there but did not issue many comments to the press
Vatican Insider staff
Cardinal Roger Mahony seems seraphic despite the accusations against him for covering up sexual crimes in the Church. He was one of the first to appear in the crowd that was pouring out of St. Peter’s Square after Benedict XVI’s last General Audience today. Journalists recognised him, went after him and tried asking him some questions. “God bless you!” the cardinal responded, smiling, and then slipped away.
Seventy out of the 208 cardinals were present in St. Peter’s Square this morning. There were lots of Curia members and some papabili present, but also a number of important absences. The papacy becomes vacant at 8 pm on 28 February and…
By Howard Chua-Eoan Monday, Feb. 25, 2013
The pilgrimage had seemed rather random, but its significance is finally clear. On April 28, 2009, while visiting the earthquake-stricken city of L’Aquila in central Italy, Benedict XVI paid a visit to the nearby tomb of Celestine V, a 13th century Pope who reigned for only five months. After pausing in silent prayer, Benedict left his predecessor a gift: his pallium, a liturgical vestment he received when he started his pontificate in 2005. Celestine’s claim to fame–and infamy–was his resignation from the office of the papacy, choosing instead to return to a hermit’s life. For that, the Roman Catholic Church eventually made him a saint. For the same act–the so-called Great Refusal–Dante Alighieri damned Celestine to the torments of the Inferno.
Benedict may well have reflected on Celestine’s dual fate before announcing, two days before Lent, that he would…
National Catholic Reporter
by Pat Perriello | Feb. 27, 2013
Two contrasting viewpoints from NCR’s John Allen and Time magazine suggest that possibilities exist for either a conservative or more progressive successor to Benedict XVI.
I would put my money on Allen, as he is second to none on reporting on the Vatican. Yet there is perhaps much to learn from both articles. Certainly, as Allen intimates, progressivity is a relative issue. The new pope is not likely to say that abortion is a good thing, nor should he. Yet even the Time magazine article makes clear that simply by resigning, Benedict XVI has initiated a change in the governance of the church.
So what can we expect from a new pope? Everyone is speculating, so let me share my thoughts on the subject and encourage the readership to do so as well. First of…
Colneth Smiley Jr. / Boston Herald
Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley flew to Rome last night, where he will join other cardinals tomorrow as they meet with Pope Benedict XVI for the final time before the pontiff steps down.
The Archdiocese of Boston today released a photograph of Cardinal O’Malley reading a newspaper onboard his flight to Rome.
Vatican watchers last week were circulating O’Malley’s name as a possible successor to the pope. But O’Malley, who has been praised for his handling of the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal in the United States, has said he has no interest in the post.
“In these days, there will be endless speculation about candidates and outcomes. I assure you no cardinal goes into the conclave with the ambition of being chosen for this overwhelming responsibility,” O’Malley said last week.
Religion & Politics
By Tiffany Stanley | February 27, 2013
As Pope Benedict steps down this week, speculation stirs that the next pontiff could be a man of color or from outside Europe. And while many qualifications trump nationality when it comes picking the leader of 1.1 billion Catholics, an end to the European dominance of the Holy See is still an enticing suggestion. On his Sirius XM radio show last week, Cardinal Timothy Dolan mused that it was “highly possible” there might be a pope from the Americas or Asia or Africa. The former cardinal of Washington told the National Catholic Reporter that he thought the church was ready for a pope outside the West. The Pew Research Center found that most American Catholics (60 percent) think it would be good for the next pope to come from the developing world, hailing from South America, Africa,…
SAN ANTONIO (KENS/CBS) – A woman whose son committed suicide is filing a lawsuit against the man she believes is responsible for his death – the pope.
Barbara Boehland said her son killed himself after suffering sexual abuse from a priest while he was a student.
Boehland is the director of the San Antonio chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). The organization has asked the international crime court to open up an investigation requesting the prosecution of high-level Vatican officials, including Pope Benedict XVI and several of his cardinals, as criminally responsible for aiding and abetting these crimes.
This includes moving priests to different locations after an alleged sexual incident has happened.
Telegram & Gazette
By Gary V. Murray TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
WORCESTER — A Fitchburg priest has been placed on probation with a suspended jail sentence hanging over his head after pleading guilty to child pornography and larceny charges.
The Rev. Lowe B. Dongor, 37, who fled to his native Philippines after being charged with the crimes, entered guilty pleas this afternoon in Worcester Superior Court to charges of possessing child pornography that was found on his laptop computer and larceny of more than $250 from St. Joseph’s Parish in Fitchburg, where he had formerly been assigned.
Judge Janet Kenton-Walker sentenced Rev. Dongor, who was previously relieved of his priestly duties, to 2-1/2 years in the House of Correction, but suspended the sentence for 5 years with probation. The judge imposed conditions of probation that included sex offender registration and counseling, no unsupervised contact with…
Retired priest George Smith was in Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in Corner Brook for sentencing Wednesday.
Smith, 75, pleaded guilty to 41 sex-related offences and has been in jail for more than a year.
Of those charges, 26 are for indecent assault, seven for sexual assault, and eight for assault.
A total of 13 victims have come forward, all of them either former altar boys or those who had families involved with the churches where Smith was parish priest.
During the reading of the agreed statement of facts, a pattern was presented for each victim.
They said they would be asked to go to Smith’s home to help with tasks, and Smith would give the boys alcohol. They would drink until they either passed out or fell asleep, often waking up while Smith was touching or fondling them.
Un reportaje publicado por el diario estadounidense New York Times menciona al cardenal, Francisco Javier Errázuriz, como uno de los prelados considerados “cuestionables” en su lucha contra los abusos sexuales de sacerdotes a menores de edad y que participarán en el proceso para elegir al nuevo Papa.
El reportaje denominado “Ahora reunidos en Roma, un cónclave de cardenales cuestionables” se enmarca dentro los hechos que ha tenido que enfrentar la Iglesia Católica ante diversas acusaciones de abusos sexuales, siendo lo último la renuncia del cardenal británico Keith O’Brian, quien fue acusado de “conductas inapropiadas” por tres sacerdotes y un ex prelado.
Vídeo mostra padre Emilson Soares Corrêa tendo relações sexuais com uma das meninas dentro da casa paroquial. Uma delas, segundo o pai das vítimas, teria 15 anos na época do crime
No momento em que a renúncia do papa Bento XVI chama a atenção para uma série de denúncias de abusos sexuais cometidos por padres, um caso assustador é descoberto no Rio de Janeiro, na cidade de Niterói, a 13 quilômetros da capital. O padre Emilson Soares Corrêa foi indiciado pela Polícia Civil por estupro de vulnerável. O pai de duas meninas, uma com 19 e outra com 10, afirma que o padre abusou das duas. Segundo a denúncia, Emilson tocou as partes íntimas da mais nova, quando tinha 7 anos, e mantinha relações sexuais com a mais velha, desde os 15 anos da jovem.
Segundo a arquidiocese de Niterói, Emilson, de 56 anos, está afastado desde…
Correio de Brasil
A Polícia Civil indiciou nesta quarta-feira o padre Emilson Soares Corrêa, de 56 anos, afastado da Igreja Católica, por estupro de vulnerável de duas irmãs em Niterói, na Região Metropolitana do Rio. Uma delas teria 7 anos quando o caso ocorreu, há três anos. A outra irmã, atualmente com 19 anos, disse ter feito sexo oral com o padre quando tinha 13 anos.
O pai das meninas, o técnico em refrigeração Ubiratan Homsi, foi indiciado pelo crime de extorsão. Segundo a delegada Marta Dominguez, da Delegacia Especial de Apoio à Mulher (Deam) de Niterói, testemunhas do padre e a mãe da jovem de 19 anos confirmaram em depoimento que o pai tentou obter vantagens financeiras ao mostrar ao padre o vídeo em que o religioso aparece fazendo sexo com uma menor de 15 anos.