Government rejects FF call to reinstate ambassador to Vatican

IRELAND
Irish Times

STEPHEN COLLINS

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.

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New archbishop Philip Tartaglia takes first Mass

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

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, even if I wished, very much wished, that the circumstances were other than they are. I want first of all to say that I appreciate that this archdiocese is in a state of shock for the loss of its shepherd.

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Revealed: first claim against Cardinal Keith O’Brien

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Mike Wade

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.

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Attorneys Teaming Up in Lawsuit Against Catholic Leaders

OHIO/PENNSYLVANIA
WYTV

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 lawsuits to grow. He has a number of clients that have alleged abuse and is in the process of investigating their claims.

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Fiji police say Catholic priest suspected of multiple rapes

FIJI
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.

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Bill Would Eliminate Deadline for Child Sex Abuse Suits

MINNESOTA
KSTP

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.

And lost.

“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.

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WI – Benedict leaves papacy with no apologies to we deaf victims of Fr. Murphy

WISCONSIN
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 the deaf community and the public about this dangerous man.

The Pope never doubted Murphy’s guilt. Yet, he allowed him to remain in ministry in good standing as a priest, Murphy’s secrets kept safe by the church. As one final gesture, when Murphy died in 1997, we begged Cardinal Ratzinger and officials of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee to not allow Murphy to be buried as a priest. That, we felt, was the least the church could do, given all the harm that Murphy had caused us. Instead, the Vatican and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee one more time ignored our pleas, and Murphy was buried in his full priestly vestments his today. Murphy’s grave stone today still identifies him as a priest.

Fr. Murphy may have stolen our bodies, but it was Pope Benedict who stole our voice.

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8:01 PM FEB. 28 SEDE VACANTE

VATICAN CITY
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 that the See of Peter is now vacant, that no one is holding the Keys of Peter. Because of the advance notice by Pope Benedict, most of the Cardinals of the world are already here in Rome.

Most likely our first gathering, or General Congregation, will be on Monday, March 4. Since the proceedings of those General Congregations are secret, except for official announcements, I will not be able to post new Blogs nor Tweet on the confidential issues and discussions.

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Priest faces rape probe

FIJI
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.”

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Pope Resigns: Did a Money Laundering Scheme Force Benedict XVI to Step Down?

VATICAN CITY
PolicyMic

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 time that the account had been opened, according to Italy’s leading financial newspaper II Sole 24 Ore.

Speculation over money-laundering led JPMorgan Chase to question bankers at the Vatican who ultimately failed to provide an explanation. The Vatican has been under scrutiny for its lack of financial transparency since JPMorgan Chase’s decision to close the account, but no further comment has been made by either party.

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The Pope Is Gone ! Now Why Will Nothing Change ?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

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 at:

[The New York Times]

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Clergy sex abuse victims say O’Malley should be next pope

BOSTON (MA)
WCVB

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.”

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Catholic Church’s attempt to evade responsibility for child abuse liability is stymied by Supreme

UNITED KINGDOM
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 Justice Alistair MacDuffs ruled that the church is legally responsible for sexual abuse committed by its priests. This week’s ruling by the Supreme Court has now confirmed that decision.

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Mexico Catholics want abuse acknowledged

MEXICO
Aljazeera

[with video]

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.

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Catholic church sex abuse ruling could cause big spike in compensation claims

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

[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 had a duty to compensate a young girl for alleged beatings inflicted by a nun and sexual abuse perpetrated by a priest as long ago as the 1970s – if the facts of the abuse were established.

But in a statement issued this week, the supreme court said it had refused permission to appeal “because the application does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance”. It believes the issue has now been settled.

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NY TIMES HOSTS EX-CATHOLIC THEOLOGIAN

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

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 Anglicans into the Church; Küng fails to mention they lobbied hard to join. Jews have warmly embraced the pope, though some were unhappy when the Latin Mass was being promoted. However, as Rabbi Brad Hirschfield recently said, “It is unfair to complain about a text, which has its own parallels in Jewish liturgy….” Yes, there were Muslims who misunderstood the pope’s 2006 speech when he warned against severing the link between faith and reason; rioting and murder followed, unwittingly proving his point. In 2007, the pope didn’t win the plaudits of some Indians in Brazil when he criticized “the utopia of going back to breathe life into the pre-Columbus religions,” but he won points for being honest. Catholic women have embraced the pope, save for those who share the dissident views of the “reformers.”

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Roman Catholic Church refused Supreme Court sex abuse appeal

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

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”.

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Southland Woman Sues Catholic Church over Sex Abuse

CALIFORNIA
Patch

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 Mahony’s inclusion in the conclave that will elect his successor, and about evidence of a church cover-up in her own case, which dragged out for more than 20 years.

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As Pope Benedict steps down, group asks U.N. to act on abuse

ROME
Reuters

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 agreed to honor.”

The SNAP submission argues that the Holy See has violated the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which it signed in 1990, on four counts including a failure to cooperate with criminal investigations and failing to protect children.

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Hans Kung: Pope Benedict Will Be A ‘Shadow Pope’

VATICAN CITY
Huffington Post

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, but with nuns who were at his service in the Vatican when he was pope. He will have the same secretary, Father George. He wants to remain in contact with cardinals and with the new pope. I was afraid of a “shadow pope” in the Vatican. Now it seems confirmed. He is certainly interested in prolonging his line, otherwise he would not have done it like this.

What could happen?

He is not exactly going on a mountaintop to pray. Rather, he will have the possibility to intervene constantly. It is a dangerous situation. I see many conflicts. I live near Lake Constance, where we had the Council of the Western Schism, with as many as three popes. It was the 15th century. The situation was obviously different then. … But if, for example, the future pope says, “it is necessary to discuss the celibacy of priests,” as the current Cardinal of Scotland has said, whoever doesn’t want this will turn to the old pope [for support].

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Sex, lies and the next Pope

UNITED KINGDOM
The Spectator

Freddy Gray
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’ with fellow priests. There’s the two American cardinals, Roger Mahoney and Timothy Dolan, facing renewed accusations that they protected paedophile priests in their dioceses.

And then the big one: the theory that the real reason Benedict resigned was not ill-health, but because he was so appalled by the findings of an investigation he commissioned into the so-called ‘Vatileaks’ affair. The Italian newspaper La Repubblica has been publishing extraordinary claims that the 300-page Vatileaks dossier proves that Benedict was forced out by an ‘underground gay network’. Whispers of sodomy and bribery abound.

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Vatican admits secretly bugging its own clergy

VATICAN CITY
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 decision to resign.

The Vatican confirmed that secret surveillance had indeed taken place, but on a far smaller scale than that portrayed by Panorama.

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Vatikan: Kardinal soll Kurien-Kollegen ausspioniert haben

VATIKAN
Spiegel

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 Behauptung führt “Panorama” nicht an.

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Ideologisch und allzu politisch

DEUTSCHLAND
Die Welt

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.

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N24-Emnid-Umfrage zum Papst-Rücktritt: Mehrheit zufrieden mit Papst Benedikt – aber Reformen dringend nötig

DEUTSCHLAND
Bankkaufmann

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).

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»Diese Kirche ist am Ende«

DEUTSCHLAND
Neues Deutschland

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.

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“Die Kirchen müssen die Heimkinder entschädigen”

DEUTSCHLAND
Presseportal

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 Zeit, dass die Kirchen endlich offen legen, wer damals bei Misshandlungen und sexueller Gewalt wegschaute oder die Täter durch Schweigen gedeckt hat. Wenn die Kirchen das nicht von alleine hinkriegen, muss der Staat ihnen auf die Sprünge helfen.”

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Priest Treatment Facility Across From High School Causes Concern

PENNSYLVANIA
Catholics4Change

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.

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Lombardi: “Checks may have been carried out on two or three individuals”

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

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
Rome

“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.

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Catholics dismiss Pell’s claims and back Pope

AUSTRALIA
Bendigo Advertiser

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.

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Fascism in the Church: Ex-Priest On “The Pope’s War,” Clergy Abuse and Quelling Liberation Theology

UNITED STATES
Democracy Now!

[with video]

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 says. “I think that the Catholic Church as we know it, the structure of the Vatican, is passé. We are moving beyond it, it has become a viper’s nest. It is really sick what is going on — obviously to cover up the pedophile priests.” [Transcript to come. Check back soon.]

Guest:

Matthew Fox, Author of over two dozen books, most recently, “The Pope’s War: Why Ratzinger’s Secret Crusade Has Imperiled the Church and How It Can Be Saved.” He is a former Catholic priest who was first stopped from teaching Liberation Theology and Creation Spirituality by Cardinal Ratzinger, then expelled from the Dominican Order to which he had belonged for 34 years. He currently serves as an Episcopal priest.

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The Vatican is stuck in a monarchical past

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

by Tom Roberts | Feb. 27, 2013

Analysis
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 almost convince one that an age of Renaissance princes had somehow been recreated.

But there were differences, quickly apparent, among the pageants. In England and Monaco, amid joy and sorrow, the principals, privileged as they might be, walked as 21st-century intruders upon ancient ceremonials. They bore contemporary, real-life scars of tragic deaths and love gone sour. There was no retreat into some insular spirituality, no hiding away in a religious culture, though religion brought the most profound meaning to the events. The talk in these settings was not about some metaphysically infused heroic suffering. It was just suffering of the human sort, which is holy enough, the kind most of us bear no matter how elite, the kind where relationships need tending and there are children and others to worry about. In London and Monaco, the artifacts of royalty were symbols in service to a faded reality.

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A Vatican Spring?

GERMANY
The New York Times

By HANS KÜNG

Published: February 27, 2013

TÜBINGEN, Germany

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 Pope Gregory VII, left us with the three enduring features of the Roman system: a centralist-absolutist papacy, compulsory clericalism and the obligation of celibacy for priests and other secular clergy.

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Protect our children, victim urges sex abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

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.

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Teachers tried to report child abuse, inquiry told

AUSTRALIA
The Age

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.

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Vatican Summoned Before UN Committee on Rights of the Child

UNITED STATES
The Center for Constitutional Rights

[the report]

Groups Submit Report on Worldwide Sex Abuse Crisis

press@ccrjustice.org

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 within the church that have both enabled and perpetuated the sexual violence, and the principles in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and one of its Optional Protocols which the Vatican has violated.

Said Center for Constitutional Rights Senior Attorney Pam Spees, “When the Committee on the Rights of the Child meets in June and demands answers from the Vatican on its handling of the epidemic of sexual violence in the church, it will be a historic day for survivors. The church has put itself and its reputation above the welfare of children at every step, in many cases knowingly moving a pedophile priest from one congregation to the next to keep things quiet, allowing the priest to continue to operate and have contact with children. This UN body has authority to determine whether the Holy See has violated the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It’s a long overdue calling to account.”

The Center for Constitutional Rights filed a case with the International Criminal Court on behalf of SNAP against the pope and other high-level Vatican officials for crimes against humanity in September 2011 and provided additional documentation in the case in April 2012. The prosecutor is currently reviewing the evidence.

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POPE’S FAREWELL TO CARDINALS

VATICAN CITY
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 who filled St. Peter’s Square, your closeness, your advice, have been a great help to me in my ministry. In these 8 years we have experienced in faith beautiful moments of radiant light in the Churches’ journey along with times when clouds have darkened the sky. We have tried to serve Christ and his Church with deep and total love which is the soul of our ministry. We have gifted hope that comes from Christ alone, and which alone can illuminate our path.

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Papabile of the Day: The Men Who Could Be Pope

VATICAN CITY
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 buzz is often illuminating; as a guide to what might actually happen, it can be of limited utility.

The “Great Asian Hope” in the 2013 conclave could turn out to be a case in point.

On the buzz meter, the clear winner is Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila in the Philippines, whose nickname is “Chito.” He’s young, articulate, smiling, and media-savvy, with a reputation for simplicity and humility. Tagle is hugely popular back home, and tends to wow people wherever he goes.

Among the cardinals, however, there’s another Asian who might seem a more compelling choice: Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith (formally, Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don) of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

For one thing, Ranjith is 65, ten years older than Tagle, and probably right in line with the ideal age profile: Not as young as John Paul was in 1978, meaning he wouldn’t have an overly long papacy, but not as old as Benedict XVI in 2005, meaning the church probably wouldn’t face another transition too soon.

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Vatican plays down Australian cardinal comments

VATICAN CITY
Mercury News

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.”

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Pedophile Priest Conducted Mass at Local Church

CALIFORNIA
Los Feliz Ledger

[James Ford – Los Angeles archdiocese]

By Colin Stutz, Ledger Contributing Writer

LOS FELIZ

—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 all were posted, the result of a court order, detailing 128 priests that have been accused of molestation of minors.

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Pope Benedict Leaves A Church Mired In Crises

VATICAN CITY
KOSU

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 clerical sex abuse.

David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests (SNAP), says Benedict has been credited for meeting with and apologizing to victims and issuing new guidelines on handling cases, but he has not sanctioned one bishop for covering up abuse cases.

“Pope Benedict came into office knowing more about abuse than any other Catholic official on the planet, and I think many victims and many Catholics had some real hope that he would clean house, and he clearly didn’t,” Clohessy says.

The sex abuse cloud will hang over the conclave to elect the new pope. As will a confidential report on last year’s embarrassing leaks of private papers that revealed corruption and turf battles within the Vatican. Benedict has left the report for his successor’s eyes only, but many cardinals are already asking to be briefed on its contents.

Massimo Franco, author of numerous books about the Vatican, says the scandals have revealed Benedict to be a poor manager and a victim of the powerful administrative apparatus known as the Roman Curia.

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Vatican’s looming ‘Inquisition’ reveals a fractured Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
Global Post

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 by Pope John XXIII in summoning the world’s bishops to the council in Rome.

In the 1990s, the nuns there established a strong interfaith spirit, they undertook a rigorous environmental effort toward “sustainability’ and they welcomed gay couples into the church and its services. By the year 2000, the nuns transformed the monastery into an ecumenical institution, welcoming a Presbyterian woman minister. And that was the point at which they crossed an irreversible line. Having a Protestant woman ministering in the community threw their identity as a Catholic women’s order into question.

The sisters decided to leave the diocese and end their formal affiliation with the Catholic Church. As they saw it, they were maintaining the monastic ideal of Benedictine spirituality by opening the place to others. In the process of leaving the Catholic Church, the nuns made their own power move, of sorts. They held onto the deed to the land with the position that their faith community was true to the interfaith spirit of Vatican II. Their message, though never formally stated, was sledgehammer blunt: the male hierarchy has gone backwards and we’re moving forward. They quite literally held their ground.

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Pontiff Benedict tells cardinals to set aside differences as conclave approaches

VATICAN CITY
Belfast Telegraph

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 his final audience.

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“Liar, liar, pants on fire”

CALIFORNIA
Renew America

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 violating the sanctity and purity of young people.”

Liar, liar pants on fire, Cardinal Levada.

How is it possible that the former Archbishop of San Francisco, the Sodom of the Pacific, and the former Prefect for the Congregation for the Faith which routinely deals with clerical sex abuse cases against minors and vulnerable adults can argue that homosex is not predatory sex?

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Archbishop Philip Tartaglia speaks of ‘painful times’ for Catholic Church

SCOTLAND
BBC News

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.

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Ex-Fitchburg priest avoids jail in child porn case

WORCESTER (MA)
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.

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Teacher hounded out of school

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

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.

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ABDICATION on the LAST DAY

UNITED STATES
National Survivor Advocates Coalition

Editorial

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 Pope Benedict, who can express his own sense of desolation adrift from a Lord he felt was sleeping, understands what those raped and sodomized by priests and nuns live with each day.

We hope he knows that they are burdened, scarred and haunted by depression, loss, confusion, anger and the void of being held back from the gate of spiritual solace by the memories of the desecration of their young bodies by priests and nuns.

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Former Visitation Priest Indicted on Additional Sex Charges

NEW JERSEY
Patch

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 Velanmarukudiyil J. Christudas, was arrested after a woman filed a report saying Velan came to her house and had “inappropriate contact” with her as well as her minor child.

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Anchorage priest loses ministry over abuse allegations

ALASKA
Alaska Dispatch

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.”

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Pope resignation: cardinal criticises Benedict XVI on last day

VATICAN CITY
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 there – this is said very commonly,” Cardinal Pell added in a later radio interview from the Vatican.

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Fighting for the Future

UNITED STATES
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 will likely be far greater as more situations continue to come to light in Latin America and Africa.5

Commissions of inquiry and grand juries have been convened in Canada,6 Australia,7 and Germany,8 as well as the United States, some of which will be discussed below. Ireland has seen a number of inquiries, resulting in the Ferns Report,9 the Ryan Report,10 the Murphy Report,11 and the Cloyne Report.12 There have also been Church-appointed commissions, as well as non-governmental reports setting forth widespread and systematic sexual violence within the Catholic church, in Belgium,13 Germany,14 The Netherlands,15 and the United States. In September 2011, Amnesty International issued a report finding that the abused of children in Catholic-run institutions in Ireland amounted to torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.16

Every investigative body that has studied these situations has identified the same policies and practices that allowed the sexual violence to proliferate and that furthered the harm to the direct victims. Without exception, each of these inquiries has reached the same inevitable conclusion: The primary concern of Church officials in these cases has been to protect the reputation of the Church and its priests – not the best interest of the child. This conclusion was perhaps most succinctly expressed by a grand jury in the United States when it observed that Church authorities “continued and/or established policies that made the protection of the Church from ‘scandal’ more important than the protection of children from sexual predators.”17 Similarly, the Ryan Commission in Ireland found that: 2 Cases of sexual abuse were managed with a view to minimizing the risk of public disclosure and consequent damage to the institution and the Congregation. This policy resulted in the protection of the perpetrator. When lay people were discovered to have sexually abused, they were generally reported to the Gardai.

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ITALY – Victims blast Vatican in new United Nations filing

ROME
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

WHAT:
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).

WHEN:
Thursday, February 28 at 2 p.m.

WHERE:
Orange Hotel, 86, Via Crescenzio, 00193 Roma (St. Peter)

WHO:
Two clergy sex abuse victims who are leaders of the US-based international support group SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Missouri man who is the organization’s long time director

WHY:
SNAP is filling a new 30 page report with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) that is highly critical of the Vatican’s past and current handling of clergy sex crimes and cover ups. It’s the first time SNAP is making a formal appeal to the UN for help with the crisis. (The CRC oversees compliance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted in 1990.)

Later this year, the CRC will question Vatican officials on their compliance/non-compliance with the Convention. The CRC will then report publicly on its concluding observations.

The Vatican ratified the Convention in 1990 (under Pope John Paul II). In 1994, in its first report to the CRC, the Vatican made no mention whatsoever of the issue of clergy sex abuse though even then, top church officials had extensive knowledge about pedophile priests and complicit bishops around the world.

In 1997, the Vatican’s second report to the CRC was due. It was finally submitted about 14 years late. (And the Vatican is ten years late in filing its first required report under a similar agreement called the “Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, which was due in 2003.)

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Boston Clergy Abuse Victims: Next Pope Faces Unfinished Work

BOSTON (MA)
WBUR

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 was no dialogue. He was there in a spiritual fashion for his church and that’s understandable, but that’s not why I was there.”

One of the reasons McDaid was there was because Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley arranged the meeting, bringing not only survivors like McDaid but a book with the names of 1,000 survivors from Boston that he asked the pope to bless. McDaid says O’Malley’s experience in Boston prompted the Vatican to appoint him to help with Ireland’s abuse scandal in 2010. …

“This is a man who has a record of being brought in to the diocese in an uproar over sex abuse and of quieting the anger and restoring calm. He has restored calm but he has not been transparent,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, with the group BishopAccountability.org. Her group started tracking abusive priests around the world once the scandal broke in Boston.

Barrett Doyle points out that it took years for O’Malley to release a list of accused abusive priests in Boston and when he did, in 2011, it was not complete.

“What’s disturbing is that his public relations is so successful that he is now being considered as pope,” she said. “As pope he would be nicer to victims but just as protective of accused priests.”

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Cardinal DiNardo blogs as conclave for new pope begins

HOUSTON (TX)
Houston Chronicle

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.”

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Pope did ‘more than anyone’ to deal with sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
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.

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Yeshiva U. Rabbi George Finkelstein Acted Inappropriately Even After Ouster

NEW YORK
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 behaved inappropriately with boys have trailed him for at least 30 years, according to dozens of interviews with former students, colleagues and peers in the United States.

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Ruben Rosario: Ex-NFL player opposes time limits on justice for child sex abuse

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Ruben Rosario
rrosario@pioneerpress.comtwincities.com
Posted: 02/27/2013

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.

“I thought I would go to my grave (without coming forward),” he said. “Any kind of abuse is horrible. But when a man abuses a boy, I think it’s just extra horrible. It screws you up as a man. It kills your spirit.”

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New Pope and Church Can Be Saved Only By 2 Protestants, Merkel/Obama

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

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 priests and the “morning after pill” and calling for the election of almost any Cardinal but a European, especially an Italian, may have helped some uninformed journalists meet a daily deadline, but are really just insignificant distractions. The audacious attempts of imminent ex-Pope, Joseph Ratzinger, and others like Cardinals Mahony (LA), O’Brien (Scotland) and Egan (NY), to portray themselves as victims are both pathetic and predictable. Similarly, Cardinal Pell’s surprising criticism of the new ex-Pope for mismanagement and resigning are too little too late and likely just some defensive posturing as Pell faces soon an extensive royal commission investigation in Australia.

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Eclipsed and the world of the Magdalene Laundries

IRELAND
Galway Advertiser

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.

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Over 700 inquire about Magdalene fund

IRELAND
Irish Times

MARIE O’HALLORAN

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.”

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Nearly 800 inquiries about Magdalene Laundries fund

IRELAND
Journal

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.

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Secret Vatican report could play a part in pope selection

VATICAN CITY
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 Thursday. Even though the 115 cardinals who will choose a new pontiff are not being allowed to read the confidential file, what they believe to be in it could color their decision.

Speculation over the dossier’s potentially explosive contents is just part of the politicking that is likely to go into the heavily veiled process of picking a new leader for the world’s 1.1 billion Roman Catholics.

That process in effect started earlier than usual because of Benedict’s surprise announcement of his intention to step down from office rather than let death remove him from it. The advance notice of a vacancy on the throne of St. Peter means that papal hopefuls, their supporters and detractors have already begun sizing one another up, plotting strategy and assessing chances.

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Billy Doe’s Junkie Hustle

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

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. But that didn’t mean Wallace was done checking out his client’s story.

Wallace’s next move was to send the “smiling padre” out “to be boxed,” meaning a polygraph test. The man who administered the test was William L. Fleisher, a former FBI agent who did polygraphs for District Attorney Seth Williams and the U.S. Attorney’s office. How’d Avery do? “He passed it with flying colors,” Wallace said.

That brought Wallace to a firm conclusion about Billy Doe’s allegations — “It all added up to a big lie,” Wallace said.

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Pope Benedict final speech leaves papacy in ‘choppy waters’

VATICAN CITY
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 faith more and more toward the margins of life… in a time in which many speak of its decline.”

Opponents criticized Benedict for failing to mend the Church’s decades-long history of worldwide scandalous wrongdoing including theft, bribery, rampant pedophilia and allegations of covering up sexual abuse by priests in order to protect its own reputation.

A report published last week by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica said that the real reason the pontiff decided to resign was in light of an internal church probe that informed him about a series of blackmails, grafts and underground gay sex in the Vatican.

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Abuse can only happen with the unspoken agreement that it will be covered up

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Suzanne Moore
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 victims are mute, dispensable, irrelevant. Speaking out has not empowered them as it should: they remain a lumpen mass of unfortunate people to whom unfortunate things were done. The focus remains on the powerful as they scurry between media outlets changing their stories.

Abuse is shocking. Its covering up even more so, and a culture that is prepared to do this is rotten to the core. So where is this hidden culture? Oh look, it’s in Westminster, at the BBC, in the SWP, in the Catholic church, in the police force, in care homes and even in the godforsaken Lib Dem party. Sex scandals in the Catholic church are decades old. After Cardinal O’Brien resigned over the allegations against him, one of the men who had made them talked about his own decision to leave the priesthood: he said it had been presumed he did so to get married, but this was not the case. “I knew he would always have power over me.” This is key to understanding how abuse wrecks lives. Those detectives trying to meet their targets by persuading women to drop rape charges in Operation Sapphire are not much concerned with this. Those who covered up Cyril Smith’s grooming and abuse of institutionalised boys can’t be either. Those who knew the “difficulties” about Lord Rennard have known about them for some time, though, like O’Brien, he denies them. Likewise those in the BBC and the police who heard the Savile rumours ignored them.

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Call for fund for victims of church sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

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.”

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VIDEO: Centre to aid abuse inquiry will open

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

[with video]

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.

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Child Sexual Abuse: It’s Not Just a Catholic Issue

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

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 next pope will be bogged down for years in ongoing worldwide investigations, civil litigation and criminal prosecutions of Church officials. He faces the even tougher job of regaining the diminishing trust of many Catholics who have left the Church out of frustration and disgust.

While the media has chosen to focus on the wrongdoings of the Catholic Church, the problem of child sexual abuse — and its cover up — is by no means unique to this one religion. Over the past year, we have seen evidence of several other organizations where moral integrity is a given (including the Boy Scouts of America, Penn State University and an Orthodox Jewish community in London) fall prey to widespread child sexual abuse. Like the Catholic Church, these institutions chose to protect themselves and their own image rather than the lives of innocent victims.

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Questions over police role in church abuse handling process

AUSTRALIA
Radio Australia

[with video]

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.

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Catholic Church harassed sex abuse victims, inquiry finds

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

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.

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Church blame in the frame

AUSTRALIA
Eureka Street

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 Church presented by producer Alex Gibney, focusing on the horrendous case of Fr Lawrence Murphy, who abused up to 200 children at a school for the deaf in Milwaukee.

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Pope Benedict could face court over sex crimes in the church

AUSTRALIA
The Conversation

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 for all intents and purposes, the Vatican City has been equated to a sovereign state since the Lateran Treaty of 1929, with the Pope as its head. International law accords complete immunity to heads of state from the jurisdiction of other states while they are in office. They retain this immunity with respect to acts performed in an official capacity even after leaving office.

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‘Benedict left pedophilia unaddressed, victims still suffering’

VATICAN CITY
RT

[with video]

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 reasons. How much do you think his decision is actually connected to the numerous scandals surrounding the Vatican?

DL: There certainly are a lot of rumors and I hate to speculate on their truthfulness. I will say that clearly the sexual abuse crisis during his pontificate has probably weighted heavy on his mind. It’s been difficult for him, it continually comes up. And it continually comes up primarily out of his own failings. He has not fully addressed it, he said some nice words but it hasn’t been a lot of really true action. It has distracted him, it was something he had to deal with during his entire time. And it probably has caused him to wear out. If he’d only addressed it, I think it would have been a lot better.

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As Pope Resigns, Clergy Abuse Survivors Remember 2008 Meeting

MASSACHUSETTS
KOSU

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.

Since then Horne has read the stories swirling around and heard the news that Britain’s most senior Catholic cleric resigned amid allegations of inappropriate behavior with priests. Secrets have a way of coming out, Horne says, not that it brings him any satisfaction.

“My intent never was to inflict shame and damage. I’ve come from shame and damage. I want to work the problem. I don’t want to work the Catholic Church,” says Horne.

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Priests ‘should report confessed abuse’

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

By Patrick Caruana
From: AAP
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.

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Vatici-can’t: Catholic church debacle

UNITED STATES
fsunews

Written by
Adrian Chamberlin
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 via official word of the pope, in light of his imminent resignation.

By itself, this does not seem too shocking; the pope appears to be cleaning up shop on his way out. The truth, however, is much more suspicious.

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Abuse victims speak out

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

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.

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Pope Benedict’s retirement has many European Catholics hoping for reform

EUROPE
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 when he was sent to a boarding school in southern Germany run by a Vatican missionary order.

“The sexual abuse usually took place in the evening. The priest would come to our bed and … touched us,” Fischer says, haltingly and mostly in German, adding that he doesn’t remember all the details.

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Do You Trust the Catholic Church With Your Children?

GEORGIA
Patch

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 Catholic experience I have never been fully in step with the rules.

When news broke of Pope Benedict’s resignation, the first thought that came to my mind, and many others, was that it must be related to a child sexual abuse scandal.

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New Evidence Surfaces Against Catholic Priests Accused Of Sexual Abuse, Claims Gloria Allred

CALIFORNIA
Radar

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 from June of 1991, then-Archbishop Roger Mahony held a news conference and said, “The responsibility for apologies rests on the priests who misused their vow of priestly celibacy, not on the archdiocese,” which had supervised them and advised one of them to stay out of the United States after the story broke. On the same day, a former priest, Rev. Santiago (Henry) Tamayo, publicly apologized to Milla, and he admitted to having a sexual relationship with her.

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Pell critical of Pope as he bids farewell

ROME
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.”

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Chicago Catholic Archdiocese cuts jobs, closes schools

CHICAGO (IL)
KGMI

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.”

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Michael Kelly: Cardinal’s crisis is not whole faith’s

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

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 to and from the cameras.

There were no funereal tones or glum faces. This was to the grave disappointment of producers and the puzzlement of presenters, who clearly were expecting a flagellation of all things Roman. But the O’Brien scandal is not the crisis for the Church that the media is portraying. The main reaction I have had from “ordinary” Catholics is one of sorrow and compassion for all of those involved, which is exactly what one would expect from any Christian. There is, of course, shock and disappointment and some anger. But most are able to distinguish quite clearly between the dogma and doctrines of the Church, which we are all obliged to follow, however errantly and despite human frailty.

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Additional accusation surface against Anchorage priest

ALASKA
Roman Catholic Diocese of Anchorage

Process underway to remove J. Michael Hornick from priesthood

CatholicAnchor.org

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.

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Anchorage Priest’s Counsel Denies Allegations by Women

ALASKA
KTUU

By Chris Klint
Channel 2 News
KTUU
3:13 p.m. AKST, February 27, 2013

ANCHORAGE, Alaska—

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 his priestly duties for over forty years,” Ross said.

Ross also said the public release of the new information about Hornick was unfair to his side of the story.

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Tod Brown’s Perpetual Pedo-Priest Parade!

CALIFORNIA
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 as exclusives have circulated in the Catholic and alternative press for more than a decade. But the episode at least shows that members of the public will attack the church hierarchy once damning evidence is shoved in their faces. So there’s hope that another major Catholic figure will emerge with his reputation in further tatters after the LA document dump: former Diocese of Orange Bishop Tod D. Brown.

He retired quietly late last year per Vatican rules requiring bishops to step down at age 75, and successor Kevin W. Vann has gamely tried to have OC’s 1.2 million Catholics remember Brown for his last-minute purchase of the former Crystal Cathedral (to be renamed Christ Cathedral) in 2011 instead of the $100 million-plus in sex-abuse settlements Brown had to sign off on during his term. But while the LA Archdiocese published almost all of its pedo-priests files on its website (it took a judge to do this, but still), it’s more than Brown ever did. When asked in 2005 if he’d publicly publish Diocese of Orange pedo-priests files that a judge forced him to hand over to lawyers, Brown flat-out refused and didn’t bother giving a reason for the secrecy.

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Will new pope open door for women priests?

CANADA
CBC News

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 move so much on the political spectrum during a term. Making radical changes — such as starting to ordain women — would destroy the pope’s constituency, he said.

“Whereas the Western world may be ready for women clergy and so forth, a lot of the world is just not ready for that yet,” said Fay.

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Sex Abuse Victims Ask Pope To Act Before Leaving

FLORIDA
CBS Miami

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 Herman.

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Mum’s the word: Cardinals let on little to journalists after Benedict XVI’s last General Audience

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

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
Rome

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 many of the 115 cardinal electors have still not arrived in Rome. Nearer the time of the Conclave, cardinals will stay inside the Vatican, in the Domus Sanctæ Marthæ. Before then, they will be staying in various parts of Rome.

Imposing Australian archbishop, George Pell, gives a few half answers to journalists. Will it be a long Conclave? “Who knows, I doubt it, but I don’t know.” Will it begin before 15 March? “Maybe a bit before, maybe.” There are “obviously” no splits in College of Cardinals. Will the next Pope be Italian? “The best cardinal will be the next Pope!” Will it be you? “No! It is possible an Italian may be chosen…”

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Second Act

VATICAN CITY
Time

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 resign on Feb. 28. “The Pope must have felt very lonely in taking this decision,” says a well-placed member of the Curia, the secretive bureaucracy that runs the Vatican. “After all, there is no one higher up than him to defer the choice to. Above him, there is only God.” The papal announcement, delivered in Latin, stunned the church. Here was a Pope, in the ultimate exercise of free will, giving up his throne and his role as the Vicar of Christ. The last time that happened was 1415, when Gregory VII resigned as part of a negotiated deal to end the schism that had divided the church between rival papacies for close to 40 years.

There is no existential crisis to resolve this time. But Benedict’s abdication may transform the church he has ruled for almost eight years of both intractable controversy and burgeoning growth. He cited his physical condition, at age 85, as a reason for stepping down, and his brother Georg indicated that doctors have advised the Pontiff to give up transoceanic flights. The Pope has lived with a pacemaker since before ascending to the throne, and the Vatican acknowledged that its battery was recently replaced as part of regular maintenance. But unless Benedict’s health deteriorates rapidly, he will not only see the election of his successor but also watch the new Pontiff take his first steps in the job. That convergence is likely to have huge implications–and perhaps complications.

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Will the new pope be open to change?

UNITED STATES
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 all, what would I look for in a pope? Certainly he needs to be holy and a man of prayer. He needs to exemplify Gospel values, a preference for the poor and a commitment to social justice for all people. He needs to be thoughtful and learned. He needs to have experiences that go beyond the walls of the Vatican and chancery responsibilities. A parish ministry background is a must. He must be patently pastoral and open to the world around him.

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Cardinal O’Malley in Rome as pope prepares to step down

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

By
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.

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Why We Wait for a Non-European Pope

VATICAN CITY
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, or Asia.

For some, a pope from the Global South would offer a new perspective, energizing a church faced with the challenges of the modern world. The move could signal an overcoming of past injustice, a herald that all parts of the church hold equal weight within the body. “I think it would send the message to the global church that they recognize the present and future of the church, and that they want to give voice and authority to what’s increasingly becoming the majority,” says Michelle Gonzalez Maldonado, a professor of religion at the University of Miami who specializes in theologies of the Americas. “It says you are really a part of the authentic church, not just the colonized church.”

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Pope Benedict named in sexual abuse lawsuit

TEXAS
WCSC

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.

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Fitchburg priest gets suspended sentence for child porn, thefts

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Gary V. Murray TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
gmurray@telegram.com

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 children under age 16, GPS monitoring and the payment of $750 in restitution.

The sentence imposed by Judge Kenton-Walker was requested by his lawyer, Shane W. Surrette. Assistant District Attorney Courtney Sans recommended the Roman Catholic priest, the Diocese of Worcester’s first Filipino priest, be sentenced to 1 to 3 years in state prison with probation to follow.

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Victim forgives disgraced priest for abuse

CANADA
CBC News

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.

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NYT coloca a Errázuriz en lista de cardenales cuestionados para elegir a nuevo Papa

CHILE
El Mostrador

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.

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No Rio, padre é indiciado por abuso de duas menores

BRASIL
Veja

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 outubro do ano passado. Até então, o padre era o responsável pela igreja Nossa Senhora do Rosário e São Benedito. A irmã mais velha com quem Emilson teve relações sexuais dentro da paroquia era coroinha da igreja. Ela foi batizada aos 13 anos pelo padre, que também foi escolhido pela família da menina como padrinho.

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Padre irá responder por estupro de jovem em Niterói

BRASIL
Correio de Brasil

27/2/2013

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.

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