ABUSE TRACKER

A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse. For recent coverage listed in this blog, read the full article in the newspaper or other media source by clicking “Read original article.” For earlier coverage, click the title to read the original article.

July 2, 2017

Supporters of George Pell set up fund to help cardinal fight charges

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

July 2, 2017

Supporters of George Pell have reportedly set up a fund to help the cardinal fight multiple, historical sexual abuse charges.

Details of the fund emerged after the Catholic Church said it would not pay Cardinal Pell’s legal fees after Victoria Police charged the Vatican’s 76-year- old finance chief on summons last Thursday.

News Corp reports that a bank account has been set up for donations to help Cardinal Pell when he returns to Melbourne from Rome to fight the charges.

John Roskam, the head of the Institute of Public Affairs conservative think tank, said he had been given bank account details for people wanting to assist Cardinal Pell with his legal bills.

“The point of this (fund) is that there are a lot of people who want to support the cardinal and want to give him the opportunity to clear his name,” Mr Roskam said.

Australia’s most senior Catholic insists he is innocent and is looking forward to fighting the charges in court.

Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher has said that the Sydney archdiocese will assist with Cardinal Pell’s accommodation when he returns to Australia but will not pay his legal bills.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Der Scharfmacher hat ausgedient

ROM
Spiegel

[In connection with the postsynodal papal letter “Amoris Laetitia”, Cardinal Müller criticized the pope’s position on the question of the communion for newly married divorced persons. Francis allowed them to do so in individual cases. Muller stated that no one, not even the Pope, could alter the dogmatic doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage.
On the occasion of the family code of 2014, Miiller had signed the “Letter of the 13 Cardinals”, which raised concerns about a weakening of the traditional Catholic family policy.
In May 2016, Francis announced to have the women’s authorization of the deacon’s office examined. Müller categorically dismissed a deaconess ordination, as did women in the priesthood.
The Prefect is said to have hindered the curia reform initiated by Francis against corruption and mismanagement.
In the case of Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, Mueller lamented a campaign against the clergyman who was removed from his diocese in 2014 because of the scandal for his 31 million-euro bishop’s house. That someone would be “so degraded” was “immoral, something we had in Germany before in a very dark epoch,” said Müller. For Pope Francis, who preaches poverty, it was an affront.
As prefect of the Congregation for the Faith, Müller was responsible for the clearing-up of abuse. Pope Francis proclaimed a “zero-tolerance policy” after the great scandals of 2010. Müller spoke of “individual cases” and denounced a pogrom mood against the church.
During his time as bishop of Regensburg (2002 to 2012), the cardinal is said to have delayed the investigation of the abuse scandal at the Domspatzen. He always denied it.
A abuse in Riekofen, which was dealt with in 2010 harmed Müller’s reputation in the long term. The bishopric had kept a secret that a pastor was convicted of child abuse. After rebelling, Miiller dismissed an apology in the name of the church and said: “The responsibility for the deed is borne by the perpetrator.”
Mary Collins, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Children and herself survivor of sexual abuse by an Irish priest, resigned her office just a few months ago. Among other things, she gave a “shameful lack of cooperation” with Cardinal Müller.]

Der Finanzchef des Vatikans lässt sein Amt wegen Missbrauchsvorwürfen ruhen, jetzt muss auch Glaubenshüter Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller seinen Hut nehmen. Überraschend? Wohl kaum.

Von Annette Langer

Die Aufgaben der jahrhundertealten Glaubenskongregation hat Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller einmal so umrissen: Das Wichtigste sei, “dass wir dem Heiligen Vater in seinem Lehramt dienen und uns um Delikte gegen den Glauben oder die Heiligkeit der Sakramente kümmern”, sagte er 2015 im Interview mit der “Zeit”.

Das klingt devot und dienstbeflissen – dennoch hat der einflussreiche Präfekt nun offenbar ausgedient. Müllers Amtszeit endet fristgerecht nach fünf Jahren, zum 2. Juli. Warum der Vatikan in Zukunft auf die Mitarbeit des 69-Jährigen verzichten wird, ist nicht bekannt.

Einige Kommentatoren nannten den Schritt überraschend – tatsächlich scheint die Verabschiedung nur eine logische Konsequenz aus den überdeutlichen politischen Differenzen zwischen Papst Franziskus und dem Mann an der Spitze der Glaubenskongregation zu sein.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

My 2 cents: ‘The Keepers’ a riveting Netflix drama

PENNSYLVANIA
Reading Eagle

By Lindsey O’Laughlin

State Rep. Mark Rozzi, a Muhlenberg Democrat, has refused to compromise on his stance that statute of limitations reform for victims of childhood sexual abuse must include a retroactive window allowing any past victims to sue their abusers, regardless of when the abuse occurred.

A recent Netflix series reminded me why I agree with him.

In case you haven’t heard the buzz, “The Keepers” is a seven-part true-crime documentary about a Baltimore pedophile Catholic priest, the children whom he victimized and the unsolved murder of a 26-year-old nun who knew too much.

Sister Catherine Cesnik was beloved by her students at Archbishop Keough High School in the late 1960s, where she taught English and drama, wrote poetry and played the guitar. It wasn’t until decades after her body was found that any connection surfaced between Cesnik and the Rev. Joseph Maskell, the priest accused of abusing at least 50 girls at Keough and at least one boy from a former parish.

That connection is Jean Wehner, a survivor of Maskell’s abuse and a captivating person of resilience.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Parishioners at Melbourne’s St Patrick’s Cathedral asked to pray for George Pell

AUSTRALIA
The Flinders News

Aisha Gow
2 Jul 2017

As about 150 parishioners filed into St Patrick’s Cathedral, the home of the Catholic Church in Melbourne, one question was on everyone’s mind: Would the historical sex abuse charges laid against Cardinal George Pell be addressed?

In the end, the issue was tackled head on at the Sunday morning Mass.

The charges were mentioned directly, while other things were said that perhaps also carried a message about Cardinal Pell and his upcoming court battle.

Sunday’s Mass was dedicated to Cardinal Pell, who continues to assert his innocence against charges of historical sex abuse.

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Cardinals Pell, Müller and the Pope: A Reality Check

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on July 2, 2017 by Betty Clermont

On June 29, Australian police charged Cardinal George Pell with multiple counts of historical sexual assault offences. The Vatican Press Office stated they learned this “with regret,” that Pell “chose to return to Australia in full respect for civil laws” and that Pope Francis has “appreciated” Pell’s “honesty,” “collaboration” and “energetic dedication to the reforms in the economic and administrative sector, as well as his active participation in the Council of Cardinals (C9).”

On July 1, the Vatican Press Office stated that Pope Francis “thanks Cardinal Müller at the end his quinquennial mandate as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith” and “now calls the former Secretary [of the Congregation], Archbishop Ladaria, to take on this role.”
If not stating it outright, the U.S. media is inferring that the above is about the good “liberal” pope v. two bad “conservative” cardinals. That is grossly misinterpreting these events since the pope is not a liberal.

“Pope Francis referred to detractors of Bishop Juan Barros of the Chilean city of Osorno as ‘lefties’” after “more than 1,300 church members in Osorno, along with some 30 priests from the diocese and 51 of Chile’s 120 members of Parliament” sent letters in 2015 to the pope “urging him to rescind” his appointment. Barros was accused of “covering up dozens of sexual abuse cases.” …

Cardinal George Pell

“Pell, 76, has been plagued by scandal for decades.”

Pell was ordained in 1966 and assigned to Ballarat, the town where he was born in 1941. Ballarat is in the state of Victoria and Melbourne is the capital.

Pell’s roommate and close friend in the 1970s was Fr. Gerald Ridsdale. A 2012 police report linked the suicides and premature deaths of 34 people to Ridsdale and another Ballarat priest, Fr. Robert Best, both of whom are now both serving lengthy prison sentences. “It would appear that the organisation in charge of… Best and Ridsdale (Catholic Church) would be well and truly aware of the existence of these figures regarding these two clergy and would no doubt be aware of many other similar deaths, however have chosen to remain silent on the matter.”

While Pell served as the bishop’s vicar for education 1973-84 in Ballarat, “untold numbers of children were beaten and sexually assaulted by priests and nuns at the St. Alipius Primary School.” A February 2016 story by the Australian public broadcasting network SBS called the school “a pedophile’s paradise and a child’s nightmare.” Abuse was rampant throughout the parish in the 1970s, according to the Australian newspaper The Age, which once called Ballarat “probably the worst of Australia’s 32 dioceses for sexual abuse.” …

Cardinal Gerhard Müller

“When Müller was appointed bishop of Regensburg in 2002, he inherited the case of Fr. Peter Kramer, who had been convicted in 2000 of sexually abusing two boys … Kramer was sentenced to three years probation on July 7, 2000, on condition that he not work with children. But when Müller became bishop, Kramer was already working with children in the parish of Riekhofen, and when Kramer’s probation expired, Müller named him pastor. Müller concealed Kramer’s conviction from his parishioners.”

“Kramer was again convicted of child abuse. Müller combatively disclaimed responsibility for the children who had been abused because of his decision, and even threatened legal action against his critics. When the bishop of Fulda, Heinz J. Algermissen, affirmed the bishops’ guidelines, that a priest who has abused children must not be permitted further contact with children, Müller countered that ‘there is no space free of children and youth.’”

On April 5, 2013, Pope Francis met with Archbishop Müller, now prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the department that has dealt with all sexual abuse cases since Pope John Paul II consolidated its role on April 30, 2001. “Various issues were discussed” in the meeting with Müller, but “in particular” the pope “recommended that the Congregation continue along the lines set by Benedict XVI” who had appointed Müller as prefect in 2012.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

German cardinal sacked by Pope for been involved in s*x abuse

NIGERIA
Information Nigeria

Tope Alabi July 2, 2017

The head of the Vatican office that handles s*x abuse cases was sacked by Pope Francis on Saturday, just days after he released another top Vatican cardinal to return home to stand trial for alleged s*xual assault.

The developments underscored how the Catholic Church’s s*x abuse crisis has caught up with Francis, threatening to tarnish his legacy over a series of questionable appointments, decisions and oversights in his four-year papacy.

Perhaps sensing a need to change course, Francis declined to renew the mandate of German Cardinal Gerhard Mueller as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office that processes and evaluates all cases of priests accused of defiling or molesting minors.

Francis named Mueller’s deputy, Monsignor Luis Ladaria Ferrer, a Spanish Jesuit, to run the powerful office instead.

During Mueller’s five-year term, the congregation amassed a 2,000-case backlog and came under blistering criticism from Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins, who had been tapped by Francis in 2014 to advise the church on caring for abuse victims and protecting children from pedophile priests.

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Was Müller’s exit really a ‘night of the long knives’ move?

UNITED STATES
Crux

John L. Allen Jr. EDITOR

It’s easy to construe the departure of German Cardinal Gerhard Müller as the Vatican’s doctrinal chief as an ideological purge, but there are several problems with that perspective, including the fact his replacement is nobody’s idea of a flaming liberal.

Given the way German Cardinal Gerhard Müller has become identified as the Vatican’s leading in-house skeptic about Pope Francis’s cautious opening to Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried in Amoris Laetitia, it was written in the stars that when and if Müller was ever replaced as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, it would be seen as a papal smackdown.

In some quarters, that’s precisely how news has been received that Francis has appointed Spanish Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, a fellow Jesuit, to take Müller’s place.

Before we get too carried away in the “night of the long knives” way of seeing things, however, there are a few points worth taking into account.

First, as of July 2, Müller reached the end of the five-year term to which he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. Granted, such terms can be extended at a pope’s discretion, but the point is that it’s not really as if Müller has been “fired”. His service was up, and the pope decided to name someone else.

Second, while Müller undeniably has a more restrictive take on the implications of Amoris than many others, it’s hardly as if he’s an implacable foe of the pontiff. Recall, for instance, that the German-speaking bishops at the second Synod on the Family made a commitment in their language group to achieve unanimity on their recommendations, and Müller was part of that consensus.

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July 1, 2017

UPDATE: Former Abundant Life pastor faces up to 30 years in prison

FLORIDA
NFW Daily News

State Attorney: Jury also heard evidence from two earlier victims who had been subjected to the same pattern of conduct and sexual molestation when they were teenagers.

FORT WALTON BEACH — Former Abundant Life Church pastor Larry Michael Thorne is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 24 after a jury found him guilty Thursday of sexual battery on a minor and lewd and lascivious behavior with a child.

Thorne faces up to 30 years in prison and will be designated as a sexual offender for the rest of his life. He will remain in the Okaloosa County Jail until he is sentenced.

Thorne was arrested Nov. 14, 2014, after the victim reported he had sexual contact with her on numerous occasions. The jury heard evidence that between January 2012 and November 2014 Thorne repeatedly sexually assaulted the victim starting when she was 14 years old and continuing until she was 17, according to a press release from Bill Eddins, State Attorney for the First Judicial Circuit.

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Court hears of horrific sexual abuse by former Christian Brother on fifth class boys

IRELAND
The Journal

A JUDGE HAS described the effects of depraved sexual attacks on fifth class boys by their teacher as a “nuclear fallout” for the victims and their families.

Judge Tom O’Donnell said he was adjourning sentencing former Christian Brother James Treacy (75) to consider “extremely profound” impact statements read into evidence today by some Treacy’s victims.

It was heard that, in one attack, after catching the boy smoking in the school toilet, Treacy gagged him with a bar of soap, anally raped him over a urinal, and burnt his privates with a cigarette.

Another victim described in chilling detail how Treacy ran a “military style” class, and would “lick” the boys ears clean if they had forgotten to wash them.

The victims claimed Treacy fondled their privates at their desks while whispering “twisted” sayings in their ears.

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Church Fear Of Scandal Hurts Abuse Victims In New York And Elsewhere

UNITED STATES
Huffpost

Celia Wexler, Contributor
Journalist, feminist and nonfiction author, celiawexler.com

This week, Cardinal George Pell, a high-ranking Vatican official, was summoned to his native Australia to face criminal charges for what was termed “historical child abuse.”

The police have not disclosed any details about the abuse or when it occurred. But a recent book recounted the story of an altar boy who came forward to charge abuse in 2014. The alleged incident took place sometime between 1996 and 2001.

That would mean that at least 13 years elapsed before a victim came forward. Reportedly, he did so after the suicide of a fellow former altar boy.

We don’t know whether Pell is guilty. He has denied all allegations of abuse. But what we do know is that if the alleged victim had lived in New York, he likely would have had been denied any access to justice.

That’s because New York has some of the highest hurdles in the nation for the victims of sexual abuse that occurred when they were children. New York only gives these victims five years after turning 18 to seek civil or criminal redress.

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Pope Francis Ousts Powerful Conservative Cardinal

ROME
The New York Times

By JASON HOROWITZ
JULY 1, 2017

ROME — Pope Francis earlier this year ordered Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, the top doctrinal watchdog in the Roman Catholic Church, to fire three priests from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is the keeper of the church’s orthodoxy and presides over investigations into sexual abuse.

Cardinal Müller, an ideological conservative often at odds with the pontiff, was vexed by the order, and, in a recent interview, said he had made a case, in vain, for the priests to stay in Rome.

“I’m not able to understand all,” Cardinal Müller said when asked why Francis sent them away. He added, “He’s the pope.”

On Saturday, it was Cardinal Mueller’s turn to leave. The Vatican announced that Francis had declined to renew the German cardinal’s mandate and had replaced him with his deputy, Archbishop Luis Ladaria, 73, a Spanish Jesuit theologian.

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Netflix series on abuse prompts calls for priest’s files

MARYLAND
Star Tribune

Associated Press JULY 1, 2017

BALTIMORE — A Netflix documentary series has prompted calls for the Baltimore Archdiocese to release a dead priest’s files.

The Baltimore Sun reported Saturday that the show about the priest’s alleged abuse led to more than 11,000 signatures on an online petition. Archdiocese spokesman Sean Caine said state law bars the release of much of the confidential information.

“The Keepers” focuses on the unsolved death of a Catholic nun and abuse at then-Archbishop Keough High School. The priest at the center of the show is A. Joseph Maskell.

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THE LATEST: POPE SACKS GERMAN CARDINAL HANDLING ABUSE CASES

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Latest on the Catholic Church’s sex abuse crisis (all times local):

9 p.m.

Pope Francis sacked the head of the Vatican office that handles sex abuse cases just days after he released another top Vatican cardinal to return home to stand trial for alleged sexual assault.

The developments underscore how the Catholic Church’s sex abuse crisis has caught up with Francis, threatening to tarnish his legacy over a series of questionable appointments and decisions in his four-year papacy.

Francis on Saturday declined to renew the mandate of German Cardinal Gerhard Mueller as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office that processes and evaluates all cases of priests accused of raping or molesting minors.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.

Netflix’s ‘Keepers’ prompts call for archdiocese to release priest’s files

MARYLAND
The Baltimore Sun

Alison Knezevich
The Baltimore Sun

The release of “The Keepers,” a Netflix documentary series examining the unsolved death of a Catholic nun and abuse at then-Archbishop Keough High School, has sparked calls for the Archdiocese of Baltimore to release files on the priest at the center of the story.

An online petition on change.org has more than 11,000 signatures urging church officials to make public its files on A. Joseph Maskell, who died in 2001.

The priest denied abuse allegations before his death and was never charged. Since 2011, the archdiocese has paid out $472,000 in settlements to 16 people who accused him of abuse.

“The release of these documents will restore public trust in the Archdiocese, and confirm the Archdiocese statements regarding their handling of the sexual abuse claims,” the petition states.

Jean Wehner, ‘Jane Doe’ featured in ‘The Keepers,’ discusses her now-public story
It also says such a disclosure would help to investigate “all avenues that may have led to the murder of Cathy Cesnik in 1969.”

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Charging the cardinal is a tiny part of the story

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Peter FitzSimons

I genuinely have no firm view as to the likely guilt or innocence of Cardinal George Pell on the grave charges of child sexual abuse levelled against him, and do not seek to pre-judge the legal process in any way.

But whatever happens in his particular case, it is worth noting the accolades coming Australia’s way for the fact that the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse begun by the Gillard government has accomplished so much in turning a much-needed spotlight onto the horrors of rampant sexual abuse by the Catholic clergy over the decades.

The charges brought against Cardinal Pell, the highest-ranked Catholic ever so charged, have brought world attention to the fact that – as pointed out by Gold Walkley-winning journalist Joanne McCarthy, whose work was responsible for it – we are the only country in the world that gone to the level of a national royal commission in examining Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

It has been inspirational for myriad other abuse survivors around the world, with, for example, the highly influential US-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) noting, its “hope that the Australian government’s long and extensive investigation into institutional abuse inspires other countries to follow in their footsteps and hold similar hearings”.

Again, I say, take a bow, Joanne McCarthy and Julia Gillard and all those who have had the courage to step up. Pell is only a tiny part of the whole story, but it is a victory for the law, and for abuse survivors worldwide, that even so powerful a priest can have those charges tested in a court of law.

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Rozzano – Don Mauro Galli: IL CARDINALE SCOLA DEFINISCE MALDESTRE LE SCELTE DEI SUOI COLLABORATORI

ITALIA
Rete L’Abuso

[In a letter sent by Cardinal Angelo Scola to the family of the child who was abused by Don Mauro Galli, the cardinal renewed his apologies and those of his co-workers for some choices that defines clumsy!]

In una lettera inviata dal Cardinale Angelo Scola ai familiari del minore che sarebbe stato abusato da Don Mauro Galli, il Cardinale rinnova le sue scuse e quelle dei suoi collaboratori per alcune scelte che definisce MALDESTRE!

Secondo Scola gli anni trascorsi avrebbero provocato una certa confusione nella ricostruzione dei fatti che ha arrecato ulteriori sofferenze, e in ogni caso NON INTENDEREBBE IN ALCUN MODO GIUSTIFICARE LA CORRETTEZZA DELLA REAZIONE INIZIALE DA PARTE DELL’AUTORITA’ DIOCESANA.

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“Keine Differenzen mit dem Papst”: Mainzer Kardinal Müller dennoch von Trennung überrascht

DEUTSCHLAND
Allgemeine Zeitung

[“No differences with the pope”: Mainz Cardinal Müller nevertheless surprised by separation.]

Von Maike Hessedenz

MAINZ – Er sitzt in St. Stephan und lauscht Monsignore Klaus Mayer und dessen Texten zu den Chagall-Fenstern. So als sei nichts gewesen. Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller ist wegen seines Klassentreffen in Mainz, absolviert mit seinen ehemaligen Schulkameraden, mit denen er vor 50 Jahren Abitur am Willigis-Gymnasium gemacht hat, ein buntes Tagesprogramm.

Noch nicht einmal 24 Stunden zuvor hat er von Papst Franziskus erfahren, dass er ab Montag, 3. Juli, nicht mehr Präfekt der Glaubenskongregation sein wird. Eine Entscheidung, die er nicht erwartet habe, sagt Müller im Gespräch mit dieser Zeitung. Überraschung ja, Aufregung nicht.

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Cardinal Muller departs the CDF: What does it mean?

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Michael Sean Winters | Jul. 1, 2017 Distinctly Catholic

My colleague Josh McElwee reports this morning on the decision by Pope Francis not to reconfirm Cardinal Gerhard Muller for a second five-year term as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Holy Father has selected the longtime #2 at the congregation, Archbishop Luis Francisco Ledaria Ferrer, S.J. to move up to the top spot.

The fact that Cardinal Muller was sacked should not come as a surprise. Conservatives within the curia and more progressive types beyond have both long complained that the man, though very gifted intellectually, could not organize a one man parade. He couldn’t run the office. This had become increasingly apparent in the CDF’s continued wrong notes on the subject of clergy sex abuse. Those who see this as an ideological purge on account of Muller’s increasingly confused position on Amoris Laetitia haven’t been paying attention. And, it is more than a little ironic that the same arch-conservatives who are floating the narrative that Muller has been sacked because he stood athwart Francis’ supposedly heterodox agenda were the same people griping about Muller when he was appointed. (See, for example, here and here.) Then, the objection was that Muller was too sympathetic with liberation theology. Now he is the paragon of orthodoxy. These lay faithful who think they embody the papal magisterium are not exactly consistent.

The second principal takeaway is that Pope Francis is completely unafraid to do what is best for the Church. Earlier this week, the Australian authorities brought charges against another high ranking Vatican official, Cardinal George Pell, who was put on a temporary leave of absence to return to his native country and have his day in court. The official statement from the Vatican was deeply ambivalent. Some leaders might think twice before removing a second high ranking official, worried that it would suggest a chaotic situation. Not Francis. He is not someone who cares how things appear so much as how things are. Indeed, this may be the most challenging part of the reform of the curia, getting an organization designed to promote those who work there to remember that its job it to help the pope govern the universal church. Concern with how things look is characteristic of the courtier mentality of year’s past, not the missionary mentality to which the Second Vatican Council and ALL subsequent popes have called the Church.

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Cardinal Pell supporters launch public appeal to pay his legal fees after Catholic Church refuses to foot the bill over historic sexual abuse charges

AUSTRALIA
Daily Mail

By Khaleda Rahman For Daily Mail Australia

A special fund has been established so Australian Catholics can help pay for Cardinal George Pell’s legal fees as he fights charges of historical sexual abuse.

Victorian Police have charged the cardinal, a former Melbourne and Sydney archbishop and Ballarat priest, with multiple sex offences but the details of those offences have not been released.

Australian Catholic authorities have ruled out paying the cardinal’s legal team.

However, a litigation fund has been established for Catholics in Victoria to contribute to Pell’s legal fees, the Herald Sun has revealed.

John Roskam, the executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs, said he obtained an account number and BSB from people ‘assisting the cardinal’ and passed it onto people keen to donate.

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Pope Francis appoints Spanish Jesuit Ladaria to replace Müller at CDF

VATICAN CITY
America

Gerard O’Connell
July 01, 2017

Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, a Spanish Jesuit, as the new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and successor to Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the Vatican announced at midday, July 1.

Pope Francis’ decision to nominate a new prefect of the C.D.F. is perhaps the most important appointment he has made to the Roman Curia after that of naming Cardinal Pietro Parolin as secretary of state.

It is destined to have far-reaching consequences, not the least of which is to ensure that the C.D.F. and its prefect are rowing with and not against the pope on key issues, including the interpretation of “Amoris Laetitia,” synodality and cooperation with the commission for the protection of minors.

At the time of his appointment, the 73-year old archbishop was Secretary of the C.D.F., that is, the number two position in the congregation. He was appointed to that role by Benedict XVI on July 9, 2008.

Today’s Vatican communique confirmed the story that had been widely circulated the previous afternoon and evening that Francis had not renewed the mandate of the German cardinal. It also announced that Archbishop Ladaria would succeed Cardinal Müller in his roles as the President of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei,” the Pontifical Biblical Commission and the International Theological Commission.

America has learned that Pope Francis received Cardinal Müller in private audience in his library in the Vatican at noon on June 30 and informed him that he would not be reconfirmed as prefect when his five-year mandate, which was due to end on July 2, concluded. Informed sources told America that Francis offered him the possibility of re-assignment to another position in the Vatican after the summer holidays, but the German cardinal turned this down on the grounds that since he had been head of the “supreme” congregation (as the C.D.F. is called in Vatican parlance) it would be beneath his dignity to accept another post and so he preferred to go into retirement.

Sources told America that the Vatican was scheduled to announce the change at the head of the C.D.F. on Monday, July 3, but after the audience with the pope, Cardinal Müller returned to the C.D.F. and informed his colleagues that he was no longer head of the congregation. That news was quickly passed to media close to the cardinal and became public some hours later. For this reason, the Vatican decided to make the announcement at noon today.

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Greek-American Claims He Was Sexually Abused

CALIFORNIA
Pokrov

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 06/30/2017
Publication: The National Herald

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Many congregants entering the Annunciation Cathedral in San Francisco on June 18 were surprised to see a young man standing at the door holding assigned alleging that “I was sexually abused at St. Nicholas Range in 2002.”

The 27-year-old Greek-American alleges that the was sexually abused by a Greek Orthodox priest during Confession in 2002 while attending camp at St. Nicholas Range in Dunlap, CA which is under the Greek-Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco.

Twelve years old at the time, he was sent to confess his sins and the priest allegedly attacked him and now he is trying to find information and photographs to identify his attacker, because he wants to make sure no other boys will be molested by him.

Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco verified the information. Also,he sent out a news announcement stating the following:

“The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and the Metropolis of San Francisco take all allegations of sexual misconduct very seriously and we grieve for all those affected in such cases.

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Pope chooses new sex abuse cases chief

VATICAN CITY
SBS (Australia)

Pope Francis has declined to renew the mandate of the Vatican’s conservative doctrine chief, tapping instead a deputy to lead the powerful congregation that handles sex abuse cases and guarantees Catholic orthodoxy.

In a short statement issued on Saturday, the Vatican said Francis thanked Cardinal Gerhard Mueller for his service. …

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI selected Mueller, his fellow German, to lead the congregation in 2012.

Benedict had taken a hard line against clerical sex abuse during his time as prefect of the congregation himself, and later as Pope, defrocking hundreds of priests accused of raping and molesting children.

It was also Benedict who insisted bishops around the world send all cases of credibly accused priests to the congregation for processing, since bishops had for decades moved pedophiles around from parish to parish rather than sanction or report them to police.

During Mueller’s tenure the sex abuse caseload piled up as more and more victims came forward from Latin America, Europe and beyond.

Last year, Francis confirmed there was a 2000-case backlog and he set about naming new officials in the congregation’s discipline section to process the overload.

Mueller’s handling of the abuse portfolio came under fire from Marie Collins, an Irish survivor of abuse.

Collins resigned from Francis’ sex abuse advisory commission in March in frustration of what she said was the congregation’s “unacceptable” resistance to accepting advice on how to better respond to victims.

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Vatican won’t pay George Pell’s legal fees, leaving him to foot the bill for a high-powered legal team

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Ellen Whinnett in Vatican City, News Corp Australia Network
July 1, 2017

THE Vatican will not pay George Pell’s legal fees, with the Cardinal required to foot the bill himself for a high-powered legal team as he fights historic sexual abuse charges.

News Corp Australia can confirm Cardinal Pell will not receive financial assistance from the Vatican to cover his transport from Rome to Australia later this month.

As well, he will be required to fund his own legal defence. With a legal team headed by prominent QC Robert Richter, the bill is likely to run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Archdiocese in Sydney, where Cardinal Pell was once archbishop, will provide accommodation and “support’’ when he is in Australia.

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Special fund set up for donations to cover Cardinal George Pell’s legal bill

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

JOE SPAGNOLO and ELLEN WHINNETT, Herald Sun
July 1, 2017

A SPECIAL fund has been set up for Australian Catholics to donate to Cardinal George Pell’s legal fees after the Sydney archdiocese declared it would not pay for his defence.

The Sunday Herald Sun can today reveal a litigation fund has been established for Catholics in Victoria to help pay for Cardinal Pell’s legal team as he fights historical sexual abuse charges.

Institute of Public Affairs executive director John Roskam today confirmed the fund’s existence.

Mr Roskam, a Catholic, said he had obtained an account number and BSB from “people assisting the cardinal”.

He said he had passed those details on to Catholics who were keen to donate to the 76-year-old’s legal defence.

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Too many enemies are basking in George Pell’s situation

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Miranda Devine
July 2, 2017

THE nasty triumphalism which greeted news last week that Cardinal George Pell had been charged by Victoria Police, over historical sexual abuse allegations, beggars belief.

Typical was Fairfax columnist Peter FitzSimons who called on Pell to step down “until such times as he proves innocence”.

Fitz doesn’t seem to understand that our criminal justice system is built on the presumption of ­innocence.

Not that such niceties prevented another Fairfax scribe, Barney Zwartz, to declare yesterday that Pell has “authored his own tragedy (with) his failures of empathy and compassion, his inability to look victims of abuse in the eye, his efforts to limit damage to the church”.

With Pell, the rules of fair play are out the window. All the considerable sins of the Church have been laid at his feet in this hysterical media witch-hunt.

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CARDINAL GEORGE PELL SAID TO PARENTS OF ABUSE VICTIMS: “IT’S ALL GOSSIP UNTIL IT’S PROVEN IN COURT”

AUSTRALIA
Kangaroo Court of Australia

In 1997 Cardinal George Pell said to the parents of abuse victims who were whistleblowing on 5 paedophile priests: “We won’t believe any of this. It’s all gossip until it’s proven in court”. It’s one of many examples of George Pell covering up for paedophile priests over many years with some saying he was involved in the cover-ups as far back at the 1970’s. So, it no surprise that Cardinal Pell himself has been charged.

George Pell is about to see firsthand if paedophile allegations can be proven in court given the charges laid against him by the Victoria police on Thursday 29/6/17. What exactly George Pell has been charged with I don’t know other than “multiple historical sexual offences” as announced by the police as per their press release below. But there are previous claims that he sexually abused 3 boys and claims in the recently published book “Cardinal: The Rise and Fall Of George Pell” that George Pell forced 2 boys to give him oral sex in the 1990’s.

A big problem for Pell is that even if he is found not guilty of the charges other evidence might be uncovered during the trial that Pell helped cover-up the crimes of other priests. And that is exactly what is happening in Newcastle now:

“ARCHBISHOP Philip Wilson – the most senior Catholic cleric in the world to be charged with concealing the child sex offences of another priest – will face a two-week hearing in November.” (Click here to read more)

In the below video is Anthony and Christine Foster who had 2 daughters abused by a priest. They fought the church for 9 years to get compensation. Pell said to them regarding paedophile priests: “We won’t believe any of this. It’s all gossip until it’s proven in court”

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POPE DISMISSES HIS DOCTRINAL CHIEF, CARDINAL MÜLLER, AFTER UNEASY RELATIONSHIP

ROME
The Tablet (UK)

01 July 2017 | by Christopher Lamb

Francis thanked Müller for his work but, unusually, did not announce where the prelate, who is still six years off retirement, would serve next

Pope dismisses his doctrinal chief, Cardinal Müller, after uneasy relationship
Pope Francis has dismissed his doctrinal chief Cardinal Gerhard Müller, after what has been an uneasy relationship between them.

On Saturday the Vatican announced that the German Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith would not serve beyond a single 5-year-term and would be replaced by the congregation’s deputy, Archbishop Luis Ladaria, 73, who is a Jesuit, a member of the same religious order as the Pope.

In a statement Francis thanked Cardinal Müller for his work but, unusually, did not announce where the 69-year-old prelate, who is still six years off retirement, would serve next.

The removal of Müller marks the end of a dramatic week at the Vatican with two senior prelates out of their jobs in the space of three days. Along with the departure of the German doctrinal prefect, Vatican finance chief Cardinal George Pell announced on Thursday he is taking a leave of absence so he can return to Australia to defend himself against charges of sex abuse.

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Pope shakes up Vatican by replacing conservative doctrinal chief

VATICAN CITY
Reuters

By Philip Pullella | VATICAN CITY

In a major shake up of the Vatican’s administration on Saturday, Pope Francis replaced Catholicism’s top theologian, a conservative German cardinal who has been at odds with the pontiff’s vision of a more inclusive Church.

A brief Vatican statement said Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller’s five-year mandate as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a key department charged with defending Catholic doctrine, would not be renewed.

Mueller, 69, who was appointed by former Pope Benedict in 2012, will be succeeded by the department’s number two, Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer.

Ladaria, a 73-year-old Spaniard who, like the Argentine pope is a member of the Jesuit order, is said by those who know him to be a soft-spoken person who shuns the limelight. Mueller, by contrast, often appears in the media.

“They speak the same language and Ladaria is someone who is meek. He does not agitate the pope and does not threaten him,” said a priest who works in the Vatican and knows both Mueller and Ladaria, asking not to be named.

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Svolta all’ex Sant’Uffizio: papa Francesco sostituisce Muller con Ladaria Ferrer

CITTA’ DEL VATICANO
La Repubblica

CITTÀ DEL VATICANO – Cambio al vertice dell’ex Sant’Uffizio. Papa Francesco ha deciso di non rinnovare di altri cinque anni il mandato dell’attuale prefetto, il cardinale tedesco Gerhard Ludwig Müller. 70 anni, di linea conservatrice, Müller era stato portato a Roma da Benedetto XVI che gli affidò il compito di watchdog della fede dopo l’éra del cardinale William Joseph Levada.

Al suo posto è stato scelto l’attuale segretario della Congregazione, l’arcivescovo Luis Ladaria Ferrer. Spagnolo, gesuita, venne nominato da Benedetto XVI.

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Luis Ladaria, nuevo prefecto de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
Rome Reports

[con video]

–NOTICIA EN ACTUALIZACIÓN.

El Papa Francisco no ha renovado el encargo al hasta ahora prefecto de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, el cardenal Gerhard Müller y ha nombrado como sucesor al hasta ahora número dos de ese departamento, el jesuita español Luis Ladaria Ferrer.

La medida de no renovar a altos cargos no es habitual en la Santa Sede, aunque podría también encuadrarse dentro de la reforma de Francisco de que los responsables de la Curia alternen su trabajo con cargos pastorales.

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Pope dismisses doctrine chief in turbulent week for Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Digital Journal

BY ELLA IDE (AFP)

Pope Francis has dismissed the church’s chief of doctrine, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller — one of the most powerful cardinals at the Vatican — and appointed a Spanish archbishop to the role, the Vatican said Saturday.

German conservative Mueller, 69, who served a five-year posting as head of the powerful department responsible for church doctrine, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), had clashed with the pope over key reform issues.

He was one of several cardinals who questioned Francis’s determination for the Catholic Church to take a softer line on people traditionally seen as “sinners”, including remarried divorced people who want to take communion.

Mueller had also been caught up in the controversy surrounding the church’s response to the clerical sex abuse scandal after his department was accused of obstructing Francis’s efforts to stop internal cover-ups of abuse.

“In space of three days, two leading Vatican cardinals out of their posts,” said Vatican watcher Christopher Lamb, after Vatican finance chief George Pell was charged with historical sexual assault this week.

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Mother and Baby Home survivors call for State redress

IRELAND
Dublin Live

BY CLAIRE SCOTT
30 JUN 2017

Mother and Baby Homes survivors say the Commission of Investigation has failed to reveal the true horrors of the State-run institutions thus far.

At a meeting in the Westin Hotel this morning, up to 120 people called on the Government to reveal the truth behind what was endured by the unmarried mothers and their children who were put in these homes.

The meeting was called by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone with two primary goals; to identify how the government can help those who were left unaccompanied in institutions; to consult with those affected; and bring proposals to Government before summer recess on July 14.

According to Tony Kelly, founder of United Survivors, a major concern for many of those in attendance was the Minister’s dismissal of the Commission of Investigation’s second interim report.

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Zappone critical of HSE failings on mother and baby homes

IRELAND
Irish Times

Kitty Holland

It was a “pity” the HSE did not fully investigate mother and baby homes in 2012 when senior staff warned about probable “criminal” activities in two of them from the 1920s, Minister for Children Katherine Zappone has said.

She said it was “not good”that the call for an inquiry by senior HSE staff five years ago were not heeded. The staff had called for “a fully fledged, fully resourced forensic investigation and State inquiry,” into the Sacred Heart mother and baby homes at Tuam, Co Galway and Bessborough, Co Cork.

A Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes was established in February 2015. It was in response to public outcry at the findings of historian Catherine Corless that up to 800 infants’ bodies may have been buried in a septic tank at the Tuam home.

However, HSE documents from October 2012, marked “strictly confidential”, show social workers were warning of the “possibility that illegal actions took place” in the Cork and Tuam homes from the 1920s.

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Now This: The Media’s Cardinal Pell Disinformation Campaign

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

The media is having a field day reporting that Australia’s Cardinal George Pell has been accused of child abuse. From the way the media is telling it, one would think that this abuse was something that happened somewhat recently, and the acts of abuse have been well established.

But here are the facts the media is burying and as we know them so far:

1. The accusations date back four decades ago, to the late 1970s.

2. The alleged “abuse” so far does not maintain any explicit sexual acts. After an investigation that went on for nearly two years, two men so far accuse Cardinal Pell of touching them “inappropriately” while splashing and playing games in a swimming pool 40 years ago.

3. One of the accusers, Lyndon Monument, is an admitted drug addict and has served almost a year in prison for violently assaulting a man and a woman over a drug debt. Monument has also accused a boyhood teacher of forcing him to perform sex acts. What an unlucky guy.

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Keep Believing

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

The number of people who attend church services in Scotland is declining at an alarming rate but that does not mean there is no need for what religion offers

These are not heartening days for the church. In Rome, Cardinal Pell, one of Pope Francis’s most senior advisers, is charged with sexual assault, bringing the aura of abuse uncomfortably close to the Holy See. In Scotland, Lady Smith’s inquiry into sexual abuse will hear evidence against institutions whose names — Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, Sisters of Nazareth, Good Shepherd Sisters, and Christian Brothers — should by rights speak of the Christian values of love and sanctuary, but will instead be explaining why children in their care may not have been safe from assault.

Against this background, a survey of religious attitudes in Scotland shows a steady decline in attendance. Whether the allegations have led to the growing disaffection among churchgoers is hard to say, but they cannot have helped.

The figures are worth closer analysis. They show a steep fall in the years between 1999 and 2016 among those who attend regularly. Only 12 per cent of the population say they go to a service once a week; it used to be 19 per cent. The number of those who never go to church has risen from 49 to 63 per cent, and here it is the younger generation which feels most disconnected: while 56 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds said in 1999 they did not attend church at all, in 2016 that figure had risen to 80 per cent. This is perhaps the most worrying figure of all because it suggests a rising generation will know or care little about the religion that has formed the country in which they live.

For the Church of Scotland, whose congregations have fallen steeply over the past 17 years, the question arises: what is the kirk for? If it is viewed with suspicion or indifference by the great majority of young people, if its sermons are not heard and its message falls on deaf ears, what then should it be doing to connect with the people it is meant to be serving? Ask any minister and the answer will probably revolve around the church’s pastoral role — the way it acts as a focus for community life, its involvement in care for the elderly or the sick, its function in conducting marriages and funerals, and the way it is frequently the first point of reference when there is an accident or disaster.

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Francis replaces Cardinal Muller with deputy Ladaria as head of doctrinal congregation

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Jul. 1, 2017

ROME
Pope Francis has decided not to renew the expiring term of Vatican doctrinal chief Cardinal Gerhard Muller, choosing instead to replace the German prelate with his deputy, a Spanish Jesuit theologian known for keeping a relatively low public profile.

The pontiff has appointed Archbishop Luis Ladaria, 73, as the new prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He had previously served as the office’s secretary.

A Vatican statement announcing the appointment Saturday did not say whether Muller would be receiving a new role. At 69 years old he is six years away from the traditional retirement age for bishops. It is unusual for a cardinal of that age not to have an official posting.

The Vatican statement simply said the pope thanked Muller for his service at the conclusion of his five-year term as prefect, which began with his appointment by former Pope Benedict XVI on July 2, 2012.

Saturday’s announcement had been highly anticipated over the past day, as rumors began to circulate that Muller would be leaving his position following a meeting the cardinal had Friday with Francis.

The pope’s choice of Ladaria, who has served at the doctrinal congregation since his own appointment by Benedict in 2008, seems to signify that Francis did not want a radical shake-up at the Vatican office, but simply a change in personnel. …

Muller was also publicly questioned in recent months over his willingness to implement recommendations of the new papal commission on clergy sexual abuse, even in instances when Francis had approved them.

When Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins resigned March 1 from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, she noted in a statement to NCR that Francis’ order for the creation of a new Vatican tribunal to judge bishops who mishandled abuse cases was found by Muller’s congregation to have “legal” difficulties and was never created.

Collins also noted that an order approved by Francis requiring all Vatican offices to respond to letters from abuse victims was not implemented by at least one congregation.

In a March 5 interview, Muller appeared to admit that his congregation was among those that ignored that papal order, saying that if the Vatican responded to victims’ letters it would not respect the role of diocesan bishops in such matters.

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Pell Charges Bring Abuse Scandal to Pope’s Inner Circle

VATICAN CITY
New Delhi Times

A top adviser to Pope Francis was charged with multiple historical sex crimes in his native Australia on Thursday, bringing a worldwide abuse scandal to the heart of the Vatican.

Appointed Vatican economy minister by Francis, Cardinal George Pell is the highest-ranking Church official to face such accusations. He asserted his innocence and said the pontiff had given him leave of absence to return to Australia to defend himself.

“I am looking forward finally to having my day in court. I repeat that I am innocent of these charges. They are false,” the 76-year-old told a news conference at the Vatican. “The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.”

Pell’s high-profile departure, even if temporary, puts pressure on a pontiff who has made compassion for the vulnerable his watchword, and has declared zero tolerance for a child abuse scandal that has beset the Church for decades, but has struggled to overcome resistance in the Church hierarchy and clergy.

Pell was hand-picked by Francis to sit on a panel of nine cardinal-advisers to give a greater voice to the Church’s global flock, and to reform the Vatican’s opaque finances. …

Victims angered

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said Pell would not appear in public Church services for the time being.

Pell told the Australian inquiry last year that the Church had made “catastrophic” choices by refusing to believe abused children, shuffling abusive priests from parish to parish, and relying too heavily on the counsel of priests to solve the problem.

But he angered victims by saying he was too ill to fly home, testifying instead from Rome.

He indicated Thursday that he would now go to Australia.

“I have spoken to my lawyers about when I need to return home and to my doctors about how best to do this,” Pell said.

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Papst trennt sich von Kardinal Müller

VATIKAN
Neue Zurcher Zeitung

(dpa) Kurz nach der Beurlaubung seines Finanzchefs Kardinal George Pell trennt sich Papst Franziskus nun auch vom deutschen Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller. Müller ist Chef der Glaubenskongregation. Seine nach fünf Jahren am 2. Juli endende Amtszeit werde nicht verlängert, hiess es. Das bestätigte der Vatikan am Samstag.

Zunächst hatten dies unter anderem die italienischen Zeitungen «La Stampa» und «Il Messaggero» unter Berufung auf der katholischen Kirche nahestehende Nachrichtenseiten berichtet Den Informationen zufolge traf der Papst Müller bereits am Freitag, um ihm die Entscheidung mitzuteilen.

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Kurienkardinal Müller muss gehen

VATIKAN
BR

Rund zwölf Stunden gab es die Nachricht nur hinter vorgehaltener Hand – jetzt hat sie der Heilige Stuhl bestätigt: Papst Franziskus hat sich von Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller getrennt – seiner Nummer zwei im Vatikan.

Von: Sarah Zerback
Stand: 01.07.201

Nach fünf Jahren an der Spitze der Glaubenskongregation – der ältesten und wichtigsten Behörde der römischen Kurie – endet Müllers Amtszeit regulär morgen. Dafür dankte ihm der Papst in seinem offiziellen Bolletino. Müller selbst war bereits gestern vom Heiligen Vater persönlich informiert worden. Öffentlich begründet wurde die Entscheidung nicht.

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Papst trennt sich von Kardinal Müller

VATIKAN
Katholisch

Vatikan | Rom – 30.06.2017

Papst Franziskus hat sich überraschend von einem seiner ranghöchsten Mitarbeiter getrennt. Wie die Katholische Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA) am Freitagabend im Vatikan erfuhr, wird die Amtszeit von Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller (69) als Leiter der Römischen Glaubenskongregation nicht verlängert. Sie endet nach fünf Jahren fristgerecht am 2. Juli.

Müller verdankte seine Ernennung im Jahr 2012 dem damaligen Papst Benedikt XVI. Im Jahr 2014 erhob Papst Franziskus ihn zum Kardinal. Zwischen Müller und Papst Franziskus hatte es in den vergangenen Jahren Meinungsverschiedenheiten in moraltheologischen Fragen gegeben, insbesondere in der Frage des Umgangs der Kirche mit wiederverheirateten Geschiedenen. Zuletzt hatte Müller am 25. Mai in einem Fernseh-Interview die Tatsache kritisiert, dass Franziskus drei Mitarbeiter des Kardinals gegen dessen Willen entlassen hatte.

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Ex-chief priest, CEO of Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee accused of molestation, case lodged

INDIA
Firstpost

Dehradun: Uttarakhand police has lodged a case against Badrinath-Kedarnath Temple Committee CEO BD Singh and ex-chief priest VD Namburi after a Sadhvi accused them of molestation.

In a similar incident in 2014, the then chief priest of the Badrinath shrine, Keshavan Namboodiri, was arrested for allegedly molesting a pregnant woman in a hotel in News Delhi, PTI had reported.

According to the woman, Namboodiri had called her, whose father knows him, to the hotel. After refusing initially, she went there with her driver. The priest’s associate Vishnu Prasad was present there.

“Namboodiri asked Prasad to go out and shut the door. When the woman sat on a chair, he tried to inappropriately touch her, following which she came out and reached the police station with her driver,” an officer was quoted as saying.

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Mystery of nun’s unsolved murder is latest US documentary hit

UNITED STATES
Daily Mail (UK)

AFP

A documentary about the mysterious killing of a beloved young Catholic nun half a century ago is the latest smash hit on Netflix, highlighting the popularity of true crime stories in America these days.

The series called “The Keepers,” which began last month, is a suspenseful examination of the crime committed in 1969. People with information about the case are now either deceased or elderly.

The nun, a cheerful, buoyant woman known as Sister Cathy, was 26 when she died. She was a teacher at the all-girls’ Archbishop Keough High School, and her students were crazy about her.

But there was apparently a dark side of the school, overseen by the Baltimore archdiocese. The school chaplain, Father Joseph Maskell, was allegedly a dangerous pedophile who exerted psychological domination over his victims.

Maskell, who was also a police chaplain, denied any wrongdoing. He died in 2001 and was never charged.

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Suche nach Missbrauchsopfern wird auf Afrika und Südamerika ausgedehnt

SCHWEIZ
kath.ch

[The West-Swiss association “Groupe Sapec” wants more information with regard to sexual abuse by priests. It expands its search to countries of Africa and South America, Sapec President Jacques Nuoffer told kath.ch.]

Fey VD, 30.6.17 (kath.ch) Mehr Klarheit bezüglich des sexuellen Missbrauchs durch Priester will die Westschweizer Vereinigung «Groupe Sapec». Sie weitet ihre Suche auf Länder Afrikas und Südamerikas aus, erklärte Sapec-Präsident Jacques Nuoffer gegenüber kath.ch.

Sapec war massgeblich an der Schaffung der Kommission «Cecar» (Commission d’écoute, de conciliation, d’arbitrage et de réparation / Kommission für Anhörung, Schlichtung, Urteil, Wiedergutmachung) beteiligt, die vor einem Jahr in der Westschweiz ihre Arbeit aufnahm. Dieser Kommission gehören Vertreter der Kirche, der Zivilgesellschaft und der Opfer an. Bestärkt durch diese Gründung weitet Sapec nun ihre Aktivität aus.

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Head of historical abuse inquiry urges Brokenshire to adopt recommendations

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

July 1 2017

The chairman of Northern Ireland’s historical abuse inquiry has urged James Brokenshire to implement recommendations in his report.

They include compensation, an apology to survivors and a memorial.

Sir Anthony Hart said his report was both widely supported in the previous Assembly earlier this year and the subject of an assurance from the Prime Minister that it would be acted on.

His Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry into the treatment of children in residential homes over many decades found evidence of widespread mistreatment.

Sir Anthony said: “Because of the wide welcome for, and support of the report, expressed in the previous Assembly on 23 January, and the clear undertaking by the Prime Minster to the House of Commons on 8 February that the findings of the report will be ‘taken into account and acted upon’ I feel justified in urging you to put in hand the necessary steps to implement the recommendations of the Inquiry in full as a matter of urgency and without delay.”

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Papst trennt sich vom deutschen Kardinal Müller

VATIKAN
Spiegel

[The task of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is also to act on cases of clergy abuse. At the end of February, Müller had still rejected the allegation of systematic cover-up of child abuse in the Catholic Church. “The church does not cover anything,” said Müller to the Italian newspaper “La Repubblica”. “In some cases, it may have happened from cluelessness, but not systematically.”]

The Vatican and the Catholic Church are still being accused of not being hard enough against child abuse and of partly pedophile clerics. Critics also accuse the Vatican not to deal transparently with the cases.

At the time of Pope Franziskus Predecessor Benedict XVI. It had emerged that Catholic clerics had abused or abused innumerable children worldwide for decades, and the cases were swept under the carpet.

Kurz nach der Beurlaubung seines Finanzchefs Kardinal George Pell trennt sich Papst Franziskus Medienberichten zufolge nun auch vom deutschen Kardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller. Das berichten am Samstag unter anderem die italienischen Zeitungen “La Stampa” und “Il Messaggero” unter Berufung auf Nachrichtenseiten, die der katholischen Kirche nahestehen.

Müller ist Chef der Glaubenskongregation, die Behörde soll die Glaubens- und Sittenlehre der gesamten katholischen Kirche schützen. Müllers Amtszeit endet nach fünf Jahren am 2. Juli und werde nicht verlängert, hieß es. Gründe für diesen Schritt wurden nicht genannt. Allerdings war bekannt, dass Franziskus und Müller nicht immer auf gleicher Linie lagen

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Pope names Jesuit prelate to succeed Müller at doctrine office

VATICAN CITY
Crux

Catholic News Service
July 1, 2017

ROME – Promoting the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the office of prefect, Pope Francis chose not to ask German Cardinal Gerhard Müller to serve a second five-year term in the post.

The Vatican announced July 1 that the pope chose as prefect Spanish Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, 73, a Jesuit theologian who had been appointed secretary of the congregation in 2008 by then-Pope Benedict XVI.

“The Holy Father Francis thanked His Eminence Cardinal Ludwig Müller at the conclusion of his quinquennial mandate,” the Vatican announcement said. No new position was announced for Cardinal Müller, who at 69 is still more than five years away from the normal retirement age for a bishop.

Anticipating an announcement of the pope’s decision June 30, both the English Rorate Caeli blog and the Italian Corrispondenza Romana blog presented the pope’s move as a dismissal of the German cardinal, who originally was appointed to the post by now-retired Pope Benedict XVI.

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Cardinal Pell’s sex abuse charges come as no surprise to those familiar with the Church’s attitude

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent

The Catholic Church has systematically tried to discredit and silence sex abuse survivors, while forgiving the perpetrators

Phil Johnson

Unless you have been a victim of childhood sexual abuse it is difficult for people to understand the often life-long impact that it can have. Survivors suffer low self-esteem, guilt, shame and often have mental health problems which can lead to addiction and even suicide.

When that abuse is committed by a priest, it is compounded by the abuse of power as well as being linked to the victim’s faith. This often leaves survivors conflicted and more vulnerable to being exploited by church authorities who seem to be prone to forgiving the abusers and blaming the victims.

The vast majority of children do not report their abuse at the time, most of those who disclose or seek help do so well into adulthood. When they do report abuse to the churches they are often branded a liars or fantasists and in many cases little real action is taken.

Both major churches, Roman Catholic and Anglican, have consistently demonstrated that they are more interested in protecting the status and reputation of the institution, than in protecting children and the vulnerable, and there is little pastoral or counselling support for the victims.

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AG’s office nabs three men, including Bible study teacher, in child sex sting

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

BY CHRISTINE VENDEL cvendel@pennlive.com

The state attorney general’s office this week arrested three men after they allegedly agreed to meet an undercover officer posing as a 14-year-old boy for sex.

One of the men, Timothy M. Myers, 32, of Latrobe, told police after his arrest that he was a youth pastor. While his claim of being a pastor didn’t appear to be accurate, investigators said, the AG’s office was continuing to investigate Myers’ background and exposure to other potential victims.

It does appear Myers volunteered at his church and was preparing to travel to Peru in late July to conduct a Bible School for children. He used an online fundraising page to pay for his trip.

Myers also is shown on a Facebook page dressed in a sumo wrestler costume participating in a Westmoreland County youth event in 2009.

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HIA inquiry chairman repeats plea to politicians

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

The chair of a major inquiry into child abuse in Northern Ireland has repeated his plea to politicians to act on his recommendations to compensate victims.

Sir Anthony Hart chaired the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) Inquiry which gave its report to Stormont in January.

Stormont’s government collapsed later that month before any action was taken.

Sir Anthony has written to Secretary of State James Brokenshire urging him and Stormont party leaders to implement the recommendations as a matter of urgency.

The inquiry recommended that a tax-free compensation payment should be made to all survivors of institutional child abuse, with lump sums ranging from £7,500 to £100,000.

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Laws introduced to help prevent child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

New laws have been introduced in Victoria to help protect children from abuse, holding religious, childcare, government and community organisations to account and modernising child pornography laws.

The Wrongs Amendment (Organisational Child Abuse) Act 2017 came into force on Saturday with new duty-of-care requirements for organisations that care for or have authority over children.

The onus of proof has been reversed, reducing the legal barriers for survivors to sue.

Also, the Crimes Amendment (Sexual Offences) Act 2016 came into force on Saturday, which reforms 50 sexual offences in a bid to stop abuse taking place online via platforms such as Skype or Snapchat.

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Sex abuse accused George Pell hires one-time Mick Gatto lawyer

AUSTRALIA
7 News

AAP on July 1, 2017

Cardinal George Pell has hired top criminal barrister Robert Richter, QC, to help defend him on charges of historical sexual assault and will reportedly be at a Melbourne court on July 26 for a scheduled hearing.

The 76-year-old on Thursday told journalists at the Vatican Press Office he was looking forward to having his day in court after a two-year investigation, “leaks to the media” and “relentless character assassination”.

Victorian Police have charged the cardinal, a former Melbourne and Sydney archbishop and Ballarat priest, with multiple sex offences but the details of those offences have not been released.

Cardinal Pell said the laying of charges had strengthened his resolve to prove his innocence.

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Vaticano. Ladaria Ferrer nuovo Prefetto della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede

CITTA’ DEL VATICANO
Avvenire

Oggi papa Francesco ha ringraziato il cardinale tedesco Gerhard Mueller alla conclusione del suo mandato quinquennale di Prefetto della Congregazione per la dottrina della fede e di Presidente della Pontificia Commissione “Ecclesia Dei”, della Pontificia Commissione Biblica e della Commissione Teologica Internazionale, e ha chiamato a succedergli Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, gesuita spagnolo attuale segretario del stesso dicastero.

Chi è il nuovo Prefetto della Congregazione per la dottrina della fede?

Il 9 luglio 2008 Benedetto XVI aveva nominato Ladaria Ferrer come “numero due” del dicastero: è professore dell’Università Gregoriana, ha 73 anni, è originario di Manacor, la seconda città, dopo Palma, dell’isola di Maiorca nelle Baleari.

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Pope names Archbishop Luis Ladaria as Müller’s successor to head CDF

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

By Elise Harris

Vatican City, Jul 1, 2017 / 04:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican announced Saturday that as Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s term as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith comes to an end, the Pope has not renewed it, but has appointed Jesuit Archbishop Luis Ladaria to take his place.

The decision was officially published in a July 1 communique from the Vatican, which stated the Holy Father’s thanks to Cardinal Müller for his term.

July 2nd marks the end of Müller’s five-year mandate as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which included the positions of president of the Pontifical Commission “Ecclesia Dei,” the Pontifical Biblical Commission and the International Theological Commission.

Pope Francis named Jesuit Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, archbishop of Thibica, as his successor in the same duties. Archbishop Ladaria has been secretary, the second in command, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2008.

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Pope Francis dismisses church’s chief of doctrine Cardinal Gerhard Mueller after clashes over reform measures

VATICAN CITY
Firstpost

AFP

Jul 01 2017

Vatican City: Pope Francis has dismissed the church’s chief of doctrine Cardinal Gerhard Mueller — one of the most powerful cardinals at the Vatican — and appointed a Spanish Archbishop to the role, the Vatican said on Saturday.

German conservative Mueller, 69, who served a five-year posting as head of the powerful department responsible for church doctrine, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), had clashed with the pope over key reform issues.

He was one of several cardinals who questioned Francis’s determination for the Catholic Church to take a softer line on people traditionally seen as “sinners”, including remarried divorced people who want to take Communion.

Mueller had also been caught up in the controversy surrounding the Church’s response to the clerical sex abuse scandal after his department was accused earlier this year of obstructing Francis’s efforts to stop internal cover-ups of abuse.

The Vatican said Mueller’s five-year term would not be renewed and he would be replaced by CDF Secretary Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, a 73-year-old Spaniard.

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POPE DECLINES TO RENEW MANDATE FOR GERMAN DOCTRINE CHIEF

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

BY NICOLE WINFIELD
ASSOCIATED PRESS

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis declined Saturday to renew the mandate of the Vatican’s conservative doctrine chief, tapping instead a deputy to lead the powerful congregation that handles sex abuse cases and guarantees Catholic orthodoxy around the world.

In a short statement, the Vatican said Francis thanked Cardinal Gerhard Mueller for his service. Mueller’s five-year term ends this weekend and he turns 70 in December. The normal retirement age for bishops is 75.

Francis could have kept him on, but declined to do so. The two have clashed over the pope’s opening to allowing civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion. Mueller has insisted they cannot, given church teaching on the indissolubility of marriage.

The Jesuit pope tapped the No. 2 in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Jesuit Monsignor Luis Ferrer, to succeed Mueller.

It was the second major shakeup this week, after Francis granted another Vatican hardliner, Cardinal George Pell, a leave of absence to return to his native Australia to face trial on sexual assault charges.

Mueller and Pell are two most powerful cardinals in the Vatican, after the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, and their absences will likely create something of a power vacuum for the conservative wing in the Holy See hierarchy.

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How Cardinal Pell Rose to Power, Trailed by a Cloud of Scandal

AUSTRALIA/ROME
The New York Times

By DAMIEN CAVE
JUNE 30, 2017

SYDNEY — When more than a dozen sexual abuse victims from Cardinal George Pell’s hometown in Australia, Ballarat, flew to Rome to meet with him last year, they carried crushing stories of pain caused by local priests, and varied demands for Vatican action.

As they spoke, the victims said, Cardinal Pell remained stiff, eyes downcast. Then Andrew Collins, whose family had been close to Cardinal Pell for years, gave him a hug. The cardinal seemed to soften and later delivered an emotional statement promising to help.

“But that never happened,” Mr. Collins said. “I’ve had four survivors that I’ve known personally take their own lives this year.”

“That was part of what we were trying to get through to people in Rome,” he said. “We need help and assistance.”

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Personal records a priority for mother and baby home survivors

IRELAND
Irish Times

Kitty Holland

The “most important” thing for survivors of mother and baby homes is getting all their personal information, according to many of those attending the first of a series of consultation meetings with Minister for Children Katherine Zappone.

Speaking to The Irish Times after the meeting in Dublin on Friday, survivors said they wanted redress, counselling, more information about the ongoing Commission of Inquiry into the homes and the recording of a “collective history” of their experiences.

Almost all, however, said “the biggest thing” was accessing the records of their time in institutions, as well as to those of their mothers and siblings, and their own medical records.

Ms Zappone hosted the event in Dublin city centre which was attended by 120 survivors and family members. It was oversubscribed and more events are planned around the country.

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Volunteer Bible study teacher arrested in undercover child sex sting, police say

PENNSYLVANIA
WPXI

A Westmoreland County Bible study teacher is the latest person accused of trying to meet for sex with a person he thought was a teenage boy, police say.

Timothy Michael Myers, 32, of Latrobe, is the third person to be arrested in two days, accused of trying to meet with an undercover agent posing as a 14-year-old boy.

Myers is accused of exchanging sexual messages with the undercover agent, and then showing up to try and meet the person for sex.

Myers volunteered at a Greensburg church where he worked with children and taught a Bible study class within the past month.

He was arrested Wednesday evening after agents said he showed up at a Hempfield Township hotel thinking he was meet with a 14-year-old boy.

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BREAKING: Pope removes conservative Vatican doctrine chief

ROME
LifeSite News

John-Henry Westen

ROME, June 30, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis is removing the head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office, one of the Church’s most senior cardinals, who has taken an orthodox stand from the beginning of the pontificate.

LifeSite has confirmed with a source in Rome that Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, is to be removed from his office on July 2, the end of his five-year mandate in the position.

In recent years, the mandate for the office has been extended until the normal retirement age of 75. In the case of Cardinal Josef Ratzinger, it was extended beyond, until his election to the pontificate at age 78. …

The story broke last week in the Spanish-language newspaper Clarin, and was reported today by the Rome-based Corrispondenza Romana.

Clarin suggested Muller would be replaced by Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, known as a yes-man in Church circles. Other candidates include Vienna Cardinal Chistoph Schonborn and Archbishop Victor Fernandez, a close collaborator of Pope Francis.

According to the Vatican press office, Pope Francis met Cardinal Muller this morning, but no information about the meeting has been made public.

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