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President of U.S. Bishops' Conference Announces Effort That Will Involve Laity, Experts, and the Vatican as U.S. Bishops Resolve to Address "Moral Catastrophe"
"Brothers and Sisters in Christ,Two weeks ago, I shared with you my sadness, anger, and shame over the recent revelations concerning Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. Those sentiments continue and are deepened in light of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. We are faced with a spiritual crisis that requires not only spiritual conversion, but practical changes to avoid repeating the sins and failures of the past that are so evident in the recent report.three goals: (1) an investigation into the questions surrounding Archbishop McCarrick; (2) an opening of new and confidential channels for reporting complaints against bishops; and (3) advocacy for more effective resolution of future complaints. These goals will be pursued according to three criteria: proper independence, sufficient authority, and substantial leadership by laity.
catholic  scandals 
6 hours ago by thomas.kochi
Father James Martin: Tracing the causes of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church
1.Improper screening for candidates in the past.2. Poor formation or training for candidates.1. Some bishops and other leaders did not understand the broad nature of the problem, but treated it sporadically.3. The threat of litigation caused many to adopt an adversarial stance.4. Some bishops failed to comprehend the magnitude of the harm suffered by victims.5. Many bishops relied too heavily on psychiatrists, psychologists and lawyers when making decisions.6. Many bishops avoided confronting abusive priests.7. Many bishops placed interests of priests above those of victims.8. Canon law made removal from ministry onerous.1. Discomfort among the hierarchy with sexual issues in general 2. Fear of Change.3. Inability to Admit Personal Sinfulness.4. Suspicion of the Media
catholic  scandals 
7 hours ago by thomas.kochi
Church should follow basic corporate compliance procedures, lawyer says
Ed Sullivan who routinely makes the elite Super Lawyer rankings, wrote an open letter to his archbishop: Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).In his letter, he made three suggestions for the USCCB, based on the maxim “sunlight is the best disinfectant”: 1) The USCCB must no longer allow dioceses to confidentially settle cases of clergy abuse; 2) the USCCB should no longer permit its dioceses to assert the affirmative defense of the statute of limitations in these cases; and 3) the USCCB must create a mechanism by which victims, including seminarians over the age of 18 as well as priests, can freely report the abuse and harassment of other priests and bishops without fear of retaliation.“Every major corporation in America has an anonymous hotline to report complaints, including sexual and racial misconduct. The laws here in the U.S. expressly make retaliation illegal, and in many cases are subject to the same penalties as the underlying act. The Church would find herself well served by looking at the example of corporate America and implementing mechanisms for victims to freely report without retaliation anyone who is crossing the line,” “In the span of my lifetime priests went from some of the most trusted and respected members of society to some of the most feared and disdained.”
catholic  scandals 
yesterday by thomas.kochi
Archdiocese takes down website defending Cardinal Wuerl’s handling of sex abuse
Catholic writer Elizabeth Scalia, a prominent critic of the website, said: “This is the sort of action we usually see being taken by a Chairman of the Board, or a CEO, or a politician, and that’s very telling; it exposes a mindset that is geared toward management and administration, with a less-than-optimal pastoral sensibility on display. It’s all too much of the world.Ed McFadden, the archdiocese’s Communications Director, explained“We knew there would be criticism after the report was released, and rightly so, but we also wanted fair coverage, so the Archdiocese of Washington put up the page ‘Wuerl Record’..“In hindsight, it was a mistake,” he said, “And the criticism leveled at me (though most folks didn’t know it was me) was fair.“The page was a distraction and there are far bigger issues to be addressed than a webpage.
catholic  scandals 
yesterday by thomas.kochi
Pennsylvania report documents over 1,000 victims of priest abuse
Mr. Shapiro lamented that some church leaders cited in the report for mishandling abuse claims have been promoted, including Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the archbishop of Washington who headed the Diocese of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006.“Bishop Wuerl,” he said, “is now Cardinal Wuerl.”While the attorney general was critical of Catholic bishops, he praised Bishop Lawrence Persico of the Diocese of Erie, saying he was the only Pennsylvania bishop who testified in front of the grand jury in person rather than submitting a written statement.
catholic  scandals 
2 days ago by thomas.kochi
How Can We #RebuildMyChurch? Cardinal Wuerl Accidentally Points the Way
In one part of the grievous Grand Jury Report, Cardinal Wuerl is reported to have have presided over the funeral of an abusive priest — one member of a horrific and perverse group who gave gold crosses to altar boys meant to signal that the boys “were optimal targets for further victimization”. At the Mass Wuerl “stated, among other things, that ‘a priest is a priest. Once he is ordained, he is a priest forever.'”Well, if so, then let our bishops and cardinals act like priests, not elite executives. It’s very clear that too many bishops and cardinals have shown themselves to be untrustworthy overseers; they need to learn how to be priests again, and there is no better way to do that than to toss them out of the cushy offices, greatly reduce the number of personal assistants, end the entourage, discourage the gold cuff links and the bespoke shirts and the limos. Send them forth with a pair of good shoes and a working phone, into the mission territory of their parishes.Let each bishop acquire a diocesan administrative team of trustworthy, capable professional lay people who have no disordered attachment to ideas of protectionism or clericalism. That removes the prelate from management concerns and permits him to become reacquainted with the real and practical ministry for which he was ordained and should be at the very core of his priesthood.
catholic  scandals 
2 days ago by thomas.kochi
Pennsylvania Grand Jury report flawed, fails to highlight Cardinal Wuerl’s record on child protection
It’s important that we put this report in context. It is a report that looks back over 70 years. In that time more than 5,000 diocesan priests served the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In Pittsburgh alone more than 1,800 diocesan priests served the faithful there. The report references allegations against 32 priests during then-Bishop Wuerl’s time in Pittsburgh. Many were allegations of conduct that occurred before he arrived in 1988. That record is not made clear in the grand jury report.
catholic  scandals 
2 days ago by thomas.kochi
St Peter Damian said lack of fear of the Lord and His last judgment leads to prelates going astray
St. Peter Damian, born in Italy in 1007, “attacked all forms of sexual abuse committed by the clergy,”.St Peter Damian – honored by Pope Leo XII in 1828 as a Doctor of the Church for his reform efforts – came up with an effective strategy that emphasised the need for public accountability, strict penalties for offenders and their superiors, and the obligation of laypeople to step in when church leaders fail to reform themselves,The saint realised that sexually abusive clerics and those who failed to stop them were “more afraid to be despised by men than to be judged by God,”
catholic  scandals  history 
15 days ago by thomas.kochi
BISHOP SCHARFENBERGER’S LETTER TO CLERGY STATING LATEST ABUSE REVELATIONS SHOW THE SITUATION IS "MUCH MORE THAN A CRISIS OF POLICIES AND PROCEDURES...IT IS A PROFOUNDLY SPIRITUAL CRISIS"
“Lord Jesus, you were rejected by your people, betrayed by the kiss of a friend, and deserted by your disciples. Give us the confidence that you had in the Father, and our salvation will be assured.”Like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, many of our faithful are now feeling betrayed and abandoned by their spiritual fathers, especially the bishops. Perhaps you share this feeling, too. No doubt you have been and will be hearing from your people about how shaken and discouraged they are over public revelations of despicable behavior on the part of a very popular and charismatic Cardinal with priests and seminarians in his care. One holy and faithful Catholic gentleman – a medical professional and a dear friend – texted me just this morning about his family’s utter despondency over this and that the USCCB should disband itself: “[t]heir credibility is shot, probably for decades.”
catholic  scandals 
19 days ago by thomas.kochi
I joined for the faith, I discovered humanity
..when a sexual crime occurs in the Church it is 10 times worse. The betrayal is even deeper. Every offence committed by a cleric is a stain not just on the Church’s reputation, with which we can be inordinately obsessed, but the very soul of the institution. The Church asks its followers to confess their sins, but it seems far too slow to admit and atone for its own, and that hypocrisy has driven away thousands, possibly millions. I’m not saying I’m right or wrong about this, it’s just that when I signed up to be a Catholic, I joined a faith, not a congregation.Of course, I quickly discovered that isn’t sustainable. The faith and the institution are inseparable:..And so, after years of telling myself that I don’t want anything to do with the political or social life of the Church, I’ve found myself inexorably drawn into bothAnd far from this picture being drawn in the media of clerics as complete disaster zones, I’m happy to report how many of them turn out to be kind, intelligent, thoroughly human people bearing incredible witness in a society that either disregards them or hates them I joined for the faith, I discovered humanity, and now the next step, I suspect, is to recommit myself to the faith. How?Catholicism has all the answers, including to its own problems, and it asks us to be courageous. We all have to admit that we are capable of doing wrong and of being hurt. These are two very different things, yes, but they both involve the wounding of a soul, and what the Church offers to the injured is reconciliation and healing.
catholic  faith  scandals 
20 days ago by thomas.kochi
The Truth About Cardinal McCarrick
The Catholic Church needs an inquest into what the pederast cardinal's colleagues knew, and when.But a crucial reason, and one whose ironies the leaders of the church should meditate upon, is that because of secularization and polarization and the bonfire they have made of their own moral authority, the Catholic bishops are now somewhat protected from media scrutiny by virtue of their increasing unimportance.If they are happy enough with the world as it is, then we will have more empty statements of concern, more promises of a new process for accusations against bishops, more professions of innocence and ignorance. If they are not, if they can imagine a church with its moral authority restored, then we will have an independent investigation, an invitation for testimony and in the end the church’s own imprimatur on the hard and heavy truth.There is always a choice. I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Therefore choose life.
NYTimes  catholic  scandals 
22 days ago by thomas.kochi
Bishop Pineda’s resignation, what it means and what happens next
The still-breaking McCarrick scandal itself comes as Pope Francis struggles to resolve the national crisis of sexual abuse and cover-ups by Chilean bishops, five of whom have now left office.Many had hoped that Church was seeing an end to the litany of sexual abuse scandals which rocked it during the first ten years of the millennium. Instead, there seems to be a new generation of scandals, in which abuse of adults, especially seminarians, and financial impropriety are the main offenses.But perhaps the most important difference between today’s scandals and those of the early 2000s is that they concern bishops and cardinals, not priests.Following the clerical abuse scandals of the previous decade, new and robust procedures were instituted in many places, especially the United States. Following the adoption of the Dallas Charter in 2002, and changes to canon law under Pope Benedict XVI, the procedures for dealing with an accusation against a priest were clear.Yet no such procedure exists, at the practical level, for handling accusations against a bishop.The lessons of recent history indicate that high profile media attention is the only guarantee of a serious response to an allegation against a bishop.While there are understandable calls for abuser-clerics to be laicized, this very unlikely in the case of a bishop.While laicization clearly expels a bishop from the hierarchy, it effectively ends any oversight church authorities have over him. Contrary to popular conception, a laicized bishop does not cease being a bishop, sacramentally speaking. Once conferred, sacraments like baptism, ordination, and episcopal consecration cannot be undone.Bishop Emmanuel Milingo, for example stepped down from the leadership of a Zambian diocese in 1983, at the age of 53, after which time he illicitly but validly consecrated several married men as bishops.
catholic  scandals 
23 days ago by thomas.kochi

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