The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis suffers from ‘serious shortcomings’ in its handling of child sex-abuse complaints that have allowed priests to continue abusing victims, sometimes for years, a task force reported Monday (Apr. 14).
“The solution, according to the church-ordered study, is to foster a culture that ‘places victims first’ and creates more accountability by involving ordinary church members in the oversight and discipline of wayward clergy …
“’As long as we act like these are ‘mistakes’ and not intentional, self-serving choices by smart but selfish men, kids will continue being hurt and crimes will continue being concealed,’ said Barbara Dorris, national outreach director for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.”
By Jean Hopfensperger, Star Tribune — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Pope Apologizes for Clergy Sexual Abuse As Former Abuse Commissioners Tell of Struggles with Bishops
Pope Asks Forgiveness for Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal, by David Gibson, Religion News Service
“In his strongest personal remarks yet on the clergy sex abuse scandal, Pope Francis on Friday (April 11) asked forgiveness ‘for the damage’ that abusive priests have inflicted on children and pledged that the Catholic Church ‘will not take one step backward’ in efforts to address the crisis.”
Click here to read the rest of Gibson’s story.
Past Members of Sex Abuse Commissions Tell of Struggles with Bishops, by Jason Berry, National Catholic Reporter
“Commissions set up by church officials to advise church officials on clergy sexual abuse have a checkered history. No one knows this better than Catholics who answered their bishops’ call to serve but found themselves and their advice rejected or ignored.
“The U.S. bishops named a 12-member blue-ribbon panel of lay advisers amid the firestorm of media coverage in 2002.
“‘A lot of American bishops would not want to see any of us of the original review board named to this [pontifical] commission,’ said Nicholas Cafardi, who served on the National Review Board from 2002 to 2004.”
Click here to read the rest of Berry’s story.
A bishop who met with Pope Francis in a rare private audience on 4 April has said in an interview that the two men discussed the issue of the ordination of “proven” married men – viri probati – in a serious and positive way.
“Bishop Erwin Kräutler, Bishop of Xingu in the Brazilian rainforest, spoke to the Pope about Francis’ forthcoming encyclical on the environment, and the treatment of indigenous peoples but the desperate shortage of priests in the bishop’s huge diocese came up in the conversation. According to an interview the Austrian-born bishop gave to the daily Salzburger Nachrichten on 5 April, the Pope was open-minded about finding solutions to the problem, saying that bishops’ conferences could have a decisive role.”
By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, The Tablet — Click here to read the rest of this story.
This issue brings together two strains of church life that NCR has been tracking for some 30 years: the sexual abuse of minors by clergy, and the finances of dioceses. It is in these two areas that church leaders are at their most vulnerable.
“The sexual abuse of minors by clergy and the subsequent cover-up by those in the church leadership structure have sapped the hierarchy of much of its moral authority. Many times, the church has seemed to be moving on from the immediacy of that crisis, and then something happens — a priest in Newark, N.J., who is supposed to be on restricted ministry is found on youth retreats, or leaders in the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese ignore their own guidelines and the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People — and we are plunged headlong back into that morass.”
Click here to read the rest of this editorial by National Catholic Reporter.
It’s been more than two years since Catholics across the U.S. switched to a new Roman Missal, the prayers and instructions that make up the ritual ‘call and response’ during Mass, but a new survey finds that a majority of priests still said they ‘don’t like it.’
“The survey results, released Tuesday (Apr. 8) by the Catholic research organization Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, or CARA, show 52 percent of priests said they disliked the updated Roman Missal. Many said the new missal is too formal, awkward and distracting from worship.”
By Jaweed Kaleem, Huffington Post — Click here to read the rest of this story.
In the month since NCR published a story about the efforts of some Catholic dioceses to ascertain the thoughts of lay Catholics on a variety of issues related to the family, readers and diocesan officials have reached out to say that they, too, took part in the historic consultation with laity.” By Michael O’Loughlin, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story
National Catholic Reporter also has posted charts showing how individual U.S. dioceses have responded to the Vatican’s questionnaire for the Synod on the Family. Click here to see these charts.
Catholics in Newark, N.J., were outraged to learn that Archbishop John Myers had spent $500,000 for an extension on his retirement home. Catholics in Atlanta questioned the acceptability of Archbishop Wilton Gregory’s building a $2.2 million residence for himself. For many, these actions raised the questions: What is acceptable compensation for a sitting bishop and for a retired bishop? Who determines what’s acceptable?” By Mick Forgey, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.