Archive for June, 2014

U.S. Priests Want Married Men to Be Ordained, Support Worker Pensions, Immigration Reform and Opening Up Bishop-Selection Process / Religion News Service

A proposal to ask American Catholic bishops to request church approval to ordain married men as priests was approved June 25 by the 230 priests attending an assembly of the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests this week in St. Louis.

“The group also announced support for full payment of worker pensions, asked that lay people have a role in the selection of diocesan bishops, and made plans to help Catholics learn more about Church teaching in regard to immigration rights and responsibilities.

“In recommending a call for the church to ordain married men, the association cited published reports that Pope Francis would welcome such a request from bishop’s conferences around the world.”

By Religion News Service Religion Press Release Services —  Click here to read the rest of this press release and see contact information for the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests.

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Senior Australian Bishop Charged with Sex Abuse / Agence France-Press

One of the most senior members of the Catholic Church in Australia has stepped down from his role after being charged with child sex abuse, the Church said on Monday (June 30).

“Max Davis, who heads the church’s military diocese, is reportedly Australia’s most senior clergyman and the first Australian Catholic bishop to be charged with a child sex offense.”

By Agence France-Presse on DigitalJournal.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Massachusetts Extends Statute of Limitations for Civil Lawsuits in Abuse Cases / Associated Press on NECN

Attorney expresses disappointment victims over 21 not allowed to sue those who supervised abusers or institutions that employed them

A Boston lawyer who represents victims of childhood sexual abuse is calling a change in state law a step in the right direction.

“Gov. Deval Patrick recently signed legislation that would extend the statute of limitations for filing civil lawsuits against alleged perpetrators.

“Individuals who previously had only until age 21 to sue would now have until age 53.

“Attorney Mitchell Garabedian said the law will help victims seek justice, but expressed disappointment it would not allow people older than 21 to retroactively sue those who supervised their alleged abusers or the institutions that employed them.”

By Associated Press on NECN-TV News — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Vatican Defrocks Archbishop Accused of Sexual Abuse / National Catholic Reporter

Voice of the Faithful® hopes the Vatican’s laicization of former archbishop Jozef Wesolowski signals a new, uncompromising commitment to holding hierarchy involved in sexual abuse of minors accountable for their actions. The move seems to demonstrate Pope Francis’ resolve in promoting “zero tolerance” for clergy sexual abuse.

Vatican Defrocks Archbishop Accused of Sexual Abuse

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ordered the laicization of an archbishop-ambassador accused of paying for sex with minors.

“Józef Wesołowski, former apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic, will have two months to prepare an appeal to the ruling, which was announced in a brief statement from the Vatican on Friday (June 27).

“The former nuncio, who the Vatican did not refer to as an archbishop in the statement, was removed from his post in August with little explanation. News accounts days afterward detailed allegations of paying for sex with minors and being connected to a Polish priest accused of sexually assaulting at least 14 underage boys.”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

Also of interest, “Vatican Defrocks Dominican Envoy Accused of Abuse,” by Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times. Click here to read the story.

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Pope’s Survey Shows Sex Scandals Damaged Church Credibility / Bloomberg News

Pope Francis’s global survey of parishes conducted last year revealed sex scandals and negative experiences involving members of the clergy damaged the Catholic Church’s image among its faithful.

“‘Sex scandals significantly weaken the Church’s moral credibility, above all in North America and northern Europe,’ the Vatican said in its Instrumentum Laboris, a text summing up the results of a worldwide survey among Catholic parishes …

“The survey confirmed that over a decade of sexual scandals have seriously hurt the Church’s image, affecting its own faithful. In April, Francis asked for forgiveness on behalf of priests who had sexually abused children and said more had to be done to rectify damage done and punish offenders.”

By Alessandra Migliaccio, Bloomberg News — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Pope Francis to Meet Irish Abuse Survivors in Vatican / The Irish Catholic

Irish survivors of clerical abuse will travel to Rome next week for a key meeting with Pope Francis, The Irish Catholic has learned. It will be the first time since his election that the Pontiff has met with those who have been abused by priests and religious to hear of their experiences. Francis has promised to continue a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to abuse.”

By Michael Kelly, The Irish Catholic — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Vatican Document for Synod on Family Balances Mercy and Cultural Blame / National Catholic Reporter

Struggles faced by faithful around the world in following Catholic teachings stem mainly from ineffective education in those teachings and the pervasive effect of a relativistic culture, states the guiding document for an upcoming Synod of Bishops on the family.

“The document, anticipated by many Catholics as a barometer for what to expect from the synod, also strongly reinforces church teachings regarding the indissolubility of marriage, the restriction of marriage to heterosexual couples, and that partners must be open to having children.

“At the same time, the document states, the church must respond with mercy to the struggles of families to adhere to sometimes controversial teachings — like those prohibiting divorce and remarriage, contraception, cohabitation, and same-sex marriage — and ‘support her children on the path of reconciliation.’

“Released by the Vatican on Thursday, the document was prepared for an extraordinary Synod of Bishops to be held in October. Called by Pope Francis last year, the 2014 synod is the first of two back-to-back yearly meetings of the world’s Catholic bishops at the Vatican on the theme of ‘pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization.’”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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