Archive for April, 2015

Held to Account / Commonweal

In a March 2014 interview, Pope Francis was given an opportunity to comment on the sexual-abuse scandal, a subject he had said remarkably little about since his election. Acknowledging the ‘deep wounds’ suffered by victims, Francis went on to defend the church as the only public institution to address such crimes ‘with transparency and responsibility.’ No one else has done more, he continued, and yet “the church is the only one to be attacked …’

“For nearly three years, Kansas City Catholics have been wondering whether a pope would replace Finn with a bishop who would put the safety of children first. On April 21, they got their answer. In a terse statement, the Holy See announced that Pope Francis had accepted Finn’s resignation. The brevity of that statement was inversely proportional to its significance for the global church.”

Editorial by Commonweal — Click here to read the rest of this editorial

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Bishop Robert Finn to preside over ordinations despite resignation / The Kansas City Star

Despite announcing his resignation a week ago, Bishop Robert W. Finn will preside over the priestly ordinations of seven deacons next month in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese.

“A diocese spokesman Monday (Apr. 27) cited a scheduling conflict that prevented the new temporary leader of the diocese, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, from ordaining the seven men on May 23 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City.

“Naumann, who continues to lead the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, will preside over ordinations scheduled for the same time in Leawood …

“‘There is closure on this,’ Naumann said in a phone interview. ‘Bishop Finn resigned, and the Holy See has accepted it. But he doesn’t disappear from the face of the Earth. … He still is a bishop.’”

By Rick Montgomery, The Kansas City Star — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Pennsylvania top court reinstates monsignor’s conviction / Associated Press

The state’s highest court on Monday (Apr. 28) reinstated the landmark child-endangerment conviction of a Roman Catholic monsignor who was the first U.S. church official ever prosecuted over his handling of sex abuse complaints.

“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court upheld the 2012 felony conviction of Monsignor William Lynn for endangering an altar boy abused by a priest who had been transferred to his parish despite earlier complaints.

“Defense lawyers have long argued that Lynn, as secretary for clergy, was not responsible for the child’s welfare under Pennsylvania law at the time. However, the state Supreme Court in a 4-1 ruling disagreed, potentially sending the 64-year-old Lynn back to prison.”

By Maryclaire Dale, Associated Press, on ABCNews.go.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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The fear of real Roman Curia reform / National Catholic Reporter

A high-ranking Vatican official recently voiced serious doubts about the need to reform the Roman Curia. Believe it or not, he said talk of reform was exaggerated.

“‘I personally can see no significant reason that would necessitate a reform of the Curia at the moment,’ the official said.

“‘One or two changes have been or will be made concerning personnel or structures, but that is part of the normal run of things,’ he continued.

“‘To speak of ‘Curia reform’ is, with all due respect, somewhat of an exaggeration,’ he maintained.

“This wasn’t just any official. It was Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household. He’s the same one who is the private secretary and housemate of the former pope, Benedict XVI.”

By Robert Mickens, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column.

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Catholic Church fights push to allow more abuse claims in N.Y. / Associated Press

The Roman Catholic Church is opposing efforts in New York to allow sex abuse accusers to file lawsuits after the statute of limitations has expired, warning of dire financial consequences if the state allows plaintiffs to sue decades after the purported abuse occurred.

“Currently in New York, victims of child sex abuse have until five years after they turn 18 to file a lawsuit. The same statute of limitations applies to most child sex crimes.

“A bill pending in the state Assembly would eliminate the statute of limitations on abuse cases going forward — and create a one-year window to allow anyone to file lawsuits no matter when the abuse occurred. Supporters gathered Wednesday in Albany to push for the bill.”

By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Canon Lawyers: Origins of Bishop Finn’s resignation unclear / National Catholic Reporter

When news broke Tuesday (Apr. 21) of Bishop Robert Finn’s resignation as head of the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., diocese, a primary question asked: Did he step down on his own, or was he forced out?

“The announcement from the Vatican published in its daily bulletin said Pope Francis accepted Finn’s resignation ‘in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.’ Canon 401.2 reads: ‘A diocesan bishop who has become less able to fulfill his office because of ill health or some other grave cause is earnestly requested to present his resignation from office.’

“While it’s possible the Vatican requested Finn resign, neither the announcement nor canon 401.2 offer clear evidence to that, according to four canon lawyers who spoke to NCR.”

By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Bishop Finn finally pays the price for misusing power and placing church secrecy ahead of the safety of area children / The Kansas City Star

The departure of Robert W. Finn as bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, although overdue, is a step forward for the diocese and thousands of area Catholics.

“Finn’s conduct in office made him a symbol of the Catholic church’s failure to adequately address child sexual abuse by priests. He was the first Catholic bishop to be convicted of a crime related to that crisis.”

Editorial in The Kansas City Star — Click here to read the rest of this editorial

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