Archive for category Clericalism

Don’t put priests on a pedestal / U.S. Catholic

“declaring a pox on clericalism” and how we can end it —

Finally there appears an issue that our divided church can agree on. Catholics of all stripes—conservatives and liberals and in-betweens—are declaring a pox on clericalism. From Pope Francis to the back pew widow, from seminary rectors to lay ecclesial ministers, we agree that clericalism is crippling the pastoral mission of the church.”

“At the same time it is strengthening the secularists’ claim that Catholic clergy are nothing more than papal agents bent on enforcing rigid moral controls that smother our human instinct for pleasure and freedom. So let’s end clericalism in the church.”

By Father Donald Cozzens, U.S. Catholic — Click here to read the rest of this column.

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An isolated Nienstedt tried to limit investigation into himself / Minnesota Public Radio

On April 10, 2014 — seven months into the clergy sex abuse scandal — Archbishop John Nienstedt’s top advisers gathered for a private meeting. They had just received several affidavits from an internal investigation of Nienstedt that had been authorized by the archbishop himself to address damaging rumors.

“The sworn statements accused Nienstedt of inappropriate behavior, according to people who read them, including sexual advances toward at least two priests …

“Nienstedt had authorized the investigation with the expectation that it would clear his name. Instead, it threatened to ruin it. At the meeting last spring, the advisers went around the room. Each said Nienstedt should resign.”

By Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Controversial San Francisco handbook to be reviewed, expanded by theology teacher committee

A committee of theology teachers from the four high schools administered by the San Francisco archdiocese will be asked to expand and clarify a statement on church teachings and practices developed by Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone and scheduled for inclusion in those schools’ 2015-16 faculty handbooks.

“In an open letter to teachers dated Feb. 24 as well as during an hour-long meeting with the editorial board of the San Francisco Chronicle on Tuesday (Feb. 24), Cordileone said he has been surprised by the uproar generated by the Feb. 3 release of the handbook insertion, ‘Statement of the High Schools of the Archdiocese of San Francisco Regarding the Teachings and Practice of the Catholic Church.’

“An archdiocesan ‘media advisory’ issued late Tuesday appeared to counter a Chronicle characterization of the committee’s formation and the newspaper’s meeting with Cordileone as the archbishop backing down.”

By Dan Morris-Young, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Kansas City Catholics divided over Vatican investigation of bishop / National Public Radio

A Catholic bishop normally governs pretty much unchecked in his diocese — only the pope can dislodge a bishop. And each time Catholics celebrate Mass in Kansas City, Mo., they pray for Bishop Robert Finn, right after they pray for Pope Francis.

“But some Catholics here, like Deacon David Biersmith, refuse to go along.

“‘When the priest says that, you know, you’re supposed say it with him, but I just leave that out,’ Biersmith says. ‘I just don’t say it. Because he’s not my bishop, as far as I’m concerned.’

“Much of the discontent in Kansas City has to do with an incident four years ago. A computer technician found hundreds of lewd photos of young girls on a priest’s laptop. The priest was Shawn Ratigan, and it wasn’t the first sign that he was a pedophile.”

By Frank Morris, National Public Radio — Click here to read or listen to the rest of this report.

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Cardinal O’Malley’s warning shot about Bishop Finn is just the start / The Washington Post

When Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley told ‘60 Minutes’ that Pope Francis was well aware of the need to hold Missouri Bishop Robert Finn accountable for shielding a suspected child abuser, it sounded like another bell tolling on Finn’s tenure, perhaps the loudest gong yet since Finn was convicted in 2012 …

“But even more important may have been O’Malley’s remarks about the Vatican creating a system for disciplining bishops — establishing a process of accountability that could be used for churchmen beyond low-hanging clerical fruit like Finn.

“’One of the first things that came up is the importance of accountability,’ O’Malley said, referring to his role as leader of the sex abuse commission that Francis set up a year ago. ‘We’re looking at how the church could have protocols of how to respond when a bishop has not been responsible for the protection of the children in his diocese.’”

By David Gibson, Religion News Service, in The Washington Post — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn under Vatican investigation / National Catholic Reporter

A Canadian archbishop visited the Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., diocese last week on behalf of the Vatican to investigate the leadership of Bishop Robert Finn, the first Catholic prelate to be found criminally guilty of shielding a priest in the ongoing clergy sexual abuse crisis.

“Ottawa, Ontario, Archbishop Terrence Prendergast visited the Midwestern diocese for several days last week, interviewing more than a dozen people about Finn’s leadership, several of those interviewed told NCR.

“According to those who spoke with Prendergast, the main he question asked was: ‘Do you think [Finn] is fit to be a leader?’”

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

Also of interest is the recent removal of Paraguayan Bishop Rogelio Ricard Livieres Plano for shielding a priest from accusations of abuse of minors and the arrest of former papal nuncio to the Dominican Republic Josef Wesolowski for child abuse. See Sept. 27 issue of Voice of the Faithful’s In the Vineyard newsletter with link to VOTF statement on the latter.

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Paraguayan bishop who shielded priest abuser removed from office / National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis has removed a bishop from his diocese in eastern Paraguay following an apostolic visitation that found he had shielded a priest from accusations of sexual abuse of minors.

“Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano, 69, has been removed from heading the Ciudad del Este diocese, a statement from the Vatican press office said Thursday (Sept. 25).

“‘This was a difficult decision on the part of the Holy See, taken for serious pastoral reasons and for the greater good of the unity of the Church in Ciudad del Este and the episcopal communion in Paraguay,’ the Vatican statement said.”

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

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