Archive for category Vatican

Secrecy over clergy abuse standards causes confusion in India / National Catholic Reporter

“Despite Pope Francis’ call for ‘zero tolerance’ by the church in handling cases of clergy abuse against minors, change has not been swift worldwide. ” (National Catholic Reporter)

Three months after India’s theologians and Catholic religious pressed a congress of bishops to act aggressively against a wave of sex abuse cases involving priests, no official response has come.

“But top church leaders told National Catholic Reporter in exclusive interviews that bishops in India are following Vatican-approved guidelines for handling clergy abuse cases. The guidelines took effect in 2015 but have not been shared beyond bishops and religious superiors to protect the policy from being misused, an officer in the bishops’ conference told NCR.

“The March 22 letter, signed by 127 Catholic religious, theologians and feminists, was sent to Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, with copies to heads of India’s three ritual churches.”

By Jose Kevi, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Cardinal’s sex abuse charges raise questions about pope’s record / Religion News Service

“But (Robert) Mickens said Francis has never made the church’s sexual abuse crisis a priority of his administration.” (Religion News Service)

As the Vatican reeled from news that one of its top officials was taking a leave to fight historical sex abuse charges in Australia, the spotlight quickly turned to Pope Francis, with his critics slamming him for failing to do enough to tackle the vexing issue.

“Cardinal George Pell, the most senior figure in church history to face child sex abuse charges, is the Vatican’s financial czar and a trusted adviser to the pope.

“Pell, 76, is facing ‘multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offences,’ said police in the Australian state of Victoria.”

By Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service — Read more …

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Pope Francis defrocks Italian priest convicted of child sex abuse / National Catholic Reporter

“On June 28, the priest’s diocese of Crema in northern Italy released a statement saying the pope had made a “definitive ruling” that Inzoli, also known as Don Mauro, should be dismissed from clerical duties.” (National Catholic Reporter)

Pope Francis has defrocked an Italian priest who was found guilty of child sex abuse, three years after overturning predecessor Benedict XVI’s decision to do the same after allegations against the priest first came to light.

“Mauro Inzoli, 67, was initially defrocked in 2012 after he was first accused of abusing minors, but Francis reversed that decision in 2014, ordering the priest to stay away from children and retire to ‘a life of prayer and humble discretion.’

“On June 28, the priest’s diocese of Crema in northern Italy released a statement saying the pope had made a ‘definitive ruling’ that Inzoli, also known as Don Mauro, should be dismissed from clerical duties.

“Bishop Daniele Gianotti of Crema said the Vatican body responsible for church doctrine informed him of the pope’s decision, which Gianotti described as “the worst punishment” to be imposed on a priest.”

By Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Cardinal Pell of Australia takes leave to fight sexual abuse charges / The New York Times

“The pope has achieved global popularity for his emphasis on inclusiveness and mercy, but he has come under increased criticism for the slow pace and reported internal resistance to efforts to safeguard victims of sexual abuse by priests and protect children in the church.” (The New York Times)

In an extraordinary statement, the Holy See announced on Thursday (Jun. 29) morning that Pope Francis had granted a leave of absence to Cardinal George Pell of Australia, a top Vatican official, adviser to the pontiff and as of this week the highest-ranking Roman Catholic prelate to be formally charged with sexual assault, so that he could return to Australia to defend himself.

“Speaking at the Vatican press office, Cardinal Pell, wearing simple black clerical cloths and a dangling cross, read a statement declaring his innocence against the charges and what he called leaks by the news media and ‘relentless character assassination.’

“‘I am looking forward finally to having my day in court,’ Cardinal Pell said as he sat next to a Vatican spokesman. ‘I am innocent of the charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.’

“The Australian police served the cardinal’s legal representatives hours earlier in Melbourne and have yet to reveal the details of the charges or the ages of the complainants.”

By Jason Horowitz, The New York Times — Read more …

 

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Papal abuse commission member suggests changes to group expected in fall / National Catholic Reporter

“The mandate is of three years and at the end of this year the mandate finishes.”

A member of Pope Francis’ commission on clergy sexual abuse has suggested the composition of the advisory body may change at some point this fall, as the original three-year terms granted to individuals in the group expire.

“Jesuit Fr. Hans Zollner, who was appointed by Francis with seven others in March 2014 as the initial members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, said the group is hosting its last planned plenary session in September.

“‘People know that the mandate of this commission comes to a close,’ said Zollner, speaking Thursday at the Pontifical Gregorian University. ‘The mandate is of three years and at the end of this year the mandate finishes.’

“‘We look forward to seeing what will be the follow-up,’ the Jesuit said.”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Married priests: Groups call on U.K. church to have national, courageous conversation / National Catholic Reporter

“Chris McDonnell, secretary of the Movement for Married Clergy, says the current model of Catholic priesthood, where the priest does everything, is unsustainable.” Over the years, Voice of the Faithful has often called for married priests, e.g., “A Petition to the American Bishops for the Ordination to the Priesthood of Married Catholic Men in the United States.”

“The ordination of married men to the priesthood ‘needs to be explored openly within the church in England and Wales at national and diocesan levels,’ the retired bishop of Portsmouth, England, has said.

“Speaking to NCR, Bishop Crispian Hollis said he was ‘increasingly aware’ of the pressure which priests are under due to the shortage of priests. He believes the issue of ordaining married men should not be left to ‘conversations within parishes and among the lay faithful.’

“His comments were made as new figures released by the National Office for Vocations in England and Wales showed a drop in the number of men entering formation for the diocesan priesthood. Director of the office, Benedictine Fr. Christopher Jamison, described the fall as ‘disappointing.'”

By Sarah Mac Donald, National Catholic Reporter — Read more … — Also of note, “Priests’ group accuses bishops of refusing to support pope’s openness to reform”

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Abuse survivor wants papal panel to push back on Vatican resistance / Cruxnow.com

On Saturday, Pope Francis called Marie Collins, an abuse survivor who recently quit his Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors citing Vatican resistance to reform, a “great woman” and said she’s “right on some things.” In a Crux interview, Collins expressed gratitude but also said that the Church still needs uniform global standards and a way to hold bishops accountable.”

By John Allen, Ines San Martin and Claire Giangrave, Cruxnow.com — Read more …

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