Archive for category Vatican

Pope’s abuse prevention commission prioritizes survivors, education / Catholic News Agency

According to an April 22 communique from the commission, the first day of their plenary was dedicated to hearing thoughts and testimonies from survivors of clerical sexual abuse, many of them members of the Survivor Advisory Panel (SAP) of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission of England and Wales. (Catholic News Agency)

Pope Francis’ commission for the protection of minors met in Rome last week to listen to survivors of clerical sexual abuse, and to discuss abuse prevention education and policy, and ways the Church might work more closely with abuse survivors.

“According to an April 22 communique from the commission, the first day of their plenary was dedicated to hearing thoughts and testimonies from survivors of clerical sexual abuse, many of them members of the Survivor Advisory Panel (SAP) of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission of England and Wales.

“Those who attended voiced appreciation for being listened to, and described the encounter as ’empowering.’

“One of the survivors, according to the communique, voiced hope that their visit would help the commission “develop a wider network of survivors who are willing to advise and support” the commission’s work in a similar manner.”

By Elise Harris, Catholic News Agency — Read more …

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Francis admits ‘serious mistakes’ in handling of Chile abuse cases / National Catholic Reporter

“I have made serious mistakes in the assessment and my perception of the situation, especially due to a lack of truthful and balanced information,” Francis says in the letter. (National Catholic Reporter)

Pope Francis has admitted making ‘serious mistakes’ in his handling of clergy sexual abuse cases in Chile, telling the country’s bishops in a lengthy letter that he feels ‘pain and shame’ for the ‘crucified lives’ of those who suffered abuse.

“But Francis has not revealed whether he will sack a Chilean prelate accused of covering up abuse, whom he has previously defended to the outrage of abuse survivors. Instead, Francis has asked the country’s bishops to come to Rome en masse for a meeting at some point soon.

“In a letter released late April 11, Francis is reporting to the bishops about the mission of Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna, whom the pope sent to Chile in February to interview abuse victims and look into the case of Bishop Juan Barros Madrid.

“‘I have made serious mistakes in the assessment and my perception of the situation, especially due to a lack of truthful and balanced information,’ Francis says in the letter.

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

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Vatican arrests monsignor on suspicion of possessing child pornography / Reuters in The New York Times

If indicted, the monsignor will have to stand trial in the Vatican and face up to 12 years in prison on conviction. (Reuters in The New York Times)

A monsignor who had been recalled to the Vatican as a diplomat in the Holy See’s Washington Embassy was arrested on Saturday (Apr. 7) on suspicion of possessing child pornography in the United States and Canada.

“Msgr. Carlo Alberto Capella was arrested by the Vatican police on a warrant issued by the Holy See’s chief magistrate, the Vatican said in a statement.

“Monsignor Capella, who was recalled from the Vatican Embassy in August, was arrested according to articles of a 2013 law signed by Pope Francis. The articles cited by the statement related to child pornography.

“If indicted, the monsignor will have to stand trial in the Vatican and face up to 12 years in prison on conviction.

“The arrest was the latest blow to the Roman Catholic Church as it struggles to overcome repeated cases of sexual abuse among its clergy. The case was also the worst involving a diplomat since that of former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who in 2013 faced charges of paying boys for sexual acts and downloading and buying pedophile material while he was the Vatican’s ambassador in the Dominican Republic.”

By Reuters in The New York Times — Read more …

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Vatican sentences Guam archbishop accused of abuse to removal from office, exile / National Catholic Reporter

(Guam Archbishop Anthony) Apuron, a Guam native who had led the island’s only diocese since 1986, was placed on leave by Pope Francis in June 2016 after a series of accusations about abuse of young men in the 1960s and 70s were made public. (National Catholic Reporter)

A Vatican tribunal has found Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who had been accused of sexually abusing young men decades ago, ‘guilty of certain of the accusations,’ imposing a penalty of removal from office and a prohibition from living on the U.S. island territory.

“A five-judge apostolic tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith announced its verdict in Apuron’s canonical case March 16 with a brief press release. The release did not specify of which exact acts the archbishop had been found guilty.

“‘The canonical trial in the matter of accusations, including accusations of sexual abuse of minors … has been concluded,’ states the release. ‘The Apostolic Tribunal … has issued its sentence of first instance, finding the accused guilty of certain of the accusations and imposing upon the accused the penalties of privation of office and prohibition of residence in the Archdiocese of Guam.’

“Apuron, a Guam native who had led the island’s only diocese since 1986, was placed on leave by Pope Francis in June 2016 after a series of accusations about abuse of young men in the 1960s and 70s were made public.

“Francis named an apostolic administrator to run the archdiocese for several months and then named Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes, a former auxiliary bishop of Detroit, to take over.”

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

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Cardinal to face Australian court on sex abuse charges / Associated Press in The Boston Globe

Pope Francis’s former finance minister was charged in June with sexually abusing multiple people in his Australian home state of Victoria. The details of the allegations against the cardinal have yet to be released to the public. (Associated Press in The Boston Globe)

The alleged victims of the most senior Vatican official ever charged in the Catholic Church sex abuse crisis began giving secret evidence to an Australian court on Monday.

“Australian Cardinal George Pell wore his clerical collar for the first day of the hearing in the Melbourne Magistrate Court to determine whether prosecutors have sufficient evidence to put him on trial. The committal hearing is scheduled to take up to a month.The testimony of alleged victims was suppressed from publication and the courtroom was closed to the public and media. Prosecutor Mark Gibson said the complainants would give evidence by a video link.

“Pope Francis’s former finance minister was charged in June with sexually abusing multiple people in his Australian home state of Victoria. The details of the allegations against the cardinal have yet to be released to the public.

“Monday’s testimony of alleged victims was suppressed from publication and the courtroom was closed to the public and media.”

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In Vatican magazine exposé, nuns reveal their economic exploitation / The New York Times

The stories amount to a distress signal about the unfair economic and social conditions many nuns experience, as well as the psychological and spiritual challenges that many face. (The New York Times)

Sister Marie told of nuns who worked long hours to cook and clean for cardinals and bishops, without being asked to break bread at the same table.

“Sister Paule pointed out that many nuns did not have registered contracts with the bishops, schools, parishes or congregations they worked for, ‘so they are paid little or not at all.’

“Sister Cécile said that ‘nuns are seen as volunteers to have available at one’s calling, which gives rise to abuse of power.’

“These stories — told by sisters using pseudonyms — were revealed Thursday (Mar. 1) in an exposé about how nuns are exploited by the leaders and institutions of the Roman Catholic Church. The article, by the French journalist Marie-Lucile Kubacki, was published in the March edition of Women Church World, the monthly magazine on women distributed alongside the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

“The stories amount to a distress signal about the unfair economic and social conditions many nuns experience, as well as the psychological and spiritual challenges that many face.”

By Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times — Read more …

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Vatican studying ways to speed up sexual abuse cases / Reuters

(Vatican spokesman Greg) Burke said that among the options discussed was to decentralize procedures by setting up regional tribunals that would hear cases under the auspices and guidance of the CDF. (Reuters)

The topic was a main point of discussion in three days of meetings between the pope and a group of nine cardinals from the around the world who gather four times a year at the Vatican to discuss reform, Church finances and other issues.

Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said they had discussed “various options” to shorten procedures in cases of abuse.

They are currently handled by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Vatican’s doctrinal department.

Burke said that among the options discussed was to decentralize procedures by setting up regional tribunals that would hear cases under the auspices and guidance of the CDF.

The CDF hears canonical cases, applying Church laws that could lead to the defrocking of accused priests if found guilty. The Church procedures are distinct from criminal procedures in civilian courts in places where the crime is committed.

By Philip Pullella, Reuters — Read more …

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