Posts Tagged Anne Barrett Doyle

Editorial: The Church has earned our healthy skepticism / National Catholic Reporter

“… there is the matter of history and some fundamentals to the long and ugly narrative that cannot be ignored …”

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan may have the purest of motives in designing the new compensation program for victims of clergy sex abuse. He must realize, however, that he is working against a history of activity, including his own, of members of the U.S. hierarchy that hardly inspires trust …

“The devil, in this instance, is in both the details and the larger context. Two details raise concerns for (Anne Barrett) Doyle (BishopAccountability.org):

  • Victims are required to sign a legal agreement that appears to bind them to privacy and confidentiality.
  • As part of the agreement, victims receiving an award agree, in releasing the archdiocese from future liability, not to sue the church in the future.

“That second point is important because of the context. The archdiocese is engaged in an ongoing and persistent effort to keep New York state from passing the Child Victims Act, which would extend the statute of limitations allowing victims a longer time to sue following abuse … Dolan’s timely initiative could also be a legal strategy aimed at eliminating those who might make future claims against the church under a new law.

“If that appears terribly cynical, there is the matter of history and some fundamentals to the long and ugly narrative that cannot be ignored …”

By National Catholic Reporter Editorial Staff — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.

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N.Y. cardinal’s new compensation program for victims will keep sex abuse hidden / National Catholic Reporter

“While the fund certainly will help some victims, its biggest beneficiary will be Dolan and his management team. This is a legal strategy in pastoral garb, a tactic by the powerful archbishop to control victims and protect the church’s assets and its secrets.”

Cardinal Timothy Dolan is trying something new. After years of successfully opposing legislation that would give New York abuse victims more time to sue, he has launched a victims’ compensation program — a first for the New York archdiocese …

“The surprise move is winning the cardinal praise. The often critical New York Daily News commended him, citing his ‘remarkable moral courage.’

“As a researcher of the Catholic abuse crisis, I see his plan differently. While the fund certainly will help some victims, its biggest beneficiary will be Dolan and his management team. This is a legal strategy in pastoral garb, a tactic by the powerful archbishop to control victims and protect the church’s assets and its secrets.

“On its face, the plan is reasonable. A victim submits a claim form with documentation about rape or molestation by a priest or deacon. If deemed credible, the victim receives an award, which the archdiocese promises to disburse quickly — within 60 days …

“But there’s a catch — two catches, actually. Victims must sign a legal agreement to abide by ‘all requirements pertaining to privacy and confidentiality,’ and they must release the archdiocese from future liability — i.e., never sue it. (See section III, paragraph G of the IRCP’s Protocol webpage.)”

By Anne Barrett-Doyle, co-director, BishopAccountability.org, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Pope Francis, the church sex abuse scandal is not over / The Boston Globe

When he visits the United States this week, Pope Francis is likely to repeat his acclaimed vow of ‘zero tolerance’ for clergy who sexually abuse minors.

“For most Americans, this will have a reassuring ring. We assume we know what the pope means — that the global Catholic Church now adheres to the same ‘one strike and you’re out’ policy that, at least in theory, has bound all US bishops since 2002.

“That rule says that clergy guilty of ‘even a single act’ of sexual abuse will be ‘removed permanently’ from ministry.

“But this isn’t what the pope is saying. The troubling fact is that zero tolerance still is not compulsory in the global Catholic Church. It exists in the United States only because of the public outrage that engulfed American bishops in 2002, following revelations that they had kept child molesters in ministry. They obtained special permission from the Vatican to adopt a tougher measure.”

By Anne Barrett Doyle, Commentary in The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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