Posts Tagged bishop accountability

Exclusive: Marie Collins responds to Cardinal Muller’s allegations about abuse commission / National Catholic Reporter

“Marie Collins of Ireland is a clergy sexual abuse survivor who resigned March 1 from Pope Francis’ Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave an interview shortly following Collins’ resignation. Collins has written an open letter to Müller in response to that interview.”

… Finally, with respect, Cardinal, I do not know what the motivation is in regard to any difficulties put in the way of the pontifical commission. All it wishes to do is bring better protection to children and vulnerable adults wherever in the world the Catholic Church is present. If there are problems, nothing is gained by maintaining a pretense that all is well.

“I would ask that instead of falling back into the Church’s default position of denial and obfuscation, when a criticism like mine is raised the people of the church deserve to be given a proper explanation. We are entitled to transparency, honesty and clarity.

“No longer can dysfunction be kept hidden behind institutional closed doors. This only succeeds as long as those who know the truth are willing to remain silent.”

By Marie Collins in National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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In sign of resolve, Pope taps O’Malley for Vatican office handling abuse cases / Cruxnow.com

In a move likely to be read as an attempt by Pope Francis to show resolve in the fight against clerical sexual abuse, the pontiff has named Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, widely seen as the leading reformer in the Catholic hierarchy, as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the powerful Vatican department that handles abuse cases.

“The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, traditionally known as the “Holy Office,” is headed by German Cardinal Gerhard Muller. Its main responsibility is defending Catholic teaching, but since 2001, it’s also played lead in prosecuting cases under Church law for priests charged with sexual abuse.

“Last June, Pope Francis also announced that the congregation would house a new legal section designed to impose accountability not only on abuser priests, but also on bishops and other Catholic superiors who covered up that abuse.

“Since then, however, the launch of the new tribunal has been delayed amid legal and administrative wrangling, and O’Malley’s appointment may well reflect a desire by Francis to kick-start the process.”

By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Do the U.S. bishops get it? / Religion News Service

It’s been 30 years since Jason Berry broke the Catholic sex abuse story by courageously reporting on the case of serial abuser Fr. Gilbert Gauthe in Louisiana. When national publications refused to touch the story, Berry published his investigation in the Times of Acadiana, and that little paper proved to be the mouse that roared. The National Catholic Reporter immediately took the plunge and before long the mainstream media lost its fear of reporting how bishops systematically put the protection of their clergy and their church’s reputation ahead of the protection of minors.

“NCR marked the anniversary last month with a tough editorial, which has drawn an appropriately non-confrontational response from Bishop Edward J.  Burns of Juneau, Alaska, chairman of the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops. To his credit, Burns acknowledges that the church’s considerable effort to establish a safe environment for children should not be taken as ‘a sign that we have somehow put this scandal behind us, nor is it an occasion for self-congratulation … Rather, our shepherds, myself included, need to face and repent of the betrayal of trust. Authentic and heartfelt repentance by the shepherds of our church is not a distraction from our mission: It is the mission at this moment in the life of the church and her leaders.’

“So what’s wrong with this?”

By Mark Silk, Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.

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Pope Francis is mulling proposal on bishop accountability / Cruxnow.com

Marie Collins of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors was the featured speaker April 18 at the Voice of the Faithful 2015 National Assembly.

The Vatican’s special commission on clergy sexual abuse has given Pope Francis a proposal on how to punish bishops who failed to protect minors from sexual abuse by clergy under their oversight.

“Marie Collins, a member of the panel — formally known as the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors — and herself a survivor of clergy sexual abuse, said she couldn’t reveal details of the proposal, but that personally, she believes some bishops must be removed from office.

“Among those she cited was Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, convicted in 2012 of failing to report suspected child abuse to civil authorities.”

By Michael O’Loughlin, Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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O’Malley says cardinals more open to reform / The Boston Globe

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley (head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors) said on Monday (Feb. 16) that a prior climate of denial among Catholic cardinals on the need for reform with regard to the church’s child sexual abuse scandals has been largely driven underground.

“O’Malley also said that a lack of accountability for bishops who fail to make “zero tolerance” policies stick has damaged the church’s credibility, and vowed that he will present proposals for new accountability mechanisms to the pope within two months’ time.

“O’Malley spoke Monday in an exclusive interview with the Globe during a Rome event to present an expanded antiabuse initiative at the Jesuit-run Gregorian University.”

By John L. Allen, Jr., The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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