By Rod McGuirk, Associated Press, in The Boston Globe — Read more …
Posts Tagged child sexual abuse
Retired Washington cardinal out of ministry after credible abuse accusation / National Catholic Reporter
He is likely the first cardinal to step down from active ministry for sexually abusing a minor. (National Catholic Reporter)
“In a shocking announcement, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who served as the archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., before retiring in 2006, has announced that he is stepping down from active ministry after allegations of sexual abuse were found ‘credible and substantiated.’
“‘The Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, at the direction of Pope Francis, has instructed Cardinal McCarrick that he is no longer to exercise publicly his priestly ministry,’ according to a statement from the New York Archdiocese where the complaint was lodged.
“He is likely the first cardinal to step down from active ministry for sexually abusing a minor.
“‘I realize this painful development will shock my many friends, family members, and people I have been honored to serve in my sixty-years as a priest,’ McCarrick said in a statement.
“The incident of sexual abuse of a teenager occurred 47 years ago, when McCarrick was a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, the statement said. No other details about the allegations were given.”
By Heidi Schlumpf, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
“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 …
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.”
The first, three-year mandate of the commission (Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors) ended in December, and its lapsing coincided with growing criticism of the pope’s commitment to addressing sexual abuse in the church. The group plans to begin its work in April by hearing the testimony of abuse victims. (The New York Times)
After his spirited defense of a Chilean bishop accused of covering up sexual abuse prompted the greatest crisis of his pontificate, Pope Francis reactivated an abuse commission on Saturday (Feb. 17) that had lapsed into dormancy.
“It was the latest in a series of measures by the Vatican to counter criticism that fighting abuse was not a priority for Francis’ papacy.
“Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston was reappointed as the leader of the group, called the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. A Vatican statement said the panel would include some victims of clerical sexual abuse.
“‘The Holy Father has ensured continuity in the work of our commission, which is to assist local churches throughout the world in their efforts to safeguard all children, young people, and vulnerable adults from harm,’ Cardinal O’Malley said in a statement.
“The Vatican statement said the abuse victims on the commission preferred to keep their histories private.”
By Jason Horowitz, The New York Times — Read more …
“The process they (clergy abuse survivors) go through is very tough,” said the pope. “They are left annihilated. Annihilated!” (National Catholic Reporter)
Pope Francis revealed in a meeting with confreres of his Jesuit order last month that he meets with survivors of sexual abuse on a nearly weekly basis, according to a newly released transcript of the encounter.
“In a Jan. 19 question and answer session during his visit to Peru, the text of which was published for the first time Feb. 15 by Italian Jesuit magazine La Civiltà Cattolica, the pope said the Catholic Church must hear from those who have been abused by clergy.
“‘We need to listen to what someone who has been abused feels,’ Francis told the Jesuits, according to the transcript, and continued: ‘On Fridays — sometimes this is known and sometimes it is not known — I normally meet some of them.’
“‘The process they go through is very tough,’ said the pope. ‘They are left annihilated. Annihilated!'”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
In the Catholic tradition, the Pope is the Vicar of Jesus Christ. In other words, he acts and ministers in his name. If that’s the case, then Francis must end this scandal now. He must apologize to the victims. He must investigate the claims. And he must transform the Church. (Time magazine)
This week (Feb. 6) it came to light that Pope Francis received an eight-page letter from a Chilean man in 2015 that detailed how a priest sexually abused him, and how other priests ignored and concealed the crime, including then-Father Juan Barros, a man Francis had just months earlier appointed to be the bishop of Osorno, Chile.
“This revelation comes weeks after Pope Francis called accusations against Bishop Barros ‘calumny’ and said he had received no credible evidence that Barros had covered up abuse. Francis eventually walked back his claims of calumny and sent a Vatican special prosecutor to Chile to investigate the claims of coverup. But the fact that Francis received the letter from Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, one of the Church’s top-ranking officials, and either did not read the letter or did not act on it, is a stunning development that represents the biggest crisis of Francis’s nearly five year papacy …
“… I can say with conviction that if Francis doesn’t transform his focus and practice on ending the systematic cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, his papacy will be a tragic failure. Sadly, his record on this issue is worse than his immediate predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, who despite his many shortcomings on the issue, was the first pope to take the cover-up scandal seriously.
By Christopher Hale, Time magazine — Read more …
“When we gave him (Cardinal Sean O’Malley) the letter for the pope, he assured us he would give it to the pope and speak of the concerns,” then-commission member Marie Collins told the AP. “And at a later date, he assured us that that had been done.” (Associated Press)
Pope Francis received a victim’s letter in 2015 that graphically detailed how a priest sexually abused him and how other Chilean clergy ignored it, contradicting the pope’s recent insistence that no victims had come forward to denounce the cover-up, the letter’s author and members of Francis’ own sex- abuse commission have told The Associated Press.
The fact that Francis received the eight-page letter, obtained by the AP, challenges his insistence that he has ‘zero tolerance’ for sex abuse and cover-ups. It also calls into question his stated empathy with abuse survivors, compounding the most serious crisis of his five-year papacy.
“The scandal exploded last month when Francis’ trip to South America was marred by protests over his vigorous defense of Bishop Juan Barros, who is accused by victims of witnessing and ignoring the abuse by the Rev. Fernando Karadima. During the trip, Francis callously dismissed accusations against Barros as ‘slander,’ seemingly unaware that victims had placed Barros at the scene of Karadima’s crimes.
“On the plane home, confronted by an AP reporter, the pope said: ‘You, in all good will, tell me that there are victims, but I haven’t seen any, because they haven’t come forward.'”
By Nicole Winfield and Eva Vergara, Associated Press — Read more …