Posts Tagged church hierarchy

Charges against Catholic archdiocese illustrate need for accountability / Voice of the Faithful

Criminal charges against the Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, archdiocese for mishandling sexual abuse complaints once again has civil authorities forcing accountability on the Church.

Catholic Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful has long emphasized the need to hold bishops accountable for such actions. We are saddened that, once again, civil authorities have been required to do what Church hierarchy refuses to do.

Despite more than a decade of clearly defined standards for reporting abuse and avoiding coverups, too many bishops continue to delay or avoid reporting clerical crimes, and too many chancery officials join in such failures or silence those who would report them. The Church will never move forward from this scandal until such practices cease.

We hope that the Minnesota prosecutor’s action might further encourage Pope Francis to follow through on his promises of accountability and to help prevent future abuse.

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Pope names 15 new cardinals reflective of diversity of the Faithful / The New York Times

Pope Francis named 15 new cardinals from 14 countries on Sunday (Jan. 4), continuing his efforts to diversify the church hierarchy and extend the global reach of the church …

“‘He’s breaking all the patterns of cardinal nominations,’ and even the bishops of dioceses that in the past led to a cardinal post ‘will have to earn his respect,’ said Alberto Melloni, the director of the John XXIII Center in Bologna. ‘What’s striking is how quickly he broke with a centuries-old mechanism.’”

By Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Fr. Helmut Schuller in Los Angeles: Decrying ‘Dictatorship of Church Hierarchy’ / National Catholic Reporter

It was 7:15 p.m. Friday (Aug. 2). Seats in the dimly lit auditorium adjacent to the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, Calif., were beginning to fill. More than 200 Catholics from the Los Angeles area had gathered to hear the presentation by Austrian priest Fr. Helmut Schüller, who is calling upon Catholics to defy church hierarchy … ‘We don’t have any rights in this church,’ he said. ‘You are I are citizens in two worlds: citizens of the secular society — a democratic society — and citizens of the church — citizens without any rights — in a dictatorship.’ Murmurs of agreement from the crowd at this indicate the message has resonated.” By Gabrielle Canon, National Catholic Reporter

Read all of Canon’s article in National Catholic Reporter by clicking here.

Fr. Schuller makes the last stop on his Catholic Tipping Point U.S. speaking tour in Manhasset, Long Island, tomorrow, Aug. 7.

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Fr. Helmut Schuller Begins U.S. Speaking Tour

Voice of the Faithful® was the major sponsor of the first two stops, July 16 and 17, on reformist Austrian priest Fr. Helmut Schuller’s 15-city U.S. speaking tour this summer, “Catholic Tipping Point: Conversations with Fr. Helmut Schuller.” Here is are a couple of early news stories about his talk:

Fr. Helmut Schuller Kicks Off ‘Catholic Tipping Point’ Tour

Fr. Helmut Schüller should be on summer vacation right now. Instead, the Austrian priest, who gained international attention in 2011 for his “Call to Disobedience,” has chosen to spend his time off from parish ministry offering a presentation titled “The Catholic Tipping Point: Conversations” in 15 U.S. cities. The tour kicked off Tuesday night at Manhattan’s Judson Memorial Church, a historic community in Greenwich Village with affiliations to the United Church of Christ and the American Baptist Church.” By Jamie Manson, National Catholic Reporter

Read Jamie Manson’s entire article by clicking here.

Priest Says Grouping Parishes Will Weaken Church

An Austrian priest who advocates ordination of women and married men, a position that led Boston church leaders to bar him from speaking at a local parish, said Wednesday that plans like the one Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley has put forward to group parishes and priests into clusters weaken the church rather than strengthen it. The Rev. Helmut Schuller, who has long been concerned about how power is concentrated at the top echelons of the church hierarchy, is organizing a major priests’ movement in Austria that grew out of priests’ opposition to parish closings and restructuring plans that require clergy to minister to multiple churches. He argues that expanding the priesthood is a better answer than clustering plans that spread priests too thin, undermining their relationships with parishioners. By Lisa Wangsness, The Boston Globe

Read Lisa Wangsness’ entire article by clicking here.

Hundreds Pack Unitarian Church to Hear Reformist Catholic Priest

Hundreds of people, most of them Catholic, turned out Wednesday night in Dedham to hear a Catholic priest — a reformist — from Austria. The Rev. Helmut Schuller was scheduled to speak at St. Susanna Parish in Dedham, but was barred by Cardinal Sean O’Malley due to his positions on several issues which run contrary to official Catholic church doctrine. So the meeting was moved to a Unitarian church. By Fred Thys, WBUR-FM

Listen to Fred Thys’ entire story by clicking here.

Voice of the Faithful® and nine other Roman Catholic Church reform organizations have formed a coalition to support Fr. Schuller’s tour.

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Voice of the Faithful Offers Prayers for Success of Association of U.S. Catholic Priests June 2013 Assembly

A worldwide movement of reform-minded, faithful Roman Catholics, Voice of the Faithful® offers its prayers for success for clergy attending the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests’ second annual assembly June 24-27 in Seattle.

Like VOTF members, trustees, officers and staff, the priests of the AUSCP are working toward, among other things, greater participation in the administration of the Church by the entire People of God. The Church hierarchy has too easily and for too long ignored the voice of lay members, men and women religious and priests—to the Church’s detriment. Our prayers are with these courageous men as they start their important work at this year’s assembly.

Voice of the Faithful® is prayerful as a matter of faith and mission, always attentive to the voice of the Spirit, always seeking God’s wisdom, courage and strength to nurture his Church. This influence of the Spirit is what we pray for AUSCP members in Seattle.

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Three Australian Catholic Bishops Call for End to Clergy Sexual Abuse of Children ‘For Good’

The Roman Catholic Church clergy sexual abuse scandal in Australia continues to prompt calls for reform, particularly since the beginning earlier this year of the Australian national royal commission inquiry. Now, two former Australian bishops have joined Emeritus Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney Geoffrey Robinson to seek reforms and to promote a Vatican III to look at the structure of Church.

A group of rebel Catholic bishops have today (June 4) launched a petition to tell the people at the top – the Pope and the Vatican – to act to stop the abuse of children within the church. Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, emeritus auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Sydney, said the national royal commission into institutionalized child sex abuse could bring healing and change laws but it could not force the church hierarchy to make fundamental changes.” From story by Janet Fife-Yeoman, The Daily Telegraph, “Catholic Bishops Launch Appeal to Church for Action on Child Abuse,” as the story appeared in The Australian — Click here to read the entire article.

National Catholic Reporter columnist Jamie Manson interviewed Bishop Robinson several days before his announcement of his online petition for an ecumenical council and a new book.

Robinson, a retired auxiliary bishop from Sydney, created the petition in conjunction with the release of his latest book, For Christ’s Sake: End Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church…for Good. The book, like the petition, calls on the church hierarchy to confront the systemic causes, like moral immaturity and the celibate culture, that have contributed both to the abuse and to the bishops’ woefully inadequate response to the crisis.” Read Ms. Manson’s entire interview by clicking here.

The Australian media have covered the continent’s child sexual abuse scandal extensively. Here are links to a couple of additional news stories about Bishop Robinson’s petition and book:

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Comeuppance for the Church Hierarchy

“A dose of criminal justice was long overdue in the pedophile priest scandal. It was meted out in Philadelphia Tuesday (July 24, 2012) when Msgr. William Lynn became the highest-ranking Roman Catholic official in the United States to be sentenced to prison. He was convicted of child endangerment and sentenced to up to six years after a trial that starkly detailed how diocesan leaders shielded predatory priests and rotated them through parishes to prey anew. The sentence should be a clear warning to church officials that criminal law, not church evasion, is the law of the land when it comes to protecting innocent children.”

From editorial in The New York Times, Comeuppance for the Church Hierarchy, July 29, 2012

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