Posts Tagged clergy abuse survivors

Papal abuse commission considers restructuring, survivors may lose direct role / National Catholic Reporter

Consideration of a change in structure for the papal commission comes as the group has in recent months faced public questioning of its effectiveness in stopping future abuse of children and vulnerable people in the Catholic Church. The group now appears to be in the midst of a significant phase of transition. (National Catholic Reporter)

Pope Francis’ commission on clergy sexual abuse is considering whether to restructure itself so that it no longer includes the direct participation of abuse survivors. It is evaluating the possibility of creating instead a separate advisory panel of individuals who have been abused by clergy.

“A member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors revealed the group’s consideration of the idea in an NCR interview Aug. 14, saying that one of the commission’s work groups has been tasked with weighing the pros and cons of such a change.

“The commission appears likely to discuss the possible restructuring at its next plenary meeting in Rome in mid-September, when the original three-year terms of its members are set to expire.

“‘I think that may be a more productive [way] of ensuring the voice of survivors in the work of the commission,’ Krysten Winter-Green, the commission member, said of the potential change. ‘I do not know that it’s critical that a survivor needs to be actually on the commission.'”

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

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Twin Cities archdiocese puts forth amended bankruptcy plan / National Catholic Reporter

An amended bankruptcy plan for the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese would potentially double the funds set aside for its creditors to the tune of as much as $133 million. Despite that increase, attorneys representing the 440 claimants say that the archdiocese’s contribution to the trust falls well short of its total assets, what they estimate above $1 billion, as does the per-person payout when compared to past similar settlements …

“While ‘at first blush’ the new proposal seems like a lot of money, it ‘falls so far short’ when compared to settlements in other dioceses, Jeff Anderson, an attorney for the creditors, said at a press conference Tuesday (Nov. 15) afternoon outside the federal courthouse in Minneapolis.

“‘This is a sham. It is deficient, and it’s misleading, and so we really have to call it out for what it is,’ he said.”

By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Victims of priests’ abuse face a choice / The New York Times

If you were sexually abused as a child by a priest of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan wants to give you money. He announced a settlement program this month that will be run by an independent mediator, Kenneth Feinberg. It will review claims and decide on an amount, which church officials will not be able to alter or reject. The settlements will not be capped; the archdiocese has promised to pay whatever it takes, by selling assets or borrowing.

“There are strings attached …

“Should survivors take the deal? It depends …

“For many survivors, this program could be a good step forward. But it’s fair for them or anyone else to ask: How will this program help to prevent future abuses, to expose archdiocesan cover-ups, to explain how priests were shielded and survivors silenced? How will it hold accountable both the guilty and the complicit …”

By The New York Times editorial board — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.

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‘Spotlight’ takes home Best Picture honors at Oscars / National Catholic Reporter

“‘Spotlight,’ the film that follows The Boston Globe’s investigation into the clergy sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic church, won best picture at the 88th Academy Awards held on Sunday (Feb. 28) night.

“‘This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,’ producer Michael Sugar said in accepting the Oscar.

“‘Pope Francis, it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith,’ he added.

“‘We would not be here today without the heroic efforts of our reporters,’ said Blye Pagon Faust, another ‘Spotlight’ producer. ‘Not only do they affect global change, but they absolutely show us the necessity for investigative journalism.'”

By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Circles make safe spaces for victims / The Boston Globe

There was the man who had been sexually abused as a boy by his priest. The priest who felt shunned within the Catholic Church after he spoke out against such abuse. The husband who had never told his wife about his assault decades earlier. The couple in their 80s who raised seven children in the church but finally, tearfully, decided to leave the pews.

“They’ve all been participants in a healing circle, a pilot program launched in Boston a year ago by the Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), an organization of progressive Catholics formed in 2002 in response to the priest sex abuse scandal. Based on a restorative justice model, the circles allow those who have suffered harm to meet in a small group and tell their stories.

“This month, the organizers seized the occasion of Pope Francis’s US visit to try to win awareness of their project at the highest levels of the church. In a full-page ad in the National Catholic Reporter, VOTF issued an open invitation to the pope to attend a healing circle in New York during his Sept. 24-25 visit. ‘Welcome to the U.S. We invite you to join us in a Healing Circle. Time does not heal all wounds. Some wounds fester, like those the survivors of clergy sexual abuse suffer, and the wounds their families and communities experience. They are broken people, as is their Church,’ the ad read.”

By Bella English, The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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‘Monumental shift’ in Rome on clerical child sexual abuse issue / The Irish Times

There ought to have been a sense of huge importance noted about Pope Francis’s first meeting with six survivors of clerical child sexual abuse in Rome on July 7th last. The survivors came from Ireland, the UK and Germany … Battles by survivors to be believed and to secure accountability on the part of a Catholic hierarchy that knew about and allowed spread vile crimes against children rage on … It was against this background that two Irish survivors met the pope last month. What happened in Rome was a monumental shift. In his acknowledgement, the pope shattered any illusions left about the lifelong, intergenerational and appalling reality faced by survivors.”

By Mark Vincent Healy, The Irish Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.

Pope Francis’ homily at Mass with sex abuse survivors on news.va

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