Posts Tagged Nicole Winfield

Pope meets with abuse survivors, weeps with them in Chile / Associated Press

“But his meeting with abuse survivors and comments in his first speech of the day were what many Chileans, incensed by years of abuse scandal and cover-up, were waiting for.” (Associated Press)

“Pope Francis met on Tuesday (Jan. 16) with survivors of priests who sexually abused them, wept with them and apologized for the ‘irreparable damage’ they suffered, his spokesman said.

“The pontiff also acknowledged the ‘pain’ of priests who have been held collectively responsible for the crimes of a few, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told reporters at the end of the day.

“Francis dove head-first into Chile’s sex abuse scandal on his first full day in Santiago that came amid unprecedented opposition to his visit …

But his meeting with abuse survivors and comments in his first speech of the day were what many Chileans, incensed by years of abuse scandal and cover-up, were waiting for.”

By Peter Prengaman and Nicole Winfield, Associated Press — Read more …

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Pope letter details concern over Chile bishop / Associated Press

“In his Jan. 31, 2015, letter, written in response to Chilean church leaders’ complaints about the Barros appointment, Francis revealed for the first time that he knew that the issue was controversial and that his ambassador in Chile had tried to find a way to contain the damage well before the case made headlines.” (Associated Press)

The Vatican was so concerned about the fallout from Chile’s most notorious pedophile priest that it planned to ask three Chilean bishops accused of knowing about his decades-long crimes to resign and take a year’s sabbatical — a revelation that comes just days before Pope Francis makes his first visit to Chile as pope.

“A confidential 2015 letter from Francis, obtained by The Associated Press, details the behind-the-scenes maneuvering by the Vatican and Chile’s bishops to deal with the prelates connected to the disgraced Rev. Fernando Karadima. And it reveals the bishops’ concern about Francis naming a Karadima protege, Bishop Juan Barros, to the helm of the diocese of Osorno — an appointment that roiled the diocese, with hundreds of priests and lay Catholics staging protests against him.

“Those protests are expected to greet Francis during his visit to Chile, which begins Monday (Jan. 15).

“Chile’s Catholic Church was thrown into crisis in 2010 when former parishioners publicly accused Karadima of sexually abusing them when they were minors, starting in the 1980s — accusations they had made years earlier to Chilean church leaders but that were ignored. The scandal grew as Chilean prosecutors and Vatican investigators took testimony from the victims, who accused Barros and other Karadima proteges of having witnessed the abuse and doing nothing about it.”

By Eva Vergara and Nicole Winfield, Associated Press — Read more …

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Pope makes appointments amid criticism of sex abuse response

Pope Francis

Wikimedia/Casa Rosada

“Collins’ departure laid bare the cultural chasm between the commission’s (Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors) outside experts, who proposed best-in-class ideas for protecting children, and the reality of the Vatican bureaucracy and its legal and administrative limitations.”

Pope Francis on Tuesday (Apr. 4) named a new official to oversee the Vatican office that processes clerical sex abuse cases amid mounting criticism over a yearslong backlog of cases and Francis’ handling of the problem.

The promotion of Monsignor John Kennedy to head of the discipline section of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith was the second abuse-related appointment in recent days. Francis named the Rev. Hans Zollner, one of the Catholic Church’s top experts on fighting abuse and protecting children, as an adviser to the Vatican’s office for clergy on Saturday (Apr. 1).

Francis and the Vatican have come under fresh scrutiny over their response to the abuse crisis since Irish survivor Marie Collins resigned from the pope’s sex abuse advisory commission on March 1, citing “unacceptable” resistance to the commission’s proposals from the Vatican’s doctrine office.

Collins’ departure laid bare the cultural chasm between the commission’s outside experts, who proposed best-in-class ideas for protecting children, and the reality of the Vatican bureaucracy and its legal and administrative limitations.

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press — Read more …

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Pope’s sex abuse panel scores awareness victory in Vatican / Associated Press

Pope Francis’ sex abuse commission has scored a victory within the Vatican: Members have been invited to address Vatican congregations and a training course for new bishops, suggesting that the Holy See now considers child protection programs to be an important responsibility for church leaders.

“Commission members praised the development as a breakthrough given that bishops have long been accused of covering up for abusers by moving pedophile priests from parish to parish rather than reporting them to police. For decades, the Vatican too turned a blind eye and failed to take action against problem priests or their bishop enablers.

“Commission members have already addressed the Vatican congregations for priests and religious orders and the Vatican’s diplomatic school. This week, members including Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins and the Vatican’s former sex-crimes prosecutor, Bishop Charles Scicluna, will address the new bishops’ course, which the Vatican hosts for all bishops named in the previous year to teach them how to run their dioceses.”

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Pope’s abuse accountability tribunal going nowhere fast / Associated Press

Pope Francis’ proposed Vatican tribunal to judge bishops who covered up for pedophile priests is going nowhere fast.

“Despite fresh focus from the Oscar-winning film ‘Spotlight’ on how Catholic bishops protected priests who raped children, Francis’ most significant sex abuse-related initiative to date has stalled. It’s a victim of a premature roll-out, unresolved legal and administrative questions and resistance both inside and outside of the Holy See, church officials and canon lawyers say.

“The surprise proposal made headlines when it was announced on June 10 as the first major initiative of Francis’ sex abuse advisory commission. A Vatican communique said Francis and his nine cardinal advisers had unanimously agreed to create a new judicial section within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to handle ‘abuse of office’ cases against bishops accused of failing to protect their flocks from pedophiles.

“But the proposal immediately raised red flags to canon lawyers and Vatican officials alike.”

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Pope’s family synod: No changes, but everything has changed

It’s now quite certain that Pope Francis’ big summit on family issues won’t endorse any changes to church doctrine on the church’s teaching about homosexuality or whether civilly remarried Catholics can receive Communion.

“And yet, it seems, everything has changed.

“From the crucial role African bishops have played in the debate, to calls to remove ‘intrinsically disordered’ from the church’s language on gays, to the freedom bishops now enjoy to speak their minds on once-taboo issues, Francis’ synod on the family has at the very least shaken up the church for years to come.

“And if Francis has his way, there’s more ahead.”

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Pope creates abuse tribunal for cases of bishop negligence / Associated Press

Pope Francis has created a new Vatican tribunal section to hear cases of bishops accused of failing to protect children from sexually abusive priests, the biggest step the Holy See has taken yet to hold bishops accountable.

“For years, the Vatican has been criticized by victims, advocacy groups and others for having failed to ever punish or forcibly remove a bishop who covered up for clergy who raped or molested children. In April, Francis accepted the resignation of a U.S. bishop who had been convicted of failing to report a suspected child abuser, but that wasn’t a forced removal.

“The Vatican said Wednesday (June 9) that Francis had approved proposals made by his sexual abuse advisory board. They create a mechanism by which the Vatican can receive and examine complaints of abuse of office by bishops and adjudicate them.

“A special new judicial section will be created inside the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ‘to judge bishops with regard to crimes of the abuse of office when connected to the abuse of minors,’ a Vatican statement said.”

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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