Posts Tagged Pope Francis

Secrecy over clergy abuse standards causes confusion in India / National Catholic Reporter

“Despite Pope Francis’ call for ‘zero tolerance’ by the church in handling cases of clergy abuse against minors, change has not been swift worldwide. ” (National Catholic Reporter)

Three months after India’s theologians and Catholic religious pressed a congress of bishops to act aggressively against a wave of sex abuse cases involving priests, no official response has come.

“But top church leaders told National Catholic Reporter in exclusive interviews that bishops in India are following Vatican-approved guidelines for handling clergy abuse cases. The guidelines took effect in 2015 but have not been shared beyond bishops and religious superiors to protect the policy from being misused, an officer in the bishops’ conference told NCR.

“The March 22 letter, signed by 127 Catholic religious, theologians and feminists, was sent to Cardinal Baselios Cleemis, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, with copies to heads of India’s three ritual churches.”

By Jose Kevi, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Cardinal’s sex abuse charges raise questions about pope’s record / Religion News Service

“But (Robert) Mickens said Francis has never made the church’s sexual abuse crisis a priority of his administration.” (Religion News Service)

As the Vatican reeled from news that one of its top officials was taking a leave to fight historical sex abuse charges in Australia, the spotlight quickly turned to Pope Francis, with his critics slamming him for failing to do enough to tackle the vexing issue.

“Cardinal George Pell, the most senior figure in church history to face child sex abuse charges, is the Vatican’s financial czar and a trusted adviser to the pope.

“Pell, 76, is facing ‘multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offences,’ said police in the Australian state of Victoria.”

By Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service — Read more …

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Pope Francis defrocks Italian priest convicted of child sex abuse / National Catholic Reporter

“On June 28, the priest’s diocese of Crema in northern Italy released a statement saying the pope had made a “definitive ruling” that Inzoli, also known as Don Mauro, should be dismissed from clerical duties.” (National Catholic Reporter)

Pope Francis has defrocked an Italian priest who was found guilty of child sex abuse, three years after overturning predecessor Benedict XVI’s decision to do the same after allegations against the priest first came to light.

“Mauro Inzoli, 67, was initially defrocked in 2012 after he was first accused of abusing minors, but Francis reversed that decision in 2014, ordering the priest to stay away from children and retire to ‘a life of prayer and humble discretion.’

“On June 28, the priest’s diocese of Crema in northern Italy released a statement saying the pope had made a ‘definitive ruling’ that Inzoli, also known as Don Mauro, should be dismissed from clerical duties.

“Bishop Daniele Gianotti of Crema said the Vatican body responsible for church doctrine informed him of the pope’s decision, which Gianotti described as “the worst punishment” to be imposed on a priest.”

By Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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VOTF Public Statement: Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal reaches inside the Vatican

Jun. 29, 2017―The Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal today reached into the heart of the Vatican. Pontifical advisor and prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy Cardinal George Pell of Australia has been granted leave by Pope Francis to return to Australia to answer charges over allegations of historical child sexual abuse.

Allegations of abuse and coverup have dogged Pell for years, at least since 2002, but he was never charged with historical child sex abuse until now. The Australian police have released no additional information about the present charges.

Voice of the Faithful applauds the actions taken thus far: Pell’s return to Australia and leave of absence from his position in Rome. Our regret is that such steps are, like so many responses to charges of clergy sex abuse, long-delayed by past reluctance of both civil and Church authorities to credit the complaints of victims.

Mary Pat Fox, Voice of the Faithful president, said she commends the Australian authorities for making every effort to hold those responsible for the abuse of minors accountable regardless of when the abuse occurred. “The Statute of Limitations in most states within the U.S. has stood in the way of many victims getting justice. We are pleased to see Pope Francis support actions of the civil judicial system. Though a person is innocent until proven guilty, the Church has often acted to stand in the way of the judicial system.”


Voice of the Faithful Statement, Jun. 29, 2017
Contact: Nick Ingala, nickingala@votf.org, 781-559-3360
Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in the governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at www.votf.org.

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Cardinal Pell of Australia takes leave to fight sexual abuse charges / The New York Times

“The pope has achieved global popularity for his emphasis on inclusiveness and mercy, but he has come under increased criticism for the slow pace and reported internal resistance to efforts to safeguard victims of sexual abuse by priests and protect children in the church.” (The New York Times)

In an extraordinary statement, the Holy See announced on Thursday (Jun. 29) morning that Pope Francis had granted a leave of absence to Cardinal George Pell of Australia, a top Vatican official, adviser to the pontiff and as of this week the highest-ranking Roman Catholic prelate to be formally charged with sexual assault, so that he could return to Australia to defend himself.

“Speaking at the Vatican press office, Cardinal Pell, wearing simple black clerical cloths and a dangling cross, read a statement declaring his innocence against the charges and what he called leaks by the news media and ‘relentless character assassination.’

“‘I am looking forward finally to having my day in court,’ Cardinal Pell said as he sat next to a Vatican spokesman. ‘I am innocent of the charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me.’

“The Australian police served the cardinal’s legal representatives hours earlier in Melbourne and have yet to reveal the details of the charges or the ages of the complainants.”

By Jason Horowitz, The New York Times — Read more …

 

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More power for Catholic bishops? Not so fast / Huffington Post

Could giving more autonomy to Catholic bishops make things worse for progressive Catholics? 

A lot has been written about Pope Francis’s goal of making the church more democratic, with less control by the Vatican and more power to individual bishops. In an ideal world, not only would the Vatican have less say in choosing bishops, but priests and laity would have a larger role in the selection of their leaders.

“However, unless the institutional church actually reaches that goal, and power truly devolves to the grassroots, giving more autonomy to Catholic bishops might make things worse, not better, at least for progressive Catholics.

“While Pope Francis’s appointments of often have elevated reformers to power, he cannot replace every powerful leader in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

“And the bishops now leading U.S. Catholics skew conservative. Indeed, in 2014, one bishop speaking on background confided that only about a third of American bishops were totally on board with Francis’s agenda, about a quarter were definitely against, and the rest were still figuring out where they stood. Not much appears to have changed in the intervening years.”

By Celia Wexler, Contributor, Huffington Post — Read more …

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Papal abuse commission member suggests changes to group expected in fall / National Catholic Reporter

“The mandate is of three years and at the end of this year the mandate finishes.”

A member of Pope Francis’ commission on clergy sexual abuse has suggested the composition of the advisory body may change at some point this fall, as the original three-year terms granted to individuals in the group expire.

“Jesuit Fr. Hans Zollner, who was appointed by Francis with seven others in March 2014 as the initial members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, said the group is hosting its last planned plenary session in September.

“‘People know that the mandate of this commission comes to a close,’ said Zollner, speaking Thursday at the Pontifical Gregorian University. ‘The mandate is of three years and at the end of this year the mandate finishes.’

“‘We look forward to seeing what will be the follow-up,’ the Jesuit said.”

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

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