Posts Tagged The Boston Globe
“It should surprise no one that Shanley’s victims and their lawyers think he got off easy, and that he remains a sexually dangerous person, despite being 86 and having been deemed not sexually dangerous by two doctors retained by Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan.”
It seems achingly unfair that Joe Crowley is dead and Paul Shanley is about to go free.
“Shanley, a predator in a Roman collar, is wrapping up a 12-year sentence for raping a Sunday school student in the early 1980s.
“Some have the audacity to suggest that Shanley was overpunished, that he got more time in prison than he deserved because he eluded justice for his multitude of other crimes on technical grounds.
“Fine. So Paul Shanley is the O.J. Simpson of the clergy sexual abuse scandal. It is what it is.
“The reality is that Paul Shanley ruined countless lives, including Joe Crowley’s, and he was never held accountable or punished for that. Shanley got off easy, if you ask me. The bigger scandal is that so many of his fellow predators, and their supervisors, never saw the inside of a prison cell.”
By Kevin Cullen, The Boston Globe — Read more …
“Over the past 12 years, the (Boston) archdiocese has spent nearly $35 million on counseling, psychiatric medications, and other services for survivors. Since 2003, it has paid about $215 million to settle legal claims, church officials say.”
Fifteen years after the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston broke into public view, hundreds of victims around the world continue to come forward, including some who say they were attacked as recently as 2001, advocates said Thursday (Jan. 5). Two victims’ support groups and a lawyer who has represented more than 2,000 survivors worldwide denounced church officials for doing too little to help those who were abused and to protect children from harm, despite ongoing revelations about the scope of the crisis.
“‘You have reportedly the most moral institution in the world acting the most immoral,’ attorney Mitchell Garabedian said at a news conference Thursday (Jan. 5) in downtown Boston. ‘There is no excuse for it.’
Voice of the Faithful, a community of Roman Catholics committed to service and reform, has always sought to “Keep the Faith, Change the Church.” We are faithful Catholics seeking to change those Church structures and processes that impede lay voices and change Church cultures that exhibit a clericalism that separates the clerical from the lay rather than binding them pastorally and collegially.
Such clericalism often stifles the people of God. Pope Francis has said as much and condemned clericalism repeatedly, recently saying that “the spirit of clericalism is an evil that is present in the Church today, and the victim of this spirit is the people, who feel discarded and abused.”
The story of Voice of the Faithful’s founding is well documented. The movement exploded onto the scene in 2002 along with the burgeoning visibility of Church scandal, specifically clergy sexual abuse of children in the Archdiocese of Boston, chronicled most effectively by The Boston Globe in 2002 and 2003.
The movement spawned a frenzy of activity at the beginning, fueled by anger at and frustration with a Church that had, euphemistically, let us down. If you were to review the Globe stories, other media coverage of the crisis from that era, and books about Voice of the Faithful written since, you would discover that Voice of the Faithful could be credited with much of the rhetoric calling the Church to task.
By 2017 Voice of the Faithful, with commitment and tenacity, has settled into a long struggle in which we use our voices to help change Church structure and culture so that scandal has no fertile ground in which to grow. Progress has been slow, but steady.
We offer Catholics a community within the community of the Church where, as the people of God, we find a way to remain faithfully Catholic without giving up our baptismal right and responsibility to offer opinions and foster dialogue on issues important to the Church.
This is a post-Vatican II point of view well expressed recently by Fr. Louis Cameli, author of more than a dozen books and the Chicago archbishop’s Delegate for Formation and Mission. In an interview about post-Vatican II pontiffs in National Catholic Reporter Cameli said he “sees underlying, foundational points of continuity in the post-conciliar era.” Two of the points he made are especially pertinent to Voice of the Faithful:
- “Communion: The Church is a set of interlocking and dynamic relationships among people and with the Triune God (in contrast to a primarily organizational-institutional-structural model of the Church).
- “Dialogue: The Church is the place where believers speak and listen to each other, and it is the community of faith that speaks with and listens to the world. (This is the ecclesia discens et docens (Church teaching and learning) and, therefore, is a dynamic community instead of a static “container of truth.”)”
Communion and dialogue could be Voice of the Faithful watchwords. We are a community concerned with providing a voice for the voiceless and have introduced the language of clericalism, accountability, and transparency into the language of Church reform, language that is being reiterated by no less than the present occupant of St. Peter’s chair. While we have always supported victims/survivors and promoted programs that better protect children, we have focused most directly on finding, naming, and publicizing the underlying causes of scandal which must be addressed to stop and prevent scandal.
Kathleen McPhillips, a lecturer at the University of Newcastle, has succinctly framed the challenge Voice of the Faithful seeks to meet. In an article in the Newcastle Herald called “The royal commission has exposed a Catholic Church in desperate need of change,” she said:
“It is imperative [that] current religious groups undertake research into why this happened, as well as resourcing for the healing of survivors … Understanding how this happened is essential to the health of our community, and to the creation of new Church structures which are transparent, inclusive, accountable and respectful of women and children. The Church needs to show it is serious about cultural change – this is yet to be effectively demonstrated.”
More information about Voice of the Faithful is at www.votf.org.
“Terence McKiernan, a spokesman for BishopAccountability.org, an online archive of the clergy sexual abuse scandal, said (former bishop Thomas L.) Dupre’s story reflects the Vatican’s past failures — and ongoing struggles — in holding bishops accountable for the abuse of children.”
In many ways, former Springfield bishop Thomas L. Dupre epitomized the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church.
“Dupre, who died Dec. 30 at 83, was the first Roman Catholic bishop to be indicted in the scandal, which burst into public view 15 years ago this month when the Globe’s Spotlight team began reporting about the church hierarchy’s protection of priests who abused minors. Advocates for victims say Dupre had cultivated a culture of secrecy that kept such abuse shrouded for years.
“But the Vatican never punished him beyond accepting his resignation — at least not publicly. And Dupre was never prosecuted for his crimes because the statutes of limitation had expired, preventing prosecutors from seeking justice.
“‘This man should have been held accountable,’ said Eric MacLeish, a lawyer who represented two men who accused Dupre of abusing them as minors. ‘He should have died in prison for the damage he did.'”
By Lisa Wangsness, The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops released its 2015 annual audit report on the implementation of its Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People this past Friday, May 20, 2016. The report was not entirely complimentary of the Church’s efforts:
By Scott Malone, Reuters
“Annual audit of reports of sexual abuse by members of the U.S. Roman Catholic clergy released on Friday (May 20) showed sharp increases in the number of new claims and in the value of settlements to victims.”
By Matt Rocheleau, The Boston Globe
“The Catholic church paid $153 million in the United States last year to settle lawsuits, and fielded hundreds of new accusations, as fallout continued form the clergy sex abuse scandal exposed in the early 2000s, a new report from church leaders says.”
By Mark Pattison, Catholic News Service
“The annual report on the implementation of the U.S. bishops’ ‘Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People’ warns against complacency in dioceses, and the firm contracted to conduct audits of dioceses and parishes said there was ‘plenty of room for improvement’ in implementing two of the charter’s articles.”
By Dennis Coday, National Catholic Reporter
“The U.S. bishops’ conference released this morning (May 20) its 13th Annual Report on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The report, which covers the period July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015, is really two reports in one …”
Compiled by BishopAccountability.org
“As of May 20, 2016, information published by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) indicates that the conference has counted 6,528 clerics ‘not implausibly’ and ‘credibly’ accused of sexually abusing minors in the period 1950 through June 30, 2015, with several gaps. Out of a total of 116,153 priests who have worked in those years, this latest number represents 5.6% of the priests.
“This interim number is instructive. As recently as November 2002, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then in charge of all abuse cases for the Vatican, said in an interview that in the United States ‘less that 1% of priests are guilty of acts of this type.’ Meanwhile, in the few U.S. dioceses where investigations or disclosures have provided adequate data, including Boston, we are seeing rates as high as 10%. If that is ultimately found to be the percentage nationally, the total would rise to 11,615 priests accused of abuse.”
The Vatican has defrocked a priest after a church investigation found he was guilty of abuse of a minor, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston said Thursday (Mar. 31).
“Thomas H. Maguire, who was ordained nearly 40 years ago, had in the past bemoaned the personal and spiritual effect the church sexual abuse scandal had taken on his colleagues and the archdiocese.
“Maguire had been removed from public ministry since 2012, when he faced an allegation of inappropriate sexual conduct in the presence of minors.
“At that time, Maguire was pastor at St. Helen Mother of the Emperor Constantine in Norwell, and church officials said the alleged behavior had happened near the time he was removed from ministry.
“Law enforcement reviewed the case, and could not substantiate the accusations against Maguire, the archdiocese said. But church officials said other accusers came forward with reports of ‘inappropriate sexual conduct which had occurred in the mid-1990s and before.'”
By Andy Rosen, The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The Archdiocese of Boston has agreed to settlements involving cash and counseling with seven people who say they were sexually abused by priests, including one case that stretches back to the 1930s, according to the attorney for the alleged victims.
“Two other settlements with religious orders have been reached in cases involving priests who allegedly abused victims while they worked in the archdiocese, according to the attorney, Mitchell Garabedian.
“Another, separate settlement with the Carmelite Order involved a brother who had been accused of abuse in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles before being assigned to a chapel at the Northshore Mall in Peabody.”
By Brian MacQuarrie, The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story