Posts Tagged The New York Times

Culture of silence abetted abuse of at least 547 German choir boys, inquiry finds / The New York Times

“‘Many described this time as the darkest period of their lives, dominated by violence, fear and helplessness,’ Mr. (Ulrich) Weber said (attorney leading independent inquiry).” (The New York Times)

For decades, a ‘culture of silence’ pervaded a Catholic music school where the brother of a future pope directed a renowned boys’ choir, contributing to an environment in which at least 547 children were abused, a lawyer who carried out an investigation of the mistreatment said on Tuesday (Jul. 18).

“The estimate of the number of children abused was far greater than a previous figure, 231, that the lawyer gave last year.

“The choir — the Regensburg Domspatzen, literally the Cathedral Sparrows — dates to the 10th century and continues to perform at Sunday Mass in Regensburg’s 16th-century Gothic cathedral. The choir’s music director from 1964 to 1994 was the Rev. Georg Ratzinger, whose younger brother, Joseph Ratzinger, reigned as Pope Benedict XVI from 2005 to 2013.”

By Melissa Eddy, The New York Times — Read more …

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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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Brooklyn diocese seeks to compensate sex abuse victims / The New York Times

“They are just very, very harmed individuals, and even when it happened such a long time ago, they are still exceedingly emotional about what happened.” (Camille S. Biros, compensation mediator)

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn announced a program on Thursday (Jun. 22) that will seek to compensate hundreds of victims who were abused as children by its priests and deacons.

“The program is modeled on one begun last year by the Archdiocese of New York. Like that program, it will be run by Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille S. Biros, mediators who administered the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and awarded compensation to victims of abuse by Jerry Sandusky at Pennsylvania State University.

“‘I am well aware that no amount of money will ever heal the scars of abuse, but this program is a concrete expression of our contrition and our desire to make amends,’ Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio said in a written statement. ‘We hope it will help with the healing process and bring survivors some element of healing …

“Ms. Biros said that the main lesson learned by the mediators in New York so far was how hurt the victims are.

“‘They are just very, very harmed individuals and even when it happened such a long time ago, they are still exceedingly emotional about what happened.'”

By Sharon Otterman, The New York Times — Read more …

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Seven victims name priests who sexually abused them as children / The New York Times

Broken Vessels

Voice of the Faithful’s Broken Vessel Healing Circles program offers Catholic clergy sexual abuse survivors a step along a path towards healing.

Joseph Zwilling, a spokesman for the archdiocese, said that participants in the program “have the absolute right to speak about their abuse and their abuser at any time, to whomever they want, however they want.”

Seven men who were abused as children by priests of the Archdiocese of New York revealed on Thursday (May 18) some of the details of the settlements they had received through the archdiocese’s new sexual abuse survivor compensation fund.

“Since October, more than 100 victims have settled their sex abuse cases with the archdiocese by taking their claims to the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program. But very few details have been revealed because the program keeps the cases confidential, and no victims have yet spoken out.”

By Sharon Otterman, The New York Times — Read more …

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Australia’s grim toll in the church’s sex abuse scandal / The New York Times

The global scale of the Catholic clergy’s sexual abuse scandal becomes harder for the Vatican to deny with each shocking national inquiry. The latest, from Australian government investigators, found that from 1980 to 2015 there were 4,444 victims of abuse and at least 1,880 suspected to be abusers, most of them priests and religious brothers.

“Through this period, the haunting subtext is the culpability of bishops who did nothing about the crimes. The abused children were ignored or punished while priests who raped children were protected by supervisors.” (emphasis added)

By The New York Times Editorial Board — Read more …

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In troubled Newark archdiocese, hoping its new leader is a pastor, not a prince / The New York Times

… But Archbishop (Joseph) Tobin will face other challenges in Newark, where he will succeed Archbishop John J. Myers, the leader of the archdiocese’s 1.5 million Catholics for the past 15 years.

“Archbishop Myers — who in July turned 75, the age at which bishops routinely submit their resignations to the Vatican — has been faulted for the archdiocese’s handling of a case involving a priest convicted of sexual abuse. He has also come under fire for using more than $500,000 of church money to build an addition to his weekend home in Hunterdon County, N.J. — a three-story wing with an exercise pool and an elevator.

“‘It seems to me it is a place that needs some serious healing,’ Christopher M. Bellitto, a professor of history at Kean University in Union, N.J., said of the archdiocese.”

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

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Pope Francis names Joseph Tobin to lead Archdiocese of Newark / The New York Times

Pope Francis continues to position bishops/cardinals amenable to his views in important dioceses …

In his latest move to reshape the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, Pope Francis on Monday (Nov. 7) named a moderate known for standing up for refugees and nuns to be the next leader of the Archdiocese of Newark, a large and troubled diocese.

“Francis’ pick is Joseph W. Tobin, currently the archbishop of Indianapolis. He made national headlines last year when he rebuffed Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, now the Republican vice-presidential nominee, by refusing to stop Catholic Charities from resettling a family of Syrian refugees.

“Archbishop Tobin is so clearly in the pope’s favor that he is among 17 churchmen being made cardinals in Rome later this month. The Archdiocese of Newark has never before been led by a cardinal, the rank of those entrusted to select new popes.

“His transfer to New Jersey places a second cardinal in bridge-and-tunnel proximity of the nation’s media capital, where Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York is now the undisputed spokesman on Catholic matters.”

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

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