Posts Tagged The New York Times

The Pope opens his eyes to abuse / The New York Times

It is not yet clear how Pope Francis will handle the mass resignations by the Chilean bishops, as accepting them all would leave the church there leaderless. More important is what he will do to repair the profound damage done to the Catholic Church worldwide by pedophile priests and their enablers. (The New York Times)

The abuse of minors by pedophile priests has been among the most painful sagas of our time, the horror compounded by the knowledge that hierarchs could have stopped the predators if only they had not chosen, for so long, to cover up their actions. Now, at long last, Pope Francis seems to have glimpsed the depth of the global crisis.

“The catalyst was a scandal in Chile, one of Latin America’s most staunchly Catholic countries, where for years the church establishment failed to act on multiple complaints of sexual abuse against an influential priest, Fernando Karadima. On a trip to Chile in January, the pope condemned Father Karadima’s actions but then refused to meet with his victims and dismissed allegations of inaction by bishops as ‘slander.’

“In the outrage that followed, the pope appointed two investigators who produced a damning report confirming systematic efforts by the Chilean Catholic hierarchy to conceal clerical sexual abuse. That led to an apology by Pope Francis for the ‘grave errors’ in Chile and an emergency meeting last week with Chile’s bishops at which all 34 submitted their resignationsand asked forgiveness for the ‘pain they caused the victims, the pope, the people of God and our country …’

“It is not yet clear how Pope Francis will handle the mass resignations by the Chilean bishops, as accepting them all would leave the church there leaderless. More important is what he will do to repair the profound damage done to the Catholic Church worldwide by pedophile priests and their enablers.”

By The New York Times Editorial Board — Read more …

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Cardinal George Pell to stand trial on historical sex offenses / The New York Times

The church has found itself at the center of a spiraling sex abuse scandal, spanning countries and decades. (The New York Times)

“Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third-highest-ranking official, must stand trial on several charges of sexual abuse, an Australian court ruled on Tuesday (May 1), promising to prolong a case that has already dragged on for months, and which many see as a moment of reckoning for a church racked by scandal.

“Belinda Wallington, a Melbourne magistrate, found there was sufficient evidence for prosecutors to bring the cardinal’s case to trial, ending a two-month pretrial hearing, in which witnesses described abuse they said took place decades ago.

“But the majority of charges against the cardinal were either withdrawn or dismissed, including several of the most serious allegations, which were said to have taken place in a playground, on an altar, on a mountaintop and during a 1970s screening of ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ in Ballarat.”

By Adam Baidawi, The New York Times — Read more …

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Australian mining town breaks its silence about grim past of sexual abuse / The New York times

The scale of the abuse in Ballarat was staggering. Gerald Ridsdale, the former chaplain of St. Alipius Primary School in Ballarat, was imprisoned for sexually abusing 65 children from the early 1960s to late 1980s. He was only one of several priests convicted of abusing children. (The New York Times)

Rob Walsh was outside Melbourne Magistrates’ Court recently awaiting a pretrial hearing for Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s third-highest-ranking official, when, he said, he unexpectedly walked into the cardinal himself.

“The encounter wasn’t their first. They both were raised in the same old mining town, which could be why the cardinal extended his hand, inviting Mr. Walsh to shake it. Mr. Walsh declined — a gesture that signified the lasting impact of a decades-long sexual abuse scandal that has rocked this town, Ballarat, and sent shock waves around the world.

“‘The ripple is still on the lake and it’s still occurring,’ Mr. Walsh said from his home in Ballarat, referring to the lingering effects from that scandal, in which priests preyed on children, including Mr. Walsh, during the 1960s and 1970s.

“‘It’s gone through families and generations.'”

By Jacqueline Williams, The New York times — Read more …

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Vatican arrests monsignor on suspicion of possessing child pornography / Reuters in The New York Times

If indicted, the monsignor will have to stand trial in the Vatican and face up to 12 years in prison on conviction. (Reuters in The New York Times)

A monsignor who had been recalled to the Vatican as a diplomat in the Holy See’s Washington Embassy was arrested on Saturday (Apr. 7) on suspicion of possessing child pornography in the United States and Canada.

“Msgr. Carlo Alberto Capella was arrested by the Vatican police on a warrant issued by the Holy See’s chief magistrate, the Vatican said in a statement.

“Monsignor Capella, who was recalled from the Vatican Embassy in August, was arrested according to articles of a 2013 law signed by Pope Francis. The articles cited by the statement related to child pornography.

“If indicted, the monsignor will have to stand trial in the Vatican and face up to 12 years in prison on conviction.

“The arrest was the latest blow to the Roman Catholic Church as it struggles to overcome repeated cases of sexual abuse among its clergy. The case was also the worst involving a diplomat since that of former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who in 2013 faced charges of paying boys for sexual acts and downloading and buying pedophile material while he was the Vatican’s ambassador in the Dominican Republic.”

By Reuters in The New York Times — Read more …

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In Vatican magazine exposé, nuns reveal their economic exploitation / The New York Times

The stories amount to a distress signal about the unfair economic and social conditions many nuns experience, as well as the psychological and spiritual challenges that many face. (The New York Times)

Sister Marie told of nuns who worked long hours to cook and clean for cardinals and bishops, without being asked to break bread at the same table.

“Sister Paule pointed out that many nuns did not have registered contracts with the bishops, schools, parishes or congregations they worked for, ‘so they are paid little or not at all.’

“Sister Cécile said that ‘nuns are seen as volunteers to have available at one’s calling, which gives rise to abuse of power.’

“These stories — told by sisters using pseudonyms — were revealed Thursday (Mar. 1) in an exposé about how nuns are exploited by the leaders and institutions of the Roman Catholic Church. The article, by the French journalist Marie-Lucile Kubacki, was published in the March edition of Women Church World, the monthly magazine on women distributed alongside the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

“The stories amount to a distress signal about the unfair economic and social conditions many nuns experience, as well as the psychological and spiritual challenges that many face.”

By Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times — Read more …

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Pope revives sexual abuse commission / The New York Times

The first, three-year mandate of the commission (Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors) ended in December, and its lapsing coincided with growing criticism of the pope’s commitment to addressing sexual abuse in the church. The group plans to begin its work in April by hearing the testimony of abuse victims. (The New York Times)

After his spirited defense of a Chilean bishop accused of covering up sexual abuse prompted the greatest crisis of his pontificate, Pope Francis reactivated an abuse commission on Saturday (Feb. 17) that had lapsed into dormancy.

“It was the latest in a series of measures by the Vatican to counter criticism that fighting abuse was not a priority for Francis’ papacy.

“Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston was reappointed as the leader of the group, called the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. A Vatican statement said the panel would include some victims of clerical sexual abuse.

“‘The Holy Father has ensured continuity in the work of our commission, which is to assist local churches throughout the world in their efforts to safeguard all children, young people, and vulnerable adults from harm,’ Cardinal O’Malley said in a statement.

“The Vatican statement said the abuse victims on the commission preferred to keep their histories private.”

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

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Pope apologizes to abuse victims but again doubts them / The New York Times

“There was great hope that this pope understood — he ‘got it’ — but if that were true we would not have his words today,” said Marie Collins …” (The New York Times)

For years, victims of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church and their advocates have asked when Pope Francis would adjust his blind spot on an issue that has caused enormous damage to Catholics, the reputation of the church and the pontiffs who preceded him.

“But the pope’s remarks overnight Sunday as he returned from a trip to Chile and Peru — apologizing for demanding proof of abuse from victims in Chile even as he continued to doubt them — prompted concerns that he just does not understand.

“‘There was great hope that this pope understood — he ‘got it’ — but if that were true we would not have his words today,’ said Marie Collins, a survivor of abuse who last year resigned in frustration from the pope’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

“‘Anyone who was still clinging to the hope there would be real change in the church to the issue of abuse and this change would be led by Pope Francis will have lost that hope today,’ Ms. Collins said.”

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

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