Posts Tagged The Tablet
High on the agenda at the Vatican summit was Australia’s Royal Commission inquiry into how institutions handled child sexual abuse. This has seen the Catholic Church facing unrelenting criticism for its response to the scandal. (The Tablet)
A leading Australian bishop says the Church in his country is facing the biggest crisis in its history after taking part in talks with the Vatican over how to address the problem.
“The Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, who is Vice President of the Australian Bishops’ Conference, told The Tablet that he and fellow bishops were in Rome to discuss the fallout of the clerical sexual abuse crisis, and how the Church will adopt a new approach. This, he says, will look at how to include women in positions of ‘governance.’
“High on the agenda at the Vatican summit was Australia’s Royal Commission inquiry into how institutions handled child sexual abuse. This has seen the Catholic Church facing unrelenting criticism for its response to the scandal. The problem has been magnified after the Australian police’s decision to charge Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican treasurer and former Archbishop of Sydney, with historic sexual offences.”
By Christopher Lamb, The Tablet — Read more …
“The inquiry found 339 victims, 228 of whom were under 15 at the time of the abuse. Only 165 of their cases were eventually reported to justice authorities. Of the alleged abusers, 28 were transferred to another parish or to a foreign country once accusations against them surfaced, it said. Significantly, the inquiry found that 16 of the 32 alleged abusers were accused after 2000, the year the bishops’ conference decided to tighten its abuse guidelines and require that abusive priests be turned over to the authorities.”
A hard-hitting French television investigation has accused 25 Catholic bishops of protecting 32 accused clerical sex abusers in France over the past half century and often transferring them to other parishes or even other countries when they were singled out for sexual abuse of minors. The French bishops’ conference declined an invitation to participate in the France 2 television program aired March 21. A conference spokesman accused journalists of trying to blackmail the church, an allegation the program’s editor vigorously refuted.”
By Tom Heneghan of The Tablet in National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
The head of the Catholic Church in Ireland has apologized unreservedly to survivors of sexual abuse following the publication of a report that found evidence of systematic and widespread sexual and physical crimes in Church-run institutions.
“The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA), which published its findings today (Jan. 20), investigated allegations of abuse in 22 children’s homes in Northern Ireland between 1922 and 1995.
“It condemned the failure of the Catholic hierarchy to act and prevent abuse, highlighting in particular the case of Fr. Brendan Smyth, a sexually abusive priest whom the hierarchy moved between parishes despite knowing about the risk he posed to children; it also found that Sisters of Nazareth at four Catholic-run homes in Belfast and Derry physically and emotionally abused children in their care.
“The Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, said survivors and their families were ‘uppermost in my thoughts today’ and praised their courage, dignity and perseverance in coming forward.”
By Liz Dodd, The Tablet — Click here to read the rest of this story.
If anybody ever doubted the necessity for an independent review into child protection procedures inside the Catholic Church in Scotland, every page of the McLellan Report published this week will correct that impression. The report is, in effect, a vote of no confidence in the Scottish bishops’ safeguarding procedures based on their performance so far. Its central charge is that the Scottish Catholic Church for years paid lip service to the need for child protection while the manner in which it treated survivors amounted to further abuse …”
“In such a clerical culture, which Scottish Catholicism surely was and in many ways still is, an abusive priest may well have thought that the powers-that-be would protect him to avoid a scandal. Too often he was right. The cultural reform that the McLellan report thinks is necessary to abolish the scourge of child abuse, therefore, goes far wider than this one issue. The leadership of the Catholic Church in Scotland has to become accountable to its members. That journey has hardly begun.”
Editorial in The Tablet — Click here to read the rest of this editorial
Surprising words of appreciation for homosexuals, couples living together outside marriage and others that appeared yesterday in a working document from a summit of Catholic bishops in Rome have triggered a media tumult on the outside, and sharp debate on the inside.
“While the Vatican tried to play down the significance of the document, insisting that it’s merely provisional, some bishops inside the Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family seem to be taking it very seriously indeed.”
By John L. Allen, Jr., and Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Senior church figures have expressed concern about a document issued by the bishops’ Synod on the Family yesterday proposing a landmark shift in the Church’s pastoral care of gay Catholics, cohabiting couples and those in civil marriages.
“Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura – the Church’s supreme court – told The Tablet the text is ‘unacceptable.'”
By Hannah Roberts and Christopher Lamb, The Tablet — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Here are two news stories following up on two we posted yesterday. The first is on a diocesan bishop’s plea for the Synod on the Family and the second is about reaction to the Pope’s new appointment to his sex-abuse commission and new chief sex-abuse prosecutor.
Antwerp Bishop Johan Bonny has published a long letter on the upcoming Synod of Bishops urging the assembly to have the courage to bring the Church’s moral teachings more in line with the lived experience of the laity. ‘The Church must step away from its defensive, antithetical stance and seek anew the path of dialogue’ on moral issues, he wrote in the 22-page letter posted on his diocese’s website in five languages.” By Tom Heneghan, The Tablet — Click here to read the bishop’s entire letter, “Synod on the Family–Expectations of a diocesan bishop.”
Pope Francis’ decision to appoint two U.S. priests to key positions aimed at tackling the Vatican’s sex abuse crisis drew an angry response from abuse victims. In the shake-up the Rev. Robert Geisinger, a canon lawyer previously based in Chicago, was named chief prosecutor responsible for abuse cases. He replaces his U.S. colleague, the Rev. Robert Oliver, who was named to the Vatican’s anti-abuse commission, created by Francis last year.” By Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service
Revelations concerning Cardinal Sean Brady’s involvement in a 1975 canonical inquiry into Fr Brendan Smyth’s abuse of Brendan Boland have sparked fresh calls for the Catholic Church’s most senior churchman to stand down. Marie Kane, who was one of six survivors who met Pope Francis two weeks ago in the Vatican, has threatened to write again to the Pope if Dr Brady does not offer his resignation.”
By Sarah MacDonald, Irish Independent — Click here to read the rest of this story
Also regarding this story, “Priests tried to ‘blame and shame me’ at meeting in front of Brady, claims abuse victim,” By John Spain, Irish Independent, and “Calls for Cardinal Brady’s resignation over cover-up,” By Sarah MacDonald, The Tablet