Posts Tagged Tom Roberts

The clergy’s task is unfinished in confronting sex abuse / National Catholic Reporter

“The central question (still confronting Catholic Clergy: What caused us, members of the Catholic clergy culture, to arrive at the point where we could devise a rationale that allowed us to walk away from the incalculable suffering of the community’s children in order to protect those members of the clergy culture who caused the suffering?” (National Catholic Reporter)

The story of Marie Collins, an Irish victim of clergy sex abuse and a witness of unimpeachable integrity, is a dual tale of how far the church has come in acknowledging and handling the scandal and of how wholly and demonstrably incapable the Catholic clerical culture is of dealing with its own sin.

“Collins was one of two survivors of clergy sex abuse who were appointed in 2014 to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, an agency created by Pope Francis. She resigned the commission in March, providing NCR with a long explanatory statement.

“Her decision to leave was not lightly taken. She had rejected the logic of some critics early on that any cooperation with church efforts was selling out to an institution that had generally ignored or re-victimized the abused for decades. She had later defended the work of the commission when its only other victim member, Peter Saunders, openly criticized the group for the slow pace of reform.

“In March, however, three years after her appointment, she wrote: ‘I have come to the point where I can no longer be sustained by hope. As a survivor, I have watched events unfold with dismay.’

“Among the primary reasons for her despair, she listed ‘lack of resources, inadequate structures around support staff, slowness of forward movement and cultural resistance.’

“Those first three are easily remedied: more money, more staff, pick up the pace.

“The last one — ‘cultural resistance’ — is the impenetrable, if invisible, shield, a kind of carapace protecting the clergy culture. It prevents the disturbing, ugly reality of what experts have termed the ‘soul murder’ of children from penetrating the deepest levels of the clerical culture. The awareness inside the encasement can expand only so far before it runs into the resistance of rigid boundaries.”

By Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Pope Francis appoints Archbishop Cupich to Congregation for Bishops / National Catholic Reporter

In yet one more sign of his growing confidence in the archbishop of Chicago, Pope Francis appointed Blase Cupich to the Vatican Congregation for Bishops, the office that proposes candidates for the episcopacy.
     “The announcement, made July 7, means the congregation retains two Americans. The other is Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, D.C. The Cupich appointment comes just weeks after American Cardinal William Levada left the congregation. Levada turned 80 in June.
     “The turnover of American personnel on the congregation during the past few years is significant for several reasons …”
     By Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
     Also of note — “How Archbishop Cupich’s Appointment Could Shape the Church,” By Michael O’Loughlin, America: The National Catholic Review

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San Diego’s Bishop McElroy announces diocesan synod on marriage / National Catholic Reporter

Acting on Pope Francis’ wish for a more ‘synodal’ church at all levels and keying on four major themes of the pope’s recent exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy announced May 11 that he will convene a diocesan synod in October focused on marriage and family life.

“McElroy’s approach leans heavily on the attitudes expressed in Amoris Laetitia, or ‘The Joy of Love,’ in which the highest ideals of the Catholic view of marriage are tempered with the realities of contemporary life and the everyday challenges faced by married couples. McElroy’s pastoral message, in that regard, acknowledges some of the most daunting challenges facing the church in relating to millennials and incorporating them into the life of the church.

“On the thorny issue of divorced and remarried Catholics, McElroy embraces Francis’ elevation of an ancient foundational church teaching, that of discernment of conscience in determining an individual’s level of participation in the church, that has been somewhat de-emphasized in recent history. Francis, says McElroy, ‘widens the focus of this internal reflection of conscience.'”

By Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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The Future of the Catholic Church — Catholicism in Australia Undergoing Tectonic Shifts / National Catholic Reporter

More than a hundred people turned out on a Sunday afternoon in late November to the crypt of historic St. Patrick’s Church in Sydney for a presentation by a forensic psychologist on the sex abuse scandal jarring the Catholic community in Australia.

“During a question-and-answer session, a woman in the audience made a sarcastic reference to priests once thinking they were ‘ontologically different.’ The phrase provoked an immediate howl of laughter, as if she’d delivered a punch line of a joke.”

By Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this sotry.

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Legion of Christ Unveils Measures to Respond to Sex Abuse by Members / National Catholic Reporter

“The Legion of Christ, a religious order of priests still dealing with the fallout from revelations of sexual abuse by its disgraced founder, announced Thursday (Dec. 5) that a recent investigation has uncovered ‘significant evidence of sexual abuse’ by another Legion official who served as the order’s novice master at its Cheshire, Conn., seminary.” By Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Archives Reveal LA Cardinal’s Attempts to Head Off John Jay Investigation / National Catholic Reporter

In 2003, with the country newly focused on the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic church, a senior U.S. church leader attempted behind the scenes to head off the investigation of the crisis by researchers at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, disparaging the institution and its researchers as inadequate.” By Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter

To read the entire article in National Catholic Reporter, click here.

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