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The Catholic Church and Sexual Abuse, Then and Now

Wietse de Boer

The institution of the Catholic Church finds itself in a period of extraordinary crisis.

An August 2018 grand jury report on clerical sex abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses gave a detailed, often graphic account of decades of criminal offenses against minors by Catholic priests. Other states have since launched their own investigations. Evidence that church superiors—bishops, archbishops, and even popes—failed to address abuses effectively has only amplified the outrage.

 

https://origins.osu.edu/index.php/article/catholic-church-sexual-abuse-pope-confession-priests-nuns?language_content_entity=en

About Three-in-Ten U.S. Adults Are Now Religiously Unaffiliated

PEW RESEARCH CENTER

DECEMBER 14, 2021

The secularizing shifts evident in American society so far in the 21st century show no signs of slowing. The latest Pew Research Center survey of the religious composition of the United States finds the religiously unaffiliated share of the public is 6 percentage points higher than it was five years ago and 10 points higher than a decade ago.

 

https://www.pewresearch.org/religion/2021/12/14/about-three-in-ten-u-s-adults-are-now-religiously-unaffiliated/

Which Covers Up More ‘Credibly Accused’ Sex Abusers – CT Family Court or Catholic Church?

Frank Parlato

December 25, 2022

In 2018, the Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport retained Attorney Robert L. Holzberg of Pullman & Comley to investigate clergy sexual abuse of minors.

https://frankreport.com/2022/12/25/which-covers-up-more-credibly-accused-sex-abusers-ct-family-court-or-catholic-church/

Md. judge seals proceedings around Catholic clergy sexual abuse report

By Michelle Boorstein

WaPo

A Baltimore Circuit Court judge has sealed all records — including, retroactively, some that are already public — related to Attorney General Brian E. Frosh’s 456-page report into historical clergy sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2022/12/06/catholic-abuse-baltimore-attorney-general/

Experts develop restorative justice proposals to address Catholic sexual abuse crisis

November 28, 2022 Dennis Brown ND Experts Daniel Philpott

A group composed of scholars, psychologists, clergy, restorative justice experts and victim-survivors of the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis has developed a set of proposals that encourage the use of restorative justice as a means to help heal victim-survivors and the broader Church.

https://news.nd.edu/news/experts-develop-restorative-justice-proposals-to-address-catholic-sexual-abuse-crisis/

A Battle for the Soul of the American Catholic Church

ByJoel Connelly

November 23, 2022

A major, largely overlooked triumph of the right took place days after abortion rights and pro-choice Senators prevailed in America’s 2022 mid-term election. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) elected a new leadership, spurning allies of Pope Francis and picking bishops who echo positions of MAGA Republicans in America’s culture wars.

https://www.postalley.org/2022/11/23/a-battle-for-the-soul-of-the-american-catholic-church/

US bishops' decline into irrelevance will continue

I suppose it was fitting, in a depressing kind of way, that the U.S. bishops' conference plenary coincided with former President Donald Trump's announcement he is seeking the presidency in 2024. In both church and state, the future will be dominated by divisiveness and a culture war ethic for the next few years, a result that contradicts the founding mission of both. The future is grim.

https://www.ncronline.org/opinion/ncr-voices/us-bishops-decline-irrelevance-will-continue

Bishops and sex abuse: who knew what and when did they know it?

By Arnaud Bevilacqua | France

The revelations concerning Bishop Michel Santier and Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard highlight a number of dysfunctions.

https://international.la-croix.com/news/religion/bishops-and-sex-abuse-who-knew-what-and-when-did-they-know-it/16879

Women are now the Catholic church’s last hope

 INDEPENDENT.IE

Editorial  

November 06 2022 02:30 AM

A church must reflect the world in which it lives in order to thrive.

https://www.independent.ie/opinion/editorial/women-are-now-the-catholic-churchs-last-hope-42121677.html

The Silent Witnesses: Jehovah’s Witnesses covered up child sexual abuse in Washington state for decades, lawsuit alleges

By Wilson Criscione

InvestigateWest

They were in the Bible study room when Deryk Terril, a shy 11-year-old with shaggy hair in 1976, found the courage to finally say something: An elder at a Jehovah’s Witnesses congregation in Spokane had been molesting him for years, Terril, now 57, recounts in a lawsuit filed in August.

https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2022/oct/02/the-silent-witnesses-jehovahs-witnesses-covered-up/

I’m a Catholic teenager who wanted to know what my friends thought about the church. Here’s what they said.

Matthew Buscarino

October 31, 2022

Growing secularism among younger Americans is no secret. A 2019 Pew Research Center Survey of Americans aged 13 to 17 found that only 50 percent believed religion was an important part of their lives, as opposed to 73 percent of their parents. This trend has caught the attention of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which published on its website an article titled “Confronting Secularism Today” by Robert Spitzer, S.J., who posits four causes for this trend:...

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2022/10/31/catholic-teen-response-church-244049

LETTER FROM ROME

Continuing to hide the truth

Robert Mickens Oct 22,.2022

October 22, 2022Continuing to hide the truthThe Catholic hierarchy's ongoing struggle to understand the true meaning of transparency.
"Disgust."That was the title of a recent editorial written by La Croix's editor-in-chief Jérôme Chapuis concerning revelations that a French bishop who had been allowed to take early retirement in 2021 because of "health reasons" and "other difficulties, had actually stepped down after admitting that he sexually abused two young men in the 1970s.

 

 

https://international.la-croix.com/news/letter-from-rome/continuing-to-hide-the-truth/16777

Vatican’s mishandling of high-profile abuse cases extends its foremost crisis

By Chico Harlan

 and 

Amanda Coletta

 

October 17, 2022 at 11:17 a.m. EDT

VATICAN CITY — Three years ago, Pope Francis said the Catholic Church was committed to eradicating the “evil” of abuse. The pope and other church leaders drew up new guidelines to handle accusations. They pledged transparency. They said victims’ needs would come first.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2022/10/17/vatican-abuse-ouellet-belo-pope/

2022The Vatican's investigation of sex abuse cases still not transparent

By Robert Mickens | Vatican City

It's very disappointing to have to say this, but a word of advice to anyone who has been sexually abused by a Catholic priest or bishop: if the offense is still within the statute of limitations, do not — under any circumstances — report it to Church authorities, especially those at the Vatican.

 

No, go directly to the police. Otherwise, there is no guarantee that your denunciation will be taken seriously or investigated in any sort of transparent way.

 https://international.la-croix.com/news/letter-from-rome/the-vaticans-investigation-of-sex-abuse-cases-still-not-transparent/16683

New Jersey lawsuit alleges former D.C. archbishop Theodore McCarrick sexually abused 14-year-old at Hackensack parish in the 1990s
What Happened to the Roman Catholic Church? What Now?: An Institutional and Personal Memoir
Why Pope Francis' Canada school apology isn't enough
True reconciliation will require forgiveness, says former AFN national chief ahead of Pope's visit
Vatican defrocks Bay Area priest who scolded diocese over sex abuse

The Twilight of Pope Francis

The Dallas Charter, 20 years later — Part 2: Procedures have been implemented, but the Church is not finished

The Dallas Charter, 20 years later — Part 1: Widespread abuse comes to light, and the bishops respond

Why is the church failing in the West?

OPINION  NEWS  NCR VOICES

May 13, 2022

There are numerous signs that the Catholic Church is failing in Western countries. There are few vocations, church attendance is down and young people are leaving the church in droves. There are as many theories explaining this decline as there are commentators, but the theories can be collected in two major baskets: those that blame culture and those that blame the church itself.

 

https://www.ncronline.org/news/opinion/why-church-failing-west

Women: are we protagonists yet?

December 27, 2022

Susan Bigelow Reynolds

Whenever I read a Vatican statement on the role of women, I conduct a thought experiment. I imagine that I know nothing whatsoever about the Roman Catholic Church or its faithful. If this document were my only source of information, I ask from behind my ecclesial veil of ignorance, what basic conclusions might I draw about women in the Church? I've done this mental exercise with dozens of texts over the years, and one conclusion surfaces over and over: women are all exactly the same.

 

https://international.la-croix.com/news/religion/women-are-we-protagonists-yet/16974

Guest Editorial: Pastoral resolution

BY  LEA KAREN KIVI

December 22, 2022

This week The Catholic Register publishes a rare guest editorial written by Lea Karen Kivi, author of Abuse in the Church: Healing the Body of Christ, who articulates concerns that we agree must be engaged regarding the effect of the adversarial legal system on clerical abuse cases. 

Are lawyers and insurance companies an impediment to the healing of the Church when it comes to clergy sexual abuse cases? 

https://www.catholicregister.org/columns/item/35093-guest-editorial-pastoral-resolution

The Archbishop Gets a new Home (And Critics Question his Intentions)

Joel Connelly

Post Alley| Seattle

“Bishops face a challenge of reclaiming our credibility,” he said. “We’re in a different age today, and I want people to know that I’m willing to examine everything – including the home that I live in that the people of God provide me – in order to renew the church.”

https://www.postalley.org/2022/12/01/the-archbishop-gets-a-new-home-and-critics-question-his-intentions/

Seattle Archdiocese criticized for buying $2.4 million home for archbishop

BY KATIE COLLINS SCOTT

Staff Reporter

NCR

Seattle Archbishop Paul Etienne will be moving from a parish rectory into a newly purchased $2.4 million home in an upscale waterfront neighborhood. Archdiocesan officials say the relocation is necessary to better accommodate guests but the decision has also garnered criticism.

https://www.ncronline.org/news/seattle-archdiocese-criticized-buying-24-million-home-archbishop

Opinion 

Changes the Catholic Church could make for the better

Washington Post November 20, 2022 

The Nov. 14 editorial “Sins of the fathers” raised serious concerns about the Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis and the difficulty in reforming church practices to address this scourge quickly and justly.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/11/20/changes-catholic-church-could-make-better

The abuse crisis should be the center of the pope's ongoing synodal process

It has become evident that it is no longer an option to ignore, dismiss, belittle, or remain bystanders with regard to cases of abuse, especially in the church. Abuse of any type — sexual, spiritual, abuse of power and/or authority — blatantly contradicts the fundamental dignity of every human being.

https://www.ncronline.org/opinion/guest-voices/abuse-crisis-should-be-center-popes-ongoing-synodal-process

French Catholic cardinal admits he abused a 14-year-old girl

by Heather Hamilton, Social Media Reporter

 November 09, 2022 11:17 AM


A member of the Vatican’s department that sanctions abuse cases in the Catholic Church has admitted to abusing a 14-year-old girl sexually more than three decades ago.

Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard stated in a letter that it was time for him to come forward about the situation that took place while he was a parish priest in France.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/french-catholic-cardinal-admits-abuse-14-year-old-girl

Why aren't clergy members obligated to report abuse in WA?Why aren't clergy members obligated to report abuse in WA?

By Wilson Criscione

InvestigateWest

Nearly 20 years ago, in the aftermath of the Catholic sexual abuse scandal, former Washington state Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson wanted to make sure child sexual abuse could not be hidden so easily by church leaders. 

https://crosscut.com/news/2022/10/why-arent-clergy-members-obligated-report-abuse-wa

Cardinal Grech: The synod ‘needs time’ on the question of married priests

Gerard O’Connell

September 22, 2022

Cardinal Mario Grech, general secretary of the Vatican’s synod office, says he sees “a different church” emerging from the worldwide synodal process. In the second part of this exclusive interview with America’s Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell for the “Inside the Vatican” podcast, Cardinal Grech reveals in new depth the plans for the continental and Roman phases of the global synodal process.

https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2022/09/22/synod-synodality-grech-phase-two-married-priests-243833

The sex abuse crisis and the future of the Catholic Church

Bruno Bouvet and Céline Hoyeau | France

The Catholic Church throughout the world continues to deal, country by county and at various paces, with the sexual abuse crisis.

https://international.la-croix.com/news/religion/the-sex-abuse-crisis-and-the-future-of-the-catholic-church/16678

Why I declined to join my diocesan sex abuse review board

A woman holds this sign as members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) hold a news conference in front of the Diocese of Pittsburgh Aug. 20, 2018, several days after a Pennsylvania grand jury released a stinging report that said more than 300 priests sexually abused more than 1,000 children during the course of several decades.

https://www.ncronline.org/opinion/guest-voices/why-i-declined-join-my-diocesan-sex-abuse-review-board

Women deacons movement hopes for concrete proposals in next synod stage

Oct 13, 2022

by Christopher White

ROME — When Casey Stanton, who has spent the last year leading synod listening sessions throughout the United States, traveled to Mexico last month, she repeatedly heard the phrase "poco a poco" — or "little by little" — used to describe how change takes place in the Catholic Church. 

https://www.ncronline.org/news/people/women-deacons-movement-hopes-concrete-proposals-next-synod-stage

Corpus Reports 

We believe in the powerful potential of a grassroots movement. Our history and our tradition have taught us that whenever two or more are gathered in Christ's name, Christ's own Spirit is in our midst. 

Autumn 2022 is the latest selection of articles that share HOC visions.  

https://www.corpus.org/index.php/cr-archive

Farewell letter from a whistleblower to former fellow priests
Church closures: Celibacy, women
Opinion: Vatican's reprimand falls disappointingly short
‘Spiritual refugees’ feel the loss of closed Catholic churches in Seattle. Some are appealing to the Vatican
​Exclusive: Pope Francis calls steps against clerical abuse irreversible, despite resistance

Priest who is survivor says church still needs ‘lamentation’ for abuse

Survivors praised for 20 years of exposing Catholic abuse scandals

Archdiocese of St. John’s faces a staggering bill

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