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From the Vatican to Sicily, France, India, Australia and Mexico – A Spotlight Should be on Pope Francis Enabling Clerical Sex Abuse


From the Vatican to Sicily, France, India, Australia and Mexico – A Spotlight Should be on Pope Francis Enabling Clerical Sex Abuse

Posted on by Betty Clermon

From the Link: https://opentabernacle.wordpress.com/2016/02/18/from-the-vatican-to-sicily-france-india-australia-and-mexico-a-spotlight-should-be-on-pope-francis-enabling-clerical-sex-abuse/

"Saint" Peter Damian's admonishing against priest pedophiles and those who cover up for them in 1049.

“Saint” Peter Damian’s admonishing against priest pedophiles and those who cover up for them in 1049.

In the last two weeks, global events show that Pope Francis is enabling the clerical sex abuse of children by appointing, promoting and refusing to remove bishops with terrible histories of aiding and abetting abuse and by refusing to make meaningful change.

On Feb. 4, clerical sex abuse survivor and member of the pope’s commission on sex abuse, Peter Saunders, arranged for the movie, Spotlight,  to be screened for members of the commission. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, the movie is about the Boston Globe’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigations into the cover up by Catholic officials of serial pedophile priests.

Two days later, Saunders was booted off the commission. Saunders had been an outspoken critic of Pope Francis’ appointment of a Chilean bishop accused not only of covering up for the most notorious pedophile priest in that country, but also of witnessing the sex abuse. Additionally, Saunders had called the pope’s financial tsar, Cardinal George Pell, “almost sociopathic”  for his brutal treatment of victims in Australia.

“On child abuse, I now fear, there is little or no sincerity on his (Francis’) part to effectively make change,” said Saunders, who was abused by two priests as a child. “There needs to be a turning out of all these people who have got very, very grim records – either they are abusers or they are known to have protected abusers or have enabled an abuser or made excuses for abusers.”

Saunders says a call he made for more openness and transparency at a meeting last week was rejected.

“I was shot down in flames,” he said, “The commission said that they need to remain secret and it was surprising how many times that word was used – not ‘confidential’ but ‘secret’ – the word has connotations with abuse because the whole nasty, vile world of the rape and sexual abuse of children exists because it is secret; it happens behind closed doors,” he said.

Eliminating secrecy is exactly what the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has been calling on the Church to do for decades. This is what the pope and his men have refused to do. Catholic officials must open their secret files and make all the hidden documents public. The names of all Church employees with credible accusations of child sex abuse made public. There are still sexual predators assaulting children under the protection of the Church.

Prelates with “grim records” know there’ll be no “turning out” by the pope. Some have even been appointed and promoted. 

Sicily – Cardinal Paolo Romeo, as archbishop of Palermo, said it was “not my place” to report Fr. Roberto Elice for abusing minors. Romeo “knew about the abuse against three children for three years.” On Feb. 2 Italian police arrested Elice who had left the parish “only a few weeks ago” where the abuse took place.

With no objection from Pope Francis, in April 2014 the Italian Bishops’ Conference stated their official policy was that “bishops have no official obligation  to report the sexual abuse of children to any legal authorities outside of the Catholic Church.” Romeo followed that policy.

France – “In the coming days, complaints will be filed against [Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon] for failure to report pedophilia.”  On Feb. 11, three weeks after Fr. Bernard Preynat’s indictment for “aggravated sexual assault of minors,” the cardinal acknowledged he was informed of the sexual abuse of four boys by Preynat in 2007-2008. Yet he chose to keep him in ministry until May 2015. The number of victims in Lyon willing to come forward could rise to 45.

Cardinal Barbarin’s resignation is “not on the agenda” according to the archdiocese.

The Lyon victims will also be “filing complaints against Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller and Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, respectively prefect and secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, to whom Cardinal Barbarin had referred this matter.”

On Jan. 29, Pope Francis thanked the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, headed by German Cardinal Müller, for “its efforts and responsibility” in dealing with cases of child sex abuse by clergy. Pope Francis promoted Müller to cardinal in October 2013 even though, as bishop of Regensberg, Müller’s appointment of Fr. Peter Kramer, an already-convicted  child sex abuser, as pastor, was well-known.

In a January report: “A former official in the Diocese of Regensburg accused Müller, of systematically covering up sexual abuse cases during his decade as bishop of the Bavarian diocese.” The then-Bishop Müller introduced “The Regensburg System” which prevented such abuse cases from becoming public.

India – Fr. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul was charged in Minnesota with sexually abusing two teenage girls. He fled the U.S. but was arrested by Interpol in 2012 and extradited back to the U.S. where he was convicted last year.  “Following a plea deal, Roseau County district court sentenced him to a year in jail but he was released anddeported to India in June 2015 on account of time served while awaiting trial.”

The Diocese of Ooty had suspended Jeyapaul in 2010. It was reported Feb. 11 that Jeyapaul’s suspension was lifted after consultations with the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith

Rev. Sebastian Selvanathan, a spokesman for the Diocese of Ooty, said Jeyapaul’swhereabouts is unknown.

The attorney who represented the girls, Jeff Anderson, said, “The Vatican must be held accountable. … This is on the pope.”

Australia – Comedian-musician Tim Minchin introduced a new song Feb. 16 on television. Titled, “Come Home Cardinal Pell,” Minchin called him a “pompous buffoon”, “a coward” and “scum.” Pell, the former Melbourne and Sydney archbishop and Ballarat priest, claimed to be too ill to travel from Rome to Australia to testify before the Royal Commission into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse in person. Instead, he will appear on video from the Vatican.

Pell will have to answer charges that he attempted to bribe a victim, dismissed a victim’s complaint, knew about Australia’s worst predator priest, Gerald Ridsdale, and did nothing, and was complicit in moving Ridsdale from parish to parish.

Prior to being elevated to Prefect of the Secretariat of the Economy by Pope Francis, Pell’s only previous financial expertise was cheating sex abuse victims out of an adequate compensation known as his “Melbourne response” and “Ellis defense” where Pell “instructed his lawyers to crush this victim.”€

A group of victims had a goal of raising $55,000 to fly some victims and counselors to Rome to witness Pell give his video evidence. Thanks to Minchin’s song, $90,000 was raised in one day.

John Haldane, a papal adviser to the Vatican, said he was moved after hearing a “compelling, human argument” of the father of two sexual-abuse victims in which the father made the case for victims travelling to Rome. “This would,” he said, “create the conditions for the existential reality of that suffering to be present in the room at the same time in which he (Pell) was giving evidence.”

Yesterday, lawyers representing the Church’s sex abuse victims applied to the Royal Commission for permission to appear along with Pell in Rome. If granted, “it would go some way to mitigate what is publicly perceived to be a judicial and psychologicalimbalance of power, and unfair concession granted to the domineering Cardinal Pell.”

Mexico – Pope Francis refused requests from clerical sex abuse victims to meet with them while he was in Mexico this past week.

Victim’s advocate and former priest, Alberto Athie, pointed out that while the pope chastises others for corruption, “the clerical pedophilia should be viewed as systemic like organized crime, which stops a criminal in isolation but does not affect the criminal structure.”

Athié said that clerical pedophilia has left more than a thousand victims in Mexico and there are at least five archbishops responsible for covering up pedophile priests: three of the Archdiocese of San Luis Potosi; Cardinal Norberto Rivera of Mexico City and some of his auxiliary bishops, and the Archdiocese of Oaxaca. Pope Francis is awareof several of these cases, Athie said.

Outraged by the presence of Cardinal Norberto Rivera with Pope Francis on his arrival in Mexico, Juan Carlos Cruz Chellew, victim of clerical sexual abuse, said he is very disappointed in the pope.  Rivera is a symbol that the pope does not consider the victims of priestly pedophilia to be important, said Cruz , because the cardinal has protected Mexican priests and abusers.

“The clerical pedophilia continues in the world with Francis,” said Athie. “The pope is very skilled with words and gestures, but changes of substance fail to happen.”

Yesterday, on his flight back to Rome from Mexico, Pope Francis said that a bishop who transfers a known pedophile should resign – once again giving the green light to prelates around the world that they will not be removed from office for even the most egregious offense. He also announced an additional official would be added to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the creation of an additional tribunal when not one person or group in the Vatican has yet taken a meaningful action to address this ongoing, systemic, global tragedy.

Church lifts ban on Indian priest who assaulted Minnesota girl


Church lifts ban on Indian priest who assaulted Minnesota girl

February 15, 2016 | UPDATED: 2 months ago

NEW DELHI — The Roman Catholic Church in southern India has lifted the suspension of a priest convicted last year of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old northern Minnesota girl more than a decade ago, a spokesman said Saturday.

The suspension of the Rev. Joseph Palanivel Jeyapaul was lifted last month after the bishop of the Ootacamund Diocese in India’s Tamil Nadu state consulted with church authorities at the Vatican, said the Rev. Sebastian Selvanathan, a spokesman for the diocese.

Bishop Arulappan Amalraj of Ootacamund had referred Jeyapaul’s case to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the suspension was lifted on the church body’s advice, Selvanathan said.

“After Jeyapaul’s release from the United States and his return to India, this matter was referred to Rome, and according to the guidelines of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the suspension against Jeyapaul was removed,” Selvanathan said.

The Vatican office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith declined immediate comment.

Jeyapaul was sent to Minnesota in 2004 and served at the Blessed Sacrament Church in Greenbush, near the Canadian border.

He was suspended in 2010 after being charged with sexually assaulting two girls who were both 14 at the time of the alleged abuse.

Jeyapaul fled the United States but was arrested in India by Interpol in 2012 and extradited to the U.S. Jeyapaul pleaded guilty to molesting one of the teenagers, who hasn’t been identified publicly. The charges involving sexual abuse of the second teenager, Megan Peterson, were dropped as part of a plea deal. Peterson accused Jeyapaul of raping her in his office in a statement posted under her name on the website of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which has advocated for victims’ rights.

Jeyapaul, now 61, was sentenced to a year in jail but was freed on account of time served while awaiting trial.

Jeyapaul returned to India five months ago, and the process to lift the suspension was started soon after, Selvanathan said.

Bishop Amalraj lifted the suspension in mid-January, but Jeyapaul has not yet been assigned any responsibilities, Selvanathan said.

“That will be decided in May, when decisions are taken by the diocese on changes and assignments,” he said.

Jeyapaul could not be contacted, with Selvanathan saying the church did not know his whereabouts.

The two Minnesota women both sued the Diocese of Crookston, Minn., and settled out of court.

St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, who represented the women, criticized church authorities for lifting Jeyapaul’s suspension.

“The Vatican must be held accountable. … This is on them. This is on the pope,” Anderson said.

While Peterson has spoken publicly about her case before in hopes that it would help others, Anderson said she was too upset to comment.

“They’re both quite upset, disturbed and feel deeply betrayed that they would have the audacity to consider even putting him back in ministry,” Anderson said. “To use Megan’s words, ‘They’ll never get it and I’m feeling re-victimized.’ ”

Anderson, who has represented hundreds of victims of sexual abuse by clergy, said they’re exploring further legal action over the decision to lift Jeyapaul’s suspension and will announce details soon.

“We’re not going to let this go. We’re not going to stand silent,” Anderson said.

Priest abuse victims go on hunger strike


PRIEST ABUSE VICTIMS GO ON HUNGER STRIKE

By Frank J LaFerriere and Giuseppe De Gregorio

1/26/16

I received this posting today in my group Rape Victims of the Catholic Church on Facebook. I am sharing it here with the permission of the author Giuseppe De Gregorio. It is in both Italian and in English.

Italian:

Yeah Pope Francis sure does love his pedophiles.

Yeah Pope Francis sure does love his pedophiles.

Al 7° giorno di sciopero della fame di Diego Esposito, vittima del prete pedofilo napoletano don Silverio Mura, abbiamo scritto a Papa Francesco.
Sua Santità,

le scrivo mentre il sig. Diego Esposito è al settimo giorno di sciopero della fame, per avere verità e giustizia sugli abusi subiti dal prete pedofilo dell’Arcidiocesi di Napoli, don Silverio Mura. Sono il suo legale e sono anche io in sciopero della fame, come altre vittime e loro sostenitori, assistiti dalla Rete l’Abuso.

Il sig. Esposito le ha scritto due anni fa per denunciare la giustizia negata dalle istituzioni ecclesiastiche. Aveva denunciato dal 2010, in più occasioni, all’Arcidiocesi di Napoli, gli abusi subiti più di 20 anni prima.

Ricevette una lettera del suo segretario, mons. Becciu, in cui si chiedeva di pregare per lei, Papa Francesco, nell’attesa che il caso fosse sottoposto agli organi competenti. Intanto don Mura insegnava ai bambini delle scuole medie, ignari, come i loro genitori.
La Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede iniziò le indagini che durano da due anni senza che sappiamo nulla del suo esito, senza sapere se il prete sarà processato.

Lei ha annunciato l’istituzione di un organo giudicante i vescovi che si sono macchiati di gravi negligenze, che non si è mai insediato, impedendoci di sollevare il caso di 6 anni di vana attesa di giustizia da parte dell’Arcidiocesi di Napoli.

Lei ha proclamato un Giubileo della Misericordia. Misericordia che non ha il sig. Esposito, che, dopo aver minacciato il suicidio, ha perso il lavoro perché la Curia di Napoli lo ha segnalato alla pubblica sicurezza.

Il sig. Esposito, padre di famiglia, era l’unico sostegno economico alla propria famiglia, prima di perdere il lavoro.

Noi non le chiediamo niente altro che dia seguito a suoi annunci, ossia che finalmente alle vittime sia data la possibilità di sapere la verità sui peggiori crimini che possa compiere un sacerdote. Chiediamo che i loro responsabili siano giudicati, siano puniti, se responsabili, sia loro impedito di avvicinare minori. Chiediamo la riparazione delle malefatte perché non c’è perdono senza giustizia. Non basta invocare preghiere per ottenerlo.
Durante questo sciopero della fame, nella nostra richiesta di dialogo, abbiamo anche scritto al card. Muller, Prefetto della Congregazione, senza aver risposta.

Noi pratichiamo la non violenza, armati solo del nostro corpo, della nostra sofferenza, della fame di verità e giustizia, della consapevolezza che il dolore non si spegne e non sarai mai placato se chi ha il potere della verità e giustizia se ne laverà le mani, come Ponzio Pilato.
La nostra dignità non ce la toglierà nessuna negligenza. Le lascio i nostri saluti.

Capua 24 gennaio 2016, nel settimo giorno di sciopero della fame del sig. Diego Esposito.
Avv. Sergio Cavaliere.

English translation:

On The 7th day of hunger strike of Diego Esposito, victim of the priest pedophile napoletano don silverio walls, we wrote to Pope Francis.
His holiness,

I write while Mr. Diego Esposito is at the seventh day of hunger strike, for truth and justice on the abuse suffered by the pedophile priest of the archdiocese of Naples, Don Silverio Walls. I’m his legal and I am on a hunger strike, as other victims and their supporters, assisted by the network the abuse.

Mr. Esposito has written two years ago to denounce the justice denied by the ecclesiastical institutions. He reported from 2010, on several occasions, to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Naples, the abuse suffered more than 20 years before.

Received a letter from his secretary, mons. Becciu, asking to pray for her, Pope Francis, in the expectation that the case was submitted to the competent bodies. Meanwhile, don walls taught to the children of the middle schools, unaware, as their parents.

The congregation for the doctrine of the faith began the investigations that last for two years without that we know nothing of its outcome, not knowing if the priest will be tried.

She announced the establishment of a body judgmental bishops who are guilty of gross negligence, which has never established ineffective, and to raise the case of 6 years of vain expectation of justice on the part of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Naples.

She has declared a jubilee of mercy. Mercy that has no mr. Esposito, who, after threatening suicide, he lost his job because the curia of Naples has pointed this out to the public safety.

Mr. Esposito, Father of the family, it was the only economic support to his family, before I lose my job.

We don’t we ask nothing more than to follow up its announcements, namely that finally to victims is given the opportunity to know the truth about the worst crimes that can make a priest. We ask that their leaders are judged, should be punished, if those responsible, is prevented from doing their bring minors. We call for the repair of misdeeds because there is no forgiveness without justice. It is not enough to invoke prayers to get it.

During this hunger strike, in our request of dialogue, we have also written to the card. Muller, prefect of the congregation, without response.

We practice non-violence, armed with only of our body, of our suffering, the hungry for truth and justice, of the awareness that the pain it won’t turn off and you’ll never be appeased if who has the power of truth and justice will wash your hands , like Pontius Pilate.

Our dignity, I can’t take any negligence. I’ll leave our greetings.

Capua 24 January 2016, in the seventh day of hunger strike of Mr. Diego Esposito.
Avv. Sergio Knight.

Added information from Giuseppe De Gregorio

I wrote two letters . The first on January 20 to Cardinal Muller and the second on January 25 at Papa Francesco . Father Silverio Walls . The Washington Post wrote a report about this story . Anthony Faiola . 

 

Confidential 2001 Letter “De delictis gravioribus” (on most grave crimes)


Confidential 2001 Letter “De delictis gravioribus” (on most grave crimes)

Looking the other way . . . Pope Benedict XVI. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

Looking the other way . . . Pope Benedict XVI. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

In a confidential 2001 letter to the Catholic bishops of the world, presented below, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, ordered that the church’s investigations into child sex abuse claims be carried out in secret and the evidence kept confidential for up to 10 years after the victims reached adulthood. Lawyers acting for abuse victims claim that the letter, titled “De delictis gravioribus” (on most grave crimes), implicates the pope in obstruction of justice.

Sex Crimes And The Vatican. A secret document which sets out a procedure for dealing with child sex abuse scandals within the Catholic Church is examined by Panorama. Crimen Sollicitationis (updated by De delictis gravioribus) was enforced for 20 years by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became the Pope. More: BBC News: Sex crimes and the Vatican.

CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH LETTER
sent from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
to Bishops of the entire Catholic Church and other
Ordinaries and Hierarchs having an interest
REGARDING THE MORE SERIOUS OFFENSES
reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

[Translation of the text was printed in Origins 31:32, January 24, 2001, and posted at http://www.austindiocese.org/epistle/2002/graveoffenses.doc%5D

In order to fulfill the ecclesiastical law, which states in Article 52 of the apostolic constitution on the Roman Curia, “[The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith] examines delicts against faith and more grave delicts both against morals and committed in the celebration of the sacraments which have been reported to it and, if necessary, proceeds to declare or impose canonical sanctions according to the norm of common or proper law,”(1) it was necessary first to define the method of proceeding in delicts against the faith: This was accomplished through the norms titled Agendi Ratio in Doctrinarum Examine, ratified and confirmed by the supreme pontiff, Pope John Paul II, together with Articles 28-29 approved in forma specifica.(2)

At approximately the same time, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, through an ad hoc commission established, devoted itself to a diligent study of the canons on delicts both of the Code of Canon Law and the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches in order to determine “more grave delicts both against morals and in the celebration of the sacraments” and in order to make special procedural norms “to declare or impose canonical sanctions,” because the instruction Crimen Sollicitationis, issued by the supreme sacred Congregation of the Holy Office on March 16, 1962,(3) in force until now, was to be reviewed when the new canonical codes were promulgated.

Having carefully considered opinions and having made the appropriate consultations, the work of the commission finally was completed. The fathers of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith examined the commission’s work carefully and submitted to the supreme pontiff conclusions on the determination of more grave delicts and the manner of proceeding to declare or impose sanctions, with the exclusive competence in this of the apostolic tribunal of this congregation remaining firm. All these things, approved by the supreme pontiff himself, were confirmed and promulgated by the apostolic letter given motu proprio beginning with the words Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela.

The more grave delicts both in the celebration of the sacraments and against morals reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith are:
-Delicts against the sanctity of the most august eucharistic sacrifice and the sacraments, namely:
1. Taking or retaining the consecrated species for a sacrilegious purpose or throwing them away.(4)
2. Attempting the liturgical action of the eucharistic sacrifice or simulating the same.(5)
3. Forbidden concelebration of the eucharistic sacrifice with ministers of ecclesial communities which do not have apostolic succession and do not recognize the sacramental dignity of priestly ordination.(6)
4. Consecrating for a sacrilegious purpose one matter without the other in the eucharistic celebration or even both outside a eucharistic celebration.(7)

-Delicts against the sanctity of the sacrament of penance, namely:
1. Absolution of an accomplice in sin against the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue.(8)
2. Solicitation in the act, on the occasion or under the pretext of confession, to sin against the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue, if it is directed to sin with the confessor himself.(9)
3. Direct violation of the sacramental seal.(10)

-A delict against morals, namely: the delict committed by a cleric against the Sixth Commandment of the Decalogue with a minor below the age of 18 years.

Only these delicts, which are indicated above with their definition, are reserved to the apostolic tribunal of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

As often as an ordinary or hierarch has at least probable knowledge of a reserved delict, after he has carried out the preliminary investigation he is to indicate it to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which unless it calls the case to itself because of special circumstances of things, after transmitting appropriate norms, orders the ordinary or hierarch to proceed ahead through his own tribunal. The right of appealing against a sentence of the first instance, whether on the part of the party or the party’s legal representative, or on the part of the promoter of justice, solely remains valid only to the supreme tribunal of this congregation.

It must be noted that the criminal action on delicts reserved to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is extinguished by a prescription of 10 years.(11) The prescription runs according to the universal and common law;(12) however, in the delict perpetrated with a minor by a cleric, the prescription begins to run from the day when the minor has completed the 18th year of age.

In tribunals established by ordinaries or hierarchs, the functions of judge, promoter of justice, notary and legal representative can validly be performed for these cases only by priests. When the trial in the tribunal is finished in any fashion, all the acts of the case are to be transmitted ex officio as soon as possible to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

All tribunals of the Latin church and the Eastern Catholic churches are bound to observe the canons on delicts and penalties, and also on the penal process of both codes respectively, together with the special norms which are transmitted by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for an individual case and which are to be executed entirely. Cases of this kind are subject to the pontifical secret.

Through this letter, sent by mandate of the supreme pontiff to all the bishops of the Catholic Church, to superiors general of clerical religious institutes of pontifical right and clerical societies of apostolic life of pontifical right, and to other interested ordinaries and hierarchs, it is hoped not only that more grave delicts will be entirely avoided, but especially that ordinaries and hierarchs have solicitous pastoral care to look after the holiness of the clergy and the faithful even through necessary sanctions.

Rome, from the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, May 18, 2001.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
Prefect

Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone, SDB
Secretary

[Notes added from the Latin text]

[1] Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Constitutio Apostolica Pastor bonus, De Romana Curia, 28 iunii 1988, art. 52, in AAS 80 (1988) 874.

[2] Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei, Agendi ratio in doctrinarum examine, 29 iunii 1997, in AAS 89 (1997) 830-835.

[3] Suprema Sacra Congregatio Sancti Officii, Instructio Crimen sollicitationis, Ad omnes Patriarchas, Archiepiscopos, Episcopos aliosque locorum Ordinarios “etiam Ritus Orientalis”: De modo procedendi in causis sollicitationis, 16 martii 1962, Typis Polyglottis Vaticanis MCMLXII.

[4] Cf. Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1367; Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1442. Cf. et Pontificium Consilium De Legum Textibus Interpretandis, Responsio ad propositum dubium, 4 iunii 1999.

[5] Cf. Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1378 § 2 n. 1 et 1379; Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1443.

[6] Cf. Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 908 et 1365; Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 702 et 1440.

[7] Cf. Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 927.

[8] Cf. Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1378 § 1; Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1457.

[9] Cf. Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1387; Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1458.

[10] Cf. Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1388 § 1; Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1456 § 1.

[11] Cf. Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1362 § 1 n. 1; Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1152 § 2 n. 1.

[12] Cf. Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 1362 § 2; Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, can. 1152 § 3.

What the Catholic bishop knew


What the Catholic bishop knew

Eamonn O’Neill talks to F Ray Mouton, one of the authors of ‘The Manual’, a 1985 report into child abuse in the clergy which he claims the church suppressed

F. Ray Mouton

F. Ray Mouton

 

Now retired, F Ray Mouton spends his days writing his novel, Beyond Familiar Altars – a story of scandal and cover-up in the Catholic church. The media from various corners of the world have made repeated attempts to interview the 63-year-old former defence lawyer, but Mouton has – until now – chosen to lie low.

He is sought after because of events he was party to just over a quarter of a century ago – events which included a secret meeting with Cardinal William Levada, who now holds one of the highest positions in the Vatican.

In 1984 Mouton, then a successful young lawyer in Louisiana, was having lunch with the local Roman Catholic church top brass. He was asked to defend a priest accused of child abuse – the first legally recorded case of its kind.

His client was Father Gilbert Gauthe, and he was accused of abusing dozens of children in Henry, a rural, deeply devout Catholic community. The church was already paying out millions to families who signed confidentiality clauses. But one family, the Gastals, whose son Scott was abused by Gauthe, refused to stay silent, and instead urged the local district attorney to file 37 criminal charges against the clergyman. “The priest needed his own counsel in the criminal matter and also in the civil cases where he was a lead defendant,” says Mouton. Despite death threats and the nature of the crimes, Mouton accepted the case.

“I believed this priest was a sole, aberrant individual and that there could not possibly be other men of the cloth who serially sexually abused children,” he explains. “I believed then that this priest should receive a fair sentence – 20 years in a facility where he could be treated for his condition, a time sufficient to allow his youngest victims to grow to be about 30 years old prior to his release. And I believed no one in the diocese could have known about these horrendous crimes without having reported them to the police and removing this man from the priesthood.”

Father Gilbert Gauthe

Father Gilbert Gauthe

At the time, Mouton didn’t think the priest’s employers – the church – could be held responsible for the criminal actions of someone they’d hired. He soon changed his mind: “I would come to believe that not only is a priest who abuses a child acting out of pathology, but a bishop covering up such heinous crimes is afflicted with a deeper, darker pathology that poses as great a threat, or even a greater threat, to society – for it was the bishops and the Vatican that empowered and enabled these criminals … to avoid scandal to the church.”

Now retired, F Ray Mouton spends his days writing his novel, Beyond Familiar Altars – a story of scandal and cover-up in the Catholic church. The media from various corners of the world have made repeated attempts to interview the 63-year-old former defence lawyer, but Mouton has – until now – chosen to lie low.

He is sought after because of events he was party to just over a quarter of a century ago – events which included a secret meeting with Cardinal William Levada, who now holds one of the highest positions in the Vatican.

In 1984 Mouton, then a successful young lawyer in Louisiana, was having lunch with the local Roman Catholic church top brass. He was asked to defend a priest accused of child abuse – the first legally recorded case of its kind.

His client was Father Gilbert Gauthe, and he was accused of abusing dozens of children in Henry, a rural, deeply devout Catholic community. The church was already paying out millions to families who signed confidentiality clauses. But one family, the Gastals, whose son Scott was abused by Gauthe, refused to stay silent, and instead urged the local district attorney to file 37 criminal charges against the clergyman. “The priest needed his own counsel in the criminal matter and also in the civil cases where he was a lead defendant,” says Mouton. Despite death threats and the nature of the crimes, Mouton accepted the case.

“I believed this priest was a sole, aberrant individual and that there could not possibly be other men of the cloth who serially sexually abused children,” he explains. “I believed then that this priest should receive a fair sentence – 20 years in a facility where he could be treated for his condition, a time sufficient to allow his youngest victims to grow to be about 30 years old prior to his release. And I believed no one in the diocese could have known about these horrendous crimes without having reported them to the police and removing this man from the priesthood.”

At the time, Mouton didn’t think the priest’s employers – the church – could be held responsible for the criminal actions of someone they’d hired. He soon changed his mind: “I would come to believe that not only is a priest who abuses a child acting out of pathology, but a bishop covering up such heinous crimes is afflicted with a deeper, darker pathology that poses as great a threat, or even a greater threat, to society – for it was the bishops and the Vatican that empowered and enabled these criminals … to avoid scandal to the church.”

Gauthe pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment. The Gastal family were awarded $1.2m (£790,000) in damages. Mouton recalls: “This was the turning point … that verdict was reported prominently in media [and] was … heard in every plaintiff law office in the United States.”

While defending Gauthe, Mouton found out that the church had in fact known about his crimes since seminary and had moved him around parishes. He had also seen evidence that convinced him that there were other abusing priests across the US. When the case ended, he could have walked away. Instead, he decided to try to help the church get out of the mess it was in. He joined forces with Father Tom Doyle, who was the canon lawyer in the papal nunciature and Vatican embassy in Washington DC, and Father Michael Peterson, a priest-psychiatrist who treated sexually dysfunctional priests.

The three hatched a plan to pool their knowledge in the form of a “manual”, which would warn the church about the danger to children – and to the institution itself – posed by sexual abusers, and offer advice about what should be done.

Mouton says the report’s authors believed they had the support of senior US Roman Catholic figures. “My understanding is that both Doyle and Peterson were having ongoing discussions with men in prominent positions, including Cardinal Law, who verbally supported us drafting this document. The bishop charged with monitoring the crisis and reporting to the pope’s personal representative in the US, Bishop A James Quinn, was also supportive.

“The document was to be presented to an upcoming conference of all bishops in the US with the hope that they would adopt its provisions.”

The result of their labour was a 92-page document. They explained that priests were being accused of abuse on a wide scale and that many were probably guilty. They examined definitions of paedophilia and how it related to the priesthood. The issues were complex, they said, and needed addressing urgently. And while the church’s position was in danger, they urged the hierarchy to do its utmost to protect the vulnerable victims of the clerics’ abuse.

A secret meeting was called at a Chicago hotel in May 1985 to discuss what was now known as The Manual. A low-level auxiliary bishop from Los Angeles attended, called William Levada. Mouton recalls: “The meeting seemingly went well. Bishop Levada vetted every word of the document and seemed to be in full support of [it] being presented to the full conference of bishops. Shortly thereafter, Bishop Levada telephoned Doyle and advised him basically to ‘kill’ our document because the conference had a plan of their own and would form a committee to deal with the issue. “After the conference concluded, it was announced to the media that a committee had been formed to deal with clergy abuse. This turned out to be just another lie, for no committee was formed in the conference until the 90s.”

According to a New York Times report on 20 June 1985 – some weeks after The Manual was privately copied and distributed to scores of bishops by the two priests and Mouton – the Rev Kenneth Doyle, a spokesman for the US Catholic conference in Washington, stated: “We don’t want to give the impression that it’s [sexual abuse cases by priests like Gauthe] a rampant problem for the church, because it is not.”

Statements made by Levada in a legal deposition during an abuse case in California in 2004 record him saying that Mouton’s report didn’t stick in his memory despite its explosive contents: “It’s a long time, and it would be difficult for me to say that I recall having seen it before … I maybe have seen it before, but I don’t recall it now.” He also said he was at the meeting as a “listener” with a brief to report back to Law. He said he didn’t recall whether he told Mouton, Doyle and Peterson if their report and its distribution was “a good idea or not”.

This week, in a statement to the New York Times, Levada said: “As I look back on my own personal history as a priest and bishop, I can say that in 1980 I had never heard of any accusation of such sexual abuse by a priest. It was only in 1985, as an auxiliary bishop attending a meeting of our US bishops’ conference … that I became aware of some of the issues.” The conference the cardinal refers to was in June 1985 – a month after the hotel meeting.

n his traditional Christmas address yesterday to cardinals and officials working in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI also claimed that child pornography was increasingly considered “normal” by society. “In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children,” the Pope said. “It was maintained — even within the realm of Catholic theology — that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a ‘better than' and a ‘worse than'. Nothing is good or bad in itself.”

n his traditional Christmas address yesterday to cardinals and officials working in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI also claimed that child pornography was increasingly considered “normal” by society.
“In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man and even with children,” the Pope said.
“It was maintained — even within the realm of Catholic theology — that there is no such thing as evil in itself or good in itself. There is only a ‘better than’ and a ‘worse than’. Nothing is good or bad in itself.”

In retrospect, Mouton wonders about Levada’s attendance: “Prior to being an auxiliary bishop in Los Angeles, Levada worked in the Vatican in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and from 1981 to early 1983 he worked directly under Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was prefect. The trajectory of Levada’s career [since the hotel meeting] was meteoric. In July of 1986 he was made archbishop of Portland, a diocese that mishandled the clergy abuse crisis. Levada was further promoted in August 1995 to archbishop of San Francisco, where he was criticised for his actions in regard to clergy abuse.

“Shortly after Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI, he appointed Archbishop Levada as prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, and Levada was elevated to cardinal. Thus, [he] is now the person charged with full responsibility for all matters relating to clergy abuse.

“Was Levada the eyes and ears of Ratzinger in that meeting? I only know that he worked with and for Ratzinger and obviously remained close to him for 24 years, and [he] possesses a quality I believe Joseph Ratzinger values above all others: loyalty to Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI. ”

Levada has come in for criticism of his handling of so-called “mega-suits” in California and, later, in Portland, Oregon, where his archdiocese filed for bankruptcy after claims running in excess of $50m were settled. In May 2000, Levada authorised a payout of $750,000 to a man who had been sexually assaulted by a priest. The priest who witnessed and reported the offence, Father John Conley, sued for defamation after his church accused him of being unstable and negligent. Just before the case went to trial, Levada authorised a secret deal to “prefund” Conley’s retirement and thus silence him.

In June 2002, in a speech to US bishops in Dallas, Levada called on clerics to ask whether they’d done all they could to crack down on abusers. By the end of the year he was advising Pope John Paul II to develop his so-called “zero-tolerance” policy on the issue. Mouton reflects: “There is no question … that had the bishops around the world, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Pope John Paul II adhered to our advice thousands of priests would have been removed from the ministry and turned over to police authorities, and an inestimable number of children would have grown normally through childhood with God’s greatest gift, innocence, intact.”

John Paul II Gets A Second Look In Abuse Scandal


John Paul II Gets A Second Look In Abuse Scandal

April 09, 2010 3:00 PM ET
n this Nov. 30, 2004, file photo, Pope John Paul II gives his blessing to Marcial Maciel Degollado of Mexico, founder of the Legion of Christ. Allegations have surfaced that the late pope — or at least members of his inner circle — obstructed an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Maciel. Plinio Lepri/AP

n this Nov. 30, 2004, file photo, Pope John Paul II gives his blessing to Marcial Maciel Degollado of Mexico, founder of the Legion of Christ. Allegations have surfaced that the late pope — or at least members of his inner circle — obstructed an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Maciel.
Plinio Lepri/AP

As the Roman Catholic Church tries to defend Pope Benedict XVI from criticism over his handling of the clerical sex abuse scandal, the record of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II, is also getting attention. New questions are being raised about whether the most popular pope of the last century played a role in covering up cases of sex abuse.

When John Paul died five years ago, millions of faithful poured into Rome for his funeral, chanting, “Santo subito” or “Make him a saint now.” Just two months later, Benedict XVI waived the usual five-year waiting period and put the Polish-born pope on the fast track to sainthood.

But in recent weeks, allegations have surfaced that the late pope — or at least members of his inner circle — obstructed an investigation into Marcial Maciel Degollado, the Mexican founder of the Legion of Christ who had both molested young boys and fathered several children with different women.

“It is clear now that during the ’80s or ’90s, there were important cases — for instance, the abuse case of the founder of the Legionaries of Christ — which were shelved in the Vatican, which were hushed up,” says veteran Vatican watcher Marco Politi.

‘Stronger Forces Within The Vatican’

Politi says John Paul’s longtime associate, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now the current pope, wanted to investigate Maciel.

“Ratzinger, as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, was pushing in order to open a proceeding against the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, but there were stronger forces within the Vatican who stopped him,” Politi says.

In 2006, now-Pope Benedict was finally able to banish Maciel. A long investigative report in the last issue of the National Catholic Reporter revealed that Maciel sent streams of money to the Vatican to buy support for his order.

The Italian weekly L’espresso estimates the Legion’s assets at more than $30 billion.

Paying The Price

Equally serious allegations concern the case of the late Austrian Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, accused of abusing an estimated 2,000 boys over decades. His successor, Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, has criticized the Vatican’s handling of that scandal when it emerged in 1995.

Schoenborn said officials close to Pope John Paul blocked an investigative commission. Schoenborn even revealed that then-Cardinal Ratzinger confided sadly, “The other party has prevailed.”

Vatican expert Sandro Magister says the Catholic Church is paying the price for its past sins.

“For a certain period, from the ’60s to the ’90s, in the U.S. as well as in Europe, there was a climate of sexual permissiveness, in which the gravity of sex abuse of minors was underestimated, and when priests were involved, even bishops looked the other way,” Magister says. “It’s not fair to pin the blame on John Paul II.”

A Church Beseiged?

Robert Mickens, Vatican correspondent for the British Catholic weekly, The Tablet, says that within the priesthood, there is a certain mistrust of the secular world. And the Polish pope, who grew up under totalitarian regimes, often saw the church besieged by the outside world, Mickens says.

“Those who wear the Roman collar, those who are part of all this, believe that they are maligned unfairly,” Mickens says. “John Paul II may have felt that this was again this onslaught of the Nazis or the communists, but now secularists, secularism, to discredit the church. If you look at what some people have been saying in the Vatican, that kind of paranoia has not gone away at all.”

In a letter written in 2001, then-Cardinal Ratzinger, under John Paul’s auspices, ordered all clerical sex abuse cases be sent to his department and that all cases be subject to pontifical secrecy. His No. 2 at the time, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said in a 2002 interview, “It seems to me there is no basis for demanding that a bishop be obliged to turn to civil magistrates and denounce a priest who has confided to him to have committed the crime of pedophilia.”

As the Vatican and the pope face threats of lawsuits and even criminal proceedings in some countries, Vatican officials are now insisting that the Holy See has always recommended to its bishops that they report abusive priests to the police.

Documentary on child abuse in the Catholic Church wins three Emmys


Documentary on child abuse in the Catholic Church wins three Emmys

“Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God” wins Creative Arts Emmys

From the link: http://www.irishcentral.com/ent/Documentary-on-child-abuse-in-the-Catholic-Church-wins-three-Emmys-VIDEO-224552431.html

The feature documentary “Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God” has picked up three Creative Arts Emmys for exceptional merit in documentary filmmaking, outstanding writing and outstanding picture editing.

The movie is about child abuse by a Catholic priest in a US school. It tells the story of four deaf men who were abused during the 1960s and who sought to expose the Catholic Church’s cover-up of pedophilia around the world.

Directed by Alex Gibney it was partially funded by the Irish Film Board.

Speaking to our sister publication, the Irish Voice, Gibney said “I was raised Catholic so it was obviously an emotional issue for me…I mean, it’s a shocking story for anyone but particularly for Catholics.

“What motivated me to take it on was the particular poignancy of this story, involving over 200 deaf students and the fact that they appear to be the first ones in the United States who raised a public protest about what happened to them.”

He spoke about the cover ups involving the Catholic Church and also governments. He ended by saying “Criminal prosecutions should only stop when we know that the cover ups have stopped.

“Prosecutions are important in terms of making them stop. You’re now seeing them in the United States where priests are being held to account not just for abusing but also for covering up abusing priests.

“That’s why survivors are so furious at the church, because it doesn’t seem to understand the need to show justice.”

Read the full interview here.

Check out the trailer for the documentary here:

Clergy sex abuse victims to see Milwaukee archdiocese files


Clergy sex abuse victims to see Milwaukee archdiocese files

Written by M.L. JOHNSON Associated Press Jun. 23, 2013

From the link: http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com/viewart/20130623/GPG0101/306230271/Clergy-sex-abuse-victims-see-Milwaukee-archdiocese-files

MILWAUKEE — The Archdiocese of Milwaukee plans to make dozens of priests’ personnel files public in the next week, along with hundreds of pages of other documents that sex abuse victims hope will hold church leaders accountable for transferring abusive priests to other parishes and concealing their crimes for decades.

The documents are being released as part of a deal reached in federal bankruptcy court between the archdiocese and victims suing it for fraud. The archdiocese has said the records will include personnel files for 42 priests with verified claims of abuse against them, along with depositions from top church officials, including New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who previously led the Milwaukee archdiocese. The documents are to be posted on the archdiocese’s website by July 1.

Similar files made public by other Roman Catholic dioceses and religious orders have detailed how leaders tried to protect the church by shielding priests and not reporting child sex abuse to authorities. The cover-up extended to the top of the Catholic hierarchy. Correspondence obtained by The Associated Press in 2010 showed the future Pope Benedict XVI had resisted pleas in the 1980s to defrock a California priest with a record of molesting children. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger led the Vatican office responsible for disciplining abusive priests before his election as pope.

Archdiocese officials in Milwaukee have long acknowledged that abusive priests were transferred to new churches with no warning to parishioners. Former Archbishop Rembert Weakland publicly apologized to a Sheboygan church for this in 1992, and in a 2008 deposition previously made public, he spoke of multiple cases in which church leaders were aware of priests’ histories but members were not. Still, victims have pushed aggressively for the priests’ files to be released.

Charles Linneman, 45, of Sugar Grove, Ill., said he was an altar boy when he met Franklyn Becker at St. Joseph’s Parish in Lyons in southeastern Wisconsin in 1980 and was abused by him when he visited Becker following the priest’s move to Milwaukee. Linneman read Becker’s file several years ago when it became public during litigation in California, where Becker also served.

Linneman said he had long wondered whether coming forward before he did in 2002 would have kept other children from being hurt. It was a relief, he said, when the file showed no reports of children being abused after him.“It helped me move on,” Linneman said. But it also led him to leave the Catholic church, stunned by what he saw as a massive cover-up.

“I really got fed up,” he said. “I’m like, I just can’t believe all these lies and betrayals that went on. … The archdiocese is supposed to be people in charge that are responsible and morally ethical, and that’s not what they did.”

Becker was removed from the priesthood in 2004. Messages left at a Mayville number listed in his name weren’t returned. His file is among a few from Milwaukee that have already been made public. But Linneman said he still plans to read whatever comes out on July 1 because his attorneys told him the records will likely include some he hasn’t seen.

While certain church officials and attorneys for both sides have seen the roughly 6,000 pages of documents, the victims have not.

Jerry Topczewski, chief of staff for Archbishop Jerome Listecki, said the archdiocese had shared some files with some victims over the years but was reluctant to make them public because of privacy concerns. It eventually agreed to do so when it became clear that victims would hold up the bankruptcy case until the information came out. Some of the files contain graphic material, and people “should be prepared to be shocked,” he said.

At the same time, most of the priests’ names have been known since the archdiocese’s release of 43 with verified abuse claims against them in 2004. Two others, Ronald Engel and Donald Musinski, were added to the list later. The allegations against Musinski came to light only after the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in 2011 and his file will be released later, once it is complete, Topczewski said. Two other priests’ files aren’t being released because they involve single victims who could easily be identified.

The impact of church documents released elsewhere has varied greatly, said Terry McKiernan, who has spent more than a decade collecting and preserving clergy sex abuse records for BishopAccountability.org. In one of the biggest scandals involving the church, Cardinal Bernard Law resigned as the head of the Boston archdiocese within days of the 2002 release of child sex abuse documents that also described a priest abandoning his adult lover as she overdosed. But in other places, where files were too massive or disorganized for most people to make sense of them, they drew little attention, McKiernan said.Even when victims were successful in bringing the truth to light, some found it didn’t have the result they had hoped. Joelle Casteix, 42, of Newport Beach, Calif., was abused by a teacher at a Catholic high school in the 1980s. Documents in her case were made public in 2005 as part of a $100 million settlement with the Diocese of Orange, an experience she called “life-changing.”

“I got my human dignity back,” she said in an email. “I was able to get truth and power for the first time since I was 16. For years, people thought I was crazy. But now, everyone knows that I was right and truthful all along.”

Yet despite the publicity, her former teacher was able to keep his job at a Michigan college. Officials there see her as a disgruntled ex-girlfriend, Casteix said, adding that the situation “makes me ill.”

5 things to know

How many priests were involved? The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has verified claims of sexual abuse by 45 priests, including 23 who are still alive. None is allowed to work as a priest, and 15 have been officially defrocked. Most of them are accused of abuse that took place before 1990.

How many victims are there? It’s hard to say because some victims may not have come forward. But one former priest, Lawrence Murphy, has been accused of sexually abusing some 200 boys at a school for the deaf from 1950 to 1974. Other priests have been accused by only one person thus far. There are more than 570 sexual abuse claims pending in bankruptcy court, but some of those involve lay people or priests assigned to religious orders, not the archdiocese. Attorneys have not said specifically how many of the 570 claims relate to the 45 priests on the archdiocese’s restricted list.

How did clergy abuse cases end up in bankruptcy court? Abuse victims had long sought to hold the archdiocese accountable, but most didn’t come forward until well into adulthood, when it was too late under Wisconsin law to sue the church for negligence in supervising its priests. A 2007 Wisconsin Supreme Court decision gave them a window, saying the six-year limit in fraud cases didn’t start until the deception was uncovered. The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in 2011, once it became clear that it could face a slew of lawsuits. It said it wouldn’t have the money to pay if those cases went against it.What’s in the documents the archdiocese is releasing by July 1? It’s hard to say for certain because no one has seen the collection yet except attorneys and certain church leaders. Jerry Topczewski, chief of staff for Archbishop Jerome Listecki, has said it will include the personnel files of 42 priests, depositions of church leaders including New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who previously led the Milwaukee archdiocese, and records from the files of bishops and other key figures.

What happens next? The release of the documents has been important to sexual abuse victims, but it does not affect resolution of the bankruptcy case. Topczewski said the next step in that will be for the archdiocese to come up with a reorganization plan detailing how it will provide for victims and pay its expenses in the future. Mike Finnegan, an attorney representing many victims, says one focus for his legal team will be trying to get the archdiocese’s former insurers to cover abuse claims.

Pope’s first words on clerical sexual abuse leave victims unimpressed


Pope’s first words on clerical sexual abuse leave victims unimpressed

Friday, April 05, 2013 – 05:00 PM

From the link: http://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/world/popes-first-words-on-clerical-sexual-abuse-leave-victims-unimpressed-590318.html

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Victims’ advocates are said to be unimpressed after Pope Francis called for the Catholic Church to act “with determination” against clergy sex abuse cases.

The pope pushed for decisive action during a meeting with the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, the Vatican said in a statement.

“The Holy Father recommended that the congregation continue the line sought by Benedict XVI, to act with determination in regard to cases of sexual abuse,” the Vatican said.

“Once again, as have happened hundreds of times already, a top Catholic official says he’s asking another top Catholic official to take action about paedophile priests and complicit bishops,” said Barbara Dorris, an official of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a US-based organisation.

Francis cited measures to protect minors, help victims of sexual violence and necessary action against perpetrators, and emphasise that drafting and implementing directives by bishop conferences around the world is important to the credibility of the church.

US victims of clergy abuse have demanded swift and bold actions from the new Jesuit pontiff.

“Big deal. Actions speak louder than words. And one of the first actions Pope Francis took was to visit perhaps the most high-profile corrupt prelate on the planet, Cardinal Bernard Law, who remains a powerful church official despite having been drummed out of Boston for hiding and enabling crimes by hundreds of child molesting clerics,” Ms Dorris said in a statement.

The clergy child abuse scandals in many countries have drained morale and finances from the church, driving countless Catholics away, especially in Western Europe.

Some dioceses have had to close parishes and take other drastic actions after paying out millions for counselling and other compensation to victims in cases settled in and out of court.

The Vatican’s brief announcement about Francis’ meeting Friday with the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – the office that shapes and enforces policy on what to do about any abuse allegations and what happens to the abusers – depicted Francis as urging assertive action to protect minors.

“The Holy Father in a special way urged that the Congregation, following the line sought by Benedict XVI, act decisively in sex abuse cases, above all promoting measures to protect minors, assistance for all those who in the past suffered such violence, necessary measures against the guilty,” the statement said of Francis’ meeting with Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller.

The Vatican quoted Francis as saying abuse victims were always present “in his attention and in his prayers.”

Unholy Silence – The book that launched a Royal Commission, even before it was published by Father Kevin Lee


Unholy Silence
The book that launched a Royal Commission, even before it was published
by Father Kevin Lee

From the link: http://unholysilence.com/

A Catholic priest exposes systematic cover-ups of pedophilia and predatory homosexuality in his own Church

Father Kevin’s claim to have forced a Royal Commission into sexual abuse of children in Australia is not without foundation. He had been agitating about it for over  a decade. And if you analyse the chronology of events, Father Kevin’s admission on Channel 7’s 6pm news on April 31st was the catalyst that sparked media interest into why a successful priest would commit sacerdotal suicide by telling everyone he had been living a lie for over a year.

As Father Kevin told the journalists who were sent into a feeding frenzy over the discovery that a proclaimed celibate priest was actually married, he did it because of his frustration that his constant complaints of pedophilia and sexual abuse among members of the Church were being continually denied or concealed by both police and Church hierarchy. “It is not possible to live a double life” he was told by his Bishop, “there is too much scrutiny of priests”. So he set out to show how it is done.

He wanted to prove how priests can appear to be living celibately but can actually be living a total lie.

This book will explain how, after six years of preparation and twenty years of ordained ministry, Father Kevin Lee gradually came to realize that the Church he was born into, was not as it appeared.

It took him a while to recognise that the reason the church expects total loyalty and intellectual ascent to all its dogmas and practices is not entirely altruistic.

The justification for its demand of abstemious living was to keep the church cheap to run and its workers totally obedient.

For many years Fr Kevin was happy to make the total sacrifice of his sexuality “for the sake of the Kingdom” but events that he witnessed caused him to question the institution that he had blindly promised obedience to for all his adult life.

His decision to record these events and eventually allow their publication takes great courage and resulted in his expulsion from the Church he had served diligently for almost a quarter of a century.  The termination of his priestly ministry sparked a wave of allegations of abuses and cover ups that eventuated in Prime Minister Gillard issuing the call for a full Royal Commission into sexual abuse in Australia which began on 13th February 2012 and is expected to continue for at least three years.

Father Kevin had intimate knowledge of fellow priests who were living a celibate lie.
But everywhere he turned within the Church and outside it, he was being told to “keep quiet” and “don’t create a scandal”.


No one wanted to know.

Fr Kevin comes to appreciate that the unholy silence which muzzles the priests from revealing the depraved actions of fellow priests can have a detrimental effect on the whole church. The fear of ‘causing scandal’ is less damaging than the emotional and psychological destruction these abuses were causing in the lives of the trusting young people who oftentimes came to priests for help.

The Church would have you believe that the number of offending clerics is small and not out of proportion with other professions but these stories and Fr Kevin’s personal testimony will challenge that blanket statement and as a result, question the relevance of priestly celibacy.

This book will unsettle your own religious convictions as you read the painfully recorded details of the many incidents of abuse and attempts by the hierarchy to cover up or compensate the abused victims of pretend priests.

As the Catholic hierarchy flounders with diminishing numbers of priests and depleting income sources it wrestles to retain the respect and reverence that it once demanded of its adherents.

Fr Kevin Lee hopes this book will force the Catholic Church members to readdress the issue of mandatory priestly celibacy by calling the Church to greater accountability and openness into the secret lives of priests..

To buy the book Unholy Silence click on the following link:
http://shop.unholysilence.com/Unholy-Silence-downloadable-version-UHS1.htm