To many, the headlines sound wonderful. To me, they’re heartbreaking:
“Pope Tightens Rules on Child Sex Abuse”
“Vatican broadens child abuse crimes in legal reform”
“Pope widens criminal punishment for child abuse in Vatican”
“Pope issues first penal laws for Vatican, criminalizes leaks of Vatican info, child sex abuse”
How can this be bad news?
1) According to BishopAccountability.org, there are 66 proven, admitted, and credibly accused predators within the Milwaukee Archdiocese.
(This number does not include the perhaps dozens of relative order predators who have lived or worked--or still live or work--in the Milwaukee Archdiocese now.)
Two words of advice to anyone who might feel down about the news about our International Criminal Court complaint: “Chin up.”
This is a bump in the road. It’s far, far, far from the end of the road.
The ICC isn’t like US courts. We can, have and will go back to the ICC, submitting more and more proof, for however long it takes. At any point, the prosecutor can say “Now, we’re opening an investigation.” We are still very confident that, at some point, this will happen.
An Ohio jury has awarded damages to Christa Dias, an unwed teacher who was fired from her Catholic school job after becoming pregnant through artificial insemination.
In SNAP, we take no positions on church-related controversies other than clergy sex crimes and cover ups. So we have no stance or view or statement on this court ruling.
Usually, when Catholic officials try to deny child sex abuse victims their day in court, I moan or cry or shake my head in dismay. But a sentence in a new National Catholic Register article on statute of limitations reform had the opposite effect on me. It made me laugh out loud.
Here’s the background: Gradually, more lawmakers are proposing civil “window” laws that temporarily suspend the civil statute on child sex crimes.
The laws enable child sex abuse victims to protect kids, stop predators, expose wrongdoing, and deter cover ups by seeking justice in court.
We’re used to bishops backpedalling on clergy sex crimes. It’s worrisome, however, when newspapers backpedal on those crimes.
Lately, editors at two big city dailies have made unsettling decision in covering clergy sex cases.
For as long as I can remember (and I’ve been involved in this almost 25 years), virtually every news outlet has named clerics who are accused in civil lawsuits of assaulting kids. Ditto with other defendants who are high profile: coaches, teachers, doctors, politicians and the like. It’s a nearly universal practice and rarely even questioned (except sometimes by friends and relatives of the accused).
Over the past week, here’s a partial list of states where Catholic officials have said "no comment" about clergy sex abuse lawsuits and allegations: Missouri, New Mexico, New Jersey, and Illinois.
Dear Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga
Happy anniversary. It was a decade ago next month when you essentially accused Jews of being behind media reports of clergy sex crimes and cover ups.
In the day since the Royal Commission into Child Abuse began, the commission has already received word that at least 5000 people want to give evidence. This is exciting news.
"He's done something unusual/unexpected practically every day." That’s how an anonymous but high ranking Vatican official describes Pope Francis.