News Story of the Day
VATICAN CITY (AFP) - Pope Francis came under fire from victims groups on Thursday following news that he had quietly sacked the Vatican's envoy to the Dominican Republic over allegations of paedophilia.
"Like all of his predecessors, Pope Francis is acting belatedly, secretively and recklessly," said Barbara Dorris, outreach director for the US-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
Three men allegedly abused as boys by prominent priest Fernando Karadima in the 1980s filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Chilean Catholic Church.
In the 450 million peso ($900,000) suit, Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo accuse the church of negligence for initially ignoring their complaints about the priest.
A former altar boy who attended Caledonia’s St. John’s Parish in the 1960s publicly spoke out for the first time Thursday about abuse he said he suffered at the hands of former Diocese of Winona priest Thomas Adamson.
Bill Beardmore’s decision to speak out comes as attorney Jeff Anderson filed a new lawsuit on his behalf against the Diocese this week in Winona County District Court. The suit seeks $50,000 in damages, and, like similar suits Anderson has filed elsewhere, requests that a judge order the public release of a list that contains the names and personal information of “credibly accused child molesting priests.”
I thought the article would validate my husband’s experience. That’s why I emailed him the link to the decade-old New York magazine article about his alma mater, the American Boychoir School for vocal prodigies, where alumni from as late as the 1990s estimate that one in five boys were molested. Boys like Travis.
“It used to feel like an isolated incident that affected just me," Trav said.
Last weekend’s letter from Newark Archbishop John J. Myers regarding his handling of sexual abuse cases is so crowded with falsehoods and insults that it’s difficult to know where to begin.
What’s most revealing is what is missing: There’s not a single word of sympathy for the victims and their families. Myers instead insults them by suggesting they are blaming the church for problems in their own families. “One can understand when family difficulties lead parents, even by conjecture, to blame someone outside the family,” he wrote. “But conjecture is no reason to undermine the Ministry of individual Priests (or Bishops for that matter.)”
In yesterday’s Louisville Courier-Journal, award-winning religion writer Peter Smith wrote about the need for evangelical churches to confront sexual abuse and cover-ups within their own ranks. It’s a need that was recently given voice in a public statement written by former sex crimes prosecutor Boz Tchividjian and signed by more than 1,500 people worldwide.
The statement was prompted in part by a lawsuit brought by eleven plaintiffs alleging the cover-up of sexual abuse within churches affiliated with Sovereign Grace Ministries. Tchividjian said the lawsuit “underscored larger issues,” and his statement alluded, not only to the case, but also to religious leaders who have publicly defended Sovereign Grace and its president, including prominent Southern Baptist leaders.
Steve Theisen, 61, is the Iowa director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). Unlike the vast majority of men and women whose lives have been positively affected by the support SNAP provides to victims of clergy abuse, Theisen was not sexually abused by a Catholic priest: he was sexually abused by a Catholic nun.
Newark, N.J., Archbishop John J. Myers, under fire for his lax supervision of a priest under court order not to minister to youth, faces new questions concerning his handling of clergy sex abuse allegations while he was bishop in Peoria, Ill., more than a decade ago.
Attorneys for abuse victim Andrew Ward announced Tuesday that they had reached an agreement with the Peoria diocese over a lawsuit accusing Msgr. Thomas Maloney of molesting Ward when he was a boy in the mid-1990s. The diocese settled the suit for $1.35 million. Maloney died in 2009 at age 73.
"They know they don't have to keep their victims quiet forever, just long enough to run out the clock."
Inclusion of two Catholic sisters in a July release of clergy sex abuse documents in the Los Angeles archdiocese highlights a need for sisters' orders to investigate abuse allegations, says a former leader of the lay group set up by the U.S. bishops to monitor the church's sex abuse policies.
"I think what we have learned in the last 10 to 12 years is that this is not a kind of misconduct that is peculiar to Roman Catholic priests," Judge Michael Merz told NCR Aug. 5.
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