News Story of the Day
By Marie Collins, August 7, 2018, The Irish Times
Saying sorry it happened, sorry you were hurt, does not cut it any more
When Pope Francis comes to Ireland in two weeks’ time it will be 39 years since the last visit by a head of the Catholic Church. Since then the status of the church in Ireland has declined dramatically.
Those identifying as Catholic are down by 20 per cent, according to the last census. Mass attendance has fallen away, seminaries and religious houses have closed, and parishes are now often run by a single priest.
The majority of people no longer look to the church for guidance in their everyday lives. When the leadership speaks out on current issues as during the two recent recent referendums many, particularly the young, are antagonistic or indifferent. The church in Ireland has lost respect and credibility.
Associated Press, August 5, 2018
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Church leaders were more interested in preventing scandal than protecting children. That’s the finding of a grand jury investigating clergy sex abuse in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses according to a court filing. The report also says in some cases leaders discouraged victims from going to police, or pressured law enforcement officials to end or avoid investigations.
The grand jury’s full, nearly 900-page, report is expected to be released in the next two weeks.
But a court filing made public Friday, resolving one of many legal disputes over the report, included excerpts from the grand jury’s findings on the role of church leaders in the clergy abuse scandal.
Mark Scolforo, Associated Press, August 3, 2018
A grand jury investigating clergy sex abuse in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses found that church leaders were more interested in preventing scandal than protecting children, in some cases discouraging victims from going to police or pressuring law enforcement officials to end or avoid investigations, according to a court filing.
The grand jury's full, nearly 900-page, report is expected to be released in the next two weeks.
We live in an era of diminished trust and heightened cynicism. It is hard, now, to imagine someone expressing unqualified faith in government, the media, business — or even, for that matter, religious institutions. And the implication of this development is not simply the erosion of trust. It is the increasing difficulty of learning about the world around us, as we lose belief in those who might teach us.
Learning requires risk-taking. It forces us to face what we don’t know with the hope of advancing toward some grasp of it. The smaller the undertaking, the lower the emotional gamble — learning tomorrow’s weather forecast doesn’t entail an interior journey. But learning about the true and important things in life does require trust and dedication and vulnerability — usually under a teacher’s guidance. It is no surprise so many of us come to love the ones who teach us.
By Stephanie Sadowski | PennLive.com | August 1, 2018
By NICOLE WINFIELD and RODNEY MUHUMUZA, AP, July 28, 2018
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The nun no longer goes to confession regularly, after an Italian priest forced himself on her while she was at her most vulnerable: recounting her sins to him in a university classroom nearly 20 years ago.
At the time, the sister only told her provincial superior and her spiritual director, silenced by the Catholic Church’s culture of secrecy, her vows of obedience and her own fear, repulsion and shame.
“It opened a great wound inside of me,” she told the Associated Press. “I pretended it didn’t happen.”
By Joshua J. McElwee, Heidi Schlumpf, July 28, 2018, National Catholic Reporter
Retired Washington Archbishop Theodore McCarrick has renounced his position in the College of Cardinals, leaving the global Catholic Church's most symbolic and powerful group in the wake of revelations that he sexually harassed or abused several young men during his meteoric rise to become one of the U.S. church's most senior prelates.
The move, announced in a press release from the U.S. bishops July 28, is without precedence since the founding of the American church with the creation of the diocese of Baltimore in 1789. While several U.S. cardinals have come under scrutiny in recent decades for their handling of abuse cases, none prior had set aside their red cardinalatial robes.
uly 25, 2018, The Buffalo News
The former head of the Buffalo area's largest AIDS prevention organization is being accused of molesting three brothers from a South Buffalo family when he was a Catholic priest in the 1970s.
West Seneca resident and author P.A. Kane wrote a first-person essay accusing Ronald Silverio of being the young parish priest who molested him when he was a parishioner of Holy Family Church in South Buffalo.
By Sharon Otterman, July 19, 2018, NY Times
James was 11 years old when Father Theodore E. McCarrick came into his bedroom in Northern New Jersey, looking for the bathroom. Father McCarrick, then 39 and a rising star in the Roman Catholic church, was a close family friend, whom James and his six siblings called Uncle Teddy. James was changing out of his bathing suit to get ready for dinner.
“He said, turn around,” James, who is now 60, recalled in an interview last week. “And I really don’t want to, because I don’t want to show anybody anything.” But he did, he said, and was shocked when Father McCarrick dropped his pants, too. “See, we are the same,” James said he told him. “It’s O.K., we are the same.”
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.