News Story of the Day

Mary Dispenza's Powerful Memoir SPLIT: Moving from Childhood Rape by a Priest to Catholic Institutional Abuse As a Lesbian — "I Can Live with the Consequences of Love"

On the day that news broke of the pope's meeting with Kim Davis, I was finishing Mary Dispenza's painful, liberating account of her struggle to come to terms with her sexual abuse by a priest as a little girl, followed by her struggle to come to terms with her gay sexual orientation as an adult — and, in both cases, her narrative centers on her difficult attempt to deal with the callousness and cruelty of Catholic "pastoral" leaders as she struggled along. 

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Abuse allegations inquiry is finally to start after 15 years in Scotland

KATHLEEN NUTT,  

One of the most long-awaited public inquiries to be held in Scotland is due to get under way tomorrow.

The statutory inquiry into historical abuse of children in care will be headed by leading QC Susan O’Brien and is expected to last four years before reporting back to Cabinet Secretary for Education Angela Constance.

 

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After Pope’s sexual abuse apology, critics clamor for reform

States must suspend civil statute-of-limitation laws to help victims of Roman Catholic Church sexual abuse, a leading advocacy group said Sunday, hours after Pope Francis met with survivors of clerical sexual abuse on the last day of his U.S. trip.

As crowds gathered early Sunday morning for a huge Mass in Center City Philadelphia during the afternoon, Pope Francis met at a seminary just outside the city for 40 minutes with individuals had been sexually abused when they were minors: The pontiff met with three women and two men who were not named, but were said to be from the area.

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After Criticism, Pope Francis Confronts Priestly Sex Abuse

SEPT. 27, 2015, NY Times

PHILADELPHIA — At the start of an otherwise joyous and well-received trip to the United States, Pope Francis hit one seriously sour note: He praised American bishops for their handling of the sexual abuse scandal and told priests he felt their pain — leaving abuse victims stunned and infuriated, asking why he neglected to even acknowledge their anguish.

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Child sex abuse survivors reject adulation for pope during US visit

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Could the Vatican face racketeering charges for harboring abusive clergy?

Will Carless, Sep 24, 2015 @ 3:00 AM, GlobalPost.com

IO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Earlier this year, federal prosecutors in Manhattan made history by arresting officials at the Federation Internationale de Football Association, or FIFA, on charges of racketeering and money laundering.

The case, a groundbreaking example of US authorities policing far beyond America’s borders, raised an interesting question: If prosecutors could target FIFA — an organization headquartered outside the US — could they also take aim at the leaders of another sprawling international enterprise, say, the Roman Catholic Church? 

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Francis falters in addressing sex abuse

Dennis Coday, Sep. 23, 2015, National Catholic Reporter

Let me make just one short observation, about an obviously heartfelt, multifaceted address by Pope Francis to the U.S. bishops. There are many things to compliment and tease out of this speech over coming days. There was, however, one glaring oversight that will draw criticism.

Francis made one (Vatican correspondent Josh McElwee called it “oblique”) reference to the clergy sexual abuse crisis. Here is the entire paragraph:

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Pope Francis is doing more to fight sex abuse than his predecessors. That's still not enough.

By Dylan Matthews on September 23, 2015, 11:20 a.m. ET  

For the most part, Pope Francis's first visit to North America is being met with giddy anticipation from the media and public figures. But one group is not so enthusiastic: survivors of clerical abuse.

Francis gets credit for doing much more than his predecessors to address the crisis. But the bar is low. For example, Pope John Paul II did shockingly little. 

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Pope Francis has done nothing to prevent sex abuse

STOP TALKING. START DOING. That's my message to Pope Francis about the abuse crisis.

The pope is already being more inclusive, decisive, and innovative. “A real breath of fresh air,” he’s been repeatedly and justifiably called. He’s addressing church finances, governance, and morale.

But on the most devastating controversy that has roiled the US Catholic Church for decades — and that is beginning to roil the church in the developing world these days — he is woefully backward.

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Syracuse's Catholic bishop, sexual abuse and the harm that words can do

By Editorial Board, September 18, 2015, Syracuse.com

 

Adding insult to abomination, the Catholic bishop of Syracuse testified in 2011 that a child sexually abused by a priest was "culpable'' and "an accomplice'' in his own victimization.

 

Bishop Robert Cunningham's stinging words, spoken as he was questioned for a lawsuit filed by the victim of the abuse, were reported Sept. 13 by Syracuse.com and The Post-Standard. 

 

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