News Story of the Day

Could the Vatican face racketeering charges for harboring abusive clergy?

Will Carless, Sep 24, 2015 @ 3:00 AM,

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,


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 and The Post-Standard. 


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US priests accused of sex abuse get a second chance by relocating to South America

Will Carless,, September 17, 2015 

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — The Catholic Church has allowed priests accused of sexually abusing children in the United States and Europe to relocate to poor parishes in South America, a yearlong GlobalPost investigation has found.

Reporters confronted five accused priests in as many countries: Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil and Peru. One priest who relocated to a poor parish in Peru admitted on camera to molesting a 13-year-old boy while working in the Jackson, Mississippi diocese. Another is currently under investigation in Brazil after allegations arose that he abused disadvantaged children living in an orphanage he founded there.

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Priest sex abuse survivor to walk 270 miles hoping to change N.J. laws

By Don E. Woods,,  September 16, 2015

Abused by a priest at 11 years old and quiet about it for most of his life, 68-year-old Fred Marigliano is making up for his silence.

For each step of a 270-mile walk he's making across New Jersey, he is stopping people on the street and educating them about what it's like to be a survivor of abuse and how much further the justice system needs to go to make it right.

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Child sex abuse royal commission: Catholic Church's Melbourne Response discouraged some victims from going to police, inquiry finds

Posted yesterday at 8:29pm,

The process used by the Catholic Church in Melbourne to handle abuse claims discouraged victims from going to the police in some instances, the royal commission into child abuse has found.

In 1996 then archbishop George Pell introduced the Melbourne Response, as the church's process to deal with people sexually abused by priests and others within the Archdiocese.

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Chile Catholic Church rocked by email scandal

SANTIAGO, CHILE — The Catholic Church in Chile has been rocked by another scandal surrounding its most infamous pedophile.

Leaked emails between the archbishop of Santiago and his predecessor show how they conspired to block a well-known abuse survivor from being named to Pope Francis' sex abuse commission, fearing it would damage the church.

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Bedford church choir director facing Alabama child sex abuse charges

WFAA8:51 p.m. CDT September 10, 2015

BEDFORD – Members of a Bedford church congregation are reeling from revelations that their interim choir director was on bond on rape charges in Alabama.

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