News Story of the Day

Catholic bishops not obliged to report clerical child abuse, Vatican says

By Stephanie Kirchgaessner, February 10, 2016, The Guardian

The Catholic church is telling newly appointed bishops that it is “not necessarily” their duty to report accusations of clerical child abuse and that only victims or their families should make the decision to report abuse to police.

A document that spells out how senior clergy members ought to deal with allegations of abuse, which was recently released by the Vatican, emphasised that, though they must be aware of local laws, bishops’ only duty was to address such allegations internally.

Lawsuit filed against former St. Mary's priest

By Sydney Smith, February 8, 2016, Central Michigan Life

r nearly two years, St. Mary's University Parish Priest Denis Heames asked a Central Michigan University student to keep his sexual relationship with her a secret, according to a lawsuit filed in Isabella County's 21st Circuit Court.

Senior Megan Winans is asking the court to consider whether she was abused by Heames, who was removed from St. Mary's in June, during her work as a "media intern" at the church from 2012 to 2014. A civil lawsuit was filed Jan. 14 claiming battery, defamation, breach of fidiciary duty, fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligent supervision and retention. 


Francis heads to Mexico amid Legionaries of Christ disclosures

Jason Berry, Feb. 8, 2016, National Catholic Reporter

On Feb. 12, Pope Francis flies to Mexico, a vast land scarred by barbaric drug cartels and deep poverty that are pushing migrants to America -- all front-burner issues for a papacy advocating mercy and justice.

Amid this, a new book, El Imperior Financierio de Los Legionarios de Cristo was published in December by Grijalbo in Mexico City. There is no English translation as yet. Written by Raúl Olmos, an investigative journalist in Mexico, the book focuses on the Legionaries of Christ, a religious order founded by the late Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, a notorious pedophile dismissed by Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 to "a life of prayer and penitence." The home base of the order is Mexico City, in the world's second-largest Catholic country (after Brazil).

Clergy sex abuse victims claim church is breaking promises for care, treatment

By , February 6, 2016, WCVB 5

BOSTON —It was one of the promises from the landmark settlement of church sex abuse cases from the Archdiocese of Boston: the church would pay for counseling to try to fix the lives their abusive priests had damaged.

But now, victims and their advocates tell 5 Investigates the Archdiocese has in some cases begun backsliding on that promise, putting up more resistance than ever before to paying for treatments.

The Incredible Story of Spotlight's Phil Saviano: The Child Sex Abuse Survivor Who Refused to Be Silenced by the Catholic Church

BY MIKE MILLER, 02/05/2016, People

He no longer belongs to any sort of organized religion, but Phil Saviano, whose pivotal role in exposing the child sex abuse scandal within the Catholic Church is showcased in the Oscar-nominated film Spotlight, appears to have had something almost like divine intervention on his side. 



BY PATRICIA MILLER FEBRUARY 2, 2016, Religion Dispatches

Fast on the heels of the news that a Bavarian boys choir directed by Pope Benedict’s brother was a hotbed of physical and sexual abuse for decades, comes the allegation that Cardinal Gerhard Müller covered up the abuse when he was the bishop of Regensburg.

According to the National Catholic Reporter, the allegation is being made by the former head of the lay diocesan council in Regensburg, Germany, who said that Müller and a deputy “systematically” covered up the abuse, disbanded the diocesan council to thwart outside investigation, and installed at least one known abuser priest in a parish who then committed more acts of abuse.

Mother Of Accused Seminary Student: 'He's Innocent'

By Tylar Bacome, February 1, 2016, WBNS-10TV

Joel Wright appeared on a Vermont CBS affiliate WCAX not once but twice, at 16-years-old and 13-years-old; both times he was excited about a planned trip to a papal mass.

It was a sharp contrast to the 23-year-old seminary student who appeared in federal court on Monday on two felony charges for allegedly planning a trip to Tijuana, Mexico to adopt a 1-year-old and 4-year-old child for the purpose of raping and molesting.

Prominent Catholics want Seattle Archdiocese to open all sex-abuse files

By , January 30, 2016,  Seattle Times
Two prominent legal professionals and practicing Catholics want straight answers from the Seattle Archdiocese to questions about its recently published list of clergy members identified as admitted or credibly accused child-sex abusers.

Victims group claims Catholic clergy abuser list is incomplete

Elisa Hahn, KING 5 News, January 28, 2016

SEATTLE -- Two weeks ago the Seattle Catholic Archdiocese posted a list of 77 clergy members who are deemed by the church to be abusers of children. A victims group claims that predator list is incomplete.

OUR OPINION: North Dakota dioceses should release names of priests

By Tom Dennis, January 27, 2016, Grand Forks Herald

To weeks ago, the Archdiocese of Seattle published a list of its clergy and other employees who'd been credibly accused of sexually assaulting children.

The archdiocese took this step on its own—not because of a court ruling, not because a legal settlement forced its hand, but because the publication was the right thing to do.

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