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Nun tells Scottish child abuse inquiry Catholic sisters sexually abused her

Posted: 02 Dec 2017 01:07 PM PST

SCOTLAND The Times December 2, 2017 by Gurpreet Narwan A nun brought up in a Catholic care home was beaten and sexually assaulted by the sisters in charge, the historical Scottish child abuse inquiry was told. The witness, known as Sister Louise, who lived at Bellevue House children's refuge in Rutherglen and Smyllum Park orphanage in Lanark, said that she was forced to eat food and routinely cried herself to sleep at night. Giving evidence to the second phase of the Scottish child abuse inquiry, Sister Louise said that she was sexually assaulted by a staff member on several occasions and that the sisters would be lying if they denied the abuse took place.

Book Review: A Lost Tribe by William King – Silent on the great spiritual needs

Posted: 02 Dec 2017 01:00 PM PST

IRELAND Irish Times December 2, 2017 By Niall Coll In all the reflection on the alienation which clergy experience in this secular age, there's little sense of the pain and joy that a typical priest finds in the lives of people he serves Book Title: A Lost Tribe ISBN-13: 9781843517146 Author: William King Publisher: Lilliput Press Guideline Price: €15.00 Even though this novel opens in the context of a priests' retreat, one's first impression is of spiritual emptiness and resignation. In many striking snatches of clipped conversation, the novel excavates the effects of the beating that the author feels the Irish Catholic clergy have taken in recent decades at the hands of angry secularists and under the weight of thousands of abuse allegations. The impression is of a beleaguered sub-group stranded in a wider culture which has moved on. One priest quips, ironically echoing Joyce's outcast character, James Duffy, in the story A Painful Case: "Wouldn't you feel you're excluded from the party? Life I mean." Another is unsurprised at news that a priest has committed suicide: 'we're expected to live this nonsensical life. Drudgery and isolation . . . It's killing us." The clerical ire reserved for remote, self-absorbed bishops who do little to help priests falsely accused of abuse is a particularly conspicuous theme.

How Ireland Moved to the Left: ‘The Demise of the Church’

Posted: 02 Dec 2017 12:52 PM PST

DUBLIN (IRELAND) The New York Times December 2, 2017 By Liam Stack When Ailbhe Smyth was 37, voters in Ireland approved a constitutional amendment that banned abortion in nearly all cases and committed the nation to the principle that a pregnant woman and her fetus have an "equal right to life." Next year, when Ms. Smyth, a former professor and chairwoman of the Coalition to Repeal the Eighth Amendment, will be 72, Irish voters are expected to remove or alter that amendment in a new referendum that could give Ireland's Parliament the freedom to legislate on the issue and write more flexible abortion laws. What are the driving forces behind this significant shift in voter attitudes toward abortion and other social issues? Ireland was long a bastion of Catholic conservatism, a place where pedestrians might tip their hats and hop off the footpath when a priest walked past. But economic and technological changes helped propel a shift in attitudes that accelerated with the unfolding of far-reaching abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church in the 1990s.

Women's voices are missing amid discussions of sex assault, power abuse

Posted: 02 Dec 2017 12:47 PM PST

UNITED STATES National Catholic Reporter December 1, 2017 By Kent P. Hickey "This story is going to be hard," I tell my sophomore Scripture class as we start Genesis 34. Dinah is raped by Shechem, son of Hamor the Hivite. After the rape, Shechem tells Hamor to "get me this girl for a wife." So, Hamor meets with Dinah's father, Jacob, and the two tribal chieftains quickly realize that an opportunity is at hand for a mutually beneficial political alliance. A bargain is struck. Dinah is to marry Shechem. Jacob's sons — "speaking with guile because their sister had been defiled" — agree to the arrangement under the condition that all the males in Hamor's tribe get circumcised. Hamor complies and, after their circumcisions, he and all of his men go to their tents to recover. It's at this moment of vulnerability that Jacob's sons swoop in, kill them all, and loot the town. Jacob angrily confronts his sons, to which they reply, "Should our sister have been treated like a harlot?" The morality of these men's actions (especially the killing in tents) has been debated for centuries. What hasn't been debated much is the question I pose to my sophomores: "Whose voice is missing in all this?" That's right. Dinah, the afterthought.

Sogyal Rinpoche and the abuse accusations rocking the Buddhist world

Posted: 02 Dec 2017 12:43 PM PST

AUSTRALIA Sydney Morning Herald December 1, 2017 By David Leser Punching. Emotional abuse. Eye-popping sexual misdeeds. The accusations made against Sogyal Rinpoche – a key lama in the uptake of Buddhist principles by the West – have rocked devotees, including many in the top echelons of Australian business. On a late September evening this year, a group of leading Australian business figures gathered in a Sydney boardroom to discuss a series of allegations that had scandalised the Buddhist world, and shaken their own to the core. The meeting was called by David White, chairman of business strategy advisers Port Jackson and Partners; Ian Buchanan, former lead partner with management consultants Booz Allen Hamilton; Diane Grady, non-executive director of Macquarie Bank and chair of Ascham School; and Gordon Cairns, chairman of Origin Energy and Woolworths. What these four had in common was a long-standing involvement in Practical Wisdom, a series of business retreats held in Sydney over the past 15 years with Sogyal Rinpoche, the Tibetan Buddhist teacher and author of the 1992 international bestseller The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.

As James Talbot answers to sex charges, man who accused him years ago is in the courtroom

Posted: 02 Dec 2017 05:16 AM PST

PORTLAND (ME) Portland Press Herald December 1, 2017 By Eric Russell The allegations of Michael Doherty, formerly of Freeport, nearly two decades ago got Talbot fired from Cheverus High School and led more victims to come forward. When he returned home to Maine recently, Michael Doherty didn't expect to face the man he says sexually assaulted him back in the mid-'80s. Doherty, 49, formerly of Freeport, settled a lawsuit 16 years ago with former priest and Cheverus High School teacher James Francis Talbot. Doherty now lives in Florida. But on Friday, he was in a courtroom in Portland waiting for Talbot to formally face criminal charges of abuse involving another victim. Asked why it was important for him to be there, Doherty said he didn't want the victim, or his family, to feel like they were alone.