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Two Days After Asking for “Understanding,” Cardinal Wuerl Offers an Apology

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 10:59 AM PST

ST. LOUIS (MO) Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests January 16, 2019 Two days after asking for understanding for his role in covering up abuse allegations, Cardinal Donald Wuerl is finally "apologizing." We cannot help but feel that this apology is little more than a lame justification for his actions. To attempt to excuse himself by saying he "forgot" about the allegations against Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is neither believable nor a sign that Cardinal Wuerl feels real shame for his role in covering up allegations of sexual abuse. Rather, it is yet another example of a high-ranking church official minimizing his role in cover-ups and excusing his lack of action. In his letter, the Cardinal states that it is "important for [him] to accept personal responsibility." We agree. If Cardinal Wuerl is truly sorry, he should offer a genuine apology, one that is free of excuses and is backed up by a plan to make amends for his wrongdoing. For example, Cardinal Wuerl should use his influence to encourage his brother bishops and cardinals to come forward and publish lists of accused priests, nuns, deacons, brothers, bishops, or any other church employees who may have hurt a child or a vulnerable adult. He should petition Pope Francis to ensure that survivor voices and experiences are front and center at next month's papal abuse summit. He should work with other summit attendees to determine new protocols for prevention of future sex crimes and cover-ups, as well as punishments for any current or future prelate who is accused of doing so. As administrator of the DC Archdiocese, Cardinal Wuerl should immediately turn over all documents and personnel files to the D.C. attorney general, who has opened an investigation into clergy abuse. By turning over these files and laying his history bare, the Cardinal can begin to show that his apology is sincere.

Bronxville priest accused of inappropriate behavior returns to court

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 10:49 AM PST

BRONXVILLE (NY) Rockland/Westchester Journal News January 17, 2019 By Frank Esposito A Bronxville priest returned to court on Wednesday night on allegations that he inappropriately touched a young girl. Rev. Thomas Kreiser was serving at St. Joseph's Parish during the time of the alleged incident. His next court date is set for February 6, 2019. Kreiser previously worked at St. Patrick's Church in Yorktown and St. Gregory Barbarigo Church in Garnerville.

Women strive for larger roles in male-dominated religions

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 10:45 AM PST

NEW YORK (NY) Associated Press January 17, 2019 By David Crary Women have been elected heads of national governments on six continents. They have flown into space, served in elite combat units and won every category of Nobel Prize. The global #MeToo movement, in 15 months, has toppled a multitude of powerful men linked to sexual misconduct. Yet in most of the world's major religions, women remain relegated to a second-tier status. Women in several faiths are still barred from ordination. Some are banned from praying alongside men and forbidden from stepping foot in some houses of worship altogether. Their attire, from headwear down to the length of their skirts in church, is often restricted. But women around the world in recent months have been finding new ways to chip away at centuries of male-dominated traditions and barriers, with many of them emboldened by the surge of social media activism that's spread globally in the #MeToo era. Millions of women in India this month formed a human wall nearly 400 miles long in support of women who defied conservative Hindu leaders and entered an important temple that has long been off-limits to women and girls between the ages of 10 and 50. In Israel, where Orthodox Judaism has long restricted women's roles, one Jerusalem congregation has allowed women to lead Friday evening prayers. Roman Catholic bishops, under pressure from women's-rights activists, concluded a recent Vatican meeting by declaring that women, as an urgent "duty of justice," should have a greater role in church decision-making.

Green Bay diocese releases list of priests it knows to have sexually abused minors

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 10:38 AM PST

GREEN BAY (WI) Green Bay Press-Gazette January 17, 2019 By Paul Srubas The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay this morning is publicly releasing the names of clergy with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of minors. A press conference is happening now at Bona Hall on the diocesan campus, with Bishop David Ricken, Diocesan Chancellor Tammy Basten, and Rev. John Girotti, vicar for canonical services, set to speak. Ricken said the names would be posted on the diocese's website at noon. The website appeared to have crashed less than a minute after noon.

Fact Sheet: Accused Louisville Priests ‘Under the Radar’

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 10:35 AM PST

LOUISVILLE (KY) Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests January 16, 2019 -- Fr. Michael (a.k.a. "Miguel") Baca He was included in the Gallup diocese's 12/14 list of clergy having credible allegations of sexual misconduct made against them. The diocese provided a partial list of assignments for Fr. Baca, which showed him at St Joseph the Worker in San Fidel NM in 1961. But the Official Catholic Directory lists him as assigned there as Retreat Director for the decade 1961-1970. Baca's 18 years of missionary work took him throughout the US, and he also worked among the Otomi Indians of central Mexico. Besides Gallup, Fr. Baca worked in at least one other diocese (Peoria) and two archdioceses (Louisville and Santa Fe). He also worked at Immaculate Conception Parish in Cuba NM in 1953 and Our Lady of Fatima Parish inChinle AZ in 1978. For 12 years, Fr. Baca wrote the "Life Is for Living" column for the national magazine St Anthony Messenger. He is deceased. http://bishop-accountability.org/priestdb/PriestDBbylastName-B.html http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2017/05_06/2017_05_10_Donald_Beacon_Former_Added.htm http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2014/11_12/2014_12_16_Gallup_Credibly_Accused.htm -- Fr. Crispin Butz He was named among Franciscan alleged clergy perpetrators of sexual abuse in a 12/14 court documents related to Gallup NM diocese's bankruptcy case. Early in his career, he worked in Batesville, IN and Louisville, KY, then was moved to Sacred Heart Parish in Gallup NM. He reportedly abused during 1960-63 when he was at St. Francis of Assisi parish in Gallup. Other assignments included the Basilica Cathedral of St. Francis in Santa Fe where he was rector in 1984-94. He also pastored parishes in Albuquerque, Bloomfield, Cuba and Grants NM.

Visitador apostólico llegará a Puerto Montt ante graves denuncias contra el clero

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 07:37 AM PST

[Apostolic visitor will go to Puerto Montt due to serious allegations against clergy] CHILE BioBioChile January 17, 2019 By Alberto González, Jonathan Flores and Nicole Martínez. El papa Francisco enviará un visitador apostólico a Puerto Montt, para informar al Vaticano sobre la situación de la iglesia local, tras denuncias de abuso, tráfico y apropiación indebida. Acogiendo una solicitud del administrador apostólico Ricardo Morales, este sábado llegará hasta Puerto Montt el obispo mexicano Jorge Patrón, quien permanecerá en la capital de la región de Los Lagos hasta el 24 de enero, por instrucción del Papa.

Papa Francisco determina enviar un visitador apostólico a Puerto Montt

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 07:25 AM PST

[Pope Francis will send an apostolic visitor to Puerto Montt] CHILE La Tercera January 16, 2019 By Carlos Reyes "El objetivo del visitador -agregan- será valorar e informar a la Santa Sede sobre el estado de la vida, el ministerio y la disciplina del clero, animará la pastoral de los presbíteros y sugerirá iniciativas para el acompañamiento de los sacerdotes", informó la diócesis mediante un comunicado. A través de un comunicado, el arzobispado de Puerto Montt informó que el Papa Francisco decidió enviar a la ciudad un visitador apostólico. "El Papa Francisco ha nombrado como visitador apostólico a monseñor Jorge Carlos Patrón Wong, secretario de seminarios de la Congregación para el Clero, quien propiciará un espacio de encuentro y escucha, en que puedan expresarse con libertad todos los sacerdotes, miembros representativos de la vida consagrada y del laicado de Puerto Montt", indica el texto de la diócesis.

[VIDEO] Rector Sánchez evalúa las medidas y avances en medio de crisis de la iglesia católica

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 07:20 AM PST

[VIDEO: Rector Sánchez evaluates the measures and advances in the midst of the Catholic Church crisis] CHILE Emol TV January 16, 2019 El rector de la Universidad Católica, Ignacio Sánchez, analizó los avances tras los abusos cometidos por sacerdotes. Reiteró que hay que "escuchar a las víctimas". La entrevista completa la puedes revisar en el siguiente link.

El “puzle maldito” de la diócesis de Arica

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 07:16 AM PST

[The "damn puzzle" of the diocese of Arica] CHILE The Clinic January 16, 2019 By Camila Magnet and Jonás Romero Abusos a menores, relaciones amorosas entre sacerdotes, protección de obispos prófugos y hasta curas en fuga. La llegada de Julio Barahona a Arica en 1991 es sólo uno de los ejemplos de lo que sobrevivientes han descrito como una "zona de penitencia". "Arica siempre ha sido el lugar donde algunos van a pagar sus castigos, o a esconderse", explica el teólogo Paul Endre, quien tuvo un breve paso como seminarista en la zona. Aquí, un vistazo de la desconcertada diócesis nortina.

Another alarm sounds on clergy sex abuse: Will Southern Baptist leaders just hit snooze again?

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:31 AM PST

WINSTON-SALEM (NC) Baptist News Global January 17, 2019 By Crista Brown An exposé by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram on clergy sex abuse in Independent Fundamentalist Baptist churches blared yet another wake-up call to America's religious leaders, including those of the Southern Baptist Convention. Baptist News Global columnist Bill Leonard rightly observed that the IFB cases "sound strikingly like predatory acts committed against children by Catholic priests." They also sound a lot like clergy sex abuse and church cover-up cases in the SBC. I know because between 2006 and 2012 I maintained a website on which I logged hundreds of news articles about sexual abuse in all types of Baptist churches. The articles implicated 167 pastors, deacons, denominational officials and missionaries affiliated with the SBC. If I had plotted these cases on a map (they covered 29 states), it would have looked much like the map published by the Star-Telegram in its series on clergy sexual abuse in IFB churches.

Abuse victims want Louisville accused cleric list ASAP

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:17 AM PST

LOUISVILLE (KY) Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests January 17, 2019 Abuse victims want Louisville accused cleric list ASAP Archbishop should make it "thorough & detailed," group says Five clerics who largely abused elsewhere should be added, victims claim SNAP: They're almost completely 'under the radar' and may have hurt local kids" Group wants victims, witnesses and witnesses to call KY state attorney general" WHAT Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, a clergy sex abuse victim and advocate will --publicly disclose for the first time that five credibly accused predator priests worked in the Louisville ar but have attracted no public attention there, and --prod Louisville's Catholic archbishop to add their names to his "accused" clergy list, and --beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in Kentucky to contact the attorney general who is conducting a statewide investigation into this crisis. WHEN Thursday, January 17 at 11:00 a.m. WHERE Outside the Louisville archdiocesan headquarters (aka the chancery or "pastoral center"), 3940 Poplar Level Rd. in Louisville KY WHO Two abuse victims: a Missouri man who is the St. Louis volunteer leader of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (and the organization's former long time executive director) and an Illinois man who is the group's Chicago volunteer leader, and at least two KY area victims WHY 1) These publicly accused priests worked in Louisville, abused mostly outside of Kentucky, but have attracted virtually no local attention. They should be put on the archdiocesan list of alleged predators that Archbishop Joseph Kurtz has pledged to release, SNAP says.

Italian bishops refine anti-abuse guidelines without victim input

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:14 AM PST

ROME (ITALY) Crux January 17, 2019 By Claire Giangravè As the Vatican prepares to host an international summit of bishops in February on clerical sex abuse, the Italian bishops are preparing by fine-tuning new guidelines for the protection of minors. "It's an initial suggestion to imagine a future course of action," said Father Stefano Russo, Secretary General of the Italian Bishops' Conference (CEI) during a press event Jan. 16. "We want to promote attention toward the protection of the most vulnerable," he added. Russo spoke at the conclusion of the January meeting of the permanent council of CEI, Jan. 14-16, which took place under the direction of its president, Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia. During the meeting, "ample space," an official communique reads, was dedicated to addressing and discussing guidelines for the protection of minors requested by Pope Francis. While the guidelines won't be made public until May, the bishops approved the creation of a national framework to advise clergy and bishops on best practices regarding sexual abuse and nominated Bishop Lorenzo Ghizzoni, president of CEI's commission for the protection of minors, as its head.

The scandals that brought down the Bakkers, once among US's most famous televangelists

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:12 AM PST

NEW YORK (NY) ABC News January 17, 2019 By Lauren Effron, Andres Paparella and Jeca Taudte Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker were among the most famous televangelists in America, living a life of luxury with multiple houses, expensive cars and more money than God, when their empire all came crashing down amid sex and financial scandals. But in the years following the demise of their ministry, the Bakkers didn't let a prison sentence, the loss of their massively popular multimillion-dollar TV network, the closure of their "Christian version of Disneyland" theme park, financial ruin, a divorce and being the butt of many "Saturday Night Live" jokes keep them down - or away from the spotlight. Watch the full story on "20/20" FRIDAY, Jan. 18 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC

Looking to Rome won’t provide all the answers

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:10 AM PST

NEW YORK (NY) Irish Central January 17, 2019 BY Michael Kelly All eyes will be in Rome next month for an unprecedented meeting of bishops to discuss the devastating issues of clerical abuse scandals in the universal Church. While the Church in Ireland has been grappling with such revelations for some 25 years, fresh controversy in the US, Australia and Poland have focused attention on the Vatican and the need for a comprehensive response from the universal Church. Just this week, prominent abuse campaigner Marie Collins told a meeting in Dublin that she was not optimistic. "My fear is that what we will hear is that there has been a great deal of prayer, reflection, and 'fruitful discussion,'" she said. "We will be assured that things are moving forward and there will be promises for the future, but we will see little in the way of on-paper, concrete, committed action plans," she said.

Pewaukee priest accused of groping teen in confessional pleads not guilty

Posted: 17 Jan 2019 06:08 AM PST

MILWAUKEE (WI) Milwaukee Journal Sentinel January 16, 2019 By Steven Martinez he 61-year-old Pewaukee priest accused of groping a teenage congregant while she was in a confessional with him has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting the girl. The Rev. Chuck Hanel entered his plea Jan. 15 during his arraignment in Waukesha County Circuit Court, court records show. He stands accused of second-degree sexual assault of a child. A 14-year-old girl reported to police in April that Hanel touched her breast and leg in a confessional at Queen of Apostles Church in December 2017, when she was 13. She also said in a criminal complaint that when she entered the confessional, Hanel closed the door behind her — something she said he did not do with anyone else, including her father, who entered the confessional before her. The Archdiocese of Milwaukee placed Hanel on administrative leave earlier this year after the girl's accusation surfaced. He will remain on administrative leave until the charge is resolved. If convicted, Hanel could face up to 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines. Top Headlines Around the Comm