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Los dos últimos abades de Montserrat encubrieron los abusos de un monje denunciado en 1999

Posted: 19 Jan 2019 12:38 PM PST

[Last two abbots of Montserrat covered up the abuses of monk accused in 1999] MADRID (SPAIN) El País January 19, 2019 By Íñigo Domínguez Un menor acusó a Andreu Soler, director de los 'boys scout' del monasterio durante 40 años, y recibió una compensación de 7.200 euros. La única medida fue apartar al fraile un año más tarde Los dos últimos abades del monasterio de Montserrat, Sebastià Bardolet y el actual, Josep Maria Soler, conocieron desde 1999 la denuncia de abusos de un menor contra un monje, Andreu Soler, y no tomaron ninguna medida. Solo en 2000 el acusado fue trasladado a otro centro de la orden, El Miracle, en Lleida, pero la abadía reconoce, a través de su portavoz, Bernat Juliol, que no lo denunció a la policía, ni abrió ningún procedimiento canónico, según las reglas de la Iglesia, ni lo notificó al Vaticano. Ello a pesar de que la Santa Sede obligó desde 2001 a comunicar a Roma las denuncias de abusos. Tampoco se informó de los motivos del traslado al resto de los frailes. Este monje, fallecido en 2008, era una personalidad muy conocida en Cataluña, pues fue el fundador en 1959 del grupo scout católico de Montserrat, los Escoltes de Servei, o Els Nois de Servei, y su director durante 40 años. Tampoco se explicó a las familias y miembros de la organización los motivos de su marcha. La víctima, Miguel Hurtado, que sufrió los abusos cuando tenía 16 años y el fraile contaba con 65, ha revelado por primera vez su historia a EL PAÍS. También aparecerá en el documental Examen de conciencia, de Albert Solé, que Netflix estrenará el próximo viernes. El monasterio de Montserrat, a raíz de las preguntas de este periódico y un medio catalán, ha decidido divulgar una nota reconociendo los hechos esta tarde.

Abuse victim launches case against pope and ‘criminal’ Catholic church

Posted: 19 Jan 2019 12:27 PM PST

NETHERLANDS Dutch News January 19, 2019 A 74-year-old Dutchman has made a formal complaint against the pope and the Catholic church for the sexual abuse he suffered as a boy in a seminary in Helmond, describing the institution as a criminal organisation. Theo Bruyns has received financial compensation from the church because of the abuse but says he still believes justice has not been done. 'If you want to start something against this church, you have to make sure it is branded a criminal organisation,' Bruyns told RTL Nieuws. In his formal police complaint, Bruyns alleges that the pope and other church leaders are members of a criminal organisation which aims to 'make it difficult to hinder or trace sexual abuse, as well as the rape of minors'. '

Con agenda desconocida llegará este sábado a Puerto Montt el enviado apostólico del papa Francisco

Posted: 19 Jan 2019 12:24 PM PST

[Pope Francis' apostolic envoy will arrive Saturday in Puerto Montt but his agenda is unknown] CHILE BioBioChile January 19, 2019 By Emilio Lara and Diego Barría Con agenda desconocida llegará este sábado a Puerto Montt el enviado apostólico del papa Francisco, el sacerdote mexicano Jorge Carlos Patrón. Lo anterior debido a que la Iglesia Católica todavía no entrega detalles ni ha dado cuenta de las reuniones que sostendrá, tampoco con quienes se reunirá Patrón.

'Please forgive me': A prominent priest's grovelling response to a teenage sex complaint

Posted: 19 Jan 2019 12:21 PM PST

MANCHESTER (ENGLAND) Manchester Evening News January 19, 2019 By Damon Wilkinson A prominent Salford priest has pleaded for forgiveness from a woman who he had 'sexual activity' with when she was a teenager. Father Peter Conniffe, formerly priest at Our Lady of Dolours in Salford, apologises to the woman in a letter seen by the M.E.N. He was investigated by police after the woman - who met him after going to confession as a schoolgirl - made a complaint of historic sexual abuse. The case was not pursued to criminal action, and Fr Conniffe denies 'any accusation of sexual assault'. However, the woman has been compensated by the religious order he belongs to, the Servite Order. Following an investigation by the Roman Catholic church, the priest has stepped down from duties at Our Lady's and from his role as chair of governors at St Philip's RC Primary School.

Felipe Berríos por acusación contra sacerdote jesuita Renato Poblete: "Estoy tremendamente impactado"

Posted: 19 Jan 2019 12:19 PM PST

[Felipe Berríos on accusation against Jesuit priest Renato Poblete: "I am tremendously impacted"] SANTIAGO (CHILE) Emol January 17, 2019 By F. Fernández El también religioso aseguró que es el momento de "tomar en serio la denuncia y dar la garantía que se va a hacer una investigación seria y abierta". "Tremendamente impactado", aseguró estar el sacerdote Felipe Berríos respecto a la información que este jueves dio a conocer la Compañía de Jesús, sobre una denuncia por "delitos y situaciones abusivas" en contra del ex capellán del Hogar de Cristo, Renato Poblete. "Estoy muy golpeado. Este fue un segundo golpe fuerte, el primero fue con Cristián Precht. Le tengo mucho cariño a Renato, le tenía mucho cariño a él. Era una persona que me apoyaba mucho. Nunca viví con él, no compartí tampoco el trabajo, pero sí era una persona que me llamaba para explicarme o apoyarme", aseguró el jesuita a CNN Chile.

Madison Diocese considering investigation that will lead to naming clergy members accused of sexual abuse of children

Posted: 19 Jan 2019 12:14 PM PST

GREEN BAY (WI) Green Bay Press Gazette January 19, 2019 By Rob Schultz The Madison Diocese is considering an investigation to learn how many substantiated sexual abuse allegations there have been against clergy after the Green Bay Diocese announced Thursday that more than 40 clergy members had abused minors. Madison Diocese staff members were taking steps toward launching an investigation and had begun interviewing consultants for a potential review of files but the unexpected death of Bishop Robert Morlino from a cardiac event in November put those plans on hold, spokesman Brent King said Friday. "In recent months, and even in the days immediately preceding (Morlino's) death, we have had numerous conversations weighing our options in this very regard," Diocese spokesman Brent King said. "The abuse scandal is something Bishop Morlino took very seriously." The Madison Diocese was notified by the Green Bay Diocese ahead of its public announcement Thursday that 46 of its clergy members had substantiated allegations they sexually abused a minor, according to King. The Green Bay Diocese posted the names of the clergy on its website Thursday.

Papa respaldó a obispos de la Iglesia chilena y provocó descontento en las víctimas de abuso

Posted: 19 Jan 2019 12:14 PM PST

[Pope supported bishops of the Chilean Church and provoked discontent among abuse victims] CHILE The Clinic January 15, 2019 En el encuentro no se tocó el tema respecto al envío del informe de Scicluna y aún es esperado por la Justicia chilena, para poder regularizar de forma concreta los casos de abusos, y según Ramos, tampoco se tocó el tema de una posible aceptación de la renuncia de Ezzati. El Pontífice respaldó a los obispos chilenos que aún están ejerciendo cargos, luego de su reunión en el Vaticano con el Comité Permanente de la Conferencia Episcopal chilena, y las víctimas de abusos tildaron de arrogantes a los jerarcas de la Iglesia por defender la caducidad de sus renuncias.

OUT OF THE SHADOWS: SHINING LIGHT ON THE RESPONSE TO CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

Posted: 19 Jan 2019 12:09 PM PST

LONDON (ENGLAND) The Economist January 16, 2019 KEY FINDINGS Out of the shadows: Shining light on the response to child sexual abuse and exploitation - a 40-country benchmarking index examines how countries are responding to the threat of sexual violence against children. It explores the environment in which the issue occurs and is addressed; the degree to which a country's legal framework provide protections for children from sexual violence; whether government commitment and capacity is being deployed to equip institutions and personnel to respond appropriately; and the engagement of industry, civil society and media in efforts to tackle the problem.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan Proves Once Again the Church Will Never Reform Itself

Posted: 19 Jan 2019 07:32 AM PST

NEW YORK (NY) Verdict January 18, 2019 By Marci Hamilton New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that the Child Victims Act, for which we have been fighting for 15 years, will pass this year with his full support. With both houses controlled by Democrats, the leadership of Sen. Brad Hoylman, now Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, he is surely correct. The barrier to passage until now has been Republican lawmakers kneeling to the Catholic bishops and in particular New York City Archdiocese's Cardinal Timothy Dolan. The latter is not going down, though he is decidedly going down on this issue, without a final whining tour about justice for child sex abuse victims. Dolan's latest volley was an op-ed in the New York Daily News that is filled with misstatements and ugly implications. He tries two "Hail Mary" passes. First, he says that the governor's bill will not treat public schools the same as private institutions. This is simply not true, but even if it were, there is no question the intent is to put private and public entities on the same footing and any additional language Dolan wants to further nail home this point can be easily added. The Democratic leadership in New York is 100% on board in wanting to protect children from sex abuse in every arena. Therefore, at least from Dolan's rhetoric, he should be on board with the CVA. Not so fast.

Anti-Catholic bigotry is alive in the U.S. Senate

Posted: 19 Jan 2019 07:27 AM PST

WASHINGTON (DC) Washington Post January 18, 2019 By Michael Gerson Those who want to understand how Democrats manage to scare the hell out of vast sections of the country need look no further than the story of Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and the Knights of Columbus. In considering the confirmation of Brian Buescher to a federal judgeship last month, Harris and Hirono submitted written questions that raised alarms about his membership in "an all-male society comprised primarily of Catholic men." "Were you aware," Harris asked, "that the Knights of Columbus opposed a woman's right to choose when you joined the organization?" And: "Have you ever, in any way, assisted with or contributed to advocacy against women's reproductive rights?" And: "Were you aware that the Knights of Columbus opposed marriage equality when you joined the organization?"

Chicago priest removed from ministry during review of abuse allegations

Posted: 19 Jan 2019 04:05 AM PST

CHICAGO (IL) National Catholic Reporter January 18, 2019 By Heidi Schlumpf A prominent and popular Chicago priest, who for more than three decades headed a five-campus child services organization, has been removed from ministry while the Chicago Archdiocese reviews allegations of sexual abuse of minors against him. Allegations against Fr. John P. Smyth have been reported to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) and the Cook County State's Attorney, according to a Jan. 18 statement from the archdiocese. Smyth, who is now retired, was superintendent of Maryville Academy from 1970 to 2003, after serving as assistant superintendent for eight years before that. The allegations date to his time at Maryville's suburban Des Plaines campus, in 2002-2003, the archdiocese's statement said. Maryville was originally founded as an orphanage in 1883 and still includes some residential programs. It also provides emergency shelter, substance abuse treatment and mental health services. Known for his fundraising prowess, Smyth often mentioned his years as an All-American basketball player at the University of Notre Dame, in his pitches. He raised millions over his tenure at Maryville, according to a profile from Notre Dame's athletic department. But the suicide of a 14-year-old girl and reports of physical and sexual assaults perpetrated by residents on other residents prompted the State of Illinois to call Maryville unsafe and remove the children under its care in the early 2000s, according to the archdiocesan newspaper, The New World. Smyth was ousted, and Maryville eventually reopened under new leadership.

Breda O’Brien: The Benedict Option – or how to save Christianity

Posted: 19 Jan 2019 04:02 AM PST

DUBLIN (IRELAND) Irish Times January 18, 2019 By Breda O'Brien Lots of Christians wonder how it will be possible to raise their children in the faith in a wider culture that often actively undermines their values. Rod Dreher, who is speaking in Dublin this coming Monday at the Newman Centre for Faith and Reason, believes he has an answer, one which he calls the Benedict Option. He is an American writer, editor and prolific blogger – his blog averages more than 1.3 million page views per month. He is a hard man to pigeonhole. He writes for the American Conservative and thinks that Trump has been a disaster for America. He started life as a Methodist, became an agnostic and then converted to Catholicism. Covering the abuse scandals in the American church alienated him from the Catholic Church to the extent that he felt he had to resign his membership. He eventually became an Orthodox Christian, not a very common religious journey, even for an American. He first came to public attention with his 2006 book Crunchy Cons, which articulates a mix of social conservatism and environmentalism. It also has a healthy dose of scepticism about market capitalism, seeing it as a driver for socially corrosive cultural change.

Papal preacher's good news for US bishops raises doubt about reform

Posted: 19 Jan 2019 03:59 AM PST

KANSAS CITY (MO) National Catholic Reporter January 18, 2019 by Ken Briggs Pope Francis' personal preacher had good news for American bishops on retreat in preparation for the upcoming papal summit on church sex offenses: Despite the church being "overwhelmed" by the clergy sex abuse scandals, "and rightly so," he declared that they had emerged into a "golden age" in comparison to past times when bishops placed territorial needs over pastoral care. That success was largely due to the refining fires of the crisis itself, said Capuchin Fr. Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the papal household, who spoke 11 times to the retreat at Mundelein Seminary earlier this month. At the beginning of his talks, Cantalamessa suggested it was "time for taking a break" from that preoccupation, in order to ponder "root issues" which were "both different and deeper than the issues that usually come to mind." The ones that usually pop to mind include the continuing scourge of accusations, sanctions against hierarchical cover-up and, perhaps the toughest, a searching critique of clericalism. Cantalamessa promptly declared himself unqualified from talking about those main elements of the uproar still convulsing American Catholics. But it seems he did. Tom Roberts adroitly shows in his NCR review that all 11 messages, Cantalamessa took indirect aim, choosing to reassure bishops that nothing needed urgent repair or re-examination. He felt their pain. The scandal had damaged their standing, reducing the bishopric from an "honor" to a "burden." He likened their suffering to that of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane, innocent victims of the world's sins. His listeners could take comfort that their burden was inflicted by outsiders and that taking on those sins, however agonizing, served the cause of redemption.

Smyth, one-time Maryville leader, accused of child sex abuse

Posted: 19 Jan 2019 03:55 AM PST

CHICAGO (IL) Daily Herald January 18, 2019 By Christopher Placek and Steve Zalusky The Rev. John P. Smyth, a well-known Chicago-area priest and one-time leader of Maryville Academy in Des Plaines, faces allegations of sexual abuse of minors, Archdiocese of Chicago officials said Friday. The allegations, which pertain to the 2002-2003 span during the end of Smyth's tenure at the academy, were received by the archdiocese's Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review, according to a statement from the archdiocese. Jeanine Stevens, the attorney who represents the two men making the allegations, said one was 13 and the other was 14 when they were molested. One of the boys came forward shortly after the molestation occurred, Stevens said. "Nobody believed him and nobody did anything about it," she said. Both boys had been placed at Maryville's Scott Nolan Center by a judge, she said. "They were permanently harmed," she said. "Both of these men came from unstable households. This significantly compounded issues they already had to deal with."

Vatican summit to help nations lagging on abuse policies, moderator says

Posted: 19 Jan 2019 03:50 AM PST

ROME (ITALY) Catholic News Service January 17, 2019 Only about half of the national bishops' conferences in the world have adopted complete, Vatican-approved guidelines for handling accusations of clerical sexual abuse and promoting child protection, said the Jesuit named to moderate the Vatican's February summit on abuse. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi said about one-quarter of the bishops' conferences have received feedback on their proposed guidelines from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and are working on the final versions. That leaves 25 percent of conferences "behind for various reasons, among which are different cultural contexts and a scarcity of available competence." The doctrinal congregation in 2011 had asked every bishops' conference in the world to develop guidelines for handling accusations of abuse and to submit them for approval by mid-2012. Writing for the Jan. 19 edition of La Civilta Cattolica, the Jesuit journal reviewed by the Vatican before publication, Father Lombardi said the February meeting would be an important occasion for bishops to share best practices and to assist conferences that, because of a lack of funds or expertise, have not launched protection and prevention programs. Pope Francis appointed Father Lombardi to serve as moderator of the general sessions of the meeting Feb. 21-24 of the presidents of the world's bishops' conferences, the heads of the Eastern Catholic churches and representatives of the leadership groups of men's and women's religious orders to address the abuse crisis.