Pell blames media for sex abuse investigation

From The Age in Australia: A defiant Cardinal George Pell has blamed a smear campaign against the Catholic Church for public pressure that led to a royal commission into child sex abuse. The Archbishop of Sydney said a commission into the Catholic Church was not needed, but he welcomed the broader inquiry announced by Prime [Read More…]

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Australian prime minister launches federal investigation into Catholic sex abuse

This is roughly the equivalent of an American president — or, perhaps, the Attorney General—ordering an investigation into the Catholic Church hierarchy in America. Details: Australia’s prime minister ordered a federal inquiry Monday into allegations of child sex abuse in state and religious institutions and community groups following a string of sexual abuse accusations against [Read More…]

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Accused monsignor sues Archdiocese of New York for libel

Details from the AP: A defrocked Roman Catholic monsignor who once led fundraising for the Archdiocese of New York has sued the church for libel. Charles Kavanagh’s lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court in Manhattan. Kavanagh accuses the archdiocese of libeling him by saying he had sexually abused a teenage student in the 1980s [Read More…]

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Reversal: Accused Joliet priest who was returned to ministry is removed … again

You may remember this item from last week.  Well…the priest is now, once again, out: The Rev. F. Lee Ryan has been removed from public ministry again. Ryan, 79, who has been accused of inappropriate relations with a minor four decades ago, was put back into limited ministry last week after a ruling from the [Read More…]

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“Not guilty of grave delict”: Joliet priest permitted to resume limited ministry after abuse accusation

A reader sent this my way with a note: “Don’t these guys understand how bad this looks to the public, especially when the won’t consent to talk about the decision but hide behind Canon Law?” Details: The Diocese of Joliet is not denying that the Rev. F. Lee Ryan had inappropriate sexual relations with a [Read More…]

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The verdict: guilty

Details:  Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn today became the highest-ranking U.S. Catholic official convicted during the church’s decades-long child sexual abuse scandal. Following a short non-jury trial, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge John Torrence convicted Finn of one misdemeanor count of failing to report suspicions of child abuse but acquitted him on another count of [Read More…]

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Judge will try Bishop Finn case; verdict expected Thursday

A precedent-setting case is about to come to a sudden and unexpected close. Details: The criminal case against the highest-ranking Catholic official in the U.S. to be charged with shielding an abusive priest is headed for a swift ending after prosecutors and the bishop’s lawyer agreed Wednesday to let a judge — not jurors — [Read More…]

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Fr. Benedict Groeschel steps down from hosting EWTN show

From Catholic News Agency: Franciscan friar Father Benedict Groeschel has stepped down as host of EWTN’s Sunday Night Prime television show following his apology for making comments about the sexual abuse of minors. “Father Benedict has led a life of tremendous compassion and service to others and his spiritual insights have been a great gift [Read More…]

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Statement from Fr. Benedict Groeschel and his order

I had meetings at the parish tonight, followed by Benediction, so missed this news when it broke earlier.  Hopefully, this brings this whole unhappy chapter to a close. Below is the full statement from the Friars and Fr. Benedict: Statement from the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal: The Community of the Franciscan [Read More…]

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Archdiocese of New York responds to Fr. Benedict Groeschel

Following this bombshell, a statement was released this afternoon from Archdiocesan spokesman Joseph Zwilling (h/t to Fr. Michael Duffy): “The comments made by Father Benedict Groeschel that appeared on the website of the National Catholic Register are simply wrong.  Although he is not a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, what Father Groeschel said [Read More…]

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