Shock: proposed law in Ireland would order breaking confession seal

If passed, Ireland would reportedly become the first and only country in the Western world with such a law on the books. Details, from Pat Archbold: The Irish government, including the person no less than the Prime Minister, the Minister for Justice, and the Minister for Children are all backing legislation that would require priests [Read More...]

"Truly scandalous": report indicates Irish abuse continued

Another report, another dose of grim news from across the pond: The Catholic Church in Ireland was still covering up sexual abuse of children by priests as recently as 2009, long after it issued guidelines meant to protect children, and the Vatican tacitly encouraged the cover-up by ignoring the guidelines, according to a scathing report issued on Wednesday [Read More...]

Why did the Episcopal Church knowingly ordain a man accused of sex abuse?

That’s a question a lot of people are asking. But the Episcopal Church is now defending the bishop at the center of this storm. Details: The Episcopal Church is rejecting charges that its top leader, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, mishandled the ordination of a former priest who is now accused of sexual abuse. Jefferts [Read More...]

Shock: KC becomes first diocese ever sued over child pornography

The sad story of Kansas City just seems to get worse. Details: The Kansas City Catholic Diocese is defending itself against a groundbreaking lawsuit involving the alleged distribution of child pornography. The attorney representing a family suing the Kansas City Catholic Diocese says this is the first time that someone has sued the Catholic Church [Read More...]

The John Jay Report: what critics and the press got wrong

And there was evidently a lot they got wrong, according to the lead researcher of the report, Karen J. Terry.  She offered the following analysis at John Jay’s online resource, The Crime Report: Sound bites should not be confused with facts. By the time we officially released our report (which can be found here) on The [Read More...]

Out: KC replaces vicar who oversaw clergy abuse charges

This item moved while I was out of town, but it’s a significant step, involving a priest at the center of the Kansas City sex abuse crisis who himself was once accused of abuse: The vicar general for the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph no longer will oversee sexual-abuse allegations against priests, the diocese [Read More...]

Popular Jesuit removed from ministry

It stems from an allegation of sex abuse dating back more than 20 years ago: A prominent Jesuit priest has been permanently barred from public ministry for allegedly improperly touching a minor in the 1980s. The Maryland Province of the Jesuits said Tuesday that it removed the Rev. James Glenn Murray from church work after [Read More...]

Who is Fr. Shawn Ratigan?

The Kansas City Star has done a remarkable job of digging into this headline-making priest‘s early life, including his childhood and years in the seminary: Records from Conception Seminary College in Conception, Mo., show that Ratigan entered the school as a freshman undergraduate in 1996, 12 years after he graduated from high school. And though [Read More...]

Bishops approve revisions to Dallas Charter

The changes received overwhelming approval, but not everyone  is completely on board, according to CNS: Introducing the document to the bishops June 15, Bishop Cupich said the experiences of the past nine years have shown that “the charter works.” “The charter has served the church well,” he said. “It is a helpful tool as we [Read More...]

Falsely accused priest "died of a broken heart"

This is the sort of story that rarely gets told. I  posted on this priest’s case over at Beliefnet some months back.  But now columnist Brian McGrory tells more in today’s Boston Globe: The first time the Rev. Charles Murphy was cleared of accusations that he improperly touched a minor, a girl 25 years earlier, [Read More...]


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