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...]

Quote of the day

“I worked with Father Shawn Ratigan for two years. My children were around him. I knew him. For all I know, there’s pictures on his computer of my children. That’s a possibility. But it doesn’t change my support of the bishop.” – Nathan Lewis, supporting embattled Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn. Read more and see [Read More...]

KC update: vicar general was once accused of harassing a young man — UPDATED

The sad story of the troubles in Kansas City has taken a new twist: The Catholic official who oversees sex abuse complaints against priests in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese, has himself been accused of past sexual improprieties. A Kansas City man wrote the bishop of the diocese four years ago, alleging sexual harassment in [Read More...]

"I have decided not to accept the call to Holy Orders…" — UPDATED

A reader sent me the link to this bulletin, which carries the note below from a deacon candidate responding to the disturbing news in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.  He was scheduled to be ordained a deacon last weekend, but withdrew at the last minute. His statement: Dear Holy Family Parish: After a great deal [Read More...]

"Clearly, we have to do more…"

“We are assessing what went wrong and applying our analysis as we move forward. This past week, I met with our Independent Review Board chairman and discussed the objectivity of our decision processes. I have also met with parishioners, our priests and Chancery staff, as well as the media. These meetings and discussions will continue. [Read More...]


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