Pope to meet with sex abuse victims next month, compares betrayal of young people to a Black Mass

Details from CNS:  Pope Francis will meet with a group of sex abuse victims for the first time in June, he told reporters May 26. During an inflight news conference on his return to Rome from the Holy Land, the pope also confirmed reports the Vatican is investigating charges its former secretary of state misappropriated [Read More...]

Vatican sex abuse panel meets for first time; O’Malley admits “There is so much denial”

Details:  The Roman Catholic Church failed to recognize the worldwide reach of clerical sexual abuse, Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley said Saturday (May 3) at a press conference. “Many don’t see it as a problem of the universal church,” said O’Malley who heads the Vatican’s new commission for the protection of minors. “In many people’s minds [Read More...]

Cleared Chicago priest under investigation again, but will remain in ministry

You may remember this story from just last week.  The priest at the center of it is now facing new charges. From The Chicago Sun-Times: A Chicago Catholic priest, who became the subject of a second child abuse allegation on Monday, will remain in active ministry but will not be alone with children, the archdiocese [Read More...]

Cleared: Chicago priest reinstated in parish after board calls sexual misconduct charges “unfounded”

A reader sent this my way with a note: “People need to know that sometimes allegations against priests are unfounded.”  He’s right. These kinds of stories don’t get reported often enough. From The Chicago Tribune: A priest has been reinstated to a parish in the Lakeview neighborhood after an investigation concluded that an allegation of [Read More...]

Why what Francis said about sex abuse yesterday matters

John Allen, as usual, sees the bigger picture. Writing about yesterday’s strongly-worded remarks on clerical sex abuse, Allen notes:  Three points about Friday’s statement seemed noteworthy to observers who have followed the arc of the church’s abuse scandals over the last two decades. First, Francis did not merely express regret or sadness for the pattern [Read More...]

Pope Francis on priest sex abuse: “I feel compelled…to personally ask for forgiveness…”

Strong words this morning: I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests, quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests, to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children. The Church is aware of this damage, [Read More...]

USCCB: nearly 1,000 abuse allegations last year—UPDATED

Details: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops released their eleventh annual report on the progress of implementing the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People as part of the effort to increase transparency with regards to sexual abuse. The 2013 audit was carried out by StoneBridge Business Partners, which collected data from 127 dioceses/eparchies between July [Read More...]

Pope Francis names O’Malley, woman sex abuse victim to special anti-abuse panel

From John Allen in The Boston Globe:  Pope Francis today named Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston and seven other figures with reputations as reformers to guide a new Vatican anti-abuse commission, a move intended to demonstrate resolve about confronting the child sexual abuse scandals that have rocked Catholicism. O’Malley, already the lone American on [Read More...]

Fugee update: Newark priest laicized

Details from The Star-Ledger in Newark: Acting with uncustomary speed, the Vatican has expelled a New Jersey man from the priesthood for repeatedly defying a lifetime ban on ministry to children. Michael Fugee, 53, who attended youth retreats and heard confessions from minors despite signing a court-sanctioned decree forbidding such activities, has been returned to [Read More...]

Archbishop Nienstedt cleared, will not be charged

Details from The Minneapolis Star-Tribune: Archbishop John Nienstedt will return to full duties in the Catholic Church after the Ramsey County attorney’s office found insufficient evidence to support what it called an “unlikely” allegation that he touched a boy’s buttocks after a confirmation ceremony in 2009. The office began reviewing reports and evidence provided by [Read More...]