Newark defends Fr. Fugee appointment: “We’re doing exactly what we’re supposed to be doing…”—UPDATED

The Archdiocese of Newark is standing by its decision to appoint an accused child molester —one whose conviction was later reversed on a technicality—to be director of a diocesan office. From Catholic News Agency:   The Archdiocese of Newark affirmed its decision to allow a priest accused of abusing a minor to remain in ministry, [Read More...]

Vatican official praises media for helping uncover sex abuse scandal

From the BBC:  The Vatican official charged with prosecuting sexual crimes has acknowledged that the US media helped the Church confront the abuse scandal. Father Robert Oliver, a lawyer from Boston, was speaking after being named as the Vatican’s “Promoter of Justice”. Officials said about 600 cases of abuse – most of which took place [Read More...]

Los Angeles considering capital campaign to raise $200 million

From the Los Angeles Times:  In the midst of renewed public outrage over its handling of clergy sex abuse, the Los Angeles Archdiocese is considering a $200-million fundraising campaign that could erase debts brought on by the scandal. The archdiocese has hired a New York company, Guidance In Giving Inc., to study the feasibility of [Read More...]

On Newark: “I can’t tell you how disconcerting and disheartening this situation is…” —UPDATED

With the Newark story in the news, I got an e-mail this morning from someone who works on safe environment issues for a another diocese. The author writes: I can’t tell you how disconcerting and disheartening this situation is.  Child protection people at every diocese have been killing themselves to keep out of church ministry [Read More...]

Archdiocese appoints confessed sex abuser to high-profile position—UPDATED

Details:   A Roman Catholic priest who confessed to groping a teenage boy 12 years ago has been named to a prestigious post in the Archdiocese of Newark, drawing furious criticism from advocates for victims of clergy sex abuse. The Rev. Michael Fugee, who is barred from unsupervised contact with children under a binding agreement with law enforcement [Read More...]

Child abuse? Bad. Sloppy baptismal records? Worse.

That, at least, is the attitude on display in some of the documents released this week in the burgeoning Los Angeles abuse scandal.  The Los Angeles Times explains:  In some cases, the behavior that drew the greatest ire of the hierarchy involved breaking church rather than criminal laws. After first learning of Michael Baker’s abuse [Read More...]

The cardinal strikes back: Mahony publishes private letter to Gomez

This afternoon, Cardinal Roger Mahony posted the following on his blog:  Friends in Christ, This morning I sent this letter to Archbishop Jose H. Gomez giving the history and context of what we have been through since the mid-1980s.  There is nothing confidential in my letter.   I have been encouraged by others to publish it, [Read More...]

“Cardinal Mahony’s La Cosa Nostra”

That’s the stinging title of this piece from Real Clear Religion by George Neumayr (h/t New Advent) that bears reading this morning, as the aftershocks of yesterday’s temblor continue to shake Los Angeles. A snip: Referring to [Boston's Cardinal] Law, Cardinal Mahony piously told the press that “he would find it difficult to walk down [Read More...]

BREAKING: Archbishop Gomez removes Cardinal Mahony from public duties, accepts resignation of Bishop Curry

Breaking news from Los Angeles, and Patheos’ West Coast maven, Joanne McPortland, who notes that Archbishop Jose Gomez has taken decisive action against two key figures in archdiocesan sex abuse scandal: Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez announced Thursday that Cardinal Roger Mahony would have a reduced role in the church and that Santa Barbara Bishop [Read More...]

Accused friar commits suicide in Pennsylvania

Details:  Franciscan friar Stephen Baker, who faced brewing litigation for alleged abuse, died Saturday at St. Bernardine Monastery in Hollidaysburg. His death was ruled a suicide by Blair County Coroner Patricia Ross. Blair Township Police Chief Roger White said the cause of death was a self-inflicted knife wound. He said the investigation into Baker’s death [Read More...]


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