Category: National and International

American bishops respond to claims made in Archbishop Vigano’s letter

WASHINGTON | Several American bishops responded quickly upon hearing of the charges leveled by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former Vatican ambassador to the United States, that church leaders — including Pope Francis — had been told years ago of the abuse allegations lodged against retired Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick. Among those who responded were… Read more »

Clericalism: The culture that enables abuse and insists on hiding it

Backgrounder and analysis VATICAN CITY | Pope Francis blamed “clericalism” in the Catholic Church for creating a culture where criminal abuse was widespread and extraordinary efforts were made to keep the crimes hidden. Throughout his pontificate, Pope Francis has targeted clericalism as an illness in the church, an ailment that pretends “the church” means “priests… Read more »

USCCB president explains plan to address ‘moral catastrophe’ of abuse

WASHINGTON | The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Aug. 16 announced three key goals and a comprehensive plan to address the “moral catastrophe” of the new abuse scandal hitting the U.S. church. The plan “will involve the laity, lay experts, the clergy and the Vatican,” Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston said…. Read more »

Prominent Catholics see larger role for laity in church’s abuse response

WASHINGTON | An independent lay-run board that would hold bishops accountable for their actions, a national day for Mass or prayers of reparation, and encouragement to parishioners to become more involved in their diocese are among steps suggested by prominent lay Catholics to right the U.S. church as it deals with a new clergy sexual… Read more »

At Knock shrine, pope again begs forgiveness for betrayal of abuse

KNOCK, Ireland | On a foggy, soggy day at a Marian shrine in County Mayo, Pope Francis said he prayed before a statue of Our Lady of Knock for all those who suffered sexual and physical abuse by Catholic clergy or in Catholic-run institutions in Ireland. “None of us can fail to be moved by… Read more »

World Meeting of Families: U.S. Jesuit urges Catholics to examine attitudes toward LGBT community

DUBLIN | U.S. Jesuit Father James Martin set out a series of ways in which parishes can show welcome and respect to LGBT Catholics. Addressing a packed 1,000-seat auditorium, from which organizers of the World Meeting of Families were forced to turn people away Aug. 23, the theologian said gays have often been treated like… Read more »

USCCB president seeks papal audience, answers to former nuncio’s questions

WASHINGTON | The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said he was “eager for an audience” with Pope Francis to gain his support for the bishops’ plan to respond to the clergy sexual abuse crisis. In an Aug. 27 statement, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston also said that the questions raised by… Read more »

Pennsylvania prelate says bishops who hid abuse should resign

WASHINGTON | In an Aug. 16 interview with Eternal Word Television Network, Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico said the only way to regain the trust of the laity after decades-long claims of sexual abuse by priests and others at six Pennsylvania dioceses is by deeds and one of those deeds may mean getting rid of… Read more »

Statements from bishops of dioceses named in grand jury abuse report

WASHINGTON | The following are excerpts of statements, and links to the full statements, made by the bishops of the six Pennsylvania dioceses named in a grand jury report released Aug. 14 that detailed a two-year investigation of seven decades of clergy sex abuse claims. Many of the claims date back decades. Pennsylvania officials say… Read more »

What New Jersey bishops, now retired, knew about McCarrick settlements

WASHINGTON | What became known following a New York Times investigation into two seminarians who said they had been abused by Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick is that settlements were reached with each man in the mid-2000s. What was less clear was the depth of involvement of each bishop, all of them from New Jersey, in… Read more »