Papal abuse commission issues scathing statement on continued abuse cover-ups (Crux) Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors has issued a strongly worded statement decrying the “tragically harmful deficiencies” in the handling of sex-abuse complaints.
“Every day seems to bring forth new evidence of abuse, as well as cover up and mishandling by Church leadership around the world,” the commission said.
The September 27 statement from the commission, which was created by Pope Francis, comes as prominent figures in Rome question the handling of complaints against Father Marko Rupnik, and the Pope’s involvement in his case.
“We are long overdue in fixing the flaws in procedures that leave victims wounded and in the dark both during and after cases have been decided,” the papal commission protested.
Papal audience: report on visit to Marseille, new vision for Mediterranean (Vatican Press Office) At his regular weekly public audience on September 27, Pope Francis reported on his weekend visit to Marseille, which was highlighted by a conference on the Mediterranean.
The challenge that the conference faced, the Pope said, was “that the Mediterranean might recover its vocation,” and become “a laboratory of civilization and peace.”
The result of the conference, the Pope continued, was “an outlook on the Mediterranean that I would call simply human, not ideology, not politically correct or instrumental—no, human—that is, capable of referring everything to the primary value of the human person and his or her inviolable dignity.”
Superior of religious community, co-founder with Rupnik, removed and disciplined (Pillar) A woman religious who joined with Father Marko Rupnik to found a religious community has been removed as the superior of that community, and ordered to pray for the victims of Rupnik’s abuse.
Sister Ivanko Hosta, who established the Loyola Community in Slovenia with Rupnik in the 1980s, has been disciplined for “a style of government that is detrimental to the dignity and health” of women in the community. Several members of the community have reported being abused by Rupnik.
After an investigation of the community by Bishop Daniele Libanori, a Jesuit auxiliary in the Rome diocese, Sister Hosta has been ordered to separate herself from the community in Slovenia, return to her community’s house in Portugal, and visit a Marian shrine monthly to pray “for the victims of the behavior of Father Marko Ivan Rupnik and for all the nuns of the Loyola Community.
Heads of Germany's Synodal Way seek papal talks on resolutions (Pillar) In June, the leaders of the German bishops’ conference and the lay Central Committee of German Catholics sought a meeting with Pope Francis to discuss the resolutions approved during the nation’s Synodal Way. Three months later, the bishops’ conference has posted the letter on its website.
Belgian bishop complains Vatican won't move against disgraced colleague (AP) Bishop Johann Bonny of Antwerp, Belgium has complained about the Vatican’s failure to take disciplinary action against a retired bishop accused of sexual abuse.
Bishop Roger Vangheluwe of Bruges resigned in 2010, after admitting to “a little bit of intimacy” with two nephews. He has subsequently been the subject of other abuse complaints.
Bishop Bonny told a broadcast interviewer that the Belgian bishops have urged the Vatican to laicize Bishop Vangheluwe, but have not been given any response. “I want to honestly say that our conference of bishops has been asking Rome to do this for years,” he said.
Cardinal Mario Grech seen as 'central figure in Pope's plan to change Catholic Church' (National Catholic Reporter) Cardinal Mario Grech, appointed Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops in 2020, said in 2009, “Whoever does not accept Christ’s teachings should be honest with themselves and excommunicate themselves from the Church.” At the time, he was bishop of Gozo (Malta).
“He had a very, very strong opinion and then he changed,” said Joseanne Peregin, a founder of the Drachma parents’ group, a Maltese organization described in the article as “a welcome space for LGBTQ+ Catholics.”
“And the reason for that change was meeting the people,” she added. “This synodal process, he lived it. He lives it. If I was the Pope, I would want exactly those kinds of people.”
Vatican archbishop, at UN, urges steps toward disarmament (Vatican Press Office) Speaking to a UN conference on prospects for nuclear disarmament, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Secretary for Relations with States, said:
Achieving the total elimination of nuclear weapons requires a collective response based on mutual trust. The International community must continue to explore ways to enhance cooperative security toward that end.
Accused Australian bishop once testified to royal commission about Church's 'massive failure' in addressing abuse (The Guardian) A leaked Vatican canonical investigation found that Bishop Christopher Saunders, now 73 years old, “likely sexually assaulted four youths while potentially grooming another 67.”
In 2016, Bishop Saunders told a royal commission that “I would agree that there has been a massive failure on behalf of the Church to respond appropriately to the issues and the matters and the allegations of sexual abuse throughout Australia.”
“We have all of us, I think – certainly myself, anyway – sat with victims of child abuse, and it strikes deeply into your heart to listen to the story of a person, somebody that you know, even somebody that you have just met,” the prelate added at the time.
Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse was established in 2013 and issued its final report in 2017.
California Governor Newsom vetoes bill requiring parents to support gender transition (Daily Signal) California’s Governor Gavin Newsom has vetoed a bill that would have required parents to support their children’s choice for “gender transition’ or face the likelihood that they would lose parental custody.
The veto was a surprise for sponsors of the legislation, who had expected the governor’s support. Political analysts speculated that Newsom is cultivating a more moderate image as he considers a run for national office.
Pro-abortion group protests Brooklyn bishop's appearance at Mass on campus (Campus Reform) CUNY for Abortion Rights, a student group that advocates for free abortion, protested Brooklyn Bishop Robert Brennan’s appearance at Mass on the Queens College campus on September 11.
Queens College “recognizes and respects the right of the bishop and his staff to visit and perform services at the invitation of the Newman Center as well as the right of those who disagree with their views to peacefully protest,” a college spokesman said.
Jesuit challenges new South African cardinal to become 'prophetic' (Daily Maverick) Father Russell Pollitt, SJ, director of the Jesuit Institute of South Africa, publicly called on Cardinal-designate Stephen Brislin of Cape Town to become more “prophetic” and willing to challenge those in power.
“He must courageously make his voice known, challenging those in political power forthrightly and prophetically, as his predecessors did,” Father Pollitt wrote in an op-ed. “The usually introverted archbishop will be challenged to take the public stage more than before.”
“Brislin is not a ‘culture warrior,’ but will have to find his place and make a stand in a College of Cardinals divided by ideology,” added Father Pollitt.
Archbishop Etienne discusses how he is preparing for the Synod (National Catholic Reporter) At Pope Francis’s invitation, Archbishop Paul Etienne of Seattle is one of 20 American delegates at the upcoming Synod of Bishops.
“I have spent the past several weeks renewing my prayer life, longing for greater receptivity to the voice of the Holy Spirit, to better discern in communion with the other synod delegates and our Holy Father, Francis, how best to carry out the mission of the Church today,” he writes.
Archbishop Etienne recently asked all the archdiocese’s pastors to resign and then rescinded his request. He lives in a $2.4-million home purchased for him by the archdiocese.
In Burkina Faso, emigration now a 'necessity' for many, bishop says (Fides) The decision to emigrate is “often no longer a choice” for people in Burkina Faso and neighboring Niger, reports Bishop Joachim Hermenegilde Ouédraogo of Koudougou.
“Emigration should be a free decision,” the bishop said, as the bishops of Burkina Faso observed the 109th World Day for Migrants. But for thousands of people, driven from their homes by terrorist attacks, “leaving has become a necessity,” he said.
Vatican announces themes for World Youth Day 2023, 2024 (Vatican News) The Dicastery for the Laity, Family and Life has announced the themes chosen for World Youth Day celebrations in the dioceses in 2023 and 2024, preparing for the worldwide celebration in 2025.
For 2023, the theme is “Rejoicing in Hope” (Rom 12:12)
For 2024, the theme is “Those who hope in the Lord will run and not be weary” (Is 40:31)
Jimmy Lai passes 1,000 days in prison (Wall Street Journal) Jimmy Lai, the Hong Kong human-rights activist, has now spent 1,000 days in prison. A Wall Street Journal editorial remarks on how his witness to truth deflates the propaganda of a repressive government:
Jimmy Lai risked arrest and prison by staying in Hong Kong, and in so doing he has exposed those lies. The longer he remains behind bars the more powerful his witness becomes. And the more Hong Kong’s reputation for adherence to the rule of law fades into distant memory.
Princeton professor, others call for new investgation of Thedore McCarrick (National Catholic Register) Three years after the release of the Vatican’s McCarrick Report, Professor Robert George of Princeton University has called for a new investigation into the disgraced former cardinal.
“Of course the report is deficient!” said George. “It’s deficient because it doesn’t provide the faithful with the information they are entitled to have: 1) how McCarrick acquired and maintained over decades the extraordinary influence he had — especially in respect to episcopal appointments and advancements; and 2) on whose behalf he brought that influence to bear, and why.”
“On top of that we need to know who in the hierarchy knew of McCarrick’s crimes and when they knew it,” George added. “How high up the chain was it known that Theodore McCarrick was a predator and a fraud?”
CWN editor Phil Lawler is among those who offered comments for the article.
Knoxville priest assesses Bishop Stika's tenure (Pillar) “The great disappointment in the situation in Knoxville, this present situation, is that we can’t look back at all that’s happened and say that we saw red flags, we reported them, and the hierarchy responded appropriately,” Father Brent Shelton said three months after the resignation of Bishop Richard Stika.
“I can’t say that because, sadly, that’s not how things unfolded,” he continued. “There were the issues with the bishop, and then priests and others who protected the bishop, by making it harder to raise concerns — who got sucked into a poisonous culture.”
Home-school movement less religious after post-lockdown boom? (Washington Post) A Washington Post-Schar School survey finds that the number of American home schooling families who list religion as their primary motivation has dropped sharply, from nearly two-thirds to just 34%, as the number of home schoolers has soared in the wake of the Covid lockdown.
However, the same survey found that nearly 70% of home schoolers list “moral instruction” as one of their main reasons for leaving the public-school system.