Received by email from NSAC News editor Steve Sheehan.
* * *
NATIONAL SURVIVOR ADVOCATES COALITION NEWS
February 18, 2013 Vol. 5, No. 23
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Click on the headline to read entire article.
1. A little mercy for Mahony? Vatican blocked attempts to remove abusing priest - LOS ANGELES (CA) -
2. Former Student Keeps Her Vigil Outside the Campus Gates - WORCESTER (MA) – The Crusader
3. Royal Commission offers chance to ‘purify’ - AUSTRALIA – The Australian
4. A vote for pope, an insult to abuse victims - UNITED STATES – Boston Globe
5 Documents unsealed in church suit - RHODE ISLAND – Fox Providence
LOS ANGELES (CA)
By Bryan Cones
It’s hard to generate much sympathy for Cardinal Roger Mahony, especially given the onslaught of files recently released that showed unacceptable failure to adequately respond to the Los Angeles’ archdiocese clergy sex abuse problem. Last week, however, the L.A. Times reported what many bishops have long complained about, if only privately: an outmoded Vatican legal structure that made it virtually impossible to remove a priest intent on resisting laicization.
Case in point is Father Kevin Barmasse, who as far back as 1993 had been accused of giving alcohol to and molesting teenage boys. Barmasse appealed to Rome, since as a priest he has separate legal protections provided by canon law. Despite Mahony’s personal interventions in Rome, it took 10 years to remove Barmasse from the clerical state, due partially to the sheer lack of staff in the Vatican (along with other issues, no doubt).
Mahony could, of course, simply turned Barmasse into the police–and that’s likely what he should have done, presuming that criminal behavior was involved, which seems quite obvious unless it is legal in California to give underage boys alcohol. But to me it also signals the complete inability of the Vatican apparatus to deal with problems of this magnitude. If the church had an empowered tribunal system, which was intended in the revision of canon law but removed by Pope John Paul II, the system might have actually worked. Instead, a staff of a mere 45 people at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith is trying to deal with a problem completely beyond most people’s competence.
By Elizabeth O’Brien
Published: Friday, February 15, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 17, 2013
On Monday, February 11 at around 11:30 a.m., some members of the Holy Cross community may have seen a woman standing on College Street who appeared to be protesting something and answering questions to anyone who came up to her. The woman – Kate – was participating in a vigil for justice after the Holy Cross administration mishandled a very traumatizing event that Kate went through.
She asserts that she was sexually assaulted by a Jesuit priest while on a study abroad trip as a student at Holy Cross. Many years later, in 2003, Rev. Michael McFarland, S.J., the former President of the College, apologized for what happened and offered assistance. He also promised confidentiality, as did Rev. Dennis J. Yesalonia, S.J., the general counsel of the College of the time.
However, the next year Kate found out that Fr. McFarland had released private information to a third party. She has continued to reach out to members of the Holy Cross administration, including the College’s current president Father Philip Boroughs, S.J.. Allegedly she is ignored, and some of her confidential information keeps on being released without her consent. Fr. Boroughs has taken action against Kate such as banning her from campus and creating an internal list with her name on it.
February 17, 2013
CATHOLIC Bishops in NSW have signed a letter urging parishioners and clergy not to bury their heads in the sand ahead of the royal commission into child sexual abuse.
In a publication signed by 15 bishops, including the Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell, parishoners and clergy are urged to reflect upon the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse.
“We must not put our heads in the sand about any of this, or try to minimise or explain it away,” the letter published on Sunday states.
“The fact is that our Dioceses have all known cases of child abuse.”
By Joan Vennochi
February 17, 2013
THE CATHOLIC Church can’t get to a bright, new future until it finally breaks with the ugliness of the past.
One way to make such a break would be to keep Cardinal Roger Mahony from participating in the next election to determine a new pope.
If past is prologue, as Shakespeare wrote, keeping Mahony away from the upcoming conclave seems unlikely. Church leaders, from the pope down, never understood the depth of outrage over the long-running clergy sexual abuse scandal. Apology, not accountability, was supposed to quiet the rebellious.
But the scenario involving Mahony – the retired archbishop of Los Angeles – has its own distinction. Two weeks ago, Mahony was relieved of all public duties by current Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez. What The New York Times called “an extraordinary moment in Catholic Church history” occurred after long-sought documents revealed that Mahony actively worked to protect priests who were abusing children from police, rather than protect victims from their abusers.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Thousands of pages of documents from a lawsuit against a Catholic order have been unsealed, making public new details surrounding alleged sexual misconduct by its founder.
Eyewitness News obtained the legal documents and sat down with attorney Bernard Jackvony, who has been compiling evidence against the Legion of Christ for years to support a $60 million lawsuit filed by the family of a local woman who gave $60 million to the group and wants that money returned.
Gabrielle Mee bequeathed $60 million to the Legion of Christ a few years before her death in 2008, and her family is suing the Legion, arguing that its efforts to cover up that alleged sexual misconduct amounted to fraud.
The order’s founder, the late Rev. Marcial Maciel, was discovered to have fathered three children with two women and allegedly sexually molested seminarians. The newly-unsealed documents indicate that the order’s second-in-command knew of the alleged misconduct but did not either report it or confront Maciel. The Legion finally acknowledged those allegations in 2009, a year after Maciel’s death, and the Vatican took over the order in 2010 after an investigation substantiated those reports.
Jackvony says that the documents, which include thousands of pages of testimony from Legion leadership, show that its leaders covered up Maciel’s misconduct and therefore the order defrauded her out of the money she bequeathed.