1. US not alone in grappling with Catholic sex abuse, cover-up.

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, August 22, 2018, 8:16 AM

Recent revelations of sexual misconduct and cover-up within the highest ranks of the U.S. Catholic Church have revived the sense of betrayal that devastated the American church’s credibility after the first wave of scandal hit in 2002.

But the United States is by no means alone: Cases of Catholic priests raping and molesting children, and of bishops covering up for them, have erupted on nearly every continent in recent years, with Pope Francis’ native Latin America the latest to explode.

Francis is expected to address the issue head-on this weekend when he visits Ireland, the first country to come to grips with the problem in the 1990s.


2. Pope’s top adviser says Francis to bring hope to Ireland amid abuse scandals.

By John L. Allen Jr., Crux, August 22, 2018

Just three days before Pope Francis is due in Ireland, his top advisor said that the Catholic Church has been “deeply afflicted” by clerical sexual abuse scandals, that the Church’s “first responsibility” is closeness to victims, and that the pontiff will bring Ireland a message of “hope.”

“I believe that we have been, and continue to be, deeply afflicted by this phenomenon that’s had a devastating impact on the witness of the Church,” said Italian Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State.

“The pope always has insisted and continues to insist on the fact that our first responsibility, our first commitment, is to be close to the victims, to help them in a way that allows them to ‘rebuild’ their lives,” he said.


3. How to Stay Faithful as We Endure and Confront the Crisis, Answering some of Catholics’ honest questions as they navigate their way through the latest scandal.

By Fr. Roger Landry, Father Roger Landry is a priest of the Diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts, National Catholic Register, August 21, 2018

The Pennsylvania attorney general’s report concerning nearly 300 accused priests in six Pennsylvania — even though most of the cases concern the period before 2002 when the Church started to get her act together with regard to the sexual abuse of minors — brought home once again just how sordid things can get when the priests and prelates get corrupted.

The report also showed, just as the 2004 John Jay Report detailed, that most of the abuse in these six Pennsylvania dioceses was of post-pubescent boys. This reinforces that the crisis of the same-sex abuse of minors has been predominantly one of homosexual molestation, something essential to confront candidly if we’re really going to provide an adequate remedy.

In the last two weeks, we have also seen many statements addressing the scandal. Pope Francis released a powerful “Letter to the People of God” on Aug. 20. Several bishops gave very strong and candid declarations, includingArchbishop Allen Vigneron of DetroitBishop Robert Morlino of Madison, WisconsinBishop Kevin Vann of Orange, California — and, most noteworthy, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, the president of the U.S. Bishops’ Conference, who outlined the first steps to addressing the crisis. And there have been scores of spot-on articles by priests and lay faithful, addressing the situation with the brutal candor and incisive proposals for the reform that the Church needs.

It is becoming clear that, unlike in 2002, when the U.S. bishops hastily adopted necessary but still inadequate reforms to address the sexual abuse of minors, leaving many other important aspects untouched, this time many Church leaders want to go beyond pruning some branches of clergy infidelity and episcopal malfeasance to addressing the evil at its roots. This is a sign of hope.

Finally, what is the root issue for the crisis? Some are claiming that it’s “clericalism.” Others the culture of toleration of unchastity among the clergy, especially sexually-active same-sex networks. Which is it?

Both are important factors, but I’ve been noticing that “clericalism” and “abuse of power” seem to be the talking points of commentators who want to talk about reform while ducking the problem of priestly and episcopal unchastity in general and same-sex activity in particular. As we see in the case of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and page after page in the Pennsylvania grand jury report, however, the two go together.

Clericalism, an excessive focus on clergy privilege, helps to explain how some bishops were more concerned with the rights of abusive priests than they were the lives of those who were being abused.

But the worst forms of clericalism happen when priests forget that they are called, like Christ, to serve rather than be served, to sacrifice rather than receive, to share Christ’s teaching rather than their own ideas.

When priests begin to live in defiance even of the Ten Commandments, substitute lust for agape, and think that they should still have the right to approach the altar and confessional, or use the rectory as their subsidized lair, one of the most virulent forms of clericalism ensues. This clericalism is something we’ve seen in all its ugliness among actively unchaste clerical gay networks — like the predatory homosexual child abuse ring in Pittsburgh — when they dominate seminaries, or dioceses or religious orders.

To try to eliminate clericalism without eradicating clerical sexual infidelity would be like trying to address a rising river without stemming one of its major tributaries. The reform of the Church requires fighting both, but it’s a dangerous red herring to suggest that this crisis was caused mainly by priestly pride and not fundamentally by tolerated priestly unchastity and sexual sinfulness.


4. Prosecutor’s death penalty stance offends Vatican official.

By Associated Press, August 21, 2018, 11:47 AM

A Vatican official has encouraged an Ohio prosecutor to go to confession after defying the Catholic Church’s new policy that the death penalty is never acceptable.

Paul Mueller, a vice director at the Vatican Observatory, wrote a letter weeks ago to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters (DEE’-turs) saying he was scandalized that Deters would use his office to “oppose and confuse the teachings of the Church.”

Deters, a Catholic, has been pursuing the death penalty in the resentencing case of a convicted serial killer.