National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Accountability

Vatican's assessment of LCWR about fear, not doctrine

 | 

COMMENTARY

The Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith's April 18 doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious is not about doctrine. It is not primarily about protecting the faith or ensuring an ecclesiology of communion, no matter how many times these terms are woven through the report. It is fundamentally about fear -- fear of the loss of power -- and the willful use of dominative control to defend that power.

The abundance of religious themes and language do not mask this punitive effort to shore up the crumbling authority of hierarchical leaders. Nor does the document hide the anger that roils beneath the protestations of gratitude and concern. The final report of the LCWR assessment reveals a desperate attempt on the part of some fearful and angry church leaders to protect their turf -- to maintain an all-male church leadership, to keep women and laypeople under their authority, and to shield the homophobic-homosexual subculture in the leadership of the Catholic church.

When fear rules

California abuse conference focuses on bishops' accountability

 | 

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Though a daylong summit on the clergy sexual abuse crisis in mid-May brought together a wide-range of leading experts on the topic -- from those who firmly defend the U.S. bishops' moves to address the issue to those who sometimes vehemently point to their weaknesses -- each seemed to find a key point of resonance.

Unfinished work: Examining 10 years of clergy sex abuse

 | 

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Ten years after widespread news coverage of sexual abuse by priests rocked the U.S. Catholic church, hierarchical response to the continuing crisis indicates the church has “lost its ability to be a self-correcting institution,” Jesuit Fr. Tom Reese told a symposium of experts on clergy abuse Friday.

Reese delivered the keynote speech this morning at a daylong conference titled “Clergy Sexual Abuse Ten Years Later,” being held at Jesuit-run Santa Clara University. Following Reese is a series of panel discussions from a wide-range of sex abuse experts.

27-year-old letter clouds L.A. archdiocese's timeline of abuse

 | 

A recently uncovered letter from 27 years ago muddies the record of when officials with the LA archdiocese knew of alleged abuse by clergy there, say victims’ advocates, and the LA county district attorney’s office is seeking a copy in order to “review it and make a determination on what it means,” a spokesperson said.

Hierarchy's inability to mourn thwarts healing in church

 | 

COMMENTARY

The Catholic hierarchy from the papacy on down seems to be roiling through a series of manic episodes in which they execute perverted power plays against those perceived as enemies. This kind of mania often is exhibited by large identity groups whose power has been threatened and who are unable to respond adaptively to that loss through a process of healthy mourning.

Chaput removes five Philadelphia priests from ministry

 | 

Five of the 26 Philadelphia priests suspended in the wake of sexual abuse allegations revealed in last year's grand jury report will be removed from public ministry, Archbishop Charles Chaput announced Friday at a press conference.

Three of the 26 will be returned to ministry, while 17 cases are still pending in various stages of the investigation process, Chaput announced.

Chaput said the fate of the five priests determined "unfit for ministry" is still unknown. Each has the option to appeal the decision to the Vatican. If they decline or fail in their appeal, they could face laicization, life under supervision or a life of prayer and penance.

The type of conduct each was found guilty of -- sexual abuse or a violation of boundaries -- will likely dictate their fates. Of the five, only one, Fr. John Reardon, was accused of sexually abusing a minor, according to documents released by the archdiocese.

Pages

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts