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Accountability

Legionaries forbid display of founder's photo

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ROME -- With the authorization of a papal delegate, the Legionaries of Christ have formalized in a new decree a number of reforms regarding the depiction of the order's founder, the late-Father Marcial Maciel Degollado.

"The decree formalizes in broad strokes what has for the most part already been general practice," said a statement posted Dec. 11 on the Legionaries of Christ website.

Catholics fight bid to lift statute of limitations on abuse

TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey lawmakers on Thursday (Dec. 9) will consider a bill that would eliminate any statute of limitations on when sex abuse victims can sue—and allow them to take action against clergy, educators and others who knew about abuse and did nothing to stop it.

Under current state law, victims can sue their abuser or a parent or guardian who knew about the abuse and allowed it to occur. The bill also would allow victims to sue those who had “supervisory or disciplinary power” but did nothing about the abuse.

“The current process presents real obstacles for the victim that are unfair,” said state Sen. Joseph Vitale, a Democratic sponsor of the bill that will be considered by the state Senate Judiciary Committee.

“For those who discover their abuse later on in life, this will give them a greater opportunity to bring a civil action against an individual and the institutions that harbor the criminals.”

Advocates for abuse victims said they often take years to gather the courage to come forward with their stories, and often suffer posttraumatic stress disorder and depression.

Court: Diocese can't appeal abuse victims' $12.8 million claim

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YORK, England -- A Catholic diocese in northeast England has been refused the right to appeal a court ruling that found it responsible for a $12.8 million compensation claim by victims of child sexual abuse.

The Court of Appeal in London Nov. 9 rejected Diocese of Middlesbrough's application to appeal to the Supreme Court what is believed to be the largest award to abuse victims in English history.

Commission: Magdalene laundries should compensate wards

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DUBLIN (CNS) -- The Irish government has asked the country's attorney general to consider a report by the Irish Human Rights Commission that calls for compensating women and girls held in the so-called Magdalene laundries run by 10 religious orders.

Former inmates of the laundries, also known as Magdalene asylums, presented their case to the commission because they were not entitled to the same compensation given to former residents of church-managed orphanages and youth facilities despite often suffering the same hardship and neglect highlighted in the Ryan Report published in 2009.

Sex abuse, religious freedom on agenda of cardinals' meeting

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI has convened a meeting of the world's cardinals to discuss a wide range of topics, including clerical sex abuse and religious freedom around the world.

The "day of reflection and prayer" will take place at the Vatican's synod hall Nov. 19, the day before the pope presides over a consistory to create 24 new cardinals, a Vatican statement said Nov. 8.

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April 11-24, 2014

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