In James Joyce’s Ulysses, Stephen Dedalus famously describes history as “a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” Catholic leaders in Rome and around the world may have the same sensation about the sexual abuse crisis -- just as it seems about to crest in one spot, it erupts anew somewhere else.
ROCKVILLE CENTRE, N.Y. -- To "ensure the financial health" of the Rockville Centre Diocese for the future, the diocese has put in place a strategy to meet a number of fiscal challenges, said Bishop William F. Murphy.
The plan includes offering eligible employees an early-retirement package; establishing a shared services center to help make operational functions more efficient and to strengthen financial controls; and expanding a pastoral administrative team to help pastors focus more on pastoral responsibilities.
DUBLIN, IRELAND -- Just days after the crisis summit at the Vatican between Pope Benedict XVI and the Irish bishops to address the issue of clerical sexual abuse, the event appears to have somewhat backfired. Following the Feb. 15-16 meeting, victims and children’s rights groups reacted with a mixture of anger and disappointment. While the meeting was billed as an attempt to foster unity among divided Irish bishops, some victims believe that the Rome meeting effectively represented a rebuke to Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, popularly seen as the vanguard of Irish prelates when it comes to combating clerical abuse.
Ever since 2003, when Martin, a career Vatican diplomat, was sent back to take charge of his native diocese amid revelations of decades of mishandled abuse allegations, tensions have emerged among the hierarchy.
OXFORD, England -- Germany's Catholic bishops have asked forgiveness from victims of sexual abuse at church-run schools and promised to "learn lessons" from secular institutions dealing with child molestation.
"We are assuming responsibility. We condemn the offenses committed by monks, priests and their colleagues in our dioceses, and we ask pardon, in shame and shock, from all those who fell victim to these appalling acts," the bishops' said in a February 25 statement.
MEXICO CITY -- The general secretary of the Legionaries of Christ asked for forgiveness from the people who were harmed by the "immoral actions" of the order's founder, Father Marcial Maciel.
"We ask forgiveness because we are sincerely sorry for what the church and people have suffered," Father Evaristo Sada told an audience during the Youth and Family Encounter in the Mexican capital Feb. 20.
Sick patients want to be treated by the best-trained doctors and nurses available. But is that enough or do patients need pastoral care as an integral part of holistic health care? While most hospitals offer spiritual care to their patients, do patients really need professionally trained and board-certified Catholic chaplains?
One organization thinks so.
“Chaplaincy work is a remarkable ministry, but requires knowledge of the setting,” said David Lichter, executive director of the Milwaukee-based National Association of Catholic Chaplains.
DUBLIN, Ireland -- Victims of clerical child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Dublin said they are close to despair because the church will not take full responsibility for covering up the abuse.
Clergy abuse survivors met with Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin Feb. 19 to discuss the outcome of the meeting of Irish bishops with Pope Benedict XVI and senior officials from the Roman Curia. The Feb. 15-16 Vatican meeting reviewed a November report by an independent commission that investigated how the Dublin Archdiocese handled complaints of clerical child sexual abuse between 1975 and 2004.
The commission, headed by Judge Yvonne Murphy, "found that the church deliberately covered up allegations of child abuse, but the only senior person who seems to accept that is Archbishop Martin," Maeve Lewis, director of the One in Four abuse survivors' group, told Catholic News Service.
She said that in the statement issued by the Vatican Feb. 16, the pope only accepted ''the failure of Irish church authorities for many years to act effectively in dealing with cases involving the sexual abuse of young people by some Irish clergy and religious."
OTTAWA -- The former head of the Canadian Forces chaplain branch, a Catholic, has been charged with sexual assault following alleged incidents 38 years ago at Canadian Forces Base Borden.
The current chaplain general, Brig. Gen. David Kettle, a Presbyterian minister, said his office is cooperating fully in an investigation by the Military Police and the Catholic Military Ordinariate of Canada.
Pope Benedict's repetition over and over again that the sexual abuse of a child is "a heinous crime" and "a grave sin which offends God and wounds the dignity of the human person created in his image," in country after country may, to use Bishop Diarmuid Martin's words, "even be empty."
DUBLIN, Ireland -- Victims of clerical child sexual abuse and groups representing them reacted with a mix of anger and disappointment to a Vatican statement issued after a papal meeting with Irish bishops.
Marie Collins, who was abused by a Dublin priest, told Catholic News Service that she thought it was "pathetic" that the statement was "so far away from accepting that there was a policy of coverup."
"I wasn't expecting much from the meeting, but the fact that the resignation of bishops was not even on the agenda had been insulting," she said.