National Catholic Reporter

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Accountability

Irish parishes asked to help with abuse settlements

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DUBLIN, Ireland -- The Diocese of Ferns is asking its parishes for additional funds to help cover the cost of legal settlements stemming from cases of clerical child abuse.

The diocese paid more than 10.5 million euros ($14.2 million) in legal settlements to victims, payments to lawyers and fees for treatment programs for offenders, Bishop Denis Brennan of Ferns told the annual general meeting of the diocesan finance committee March 1.

40% of Brooklyn parishes canít meet expenses

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BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio March 1 called for the renewal of church life in the diocese by addressing changes he said are needed in parishes, schools and diocesan structures.

In a pastoral letter titled "Renewing the Mission: Christ Jesus, Our Hope," he said changes have become necessary because "meeting the ordinary expenses of parish life and maintaining the buildings that form our parishes and schools should never detract us from the mission of evangelization."

More abuse allegations against Maciel surface

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MEXICO CITY -- Many in Mexico -- and beyond -- know Father Marcial Maciel as the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, an influential Catholic order famed for its elite schools and well-heeled followers.

Blanca Estela Lara Gutierrez came to know him in Tijuana by the alias "Raul Rivas," who, she said, "wanted to have a family" and, at various times, masqueraded as either a private detective or a CIA agent.

Her three sons, Jose Raul, Omar and Cristian, came to know Father Maciel as "Dad."

Rockville Centre's plan to ensure 'financial health'

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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.

The Irish Catholic House of Cards

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Analysis

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.

German bishops sorry, issue new abuse measures

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.

Legionaries of Christ apologize for founder Maciel

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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.

Should Catholic chaplains be board-certified?

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Mission Management

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.

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July 18-31, 2014

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