National Catholic Reporter

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Accountability

Irish bishops: Abuse was prevalent in church culture

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DUBLIN, Ireland

The abuse of children in institutions run by Catholic priests and nuns was part of a culture that was prevalent in the Catholic Church in Ireland, the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference said at the conclusion of its summer meeting.

The bishops spent a major portion of their June 8-10 meeting discussing a report from the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, published May 20 under chairman Sean Ryan. The commission found that church institutions failed to prevent an extensive level of sexual, physical and emotional abuse and neglect.

N.Y. Cath. Conf. rejects amended abuse lawsuit bill

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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Even with an amendment to include public institutions, a bill that would temporarily waive statutes of limitations on filing sex abuse lawsuits "remains terrible public policy," said the New York State Catholic Conference in Albany.
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tAs originally written, the Child Victims Act of New York -- also known as the Markey bill after sponsor Democratic Assemblywoman Margaret Markey -- applied only to suits against individuals and private institutions.
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tOn June 3 Markey said she would amend her proposal to include public institutions.

Irish church leaders meet pope about child abuse

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VATICAN CITY -- Two top leaders of the Irish church met with Pope Benedict XVI June 5 to discuss a report by an independent commission on child abuse.

The day before, the 18 Irish religious orders implicated in decades of abuse of thousands of children in their care agreed to increase their contribution to the compensation fund for victims.

Irish religious to pay more to abuse victims

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DUBLIN, Ireland -- The 18 Irish religious orders implicated in decades of abuse of thousands of children in their care have agreed to increase their contribution to the compensation fund for victims.

Following a June 4 meeting with the Irish prime minister and other government ministers, the orders also agreed to an independent audit of their assets, so that their ability to pay further compensation can be determined.

Irish religious don't want to renegotiate

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DUBLIN, Ireland -- The 18 Irish religious congregations implicated in the abuse of children in their care say they do not wish to renegotiate a controversial deal in which they received indemnity from being sued by victims in exchange for contributing to a victim's compensation fund.

The deal made as one of the final acts of an outgoing government in 2002 has proved increasingly controversial, partly because the overall compensation paid out has increased by hundreds of millions of euros, so that the religious orders are only paying about 10 percent of the compensation paid to victims of decades of abuse.

Irish abuse report demands decisive action

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On Wednesday, May 20, the government of Ireland issued a 2,600-page report on the nine-year investigation into Catholic church-operated schools and reformatories. The report came from the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse and covered a 60-year-period from 1936 to the present. It raised serious questions about Catholic institutions that permitted and fostered climates of sustained abuse by priests and nuns.

U.S. Dominican Fr. Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer and advocate for those abused by priests, offers this reflection on the report.

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Thus far the reaction to the publication of the Report of the Commission to Inquire Into Child Abuse has been quite consistent. Most who have read news accounts of the 30 page executive summary have expressed shock, horror, disgust, anger and other like sentiments. Presuming that the executive summary is exactly that, a summary one can therefore presume that the full report is more of the same horror except in more detail.

Advocates want public rebuke for Christian Brothers

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U.S. victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy say the Vatican should publicly rebuke the religious order that fought to keep abusers' names out of a damning report that details thousands of crimes against minors in Ireland.

The 2,600-page report, released May 20, describes sexual and violent crimes committed against thousands of young Catholics who lived in residential schools run by religious orders between 1930 and 1990.

Dominican Fr. Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer and advocate for those abused by priests, described the report as “horrifying” even to someone with his long experience in dealing with cases of sex abuse because as it is presented in the report “this brutal and unspeakable behavior by religious and clerics toward children … was not random but institutionalized.”

Eight chapters of the report were devoted to institutions run by the Irish Christian Brothers, whose schools cared for more boys than all the other religious-run institutions put together.

Thousands of children abused in Irish institutions

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Thousands of children suffered physical, emotional, and sexual abuse over several decades in some 200 residential institutions run by religious congregations, a long-awaited report by the Irish government states.

The devastating report published yesterday describes how children lived in “a climate of fear” in the institutions and finds that “sexual abuse was endemic in boys’ institutions”. Cases of sexual abuse were hidden by the congregations that ran the institutions and offenders were transferred to other locations where they were free to abuse again, the report says.

The 2,600-page report, covering a 60-year-period from 1936 to the present, represents a scathing critique of Catholic church-operated schools and reformatories, raising serious questions about Catholic institutions that permitted and fostered climates of sustained abuse by priests and nuns.

Most of the sites investigated had closed by the late 1980s.

Methodist bishops agree to pay cut

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Bishops in the United Methodist Church have voted themselves a pay cut after "recognizing the financial challenges facing the church."

The United Methodist Church's 50 active U.S. bishops voted to give up their planned pay raises for next year and instead reduce their salaries to the 2008 level, dropping their annual pay from $125,650 to $121,000 according to United Methodist News Service.

Bishops urged to restore civility in pro-life efforts

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WASHINGTON

Calling the Obama presidency a new moment in U.S. history, Jesuit Fr. John P. Langan of Georgetown University warned April 27 of a current “three-way impasse” on abortion. He urged U.S. bishops seeking real change to act with caution, pastoral care and “civil respect for those with whom they disagree.”

“The bishops are certainly right to condemn the moral evil of abortion and to warn us against the individualism, selfishness and greed which have had such a devastating effect on American culture and family life as well as on our financial institutions,” he said.

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April 11-24, 2014

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