National Catholic Reporter

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Irish sex abuse victims ask church for $1 billion

VATICAN CITY -- Irish victims of clerical sex abuse have asked Pope Benedict XVI for over $1.37 billion in compensation, in a letter that the head of Ireland's Catholic Church will hand-deliver to the pope next week.

The letter also requests a meeting with Benedict during his forthcoming visit to Britain, expected to take place in September.

Haiti charity founder's abuse trial scheduled


Douglas Perlitz, a 1992 graduate of Jesuit-run Fairfield University in Connecticut, appeared in U.S. District in New Haven, Conn., Feb. 2, to answer charges of sexual abuse of minors.

He pleaded not guilty to nine charges of traveling from the U.S. to Haiti to engage in sexual activity with nine different boys between 1998 and 2004 and 10 charges of engaging in sexual activity with minors in a foreign land between 2003 and 2008 with 10 different boys. Each of the charges carries a maximum 30-year prison sentence.

Fifth Irish bishop faces pressure to resign


DUBLIN (RNS/ENI) -- A fifth Irish bishop is resisting calls to resign following the release of a government-commissioned report into how the Roman Catholic Church dealt with allegations against priests of sexual abuse.

Since the publication of the Nov. 26 report led by Judge Yvonne Murphy, four bishops in Ireland have offered their resignation to Pope Benedict XVI.

Advocates: abusive Irish priests assigned to US

Roman Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse in Ireland have for decades been getting re-assigned to ministry positions in the United States, according to a church reform group with a new database of names., which documents allegations of abuse, last week (Dec. 28) released the names of 70 accused Irish priests who at some point served in the United States. Many on the list (viewable at are said to have died or no longer serve in the priesthood.

Giving money away: a Catholic model


Giving money away is not as easy as one might think. It becomes even more complicated if individuals and institutions integrate a Catholic socially responsible approach into their philanthropy.

In St. Paul, Minn., the late Archbishop John Roach (who served as the ordinary from 1975 to 1995) had a vision of a new way to encourage and foster charitable giving in support of Catholic activities in the archdiocese. He wanted an entity independent of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese and its board of directors.

“Archbishop Roach’s original vision was thinking outside the box in creating an independent, separate corporate entity with funds under the control of outstanding lay women and men,” said recently retired Archbishop Harry Flynn (who succeeded Roach and served as ordinary from 1995 to 2008).

Ireland confronts its sex abuse crisis



The recent government investigation into clergy sex abuse in Ireland, which produced a scathing critique of church officials and their role in attempting to protect the reputation of the institution at the expense of young victims, has resulted in the resignation of four bishops and sparked calls for cutting the number of dioceses in Ireland and for deep reform of the hierarchical culture.

The report of the government commission, headed by Judge Yvonne Murphy, severely criticized the church for being preoccupied with “the maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal and the preservation of its assets.

“All other considerations,” said the report, “including the welfare of children and justice for victims, were subordinated to these priorities. The archdiocese did not implement its own canon law rules and did its best to avoid any application of the law of the state.”

Second Irish bishop resigns over clerical abuse


A second Irish bishop has resigned following a government report into the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy.

Bishop Jim Moriarty submitted a letter of resignation Dec. 23. He is bishop of Kildare and Leithlin, southwest of Dublin. Moriarty was not directly criticized in the Murphy Report, but was a member of the Dublin archdiocese leadership for more than a decade before it put proper protections for children in place, he said.



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