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Accountability

Final statement of pope-Irish bishops meeting

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Below is the final statement of the meeting between Pope Benedict XVI, Curia Prefects and Irish Bishops at the Vatican. The text is from Vatican Radio.

The news story about the summit is here: Pope calls priestly sex abuse 'heinous crime'

A related story: Irish sex abuse victims said to be close to despair

Statement on Meeting with Irish Bishops

On 15 and 16 February 2010, the Holy Father met the Irish Bishops and senior members of the Roman Curia to discuss the serious situation which has emerged in the Church in Ireland. Together they examined 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. All those present recognized that this grave crisis has led to a breakdown in trust in the Church’s leadership and has damaged her witness to the Gospel and its moral teaching.

Irish bishops, pope begin summit on sex abuse

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI and the bishops of Ireland began a two-day, closed-door meeting to assess responsibility in the Irish church's handling of priestly sex abuse cases and explore ways to heal the wounds left by the scandal.

Each of the 24 bishops was scheduled to speak for seven minutes, in effect giving the pope "an account of themselves" and their own actions, Bishop Joseph Duffy of Clogher told reporters on the eve of the Feb. 15-16 summit.

The pope convened the bishops in response to the continuing fallout from the scandal, following an independent report that faulted the church for its handling of 325 sex abuse claims in the Archdiocese of Dublin in the years 1975-2004.

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

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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

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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.

BishopAccountability.org, 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 http://www.bishop-accountability.org/irish--priests--in--us/) are said to have died or no longer serve in the priesthood.

Giving money away: a Catholic model

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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

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Analysis

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.”

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February 27- March 12, 2015

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