National Catholic Reporter

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Vatican cardinal bucked US bishop on abuse


Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, the former Vatican official who sent a letter in 2001 praising a French bishop for sheltering an abusive priest, had earlier intervened, against the wishes of a U.S. bishop, on behalf of an American abuser priest, according to documents that were part of a lawsuit.

Castrillon pressured Bishop Manuel Moreno, who was bishop of Tucson, Ariz., from 1982-2003, to allow a priest sex abuser to take a pension and work outside the diocese, despite allegations that would later jolt the diocese and cost millions to resolve. Fr Robert Trupia "sexually abused dozens of minor boys" before he was defrocked in 2004, according to documents in the civil case.

English, Welsh Catholics asked to do penance

LONDON -- The bishops of England and Wales are asking Catholics to carry out acts of penance each Friday in May to help atone for clerical abuse crimes.

In a statement to be read at all parishes April 24-25, the bishops assured Catholics that effective child protection procedures are in place. However, they said, it is "time for deep prayer and reparation for atonement" of the sins of priests and other Catholics who have abused children.

Pope accepts resignation of Irish bishop


VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of Bishop James Moriarty of Kildare and Leighlin, Ireland, who said he should have challenged the culture of silence in the Irish church when priests were accused of sexually abusing minors.

The Vatican announced April 22 that the pope accepted the resignation of the 73-year-old bishop under a provision in canon law for retiring before age 75 "because of ill health or some other grave cause."

In a statement April 22, Bishop Moriarty again apologized to victims of clerical sex abuse and said it was blatantly un-Christian of bishops to argue about their degree of responsibility for the scandal when the victims were in such pain.

Bishop Moriarty announced Dec. 23 that he had offered to resign, saying at the time, "I fully accept the overall conclusion" of an independent commission "that the attempts by church authorities to 'protect the church' and to 'avoid scandal' had the most dreadful consequences for children and were deeply wrong."

In his April 22 statement, the bishop said the decision to resign was "the most difficult decision of my ministry."

Cardinal: JP II OK'd letter on shielding priest abuser


VATICAN CITY -- A retired Vatican cardinal said the late Pope John Paul II had approved his congratulatory letter to a French bishop who refused to report a sexually abusive priest to police.

Spanish newspapers reported that Colombian Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos told an audience at a Catholic university in Murcia, Spain, April 16 that he consulted with Pope John Paul and showed him the letter. He said the pope had authorized him to send the letter to bishops worldwide.

Cardinal Castrillon's letter resurfaced recently in the coverage of recent disclosures of sexual abuse by priests. He wrote it in 2001, when he was head of the Vatican's Congregation for Clergy.

"I congratulate you for not denouncing a priest to the civil administration," Cardinal Castrillon wrote to Bishop Pierre Pican of Bayeux-Lisieux. "You have acted well and I am happy to have a colleague in the episcopate who, in the eyes of history and of all other bishops in the world, preferred prison to denouncing his son, a priest."

Cardinal sides with victims, condemns sex crimes


VATICAN CITY -- The Catholic Church is determined not to hide or minimize the "horrible" crime of the sexual abuse of minors by priests, said the head of the Vatican Congregation for Clergy.

Cardinal Claudio Hummes said members of church "are on the side of the victims and want to support their recovery and their offended rights."

Irish religious offer more to abuse victims; gov't says not enough


DUBLIN, Ireland -- Irish religious congregations have offered an additional 348 million euros ($470 million) to compensate victims of abuse in church-run industrial schools over a 40-year period.

However, a government spokesman said that amount, combined with the 128 million euros already paid, still was not enough.

Abuse scandal painful, pope says


VATICAN CITY -- Recognizing the sins of priests who have sexually abused children, performing penance and asking for forgiveness, the Catholic Church trusts that God will purify and transform the church, Pope Benedict XVI said.

"I must say that we Christians, even in recent times, have often avoided the word 'penance,' which seemed too harsh to us. Now, under the attacks of the world that speaks to us of our sins, we see that being able to do penance is a grace," the pope said April 15 in a homily during a Mass with members of the Pontifical Biblical Commission.

"We see how it is necessary to do penance, that is, to recognize what is mistaken in our life," he said during the morning Mass in the Pauline Chapel of the Apostolic Palace.

Conn. bishops decry bill to lift statute of limitations

HARTFORD, Conn. (CNS) -- Connecticut's Catholic bishops are urging Catholics and others to speak out against a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations for civil lawsuits in cases of sexual abuse.

Archbishop Henry J. Mansell of Hartford, Bishop William E. Lori of Bridgeport and Bishop Michael R. Cote of Norwich sent notices to all pastors April 8, requesting their help in mounting a campaign opposing a measure in the House that would make Connecticut the only state without a statute of limitations for the filing of sexual abuse claims concerning minors.


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September 25-October 8, 2015


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