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#85081 - 12/11/02 02:29 AM A Christmas present for ???
orodo Offline

Registered: 03/15/02
Posts: 735
Loc: Imladris, The Safe Haven of Ar...
There must be at least 12 headlines per day now...
And still, the perps are free, others are making bail, others are denying allegations. I have been in control of my rage, but WHEN WILL IT END?

When will anyone listen?

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Bishop O'Brien failed the faithful
Arizona Republic

By O. Ricardo Pimentel

Bishop Thomas O'Brien should resign.

Whether he does depends, among other things, on whether he believes he serves just the institutional Catholic Church or the faith and the faithful.

Catholics used to be able to believe all these were one and the same. But it's clear that not all of us can find it either in our hearts or faith to believe in the unity of these concepts any longer.

This is the biggest tragedy to come out of the church's sordid sex scandals. But this distinction between church and Catholics and the faith is important to the specific matter of resignation.

If O'Brien clings to the notion that he has faithfully served the institution, he can make a credible case that he shouldn't resign. That's because it's become abundantly clear that bishops or priests who told families of molested children to shut up and go away were simply following accepted church policy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 6:22:38 PM
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Little Information Released on Law's Trip to Rome
Washington Post

By Pamela Ferdinand and Alan Cooperman
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, December 10, 2002; Page A02

BOSTON, Dec. 9 -- Officials of the Roman Catholic Church declined to explain the reasons for Cardinal Bernard F. Law's sudden trip to Rome this week, but experts on the Vatican predicted that both Law's future and his archdiocese's possible bankruptcy would be discussed.

Facing a rising chorus of calls for his resignation, Law arrived in Rome on Sunday, just days after a judge forced the Boston archdiocese to release thousands of pages of documents about cases of child sexual abuse by eight priests. Files on an additional seven alleged pedophile priests were made public today, and more documents are expected to be released Tuesday.

In a written statement today, the pope's spokesman confirmed Law's presence in Rome but did not specify the purpose or length of his visit. "The Cardinal came to inform the Holy See about various aspects of the situation in his Boston diocese," the statement said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 5:48:17 PM
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Law Meeting With Top Vatican Officials

BOSTON -- As the calls Tuesday for Cardinal Bernard Law's resignation increase in number and intensity, the bishop continues secret meetings in Rome with Vatican officials.

NewsCenter 5's Amalia Barreda said that there's no official word yet about the topic of those meetings.

The Vatican remained tight-lipped about Law's trip. Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls has revealed that Law himself asked for the meetings he is attending, meaning that the Vatican did not summon Boston's embattled archbishop to Rome.

Before the end of the week, Law may meet with the pope about the scandal that is engulfing his once stellar career. The consensus is that Boston's archbishop is not going to get a sympathetic ear on resignation from a man who has ignored calls for him to step down.

"There are people who think he's too old and too feeble to carry on, and he's consistently said no to that. When you pick up a burden, you are obligated to carry it to the end. So, I think his personal inclination is to stay put and I think that's what he'd like to see law do. The Vatican's institutional bias, too, is that when you've got somebody, especially a cardinal, who's created a mess like this, they'd like to see the guy clean it up. I mean that's always the expectation," National Catholic Reporter John Allen said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 5:21:58 PM
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Law continuing talks with Vatican officials about sex abuse scandal

By Justin Pope, Associated Press, 12/10/02

BOSTON — Embattled Cardinal Bernard Law met with Vatican officials again Tuesday, a day after the Boston Archdiocese released more personnel records on sexually abusive priests and 58 clerics submitted a letter calling for Law to resign.

Law was meeting privately with the top Vatican officials who would handle the damage caused by the sex abuse scandal -- the possibilities of a bankruptcy filing by the archdiocese or a resignation by the cardinal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 5:17:56 PM
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N.H. settlement averts criminal charge vs. diocese

By J.M. Hirsch, Associated Press, 12/10/02

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester averted unprecedented criminal charges in a settlement Tuesday, admitting that it probably would have been convicted of failing to protect children from sexually abusive priests.

"The church in New Hampshire fully acknowledges and accepts responsibility for failures in our system that contributed to the endangerment of children," Bishop John B. McCormack said at a news conference. "We commit ourselves in a public and binding way to address every weakness in our structure."

Attorney General Philip McLaughlin held a separate news conference earlier to announce the settlement, which means the diocese won't be charged.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 5:15:12 PM
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Some clergy abuse victims ready to settle cases

By Denise Lavoie, Associated Press, 12/10/2002 16:14
BOSTON (AP) Waves of sordid disclosures from Boston Archdiocese personnel files over the past week have made alleged victims of clergy sex abuse feel vindicated, giving some of them greater incentive to agree to settle, a lawyer for more than 200 of those suing the church said Tuesday.

''As horrific as this has been, the disclosures of these documents is really giving some people affirmation that we are starting to get at the truth and that they played a significant part in that,'' said attorney Roderick MacLeish Jr. ''Some people feel the disclosures affirmed that what they were saying to their family and friends was right.''

Still, MacLeish said, many of his clients remain determined to take their cases to trial.

''These people say these disclosures only make me more horrified and more upset and more determined (to go to trial),'' MacLeish said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 5:11:53 PM
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People, not policies, protect our children

St. Louis Dispatch

By David Clohessy
12/08/2002 12:00 AM

All of us - bishops, priests, lay people, survivors - want the same thing: We just want this horror to end. But wishing it away won't work. Thousands of survivors have tried, unsuccessfully and painfully, for years. And church leaders have tried that for decades, and seem to be trying again.

After hundreds of disclosures of sexual crimes by priests, and cover-ups by bishops, America's Roman Catholic leaders have a painfully simplistic and doomed response: Let's write a document, call it a policy, apologize, then move on with "business as usual."

Other than a few dozen determined church spokesmen and bishops, virtually every one believes that this newly revised "charter" is a significant retreat from the one created in Dallas. Once-mandatory steps have become optional; a larger role for lay people has become a larger role for clerics. Clear, simple, common-sense rules have become complicated, murky recommendations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 2:06:09 PM
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Cardinal's trip to Rome fueling theories of bankruptcy, quitting
The Dallas Morning News

The Dallas Morning News
(KRT) - Under mounting pressure to resign, Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law made a surprise weekend trip to Rome, fueling speculation that the archdiocese will soon declare bankruptcy or that the cardinal will resign.

Last week, the archdiocese's finance council authorized the cardinal to put the archdiocese under federal bankruptcy protection, if necessary. The archdiocese says it's facing a financial crisis because of lawsuits by an estimated 450 clergy sexual abuse victims.

In addition, donations to the cardinal's appeal are off millions from last year's drive in part because of anger over the cardinal's leadership. The money supports the archdiocese's operating expenses and several charities and ministries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 1:58:44 PM
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Boy Scouts back priest cleared of allegations of sexual abuse

At the same time, a national support group for victims of sexual abuse by priests has called for an outside investigator to review the allegations. The group also has called for others who claim to have been abused by priests to boycott the Catholic diocese panel that reviews such allegations

Posted by Kathy Shaw 1:56:56 PM
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Are Catholic Officials Stiffing Investigator Keating?
AFA Online

(AgapePress) - The man Roman Catholic bishops chose to head an investigation into the church's clergy sex scandal has apparently hit some roadblocks.
Governor Frank Keating of Oklahoma was appointed to head the church's national review board back in June with the goal of monitoring the church's response to the abuse scandal. It appears he is less than pleased.

Keating says getting an accurate accounting of all priests and children involved is going to be difficult because the record keeping of some church officials has been, as he puts it, "slovenly to the point of reckless."

He tells The New York Times that how much of this involves a conspiracy of silence remains to be seen. Keating also says he has heard from parishioners who say the goal of some bishops is to hush up accounts of abuse, rather than report them to authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 12:03:55 PM
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Diocese to settle sexual abuse suit
The Express-Times

The Express-Times

FLEMINGTON -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen is preparing to settle a sexual abuse lawsuit brought against the Rev. John M. Banko by the man who accused him of making inappropriate sexual advances at a Milford church.

An attorney for the victim said Friday that he expects to finalize the settlement for an undisclosed sum within a week.

The civil complaint, filed in April in Hunterdon County Superior Court, names Banko, a diocesan official, the Diocese of Metuchen and the Diocese of Trenton as defendants. It seeks compensatory damages and legal costs with expenses.

Banko, 56, of Hamilton Township, Mercer County, is standing trial on separate criminal charges of first-degree aggravated sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault and third-degree child endangerment. If convicted on all counts, he could be sentenced up to 35 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 11:41:17 AM
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Ex-altar boy testifies priest molested him

Star-Ledger Staff

In the first criminal trial of a New Jersey priest accused of sexual assault since the issue became a national scandal, a former altar boy testified yesterday he was molested by the pastor of his Milford church more than eight years ago.

The Rev. John M. Banko, 56, known to his parishioners as "Father Jack," is accused of performing oral sex on the boy, then age 11, after two Sunday Masses in a dressing room next to the altar of St. Edward Roman Catholic Church's community center.

Prosecution testimony in the first day of Banko's trial yesterday also included three other men who said they were the subject of inappropriate sexual advances by Banko when they were younger. One of the men, now 39, testified in state Superior Court in Hunterdon County that Banko also performed oral sex on him several times when he was between the ages of 11 and 14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 11:40:04 AM
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Bethlehem victim testifies against priest
The Express-Times

Thursday, December 05, 2002

The Express-Times

FLEMINGTON -- The Rev. John M. Banko violated the trust of his parishioners by allegedly molesting a boy at his Milford church, Hunterdon County Assistant Prosecutor Dawn Solari said Wednesday.

Banko, 56, is accused of having sexual contact with an altar boy at St. Edward the Confessor Roman Catholic church on two occasions in the mid-1990s.

After two days of jury selection, testimony began Wednesday in Banko's trial on sexual assault and child endangerment charges in Hunterdon County Superior Court. The jury includes 10 women and six men. Four will serve as alternate jurors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 11:38:42 AM
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Catholics angered, sad over possible bankruptcy
Providence Journal

Catholics angered, sad over possible bankruptcy
While the Boston Archdiocse ponders the move, Rhode Island church officials say bankruptcy was never a consideration here.


Journal Staff Writer

Airlines go bankrupt. Dot.coms go under. But the Roman Catholic church?

"The whole thing seems too far out," Dean R. Hoge, a sociologist at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., said yesterday. "The Catholic church is the most powerful institution in the world."

"New England is full of affluent Catholics who love the church. There's going to be some real maneuvering before the whole thing caves in."

With Cardinal Bernard Law, of Boston, at the Vatican, reportedly discussing his future and that of the archdiocese's finances, Hoge was just one Catholic who was grappling with the notion of bankruptcy, and a new wave of horrendous stories of abuse.

"It's shocking and embarrassing," said Hoge, who has studied church finances for the last decade.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 11:34:53 AM
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Abuse expert testifies in priest's trial

Friday, December 06, 2002

Star-Ledger Staff

The prosecution case in the trial of a former Catholic priest accused of molesting an altar boy in Hunterdon County continued yesterday with testimony from an expert in child sexual abuse.

The Rev. John M. Banko, 56, known to his parishioners as "Father Jack," is charged with performing oral sex on the altar boy, then age 11, after Sunday services on two consecutive weeks at St. Edward's Roman Catholic Church in Milford.

Susan Esquilin, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, testified in state Superior Court in Flemington that child victims of sexual abuse typically keep the molestation secret for years before telling anyone.

The alleged victim, now 20, testified on Wednesday that he did not confide in his parents about the abuse until six years later, when he suffered a nervous breakdown. He said he kept it a secret because Banko threatened to harm his family if he told anyone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 11:27:05 AM
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Priest denies molesting altar boy

FLEMINGTON, N.J. (AP) _ A former pastor of a Roman Catholic church, testifying in his own defense, denied that he twice molested an 11-year-old altar boy after Sunday Masses.

The trial of the Rev. John M. Banko is the first criminal proceeding of a New Jersey cleric since sex abuse in the church became a national scandal.

Banko, 56, is accused of performing oral sex on the boy in a dressing room next to the altar of St. Edward Roman Catholic Church's community center in Milford about nine years ago.

"It never happened," Banko testified Monday while being questioned by his lawyer, Lewis White. "I was totally shocked when I found out (about the charges)."

Posted by Kathy Shaw 11:23:42 AM
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Ex-pastor denies molesting altar boy

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Star-Ledger Staff

The former pastor of a Milford Catholic church took the stand in his own defense yesterday and denied accusations that he molested an 11-year-old altar boy after two Sunday Masses about nine years ago.

The Rev. John M. Banko, known to his parishioners as "Father Jack," is charged with performing oral sex on the boy, now 20, in the sacristy at the St. Edward's Roman Catholic Church community center.

It never happened," Banko said under questioning by his attorney, Lewis White. "I was totally shocked when I found out (about the charges.)"

Posted by Kathy Shaw 11:22:01 AM
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Banko testifies in own defense
The Express-Times

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

The Express-Times

FLEMINGTON -- The Rev. John M. Banko testified Monday that he never had sexual contact with a former Milford altar boy or three other men who accused him of inappropriate behavior.

As the Milford man's parents and members of a support group for people abused by priests listened, Banko said he doesn't know why the former altar boy has accused him. He also said hugs he gave to two former parishioners who testified against him may have been mistaken for groping.

Several members of the Support Network of those Abused by Priests attended Banko's trial Monday. Pat Serrano, mother of abuse survivors' advocate and SNAP founder Mark Serrano, said they wanted to show support for Banko's accuser.

Banko, 56, of Hamilton Township, Mercer County, is charged with first-degree aggravated sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault and third-degree child endangerment. If convicted on all counts he faces up to 35 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 11:04:03 AM
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Thank you, Philip Berrigan
Boston Globe

By James Carroll, 12/10/2002

HILIP BERRIGAN is dead. His family and friends laid him to rest yesterday in Baltimore. Most people associate him with the Vietnam era draft board raids that made him famous. Fewer know that he committed eight major acts of civil disobedience between 1980 and 1999 - acts of disarmament, which cost him years in prison. But the image of the smiling, white-haired man in handcuffs can be misleading. Far from being a marginal figure whose time is long past, Philip Berrigan, even in death, has extraordinary relevance for two of today's most urgent questions.

The first has to do with the Catholic priesthood. Once, the pressures facing the Catholic Church would have seemed a parochial matter, but the moral conflagration that is melting the inner-girders of this institution has begun to threaten the very structure of authority in society. Catholics continue to be staggered by the abuse coverup scandal with each further revelation of the hierarchy's obtuseness - and the priesthood's hollowness.

Early on, others watched the church's immorality play with detached fascination, but lately even non-Catholics have sensed a dangerous, society-wide shuddering. If the Catholic Church can fall, what can't? In fact, the political and moral order is a pair of twin towers - and they, too, can come down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 10:17:49 AM
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NH AG, bishop cut a deal to end criminal probe
The Union Leader

Union Leader Staff

A negotiated agreement will be announced today in the state Attorney General’s criminal investigation of how the Catholic diocese handled clergy sexual abuse of children since the 1960s, sources said yesterday.

Some details of the agreement still have to be finalized today, but its general terms are expected to include public disclosure of some church documents and possible adjustments to the diocese’s sexual misconduct policy, the source said.

The announcement of the negotiated settlement with the Catholic Diocese of Manchester comes four days before a special grand jury session is scheduled to consider bringing an indictment or indictments against the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 8:32:07 AM
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Bishop's Fund hires firm
Telegram & Gazette

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

By Kathleen A. Shaw
Telegram & Gazette Staff

WORCESTER-- The annual Bishop's Fund drive, which fell $600,000 behind its goal this year as the church-wide, sexual-abuse scandal took hold, is calling on a New York company to run the drive next year.
Community Counselling Services, which ran the Forward in Faith fund-raising campaign about two years ago, has been retained to run the campaign. Owen Coogan, who has directed the past Bishop's Fund campaign, is expected to remain as a full-time consultant. CCS will receive as payment a percentage of the money raised.
Raymond L. Delisle, spokesman for the Worcester Catholic Diocese, said he expects the fund will operate pretty much as it has in the past except that CCS will be directing the efforts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 8:28:16 AM
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Vatican should tell Law to go
Telegram & Gazette

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

By Dianne Williamson
Telegram & Gazette Columnist

It's bankruptcy that sent Cardinal Bernard F. Law to the Vatican this week, but a different sort of bankruptcy should bar his return to a Boston archdiocese long ripe for his permanent absence.
Let us hope that as Cardinal Law consults with advisers in Rome, financial matters take a back seat to issues of moral bankruptcy and betrayal so immense as to require nothing less than the immediate exit of the man who for so long placed the reputation of priests above the safety of children.
The fact that Cardinal Law has managed to remain archbishop of Boston speaks volumes about the arrogance and ignorance of an institution that still, apparently, doesn't get it. If the Pope doesn't understand the depth of disgust among American Catholics, then Cardinal Law must spell it out for him.
Yesterday, the Vatican issued just a one-sentence statement about Cardinal Law's secret trip to Rome: “The cardinal came to inform the Holy See about various aspects of the situation in his diocese of Boston.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw 8:24:52 AM
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More archdiocese files released in church abuse scandal

Springfield Union-News

The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) -- A new round of Boston Archdiocese personnel records show that church leaders took some allegations of sexual abuse by priests more seriously than those made before a written policy on abuse was instituted in 1993.

In one case, the Rev. Paul F. Manning was removed from his ministry in Woburn, even after he was acquitted of indecent assault and battery of a minor when the alleged victim's parents later denied he had been assaulted. Church officials also ordered him to desist after hearing he was continuing to celebrate Mass.

The latest release of hundreds of pages of the archdiocese personnel records, coming Monday, marked a sharp departure from the thousands of pages released last week that revealed lurid details of one priest trading cocaine for sex with boys, another having sex with teenage girls studying to become nuns and yet another fathering at least two children and abandoning his lover as she overdosed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 8:19:25 AM
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3 local priests: Cardinal must go
The Eagle Tribune

By Jean MacDougall-Tattan and Yadira Betances
Staff Writers
The solemnity of Sunday Mass was interrupted with parishioners' applause for the Revs. James M. Broderick and Marc A. Piche yesterday, as the two Haverhill priests called on Cardinal Bernard F. Law to resign.

The Sacred Hearts Church priests are signing a clergy-driven petition asking Law to step down in the wake of the priest sex abuse scandal. The Rev. Bill Waters of Lawrence's St. Mary Inmaculada Concepcion will also join the 80-plus priest names on the petition.

"I have no hatred for the man. ... He's done a lot of good as archbishop, speaking up for the church, the people and the underdog," Waters said. "I think he's been a very effective leader, but at this point, with all that's happened, he's paralyzed and totally consumed with what's going on and consequently not able to do things needed in the archdiocese."

Posted by Kathy Shaw 8:14:56 AM
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For Law and Bulger, it's about power
Boston Globe


By Joan Vennochi, 12/10/2002

HE STORIES of the cardinal who protected sexually predatory priests and the university president who protected a violent gangster brother boiled over in a poisonous brew last week. It was ugly, that's for sure.

But the ugliness surrounding Cardinal Bernard Law and University of Massachusetts president William Bulger is well worth pondering, no matter how much it hurts the eyes or turns the stomach. In it lie truths about the past - and lessons for the future.

Law and Bulger each chose family - the family of priests in Law's case, a brother in Bulger's - over victims and their families. Each defined loyalty in the narrowest, most parochial way, as in loyalty to an individual rather than to a higher authority, be it to God or the rule of law. Each used love as an excuse to coddle wrongdoers and, indeed, to protect criminals from the consequences of their alleged crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 8:09:27 AM
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Affirming gay and lesbian priests
Boston Globe


By M. Thomas Shaw and Bud Cederholm, 12/10/2002

ORE THAN ONCE in the past year, religious leaders in the Roman Catholic Church, and in other Christian churches, have said that gay men and lesbians should be barred from ordination because of their sexual orientation. Such assertions have usually associated gay sexual identity with pedophilia, as part of an effort to account for pedophilic behavior.

The latest published statement came from Cardinal Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez, in a letter written while he was a Vatican official. According to a news story published Dec. 6 in the Globe, Medina Estevez said that ''a homosexual person ... is not suitable to receive the sacrament of holy orders.'' The article also suggested that new Vatican guidelines, to be released next year, may bar men with ''homosexual tendencies'' from seminaries.

We recognize that faith communities have the right to ordain whomever they choose, but we reject the exclusion of any person from holy orders on the basis of sexual orientation. We also object to articles that leave unquestioned and even perpetuate the idea that there is a relationship between pedophilia and gay sexual orientation. The article concludes: ''The issue of gays in the priesthood has gained attention following accusations ... that priests molested children.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw 8:06:25 AM
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New files show cardinal acting on seven abuse cases
Boston Globe

By Michael Rezendes and Sacha Pfeiffer, Globe Staff, 12/10/2002

s the Boston Archdiocese edged closer yesterday to a bankruptcy filing that could suspend action on clergy sexual abuse lawsuits, lawyers for alleged victims released the church personnel files of another seven priests accused of sexual misconduct over the last four decades.

Unlike the records of eight priests released last week, which showed Cardinal Bernard F. Law keeping priests accused of egregious acts of sexual misconduct in active ministry, several of the files released yesterday show Law acting to remove some priests accused of sexual abuse.

But Jeffrey A. Newman of the law firm Greenberg Traurig, which represents about half of the 450 victims with abuse claims against the archdiocese, said the records released yesterday further document a pattern of consistent failure by Law and his top aides to adequately supervise errant priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 8:02:46 AM
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Shanley may be freed on bail
Boston Globe

By Ralph Ranalli, Globe Staff, 12/10/2002

he Rev. Paul R. Shanley, who has been jailed for seven months on charges that he raped four boys while assigned to a Newton parish in the 1970s and '80s, could be released on bail as early as this week, said a spokesman for the Middlesex district attorney's office.

''We were contacted by defense counsel recently and told that Rev. Shanley would post bail very soon,'' spokesman Seth Horwitz said.

Shanley has been held on $300,000 cash bail since May, when he was brought back to Massachusetts after his arrest in San Diego.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:59:11 AM
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Gay comments concern bishops
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 12/10/2002

he Episcopal bishops of Massachusetts, in a rare public challenge to the Catholic Church, are warning that a steady stream of comments by Vatican officials critical of gays in the priesthood could lead to hate crimes in the United States.

In interviews yesterday, the bishop of Massachusetts, M. Thomas Shaw, his suffragan, or assistant, bishop, Roy F. Cederholm Jr., and a bishop-elect, Gayle Elizabeth Harris, all said they believe the danger to gays and lesbians is so great that they feel compelled to speak out despite their reservations about wading into another denomination's controversy.

Shaw, the top Episcopal bishop in the state and head of the nation's largest Episcopal diocese, said he was particularly upset by a report from Rome last week that a Vatican cardinal, Jorge Arturo Medina Estevez, said ''a homosexual person ... is not suitable to receive the sacrament of holy orders.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:54:57 AM
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Settlement reportedly reached in church investigation
Boston Globe

By By J.M. Hirsch, Associated Press, 12/10/02

CONCORD, N.H. — The state and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester reportedly have reached an agreement that would head off potential criminal indictments alleging the church failed to protect children from abusive priests.

The attorney general's office has been investigating the church since February, and has been in settlement talks with the diocese since at least last month. Attorney General Philip McLaughlin and Bishop John McCormack reportedly will announce the agreement at separate news conferences today.

Some details of the agreement still have to be finalized, but its general terms are expected to include public disclosure of some church documents and possible adjustments to the diocese's sexual misconduct policy, The Union Leader reported today, citing unnamed sources.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:51:31 AM
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Shanley to post bail today
Boston Herald

by Robin Washington and Franci Richardson
Tuesday, December 10, 2002

The Rev. Paul R. Shanley will post bail and may be released from Middlesex Jail ``soon'' - possibly today, officials and others close to the case said last night.

``Our office heard from defense counsel that Father Shanley is expected to make bail soon,'' said Seth Horowitz, spokesman for Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley.

The former Boston street priest, awaiting trial in the alleged rapes of four Newton CCD students in the 1980s, must post $300,000 - down from $750,000 set at his April arraignment. Horowitz said bail terms would include surrendering his passport, staying in the state and staying away from alleged victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:47:12 AM
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Records reveal charges against more priests
Boston Herald

by Robin Washington and Franci Richardson
Tuesday, December 10, 2002

The personnel files of seven more Boston Archdiocese priests accused of child sex abuse were made public yesterday, with the promise of dozens more to come.

Released were records on the Revs. Gary Balcom, George Berthold, Denis Conte, Edward McDonagh, Paul Moriarty and William Scanlan, as well as that of the Rev. Paul Manning, who was acquitted of child molestation charges in 1994 but remains suspended by the church.

Though Manning's accuser recanted, the Rev. Paul Sughrue, pastor of Woburn's St. Charles Borromeo Church, agreed to testify. Church files do not clearly reveal any other accusers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:44:35 AM
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Clergy, parishioners: Accountability crucial
Boston Herald

by Franci Richardson and Kay Lazar
Tuesday, December 10, 2002

A resignation from Bernard Cardinal Law could be the first step toward restoring public trust in the church, but the Vatican should overhaul its system of accountability, said parishioners, clergy and experts yesterday.

``Cardinal Law has said he wants to be part of the rebuilding, but most of us don't see how that's possible with his role so thoroughly compromised and diminished,'' said the Rev. Robert W. Bullock of Our Lady of Sorrows in Sharon. ``It's necessary that the church - the ordained and all the people - take initiative . . . to create strategies to rebuild trust and confidence.''

Bullock is one of nine members of the Boston Priests Forum's leadership committee that will meet Friday at noon to draft the second letter from clergy in two weeks asking for Law's resignation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:41:27 AM
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Text of letter requesting resignation of Cardinal Law
Boston Herald

Trail of Abuse
Tuesday, December 10, 2002

December 9, 2002

Bernard Cardinal Law
Archbishop of Boston
2101 Commonwealth Avenue
Brighton, MA 02135

Dear Cardinal Law:

It is with a heavy heart that we write to request your resignation as Archbishop of Boston. We have valued the good work you have done here in Boston including, but not limited to: your advocacy for the homeless, your outreach to the Jewish community, your opposition to capital punishment, and your leadership in welcoming immigrant peoples. However, the events of recent months and, in particular, of these last few days, make it clear to us that your position as our bishop is so compromised that it is no longer possible for you to exercise the spiritual leadership required for the church of Boston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:38:18 AM
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Law gets counsel in Rome as priests press for resignation
Boston Herald

by Tom Mashberg
Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Bernard Cardinal Law huddled with Vatican officials yesterday to puzzle over the repercussions of bankruptcy - while back home 57 priests inked a call for him to resign and a key attorney suing his archdiocese said settlement was preferable to years of litigation.

In a tumultuous day in the Catholic Church abuse crisis, the Vatican took the rare step of acknowledging that one of its cardinals made an urgent and furtive trip to Rome to seek advice on the apparent meltdown of an archdiocese.

``I can confirm the presence of Cardinal Bernard Francis Law in Rome,'' said a statement by papal spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls. ``The cardinal came to inform the Holy See of various aspects of the situation in his diocese in Boston.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:35:27 AM
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Cleveland Seminarian Is Held in Rectory Killing and Arson
The New York Times


LEVELAND, Dec. 9 — A 37-year-old man training to be a Franciscan brother was arrested and charged today in the slaying of the pastor of a Roman Catholic church where he had been working.

The seminarian, Daniel Montgomery, is accused of shooting the Rev. William Gulas, 68, in the chest and setting a fire in a church rectory to cover up the slaying, police officials said.

Br. Montgomery was charged with aggravated murder and aggravated arson in the killing of Father Gulas, the pastor of the St. Stanislaus Church, who was found dead in the rectory Saturday after a fire there.

Though Father Gulas was originally believed to have died in the rectory fire, the Cuyahoga County coroner determined on Sunday that Father Gulas had suffered a single gunshot wound to the chest and a wound to the head before his body was burned at 12:45 p.m. Saturday. The fire caused an estimated $50,000 in damage to the church, which was dedicated in 1891 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Chief Edward Lohn said at a news conference this evening that the police had no clear motive that but physical evidence and witnesses' statements had led them to Mr. Montgomery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:26:53 AM
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Law and Vatican weigh scandal's cost
Boston Globe

By Charles M. Sennott, Globe Staff, 12/10/2002

OME - Behind the walls of the Vatican, Cardinal Bernard F. Law conferred yesterday with the leaders of the Curia to present his case for what would be the first-ever bankruptcy filing for an archdiocese and about other issues related to the sexual abuse scandal in Boston, church officials said.

A terse statement released by the Vatican's press office said Law's unannounced visit was ''to inform the Holy See about various aspects of the situation,'' but fueled speculation that Law was also here to discuss the possibility of resigning.

However, there were signs that Pope John Paul II may be searching for a middle ground short of Law's resignation to address the crisis of confidence in Law and the wider sex abuse scandal in the US church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:20:38 AM
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58 priests send a letter urging cardinal to resign
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff, 12/10/2002

n an extraordinary rebellion by Catholic clerics against a bishop whom they had pledged to obey, 58 Boston-area priests called on Cardinal Bernard F. Law yesterday to resign, saying he was no longer an effective spiritual leader.

The priests signed a three-paragraph letter praising Law for his many positive contributions to Boston, but declaring that ''your position as our bishop is so compromised that it is no longer possible for you to exercise the spiritual leadership required for the church of Boston.''

The priests hand-delivered the letter to Law's Brighton residence yesterday afternoon. The cardinal was in Rome yesterday, meeting with Vatican officials about his own future and the crisis facing the archdiocese. It was not clear whether he has seen the letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:17:24 AM
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Monday, December 9, 2002

Dwinell: Painful truth spilling out at last
MetroWest Daily News

BY Joe Dwinell
Monday, December 9, 2002

All the sordid details and decades of denial reside in Room 1209.

In this nondescript office on the 12th floor of Suffolk Superior Court in Boston rests an avalanche of evidence against the Archdiocese of Boston.

"It's all public. It's all up to date," assured assistant clerk Jane Mahon.

If you climb the worn marble stairs, take the elevator to the eighth floor, submit the name of an accused priest you want to learn more about and then seek out the records in Room 1209, you'll see for yourself the weight of this stunning case. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., not counting the hour lunch break, anybody can see what the press has been viewing for months. (One bit of advice, the 9 is missing from the sign at this office door. A new one has been promised.)

On an old wooden bench just outside this office, I studied last week's release of records on the Rev. Robert V. Meffan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 4:26:51 PM
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Cardinal Law in Rome at vatican

By Victor L. Simpson, Associated Press, 12/09/02

BOSTON — Cardinal Bernard Law consulted with the Vatican on Monday in an abrupt trip to Rome amid a new groundswell of criticism among once-loyal parishioners and priests about his handling of clergy sex abuse cases, stirring speculation he is stepping down or preparing to send the Boston Archdiocese into bankruptcy court.

The Boston Archdiocese said it hoped to shed more light late Monday on the purpose for Law's visit, which comes as he considers the unprecedented step filing for bankruptcy for an archdiocese facing about 400 lawsuits by alleged victims.

"He's lost his diocese," said the Rev. Robert Bullock, a leader of the Boston Priests Forum, a group that represents about 300 of the approximately 600 priests in the archdiocese. "He's in hiding. He can't appear in public here. We need new leadership."

Posted by Kathy Shaw 4:22:17 PM
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Vatican plan to block gay priests
The Age

December 10 2002
By Kelly Burke

A worldwide directive to Catholic seminaries banning the ordination of gay men is in the pipeline, Vatican sources have confirmed.

Based on the Catholic Church's teaching that homosexuality is "objectively disordered", the directive is expected to rule that candidates of homosexual orientation be denied admission to the seminary and be denied ordination as priests, irrespective of their celibate status.

Father Julian Porteous, rector of the Sydney archdiocese's centre for priestly training, the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, said he was aware of the document's existence but had yet to receive any communication from either the Vatican's Congregation for Divine Worship or the Congregation for the Clergy about the drafting of guidelines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 4:10:23 PM
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Catholics Debating Cardinal's Possible Resignation

CANTON, Mass. -- The Vatican has confirmed that Boston's embattled Cardinal Bernard Law is in Rome to meet with church officials.

Law is under growing pressure to resign amid new revelations in the clergy sex abuse scandal. The cardinal went to Rome last week as well, possibly seeking advice on his future and the future of the archdiocese.

NewsCenter 5's Amalia Barreda reported that at St. Gerard Magella Church in Canton, Mass., where two priests were accused of sexual abuse in the past, the parish rector says the church remains a thriving community, despite the fact that the crisis continues to deepen.

"I think it's affected a lot of priests very negatively and I don't know how they're going to get out of it. They seem ... I think some people would argue that once the cardinal goes the problem will be to a great extent solved. I'm not sure that's true. I think this problem is beyond one man," said the Rev. Bernard McLaughlin.

For that reason, McLaughlin said he has not yet signed a petition being circulated among priests that calls for Law's resignation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 2:10:40 PM
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A Very Bad Deal

The New Jersey Attorney General's office recently reached a deal with the Catholic Church. It has to do with the reporting of allegations of sexual abuse on the part of certain priests. The New Jersey deal says church officials can volunteer to turn over the personnel files of priests accused of abuse. This arrangement flies in the face of other deals made by the Attorneys General in other states with church officials which requires those officials to turn over personnel files to law enforcement. If church officials don't comply, the bishops involved can be subpoenaed and search warrants issued.
However, the New Jersey deal apparently has the blessings of the McGreevey Administration. Beyond the voluntary aspect of the New Jersey deal with the church, the Attorney General's office also agreed not to follow up on any case that is beyond the statute of limitations-or once a victim of sexual abuse by a priest turns 23.

Maybe it's me, but I think this is a very bad deal that will not only serve to protect some very bad priests (and the bishops that protected them), but it will also do little to help grieving victims and their families. Interestingly, virtually all of these cases occurred beyond the so-called statute of limitations. That's some coincidence, isn't in? I don't think it should be voluntary whether the church turns over the personnel files of a priest accused of sexual abuse. Shouldn't it be mandatory? Wouldn't it be mandatory of a pre-school teacher was accused of the same thing? I would think so. I would like to give church officials the benefit of the doubt here, but their track record has been atrocious on this issue. The church's hierarchy, with few exceptions, has proven that they cannot be trusted to do the right thing when it comes to this decades-old problem. They can't be trusted when it comes to protecting innocent children and punishing perverted and dangerous priests that prey on them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 11:16:21 AM
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Now more that ever, bishops need laity
National Catholic Reporter

Coming out of their semiannual meeting in Washington, the bishops seem to have lost sight of a critical point. This point is so essential that if they fail to grasp it they cannot return themselves to wholeness and credibility.

The point: It is only through laypeople and their collective judgments that the bishops can once again earn their credibility. Try as the bishops might, speak out as they can, act as they will, it is the laity, as outsiders looking in, evaluating, judging and speaking honestly who will, in the final analysis, determine if the bishops are serious or not in their efforts to accept responsibility for the sex abuse scandals and take appropriate actions.

It is laypeople -- outsiders to the authority structure -- who are left to judge the authenticity and integrity of episcopal efforts to make reparations and protect the young. The simple truth is: The bishops need the laity as never before. But do they understand this?

Posted by Kathy Shaw 10:22:32 AM
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Religious order leaders in Rome to seek exception from sex abuse norms
National Catholic Reporter


A last-minute move to include religious order priests in the sex abuse norms adopted by the U.S. bishops in November potentially violates the autonomy of religious life, according to a stance adopted by both the American and the international umbrella groups for men’s orders in the Catholic church.

In part, the orders fear being forced into a rigid zero-tolerance policy. Last August the orders backed the bishops’ commitment to permanent removal of abusers from public ministry, but left open the possibility that such a priest could be treated and returned to an assignment within the community itself.

At the same time, spokespersons for the orders took pains to stress their “complete agreement” with the goal of protecting children from abuse, and insisted they do not want to create a public confrontation between bishops and religious.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 10:20:23 AM
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Cardinal Law in Rome; draft petition from priests calls for Law to resign

BOSTON -- Cardinal Bernard F. Law quietly headed to Rome as mounting calls for his resignation come now from within the ranks of his fellow clergy, and as the Boston Archdiocese considers seeking bankruptcy protection.

Law was at the Vatican, according to archdiocese spokeswoman Donna M. Morrissey, but she refused on Sunday to discuss the purpose of his trip.

Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls confirmed Law's presence in Rome, saying, "The cardinal came to inform the Holy See of various aspects of the situation in his diocese in Boston."

Posted by Kathy Shaw 10:14:08 AM
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Embattled Boston Cardinal Visits Vatican

(AP) (BOSTON ) Cardinal Bernard F. Law quietly slipped away to Rome amid the deepening church abuse scandal, raising speculation that he may be seeking advice on filing for bankruptcy or possibly stepping down.

Published reports in Boston, citing unnamed sources, said Law was in Rome seeking counsel from church officials on two issues: whether the archdiocese should file for Chapter 11 protection, or if Law -- buffeted by mounting calls for his departure -- should resign.

The Rev. Christopher Coyne, a Boston archdiocese spokesman, said the archdiocese expected to release a statement later Monday.

"Hopefully, we can answer some of the questions, like what's being discussed, what's going on, why is he in Rome, what issues is he actually working through with the Holy Father and with the Curia in Rome," Coyne said Monday morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 9:45:55 AM
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Cardinal Takes Secret Trip To Rome

BOSTON -- The head of Boston's Catholic Archdiocese, Cardinal Bernard Law, took a secret trip to Rome over the weekend as protests calling for his resignation grew -- both from parishioners and priests.

NewsCenter 5's Gail Huff reported that Law's spokeswoman is expected to release a statement regarding the purpose of his trip to the Vatican. He was given permission by the archdiocese finance council last week to begin bankruptcy proceedings, which must be given approval by the Vatican.

It was eight months ago, in April, that Law first went to the Vatican, seeking council on whether he should resign in the face of the archdiocese's devastating priest sex abuse crisis. He returned saying he was determined not to resign.

But last week, attorneys for alleged sex abuse victims released more archdiocese personnel documents that revealed an even wider pattern of priestly sex abuse and misconduct, all of it covered up by Law and other archdiocese officials, who continued to reassign errant priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 9:32:58 AM
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Meeting the bishop makes memories
Arizona Republic

Richard Ruelas

Dec. 9, 2002

We met years ago, but I'm certain Bishop Thomas O'Brien doesn't remember the specifics.

Back in my Cub Scout days, I earned a medallion called Parvuli Dei. To get it, I had to complete five steps, outlined in an official Cub Scout handbook, that helped me understand my relationship with God and Jesus. I also had to make some sort of banner.

The medallions were handed out at a ceremony. I don't exactly remember where. I also can't remember whether O'Brien handed the medals to us proud Webelo scouts directly. But I do remember shaking his hand.

Given that my own memory of the meeting is spotty, I'm certain O'Brien has no specific recollection of our meeting. He must have handed out a dozen medallions that day alone, not to mention all the ones he has handed out during all his years with the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 9:22:17 AM
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Church official explains Dover priest’s removal
The Union Leader

From Staff and Wire Reports

A Roman Catholic church official yesterday explained to parishioners at Dover’s St. Charles Borromeo parish why their priest was removed from the parish last week.

Auxiliary Bishop Francis J. Christian said the Rev. Paul L. Gregoire, 73, was placed on administrative leave last Thursday because of allegations that he sexually molested a girl more than two decades ago while serving in a religious order.

The church will continue to support Gregoire financially, but he will not be allowed to act as a priest, according to Patrick McGee, spokesman for the Diocese of Manchester.

The alleged misconduct occurred outside New Hampshire in the 1970s while Gregoire served with the Society of St. Sulpice, McGee said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:36:18 AM
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If Law leaves, bishop would temporarily take control
Boston Herald

by Robin Washington
Monday, December 9, 2002

In the event of Bernard Cardinal Law's reassignment or resignation as Archbishop of Boston, the day-to-day management of the archdiocese would fall to a temporary administrator before a permanent successor is named by Pope John Paul II, according to canon law.

Upon vacancy of the archbishop's office, governance of the archdiocese falls briefly to the most senior auxiliary bishop, who then is charged with convening the Archdiocesan College of Consultors.

That group, comprised of five bishops and four priests, will choose an administrator to serve before a permanent successor is appointed.

That selection could take as long as a half-year - such as the time between the death of Humberto Cardinal Medeiros in September 1983 and Law's appointment the following March - or three months, as with the replacement of Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland, who resigned in May after revelations he paid a man to keep quiet about abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:30:11 AM
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Exit strategy: Cardinal secretly travels to Rome
Boston Herald

by Tom Mashberg and Robin Washington
Monday, December 9, 2002

Bernard Cardinal Law surfaced in Rome yesterday after four days on the road anxiously seeking advice from friends, fellow cardinals and now papal advisers on how best to cope with the leadership and financial crises overwhelming his archdiocese, sources say.

As of last night, the sources say, Law was himself uncertain which path to take - resignation or bankruptcy.

Personally, he is said to be eager to resign given the rebellious mood of his clergy and laity, and the humiliating pounding he has just taken over newly revealed church files.

``There is no question he will ask his friends at the Holy See about his resignation,'' a source who spoke to Law yesterday said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:27:19 AM
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'Think clearly, act decisively'
Boston Globe

Compiled By Globe Staff, 12/9/2002

Below is the edited text of a letter sent yesterday by James E. Post, president of Voice of the Faithful, to the organization's 100-member governing council, suggesting three resolutions aimed at removing Cardinal Bernard F. Law from his post as archbishop of Boston. Post said he expects all three resolutions to be approved.


I have notified Council Moderator, Maura O'Brien, that if Cardinal Law has not resigned by the time of our Council meeting Wednesday night, I will invoke the emergency powers granted to the president by the Council to propose that the VOTF Council adopt a resolution calling for Cardinal Law to resign. This resolution will have the unanimous endorsement of VOTF trustees and officers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:23:47 AM
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Outspoken Newton priest gets ovation
Boston Globe

By Benjamin Gedan, Globe Correspondent, 12/9/2002

EWTON - In a dramatic display of support for the Rev. Walter H. Cuenin, the outspoken priest whose Newton parish was banned last week from holding official archdiocesan activities, more than 850 parishioners attended the 10 a.m. Mass yesterday, applauding their pastor as he railed against Cardinal Bernard F. Law.

''I say hooray for Father Cuenin,'' Penny Hoarty, 57, a parishioner, said as she arrived for Mass. ''He deserves all the support.''

Emboldened by two standing ovations and the high turnout - more than double the recent attendance figures - Cuenin delivered a scathing homily, criticizing Law for hiding ''behind lawyers and bankruptcy.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:20:39 AM
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Law goes to Vatican for advice
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson and Walter V. Robinson, Globe Staff, Globe Correspondent, 12/9/2002

ardinal Bernard F. Law has secretly flown to Rome for talks with Vatican officials about how to settle litigation by victims of clergy sexual abuse, whether the archdiocese should file for bankruptcy, and whether he should resign as archbishop of Boston, a top official of the Boston Archdiocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:17:43 AM
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With Criticism Mounting, Cardinal Heads to Rome
The New York Times


OSTON, Dec. 8 – Cardinal Bernard F. Law abruptly canceled his schedule this weekend and flew to Rome, as anger toward him mounted and some priests signed a draft of a letter calling for his resignation.

A spokeswoman for the cardinal, Donna M. Morrissey, said he had left sometime this weekend, but she declined to provide further details about his trip.

“I don't know what his itinerary is,” Ms. Morrissey said. “I don't know when he's coming back.”

Earlier in the day, many Boston Roman Catholics were wondering why the cardinal, without explanation, did not show up to celebrate Mass at the city's cathedral as he typically does on Sunday. A larger-than-usual crowd of protesters, about 400, gathered outside the cathedral during Mass, even though the cardinal was not there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:11:03 AM
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Bishops Criticize New Abuse Law
The New York Times


OS ANGELES, Dec. 8 (AP) — In a letter read today at Roman Catholic churches in California, bishops challenged a new state law that they say will bring a flood of costly lawsuits over sexual abuse.

The law lifts the statute of limitations for molestation lawsuits for a year on Jan. 1. Catholic officials said they intended to contest it.

Several parishioners at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels in Los Angeles said the church should not balk at paying victims of abuse.

"I think what they need to do now is pay and apologize," said Ben Carlo, at Mass with his wife and their son, 5.

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:07:00 AM
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Bishop breaks ranks on Catholic child sex abuse
The Times

By Helen Studd
A PROMINENT Roman Catholic bishop has rejected claims that the Church is a victim of paedophile hysteria.

In direct contradiction to the views of the Archbishop of Westminster, the Right Reverend Crispian Hollis, Bishop of Portsmouth, said it was children, not the Church, who were the real victims of the crisis — and that media criticism of the Church was justified.

In an open letter to his diocese, Bishop Hollis said: “We must not forget that we are in the relentless media spotlight because children have been sexually abused and we have not always handled this matter in a proper way.”

Bishop Hollis’s letter, published in the Portsmouth diocesan newspaper, is the clearest sign yet of dissent within the Church over the child abuse crisis. It added: “We are at fault for our mistakes, however uncomfortable and unhappy that may make us feel. The Church is not the victim in all this — the children are.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw 7:01:19 AM
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Sunday, December 8, 2002

Priests Seek Role in Bishop Pick
It is better to be Dragon Master than Dragon Slayer. Some Dragons are meant to be mastered, others meant to be slain. Odin, Great Spirit, God, grant me the wisdom to know the difference. "May the Valar guide and bless you on your path under the sky"

#85082 - 12/11/02 02:10 PM Re: A Christmas present for ???
guy43 Offline

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota

I know... most of the time I have to change the channel, click the back button, whatever, when hearing about this stuff. It hits too close to home and can piss me off or trigger me.

That's an interesting web site btw. Maybe you shouldn't be going there if it's a trigger or upsets you?

When will it end? When children are no longer abused. Consider how many children are now no longer at risk because the media exposure has opened the eyes of parents and caretakers.

The truth is just beginning to see the light of day in this country and the world.

I'm not Catholic but I feel for those who's foundations of faith and trust in the church are being shaken down to bedrock. Maybe this is good, many churches (at a local level?) of all denominations are facing the issues and are bringing the secret into the light of day.

- jer

#85083 - 12/12/02 01:01 AM Re: A Christmas present for ???
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Hey, just change the town and country names and it could be anywhere on the planet !

Our papers here in the UK are getting to be the same, and across Europe as well.

Is this depressing or what ?


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau


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