NEWS ABOUT: Catholic Church sex scandals

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Vatican: We're a Model in Handling Sex Abuse

Envoy tells UN Church has defrocked hundreds of priests since '04

(Newser) - Sexual abuse of children is a "plague and a scourge" that the Catholic Church has been fighting effectively over the last 10 years, the Vatican's ambassador to Geneva told the United Nations Committee on Torture yesterday. Archbishop Silvano Tomasi told the committee that 848 priests who abused children... More »

Pope: I Take 'Personal Responsibility' for Abuse

Victims' groups not appeased by his remarks on priests' scandal

(Newser) - Pope Francis asked for forgiveness for the Catholic Church's various sexual abuse scandals today, reports the AP , which notes that it is the first time he, or any pope, has taken responsibility for them. "I feel compelled to take personal responsibility for all the evil that some priests"... More »

UN Rips Vatican: You Failed Kids, Saved Sex Abusers

Church 'regrets' that panel is interfering with its teaching

(Newser) - The United Nations is hammering the Vatican for what a panel calls a failure to fully address sex abuse in the Catholic Church. "The Holy See has consistently placed the preservation of the reputation of the church and the protection of the perpetrators above children’s best interests,"... More »

Pope Mentions Sex Abuse for First Time

He also meets with Netanyahu

(Newser) - Pope Francis made direct mention of the Catholic Church's problems with sexual abuse today, asking bishops from the Netherlands to "continue supporting" victims "on their painful path to healing." It's the first time he's publicly addressed the issue, according to the National Catholic Reporter... More »

Archdiocese Kept Lid on Minn. Priest's Sex 'Compulsions'

Curtis Wehmeyer was allowed to keep working

(Newser) - The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis made it clear that once officials heard about a priest's abuse of two boys, they went straight to law enforcement. Trouble is, the archdiocese actually knew about what Minnesota Public Radio calls Curtis Wehmeyer's "sexual compulsions" for almost a decade—... More »

Catholic Church Keeps a Secret 2nd Set of Records

But sex-abuse inquiry is exposing those files

(Newser) - For centuries, the Catholic Church has had two sets of books—one for routine matters, the other containing records of controversial matters ranging from clandestine weddings performed by priests to clergy alcohol abuse. That second set of records, the first mention of which appeared in the 1700s, has been kept... More »

Vatican Sends Disgraced UK Cardinal Away for 'Penance'

Keith O'Brien was felled in sex scandal

(Newser) - The Vatican yesterday ordered a disgraced Scottish cardinal to leave Scotland for several months to pray and atone for sexual misconduct , issuing a rare public sanction against a "prince of the church" and the first such punishment meted out by Pope Francis. The Vatican said Keith O'Brien , once... More »

Priests in Scotland 'Out of Control Sexually': Ex-Adviser

Alan Draper accuses Church of hiding sex crimes

(Newser) - More bad news for Catholics: A former child-abuse adviser for the Catholic Church in Scotland says its priests have been "out of control sexually" for decades, the Telegraph reports. Alan Draper, an ethics lecturer at Dundee University, says Church leaders were "unwilling" to reveal priests who led "... More »

Disgraced UK Cardinal: Sorry for My Bad Sex Behavior

Keith O'Brien apologizes to anyone he 'offended'

(Newser) - At first he denied claims of sexual misconduct. Now Keith O'Brien, Britain's most powerful cardinal, has issued a statement apologizing for "times that my sexual conduct has fallen below the standards expected of me as a priest, archbishop and cardinal. To those I have offended, I apologize... More »

Britain's Top Cardinal Quits Amid Scandal

Keith O'Brien accused of inappropriate contact with 4 priests

(Newser) - The UK's top Roman Catholic cleric has resigned amid accusations of inappropriate behavior dating back 33 years. Cardinal Keith O'Brien was set to retire next month after voting on the next pope ; but after the scandal exploded over the weekend, Pope Benedict has accepted his immediate resignation, the... More »

Top UK Cardinal Accused in 'Inappropriate' Acts

Keith O'Brien has long condemned homosexuality

(Newser) - Britain is buzzing today over allegations that the nation's top Catholic cleric engaged in "inappropriate behavior." Three priests and a former priest are accusing Cardinal Keith O'Brien in incidents they say date back to the 1980s, according to the AP . O'Brien, who is set to... More »

Now, the Pope Benedict Conspiracy Theories

Sex scandal? Nazi history? Prophecy?

(Newser) - With Pope Benedict suddenly announcing his resignation today, we've looked at his legacy and the process for choosing his replacement . Now—forgive us—we delve into the inevitable conspiracy theories that "explain" his resignation:
  • His Nazi History. Benedict has acknowledged he was forced to serve in the Hitler
... More »

Benedict's Legacy? A List of Unachieved Goals

But others say his comments on contraception may endure

(Newser) - As the world comes to terms with the sudden and incredibly unusual resignation of the papacy by Pope Benedict XVI, the general consensus appears to be that Joseph Ratzinger was a scholarly, introverted conservative who will ultimately be remembered most for the controversies that surrounded him. Among the opinions:
  • Despite
... More »

Church Treated Rule Violations More Seriously Than Abuse

LA Times reports on newly released personnel files of priests

(Newser) - Priests sexually abusing boys and girls? Tut-tut. Priests performing baptisms without permission? Oh, the horror! Sad, but true: The Catholic Church often treated "ecclesiastical missteps" more seriously than reports of priestly abuse, reports the Los Angeles Times , which has been poring over the local archdiocese's newly released personnel... More »

In 'Extraordinary' Move, Cardinal Relieved of Duties

Former LA archbishop Roger Mahony remains 'in good standing': rep

(Newser) - The former archbishop of Los Angeles has been removed from all public duties due to the central role he played in the coverup of child abuse . Tens of thousands of pages revealing the extent of the abuse crisis, now posted on the church's website, are "brutal and painful... More »

LA Diocese Covered Up Sex Abuse for Decades

Court documents reveal decades of secrecy

(Newser) - The Archdiocese of Los Angeles went to great lengths to cover up decades of child abuse among its priests, and details are emerging in extensive confidential records. Despite Cardinal Roger Mahony's private concerns about the problem, he avoided making it public and sometimes took years to defrock priests involved.... More »

Catholic Cleric Gets 3 to 6 Years in Sex Abuse Coverup

Monsignor William Lynn didn't rein in priests in Philadelphia

(Newser) - A Roman Catholic monsignor who became the first US church official to be convicted for covering up sex abuse claims against priests was sentenced today to three to six years in prison by a judge who said he "enabled monsters in clerical garb ... to destroy the souls of children.... More »

Abuse Victim Cleared of Assaulting Priest

Jury refuses to convict William Lynch

(Newser) - A California man who beat up a retired Catholic priest he accused of molesting him as a child has been found not guilty of assault, despite admitting the beating on the witness stand. Jurors said none of them wanted to convict William Lynch, 44, after hearing about the alleged abuse... More »

Nuns Rock, and Vatican Is Nuts to Mess With Them

Nuns show the best of Catholic Church; Rome, the worst: Nicholas Kristof

(Newser) - Catholic nuns represent much of the best the church has to offer—they're tough, smart, and humble. Which is why Nicholas Kristof has a clear warning for Pope Benedict: "You are crazy to mess with nuns," whom Kristof lauds as "the first feminists" and whom he... More »

Dutch Catholics Castrated at Least 10 Teens in 1950s

In bid to rid them of homosexuality, newspaper claims

(Newser) - The Dutch Roman Catholic Church castrated at least 10 boys under age 21 "to get rid of homosexuality" in the 1950s, according to a report from Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad. The paper identified one victim, named Henk Heithuis, who in 1956 claimed to have been sexually abused by priests.... More »

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