clergy abuse scandal

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Vatican's No. 3 Official Charged With 'Historical' Sex Crimes

Cardinal George Pell denies accusations

(Newser) - Cardinal George Pell, the third highest-ranking Vatican official, has long been accused of mishandling the church's response to clergy abuse scandals in his native Australia. Police in Victoria state now say he might have been one of the abusers. Australian police say the 76-year-old Vatican treasurer faces "multiple... More »

Activists: Vatican Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity

Pope, 3 officials named as responsible for rampant sex abuse

(Newser) - In the most substantial effort yet to hold the Vatican's feet to the fire for clergy sexual abuse, human rights lawyers will file a complaint today asking the International Criminal Court to investigate and prosecute Pope Benedict XVI and three top Vatican officials for crimes against humanity. According to... More »

Boston Archdiocese Lists Accused Priests

159 clerics on list; 91 others omitted

(Newser) - Nearly a decade after a sexual abuse scandal erupted in the Archdiocese of Boston, Cardinal Sean O'Malley has released a list of 159 clerics accused of abusing children. The list was compiled using files that go back as far as 70 years, but the archdiocese has come under fire... More »

Jesuits Settle Sex-Abuse Suit for $166M

Staggering case involves 470 victims in Pacific Northwest

(Newser) - A Catholic order will pay $166 million to some 470 survivors of sexual abuse and "spiritual incest" in a case of staggering scale that dates back to the 1940s at Jesuit-run schools in the Pacific Northwest. The victims were almost all Native Americans and Native Alaskans, notes the Seattle ... More »

Pope Celebrates Rocky 5th Anniversary

Beleaguered Vatican isn't exactly popping champagne

(Newser) - Today marks the fifth anniversary of Pope Benedict's ascension to the papacy, but they aren't exactly popping champagne at the beleaguered Vatican. At the moment Benedict is embroiled in a massive pedophilia scandal that could define his papal legacy, and it's not like he's had a charmed papacy until now,... More »

Women Could Save the Catholic Church

Old church needs new blood in charge, writes Peggy Noonan

(Newser) - The Vatican shouldn't be allowed to let this latest round of abuse scandals fade away until some major changes are made, writes Peggy Noonan. The defensive, angry people at the highest levels of the church are too big a part of the problem to fix it, Noonan writes in the... More »

Pope Finally Talks Sex Abuse—Sort Of

Benedict says Church must do 'penance'

(Newser) - He might not have mentioned it explicitly, but Pope Benedict has apparently broken his deafening silence on the sex abuse scandals roiling the Catholic Church. The comments, which called for the church to do "penance" for its "sins," came in a homily delivered in the papal palace,... More »

Vatican Told of Abuse in 1963

US priest wrote Pope Paul VI urging defrocking of 'problem priests'

(Newser) - A letter sent to Pope Paul VI in 1963 surfaced yesterday, and its contents suggest that the Vatican was aware of the sexual abuse problems happening in the US Catholic Church nearly five decades ago. Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald wrote the letter, which was made public by lawyers representing alleged abuse... More »

Vatican Tries to Shield Pope from Lawsuit

Offers 3 reasons he isn't responsible for abuse, and can't testify

(Newser) - The Vatican is launching a legal defense that it hopes will shield the pope from a lawsuit in Kentucky seeking to have him answer questions under oath about clerical sex abuse. Vatican lawyers plan to argue that the pope has immunity as head of state, that American bishops who oversaw... More »

Vatican Response Rubs Salt Into Abuse Victims' Wounds

Survivors aren't trying to hurt the Pope, say survivors

(Newser) - A man who says he was among some 200 deaf boys allegedly molested by a priest in Wisconsin said yesterday the Vatican's defensive responses to revelations about the case make him feel like he did when he was 12, when no one would listen to him about the abuse—while... More »

Sex Abuse by Irish Priests 'Hidden for Decades'

Senior clerics implicated in child abuse cover-up

(Newser) - Catholic authorities in Ireland covered up sexual abuse by priests for decades in an effort to protect the church, according to a damning government report. The report, which looks into allegations of child sex abuse against 46 Dublin-area priests over a 30-year period, will "shock us all," said... More »

Vatican Slams Sex Abuse in Other Religions

Pedophilia statement charges that most abusers are gay

(Newser) - The Vatican hit out at critics of its handling of the church's sexual abuse crisis yesterday, maintaining that most of its abusive clergymen were gay men and not pedophiles. The Holy See's UN representative cited "available research" that only 5% or less of its clergy were involved in... More »

US Nuns Dodge Specter of Sex Abuse

(Newser) - Last week the largest group of American nuns held its annual meeting, and once again they refused to let survivors of sexual abuse in Catholic schools attend. When even the bishops have acknowledged the depth and seriousness of abuse within the Church, it's strange for the nuns to bury their... More »

Gay Catholic Archbishop Writes Memoir

Figure in sex scandal admits orientation, denies assault

(Newser) - A Catholic archbishop who resigned in 2002 over a sex scandal with a man has written a book addressing his sexual orientation, reports the AP. Rembert Weakland was head of the Milwaukee archdiocese and a hero to liberal Catholics for his activism, until he resigned at the peak of the... More »

Pope Apologizes for 'Evil' Clergy Sex Abuse

Pontiff tells Australia child abusers have damaged the church

(Newser) - Pope Benedict XVI used unusually strong language today in condemning the sexual abuse of children by Australia's Catholic clergy, reports the AP. The pontiff said the clergy's "grave betrayal of trust" had damaged the Catholic church. "I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have... More »

After Pope Meets Victims, Vatican Considers Change

Canon law, particularly on statute of limitations, evolving with sex scandal

(Newser) - Just a day after a Washington meeting where Pope Benedict XVI talked with victims sexually abused by Catholic priests, a Vatican official said the church would consider changes to canon law dictating how the church deals with such offenses, the New York Times reports. Cardinal William Levada holds Benedict’s... More »

Benedict Sees Abuse Victims

Unprecedented move underscores pope's determination to heal from scandal

(Newser) - Pope Benedict XVI met this afternoon with victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests, the Boston Globe reports, an unprecedented move by the pontiff. The five are from the Boston area, the center of the scandal that has rocked the church. Though Benedict has already addressed the... More »

Pope to Church: Pedophilia Was 'Badly Handled'

He urges bishops to 'foster healing' and work to improve trust

(Newser) - Pope Benedict XVI had strong words for America's Roman Catholic bishops today, asserting that the clerical sexual molestation scandal had been "very badly handled" in many cases, the AP reports. "It is your God-given responsibility as pastors to bind up the wounds caused by every breach of trust,... More »

Pope's Words Anger Victims of Sex Abuse

They're looking for action against priests—not lip service

(Newser) - Pope Benedict's attempt to placate priests' sex abuse victims has only served to anger many of them, reports the New York Times. The pontiff said he was "deeply ashamed" of the scandal that has triggered complaints from some 13,000 victims. He does not plan to meet with any... More »

Pope 'Ashamed' by Priest Sex Abuse

Pontiff promises to make sure it won't happen again

(Newser) - Pope Benedict XVI said today he is "deeply ashamed" by the priest sex-abuse scandal that caused a crisis of faith in the US, and he vowed that the church "will absolutely exclude pedophiles" from the priesthood, the AP reports. "We will do whatever is possible so that... More »

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