Catholic Church sex scandals

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Benedict Emerges to Pin Sex Abuse on Sexual Revolution

He publishes a 6K-word letter 'to assist in this difficult hour'

(Newser) - Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has emerged from the shadows with a new letter that assigns blame for the clergy abuse crisis. In a 6,000-word letter whose authenticity was confirmed by Benedict's personal secretary, Benedict begins by writing that his remarks are intended "to assist in this difficult... More »

In Significant Move, Pope Defines the Term 'Vulnerable Adults'

As part of new law requiring Vatican personnel, Holy See diplomats report abuse allegations

(Newser) - Pope Francis on Friday issued sweeping new sex abuse legislation for Vatican personnel and Holy See diplomats that requires the immediate reporting of abuse allegations to Vatican prosecutors, a policy shift aimed at being a model for the Catholic Church worldwide. The mandatory reporting provision, while limited in scope, marks... More »

West Virginia to Diocese: You 'Knowingly Employed Pedophiles'

State files suit against diocese, bishop

(Newser) - Parents entrusted their children to West Virginia's Wheeling-Charleston Diocese schools and camps—not knowing who their children were potentially being exposed to. The West Virginia attorney general has filed a lawsuit against the diocese accusing it of not conducting adequate background checks for its employees, including priests, and not... More »

Catholic Diocese Is Not Amused by SNL's R. Kelly Joke

Church demands NBC apologize for the skit

(Newser) - SNL has landed itself in a little holy hot water: Catholic officials in New York City are demanding the show and NBC apologize after a skit compared the Church’s sex abuse scandals to allegations against R. Kelly. The Diocese of Brooklyn released a statement on Monday heavily criticizing the... More »

Accused Pedophile Priest Now a Homicide Victim

Dozens in New Jersey alleged John Capparelli had sexually abused them when they were boys

(Newser) - John Capparelli traveled across the US three years ago, hoping to leave the sexual abuse allegations about him behind on the East Coast, and many in the defrocked priest's Henderson, Nev., neighborhood may have had no clue about his past. That history came to light this week after Capparelli,... More »

Former Vatican No. 3 Sentenced for Sexual Abuse

6 years isn't long enough, victim's father says

(Newser) - The most senior Catholic ever convicted of child sex abuse is on his way to an Australian prison, and a judge acknowledged Tuesday that there is a strong chance Cardinal George Pell will die there. Victoria state County Court Chief Judge Peter Kidd sentenced the 77-year-old to six years in... More »

Cardinal's Lawyer Sorry for Referring to Rape as 'Vanilla'

Robert Richter issues apology after 'sleepless night'

(Newser) - The defense lawyer for the man who was once the third highest-ranking official in the Catholic Church—and who's now awaiting sentencing for attacks on two 13-year-old choirboys in Australia—is apologizing for referring to the crimes as "plain" and "vanilla." The assaults by George Pell,... More »

Judge Sends Disgraced Cardinal to Prison

He was unswayed by reference from ex-PM

(Newser) - The former third highest-ranking official in the Catholic Church is now the newest inmate in the Melbourne Assessment Prison. Cardinal George Pell, who has been found guilty of sexually assaulting two children , will spend his first night behind bars Wednesday after being remanded into custody pending sentencing, reports Reuters . The... More »

3rd Highest-Ranking Catholic Convicted of Abusing Children

Cardinal George Pell, who has been a close adviser to the pope, faces prison in Australia

(Newser) - One of the most powerful men in the Roman Catholic Church, a close adviser to the pope, has been convicted of child sexual abuse. A jury found Australian Cardinal George Pell guilty of one count of sexually penetrating a child under the age of 16 and four charges of an... More »

Pope Francis: Predator Priests Become 'Tool of Satan'

Francis closes out summit on sexual abuse with harsh words, but leaves survivors disappointed

(Newser) - Pope Francis closed out a four-day summit meant to tackle the sexual abuse scandal that has roiled the Catholic Church for decades, reports the AP , promising that abusive priests will face "the wrath of God." The pontiff compared sexual abuse to "the cruel religious practice ... of sacrificing... More »

Pope at Sex Abuse Summit: 'Listen to Cry of Little Ones'

Skeptics hope his vow for 'concrete and efficient measures' isn't an empty one

(Newser) - "Simple and predictable condemnations" aren't what's needed to fight sex abuse within the Catholic Church; "concrete and efficient measures" are. That's according to Pope Francis, who kicked off on Thursday a four-day global summit on the matter in Rome in front of nearly 200 bishops,... More »

Vatican's 'Next Scandal': Rules on 'Children of the Ordained'

Spokesman confirms secret rules on how to deal with children fathered by priests

(Newser) - "It's the next scandal" for the Vatican, according to one man right in the middle of it. Just days after Pope Francis admitted there was a problem within the Catholic Church involving nuns impregnated by male clergy, sometimes leading to forced abortions, Vincent Doyle talks to the New ... More »

Pope Makes 'Almost Revolutionary' Move Against Ex-Cardinal

Theodore McCarrick has been defrocked by Pope Francis

(Newser) - Cardinal Donald Wuerl may have forgotten about sexual abuse allegations against his predecessor, but Pope Francis didn't. The New York Times reports that word has been handed down from the top: Theodore McCarrick, the former cardinal of Washington, DC, has been defrocked. "The Holy Father has recognized the... More »

Pope's Shocker on Nuns: 'Sexual Slavery,' Forced Abortions

'Do we have to do more? Yes. Are we willing? Yes.'

(Newser) - A shocking first emerged from the pope on Tuesday: admission of more sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, this time of nuns at the hands of male clergy. The New York Times notes it's the first time the pontiff has publicly recognized the church's very own #MeToo issue,... More »

Catholic Leaders in Texas Name 286 Accused

Dioceses identify those accused of sexually abusing minors

(Newser) - Catholic leaders in Texas on Thursday identified 286 priests and others accused of sexually abusing children, a number that represents one of the largest collections of names to be released since an explosive grand jury report last year in Pennsylvania, the AP reports. Fourteen dioceses in Texas named those credibly... More »

Cardinal on Sex Abuse Allegations: They Slipped My Mind

One alleged victim isn't buying that story from DC's Donald Wuerl

(Newser) - Cardinal Donald Wuerl says there's a reason why he hasn't been completely forthcoming about abuse allegations against Theodore McCarrick, the man who held the post before him: He forgot he knew about them, or at least some of them, per the Washington Post . That's the story the... More »

Letter Reveals Vatican's Real Take on Abuse Cases

Rome's reaction stunned sex-abuse survivors

(Newser) - The Vatican blocked US bishops from taking measures to address the clergy sex abuse scandal because US church leaders failed to sufficiently consult with the Holy See beforehand about legally problematic proposals, according to a letter obtained by the AP . The Nov. 11 letter from the Vatican's Cardinal Marc... More »

Jesuits: Here Are the Accused

Roman Catholic Jesuits release 13 names

(Newser) - The Roman Catholic Jesuit province serving much of the eastern United States on Monday released the names of Jesuit priests who face "credible or established" accusations of sexual abuse of minors dating to 1950, the AP reports. In a letter, the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus identified... More »

A Major Church Figure in US Loses His Job

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, resigns over his handling of cases

(Newser) - Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl after he became entangled in two major sexual abuse and cover-up scandals and lost the support of many in his flock, per the AP . Wuerl, who turns 78 in November, becomes the most prominent head to roll in the... More »

Pope Reconsiders, Defrocks a Pedophile Priest

Francis toughens Vatican's penalty against Chile's Fernando Karadima

(Newser) - Pope Francis has defrocked the Chilean priest at the center of the global sex abuse scandal rocking his papacy , invoking his "supreme" authority to stiffen a sentence originally handed down by a Vatican court in 2011, per the AP . The Vatican said Francis had laicized the 88-year-old Rev. Fernando... More »

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