Browsing News Entries
Posted on 08/18/2018 23:09 PM (CNA Daily News)
Perth, Australia, Aug 18, 2018 / 04:09 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Christian Brothers have reached a settlement with a dying 74-year-old Australian man for physical and sexual abuse he suffered in their orphanages as a child in the 1950s and 1960s.
The man, Paul Bradshaw, is the first victim to receive compensation under a new Western Australia law that removes the time limit on bringing abuse cases.
Bradshaw will receive AUD 1 million (nearly $732,000).
Before the settlement was reached, Bradshaw was preparing to testify in Western Australia state District Court about how he suffered abuse at Castledare Junior Orphanage and Clontarf Orphanage.
Bradshaw is suffering terminal cancer and doctors have given him six months to live.
The Trustees of the Christian Brothers made the settlement for abuse committed by the deceased Brothers Lawrence Murphy, Bruno Doyle, and Christopher Angus.
Bradshaw said he aimed to use the funds to support his relatives.
“I will die happy now knowing that I can care for my family,” he said.
“I lived on the street most of my life and I don’t want them to go through the same thing I went through,” he told reporters, according to the Associated Press. “I’m just hoping now that this has been settled and I can get on with my last six months in peace.”
Bradshaw’s lawyer, Michael Magazanik, said the orphanages housed the most vulnerable children who had no families or outsiders who could protect them.
“They were utterly vulnerable and the orphanages were a magnet for the very worst of the brothers, the violent pedophiles,” he said.
The lawyer said that Brother Murphy was reported for child sex abuse 10 years before he first abused Bradshaw but nothing was done.
Bradshaw reported his abuse twice as a child but his claims were dismissed. After he left the Clontarf orphanage, he told a judge about his allegations but he was accused of lying and admitted to a psychiatric hospital.
Bradshaw did aid in the criminal prosecution of Murphy in the 1990s but prosecutors dropped the case.
The Catholic Church in Australia in May committed to an AUD 3.8 billion ($2.8 billion) national redress plan for victims of child sex abuse in Australian institutions. The Church is the first non-government institution to commit to the fund. It will be liable for an estimated AUD 1 billion ($732 million).
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse since 2012 has investigated the institutional response to sex abuse as far back as 90 years. More than 8,000 survivors of child sex abuse testified. Catholics made up about 62 percent of those abused in religious institutions.
The commission issued its final report in December.
Multiple bishops have faced trial over sex abuse allegations.
In July Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide. In May the archbishop was convicted of failing to report alleged sex abuse disclosed to him in the 1970s, when he had been a priest for only a year.
Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, faces trial for allegations of abuse.
Posted on 08/18/2018 21:21 PM (CNA Daily News)
Madison, Wis., Aug 18, 2018 / 02:21 pm (CNA).- In response to recent sexual abuse crises, the Bishop of Madison, Wisconsin, has said that the Catholic Church must renew its conviction to identify and reject sin, and admit that a homosexual culture among some clerics has caused great harm in the Church.
The bishop also called Catholics to join him in offering acts of reparation for the sins of sexual immorality among Catholic deacons, priests, and bishops.
“For too long we have diminished the reality of sin — we have refused to call a sin a sin — and we have excused sin in the name of a mistaken notion of mercy. In our efforts to be open to the world we have become all too willing to abandon the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In order to avoid causing offense we offer to ourselves and to others niceties and human consolation,” wrote Bishop Robert Morlino in a pastoral letter released Aug. 18.
“There must be no room left, no refuge for sin — either within our own lives, or within the lives of our communities. To be a refuge for sinners (which we should be), the Church must be a place where sinners can turn to be reconciled. In this I speak of all sin,” he added.
Morlino said that he had been sickened by reading the stories of sexual abuse contained in a report on clerical sexual abuse released Aug. 14 by a Pennsylvania grand jury, and by allegations against former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who has been accused of serially sexually abusing two teenage boys, and of sexually assaulting and coercing priests and seminarians for several decades.
“But my own sickness at the stories is quickly put into perspective when I recall the fact that many individuals have lived through them for years. For them, these are not stories, they are indeed realities. To them I turn and say, again, I am sorry for what you have suffered and what you continue to suffer in your mind and in your heart,” he wrote.
The bishop was particularly candid in his assessment of the cause of those problems: “In the specific situations at hand, we are talking about deviant sexual — almost exclusively homosexual — acts by clerics. We’re also talking about homosexual propositions and abuses against seminarians and young priests by powerful priests, bishops, and cardinals. We are talking about acts and actions which are not only in violation of the sacred promises made by some, in short, sacrilege, but also are in violation of the natural moral law for all. To call it anything else would be deceitful and would only ignore the problem further.”
"There has been a great deal of effort to keep separate acts which fall under the category of now-culturally-acceptable acts of homosexuality from the publically-deplorable acts of pedophilia. That is to say, until recently the problems of the Church have been painted purely as problems of pedophilia — this despite clear evidence to the contrary," he added.
"It is time to be honest that the problems are both and they are more. To fall into the trap of parsing problems according to what society might find acceptable or unacceptable is ignoring the fact that the Church has never held ANY of it to be acceptable — neither the abuse of children, nor any use of one’s sexuality outside of the marital relationship, nor the sin of sodomy, nor the entering of clerics into intimate sexual relationships at all, nor the abuse and coercion by those with authority," he wrote.
Morlino said that McCarrick was guilty of abusing power "for the sake of homosexual gratification."
“It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord. The Church’s teaching is clear that the homosexual inclination is not in itself sinful, but it is intrinsically disordered in a way that renders any man stably afflicted by it unfit to be a priest,” he added.
Morlino wrote to seminarians of his diocese that they should immediately notify him of any sexual abuse, coercion, or sexual immorality they might experience or witness in their seminaries.
“I will address it swiftly and vigorously. I will not stand for this in my diocese or anywhere I send men for formation,” he wrote, adding that he expects seminaries to address sexual immorality directly.
To the priests of Madison, the bishop explained his expectation that each one “live out your priesthood as a holy priest, a hard working priest, and a pure and happy priest — as Christ Himself is calling you to do. And by extension, live a chaste and celibate life so that you can completely give your life to Christ, the Church, and the people whom he has called you to serve. God will give you the graces to do so.”
He likewise called priests to notify him of abuse or sexual immorality they might become aware of.
Morlino also wrote to lay Catholics, asking them to bring forward any instance of clerical sexual abuse or immorality they might be aware of. The bishop promised to hold priests and seminarians accountable to chaste standards of behavior, and to call for reform in the Church.
The bishop asked lay Catholics to “assist in keeping us accountable to civil authorities, the faithful in the pews, and to God Almighty, not only to protect children and the youth from sexual predators in the Church, but our seminarians, university students, and all the faithful as well. I promise to put any victim and their sufferings before that of the personal and professional reputation of a priest, or any Church employee, guilty of abuse.”
The bishop concluded his letter with a call to holiness and prayer.
“More than anything else, we as a Church must cease our acceptance of sin and evil. We must cast out sin from our own lives and run toward holiness. We must refuse to be silent in the face of sin and evil in our families and communities and we must demand from our pastors — myself included — that they themselves are striving day in and day out for holiness. We must do this always with loving respect for individuals but with a clear understanding that true love can never exist without truth.”
“I ask you all to join me and the entire clergy of the Diocese of Madison in making public and private acts of reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for all the sins of sexual depravity committed by members of the clergy and episcopacy,” he wrote.
He added that he would be offering a public Mass of reparation in the diocese and explained that on Sept. 19, 21, and 22, the traditional “ember days” of the Church, he would be fasting “in reparation for the sins and outrages committed by members of the clergy and episcopacy and I invite all the faithful to do the same.”
“Some sins, like some demons, can only be driven out by prayer and fasting,” he wrote.
Posted on 08/18/2018 13:04 PM (CNA Daily News)
Washington D.C., Aug 18, 2018 / 06:04 am (CNA).- The trial of a Philadelphia abortion doctor, whose shoddy clinics and gruesome practices led to his conviction of three counts of murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter, is the subject of a movie due to be released in October.
A trailer previews the movie “Gosnell: America’s Biggest Serial Killer”, a crowd-funded project produced by a team of filmmakers and journalists, some of whom were present for the trial which concluded in 2013.
The name takes its title from the grand jury report in the trial, which detailed the crimes and grisly malpractices of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell’s clinics, including the snipping of the necks of more than 100 babies who had survived abortion.
The film was given the green light to show in U.S. theaters after the producers settled with Judge Jeffrey Minehart, who was involved in the original Gosnell trial and sued to block the film’s release, arguing that he was portrayed in the film as “Philadelphia’s liberal corrupt government.”
The film’s producers told The Hollywood Reporter that it had been “a really hard road” but that they are anticipating the movie to show in as many as 750 theaters throughout the country.
“No matter what your stance is on abortion, you will have a more informed opinion after you see Gosnell,” director Nick Searcy said.
The filmmakers have said they are hoping to avoid an R-rating by alluding to, but not directly showing, some of the most gruesome details of Gosnell’s practices.
"The fanatic subject matter poses a risk," executive producer John Sullivan told The Hollywood Reporter. "We were very careful not to make it too graphic. Gosnell saving feet of infants in jars as trophies plays a role, and you’ll see him take scissors out, but that part plays out as theater of the mind."
After reportedly being kicked off of crowdfunding site Kickstarter because of the film’s anti-abortion content, the multi-million dollar project was crowdfunded on Indiegogo, and was one of the most successfully crowdfunded films of all time, according to Gosnell producers.
“Almost 30,000 people donated over $2.3m in 45 days. When it ended it was the most successful crowdfunding campaign on the Indiegogo website,” the producers note on their website. “We want to thank all of our funders who helped make this project such a success. We literally could not have done it without you. This is your movie.”
Phelim McAleer, one of the film’s producers and a journalist who covered the Gosnell trial, said in an introductory video to the film that part of the motivation for the movie was the lack of attention to the trial in the mainstream media.
“The media have basically ignored his crime and his trial,” he said.
“He ran an abortion clinic in Philadelphia where he delivered live, viable babies and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors.”
"I've been on hard films before, but this one was particularly difficult," Sullivan told The Hollywood Reporter. "Hollywood is afraid of this content. It's a true story the media tried to ignore from the very beginning, so I wasn’t surprised to see Hollywood ignore us."
During Gosnell's trial, one Philadelphia-area reporter took photos of the courtroom showing that the courtroom benches reserved from the press were empty.
National media covered the case only after pro-life advocates launched a social media campaign to raise awareness about the case.
Gosnell's clinic had not been subject to oversight by the state of Pennsylvania since 1993. A federal drug raid in 2010 uncovered blood-stained rooms and filthy equipment.
According to the grand jury report, the clinic stored aborted fetuses in a basement freezer in plastic food containers and bags next to staff lunches. Gosnell kept severed feet of unborn babies preserved in specimen jars, allegedly for future identification or DNA samples.
Staff allegedly sent women to give birth into toilets, a doctor allegedly spread sexually transmitted infections to women through poor sanitary standards, and a 15-year-old staffer administered anesthesia to patients. The clinic also allegedly gave preferential treatment to white patients.
In addition to the counts of first degree murder, the abortion doctor was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient who died of an overdose in 2009.
Prosecutors had sought a third-degree murder charge in her case, saying Gosnell let his untrained and unlicensed staff give the 41-year-old Bhutanese immigrant woman a fatal combination of drugs.
Several of Gosnell’s former employees have pleaded guilty to murder and other charges. Gosnell himself is now serving several life sentences.
“Gosnell” opens in theaters throughout the country on Oct. 12 through GVN Releasing. It stars Dean Cain as Detective James “Woody” Wood, the main detective on the case, and Earl Billings as Dr. Kermit Gosnell.
Posted on 08/17/2018 22:20 PM (CNA Daily News)
Irondale, Ala., Aug 17, 2018 / 03:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- EWTN Global Catholic Network announced Friday that Daniel Burke has been named President and Chief Operating Officer of EWTN News, Inc. Burke has been until now Executive Director of EWTN’s National Catholic Register.
The appointment is effective immediately. In his new role, Burke will oversee and direct EWTN’s global news operations, including EWTN News Nightly with Lauren Ashburn, The World Over with Raymond Arroyo, EWTN Pro-Life Weekly, Force for Good, the Washington, D.C. News Production group, The National Catholic Register, Catholic News Agency, the ACI Group, ChurchPop, and EWTN’s Vatican Bureau.
In a statement, Burke said that EWTN Foundress Mother Angelica “changed the face of Catholicism in America as she advanced the Gospel through her use of the media.”
Today, Mother Angelica’s legacy continues through EWTN, he said, and Catholic news contributes to the network’s mission of worldwide evangelization.
“I am honored to play a small role in this great work of God and look forward to serving the vital mission of EWTN News as we engage and examine the events of the day through the lens of the teachings of the Church.”
Burke will report directly to Michael Warsaw, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of EWTN, according to a press release issued by the network.
“Over the past several years, EWTN has focused a great deal of effort on creating a global Catholic news platform through television, radio, print and digital,” said Warsaw in a statement.
“Dan Burke is a perfect choice to lead these operations,” Warsaw said. “He is uniquely suited to help facilitate cooperation and editorial collaboration across our multiple outlets. I am confident this will result in a greatly strengthened position for all of our news operations.”
Burke has been employed by EWTN since the network acquired the National Catholic Register in 2011.
Before joining the National Catholic Register, he worked in global strategy development, organizational development, and business and technology consulting. He has written or edited 11 books on Catholic spirituality, and he founded the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, which teaches graduate-level courses in spirituality to priests, religious and laity.
EWTN Global Catholic Network was launched in 1981 by Mother Angelica of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration. The largest religious media network in the world, it reaches more than 275 million television households in more than 145 countries and territories.
In addition to 11 television channels in multiple languages, EWTN platforms include radio services through shortwave and satellite radio, SIRIUS/XM, iHeart Radio, and over 500 AM & FM affiliates. EWTN publishes the National Catholic Register, operates a religious goods catalogue, and in 2015 formed EWTN Publishing in a joint venture with Sophia Institute Press. Catholic News Agency is also part of the EWTN family.
Posted on 08/17/2018 22:12 PM (CNA Daily News)
Washington D.C., Aug 17, 2018 / 03:12 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After a grand jury found thousands of alleged instances of sexual abuse in six of Pennsylvania’s Catholic dioceses, numerous U.S. bishops have called for renewal and change in face of these heartbreaking events.
Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, vice president of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the Church in the U.S. is in “a sad and confusing time.”
In his homily for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Aug. 15, the archbishop asked the Blessed Mother to intercede for greater purity and renewed love inside the Church.
“Let us ask the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary, the Mother of the Church. May she help us to have the courage we need to purify the Church and renew our love for holiness and our devotion to Jesus Christ and his Gospel.”
An 884-page grand jury report was released Aug. 14. The report states more than 1,000 victims had been sexually abused by some 300 priests over a span of seven decades. The report also points to the efforts to conceal or ignore the abuse by Church authorities.
Archbishop Gomez said now is the time for prayers and repentance in the Church, encouraging actions of forgiveness and healing.
“This is a time now for prayer and repentance and a time for examining our conscience, especially for those of us who are bishops and priests. And all of us need to pray for every person who has been hurt by the Church, and we need to work to help them heal.”
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia said the report should also ignite a just anger, not an unhealthy rage, and he compared it to Christ's actions toward the moneychangers in the temple.
His archdiocese experienced similar reports on abuse in 2005 and 2011, he said, noting the “The anger Philadelphians felt toward the Archdiocese was likewise well placed.” Similarly, he said, this recent event calls for an anger which needs to be controlled and fruitful.
“Anger is also a righteous and necessary response – but it needs to be an anger that bears good fruit; an anger guided by clear thinking, prudence, and a desire for real justice. That kind of anger all of us should feel this week and carry with us into the days ahead.”
For his archdiocese, he said, anger motivated change. Since the abuse had been made known, the archdiocese has taught an estimated 100,000 laypeople and clergy to recognize and report abuse.
An Aug. 15 statement from the bishops of New Jersey dioceses acknowledged “that media accounts of the details contained in Pennsylvania’s grand jury report show a heartbreaking departure from our fundamental belief in the dignity and value of every child. As a Church, our calling remains unchanged - to help children in our care encounter leaders who exemplify God’s commandment to love and protect the most vulnerable.”
“As Bishops, we hold that every parent and every child deserve a safe environment to learn and explore their faith. Every space where teaching, worship, and ministry take place must provide this safe environment. There must be no compromise on this principle. The children entrusted to our care are treasures.”
The New Jersey bishops said they will “remain vigilant to ensure that not one child will ever be abused on our watch,” adding that the state's dioceses have conducted background checks on all personnel who have regular contact with minors.
“We thank law enforcement agencies, child protection advocates and victims themselves who have helped us move beyond compliance to creating the safest environments for learning and worship. We are deeply thankful for those who have joined our efforts to extend both healing and hope to every victim and their family. We renew our commitment to foster healing and seek forgiveness.”
The bishops of New Jersey's dioceses urged “anyone who was abused by clergy to come forward to civil authorities.”
Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston said that while many sexual offenders have answered for their crimes, there are areas in need of improvement.
“While many perpetrators have been held accountable in one way or another for their crimes, we have yet to establish clear and transparent systems of accountability and consequence for Church leadership whose failures have allowed these crimes to occur.”
“The Church must embrace spiritual conversion and demand legal transparency and pastoral accountability for all who carry out its mission,” he added. “The way we prepare priests, the way we exercise pastoral leadership and the way we cooperate with civil authorities; all these have to be consistently better than has been the case.”
This will not be an easy task, admitted the cardinal. He said Catholics and others in society are frustrated with Church leadership. However, he promised there is still hope.
“I am not without hope and do not succumb to despondent acceptance that our failures cannot be corrected. As the Church we have the responsibility to help people not to lose hope, that was Jesus’ message to all those he ministered to, especially in times of great trial.”
“There is too much good in the Church and in our faith to lose hope. Often it is survivors who courageously teach us we cannot lose hope.”