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Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in Pennsylvania, Germany, etc:

2018-AUG:
Three dorms at Catholic School renamed.
Archbishop Viganò attacks pope.

Crisis of Catholicism in the U.S.
CBC responds to PA abuse report.

Part 3 of eight parts:

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This topic continues here from the previous essay.

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2018-AUG-23: Renaming three dorms at a Catholic school in Pennsylvania:

The University of Scranton, a Jesuit university in Pennsylvania, has had three of its student dormitories named after Catholic priests: Hannan Hall, McCormick Hall, and Timlin House. They were named after Rev. Jerome D. Hannan and Rev. James Carroll McCormick and Most Rev. James C. Timlin, D. D. Unfortunately, all three clergy were named in the grand jury's report. They didn't abuse children, but they allegedly covered up activities of the abusers. So, the university is now changing the names of the dorms.

, writing for Patheos. suggested that renaming the dorms is like"wiping off the deck chairs on the Titanic." He suggests

"These are superficial changes that don’t address the root problems within the Catholic Church. While it’s not the school’s job to fix the Church, it’s still advocating a religion that ruins lives due to its views on LGBTQ rights, women’s roles, contraception, absolute secrecy in confession, etc.

At this point, the school should announce that its new mission is to train students for a lifetime of fighting abuse within the Church itself." 1

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2018-AUG-26: Former Vatican diplomat attacks Pope Francis. Church conservatives allege homosexual influence in the Vatican:

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò. 77, was, until his retirement two years ago, the top Vatican diplomat in the United States. He wrote a letter stating that Pope Francis had joined with other senior Vatican officials in covering up abuse by priests of minors. He called for the Pope's resignation. His letter was published on 2018-AUG-27 "... by several conservative Catholic outlets antagonistic to the pope." 2

Viganò claimed that he had personally told Pope Francis about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick's sexual abuse of seminarians years before they became public. It was only during 2018-JUL, after the New York Times and other media outlets published accounts of the abuse, and after a subsequent internal investigation by the Church in the U.S. found that the accusation was credible, that McCarrick offered his resignation to Pope Francis, who accepted it. 2

Chico Harlan, writing for the Washington Post, said that Viganò's letter:

"... sheds light on the opposition movement, and particularly its insistence that homosexuality within the church — and Francis’s inability to keep it at bay — is to blame for the sexual abuse crisis. ..."

"With his letter, Viganò became the torchbearer for the argument, shared among a group of Catholic conservatives, that sexual abuse stems from an overabundance of priests with homosexual feelings. They charge that Francis, who describes abuse in terms of power and clerical narcissism, fundamentally misunderstands the issue, jeopardizing the church’s ability to address the scandals."

Bishop Robert Morlino, in Madison, WI, wrote a letter to to Catholics in his diocese that:

"It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church." 3

Referring to Viganò's letter, Michael Sean Winters, a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter said:

"We are a step away from schism. I think there is a perception among the pope’s critics that there is vulnerability here — on the part of the pope and in the Vatican generally." 3

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2018-AUG-26: "It’s becoming harder to explain why [people remain] Catholic:"

E.J. Dionne Jr. wrote an article with a title similar to the above in the Washington Post. He said:

"The major disgrace of America’s Catholic bishops was to foster a culture in which priests sexually assaulted children and were then sent on to new duties as their ungodly behavior was covered up.

There is also a second failure. Thanks to the bishops, who are supposed to strengthen the faith, Catholics are now regularly asked: 'How can you be a Catholic?' And, even more pointedly, 'How can you stay?'

This summer, these questions became much harder to answer."

He quotes Patricia McGuire, the president of Trinity Washington University who wrote -- before the PA Grand Jury report was issued:

"The utter lack of a truly empathetic acknowledgment of the victims and those who truly love the victims, those who also suffer because of the abuse — their mothers and fathers and all in the universe afflicted by these grave sins — this is the most fundamental problem the Church has yet to address in a satisfactory way. ..."

She commented on the church's:

"... sad history of sometimes rendering unequivocally harsh judgment against those who violate even minor rules while looking the other way when its own ordained leaders violate the most sacred and profound rules about human conduct and respect for human dignity." 4

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2018-AUG-27: The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) responds to the to the Grand Jury report:

Neil Macdonald , writing for the CBC, said:

"Imagine for a moment that a big, admired multinational corporation, one selling a beloved product, was employing large numbers of male pedophiles and rapists, operating in rings all over the world, and that their crimes had been uncovered in Australia, Ireland, Canada, the Philippines, Belgium, France, Austria, New Zealand, Argentina, Chile, Britain, Germany and the United States, and, further, that senior executives had systematically covered up and suppressed evidence, transferring and enabling hundreds of predators, betraying thousands of victims."

He suggested that the U.S. Government would use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) law to charge both staff and executives with criminal activities, and seek long prison terms.

However, the Catholic Church is a religious organization which counts about one in four U.S. adults as members. Any politician that initiates criminal charges against the church would probably lose at their their next election.

MacDonald suggests that the Church's proper response would be to open up all of their files to criminal investigators and "drain the holy swamp. ... By any secular standard, the Catholic Church is a corrupt organization. It in fact sets the standard for impunity." 5

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This topic continues in the next essay.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. , "A PA Catholic School Realized It’s a Bad Idea to Name Dorms After Church Leaders," Patheos, 2018-AUG-23, at: http://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/
  2. Jason Horowitz, "Pope Francis Long Knew of Cardinal’s Abuse and Must Resign, Archbishop Says," New York Times, 2018-AUG-26, at: https://www.nytimes.com/
  3. Chico Harlan, "With call for pope to resign, divisions within the Catholic Church explode into view," the Washington Post, 2018-AUG-27, at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/
  4. E.J. Dionne Jr., "It’s becoming harder to explain why I'm still Catholic," Washington Post, 2018-AUG-26, at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/
  5. Neil Macdonald, "By secular standards, the Catholic Church is a corrupt organization," Canadian Broadcasting Corp., 2018-AUG-26, at: https://www.cbc.ca/

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How you might have arrived here:

 Home page > Religious Info. > Basic info > Clergy sex abuse > here

or Home page > Religious Violence > Clergy sex abuse > here

or Home page > Christianity > Roman Catholicism > Clergy sex abuse > here

Copyright © 2018 Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Author: B.A. Robinson
Originally posted on: 2018-AUG-21
Latest update: 2019-JAN-11

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