At a time when the United States is divided by the pending confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court and Catholics are roiling from clerical sex abuse scandals, Msgr. Peter Vaghi urged attendees at Sunday’s annual Red Mass to seek the Holy Spirit’s healing power.
Two prelates most affected are those who today lead dioceses where, over a decade ago, their predecessors settled with victims of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and who now insist they were never informed.
I SCANNED THE ROWS of baby food jars on the shelf, grabbed several in a clattering handful, and tossed them into my cart. The store assistant smiled as she rang me up.
In one of the largest known settlement payouts for sex abuse within the Catholic Church to date, the Diocese of Brooklyn confirmed Sept. 18 that it and another defendant would pay $27.5 million to four victims of abuse at the hands of a volunteer at St. Lucy’s-St. Patrick’s Church in the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn.
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Michael J. Bransfield of Wheeling-Charleston, West Virginia, and has instructed Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore to conduct an investigation into allegations that Bishop Bransfield sexually harassed adults.
Members of the Vatican’s commission for protecting young people in the Church have been listening to victims and survivors of abuse in Rome, while also pointing out they have no remit to investigate individual allegations of abuse.
Pope Francis’ silence about allegations by his former ambassador to the U.S. that he knew of abuses against seminarians by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick is, for some, no more disconcerting than his silence regarding Chile, where three bishops have been subpoenaed by the prosecutor’s office to give testimony about possible abuse cover-ups.
Coming together as a community and addressing the Church’s failings, while also acknowledging the bishop’s sustained efforts at tackling the issue, was the focus at a parish town hall meeting held at the Woodside parish, Sept. 6.
Pope Francis is calling the presidents of every Catholic bishops’ conference in the world to Rome Feb. 21-24 to discuss the prevention of the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.
The Diocese of Brooklyn is in the process of reviewing the subpoena sent by the New York State Attorney General as part of an ongoing civil investigation looking to see whether the dioceses covered up sexual abuse of minors.