Wednesday, July 7, 2010

US denies Vatican sex abuse immunity – The Sydney Morning Herald – June 30, 2010

WASHINGTON: The US Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal by the Vatican for immunity in a high-profile paedophilia case, dealing a setback to the Holy See as it tries to protect itself from a litany of sex abuse cases.

The court refused without comment to consider whether the Vatican had legal immunity over the sexual abuse of minors by priests in the United States, allowing a lower court suit filed in 2002 to proceed. Read more

Vatican's New Rules Against Child Sex Abusers to Maintain Status Quo
David Gibson – July 7, 2010 - Politics Daily

The Vatican is expected to slightly enhance its rules for punishing clergy who sexually abuse children, but the new policies, likely to be announced within days, will still fall short of what victim advocates say is necessary to protect minors.

Moreover, the changes are seen as fairly minor concessions in a decades-long battle to push Rome to act forcefully against abusers.

In addition, the new policy, which has reportedly been signed by Pope Benedict XVI, still has no provision for dealing with bishops who cover up for molesting priests and it is unlikely to clarify whether or how bishops should report abusers to civil authorities. Read more - David Gibson – Politics Daily

Gunning for the Pope?
Diane Winston – July 6, 2010 - The Huffington Post

…Vatican officials, have noted it's a sad reality that children are abused in schools, camps, and religious settings. Typically when the crime comes to light, the offender suffers the consequences and the story comes to an end. But if a powerful institution shields the guilty party, obstructs justice, and enables the offending behavior to continue, it's newsworthy.

Critics complain that the Times is out to get the Church and Pope Benedict, in particular. They cite theological inaccuracies, historical misunderstandings and editorial intimations to justify their stance. But they miss the forest for the trees. The intricacies of priestly ordination, Vatican law and institutional preservation are important to the story, but they're not the point. The point is the church's choice: opting to safeguard the institution, its priests and reputation at the expense of children and families. The Times is, as any news outlet should be, interested in making sense of this decision ... Read complete article - Diane Winston

Scandal-Ridden Catholic Church Can No Longer Expect Leniency -> Even Pope Benedict XVI Could Be Taken To Court.— Kids Are Being Hurt!!!

Pope Benedict XVI Lashes Out at Secular Justice
Fiona Ehlers - Hans-Jürgen Schlamp - Spiegel Online – July 6, 2010

…Even if the raid in Belgium was inappropriate, it is another indication that the scandal-ridden Catholic Church can no longer expect leniency -- neither in Belgium nor in the US, where a week ago Monday the Supreme Court ruled that the Vatican enjoys no immunity in cases of alleged molestation by priests. The ruling means that, in theory, even Pope Benedict XVI could be taken to court.

The message is clear: Should secular justice not receive the requisite support from the Catholic Church, it is no longer going to wait patiently outside the gates.

Church Office Failed to Act on Abuse Scandal
July 1, 2010 – The New York Times

…But the future pope, it is now clear, was also part of a culture of nonresponsibility, denial, legalistic foot-dragging and outright obstruction. More than any top Vatican official other than John Paul, it was Cardinal Ratzinger who might have taken decisive action in the 1990s to prevent the scandal from metastasizing in country after country, growing to such proportions that it now threatens to consume his own papacy…

…But today the abuse crisis is still raging in the Catholic heartland of Europe: civil investigators in Belgium last week took the rare step of raiding church headquarters and the home of a former archbishop. The Vatican under Benedict is still responding to abuse by priests at its own pace, and it is being besieged by an outside world that wants it to move faster and more decisively. Read complete article - By Laurie Goodstein and David M. Halbfinger

Pope Benedict XVI - More Developments
The New York Times

June 28, 2010 In a sign of sharply rising tensions between the Vatican and Belgium, Pope Benedict XVI criticized as “surprising and deplorable” a raid on church property last week by Belgian police officers investigating sexual abuse by clerics. — NYT Read more - More Developments

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