Child & Youth Protection

As survivors find voice, church leaders wrestle with how to address issue

Pennsylvania survivors of clergy sex abuse spent the week after the release of the grand jury report finding their voice as bishops and priests in the state wrestled with how to address the growing scandal.
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Former Mount St. Joseph teacher accused of abuse

Xaverian Brother Robert Flaherty, a former teacher at Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore, has been removed from active ministry by his religious community following an allegation that he sexually abused a minor in the mid-1980s.
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Group says structural changes in church needed to address abuse

Catholic theologians, educators, parishioners and lay leaders across the United States expressed their disgust with the abuse scandal in the church, saying the details in a Pennsylvania grand jury's report "evince a horror beyond expression."
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Anderson calls for ‘full accounting of misdeeds’ that have led to scandal

After years of Catholics having to confess their sins to the clergy, it is now time for priests and bishops "to come clean about what they have done and what they have failed to do," the CEO of the Knights of Columbus said.
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Clericalism: The culture that enables abuse and insists on hiding it

Throughout his pontificate, Pope Francis has targeted clericalism as an illness in the church, an ailment that pretends "the church" means "priests and bishops," that ignores or minimizes the God-given grace and talents of laypeople and that emphasizes the authority of clerics over their obligation of service.
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In homilies and messages, local clergy respond to abuse crisis

Parish priests and deacons throughout the Archdiocese of Baltimore used their Aug. 18-19 homilies, along with messages on social media, bulletins and letters, to address their flocks in response to the recent findings of the Pennsylvania grand jury report concerning clergy child sexual abuse and the way bishops handled abusers.
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Pope: Abuse victims’ outcry more powerful than efforts to silence them

"No effort must be spared" to prevent future cases of clerical sexual abuse and "to prevent the possibility of their being covered up," Pope Francis said in a letter addressed "to the people of God."
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Archbishop Lori’s Homily: 20th Sunday in Ordinary Time/Patronal Feast of Cathedral of Mary Our Queen

The only way forward in this difficult hour is to center our lives on Christ and through Christ to give the Spirit access to our hearts. In that way, instead of clergy and laity growing apart from one another, we will strive in God’s grace to repair broken relationships, to heal those who have been...
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Pennsylvania prelate says bishops who hid abuse should resign

Erie Bishop Lawrence T. Persico said the only way to regain the trust of the laity after decades-long claims of sexual abuse by priests and others at six Pennsylvania dioceses is by deeds and one of those deeds may mean getting rid of bishops who hid abusers.
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Holy See makes statement on Pennsylvania grand jury report

The abuses described in the report are criminal and morally reprehensible. Those acts were betrayals of trust that robbed survivors of their dignity and their faith.
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Archbishop Lori’s Homily: Mount St. Mary’s Seminary Opening Mass

This is not a mere public relations crisis. It represents a tsunami of moral failures – grave acts of commission and omission – that have justifiably bewildered and angered God’s people and undercut the Church’s evangelizing mission.
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Cardinal DiNardo announces plan to address ‘moral catastrophe’ of abuse

The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Aug. 16 announced three key goals and a comprehensive plan to address the "moral catastrophe" of the new abuse scandal hitting the U.S. church.
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