Archbishop Scicluna

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Archbishop Charles Scicluna, secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is travelling to the UK to meet members of the Comboni Survivor Group in February 2020. We hope this will assauge some of the pain we have been living with for decades. Thanks Charles.

YOU WILL BE WAITING A LONG TIME FOR AN APOLOGY

Comboni priest and Superior of their Mother House in Verona (2015) “if you are waiting for an apology you will be waiting a long time and your wait will be in vain.”

Barrister Mr. Jacobs’s closing statement includes the above.

I hour and 44 mins in.

https://t.co/e2TPXPJnw7

INEPENDENT INQUIRY CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE – 28th October 2019 – THE NEXT STEPS

INDEPENDENT INQUIRY CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

Next Steps – 28th October 2019

A preliminary hearing in this investigation took place on 25 September 2019.

The full public hearing will take place from 28 October to 8 November 2019 at the Inquiry’s hearing centre at 18 Pocock Street, London SE1 0BW.

A report on the Archdiocese of Birmingham case study was published on 20 June 2019 and is available to read here. A report into Ampleforth and Downside schools, part of the English Benedictine Congregation case study, is available to read here. A further report into Ealing Abbey and St Benedict’s School, also part of the English Benedictine Congregation case study, is being prepared and will be published on 24 October 2019.

The Inquiry is encouraging all victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experience.

Related links

Criteria for Selection of InvestigationsPolicy on the Scope of InvestigationsGlossary of TermsGuidance for potential Core ParticipantsCore Participant FAQsPreliminary Hearings FAQsA List of Core Participants in the InquiryGeneral Investigations hearing transcript, 26 July 2016Protocol on redaction of documentsRestriction Order 15 August 2016Attending a hearingHelp and support

https://www.iicsa.org.uk/investigations/investigation-into-failings-by-the-catholic-church

Child Sexual Abuse in the Roman Catholic Church – The Independent Inquiry Child Sexual Abuse

An inquiry into the extent of any institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.

The sexual abuse of children within the Roman Catholic Church has been a matter of national and international concern for many years: the Archbishop of Westminster’s calls for this Inquiry to be established reflected that concern.

This investigation will consider the extent to which the Nolan and Cumberlege reviews of child protection in the Roman Catholic Church improved the Church’s policy and practice. Specific case studies will be identified by the investigation. The first case study will examine the English Benedictine Congregation which has been the subject of numerous allegations of child sexual abuse, including at schools run by the Congregation. The Inquiry will examine the relationship between Orders such as the Benedictines and the Catholic Church in England and Wales and consider how that relationship impacts on child protection. In this way the Inquiry will evaluate whether any failings identified within the English Benedictine Congregation, and within any other case studies identified as part of the investigation, are representative of wider failings within the Catholic Church.

Relevant news

Inquiry announces publication date for Ealing Abbey report

News 26th Sep 2019

Inquiry investigation hearings to be held in September

News 29th Aug 2019

Inquiry publishes report on Archdiocese of Birmingham case study

News 20th Jun 2019

Inquiry updates hearing timetable and announces core participant opening date for investigation into child sexual exploitation by organised networks

News 20th Feb 2019

Next Steps:

A preliminary hearing in this investigation took place on 25 September 2019.

The full public hearing will take place from 28 October to 8 November 2019 at the Inquiry’s hearing centre at 18 Pocock Street, London SE1 0BW.

A report on the Archdiocese of Birmingham case study was published on 20 June 2019 and is available to read here. A report into Ampleforth and Downside schools, part of the English Benedictine Congregation case study, is available to read here. A further report into Ealing Abbey and St Benedict’s School, also part of the English Benedictine Congregation case study, is being prepared and will be published on 24 October 2019.

The Inquiry is encouraging all victims and survivors of child sexual abuse to share their experience.

Related links

Criteria for Selection of InvestigationsPolicy on the Scope of InvestigationsGlossary of TermsGuidance for potential Core ParticipantsCore Participant FAQsPreliminary Hearings FAQsA List of Core Participants in the InquiryGeneral Investigations hearing transcript, 26 July 2016Protocol on redaction of documentsRestriction Order 15 August 2016Attending a hearingHelp and support

https://www.iicsa.org.uk/investigations/investigation-into-failings-by-the-catholic-church

THE POPE IS TALKING TO THE DEAF

Pope: Without The Joy Of The Gospel
One Cannot Be A Missionary

(By Robin Gomes Writing in Vatican News)

Pope Francis on 30 September met representatives of missionary congregations of Italian origin to keep alive in the people of God the awareness of being fundamentally “outgoing”, that is, sent to bring to all nations the blessing of God who is Jesus Christ.

Going out
“May your Institutes collaborate more and more with the particular Churches in order to foster an increased awareness of the “missio ad gentes” (mission to other peoples) and take up again with renewed fervour the missionary transformation of the Church’s life and pastoral activity,” the Pope told some 70 men and women religious of the Comboni*, Consolata, PIME and Xaverian congregations.

The heads of these congregations met the Pope on the eve of the Extraordinary Missionary Month of October 2019 that he instituted in October 2017, to commemorate 100 years of the Apostolic Letter “Maximum Illud” of Pope Benedict XV, that sought to give a new impetus to the Church’s missionary mandate of proclaiming the Gospel. The theme of the month is “Baptized and sent out”.

At a time when everything seemed to lead to the preservation of the existing, the Pope noted, their founders, on the contrary, became the protagonists of a new momentum towards the other and those far away. The Church exists on the road, he said. “On the couch, there is no Church.”

Mysticism of total self-giving
The Pope said it is necessary to rediscover the mysticism of mission in all its fascinating beauty, and a thirst for communion with Christ through witness, which their founders experienced, leading them to give themselves totally. This mysticism, he said, always retains its extraordinary power.

The Holy Father said he was struck by their pledge of being missionaries “sent to other peoples, outside their country of origin, and for life” without any sense triumphalism but welcoming it as an opportunity for discernment, conversion and renewal.

The Pope thanked the missionary men and women congregations for their dedication to their vocation of “missio ad gentes”, which, he said, is inseparably ecclesial because it is rooted in baptism, and linked to their rich charisms that the Lord has called them to.
“Help to keep alive in the people of God the awareness of being fundamentally “outgoing”, sent to bring to all nations the blessing of God who is Jesus Christ,” the Pope urged. By collaborating among themselves, he said, missionary congregations also help the people remember that mission is not the work of individuals, of “solitary champions”, but is communitarian, fraternal and shared.

Mission – a two-way traffic
The Pope said that mission is not a “one-way” traffic from Europe to the rest of the world but thrives on exchange. Territories that once received missionaries are today producing the majority of priests and religious in the Church. This, he said, arouses a sense of gratitude towards the holy evangelizers who with great sacrifices sowed in those lands. It is also a challenge for communion and formation for the Churches and for congregations, trusting in the Holy Spirit who is Master in harmonizing differences.

In this regard, Pope Francis recalled that General Congregation of the Jesuits in 1974, where someone asked if they could have an Indian or an African as Jesuit general. But those days, the Pope pointed out, a general had to be a European. “Today many religious congregations have superiors general from those lands,” he said, noting there is a Latin American Jesuit general today. “The thing has been reversed: what in 1974 was utopia, is a reality today,” he said.

Joy of the Gospel
He told the men and women missionaries that by leaving behind their beloved native country they are proclaiming that with Christ there is always novelty in life, without boredom, fatigue or sadness. “The missionary needs the joy of the Gospel: without this one cannot be on a mission, one does not proclaim a Gospel that does not attract.” “This attraction, he stressed, is the heart of mission” because it is only Christ who attracts

Comboni

Comment by Brian Mark Hennessy of the Comboni Survivor Group.

The Pope is Talking to the Deaf.
In January 2016, Cardinal Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster took a Document comprising over 200 pages relating to 1000 alleged crimes of child sexual abuse by Comboni Missionary Priests against UK child seminarians to the Vatican. He handed it in personally to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

There was no response to the Comboni Survivor Group whatsoever – not even an acknowledgement of receipt. A Year later Cardinal Nichols visited CDF and reminded them that there had still been no response.

In August 2018 a second document was produced regarding a specific case and it took the form of an application for Papal Justice under the provisions of Canon Law. That document and a copy of the previous document were handed into the Popes Private Office by a Jesuit acting on behalf of the Comboni Survivor Group. By December of that year there had still been no response from the Private Office of the Pope.

In December 2018, Archbishop Scicluna arrived in Rome to assist in the preparations for the February 2019 Synod on Child Abuse. The Archbishop was contacted directly by one of the Comboni Survivor Group. Scicluna immediately forwarded the two documents to the Disciplinary Office of CDF. No response has yet been received 10 months later – not even an acknowledgement of receipt.

At the Synod – the Superior General of the Comboni Missionary Order was present when the Pope addressed Bishops and Religious Superiors from throughout the world in Santa Marta at the Vatican. He looked moved on camera as it was televised and I had hopes that he would then respond to child victims of 1000 alleged crimes committed by clerics of his Order at least commence a dialogue of healing.

However, there has been no outreach by members of the Order to the surviving victims of Comboni cleric’s sexual abuse of UK Junior Seminarians. I use the word ‘survivors’ because in the past year, half a century following the abuse, and after years seeking dialogue with the Comboni Missionary Order, two of our fellow seminarians who were sexually abused have died without a single word of apology or comfort from the Superior General of the Comboni Missionary Order and nor from the UK Provincial of the Order.

I have to conclude that the policy of the Eternal Catholic Church and its clerics is that they are waiting for all the survivors of child sexual abuse at the hands of their former fellow priests are dead in their graves.

 

NSS raises Vatican’s defiance of abuse inquiry with Foreign Office

NSS raises Vatican’s defiance of abuse inquiry with Foreign Office
Posted: Fri, 27 Sep 2019

The National Secular Society has urged the government to hold the Vatican accountable over its continued failure to cooperate with a British public inquiry on child abuse.

The NSS has written to Foreign Office minister Tariq Ahmad over the issue after revelations at the Independent Inquiry on Child Sexual Abuse (IICSA) this week.

Counsel to the inquiry Jacqueline Carey said the Vatican had refused to supply written evidence or send witnesses about clerical misconduct in advance of hearings in October, despite a request to do so.

She told the inquiry on Wednesday: “The Holy See confirmed that it would not be providing a witness statement or a witness to attend the hearing. The Holy See considers that the ‘domestic laws and internal proceedings of a foreign sovereign entity are not the proper object for a British inquiry’.”

IICSA’s request, which comes in advance of hearings into abuse in the Catholic Church due to take place in October, concerns issues including:

• Abuse at Ealing Abbey, in west London, and its associated school, St Benedict’s

• The role of the Vatican’s representative in Britain, the papal nuncio
• The Catholic Church’s wider approach to abuse allegations.

Carey said the Vatican had told the inquiry its officials are “bound by rules of confidentiality and have immunity from being compelled to give evidence or produce documents”.

The Vatican claimed that the papal nuncio to Britain, Edward Adams, had diplomatic immunity and could not be called to testify.

The inquiry also heard that the Vatican had “expressed reservations” about attempts to identify witnesses who could provide evidence about areas of concern which it had not addressed.

In its letter the NSS asked the Foreign Office to “step in to help the inquiry”.
Chief executive Stephen Evans wrote: “We urge you, in the interests of the countless victims of Catholic clerical abuse, to bring all the pressure you can to ensure that the Vatican is not allowed to thwart the ability of IICSA to understand and address the significant institutional failures to protect children from sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.”

On Wednesday IICSA heard that the Foreign Office’s job was “simply to facilitate the passage of correspondence between the inquiry and the Holy See”.
Explaining the NSS’s decision to write the letter, Mr Evans said: “The Catholic Church’s continued failure to cooperate with the IICSA inquiry is unacceptable and again exposes Pope Francis’s empty rhetoric on tackling child abuse. In these circumstances the government must be prepared to pressurise the church’s hierarchy to change its ways.

“And ultimately the government should be prepared to reconsider its relationship with the Vatican. A religious authority is claiming diplomatic immunity to prevent a British public inquiry from fulfilling its legitimate remit concerning child abuse which took place within the UK. It can’t be allowed to defy justice so brazenly without consequence.”

In February it was revealed that IICSA had written to the papal nuncio several times to request a statement but had received no response.

At the time the NSS wrote to prime minister Theresa May to urge her to put pressure on the Vatican over the issue. The society did not receive a response.
The pope also promised to take “concrete measures” to tackle abuse in February.

Sad News – Frank McGinnes’s death

hello everyone my name is brian mcginnis ….i just want to let you know my brother frank mcginnis passed away today june 7 2019 he died suddenly …he never forgot hiis time at mirfield or his friends….he kept the secrets of mirfield only admitting that bad things happened there….please remember him in your thoughts and at your reunions he was my brother and my best friend ….he never really talked about what happened there but i know he suffered while he was there ….i just hope he is at peace now …..if anyone wants to say a few words my e mail is brian_a_mcginnis@yahoo.co.uk

The Combonis have not reached the stage of needing to address the suffering of the victims of clerical abuse by their priests – they don’t want to, and they believe they don’t need to.

Gerry, It’s true, the dominoes are falling, but only for some.

For some that it falls for, it probably falls because they have realised (or been forced to act) that their failings and their apalling behaviour towards victims and survivors of clerical abuse is catching them up.They, therefore, have to say or do something to protect their image and financial status.

For other priests and orders I believe they want to change and support victims and survivors of clerical abuse and feel guilty at the way the victims have been treated, ignored and suffered for decades.

Unfortunately, I don’t think the Combonis have reached that stage of realisation. I doubt if they will. But, we live in hope, for ourselves and for our children and for many vulnerable children in the world.

It was only a couple of years ago that the superior and the vice superior of the most important house the Combonis have said to me: “you and your lot are all money grabbers” and “if you are waiting for an apology you will be waiting a long time and your wait will be in vain.” This is the attitude that many of the victims of cleracil abuse by religious orders are up against. They reach out to the Combonis and ask for dialogue and express their need to be listened to – and they get silence. A silence that revictimises them.

There has not been a rush from the Combonis to engage with the CSG after the recommendations of the recent February summit in Rome. Why is that? They don’t see the need to. And they don’t want to

It would seem, just like it was 25 years ago, we are an inconvenience to them.

The Italian Catholic Church and, hence, the Combonis are so interwovan with Italian politics – past and present – that , the most important and powerful order in Italy, the Combonis, can ignore abuse and all it has to do is remain silent, and use their obedience vow of omerta.

Regards

Mark

With Sex-Abuse Summit, Pope Francis Signals a ‘Pastoral’ Approach Father Raymond J. de Souza

With Sex-Abuse Summit, Pope Francis Signals a ‘Pastoral’ Approach
The Feb. 21-24 meeting takes the view that bishops who think as the Pope wishes them to think about their role as shepherds will then do the right thing in tackling sex abuse.

– Father Raymond J. de Souza

As the sex-abuse summit convenes Thursday in Rome, Pope Francis, for the sixth time in six years, will attempt to accelerate the pace and reach of the Church’s efforts to deal with sexual abusers and to protect minors. Those earlier efforts have, in fits and starts, raised both levels of frustration and expectation that this summit will have genuine results.

And as the summit opens, surprising criticism of the Holy Father’s record is coming from Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston, appointed by Pope Francis to head up the pontifical sex-abuse commission.

The Framework of Pope Francis

The summit will operate within a framework of the dominant themes established by Pope Francis. The official program, released Monday, has Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines, speaking on the “smell of the sheep” and Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta addressing “the field hospital.” Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Bombay, India, will speak on “collegiality” in a Church that is “sent out,” while Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago will address “synodality.”

The program puts an emphasis not on policies or procedures, let alone changes to canon law, but on a change in mentality by bishops. The favored themes of the Holy Father are to provide the new directions necessary for tackling sex abuse on a universal level.

The sex-abuse summit thus follows in the same line as the synods on the family and youth, where the emphasis shifted from specific questions of doctrine or moral teaching to the call for a new pastoral approach. The summit takes the view that bishops who think as Pope Francis wishes them to think about their role as shepherds will then do the right thing in tackling sex abuse.

Six Initiatives in Six Years

The summit is the sixth major initiative of Pope Francis on the sex-abuse file. And it opens with his chief lieutenant for sexual abuse, Cardinal O’Malley, expressing his frustration with the shortcomings of the previous five.
In 2013, the Holy Father established a papal commission to advise the Holy See on best practices. Last week, prominent articles appeared that gave voice to Cardinal O’Malley’s frustration, namely that the Holy Father hears the commission’s advice, accepts it, but does not follow through.

The frustration appears to be mutual. Cardinal O’Malley is conspicuously absent from the summit’s program, even though two of his colleagues on the “council of cardinals” — Cardinals Gracias and Reinhard Marx of Munich, Germany — are plenary speakers.

In January 2015, a new panel was set up within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) to hear appeals of sexual-abuse cases, supposedly to expedite matters. Archbishop Scicluna was put in charge. Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Cardinal O’Malley found the decisions of Archbishop Scicluna’s appellate panel to be a “scandal,” as it favored more lenient penalties. On the eve of the sexual-abuse summit, the Holy Father’s top adviser on sexual abuse was at odds with the Vatican’s “chief prosecutor.”
In June 2015, Pope Francis announced a new special tribunal in the CDF to judge cases when bishops were accused of “abuse of office.” The CDF was never consulted on the initiative, and, after its announcement, it was never implemented.

In June 2016, Pope Francis dropped the tribunal idea and instead issued new legislation that gave various departments of the Roman Curia responsibility for investigating and judging bishops who either abused their office or were negligent, especially in regard to sex abuse.
In 2018, on his return flight from Dublin, the Holy Father confirmed that the provisions of his own legislation were not being implemented either, as he had changed his mind and preferred to judge such cases himself, with the assistance of ad hoc panels set up by himself.

Also in 2018, Pope Francis sent Archbishop Scicluna to Chile to investigate the bishops there. After receiving his report, the Holy Father said that his repeated mistakes in Chile were the result of being “badly informed,” even though on crucial matters he had been asked by both the Chilean bishops and mass protests not to proceed.

As a consequence, the entire Chilean episcopate offered their resignations, eight of which were accepted, and two bishops have been dismissed from the clerical state.
In September 2018, after a horrific summer of sexual-abuse news in the United States, and after the complete fiasco of the Chile affair in the spring, the Holy Father announced the sex-abuse summit for February 2019. It is thus the sixth major initiative of the pontificate.
Cardinal O’Malley’s Criticism
Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Cardinal O’Malley complained at the highest levels in Rome that Archbishop Scicluna’s appeals panel had reduced the punishments of priests found guilty of abusing minors. There wasn’t zero tolerance, he claimed, despite the Holy Father advocating just that.
“If this gets out, it will cause a scandal,” the Journal quoted Cardinal O’Malley as telling Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, and other Vatican officials, citing an unnamed person present during the meeting.

As for the processes to judge bishops, set up in 2015 and 2016 only to be abandoned almost immediately, Cardinal O’Malley told The Atlantic that, despite his detailed proposals, the Pope “was convinced to do it another way.”
“We’re still waiting for the procedures to be clearly articulated,” Cardinal O’Malley said. It was a devastating assessment of failure on the key issue of bishops’ accountability. After two official announcements going back four years, including one that was actually legislated, not even Cardinal O’Malley knows what the Holy Father intends to do. Bishops’ accountability will not be a key part of the summit this week.
It is not clear why Cardinal O’Malley, in the lead-up to the summit, would raise the fundamental questions he did. Yet it certainly indicates a frustration with the role of the commission he heads.
That the summit does not include him as a speaker, nor other commission members on its preparatory council, seems to confirm Cardinal O’Malley’s frustrations over a lack of follow-through.

Indeed, it may be that the commission itself has met the fate of the Holy Father’s other sex-abuse initiatives, which offered a bold beginning only to be abandoned later.

Father Raymond J. de Souza is the editor in chief of Convivium magazine.