VATICAN CITY (AP) — Fewer than a third of U.S. Catholics rate the honesty and ethical standards of clergy as “very high” or “high,” the latest evidence of the hierarchy’s diminished credibility as a result of the clergy sex abuse scandal, according to a Gallup poll released Friday.
The record-low 31 percent honesty rating marked an 18-percentage-point drop from 2017, a large fall after years of steady decline that followed a new global explosion of the scandal and revelations of high-ranking cover-up.
Catholics aren’t alone in the crisis, however. The Gallup survey also found that while the Protestants’ 48 percent positive rating for clergy is higher than Catholics’, 2018 marked the first time that fewer than half of surveyed Protestants had high marks for clerical honesty.
Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte called on the Catholic Church Friday to allow its priests to have boyfriends, alleging “most priests are gay.”
Duterte made his latest tirade against the church during a groundbreaking ceremony for a new school, doubling down on his previous claim that “almost 90 percent” of Catholic clergy are gay. His comments came weeks after he called bishops “useless fools” who should be killed during a Dec. 6 speech at the presidential palace.
No mincing of words there.
German cardinal on Friday provoked anger and controversy when he claimed the Catholic church was not responsible for sexual abuse by its clerics, and instead sought to pin the blame on homosexuality.
“What has happened in the church is no different from what is happening in society as a whole,” Cardinal Walter Brandmüller said. “The real scandal is that the Catholic church hasn’t distinguished itself from the rest of society.”
A study commissioned by the German Bishops Conference and published last year found that more than 3,600 children were sexually abused by Catholic clergy in Germany between 1946 and 2014.
KURAVILANGAD, India (AP) — The stories spill out in the sitting rooms of Catholic convents, where portraits of Jesus keep watch and fans spin quietly overhead. They spill out in church meeting halls bathed in fluorescent lights, and over cups of cheap instant coffee in convent kitchens. Always, the stories come haltingly, quietly. Sometimes, the nuns speak at little more than a whisper.
Across India, the nuns talk of priests who pushed into their bedrooms and of priests who pressured them to turn close friendships into sex. They talk about being groped and kissed, of hands pressed against them by men they were raised to believe were representatives of Jesus Christ.
“He was drunk,” said one nun, beginning her story. “You don’t know how to say no,” said another.
At its most grim, the nuns speak of repeated rapes, and of a Catholic hierarchy that did little to protect them.
Former Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony is long retired, but his scandals keep exploding like ticking time bombs around the feet of his successor. The latest eruption was this week’s revelation that Mahony had elevated Monsignor Alexander Salazar to auxiliary bishop in 2004 despite a credible allegation of abuse against Salazar from the 1990s. Mahony’s successor, Archbishop Jose Gomez, announced that Salazar’s resignation flowed from “deep concern for the healing and reconciliation of abuse victims and for the good of the Church’s mission.”
The Church has known about the allegation against Salazar for at least 13 years and in all likelihood much longer, but only got around to forcing Salazar’s resignation this week, presumably out of a PR need to tidy up such cases before Pope Francis’s “abuse summit” next February, and perhaps also out of fear of exposure by approaching investigators.
Catholic priests who sexually abuse children are “vicious wolves” who should turn themselves into the authorities, Pope Francis said on Friday.
His remarks came at the end of a year in which he was accused of mishandling an abuse scandal in Chile and in which the Vatican’s third most senior figure, economy minister Cardinal George Pell of Australia, was put on trial in Melbourne for sexually abusing boys.
Any priest who abused a child was “a vicious wolf ready to devour innocent souls”, the Pope said in his annual address to the Curia, the Vatican’s governing body.
(CNN)In yet another blow to the Catholic Church in the United States, Illinois’ attorney general says the state’s six dioceses have failed to disclose accusations of sexual abuse against at least 500 priests and clergy members.
Illinois’ dioceses have released lists publicly identifying 185 clergy members who had been credibly accused of child sex abuse. But state Attorney General Lisa Madigan said preliminary findings in her investigation reveal that the church failed to disclose sexual abuse allegations against at least 500 additional priests and clergy members.
Cdl. Pietro Parolin: ‘It’s an issue inside Pakistan’
VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) – The Vatican is not offering asylum to a persecuted Catholic woman in Pakistan.
After years of struggle in the courts, Aasiya Noreen “Asia” Bibi — a Catholic mother of five — was acquited of charges of blasphemy in the Pakistan Supreme Court on Oct. 31. Islamic fundamentalists all over Pakistan immediately began protesting the acquittal. Many of the protesters demanded Bibi’s death for her alleged blasphemy against the prophet Mohammad.
An Australian court’s gag order and the forces of the Information Age collided on Thursday in a largely futile effort to keep news about the conviction of a high-ranking Vatican official from reaching readers.
While some U.S. and British news organizations, including the New York Times, did not report on the conviction of Australian Cardinal George Pell on the judge’s order, social media and other news outlets defied it.
Pell, 77, was convicted Tuesday on five counts of child sexual abuse in Melbourne, becoming the most senior official ever found guilty in the Catholic Church’s long-running child sexual-abuse scandals. The judge in the case, Peter Kidd, immediately subjected news of Pell’s conviction to a suppression order, the Australian equivalent of a gag order on press coverage
Nineteen monks, nuns and other Catholics who were killed during Algeria’s civil war were beatified on Saturday, in the first step towards becoming Roman Catholic saints.
The ceremony, in Algeria’s second city, Oran, was conducted by Italian Cardinal Angelo Becciu on behalf of Pope Francis.
During a service attended by 1,200 people, including pilgrims, relatives, and friends of the beatified, Becciu read the official decree stating that the 19 men and women would “from now on be called blessed.”
December 5, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Catholic German ethics professor calls Cardinal Müller’s recent remarks on homosexuality “unbearable” and claims that, just as the Church’s teaching on the death penalty has changed, the teaching on homosexuality is also open to change.
Sacrilegious redevelopment has become an especially pressing issue to the Vatican because thousands of Catholic churches have shuttered around the world in the past two decades
Bigger fish to fry.
Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) from 2012-2017, declared in a recent interview that the church needs to address the homosexual underpinnings of the clerical abuse crisis, saying that the “homosexual conduct of clergymen can in no case be tolerated.”
Speaking candidly with Dr. Maike Hickson of LifeSiteNews, the German prelate said leaders in the Catholic Church still underestimate what he called a “homosexual network” wreaking havoc in the church.
and other Catholic Church sex abuse crisis news. This story went through here on November 23:
A faithful member of a parish in New Mexico was pepper-sprayed in the face by a church employee on church property two Sundays ago — allegedly because he was discussing the Catholic clerical sexual abuse scandal. More.
Here’s a bit of background from Associated Press:
In 1986, Coyle reported his “history of sexual attraction to and contact with boys” to Sioux City’s bishop, revealing that he had victimized approximately 50 youngsters over a 20-year period while serving in several Iowa parishes , according to a private letter written in February by the diocese vicar general and obtained by the AP.
The diocese told the AP on Wednesday that it never contacted police or informed the public after Coyle’s admission.
A faithful member of a parish in New Mexico was pepper-sprayed in the face by a church employee on church property two Sundays ago — allegedly because he was discussing the Catholic clerical sexual abuse scandal.
After attending Mass at the St. Bernadette Shrine in Albuquerque on November 11, Reuben Ortiz told Church Militant that he was speaking with a man in his 30s who claimed he had been sexually abused by a Catholic priest.
Ortiz told the man about how he and his wife, Tania, had taken a retired priest into their home for seven months — only to discover to their horror that he had been accused of molesting dozens of boys in Iowa.