Irish bishops to enlighten Pope in sex-abuse summit
16/2/10; (2 Items)
Irish bishops one by one will give an accounting to the Pope of their views, actions or knowledge about decades of sexual abuse by clergy, a participant said, but resignations were not on the agenda for the Vatican’s extraordinary summit, starting yesterday. “A casualty of all this has been the truth,” Clogher Bishop Joseph Duffy said on the eve of the two day summit. “The fullness of the truth must come out, everything must be laid on the table.”
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Bishop Duffy, a spokesman for the Irish Bishops Conference, said the church was “admittedly slower than it needs to be” in grappling with a “culture of concealment”.
Last year, an investigation revealed that church leaders in Dublin had spent decades protecting child-abusing priests from the law while many fellow clerics turned a blind eye. A separate report in Ireland had been released months earlier documenting decades of sexual, physical and psychological abuse in Catholic-run schools, workhouses and orphanages.
Among the 24 bishops at the summit will be Martin Drennan, of Galway, who rebuffed calls made after the report’s release that he should step down.
Bishop Duffy said the summit with the Pope was not intended to deal with the issue of resignations. Instead, he said it would deal with the “enormous injustice and cruelty” to the victims and the Irish faithful at large.
In the Dublin report, investigators determined that a succession of archbishops and senior aides had compiled confidential files on more than 100 parish priests who had sexually abused children since 1940.
The files had remained locked in the Dublin archbishop’s vault. Bishop Drennan and the other summit participants will each have seven minutes to have their say before the Pope, who will listen to the Irish prelates in group sessions.
Asked how explicit the bishops’ discussions with the Pope would be, Bishop Duffy said they would be frank.
“It is my information that the Pope is very well clued in on this issue, that even before he became Pope he had access to the documentation, and that he knew exactly what was in the documentation, and that he wasn’t living in a fool’s paradise,” Bishop Duffy said.
Benedict XVI has signalled that he intends to purify the priesthood.
While still a cardinal, he had denounced “filth” in the church as the abuse scandals exploded during the papacy of John Paul.
See: Bishops quit after Irish sex probe; 25/12/09;http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2009/12/20091225213830925735.htmlWhen sorry just isn’t enough; David Sharrock; 17/2/10; http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/when-sorry-just-isnt-enough/story-e6frg6ux-1225831122495
Jesuit sex scandal spreads
The sexual abuse scandal in Jesuit-run German schools is spreading rapidly and is likely to involve more than 100 former pupils, says the head of one affected college. The impact on the Catholic order, the Society of Jesus, has been devastating, since the Jesuits have always boasted: “Give us the child for seven years and we will give you the man.” Now it seems the order may lose some of its credibility, in Germany at least, as a pillar of Catholic education. “I can imagine that we will reach a three-figure number,” said Father Klaus Mertes, head of the elite Canisius college in Berlin, talking of possible victims. He did not exclude a compensation package. Manuela Groll, a lawyer representing many former pupils, said: “More and more victims are coming forward every day.”
See: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/jesuit-sex-scandal-spreads/story-e6frg6so-1225831130189; Priests ‘must admit blame’l; From: 17.2.10; http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/priests-must-admit-blame/story-e6frg6so-1225831129965; Anger as papal nuncio refuses to testify on child abuse; 17/2/10; http://www.smh.com.au/world/anger-as-papal-nuncio-refuses-to-testify-on-child-abuse-20100216-o8yz.html