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Pope defrocks Chilean priest at center of abuse scandal

Pope defrocks Chilean priest at center of abuse scandal

World
Pope Francis has defrocked a Chilean priest who was a central character in the global sex abuse scandal rocking his papacy, invoking his "supreme" authority to stiffen an earlier sentence because of the "exceptional amount of damage" the priest's crimes had caused. In a statement Friday, the Vatican said Francis had laicized 88-year-old Rev. Fernando Karadima, who was originally sanctioned in 2011 to live a lifetime of "penance and prayer" for having sexually abused minors in the upscale Santiago parish he ran. The Vatican said Francis was doing so for "the good of the church." "It is without doubt an exceptional measure, but Karadima's grave crimes have caused exceptional damage in Chile," Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said. The "penance and prayer" sanction has been the Vatican's punish...
Words are not enough on abuse, even if swear words

Words are not enough on abuse, even if swear words

World
From the moment he stepped onto the tarmac at Dublin Airport, he had television news crews by his side. But the defining moment of the first papal visit to Ireland in nearly 40 years did not take place on camera.The Supreme Pontiff met privately for 90 minutes with eight survivors of abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church.He received a letter from them explaining how 100,000 single mothers had been "forcibly separated from their babies".The women, many of them detained in Ireland's notorious Magdalene Laundries, were told it was a "mortal sin" to contact their children.They urged Pope Francis to reassure "elderly and dying" natural mothers and adoptees that there was no sin in the reunion. Image: Children's shoes and toys are scattered...
Papal visit: Pope shamed by Church's abuse failures

Papal visit: Pope shamed by Church's abuse failures

World
Media playback is unsupported on your device Pope Francis has said he is ashamed of the Catholic Church's failure to adequately address the "repellent crimes" of sex abuse by clergy.The Irish prime minister earlier delivered a strong warning to the Pope to take action against clergy involved in child abuse and keeping it secret.The Pope spent 90 minutes with abuse survivors, reportedly telling them he viewed clerical sex abuse as "filth".The papal visit is the first to the Irish Republic for 39 years.It coincides with the World Meeting of Families, a global Catholic gathering held every three years. The Argentine Pope's opening remarks echoed a letter he sent to the world's 1.2bn Roman Catholics this week, in which he condemned the "atrocities...
Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson resigns over hiding child abuse

Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson resigns over hiding child abuse

World
July 30 (UPI) -- Pope Francis on Monday accepted the resignation of Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson less than a month after he was sentenced to a year in detention for failing to report decades-old child abuse allegations. Wilson was the most senior Catholic official to be convicted on the charge. Magistrate Robert Stone sentenced the 67-year-old on July 3, but delayed a hearing to determine whether he could be given home confinement. Wilson "decided that his conviction means he can no longer continue as archbishop because to do so would continue to cause pain and distress to many, especially to survivors and also in the Archdiocese of Adelaide," a statement from the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was among a number of political and religiou...
Prep school sex abuse cases lead to victim therapy funds

Prep school sex abuse cases lead to victim therapy funds

Health
An elite prep school's decision to pay for therapy for sexually abused alumni mirrors an increasingly successful approach taken by other institutions, according to victims and their advocates. St. Paul's School in Concord recently announced three initiatives to support abuse survivors: an independent arbitration system for those seeking monetary compensation, an alumni-led effort to encourage further discussion and the victims' therapy fund. Sexual abuse scandals at New England boarding schools in recent years have resulted in investigations, efforts to adopt safeguards for students and requests for alumni to come forward with memories of misconduct. Several schools have created victim therapy funds, including Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut and St. George's School in Rhode Island. S...