Accountability
LIVING THE CATHOLIC FAITH IN THE 3RD MILLENIUM
A LAYMAN'S LOOK AT THE JOURNEY OF FAITH

Accountability

IS NEW LIFE AHEAD IN THE CHURCH? 
Sr. Ilia Delio warns that the church has 'a deep structural problem ... that at this point requires either a radical decision towards a new ecclesial structure or the acceptance of the possibility of a major schism.'
EIGHT LESSONS TO HELP US MOVE FORWARD FROM THE SEX ABUSE CRISIS 
Respect for human dignity, protecting the weak and vulnerable, accepting responsibility... can lead to action to help rebuild a more faithful and accountable, healthy and holy church.
DOUBLE LIVES 
What is needed now is a clear-eyed understanding of “the danger of clerical double lives—of secrets that can be used as weapons to protect other secrets.
CATHOLIC BISHOPS PROMISED REFORM IN SEX-ABUSE SCANDAL. BUT DIDN'T LOOK AT THEIR OWN MISDEEDS 
A Boston Globe and Philadelphia Inquirer examination found that more than 130 US bishops have been accused of failing to adequately respond to sexual misconduct.
REMEMBERING JERUSALEM WHILE ROME BURNS 
In this commentary Canadian biblical scholar, Dr Julius-Kei Kato, invites us to examine a precedent and warning from the Old Testament prophet, Jeremiah.
US BISHOPS HAVE YET TO FIND THEIR COLLECTIVE MORAL CORE 
The culture of the Catholic clergy and the state of the episcopacy have come under intense scrutiny as a result of the abuse crisis, but what happened at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' meeting is not encouraging.
FEBRUARY ABUSE SUMMIT WILL HAVE TO NAVIGATE WATERS OF A GLOBAL CHURCH 
Pope Francis’ crunch summit on child protection in February is poised to open a new chapter in the Church’s response to the clerical sexual abuse scandal, ending what has been a haphazard and inconsistent approach to child protection.
POPE'S SUMMIT OPENS NEW CHAPTER ON ABUSE 
Pope Francis is convinced that the scourge of abuse is a problem that does not pertain just to a single country. While the 2019 summit is unlikely to come up with readymade answers, it is likely to pave the way for a new framework of episcopal accountability.
A CULTURE OF SECRECY THAT PERPETRATED ABUSE  
New York Times Podcast:  A sweeping report issued by a grand jury in Pennsylvania sheds new light on the systemic nature of sexual abuse in the Church...New York Times Podcast:  A sweeping report issued by a grand jury in Pennsylvania sheds new light on the systemic nature of sexual abuse in the Church...
A GREAT POWER VACUUM HAS BEEN CREATED IN THE U.S. CHURCH  
Abuses, interview with the Villanova University professor, Massimo Faggioli: there is a corporate mentality in the Church that sees the Pope as the CEO and his bishops as managers he can simply fire.
A REALITY CHECK ON EXPECTATIONS FOR FEBRUARY CHILD ABUSE SUMMIT  
Before expectations spiral completely out of control, however, it’s important to say this out loud: For all kinds of reasons, this is not going to be Yalta on sex abuse, and to hope that it will be is a fool’s errand.
A TURNING POINT ON SEX-ABUSE?  
For some twenty-five years, American Catholics have been hearing from confident church leaders that they were addressing the evil of clergy sexual abuse. So it’s no surprise that Francis is being greeted with skepticism.
ABANDONING CELIBACY WON'T STOP SEXUAL ABUSE BY PRIESTS 
Anyone committed to the protection of children should carefully study the important report by the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
ADDRESSING ABUSE, CHURCH MUST ADDRESS THE BETRAYAL OF COMMUNITY  
It is time for an apostolic visitation to US church about clergy abuse.
BISHOPS' HIERARCHIC CULTURE NEEDS ACCOUNTABILITY, TRANSPARENCY 
There is something deeper at work here, and that needs to be discussed also: an unhealthy hierarchic and clerical culture.
CELIBACY ISN’T THE CAUSE OF THE CHURCH SEX-ABUSE CRISIS; THE PRIESTHOOD IS 
There are no priests in the Gospels, except the Jewish priests, some of whom plotted against Jesus. Jesus is only called a priest in the late and suspect anonymous Letter to the Hebrews...
CHANGE THE CLERICAL CULTURE  
A predator priest can ascend to princely rank only if the clerical culture around him enables those who are complicit by their silence and failure to act.
CUPICH SAYS BISHOPS MUST CEDE AUTHORITY, ALLOW LAY OVERSIGHT OF ACCUSATIONS 
Prelates have to be very clear about an accountability procedure for accusations about bishops
CUPICH URGES ACCOUNTABILITY IN FELLOW BISHOPS, LAY LEADERSHIP ON ABUSE ISSUE  
Calling the Catholic Church's latest controversy a "new low," Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich urged his fellow bishops to hold one another accountable and accept leadership from lay people on issues related to clerical sex abuse.
CURB THE CRISIS; 10 ESSENTIAL LESSONS FOR INVESTIGATING CHURCH LEADERS  
In order for the church in the United States to determine and learn from how it failed decades of alleged misconduct, new guidelines and procedures must be established for investigating him and any high-ranking church leader.
DEAR CATHOLIC BISHOPS, TIME’S UP  
It has often been said that the Church is not a democracy. That should not give its administrators justification to be cruel, abusive, or incompetent, but that is precisely what has happened.
FIVE REASONS THE POPE'S CLERGY SEX ABUSE MEETING IN ROME WILL FAIL  
According to the Vatican, the meeting will focus on three main themes: responsibility, accountability and transparency. There are five reasons this meeting will fail.
FOR CATHOLICS, GRADUAL REFORM IS NO LONGER AN OPTION  
Yes, there is still holiness in the church. But the sin is so pervasive and corrosive that it is irresponsible to talk about anything else.
FROM EVASION TO CONVERSION  
On sex abuse, Pope Francis redirects our focus: away from mere institutional reform and toward a genuine conversion to synodality over clericalism.
GERMAN CARDINAL URGES CHANGE IN TRADITION AHEAD OF CELIBACY DISCUSSION  
German Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising called for change in long-standing church tradition as the German bishops' conference prepares for a workshop debate to "review" the issue of celibacy for priests.
IS THE CHURCH CAPABLE OF FIXING ITSELF?  
After this summer of sex abuse revelations, it is time for a relentless examination of institutional conscience.
IS TRANSPARENCY A CURE-ALL? 
The history of the church is a history of saints and sinners. Lately the sinful part is certainly more visible than the saintly.
PENNSYLVANIA REPORT DOCUMENTS OVER 1,000 VICTIMS OF PRIEST ABUSE 
Church officials routinely and purposely described the abuse as horseplay and wrestling and inappropriate contact. It was none of those things...
POWER AND RESPONSIBILITY 
Once again the Catholic Church has had to endure a public scolding by a United Nations agency arising from the sexual abuse of children by clergy.
REAL CHANGE AGAINST ABUSE STARTS WITH CHURCH'S CLERGY/LAY STRUCTURE 
Clericalism is key issue, but problem lies within Catholicism's foundation
RESPONDING TO THE SUMMER OF SEX ABUSE SCANDALS  
Watch an intergenerational discussion on how Catholics are responding to the sexual abuse crisis, with Jesuit Fathers Matt Malone and Sam Sawyer and associate editors Ashley McKinless and Zac Davis.
THE BODY OF CHRIST MUST RECLAIM OUR CHURCH  
The revelations of the last two months make undeniably clear that it is time for the laity to reclaim our ownership of this church. We are the body of Christ, we are the church.
THE PRIESTHOOD, CELIBACY AND SEX 
Recent news stories about financial settlements with adults who had sexual encounters with a bishop show that the issue of sex abuse in the Catholic Church is not limited to the abuse of minors.
THE REFORM OF THE CLERGY, PHASE II  
These are not easy issues to talk or write about. They sicken and justly scandalize believers. Light, however, is a great sanitizer.
THE TENSE DEBATE OVER GAY PRIESTS  
Efforts to blame abuse cases on a ‘homosexual subculture’ in the Catholic hierarchy have divided the church and drawn charges of scapegoating.
THEOLOGIAN; POSTPONEMENT OF SEX ABUSE NORMS SHOWS FRANCIS-US CHURCH ‘TENSIONS’  
[This] is a church in need of institutional reform and facing growing political, theological, and geopolitical rifts that go beyond a simplistic ideological rift between liberals and conservatives.
TRACING THE CAUSES OF SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH  
Buried beneath the shock and anger, especially for Catholics, however, is a searing question: How could this happen?
TRENT’S LONG SHADOW  
In light of the sex-abuse crisis, it's finally time to revisit the basic models of ecclesial organization that the Council of Trent imposed on the Catholic Church.
TRUTH & RECONCILIATION  
Neither canon law nor civil law processes can help the Catholic Church establish true accountability for the sexual-abuse scandal.
VATICAN SEXUAL ABUSE MEETING IS DESTINED TO FAIL 
With no women, lay people, or survivors invited, nothing will change and everyone will go home feeling righteous about having 'done' something. The something will be more prayer than policy, more story than analysis, more circling the wagons than opening the doors to the light of justice.
WE CAN ONLY MOVE FORWARD WHEN WE NAME THE EVIL OF CLERICALISM  
The reform of the church already evident in the words and witness of Francis may be starting, but it won't be stopping at the revamping of the Vatican Curia and the renewal of the clergy.
WHY THE BEST CHANCE TO END THE ABUSE CRISIS RESTS WITH YOU 
There is no documented case of its use that has led to a guilty bishop's removal. Even the USCCB's own annual abuse audit has no teeth to hold its members accountable.
‘IT’S A GAY PROBLEM,’ AND OTHER MYTHS FROM THE CATHOLIC CHURCH’S SEXUAL ABUSE CRISIS  
The cover-up has nothing to do with politics. It’s about saving face, protecting priestly friends, and saving the Church from scandal.
FOCUS ON PREACHING THE KINGDOM IS KEY TO ENDING CLERICALISM 
Francis should change canon law so one does not have to be a priest to be the "pastor" of a parish. Give qualified lay men and women and male and female deacons real power and authority...
HOW 2018 BECAME THE CATHOLIC CHURCH'S YEAR FROM HELL 
A prominent cardinal resigned in disgrace. Grand jurors accused hundreds of Catholic clerics of secretly abusing children. A former Vatican ambassador urged the Pope himself to step down.
OPEN LETTER TO THE US CATHOLIC BISHOPS; IT'S OVER 
This time, it has to be different. Bishops, the prolonged abuse scandal would suggest that you've not done very well taking stock of yourselves.
PRIESTHOOD AND REVOLUTION 
The basic error is to see the Church primarily as a community. The Church is not first of all a community; it is first of all a movement within the community of mankind.
THE VATICAN’S SEX ABUSE SUMMIT IS A TIME FOR DECISIVE ACTION 
Now that the Vatican meeting is finally upon us, hopes are high (perhaps too high) that the summit will bring about significant and lasting change...
LOMBARDI: THE RESPONSE TO ABUSES IS A TEST OF OUR CREDIBILITY  
The moderator of the February meeting: we need to take further steps on the subject of negligent bishops. “I hope that together, the pastors feel encouraged to move forward without fear”
DELIVER US 
Will the Catholic Church's sex abuse crisis ever end? Hear from experts, advocates, and survivors to learn what the church can do to move forward. Because you can’t fix something until you know how it’s broken. That's a question everyone has been asking since the latest wave of news in 2018: Podcast from America magazine.
‘IT WILL CAUSE A SCANDAL.’ THE POPE AND A TRUSTED U.S. CARDINAL CLASH OVER SEX-ABUSE CRISIS 
The once-warm relationship between Pope Francis and Cardinal O’Malley has become strained over the Vatican’s stance on sex abuse.
MCCARRICK REMOVED FROM PRIESTHOOD AFTER VATICAN FIND HIM GUILTY OF ABUSE 
McCarrick becomes the highest ranking ecclesiastical figure to be stripped of the priesthood during the clerical sex abuse scandals...
VATICAN ABUSE SUMMIT: PROTECTION OF MINORS IN THE CHURCH 
This site was established by the Vatican to transparently and authentically detail the process of change and development, both during the February Abuse Summit and thereafter.
FRANCIS INHERITS DECADES OF ABUSE COVER-UP 
As the heir to disastrous mistakes of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Francis is an existential pope, trying to chart a way out of the long, aching scandal by forging standards where few exist (Part 1 of 3)
See also: Part 2 | Part 3
INSTITUTIONAL LYING AT HEART OF THE CRISIS 
For years, bishops proclaimed the sanctity of life in the womb while playing musical chairs with child molesters. They kept the closed system operating, until insiders leaked information. (Part 2 of 3)
See also:  Part 1 | Part 3
PEOPLE SEIZE ON MCCARRICK LAICIZATION FOR THEIR OWN AGENDAS 
The Holy See's decision to laicize Theodore McCarrick, the former cardinal, only partially closes a sad and ugly chapter in the history of the Catholic Church in the United States.
SYSTEMIC MALADY HAS DEEP ROOTS IN CLERICAL CULTURE 
No four-day meeting in Rome could deal adequately with decades of crime and cover-up, much yet to be revealed in parts of the globe.
FRANCIS MUST FIX COVER-UP CULTURE THAT JOHN PAUL II ENABLED 
Commentary, Part 3 of 3: The church's cover-up debacle owes greatly to John Paul II. In 1989, U.S. bishops sought the authority to defrock child predators. John Paul refused.
See also: Part 1 | Part 2
THE SEX-ABUSE CRISIS IS GLOBAL; AND THE VATICAN KNOWS IT 
The abuse crisis forces us to resist the spirit of our time, which not only closes borders and builds walls, but also blinds us to how what’s happening in one part of the world relates to what’s happening in another.
FRANCIS ENDS VATICAN SUMMIT WITH PROMISE CHURCH WILL 'DECISIVELY CONFRONT' ABUSE 
...but also warned that the global institution must avoid "ideological disputes and journalistic practices" that he said exploit the scandals.
FOUR TAKE-AWAYS FROM THE POPE’S SUMMIT ON CLERICAL SEXUAL ABUSE 
Offering reasons for hope, for those inclined in that direction, but also ample basis for skepticism for anyone disposed to distrust assurances from ecclesiastical officialdom.
GERMAN-SPEAKING WORLD CRITICAL OF POPE’S FINAL SUMMIT ADDRESS 
By describing abuse as a problem which occurred in the whole of society, Francis had relativised the Church’s problem.
ABUSES, HOLLERICH: “IT'LL BE A GOOD THING IF THE LAITY CONTROL US TOO” 
The Archbishop of Luxembourg and President Comece: if in the possible intermediate bodies that will supervise there will also be people not consecrated "I don't see wounded the episcopal dignity"
ONE STEP FORWARD 
What happened at the Summit should have left the bishops deeply aware of what is at stake — especially those bishops from parts of the world where church leaders have not yet confronted the abuse in their midst.
WHAT CATHOLIC LEADERS SHOULD GIVE UP FOR LENT THIS YEAR 
Concealment, secrecy, corruption, denial, abuse of power: a disheartening litany, especially because of its pervasiveness in a body that calls itself holy and is supposed to speak and act in God’s name.
ABUSE SUMMIT ACHIEVED SOMETHING, BUT NOT WHAT POPE OR BISHOPS EXPECTED 
This nightmare will continue as long as the hierarchical system that created and sustained it exists in its present state. The reasons for this phenomenon are deeply rooted in the church's institutional structures and the theological excuses that support them.
MORE CATHOLICS ARE CONSIDERING LEAVING CHURCH OVER SEX ABUSE SCANDAL 
A growing number of American Catholics are reconsidering their loyalty to the global church as it continues on a slow path toward reforming how it handles clerical sexual abuse.
THE SEXUAL ABUSE CRISIS IS NOT A CRISIS 
Far from being merely a tragic moment in the church’s history, sexual abuse and related cover-ups are the fruits of a systemic disorder in the church: toxic clericalism.
HOW ARE GRASSROOTS CATHOLICS RESPONDING TO THE SEX ABUSE CRISIS? 
Betrayal. Disgust. Outrage. Disbelief: Church leaders should take careful and prayerful heed.
BENEDICT XVI’S ESSAY [ON ABUSE]IS BOTH INSIGHTFUL AND INCOMPLETE 
Neither a full-scale proclamation on the present crisis, nor a cynical act of political grandstanding.
THE PROBLEM WITH BENEDICT’S ESSAY ON ABUSE 
Right or wrong, Benedict told us very little — practically nothing — we did not already know.
BENEDICT'S UNFORTUNATE LETTER IGNORES THE FACTS ON THE CATHOLIC SEX ABUSE CRISIS 
This is a fight Joseph Ratzinger has waged for most of his ecclesiastical career.
BENEDICT’S UNTIMELY MEDITATION 
How His Essay on Sex Abuse is Being Weaponized. The pope emeritus’s new essay disagrees not only with the current pope’s analysis of the sex-abuse crisis, but also with almost everyone else who has studied it.
IDEOLOGICAL BIAS CANNOT TAINT OUR APPROACH TO SEXUAL ABUSE 
Ideological bias structures much of the public discourse. But we cannot allow it to structure our ecclesial conversation
FRANCIS MANDATES CLERGY ABUSE REPORTING WORLDWIDE 
New laws empower archbishops to do investigations; [this] makes disclosure the main policy of the church.
REACTIONS TO NEW CHURCH ABUSE LAWS: A GOOD STEP, BUT MORE ARE NEEDED 
Bishops welcomed it. Clergy abuse survivors said it didn't go far enough. Other Catholics saw it as a necessary, but not final, step.
FRANCIS’ NEW SEX ABUSE RULES ARE A REVOLUTION FOR THE CATHOLIC CHURCH 
Francis is taking the abuse crisis very seriously. The time and tone of the new law are revolutionary, yet the law is solidly grounded in tradition.
THE SUCCESS OF POPE FRANCIS' NEW SEX ABUSE REPORTING RULES DEPENDS ON ENFORCEMENT 
A good first step, but in civil society as in the church, good laws are not enough.
WHEN THE VATICAN FACES A MAJOR SEX-ABUSE SCANDAL, HE’S THE MAN THE POPE SENDS IN 
The Vatican’s emergency investigator — a priest-and-lawyer-turned-sex-crimes specialist who is dispatched to scandal zones.
FRANCIS FOLLOWS THROUGH 
The document [of new sex abuse rules] should be received “with neither cynicism or complacency.” It is one of the most decisive actions Rome has taken on the issue.
TWO STEPS FORWARD AND ONE STEP BACK WON’T CLEANSE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH 
So much the pope has said and done to contain the crisis, the laws he handed down, saying that sexual abuse must “never happen again,” are half-measures.
ANALYSIS: 'VOS ESTIS' AND 'VULNERABILITY' 
Vos estis lux mundi, offers a new and much expanded interpretation of what constitutes a canonical sexual crime by a cleric.
THE WOUNDED BODY OF CHRIST: A RESPONSE TO CARROLL'S CRITICS 
Pundits criticized James Carroll's Atlantic article, but did they try to understand him?

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