Catholic sex abuse scandal fallout spreads in Europe

April 22, 2010
vatican st peter's

Fallout from the Catholic child sex abuse scandal spread across Europe on Thursday as the Vatican retired an Irish bishop, a German offered to step down and prelates in England and Wales apologised for the “terrible crimes” of priests. 

The Vatican said Pope Benedict, under criticism from victims for not doing enough about past cases of abuse by priests now being revealed, had accepted the resignation of Bishop James Moriarty, the third Irish bishop to leave over the scandal.

Pope Benedict meets ith Irish bishops at the Vatican February 15, 2010. A top Vatican official on Monday told Irish bishops in Rome for talks with Pope Benedict on the Irish church's vast paedophilia scandal that clergy who had sinned must admit blame for "abominable acts". The message came in the sermon of a mass in St Peter's Basilica shortly before the bishops began two days of crisis talks with the pope to formulate a response to the revelations of abuse by clergy that have shaken devoutly Catholic Ireland. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano

Pope Benedict meets Irish bishops at the Vatican February 15, 2010 to discuss the sexual abuse scandal/Osservatore Romano

Moriarty said in a statement that he was auxiliary bishop of Dublin from 1991 to 2002, before child protection policies were implemented.  “I accept that from the time I became an auxiliary bishop, I should have challenged the prevailing culture,” he said. “I apologise to all survivors and their families.”

In Germany, Walter Mixa, who is bishop for Augsburg and for the German armed forces, offered to resign late on Wednesday after admitting he physically abused children decades ago. His diocese said he did this “to avert further damage to the Church and to allow a new start.”

Bishops in England and Wales issued an apology for the scandal and urged Catholics there to pray for the Church.

Read the full story here.

The scandal haunting the Catholic Church worldwide looks set to stay in the headlines for weeks to come.

— In Germany, government-sponsored “round table talks” will open in Berlin on Friday to investigate child abuse in Catholic, Protestant and secular schools. A Catholic Church hotline for abuse victims there has been inundated with calls.


Bishop Walter Mixa, March 2, 2009/Christian Charisius

— An inquiry run by a Protestant politician in the Netherlands is probing abuse cases in Catholics schools there. Rotterdam Bishop Adrianus van Luyn, head of the Dutch bishops’ conference, has come under fire after admitting he knew of abuse cases in his Salesian order back in the late 1970s.

— A retired senior Vatican prelate, Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, has caused another controversy by saying a recently published letter he wrote in 2001 congratulating a French bishop for hiding a predator priest was written with the blessing of the late Pope John Paul.

— The Vatican is due to announce soon what it will do with the Legion of Christ order, whose founder, the late Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, was found to have sexually abused seminarians and fathered at least one child in a double life that long remained secret thanks to his contacts at the top of the Vatican hierarchy.

— Cardinal Sean Brady, primate of Ireland, is under heavy public pressure to resign has set a deadline of May 23 to decide what to do after admitting he was involved in having two sexual abuse victims sign secrecy agreements in 1975.

— On Wednesday, we also had reports that Chile’s bishops had apologised for sexual abuse cases there and three Brazilian priests are suspected of sexually abusing children in a scandal that arose after a video showed one of the priests in a sex act with a young man.

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Another great article. Bravo. So are you ‘deflated’ that the Vatican is NOT coming after you as they are with the poor New York Times. <>
Tom, I am in the midst of a fascinating email ‘debate’ as to the role of the Holy Spirit in the election of popes, in particular Benedict XVI.
I, contend, given that Pope John Paul II makes three very explicit references to the Holy Spirit in his UNIVERSI DOMINICI GREGIS Constitution that covers papal elections, that the Holy Spirit, at a MINIMUM, was aware that Benedict XVI was getting the necessary votes to be elected. To me that is a given. If, you don’t believe that, then you got to have the Holy Spirit watching CNN (or whichever channel YOU were reporting for) waiting to see if the smoke is black or white.
If you subscribe to the belief that the Holy Spirit has SOME hand in the election of a pope, then it leads you to wonder … “even despite the allegations about Cardinal Ratzinger re. scandal cover-up we are hearing today.”
Real curious what other think about this; i.e., role of the Holy Spirit in papal elections and the ramifications thereof when it came to the election of Pope Benedict XVI.
Thanks, Tom
Anura Guruge
P.S. has been totally revamped with more content, including a section titled “In Meus Mens”. (Tom, you must be rather proficient in Latin.)

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