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Archive for November 2009

The Dublin Report: Years of the Church covering up clerical child abuse

The Archdiocese of Dublin routinely covered up clerical child abuse over the course of 30 years, moving priests from parish to parish in order to preserve their reputations, a newly released report found.

The two part document which makes up the Dublin Report (over 500 pages) is the result of a three year investigation looking at the way in which the Archdiocese of Dublin dealt with clerical abuse during the period from 1975 and 2005.

The report found that members of the hierarchy had a clear understanding of the nature of the abuse and the abusers, but continued to move priests around, giving little information to the people in the places to which abuser priests were being moved. In one case, a priest against whom complaints were made asked to retire from his ministry, but was urged to stay on for another six months lest his departure look unduly hasty. There was a lack of communication between those in the upper echelons of power and those who were making the complaints. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by annaarco

November 27, 2009 at 8:15 pm

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Debate over Anglicanorum coetibus turns ugly

Anger over Anglicanorum coetibus, the Pope’s provision for Anglicans wishing to become Catholics, has gone from erudite articles and civilized public discussion to vandalism, thuggishness and outright hatred.

The above is the noticeboard at the Anglo-Catholic parish of Saint Saviour’s Walthamstow, in East London, which was vandalised overnight.

According to Fr Edward Tomlinson, the parish priest Fr David Waller woke up to find the noticeboard graffiti-ed. He was also subjected to a threatening message on his answering machine, which said there would be violence if his church took up the personal ordinariate.

Hat Tip James Bradley on Twitter

Written by annaarco

November 23, 2009 at 2:26 pm

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‘News from Rome’–Discussing Anglicanorum coetibus

A discussion panel on the ‘News from Rome’ is to be held in the University Church in Oxford on Monday 30th November at 4.45pm.  .

The panel is to be chaired by Canon Brian Mountford vicar of the University Church.

Panelists are:

The Revd Dr Myra Blyth, Fellow and Tutor in Pastoral Studies and College Chaplain, Regent’s Park College

The Right Revd Andrew Burnham, Bishop of Ebbsfleet

Canon Dr Judith Maltby Chaplain and Fellow of Corpus Christ College, Reader in Church History

Fr Ladislas Orsy SJ  D’Arcy Lecturer, Canon Lawyer, Peritus at the Council

Fr Felix Stephens OSB  Master, St Benet’s Hall

Questions will be welcomed. Anyone wishing to raise a particular issue, or to make a brief statement, is welcome to send an e-mail beforehand to:  john . paton @ .

Written by annaarco

November 19, 2009 at 8:30 pm

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Mussolini did not introduce crucifixes in Italian classrooms

Barrister Neil Addison has brought our attention to an interesting detail in the discussion of the European Court of Human Rights ruling banning crucifixes from Italian classrooms.

He points out that many commentators and journalists have said that crucifxes in classrooms were legally introduced with the Lateran Treaties — agreements made between the Holy See and the Kingdom of Italy during Benito Mussolini’s Fascist regime.

The Guardian news story, for example, read: “Classroom crucifixes were made compulsory by two laws in the 1920s when Italy was a fascist state.”

Mr Addison said that he found, after reading an unofficial translation of the ECHR judgement,  that the “requirement was first made law in Piedmont Sardinia in 1860 and extended to the whole of Italy in 1861 following the unification of Italy which is 22 years before Mussolini was born”.

He said: ” Italian Classrooms have been displaying crucifixes for 148 years and the requirement existed during the period 1861 – 1929 when the Papacy did not even recognise the legitimacy of the Italian State.”

Written by annaarco

November 19, 2009 at 5:26 pm

Four types of younger Catholics? Isch don’t think so

wyd-crossOver on the Commonweal blog, Fr Joseph Komonchak has posted an interesting excerpt from an article in the magazine featuring a conversation between former and current Commonweal editors.

In the excerpt Peter Steinfels, who spent many years at the magazine, muses about the Commonweal readers of the future.

He identifies four groups: the fundamentalists “who want something, whether it’s the Pope or particular texts opr certain forms of ritual, that can be relied upon to provide their identity” for whom “things are not to be challenged; they are to be taken literally”, the neo-conservatives, a group which is “much more questioning and intellectually adventurous but whose identity is very much defined over against the secular liberal culture”.

Steinfels juxtaposes these first two groups with two subsequent groups to which he assigns no handle. They consist of “a very large liberal group that has a Christian and Catholic commitment but are not willing to isolate themselves” who want “to be engaged with the culture in conversation with it, not just in battle with it” and the fourth group “is a more radical and political group that forms an identity largely around very personal, radical social justice commitments.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Where were you?

Written by annaarco

November 9, 2009 at 12:00 pm

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Archbishop Romero’s murder to be investigated

oscar_romeroThe government of El Salvador announced on Friday that it would investigate the murder of Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero who was killed during Mass in 1980 El Pais reported.

El Salvador’s leftist government led by President Mauricio Funes has agreed to follow the recommendations presented to it by the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights (CIDH) in 2000.

The Commission recommended a complete judicial investigation, which would be impartial and effective about the case with the goal to identify, judge and to sanction all those “material and intellectual authors” without being hampered by the Amnesty Law.The law was brought in after a 1992 peace agreement ended the country’s fierce 12-year civil war in which around 75,000 people were killed, 8,000 went missing and some 50,000 people were severly maimed.
The archbishop who was murdered as he was raising the chalice at the altar in the chapel of a hospital in San Salvador was an outspoken critic of the El Salvadorian government at the time, heavily criticising its human rights abuses. The gunman was believed to be an ultra-rightist. Over 50,000 people flocked to his funeral, where further violence caused another 35 people to be killed.

The Truth Commission investigating El Salvador’s war crimes suggested that the intellectual author of the assassination was Roberto D’Aubuisson, the founder of the right-wing National Republican Alliance Party , who died from cancer in 1992. The Amnesty Law prevented the crime from being investigated and ARENA governed El Salvador from 1989 to last year when the left-wing party came to power.

Archbishop Romero’s Cause for Beatification was opened in 1997. He has been declared a “servant of God”.

Written by annaarco

November 8, 2009 at 10:21 pm

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Could the Italian ruling mean no nativity plays in Britain this year?

Barrister Neil Addison has written extensively about the European Court of Human Rights ruling on the crucifix over on his blog. He believes that the ruling may have implications for Britain.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by annaarco

November 5, 2009 at 5:30 pm

Who was asked to defend the Church against Hitchens and Fry?

7912990Catholics in this country continue to be troubled by the intensity and forcefulness of the anger directed towards the Church at the Intelligence Squared debate “The Catholic Church is a force for Good” held at Methodist Central Hall in Westminster some weeks ago. The debate was disastrous for the Catholic side, despite valiant efforts from both the MP Ann Widdecombe and Archbishop John Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria.

One question I keep hearing from Catholics who were there was: “Could they find no one else to defend the Church?” Read the rest of this entry »

Leaving only empty Halloween pumpkins behind

5296520As the reaction to the European Court of Human Rights ruling about crucifixes in state school classrooms yesterday continues to roll out, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s Secretary of State said the ruling was leaving Europe behind with nothing more left of its Christian patrimony  than empty Halloween pumpkins.

He said: “I say unfortunately Europe of the third millenium allows us only to keep the pumpkins left over from recent revelry before November 1st while taking more valuable symbols away from us.”

The Halloween custom of lighting Jack-o-Lanterns has spread across Europe as has the custom of wearing costumes, while the following two days, All Saints and All Souls are fading in public consciousness.

Italians, except for those on the far left, have rallied to defend the patrimony and the tradition which keeps crucifixes in classrooms. From the Vaticanista Andrea Tornielli, who writes that Europe has voted for Barabas by denying its Christian roots, to the leader of the main left-wing opposition party Pierluigi Bersani, Italians have defied the ruling. They say that it represents the tradition, culture and history of Italy. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by annaarco

November 4, 2009 at 3:18 pm