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19 Sep 2014 USA Comments (3)

NY cardinal: parade decision is matter of gay identity vs action

New York City, N.Y., Sep 19, 2014 / 02:14 am .- Cardinal Timothy Dolan has clarified his support for the New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade, while acknowled…

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28 Jul 2016 Americas Asia-Pacific Australia News United Kingdom USA Vatican No comments

Did Pope Francis seriously just give nuns permission to play Pokemon Go?

Pope Francis is encouraging the use of social media for nuns, on the condition they use it properly and in moderation. Texting, tweeting or Pokemon? Mode…

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25 Jun 2016 Americas Australia Europe News USA Vatican No comments

Pope Francis says Brexit vote leaves Europe with a ‘great responsibility’

Pope Francis has said the British decision to leave the European Union leaves a “great responsibility” for all of us to help ensure the “peaceful co-existence” …

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27 Sep 2016 Q&A Comments (1)

Gee, thanks Pope Francis! Why it is now harder to get a miracle

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23 Dec 2015 Europe News Comments (2)

The Priest who saved lives in Titanic to be canonized saint

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17 Sep 2016 Articles Comments (1)

5 popular celebrities who aren't afraid of showing their faith

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04 Sep 2015 Articles Resources Comments (1)

Are you a fallen RC, Catholic-connected, or a cultural Catholic?

Sam Clark wasn’t reared as a Catholic. He never converted, either. Yet Clark, 50, of Carson City, Mich., likes Pope Francis — “the most ecumenical pope in my…

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17 Sep 2015 News Vatican No comments

Synod leader: the Church must include, not exclude

Speaking at a diocesan conference in Sessa Aurunca, Italy, the Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops emphasized that the Church must “include” rather than “…

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02 Dec 2014 Articles Comments (1)

The Carpenter's Dilemma

It is not known how the town carpenter found out that his betrothed was pregnant. Perhaps she told him herself after returning from a months-long journey …

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French cardinal criticized over handling of abuse allegations

Priest in France stands accused of abusing up to 45 minors

French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon is facing questions about how he dealt with a priest who faces abuse and rape charges.

Proceedings opened on January 27 against Fr Bernard Preynat, charged with “sexual aggression and rape of minors” between 1986 and 1991 at Lyon’s Saint-Luc parish, where he ran a large Catholic Scout group over two decades.

French newspapers said the priest had been moved to a new parish in Neulise after his alleged crimes were reported to Lyon Cardinal Albert Decourtray, who died in 1994. Fr Preynat was removed from parish work last August.

In a statement, La Parole Liberee, an organization supporting abuse survivors, said 45 alleged victims of the priest had now come forward, adding that the group had filed charges against Cardinal Barbarin for failing to report abuse. Under France’s penal code, failure to report abuse carries a three-year jail term and a nearly €45,000 (£35,000) fine.

The group said it was also suing Cardinal Gerhard Muller and Archbishop Luis Ladaria Ferrer, respectively prefect and secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith, for failing to act.

In a January 12 statement, the Lyon Archdiocese said Cardinal Barbarin had launched an inquiry and consulted the Vatican after hearing testimony from one of the alleged victims for the first time in the summer of 2014.

However, in a February 10 interview with France’s Catholic La Croix daily, Cardinal Barbarin admitted he had heard about Fr Preynat’s activities “around 2007-2008,” but taken no action after receiving assurances from the priest.

“The cardinal is in a difficult situation, since he wasn’t in office when these events occurred,” said Antoine Renard, president of the European Federation of Catholic Family Associations.

He told Catholic News Service that the French Church was co-operating with judicial authorities “in ways which weren’t so easy before. I think it’ll be enough if he visits those affected and addresses appropriate words to them.”

Renard said recent remarks by the Pope had “weakened the cardinal’s position,” but added that few Catholics expected him to resign.

Speaking to on his flight back from Mexico, the Pope described sexual abuse of a child by a priest as “a monstrosity,” adding that a bishop who transferred an accused priest to another parish was “a man without a conscience” whose best option was resignation.

In a Vatican Radio interview, the papal spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, said Pope Francis had not been referring to Cardinal Barbarin, who had handled the Lyon case with “extreme responsibility.”

The Lyon archdiocese spokesman, Pierre Durieux, told CNS yesterday that Cardinal Barbarin had agreed to co-operate with police and judicial investigators concerning the case, and would not be commenting further pending Fr Preynat’s trial.

France’s Catholic bishops adopted guidelines for handling abuse accusations after Bishop Pierre Pican of Bayeux was given a three-month suspended jail sentence in September 2001 for failing to report abuse by a local priest.

The Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for Protection of Minors reiterated in mid-February that bishops had an obligation to “signal cases of sexual abuse to civil authorities.”


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