Philia

    2000

    Interfaith News on Faith Communities

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    November 2000

    RECENT NEWS

    Catholic Policies on Handling Abusive Priests
     

      France: Bishop Accused over Abusive Priest. By Alain Woodrow. A French parish priest from Normandy has received an unusually severe sentence of 18 years' imprisonment for rape and abuse of minors. His bishop, Pierre Pican of Bayeux-Lisieux, is now also to stand trial, accused of "failing to denounce" the crimes. [The Tablet]

      U.K.: Senior Clergy Face Police Enquiry over Child Molester Cover-Ups. By Daniel Foggo. Senior figures in the Catholic Church who covered up the activities of paedophile priests are being investigated by detectives and could face charges of criminal negligence. [The Telegraph]

      U.K.: Archbishop in Child Molester Priest Row to Retire. By Sandra Laville. A Roman Catholic archbishop under pressure to resign for ignoring warnings about two paedophile priests has apologised to parishioners and announced his retirement. [The Telegraph]
       

    U.K.: Church Supports Sex Offenders to Make Communities Safer. By Kathleen LaCamera. At a time when the public naming of convicted pedophiles has created what some have called a "lynch mob psychology," British Methodists have vowed to support sex offenders. [United Methodist News Service]

    PAST NEWS

    U.S.: Ruling on Rabbinic Confidentiality May Have Legal Fallout. By Debra N. Cohen. In general, religious leaders contacted by Jewish News agreed that all conversations with individual congregants are confidential, and that the only domestic matter a rabbi would ever be compelled to report is child abuse and in that case, in the person's presence. [Jewish News of Greater Phoenix]

    September 2000

    RECENT NEWS

    Faith Response to Riots Against Sex Offenders
     


    Repercussions of Priest Abuse Case
     

      U.K.: Archbishop Defends Abuser Move. One of the most senior figures in the Catholic Church in England and Wales has defended his decision to allow a known child molester to continue working as a priest, despite warnings he would re-offend. [BBC]

      U.K.: Behind the Liturgy, a Litany of Abuse. By Paul Vallely. The Archbishop of Westminster's response to a paedophile priest has raised disturbing questions about the Catholic Church's attitudes. [The Independent]

      U.K.: Clampdown on Clergy Abusers Planned. Clergy who abuse their position of trust to sexually exploit young people could face jail under proposals to be considered by the government. [BBC]

      U.K.: Clergy Who Abuse Over-16s Face Jail. By Colin Brown and Robert Mendick. Clergy who abuse their power by forming sexual relationships with young persons in their care who are over the age of consent face jail under tough new proposals being considered by the Government. [The Independent]

      U.K.: Be Alert, Parishes Warned. By Rachel Harden. Church of England parishes were urged to follow official child-protection guidelines this week, after the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster was criticised for allowing a known paedophile priest to carry on working. [Church Times]

      U.K.: Catholic Church to Review Child Abuse Policy. By Robert Nowell. The commission will be concerned not only with how the church should cope when allegations of child abuse are made but also with how it can improve its procedures for vetting future priests to ensure that paedophiles are not ordained. [The Irish Times]


    Canada: "Truth Commission" Could Probe Residential-School Abuse Cases. By Rick Mofina. Players in the residential school abuse tragedy want the federal cabinet to consider a "truth and reconciliation commission" as an option to rein in the increasing number of related lawsuits now threatening churches with financial ruin. [The Ottawa Citizen]

    U.K.: Methodists Open Doors to Most Reviled. By Kim Campbell. In Britain, as in the United States, sex offenders especially child molesters are among society's most reviled criminals. But the British Methodist Church is taking the discussion to a different level. [The Christian Science Monitor]

    U.S.: Archdiocese, Panel Tackle Issue of Child Molestation. It was a year ago that a parent's warning about possible molestation of students by a Catholic school teacher in St. Charles Parish proved true. Now, the Archdiocese of New Orleans has decided to ask a panel of parents, psychologists and others to help it make the first crucial decisions about what to do in future such cases. [The Associated Press]

    U.S.: ISTI Offers Recommendations to the Leadership of Faith Communities. The Interfaith Sexual Trauma Insitute board has approved a position document intended to provide basic guidelines for the prevention of the abuse of power by those entrusted with the leadership of faith communities. [ISTI]

    PAST NEWS

    Canada: New Anglican Clergy Screened More Tightly. By Kathy Blair. Most Anglican dioceses in Canada have implemented sexual misconduct protocols. They are now turning their attention to better screening measures for clergy and other staff and volunteers. [Anglican Journal]

    Canada: Predators in Church a Minority of Sex Offenders. By Kathy Blair. Can ordained sex offenders be treated successfully enough so they can be trusted back in the church community? That depends on the kind of offender, say experts who have worked with such clergy. [Anglican Journal]

    Canada: Volunteer Agency Helps Develop Screening Process. By Kathy Blair. Screening potential volunteers in the church doesn't mean a police records check on altar guild members, but that and more is required when it comes to youth leaders, says a new guidebook on the subject. [Anglican Journal]

    Canada: Natives Say Spirituality Led to Firing. By Diane Paquette. The three men believe they were fired because of the use of traditional Native spirituality in a controversial case on the reserve. The justice committee on the reserve had brought together a sexual offender and his victim for a session of spiritual healing. [Anglican Journal]

    U.S.: The "Crisis" That Wasn't Pedophiles and the Priesthood. By Colleen Smith. New research on the priest-pedophilia scandals of the 1980s and '90s challenges accusations of widespread abuse. [Our Sunday Visitor]

    June 2000

    RECENT NEWS

    U.K.: Methodists Urged to Aid Sex Offenders. By Stephen Bates. The Methodist Church is set to defy the "demonising media" and public opinion by advising members to offer help to sex offenders rather than shunning them. [The Guardian]
     


    PAST NEWS

    U.K.: Anglicans Curb Child Abusers. By James Meek. The Church of England has launched new guidelines to prevent congregations being infiltrated by sex offenders, particularly paedophiles claiming to have been cured by finding Jesus. [The Guardian]

    May 2000

    RECENT NEWS

    Code of Conduct for Anglican Priests
     

      U.K.: Code to Save Clergy from Charges of Sexual Abuse. By Matt Born and Bess Twiston-Davies. The Church of England is to draw up a code of professional conduct for clergy, governing both their physical contact with parishioners and the limits of the theological advice they can give. [The Telegraph]

      U.K.: "Hands Off" Safety Code for Clergy. By Ruth Gledhill. Clergy in the Church of England are to be told to abide by a "code of professional conduct" to protect themselves from allegations of sexual and emotional abuse. [The Times]

      U.K.: Clergy Take Precautions to Avoid Misconduct Charges. By Elizabeth Judge and Ruth Gledhill. "I myself will never see a single boy or girl on my own," said one vicar. [The Times]


    France: Investigation of Bishop Raises Questions on Confession Veil. A French magistrate is investigating a Catholic bishop for failing to warn police that a priest in his diocese had molested children, the bishops' conference said in February, raising questions on the legal sanctity of the veil of confession. [Catholic World News]

    U.K.: Head of Scottish Episcopal Church Retires Amid Continued Controversy over His Views on Sexuality. By Michael Burke. The Most Rev. Richard Holloway has advocated marriage ceremonies for gays, has admitted trying the drug cannabis, and has taught that even paedophiles should receive greater understanding for what they do. [The Telegraph]

    U.S.: Family Wants Psychiatric Treatment for Amish Man Charged with Raping Three Girls. "It's an unusual thing that we are dealing with this kind of act in the Amish community," said Guernsey County Prosecutor Keith Plummer. "Most things are dealt with in the Amish community and never come to the attention of the authorities." [The Associated Press]

    U.S.: Survey Finds Episcopal Dioceses are Addressing Sexual Misconduct. By James Solheim. A survey of nearly all the Episcopal Church's dioceses reveals high levels of attention to issues of sexual misconduct and policies and procedures to handle allegations of sexual exploitation and child abuse. [Episcopal News Service]

    PAST NEWS

    U.K.: Guidelines for Priests to Stop Abuse Scandals. By Richard Savill. The Roman Catholic Church in Scotland has issued guidelines in an attempt to rid the church of child sex abuse scandals. [The Telegraph]

    February 2000

    RECENT NEWS

    Declaration on Sexual Morality Sparks Dispute
     

      U.S.: Dr. Laura Links Religious Declaration with Pedophilia Debate. Laura Schlessinger, an Orthodox Jew whose radio talk show is popular among conservative Christians, has stated in a New York Times editorial that an interfaith "Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing" promotes the sexualization of children. [Philia]

      U.S.: Religious Leaders Call for Consistent Sexual Ethic. More than 900 religious Americans including leaders in the Protestant, Anglican, Unitarian Universalist and Jewish traditions have endorsed a "Religious Declaration on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing." Everyone has a right to intimacy and fidelity in sexual relationships, the declaration says, but also a responsibility not to abuse or exploit others. [United Church of Christ]

      U.S.: Southern Baptists Criticize Declaration. By Tom Strode. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, called the document "yet one further sign of the increasing paganization of our culture sexually." [Baptist Press]
       

    PAST NEWS

    U.S.: After the Fall. By Howard Chua-Eoan. Faced with lawsuits and struggling to treat clerics accused of sexual abuse, the Catholic Church lags behind in forging a policy on priestly child molestation. [Time]

    U.S.: Psychologist-Designed Programs Intervene in Abuse Cases. To ferret out and prevent sexual abuse by clergy, psychologists are helping churches develop sexual-awareness training programs for seminarians and clergy. [APA Monitor]

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