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Vatican

Vatican comments on situation of missing Chinese Bishop Shao Zhumin

June 26, 2017. Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, from Wenzhou in Continental China, was taken into custody by Chinese police on Easter weekend 2017. While recognized as a bishop in the Catholic Church, he is an unofficial bishop or "underground” in China, since the Chinese government does not recognize him as religious.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis' complete schedule for Colombia trip

June 23, 2017. He will go to Colombia September 6-11.
Vatican

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.
Vatican

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.

Benedict XVI’s long battle against sex abuse in the Church

2010-04-07

Before the year 2001, dioceses were the ones in charge of investigating sex abuse by members of the clergy, not the Vatican. Sometimes, this caused delays and in the end the internal process was slow and produced little results.

As a solution, in 2001, John Paul II assigned the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to investigate all sex abuse allegations. Then, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was the main person supervising sex abuse clean up in the Church.

Ratzinger was criticized at the time for taking quick action against priests in the cases where the evidence was all too clear. In other words, he dismissed those priests without a trial. Since then, this direct punishment rule has been applied to 60% of all 3,000 cases that have reached the Vatican. In fact only 20% of all cases have gone to trial because 10% of priests were immediately dismissed and another 10% resigned.

According to Allen, once pope, Joseph Ratzinger decided one of his priorities was to put a stop to sex abuse.

Even though he faced resistance, during the first year of his pontificate, he condemned two high-profile priests for sex abuse. One of them was Gino Burresi, an Italian priest and founder of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary, the other was Marcial Maciel, the Mexican priest and founder the Legionaries of Christ.

Benedict XVI is also the first pope to meet with victims of sex abuse. The first time was in 2008 during a trip to the U.S; followed by another meeting in Australia a couple of months later.

He is also the first pope in history who has confronted clerical sex abuse with a special document: a pastoral letter addressed to Catholics in Ireland in May 2010. In it, the pope said eh felt betrayed by the bishops. The international media praised the letter.

John Allen explains that the sex abuse crisis has two aspects: the priests who committed the crimes; and the bishops covering for them. In his opinion, Benedict XVI policy has lead to a decrease in the number of abuse cases. But there’s still room for more action and measures against bishops who over the years have ignored the norms of the Church.

JMB/MC