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New bishops in the Philippines

July 3, 2015. Pope Francishas nominated Msgr. Dennis C. Villarojo andFather Oscar J. L.Florencio to be the Auxiliary Bishops of the Archdiocese of Cebu(Philippines). Since 2010, Villarojo has been at the parish of OurLady of the Sacred Heart in Cebu City. Florencio has been the rectorof Saint John the Evangelist School of Theology since 2013.
World

Pope weighs in on economic crisis in Greece

July 1, 2015 The Vatican is weighing in on the economic crisis that is crippling Greece. Through a written statement, the Vaticans press office issued a release that reads "the dignity of the human person must remain at the center of any political and technical debate." It goes on to say that the Pope "wishes to convey his closeness...with a special thought for the many families gravely beset by such a keenly felt human and social crisis. The Pope then "invites all the faithful to unite in prayer for the good of the beloved Greek people.”
Vatican

Benedict XVI will spend two weeks at Castel Gandolfo

June 30, 2015. Thismorning at 10:00 a.m., Pope Francis said farewell to Pope EmeritusBenedict XVI, before he leaves for Castel Gandolfo. The meetinglasted about 30 minutes. The pope emeritus will return on July 14th< sup>,one day after Pope Francis returns from his trip to Latin America.
Vatican

Pope Francis creates Secretariat for Communication

June 27, 2015. The Popehas created a Secretariat for Communication, which will unify allVatican media, including the Press Room, Twitter and the PontificalCouncil for Social Communications. Its prefect is the Italian priestDario Viganò, and the number two is the Argentine Lucio Adrian Ruiz.
Pope Francis

Appointments

June 26, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Hector Luis Gutierrez de Pabon, who served as Bishop of Engativá, Colombia. His post will be taken by Francisco Antonio Nieto Súa, who up until now, served as the Bishop of San José del Guaviare (Colombia).
World

Holy See backs two-state solution in Middle East

June 26, 2015. The Holy See and thePalestine Liberation Organization (PLO) have officially signed acomprehensive agreement, in which the Holy See recognizes the Stateof Palestine and supports a two-state solution for peace based on the1967 borders.
World

Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia passes away

June 25, 2015. Pope Francis has written a telegram expressing his condolences over the recent death of the Armenian Catholic Patriarch of Cilicia, Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni. He was 75-years-old and had recently been at San Peters Basilica to celebrate Mass in remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.
World

Mexican bishop resigns after possible abuse of episcopal office

June 25, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Gonzalo Galván Castillo, who was until now bishop of Autlán, Mexico. A sexual abuse victim said in July of last year that he had been waiting for five years for the bishop to take action against the priest who abused him. Although the Vatican has not provided further information, this case could be treated as abuse of episcopal office.
World

Successor of Mother Teresa, passes away.

June 23, 2015. Sister Nirmala Joshi, the head of the Missionaries of Charity, has passed away at the age of 81. She died in the Indian city of Kolkate on Monday night, after suffering heart ailments. Sister Joshi was elected as head of the Missionaries of Charity in 1997.
Vatican

Trial against former apostolic nuncio accused of abuse will start on July 11th

June 15, 2015. The former apostolic nuncio to Dominican Republic, Józef Wesołowski will stand trial at a Vatican tribunal. The first hearing will take place on July 11th. Wesołowski has already been removed from the clerical state after being charged with possession of child pornography and sexual abuse of minors.
Vatican

American Archbishop Resigns After Mishandling of Abuse Allegations

June 15, 2015. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Msgr. John Clayton Nienstedt, who served as the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis. He also accepted the resignation of Auxiliary Bishop, Rev. Lee Anthony Piche, from that same diocese. Recently, both were accused of ignoring accusations involving an abusive former priest who served in the Archdiocese.
World

Pope Francis to travel to Africa

June 12, 2015. The Vatican’s nuncio in the Central African Republic, Mons. Francesco Coppola, confirmed that Pope Francis is planning on visiting the country. He states it will take place on November 2015. It will be Pope Francis’ first visit to Africa.
World

New archbishop in Berlin (Germany)

June 8, 2015. The Pope has appointed Heiner Koch as the new metropolitan bishop of Berlin (Germany). Until now, he was bishop of Dresden-Meiβen.
World

New military ordinariate of Venezuela

June 8, 2015. Pope Benedict has appointed Adan Mendez Bracamonte to bemilitary ordinariate of Venezuela. Until now, he was military diocesan administrator.

Church abuse analyst: 400 priests defrocked is due to stricter Vatican norms

2014-01-21

The Vatican made history when its delegation appeared before a United Nations committee to explain their efforts in tackling sex abuse. It was the first time it took questions from an outside group about what it has done to protect children.

FR. HANS ZOLLNER S.J.
Director, Center for Child Protection (Gregorian University)
"In some way, the Holy See has shown that it is committed to the process, committed to the convention it has signed, and is willing to follow also.”

Father Hans Zollner, is the director the Gregorian University's Center for Child Protection. Since 2012, when they organized a symposium on the topic, his center has been at the forefront of sex abuse prevention across parts of the globe.

He said the testimony before the UN Commission for the Protection of the Child shows the Vatican's willingness to clarify its stance, and to make up for past errors when handling abuse cases. 

FR. HANS ZOLLNER S.J.
Director, Center for Child Protection (Gregorian University)
"It's very difficult to convey to the public that when  you talk about the Church you talk about two entities: the Vatican City and the local churches that have to be in accordance with the global law, but they have to take responsibility about what happens at the local level.”

Under the Church's global law, sexual abuse of a child is a crime. But accusations must be dealt with at the local level, before making their way to the Vatican.

According to officials statistics, in 2011 and 2012, about 400 of the cases that made their way to the Vatican ended up with the priests being defrocked, or removed from the priesthood. 

FR. HANS ZOLLNER S.J.
Director, Center for Child Protection (Gregorian University)
"They concerned those priests whose trials had been going on for years, most of them. And whose cases refer back up to 50, 60 years back.” 

Fr. Zollner attributed those cases to the norms implemented in the past three years, to make Church legislation stricter. But he recognized that there is still much more the Church can do, especially in the area of prevention. 

The Pope's new commission, which Cardinal Sean O'Malley announced back in December, is expected to play a big role in that process. However, the Vatican still has not released the exact details of the commission's work, and who will be a part of it.


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