Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

March-13-03

Church’s Troubles Grow as Priest Sex Scandal Shows No Signs of Waning

With the priest sex abuse scandal showing little sign of waning, the Archdiocese of Boston faces a bleak financial future, church officials announced last Monday. According to church documents, the last year has been plagued by substantial declines in the number of active priests (many removed for alleged child abuse), attendance at weekly Mass, and contributions. Results from an annual archdiocesan survey showed a 14 percent drop in Mass attendance to less than 300,000 in a region boasting 2.1 million Catholics. With fundraising campaigns falling embarrassingly short—by about 30 to 50 percent, according to the Boston Globe, many pastors predict the closure of 30 to 40 parishes. Abuse claims—filed by more than 500 people—are expected to cost over $100 million to settle.

Meanwhile, the Archdiocese of Boston finally consented to a second meeting on Tuesday with the lay Catholic group Voice of the Faithful (VOTF). Founded amidst the sex abuse scandal last year as a global organization representing “a group of concerned Catholics who love the church, and want nothing more than to help build the church up,” according to interim executive director Steve Krueger, VOTF waited nearly 10 months before Cardinal Law met with them in November. The meeting this week centered on survivors’ outreach. VOTF President Jim Post also presented the archdiocese with a $30,000 donation; however, Bishop Richard Lennon has not decided whether to accept, according to the Associated Press.

In New Hampshire, where the diocese was the first to admit criminal wrongdoing and settle with state prosecutors, the state attorney general and diocese earlier this month released separate investigative reports on the sex scandal. Focused around eight priests, the documents detailed repeated church mishandlings where the diocese was aware of child sexual abuse but failed to report in accordance with state law. Currently, two of the eight accuses priests are serving prison time.

California’s statute of limitations was lifted for one year beginning January 1, 2003. State legislators introduced bills in both chambers that would extend the deadline for filing criminal priest sex abuse charges. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles—claiming First Amendment rights—has persistently opposed full public disclosure of church documents. However, plaintiffs’ attorneys suspect the tactic is meant to hinder prosecution. One plaintiff’s attorney John C. Manly, told the New York Times, “Even if you assume that they really believe this privilege is true and necessary, which I don’t, the First Amendment does not protect or shield criminal conduct in this context.” Without passage of the legislation, criminal charges against several priests and former clerics would expire within the next three months, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Media Resources: NY Times 2/28/03, 3/4/03, 3/11/03; Associated Press 3/4/03, 3/11/03; Boston Globe 3/5/03; LA Times 3/13/03; Feminist Daily News


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

3/27/2015 Security and Women's Rights are Essential to Afghan Recovery - President Ashraf Ghani and a delegation of some 70 plus Afghan leaders came to the US this week to urge Congress and President Obama to extend the deadline for removing support troops from Afghanistan. . . .
 
3/27/2015 Senate 'Vote-A-Rama' Passes Amendments for Equal Pay, Pregnant Workers, Paid Leave, Benefits for Same-Sex Couples - A bipartisan majority of Senators this week voted in favor of budget amendments that show growing momentum for paid sick leave for employees, social security and veterans benefits for same-sex couples, equal pay, and fair treatment for pregnant workers. The votes, though significant, are symbolic. . . .
 
3/25/2015 Afghan Woman Beaten to Death for Burning Koran - A 27-year-old woman ‎who reportedly burned a copy of the Koran inside of a riverside shrine in Kabul, Afghanistan was brutally beaten and burned alive on Thursday. Shocking videos quickly spread on social media showing crowds of men surrounded by hundreds of onlookers assaulting the 27-year-old Farkhunda with bricks and sticks and repeatedly kicking her. . . .