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Church Reform

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 10, 2003 | From Times Wire Services
The Brooklyn diocese has lifted a ban on Voice of the Faithful, a Roman Catholic lay group that is seeking reforms after church sexual scandals. Bishop Thomas Daily said he would allow the group to meet on church property. For the last six months, while it was under ban, the group met in a college room, a Baptist church and an American Legion hall. Daily said he would ask individual pastors to monitor the group's activities. Daily had been one of eight U.S.
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NATIONAL
May 7, 2003 | Larry B. Stammer, Times Staff Writer
The president of a nationwide federation of Roman Catholic priests called on U.S. bishops Tuesday to rethink the part of the church's sexual abuse prevention policy that allows the expulsion of abusive priests from the priesthood. Guilty priests should never be allowed to return to public ministry, but neither should they be removed from the priesthood, Father Bob Silva of Stockton said in a speech here to the National Federation of Priests' Councils.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2003 | William Lobdell and Richard Winton, Times Staff Writers
Fearing that scores of priests suspected of sexual abuse may escape prosecution, state legislators are considering extending the deadline to file criminal charges until courts decide whether Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and the Southern California priests under investigation have a right to keep church documents private.
NATIONAL
March 1, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
The Cleveland Roman Catholic Diocese issued a policy to combat child sexual abuse by priests that includes new training requirements and a board of laypeople to review allegations. The policy change requires priests and other staff to be removed from the ministry permanently if an act of abuse is confirmed, Bishop Anthony Pilla said. The changes are based on recommendations from a panel the bishop appointed to determine how the diocese can prevent abuse and help victims.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 1, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
Pope John Paul II has quietly changed church law to make it easier for abusive priests to be removed from the priesthood. In a decision in February, he gave greater authority to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to "laicize" a priest who admits to abuse or in cases that involve a particularly serious offense. The rule change allows the priest to be removed without a church trial. Previously, only the pope had authority to laicize a priest without trial.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 23, 2003 | William Lobdell, Times Staff Writer
A key reform by the Orange diocese of the Roman Catholic Church is coming under fire from victim-rights advocates, who say a committee set up to protect minors from clergy abuse is stacked with insiders who put the interests of priests ahead of those who are molested.
OPINION
December 21, 2002
Re "Catholic Church Must Lose the Psychobabble," Commentary, Dec. 17: George Weigel's analysis of the current sex abuse crisis sounds logical but doesn't match the facts. Is clerical sex abuse really just homosexual molestation? Tragically, priests and bishops have abused minors of both genders. To define the problem as clerical gays run amok reflects the homophobia of many Catholic Church leaders but not the facts. Was this crisis caused, as Weigel says, by weak, confused moral teaching and a lack of firm leadership on the part of the bishops?
NATIONAL
December 19, 2002 | From Reuters
Bishop Richard G. Lennon, chosen by Pope John Paul II to temporarily replace Cardinal Bernard Law as leader of the Archdiocese of Boston, on Wednesday called for a truce in clergy sexual abuse litigation so that talks can proceed toward a settlement with victims.
NATIONAL
December 15, 2002 | Larry B. Stammer and Geraldine Baum, Times Staff Writers
On a dismal morning here Saturday, the momentous transfer of power from Cardinal Bernard Law to a temporary overseer of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston was acknowledged in a prayerful entreaty as routine as rain. Standing in a chapel of the stately Cathedral of the Holy Cross, Father Robert Carr prayed for Pope John Paul II and "Richard, our bishop," referring to the Most Rev. Richard G. Lennon, who will head the archdiocese until a new archbishop is named.
NATIONAL
December 5, 2002 | Elizabeth Mehren, Times Staff Writer
The finance committee of the Boston Archdiocese authorized the church to pursue bankruptcy proceedings as a method of settling at least 450 sexual abuse lawsuits. Wednesday's vote by the 12-person group is the first step toward allowing the church to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the federal Bankruptcy Code. Such a filing would be the first by an archdiocese.
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