Kenya’s bishops ‘not worried’ by breakaway married priests

The president of Kenya’s bishops’ conference has said they are “not worried” by a splinter group of priests whose rules permit them to marry. One of those priests, the Rev Peter Njogu, was ordained a Catholic priest in 1989. He had made up his mind to be celibate for the rest of his life and serve God. But 13 years later, all of that would change. In 2002, Rev Njogu was charged by the Diocese of Nyeri of having a girlfriend, whom he had met while serving in Italy. He…

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Pope Francis receives Vespa scooter from enthusiasts

A group of Vespa enthusiasts gave Pope Francis a 1971 Vespa 50R scooter on Sunday, which will be sold to raise money for charity. Pope Francis met Sunday in the Vatican with participants in the 2nd International Roma Caput Vespa Rally. The Vespa Club in Time, which donated the moped, tricked it out with the papal insignia and a custom number plate: BF362918, which stands for “Bergoglio” – “Francis” – his year of birth – Sunday’s date. Cardinal Konrad Krajewski climbed aboard briefly to check out the Pope’s new ride. As the Pope’s almoner,…

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Pope says ‘silence’ is the best response to ‘people lacking good will’

Pope Francis said “the truth is meek, the truth is silent” in a homily at Casa Santa Marta, as he resumes his early morning Masses. The Pope’s homily concerned the Gospel from Luke (4:16-30), when Jesus returns to Nazareth and and the fury of the townspeople when he refused to perform miracles for them. The reading from St Luke ends: “They rose up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town had been built, to hurl him down headlong.…

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Argentine bishops declare support for Pope Francis

Argentine bishops have joined those from Spain and Peru in voicing their support for Pope Francis, following Archbishop Viganò’s claims that the Vatican knew about abuse allegations involving Archbishop McCarrick. The Argentine bishops’ conference (CEA) said their statement, published on August 30 on the Argentine bishops’ news site, AICA, was in response to “ruthless” attacks against the pontiff. “We share your pains and hopes,” the letter said, explaining that it was written to express “fraternal and filial” closeness to the Pope. “We know what you can say with St. Paul: ‘That…

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Australian bishops reject call to lift Seal of Confession in abuse cases

Australia’s Catholic bishops and religious orders, responding to recommendations from the Royal Commission Into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, have accepted 98 per cent of its suggestions, but have said they could not accept recommendations that would violate the Seal of Confession. “We are committed to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable people while maintaining the seal. We do not see safeguarding and the seal as mutually exclusive,” said the preamble to a response to dozens of recommendations concerning child safety, formation of priest and religious workers, training in…

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Colombian cardinal denounces ‘shameful’ attacks on Pope Francis

The head of a council of Latin American bishops has spoken out against “attacks on the Pope as a person”, following controversy surrounding Archbishop Carlos Maria Viganò’s claims about the Pontiff. The council, known as CELAM for its acronym in Spanish, was commemorating the 50th anniversary of a regional meeting of bishops that took place in Medellin, Columbia, in 1968, designed to work toward dismantling poverty and its ailments in the region. Cardinal Ruben Salazar of Bogota, president of CELAM, said that just as the movement focused on the poor…

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New Orleans archbishop holds “healing mass” for abuse victims

New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond on Tuesday likened the sexual abuse scandal engulfing the Roman Catholic Church to the “incredible destruction” wrought by Hurricane Katrina, saying that church leaders face a similarly fraught road to recovery. “Thirteen years later, we are hit by another storm — not of rain, not of wind,” Aymond said. “It is, indeed, a man-made storm.” The archbishop apologized for the atrocities of some of his colleagues, telling hundreds of parishioners, priests and seminarians there is “no excuse in the world for abusing a child.” He asked…

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Bishop McElroy accuses Viganò of ‘distorting’ the truth

In a strongly worded attack, the Bishop of San Diego has accused Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò of “massive personal participation in the covering up of sexual abuse by bishops”. Bishop Robert McElroy said Viganò had distorted the truth in the “testimony” he released at the weekend, adding that it contained “clear efforts to settle old personal scores”. “In recent weeks ideological warriors within the Church on both sides of the spectrum have utilized the tragedy of victims of abuse to promote their goals,” McElroy said. “The dedication to comprehensive truth…

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Archbishop Viganò responds to abuse cover-up allegations

Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has responded to claims he stopped an investigation into a prelate accused of “misconduct” with seminarians and helped cover up sexual abuse. Archbishop Viganò denied the allegations, saying: “These accusations – that I would have ordered the two auxiliary bishops of Minneapolis to close the investigation on the life of Archbishop Nienstedt – are false.” Archbishop John Nienstedt of St Paul and Minneapolis was accused misconduct with seminarians and of covering up sexual abuse. Vatican reporter John Allen says that “according to a 2014 memo, first…

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Pope calls entire Church to pray and fast after clerical sex abuse revelations

Pope Francis called Monday for every member of the Catholic Church to pray and fast in penance for the evil of clerical sex abuse, and to be involved in needed change within the Church. “The only way that we have to respond to this evil that has darkened so many lives is to experience it as a task regarding all of us as the People of God,” Francis wrote Aug. 20. In a letter to the entire Church following widespread revelations of clerical sex abuse in the Church in the…

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