Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service

Josephine McKenna writes for Religion News Service.

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Abuse Survivors Resign from Pope’s Sex Abuse Panel

Image via RNS/Reuters/Tony Gentile

Collins, who was sexually abused by a priest at age 13, resigned on March 1, citing what she called “shameful” resistance to commission proposals from the Vatican’s powerful doctrinal office, which is responsible for pursuing cases against abusive priests and bishops.

Saunders stepped aside after publicly calling for Australian Cardinal George Pell to be dismissed, after news reports surfaced that he had protected pedophile priests in Australia. Pell serves as the Vatican’s finance chief.

U.S. Cardinal: Pope Committed to Ending ‘Scourge of Sex Abuse’ Despite Setbacks

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“There is simply no justification in our day for failures to enact concrete safeguarding standards for our children, young men and women, and vulnerable adults,” O’Malley said.

“We are called to reform and renew all the institutions of our church. … And we certainly must address the evil of sexual abuse by priests.”

Pope Francis: ‘One Cannot Grow Without Crisis’

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Despite criticism from conservative opponents who question his approach to church doctrine and his reform of the Vatican Curia, the pope said he had never lost his peace of mind.

Sister Simone Campbell Blasts ‘Male Power and Image’ at Vatican

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“The effort to keep the church from stopping this sort of thing is shocking,” she added. “It is about male power and male image, not people’s stories. The real trouble is they have defined their power as spiritual leadership and they don’t have a clue about spiritual life.”

Irish Abuse Victim Lashes Out at Vatican Bureaucracy As She Quits Panel

Image via RNS/Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

In a major setback for the pope, Collins on Mar. 1 announced that she had resigned from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, established by the pontiff in 2013 to counter abuse in the church.

She said the pope’s decision to create the commission was a “sincere move,” but there had been “constant setbacks” from officials within the Vatican.

“There are people in the Vatican who do not want to change, or understand the need to change,” Collins said in a telephone interview from Dublin.

Pope Francis Seeks Forgiveness From Clergy Abuse Victims

Image via RNS/Reuters/Stefano Rellandini

Pope Francis has condemned clerical sex abuse as an “absolute monstrosity,” and asked victims and their families for forgiveness on behalf of the Catholic Church.

In an unusual move, the pontiff’s comments were published as a preface to a new book by Daniel Pittet, a Swiss victim who was sexually abused for four years by a priest when he was a child.

Pope Decries Treatment of Rohingya Muslims

Image via RNS/Reuters/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

Pope Francis has called for prayers for the Rohingya, the Muslim minority group forced to flee violence and persecution in Myanmar.

 

Catholic Professor Says Trump's Border Wall Challenges America's Moral Values

Image via RNS/Reuters/Mike Blake

President Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico raises serious questions about America’s moral standing, as the poor would bear the brunt of the suffering, a leading Catholic theologian says.

The Rev. Daniel G. Groody, an associate professor of theology at Notre Dame University in Indiana, said the wall would lead to a loss of life, as migrants are forced to find other ways to escape poverty across the border.

“What Trump fails to see is that state sovereignty is not an absolute privilege, but a moral responsibility,” said Groody.

Pope Francis on Refugees: 'Don't Abandon Them'

Image via RNS/Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi

Pope Francis called for greater compassion for refugees and marginalized people less than a week after President Trump ordered a temporary immigration ban from seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Trump's Refugee Ban Keeps Human Rights Leader From Receiving Award

Image via Creative Commons/Dragan Tatic

As the only female Yazidi in the Iraqi Parliament, Dakhil fought tirelessly for international assistance to stop the violence, including sexual slavery, targeting her beleaguered people.

Now she has been awarded the Lantos Human Rights Prize in Washington, D.C. But she is unlikely to make the ceremony on Feb. 8, since President Donald Trump banned all travelers from Iraq.

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