Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Victims demand trial in Rome of cardinal, archbishop and bishops

Victims of abuse in the Church have asked the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith to bring Cardinal Danneels and Archbishop Léonard among others before the special new tribunal which should examine negligent priests.

Pope Francis announced in early June the establishment of a tribunal, under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The tribunal should interview bishops who would have been remiss in addressing cases of pedophile priests.

An investigation shows that in Belgium several victims wrote to Rome asking for Archbishop André-Joseph Léonard, Cardinal Godfried Danneels, former Bishop of Bruges, Roger Vangheluwe and the Bishop of Hasselt, Patrick Hoogmartens to be tried. They wrote a personal letter on this matter to Cardinal Müller, who is the head of the Congregation.

Léonard is internationally one of the few bishops who have been held liable in a case of sexual abuse. But that certainly does not mean that he certainly will have to appear before the tribunal in Rome, said canon lawyers, Rik Torfs and Kurt Martens.

The Vatican spokesman would not confirm whether the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has already received files on the Belgian bishops.


Catholic church in Scotland asks forgiveness

"The Scottish Catholic church has offered a “profound apology” to victims of child abuse and the church’s failure to investigate and punish the culprits, after a damning independent report into its conduct.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia, the official head of the Scottish church, told a congregation in Glasgow on Tuesday that their bishops were “shamed and pained” by the abuse suffered by children and adults over recent decades. “We say sorry. We ask forgiveness.”"

Full story

Postscript Archbishop Tartaglia is not "the official head of the Scottish Church" . Archbishop Tartaglia is president of the Bishops Conference but the head of the Church is Archbishop Cushley of Edinburgh and this because the Archdiocese of St. Andrews and Edinburgh is the primatial see.

Cardinal calls for rapid deportations

Clear words: The Cologne Cardinal, Rainer Woelki in favour of a rapid and consistent deportation of refugees from safe countries of origin, such as Albania.

"As a rule, Albanians who come to us cannot invoke the right of asylum in the Basic Law", Woelki said on Wednesday to the "Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger".

Return refugees consistently

The 59-year-old who currently is visiting Albania and Kosovo, therefore considers it right to send them back, "moreover consistently, so as not to stir up the hope for every individual, maybe that they as one of hundreds or thousands of newcomers can then just be allowed to stay".

Given a large number of poverty refugees, the right of asylum should be protected from abuse, demanded Woelki. "We cannot overcome the problem of poverty by trying to solve the problem of asylum."

What was needed was an immigration law, "which allows the people from countries such as Albania, legal entry and a perspective on life in Germany," said the Cardinal. The intention of the Federal Government is to declare Albania and Kosovo in future as "safe countries of origin". This would make it difficult for those immigrating from there to claim their fundamental right to asylum in Germany.

Proposals to reduce the allowance for refugees, Woelki called outlandish and spoke of attempts of politics, to conduct the refugee debate " on the backs of those affected".
Specifications in Germany apply for each refugee

The requirements of the Federal Constitutional Court are clear. "They apply to anyone who comes to us", underlined the Archbishop. One also cannot compare salaries and cost of living in a country like Albania with the German level. "Therefore, the idea is absurd, 'Poverty refugees' - a terrible word by the way! – wishing to put them in a worse position than asylum seekers or Hartz IV recipients ".

The Cardinal showed openness for a "national refugee pact" as part of a genuine welcoming culture. "We need to further pull together socially and thereby give ourselves economic challenges. Since all social groups are needed to be involved, why not in a national pact?" said Woelki. The churches would make our contribution.