BREAKING: BOSTON CARDINAL SETS UP INQUIRY INTO REPORTED ABUSE AT SEMINARY

BREAKING: BOSTON CARDINAL SETS UP INQUIRY INTO REPORTED ABUSE AT SEMINARY

Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley issued the following statement August 10:

Earlier this week I was informed that two former seminarians of St. John’s Seminary in the Archdiocese of Boston had posted allegations on social media sites including the Archdiocese’s Facebook page that during their time at the seminary they witnessed and experienced activities which are directly contrary to the moral standards and requirements of formation for the Catholic priesthood.

At this time I am not able to verify or disprove these allegations. As Archbishop of Boston, with responsibility for the integrity of the seminary and its compliance with the Church’s Program for Priestly Formation, I am committed to immediate action to address these serious matters and have made the following decisions regarding St. John’s Seminary.

First, I have asked Msgr. James P. Moroney, Rector of St. John’s, to go on sabbatical leave for the Fall Semester, beginning immediately, in order that there can be a fully independent inquiry regarding these matters.

Second, I have appointed Rev. Stephen E. Salocks, Professor of Sacred Scripture, to serve as Interim Rector at St. John’s.

Third, I have appointed the Most Rev. Mark O’Connell, Auxiliary Bishop of Boston, Dr. Francisco Cesareo, President of Assumption College and President of the USCCB National Review Board, which advises the USCCB on matters of child and youth protection policies and practices, and Ms. Kimberly Jones, CEO of Athena Legal Strategies Group to oversee an inquiry into the allegations made this week, the culture of the seminary regarding the personal standards expected and required of candidates for the priesthood, and any seminary issues of sexual harassment or other forms of intimidation or discrimination. The inquiry will be staffed by Mark Dunderdale, Esq., Director of the Archdiocesan Office of Professional Standards and Oversight.

I have directed this group to proceed with due seriousness of their assignment and as soon as possible to submit to me the findings of the inquiry and a set of recommendations to assure appropriate standards of professional behavior in compliance with Church teaching at all levels of seminary life. The faculty, staff and students at the seminary will be advised of my expectation that they will fully cooperate with the inquiry.

The allegations made this week are a source of serious concern to me as Archbishop of Boston. The ministry of the Catholic priesthood requires a foundation of trust with the people of the Church and the wider community in which our priests serve. I am determined that all our seminaries meet that standard of trust and provide the formation necessary for priests to live a demanding vocation of service in our contemporary society.

VATICAN INSIDER: CONVERSATION WITH AN IRAQI CARDINAL – POPE RECEIVES CHILEAN BISHOP AND HEAD OF NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR PREVENTION OF ABUSE – HOLY FATHER WELCOMES FRANCISCAN MARCHERS

VATICAN INSIDER: CONVERSATION WITH AN IRAQI CARDINAL

Tune in to Vatican Insider this weekend for Part II of my conversation with Iraqi cardinal and Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans Louis Raphael I Sako. We spoke the day after Pope Francis made him a cardinal in the June 28th consistory. We met at an international house for clergy and spoke for about a half hour. The patriarch and I have been friends since 2010, having first met in Kirkuk, Iraq when he was bishop of that diocese. We’ve met a number of times since, in Iraq, Lebanon and Rome and it was a joy to renew our acquaintance on this auspicious day for the Chaldean Church and faithful.

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POPE RECEIVES CHILEAN BISHOP AND HEAD OF NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR PREVENTION OF ABUSE

Friday morning, August 10 at the Santa Marta residence, Pope Francis received Bishop Juan Ignacio González of San Bernardo, Chile and Ana María Celis Brunet, president of the National Chilean Council for the Prevention of Abuse and Accompaniment of Victims. The object of the encounter was to inform each other and exchange opinions on the steps being taken in Cbhile to face the cases of abuse and to prevent that they take place again. An important point in the conversation was about the suffering of the victims and their need to find consolation and reparation.

Pope Francis, who follows with interest every step forward taken by the Chilean Episcopal Conference, has expressed his desire that all questions be clarified in order to give a just response to each individual.

HOLY FATHER WELCOMES FRANCISCAN MARCHERS

Paloma G. Ovejero, vice director of the Holy See Press Office tweeted on Friday, August 10: The Pope this evening met with the young people of the 38th Franciscan March (Loreto-Assisi-Rome). After 117 kilometers on foot, they received three key words (from the Pope): “Path, grace, vocation.” Also an admonition: hypocrisy!