‘Survivors need us now’: Panelists gather to discuss Catholic Church sex abuse crisis in 2019 ND Forum keynote event

first_imgHannah Huelskamp | The Observer Panelists speak on the keynote panel of the 2019 Notre Dame Forum Wednesday evening, which focused on rebuilding the Church in the wake of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.Each panelist was invited to reflect on where the Catholic Church stands in addressing the abuse crisis.Neither the panelists’ commentary nor follow-up questions from the audience made any mention of the archbishop’s controversial history with Church reform. Over the years, Lori has earned a reputation as an opponent of transparency, drawing criticism as recently as this summer for his investigation of former bishop of Wheeling-Charleston Michael Bransfield.Accountability for the grand jury reportSteinfels, who earlier this year wrote a critique of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report for Commonweal Magazine, opened by sharing his belief that the problem of clergy sex abuse today is over-exaggerated. He referenced data from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice that indicate a general decline in abuse since the mid-20th century.“Anyone who obscures this dramatic decline, as I think the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report did, is simply not telling the truth,” he said.Steinfels said the report distorts the reality of the crisis by showing it through the lens of prosecutors, giving the impression that it runs deeper than research suggests.“The shock and misinformation created by the Pennsylvania Report brought home to me the need for a real history of the sex abuse scandal,” he said. “The dominant narrative has been overwhelmingly shaped by lawsuits to obtain some recompense for survivor victims.”A multi-faceted approach to addressing abuseAfter the Archdiocese of Boston sex abuse scandal in 2002, McChesney was hired to help establish the Office of Child Protection for the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops (USCCB). Drawing from her experience working with the FBI and USCCB, McChesney emphasized the importance of accountability to the healing of abuse survivors.“It is so critical to the men and women who have been abused to know that someone is responsible,” she said.McChesney also highlighted the need for better screening in seminaries.  “Selection is more important than formation,” she said. “… If you have selected the wrong person to go in the seminary … that person is never going to become a healthy cleric,” she said.While many point fingers at the Church for being slow to reform, McChesney said law enforcement also dropped the ball in investigating abuse allegations — particularly after the Boston scandal.“I always wondered, where is the law enforcement response?” she said. “… Who missed that lesson, and why?”Issue fatigue has also stalled progress in fighting the crisis, McChesney said.“We can’t let our tiredness, our sadness, overtake our passion for continuing to work on these issues,” she said.The lethargic pace at which the Church adopts reforms is likely to continue, she added.“I think that the Church will continue to be slow to reform,” McChesney said. “… Sadly, that is the way the Church works.”A steep learning curveIn order to bring about effective change, it is essential to put policies into practice, Lori said.“It’s one thing to have policies and procedures in place,” Lori said. “It’s another thing to live them. It’s another thing to draw out from them, the moral values, the moral imperative to address this in the way that God only knows it deserves to be addressed.”In his introduction, Lori made passing reference to his investigation of former bishop of Wheelings-Charleston, Bransfield.“I did not do [the investigation] perfectly,” he said. “What I’m happy to report, however, is that the allegations were taken seriously. They were investigated by experts — lay experts — none of whom were in the employment of the Church in any way. … It was not perfect, it was rough, bumpy, rocky, but at least shows it can work.”The archbishop did not make mention of the harsh criticisms the investigation drew — a June 5 article from the Washington Post found Lori had cut from his investigation report to the Vatican the names of 11 high-ranking clergymen who received cash gifts from Bransfield, including his own. This is not the only time Lori has been the subject of controversy. He was also criticized for his handling of abuse cases in Bridgeport, and is attributed with helping narrow the scope of the Dallas Charter to apply only to priests and deacons — omitting bishops.As the Catholic Church confronts its abuse crisis, bishops face several learning curves, Lori said.“I don’t think any of the learning curves have been as steep as discovering, learning, struggling to deal in some adequate way with the ugly specter of child abuse,” he said.Cruz offered a counterpoint to this reflection during the question and answer session, emphasizing that these “learning curves” must not serve as an excuse for inaction.“We can’t wait for bishops to finish their learning curve,” he said. “Survivors need us now.”Bishops and the Church’s culture of protectionCruz, a survivor of abuse in Chile, has long advocated for survivors. When he first came forward with allegations against former Chilean priest Fernando Karadima, the Vatican did not believe him. It wasn’t until his allegations were found credible that the Pope apologized and invited him to the Vatican.Cruz said he remained in the Catholic Church despite abuse because he “wasn’t going to let the bad ones win.” He offered encouragement to survivors, saying there were resources for healing, no matter one’s age or gender.“Know that if you have been abused, if you have gone through that trauma, there are people who are going to be there to help you,” Cruz said.He said he initially thought having Francis on his side would break the cycle of abuse in the Church.“The stroke of a pen, it passes a law and this will end — that’s what I thought,” he said. “I went to the Vatican. I saw what happens, and trust me: no pen, no nothing can switch or change this attitude.”Cruz accused bishops of weaponizing the abuse crisis against Pope Francis, and using it to promote an agenda of “elitism.”“[Their] way of hurting Francis is by hurting him with the abuse crisis,” he said. “But that’s not what they care about. They’ll drop victims as soon as they pass their agenda.”Despite bishops’ conversations with the Pope, they continue to cover up sex abuse, Cruz said.“Nobody holds them accountable, and that needs to stop,” he added.A continuing conversationAllen said he received about 18 follow-up questions for panelists. He introduced a faculty member and two students, each of whom presented a question. Then, panelists addressed two questions submitted online. Topics ranged from the role of the laity in addressing the crisis to advice for young Catholics, but none touched on Lori’s past.As Allen concluded the panel, he encouraged audience members to stay engaged and participate in additional upcoming discussions about the abuse crisis.“This is not the end of our conversation,” he said. “[It’s] nearly the beginning.”The Observer spoke with Terry McKiernan, president of online database Bishop Accountability, after the panel. While he said he thought the event offered strong commentary on the crisis, he underlined the need for settings more conducive to back-and-forth dialogue.“I really hope that Notre Dame will create other opportunities where real conversation can happen — especially among the student body and to the student body teachers about this,” he said. Four major players in addressing the Catholic sex abuse crisis called for greater transparency, concrete reforms and a better understanding of Church scandals during the Notre Dame Forum’s panel Wednesday night, entitled “‘Rebuild My Church’: Crisis and Response.”Featured guests included Archbishop of Baltimore William Lori; former FBI executive assistant director Kathleen McChesney; Juan Carlos Cruz, an advocate for clergy abuse survivors; and journalist Peter Steinfels, a previous editor at Commonweal and past New York Times columnist. John Allen, editor of the online Catholic newspaper, Crux, moderated the panel. Did you submit a question to the panel that wasn’t read? Let us know at [email protected]: Archbishop Lori, Catholic Church Sex Abuse Scandal, Notre Dame Forumlast_img read more

Gov. Wolf Announces $1 Million For Economic Development Projects in 3 Counties

first_imgGov. Wolf Announces $1 Million For Economic Development Projects in 3 Counties Economy,  Government That Works,  Press Release Governor Tom Wolf announced three new low-interest loan approvals through the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) to support the expansion of a manufacturer, renovations of a multi-tenant property, and creation of a daycare facility for 150 local families. This year, PIDA approved $51,282,328 in low-interest loans that have resulted in $101,521,536 in private investment and supported 1,951 created and retained full-time jobs.“This funding will have a real, tangible effect on Pennsylvania’s communities — providing them with services, jobs, and revenue,” said Gov. Wolf. “The more than $51 million in critical capital funding granted this year will directly benefit businesses, employees, and job-seekers, stimulating the local economy and filling critical service gaps.”The following loans were approved:Adams CountyJaMaCavey, LLC, was approved for a $274,998, 15-year PIDA loan at a 2.75 percent fixed rate to purchase a vacant building that will be renovated into a new daycare facility. The Caterpillar Clubhouse will provide full and part-time child care, before and after school care, and summer camp educational programs. The center will serve children ages six weeks to 12 years. The project involves the acquisition of a vacant 7,708 square-foot commercial building — formerly the Metz Hardware Store — and an attached 4,021 square-foot residential unit, located in Fairfield Borough. Through this project, the Caterpillar Clubhouse expects to serve up to 150 local families and create 15 full-time jobs in the next three years.Chester CountyMannion Fabrication, LLC, was approved for an $81,000, 10-year PIDA loan at a 2.75 percent fixed interest rate to purchase machinery and equipment for the company’s manufacturing facility in West Goshen Township. Mannion Fabrication specializes in metal welding, fabrication, and powder coating for the residential, industrial, commercial, and race and tuning industries. The company will occupy a larger building formerly used by Brooks Powder Coating. The total project cost is $162,000. This project will support four full-time jobs.Montgomery CountyReal estate developer Pan-X Services, LLC, through the Bucks County Economic Development Corporation, was approved for a $668,000, 15-year PIDA loan at a 2.75 percent fixed interest rate to acquire and renovate a 21,870 square-foot multi-tenancy building in Montgomery Township, Montgomery County. Renovations to the property will include installing a sprinkler system to bring the property up to code, electrical and HVAC upgrades, and new LED lighting throughout the warehouse space. The total project cost is $1,670,000.PIDA provides low-interest loans and lines of credit to Pennsylvania businesses that commit to creating and retaining full-time jobs within the commonwealth, as well as for the development of industrial parks and multi-tenant facilities. Loan applications are packaged and underwritten by a network of certified economic development organizations (CEDOs) that partner with PIDA. PIDA is currently offering interest rates between 1.75 and 2.75 percent for applications received by December 31, 2019.For more information about the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority and other DCED initiatives, visit dced.pa.gov. SHARE Email Facebook Twittercenter_img December 04, 2019last_img read more

Ireland hit by fresh injury blow

first_img It is the latest injury to have hit the Ireland camp, whose Six Nations is imploding after only two matches. Centre Gordon D’Arcy and wing Simon Zebo have been lost for the remainder of the competition, while fly-half Jonathan Sexton and lock Mike McCarthy will definitely miss Sunday’s clash with Scotland. Concerns continue to hang over the fitness of centre Brian O’Driscoll and second row Donnacha Ryan, while prop Cian Healy has been ruled out of the games against Scotland and France through suspension. Ireland entered the tournament without lock Paul O’Connell and wing Tommy Bowe, who will not return in time, while flanker Stephen Ferris’ involvement is in doubt. Munster back row Tommy O’Donnell has been called into the squad as cover for Henry, an openside who started the Wales and England matches on the bench. Connacht centre Dave McSharry is also unavailable due to a groin injury, so Leinster’s Ian Madigan has been called up. Henry suffered a cartilage tear to his right knee during Ulster’s 26-3 RaboDirect PRO12 victory over Zebre on Friday night and must undergo an operation. “The injury will require surgery and will rule Henry out of playing for approximately four weeks,” read an Irish Rugby Football Union statement. Ireland have endured yet another setback to their RBS 6 Nations with the news that substitute flanker Chris Henry will miss the rest of the tournament with a knee injury.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Possible prison time for students being criminal ‘money mules’

first_imgHundreds of Irish students agreeing to let fraudsters use their bank accounts could lead to possible jail time, it has been reported. Gardaí believe hundreds of millions of euro have been laundered through Irish bank accounts with students complicit in criminal acts.They are being contacted via social media with the lure of making easy money. Criminals see university campuses as soft targets for recruiting these “money mules”.Detective Chief Superintendent Patrick Lordan Irish Independent students who had got involved in the scam were now under threat of being jailed. “There are several hundred student accounts in Ireland being used for this type of activity,” he said.“We’ve seen one student do it two or three times, so they know what they’re doing. And they are now getting into trouble. Some have been charged and more will be charged.“Custodial sentences are now in the frame. Because without a money mule, this fraud often doesn’t work. It’s like drug trafficking.”Once a scam has been successful, scammers need a bank account to transfer the money into for withdrawal. “What happens is that someone approaches a student and says ‘a friend of mine wants to invest here in Ireland, but it’s taking a while to get past the red tape, so I’ll pay you €500 to use your account’,” said the senior officer.The fraudster then wires illicit cash into the account before getting the student to take it out or move it on to a further account.Det Chief Supt Lordan said students must be fully aware they are facing serious criminal sanctions if they engage in what may appear harmless.“These students are committing offences,” he said. “This can have a permanent effect on your life.” He said any students who found themselves in such a situation should report it.Possible prison time for students being criminal ‘money mules’ was last modified: April 28th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

South Africa a good investment: OBG

first_img12 June 2012 South Africa boasts an attractive investment environment that few regional peers could match, according to a report by the Oxford Business Group that focuses on the country’s drive to cement its position as the gateway to the rest of Africa through a wave of major initiatives. The Report: South Africa 2012, launched in Johannesburg on Friday, gives wide-ranging coverage of the government’s efforts to boost growth across South Africa’s industrial sector, particularly in manufacturing, in a bid to address the country’s unemployment problems.Automotive, steel, mining, transport This includes extensive analysis of South Africa’s automotive and steel sectors, which are well positioned to spearhead further economic growth and attract investment. It also considers the extensive transport infrastructure upgrades under way, as well as initiatives being put in place to improve SA’s energy infrastructure and secure steady power supplies as the country looks to tackle the challenge of rising demand. South Africa’s mining industry also comes under the spotlight, as the report documents the potential for expansion in new markets, especially China, while exploring promising growth segments such as iron ore. The Oxford Business Group (OGB) publishes economic intelligence on 33 countries around the world from its offices in Istanbul, Dubai and London. The group spent about nine months in the country compiling the report in partnership with South Africa’s Department of Trade and Industry.‘Attractive investment environment’ OBG regional editor Robert Tashima said that while South Africa faced some sizable structural challenges, it still boasted an attractive investment environment that few regional peers could match. “South Africa has made a fairly strong recovery from the 2009 contraction, driven in large part by domestic consumption,” Tashima said in a statement. “The focus over the medium term will need to unshackle greater output in productive sectors, particularly those that provide greater multiplier effects, such as industry and infrastructure.” Tashima described South Africa’s economy as sophisticated, noting that it took about 19 days to register a business in the country – much faster than in most African countries – and adding that the country’s government budget was in good health. Unemployment at 24% was described as a structural challenge, and inequality in South African society as posing “long term concern”. “The problems are concerning, but they are not a cause for despondency,” Tashima said. The report credits South Africa with having policy and political stability, a good business environment, rich natural resources and strong infrastructure. “These can propel the economy forward, they offer opportunity,” Tashima said. On the energy side, with initiatives like the renewable independent power producers programme under way, the report found that prospects for growth were “electrifying”. Some of the growth strategies identified in the report include diversification of exports and strengthening of skills sets.‘Serious long-term growth potential’ “The central message contained in the report is that South Africa offers significant and serious long-term growth and development potential despite the challenges which we confront at present, some of which are not of our own making but … the winds of the world economy blowing in our direction,” Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said at Friday’s launch. “The report articulates a clear message that South Africa is open for business,” Davies said, adding that it was important to situate the report within the context of the country’s economic strategy. The Report: South Africa 2012 contains an exclusive interview with President Jacob Zuma, together with a detailed, sector-by-sector guide for investors. It provides a wide range of contributions from leading political, economic and business representatives, including the Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Reserve Bank Governor Gill Marcus and Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu. International personalities, including OECD secretary-general Angel Gurria, Brazilian Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade Fernando Damata Pimentel, European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs, Virgin Atlantic president Richard Branson, also offer their views on South Africa’s economic development. SAinfo reporter and BuaNewslast_img read more

Alice Springs Masters Games

first_imgThe Alice Springs Masters Games will be held from Saturday, 11 October to Saturday, 18 October 2014, with Touch Football one of the 33 sports on offer. Men’s, Women’s and Mixed divisions will be offered at the event, with Alice Springs boasting excellent Touch Football facilities and great competition. There will also be plenty of social events with a jam-packed entertainment program featuring the Opening and Closing Ceremony with some fantastic Australian entertainers. The Alice Springs Masters Games was the first Games of its kind in Australia, with the inaugural event held in 1986. Held every two years, the Games offer athletes 25 years and older the chance to experience Australian sports in the red heartland. For more information about the Alice Springs Masters Games, please visit the event website – www.alicespringsmastersgames.com.au. Related LinksAlice Springs Masterslast_img read more

9 months agoFiorentina signing Luis Muriel: Why I rejected AC Milan

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Fiorentina signing Luis Muriel: Why I rejected AC Milanby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFiorentina signing Luis Muriel has explained turning down AC Milan.Muriel has joined the Viola on-loan from Sevilla.“Yes, Milan had also been after me but I’d already given my word and I didn’t retrace my steps,” said the striker at his official unveiling on Friday.“I kept thinking Fiorentina were the right place for me. I worked hard to come here and I’m happy I did.“The best Muriel? I think you saw it in Udine and Samp, when I played with guys like Di Natale and Quagliarella. They helped me to make a lot.” last_img read more

5 days agoPartizan Belgrade manager Milosevic urges fans to behave against Man Utd

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Partizan Belgrade manager Milosevic urges fans to behave against Man Utdby Paul Vegas5 days agoSend to a friendShare the lovePartizan Belgrade manager Savo Milosevic has urged fans to be on their best behaviour against Europa League rivals Manchester United.The Aston Villa legend, who now manages the Serbian team, said he understands why there might be some concerns ahead of the game.He told The Sun: “Sure, and I, as a former player with friends throughout the world, will do everything to make sure our guests will feel comfortable and to think only of a game of football.”I will say to our fans: ‘A big club, a giant club, is coming to visit us – and we should be honoured to play against Manchester United for the first time since 1966’.”We have to be proud to host the players, coaches, leaders and fans of such a great club.” last_img read more