Philly trial reveals unreliability of religions' self-policing policies

I found out something significant about the Code of Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church as I sat inside Judge M. Teresa Sarmina's criminal courtroom in Philadelphia April 30 and listened to Msgr. Kevin Michael Quirk, a church canon lawyer from the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, W. Va.

The time is now: childhood sexual abuse and statutes of limitation

Both Pennsylvania and New York will have an uphill battle to get any legislation dealing with the sexual abuse of children discussed, let alone signed into law, regardless of what has been happening lately at Penn State, Syracuse or any other educational, religious, public or private institution.

Accountability, transparency and the bishops

It has been almost 10 years since the bishops of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States mandated accountability and transparency in regard to the sexual abuse of children, but how that accountability and transparency was defined was ultimately left up to individual bishops, as was their application.

Victims, justice and the new archbishop


[Statement by the author:

I am a member of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, an international community of women, writing in my own name from the depths of conscience. As a Sister of Notre Dame I take to heart that --

"We are called to listen to the mourning of our fragmented world, of those impoverished by the growing divide between rich and poor and of the sexually exploited, trafficked, marginalised and abused women and children -- especially girls." (Calls, 2008 Chapter)

-- but the thoughts, opinions and recommendations having to do with the widespread sexual exploitation of children and the subsequent cover-up are very much my own.]

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who headed the Denver archdiocese, was installed today as the 13th head of the Philadelphia archdiocese in a ceremony held at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.

I welcome the archbishop to the city and church of my birth where I lived, studied and worked before entering the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, and where I taught in parish grade schools and chaired departments in two archdiocesan high schools.