DROP THE CHARGES: THE CONTINOUS STRUGGLES WITH OFFENCES AND FORGIVENESS

Abuse of Faith
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Medical professionals and other interested parties have welcomed these new laws as a way to reduce the toll of the opioid epidemic and alleviate concerns about criminal, civil and professional liability. New Mexico became the first state to enact legislation to increase access to naloxone in Since then every state has enacted a law to broaden access to naloxone. By it was reported that more than , lay people had received naloxone information and rescue kits resulting in more than 26, reported overdose reversals.

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Legislation and regulation has also greatly increased access to naloxone for first responders and law enforcement officers. These laws generally provide immunity from arrest, charge or prosecution for certain controlled substance possession and paraphernalia offenses when a person who is either experiencing an opiate-related overdose or observing one calls for assistance or seeks medical attention. State laws are also increasingly providing immunity from violations of pretrial, probation or parole conditions and violations of protection or restraining orders.

The scope of what offenses and violations are covered by immunity provisions varies by state. Some states have opted for more restricted immunity while others, like Vermont, have provided immunity from a more expansive list of controlled substance offenses. These laws often require a caller to have a reasonable belief that someone is experiencing an overdose emergency and is reporting that emergency in good faith. Good faith is often defined to exclude seeking help during the course of the execution of an arrest or a search warrant.

Some laws also specify that immunity for covered offenses is not ground for suppression of evidence of other crimes. Other requirements frequently include remaining on scene until help arrives and cooperating with emergency personnel when they arrive. Defendants who may not qualify for Good Samaritan immunity as described above may be eligible for entry into a drug diversion program or drug treatment court for defendants identified as having substance use or addiction needs.

The majority of states provide for such programs statutorily and many other programs have been created by local jurisdictions. Some studies suggest this is on par with the rates of child sex abuse committed by the general population. Only a tiny fraction of these priests, however, had ever been convicted in a court of law, according to the report. Just priests were convicted of a crime, and served time in prison.

Instead, dioceses and parishes paid billions of dollars in settlements to accusers over several decades, securing secrecy over these cases.

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It meant priests would simply be transferred to new parishes, making a new set of families vulnerable to abuse without their knowledge. The John Jay report also concluded that the church hierarchy had systematically defended and protected priests, treating their offenses as sins that demanded repentance and forgiveness, rather than criminal prosecution.

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It was so totaly an accident, I now have full custody of my son and have another son as well and i take care of them both The laws of the land are the results of our moral thinking, the edicts of nature, and our experiences in living. He was ordered by the Vatican to live a life of seclusion, penance, and prayer until his death. Good luck to you. For me, unity is something I value which is why I will always do my best to stay as far away from offence as possible.

For many dioceses, marked a turning point. Strategies and policies that were put in place, like the Dallas charter, were largely effective, which the Pennsylvania grand jury report acknowledges. A trickier issue, however, is how the church has dealt with the ongoing revelations of abuse prior to By and large, dioceses have remained unwilling to preemptively publish the names of alleged abusers, even those who have been removed from ministry for their actions. Throughout the s, however, various dioceses and archdioceses continued to settle privately with victims.

click The slow trickle of these revelations coincided with a wider decline in Catholic identity. According to the Public Religion Research Institute , a full 31 percent of Americans report being raised Catholic, yet just 20 percent consider themselves practicing. This is the largest drop-off for any single religious identity. Another study found that, in the period between and , Catholic church attendance dropped from 52 to 29 percent.

One of the ongoing questions in the Catholic clerical sex abuse crisis is what the Vatican knew and for how long, which has never been adequately answered. The pope refuses to address these claims. Either way, the truth is more complicated and more difficult to ascertain. More broadly, it does not address in any detail the decades of abuse that came from any other clerics around the globe or the veil of secrecy under which they were allowed to continue abusing children while remaining in ministry. What we do know is that US archdioceses seem to have operated in many regards outside the oversight of the Vatican, and they rarely passed information about individual abuse cases up the ladder.

On the other hand, it seems apparent that international archdioceses have, in many ways, operated on a day-to-day level independently from the curia. At least as early as the s, figures like Father Gerald Fitzgerald, head of an order called the Servants of the Paraclete that provided counseling for troubled priests, expressed concerns directly to the Vatican that pedophile priests were not being treated with appropriate seriousness.

But it remains unclear whether the highest echelons of the Vatican knew about the problem, how much they knew, and when they learned of the extent of the problem. The response from the Vatican, however, has been somewhat muted. Pope John Paul II was the first pope to deal with the crisis publicly. His successor, Benedict, fared a little better.

He handed over control of dealing with priest allegations to the centralized office of the Doctrine of the Congregation of the Faith, which he personally oversaw, allowing a degree of streamlining in the process. Benedict met with victims, including five from the Boston archdiocese. Benedict also ordered an investigation into — and ultimately removed from office — an influential Mexican priest, Marcial Degollado, founder of the powerful religious order Legionaries of Christ, for reported abuse.

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He was ordered by the Vatican to live a life of seclusion, penance, and prayer until his death. Benedict also barred men with same-sex attraction from priestly office, seen by many as an unnecessary and insulting move. In , revelations emerged that Benedict himself — as an archbishop in Munich in the s — was responsible for overseeing the transfer into therapy of a German priest accused of child sex abuse instead of immediately removing him from ministry.

That priest was later cleared for reentry into pastoral work, only to commit further sexual abuse. He was ultimately criminally prosecuted for it. Shortly after becoming pope, Francis announced the creation of a Vatican committee to fight sex abuse in the church. In , he named eight people , including one clerical abuse survivor, Marie Collins, to that committee. However, progress has been slow. And Francis, too, has vocally cast doubt on some accusers.

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Francis did not make specific policy recommendations going forward. He did, however, express sympathy with the victims and a commitment to changing the culture of the church. Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated. Individual bishops and dioceses have taken varying actions in the aftermath of the Pennsylvania report. Some are choosing to remain silent.

About the Author Agnes Mensah-Bonsu – Drop the Charges

Others, like Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Fort Wayne—South Bend diocese in Indiana and formerly of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania , say they will release the names of all priests in their diocese who have ever been removed from ministry due to child sex abuse. It is unclear what to expect from still-active priests who, like McCarrick, have been accused of abuse or participation in a cover-up.

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As Father James Martin, a Jesuit priest and Catholic commentator, told Vox, the process is subject to complex internal rules. So while priests may be removed from active ministry, laicization is a longer, more complicated process similar to a courtroom trial, which also demands the formal presumption of innocence. As it stands, the church itself is doing little to centralize and publicize narratives of abuse. These are very old [cases]!

Meanwhile, on the legal front, Pennsylvania lawmakers are pushing for changes in the statute of limitations to allow victims of clerical sex abuse to pursue civil or criminal charges. New York Attorney General Barbara Underwood has announced that she, working with several district attorneys throughout the state, may wage a similar commission there.

Westchester and Suffolk counties already have investigations underway. While defenders of the Vatican argue that the Dallas charter has drastically decreased the number of post cases of abuse, tips are still flooding into prosecutorial and private Pennsylvania hotlines about decades-old cases.

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By choosing I Accept , you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. The decades-long Catholic priest child sex abuse crisis, explained. Share this story Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share All sharing options Share All sharing options for: The decades-long Catholic priest child sex abuse crisis, explained. Reddit Pocket Flipboard Email. Then came the Pennsylvania revelations.

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In 'Drop the Charges: The Continuous Struggles with Offences & Forgiveness', Agnes Mensah-Bonsu warns about the dangers of holding on to pain and. You can download and read online DROP THE CHARGES: THE CONTINOUS. STRUGGLES WITH OFFENCES AND FORGIVENESS file PDF Book only if.

Allegations of Catholic clerical sex abuse were intermittent through the s While cases of Catholic clerical sex abuse were reported by the media up to the s, one-off instances here and there did not signal the truth: that the church was actually dealing with an internal crisis of systemic proportions. More old allegations have trickled out in the past two decades For many dioceses, marked a turning point. Pope Francis has been making progress — but is it enough?

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Cases that — for now — have no way of being prosecuted. The Supreme Court will decide if he gets off scot-free. Zip Code.

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