Connect with us

The Vatican blocked U.S. bishops from taking measures to address the clergy sex abuse scandal because U.S. church leaders didn’t discuss the legally problematic proposals with the Holy See enough beforehand, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press.

The Nov. 11 letter from the Vatican’s Cardinal Marc Ouellet provides the primary reason that Rome balked at the measures that were to be voted on by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops at its Nov. 12-14 meeting. The blocked vote stunned abuse survivors and other Catholics who were demanding action from U.S. bishops to address clergy sex abuse and cover-up.

Ouellet’s letter undermines the version of events provided by the conference president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo. It could also provide fodder for questions during a spiritual retreat of U.S. bishops, dedicated to the abuse crisis, that opens Wednesday in Chicago.

They may want to know why, as Ouellet noted in the letter, the draft proposals only arrived at the Vatican on Nov. 8, four days before the U.S. bishops’ meeting began. While the Vatican is known for its slow pace, even the speediest bureaucracy would have found it difficult to review and sign off on sensitive legal documents in that time.

“Considering the nature and scope of the documents being proposed by the (conference), I believe it would have been beneficial to have allowed for more time to consult with this and other congregations with competence over the ministry and discipline of bishops,” Ouellet wrote to DiNardo.

Such back-and-forth, he wrote, would have allowed the documents to “properly mature.”

The main goal of the U.S. bishops’ fall meeting had been to approve a code of conduct for bishops and create a lay-led commission to receive complaints against them. The measures were a crisis response to the scandal over ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, a once-senior American cleric who is now accused of molesting minors and adults, and new revelations of old sex abuse cases in Pennsylvania.

DiNardo stunned the bishops when he opened the assembly Nov. 12 by announcing that “at the insistence of the Holy See” the bishops would not be voting on the measures after all. He said the Vatican wanted them to delay a vote until after Pope Francis hosts a global summit in February on preventing sex abuse by priests.

While DiNardo blamed the Vatican, the letter from Ouellet suggests that the Vatican thought DiNardo had tried to pull a fast one by intentionally withholding legally problematic texts until the last minute.

It is not surprising that Rome wanted a say in crafting the text, given the Holy See has exclusive authority to investigate and discipline problem bishops.

“While fully aware that a bishops’ conference enjoys a rightful autonomy … to discuss and eventually approve measures that are within the conference’s powers, the conference’s work must always be integrated within the hierarchical structure and universal law of the church,” Ouellet wrote.

In a statement Tuesday to AP, DiNardo characterized the dispute as a misunderstanding. He said he assumed the Vatican would have had a chance to “review and offer adjustments” to the measures after the U.S. bishops approved them, not before. He insisted that U.S. bishops were not trying to appropriate Vatican powers for themselves.

“It is now clear there were different expectations on the bishops conference’s part and Rome’s part that may have affected the understanding of these proposals,” DiNardo said in a statement. “From our perspective, they were designed to stop short of where the authority of the Holy See began.”

The U.S. strategy, it seems, was to avoid drawn-out negotiations before the vote so the U.S. bishops could present the Vatican with documents after the fact.

Legally speaking, the U.S. bishops didn’t need Vatican approval prior to the vote. But since the Holy See would have to approve the proposals afterward for them to become binding, consultation on the text was necessary and strategically wise to do so beforehand, said Nicholas Cafardi, a U.S. canon lawyer.

DiNardo, in his statement to the AP, said he had shared the “content and direction” of the proposals with multiple Vatican offices in October and drafted the final text after encountering no opposition.

“We had not planned, nor had the Holy See made a request, to share the texts prior to the body of bishops having had an opportunity to amend them,” he said.

During a Nov. 12 press conference, DiNardo was asked when the Vatican was actually consulted about the measures. He replied the texts were finalized Oct. 30 and that the delay in finishing them might have been a problem.

“So it’s not surprising, on one level, that people would be catching their breath, perhaps even in Rome,” he told reporters. DiNardo also acknowledged, when pressed by a reporter, that the texts themselves had some legal problems, though he downplayed the severity of them.

In his statement to AP, DiNardo said he had told Ouellet that failing to vote on the texts “would prove a great disappointment to the faithful, who were expecting their bishops to take just action. Though there were canonical precisions mentioned, the emphasis seemed to be on delaying votes and not wanting to get ahead of the (pope’s) February meeting of episcopal conference presidents,” he said.

Ouellet did indeed cite the February meeting in his letter, saying any document “should incorporate the input and fruits of the college of bishops’ work of common discernment.”

But the February summit was announced Sept. 13. If that were the primary reason for Ouellet’s demand to scrap the U.S. vote, he could have communicated that to DiNardo a lot sooner.

Instead, as the Nov. 12 deadline loomed for the start of the U.S. meeting and still no text proposals had arrived in Rome, Ouellet wrote DiNardo an initial warning on Nov. 6 not to vote. Five days later, in his Nov. 11 letter, Ouellet reaffirmed that decision after having finally read the text.

That also undermined DiNardo’s claim to have only received the request to delay the vote the night before the meeting began.

Source link

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

World

Putin’s missile with ‘unlimited’ range is too expensive and hasn’t flown more than 22 miles

Published

on

Putin’s push to develop weapons of this caliber has sparked concerns of a budding arms race among China, the U.S. and Russia.

What’s more, the latest revelations come a little more than a year after the Russian leader touted his nation’s growing hypersonic arsenal. Of the six new weapons Putin unveiled last March, CNBC learned that two of them, a hypersonic glide vehicle and air-launched cruise missile, will be ready for war by 2020.

The hypersonic glide vehicle, dubbed Avangard, is designed to sit atop an intercontinental ballistic missile. Once launched, it uses aerodynamic forces to sail on top of the atmosphere.

One U.S. intelligence report, according to a source, noted that the hypersonic glide vehicles were mounted to Russian-made SS-19 intercontinental ballistic missiles — and one test featured a mock warhead.

Previous intelligence reports, which were curated last spring, calculate that Avangard is likely to achieve initial operational capability by 2020, a significant step that would enable the Kremlin to surpass the U.S. and China in this regard.

The hypersonic cruise missile dubbed “Kinzhal,” which means “dagger” in Russian, has been tested at least three times and was mounted and launched 12 times from a Russian MiG-31 fighter jet.

Source link

Continue Reading

World

US slaps sanctions on Venezuela bank Bandes after Guaido aide’s arrest

Published

on

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro meets with UN chief Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations headquarters in New York on July 28, 2015.

Spencer Platt | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro meets with UN chief Ban Ki-moon at the United Nations headquarters in New York on July 28, 2015.

The United States imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s development bank Bandes, a day after the Trump administration warned there would be consequences for the arrest of opposition leader Juan Guaido’s top aide.

The U.S. Treasury said it was slapping the sanctions on the Banco de Desarrollo Economico y Social de Venezuela, including its subsidiaries in Uruguay and Bolivia.

“(President Nicolas) Maduro and his enablers have distorted the original purpose of the bank … as part of a desperate attempt to hold onto power,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement announcing the action.

Guaido, who invoked the constitution to assume the interim presidency in January, has accused Bandes of being used by officials of Maduro’s government to steal funds.

The U.S. Treasury said Maduro tried to move $1 billion out of Venezuela through Banco Bandes Uruguay in early 2019.

Bandes has received billions of dollars over the past decade from the China Development Bank, in exchange for oil, which the Venezuelan government used to fund infrastructure projects.

The sanctions freeze assets belonging to the bank and its subsidiaries, and prevent U.S. citizens from any dealings with Bandes.

The announcement comes after Venezuelan authorities detained Guaido’s chief of staff, Roberto Marrero, on Thursday in a pre-dawn raid, sparking vows of reprisals from the United States, which backs Guaido.

Source link

Continue Reading

World

Brazil shares tumble after arrest of former president Temer

Published

on

Brazilian stocks fell sharply on Friday as the arrest of the country’s former president, Michel Temer, sparked worries that government debate over key fiscal reforms may be delayed.

The iShares MSCI Brazil ETF (EWZ) dropped 3.9 percent and was headed for its worst day since Feb. 6, when it fell 4.2 percent. The Bovespa index, Brazil’s benchmark index, fell about 2 percent after hitting an all-time high earlier this week.

Temer was arrested in Sao Paulo on Thursday, with prosecutors alleging he was the head of a “criminal organization” that took more than $470 million in bribes or kickbacks.

Temer already faced ongoing criminal investigations against him before leaving the presidency. However, his arrest comes as current President Jair Bolsonaro tries to push forward major changes to the country’s pension system, which investors largely bet will happen.

“The key question is whether or not his arrest affects pension reform. In theory it shouldn’t,” Dirk Willer, head of emerging market strategy at Citigroup, said in a note. However, “the period between the unveiling of the pension reform and approval by the special house committee will be filled with much noise and headline risk. [Thursday’s] news was a good example of the sort of headline risks one should expect over the next months when pension reform makes its way through congress.”

Brazilian stocks surged to start the year amid hopes the Bolsonaro administration would pass key changes to the country’s social security system. Brazil’s generous pension system effectively lets citizens retire in their 50s. This has led to massive government debt, which has stymied consistent economic growth in Brazil.

But while investors are still betting on some sort of reform taking place, they are realizing it could be a bumpy ride. On Wednesday, Bolsonaro unveiled a military pension reform plan that would save just $265 million on average over the next 10 years. These savings are well below those proposed by the country’s Economic Ministry.

But it is key for Bolsonaro’s broader pension-reform efforts as lawmakers indicated they could not debate the matter until they saw the president’s plans for military pensions.

Now, Temer’s arrest could delay that process even further depending on how his party — which holds 34 seats in the lower house — reacts, Citi’s Willer said.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

Source link

Continue Reading

Trending