July 20, 2024

Monsignor John Joseph Kennedy, the head of the CDF’s Disciplinary Section, stated earlier this week that 77 percent of all cases his office receives involve the abuse of children.

VATICAN CITY (LifeSiteNews) –– The Vatican official responsible for overseeing the Catholic Church’s response to abuse has said that 77 percent of cases he receives involve child abuse. 

Speaking on the sidelines of a safeguarding conference organized by the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) in Rome on May 29, Monsignor John Joseph Kennedy provided comment about the work carried out by the Disciplinary office of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which he leads. 

According to Reuters, Kennedy stated that around 77 percent of cases he receives in the Disciplinary office involve abuse of children. 

Mgr Joseph Kennedy has stated that 77% of the #Vatican CDF’s cases are cases of abuse of minors.
He leads the Disciplinary section of the CDF, & thus oversees such work.
Comments made at a recent safeguarding conference organized by Italian bishops. https://t.co/ZV12Xp8bSX pic.twitter.com/yPPMzuXqRM

— Michael Haynes 🇻🇦 (@MLJHaynes) May 30, 2024

The CDF is now divided into two sections, the Doctrinal and the Disciplinary sections. Via the February 2022 motu proprio Fidem servare, Pope Francis consolidated the operations of the CDF into the two different departments, giving each a secretary to lead operations. 

READ: Pope Francis restructures major Vatican office tasked with defending the faith

The Disciplinary Section attends to “crimes reserved to the Congregation and dealt with by it through the jurisdiction of the Supreme Apostolic Tribunal established there,” including things such as false mysticism, abuse of the sacraments, and “grave” crimes such as sexual abuse. 

The Disciplinary Section is also directed to provide “appropriate formation initiatives” to be offered to local bishops and canon law practitioners “in order to foster a correct understanding and application of the canonical norms relating to its own sphere of competence.” 

Falling under the Disciplinary Section’s purview are all “Cardinal Fathers, Patriarchs, Legates of the Apostolic See, Bishops, as well as other individuals in accordance with canonical provisions.”

Ordained in Dublin in 1993, Kennedy has been an official in the CDF since 2003, and has led the CDF’s disciplinary office since 2017, before being appointed by the pontiff to be the Disciplinary section’s secretary in April 2022. 

As such, he has been in charge of dealing with reports of clerical sex abuse from across the world, and told the Associated Press in 2019 that the case load was four times as large as it had been in 2009, with 1,000 cases of abuse reported to the CDF in 2019 alone. 

“We’re effectively seeing a tsunami of cases at the moment, particularly from countries where we never heard from,” Kennedy said in 2019, of the numbers of sex abuse reports. 

During a rare public speech that same year, Kennedy stated that “I can honestly tell you that, when reading cases involving sexual abuse by clerics, you never get used to it, and you can feel your heart and soul hurting.” 

“There are times when I am pouring over cases that I want to get up and scream, that I want to pack up my things and leave the office and not come back,” he said. 

He has also highlighted the plight of families affected by sexual abuse, stating in 2019: 

What of the father, mother or siblings of the child who have to look at that child and live through this? What can they say? Everything has been taken from them. You believe me when I am telling you these things. Can you imagine what it might be like not to be believed by church authorities? What would it be like to remain silent because a person did not have the courage to come forward and name their abuser?

Speaking to the AP, Kennedy previously added that “I suppose if I weren’t a priest and if I had a child who were abused, I’d probably stop going to Mass. I’d probably stop having anything to do with the church because I’d say, ‘Well, if you can’t look after children, well, why should I believe you?”

Kennedy urged journalists to keep exposing sex abuse, saying the “topic of the clergy abuse crisis is front and center in our culture.”

Indeed, it is Kennedy’s Disciplinary Section which is now tasked with the Vatican investigation into alleged serial abuser Father Marko Rupnik – an investigation which he said was “delicate” but at a “fairly advanced stage.”

Following an intense media furor over revelations Rupnik was incardinated into a Slovenian diocese last October, Pope Francis swiftly announced that he had tasked the CDF to “review” the case. 

Francis’ decision was also taken after the “Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors brought to the Pope’s attention that there were serious problems in the handling of the Fr. Marko Rupnik case and lack of outreach to victims.”

READ: Pope Francis asks Vatican to review case of alleged serial abuser Fr. Rupnik  

A former Jesuit, Rupnik was automatically excommunicated by the Vatican in 2020 after the CDF unanimously ruled he was guilty of absolving one of his sexual accomplices. He subsequently had the penalty swiftly revoked – with much speculation over whether Pope Francis personally intervened to swiftly lift the excommunication. 

Separately, Rupnik has been accused of psychologically and sexually abusing religious sisters in the Loyola Community, an order that he himself was a co-founder. The abuse is alleged to have taken place against at least 21 of the 40-strong Loyola Community of religious women, which he co-founded in his native Slovenia. A further 15 alleged victims have come forward in following months. 

The Jesuits compiled a 150-page dossier of reported instances of abuse that Rupnik is said to have committed. These date from 1985 to 2018, and Rupnik’s former superior, Father Johan Verschueren, S.J., stated that the credibility of the allegations against Rupnik is “very high.”

Yet, in October 2022, the CDF dropped the case against Rupnik, referencing time limitations. According to Messa in Latino, this was directly because of Pope Francis: “Despite this, it seems that, due to the Holy Father’s intervention, the process did not take place precisely because it was ‘time-barred’ [bound by the statute of limitations.]”

Speaking to the AP in January, Francis stated that he “always” waived the statute of limitations in cases that deal only with minors or “vulnerable adults,” but the AP reported Francis said he otherwise would not change the normal legal proceedings.

Is This Infowars’ Last Broadcast? Patriots Rally Behind Alex Jones and Crew

Leave a Reply

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