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Priest charged with child assault


A 60-year-old priest is set to appear in a West Australian court to face multiple charges of indecently dealing with children.

Fr Adrian Richard Van Klooster is listed to appear in the Bunbury District Court, 181km south of Perth, to face 28 counts of indecently dealing with children and one charge of possessing pornography.

Van Klooster is a former Bunbury parish priest.

SOURCE
The Courier Mail

LINKS
WA priest in sex case hit in court (26/2/02)
Bunbury bishop addresses parishioners on sex abuse case (18/3/02)


DIOCESE TO OFFER HEALING PROGRAM FOR THOSE DISTURBED BY SCANDAL

The Diocese of Allentown is one of more than a dozen throughout the US that are planning a spiritual healing program for parishioners whose faith has been shaken by the church's sexual abuse scandal.

The six-week program, called "Healing the Body of Christ," will seek to break congregations into small groups of about eight to 10 parishioners and give them a forum to talk about the crisis and how it has affected their faith.

Matt Kerr, a spokesman for the 268,000-member diocese, said the sessions will be aimed toward all parishioners, rather than actual victims of abuse. The intent, he said, is to get people talking about the church's central message of forgiveness, and help them renew their spirituality.

"Catholics have been going through this crisis for the past year," Kerr said. "If there is a program out there that can help them deal with these issues, and restore their faith, we are willing to try it."

SOURCE
AP

LINKS
Diocese of Allentown
Renew International | Healing the Body of Christ


VATICAN OFFICIAL SAYS US CATHOLICS MUST PRAY FOR HEALING

Catholics in the United States must work and pray for a healing of the church "so that we may once again evangelise, not apologise," said US Archbishop John P. Foley.

The archbishop, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, made the comments during a homily last Thursday at a Mass with alumni of North American College, the US seminary in Rome.

The Gospel reading at the Mass at Casa Santa Maria, the college's residence for priests studying in Rome, included the prayer of the leper, "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean."

The archbishop said, "After a tragic year for the church in the United States, that prayer of the leper seeking physical healing could well be for us a prayer both corporate and personal."

SOURCE
Catholic News Service

LINKS
The Pontifical North American College


FURTHER ALLEGATIONS FOR BRITISH CARDINAL

Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor of Westminster has denied claims that he offered a convicted pedophile, Fr Michael Hill, a $A136,000 bribe to buy his silence.

In its Sunday edition, News of the World claimed that the cardinal made the offer to Fr Hill through one of his auxiliaries, Bishop Howard Tripp.

But Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor described the allegations as "totally false and without foundation".

The cardinal came under fire in November when it was revealed that he had sent Hill - who is currently serving a second 5-year prison sentence for abusing young boys - to work as chaplain at Gatwick Airport, where he would regularly come into contact with children.

The cardinal's spokesman, Mark Morely, told the London Times that both Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor and Bishop Tripp would be filing a formal complaint with the Press Complaints Commission over the article in News of the World.

SOURCE
Catholic World News

LINKS
British Cardinal contests fresh abuse claims (18/12/02)

15 Jan 2003