Lawsuit charges Bishop Trautman, Buffalo diocese with abuse cover-up in 1980s

Buffalo, N.Y., Jan 3, 2020 / 06:01 pm (CNA).- A lawsuit against the Diocese of Buffalo and retired Bishop Donald Trautman claim they covered up a New York priest’s sex abuse of a 10-year-old boy in the mid-1980s, though the bishop has previously denied accusations he has ever covered up abuse.

Trautman, now 83, retired as Bishop of Erie in 2012. He served in various roles in the Buffalo diocese under Bishop Edward Head, including chancellor and vicar general. He was ordained an auxiliary bishop for the diocese in 1985. He had been Bishop of Erie since 1990.

Trautman told the Erie Times-News Jan. 2 that he had not been served with the lawsuit.

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Fort Worth bishop helps family seek care in Catholic hospital for gravely ill Tinslee Lewis

Fort Worth, Texas, Jan 3, 2020 / 05:12 pm (CNA).- After a Texas judge on Thursday allowed a hospital to stop medical treatment for Tinslee Lewis, a terminally ill child in Fort Worth, the local bishop offered to help her family seek care in a Catholic healthcare facility.

Lewis was born prematurely Feb. 1, 2019, and has since been in the cardiac intensive care unit at Cook Children’s Medical Center. She has Ebstein’s anomaly, a congenital heart defect; chronic lung disease; and severe chronic high blood pressure, according to the AP. She has been on a ventilator since July, and also requires cardiac support, painkillers, sedation, and medical paralysis. She currently has severe sepsis.

The hospital said that Lewis’ healthcare providers agreed by August that continued care was futile, and had begun discussing with her family the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment by September. The hospital’s ethics committee decided unanimously Oct. 30 that further treatment was medically inappropriate.

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Portland bishop says religious prejudice ‘cannot be tolerated’

Portland, Maine, Jan 3, 2020 / 05:05 pm (CNA).- At Mass on Wednesday, Bishop Robert Deeley of Portland urged Catholics not to tolerate “any kind” of religious prejudice, following a spate of violent attacks against Jews and Christians in the U.S. during December.

“We need to work to overcome any form of religious prejudice,” Deely said Jan. 1, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.

“Unfortunately, it marks this century for us. We have seen too many shootings and attacks on religious houses and communities. As Christians, we cannot tolerate any kind of religious prejudice,” he added.

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Priest or Pinocchio?

The commercial below is a reminder to all of us clergy who stand before the people of God each Sunday that they aren’t easily fooled.

People know if we are genuine or if we are just saying things we think we ought to say or heard others say. They can tell if we really know the Lord and the truths we proclaim or if we’ve just studied them. No preacher can perfectly live the Gospel he preaches, but people know when clergymen are living double lives or are being inauthentic. They know when we are merely playing a role. They know when we are half-heartedly saying what we think we’re expected to say without really believing it—a lot like Pinocchio in the commercial.

People also recognize when we are striving for holiness, really loving God and His people. They can tell whether we are men of prayer, preaching God’s word with experience because we try to live it each day and see its fruits in our lives.

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URGENT PRAYER REQUEST for a young priest diagnosed with ALS – #padresfight

I have sad news.

Fr.  Dana Christensen, a priest of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, who comments here frequently, has been diagnosed to be in the initial stages of  amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ALS, or “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”.   There is no cure for this degenerative disease that affects motor neurons which control voluntary muscles.

Fr. Christensen wrote to ask me about practicalities of saying Mass when it will eventually become hard to swallow, speak, and use his arms and hands.   My Jesus, mercy!

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