A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse.
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October 21, 2014
Catholic primary school teacher banned from going near children as he awaits trial for allegedly uploading child abuse material
LEMA SAMANDAR THE DAILY TELEGRAPH OCTOBER 21, 2014
A SYDNEY primary school teacher is banned from going anywhere near children while awaiting trial for allegedly uploading child abuse material to the internet.
Peter Ronald Kleist faced Burwood Local Court today after he was charged last month with two counts of using a carriage service for child pornography material and four counts of possession of child abuse material.
Kleist has not yet entered a plea but is expected to deny the allegations and defend the charges.
The 58-year-old, who is a teacher at a Catholic primary school in southwest Sydney, is banned from being near children while on bail.
Court papers show that his bail conditions restrict him from seeking paid or voluntary work or social activities that bring him in contact with kids and he is not to be in the vicinity of premises known to be frequented by children including schools, playgrounds and sporting venues.
Kleist is also banned from having an internet connection at his house or accessing social networking websites.
PLANO, Texas (BP) -- The National Day of Prayer Task Force has named Jack Graham, who served two terms as president of the Southern Baptist Convention, as honorary chairman for the 2015 National Day of Prayer.
Graham leads the 37,000-member Prestonwood Baptist Church, which includes three locations in the Dallas area. He is also the voice of PowerPoint Ministries, a radio and television broadcast ministry from the Prestonwood pulpit that shares the Gospel throughout the world.
The 64th annual National Day of Prayer will be held on Thursday, May 7, in Washington, D.C. Graham will lead the members of Congress in prayer. The theme for 2015 will be "Lord, Hear Our Cry."
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Statement by Amy Smith of Dallas, SNAP leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 281 748 4050, firstname.lastname@example.org )
A former president of the Southern Baptist Convention has been named the honorary chair of the 2015 National Day of Prayer, despite having refused to call police about a now-convicted child molester who was once on his staff. We are deeply saddened by this choice.
Jack Graham is the pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Dallas. Graham has done little or nothing to help police or prosecutors pursue his one-time youth minister John Langworthy. Langworthy is now a convicted child molester. And Graham has done little or nothing to find or help others who may have been hurt by him.
We have written to Graham and begged him to take more serious action to ensure kids in the Baptist church are kept safe. We have begged him to make moves to support victims and not predators. So far we haven’t seen any such action.
Wrongdoers should be punished, not rewarded. Punishing those who conceal child sex crimes deters others from concealing child sex crimes.
This move – tapping Graham for this honor – sends a dangerous message to other officials: “Don’t worry about kids’ safety. Just focus on secrecy and your career will be fine.”
For the safety of kids and the healing of victims, we hope members of the National Day of Prayer Task Force will reconsider their decision, disinvite Graham, and replace him with another minister who doesn’t have such a tarnished record.
A Roman Catholic priest from Solihull has gone on trial accused of indecently assaulting an 11-year-old girl while her parents were in the same room.
A jury at Birmingham Crown Court was told that Father Edward Simpson, who has now retired, committed the offence at the home of a devout Catholic family in the mid-1980s.
Simpson, 85, of Olton Friary in Solihull, denies indecently assaulting the alleged victim, who made a complaint to police last year.
In evidence to a jury of eight men and four women, the woman claimed Simpson, who was routinely known as Father Ted, groped her underneath her top and then put part of his hand into the waistband of her skirt.
Estimating that the initial touching had lasted for around 15 seconds, the woman told the court: "I just got out of the room as fast as possible.
Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, NM, Sept. 22, 2014
By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
ALBUQUERQUE – U.S. Bankruptcy judges delivered two significant decisions in the Diocese of Gallup’s Chapter 11 case this month.
With the first decision, a major deadline in the church bankruptcy case has been pushed back to next spring, and with the second decision, a U.S. Appellate Panel has dismissed an appeal filed in the case by the Diocese of Corpus Christi.
On Sept. 8, Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma, of the District of New Mexico, granted an order extending the exclusivity period for the Diocese of Gallup to file its plan of reorganization.
This is the second time Thuma has approved a motion by attorneys for the Gallup Diocese to extend the reorganization plan deadline. After filing its Chapter 11 petition on Nov. 12, 2013, the Diocese of Gallup had been scheduled to file a plan of reorganization by March 12, 2014.
However, Susan G. Boswell, the diocese’s lead bankruptcy attorney, filed a motion to extend the exclusivity period through Sept. 8, and Thuma approved that extension. In August, Boswell filed a second motion to extend the deadline once again.
Boswell cited a number of factors, including the complexity of the Diocese of Gallup’s bankruptcy case, the difficulty of determining what real property the diocese owns that can be sold, the need to hire an insurance archaeology company to determine insurance coverage, and the identification of other Catholic entities that might have “indemnification or contribution obligations” to the Gallup Diocese for sexual abuse that occurred in the past.
Those other Catholic entities include other Catholic dioceses and religious orders that allowed their sexually abusive clergy to serve in the Diocese of Gallup.
With Thuma’s order, the diocese now has until May 12, 2015, to file its plan of reorganization.
On Sept. 16, the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Tenth Circuit dismissed an appeal filed by Albuquerque attorney Jennie D. Behles on behalf of her client, the Diocese of Corpus Christi in Texas.
Behles had appealed an order by Thuma concerning a motion to examine the finances and insurance coverage of the Corpus Christi Diocese. The motion had been filed by James I. Stang, the legal counsel for the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, which advocates for the interests of abuse survivors who have filed confidential claims against the Gallup Diocese in the bankruptcy case.
The Diocese of Corpus Christi was drawn into the case because Clement A. Hageman, one of its former sexually abusive priests, was allowed to move to the Gallup Diocese and work here for more than three decades. During that time, Hageman molested untold numbers of Catholic school children and altar boys.
After considering a number of legal arguments by Behles and Stang, Thuma issued a memorandum opinion and order that attempted to navigate what Thuma called “reasonable middle ground” between Stang’s motion and Behles’ opposition.
Behles then filed an appeal of Thuma’s order. In their dismissal of Behles’ appeal, U.S. Bankruptcy Judges Terrence L. Michael, Janice Miller Karlin and Dale K. Somers, members of the Tenth Circuit Appellate Panel, said allowing “an appeal at this juncture” would not further the bankruptcy case and it would not “result in an efficient use of judicial resources.”
As a result of the dismissal, the Diocese of Corpus Christi must now produce the financial and insurance information to Stang and the Unsecured Creditors Committee as required under Thuma’s order.
Ultimately, the Diocese of Corpus Christi, along with other Catholic dioceses and religious orders who sent sexual abusers to serve in the Diocese of Gallup, may be required to contribute money toward Gallup’s reorganization plan and its financial negotiations with abuse survivors who have filed confidential claims in the bankruptcy case.
Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., Oct. 11, 2014
By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
ALBUQUERQUE — U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma appointed a mediator in the Diocese of Gallup’s Chapter 11 case Wednesday.
Thuma appointed retired judge Randall J. Newsome of San Francisco to conduct mediation proceedings to assist the Gallup Diocese, its creditors and other interested parties develop a plan of reorganization. Newsome is the former chief judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of California.
Attorneys for the Diocese of Gallup and the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, which represents the interests of clergy sex abuse claimants, agreed upon Newsome’s selection and recommended him to Thuma in a status conference Sept. 23.
“Judge Newsome, although he is now retired and a private mediator, has agreed to do the mediation pro bono with only travel expenses being paid…,” Susan G. Boswell, the diocese’s lead bankruptcy attorney, told Thuma at the hearing.
Boswell said the first mediation meeting should take place in late October or early November and will most likely be held in either Albuquerque or Phoenix. Prior to that first meeting, she said, Newsome plans to take a “road trip” to visit the geographic area covered by the diocese.
The Diocese of Gallup covers much of western New Mexico and northern Arizona. Prior to 1970, the diocese extended west to the California border and south to central Arizona.
Third party participation
In 2012, Newsome mediated unsuccessfully in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s case, a contentious church bankruptcy that continues to drag on and rack up millions in litigation fees.
Thuma has been critical of the length and cost of the Milwaukee bankruptcy case. In a Feb. 14 hearing, Thuma said he would be unhappy if the Diocese of Gallup bankruptcy followed Milwaukee’s path “where the debtor says all the money that could have been paid to creditors has been spent on litigation.”
In the recent status conference, Thuma asked who would be expected to participate in the mediation, other than attorneys representing the Gallup Diocese and those representing creditors, particularly sex abuse claimants.
Boswell, along with James I. Stang, the legal counsel for the Unsecured Creditors Committee, said a number of third parties, such as insurance companies, charitable organizations that operate in the Gallup Diocese, and other Catholic entities with possible liability may be asked to participate.
“There are people who we think could benefit from the mediation but are concerned that entering into it would somehow expose them to your jurisdiction which they otherwise think would not be applicable to them,” Stang told Thuma, citing the Diocese of Corpus Christi as an example.
Stang, who also represents the Unsecured Creditors Committee in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy case, said Thuma may be asked to encourage, but not order, such participation.
“Judge Kelley, in the Milwaukee case, when she ordered mediation, used her bully pulpit in order to urge people to go,” Stang said. “She didn’t order people to go, but she urged them. And we may collectively try to submit something to you that asks you to kind of use your bully pulpit to do the same.”
In his order Wednesday, Thuma included a provision for insurers and any other third parties, encouraging their participation in mediation. The provision also addresses concerns about the court’s jurisdiction by such third parties.
In a related development, the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Tenth Circuit, which had dismissed an appeal by the Diocese of Corpus Christi in September regarding an order by Thuma, denied Corpus Christi’s motion for a re-hearing on the dismissal.
Because the Diocese of Corpus Christi had allowed one of its sexually abusive priests to serve in the Diocese of Gallup, where he molested Catholic school children and altar boys for more than 30 years, Stang had filed a discovery motion to obtain certain financial and insurance records from Corpus Christi. In his order, Thuma had granted part of Stang’s motion, which Corpus Christi continued to oppose.
The Appellate Panel said Corpus Christi’s motion for re-hearing was “devoid of any substance that would support a determination that this Court has overlooked, misapprehended, or misconstrued any point of law or fact.”
By DAVE COLLINS, Associated Press
Updated 6:05 pm, Monday, October 20, 2014
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A suspended Jesuit priest who was once Fairfield University's chaplain has been accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a teenager a decade ago in Haiti at a now-defunct charity school whose founder is serving a prison sentence for molesting boys.
A lawyer for the 26-year-old plaintiff filed the lawsuit in federal court in Connecticut on Friday, naming the Rev. Paul Carrier, Douglas Perlitz, Fairfield University, the Society of Jesus in New England and other defendants.
The man alleged Carrier and Perlitz sexually abused him when he was a teenage boy at the Project Pierre Toussaint School in Cap-Haiten, a charitable organization supported financially by Fairfield University and others that helped feed and educate poor boys in Haiti.
Carrier, who lives in Weston, Massachusetts, did not return a message seeking comment Monday. His lawyer declined to comment.
Perlitz, of Eagle, Colorado, is a 1992 Fairfield University graduate and a founder of the school. He was arrested in 2009 and later convicted and sentenced to about 20 years in prison for sexually abusing boys there. Prosecutors said Perlitz abused at least 16 children, gave them money, food, clothing and electronics and threatened to take everything away and expel them from the program if they told anyone.
By Brian Lambert
In the 13th paragraph of her latest story on the Archdiocese sex abuse scandals, MPR’s Madeleine Baran writes, “The media event at the Landmark Center [last Monday] glossed over several factors that might have altered the public's perception of Anderson's deal with the archdiocese. Other lawyers and abuse survivors — including some present in the room that day — regarded the agreement with deep skepticism. Anderson's firm had signed a secret agreement on behalf of his clients without consulting most of them. Twelve of the 17 so-called child protection protocols were simple restatements of long-standing church policy. And although Anderson would insist otherwise, his public reconciliation with the church appeared to compromise the adversarial nature of his relationship with the archdiocese.”
A Roman Catholic priest from Solihull has gone on trial accused of indecently assaulting an 11-year-old girl while her parents were in the same room.
A jury at Birmingham Crown Court was told Father Edward Simpson, who has now retired, committed the offence at the home of a devout Catholic family in the mid-1980s.
Simpson, 85, of Olton Friary, denies indecently assaulting the alleged victim, who complained to police last year.
In evidence to a jury of eight men and four women, the woman claimed Simpson, who was routinely known as Father Ted, groped her beneath her top and then put part of his hand into the waistband of her skirt.
Estimating the initial touching had lasted for around 15 seconds, the woman told the court: “I just got out of the room as fast as possible.
Eau Claire (WQOW) - Nine people, including a former church worker, have been arrested following an undercover child sex trafficking operation in Eau Claire County.
The men were arrested after responding to an online ads posted by police pretending to be underage children looking for sex or adults looking to traffic a child for sex.
Eight of the nine men were arrested for attempted second degree sexual assault of a child and other felonies. A ninth man, Douglas Regal, was arrested for possessing methamphetamine.
One of the suspects, Chad Shiffer, had been a youth director at Bethesda Lutheran Bretheren Church in Eau Claire. The church's pastor says Shiffer led high school youth groups but has not worked with the church since last June. Several law enforcement agencies involved in the sting released details at a news conference Monday.
"Children are naive in a lot of different ways with the use of the internet for example or they haven't reached that maturity level that adults have. And that's why its against the law to entice and try to traffic and do those sorts of things to children. So it is an unfortunate thing in this world and we will continue to try and root out those people who are doing this to our children. So it's a number one priority for us and it is quite frankly disturbing," said Dan Bresina of the Eau Claire County Sheriff's Office.
By: Mike Lopez and Jenny You
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Nine arrests have been made in connection to child sex crimes in the Chippewa Valley, and investigators say one of the suspects is a former youth pastor at an Eau Claire church.
The nine men were arrested Thursday and Friday through an undercover string called 'Operation Child Safe'. It was a two-day sting conducted by 30 officers, deputies and agents from the Eau Claire County Sheriff's Department, Eau Claire Police Department, Altoona Police Department and the state Division of Criminal Investigation.
Deputy Chief Matt Rokus with the Eau Claire Police Department said the Computer Forensics Lab at the police department was kept busy. Undercover officers posed on the other side of the internet. The suspects responded to advertisements for underage children either looking for sex or as an adult who was looking to traffic a child for sex.
Eau Claire County Sheriff Ron Cramer said the ads got more than 5,000 clicks which lead to conversations, face-to-face meetings at public spots like gas stations and ultimately brought in nine arrests.
The Jerusalem Post
By ELIYAHU FEDERMAN \ 10/20/2014
In the rush to report salacious abuse stories, the media often fail to report positive developments in the religious world’s fight to address child sexual abuse.
The mainstream media extensively cover clergy sexual abuse. Giving voice to victims and exposing sexual abuse cover-ups in the religious world is more than newsworthy. The appalling hypocrisy, breach of trust by “men of the cloth,” and shocking nature of clergy abuse generates high ratings and deserving outrage.
But in the rush to report salacious abuse stories, the media often fail to report positive developments in the religious world’s fight to address child sexual abuse.
This one-sided coverage inadvertently maligns the religious world by perpetuating myths that nothing is being done to combat sexual abuse, and that abuse is far more prevalent in the religious world than the general population.
Recently, for example, the mainstream media ignored a hassidic community’s historic sexual abuse awareness event, organized by the Brooklyn-based sexual abuse prevention organization JCW. Hundreds attended, including rabbis, teachers, professionals, parents, and even Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson. At the event, hassidic rabbi, YY Jacobson encouraged victims to speak up about abuse. One sexual abuse survivor told the crowd that shame belongs to perpetrators, not victims. The audience stood in applause.
BY NIALL O'CONNOR – 21 OCTOBER 2014
Irish Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald has condemned what she described as "horrendous" acts of collusion by Sinn Fein figures who attempted to cover up sexual abuse cases.
The Fine Gael politician claimed actions by individuals in Sinn Fein and the IRA led to abuse victims being denied justice. "I believe that it is horrendous that individuals colluded and kept cases hidden from the authorities by covering up abuse," she said. "This meant that victims were denied the supports and therapy that they needed and also meant that there was no proper investigation into those who offended or were at risk of reoffending."
"It should be noted that Sinn Fein were to the fore in criticising the Catholic Church for dealing with allegations of child abuse internally. In fact, in commenting on the Murphy Report on clerical sex abuse in the Dublin Diocese a representative of Sinn Fein said it exposed 'how the most powerful men in the Catholic Church in the Dublin Diocese conspired to protect abusers of children. It was a gross betrayal of generations of children'," the minister said.
For Sun-Times Media
A former employee at the First Presbyterian Church of River Forest recently charged with molesting a child is facing new accusations of sexual abuse in connection with a separate incident.
Last week, the Office of Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez announced that it had approved an aggravated criminal sexual abuse charge against 57-year-old John Hays, a former director of congregational life at the church, located at 7551 Quick Ave.
According to prosecutors, Hays molested a child that was a member of a family that attended the church in October of 2013.
The offender had allegedly made a visit to the nine-year-old boy’s home after the victim had undergone surgery. As the two watched a movie together, prosecutors said that “Hays got into the same bed with the victim and once the victim began to fall asleep Hays is alleged to have inappropriately touched the child.”
Press & Dakotan
CANTON, S.D. (AP) — A former South Dakota pastor accused by authorities of having sex with a 15-year-old girl has pleaded not guilty to multiple sex charges.
KDLT-TV (http://argusne.ws/1Du4OQX ) reports 49-year-old Anthony Haglund entered his plea Monday in Lincoln County. His bond has been lowered to $50,000 cash only.
Haglund has been indicted on three counts of sexual penetration by a psychotherapist, sexual contact with a child under 16 and sexual contact by a psychotherapist. He was arrested in Florida earlier this month.
Authorities say the contact occurred between January 2011 and December 2013. He was a pastor at Canton Lutheran Church for part of that time.
October 20, 2014
Some of the best advice Cardinal Francis George can give his successor, Archbishop Blase Cupich, is to listen up, George said in a Chicago Sun-Times interview Monday.
“Spend a lot of time listening to people,” said George, who will retire Nov. 18 as the leader of Chicago’s 2.2 million Catholics.
“. . . The more that people are able to explain the challenges of the faith that they’re living and what they expect of him, the better off he’ll be able to govern, and likewise the more they understand of him, his skills and what he’s going to try to do, the easier it will be for him to govern. . . . It’s a question of listening. I have 11 councils, which he’ll inherit. So . . . you spend a lot of time listening . . . you don’t always agree, but you listen.” ...
Cupich will “still have the sexual abuse crisis to attend to, but he knows about that. He’s been in charge of the bishops committee for that,” George said, referring to Cupich’s role in having chaired the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People.
In retirement, George hopes to continue playing a pastoral role with victims of sexual abuse, but he has no plans to play a public role at the diocese in any capacity unless asked.
An outspoken Irish priest has told of his certainty that he will be spied on by Vatican officials during an extensive speaking tour of the US.
Fr Tony Flannery, the founding member of the Association of Catholic Priests, was censured and forbidden to minister as a priest two years ago because of his refusal to accept the Catholic Church's stance on issues like the ordination of women, contraception and homosexuality.
But the 67-year-old, who has been a member of the Redemptorist Congregation for more than 50 years, said he was no longer willing to remain silent.
He now believes that his liberal views are shared by the majority of the Irish public - and even by Pope Francis himself.
The Galway native will push for church reform in an 18-date speaking tour across the US, which begins in Washington DC tomorrow.
But speaking ahead of his tour, he said he expected his words to be closely monitored by traditionalist church leaders in the Vatican.
Central Western Daily
By NICOLE KUTER Oct. 21, 2014
A MONTH after being asked to come up with $200,000 to help save the Bathurst Anglican diocese, Orange’s Anglican parishioners are a long way from the target, and the Anglican diocese debt has increased by about $14 million.
That target fund could have doubled at the last church council meeting if Bishop Ian Palmer’s request for parishioners to pay more was granted.
The Bathurst Anglican diocese is being sued by the Commonwealth Bank over millions of dollars owed to it. Holy Trinity parishioners were asked to contribute $128,000, while St Barnabas Church’s contribution was set at $75,000 towards a fighting fund to defend the action in court.
However, it has been revealed that not only does the church owe money to the Commonwealth Bank, but it has internal “financial pressures” such as $100,000 to be set aside for professional standards issues such as the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse.
Frank Brennan | 21 October 2014
In August the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse turned its spotlight on the Melbourne Response, the protocol adopted by the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne after George Pell became the Archbishop of Melbourne in 1996. Much of the media attention was on Cardinal Pell’s video link appearance from Rome (pictured), where he is now overseeing Vatican finances as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy.
His critics understandably fixed on his comments about the common law, vicarious liability and the liability of truck owners for the wanton criminal act of any truck driver. This is the third time Cardinal Pell has appeared and been cross-examined about his role as a bishop in overseeing church attempts to put right the tragic consequences of child sexual abuse perpetrated by church personnel, including priests. As a result of his three appearances, there is now greater clarity about past practices, as well as greater precision about the unanswered questions for those seeking a better and safer future for all children in all institutions, including the Catholic Church.
Reviewing Cardinal Pell’s evidence, I have concluded that we Catholics need to accept moral responsibility and legal liability for all child sexual abuse committed by clergy prior to 1996, regardless of what might be the moral or legal position after 1996 when improved measures for supervision and dismissal of errant clergy were put in place. Ultimately, the High Court of Australia will be asked to reconsider the law of vicarious liability. But in relation to any abuse occurring before 1996, there is no way that we can argue that we had structures in place which gave priority to the well being of vulnerable children. That is why we are collectively responsible as a social institution. Reviewing Cardinal Pell’s evidence I have also concluded that he made a fair fist of trying to fix things after he became archbishop in 1996. Credit should be given where it is due, even though we are yet to hear why he decided not to co-operate with the other Australian bishops in drawing up a more robust national protocol. I have no doubt that further improvements can be made, both to the Melbourne response and the national protocol Towards Healing. Hopefully Justice McClellan and his fellow commissioners will be able to provide a politically achievable blueprint for all institutions.
Published Monday, 20 October 2014
A former resident of a Catholic boys' home has told the Historical Abuse Inquiry that he informed a priest in Derry in 1964 about the severe physical and sexual abuse which children were suffering there.
But, he said that nothing was ever done about it.
Rubane House, a former boys' home in Kircubbin, Co Down, was run by the De La Salle Order.
Giving evidence to the inquiry on Monday, the former resident said his mother died when he was 13, but the Brothers didn't tell them until two weeks later.
Distressed that he hadn't been at her funeral, he ran away to visit her grave but was found by the police and brought back to Rubane.
He was summoned to the schoolhouse the next day.
There, three Brothers were waiting for him. They shaved his head without using foam, cutting his scalp.
They then held him down over a table. Choking and unable to breathe, he said they beat him.
(CBS) – Francis Cardinal George, a few weeks from his retirement as Archbishop of Chicago, shares new details about his battle with cancer and reveals he would be willing to communicate with a former priest convicted of sexually abusing young people.
George talks with CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine and looks ahead to retirement, not really knowing what it will hold.
“Depending on my health, I’ll do this or do that,” George says. “It’s kind of murky.” ...
But as he looks back on the 17 years here, I asked him one more time about what he’s called his disappointment: the only instance of abuse of children on his watch, by former priest Dan McCormack.
George says he prays for him every day.
“Could anything be gained by talking to him?” Levine asks.
The Cardinal says he’s not sure. “(It) might be to him, and if it ever is, then I would be more than willing to do so,” he says.
Asked if he has reached out to McCormack, George replied: “There’s been some, some discussions — but always through lawyers.”
George says he’s proud of reforms he saw through that are meant to prevent a repeat of the McCormack case. The victims are in his prayers every day, he says.
by Craig Manning, Chief Reporter
A WIRRAL vicar jailed after he was caught downloading images and videos of child sex abuse has been kicked out of the Church Of England.
Rev Ian Hughes was jailed for 12 months in January after pleading guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to 15 charges of making indecent images and movies, one of possessing 8,227 indecent images and one of possessing an extreme pornographic image.
He has since been released from prison.
His secret double life was revealed during Merseyside police investigations into internet users exchanging indecent images of children by peer-to-peer file sharing software.
His internet address was linked to a large quantity of such images and police raided his home at the vicarage in Brougham Road, Wallasey, last year.
Winnipeg Free Press
By: Petula Dvorak
All these photo scandals we’re talking about? They aren’t really about the nudie pics.
These aren’t just dirty old men who want to see bare breasts and thighs.
The Georgetown rabbi arrested for allegedly hiding a camera in the mikvah pool area where Jewish women take sacred, private ritual baths, the Baltimore gynecologist who secretly filmed his patient examinations, the freaks hacking into celebrity mobile phones and even creeps snapping photos up women’s skirts all have easy access to plenty of porn.
(Trust me. As the mother of two boys constantly checking on their computer use, every Hot Wheels Curves track search is a click or two away from high-def depravity.)
But, no, it’s not body parts that these men are after. The turn-on here is about power, subjugation and humiliation. It’s about men getting what they want, despite what women say.
It’s insidious not only because it’s cowardly and cheap, but also because in some cases, it’s done by the very men women trust most. They are the down-low sexists whose version of sexual assault is a mental game.
And it’s an attitude that is disturbingly popular.
Alleged Mikva Voyeur Rabbi Falsely Claimed To Have Coined The Republican Catch Phrase "Family Values"
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Rabbi Barry Freundel, who was arrested last week for allegedly secretly videotaping naked women preparing to immerse in his community's mikvah (ritual bath), claims he created the Republican Party's catch phrase 'family values" and was the man behind the US Military's don't ask, don't tell policy on homosexuality.
In one of his books, Contemporary Orthodox Judaism's Response To Modernity, Freundel writes that an aide to then-VIce President Dan Quayle heard Freundel use the term in a Shabbat drasha (sermon) in his synagogue and the aide to her boss about it and included the term in a speech writen for Quayle. Quayle added in criticism of a Murphy Brown episode and the speech – and the term "family values" – became history.
On the Jewish Values Online website, Freundel was asked the following question:
"What is the Jewish view on "don't ask, don't tell" and gays serving openly in the U.S. military? Does it matter that gays serve openly in the Israeli military?"
Freundel answered this way:
I will reveal something in this response that only a few people know.
The military's "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy was based on an article called "Homosexuality and Halakhah" that appeared in The Journal of Halakha and Contemporary Society in the mid-late 1980's.
By Haviva Ner-David | Oct. 20, 2014
When I first heard about Rabbi Barry Freundel’s arrest on grounds of voyeurism, I was upset, but not horrified. If the allegations are true, I thought, we have a case of a sick man who couldn’t control his sexual urges. Sad. Especially since he carries a title that would make us expect he should know better.
But then I heard how he allegedly carried out his crime: Placing hidden video cameras in the mikveh, the ritual bath, to watch his female conversion candidates practicing their nude immersions. Horrifying! I cried when I heard this. The ultimate abuse of male rabbinic power, yet an unsurprising symptom of a patriarchal system that sexualizes and objectifies women in so many ways. A prime example is the exclusively “women’s mikveh”, where all know that women are going to immerse in the nude to purify themselves for sex, but where men make the rules.
Twenty-three years ago, I was a creative writing student living in Washington, D.C. and took a part-time job running one of the (if not the) first mikveh located in a Conservative synagogue, Adas Israel. It was the only mikveh in Washington, D.C. Yet Freundel told his congregants not to come to our mikveh, but rather to travel to Silver Spring, Maryland, to a mikveh that was located in an Orthodox synagogue there. This too was upsetting but not horrifying. An expression of Orthodox Jewish distrust of and disrespect for anyone not Orthodox, especially liberal Jewish rabbis and institutions.
But Freundel always wanted his own mikveh, which is probably one reason he did not want to acknowledge that there was a perfectly kosher mikveh already existing in Washington, D.C. A few years ago I heard that his dream had come true; there was now an Orthodox mikveh in D.C., and he was its rabbi.
We know that sexual predators are not created overnight but rather develop patterns over time. If the accusations about Freundel are true, I wonder if even back then he was plotting this extreme abuse of his rabbinic power and fantasizing about the women’s bodies he would have access to once he had his very own women’s mikveh.
Washington City Paper
Posted by Perry Stein on Oct. 20, 2014
A top Modern Orthodox rabbinical association says it knew since 2012 of concerning allegations against the Georgetown rabbi charged last week with voyeurism, though the allegations were not sexual in nature.
Rabbi Barry Freundel, the rabbi of Kesher Israel synagogue, pleaded not guilty to six counts of voyeurism last week for allegedly filming naked women without their knowledge in his congregation while they were preparing for a mikveh—a ritual cleansing bath. A mikveh is used for a variety of religious purposes, including as part of the conversion process.
The Rabbinical Council of America says in a statement that in 2012, some conversion candidates reported they felt pressure to perform clerical work at Freundel's home—the synagogue does not have an office—and to give money to the synagogue. He was also the co-signer on a checking account with a conversion candidate. The council investigated the allegations and confronted Freundel about them. He assured the council the practices would stop.
At the time of the allegations, Freundel served as the chair of the council's Geirus Protocol and Standards conversion system—a network of rabbis that works to establish uniform standards to ensure the validity of all conversions. He served in the position from 2006 to 2013.
October 20, 2014 1
NEW YORK (JTA) — The Rabbinical Council of America affirmed that any conversions performed by Rabbi Barry Freundel, the Orthodox rabbi in Washington facing charges of voyeurism, are valid.
The RCA, the main modern Orthodox rabbinical association in the United States, issued a statement Monday to assuage the concerns of Orthodox converts to Judaism whose conversion process was overseen by Freundel, who was arrested last week for allegedly installing a hidden camera in the mikvah to spy on women in the shower. The rabbi has pleaded not guilty.
However, it’s not clear that Israel’s Chief Rabbinate will honor Freundel’s conversions. In response to an inquiry from Israel’s daily Haaretz, Rabbinate spokesman Ziv Manor left open the possibility that those conversions might be invalidated.
“The Chief Rabbinate of Israel is drafting a policy regarding conversions performed by Rabbi Freundel that will attempt to strike a balance between what is permitted according to Jewish law, on the one hand, and the rights and welfare of the converts, on the other,” Manor said, according to Haaretz.
Freundel has been suspended without pay from his position as rabbi at Kesher Israel, a modern Orthodox congregation in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, and from the RCA, where Freundel served on its executive committee.
The Jewish Week
Special To The Jewish Week
As another case of alleged rabbinic impropriety emerges, I am most concerned with how the community moves forward. Our focus at this point in time should not be on the individual; rather we should focus on collective responsibility. What could we have done? Where do we go from here?
There are two critical takeaways from this recent revelation about Rabbi Barry Freundel, who was arrested this past week for voyeurism. First, the community should support the decision of the board of his Washington, D.C., Orthodox congregation, Kesher Israel, to notify the authorities on hearing allegations of his misbehavior. (He is alleged to have used a hidden camera to watch women in the congregation’s mikveh.) In all Jewish institutions we need to understand that safety is first.
I have heard too many stories about synagogues being too afraid of the publicity that will ensue should they notify the police about such allegations; they are concerned about the possible tarnishing of the shul’s reputation, and are so afraid of what people will say that they can resemble a deer frozen in headlights when faced with a potential scandal. The real fear should be what would happen if actions and precautions were NOT taken. I am sure that this is a trying time for the community of Kesher Israel, and we should be fully supportive of their responsible reaction to the allegations. It truly is better to be safe than sorry.
The Jewish Press
New York, October 20, 2014 – The Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) today said that since the arrest last week of Rabbi Barry Freundel of Washington, DC, it has been working assiduously to address the many challenges that its members and their communities now face.
Rabbi Leonard Matanky, President, and Rabbi Mark Dratch, Executive Vice President, said, “First and foremost, our hearts continue to go out to the individuals who were converted to Judaism by Rabbi Freundel whose trust was violated and who have worried about their personal status. We pray for the welfare of all victims, including the many women who used the Kesher Israel mikvah for taharat hamishpacha (family purity) purposes, and for the continued strength and healing of the Kesher Israel community, which is a vibrant center of our sacred Torah and that is suffering greatly at this time. We also feel for the Freundel family and offer them our support during this difficult personal time.”
Today the RCA is able to announce that the Beth Din of America – under the leadership of Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz – has concluded as a matter of Jewish law that conversions performed by Rabbi Freundel prior to his arrest on October 14, 2014 remain halachically valid and prior converts remain Jewish in all respects. This ruling follows a review of the charges contained in the court documents that have been released to date (including the criminal complaint, search and arrest warrants, and accompanying affidavits) and applicable Jewish law with respect to the status of prior conversions.
In an effort to create an avenue for greater comfort and accountability in the conversion process following this most unfortunate episode, the RCA also announced two additional actions:
• The RCA and the Beth Din of America have agreed that every Beit Din assembled under their Geirus Protocol and Standards (GPS) will appoint a woman (or group of women) to serve as ombudsman to receive any concerns of female candidates to conversion. The name of this person will be provided to all conversion candidates at the beginning of the conversion process.Prospective converts will be assured that their standing in the conversion process will not be compromised by communicating with the ombudsman, and that any such communications will remain confidential to the extent possible.
Jewish Business News
The Chief Rabbinate of Israel is reviewing the validity of conversions performed by Orthodox Rabbi Barry Freundel, who has been charged with videotaping women in a mikvah near his synagogue, Haaretz reported.
“We are appalled by the accusations against Rabbi Barry Freundel and wish to stress that the acts attributed to him are atrocious and strictly against Jewish law,” a spokesman for the Chief Rabbinate told Haaretz, adding:
“We offer our deepest sympathy to any victims. The Chief Rabbinate of Israel is drafting a policy regarding conversions performed by Rabbi Freundel that will attempt to strike a balance between what is permitted according to Jewish law, on the one hand, and the rights and welfare of the converts, on the other.”
Freundel headed the Washington D.C.-area rabbinical court conducting dozens of conversions. According to Haaretz, At least four women he converted have moved to Israel in the past year to marry Jewish husbands.
By The Forward and Josh Nathan-Kazis | Oct. 20, 2014
The leading Modern Orthodox rabbinical association says that it knew in 2012 that Rabbi Barry Freundel acted inappropriately in his role overseeing conversions, but that it chose not to bar him from working with converts and did not inform his synagogue.
Freundel pled not guilty on October 15 to charges that he secretly recorded six women showering at the mikveh at his synagogue.
The Rabbinical Council of America said in an October 20 press release that it discovered in 2012 that Freundel had coerced conversion candidates to do clerical work at his home and make financial donations to his rabbinic court. He was also found to share a checking account with a conversion candidate.
Freundel at the time was the rabbi of Kesher Israel, a leading Washington, D.C. synagogue, and the head of the Washington, D.C. rabbinical court that oversaw conversions.
“[Freundel] made assurances that these behaviors would discontinue,” the RCA said in its statement. “A committee of rabbis and lay leaders determined that while Rabbi Freundel’s actions were inappropriate (and were a violation of his position) they did not rise to a level that required him to be suspended from the RCA or to be removed from his work with converts, as long as they did not continue.”
The New York Times
By MICHAEL PAULSON
OCT. 20, 2014
A week after a Washington rabbi was charged with videotaping women converting to Judaism as they disrobed for ritual baths, the national association of modern Orthodox rabbis said Monday that it would require the appointment of ombudswomen to handle any concerns from women about the conversion process.
The association, the Rabbinical Council of America, is eager to contain the damage from the arrest of Rabbi Barry Freundel, a prominent modern Orthodox rabbi who served on the council’s executive committee and, from 2006 to 2013, presided over its committee on conversions. Rabbi Freundel had been considered an advocate for women’s rights in Orthodox Judaism. The local United States attorney’s office has charged him with using a camera concealed in a clock radio to film women as they showered or changed for immersion in the ritual bath, called a mikvah.
The rabbinical council said Monday that it would not only appoint ombudswomen for each regional tribunal of rabbis overseeing conversions, but would also name a commission, that would include women as members, to recommend ways to prevent abuses of the conversion process.
Women converting to Judaism are required to immerse themselves in a mikvah; Rabbi Freundel, in an unusual step, apparently persuaded some women to take “practice dunks” in the mikvah before the formal immersion.
The Rabbinical Council of America—one of the top Modern Orthodox rabbinical councils—says that they know of past allegations against Rabbi Barry Freundel of Georgetown's Kesher Israel synagogue, who was arrested and charged for voyeurism last week.
According to the RCA, they knew about misconduct allegations against Freundel—none of them of a sexual nature—since at least 2012, according to a statement. The RCA says that they received complaints that conversation candidates who felt "coerced to perform clerical work for him in his home office (there is no office at the synagogue) and to contribute financially." It was also discovered that Freundel was to co-signer on a checking account with a conversion candidate, and that he had traveled by train to Chicago in a sleeper car with a woman who was not his wife.
Last week, Freundel pleaded not guilty to six counts of voyeurism for allegedly filming female members of his congregation while they showered in preparation for a spiritual ceremony.
"A committee of rabbis and lay leaders determined that while Rabbi Freundel’s actions were inappropriate (and were a violation of his position) they did not rise to a level that required him to be suspended from the RCA or to be removed from his work with converts, as long as they did not continue," the RCA said in a statement about the 2012 allegations. "While the RCA did not report these findings to the leadership of his congregation, Rabbi Freundel himself did inform his synagogue leadership of these meetings."
In response to the train ride allegations, the RCA said that "there being no supporting evidence or information for these critical and serious allegations, there was no fair way that the RCA could act on them. The RCA leadership, therefore, concluded that it could not proceed to its Vaad Hatzedek, or take any other significant action, given that there was no opportunity or due process."
Religion News Service
Lauren Markoe | October 20, 2014
WASHINGTON (RNS) In the days since a prominent Orthodox rabbi was charged with spying on naked women in his synagogue’s mikvah, Jews who oversee the ritual baths across the country are rushing to reassure that the same scandal could not happen under their watch.
Sharon Weiss-Greenberg, executive director of the New York-based Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance, said she’s heard about people checking for hidden cameras in mikvahs. She’s learned of some mikvahs where security firms have been brought in to assure that the space is as private as its clients — most of whom are women — expect.
District of Columbia police arrested Rabbi Barry Freundel on Tuesday (Oct. 14) at his Georgetown home, not far from Kesher Israel, the synagogue he has led since 1989. Freundel, 62, has pleaded not guilty to charges of voyeurism and spying on women through a camera pointed at the shower used before dipping into the synagogue’s mikvah.
Kesher Israel (center), located at 2801 N Street, N.W., in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The synagogue is a contributing property to the Georgetown Historic District, a National Historic Landmark. Photo courtesy of AgnosticPreachersKid via Wikimedia Commons
The synagogue suspended Freundel without pay as the investigation continues.
In the wake of the Freundel scandal, Weiss-Greenberg and other women are suggesting that a focus simply on hardware isn’t enough to keep mikvahs safe and sacred.
The Jewish Week
Special To The Jewish Week
It’s been a rough post-Yom Kippur for Jews in DC. What shook me most about the Freundel scandal – our `Water’gate – is how many people said, “I’m shocked but not surprised.” Really? Rabbi Barry Freundel, who was arrested for voyeurism this past week, is an articulate scholar with a reputation as a forceful leader who put down other rabbis and congregations and could be fierce about institutions and practices he did not like. A friend who heard the news observed, “Beware the rabbi who protests too much.” If the allegations are true, this was not a crime of intimacy. It was a crime of power. Crimes of power happen when power is unchecked. Another friend said, “The problem is that the rabbinate is still a deregulated industry.”
We tend to look at rabbinic crimes that traumatize congregants and break up families as terrible one-off misdemeanors that have little to do with us and nothing to do with normative behaviors in congregations. They are an aberration, of course, and we should never blame the victims. We can question, however, if we are doing enough to “regulate the industry.” Many synagogues are hesitant to institute real feedback loops, oversight committees and annual performance reviews for rabbis. We often let rabbis transcend professional evaluation until they fail us and fall far below expectation.
Feedback is often given with contract negotiations, but are true measures of accountability put into place? And how often do such negotiations take place? If you have an annual performance review in your job, so should your rabbi. A rabbi is there to serve a congregation – that’s you. You need to let the rabbi know if he or she is doing a good job. If there are any red flags, they must be identified swiftly and without hesitation. One woman in a leadership seminar asked about giving feedback to her rabbi who lacked skills in pastoral care.
By Sebastian Murdock
A Kentucky youth pastor and Sunday school teacher is in jail after being accused of sexually abusing a teenager.
Rex Allen Murphy, 30, was booked into Pulaski County jail on Tuesday on felony charges including sodomy, sexual abuse, and use of a minor in a sexual performance, according to jail records.
The 16-year-old male victim approached authorities last Friday to tell them of the alleged sexual abuse. A statement released by the Eubank Police Department described the details of the case as "very graphic and to the point."
Eurbank Police Chief Colin Hatfield told The Huffington Post Thursday that the abuse took place over a six month period, occurring at least ten times.
Minnesota Public Radio
Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Oct 20, 2014
In a packed room at the Landmark Center in St. Paul last Monday, one of the nation's most aggressive critics of the Catholic Church's handling of clergy sex abuse did something that stunned many abuse survivors and parishioners.
Attorney Jeff Anderson had called a news conference to announce a settlement in one of the abuse cases. At that news conference, he shook hands with officials from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis — the same organization he'd accused of engaging in a criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice and protect priests who had raped children.
Anderson then did something even more startling. He invited anyone who had been sexually assaulted by a priest to line up to shake hands with the same church officials. While some people broke down sobbing and stayed in their seats, about 25 older men came forward.
"Keep coming. Wow!" Anderson said, nudging the men closer to Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens and Vicar General Charles Lachowitzer.
"As they join hands, they join in honor of the sorrow, acknowledgment of the pain, to work in cooperation and collaboration, restorative justice, reconciliation," Anderson told the crowd, while his law firm broadcast the event live on its website via satellite. "As they join hands, this is about truth. And this is about a new day. This is about a new way. This is about a safer day."
The Worthy Adversary
Posted by Joelle Casteix
Hollywood couldn’t have written a better plot: an all-American man plays a respected pastor and father of seven. Add in good looks and charm, and you’ve got the makings of a beloved television character.
And the perfect cover for a predator.
Stephen Collins, who played Eric Camden, the dad/pastor on the long-running TV series 7th Heaven, has allegedly admitted to molesting numerous children. The admission, made on tape during a 2012 therapy session with Collins’ now-estranged wife, Faye Grant, was publicly released last week, resulting in dramatic fallout, including criminal investigations in California and New York.
But this story is bigger than Collins himself. It’s not just about whether or not he is guilty; it’s also about what he represents—the stereotype of the cunning and untouchable offender. A man who could not be brought down by his victims, a complicit Hollywood community. Or the police.
It took a taped confession—and TMZ.
The Collins case should be a wake-up call for parents to recognize that even under the trusted, respected, suave veneer of a TV star, your child can still be in danger.
Here are five lessons from Collins’ case to help parents protect children against abuse:
1) Abusers are cunning, using power, prestige—even fame—to groom victims and their families. According to the allegations, Collins used his popularity as an actor and his connections to Hollywood elite for “grooming,” the process by which a predator flatters and manipulates a child, isolates that child from family and friends, and creates a “compliant” victim. Add celebrity status to the mix, and the grooming process is even more enticing. After all, when a celebrity predator pays special attention to a child, gives the child special access to people and events, and seduces parents and family members with stardom, it’s easy to isolate the child for sexual abuse—and silence her for a lifetime.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Monday, October 20, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )
A suspended Connecticut priest has been named in a new lawsuit alleging he abused a young victim at a Haitian school. We applaud the brave victim for coming forward with his abuse.
The lawsuit states that Fr. Paul Carrier and Douglas Perlitz abused a teenager at the Project Pierre Toussaint School in Cap-Haitien. The school is supported by Fairfield University.
Perlitz has been accused dozens of times of child sexual abuse. As far as we can tell this is the first allegation against Fr. Carrier. But Carrier's ties to Perlitz are well known. And Carrier, who now apparently lives at a church facility in Massachusetts, has largely been silent throughout the legal controversy surrounding Perlitz.
We hope anyone else who was abused by either of these men will now find the courage to come forward, speak up, expose wrong doing, and help protect others.
New Haven Register
By Dave Collins, Associated Press
A suspended Jesuit priest who was once Fairfield University’s chaplain is accused in a lawsuit of sexually abusing a teenager at a charity in Haiti supported by the college.
A 26-year-old man sued Friday in federal court in Connecticut, naming the Rev. Paul Carrier, Douglas Perlitz and others. He’s seeking $20 million.
The man alleges Perlitz and Carrier sexually abused him when he was teenager a decade ago at Project Pierre Toussaint School in Cap-Haitien. The man’s lawyer says it’s the 39th lawsuit accusing Perlitz of sexual abuse and the first to accuse Carrier of molestation.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Monday, October 20, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )
An Indiana youth pastor, who was arrested in September for sexual misconduct with a minor, allegedly abused a child on at least three occasions according to a court affidavit. We are grateful to the family member of the victim who reported the sexual abuse to the police.
When those who know about or suspect abuse speak up, children are safe.
Derrick "Duke" Hampsch was working as the youth pastor at First Baptist church in Vincennes, IN at the time of the abuse. According to news sources he is still listed on the phone directory at the church.
We urge church officials to immediately alert parishioners about Hampsch’s arrest and alleged abuse. They should beg anyone who saw, suspects, or suffered abuse by Hampsch to immediately report what they know to law enforcement.
Updated October 20, 2014
(VINCENNES) - A probable cause affidavit details allegations against a former Vincennes Youth Pastor accused of engaging sexual acts with a minor.
34-year-old Derrick "Duke" Hampsch was arrested in September and faces one formal charge of sexual misconduct with a minor.
The probable cause listed three incidents in which the victim described taking part in sexual acts with Hampsch.
WTHI reports that Hampsch was arrested September 19, after police received a report from a victim's family member stating that Hampsch engaged in sex acts with the victim. The alleged incidents took place in the fall of 2009 and again in April of 2010. The victim, in the court document, told police the first sexual encounter happened prior to the victim's 14th birthday.
In the 2009 incident, police state: "Duke grouped [the victim] in a sexual manner". It was also stated the alleged incident took place inside a closet in the First Baptist Church, located in Vincennes.
By John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor October 20, 2014
ROME – Now that the dust is beginning to settle on the tumultuous Synod of Bishops on the family, conclusions are in the air as to what it all meant. Given the clear divisions that ran through the summit, it should be no surprise that after-the-fact interpretations are also all over the map.
For some, the outcome was a defeat for Pope Francis and the more open line they perceive him to represent on issues such as gays and divorce and remarriage. For others, the fact that even watered-down language on those points survived in the synod’s final document represents a watershed, even if, like Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster in the United Kingdom said, they feel it “didn’t go far enough.”
Those in favor of allowing Catholics who divorce and remarry outside the Church to receive Communion can claim a breakthrough in a call for further study on the issue, since previous Vatican documents have closed the door entirely.
Some believe the soap opera quality of the two-week gathering, with conservatives complaining of a plot to stifle their voices and liberals grousing about a lack of nerve, suggest Francis has let loose forces he can’t control.
Monday, 20 October 2014
As I said in my previous blog, 'A Church in melt-down, a Renault 4 and a pair of binoculars', I consider myself a judicious practicing Catholic.
I must say that an element of despondency did catch up on me following the news that Archbishop Cremona now Emeritus had 'hung up his boots'.
Eight years ago the hype around this Dominican friar appointed Archbishop was enormous - the expectations even bigger. Do you remember his smile when he played football with the boys at his perfectly orchestrated initiation, the feasts, the bands that were mobilized and the incalculable events that were organised?
The devoted were hopeful.
After Archbishop's Mercieca tenure, people believed that Cremona was not only a breath of fresh air but the Maltese Church's renewal in persona.
I did interview him a couple of times on my programme Ghandi xi Nghid and he came across as an extremely humble and affable person. I remember his eyes glittering, happy and completely at ease speaking about Jesus but when it was the Church and institutional issues he seemed to fade away into cavity.
As they say, 'il-gurnata minn fil-ghodu turik'.
That exquisite, natural, soothing smile started evaporating rapidly.
Senior Catholic priest Monsignor David Cappo gives evidence at Father John Fleming defamation trial in South Australia Supreme Court
FATHER John Fleming “definitely” raised allegations he had been involved in a ménage-a-trois when he was interviewed by a senior Catholic priest, a court has heard.
Monsignor David Cappo has provided the Supreme Court with handwritten notes of his 1995 interview with Fr Fleming, prompted by allegations of sexual misconduct towards a teenage girl.
He said that, almost 20 years after the interview, he still recalled Fr Fleming saying there were false rumours he had been “running a ménage-a-trois in my flat”.
“In fact, it’s one of the few terms I remember clearly for the reason that, as I was writing it, I didn’t really known how to spell it,” he said.
“So I was writing away, thinking ‘I’ve not got time to think about how to spell it’ because we were moving on to the next topic.
“(Afterwards) I needed to look it up in the dictionary to see exactly how it was spelled ... I don’t think I had used the term before in a written way.”
Fr Fleming’s lawsuit concerns 2008 Sunday Mail articles reporting allegations he was sexually involved with two women, “Jane” and “Jenny”, and a man, “Richard”.
KANSAS CITY (MO)
Insurance News Net
In sexual abuse lawsuit, neither the Kansas City diocese nor those suing it scored a clear win
By Judy L. Thomas, The Kansas City Star
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
Oct. 19--Last week's $10 million settlement cleared the deck of dozens of priest sexual abuse lawsuits in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese.
But in the end, neither side could declare victory.
The plaintiffs won no massive payout or declaration from the jury that the diocese had failed miserably to protect children.
By the same count, the diocese wasn't cleared of wrongdoing, nor was it shielded from future litigation.
"It may sound like it was a good financial deal for both sides. ... But it's also really sad," said Nicholas Cafardi, a law professor at Duquesne University and a former general counsel for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. "The difficult thing is to get closure for a victim, and you hope that this brings closure because the injuries can be so horrific it takes a lifetime to get past them."
The $9.95 million settlement was announced late Tuesday on the eve of jury deliberations in a trial of a lawsuit filed against the diocese by former altar boy Jon David Couzens. He accused the late Monsignor Thomas O'Brien of sexual abuse in the early 1980s at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish in Independence. The diocese was told repeatedly that O'Brien was a danger to children, Couzens said, but failed to prevent the abuse. O'Brien died last fall at age 87.
British police forces are still investigating hundreds of cases involving suspected paedophiles more than two years after evidence was first passed to UK authorities.
Figures show that more than 200 suspects are still being investigated after details were first passed to the Child Exploitation Online Protection Centre (CEOP) by Canadian police in July 2012.
Among the 21 UK forces that were able to provide a detailed breakdown of the Canadian cases - which came out of an international sting operation dubbed Operation Spade - 271 are still ongoing.
The data, obtained by the Press Association, also showed that from 724 referrals, 34 people had been charged and five had accepted cautions. ...
Pete Saunders, from the National Association for People Abused in Childhood, criticised the authorities for failing to act quickly enough on the information.
He told Sky News: "People who access these kinds of images are a danger to children - the fact we're doing nothing about it is the main concern.
"The other concern is it demonstrates once again that there are large parts of society, or authorities or institutions who simply refuse to believe or to accept the seriousness of the crimes that are in front of their eyes."
International Business Times
By Athena Yenko | October 20, 2014
Porsche had rented the Sistine Chapel for a concert as part of its Exclusive Porsche Tour of Rome event on Oct. 18. The two-part event cost Euro 4,590 per person for the Oct. 15-19 tours and Euro 4,990 for the Oct. 17 to 21 tours.
The event gave tourists access to the Vatican Museums outside the official opening hours, an exclusive concert at the Sistine Chapel, dinner at the Vatican Museums, tour of the papal gardens at the Vatican and the Necropolis on the Via Triumphalis and Porsche Travel Club driving tour in the southern Lazio region. A maximum of 20 tourists only were allowed to participate in the event.
The partnership between the car company and the Vatican had sparked notion that the Sistine Chapel can now be rented for events. However, director of the Vatican Museums, Professor Antonio Paolucci clarified that the Sisitine Chapel can never be rented for it not being a commercial place. He said that the Porsche event is the first among Vatican's Art for Charity project where big companies can donate to charitable events at the Holy See.
"Saturday will be the debut of Art for Charity, an initiative to exclusively support the charitable projects of the pope. This initiative is organised directly by the Vatican Museums and is directed at big companies. With the payment of a ticket, they can contribute to financing charity projects," Paolucci told press. The press conference was originally held to present the international congress titled, The Sistine Chapel, twenty years on: new breath, new light.
By Renatta Signorini
Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014
In a voicemail early Thursday, Andrew Mark Patterson of Monroeville expressed remorse to the pastors of the North Huntingdon church where he recently developed a youth group.
Patterson, 45, told Pastors Roy and Sylvia Tryon in the message that there were federal agents at his home and that he wanted to resign his position as a volunteer with youth at Living Waters Family Worship Center.
The husband-and-wife pastor team at the nondenominational church were blindsided later in the day when they learned that Patterson had been arrested in connection with a three-month child pornography investigation.
“We were developing a relationship with Andrew,” Sylvia Tryon said Sunday. “I still can't wrap my mind around it.”
Sydney Morning Herald
October 20, 2014
Legal Affairs Reporter for The Age
A Catholic priest deported from Papua New Guinea has been remanded in custody over alleged child sex offences dating to the 1960s.
Roger Mount, 72, was last week deported to Australia from Papua New Guinea, where he was the priest of a remote parish. This is despite the Catholic Church apologising to and paying at least two people who alleged he had sexually abused them as children in the 1990s and the 2000s.
Legal documents show the St John of God order paid alleged victims more than $100,000.
Father Mount was charged with sex offences against seven different children in Queensland on Friday
He was charged with 40 counts of indecent assault, 14 counts of buggery, five counts of gross indecency and three counts of unlawful assault between 1968 and 1974 at Greensborough and Mount Eliza.
An elderly Catholic priest has appeared in court accused of child sex offences dating from 40 years ago.
Roger Melville Mount, 72, who has been living in Papua New Guinea but was recently extradited from Queensland, faced 62 charges in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday afternoon.
He faces 40 counts of indecent assault, 14 of buggery, five of gross indecency and three of unlawful assault.
In charge sheets lodged with the court, police allege he sexually abused seven boys at Greensborough and Mount Eliza between 1968 and 1974.
By Caley Ramsay Global News
EDMONTON — A 58-year-old church pastor, who has been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography, says the charges are not what they seem.
“I would never harm anybody. I have never harmed anybody,” Richard John Docekal told Global News Friday.
Docekal, who is from Edmonton, was arrested and charged on Oct. 9 after a tip from the public sparked an investigation in early September.
Docekal was a senior pastor with All Saints Lutheran Church in Edmonton at the time of the alleged offences. But in a post dated October 6, 2014 on the Lutheran Church Canada website, Docekal resigned as pastor from the clergy roster.
October 19, 2014
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.
Do not be fooled that it is a demotion but in fact it is a promotion for Cardinal Burke because with his precious diplomatic immunity - Burke will handle Vatican Billions directly with the wealthiest Catholic members of the Order of Malta. “Nobility forms the backbone of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta; more than 40 percent of its 10,000 constituents are related to Europe’s oldest and most powerful Catholic families”.
The Family Synod’s 190 celibate bishops, and the international media echo chamber generally, paid little attention recently to the need to reverse the Vatican’s failed “doctrines” and “rules” regarding the welfare and safety of children. Indeed, Pope Francis’ lawyers, lobbyists and large donors, especially in the USA, are likely broadly smiling now.
Hopefully, the protection of children and the endorsement of artificial contraception by the Vatican will be center stage at the October 2015 Final Family Synod.
For two weeks, with barely another two weeks now to go before crucial US Senate elections on November 4, Francis’ media machine, with some help from Cardinals Dolan, Burke and some others from Africa, have managed to keep gay marriage and divorced Catholics issues front and center. Since the anti-gay voters in some US states could be the difference in some close Senate elections, getting these voters fired up and motivated to vote is quite important for the Vatican and its right wing billionaire buddies.
That many gay Catholics are unjustly and seriously harmed and hurt by these political games seems irrelevant to the Vatican and the US bishops, notwithstanding the large numbers of these clerics who are reportedly gay.
At the same time, the Vatican media spinners have seemingly endeavored with some success to keep the anti-contraception crusade and the priest child abuse scandal out of the press for a couple of weeks.
Media attention about these last two issues tend to bring out voters who are unattractive to the Vatican’s “low regulation/lower taxes” billionaire buddies.
Derek Hutter, youth pastor and minister of a Texas church, has been arrested for sex abuse, along with two other charges, KHOU reports today. According to police record, Derek Hutter was charged with possession of child porn, online solicitation of a minor, and continuous sex abuse of a child. The victim, authorities say, is a 14-year-old girl from Sachse.
Sex offender Derek Hutter met the young girl at the church located at 1330 E Centerville Rd in Garland, where he is the student pastor. South Garland Baptist Church Pastor Larry Davis told CBS-11 that the congregation feels for the victim.
The case broke wide open when the Sachse girl’s parents went to authorities, after discovering a disturbing email from Derek Hutter to their underage daughter. In that email, Hutter asked the girl to send him explicit photos of herself. The girl told counselors that she had sex with Derek Hutter over a dozen times, and had been involved with the youth minister since she was 13-years-old.
During the police investigation, law enforcement officials found photos of the victim on his cellular phone. They also discovered that Hutter worked as a youth pastor at several churches throughout the Houston and Dallas areas, according to Dallas News.
ST. LOUIS (MO)
October 19, 2014 12:05 pm | Author: berger
Archbishop Robert Carlson’s friend, Fr. Joseph Jiang, moves one step closer to trial tomorrow with a scheduled appearance at 9 a.m. in St. Louis city court. He’s accused of molesting a minor at the Cathedral parish on Lindell Blvd. Earlier, Jiang faced criminal charges of abusing a Lincoln County teen that were later dropped. But he still faces a civil case based on those alleged incidents, which reportedly took place at the family’s home and at the Cathedral.
17 oktober 2014-
Dat zegt kardinaal Eijk in een interview tijdens de bisschoppensynode in Rome waar hij de Nederlandse kerkprovincie vertegenwoordigd. Volgens de kardinaal wil een meerderheid van de deelnemers aan de synode geen verandering van de kerkleer over seksualiteit en wil ook paus Franciscus dat niet.
Kardinaal Eijk heeft voorafgaande en tot nu toe gedurende de bijzondere bisschoppensynode gezwegen, maar doorbreekt dat vandaag met een persconferentie in de Friezenkerk in Rome. Wat zijn persoonlijke inbreng is geweest tijdens de synode wil hij echter nog steeds niet bekend maken.
18 oktober 2014-
‘Zwaar teleurstellend.’ Zo noemt COC-voorzitter Tanja Ineke de uiteindelijke conclusies over homoseksuelen van de bijzondere bisschoppensynode van de Rooms-Katholieke kerk. “De deur stond op een kier, maar lijkt door de bisschoppen hard te zijn dichtgeslagen in het gezicht van Rooms-Katholieke LHBT’s*.”
“We hadden de hoop dat de Rooms-Katholieke kerk eindelijk een mildere toon zou aanslaan tegen LHBT’s. Die hoop lijkt voorlopig de grond in geboord. De bisschoppen zijn blijkbaar nog niet klaar voor een liefdevolle benadering van LHBT’s”, aldus Ineke.
Oct 19, 2014 By Joe Thomas
Rev Ian Hughes was jailed for a year in January after being found in possession of more than 8,000 indecent images and video
A disgraced Merseyside vicar jailed after being found in possession of more than 8,000 indecent images and video of children has been kicked out of the Church of England.
Reverend Ian Hughes was sentenced to 12 months behind bars in January for his illicit cache of pornographic material after police raided his vicarage in Wallasey.
While the vicar - known for his nose piercing - has now been released from prison his former employers have formally banned him following their own investigation.
Rev Hughes was priest in charge of the Wirral parishes Poulton and Seacombe when his home on Brougham Road, Wallasey, was searched in May 2013.
By Scott Hammers / The Bulletin
Published Apr 27, 2014
Bishop Liam Cary of the Diocese of Baker has invited Father James Radloff to return to the Catholic church, less than a week after the priest announced plans to establish a competing church in Bend.
Radloff had served nearly two years as the pastor of Bend’s St. Francis of Assisi parish when Cary stripped him of his post last fall for unspecified reasons and proposed sending him to a church in Merrill near Klamath Falls. Both Cary and the diocese have been silent about the nature of the dispute. Radloff appealed his removal to the Vatican, which ruled in favor of the diocese in February.
Last week, Radloff announced he was leaving the Roman Catholic Church to serve as pastor of the Holy Communion Evangelical Catholic Church, a small sect that adheres to most traditional Catholic doctrine but takes a more liberal approach on a number of social issues. The new church is scheduled to make its debut with an inaugural Mass in early June at the Riverhouse Hotel & Convention Center in Bend.
By The Associated Press
on November 04, 2013
BEND — A Roman Catholic priest is appealing his bishop's decision to remove him from his post as pastor of a Bend church.
The Bend Bulletin reports that the Rev. James Radloff was removed on Oct. 1.
Bishop Liam Cary of the Diocese of Baker didn't explain the removal in a public statement he issued at the time
But in a letter to members of the congregation, Cary said Radloff had circulated a petition protesting the bishop's decision to transfer another priest from St. Francis. Cary called that a serious error of judgment.
CathNews New Zealand
Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
The Vatican has declined to intervene on behalf of a priest whose bishop removed him as pastor of a parish in Bend, Oregon, in the fall and later barred him from public ministry.
In a decision dated January 31 and reported to NCR on Friday, the Vatican Congregation for Clergy confirmed that Baker, Oregon, Bishop Liam Cary was justified in removing Fr James Radloff as pastor of St Francis of Assisi Parish in Bend on October 1.
According to Radloff’s canonical adviser, Fr Thomas Faucher, the congregation “has also declined to order Bishop Cary to make public the reasons for the removal” and “declined to order Bishop Cary to rescind his ban on Fr. Radloff from celebration of Mass and from all public ministry.”
AP | Nov. 4, 2013
A Roman Catholic priest is appealing his bishop’s decision to remove him from his post as pastor of a Bend church.
The Bend Bulletin reports that the Rev. James Radloff was removed on Oct. 1.
Bishop Liam Cary of the Diocese of Baker didn’t explain the removal in a public statement he issued at the time
But in a letter to members of the congregation, Cary said Radloff had circulated a petition protesting the bishop’s decision to transfer another priest from St. Francis. Cary called that a serious error of judgment.
Roman Catholic Diocese of Baker
25 April 2014
On April 19, 2014, the Reverend James Radloff, an incardinated priest of the Diocese of Baker, informed me of his decision to resign from the priesthood and to sever his relationship with the Roman Catholic Church. I am also in receipt of public statements that he has made in which he has indicated his decision to become associated with the Evangelical Catholic Church, a religious entity that is not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church.
By Brittany Weiner
POSTED: December 24, 2013
BEND, Ore. -
For more than a year, Father James Radloff has offered words of inspiration and faith to the parish of 5,300 at St. Francis of Assisi in Bend.
"He made me feel welcome," said St. Francis parishioner Cricket Daniel.
On Tuesday, a big announcement from the bishop of the Diocese of Baker: Father Radloff will be replaced.
Bishop Liam Cary issued a statement but would not comment on camera.
But Father Radloff's family expressed their concern.
"He is in the state of shock," said Radloff's sister, Kimberly Boehl. "He just feels like everything is been ripped away from him, everything that he cares about."
Coincidentally, the announcement comes just after a church newsletter was released Sunday, with a glowing report card on Father Radloff. He received A's across the board.
Father James Radloff has since left the Catholic Church
By Scott Hammers / The Bulletin
Published Oct 16, 2014
A Catholic priest who was dismissed from his position in Bend last year has filed a complaint with the state Bureau of Labor and Industries.
Father James Radloff headed the Bend-based St. Francis of Assisi parish for nearly two years before he was dismissed last October by Liam Cary, bishop of the Diocese of Baker.
Radloff and the diocese have said little about the events leading up to Radloff’s dismissal, alluding to an unspecified dispute between the former priest and Cary.
The complaint, filed with the Labor Bureau on Sept. 30, states the disagreement between Cary and Radloff can be traced to an incident prior to Easter 2013, when Cary allegedly conducted an approximately hour-long confession with a teenage boy. “When the boy emerged, he appeared shaken, upset and distraught,” the complaint states, and according to Radloff, the boy’s parents reported the incident to Radloff.
Radloff reported the incident to Cary, the complaint states, and asked that Cary refrain from taking confessions from children until it could be investigated. The complaint alleges Cary told Radloff he had “crossed a line” by reporting the incident, and launched a campaign to damage Radloff’s reputation and ultimately remove him from his post.
The complaint details 29 allegations of mistreatment by Cary and the diocese, with Radloff claiming he was evicted from parish housing on four days’ notice and forbidden from traveling within the diocese, which covers nearly two-thirds of Oregon.
Radloff was barred from performing the duties of a priest at his mother’s home parish in Chicago, the complaint states, and parishioners in Bend were given false and misleading information about his dismissal, “creating the misconception that I was a ‘pedophile priest.’”
A prospective employer who contacted Cary’s office seeking a reference was told, according to the complaint, “when Bishop Cary gets through with Father Radloff, he won’t be allowed to perform Ash Wednesday mass at a mini-mart.”
Bill Buchanan, a Bend attorney representing Radloff, said given the conditions placed on him by Cary and the Diocese of Baker, Radloff was effectively no longer “a priest in good standing” once he was dismissed.
National Catholic Reporter
[the complaint made to the Bureau of Labor and Industries]
Dan Morris-Young | Oct. 17, 2014
A former priest of Baker, Ore., diocese has filed a complaint with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, charging that "unlawful retaliatory conduct" by Bishop Liam Cary and the diocese damaged his health and reputation.
In the Sept. 30 filing, James A. Radloff, former pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Bend, Ore., charges that a "campaign" was launched against him after he filed a report asking that Cary refrain from hearing children's confessions at St. Francis pending investigation of an incident involving a male teen.
"Prior to Easter 2013, a teen-aged boy attended confession at the St. Francis Church on what is called reconciliation night," the complaint states. "There were numerous priests available ... The boy entered a private confessional with Bishop Cary, who kept the boy in confession for approximately one hour. When the boy emerged, he appeared shaken, upset and distraught. Although he did not immediately share all of what was discussed between him and Bishop Cary, the boy reported that Bishop Cary insisted upon meeting with the boy again in private at another time. When the parents of the boy learned of this incident, they reported it to me."
While the statement does not name the boy or his family, they were aware the incident would be described in the pleading "and were OK with it," said Bill Buchanan, Radloff's attorney.
"The diocese has no comment," a diocesan employee told NCR on Thursday.
The complaint states that Radloff "immediately reported the incident to my supervisor, Bishop Cary, and asked the Bishop to refrain from taking any more confessions from children until such time as the incident could be investigated."
The Jewish Daily Forward
By Nathan Guttman
Published October 19, 2014.
WASHINGTON — Washington’s Kesher Israel is emerging today from a long four-day stretch of holiday and Shabbat, back to dealing with the reality of news about the synagogue’s rabbi, Barry Freundel, who was arrested on voyeurism charges after allegedly peeping on women at the mikveh. For Orthodox members of the synagogue, it has been a forced, but welcome, detachment from TV news and online updates on the case that has brought local and national attention to their synagogue.
The issue was discussed, however, in between prayers and services during the holiday and weekend and was addressed only once from the bimah, when the synagogue’s president Elanit Jakabovics delivered a heartfelt speech during Thursday’s morning service.
“There are no words to describe the shock, devastation and heartbreak we are feeling at this moment,” Jakabovics told congregants, in a speech that did not mention Freundel by name even once. She spoke in harsh terms when describing the news thrust upon the congregation. “I’m angry, I’m frustrated, I’m concerned, I’m sad,” she said, expressing her sympathy to Freundel’s wife and children and mainly to all members of the community, some of them potentially victims of the rabbi’s actions.
The synagogue, she said, is supposed to be “a safe space for us” and events of the past week have shattered this sense of safety. “Our trust has been violated,” Jakabovics said, noting that the mikveh is a sacred place, a sanctuary, “a space of inviolable intimacy and privacy.” This place, Kesher Israel’s president stated, has now been tarnished. “Our inviolability has been violated,” she said. “I am a woman; it could have been me.”
‘Thanks be to God’, as we Catholic children used to say with heartfelt enthusiasm as Mass was over for another week. The most divisive meeting of Catholic bishops since Vatican II has ended – and no real damage has been done. Except, I’m sorry to say, to the reputation of Pope Francis. No real progress has been made, either.
This afternoon the official report of the Synod was released and so far as I can tell it cancelled the ‘earthquake’ implied by the half-way report of the debates on Monday. This called for the ‘gifts and values’ of homosexuals to be recognised and of ‘valuing’ their sexual orientation.
This language has disappeared from today’s report – a ‘working document’ for a fuller Synod next year – whose paragraphs were voted on in sections. In its place are bland assurances that gay people are to be cared for with ‘respect and sensitivity’ and even that did not receive the 2/3 majority it needed to be officially adopted. (Update: Since the paragraph offered gay people nothing more than is already available, you have to wonder how 62 synod fathers couldn’t even countenance it.) But the Pope ordered that it be published anyway.
BARRY DUKE, EDITOR
Just days after mouthing idiotic remarks about gays, Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, has been demoted.
Burke is moving from the Church’s chief guardian of canon law to a minor post as patron to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
Clearly peeved over the the direction a worldwide meeting of Church leaders is taking, Burke said yesterday that – with the apparent blessing of Pope Francis – the RCC is being “weakened”.
An interim report of the discussions released on Monday, called the Relatio, produced a widespread backlash among conservative bishops who said it suggested a radical change to the Church’s teaching on questions like divorce and homosexuality, and Burke has been among the most publicly critical of the bishops picked by Pope Francis to lead the discussion.
The Church’s doors are wide open, to receive “not only the just”, “but the needy” too. Francis disproved assumptions about a “disputatious Church where one part is against the other”, guaranteeing its unity. He reiterated that no one ever called into question the indissolubility of marriage and marriage’s openness to life
Speaking after the vote on the content of the Synod’s final document, the relatio synodi (three key paragraphs in the draft document did not win the two thirds majority vote), Francis addressed the assembled Fathers saying: “Dear brothers and sisters, now we still have one year to mature, with true spiritual discernment, the proposed ideas and to find concrete solutions to so many difficulties and innumerable challenges that families must confront; to give answers to the many discouragements that surround and suffocate families.” In his speech, which received a five-minute standing ovation , Francis underlined that the Church’s “doors are wide open to receive the needy”, “not only the just”. He disproved assumptions about a “disputatious Church where one part is against the other”, and presented himself as the “guarantor” of its unity. He reiterated that no one ever called into question the indissolubility of marriage and marriage’s openness to life.
The relatio synodi, Francis emphasised, is “the faithful and clear summary of everything that has been said and discussed in this hall and in the small groups. It is presented to the Episcopal Conferences as ‘lineamenta’”, as a guiding text that is, for the Ordinary Synod in October 2015.
“I can happily say that – with a spirit of collegiality and of synodality – we have truly lived the experience of ‘Synod’, a path of solidarity, a ‘journey together’, the Pope said after thanking everyone present. “And it has been ‘a journey’ – and like every journey there were moments of running fast, as if wanting to conquer time and reach the goal as soon as possible; other moments of fatigue, as if wanting to say ‘enough’; other moments of enthusiasm and ardour. There were moments of profound consolation listening to the testimony of true pastors, who wisely carry in their hearts the joys and the tears of their faithful people.”
THE HISTORY OF mother-and-baby homes in Ireland is to be investigated in a French documentary.
So far, only one priest has agreed to be interviewed for the programme, despite numerous requests made of religious figures.
The documentary, which is being made by France 2, came to light after a letter from Terry Prone to one of its makers, Saskia Weber, went public.
Prone’s letter was sent to Weber in response to a request for an interview with Sr Marie Ryan of the Bon Secours sisters, for whom Prone is a public relations representative.
Speaking to TheJournal.ie, Weber said that this was not the only negative response that she had received while trying to arrange interviews for the documentary.
Weber said the documentary is about the mother-and-baby homes, and will focus on different individuals, such as Derek Leinster of the Bethany Home, and also a person who was born in the Tuam home, and a mother who was in Bessborough in Cork.
With yesterday's official resignation of Archbishop Emeritus Paul Cremona, the way is now open and the competition is on for a successor to be chosen. The names of a number of frontrunners have been posited lately, but it seems that Gozo Bishop Mario Grech is in pole position.
And, given the turn of events in the Maltese Church over the last few days, an anecdote from the Extraordinary Synod on the Family in Rome that reached this newsroom some days ago from people very close to Mgr Grech has become all the more pertinent.
Pope Francis, it seems, was extremely pleased with the Gozo Bishop's address to the Synod on 8 October. So much so that the next morning, over breakfast at Casa Marta, Pope Francis tapped Mgr Grech on the shoulder and complimented him on his speech. That, people close to Mgr Grech informed this newsroom, was followed by another friendly pat on the back during the next coffee break.
BY PHILIP PULLELLA
VATICAN CITY Sat Oct 18, 2014
(Reuters) - Roman Catholic bishops on Saturday reversed a historic acceptance of gays, dropping parts of a controversial document that had talked more positively of homosexuals than ever before in Church history.
The document, issued at the end of a two-week assembly, or synod, of some 200 Roman Catholic bishops from around the world, pointed to deep divisions within the Church on issues such as reaching out to homosexuals and Catholics who have divorced and re-married in civil services.
After an initial draft was released on Monday, conservative bishops vowed to change the language on gays, cohabitation and re-marriage, saying it had created confusion among the faithful and threatened to undermine the traditional family.
Gay rights groups expressed deep disappointment with the final version, while the conservative Catholic blog Rorate Caeli hailed it as "a considerable setback for the revolutionaries".
October 18, 2014
At the conclusion of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, the Vatican released the final version of the text summarizing the discussions over the past two weeks. (At present, the text is available only in Italian.) The synod fathers voted on each of the document's sixty-two paragraphs. Three sections on controversial issues did not receive the necessary two-thirds majority to pass: two paragraphs on Communion for the divorced and remarried and one on gay people. None was particularly revolutionary. The sections on divorced and remarried Catholics simply reported that some synod fathers favored finding a way to readmit such Catholics to Communion, and others wanted to maintain current practice. Likewise, the paragraph about gay people was rather tame. It referred to a 2003 document from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, which hold that there are "absolutely not grounds" for calling same-sex unions "similar or even remotely analagous" to traditional marriage, and reemphasized the obvious truth that gay people should be treated with respect.
This was the second Vatican press conference of the day, and it was delayed by a man who hasn't said much during the synod proceedings: Pope Francis. At the conclusion of the final session, he delivered a speech urging the church to find a path between rigorism and laxism (a theme Cardinal Walter Kasper has often touched on). He warned against a "hostile ridigity" that would "lock us into the letter of the law," and he complained about the "false mercy" of "progressives" who would rather bandage wounds than heal them. On the subject of the church's mission to care for its people, Francis quoted retired Pope Benedict XVI at some length. As for the well-reported disagreements between the synod fathers, the pope said he would have been" very concerned and saddened if everyone was in agreement, or if they remained silent in a false peace." Instead, Francis continued, "I saw and heard--with joy and gratitude--speech after speech full of faith, doctrinal and pastoral zeal, wisdom, frankness, and courage." When Francis finished speaking, the synod fathers gave him a five-minute standing ovation.
We know so many details about the relatio because of Pope Francis's rather stunning decision to publish the vote totals for every paragraph--and to include those sections that did not win a two-thirds majority. The relatio remains a working document. It will be sent to the world's bishops conferences for further reflection and study in advance of next October's synod on the family.
Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: October 18, 2014
Lawyers, church officials agreed to a “victims first” approach.
The historic settlement between the Twin Cities archdiocese and Minnesota’s top clergy abuse attorney was set in motion on a sunny afternoon in July. That’s when the phone rang in attorney Jeff Anderson’s office.
“I said, ‘You don’t know me, but I’ve been retained by the archdiocese to talk to you,’ ” recalled Minneapolis attorney Charles Rogers. “Jeff said that in 30 years, he’d had no meaningful experience with the archdiocese outside the courtroom. I said, ‘I’d like to try to change that.’ ”
That conversation pried loose the rigid antagonism between the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the attorney who has been representing clergy abuse victims for decades. Three months and dozens of meetings later — some including the vicar general — a global settlement was reached that few could have predicted.
“I would have given it a slim to no chance [of settlement],” said Anderson, referring to the lawsuit behind the deal. “Everything the archdiocese was doing was the same old way. Minimalization and denial. As soon as they got some new players and some new views, it started to get momentum.”
That momentum, for the church, was propelled by the daunting economic realities of continual litigation, the eroding trust of parishioners and clergy, and a new strategic priority of “victims first,’’ archdiocese officials said.
GARLAND – A Garland youth pastor was arrested Friday for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old, possession of child porn, and online solicitation of a minor, Sachse police say.
Derek Hutter, 37, is a youth minister at South Garland Baptist Church and the alleged victim is a Sachse resident.
The girl's parents first alerted police to the situation on Oct. 3 after they discovered an email from Hutter to their daughter asking her to perform and photograph herself performing sexually-explicit acts.
The victim was interviewed at the Dallas County Children's Advocacy Center on Thursday and told a counselor that in January, when she was 13, she began a sexual relationship with Hutter that continued through 20 encounters through September, according to the arrest affidavit.
Victims of rape and sexual assault, who are examined and treated after the attack, are to be given the option for the first time of preserving valuable forensic samples for a year.
It means if they feel too traumatised to make a formal complaint to the gardai at the time of the attack, but later change their mind, vital evidence is available to the investigation.
The service is due to be provided by the country's Sexual Assault Treatment Units from the beginning of next year and will give the victims of attack the benefit of time if they want to make a formal complaint later.
The option is contained in new national guidelines on the referral and clinical examination of women and men who seek help at the units after an attack. It will mean that units will have to upgrade their facilities and this is expected at the beginning of next year.
Winona Daily News
It was refreshing to see the Diocese of Winona and the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul settle with attorney Jeff Anderson in his latest case involving the coverup of sexual abuse by Catholic priest, Thomas Adamson.
While the financial details of the settlement have not been made public, we can only hope that neither the diocese or archdiocese will be forced into bankruptcy to meet those financial obligations.
I am still concerned, however.
A central theme of Winona Bishop John Quinn’s response during the settlement announcement seemed to be the following:
“We are ashamed of the horrific crimes that Thomas Adamson has perpetrated against children in our Diocese and in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis,” Quinn said in a prepared statement.”
Quinn, it seems, still does not understand what the lawsuit was about in the first place. This lawsuit was not about what Adamson did. It was about what the two dioceses did — or rather what they didn’t do. The lawsuits charged that the two dioceses, not Adamson, were “public nuisances” because of their responses to then Adamson’s behavior.
As horrific as Adamson’s crimes may have been, the fact remains that he was not reported to authorities by church officials. He was hidden from authorities and from parishioners for decades. Perhaps, even worse, the truths of the realities of his victims were denied by church officials. Attitudes that “little boys heal” prevailed within church leadership in justifying the illegal cover-up of these “horrific crimes.” And that attitude wrecked the very lives of Adamson’s victims.
Eleven men who trained for the priesthood at a Yorkshire seminary have recently settled their claims of sexual abuse with the Catholic order that ran it. In the latest in our series on boarding-school abuse, Catherine Deveney hears of their decades-long struggle for justice and the damage done
The Observer, Saturday 18 October 2014
The face looming towards the rent boy in the London station was familiar. A face from his past: Father John Pinkman. No punter would have guessed that the rent boy had once wanted to be a priest, too. He had spent several years at Mirfield Junior Seminary in Yorkshire which was run by the Verona Fathers, an Italian missionary order. Pinkman had abused him there, was part of the degradation that led to this place, this life. The priest disappeared into the crowd, then reappeared, highlighted by light glinting off his spectacles. The rent boy caught his eye. Pinkman looked hesitant, embarrassed, then boarded a train without speaking. The last, silent goodbye.
The “boy”, who only spent a short time in prostitution, is now in his 60s. He has never had a relationship that’s lasted longer than a few months. Never achieved in life. Never felt good about himself. “I fail because I deserve to fail,” he says. His confusion now is not that different from his 17-year-old self: a boy who had sex with men, then vomited with disgust. “Guilt and fear become part of you, something you can’t shake off. I can’t tell you what a mess I was. I was terrified of growing up, terrified of men. I was all over the place. I was like an empty shell, not knowing what direction to go in.”
He wasn’t the only one to claim abuse at Mirfield. He has never taken a case against the Verona Fathers, but in the past few months, 11 British men have settled out of court with the Order, also known as the Comboni Missionaries. At least two more cases are pending and many corroborating statements have been given to lawyers by victims who want to expose what happened, but cannot face the stress of court proceedings. Confirming the 11 settlements, the Order’s spokeswoman, a solicitor with the Catholic Church Insurance Association, stressed, “the claims were made purely on a commercial basis with no admission of liability.”
The group of 11 is powerful: unified, disciplined and determined to speak the truth. “It would be nice to change the system for the good,” says one. The weight of testimony given to the Observer – witness statements, psychologists’ reports, timelines, contemporaneous diary extracts, spoken accounts – is stark and overwhelming. The witnesses were once would-be priests – the church’s own. Little wonder that one Verona Father told an ex-pupil: “If the abuse that happened at Mirfield is ever revealed, it will destroy the Verona Fathers in the United Kingdom.”
Bedfordshire on Sunday
A PRIEST at a former Catholic Boys’ home was first reported for abusing the children in 1964.
Police are currently investigating many claims of sexual and physical abuse at the St Francis Home for Boys, Shefford, which closed in 1973, and announced this week that a third suspect has been identified.
One of the reasons the home was closed is that inspectors at the time were concerned about the way it was being run.
Tony Walsh, now 66, was at the home from 1955-1963. Tony says he was beaten and sexually abused on a weekly, sometimes daily basis. He suffers from a perforated eardrum and a spinal injury as a consequence. But the physical scars are not the worst. Tony said: “Father Ryan beat me up every week. He would hit me until blood was coming from my head, my ears, my nose, mouth. He would also call me into his room and, for the want of a better term, play with me.
October 18, 2014
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.
The Synod of Bishops talked, dressed-up, acted and voted according to the Hollywood movie script of their boss Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Team that paid for their trip to Rome. It isn’t surprising that ‘nothing changed’ in doctrines (as predicted) in the Vatican Roman Catholic Church after the two weeks (Roman holiday) Synod of Bishops oligarchy which was more all talk and a few minutes 5-minutes fame for some lay elite handpicked by the Opus Dei Beast PR Deceit’s Team. The gays, divorcees, common-law couples are still in their same spot - which is outside - the ancient Vatican Roman Catholic Church – where they are not allowed to partake in the Eucharist since they are considered as unforgiveable “sinners”. Our rebuttal to Cardinal Burke is the same message to all the hypocrite misogynists gays bishops in their hypocritical black robes with red or pink sash and kipas depending on their Opus Dei Beast appointed position.
Lizzy Davies in Rome
The Observer, Saturday 18 October 2014
Pope Francis appeared on Saturday night to have lost out to powerful conservatives in the Roman Catholic church after bishops scrapped language that had been hailed as a historic warming of attitudes towards gay people.
In the final report of an extraordinary synod on the family which has exposed deep divides in the church hierarchy, there is no mention – as there had been in a draft version – of the “gifts and qualities” gay people can offer. Nor is there any recognition of the “precious support” same-sex partners can give each other.
A paragraph entitled “pastoral attention to people of homosexual orientation” – itself a distinctly cooler tone than “welcoming homosexual persons” – refers to church teaching, saying there can be “not even a remote” comparison between gay unions and heterosexual marriage.
“Nevertheless,” it adds, “men and women of homosexual tendencies must be welcomed with respect and sensitivity.” They should not suffer from discrimination, it adds. But the shift in tone is clear. And, in a potentially stark sign of the discomfort provoked among many bishop, even this watered-down passage failed to pass the two-thirds majority needed for it to be approved.
National Catholic Reporter
Joshua J. McElwee | Oct. 18, 2014
Wrapping up his global meeting of Catholic bishops on family issues -- which has seen both decisive shifts in tone from the Vatican and heated debates over the church's direction -- Pope Francis called on bishops to find a middle path between doctrine and reality.
Emphatically calling on the prelates to "feed the flock" and to search for lost sheep, the pontiff also directed them to avoid the temptation to become either a "hostile rigorist" concerned only with enforcing church doctrine or a "destructive do-gooder" that advocates "false mercy" instead of truth telling.
Saying the some 190 prelates at the meeting faced ''moments of desolation, tension and temptations," the pope also warned against the temptation to "transform bread into stone and throw it against the sinners, the weak, and the sick -- to turn [the bread] into 'unbearable burdens.'"
Francis was speaking Saturday evening at the closing session of the synod of bishops, one of two global meetings of prelates on family issues he has called for 2014 and 2015.
Hudson County TV
October 18, 2014 by Jillian Risberge
Keith Rennar Brennan suffered years of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of men he trusted at St. Paul’s church in Jersey City. He made a documentary, “Of God and Gucci” about the abuse.
“First the musical director of my church in Jersey City, Keith Pecklers and then subsequently by the priest that I turned to for help, Father Thomas Stanford,” Brennan says.
When it comes to sexual abuse, he says it’s never who you think it’s going to be.
“It’s not the boogieman, it’s often someone quite familiar, usually within the community – could even be a pillar of the community,” Brennan says.
For the statute of limitations to be only two years in New Jersey, one of the shortest in our country, makes no sense to Brennan says.
“It takes a man 25 to 30 years to come forward, to even be able to speak about such abuse,” he says.
The Sunday Times (UK)
Justine McCarthy Published: 19 October 2014
JOHN FLEMING, the bishop of Killala, was unaware that one of his priests was suing an ex-boyfriend over a house they shared until he heard the court case reported on the news last Thursday evening.
Fr Gabriel Rosbotham, a curate in Ballina, is on leave “to reflect on his ministry” following a meeting with Fleming this weekend.
A letter on the matter from the bishop is being read by priests at all masses in Killala diocese this morning. Fleming will read it himself at mass in Kilmoremoy church, where Rosbotham is the curate.
Pope Francis must know well by now that escalating Vatican scandals involving child sex abuse and rampant financial corruption present an unprecedented crisis. These scandals are rapidly reducing papal moral authority and Vatican wealth, while papal rigidity on sexual morality is straining belief in papal infallibility, all together diminishing papal power and influence.
These accelerating challenges have already led to the sudden and first papal resignation in 600 years and to the unexpected and “engineered” installation of an elderly replacement with limited international experience. Will a rapidly aging and potentially unsuccessful Francis soon be the second pope to resign in 600 years?
Indeed, the Archbishop of Malta, a decade younger than Francis, has just unexpectedly resigned early for “health reasons”, reportedly related to “earlier exhaustion” from his unsuccessful “culture war” against divorce in Malta. This is also especially timely and ironic as German bishops relentlessly pushed this week at the Synod to welcome divorced and remarried Catholics and their families back to the German Catholic Church. Of course, German bishops also seek to regain the related and very generous automatic per capita government tax subsidies for German bishops that is not paid with respect to divorced Catholics who elect to be exiles from the German Catholic Church.
Pope Francis also seemed focused at the Synod on stressing topics that attracted desired US media coverage likely to draw out more fundamentalist right wing voters, like “almost welcoming” gay Catholics, while avoiding topics, like removing the contraception ban and affirming women’s equality, that may draw out opposing US voters, in critical US Senate elections in barely two weeks. Francis’ US billionaire allies must be pleased.
While Pope Francis may have a broad smile, a warm heart and a Jesuit’s shrewdness, by his own admission, he is a “son of the Church” and may be permanently handicapped by his own history in making the changes needed. And he is running out of time. As reported, he has exhibited earlier in Argentina, at least as early as his failed approach to saving two of his former Jesuit teachers from torture by military thugs, an overconfidence in his ex-bouncer propensity to “bull” ahead, beneath his disarming smiles, with imprudent solutions to tough problems.
Pope Francis has failed so far to even control at the Synod his own Cardinals, like Burke and Pell. Moreover, over 15 % (32 of the 190) of the prelates who attended the Synod even voted against or failed to vote on the “soft-style” and “lyrical” Final Message of the leaders of the Synod. Who knows whether, or when, the final report will by published given the hundreds of proposed amendments and divergent viewpoints of many bishops, as the papal press officer, Fr. Lombardi, keeps revising his “expectations’.
October 18, 2014 11:11 am | Author: berger
In yet another possible sign that Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s star is waning within the Catholic hierarchy, he’s criticized in the pages of his hometown’s archdiocesan newspaper this week. Patrick Kleaver of the Old Cathedral denounces the head of the New York archdiocese for his unwillingness to “cooperate” with Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky in securing sainthood for Archbishop Fulton Sheen. Meanwhile, the St. Louis Review also notes that, in what may be the “first,” Archbishop Robert Carlson has “no public events scheduled this week.”
By Jean-Louis De La Vaissiere
Vatican City (AFP) - Roman Catholic bishops on Saturday failed to reach consensus on opening the Church's doors to remarried divorcees and gays after a special synod on the family, in a blow to Pope Francis.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said participants had approved a "re-balanced" final report that took into account the concerns of the most conservative members.
In a final vote on Saturday after two weeks of heated debate, three paragraphs touching on the hot-button issues of a more welcome stance towards gays and divorcees did not receive the two-thirds majority needed.
The vote closed a synod of bishops from around the world which has seen conservatives clash publicly with liberals over a drive spearheaded by the pope to soften the Church's approach to sinners.
By Inés San Martín
Vatican correspondent October 18, 2014
ROME — When the Synod of Bishops on the family ends Sunday after an intense two-week debate, attention will likely be focused on how the summit’s big battles are resolved — how much of an opening to same-sex unions remains, and what line is adopted on allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.
As the curtain comes down, however, it’s worth remembering that this was a synod on the family, and some participants are worried that several important issues facing family life have been almost afterthoughts: the role of the elderly, for instance, as well as single parenthood, education, sexual abuse, and migration.
In the cornerstone document of the summit, called the Instrumentum Laboris, which was written based on responses to a questionnaire sent out last year by Pope Francis to bishops’ conferences around the world, these issues were part of the mix.
None of them, however, is mentioned in a midterm document released Monday by a drafting committee within the synod. Though that text had no definitive status, it was designed to represent what was said by the prelates during the first week of discussions.
By John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor October 18, 2014
ROME – A dramatic Vatican summit of bishops ended Saturday night by significantly watering down an opening to both gays and divorced and remarried Catholics contained in an interim report released Monday.
The paragraphs on those two points — far tamer than the welcoming language contained in an interim report released Monday — were the only items that failed to receive a two-thirds majority of the Synod of Bishops.
Although they were favored by most of the bishops, they drew significant “no” votes, despite the more cautious language. The paragraph on gays and lesbians had a vote of 118-62, and that on the divorced and remarried drew 104 in favor and 74 opposed.
A Vatican spokesman said that means they did not reflect “a strong consensus of the entire synod.”
The New York Times
By DAVIDE CASATI
OCT. 18, 2014
On a clear, warm day, a motorcycle zoomed through a quiet, narrow passageway in the old section of Salerno on Italy’s southwestern coast. The rider slowed in front of an elegant house with a baroque stone gate just long enough to shout “Thief! Thief!” before racing off.
The object of derision, Msgr. Nunzio Scarano, was behind the thick walls of his house and did not hear the rider. But the insult would not have surprised him. He has heard quite a few. He’s been called a “consummate delinquent” and a “pleasure-loving prelate.” Even Pope Francis cracked a joke about him, saying that “for sure he did not enter prison because he acted like Blessed Imelda,” before calling events in which the monsignor was involved “a scandal that hurts me.”
Before his arrest in June 2013, the monsignor was a top accountant at the Vatican office that, at that time, managed the Holy See’s real estate and investments. He is currently on trial, accused of money laundering — most notably, of trying to smuggle $26 million from Switzerland to Italy in a private plane, with the help of an Italian secret service agent.
An Italian judge calculated Monsignor Scarano’s wealth at more than $8.2 million, though the Vatican paid the priest just $41,000 a year. Italian authorities seized the 17-room, $1.7 million house in Salerno, where he is now under house arrest, along with many bank accounts; two of them, at the Vatican Bank, were seized by Vatican authorities.
[Priest accused of abuse in a foreign rectory, the lawyer wrote to the pope: risarcitela]
Avezzano. Ha scritto a papa Francesco per chiedere il risarcimento da parte della Chiesa nei confronti di una ragazza straniera vittima di molestie da parte dell’ex parroco di Trasacco, don Duilio Testa. Il legale Cesidio Di Salvatore ha inviato la lettera “in nome e per conto dell’assistita per mere ragioni umanitarie e cristiane, affinché sappia dell’esistenza di certe cose, gestite in maniera tutt’altro che cristiana”.
Secondo l’avvocato, nell’aprile del 2010 la ragazza nordafricana madre di una bimba, mentre era ospite nella parrocchia della Basilica do San Cesidio a Trasacco, ha subito atti di violenza sessuale aggravati da parte del parroco a seguito dei quali è stato aperto procedimento penale dalla Procura della Repubblica presso il Tribunale di Avezzano, definito con il patteggiamento da parte del sacerdote con oltre un anno di reclusione.
[They called him the Mercedes priest. He always had a cigar in his mouth, drove cars and ate in upscale restaurants and was frequently a political "weight", and a strong man of Communion and Liberation. Father Mauro Inzoli has already been punished by the pope for a bad history of child abuse and now Don Mercedes is being investigated by secular authorities.]
CREMA - Lo chiamavano «il prete in Mercedes». Sigaro sempre in bocca, auto e ristoranti di lusso, frequentazioni politiche ‘di peso’, uomo forte di Comunione e Liberazione, don Mauro Inzoli. Già punito dal Papa per una brutta storia di abusi su minori, ora anche la procura indaga su «don Mercedes».
Il procuratore, Roberto di Martino, ha aperto un fascicolo e per sapere che cosa abbia accertato l’autorità ecclesiastica, ha chiamato in causa la Santa Sede. Lo ha fatto con una richiesta di rogatoria al Vaticano attraverso il ministero della Giustizia.
L’indagine su don Inzoli, 64 anni, per 15 presidente della Fondazione banco alimentare, onlus assistenziale fondata da don Giussani, qualcuno dice anche confessore di Roberto Formigoni, nasce dall’esposto presentato il 30 giugno scorso in procura da Franco Bordo, deputato di Sel. Un documento di ventotto righe, più tre allegati, con la richiesta finale di accertare se gli elementi emersi «siano meritevoli di approfondimenti investigativi e, qualora dall’esito degli stessi, dovessero emergere ipotesi di reato, che sia esercitata l’azione penale nei confronti di chiunque li abbia commessi o, a qualsiasi titolo, abbia concorso alla loro commissione».
Rex Allen Murphy ist Jugendpastor der "Polly Ann Church of God" in Kentucky. Er behauptet, Homosexualität heilen zu können. Doch nun wird er verdächtigt, selbst einen Burschen vergewaltigt zu haben. Anschließend soll er ihm gedroht haben, zu verhexen.
Ein 16-Jähriger behauptet, von dem Geistlichen sexuell missbraucht worden zu sein. Nach Angaben von Colin Hatfield, dem Polizeichef von Eubank, seien seine Schilderungen "sehr bildlich und pointiert" bezeichnet. Daraufhin hat die Polizei Murphy verhaftet.
[Corruption, money laundering and hustlers in the Vatican, sexual assault of minors by bishops and priests, gay sex orgies in the seminary.
Much Has been said and some stories are just rumors. But behind all this lies a kernel of truth. The Catholic Church more often than not lacks massive credibility. These are not just isolated incidents but systematic failure.]
Korruption, Geldwäsche und Stricher im Vatikan, sexuelle Übergriffe von Bischöfen und Priestern auf Minderjährige, schwule Sexorgien im Priesterseminar. Und das in der katholischen Kirche?
Vieles wird erzählt und manches sind auch nur Gerüchte. Doch hinter all dem steckt ein wahrer Kern: Die katholische Kirche hat gegenwärtig massive Glaubwürdigkeitsprobleme, weil bei ihrem „Bodenpersonal" immer häufiger Anspruch und Wirklichkeit auseinanderfallen.
Doch mittlerweile handelt es sich dabei nicht mehr nur um Einzelfälle, sondern um systematisches Versagen. Ein gravierendes Problem sind all die, die sich von der katholischen Kirche mit ihren Traditionen und Ritualen angezogen fühlen - ohne etwas mit Jesus Christus am Hut haben zu wollen.
By Nick Squires, Rome 18 Oct 2014
Pope Francis is about to demote an arch-conservative cardinal who has been bitterly opposed to his reformist agenda and his call for greater acceptance of gays and divorcees in the Catholic Church.
The sidelining of American cardinal Raymond Burke comes against a backdrop of acute differences of opinion among nearly 200 bishops and cardinals who for the last two weeks have been discussing issues relating to the family at a synod, or assembly, at the Vatican.
The move suggests that the Pope, who has upset many within the Catholic Church with his call for a more flexible and "merciful" approach towards gay people and divorcees, is determined to purge the Vatican of some of his more trenchant critics.
Cardinal Burke, who has strongly criticised Pope Francis's more open attitude towards homosexuals, is currently head of the Vatican's highest court of canon law.
But he said he is preparing to be given a new, much lower profile role as the patron of the Sovereign Military Order of the Knights of Malta, a Catholic charity based in Rome that traces its origins back to the Crusades.
KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star
By MARY SANCHEZ
The Kansas City Star
The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph showed itself as a forgiving, diligent shepherd in the civil trial just concluded.
But the sheltering love was for priests’ welfare first. Less attention was apparent for parishioners’ concerns, and certainly not for vulnerable children.
Given the testimony of denial by multiple priests, it’s questionable how far deeply ingrained attitudes have really shifted. In recent years, changes came about when the diocese was forced through repeated pleas by the faithful, multimillion-dollar settlements and court orders.
The trial’s conclusion was halted by a nearly $10 million settlement that lumped together multiple cases. But the jury trial was intended to weigh the sexual abuse accusations of a former altar boy, now a 44-year-old man.
Nearly two weeks of proceedings put on public display how the diocese for five decades — through four bishops — rationalized its decisions and struggles with pedophile priests.
The diocese put forth a shameful record in its own defense.
Letters and verbal complaints of specific troubling incidents, dating back to the mid-1970s, were initially dismissed. Sexually inappropriate advances were seen as raucous and drunken behavior, something that a priest could be chided for and then ushered back to the rectory. There seemed to be a belief, a misplaced hope, that treating a priest for alcoholism could also cure pedophilia, as if the criminal behavior was only contingent upon the drinking. For some bishops, there appeared to be confusion about the difference between homosexuality and the sexual abuse of children.
The church can choose to see the first as sinful. But to attack an innocent child is a crime. Such lack of common sense, that inability to separate church doctrine from criminal acts, is baffling.