A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse.
Click on the headline to read the full story.
April 28, 2015
National Catholic Reporter
Mandy Erickson | Apr. 28, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO Labor leaders and union members joined teachers, parents and students from archdiocesan high schools here Monday to rally against Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone's proposal to change aspects of their employment.
Gathering in front of the archdiocesan offices at 1 Peter Yorke Way, a crowd of more than 200 protested the archbishop's plan to reclassify the teachers as "ministers," thereby providing them with fewer legal protections, and to insert a morality clause into their handbook.
The morality clause condemns same-sex marriage, contraception and use of reproductive technology, among other things, and expects employees to accept "these truths" outside the workplace.
"The church has told us that it honors all civil rights and labor rights," said Art Pulaski, chief officer of the California Labor Federation, speaking before the crowd gathered in the blocked-off street. "You cannot profess social justice if within your own walls you refuse to practice it. We call on the archbishop to adhere to the principles of social justice."
By Anne-Gerard Flynn | email@example.com
on April 28, 2015
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has reinstated the conviction on child endangerment charges of a priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Monsignor William Lynn, the first U.S. church official ever prosecuted over his handling of sex abuse complaints, had been freed of those charges by a 2013 appeals court ruling that overturned an earlier conviction. Lynn had served half of a three- to six- year sentence, and remained under house arrest in a Philadelphia rectory.
The Supreme Court, voting 4 to 1, on Monday upheld the 2012 felony conviction for endangerment of an altar boy. The child had been abused in 1998 by a priest transferred to a parish by Lynn despite earlier complaints against the priest who is now serving prison time. Lynn's lawyers argued that Lynn, who was secretary for the clergy in the diocese under two cardinals, including Anthony Bevilacqua from 1992 to 2004, was not responsible for the boy's welfare under existing state law that they said applied to parents and caregivers. ...
The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests posted a response, from David Clohessy of St. Louis, to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision in the Lynn case.
"We are grateful the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the reversal of Monsignor Lynn's conviction," said Clohessy, director of SNAP.
"Punishing wrong doers deters wrong doing, especially in scandal ridden institutions. Like the catholic hierarchy. For decades complicit church officials have exploited legal technicalities to evade justice. It is a victory for parents, parishioners, church goers, wounded victims and innocent kids each time corrupt church staffers are disciplined."
Lynn's lawyers have 14 days to appeal.
[Supreme Court opinion - via BishopAccountability.org]
[Dissenting opinion - via BishopAccountability.org]
BY MATTHEW GAMBINO
Free from prison and living under house arrest since a court ruling last December, Msgr. William Lynn’s freedom may be in jeopardy again.
The case of the former secretary for clergy of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the highest-ranking church official in the archdiocese convicted of a crime connected to the clergy sexual abuse crisis, took a dramatic new turn April 27 when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned a lower court’s ruling that had released him on bail.
It remains unclear whether the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office will press to revoke Msgr. Lynn’s bail and return him to a Northeast Pennsylvania prison, pending appeals to yesterday’s ruling.
Msgr. Lynn, 64, had been convicted of endangering the welfare of a child in his landmark 2012 trial. In his position, he had supervised clergy on behalf of Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua including former priest Edward Avery, who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in 1999 and is serving a five-year prison sentence.
After Msgr. Lynn served 18 months of his three- to six-year sentence at Waymart State Prison, his conviction was overturned by the state Superior Court in December 2013. He subsequently took up residence with electronic monitoring at St. William’s rectory in Northeast Philadelphia.
Msgr. Lynn’s defense contended he should not be convicted retroactively according to a 2007 amendment to a 1995 child endangerment law when he was a supervisor until 2004.
Dan Horn, firstname.lastname@example.org
A former Cincinnati priest is part of a legal settlement in Minnesota that will open "incident files" about child abuse accusations involving Catholic clergy.
The Rev. Gilbert Allen Tarlton, who worked in Cincinnati in the late 1960s and early 1970s, was sued in 2013 by a man who said the priest abused him when he was a freshman at a Minnesota preparatory school in 1977. The accuser's attorney, Jeff Anderson, said Tuesday that terms of the settlement of a civil lawsuit require the release of Tarlton's files, as well as the files of 18 other priests.
Tarlton, a priest with the Order of St. Benedict, also must release sworn testimony he gave about the case in 2013.
Officials at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati said Tarlton's file shows no accusations of abuse during his time in Cincinnati. The archdiocese was ordered to turn over records as part of the accuser's lawsuit in Minnesota, but the archdiocese was not a named defendant and is not part of the settlement.
"We had no accusations here," said archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco.
Anderson said the priest files that will be released involve other members of the Order of St. Benedict and include personnel files and "incident files," which may detail allegations of abuse and how they were handled by superiors. The accuser in Minnesota has not been named and was identified only as "Doe 2" on his lawsuit.
by Ioanna Zikakou - Apr 28, 2015
Former Greek Orthodox priest Adam Metropoulos was convicted of four counts of child sexual abuse in Bangor, Maine on Tuesday, March 17. On Monday, April 27, Metropoulos was sentenced to 12 years in prison with all but six and a half years suspended for his involvement in the sex crimes.
Superior Court Justice Ann Murray also sentenced him to 3 years of probation after he gets out of prison, adding that he would have to register with the Main Sex Offender Registry for the rest of his life. “The victim impact in this case was great,” said Murray.
At Metropoulos’ trial a 23-year-old former altar boy at St. George Greek Orthodox Church testified that he had been sexually abused by the former priest when he would sleep over at the man’s house. Furthermore, police found pornographic images in the offender’s computer, depicting a family member that he would secretly film in the nude, as well as other photographs of different people, some of them children.
Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: April 28, 2015
St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville will make public its files on 19 priests with credible charges of sex abuse, as part of a settlement reached with a man who sued the abbey for abuse he suffered as a teenager.
The documents are expected to reveal how the abbey addressed reports of sex abuse perpetrated by its monks over the past decades. The provision is similar to one in the first lawsuit settled against Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, requiring that priest personnel vaults be opened.
The lawsuit was filed by a man who was abused by the Rev. Allen Tarlton in 1977, when he was a student at St. John’s Preparatory School and Tarlton was his English teacher. It charged that the abbey was aware of previous sexual improprieties by Tarleton, yet allowed him to continue to teach at the school. The abbey did not notify parents or police.
Tarlton, who had a significant history of psychiatric treatment, went on to abuse again, the lawsuit charged. Yet he was not put on restrictions on campus until 2002.
The settlement comes a week before the case was scheduled for trial in Stearns County.
by Gema Bate
A man from Cambridgeshire has been arrested on suspicion of indecent assault and grievous bodily harm on pupils at a boy's school in Hartlebury.
The offences were allegedly carried out when the man worked at St Gilbert's Catholic School, in Hartlebury, during the 1960s and 1970s.
The man, who can not be identified for legal reasons, has been bailed until June while investigations by West Mercia Police continue.
The police force launched Operation Quail in September last year investigating alleged abuse at St Gilbert's School dating back to the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
St Gilbert's, which was a school for boys, no longer exists and is now residential housing.
The Grey Area of Rape Culture in the Black and White World of Jewish Orthodoxy
by Esther Tova Stanley*
“Yeah, but he’s a man.”
That was the actual reason I was given as to why a rabbi’s sexual predatory behavior was OK. Well not , “OK,” but y’know, understandable.
In the wake of sexual assault allegations brought against Elimelech Meisels, a “rabbi” who controlled and operated numerous seminaries for post high school girls, a very unseemly side of our Jewish orthodox culture is raring its ugly head, yet again. The side that excuses men for being unable to control their sexual urges and, on occasion, even has the audacity to blame the victim for it.
“Well, what was she thinking getting into the car with him?”
“She’s troubled; she misunderstood what really happened.”
“She’s a crazy, manipulative liar.”
Yes, these are actual responses I got when I asked community members why they continued to support this sexual predator/rabbi. Was I surprised? Unfortunately, I was not.
You see, there’s an odd relationship between male authority figures (“rabbis”) and female students that is considered “normal” within post high-school year abroad programs. It not only accepts, but actively encourages a relationship in which an adult male takes young female students under his wing in the name of “kiruv” (loosely translated as bringing someone closer to G-d.)
Bangor Daily News
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted April 26, 2015
PORTLAND, Maine — A federal judge has ordered a Freeport man being sued for slander over allegations of sexual abuse of boys at a Haitian orphanage to pay $8,000 toward the plaintiffs’ legal fees as punishment for defying a court order.
U.S. District Court Judge John Woodcock did not say when Paul Kendrick, 65, would have to pay the Portland attorneys representing Hearts with Haiti, a North Carolina-based nonprofit that raised money for orphanages run by former Catholic brother Michael Geilenfeld.
The judge found on Feb. 20, following a hearing the previous month, that Kendrick had violated a court order not to make public documents that had been gathered during the discovery process.
Lawyers for Hearts with Haiti sought more $28,000 in reimbursement. Kendrick’s attorneys, based in Bangor, said work on the motions seeking the sanction should have cost about $3,800.
Woodcock on Wednesday issued the order specifying how much Kendrick would be fined. Kendrick, who has maintained that Geilenfeld has sexually abused boys for decades, has said he would go to jail rather than pay the charity’s legal fees.
“I cannot in good conscience write a check to people who kept secret information that adversely affects the safety, protection and well-being of children,” Kendrick said in an email dated March 1. “I will not pay these lawyers one cent. If so ordered by the judge, I will sit in a jail cell.”
by William Doino Jr.
4 . 28 . 15
The Vatican’s recent announcement that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn, of the diocese of Kansas City–St. Joseph, has given relief and new hope to victims of sexual abuse in the Church.
Technically, the Pope didn’t directly “remove” Finn, as the media has widely reported; rather, the bishop formally offered his resignation in accordance with canon 401, paragraph 2, of the Code of Canon Law, which reads: “A diocesan bishop who has become less able to fulfill his office because of ill health or some other grave cause is earnestly requested to present his resignation from office.” But there is no mystery as to why Finn resigned, several years after resisting petitions for him to do so.
Finn is the only American bishop ever to be convicted of a criminal charge for failing to report suspected child abuse. His September 2012 conviction, on a misdemeanor charge, came about because Finn waited several months before telling police of his knowledge that one of his priests, Fr. Shawn Ratigan, had a computer with explicit images of young girls on it. Ratigan later pled guilty to five federal counts, and was sentenced to fifty years in prison. Bishop Finn was himself sentenced to two years probation, and the diocese was hit with an additional $1.1 million fine, when an arbitrator ruled Finn’s diocese had broken an earlier agreement.
Finn’s resignation comes after the completion of a Vatican investigation of him and his diocese, initiated by Pope Francis, last year. The Pope’s action has confounded both defenders of Bishop Finn, as well as skeptics of Francis’s promise to combat abuse in the Church.
A US state Supreme Court has reinstated the landmark child-endangerment conviction of the Philadelphia Catholic Archdiocese’s Monsignor William Lynn, who was the first high ranking US Church official ever prosecuted over his mishandling of priest child sex abuse complaints, see Supreme Court opinion . Lynn had been from 1992 to 2004 the top priest personnel aide to Philly Cardinals Justin Rigali and Anthony Bevilacqua. Both cardinals managed to avoid prosecution for their aide’s misdeeds done apparently on their behalf. Bevilacqua died soon after giving a two day video deposition (that is still being kept secret, it appears) in the Lynn criminal case, and Rigali left town in a hurry, by “retiring” after Lynn’s indictment. He may now be seen in good form with Pope Francis attending Vatican ceremonies along with his former pal, the infamous Boston Cardinal Bernard Law. The pope likely knew Bevilacqua from their Vatican committee work and appears to be personally acquainted with Rigali.
By my estimate, almost 25% of then active Philly priests had had sexual abuse complaints in their files reportedly secretly maintained by Lynn for his two cardinals. Portions of these files were reportedly kept from the Archdiocese’s child protection committee. Given the Archdiocese’s pervasive cover up mentality, who knows how many other complaints were not reported out of futility? In 2011, well regarded US Catholic Church historian, David J. O’Brien, reportedly told the NY Times that “The situation in Philadelphia is ‘Boston reborn.’ ” O’Brien was right then and appears still to be right. Why is Pope Francis honoring this disgraced Archdiocese? Have the US elections next year anything to do with the pope’s plans?
After Lynn was indicted, Archbishop Charles Chaput, Philly’s current hierarchical leader, reportedly “led the clerical cheerleaders” applauding Lynn at a large Philly private priests’ meeting. Rigali and/or Chaput then spent seemingly a small fortune on Lynn’s legal defense and also fully “lawyered up” their Archdiocese to fight abuse survivors’ claims, adding to their well connected Philly Republican focused law firm, Chaput’s former Colorado diocese’s law firm and the firm of the former Pennsylvania Democratic governor and Philly mayor and district attorney, who the NY Times had earlier reported as a suggested vice president for Hillary Clinton. Chaput has seemingly funded his “spare no bucks” lawyer onslaught by selling profitable Catholic senior citizens homes, closing Catholic churches and schools, selling Church property, etc., the usual US Catholic bishop’s drill for putting the protection of clerics as the highest priority.
See generally my remarks at (1) “A Cardinal, an Archbishop and a Funeral: A year in the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s Priest Child Abuse Scandal” here,
and (2) “… the Philadelphia Inquirer: A Time of Truth About Child Abuse”, here, Bilgrimage , and my other extensive reports easily available at the Bilgrimage website; as well the links at “Sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia” here,
Indeed, why is Pope Francis honoring with his first US visit a local church hierarchy with such a sordid history? The pope should instead apologize to Philly Catholics and also make Chaput apologize to Philly Catholics and tell him to release the Bevilacqua video deposition. And the pope should at a minimum publicly chastise Rigali instead of honoring him with Vatican invitations. Please see my relevant remarks, What Do We Now Know About The Real Goal Of Pope Francis?
Survivors of sex abuse at Kincora children's home in east Belfast have called for the building to be demolished.
Gary Hoy, who lived in Kincora, said the memories would always be there but he would like to see the building gone.
Survivor Clint Massey said demolishing the building would bring a kind of closure for victims like him.
Margaret McGuckian, of pressure group SAVIA, said they hoped to speak to the home's owners about the next step.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, California, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), SNAP Orthodox Director (925-708-6175, email@example.com)
An Orthodox priest from Maine, who was found guilty of child sexual abuse for the second time in March, was sentenced today to six and a half years in prison and 3 years probation. He will also be required to register as a sex offender for life.
[Bangor Daily News]
We are glad that Father Adam Metropoulos will spend time behind bars, although we are disappointed that it is not for a longer period of time. While incarcerated, he will be unable to hurt any more kids.
Now that the criminal process is complete, we urge the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA) to explain to the Faithful how a man previously convicted of child sexual abuse in Michigan was admitted to their seminary in Massachusetts and then ordained a priest. If not for this appalling lack of oversight, Metropoulos’ young victim would not have been hurt.
In addition, the Church should explain to their membership what procedures have been put in place to insure that this disgraceful situation never occurs again.
Finally, the GOA should use all of their resources to reach out to each and every parish and group where Metropoulos worked, begging anyone who experienced, witnessed or suspected the priest of child sexual abuse to contact the police.
We are in awe of the courage of the young man who testified against Metropoulos. We hope that now that he has found his voice and told his truth he can begin healing. We also hope that his bravery will encourage other Orthodox victims to speak up and report to law enforcement.
[The Diocese of Regensburg has yielded to public pressure: An external lawyer will investigate violence and abuse at the cathedral choir. An actual change of course?]
Das Bistum Regensburg hat dem öffentlichen Druck nachgegeben: Ein externer Rechtsanwalt soll Gewalt und Missbrauch bei den Domspatzen aufarbeiten. Ein tatsächlicher Kurswechsel?
Seht her, hier hat sich was geändert. Das scheint man sowohl mit dem Ort, der für die Pressekonferenz gewählt wurde, als auch mit der Besetzung des Podiums zeigen zu wollen. Während den Verantwortlichen der Diözese Regensburg allein der Begriff „Domspatzen“ schwer über die Lippen kam, wenn sie in der Vergangenheit zu ihren vorgeblich aufklärerischen Presseterminen zum Thema sexueller Missbrauch einluden, so ist es dieses Mal der Wolfgang-Saal des Domspatzen-Gymnasiums, in dem man sich den Medien stellt.
Stadt Willich. Der Anwalt des Anfang Februar wegen teilweise schweren sexuellen Missbrauchs von Kindern in 25 Fällen zu sechs Jahren Haft verurteilten Pfarrers Georg K. hält an der Revision gegen das Urteil fest. Das sagte Dr. Wilhelm Helms aus Hannover gestern auf Nachfrage dieser Zeitung. Die schriftliche Urteilsbegründung habe er am 7. April erhalten, von diesem Zeitpunkt an habe er einen Monat Zeit, die Revision zu konkretisieren. Nach wie vor gehe es nicht um die Schuldfrage, sondern um die Höhe des Strafmaßes. Er halte eine Haftstrafe von fünf Jahren für angemessen. Inzwischen habe er nach Rücksprache mit seinem Mandanten einen Strafverteidiger hinzugezogen, der sich auf Revisionen spezialisiert habe, so Helms.
El Nuevo Herald
POR MARYCLAIRE DALE ASSOCIATED PRESS
La Corte Suprema estatal ratificó el lunes la condena en primera instancia contra un sacerdote católico de alto rango por el cargo de poner en riesgo la vida de menores. El caso fue el primero en la historia en contra de una autoridad eclesiástica en Estados Unidos que enfrentó cargos por su manejo a las quejas sobre abuso sexual.
La Corte Suprema de Pennsylvania confirmó la condena en 2012 por delitos graves contra monseñor William Lynn por poner en riesgo a un monaguillo víctima de abuso sexual a manos de un sacerdote que había sido trasladado a su parroquia pese a las acusaciones previas.
Los abogados defensores han argumentado desde hace tiempo que Lynn, secretario del clero, no era responsable por el bienestar del niño según la ley estatal vigente en ese momento. Sin embargo, en una votación de 4-1, la Corte Suprema estatal no estuvo de acuerdo, por lo que el sacerdote de 64 años potencialmente encara un regreso a prisión.
KANSAS CITY (MO)
By DeAnn Smith, Digital Content Manager
By Brad Stephens, Anchor
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
He is a temporary caretaker, but he knows he has an important role to play in the coming weeks.
Joseph Naumann, who has been archbishop for Kansas City, KS for a decade, admits he was stunned when the phone call came from the Vatican on April 17. He was told that Pope Francis on April 21 would accept the resignation of Robert Finn as bishop for the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese.
And Naumann was told that the church leadership wanted him to assume the role as interim bishop. He initially had his reservations, but has overcome them.
"There's been some polarization within the church," he said. "What I hope we can do is begin a process of healing and uniting us as a church," Naumann said. "I think Jesus, he prayed for that for the church."
Finn admitted in court that he failed to alert authorities about Father Shawn Ratigan, who was a pedophile taking pictures of young girls in his parishes. Finn tried to rehabilitate Ratigan after he attempted to take his own life and court documents say Finn's actions allowed Ratigan to continue to have access to little girls even after child pornography was found on his church computer.
KANSAS CITY (MO)
APRIL 27, 2015, BY ABBY EDEN
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Less than a week after Pope Francis accepted Bishop Robert Finn’s resignation, Archbishop Joseph Naumann is learning all the ins and outs of being an Apostolic Administrator or interim Bishop. He says leading two regions’ Catholic communities at once isn’t easy, but he’s willing to do what needs to be done.
On the Friday before Bishop Finn’s resignation was made public, Archbishop Joseph Naumann heard from the Apostolic Nuncio, or the ambassador of the Vatican to the United States. He was told Bishop Finn was resigning, and he’d have to take over the administrative duties of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese.
“It’s one community. We share the plight of the church on both sides of State Line Road, affects one another, so I felt if I can do anything to assist the church at this time of transition, I want to do that,” said Archbishop Naumann.
As the Apostolic Administrator of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese, Archbishop Naumann will maintain his responsibilities in Kansas City, Kan., and take care of day-to-day administrative responsibilities to keep the diocese on the Missouri side operating smoothly.
KANSAS CITY (MO)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Kansas City- St Joseph Diocese is still feeling aftershocks from the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn and the scandal involving Father Shawn Ratigan.
Archbishop Joseph Naumann says that, for now, he is focusing on the big picture. A new high school in Lee's Summit was scheduled to open next fall, but donations fell short. The opening is now set for 2016.
Many parishioners withheld contributions to the bishop's discretionary fund when the child sex abuse scandal broke.
Finn is still a bishop and is being paid by the church.
APRIL 28, 2015
A former Knox Grammar teacher suspected of being the “balaclava man” who sexually assaulted a young boy at the exclusive Sydney school says he did not want to give evidence to a royal commission because he is a “private man”.
Christopher Fotis was arrested in Queensland earlier this month after failing to appear at a previous hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Mr Fotis, a former resident master at the northern Sydney boarding school, told the commission he did not receive a summons to give evidence at the hearing in February and did not follow it at the time.
“I did what I was legally entitled to do. I was a free man under no legal obligation and I based my movements upon that,” he said.
Monday 27 April 2015
A former teacher at Sydney’s prestigious Knox Grammar school who was suspected of assaulting a student in his bed has told an abuse inquiry he did not attend when called to its hearings in February because he is a “private man”.
Christopher Fotis, 52, took the stand at a reconvened hearing of the royal commission into institutional responses to child sex abuse on Tuesday.
He denied ever hearing about the sexual assault of a student in 1988 which became known as the “balaclava man incident”. He told the commission the first he heard of it was from the hearings.
The commission had heard Fotis was a resident master at MacNeil house at the time and was widely suspected as the person seen running away from the house in an old Knox tracksuit and balaclava, after a student, known as ARN, had his genitals groped by the same man who was lying beneath his bed.
A warrant was issued for the arrest of Fotis in February when he failed to appear at the commission after being summoned but Fotis’s counsel, Margaret Bateman, said he was not served with a summons.
“I was a free man, legally entitled to move about anywhere I wanted. I’m a private person, this is a very public hearing and I suppose if any reason, it comes down to that,” he said when asked by counsel assisting the commission, David Lloyd, if there was any reason he did not appear.
By AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS
A teacher who was asked to resign from an elite private school when he was charged with performing a sex act in public, expected to get a "richer" reference from the headmaster of Knox Grammar.
Christopher Fotis was asked to resign from the Sydney school in 1989 by the headmaster Ian Paterson.
He was given a reference which noted his enthusiasm for his job and his enormous help with extra-curricular events but which made no mention of why he was asked to leave or other complaints against him.
On Tuesday Fotis told a royal commission that it was a "pretty underwhelming" reference.
Fotis was later found guilty of obscene exposure after he was caught masturbating in his car on a street in Ryde, Sydney.
He was also suspected by teachers and students at Knox of being the balaclava-wearing intruder who sexually molested a year 8 boarder about a year before he resigned.
By Nicole Chettle
A former teacher at Sydney's Knox Grammar School has denied he was the so-called balaclava man, who indecently assaulted a sleeping student in 1988.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse previously heard that in 1988, a teenage boarder woke to find a masked man groping him from under his bed and many people believed the former boarding master Christopher Fotis was the perpetrator.
The police were not contacted about the incident, but former headmaster Dr Ian Paterson told the commission he suspected Mr Fotis committed the indecent assault, but he had no proof.
In his opening statement, counsel assisting the commission, David Lloyd said Mr Fotis continued teaching at Knox Grammar School until "the latter part of 1989" when he resigned "after being arrested for masturbating in his car while parked outside a school".
FORMER Knox Grammar teacher Christopher Fotis has denied any knowledge of an incident in which a boy was sexually assaulted by a balaclava-wearing intruder who hid under his bed, despite sleeping metres away.
EVIDENCE has been given to the sex abuse royal commission that bedlam erupted after the boy screamed in the early hours "Some faggot's got my balls".
The Year 8 boys chased the intruder, who was wearing a balaclava and an old Knox tracksuit, from the boarding house dormitory and news of the assault spread like wildfire across the prestigious Sydney school.
But, even though he was a suspect, Fotis told the royal commission he never knew of the 1988 incident until it was mentioned at the hearings this year.
Fotis, 52, said he had no recollection of the then-house master Tim Hawkes banging on his door, but that did not surprise him because he had slept though earthquakes in Greece.
BANGOR (WGME) -- A priest who sexually abused a boy multiple times will spend six-and-a-half years behind bars. A judge sentenced Adam Metropoulos, 53, Monday.
He was a priest at a Greek Orthodox church in Bangor and was well known for his community involvement. Metropoulos sexually assaulted a then 15-year-old altar boy at his church in 2006 and 2007.
Metropoulos also secretly recorded a female relative taking a shower. The woman found the camera and that's what lead to his arrest. Metropoulos also had hundreds of pornographic images on his computer, some which showed children.
SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle
By Nanette Asimov
April 27, 2015
Hundreds of Catholic-school teachers and supporters gathered outside the San Francisco Archdiocese on Monday afternoon waving rainbow banners and preaching acceptance of gays and lesbians — all in protest of efforts by the archbishop to require employees to embrace church opposition to “homosexual relations,” “fornication” and other “gravely evil” sexual activities.
The protesters sang a hymn called “Love, Love,” to which they’d rewritten the lyrics with their message of acceptance: “Teach acceptance is our call / Love your neighbor as yourself / For God loves us all.”
Until February, teachers and other employees at the San Francisco Archdiocese’s four high schools who disagreed with Catholicism’s strict sexual teachings felt little need to defend their beliefs, existing in comfortable, live-and-let-live symbiosis with their employer and their religion.
But this winter, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone unveiled a statement he wanted included in the employee handbook and the faculty contract for Riordan and Sacred Heart Cathedral schools in San Francisco, Marin Catholic in Kentfield and Junipero Serra in San Mateo clarifying that sex outside of marriage, homosexual relations, the viewing of pornography and masturbation are “gravely evil.” It said employees should “affirm and believe” the statements, which include that marriage is between “one man and one woman” and that sperm donation, the use of a surrogate and other forms of “artificial reproductive technology” are also gravely evil.
SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
National Catholic Register
by Joan Desmond 04/27/2015
On April 27, the Archdiocese of San Francisco signaled that it was prepared to make "adjustments" to advance negotiaions with the local Catholic teachers' union.
The union represents faculty at the four Catholic high schools under the direct jurisdiction of Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, and it has challenged proposed contract language that directs teachers to avoid public statements and actions that oppose Catholic teaching on sexual ethics, Mass attendence, abortion, and the Eucharist, among other issues.
"The Archdiocese reiterates its commitment to do what we can to listen to teachers’ ongoing concerns, to restore respectful discussion, and to heal any rifts that may remain," read today's statement, released at the end of the work day.
Archbishop Cordileone "understands that the teachers want to make sure that the final language in the contract both promotes Catholic identity and protects the rights of the teachers. He too wants language that protects the rights of the teachers, and he is willing to make adjustments to firmly secure those rights," the statement continued.
Sydney Morning Herald
April 28, 2015
Social Affairs Reporter
Disgraced former Knox Grammar School teacher Christopher Fotis continued to work in both the public and Catholic education system after being caught exposing his genitals in public, a royal commission has heard.
Fotis, 52, was asked to resign from the prestigious private school in 1989 after being arrested for exposing himself.
He told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that he worked as a casual teacher in NSW public schools and a Catholic school for six or seven months in 1990 following his arrest.
Fotis told commissioner Jennifer Coate he was never asked to provide proof of his experience when working as a casual teacher.
The commission heard when former Knox Grammar headmaster Ian Paterson became aware of the incident, he asked Fotis to resign.
The diocese of Regensburg announced on Monday it is cooperating with the victims' organisation White Ring to investigate sexual and physical abuse at the Domspatzen Choir, Die Welt reported.
“We have asked White Ring to recommend us a lawyer who can take this investigate forward," said administrative head of the diocese Michael Fuchs.
Ulrich Weber, a lawyer specialising in cases of sexual abuse, will now lead the investigation into allegations of sexual and physical abuse at the Domspatzen primary school from the 1950s up to the present day.
The report will be published “as soon as we have the impression that the majority of reports [of abuse] have been considered,” said Fuchs.
Günther Perottoni from White Ring welcomed the diocese's decision.
“They have assured us that the procedures of the investigation will not be obstructed,” he said.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota man has settled a lawsuit with St. John's Abbey that will force the release of personnel files for 19 monks accused of sexually abusing minors, attorneys said Monday.
The settlement announced by attorney Jeff Anderson's law firm was to be detailed at a news conference Tuesday.
Anderson sued St. John's in 2013 on behalf of Edward "Troy" Bramlage III, 52, who said he was abused by the Rev. Allen Tarlton when he was a 14-year-old freshman at its prep school in 1977. The lawsuit said St. John's leadership repeatedly sent Tarlton for treatment but allowed him to continue working at the prep school.
Anderson said Monday the settlement is "a big deal" and an "important step forward" because it requires not only the disclosure of Tarlton's files but also those of an additional 18 St. John's monks credibly accused of abuse. A timeline for releasing the other files has yet to be set, Anderson said.
"Until we reveal the history (of abuse), it's going to repeat," Anderson said.
The abbey has said Tarlton lives in a restricted setting and has no contact with students. In a statement Monday, the abbey said it reached the settlement in order "to achieve some measure of reconciliation" but had no other comment. Tarlton's attorney, Robert Stich of Minneapolis, said Monday that Tarlton, now 87 and under 24-hour-a-day medical care at the abbey, has never admitted abusing Bramlage.
April 27, 2015
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Details in the settlement of a sex abuse lawsuit against a Catholic priest will reveal specific information on the priest's brief stint as a principal in Louisville said the attorney on the case.
Attorneys representing St. John's Abbey and Father Gilbert Tarlton reached a settlement Monday with lawyers representing the victim known in court records as "Doe 2." The case was scheduled to go to court May 4.
The suit was filed in 2013 on behalf of a man who was a freshman at St. John's Preparatory School in Minnesota in 1977. The man, who wanted to be identified as a survivor, said there were at least 100 incidents of grooming and abuse at the hands of Tarlton.
Six years prior, Tarlton was a principal at Holy Cross Parish School in Louisville but was removed from the school before completing his first year said Mike Finnegan, the attorney representing the Minnesota survivor.
Minnesota Public Radio
Madeleine Baran Apr 27, 2015
Saint John's Abbey has reached a settlement with a man who said he was sexually abused as a teenager by a Benedictine monk.
The man, known in court filings as Doe 2, sued Saint John's Abbey in 2013 for allegedly failing to protect him from sexual abuse by the Rev. Allen Tarlton in the late 1970s.
Attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents Doe 2, said the settlement will require Saint John's Abbey to release the files of 19 monks accused of sexually abusing children and provide a financial settlement for an amount that will not be publicly disclosed.
Saint John's Abbey declined to describe the agreement. "Out of respect for the privacy of the parties involved and the agreement we have made, we have no further comment on this settlement," it said in a statement Monday.
The lawsuit, filed in Stearns County, accused Tarlton of abusing the boy in about 1977 when he lived on campus as a student at Saint John's Preparatory School in Collegeville. Tarlton was the boy's English teacher. It said the abbey knew of abuse allegations against Tarlton nearly two decades earlier and failed to call police or warn students and parents.
KANSAS CITY (MO)
Pope Francis asked Archbishop Joseph Naumann to be in charge of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese until a new bishop is named.
FULL INTERVIEW | Watch the entire 18-minute, sit-down interview with Archbishop Naumann here
Many called last week's move by the Vatican a historic moment. For the first time, the Vatican held a bishop accountable for poorly handling a case of a priest's child abuse.
In 2012, a judge convicted Bishop Robert Finn of failing to report suspected child abuse .
The public pressured the church for Finn's resignation and last Tuesday, Pope Francis accepted it .
KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star
BY RICK MONTGOMERYRMONTGOMERY@KCSTAR.COM
Despite announcing his resignation a week ago, Bishop Robert W. Finn will preside over the priestly ordinations of seven deacons next month in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese.
A diocese spokesman Monday cited a scheduling conflict that prevented the new temporary leader of the diocese, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, from ordaining the seven men on May 23 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Kansas City.
Naumann, who continues to lead the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, will preside over ordinations scheduled for the same time in Leawood.
Longtime critics of Finn expressed agitation over the bishop’s continuing role in a diocese from which he stepped down under a cloud of scandal.
“Good grief. It’s appalling,” said Michael Sandridge, who was among the plaintiffs in 32 sex-abuse lawsuits against the diocese that were settled in 2014. “Like the good ol’ boy network all over again.
“… What did his resignation mean? Nothing, really.” said Sandridge, a Kansas City resident who alleged he was raped by two priests about 30 years ago.
PHILADELPHIA | BY NATALIE POMPILIO
(Reuters) - Pennsylvania's highest court on Monday reinstated the conviction of the first U.S. Catholic church official sent to prison for mishandling sexual misconduct complaints against priests.
In August 2012, a Philadelphia jury found Monsignor William Lynn, 64, guilty of one count of child endangerment for failing to supervise a pedophile priest who eventually sexually assaulted a 10-year-old altar boy in 1999.
That conviction was overturned by the state’s Superior Court in December 2013.
Monday’s ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court upholds the original August 2012 judgment.
The high court said Lynn “as a high ranking official in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was specifically responsible for protecting children from sexually abusive priests.”
[Supreme Court opinion]
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In a stunning reversal, the Pennsylvania State Supreme Court is upholding the 2012 conviction of Monsignor William Lynn, the first Roman Catholic official sent to prison over his handling of priest abuse complaints. The DA’s office hasn’t said whether it will try to revoke bail and send him back to prison, pending more legal arguments.
Monsignor Lynn was convicted of a single charge of endangering the welfare of a child, and sentenced to three to six years in prison in 2012. As the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s former secretary for clergy, he was the official responsible for investigating and recommending punishment for priests accused of sexual and other misconduct.
After serving about half his sentence behind bars, by late 2013, Superior Court heard his appeal, and reversed his conviction. Since then, he has been on house arrest, living in the rectory of St. William, a parish in Lawncrest.
Now, the State Supreme Court is reversing Superior Court, ruling that Lynn could be held responsible for the welfare of children in the Archdiocese.
(WBIR- KNOXVILLE) - A new tally shows a former church treasurer took $400,950 from Saint George Greek Orthodox Church over about four years, and church members want that man to be prosecuted, records show.
Church officials filed an incident report Wednesday with Knoxville Police Department and have contacted the Knox County District Attorney General's Office, members say.
Sean McDermott, spokesman for the District Attorney General's Office, said Monday the office could not comment on ongoing investigations that involve prosecutors or any area law enforcement agency.
Darrell DeBusk, KPD spokesman, said Monday he could not comment about an open investigation.
Church officials have briefed members on what a review of church finances showed over the last several years. A lawyer and former FBI agent conducted it.
William D. Lindsey
Here's a letter from the heart I have written (by email) this morning to an e-friend, a very good person, who had emailed me to add to the chorus of those who pointed out that my reference to Bishop Robert Finn several days ago as a convicted felon is not technically correct: Bishop Finn was convicted for a misdemeanor, not a felony. The friend who emailed me about this is ordained, and I cannot help but be struck by the fact that those who have picked at this point are all ordained, all clergymen.
My friend tells me that those defending the use of the term "felony" to apply to Finn's crime in shielding a known pedophile and keeping children in harm's way by keeping that priest in ministry have an agenda. My friend also appears to think that convicting priests of crimes of child molestation and of endangering children's well-being is counter-productive, not a way of healing their pedophilia (I myself don't think pedophilia is curable), and is premised on vengefulness and not love.
Here's my response to these observations in an email this morning:
I suspect we all have agendas. And, though I don't have children of my own, I can understand and empathize with the agenda of seeing children protected from child molesters—and the outrage of so many Catholics that this concern seems to have been far down the list of concerns for the hierarchy and the clerical club, as the abuse crisis in the Catholic church came to light.
The frustration I think many lay Catholics feel is that we keep discovering that what seems to us the obvious top priority here—keeping children out of harm's way—is not really even on the radar screen of many in the clerical club, whose fundamental instinct is to make excuses for each other and protect each other from exposure and prosecution. The anger of lay Catholics builds, I think, and understandably so, as we see these concerns playing out within the clerical system, and find ourselves talked down to in a bizarre way about the distinction between a felony and a misdemeanor—a very strange, insubstantial, diversionary straw to clutch at in this disucssion, it seems to me.
William D. Lindsey
And — it has to be said — (piggybacking on my first posting today) photos like the following absolutely do not help many of us lay Catholics overcome our anger about how the clerical club persistently finds every way in the world to make excuses for fellow priests abusing minors, and still, even now!, just does not seem to get it, about protecting children from danger as the obvious, indisputable top priority in the abuse crisis:
National Catholic Reporter
Sarah Mac Donald | Apr. 27, 2015
LIMERICK, IRELAND The role and full equality of women in church life as well as the governance of the church were the two main issues discussed by delegates at the second international meeting of priest associations and lay reform groups here April 13-17.
In a statement at the conclusion of their four-day gathering, the 38 delegates from 10 countries, who seek to establish an international "network of networks" to develop strategies on church reform, said: "The election of Pope Francis has begun a new era in Catholicism."
Speaking on behalf of participants, censured Irish Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery of the Irish Association of Catholic Priests said, "With the resignation of Pope Benedict we are at the end of an era, and this is our best chance to renew the church for a long time."
According to Deborah Rose-Milavec, executive director of the U.S. reform group FutureChurch, it became clear during a very open and honest discussion among participants from the U.S., Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, India, Germany, Slovakia, Austria, Switzerland, and elsewhere that there is much pain over the exclusion of women from governance, leadership and ordained ministry.
[Supreme Court opinion]
By Joel Mathis | April 27, 2015
Monsignor William Lynn may be headed back behind bars.
Lynn was freed last year after an appeals court overturned his conviction on child endangerment charges relating to Philadelphia Archdiocese’s sex-abuse scandal. On Monday, though, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned that reversal and reinstated the original conviction — saying that the child endangerment statute applied to Lynn even though he did not directly supervise the welfare of the child victims in the scandal.
Justice Max Baer, writing for the court, said prosecutors established that Lynn — who had served as the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s former secretary for clergy — had:
• “Mollified victims of sexual abuse by falsely telling them their allegations were being seriously investigated and that the particular priest would never again be assigned around children, despite knowing that the priests under his supervision would merely be reassigned to another parish with no ministry restrictions on contact with children.”
• “Informed parishioners that the priests he transferred were moved for health reasons, leaving the welfare of children in jeopardy.”
• “Routinely disregarded treatment recommendations for priests."
• “Failed to inform the relocated priest’s new supervisor about abuse allegations.”
• “Took no action to ensure that the abusive priest was kept away from children at his new assignment.”
• “Suppressed complaints and concerns by the colleagues of the priests; all with the knowledge that sexually abusive priests rarely had only one victim and that all of these actions would endanger the welfare of the diocese’s children.”
St. Cloud Times.
David Unze, firstname.lastname@example.org April 27, 2015
A Sauk Rapids man has settled a lawsuit that accused a St. John's Abbey monk of sexual abuse.
A news conference has been scheduled for Tuesday to announce the terms of the settlement.
The lawsuit against the Rev. Allen Tarlton also named as defendants the Order of St. Benedict, St. John's Abbey and St. John's Preparatory School. The lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial Monday.
Troy Bramlage sued in June 2013, less than one week after a law went into effect that lifted the six-year civil statute of limitations for childhood victims of sexual abuse.
His lawsuit, and comments made by his attorney at the time the suit was filed, claimed that St. John's Abbey knew of Tarlton's proclivities to offend against young boys as far back at the 1950s yet repeatedly allowed him to have access to children, including teaching at St. John's until 1990.
KANSAS CITY (MO)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org )
The new head of the Kansas City MO Catholic diocese, in his first interviews since taking the reins is talking about fundraising, low-balling expectations, and equating the suffering of abuse victims and church staff.
He’s got it all backwards. Job one is protecting kids. Fundraising and healing can and should come later.
And when children are safer, fundraising and healing will happen on their own.
At this juncture, it’s unseemly for Naumann to try and woo betrayed donors.
Naumann says there are wounds “on both sides.” That of course minimizes the pain of boys and girls who were raped and sodomized by priests and betrayed by bishops. This isn’t a battle between combatants of equal power, skills and resources. This is a long horror of child sex crimes and cover ups. Whatever hurt adult Catholic employees may feel, it pales beside the trauma of deeply-wounded victims of heinous childhood sexual violence.
Here’s what Naumann should be doing now:
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania - via BishopAccountability.org
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
No. 15 EAP 2014
Appeal from the Judgment of Superior
Court entered on 12/26/13 at No. 2171
EDA 2012 reversing the judgment of
sentence entered on 7/24/12 in the
Court of Common Pleas, Criminal
Division, Philadelphia County at No.
ARGUED: November 18, 2014
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE SAYLOR DECIDED: April 27, 2015
Because I differ with the majority’s interpretation of the endangerment statute reposed in Section 4304(a) of the Crimes Code, I respectfully dissent.
Preliminarily, the evidence viewed favorably to the Commonwealth suggests that Appellee is indeed guilty of gross derelictions which caused widespread harm. The only question before the Court, however, is whether the text of the endangerment statute, as it existed in the pre-amendment timeframe, allowed the imposition of criminal culpability upon Appellee. For the reasons which follow, I would find that it did not.
The statute makes it an offense for a “parent, guardian or other person supervising the welfare of a child” to knowingly endanger a child’s welfare by violating a duty of care, protection, or support. 18 Pa.C.S. §4304(a) (1995), quoted in Majority Opinion, slip op. at 19. The principal issue in this appeal pertains to the “supervision” element of the pre-amendment offense.
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania - via BishopAccountability.org
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA
CASTILLE, C.J., SAYLOR, EAKIN, BAER, TODD, STEVENS, JJ.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
No. 15 EAP 2014
Appeal from the Judgment of the Superior
Court entered on 12/26/2013 at No. 2171
EDA 2012 reversing the judgment of
sentence entered on 7/24/2012 in the
Court of Common Pleas, Criminal
Division, Philadelphia County at No. CP-
83 A.3d 434
ARGUED: November 18, 2014
MR. JUSTICE BAER DECIDED: April 27, 2015
Following a jury trial on charges that he endangered the welfare of children,1 William Lynn (Appellee) was convicted and sentenced to a term of three to six years of incarceration. On appeal from his judgment of sentence, he challenged the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain his conviction, contending that he had no direct supervision of the children he was found to have endangered. The Superior Court agreed, and reversed his conviction. On the Commonwealth’s appeal, we reverse the Superior Court, concluding that there is no statutory requirement of direct supervision of children.
Rather, that which is supervised is the child’s welfare. Under the facts presented at trial, Appellee was a person supervising the welfare of many children because, as a high-ranking official in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, he was specifically responsible for protecting children from sexually abusive priests.
The Legal Intelligencer
Gina Passarella and Lizzy McLellan, The Legal Intelligencer
April 27, 2015
The state Supreme Court has reinstated the conviction of the former secretary of clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, finding a conviction for endangering the welfare of a child does not require actual supervision of the child.
The court’s split decision in Commonwealth v. Lynn reverses a Pennsylvania Superior Court decision that found Monsignor William Lynn could not have been convicted for endangering the welfare of children he never supervised.
“On the commonwealth’s appeal, we reverse the Superior Court, concluding that there is no statutory requirement of direct supervision of children,” Justice Max Baer said for the majority. “Under the facts presented at trial, [Lynn] was a person supervising the welfare of many children because, as a high-ranking official in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, he was specifically responsible for protecting children from sexually abusive priests.”
The court vacated the Superior Court’s ruling and sent the matter back to that court.
Baer was joined in the majority by Justices J. Michael Eakin, Debra Todd and Correale F. Stevens. Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor issued a dissent.
Thomas Bergstrom, Lynn’s defense attorney, said he was disappointed with the court’s ruling, which he said is “troubling because it makes it pretty clear because one can be convicted of the statute without even knowing the child exists.”
Bergstrom said he hasn’t decided his next step, which could include seeking certiorari at the U.S. Supreme Court on the constitutional issue of the ex post facto application of the statute on endangering the welfare of children. Bergstrom said he could also go back to the Superior Court given that court didn’t review certain issues on appeal given its decision to reverse on the supervision grounds.
San Antonio Express-News
[Supreme Court opinion]
BY MARYCLAIRE DALE, ASSOCIATED PRESS : APRIL 27, 2015
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Pennsylvania's highest court has reinstated the child-endangerment conviction of a Roman Catholic church official in Philadelphia.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling Monday upholds the 2012 conviction of Monsignor William Lynn over abuse committed by a diocesan priest years earlier.
Lynn was the first U.S. church official convicted and sent to prison over his handling of sex abuse complaints against priests.
His lawyers have argued that Lynn as secretary for clergy was not responsible for the child's welfare.
JOSEPH A. SLOBODZIAN, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
POSTED: Monday, April 27, 2015
Pennsylvania's Supreme Court on Monday reinstated the child-endangerment conviction of Msgr. William J. Lynn, the first Catholic Church official found guilty for his role supervising priests in the clergy sex-abuse scandal.
Writing for the 6-1 majority of the state's high court, Justice Max Baer said the state Superior Court erred in reversing Lynn's conviction because he did not directly supervise children.
"That which is supervised is the child's welfare," wrote Baer. "Under the facts presented at trial, [Lynn] was a person supervising the welfare of many children because, as a high-ranking official in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, he was specifically responsible for protecting children from sexually abusive priests."
Chief Justice Thomas G. Saylor was the lone dissent, writing that he did not believe Lynn could be convicted for conduct under the amended child-endangerment law because the conduct occurred before the law changed.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Monday, April 27
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 314 566 9790, , email@example.com
We are grateful the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed the reversal of Monsignor Lynn’s conviction.
Punishing wrong doers deters wrong doing, especially in scandal ridden institutions. Like the catholic hierarchy. For decades complicit church officials have exploited legal technicalities to evade justice. It is a victory for parents, parishioners, church goers, wounded victims and innocent kids each time corrupt church staffers are disciplined.
Members of the catholic hierarchy everywhere should take note: for your own good, tell authorities now what you know or suspect about clergy sex crimes and cover-ups.
Jeff Anderson & Associates
Media Advisory: Abuse Survivor and Attorneys Announce Breakthrough Settlement Involving St. John's Abbey
Jeff Anderson and Doe 2 Will Stand Together Tuesday and Announce Settlement of Civil Lawsuit against St. John’s Abbey and Fr. Allen Tarlton
Breakthrough settlement, modeled after Doe 1 v. Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis settlement, requires St. John’s Abbey to publicly release the files of 19 St. John’s clerics likely to have offended against minors
WHAT: • Doe 2 will attend, disclose his name and speak about the case. The event will be live streamed.
• Father Tarlton’s personnel and “incident” file will be released.
• Portions of Father Tarlton’s October 2013 deposition testimony will be played and released.
• The plan for release of 18 additional priest files and the significance of this settlement – that children will be safer - will be discussed. As part of the settlement, the personnel and incident files of the additional 18 St. John’s monks who have been deemed likely to have offended against minors will be publicly released over the coming months.
• The photos and identities of the credibly accused clerics will be shown.
Doe 2 was sexually abused repeatedly by Fr. Tarlton when he was a freshman at St. John’s Preparatory School in 1977. Doe 2’s case was one of the first filed in Minnesota under the 2013 Child Victims Act. Trial was scheduled to begin in the case in Stearns County on May 4 before Judge Vicki Landwehr.
“The credit for achieving this groundbreaking settlement rests with Doe 2, for having the courage to find his voice, stand up for truth and demand transparency with accountability,” said Jeff Anderson, one of Doe 2’s attorneys.
The 18 additional monks whose files will be released are: Br. Andre Bennett, Fr. Michael Bik, Fr. Robert Blumeyer, Fr. Cosmas Dahlheimer, Fr. Richard Eckroth, Fr. Thomas Gillespie, Fr. Othmar Hohmann, Fr. Francis Hoefgen, Fr. Dominic Keller, Fr. John Kelly, Fr. Brennan Maiers, Fr. Finian McDonald, Fr. Dunstan Moorse, Br. Jim Phillips, Fr. Francisco Schulte, Fr. Pirmin Wendt, Fr. Bruce Wollmering, Fr. Angelo Zankl.
“We are grateful to stand with Doe 2 and the many survivors who are now standing up for themselves and the truth, and given a chance they now have under the Child Victims Act, which they didn’t have before,” Mr. Anderson said.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 28, 2015, at 1:00PM CT
WHERE: Offices of Jeff Anderson and Associates, P.A.
366 Jackson Street, Suite 100
St. Paul, MN 55101
NOTES: Documents will be available online and we will live stream the press event from our website www.andersonadvocates.com.
Contact: Jeff Anderson: Office/651.964.3458 Cell/612.817.8665
Mike Finnegan: Office/651.964.3458 Cell/612.205.5531
Mike Bryant: Office/320.259.5414 Cell/800.359.0061
By: Dave Aeikens
A settlement has been reached between St. John's University and a man who says he was abused by a monk, the man's lawyer said.
The settlement is expected to be announced Tuesday at the law offices of Jeff Anderson, and include the university releasing the files of 19 monks. Those will include the personnel and incident file of the Rev. Allen Tarlton, who repeatedly sexually abused the plaintiff when he was a freshman at St. John's Preparatory School in 1977.
The case is scheduled for trial May 4 in Stearns County.
By Ralph Cipriano
The Pennsylvania state Supreme Court today reversed the decision by a lower court to overturn the conviction of Msgr. William J. Lynn of a single charge of endangering the welfare of a child.
On July 24, 2012, a Philadelphia Common Pleas jury convicted Lynn of endangering the welfare of a child, namely a former 10-year-old altar boy dubbed "Billy Doe" by a grand jury. Lynn, the former secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, became the first Catholic administrator in the country to go to jail for failing to adequately supervise a sexually abusive priest. He was sentenced to a prison term of 3 to 6 years.
Lynn had served 18 months of his sentence on Dec. 26, 2013, when a panel of three state Superior Court judges unanimously reversed the monsignor's conviction and ordered that he be "released forthwith." The trial judge in the case, M. Teresa Sarmina, however, refused to allow Lynn's release. For the past 14 months, the monsignor has been held under house arrest in a Northeast Philadelphia rectory and must wear an electronic ankle monitoring bracelet at all times.
The 60-page opinion by the state Supreme Court doesn't automatically mean that the monsignor is headed back to jail to serve the remainder of his sentence. Lynn's lawyers will now proceed with an appeal to state Superior Court on several remaining trial issues such as whether Lynn got a fair trial in a case where Judge Sarmina let in 21 supplemental cases of child abuse dating back to before the monsignor was born.
The district attorney, however, could preclude that appeal process by filing a motion with Judge Sarmina to revoke Lynn's bail. If the D.A. does file that motion to revoke bail, based on Judge Sarmina's previously demonstrated antipathy to Lynn, the monsignor had better have his toothbrush packed.
KANSAS CITY (MO)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Archbishop Joseph Naumann says it's time to get past the sex abuse scandal that rocked the Kansas City - St. Joseph Diocese.
Naumann adds that it's unlikely he'll reverse any of the policies put in place by Bishop Finn.
The archbishop still has his responsibilities running the diocese of Kansas and hopes the Vatican moves in a deliberate but timely fashion to name Finn's replacement.
He doesn't think the Shawn Ratigan case will cause any more ongoing problems.
By Gray Rohrer
TALLAHASSEE – Rep. Rene Plasencia, R-Orlando, said he will call out the Senate for stalling and sabotaging his bill to increase the time period to prosecute charges in sexual battery cases.
His bill, HB 133, passed by a 115-0 vote on April 9. It passed through the Senate on a 39-0 vote on Friday, but only after tacking on three amendments that were the subjects of other bills, sending it back to the House.
Plasencia says if the House passes the bill as is, it will violate the Legislature’s rule against multiple subject bills, making it unconstitutional and allowing sexual batterers outside of the current statute of limitations to go free.
“If a defense attorney challenges any of those laws they’re going to win because it’s a blatant violation of those rules,” Plasencia said.
He specifically laid the blame at Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, the chairman of the Senate Rules Committee.
The underlying bill would increase the amount of time prosecutors can bring charges in sexual battery cases from four years after the offense to eight years. Florida’s statute of limitations is currently the third-shortest among the 50 states for sexual battery. Plasencia’s original bill would have increased the time period to 10 years, but the companion bill in the Senate, from Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, would have only increased it to six years.
KANSAS CITY (MO)
By LAURA ZIEGLER
With a towering physical stature and soft spoken, solicitous style, Archbishop Joseph Naumann knows he has a difficult task before him as he takes over the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph on an interim basis after the resignation of Bishop Robert Finn.
He's encouraging the grieving and still angry parishioners to reach toward their faith.
"I think we need to ask the Lord to help each of us to heal. There are people who have experienced wounds on both sides," Naumann said in an interview Monday at the Diocese headquarters in downtown Kansas City.
Naumann – who has been the Archbishop of the Diocese of Kansas City, Kansas for almost 11 years - says he was surprised when he was summoned last Tuesday to become interim administrator effective immediately.
Naumann says he does not feel it’s his job to bring changes to the diocese, not to “be an innovator … or obligate the new Bishop with something I thought was a good idea.”
Rather, Naumann sees his job as keeping what he called “the normal life” of the church moving forward.
National Catholic Reporter
Robert Mickens | Apr. 27, 2015 A Roman Observer
A high-ranking Vatican official recently voiced serious doubts about the need to reform the Roman Curia. Believe it or not, he said talk of reform was exaggerated.
"I personally can see no significant reason that would necessitate a reform of the Curia at the moment," the official said.
"One or two changes have been or will be made concerning personnel or structures, but that is part of the normal run of things," he continued.
"To speak of 'Curia reform' is, with all due respect, somewhat of an exaggeration," he maintained.
This wasn't just any official. It was Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household. He's the same one who is the private secretary and housemate of the former pope, Benedict XVI.
His remarks -- significant especially because he is Benedict's confidante -- came recently in an exclusive interview posted on Germany's leading Catholic website, Katholisch.de.
(NEWS CENTER) -- A former Greek Orthodox priest in Bangor has been sentenced to 12 years in prison with all but 6-and-a-half suspended.
A judge convicted Adam Metropoulos last month on four counts of sexual abuse of a child. He was charged after a former altar boy at Saint George Greek Orthodox Church accused Metroopolis of sexually assaulting him when the victim was a teenager.
The boy was staying overnight in Metropoulos' home at the time.
Bangor Daily News
Nok-Noi Ricker, Bangor Daily News
Maine | Monday, April 27, 2015
BANGOR — A former priest at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bangor was sentenced Monday to 12 years in prison with all but 6½ years suspended for sex crimes involving children.
Adam Metropoulos, 53, of Bangor was sentenced by Superior Court Justice Ann Murray at the Penobscot Judicial Center. She also sentenced him to 3 years of probation when he gets out of prison. He must also register with the Maine Sex Offender Registry for life.
Michael Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County, asked for consecutive sentences, which led to the lengthy prison term. He said the crimes had a “significant impact on the community,” especially within the small Greek Orthodox church.
Murray, who mentioned at the sentencing that she did not believe Metropoulos’ testimony at his jury-waived trial denying that he sexually assaulted a 15-year-old altar server at the church in 2006 and 2007, found him guilty on March 17 on four felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
Popes make purposeful decisions secretly and then often wrap their decisions in “other worldly” mythology to obscure their worldly purposes and to garner support from Catholics raised rigidly on these myths. By contrast, Jesus spoke simply and honestly about this world and how to meet its challenges transparently.
In the current world of democracies, papal influence over Catholic and other voters provides popes access to opportunistic political and financial elites, the so-called 0.01%, who seek to disguise their own self interested policies with spiritual smokescreens offered by popes seeking legal protection and financial subsidies. In this internet age of a 24/7 news cycle and relentless legal investigations, however, the real papal decisions and underlying goals are increasingly discernible from reported papal actions, despite the incessant efforts of popes and some of these leaders to hide true papal intentions behind a pervasive and professional public relations strategy.
After two years, the real goal of Pope Francis is clear — it is to salvage and enhance the power and wealth of the maximum number of “salvageable” cardinals and bishops while tightening papal control, as the pope is doing in the financial area. Under the misguided, deceitful and ruthless policies of the two previous popes with their related financial, child sexual abuse cover-up, “gay lobby” and other scandals, cardinals were rapidly sliding down a slippery slope.
We now know with reasonable certainty that cardinals likely elected Francis to “change the public subjects from papal sins to papal myths”, while the Vatican’s international political and financial alliances were strengthened and expanded in the international “balance of power” system. The big prize, the World Cup of papal power politics for almost four decades, is helping to elect a “friendly” US president next year, preferably another one named Bush — Francis’ main and final goal!
Please see my Childless Pope Faces Man-Made “Mess”: Children & Climate Change , Vatican Revolt Negates Synod & Sex Commission , Dumping Finn For US President: Who’s Next? , Hillary Clinton vs. Pope Francis in 2015 USA Politics, Electing Bishops & Jeb Bush Too , A Pope, A New US War, Jeb Bush Neocons & Big Oil , Finn’s Law: Police Must Now Handle Crimes Says Pope and Must Jesuits Overlook Jesuit Pope’s Mistakes?
Pope Francis’ public “subject changing” strategy has included massive media management, including unnecessary papal trips, vague papal statements on capitalism and soon climate change, a farcical “family-less” Family Synod, mixed messaging, photo ops and “tweeted” sound bites. Increasingly, this public relations strategy is failing, as the Catholic revolt over Bishop Barros continues even after the desperate removal of Bishop Finn, too little too late! Reality is catching up to the pope’s vague promises. The dismal prospects for the over hyped climate change encyclical are discussed in detail below.
[ The cases of abuse and sexual abuse at the Regensburg cathedral choir are to be examined by an independent expert.]
Domkapellmeister bittet alle Opfer nochmals um Entschuldigung - Auch früherer Kapellmeister Ratzinger hatte Ohrfeigen eingeräumt
München, 27.04.2015 (KAP/KNA) Die Fälle von Misshandlung und sexuellem Missbrauch bei den Regensburger Domspatzen werden von einem unabhängigen Fachmann untersucht. Beauftragt wurde der ortsansässige Rechtsanwalt Ulrich Weber vom Opferhilfeverein Weißer Ring, wie der Regensburger Generalvikar Michael Fuchs am Montag ankündigte. Ziel sei, mit Blick auf die zurückliegenden Fälle mehr Glaubwürdigkeit zu gewinnen, sagte Fuchs der deutschen katholischen Nachrichtenagentur KNA. "Aufarbeitung und Prävention sind Zwillinge." Webers Abschlussbericht soll in etwa einem Jahr vorliegen.
Die Diözese Regensburg war seit 2010 intensiv mit der Aufarbeitung von Vorwürfen sexuellen Missbrauchs sowie der Körperverletzung in kirchlichen Einrichtungen beschäftigt. Die Zahl der Missbrauchsgeschädigten liegt bei rund 80. In der Vorschule der Regensburger Domspatzen in Etterzhausen und Pielenhofen kam es von den 1950er- bis in die 1990er-Jahre wiederholt zu schweren körperlichen Züchtigungen. Mindestens 72 Schüler waren betroffen. Als "symbolische Anerkennung des Leids" erhielten sie inzwischen jeweils 2.500 Euro. Zudem werden die Kosten für notwendige Therapien übernommen.
[White Ring is to educate about abuse.]
Von Christine Schröpf, MZ
REGENSBURG.Kurz vor Beginn der Pressekonferenz faltet Domkapellmeister Roland Büchner kurz die Hände – fast wie zum Gebet. Seit 2010 erschüttern Vorwürfe von sexuellem Missbrauch und gewalttätigen Übergriffen bei den Regensburger Domspatzen den weltberühmten Knabenchor. Trotz aller Aufklärungsversuche vermissen viele Opfer bis heute eine würdige Anerkennung ihres Leids. Die Pressekonferenz am Montag ist ein neuer Versuch, Vertrauen zurückzugewinnen. Das Bistum Regensburg hat eine unabhängige Institution eingeschaltet, die das Ausmaß der Verfehlungen dokumentieren und Handlungsempfehlungen geben soll: die Opfer-Organisation Weißer Ring, die in der Öffentlichkeit unangefochtenes Vertrauen genießt.
[The Regenburg diocese and the cathedral choir, shaken by multiple allegations of child sexual abuse, have commission an advocacy group called the White Ring to assist victims.]
Das Bistum Regensburg und die Regensburger Domspatzen wollen den sexuellen Missbrauch von Kindern in ihren Reihen aufarbeiten. Dazu sei eine Zusammenarbeit mit der Opferhilfe Weißer Ring vereinbart worden, teilte Generalvikar Michael Fuchs am Montag (27.04.15) mit. Sämtliche Fälle würden von einem Rechtsanwalt unabhängig und ergebnisoffen aufgeklärt. Kircheninternen Nachforschung zufolge waren seit Ende des Zweiten Weltkrieges rund 80 Kinder von Priestern und Lehrern im Bistum Regensburg sexuell missbraucht worden, darunter auch bei dem weltberühmten Chor. Konkrete Zahlen von Übergriffen bei den Domspatzen wurden nicht genannt.
Domkapellmeister Roland Büchner entschuldigte sich bei den Opfern "in tiefer Erschütterung und Scham" und bat um Vergebung. Bei den Domspatzen gebe es seit Jahren einen Arbeitskreis Prävention, in dem Schüler, Eltern und Lehrer für das Thema sensibilisiert werden. Zudem sei ein erweitertes polizeiliches Führungszeugnis für alle Mitarbeiter sowie eine Fortbildung zur Prävention sexualisierter Gewalt verpflichtend.
Manny Waks, founder and former head of Australian sexual abuse victims’ advocacy group Tzedek, praises the Melbourne’s King David School for its handling of allegations against its teacher.
Manny Waks, the founder and former head of Australian sexual abuse victims’ advocacy group Tzedek, praised the Melbourne’s King David School for its handling of allegations that one its teachers had acted in an inappropriate manner with students.
Australian Jewry was recently shaken by revelations that leaders of the ultra-orthodox community had covered up incidents of sexual abuse in their schools. The Australian rabbinate split into two bodies when the full extent of this concealment came to light during a Royal Commission into institutional responses to sexual abuse earlier this year.
According to the Herald Sun, a “top Jewish school,” subsequently identified as the progressive King David School, contacted the police regarding what it termed “possible inappropriate conduct’ between a teacher and students. The teacher, who was subsequently suspended while the school conducted an investigation into the matter, was also alleged to have sent “innuendo” filled Facebook messages to erstwhile students.
The Worthy Adversary
Posted by Joelle Casteix on April 27, 2015
A federal bankruptcy judge has set an August 3 deadline for victims of child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis/St. Paul.
The deadline, called a BAR DATE, is the final day and men and women abused as children can file claims against the Archdiocese to expose their abuser and get justice and accountability.
The Archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year, after approximately 140 men and women came forward to file sex abuse and cover-up lawsuits under Minnesota’s civil window. The civil window, enacted in 2013, allows victims of child sexual abuse to use the civil courts for justice, no matter when the abuse occurred.
Since the civil window opened, the Archdiocese has been pounded in the media and by victims for covering up child sex abuse. The pounding was well-justified.
May 4, 2015 Issue
The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses
James T. O'Reilly
Oxford University Press. 472p $95
James T. O’Reilly is an attorney and a much published author of legal handbooks. He was president of the Cincinnati archdiocesan pastoral council when Joseph Bernardin was archbishop. Margaret S. P. Chalmers is a canon lawyer who is chancellor of the personal ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, the special arrangement put in place by Pope Benedict XVI for Episcopalians wanting to come across to Rome. They describe themselves as two explorers who entered the same large old attic by opposite stairs, armed only with a flashlight each. The attic includes those dark corners of the Catholic Church in the United States where clergy sex abuse has been perpetrated, hidden, litigated, ultimately admitted and exposed to the light of day. The first 18 chapters of The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses are the findings from the O’Reilly civil law torchlight. The last 11 chapters are from the Chalmers canon law light.
The increasing revelations of abuse in the church in other countries motivated them to assemble a readable yet authoritative text. Dealing with child sexual abuse in the church is tragically still a work in progress. “There is much to be learned from the many mistakes made by the US bishops.” Rightly espousing zero tolerance, they take no satisfaction in the John Jay College Report, which found “that only 4 percent of priests had been accused of sexual misconduct. But this is not a matter of pride, but instead like a fire department whose members include 4 percent arsonists.” They highlight the damage done by the 1997 letter from the Congregation for the Clergy to the Irish bishops urging that they not report abuse to police but rather channel complaints through church channels. When the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (C.D.F.) took over, this advice was reversed, but not before great damage was done to the church’s credibility.
The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis is a comprehensive handbook for anyone contemplating action against the church or for those wanting to understand the complexities of the civil and canon law. The steps in criminal prosecution and civil litigation are carefully spelled out. The lay reader is given an accessible understanding of legal concepts like respondeat superior, vicarious liability, the statute of limitations and bankruptcy. Ten of the 195 dioceses in the United States have now filed for bankruptcy and are requiring an accounting of all assets and contingent liabilities, being “called upon to ‘give ‘til it hurts’” in the disposal of available land or other assets.” Since 1987, insurance companies have become increasingly restrictive, refusing to offer coverage for abuse and for failure to adequately screen, train or monitor clergy. This has resulted in “over 60 dioceses and church entities that have entered the Catholic Mutual risk pool program.”
There is still no legal certainty about the extent of any Vatican liability for failure by bishops to adequately supervise their priests nor about the extent, if any, to which parish assets can be accessed to satisfy diocesan debts. If the C.D.F. were to order the reinstatement of a priest who later abused a child, the plaintiff might succeed in reaching the deep pockets of the Vatican despite the provisions of the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act.
BRUSSEL (KerkNet) – “Na het ontbinden van de Commissie Adriaenssens in juni 2010 stonden de slachtoffers die zich hadden gemeld opnieuw in de kou. In die nadagen werd mgr. De Kesel benoemd tot bisschop van Brugge. Er was één groot vacuüm rond de vraag wat moet en kan er nu gebeuren met de klachten van slachtoffers. De bisschop deed meteen beroep op Patrick Degrieck, priester en jurist van het bisdom, die medewerker was in de Commissie Adriaenssens. Hij kreeg de uitdrukkelijke opdracht de slachtoffers van priesters uit het bisdom die ondertussen gekend waren uit te nodigen voor gesprek en al het mogelijke te doen voor erkenning en herstel”. Dat zegt Manu Keirse, emeritus hoogleraar verliesverwerking en voorzitter van de Interdiocesane Commissie voor de Bescherming van Kinderen en Jongeren.
“In die dagen werd ik gevraagd door de bisschoppenconferentie om op basis van mijn ervaring met verliesverwerking een nieuw beleid uit te tekenen voor opvang en herstel. Dat resulteerde in de oprichting van twaalf opvangpunten binnen de Kerk en de oprichting van de arbitragecommissie, een instantie buiten de Kerk opgericht, maar wel met haar volledige medewerking, op vraag van de parlementaire commissie.
[A church human rights group is calling for the resignation of Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard. A court last week ordered the archbishop to pay money to a victim of clergy sexual abuse.]
Mensenrechten in de Kerk vraagt het ontslag van monseigneur Léonard. De werkgroep doet dit naar aanleiding van de uitspraak van het Luikse hof van beroep, dat Léonard gisteren veroordeelde omdat hij niet optrad tegen een pedofiele priester, en wegens uitspraken die Léonard eerder zelf deed.
Het hof van beroep in Luik veroordeelde Léonard donderdag in een burgerlijke procedure omdat die niet het nodige zou hebben gedaan met een klacht van slachtoffer Joël Devillet, die van zijn 14e tot zijn 18e werd verkracht door een priester in de provincie Luxemburg. De man kaartte het misbruik in 1991 aan bij Léonard, die toen nog bisschop in Namen was.
[Andre-Joseph Leonard, archbishop of Malines-Brussels, will settle after retirement with his Fratrnite des Saints Apotres.]
ANTWERPEN (KerkNet/Tertio) – Mgr. André-Joseph Léonard, de aartsbisschop van Mechelen-Brussel, zal zich na zijn emeritaat vestigen in zijn ‘Fraternité des Saints Apôtres’. Hij maakt dat bekend in een gesprek met het weekblad 'Tertio'. André-Joseph Léonard werd op 6 mei 1940 geboren in Jambes (Namen). Op woensdag 6 mei wordt hij 75 jaar en neemt dan ambtshalve ontslag als aartsbisschop.
Eerder kondigde mgr. Léonard aan dat hij bij die gelegenheid aan paus Franciscus zal vragen om een opvolger te benoemen en dat hij zich na zijn emeritaat graag wil vestigen in een bedevaartsoord in België of Frankrijk. “Ik kan er biecht horen, preken en conferenties geven, wat lezen en schrijven.” In 'Tertio' bekent hij tegelijk een andere idee te koesteren. “Met de toestemming van mijn opvolger zou ik eerst een tijdje in de oude abdij van Marche-les-Dames willen wonen in de door mij opgerichte ‘Fraternité des Saints Apôtres’. Ik wil er bekwame mensen vormen die na mij de verantwoordelijkheid over die priesteropleiding kunnen opnemen.”
Geert De Kerpel
Over exact twee weken wordt André-Joseph Léonard 75 jaar en dient hij, zoals het kerkelijke recht bepaalt, zijn ontslag in als aartsbisschop van Mechelen-Brussel. Uit het bilan dat Tertio samen met hem opmaakt, blijkt nog maar eens hoezeer de zorg voor de continuïteit met de traditie centraal staat in zijn denken en handelen, en een sterke profilering van de katholieke identiteit hem blijvend na aan het hart ligt. Geen twijfel dus bij hem over bijvoorbeeld de kerkelijke leer inzake huwelijk en seksualiteit, ook niet nadat met het bijeenroepen door de paus van twee bisschoppensynodes over het thema toch wel wat in beweging blijkt te komen, tot in de hoogste kerkelijke regionen aan toe.
Het heeft het voordeel van de duidelijkheid en wie houvast zoekt in deze soms verwarrende tijden, komt bij bisschop Léonard en de kerk die hij voorstaat, niet bedrogen uit. Maar de gapende kloof met brede lagen van de bevolking wordt er wel niet kleiner op, integendeel. Dat bovendien ook heel wat trouwe kerkgangers en zelfs vele pastorale verantwoordelijken aan de andere kant van het ravijn zijn beland, geeft pas echt te denken. Is het werkelijk keer op keer het Volk Gods dat is afgedwaald van de rechte weg of misten bij bepaalde cruciale gelegenheden ook hun herders de juiste afslag?
As a graduate student, my most valued and necessary possession (besides the rosary inscribed 'I am a Catholic. In case of emergency, call a priest' that was given to me by grandmother when I departed for what she considered to be the pagan land of Britain) was my British Library card. I also happened to live for a year near Runnymede, which is why I listened with interest to news reports of the opening of the new exhibit at the British Library Gallery 'Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, and Legacy'. The exhibit is unique in that not only is the Magna Carta on display in London, but also Thomas Jefferson's handwritten Declaration of Independence. What piqued my interest, however, was another document on display- Pope Innocent III's papal bull invalidating the Magna Carta, issued in August of 1215, a mere three months after the 'great charter' was agreed to by King John and his warring barons.
It should come as no surprise to us that the Holy See was opposed to the agreement that has become the foundation of many modern constitutions and a cornerstone of our understanding of individual rights. The ideas that were contained therein, including that no one, including the King, is above the law, that no one could be taxed without the agreement of established stakeholders, and that all free men have the right to justice and a fair trial, can scarcely be imagined to be palatable to an autocrat who himself held power even over the King. What did surprise me, however, is that 800 years after Pope Innocent III declared the Magna Carta to be ‘illegal, unjust, harmful to royal rights and shameful to the English people’, the Catholic Church is again asserting its rights above those granted by legislative assembly.
I am tempted to link to some of the amicus briefs the USCCB has filed with the Supreme Court during the past ten years, but instead I will keep things closer to home. For, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis recently asked federal bankruptcy judge Robert Kressel to set a bar date, or a filing deadline, of August 3 for victims seeking compensation from the Archdiocese for sexual abuse perpetrated by its clergy. This is nearly 9-months earlier than the civil window opened by the Minnesota legislature in 2013, which gives victims until May of 2016 to file a civil suit, regardless of when their abuse occurred. According to news reports, the Archdiocese feels the bar date will assist it in filing a timely reorganization plan, with less cost. Attorneys for victims argue that survivors of abuse in the Archdiocese should be given the same amount of time to file claims as survivors in other parts of the state.
The Valley Catholic
By Liz Sullivan
Diocese of San Jose Bishop Patrick J. McGrath recently sat down with The Valley Catholic to discuss the recent arrest of Monsignor Hien Minh Nguyen for 14 counts of Bank Fraud totaling $19,000 and Tax Evasion.
The Bishop was saddened by this development, noting that “Monsignor Hien has been a priest of the Diocese of San Jose for nearly 30 years. In his years as pastor of St. Patrick, he paid off previously accrued parish and school debts and created a strong foundation upon which to serve the community.”
Ordained in 1985, Nguyen served as Judicial Vicar for the Diocese of San Jose from 2001-2008 before being named Pastor of St. Patrick in 2008. He served in that capacity until 2011. Following a fire that destroyed the church in September of 2012, the parish was renamed and is now called Our Lady of La Vang. Monsignor Nguyen also served as Vicar for Vietnamese Ministry and Director of the Vietnamese Catholic Center from 2001 to 2011.
Monsignor Nguyen had requested and been granted a sabbatical, which began on July 1, 2011. Returning from his sabbatical, he was appointed as Parochial Vicar of St. Nicholas Parish on July 1, 2012. Then in October, 2012, the Diocese was contacted by the IRS. The IRS requested confidentiality on the part of the Diocese. Nguyen took a personal leave of absence from ministry on December 6, 2013.
(Vatican Radio) The Holy Father has named Bishop John C. Wester as the new Archbishop of Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. Bishop Wester has been serving as Bishop of Salt Lake City, Utah.
At the same time, the Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Michael Sheehan from the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, in conformity with canon 401, paragraph 1 of the Code of Canon Law.
Biography of Archbishop-elect John Charles Wester
Bishop John Charles Wester was born 5 November 1950 in San Francisco, California. After attending Our Lady of Mercy elementary school in Daly City and Saint Joseph High School Seminary (1964-1968), and Saint Joseph College Seminary (1968-1972) in Mountain View, he undertook his theological studies at Saint Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park (1972-1976). Later, he obtained a Master’s degree in Spiritual Theology at the University of San Francisco (1984) and a Master’s in Pastoral Counseling at Holy Names College in Oakland (1993).
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.
With news compilation
ATTENTION New York idiots Catholics, this is your first-and-last chance to protest big time against Pope Francis when he comes to New York in September – especially at his speech in the UN – because he is the biggest Pharisee hypocrite and greatest thief in the history of mankind – because he hoards all those despots and world leaders at the UN and multinational corporations imperialists’ private secret accounts in the Vatican Swiss Banks – run exclusively by his Swiss Guard Army alumni.
A bill is now pending in the NY state Assembly that would eliminate the statute of limitations on abuse cases going forward – and create a one-year window to allow anyone to file lawsuits no matter when the abuse occurred. The Roman Catholic Church is opposing the bill saying that it would cause the church "catastrophic financial harm" and that "It is wrong to hold innocent people accountable today for the evil actions of long-dead individuals from a different generation." Really, tell that to the Germans of today who are still paying hundreds of millions of dollars annually to Jewish victims – (and their descendants) -- of the Holocaust caused by dead Hitler (accomplice of Vatican) and carried out by his Nazis – for whom the Vatican issued passports to their safe refuge in Argentina.
Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Survivors of Child Sex Abuse Need To Act Sooner
Posted by Mike Bryant
April 26, 2015
As a result of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis bankruptcy, survivors of sexual abuse have until August 3rd, 2015 to seek justice against their attackers. The Window that has been opened by the Minnesota legislature has a ending date of May of 2016. The federal bankruptcy court unfortunately preempts the state law, so as compared to the rest of the state, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis survivors have lost time to act.
Those with claims must act within that time.
Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.
San Francisco Examiner
Some parents at Star of the Sea School say they’ve begun writing letters and placing calls to Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordelione to remove the school’s pastor, the Rev. Joseph Illo, after learning of a court case where the pastor was found guilty of causing emotional distress to a young girl.
Bob Regan, a parent of a student at the school, said many parents contacted San Francisco’s archbishop last week after learning about the case, which was settled in San Joaquin County Superior Court in 2005.
In that case, the girl in 2001 reported alleged sexual misconduct by another priest working under Illo, who at the time was at St. Joseph’s Parish in Modesto. The lawsuit states Illo in turn called the girl a liar and yelled at her, causing emotional distress. The girl was ultimately awarded $20,000 in damages.
Regan told The San Francisco Examiner on Sunday that parents at the school are planning on having a private meeting this week to discuss the court case. When asked how many parents have contacted the archbishop about their concerns, Regan speculated “more than 200.” “You really have to work hard to find parents who are not dismayed by what’s going on,” Regan said.
London Evening Standard
Published: 27 April 2015
A leading composer of church music who taught at private schools including one attended by Nigella Lawson and Kate Beckinsale has escaped prison after police found images of child abuse at his home.
John Barnard, 66, a former German and French teacher at the £18,000-a-year Godolphin and Latymer school in Hammersmith, was arrested after officers raided his house in Harrow.
He pleaded guilty at Harrow Crown Court to three counts of making indecent images of children and one charge of possessing indecent photographs, which relate to 29 pictures found in his bedroom. Most of the images depicted boys aged between 14 and 16. ...
Barnard is currently suspended as head of choir at John Keble Church, Edgware.
April 26, 2015
By TIM PADGETT
Argentine-born Pope Francis knows it’s not enough to be the first Latin American pontiff. He also has to make that mean something.
So far he has. He’s condemned the region’s still epic inequality, he's tried to mediate the unholy mess in Venezuela – and most famously he's brokered a rapprochement between the U.S. and Cuba that could thaw a century of bitter mistrust between Washington and Latin America.
Francis announced last week that in September he’ll visit Cuba, where polls show he’s far more beloved than the Castros – and where, as my colleague Andres Oppenheimer points out, he has a unique opportunity to persuade them to improve human rights.
All good stuff, Your Holiness. So forgive us if we can’t figure out why you would risk all that New World goodwill by stubbornly endorsing a bishop in Chile who, according to victims, shielded a pedophile priest.
New York State Catholic Conference
Published on April 19th, 2015
Memorandum of Opposition
The above-referenced bill would create a one-year window for the filing of decades-old claims of sexual abuse by a minor against businesses, not-for-profits and religious organizations. Sexual abuse is a crime and a detestable assault on the dignity of the human person, made even worse when the victim is a child. Child sexual abuse is a pervasive social problem and the Catholic Conference supports legislative efforts to strengthen criminal penalties for sexual abuse of children to allow law enforcement to get sexual predators off the streets, and to prospectively extend criminal and civil statutes of limitations to give victims more time to seek justice.
The centerpiece of this legislation, however, is not designed to protect children from abuse today, rather it is aimed at enriching trial lawyers by opening a “window” for previously time-barred claims, specifically targeting private institutions such as the Catholic Church, the Boy Scouts and other not-for profit organizations with impossible-to-defend claims that go back 40, 50, or 60 years, or even longer. Incredibly, the bill “window” in the statute of limitations does not apply to public institutions, such as public schools, hospitals, health clinics, juvenile detention facilities, county youth programs and town pools. The reason is simple: State law which requires victims to file a notice of claim with the courts within three months of the incident when they intend to sue a public entity, or forever be time barred. As this bill does not amend that requirement, the window does not apply to victims injured in state facilities.
The Assembly sponsor acknowledged this injustice in 2009 when she amended her bill to remove notice of claims requirements, thereby including public institutions. She even told the New York Times that the amendment “has made this a better bill.” (NYT, 6/4/09) However, after strong opposition from the NYS Conference of Mayors, the Association of Counties, and the School Boards Association, she retreated and refashioned the bill to once again protect public entities.
Under the current bill language, victims of long-ago abuse in public schools or other municipal institutions would not have the same recourse to sue an employer or institution as someone abused by a priest, rabbi or a Boy Scout counselor. This creates two classes of victims, giving a person who claims to have been sexually abused in a private school another chance to sue 60 years later, while denying the right of a person abused in a public school even months after the fact. This is clearly discriminatory.
Statutes of limitations exist to protect the fair administration of justice. Their purpose is to ensure that plaintiffs bring their claims within a reasonable period of time so that defendants will have timely notice of such claims and a reasonable opportunity to prepare a defense. They reflect recognition of the need to give legal repose to human affairs. Over time, memories fade, witnesses die, evidence disappears and the likelihood of fraudulent claims increases. It is virtually impossible for any organization to defend itself against a claim arising from events 50, 60, 70 years ago – a claim which probably involves people who are dead and about which little, if any, reliable information is available.
This legislation is patterned on similar legislation that was passed in California in 2002 during the height of the sexual abuse crisis in the Church. It has resulted in more than 800 lawsuits – more than $1 billion in claims. The Catholic Church in California was been forced to settle these claims by selling church properties and curtailing essential programs and services. The Catholic Church in New York State would likely suffer the same catastrophic financial harm. Moreover, the legislation may make it impossible for the Catholic Church and other non-profits that serve children to buy insurance, putting in jeopardy their ability to continue to provide services.
Since 2002, the Catholic Church has taken more steps to prevent the sexual abuse of children than any other private organization. No one who has been credibly accused of harming a child is currently in active ministry and all Church employees and volunteers in every diocese must complete sexual abuse awareness training if they are going to be in contact with children in any way. Whenever a credible claim of sexual abuse is brought, it is both investigated by Church authorities and immediately reported to law enforcement. The Church recognizes that sexual abuse and sexual assault is a societal problem, and it must be addressed as such.
The Catholic Conference strongly supports legislative efforts to protect children from sexual abuse, including mandatory background checks for all public and private employees who work with children, expansion of the “mandatory reporter” law to include clergy and others, and an extension of the criminal statute of limitations for additional sex offenses. An extension or elimination of the criminal statutes would, in effect, extend the civil statutes as well, because state law allows a civil case to be brought upon the disposition of a criminal case, even if it would otherwise be time barred.
The Catholic Conference opposes legislation designed to target the Catholic Church and other private organizations by opening a retroactive window in the statute of limitations so that people can bring claims against institutions which decades ago may have employed someone now charged with abuse. This bill would result in present-day juries applying society’s current psychological understanding of sexual abuse to the decisions made by employers 40, 50 or 60 years ago. It is wrong to hold innocent people accountable today for the evil actions of long-dead individuals from a different generation.
This bill would be a boon to trial attorneys but a grave injustice to those who donate their hard-earned money to religious and charitable institutions which now might be subject to stale lawsuits regarding long-ago charges. No secret vault of gold exists to bail Catholics out of this attorney-driven legal siege. The people paying for these abuse settlements are innocent Catholic families who had no part in events of the past. It is these Catholic families who stand to lose their churches, their schools, and the charities they so generously support if this law is passed. It is the people of the state who stand to suffer from curtailed religious, educational and social services.
Victims of sexual abuse clearly have a right to sue, but it must be done within a reasonable amount of time or a fair trial becomes impossible, particularly with lesser evidentiary standards of civil versus criminal trials. A retroactive opening of civil statutes of limitations allowing for unlimited old claims does not serve justice. In fact, it is contrary to justice. It is unfair and bad public policy when governments exempt themselves from lawsuits of a kind that can bankrupt their private counterparts when engaged in exactly the same behavior.
This bill is discriminatory on its face. The Catholic Conference strongly urges its defeat.
Ironically, among the childless pope’s top problems are two that involve children: those abused by predatory priests and those born to parents unable to nurture them adequately. Celibate Pope Francis may soon be creating a new self inflicted “mess” with his much hyped climate change encyclical, unless he decisively reverses his papal contraception ban in the process. A reversal would also free the Vatican of the harmful legacy of illusory “infallible” popes that has compelled modern popes to follow misguided decisions of their fallible predecessors.
The pope’s celibate “Family Synod” Bishops last October were almost 95% in favor of continuing the contraception ban. The final “Family Synod” next October is very unlikely to favor reversing the ban, thereby likely greatly weakening the papacy further in the process. Almost all of these bishops reportedly had, in effect, promised, as a pre-condition to being made a bishop, that they would uphold the contraception ban, a key element of the papal claim to infallibility. The world’s population was about 2 billion in 1930 when Pope Pius XI, the first pope of Francis’ lifetime, unnecessarily banned birth control mainly for geo-political reasons. The population is now 7.3 billion and projected to be 9 billion in 2050, only 35 years from now. It is time for the pope to act responsibly and reasonably to solve this self inflicted papal problem.
The pope is in trouble. He has yet to recover from the revolts of Catholics in Chile and among the members of his “go slow” sex abuse commission over his appointment of Bishop Barros or from his unnecessary “Mexicanization” slur. See my Vatican Revolt Negates Synod & Sex Commission . The pope’s belated and inadequate removal of Bishop Finn has satisfied few and raised the call for more bishops to go.
In January, in flight to the overpopulated and natural disaster ravaged Philippines, reporters asked Pope Francis if he believes that climate change is the result of human activity. The pope replied that he thinks it’s “mostly” man-made. “I don’t know if it (human activity) is the only cause, but mostly, in great part, it is man who has slapped nature in the face,” he reportedly said.
A key factor in climate change, of course, is entirely “man-made”, namely population growth. More children, which the pope consistently pushes for, means more climate change and more unsustainable and “expendable” children to be abandoned, exploited and abused, including by bishops and priests, as was evident in the Dominican Republic with Polish Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski and priest Fr. Alberto Gil.
Questions from a Ewe
I leave the country for a few weeks and I guess I cannot trust my diocese and bishop to keep themselves out of the funny papers while I’m gone. The hubbub? Fr. Ed Fride, pastor of Christ the King parish in Ann Arbor, sponsored and started holding concealed pistol license (CPL) classes at the parish presumably with emphasis on answering those vexing doctrinal questions, “Who would Jesus shoot?” and “What would Jesus carry?”
As a personal parish of Lansing Bishop Earl Boyea, Christ the King is not confined to territorial boundaries as are most diocesan parishes. It prides itself on being a “charismatic, contemplative, Eucharistic and Marian” oasis within the diocese. I think Fr. Ed was just trying to expand that "points of pride” list to include other terms typically associated with Jesus such as “kick-ass,” take no prisoners,” and “combative.” That’s quite a spiritual weapons journey for Ed, a former Vietnam War Conscientious Objector…from pacifist to pugilist.
To give you some idea about the parish in question, rumor has it that Domino’s Pizza Founder and uber-orthodox sugar daddy of Ave Maria University, Tom Monaghan, also bankrolls this uber-orthodox parish. This seems plausible since Christ the King, Ann Arbor sits across the road from Ave Maria Radio and adjacent to Domino’s Farms.
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.
In San Francisco, USA, more than 100 prominent Catholics – famous laymen and laywomen, hardworking men and women, moms and dads many of them have received awards from the archdiocese – signed a full-page advertisement in the San Francisco Chronicle urging Pope Francis to replace Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone for fostering “an atmosphere of division and intolerance” – and for demanding high school teachers and staffers at Catholic schools to sign a morality clause to “affirm and believe” that sex outside marriage and masturbation and homosexual relations are “gravely evil.” The ad strategically placed in the main section of the newspaper reportedly cost tens of thousands of dollars. OUR REBUTTAL is in the two large words it used – Holy Father – to address Pope Francis – which is a pathological lie because Pope Francis and priests do not deserve to be called “Father” because they steal from the dignity of laymen – including these same laymen signatories – who are true fathers to their children. Popes and priests do absolutely nothing for the daily welfare of children worldwide.
SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A lawsuit from back in 2005 is providing fuel for parents of students at a San Francisco Catholic school who want to remove the parish's controversial pastor.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that according to the lawsuit, Father Joseph Illo, who is now the pastor at Star of the Sea School, shouted at an 11-year-old girl at his former parish and called her a liar.
This after she came to him to report alleged sexual abuse by another priest.
[Pedophile priest in Messina? Archbishop: "I follow the story with pain".]
Il sacerdote sarebbe stato denunciato da un autotrasportatore di Rovigo.
"Con profondo dolore e sgomento apprendo quanto i mass media in questi ultimi giorni stanno diffondendo circa presunti comportamenti assunti da un frate domenicano, temporaneamente inserito in una comunità religiosa del suo ordine presente nella nostra Arcidiocesi, che certamente, se fossero confermati, sarebbero incompatibili con la vita cristiana e con la vita religiosa". Lo scrive in una nota l'arcivescovo di Messina Calogero La Piana, in merito a un presunto caso di pedofilia che vedrebbe coinvolto un prelato messinese che, secondo la denuncia di autotrasportatore ai carabinieri di Rovigo, avrebbe contattato su facebook dei minori per intrattenere con loro dei rapporti sessuali.
[Priest accused of pedophilia, chose his victims in poor neighborhoods.]
di FLORIANA RULLO
Adescava le sue giovani vittime nei quartieri poveri delle città. Ragazzi cresciuti in quartieri difficili, con pochi soldi in tasca che trovavano in quelle decine di euro che don Massimo Iuculano, il parroco di Vercelli arrestato ieri dalla polizia per violenza sessuale aggravata e prostituzione minorile, gli dava dopo per le prestazioni sessuali che riceveva. Ragazzi minorenni e maggiorenni senza soldi, spesso problematici e con un passato difficile alle spalle fatte di violenze, anche domestiche.
Emergono nuovi agghiaccianti particolari sulla doppia vita di Don Massimo. Da una parte da tutti era considerato la guida dell’oratorio più frequentato della città, sempre impegnato nelle attività del Belvedere di Vercelli e dall'altra invece emerge una storia di abusi fatta di incontri per prestazione sessuali sia in parrocchia che in auto. ,poliziaAddirittura qualcuno lo vedeva rincasare a ore improponibili per un prete. E mentre lunedì è previsto l'interrogatorio di garanzia per il sacerdote 46enne originario di Torino, la procura di Torino nei prossimi giorni, analizzerà le conversazioni che il sacerdote scambiava con le sue vittime, adescate tramite sms, Facebook e Whatsapp.
[Pedophile bishop Vangheluwe entitled to pension of 2,800 euros.]
Ex-bisschop van Brugge, Roger Vangheluwe, gaf vijf jaar geleden zijn ontslag nadat hij in opspraak was gekomen voor kindermisbruik. Waarschijnlijk heeft hij zich ergens teruggetrokken in een of andere religieuze gemeenschap. Vermits het nooit tot een veroordeling kwam, heeft de pedofiele Vangheluwe nog altijd recht op zijn pensioen. En dat is niet min: 2.800 euro. Netto.
Vangheluwe gaf in 2010 toe dat hij zijn neefje in de jaren tachtig seksueel had misbruikt. Op 23 april van dat jaar diende hij zijn ontslag als bisschop van Brugge in. Vijf jaar geleden dus. Nog dezelfde dag aanvaardde paus Benedictus XVI het ontslag van Vangheluwe. Een jaar later gaf hij ook toe nog een andere neef te hebben misbruikt. In een ophefmakend interview met VT4 minimaliseerde hij zijn kindermisbruik.
26 April 2015 By Marion Scott
EDUCATION Secretary Angela Constance yesterday vowed to put the best person in charge of a public inquiry into child abuse in Scotland.
She made the pledge 24 hours after she was criticised by victims for delaying the appointment.
Constance had been expected to announce which judge would be spearheading the investigation into historical institutional child abuse by the end of the month.
But she revealed last week there will be no announcement until after May’s general election, sparking anger among abuse survivors.
Yesterday she reassured victims that the Scottish Government was on their side and promised whoever is in charge will get it right.
De Groene Amsterdammer
[Labour MP Marith Rebel and her D66 colleague Magda Berndsen want clarification from the Minister of Security and Justice on the reporting of sexual abuse by the Catholic Church and the transfer of accused clergy by the Church to developing countries. An article in The Green Amsterdam this week shows that the Dutch province of the Congregation Priests of the Sacred Heart of Jesus for years did nothing with reports of abuse by the Belgian Father Jan in Brazil. "The Roman Catholic Church seems to have learned little from the past and the recommendations of the committee Deetman," says Labour MP Marith Rebel.]
door Jeroen Kostense & Katy Sherriff 15-04-2015
PvdA-Kamerlid Marith Rebel en haar D66-collega Magda Berndsen willen opheldering van de minister van Veiligheid en Justitie over het melden van seksueel misbruik door de katholieke kerk en de overplaatsing van verdachte geestelijken door de kerk naar ontwikkelingslanden. Uit een artikel in De Groene Amsterdammer van deze week blijkt dat de Nederlandse provincie van de congregatie Priesters van het Heilig Hart van Jezus jarenlang niks deed met meldingen van misbruik door de Belgische pater Jan in Brazilië. ‘De rooms-katholieke kerk lijkt weinig geleerd te hebben van het verleden en de aanbevelingen van de commissie-Deetman’, zegt PvdA-Kamerlid Marith Rebel.
De laatste jaren duiken steeds meer zaken op van paters die na beschuldigingen van misbruik werden ‘overgeplaatst’ naar de Derde Wereld. In het artikel wordt de zaak belicht van de Belgische pater Jan, die sinds midden jaren negentig een opvangtehuis voor jongens runt in het arme noordoosten van Brazilië. Koos de Rooij, provinciaal-overste van de congregatie van pater Jan, beweert dat de congregatie niet eerder over de beschuldigingen hoorde dan 2011. Toen stapten Belgische slachtoffers die in de jaren zeventig en tachtig door de pater zouden zijn misbruikt naar justitie.
The Daily Beast
It’s a huge deal and major accountability moment for a Church that frankly hasn’t had enough of them. The Vatican is getting it at last.
The resignation of bishop Robert W. Finn of Kansas City-St Joseph, Missouri last week is a watershed moment in the history of the Catholic Church: the first time that a bishop was directly forced to resign for poorly handling a case of priestly child abuse. Finn was sentenced for maintaining in ministry and failing to report a priest on whose computer a piece of child pornography was found.
Let's acknowledge this first: Since the Catholic sex abuse crisis first came to light 15 years ago, the Church has taken enormous steps to remedy the problem, especially under the too-little-noticed but vigorous guidance of Pope Benedict XVI—including extremely tough accountability rules for priests. And indeed sex abuse cases have dropped precipitously.
But the true underlying problem, and the reason why the sex abuse scandal was such a crisis for the Church, was never with the priests. It was always with the bishops. All religious denominations suffer from sex abuse problems simply because predators look for positions where they have access to children, and Catholics are no worse off than anybody else.
KANSAS CITY (MO)
Sunday, April 26, 2015
BY KANSAS CITY STAR
The departure of Robert W. Finn as bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, although overdue, is a step forward for the diocese and thousands of area Catholics.
Finn’s conduct in office made him a symbol of the Catholic church’s failure to adequately address child sexual abuse by priests. He was the first Catholic bishop to be convicted of a crime related to that crisis.
Finn, 62, should have resigned after his 2012 conviction, if not sooner. He received two years of probation for failing to notify law enforcement authorities after pornographic images were found on the computer of a diocesan priest, Shawn Ratigan.
Finn’s decision to place secrecy above his moral and legal obligations enabled Ratigan to harm additional children. The former priest is serving a 50-year prison sentence for producing child pornography.
Finn remained in office despite the scandal, a circumstance that anguished and angered many Catholics. The news Tuesday that Pope Francis accepted Finn’s resignation is a triumph for the lay persons who wrote letters, collected more than 250,000 petition signatures and spoke up for Finn to leave.
By Kristen V. Brown Saturday, April 25, 2015
In the latest scandal to hit San Francisco’s Catholic Church, elementary school parents at Star of the Sea School have renewed calls for the ouster of the parish’s controversial pastor after learning of a decade-old civil court case in which a jury found he inflicted emotional distress on an 11-year-old girl at his former parish in Modesto.
The lawsuit in San Joaquin County Superior Court in 2005 said that when the girl came to the Rev. Joseph Illo in September 2001 to report alleged sexual abuse by another priest, the Rev. Francis Arakal, Illo called her a liar, yelled at her and forced her to confront Arakal.
No criminal charges were filed against Arakal. The jury in the civil lawsuit did not find him liable for any wrongful touching, but awarded the family $20,000 for emotional distress based on how the incident was handled.
“Whether the story was real or not, he had no right to treat a child the way he did as a responsible adult in a position of authority,” said Christy Brooks, a parent of two students at Star of the Sea, a K-8 school. “We really need an explanation from the archdiocese of how this person was vetted and put into a parish that had an elementary school. He is ill-equipped to be sitting anywhere near children.”
By John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor April 25, 2015
Americans may have lost their dominance in many sectors of the global economy in the early 21st century, but there’s one industry where we still unquestionably lead the pack: the manufacture of controversy.
American Catholics are no exception, and this week a fresh row broke out over Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the official overseas development arm of the US bishops. It turns out that CRS has a non-Catholic employee working in a technical post, nothing to do with faith or morals, who’s in a same-sex marriage.
Predictably, some folks are upset and are letting everyone know about it.
Whatever the merits of the fuss, here’s an observation you won’t find in most American debates: For Catholics in many other parts of the world, the whole thing seems a great example of a “luxury issue,” meaning the kind of argument that only affluent cultures and churches can afford to have. ...
Why it took so long on Bishop Finn.
Now that the story of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph has reached its inevitable denouement with his resignation, the main post-mortem curiosity is why it took so long to get here.
The Vatican announced Finn’s resignation on Tuesday, a full 2 1/2 years after he became the lone American bishop to be criminally convicted (albeit on a misdemeanor charge) of failure to report an allegation of child abuse. For most people, the inexplicable part is why it required 28 months for a bishop disgraced in such an utterly complete way to lose his job.
I was in Rome when the news broke, and a colleague in the Vatican press corps suggested the headline should be: “Finn … ally!”
Probably the best way to explain the delay is that it illustrates the dilemma that ensues when the broad significance of a case and its individual details aren’t in perfect alignment.
April 25, 2015
MARI A. SCHAEFER, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
POSTED: Sunday, April 26, 2015
The Episcopal Academy student was 13, he said, when teacher Richard Perkins Smith gave him and some classmates pornographic magazines.
Smith watched as the boys, wearing only briefs, became sexually excited and "horsed around" with one another, he said.
"He knew damn well what was going on - and he facilitated it," said the former student.
Now a middle-aged man, the former student is among nearly a dozen Episcopal alumni who say Smith sexually abused them decades ago.
In a letter sent this month to alumni and others, officials at the prestigious Delaware County school disclosed that at least 11 former students had come forward to say they were abused by Smith, an Episcopal teacher from 1970 to 1990 and administrator until 1998.
No, but too many Jesuits give Pope Francis a pass, in my view, despite clear Gospel mandates, such as to protect children from abuse. And where today are the Jesuits like Karl Rahner and John Courtney Murray who dared to question earlier unchristian and unhistorical Vatican positions? Why are more Jesuits not at least trying to re-assess the autocratic prior two popes’ ideological mandates such as the continuing ban on artificial contraception, the “non-biblical” exclusion of women from the priesthood, invented papal infallibility, the cruel assault on gay Catholics, the insensitive exclusion of remarried divorced Catholics from communion, the budding and dangerous crusade against Middle East Islam, etc.? Have many Jesuits lost their nerve?
For almost four decades, the intellectual “swat team” priests of the Catholic Church, the Jesuits, had often been suppressed and intimidated by ruthless popes, especially the ex-pope for over three decades. Even outstanding Jesuit educated “ordinary priest” theologians like Hans Kung and Richard McBrien were pressured to be silent on key issues, like challenging the pope’s claim since 1870 to personal infallibility and the purportedly “settled” exclusion of women priests and the “sin” of artificial contraception and other mythical papal claims to non-existent “traditions” that clerical opportunists “discover” and compromised clerics “accept”.
One would have expected under the first Jesuit Pope, Francis, that there would have been an outburst of Jesuit truth telling. Disappointingly, not so as best I can tell. Jesuits, and at times even ex-Jesuits like Gary Wills and Michael Walsh, seem often so thrilled with having a Jesuit pope, that they appear to see mostly good outputs under Pope Francis, no matter what the reality is.
Of course, Jesuits have had their own embarrassing and expensive scandals, including major ones involving child sex abuse, so may have good reasons to be wary of the spotlight. And the seemingly tough ex-bouncer pope has likely leaned on Jesuit superiors to enforce blind obedience. But to their great credit, Jesuits have always had prophetic voices despite scandals and overbearing popes, including the unmatched Karl Rahner among recent prophets.
Significantly, well informed UK journalist, Paul Vallely, in his superb recent biography, “Pope Francis-Untier of Knots”, reports that many Jesuits in Argentina, and even in the UK and Rome, had serious reservations earlier about their Jesuit confrere, Jorge Bergoglio. This likely helped steer the ambitious Bergoglio to become a bishop, unusual for a Jesuit, and to bring him to powerful Cardinal Angelo Sodano’s close attention almost four decades ago.
SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Sentinel
Canonical and court documents have come to light from 2003 and 2005 that cast a negative light on the ministry of Priest Joseph Illo during his time in the Stockton, Calif., diocese — including a court ruling that he inflicted “intentional emotional distress” on an 11-year-old girl — have further enraged parents at San Francisco’s Star of the Sea School who have sought the priest’s removal as Star of Sea Parish administrator, according to news stories on KGO Radio and in the National Catholic Reporter and the San Francisco Examiner.
“We do not want Father Illo around children or in our community,” said Christy Brooks, a Star of the Sea parent. “The details of this past lawsuit are deplorable. There is no one, who after reading this lawsuit, would want to have their children near Father Illo. Archbishop Cordileone should remove him immediately from our school and parish. The safety and well-being of our children must be paramount.”
“We believe Archbishop Cordileone was aware of this verdict against Ft. Illo for intentional infliction of emotional distress on a child and still knowingly placed him in our community with foresight and knowledge of his history. That is shocking and unforgivable,” Brooks added. She and a group of parents from Star of the Sea have written and phoned the Archbishop demanding Illo’s removal.
[The presidents of the Bishops' Conference, KNR, Klokk, VPKK and MCU call people who were underage victims of sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Church to report themselves by May 1, 2015.]
UTRECHT - De voorzitters van de Bisschoppenconferentie, Konferentie Nederlandse Religieuzen (KNR), en slachtofferkoepel KLOKK, VPKK en MCU waren op maandag 16 maart bijeen en geven gezamenlijk de volgende verklaring af.
De voorzitters van de Bisschoppenconferentie, KNR, KLOKK, VPKK en MCU roepen mensen die als minderjarige slachtoffer werden van seksueel misbruik binnen de Rooms Katholieke Kerk, op zich voor 1 mei 2015 te melden bij het Meldpunt Seksueel Misbruik RKK.
Men kan zich melden via de website www.meldpuntmisbruikrkk.nl
Meldpunt misbruik RK Kerk
3507 LG Utrecht
Of telefonisch: 030-2306900
Er kan worden volstaan met het indienen van een klacht in enkele korte zinnen.
Kardinaal Eijk, voorzitter Bisschoppenconferentie
Br. C. van Dam, voorzitter KNR
G. Klabbers, voorzitter KLOKK
Mw. A. Knibbe-van Dijck, voorzitter VPKK
B. Smeets, voorzitter MCU
[A person in Poland, who was sexually abused by a priest, has agreed to a settlement with the Diocese of Koszalin-Kolobrzeg and a parish.]
De eerste persoon in Polen die vanwege seksueel misbruik een civiele procedure is begonnen tegen de katholieke kerk, heeft ingestemd met een schikking met het bisdom van Koszalin-Kołobrzeg en een parochie.
Op twaalfjarige leeftijd werd Marcin K. zeven maanden lang door de priester Zbigniew R. seksueel misbruikt. In december 2012 is de priester hiervoor strafrechtelijk veroordeeld tot twee jaar gevangenisstraf. Hoewel de straf werd bevestigd en definitief was, wist de priester om medische redenen de cel te ontlopen.
[Fewer and fewer young men want to become Catholic priests and the number is declining world-wide.]
Zum zweiten Mal ist die Zahl der Kandidaten für das Priesteramt weltweit rückläufig - Hintergrundbericht zum Weltgebetstag für Geistliche Berufungen von Thomas Jansen
Vatikanstadt (KAP) Papst Franziskus weiht am Sonntag 19 Männer im Petersdom zu Priestern. So ist es Tradition zum Weltgebetstag für Geistliche Berufungen, den die katholische Kirche jährlich am vierten Sonntag nach Ostern begeht. Beinahe zu einer Tradition sind auch schon die Klagen über einen Priestermangel in weiten Teilen Europas sowie Nordamerikas geworden, die aus diesem Anlass zu hören sind.
[A Nigerian pastor and his 15 accomplices were arrested by the French police in Nice. The priest is said to be the head of a ring of human traffickers. The man earned several hundred thousand euros and sent money via Spain and Italy to Nigeria.]
Einem Pastor in Nizza wird vorgeworfen, der Kopf eines Prostituierten-Rings gewesen zu sein. Der Geistliche aus Nigeria und 15 weitere Verdächtigte wurden bei einer Razzia festgenommen.
Das Geld schaffte der Banden-Chef in seine Heimat
Der Pastor und seine Komplizen organisierten die Prostitution von etwa 20 Frauen - ebenfalls Nigerianerinnen - in verschiedenen Vierteln der Hafenstadt. Unter anderem soll er die sonntäglichen Gottesdienste genutzt haben, um die Frauen zu kontrollieren. Sie stammten zum größten Teil aus der nigerianischen Metropole Benin-Stadt. Die meisten von ihnen hatten sich vor ihrer Abreise nach Frankreich vor dem Mitglied einer Religionsgemeinschaft verpflichtet, die Schulden für die Überfahrt abzubezahlen.
[ The diocese of Lausanne-Geneva-Freiburg seeks information on abuse cases in the Institute Marini Montet in the canton of Fribourg. Bishop Charles Morerod and members of a working group are seeking information after reports were made of numerous instances of sexual abuse and other abuses between 1930 and 1950.]
Freiburg i.Ü, 24.4.15 (kath.ch) Das Bistum Lausanne-Genf-Freiburg sucht Informationen zu Missbrauchsfällen im Institut Marini in Montet in Kanton Freiburg. Im Auftrag von Diözesanbischof Charles Morerod geht eine Arbeitsgruppe Berichten nach, gemäss derer es in den Jahren 1930 bis 1950 zu zahlreichen sexuellen und anderen Misshandlungen in diesem katholischen Pensionat gekommen sei.
Der Bischof setzte die Arbeitsgruppe im Januar 2015 ein. Zeugenaussagen bildeten einen wesentlichen Bestandteil, um zu verstehen, was damals geschah, heisst es in einer Mitteilung des Bistums. Die Resultate der Untersuchungen sollten bis Ende Jahr veröffentlicht werden. Die Zeugen soll Anonymität gewährt werden, wenn sie es wünschen.