A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse.
Click on the headline to read the full story.
July 26, 2016
National Catholic Reporter
Brian Roewe | Jul. 26, 2016
A decision from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Tuesday opened the door for Msgr. William Lynn to exit state prison as he awaits a new trial for his role in the supervision of a sexually abusive priest of the Philadelphia archdiocese.
The state Supreme Court rejected a petition from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to review an appeal court’s overturning of Lynn’s 2012 conviction for endangering the welfare of a child. Lynn, the archdiocesan secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, was the first U.S. church official convicted for his handling of sexual abuse allegations.
In December, a three-judge Superior Court panel vacated the conviction and ordered a new trial after it found the trial court “abused its discretion” by allowing the prosecution to enter as evidence 21 supplemental cases of sexual abuse -- some dating back to 1948, or three years before Lynn was born.
The Superior Court ruling was the second time in two years it reversed the priest’s conviction. A week later, Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams appealed that ruling, which the state Supreme Court denied Tuesday.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“God weeps,” Pope Francis said during his visit to Philadelphia last September. The topic was the church’s sad response to the sexual abuse of children by priests. “I commit to the careful oversight to ensure that youth are protected.”
Some careful oversight should be directed to the U.S. District Court in St. Louis. There a priest charged in 2014 with the sexual abuse of a minor has gone on a fishing expedition. To try to prove that Father Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang is a victim of an elaborate conspiracy, his lawyers are seeking emails that could identify victims in unrelated cases.
The lawsuit was filed against the city and two city police officers who investigated the claims of a boy who said Jiang had abused him on two occasions in 2011 and 2012. Jiang was charged in April 2014 with two counts of statutory sodomy, but 14 months later, St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce dismissed the charges without explanation. She said her “office remains hopeful that charges will be refiled in the future.” Jiang filed his lawsuit shortly after the charges were dismissed.
Also named in the lawsuit were the boy’s parents; the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests; and two of SNAP’s local officers, David Clohessy and Barbara Doris. Because the city is a defendant, the suit was filed in federal court. That’s where things get tricky.
Israel’s Mako news service posted a hetefore unrevealed three-year-old recording of Rabbi Eliezer Berland saying:
Totally, she was raped from beginning to end.
After, it she asked is it permitted, she asked after the first time I raped her if she is permitted to her husband [or whether she was an adulterous wife who had to be divorced].
Beyond any doubt she is permitted to her husband.
She did not understand what happened. She asked me, “What happened? What happened here?”
JULY 26, 2016
by Joseph A. Slobodzian, STAFF WRITER
Pennsylvania's Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that Msgr. William J. Lynn, the first Catholic church official convicted for a supervisory role over priests accused of sexually abusing children in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, must have a new trial.
The ruling came as the high court rejected an appeal by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office, which challenged a lower court's order of a new trial.
The unsigned one-sentence order confronts District Attorney Seth Williams with the thorny question of how to retry the landmark case after an appellate ruling that removed one of the pillars of the prosecution.
Lynn, now 65 and serving a three- to six-year prison term, was not accused of molesting children. He was accused of child endangerment because prosecutors say that as archdiocesan secretary for clergy from 1992 to 2004, he reassigned pedophile priests to new parishes, where they preyed on more children.
To establish that Lynn was part of a longstanding cover-up of pedophilia in the Philadelphia Archdiocese, prosecutors introduced historical information on clergy sex abuse: about two dozen examples, some dating to the 1940s.
Joseph Flaig, Reporter, covering the Epping Forest district. Call me on 07795 316 211 / @JosephFlaigEFG
A woman says she has been vindicated after a report confirmed that teenage girls were drugged and abused emotionally, physically and sexually at a “frightening, violent and unpredictable” home for girls.
The review, which found cruelty was sometimes “normalised” at the Church of England-run Kendall House between the 1960s and 1980s, was carried out after years of campaigning from Ongar mother-of-three Teresa Cooper, who was sent to the home aged 14.
Ms Cooper has suffered lasting health problems ever since but had no existing conditions or illnesses when she was placed in the home.
Dr Sue Proctor, who investigated abuse by Jimmy Savile at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, led the investigation and said that the truth would not have been revealed without Ms Cooper’s efforts.
TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2016
By Ralph Cipriano
Msgr. William J. Lynn, the central figure in the prosecution of the Philadelphia archdiocese for sex abuse, is a free man.
That’s because today, the state Supreme Court, in a one-page decision, announced it would not review a second reversal of Lynn’s conviction by the state Superior Court.
After serving 33 months in jail, and 15 months under house arrest, Lynn could be on a bus to Philadelphia as early as tomorrow.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Thomas A. Bergstrom, Lynn’s lawyer. “We’ll file a bail motion first thing in the morning.”
Lynn, the former secretary for clergy for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from 1992 to 2004, was convicted in 2012 on one count of endangering the welfare of a child. He was sentenced to three to six years in jail by the trial judge in the case. M. Teresa Sarmina.
The alleged victim in the case, however, was Danny Gallagher, aka “Billy Doe,” who had all kinds of credibility problems, as recounted in a Jan. 29th Newsweek cover story headlined "Catholic Guilt: The Lying, Scheming Altar Boy Behind A Lurid Rape Case.”
The state Supreme Court has denied the Philadelphia District Attorney’s attempt to reinstate the conviction of Monsignor William J. Lynn, the first Catholic Church administrative official convicted over sexual abuse committed by other priests.
The justices issued a one-page order Tuesday denying the prosecutor’s appeal in Commonwealth v. Lynn. The District Attorney’s Office had asked the court to reverse a decision from the Superior Court that had vacated Lynn’s child endangerment conviction, and ordered a new trial in the case.
A spokesman for District Attorney R. Seth Williams said the office is currently reviewing the decision.
Lynn’s attorney, Thomas A. Bergstrom of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, said he was pleased with the decision and will work to get Lynn released soon.
“We are hopeful we will be able to get a motion filed and an order to get him released from custody as soon as we can, because right now he is an unconvicted and un-sentenced prisoner,” Bergstrom said. .
Donal O'Regan Donal O'Regan
26 Jul 2016
A PRIEST has appeared in court charged with multiple counts of indecently assaulting a young boy over a three-year-period.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before Judge Marian O'Leary at Limerick District Court this morning.
Sergeant Michael Reidy gave evidence of arresting the accused prior to court for the purpose of charge.
He said the defendant, whose aged in his early 60s, made no reply as each of the eight charges were put to him.
The offences are alleged to have taken place at a location in East Limerick over a three year period in the late Eighties and early Nineties.
A priest has been remanded on bail, charged with indecently assaulting a boy, writes David Raleigh.
The accused who cannot be named appeared before a sitting of Limerick District Court this morning.
He is charged with eight counts of indecent assault against the boy, contrary to Common Law, and Section 62 of the Offences Against the Person Act, 1861.
The offences are alleged to have taken place on dates between September 1, 1988 and August 1, 1990.
Detective Garda Mike Reidy, Roxboro Road station, gave evidence that he "met the defendant by appointment before the court at 10.15am and formally arrested him".
"In reply to all of the charges he had nothing to say...no reply to the charges," Dtc Gda Reidy said.
IT was a cruel game played out by vile abusers in an idyllic and retile valley which in the coming weeks will be revealed as the nation’s “epicentre for organised paedophilia”.
The game of “spotlighting”, ostensibly a weekend camping pursuit by young Anglican boys and their religious leaders was actually a guise for child sexual abuse.
Revelations of how Anglican priests and their paedophile gang chased boys and raped them in the wilds of the Hunter Valley will unfold in coming weeks.
And the Hunter Valley, known for its vineyards, its coal industry and its fertile soil for crops, will emerge as something more sinister.
This valley of the damned is now being recognised as a playground for not only priests from the Catholic Church practising systematic abuse, but their Anglican counterparts.
It is the Anglican Church’s turn to be exposed for its widespread practice of grooming and sexually assaulting young Hunter Valley boys.
We Are Central PA
Ebensburg, Cambria County, Pa.
A former 'house parent' for Bishop Carroll Catholic School's international exchange program is accused of sexual assault.
John Thornberry, 28, is facing several charges after two international exchange students said he inappropriately touched them.
Ebensburg Police say they were informed on February 9, 2016 that an incident had accused by Bishop Carrol's CEO, Jerome Stephens and upon investigating the found the initial incident happened back in December of 2014.
The Altoona-Johnstown Diocese operates an international exchange student program and provides dormitory-style living for the students involved on Bishop Carroll High School's campus. Thornberry was hired in August of 2014 and passed all clearances mandated. As a house parent, he lived on campus and would help with homeworks, transportation and keeping account of the exchange students.
Victim one told police that Thornberry touched his penis and he knew that he had previously touched another student, victim two. Victim two, a former student, said Thornberry said he wanted to see his penis and had tried to touch him when he was alone in his room. Victim two said he was about to fight off Thornberry. Victim two now attends a different high school in the United States. Police say they believe there is a third victim, but are unable to reach him because of returning to his native country.
Lou Raguse, KARE July 25, 2016
COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. - One of St. John's University's top administrators is temporarily giving up some of his duties in the wake of a 23-year-old sex abuse allegation.
Father Doug Mullin is currently the vice president in charge of student development, which includes overseeing the athletics department. He will continue with his VP duties, but has moved out of the dorms, where he was a long-time faculty resident. And he temporarily will step back from public priestly ministry.
Mullin strongly denies the accusation, and St. John's University and St. John's Abbey are aggressively fighting the claim on his behalf.
Attorney Jeff Anderson served St. John's Abbey with the lawsuit just prior to the May deadline for the Minnesota Child Victims' Act, which extended the statute of limitations temporarily and allowed victims to file old sex abuse lawsuits.
But St. John's Abbey fired back, asking a judge for a dismissal even before the plaintiff publicly filed the lawsuit.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiff, who is referred to as "Doe 304," was a former student at St. John's Prep, a boarding school for grades 6-12. In 1993, Mullin was the Dean of Students at St. John's Prep. The plaintiff, now in his late-30s, claims in the lawsuit Mullin sexually abused him when he was 15.
A spokesman for St. John's Abbey provided a written response, stating in part:
Fr. Mullin adamantly denies the allegation. Saint John’s Abbey has full confidence in Fr. Mullin’s denial and, by filing the complaint in court—at Fr. Mullin’s request—is seeking to restore his good name," said Br. Aelred Senna. "Fr. Mullin has voluntarily stepped back temporarily from public priestly ministry and also from his longtime role as Faculty Resident in the residence halls at the University. Saint John’s University has full confidence in Fr. Doug Mullin’s innocence and expects him to be completely vindicated in this matter. Fr. Mullin continues in his Vice-Presidential role with Saint John's University, as would any other employee facing an unproven allegation of wrongdoing.
Sunday 17 July 2016
A British man who travelled to Verona in an attempt to forgive the Catholic missionary who sexually abused him at Mirfield seminary in Yorkshire almost 50 years ago is being prosecuted in the Italian courts on three counts of “trespassing, stalking and interference in private life”.
Mark Murray, 60, who filmed his encounter with Father Romano Nardo at the Verona headquarters of the Comboni missionaries in April last year, said he was “appalled and disgusted” when a letter summoning him for criminal proceedings in Verona on 14 September arrived at his home in Wales last week.
“The Combonis know these ‘crimes’ are not true. They are trying to intimidate me. It’s all about power and control. They are trying to send out a message to say, ‘Don’t dare take us on’.”
In 2014, the Observer reported exclusively on widespread abuse at Mirfield in the 1960s and 70s after a group of 11 British men settled out of court with the missionary order, receiving sums of between £7,000 and £30,000.
Murray, who has suffered lifelong psychological problems as a result of his experiences, received the maximum sum after revealing a horrifying litany of sexual and emotional abuse that included having a cross carved in his chest with a finger nail. “This has all had a massive effect on my emotional wellbeing,” he said.
Office of the Attorney General
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane's office today announced criminal charges have been filed against a former employee of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School accused of the sexual assault of an international exchange student.
John Bowman Thornberry, 28, is also charged with the attempted sexual assault of a second international exchange student.
The alleged incidents occurred while Thornberry worked as a house parent in a residence hall for students of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School, located in Ebensburg, Cambria County. The school is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.
"This is a disturbing case of a trusted school official violating the very students he was obligated to watch over and care for," Attorney General Kane said. "It is unacceptable for anyone to harm a child."
Thornberry's arrest is the result of a joint investigation conducted by the Office of Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigations and the Ebensburg Police Department. The investigation began after an administrator from Bishop Carroll Catholic High School contacted authorities to report the allegations involving Thornberry.
According to a criminal complaint filed in support of the charges, as a house parent Thornberry was tasked with assisting students with homework assignments and transportation. He was also responsible for accounting for students' whereabouts when they were outside the classroom.
The alleged sexual assault and the alleged attempted sexual assault occurred between December 2014 and February 2016. The alleged incidents occurred in the school residence hall where the student victims were living, investigators stated in a criminal complaint.
The Office of Attorney General assumed jurisdiction of the case following a referral from Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan.
The Office of Attorney General has investigated other incidents of child sexual abuse involving individuals associated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown. The 37th statewide investigating grand jury in March released a report that detailed the sexual abuse that hundreds of victims endured at the hands of priests and other religious leaders associated with the diocese. The abuse occurred over a period of at least 40 years.
Thornberry, of Mills Rivers, N.C., is charged with one count each of institutional sexual assault, criminal attempted sexual assault, attempted indecent assault, indecent assault, corruption of minors and endangering the welfare of a child. Thornberry is awaiting a preliminary arraignment.
Attorney General Kane thanked the Ebensburg Police Department for its work on this investigation.
The case will be prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Daniel J. Dye of the Office of Attorney General's Criminal Prosecutions Section.
Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact the Office of Attorney General at 888-538-8541.
By Ivey DeJesus | firstname.lastname@example.org
A former employee of a high school in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese has been criminally charged with sexually assaulting a student.
The Attorney General's Office on Tuesday announced criminal charges in connection to the sexual assault of a minor on a former employee of a high school in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese.
The Attorney General's Office on Tuesday released the criminal complaint against John Bowman Thornberry, 28, a former employee of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Ebensburg, Westmoreland County.
Thornberry is accused of the sexual assault of an international exchange student. He is also charged with the attempted sexual assault of a second international exchange student.
The alleged incidents occurred while Thornberry worked as a house parent in a residence hall for students at the school.
"This is a disturbing case of a trusted school official violating the very students he was obligated to watch over and care for," Attorney General Kathleen Kane said in a written statement. "It is unacceptable for anyone to harm a child."
The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown earlier this year was the focus of a grand jury investigation into systemic clergy sex abuse. The two-year investigation uncovered the widespread sexual assault of hundreds - possibly thousands - of children across the diocese, and its coverup by church officials.
BY RON MUSSELMAN TUESDAY, JULY 26TH 2016
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Kathleen Kane's office announced Tuesday that criminal charges have been filed against a former employee of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School accused of sexually assaulting an international exchange student.
John Bowman Thornberry, 28, of Mills Rivers, N.C., also is charged with the attempted sexual assault of a second international exchange student.
The alleged incidents occurred while Thornberry worked as a house parent in a residence hall for students of Bishop Carroll Catholic High School, located in Ebensburg, Cambria County.
The school is affiliated with the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.
Thornberry is awaiting a preliminary arraignment.
"This is a disturbing case of a trusted school official violating the very students he was obligated to watch over and care for," Kane said. "It is unacceptable for anyone to harm a child."
Pacific Daily News
Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News July 26, 2016
Nearly two months after the Vatican sent him to temporarily oversee the Catholic Church in Guam, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai will not only hold his first press conference but also confirmed that a revision of the local church’s policy for responding to sexual abuse accusations would include language on how to respond to allegations against the archbishop himself.
Hon’s first press conference set for Wednesday morning also comes five days after his name was included as a defendant in a libel and slander lawsuit filed by former altar boys who accused Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of sexually assaulting them in the late 1970s.
Former altar boys Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton and Roland Sondia, along with Doris Concepcion, mother of another former altar boy, Joseph Quinata, accused Apuron of sexually molesting altar boys when he was parish priest at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Agat.
Through their attorney David Lujan, the former altar boys revised on Friday their $2 million libel and slander lawsuit, naming other defendants and citing more examples in which the local church allegedly defamed them after they made their allegations against Apuron public.
The accusers said Hon, who has temporarily assumed Apuron’s duties in Guam, should be held equally accountable for past statements by the church because the church has not retracted or repudiated any of the statements.
Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent
Tuesday 26 July 2016
The archbishop of York and four serving bishops have been accused of misconduct by a Church of England priest who claims they failed to act on allegations he was repeatedly raped by another vicar when he was 16.
The priest says none of the five senior clergy properly responded to his disclosures, made verbally and in writing, of the rapes which he alleged took place in 1984.
“Michael” – whose identity is known to the Guardian, but who wishes to remain anonymous – filed the complaints under the C of E’s clergy disciplinary measure (CDM) against John Sentamu, the archbishop of York and second highest-ranking figure in the church; Peter Burrows, the bishop of Doncaster; Steven Croft, a former bishop of Sheffield, and now bishop of Oxford; Martyn Snow, the bishop of Leicester; and Glyn Webster, the bishop of Beverley.
All five have contested the complaints because they were made after the church’s required one-year limit.
Spokespersons for Sentamu and the four bishops said they could not comment on a matter that was the subject of an internal church process and a police investigation.
Sentamu has previously said he was “deeply ashamed” that the church failed “both to watch and to act, where children were at serious risk” in a separate abuse case concerning a C of E dean.
James Macintyre 26 July 2016
The Archbishop of York and four bishops have been accused of misconduct by a Church of England priest who claims they failed to act on allegations that he was repeatedly raped by another vicar in 1984, when he was 16.
The Guardian reported that the anonymous priest filed the written and verbal complaints under the CofE's clergy disciplinary measure (CDM) against John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York; Peter Burrows, the bishop of Doncaster; Steven Croft, a former bishop of Sheffield, and now bishop of Oxford; Martyn Snow, the bishop of Leicester; and Glyn Webster, the bishop of Beverley.
All five have contested the complaints on the grounds that they were made after a one-year time limit for complaints that is required by the church.
The priest, known only as 'Michael', has filed a misconduct complaint against the alleged rapist, who is currently the subject of a police investigation into Michael's claims.
The alleged rapist, who continued to work as a CofE priest for at least a decade after the alleged offences, is now retired, though he is still licensed to officiate as a priest.
PATRICK BILLINGS, Mercury
July 23, 2016
PEOPLE are told not to speak ill of the dead. So the joy that victims of Paul Ronald Goldsmith experienced on learning of his death was admittedly a “bizarre feeling”.
But their lives have not been normal since the man dubbed Tasmania’s worst paedophile unleashed his reign of terror in the 1970s.
Goldsmith died two months ago in Tanzania where he fled to in 2012, reportedly with troubling plans to work with disadvantaged children.
It is not known how the 71-year-old died.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade wouldn’t elaborate for privacy reasons after confirming the death on Monday. However, the Mercury has been told he had broken his leg which may have led to complications in the impoverished East African country.
Goldsmith, a trainee Catholic priest-turned-successful insurer, was jailed in 2005 for sexually abusing 20 teenage boys aged between 13 and 16.
By Andrew Davis
Published: July 25, 2016
It was a crowning moment for the director, producers and actors. February 2016, “Spotlight” wins the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Behind the movie is the story of the victims, abused by men they trusted, their priests.
One of those victims now lives in Savannah.
Michael Corbett was a teenager, just 17, and thinking about becoming a priest himself.
Those thoughts, and his life was changed forever by Father Robert Gale in a Boston rectory back in 1993.
“He went to the bedroom and stripped down to his underwear,” explained Corbett. “But did it so he was standing right in front of me the whole time.”
Updated: Jul 26, 2016
By Krystal Paco
A continued public hearing for legislation that would lift the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases is set for Thursday. Last month, dozens rallied in support of Bill 326, stating "justice shouldn't have an expiration date".
Among the bill's supporters were Archbishop Anthony Apuron's alleged victims - Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton, Roland Sondia, and Doris Concepcion on behalf of her late son, Joseph "Sonny" Quinata. The bill's author, Senator Frank Blas Jr., says a substituted version will be heard on the measure based off recommendations from the last public hearing. Some of the changes include ensuring the bill is specific to sexual abuse and not any other crimes along with preventing "frivolous suits" from being filed.
The hearing starts at 10am at the Legislature's Public Hearing Room in Hagatna.
VATICAN CITY, July 26 (Reuters) - The Vatican and the Bank of Italy on Tuesday signed a cooperation agreement aimed at regularising their relations and ending years of Italian mistrust over the operations of the Holy See's bank.
The agreement, signed by BOI Governor Ignacio Visco and Rene Bruelhart, the Vatican's top financial regulator, comes after years of financial reforms, most of them under Pope Francis, to bring the Vatican and its troubled bank up to international standards to guarantee transparency and combat money laundering. (Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Crispian Balmer)
STAFF at a Stoke-on-Trent school said today they were 'horrified' to discover a former teacher had abused pupils at a previous school where he worked more than three decades ago.
Paul Kelly had preyed on boys at a St Ninian's School in Falkland, Fife, which educated youngsters from troubled backgrounds.
But the offences may never have come to light had it not been for the tenacity of one victim, who made a complaint to diocesan officials in 2013.
It led to one of the biggest abuse inquiries of its kind to be carried out by Police Scotland, with Kelly among several former staff to be charged with sex offences.
Monday 25 July 2016
The first of hundreds of people are to begin giving testimony to a public inquiry into child sexual abuse, in an unprecedented national “truth-telling” project designed to catalogue decades of suffering.
More than 2,000 people have contacted the Goddard inquiry to say they have suffered abuse, and 600 have consented to take part in the truth project.
The inquiry was set up in 2015 in the wake of the Jimmy Savile scandal to gather evidence on historical institutional child abuse in Britain. The inquiry is also seeking victims who were abused and who reported the abuse to a person in authority but the report was either ignored or not acted on properly.
Dru Sharpling, the Goddard inquiry panel member overseeing the truth project, encouraged anyone who had suffered child sexual abuse within an institution, a private organisation or at the hands of a person of public prominence to come forward.
Despite public inquiries over the last two decades, such as the Waterhouse inquiry and the Utting report into child abuse in care homes, the institutions of government have failed to deliver justice for survivors or tackle child abuse. And official inquiries have repeatedly absolved central government and the establishment from guilt. Yet there is still no indication of when the £18m Goddard child abuse inquiry will hear evidence regarding high-level abuse and coverups at Westminster.
The inquiry’s truth project began this week but, sadly, the testimonies given to it by survivors will have no direct legal consequences and will only be used as ballast to the final inquiry report; a form of window dressing that may leave many survivors not only bound to secrecy about their testimony but also deeply distressed.
In announcing the initial inquiry two years ago, the then home secretary, Theresa May, declared its remit was to look into institutional responses to all child sex abuse allegations, whatever the circumstances. With estimates of the number of child abuse survivors stretching into the millions, many thought this was a clear signal the government would try to bury the Westminster scandals by casting the net too wide.
There were also indications the inquiry would have no powers to order key documents and witnesses. Only survivors’ brave and outspoken opposition prevented May’s appointment of Lady Butler-Sloss and then Fiona Woolf from heading the inquiry. Survivors’ groups such as Whiteflowers, to which I belong, organised vigils, protests and lobbies to focus the inquiry on the establishment and delivering justice for victims.
[with court document]
Updated: Jul 26, 2016
By Krystal Paco
There are new developments to report in the alleged child sex abuse scandal that's has rocked the local Catholic Church. Archbishop Anthony Apuron and the Archdiocese of Agana have been served.
Four people have come forward accusing Apuron of sexual molestation, which he has denied.
Because the statute of limitations has run out to pursue criminal charges, the accusers filed the libel and slander lawsuit in hopes of forcing him to appear before a judge.
Signed, sealed, and hand delivered - the Archdiocese of Agana and Archbishop Apuron are now both in receipt of the libel and slander lawsuit against them. According to a declaration of service that was filed at the Superior Court of Guam, apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai received the legal papers on Friday, but didn't want to take them. According to Christopher Allen, a special process server for the courts, "Mr. Savio Fai refused to sign receipt of documents and tried to give the documents back to me. I promptly left the area, leaving the documents in Mr. Fai's hand. Nothing further."
On Monday, the same court official served Apuron via Alina Fantanote, who is of "suitable age and discretion and who resides with the defendant."
26 Jul 2016
A Hunter Valley pastor is leading a push for legislative change for harsher penalties for people who fail to report child sexual abuse to police.
Pastor Bob Cotton from Maitland Christian Church says the current penalty for concealing a serious indictable offence – a maximum of two years’ imprisonment – is inadequate punishment for those who cover-up the sexual abuse of children.
Pastor Cotton said he was spurred into action after a close friend, who had been abused by Anglican church worker James Michael Brown in Kurri Kurri, died of drug and alcohol abuse.
“The ancillary offences do not fit the facts of the cases, and ‘conceal serious indictable offence’ does not reflect the criminality,” Pastor Cotton said.
“It is only a local court matter and frankly, it is an insult to the victims.
July 25, 2016 By Robbie Owens
NORTH RICHLAND HILLS (CBS11) – A search for answers—and perhaps a child predator—is underway in North Richland Hills. Police are investigating allegations of child sexual abuse at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church.
The accusations became public over the weekend after a statement from the Fort Worth Diocese was read at each mass.
In part, the statement references having received “reports very recently of sexual abuse of children by a layman who is a member…” The accused has been described as a volunteer at the church, although a name has not been released. According to the statement, “…abuse is alleged to have occurred over the last seven or so years.”
Three children have brought accusations. Two of the incidents allegedly occurred on church property, perhaps “during evening prayer meetings.”
An alleged third incident involving the suspect occurred in Colleyville, but, North Richland Hills Police are leading the investigation into all of the incidents and Monday told reporters that they intend to move cautiously.
Police are looking into claims of sexual abuse at a church in North Richland Hills after the congregation made the allegations public during its weekend services.
During every mass at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church on Sunday, a letter was read.
The letter said: “The Diocese of Fort Worth has received reports very recently of sexual abuse of children by a layman who is a member of St. John the Apostle parish. The abuse is alleged to have occurred over the last seven or so years.”
North Richland Hills police say it was over the last three to seven years.
"Allegations that happened several years ago,” said investigator Keith Bauman. “Too early to say this has it’s been an ongoing situation.”
Police say the allegations involve three children ages 5 to 10 — children who are now in their teens.
By Jeff Smith
A volunteer is accused of sexually abusing children at a North Richland Hills church.
Police are investigating three complaints of sexual abuse of children, two of which allegedly happened at Saint John the Apostle Church on Glenview Drive.
All three complaints involve children who, at the time of the alleged misconduct, were between the ages of five and 10. Now, officers say the victims are teenagers.
"We've had allegations of sexual misconduct and we take them seriously. But we also need information and evidence to move forward," said North Richland Hills Police Investigator Keith Bauman. "There are three specific situations that we are looking into."
Two instances of sexual misconduct allegedly happened inside the Catholic church during evening prayer meetings.
July 25, 2016
Pacific Daily News
Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News July 26, 2016
Nearly two months after the Vatican sent him to temporarily oversee the Catholic Church in Guam, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai confirmed on Sunday that a revision of the local church’s policy for responding to sexual abuse accusations would include language on how to respond to allegations against the archbishop himself.
At least four individuals publicly accused Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of sexually molesting altar boys in the 1970s when Apuron was parish priest at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Agat.
But since the public accusations in May and June, the local church or the Vatican has not released any detail about any investigation into Apuron.
Church law states only the Vatican can investigate an archbishop, but it’s unclear whether an investigation has even started.
Apuron hasn’t been charged with any crime and remains archbishop, but he’s been temporarily stripped of his administrative authority over the Archdiocese of Agana.
BY BILL ROBERTS
The Rev. Victor Jagerstatter was charged Monday with raping a Mountain Home Air Force Base airman while the airman lay passed out in the early morning hours of July 9.
Jagerstatter, 39, is a Catholic priest at Our Lady of Good Counsel parish. He was released on his own recognizance despite the prosecutor’s request for a $20,000 bond.
Nearly 100 parishioners from the Mountain Home church and others in Weiser and Caldwell overflowed into the courtroom. Many were wearing “I Stand with Fr. Victor” badges. Others carried posters which read “Fr. Victor is innocent.”
They recited the Lord’s Prayer and sang “Amazing Grace” in the hallway outside the basement courtroom.
MOUNTAIN HOME, Idaho (KBOI) -- Editor's Note: The following story contains sensitive content
The victim in an alleged rape involving a Mountain Home priest says he woke up to Victor F. Jagerstatter attempting to give him oral sex, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Court documents state that on July 9, the victim, an Airman at the Mountain Home Air Force Base, was intoxicated and passed out in a room he rented from Jagerstatter's house on 13th Street North after a night of drinking. Sometime after he passed out from intoxication, the court documents state, the victim woke up and saw Jagerstatter kneeling beside his bed moving toward him attempting oral sex.
"The victim screamed and Victor Franz Jagerstatter asked him if he wanted breakfast," the affidavit states.
Jul 25, 2016
MOUNTAIN HOME - A Mountain Home priest made his initial court appearance Monday afternoon in the Elmore County Courthouse after police say he sexually assaulted a man.
On Friday, Mountain Home Police arrested 39-year-old Victor Jagerstatter for sexual abuse and exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
The charge has since been changed to rape, according to the Idaho State Respository.
Jagerstatter is a priest of the Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Parish in Mountain Home. The parish serves Mountain Home, Glenns Ferry, Grandview and Bureau.
Jagerstatter was booked into the Elmore County Jail about 11 a.m. Friday, according to a jail supervisor.
Court documents released Tuesday say the victim -– a member of the U.S. Air Force stationed at the Mountain Home Air Force Base -- reported to Base family advocacy officials that he had been sexually assaulted. The case was investigated by Special Agent Keith Tyler of the Office of Special Investigation.
According to the document, the victim told Tyler he was renting a room from Jagerstatter on East 13th Street North in Mountain Home. He attended a party on July 8th, drank alcohol, then returned to his rented room and passed out about 3 a.m. the following morning.
Guam Daily Post
Neil Pang | Post News Staff
The lawsuit filed against Archbishop Anthony Apuron and the Archdiocese of Agana was amended Tuesday, July 19, and now references a number of additional statements made by the archdiocese which the plaintiffs see as strengthening their case of slander and libel.
On July 1, a group of four accusers – Roland Sondia, Walter Denton, Edith Doris Concepcion and Roy Quintanilla – filed a suit for libel and slander against the archdiocese and Apuron.
The newly added statements were released by the archdiocese in response to allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct made against Apuron. In these statements, the allegations are referred to as "nonsense," described as "another malicious and calumnious accusation against the Archbishop" and that "the true nature of the plaintiffs' suit is to destroy the Catholic Church and discredit the archbishop by whatever means."
In the amended suit, the plaintiffs allege that the various statements issued by the archdiocese were prepared and released on behalf of Apuron by Rev. Edivaldo Da Silva Oliveira, the media relations coordinator of the archdiocese and personal secretary of Apuron.
The amended suit notes that none of the statements released by the archdiocese have been retracted and that the statements continue to represent the position of the archdiocese and Apuron. Further, it states that all statements released prior to archbishop Hon's appointment are equally attributable to him as to his predecessors.
The West Australian
Sophie Morris and Nick Butterly - The West Australian on July 26, 2016
The most senior Anglican in Australia has backed church officers who revealed that the Archbishop of Perth Roger Herft may have failed to properly report details about a notorious paedophile priest in NSW.
Primate of the Anglican Church, Melbourne Archbishop Philip Freier, even offered a prayer of support and gratitude for those who last week said there was no record that Archbishop Herft had referred complaints about the paedophile to police.
He gave no public backing to Archbishop Herft and said the allegations of abuse, aired on the ABC last week, were “shocking and distressing”.
“We pray for the perpetrators of abuse and those involved in covering up this criminal behaviour that they might acknowledge the evil and damage that they have done and be brought to justice with repentance and a will to change their lives,” he said.
ELIZABETH EISENSTADT-EVANS | COLUMNIST
“It’s not over,” said state Rep. Mark Rozzi on Monday, moments after throwing the grand jury reports on sexual abuse of children on the steps of the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.
The Berks County lawmaker, himself a victim of abuse, was most likely referring to his ongoing battle to retroactively extend the period in which victims of decades-old childhood abuse could sue those who molested them, dropping the statute of limitations in criminal cases and extending the window for civil ones from age 30 to 50.
HB 1947, which overwhelmingly passed the House this past spring, was stripped of the retroactivity language when it arrived in the state Senate after lobbying by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and other groups. They argued that the provision was unconstitutional, unfairly targeted private institutions like churches and would result in the closure of parishes and ministries. Both the Diocese of Harrisburg and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which opposed the House legislation, sent out letters to be read from the pulpit and included in parish newsletters.
“The constitutionality defense is an issue that bishops typically raise when they find themselves between a rock and a hard place,” says Marci Hamilton, an attorney specializing in the constitutional separation of church and state and a resident senior fellow in the Robert A. Fox Leadership Program at the University of Pennsylvania.
Pacific Daily News
Steve Limtiaco, email@example.com July 25, 2016
The former altar boys who accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron of sexually assaulting them have revised their $2 million libel and slander lawsuit, citing more examples in which the local church allegedly defamed them after they made their allegations public.
The revised lawsuit also argues that Archbishop Savio Tai Fai Hon, who has temporarily assumed Apuron’s duties in Guam, should be held equally accountable for past statements by the church because the church has not retracted or repudiated any of the statements.
The revised lawsuit accuses Apuron and the church of making defamatory statements against the accusers, despite knowing, “there had already been a history of sexual abuse committed by priests in the Agana Archdiocese.”
Since May, three former Agat altar boys and the mother of a deceased former altar boy have come forward to publicly accuse Apuron of sexually assaulting the boys when he was parish priest in the late 1970s.
Roy Quintanilla stated his allegations on May 17, followed a couple of weeks later by Doris Concepcion, who said her deceased son, Joseph A. Quinata, had told her Apuron molested him. Walter G. Denton in early June stated Apuron had raped him during a sleepover, and Roland Sondia in mid-June stated Apuron had molested him.
The Catholic Archbishop of Adelaide will ask the NSW Supreme Court to dismiss a criminal prosecution alleging he failed to report child abuse by a priest.
Archbishop Philip Wilson, the most senior Catholic official worldwide to be charged with such an offence, had unsuccessfully argued that the prosecution was “unjustly oppressive” to him, and “will culminate in an unfair trial”, court documents show.
His appeal will be heard before a Supreme Court judge in September, days after the end of two royal commission hearings into child abuse within the Catholic Church, including in the archbishop’s former diocese of Maitland-Newcastle in NSW.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will devote two public hearings into abuse within the Newcastle area over the next few months, with the city’s Anglican Church also under investigation. The commission is expected to hear evidence of a potential pedophile ring involving former Anglican officials.
The diocese’s bishop, Greg Thompson, last year apologised to abuse victims who suffered in “a culture that intimidated them and kept them silent’’.
25 JUL 2016
MARCI A. HAMILTON
The wild ride of this year’s presidential election has left many looking for landmarks that will guide their choice for the next president. One place to figure out who stands for what lies in the 2016 Republican and Democratic Platforms. So I decided to explore how each party deals with children.
It would not have been irrational to assume that this would be the year when the epidemic of child sex abuse might find its way onto a platform. After all, Spotlight won the Oscar Award for Best Picture. Institutions in every category that have recklessly dealt with the sexual abuse of children continue to fall over themselves as they choose between defensive silence, self-serving denials, and lame mea culpas. Indeed, there have been so many institutions outed, it is impossible to name them all here.
Suffice it to say that tony prep schools, universities, sports, and religious organizations have had some problems. Pitched battles between fragile adult survivors of abuse and the Catholic bishops over statutes of limitations for child sex abuse and rape have dominated politics and headlines.
And talk about a demographic: 20-25 percent of the American public is sexually abused as children. That is an “interest” that might well persuade a voter to cross party lines, depending on the Party’s message on child sex abuse. For this large number of Americans, however, the Platforms just nibble around the problem.
One needs to cast a wide net for “children” in each Platform to find some indication of how the Party views the epidemic of child sex abuse. Neither uses the phrase “child sex abuse.”
Yair Ettinger Jul 25, 2016
Rabbi Eliezer Berland, the leader of Israel's Shuvu Banim Hasidic community, was brought to court for a hearing on extending his police detention on Monday. The police asked the court to extend Berland’s detention by another few days for questioning in order to complete their investigation.
Berland is suspected of sexual and other offenses and was arrested when he returned to Israel last week from South Africa under an extradition agreement.
Some 1,000 of his followers protested his arrest outside the Rishon Letzion Magistrate's Court in support. Some of his supporters carried pictures of the rabbi or signs, with slogans such as "The people are with the saint."
Berland, 79, is one of the leaders of the Bratslav Hasidic movement in the country and is considered a holy man by his followers.
By Esther Tagoe - Jul 23, 2016
The Nigeria Security Forces have rescued a nine-year-old boy who was chained at a church. Korede Taiwo, was chained for weeks at the Key of Joy Parish of the Celestial Church of Christ in Ajiwo, Ogun state, Nigeria.
A statement released by the security forces said that the boy was rescued at about 10:30AM on Friday. The case has since been transferred to the appropriate authorities for further investigation, the statement said.
According to the statement released by the Security Forces, the boy was chained because he repeatedly stole (soup) from his stepmother. The step-mother, Kehinde reported to his father, Taiwo Francis, a Pastor in the church. Francis reportedly chained the boy to a log of wood inside a room within the church premises.
The statement added that security officials patrolling the area were informed by a resident that a boy is being held in chains in the church. They moved in following the tip-off.
The shocking picture above was taken shortly after the nine-year-old was rescued on Friday by Nigerian security forces from the Key of Joy Parish of the Celestial Church of Christ in Ajiwo, in the state of Ogun.
According to this report, Korede Taiwo was chained for weeks at the church and starved.
A statement released by the security forces said the boy had been punished because he repeatedly stole soup from his stepmother, Kehinde. She reported the theft to his father, Taiwo Francis, a pastor in the church. Francis then chained the boy to a log of wood inside a room within the church premises.
The statement added that security officials patrolling the area were informed by a resident of the boy’s plight and he was then rescued, despite opposition from church members.
According to the statement:
The boy was tired and pale, he was not able to talk when we rescued him. On getting to the church there was serious resistance by members, led by the pastor’s wife Kehinde.
National Catholic Register
NEWS ANALYSIS: Cardinal George Pell’s Secretariat of the Economy has had its wings clipped in recent weeks, in terms of its authority to oversee the Vatican’s financial operations.
BY EDWARD PENTIN
VATICAN CITY — The Secretariat for the Economy has suffered two blows to its authority in the past few weeks in what inside sources say is a concerted effort to obstruct revealing financial information and possible misconduct in the Roman Curia.
However, some of the decisions have helped to clarify roles in the financial reform process and, together with new monitoring procedures, could significantly help to root out mismanagement and corruption in the long term.
On June 10, the Vatican announced it was ending an external audit of the Holy See’s finances by the accountancy giant PricewaterhouseCoopers. The audit, which cost around €500,000 ($550,000) to complete, had already been suspended in April, just four months after it had begun, on the grounds that the Vatican wanted to obtain “clarifications.”
The Vatican said in its June 10 statement that the financial scrutiny would now be executed by the Vatican’s own auditor general, and that PwC would henceforth “play an assisting role” and be “available to those dicasteries that wish to avail themselves of its support and consulting services.” It argued that having an external audit carried out by its own auditor general is “normally the case for every sovereign state.”
[The charitable Joseph Foundation built a 1.2 million-euro retirement home for former Bamberg Archbishop Karl Braun. The deal is controversial because the foundation also builds home for needy families.]
Von Matthias Drobinski, Bamberg
Seinen 85. Geburtstag feierte der Bamberger Alt-Erzbischof Karl Braun bescheiden und daheim, am 13. Dezember 2015. Zum Fest berichtete der Bamberger Fränkische Tag, Braun lebe "eher zurückgezogen in seinem Haus in Wildensorg", westlich der Domstadt. Das sei ein "Tribut an das Alter", heißt es in dem Porträt, aber auch "ein selbst auferlegtes Muss als Emeritus, der seinem Nachfolger auf dem Bischofsstuhl das tägliche Feld zum Beackern überlässt". Braun, der mehr als zehn Jahre Bischof von Eichstätt war und dann bis 2001 Erzbischof von Bamberg, sagte, er mühe sich nun, "tiefer in das Mysterium einzudringen", in das Geheimnis des Glaubens. Der Artikel trägt den Titel: "Der Mystiker von Wildensorg".
Es ist schön dort. Man fährt durch Bambergs romantische Gassen nach Westen hinauf. Der Ort ist beschaulich mit viel Grün, ein Teich macht ihn verwunschen. Man schaut übers fränkische Land; die Villen der wirklich reichen Leute stehen jenseits der Hügelkuppe, wo man die Stadt zu Füßen hat. Das Haus des Erzbischofs ist schmal, aber weit nach hinten gebaut, vorne wohnt der alte Herr, unterm Dach ist die Kapelle. Hinten leben die drei Schwestern, die ihn versorgen. Im Vorgarten wächst ein Rosenbaum.
An Irish priest has been given a key role in an investigation into an astonishing corruption scandal that has convulsed Argentina for the past month.
The case, which involves a former government minister attempting to stash about US$9 million (€8.2 million) mostly in cash at a small convent near Buenos Aires, has rocked the country’s political system.
Fr Tom O’Donnell (64), from Templeglantine, west Limerick, has been appointed to lead the Catholic Church’s investigation into the affair. The Pallotine missionary is the parish priest of St Patrick’s parish in Mercedes, about 70km from Buenos Aires.
Fr O’Donnell told The Irish Times that his investigation team had a narrow focus on how the nuns at the convent came to be embroiled in the affair, but they would be co-operating fully with the civilian authorities.
Updated: Jul 25, 2016
By Krystal Paco
Archbishop Anthony Apuron's accusers - Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton, Roland Sondia, and Doris Concepcion on behalf of her son Joseph "Sonny" Quinata - have filed an amended complaint for the libel and slander suit against Apuron and the Archdiocese of Agana. The new complaint adds paragraphs alleging it was Father Edivaldo Oliveira, who prepared and released video and press release statements on behalf of the archdiocese and Apuron.
The statements denied all allegations of molestation made against Apuron and called the accusers out for a malicious smear campaign to oust the archbishop and destroy the Catholic Church. Added paragraphs also name apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, who has yet to retract the previous statements.
No word on whether the defendants have been served the legal documents, which were initially filed on July 1. According to archdiocese spokesperson Monsignor Bibi Arroyo, they are being represented by Attorney John Terlaje.
My Sunshine Coast
The Palaszczuk Government is working through a number of recommendations to respond to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse, including the removal of the statute of limitation for child sexual abuse claims.
We welcome the indication from the LNP that it would support any progress of this issue.
The recommendation as proposed applies to both government and non-government entities and so consultation would be important. As such, the government would welcome bipartisan support from the LNP on the Royal Commission recommendation.
The Palaszczuk Government has said it also wants the Australian Government to progress a national redress scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse.
BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD
NEWARK — As he prepares to submit his mandatory letter of retirement this week, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers sat for an interview and reflected on his often controversial 15-year tenure as New Jersey’s highest-ranking Roman Catholic prelate.
In a wide-ranging discussion, Myers offered advice to Pope Francis on conducting himself before the media and challenged Governor Christie’s personal stance on birth control, as well as the governor’s hard line in barring Syrian refugees, even very young ones, from entering the state.
And in rare remarks, the archbishop offered a full-throated defense of his decisions in episodes in which he faced harsh criticism: his handling of two priests — one in Wyckoff — who were accused of sexually assaulting children, and the church’s $500,000 investment in upgrading his Hunterdon County retirement home.
Some of what Myers had to say is covered in what may be his last pastoral letter to his flock: “To Whom Shall We Go?” in which the 74-year-old prelate laments the secularization of society and implores people of all faiths to deeply immerse themselves in their religion.
Many Orthodox rabbis and institutions are affiliated with one or more major Orthodox umbrella groups. These groups include the Orthodox Union, Agudath Israel of America, Torah Umesorah, the Rabbinical Council of America and the National Council of Young Israel.
Over the last several years, I have tried to convince several of these groups, numerous prominent rabbis and the Jewish Federations of North America to take even minimal steps to protect Orthodox children from the rampant sexual abuse found in our communities. My efforts went nowhere.
Most of the time, my phone calls and emails were ignored. In the rare instance that I was actually able to have a conversation with a rabbi or leader of one of these groups, they would not agree to do anything to protect our kids.
To my knowledge, none of these major Orthodox groups or the Jewish Federations have any publicly posted a set of child protection rules. Rabbis who do want to protect the children in their care have little or no direction from their affiliated organizations as to how to make their institutions safe for children.
In the absence of any guidance on this issue from most of our religious or Jewish lay leadership, I have written a set of child safety recommendations that all rabbis and Orthodox institutions can and should implement immediately.
I urge anyone interested in stopping the unrelenting plague of child sexual abuse in Orthodox communities to send this list to your rabbi, principal, board of directors, or president of your synagogue, school or yeshiva. If they stall, delay, make excuses or refuse to, ask them why protecting our children from sexual abuse is not a priority for them.
1) Publicize the names of the hundreds of Orthodox child molesters who are known to rabbis.
Frequently, victims or their parents report to their rabbi when a child has been sexually abused. In many instances, rabbis cover up the molester and demand that the victim remain silent about their abuser. Parents and employers can’t protect the children in their care if they don’t know who the predators are that deliberately target Orthodox kids for sexual abuse. “The List” on my website is a good place to start for this information.
2) Ban and excommunicate anyone known to have harmed children in the past.
Many studies show that there is no drug or therapy that cures child sex offenders from their desire to sexually abuse children. They are never safe around kids, and they should never have access to them.
By LAURA MOWAT
According to the shocking figures obtained by a Freedom of Information Request by The Mail on Sunday, 725 crimes were reported in the past year with 368 of them relating to children.
Spokesman for the charity Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors, Phil Johnson, said: “We’ve seen numbers increase dramatically in the past few years because of the Jimmy Savile effect, but those that go to the police are in the minority.”
Most cases were in churches but the figures also included offences at mosques and Sikh temples.
Graham Wilmer, of The Lantern Project, which supports child sex abuse victims, added that based on the number of those who do not report crimes, the real number of offences could be ten times higher.
Justin Humphreys, Head of Safeguarding at the Churches Child Protection Advisory Service, believes reporting of sexual abuse has improved since the Jimmy Savile case.
Updated: Jul 25, 2016
By Krystal Paco
Over a month on the job and Guam's interim apostolic administrator, Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, is speaking out on the allegations of possible sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy. Archbishop Hon was appointed by the Vatican to lead the Agana Archdiocese in the midst of allegations of rape and molestation made against Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who has since been placed on leave.
While he's yet to address island media, Archbishop Hon is providing weekly messages to the faithful via the Umatuna Si Yu'os, the catholic newspaper of the Archdiocese of Agana. This week, he addresses the divide in the church as a result of the allegations of sexual abuse by clergy. "Everybody wants to have good and holy priests. There is no doubt about it. Unfortunately, when scandals break out, we priests appear suspicious of committing something bad or of covering it up," he wrote.
Hon further notes that the vast majority of priests are not sex abusers, and that no one is immune from trials and temptations. "sometimes, priests do fall." He adds that the Agana Archdiocese is learning a lesson and making efforts to improve policy for responding to allegations of sexual abuse perpetrated by a church official. The current policy, he says, is being revised by experts and will be approved by the Presbyteral Council.
"It will include clear provisions for the event of accusations against the Archbishop himself. Hopefully the policy will heighten awareness and promote transparent and respectable moral behavior."
Although sinful clergy can validly celebrate sacraments, Hon states it doesn't mean they should be active pastors. "It all depends on the gravity of the matter and the situation of the pastor concerned." He closes with asking for prayer for the bishops, priests, and deacons so they may remain with Christ.
July 24, 2016
BY LAURA HILL
A former County Durham archdeacon will appear in court today as part of one of the UK’s biggest investigations into historic sex abuse.
George Granville Gibson, a former Archdeacon of Auckland, has denied eight counts of sexual assaults against two men dating back to the 1970s and 1980s.
Gibson will stand trial at Durham Crown Court accused of eight charges of indecent assault.
The retired cleric was charged in 2014 as part of Operation Seabrook, one of the UK’s largest investigations into historic sex abuse.
He has denied the charges against him.
Gibson held a number of posts with the Church of England before serving as Archdeacon of Auckland.
The Dallas Morning News
By Julieta Chiquillo Follow @jmchiquillo firstname.lastname@example.org
The Dallas Morning News
Published: 24 July 2016
North Richland Hills police are investigating allegations of child sexual abuse by a volunteer at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, officials said.
A deacon read a letter about the investigation to parishioners during Saturday and Sunday services at the church on 7341 Glenview Drive, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
The letter stated that several children reported that the abuse happened on church property during evening prayers, according to the Star-Telegram. No priest or deacon is involved in the investigation.
MONSEY - A Rockland rabbi is facing a slander lawsuit over a tweet that identified a level 3 sex offender in Monsey.
The lawsuit was delivered to Rabbi Yakov Horowitz, written in Hebrew and filed in Israel, where Yona Weinberg currently lives. Weinberg served time in state prison for having sex with a child under the age of 14.
A longtime educator in Rockland, Horowitz posts parenting videos on YouTube and produces children's books to help parents talk to kids about sex abuse. He says he has no plans to stop warning the community about sex offenders on social media.
"I have a responsibility to the children and their parents and there's no way I'm going to give up on that," says Horowitz.
BY DOMINGO RAMIREZ JR.
An investigation into sexual abuse of youths at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church is underway, police and church officials said Sunday.
A letter concerning the investigation was read at a Saturday mass and Sunday morning services at the church, 7341 Glenview Drive.
The investigation is the early stages, Detective Keith Bauman said Sunday in a telephone interview.
No one has been arrested.
According to the letter, the allegations involve a church volunteer accused of sexual abuse, some of which took place on church property during evening prayers, several children reported.
The investigation does not involve a priest or a deacon, according to the letter.
The letter from Bishop Michael Olsen was read by Deacon Rigoberto Leyva from the central offices of the Diocese of Fort Worth.
Officials from the Diocese of Fort Worth received reports from a member of St. John about 10 days ago and alerted police. The abuse is alleged to have occurred over the past seven years, according to the letter.
Summary of Case: Richard P. McGann was ordained for the Hartford archdiocese in 1970. He assisted throughout the 1970s at St. Gregory's in Bristol CT, then served several years as chaplain at Hartford Hospital. During this time he was in residence at a local parish. Through most of the 1980s McGann was Director of Pastoral Ministry at St. Paul's Catholic High School in Bristol while living at St. Gregory's. In 1989 he was named pastor of Our Lady of Mercy in Plainville. He was still there in 2005 when quietly placed on Administrative Leave. In 2011 it was revealed that, in 2009, a man had received a settlement from the archdiocese. The man had accused McGann of sexually abusing him over a two-year period in the 1970s at St. Gregory's in Bristol and on out-of-town trips, beginning when he was 12-years-old. The man was convicted in 1986 of murdering his grandfather at age 23 and was serving a 60-year sentence.
By Mark Mueller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
After a 15-year run as spiritual leader to more than a million Roman Catholics in New Jersey, Newark Archbishop John J. Myers is expected to submit a letter to Pope Francis this week seeking the pontiff's permission to retire.
On Tuesday, Myers turns 75, the mandatory retirement age set by canon law. It remains to be seen how swiftly Francis will move to replace him. Some bishops continue to work a year or more after they reach 75.
"The pope can do what he wants," said Christopher Bellitto, a church historian and professor of history at Kean University. "He can accept immediately, or he can say, 'Thanks for the letter. I'll let you know.'"
Given that Francis had previously appointed a coadjutor bishop for the archdiocese, Bellitto said he suspects the pope will move more quickly than he might have otherwise.
Pacific Daily News
Steve Limtiaco, email@example.com July 24, 2016
Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai has refused to meet with the former altar boys who have accused Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron of rape and molestation, according to attorney David Lujan, who outlined several concerns in a letter this month to the attorney for the Archdiocese of Agana.
Since May, three former Agat altar boys and the mother of an altar boy have accused Apuron of sexual assault in the late 1970s, when he was parish priest in Agat. They accused Apuron publicly, at several tearful press conferences near church property and in an interview with the Pacific Daily News.
The accusers include Roy T. Quintanilla, Walter Denton, Roland Sondia and Doris Concepcion — the mother of deceased former altar boy Joseph Anthony Quinata.
Apuron, whose duties on Guam are temporarily in the hands of Hon, pending a church investigation, has not been seen in Guam since Hon was appointed and he has not issued any public statements. Apuron and the archdiocese have denied some of the allegations and have not specifically addressed others.
By DAVE BENDINGER
Father Michael Nicolai has been suspended from his duties at the Russian Orthodox church after allegations of domestic violence and attempted sexual assault.
KDLG: Dillingham police have charged a local parish priest with attempted sexual assault. KDLG’s Dave Bendinger has more.
Father Michael Nicolai is the priest at Saint Seraphim of Sarov, the Russian Orthodox Church in Dillingham. Early on Saturday July 16, police were called to the parish home behind the church by his wife, who reported she had been assaulted.
Dan Pasquariello is the chief of Dillingham Police.
“The officers responded to a report of a domestic disturbance. They went there, they interviewed all parties involved, they made an arrest. The information they gathered, after conferring with the district attorney, led them to charge Father Nicholai with attempted sexual assault and a physical assault.”
Child sexual abuse survivors will be able to seek damages from their abusers at any time if Queensland's LNP is restored to government.
Queensland's Liberal National opposition has promised to remove the three-year limit on lodging civil claims against alleged abusers if they are elected.
Opposition leader Tim Nicholls said the current three-year limit from a survivor's 18th birthday denied them the opportunity to claim damages and seek justice.
'We want to empower child sex abuse survivors to seek the justice they deserve, no matter how long ago the alleged offence occurred,' Mr Nicholls said.
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody
Posted on July 24, 2016 by Betty Clermont
Pope Francis appointed Greg Burke director of the Vatican Press Office on July 11. Burke was a Fox News correspondent from 2001 until he was hired as a senior communications adviser in the Vatican in 2012.
Burke is an Opus Dei numerary, i.e. an avowed celibate. On July 13, Pope Francis appointed another American close to Opus Dei, Kim Daniels, to the Secretariat of Communications. Daniels was “Sarah Palin’s personal domestic policy czar” in 2010. Daniels is a co-founder and director of the U.S. branch of Catholic Voices. Right-wing National Review editor, Kathryn Jean Lopez, is the other co-founder and director. Lopez regularly lectures at Opus Dei‘s Catholic Information Center on K Street, Washington D.C. Jack Valero, co-founder of the worldwide Catholic Voices, is also Press Officer for Opus Dei in the UK.
“In recent weeks in the Vatican chaos reigns supreme … The infinite war between factions, the continuous clashes between the leaders of the Roman Curia, the strategies for the replacement of the president of the Vatican Bank,” Emiliano Fittipaldi wrote in a July 14 article titled “Santa Anarchia” in the prominent Italian weekly news magazine, l’Espresso.
The Vatileaks trial that ended on July 7, “was a total debacle: strategic, communicative, political,” concluded Fittipaldi, one of the five defendants tried for leaking Vatican secrets that were published. Not only because the trial publicized “the financial obscenities” during the reign of Pope Francis exposed in Fittipaldi’s book, Avarice: Documents Revealing Wealth, Scandals and Secrets of Francis’ Church, “but also because the management of the scandal showed a surprising internal disorganization and an inability to build winning communication strategies” in addition to exposing “new struggles between opposing factions,” Fittipaldi wrote.
These opposing factions, according to Fittipaldi, “are likely to pass sleepless nights to the new head of communications, Greg Burke.”
By Charlotte Wace For The Mail On Sunday
At least five new church sex offences are reported to police each week – and half of them involve children, according to shocking new figures.
Statistics from forces across the UK reveal that the number of sex offences reported to have taken place in religious buildings has risen by 20 per cent in the past year.
The figures, released to The Mail on Sunday under Freedom of Information laws, showed that in the past three years, 725 such crimes were reported, with 368 of them relating to child abuse.
Most cases were at churches but the figures also included offences at mosques and Sikh temples.
Phil Johnson, spokesman for the charity Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors, said: ‘We’ve seen numbers increase dramatically in the past few years because of the Jimmy Savile effect, but those that go to the police are in the minority.’
By Jenna Ross Star Tribune JULY 23, 2016
A board that reviews troubled Catholic priests in the Twin Cities archdiocese — once faulted for being insular and ineffective — has a new makeup and a high-profile member: Patty Wetterling, the state’s best-known advocate for child safety.
Wetterling’s reputation, built on her work since her 11-year-old son Jacob was abducted in 1989, adds another layer of credibility to the archdiocese’s Ministerial Review Board as it grapples with the aftermath of a clergy abuse scandal.
“A lot went wrong,” Wetterling said by phone last week. She is optimistic about the “intent and structure” of the board, she said, which is “trying to ensure that the church is doing all that it says it’s doing going forward.”
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi touted Wetterling’s appointment at a news conference Wednesday announcing that his office was dropping criminal charges against the archdiocese. He also announced he was releasing documents showing an effort to quash an investigation into alleged sexual improprieties by former Archbishop John Nienstedt.
ELIZABETHTOWN -- A one-time ambitious, popular Southern Illinois priest who spearheaded the creation of Camp Ondessonk in 1959, and nearly 50 years later was defrocked by the Vatican after allegations surfaced he sexually abused youth campers when he was director, has died.
Robert Vonnahmen, 85, was reportedly quietly buried in Elizabethtown in early May. It doesn’t appear that an obituary was written on Vonnahmen’s behalf, at least not one that is available online or otherwise readily accessible.
Vonnahmen’s death was announced this past week by the St. Louis chapter of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. In the 1990s, Vonnahmen was at the center of a Catholic Church sex abuse scandal that rocked Southern Illinois, and ultimately resulted in the removal of 14 priests, including Vonnahmen, and one permanent deacon, from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Belleville, which oversees parishes in roughly the bottom third of the state.
In a statement, SNAP Director David Clohessy accused local Catholic officials of neglecting to make known the passing of a man he referred to as “one of Southern Illinois’ most notorious pedophile priests.”
Clohessy said he heard about Vonnahmen’s death by word-of-mouth, from an individual associated with the church. Clohessy said that same person told him Vonnahmen was buried in Elizabethtown a few days after his death. The newspaper was unable to confirm any information about Vonnahmen’s arrangements from church officials or others.