A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse.
Click on the headline to read the full story.
October 5, 2015
BY BEN YAKAS
A staunchly conservative high-ranking Greek Orthodox priest at a Manhattan church has been suspended and forced to resign after evidence of a longtime affair with a practitioner he once called his "goddaughter" came out.
The Post has the exposé on Father George Passias, the married 67-year-old former pastor of St. Spyridon Church in Washington Heights, who they say has impregnated his longtime lover and parish-school principal Ethel Bouzalas. In addition, Passias has been accused of misusing church funds, as documented both by the Post and NY Magazine.
The Post levied these accusations at Passias in 2013—he denied everything at the time, telling them, "They have been saying I’m having a private affair with her. She is a goddaughter to me. That’s it." Steve Papadatos, the Parish Council president, told The National Herald at the time that the allegations against Passias were "lies," blasting the tabloid for publishing a story "replete with slander."
But it seems a series of "shocking" sex tapes leaked to church officials have ended Passias' career. The Post reviewed the tapes, which apparently involved "cake porn."
In one scene, the bearded cleric, wearing only a white T-shirt, watches his long-haired brunette lover plant her thong-clad bottom on a piece of banana bread wrapped in cellophane.
Bouzalas, wearing stiletto heels, oddly wiggles on the loaf until it is flattened — apparently a fetish known as “cake crush” or “cake sitting.”
In another video clip, the pretty Peruvian rubs her feet on the priest’s face as they lie under a mirrored ceiling and she records his ecstasy at the encounter. In another tape, the priest performs oral sex on his lover while she is still clad in sheer pantyhose.
The videos, along with an email from Bouzalas' husband to Bishop Andonios Paropoulos (the chancellor of the Greek Orthodox church in the United States), was enough for the church to suspend him. Passias officially gave his goodbye to his St. Spyridon parish in an email last week, saying he was leaving for “personal and health reasons,” and confessing to “multitudinous sins and shortcomings.”
Daily Mail (UK)
By ALEXANDRA KLAUSNER FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
4 October 2015
A high ranking Greek Orthodox priest was forced to resign last week after kinky sex tapes of his much younger parish school principal sitting on cakes in a thong and rubbing her feet in his face surfaced.
Father George Passias, 67, a married pastor at St. Spyridon in New York City at St. Spyridion church in Washington Heights is said to have impregnated Ethel Bouzalas, 45, with whom he had an alleged affair.
The New York Post reports that Passias was once the chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and was in charge of all Greek Orthodox priests in the US.
The scandal came to light in September after Bouzalas' husband emailed the current chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Church in the United States, Bishop Andonios Paropoulos.
Bishop Paropoulos told The New York Post that Passias and Bouzalas came to meet with him and that Passias was suspended on September 16.
Bishop Andonios said he had not seen the sex tapes which were sent anonymously to the New York Post but that he 'learned of their existence during our meetings with both parties.'
Shock, sadness and surprise were expressed by worshippers the day after a prominent priest was removed as rector of a Des Plaines shrine.
Rev. Marco A. Mercado was relieved of his duties Saturday at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe because of his "inappropriate relationship with an adult man," according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Chicago.
The shrine draws more than 100,000 people for its annual observance of Our Lady of Guadalupe, a 36-hour event on the Maryville campus at Central and River roads.
"I feel surprised, because, for me, he was a very good person and he helped out a lot here," said Georgina Rodriguez of Chicago.
"I heard he was a good guy," said Dexter Jasso, of Evanston, whose father attends the church. "He was a director. He was pretty much raising money for the church, and he had plans for making it bigger, growing it,"
Published on October 04, 2015
A letter written by Raymond Lahey, a Canadian bishop who served time in 2011-12 for importing child pornography, remains in the pews of Catholic churches across the country.
Now — 3 1/2 years after Lahey was defrocked by the Catholic Church — a survivor of clergy sexual abuse is asking for it to be removed.
It’s a letter of introduction in the “Catholic Book of Worship III,” a widely distributed hymn book published in 1994 by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops. Lahey was the Bishop of St. George’s at the time of publication; he went on to become the Bishop of Antigonish in 2003.
Gemma Hickey, founder of The Pathways Foundation, said she first learned of the letter six months ago when a woman told her she saw it at St. Paul’s church in St. John’s. The woman approached her about the letter after she contacted Archbishop Martin Currie of the St. John’s archdiocese, but didn’t get the results she was looking for.
Victims of child abuse within the Jehovah's Witnesses may never see the perpetrators brought to justice unless the Government closes a loophole allowing criminals to evade justice, campaigners have warned.
The Government has been asked to introduce mandatory reporting to police whenever an allegation of child sex abuse is made within the faith group.
Currently, the so-called "two-witness rule" means Jehovah's Witnesses deal with allegations of "sins" internally and only investigate themselves if the claim is corroborated by a second testimony - something lawyers say is unlikely given that many victims are abused on their own, in private.
Concern over the number of "hidden" victims has prompted campaigners to hand a letter to Downing Street calling on the government to take action.
Victim Nick French, 43, who was abused by his stepfather Gary Moscrop from the ages of seven to 13, said introducing mandatory reporting would reduce the risk of paedophiles offending.
The Legal Examiner
Posted by Joseph H. Saunders
October 4, 2015
This book is subtitled: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Sexual Abuse. Here, Ms. Casteix provides the reader with compelling and concise information about the dynamics of child sexual abuse. She lists and dispels a number of myths that have served to mislead parents and children for decades.
For example, she addresses the myth that “stranger danger” is the greatest risk. In fact, the closest and most trusted individuals with authority over children have been proven to be the greatest risk. These individuals could include priests, ministers, coaches, scouting leaders, or family friends or relatives.
The book contains chapters about communication between parents and children and discusses red flags in relationships between children and other adults that might not be apparent to a parent.
Joelle Casteix speaks from decades of experience helping survivors of childhood sexual abuse many of whom were unable to come forward for years or decades after their abuse. She also is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse herself. She has worked closely with law enforcement, the National Crime Victim Bar Association, and SNAP, The Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests as well as many other organizations.
October 4, 2015
The Archbishop of Canterbury has commissioned an independent review into the way the Church of England responded to sex offence allegations made against a former bishop 22 years ago.
Peter Ball, 83, formerly Bishop of Gloucester and Bishop of Lewes, pleaded guilty last month to charges of sex abuse involving men from the 1970s-90s.
The claims emerged in 1993 but he was allowed to work in churches until 2010.
Ball will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Wednesday.
Survivors of sexual abuse have been highly critical of the Church's handling of the case even before Ball pleaded guilty last month.
El padre del menor que denunció abusos en el colegio Gaztelueta de Vizcaya ha afirmado que la carta del Papa Francisco "ha sido un rayo de luz en la oscuridad" y cree que su actuación demuestra que considera que "hay pruebas suficientes" para darles la razón "de lejos".
Además, ha afirmado que el profesor, presunto culpable, está imputado, y el caso está en el proceso de toma de declaración y realización de pruebas.
El joven denunciante, que ahora tiene 19 años y habría sufrido los presuntos abusos en el curso 2008-2009, tal y como publicó EL MUNDO, envió una carta al Papa Francisco contándole lo sucedido y el Pontífice le respondió a finales de 2014 mostrando su cercanía y asegurando que entregaría la documentación a la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe para dar comienzo a un juicio canónico al educador y al colegio, "pero sin molestar al chico".
En una entrevista concedida a Radio Euskadi, el padre del chico ha afirmado que la misiva del Papa "fue realmente un rayo de luz dentro de la oscuridad". "Cuando recogí la carta personalmente, se me saltaron las lágrimas de la emoción que me produjo", ha indicado.
By Inés San Martín
Vatican correspondent October 3, 2015
ROME — In a handwritten letter by Pope Francis to a survivor of sexual abuse in a Catholic school in Spain that surfaced on Friday, the pontiff said he requested a Church trial against the teacher who allegedly committed the abuse eight years ago.
News of the letter will likely be seen as a sign of the pontiff’s personal involvement in the abuse issue, coming on the heels of a private meeting with five abuse survivors in Philadelphia during his visit to the United States.
The letter is dated Dec. 29, 2014, and is addressed to the father of a 20-year-old who claimed to have been abused between 2008 and 2010 by an official of his school, called Gaztelueta, which is located in Bilbao, Spain.
The institution is run by the Catholic group Opus Dei, typically seen as fairly conservative, and the alleged abuser is an Opus Dei member, technically known as a numerary.
by Andrea Germanos, staff writer
Somalia on Thursday completed its ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child—becoming the 196th nation to do so and making the United States the only United Nations state outside of the treaty.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child explains that the Convention, adopted in 1989, "is the most widely ratified international human rights treaty, sets out a number of children’s rights including the right to life, to health, to education and to play, as well as the right to family life, to be protected from violence, to not be discriminated, and to have their views heard."
As for why the U.S. would not ratify this convention that it helped draft and has already signed, Amnesty International has explained that conservative organizations like the Christian Coalition, Family Research Council, and Focus on the Family, "have made a significant effort to portray the Convention as a threat. The majority of the oppositions claims stem from unfounded concerns related to national sovereignty, states' rights, and the parent-child relationship."
The convention needs the approval of two-thirds of the U.S. Senate, where, Amnesty continues, it "has encountered a notable level of opposition" as a result of these misconceptions.
By Inés San Martín
Vatican correspondent October 4, 2015
ROME — Pope Francis opened this year’s Synod of Bishops on the family Sunday with a stirring defense of traditional marriage coupled with an insistence that the Church must, at the same time, be merciful and compassionate to those who struggle.
During a solemn Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, concelebrated by the more than 270 bishops from around the world gathered in Rome for the meeting, the pope tackled one of the thorniest issues the prelates will discuss and debate during the next three weeks: How the Church should approach pastoral care for divorced and separated Catholics.
“The man who falls or who errs must be understood and loved,” Francis said in his homily, quoting Pope St. John Paul II. A Church with closed doors “betrays herself and her mission, and, instead of being a bridge, becomes a roadblock.”
The synod, which lasts until Oct. 25, is the second half of a process started last year to examine issues related to the family. A 39-question survey sent to parishes and filled out by clergy and ordinary Catholics showed a significant gap on many issues, such as birth control, between what the Church teaches and what Catholics practice or believe.
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.
David Pierre of TheMediaReport is the doppelganger of Goliath-bully Bill Donohue of Catholic League
David Pierre is the twin of Goliath-bully Bill Donohue and their main job is to be the henchmen of the Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Team and Pope Francis. In the Medieval Ages, kings had foot soldiers and spies who went furtively among the people – to scout and catch critics whom they’d turn-in and were either jailed or hanged if they refused to recant their criticism against the monarch. In the (VA) Vatican Autocracy of the 21st century, David Pierre and Bill Donohue are the foot soldiers and spies for the Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Team. But when they catch critics – instead of turning them in, they personally and – immediately – deliver the brutal blows of insults and whatever it takes to stop and shut-up those critics. Pierre and Donohue are the verbal terrorists of the Vatican. They have a mandate of verbal “shoot-to-kill” – meaning thrash and bash the opponents and critics – especially SNAP – and wipe them out from the face of the earth ASAP – literally.
Adelaide Now (Australia)
A HIGH-RANKING Greek Orthodox priest starred in kinky sex tapes with his much-younger parish-school principal and was forced to resign after the affair — which he’d denied for years — was confirmed by church elders.
Father George Passias, the married 67-year-old pastor of St. Spyridon Church in Manhattan, even impregnated his married lover, 45-year-old Ethel Bouzalas, according to sources.
Passias was once the chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, in charge of all of the religion’s US priests, reports the New York Post.
An adherent to a fundamentalist faction of Greek Orthodoxy led by a controversial cleric in Arizona, he took the helm of St. Spyridon nine years ago — and immediately ordered female worshippers to cover their heads during confession.
But there was no such nod to modesty in their shocking sex videos. In one scene, the bearded cleric, wearing only a white T-shirt, watches his long-haired brunette lover plant her G-string clad bottom on a piece of banana bread wrapped in cling wrap.
Mrs Bouzalas, wearing stiletto heels, oddly wiggles on the loaf until it is flattened — a fetish known as “cake crush” or “cake sitting”.
Manya Brachear Pashman
A popular Roman Catholic priest who attended the pope's address to Congress last month has been removed from ministry because of an "inappropriate relationship with an adult man," the Chicago Archdiocese announced Sunday.
Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich removed the Rev. Marco Mercado, rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines, withdrawing his authority to minister. The Rev. Adan Sandoval Duron, head of the archdiocese's new Hispanic Council, has been appointed interim administrator, and Mercado will live away from the shrine.
"As a human being I am not perfect, but as a priest my priority has always been the work of the Gospel and the struggle for immigrants and the most vulnerable," Mercado said in a statement. "I pray that this issue is resolved soon, and I ask for your prayers, at the same time that I apologize if this scandal has caused any hardship to the faithful."
Ordained in 1998, Mercado grew up in Morelia, Mexico, and attended seminary in that country before coming to Casa Jesus, a renowned archdiocese training program for Latin American men who aspire to become priests. He graduated from the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary and became associate pastor of St. Anthony of Padua church in west suburban Cicero.
By Inés San Martín
Vatican correspondent October 4, 2015
ROME — A five-month-old video released Friday shows Pope Francis accusing critics in Chile of “foolishness” for protesting his appointment of a bishop accused of covering up for the country’s most notorious abuser priest.
In January, Francis tapped Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid as bishop of the small Osorno diocese, a move that sparked nationwide protest because Barros was accused of concealing sexual abuse allegations against the Rev. Fernando Karadima, a well-known local priest.
The video shows Jaime Coiro, a former spokesman for the Chilean Bishops Conference and its current assistant secretary, in St. Peter’s Square, where he greets Francis personally and tells him that the Chilean church is “praying and suffering for you.”
With no prompting, Francis tells Coiro that the local Church in Chile has “lost its head,” allowing a group of politicians to judge a bishop “with no proof whatsoever.”
“Think with the head, don’t be led around by the nose by these leftists who are the ones who put this [opposition] together,” the pope is heard saying.
The “leftists” to whom Francis referred are presumably 51 members of Chile’s Congress, most from the Socialist government of President Michelle Bachelet, who signed a petition opposing Barro’s nomination.
[Video: Pope calls critics of Chilean bishop "lefties."]
Francisco respaldó Monseñor Juan Barros, a quien designó como Obispo de Osorno, en el sur de Chile. El religioso fue señalado por las víctimas del sacerdote Fernando Karadima como supuesto encubridor de abusos. La acusación siempre fue negada por el Prelado, y hasta fue desacreditada por las autoridades competentes.
El Papa Francisco realizó una férrea defensa al obispo de Osorno, Juan Barros, en un vídeo publicado en la red social YouTube.
El Pontífice señala que las acusaciones que lo vinculan al caso Karadima fueron hechas "por políticos sin ninguna prueba".
Juan Barros asumió en marzo como obispo de Osorno y en ese momento fue duramente cuestionado por su cercanía con el sacerdote Fernando Karadima, acusado de abusos sexuales.
Associated Press OCTOBER 4, 2015
SANTIAGO, Chile — A Chilean television station has aired a video that shows Pope Francis defending a Santiago bishop whose opponents allege has covered up sexual abuse by a notorious pedophile priest.
In the video, shot in May and broadcast on Friday by Chilean TV channel Mega, Francis blames "leftists" for a campaign against the bishop of Osorno, Monsignor Juan Barros.
"Don't let yourselves be led by the noses, by the leftists who have plotted this," the pope says in the video, speaking to Chilean visitors at the Vatican. He noted that the allegations against Barros had been dismissed by a Chilean court.
Jaime Coiro, a deacon and former spokesman for the church in Chile, said on his Twitter account that he was there when the video was made and that Francis was speaking to him. He said the comments were recorded on an iPad by an Argentine standing nearby.
A spokeswoman for Mega told The Associated Press that it obtained the video from a confidential source on Friday.
The office of the Vatican's spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Sunday. But Francis' comments were in line with his past support of Barros.
In late March, the Vatican released a statement defending Barros, saying the Congregation for Bishops examined his candidacy for bishop "and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment."
Father Marco Mercado recently traveled to Washington, D.C., as Congressman Luis Gutierrez's guest for Pope Francis' speech to Congress
Archbishop Blase Cupich has removed a popular suburban priest from the ministry after the Archdiocese discovered the priest had an "inappropriate relationship" with an adult man.
The Archdiocese removed Father Marco Mercado, who was the rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines, on Thursday. The Rev. Adan Sandoval Duron was appointed as the interim administrator.
"On October 1, 2015, Archbishop Blase J. Cupich removed Rev. Marco A. Mercado, Rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines from ministry because of Fr. Mercado's inappropriate relationship with an adult man," a statement from the Archdiocese reads. "Archbishop Cupich has withdrawn Fr. Mercado's faculties, his authority to minister ... Fr. Mercado will reside away from the Shrine, effective immediately.
O'Donnell Funeral Home
BOSTON- Reverend Edward M. Keohan 83, of Boston, died Saturday, Sept 12th, 2015 at Marian Manor in Boston following a brief illness.
Born in Weymouth, he was the son of the late Edward M. and Josephine (Andrew) Keohan. He was raised and educated in Weymouth and was a graduate of Weymouth High School. He continued his education at Boston College graduating in 1954. He then entered St. John Seminary and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston in 1959.
Father's first assignment was as associate pastor at St. John Church in Haverhill (1959-1961), he then traveled to Peru and served as a member of the Society of St. James the Apostle (1961-1966). Upon his returned he was assigned as associate pastor of St. Charles in Woburn (1966-1972), St. Rose in Chelsea (1972-1984). He was then made Chaplain of Salem Hospital Complex (1984-1987). His longest tenure would come as Administrator of St. Mary's Italian Church in Salem where he served from 1987 until 2003. He was then Administrator of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Revere (2003-2005). He became senior priest in residence at the Immaculate Conception Church in Salem. He was again called to serve as temporary Administrator of St. Margaret's Church in Beverly Farms in 2009. He spent many years serving the catholic community of the North Shore and more recently resided at Regina Cleri and Marion Manor.
Reverend Keohan served where he was called to the best of his abilities through many transitions in his parishes while never losing his faith and the faith of his parishioners was always at the forefront. He was an ardent supporter of Boston College and the Boston College Eagles Football team and would often go to games. He was an animal lover who enjoyed walking the Salem Common.
[About 100 people protested again this Sunday at the San Mateo de Osorno Cathedral while Bishop Juan Barros officiated at mass. Demonsrations against Barros have been recorded since his arrival in the region because he has been accused of covering up sexual abuse by former pastor of El Bosque, Fernando Karadima. However, this new protest is part of the controversy behind the defense made by Pope Francis of Barros. The pope said the bishop was being accused without evidence and he said parishioners were being swayed by "lefties."]
Unas 100 personas protestaron nuevamente este domingo frente a la Catedral San Mateo de Osorno, mientras el obispo Juan Barros oficiaba la misa del adulto mayor.
Las manifestaciones contra Barros se han registrado desde su llegada a la región, debido a que ha sido acusado de encubrir los abusos sexuales del ex párroco de El Bosque, Fernando Karadima.
Sin embargo, esta nueva protesta se enmarca dentro de la polémica surgida tras la defensa que hizo el Papa Francisco a Barros, afirmando que el obispo estaba siendo juzgado sin ninguna prueba y pidiendo a los feligreses pensar con la cabeza y no dejarse llevar por "los zurdos que son los armaron la cosa".
[Osorno: Protests against Bishop Barros revitalized after Pope's words.]
Luego que el Papa Francisco respaldara a Juan Barros, las manifestaciones en contra del representante de la Iglesia en el sur volvió a reunir a fieles que piden su renuncia
Las manifestaciones en Osorno para destituir al obispo de la ciudad, Juan Barros, no han desaparecido desde que se anunció que él ocuparía el cargo, sin embargo habían quedado sin tanta exposición mediática luego que pasaran los días. Sin embargo, tras las palabras de respaldo del Papa al representante de la Iglesia en el sur, las protestas se robustecieron.
De esta manera, un grupo de personas contrarias a la figura de Juan Barros se instaló afuera de la parroquia del centro de la ciudad -ubicada frente a la Plaza de Armas- y con globos negros y carteles piden la destitución del obispo.
El principal grupo que respalda estas manifestaciones es la Organización de Laicos y Laicas de Osorno. Ellos piden que Juan Barros renuncie pues lo acusan de encubrir a Fernando Karadima cuando estaba siendo investigado por su presunta participación en ataques sexuales a tres miembros de la iglesia de El Bosque.
WRITTEN BY JORDAN OWEN POSTED: 10/04/2015
A priest has been removed from a northwest suburban church because of his “inappropriate relationship with an adult man.”
Archbishop Blase J. Cupich removed the Rev. Marco A. Mercado from the Shrine of our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines Thursday because of Mercado’s inappropriate relationship with an adult man, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of Chicago.
The Rev. Adan Sandoval Duron has been appointed interim administrator, and Mercado will move out of the shrine, according to the statement.
“The archdiocese is committed to ensuring those serving our parishioners are fit for ministry,” according to the archdiocese’s statement.
By John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor October 3, 2015
ROME – In the wake of bitter controversy surrounding a private meeting with Kentucky clerk Kim Davis during his trip to the United States last week, Pope Francis has a chance beginning Sunday to get back “on message” with the opening of a Synod of Bishops on the family in Rome.
The Oct. 4-25 summit of prelates from around the world is a critically important moment for the pontiff, one he’s been building toward for more than a year. If past is prologue, however, he may face a stiff challenge in steering it toward his desired outcome.
On Friday, the Vatican issued a brief statement on the encounter with Davis, saying it was not intended to endorse her position “in all its particular and complex aspects.”
Whatever one makes of how the meeting happened, or what it ultimately says about Francis’ views – and theories on both matters abound – the big picture remains intact and works to validate a fairly firm conclusion about this pope.
OCTOBER 4, 2015, BY ADRIENNE BALOW
DES PLAINES, Ill. – A high profile priest in the Chicago Archdiocese has been removed from ministry for what’s being described as an “inappropriate relationship” with an adult man.
Archbishop Blase Cupich announced Father Marco Mercado would no longer serve as rector of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines.
By Jean-Louis De La Vaissiere
Vatican City (AFP) - Pope Francis on Sunday defended marriage and heterosexual couples as he opened a synod on the family overshadowed by a challenge to Vatican orthodoxy by a gay priest.
During a mass to mark the three-week meeting of Roman Catholic bishops, the pope delivered a homily on "solitude, love between man and woman, and the family".
He referred to Genesis, the first book of the Bible, as a bedrock for understanding human relationships.
"This is God's dream for his beloved creation: to see it fulfilled in the loving union between a man and a woman, rejoicing in their shared journey, fruitful in their mutual gift of self," he said.
"God," the pope said, "joins the hearts of two people who love one another... (and) joins them together in unity and indissolubility."
The Vatican embassy is operated by the most experienced and oldest continuous foreign affairs department in the world. So, no, no one “duped” or “trapped” any official into having Pope Francis meet with Kim Davis, especially when the pope specifically stated after their meeting that “conscientious objection” by “government employees” is a “human right.”
Today, the pope opened a synod for bishops: "“This is God’s dream for his beloved creation: to see it fulfilled in the loving union between a man and a woman."
The pope has consistently, since his time as cardinal primate of Argentina, shared Davis’ opposition to same-sex marriage. He has referred to such a union as “the work of the devil,” an “anthropological regression,” and “disfiguring God’s plan for creation.” He has called the movement in many countries to accept same-sex marriage as "ideological colonization that we have to be careful about that is trying to destroy the family."
In his speech to the UN, Pope Francis “reminded the UN of their duty to recognize ethical limits, … ‘for carrying out an ideological colonization by the imposition of anomalous models and lifestyles which are alien to people’s identity and, in the end, irresponsible.’”
“Taken together with his unscheduled stop to see the Little Sisters of the Poor the Davis encounter means Francis has expressed personal support to leading symbols of the two most contentious fronts in America’s religious freedom debates – the contraception mandates imposed by the Obama administration, and conscientious objection on gay marriage.” ...
The only “reform” Jorge Mario Bergoglio has brought to the Vatican curia was creating a Secretariat of the Economy under Australian Cardinal George Pell, friend of Rupert Murdoch, and a Secretariat for Communications – which shows where his priorities lie. (The Vatican Bank was forced to begin adopting standardized financial reporting and tightening up its loopholes for money laundering in 2010 or risk being excluded from international financial markets.)
The Secretariat for Communications should be proud of what was accomplished. After the pope had twice sympathized with his US bishops about how much they had suffered from the sex abuse scandal and praised their “courage,” a meeting with five victims abused by clergy or teachers or family members was arranged for the pope’s last day in this country so that that would be the final headline as he boarded the plane for his return to Rome.
In 2013 or 2014, the Communications Office of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis instituted the practice of sending clergy and other 'stakeholders' weekly emails listing media coverage about the Archdiocese and specifically about the local abuse crisis. The intent was to keep clergy informed of the coverage so that they were not blindsided by parishioners or members of the media. Now, it would appear that the weekly emails have become more self-serving, as the example below indicates.
In the interests of 'transparency', let me mention three things that ought to have appeared in this week's mentions, but did not.
1). The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis appeared in bankruptcy court again this past week, and requested, but did not receive, permission for additional expenditures. The story was covered by MPR, which reported that bankruptcy costs have now exceeded $3.6 million.
2). The week prior, the Archdiocese, represented by Joe Dixon, appeared in Ramsey County Court in response to the criminal charges and civil petition filed by the Ramsey County Attorney's Office. This was not covered by the media, in part because it was widely believed that the next court date was scheduled for the end of October.
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago
October 3, 2015
On October 1, 2015, Archbishop Blase J. Cupich removed Rev. Marco A. Mercado, Rector of the Shrine of our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines from ministry because of Fr. Mercado’s inappropriate relationship with an adult man. Archbishop Cupich has withdrawn Fr. Mercado’s faculties, his authority to minister. Rev. Adan Sandoval Duron has been appointed Interim Administrator and Fr. Mercado will reside away from the Shrine, effective immediately.
The Archdiocese is committed to ensuring those serving our parishioners are fit for ministry. Archbishop Cupich knows this news will be difficult to hear and he offers his assurance of prayers and solidarity with the community at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We will provide updates on the situation as they become available.
Declaración sobre el Padre Marco A. Mercado
3 de octubre de 2015
El 1o de octubre de 2015, el Arzobispo Blase J. Cupich retiró del ministerio al Padre Marco A. Mercado, Rector del Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe en Des Plaines, debido a una conducta inapropiada que el Padre Mercado sostuvo con una persona mayor de edad. El Arzobispo Cupich ha retirado al Padre Mercado sus facultades, su autoridad para ministrar. El Padre Adán Sandoval Duron ha sido nombrado administrador interino y el Padre Mercado residirá lejos del Santuario, de manera inmediata.
La Arquidiócesis tiene el firme compromiso de asegurarse que aquellos que sirven a nuestros feligreses son aptos para el ministerio. El Arzobispo Cupich sabe que esta noticia será muy difícil de escuchar y ofrece la promesa de sus oraciones y su solidaridad con la comunidad del Santuario de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Les proporcionaremos información actualizada sobre la situación a medida que surja nueva información.
DES PLAINES, Ill. (WLS) -- A suburban priest was removed from ministry by Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich for having "an inappropriate relationship with a man."
Reverend Marco Mercado was the rector of the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Des Plaines.
Late Saturday night Mercado he issued a statement saying that he prays the issue will be resolved soon and apologized if the "scandal has caused any hardship to the faithful."
Archbishop Cupich withdrew Fr. Mercado's faculties and his authority to minister. Rev. Adan Sandoval Duron was appointed interim administrator.
BY KEIR MUDIE
A leading campaigner for justice for victims of child abuse has voiced concerns over the upcoming documentary
A Panorama episode could ruin ongoing probes into historical child sex abuse by VIP perverts, a campaigner has warned.
Peter Saunders, founder of the National Association of People Abused in Childhood, says if victims’ stories are not handled sympathetically others will be less likely to speak out.
The hour-long show by the BBC – which was accused of botching its handling of the Jimmy Savile furore – screens this week. It will focus on how news about probes has come out and who has been driving it.
The episode – The VIP Paedophile Ring: What’s the Truth? – is not expected to restrict itself to one particular police operation or set of allegations.
[video of Pope Francis speaking in defense of Bishop Barros - ACI Prensa]
[Juan Carlos Cruz, alleged victim of priest Fernando Karadima, said the pope in backing Osorno Bishop Juan Barros was relying on misinformation from third parties. He noted the pope is not stupid and is responsible for his words that show he is protecting bishops. Hea added that he never imagined the pope was using hard and brutial words.]
El denunciante del caso Karadima, Juan Carlos Cruz, aseguró que el apoyo que le dio el papa Francisco al obispo de Osorno, Juan Barros “se siente como una bofetada muy muy grande”.
Además, descartó que las palabras del Pontífice se deban a una mala información de terceros. Según Cruz el papa “no es tonto”, es responsable de sus dichos y sus declaraciones evidencian la protección que le está dando a los obispos.
“Jamás me imagine que el Papa fuera usar palabras tan duras y tan brutales”, aseguróa la Radio Bío Bío el denunciante del caso Karadima Juan Carlos Cruz, horas después de enterarse de los dichos con las que el Papa Francisco defendió al obispo de Osorno, Juan Barros.
William D. Lindsey
OMG. Did someone say head-turners? (Yes, I'm between popcorn runs, and very glad I bought in a big new supply of popcorn today, because it looks like the telenovela is only going to get, well, more hilarious and dramatic, steamier and more engrossing in the build-up to the Synod on the Family.)
I'm between two commitments today and have had a moment to read your thread of welcome comments to my last posting, and am now learning about the Polish (Polish!) theologian Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa who got sacked after holding a public coming-out press conference and introducing his attractive Spanish partner to the world. A theologian with the conservative Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, no less!
The same Vatican congregation over which Pope John Paul II placed as his right-wing, right-hand theological watchdog Cardinal Ratzinger, who later became Pope Benedict XVI (and who is still pope — EPope, as Colleen has tagged him. We really need a little guide to the cast of characters for this engrossing telenovela; it's getting hard to keep them all sorted out) . . . .
The same Vatican congregation that, under Ratzinger, produced the horrendous "pastoral" letter for Halloween 1986 (did someone say telenovela?) that defined homosexual human beings as intrinsically disordered . . . .
BY CREEDEN MARTELL, THE STARPHOENIX OCTOBER 3, 2015
People waiting for an apology from Pope Francis for the Catholic Church’s role in sending aboriginal children to residential schools will have to keep waiting.
Apostolic Nuncio to Canada Luigi Bonazzi was in Saskatoon on Friday afternoon to attend a conference on restorative justice in Canada.
Earlier this summer, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its groundbreaking report, which chronicled years of assimilation efforts and emotional, sexual and physical abuse of young children at the hands of the residential school staff. The report called for a papal apology from Pope Francis for the church’s role in residential schools, similar to the apology delivered by former Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 to worldwide survivors of sexual assault by disgraced priests.
“We have listened carefully, given serious attention, to this call for action,” Bonazzi said. “We are seriously trying to see how we can respond positively.”
Bonazzi said Pope Francis’s trips are projects which have to be planned and prepared far in advance. He said the request is not one that is easy to accommodate.
October 3, 2015
Reporter at The Chronicle
The Pope is proving popular with the masses, but evidence his charisma is reinvigorating the Australian Catholic Church is harder to find.
The faithful in our hemisphere have watched as the cult of celebrity surrounding Pope Francis has amplified during his recent three-city visit to the United States.
His Holiness reaches out to followers via Twitter, preaches tolerance, encourages care of the environment, has announced that abortion can be forgiven as a sin and offered open-armed acceptance to gay and lesbian Catholics who have felt alienated from their church for decades.
Dr Bob Dixon, director of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference Pastoral Research Office, said it was difficult to gauge to what degree the "Francis factor" was at play in Australia.
"Is there a Francis effect? Quite possibly, but not one that shows up in [religious] personnel numbers," he said.
By Desire Ncube
Sexual manipulation of women has become rampant in the Church and aspiring pastors should be thoroughly examined to curtail such abuse.
Congregants should also raise alarm whenever “holy men” hide behind the Scriptures to win sexual favours. This was said by Anglican Church Harare Bishop (Central Africa Province) Chad Gandiya in a frank discussion on sex scandals rocking the Church.
He also spoke of how Anglicans in the capital have set up a “Gender Desk” to help victims, and the rigorous vetting that would-be priests go through.
For years, various churches across the globe have been grappling with improper conduct involving some of their leaders.
Though statistics are not readily available, Zimbabwe’s courts and church tribunals have handled their fair share of such cases. Most accounts have culprits abusing their immense influence to push sex as a gateway to prosperity and spiritual healing. The victims are largely vulnerable women desperate to escape problems.
October 3, 2015
New York Post
By Isabel Vincent and Melissa Klein
October 4, 2015
A high-ranking Greek Orthodox priest starred in kinky sex tapes with his much-younger parish-school principal and was forced to resign after the affair — which he’d denied for years — was confirmed by church elders.
Father George Passias, the married 67-year-old pastor of St. Spyridon Church in Washington Heights, even impregnated his married lover, 45-year-old Ethel Bouzalas, according to sources.
Passias was once the chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, in charge of all of the religion’s US priests.
An adherent to a fundamentalist faction of Greek Orthodoxy led by a controversial cleric in Arizona, he took the helm of St. Spyridon nine years ago — and immediately ordered female worshippers to cover their heads during confession.
But there was no such nod to modesty in the shocking sex videos viewed by The Post.
[video from ACI Prensa]
Pope Francis called critics protesting the appointment of a new bishop in Chile, who has been accused of covering up sexual abuse crimes committed by priests, "lefties" in a video message Saturday.
The installation of Juan Barros earlier this year as the Bishop of Osorno, in southern Chile, was heavily protested by those accusing him of having protected Fernando Karadima, a priest the Vatican in 2011 found guilty of child sex abuse, committed in the 1980s.
Barros has denied the allegations against him. But 51 members of the Chilean Congress sent a letter protesting his appointment to the Vatican.
Parishioners in Osorno, some of whom opposed the nomination of Barros, had asked the Vatican for a message.
"Think -- with your head -- and do not be swayed by the unfounded allegations of lefties," Pope Francis said in footage broadcast Saturday by the Chilean TV channel Mega.
Sat, Oct 3, 2015
Former president Mary McAleese has ridiculed the concept of 300 elderly celibates coming together to discuss family questions.
Addressing a meeting of the Global Network of Rainbow (LGBT) Catholics on the eve of the Vatican’s Synod on the Family, Ms MacAleese said:
“In the days when I was president, we had workshops on various issues and if I wanted to look at an issue, I would consult the experts... But look at the Synod, I have to ask the question: If I wanted expertise on the family, I honestly cannot say that the first thing that would come into my mind would be to call together 300 celibate males who, as far we know, have never raised a child...
“Let me repeat a question I asked last year when I saw the Vatican’s lengthy pre-Synod questionnaire, namely how many of these men have ever changed a child’s nappy? For me that is a very important question because it is one thing to say that we all grew up in families, we had mothers, we had fathers but it is a very different thing to raise a gay child, a very different thing to live daily in a relationship and to police the relationships between children and the world.”
[SANTIAGO, October 3, 15 / 3:13 pm ( CNA ) .- Pope Francis made a strong defense of Bishop Juan Barros, who was appointed as Bishop of Osorno (Southern Chile). Victims of priest Fernando Karadima say Barros helped cover-up the abuse.]
Por Carolina Requena
SANTIAGO, 03 Oct. 15 / 03:13 pm (ACI).- El Papa Francisco hizo una firme defensa de Mons. Juan Barros, a quien designó como Obispo de Osorno (sur de Chile), que ha sido señalado por las víctimas del sacerdote Fernando Karadima como supuesto encubridor de abusos, una acusación que el Prelado siempre ha negado y que incluso ha sido desacreditada por las autoridades competentes.
En una grabación en video realizada en mayo de este año, y dada a conocer recién este viernes 2 de octubre por el medio ahoranoticias.cl se puede apreciar al Santo Padre hablando del Obispo de Osorno y de las acusaciones en su contra.
En el video se escucha a Jaime Coiro, actual Secretario General Adjunto de la Conferencia Episcopal de Chile y entonces vocero de la institución, cuando le dice al Papa que la Iglesia en ese país “está sufriendo y rezando por usted”, en el contexto de la violenta manifestación de algunos grupos que atacaron a Mons. Barros cuando tomó posesión como Obispo de la diócesis de Osorno en marzo.
[According to Juan Carlos Cruz the pope can not be in favor of a "bishop who is putting Catholics against Catholics and Osorninos against Osorninos."]
La victima de los abusos sexuales del padre Fernando Karadima, Juan Carlos Cruz, se refirió en duros términos a las opiniones emitidas por el Papa a través de un polémico video donde defiende al cuestionado Obsipo de Osorno, Juan Barros.
"Me parece lamentable el video y las declaraciones del papa, no sólo por el descrédito que le hace a las víctimas que están denunciando a Barros", aseguró Cruz a radio Cooperativa.
Además repaso las palabras del Sumo Pontífice, donde descalificó a la gente de Osorno, tratándolas de "tontas", "Mucho más me duele, como trata a la gente de Osorno, a nuestros compatriotas que son hombres y mujeres buenos, cuya vida gira en torno a sus parroquias y que han estado luchando justamente por tener un obispo que sea un pastor y no un encubridor", reflexionó.
Question from a Ewe
The soap opera around, "Did he? Didn't he? Did she? Didn't she" seems to be fading as the Vatican claims Pope Francis' meeting with Kim Davis did not endorse her behavior refusing to issue same sex couples marriage licenses. And now his meeting with an openly gay man and that man's longtime partner are paraded before us as evidence to refute any political intentions on Francis' part by meeting with Kim.
Whatever.... I think the pope can meet with whomever he wants. Jesus met with sinners and social pariahs all the time. I applaud anyone willing to receive any human being with Christ-like, humble, non-judgmental hospitality. That we could all have genuine warmth towards all people...
That being said, I do question why, despite requests, he did not meet with Catholic women ordained as priests. Why didn't he meet with any of the plethora of sanctioned and excommunicated people in this country - enduring marginalization due to their support of women priests? Just curious....
I also question Francis' dismissive and patronizing statements about women made during his homeward flight press conference. On one hand he calls for and lauds conscientious objection while in the same press conference he repeats his unwillingness to engage in his signature "dialogue" activities regarding women's ordination...with some of those pesky conscientious objectors to unjust hierarchical edicts. Irony...or perhaps hypocrisy.
He repeated his call for a "theology of women" and joked about not having done a darn thing about it like actually reviewing the compendium of female theologians' works that already begin to describe such a theology. He found time to meet Kim but not meet with any one of the many outstanding female theologians living in the U.S. who could help him make his wish about a "theology of women" a reality. Elizabeth Johnson, Joan Chittister, Mary Hunt, Rosemary Radford Ruether, and Elisabeth Scussler Fiorenza are a few who come to mind. Many live in the very geographic localities Francis visited.
Perhaps he prefers talking to regular folk versus professional theologians. I did extend multiple invitations to meet and discuss this very topic beginning with a request in my Christmas card last year...which I know arrived because I got a nice impersonal acknowledgment of its arrival. Yet, his schedule evidently was too packed to spend time with such women though he claims they are more important than men in the church...so important that he could not squeeze in one meeting on the topic...
Historical Child Abuse Inquiry
An independent inquiry into the historical abuse of children in care in Scotland has formally started work today (Thursday 1 October).
The Historical Child Abuse Inquiry will seek to raise public awareness of the abuse of children in care, provide an opportunity for public acknowledgement of their suffering and serve as a forum or validation of their experience.
The Inquiry - which will report to Scottish Ministers within four years (or such other period as Ministers may provide) - will cover the period within living memory of any person who suffered such abuse, up until such date as the Chair may determine, but no later than 17 December 2014.
A dedicated Inquiry website - www.childabuseinquiry.scot – has also gone live today to keep the public updated on the work of the Inquiry.
Inquiry Chair Susan O’Brien QC today undertook to give full details of the steps that the Inquiry will take, once the Inquiry panel members have been appointed by the Scottish Government.
During the start-up period, those who believe that they may have information to share are being asked to make initial contact with the Inquiry either by email, email@example.com or post, Historical Child Abuse Inquiry, PO Box 24085, Edinburgh, EH7 9EA. They should only send in their names and addresses at this stage, with one sentence about how they can help. As the inquiry operations and office are established, a phone number will also be introduced.
Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
The Chair of the IICSA, Lowell Goddard, "I am delighted the Victims and Survivors Consultative Panel have agreed their Terms of Reference. Already they are helping to shape and inform the work of the Inquiry in a number of important respects. Each member of the Panel brings with them their unique perspectives and experience in their field. They will play a vital role in delivering the important work of the Inquiry."
From the VSCP, "The Victims and Survivors Consultative Panel (VSCP) are pleased to have agreed our Terms of Reference with the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The scale and complexity of the task at hand and the impact of this work on the lives of millions of people nationwide are of paramount importance. We are committed to sharing best practice to help shape aspects on the Inquiry that will directly assist victims and survivors. We are currently concentrating our efforts on developing safe engagement practices for people who chose to make contact through any of the developing Inquiry channels."
VSCP Terms of Reference
Corriere della Sera
di Elena Tebano
“I want the Church and my community to know who I am: a gay priest who is happy, and proud of his identity. I’m prepared to pay the consequences, but it’s time the Church opened its eyes, and realised that offering gay believers total abstinence from a life of love is inhuman”. Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, 43 and Polish, who has been living in Rome for 17 years, speaks with a calm smile on his face. He is not just any priest, but has been a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2003, is assistant secretary of the International Theological Commission of the Vatican, and teaches theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome. Never before has a priest with such a high-profile role in the Vatican made a similar statement. Today, on the eve of the Synod on the family, Monsignor Charamsa will be in Rome at the LGBT Catholic International Meeting organized by the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics, to support the discussion on gay Catholics. ...
Catholic Catechism based on the Bible defines homosexuality as an “intrinsically disordered” tendency...
“The Bible says nothing on the subject of homosexuality. It instead speaks of acts that I would call “homogenital”. Even heterosexual people may perform such acts, as happens in many prisons, but in that case they are acting against their nature and therefore committing a sin. When a gay person engages in those same acts, they are instead expressing their nature. The biblical sodomite has nothing to do with two gays that love each other in modern-day Italy and want to marry. I am unable to find a single passage, even in St Paul, that may be seen as referring to homosexual persons asking to be respected as such, since at the time the concept was unknown”. Catholic Catechism based on the Bible defines homosexuality as an “intrinsically disordered” tendency...
CITTA' DEL VATICANO
Corriere della Sera
di Elena Tebano
«Voglio che la Chiesa e la mia comunità sappiano chi sono: un sacerdote omosessuale, felice e orgoglioso della propria identità. Sono pronto a pagarne le conseguenze, ma è il momento che la Chiesa apra gli occhi di fronte ai gay credenti e capisca che la soluzione che propone loro, l’astinenza totale dalla vita d’amore, è disumana». Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, 43 anni, polacco da 17 anni residente a Roma, lo dice con un sorriso serio e pacato. Non è un sacerdote qualunque: ufficiale della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede dal 2003, è segretario aggiunto della Commissione Teologica Internazionale vaticana e insegna teologia alla Pontificia Università Gregoriana e al Pontificio Ateneo Regina Apostolorum a Roma. Mai prima d’ora un religioso con un ruolo attivo in Vaticano aveva fatto una dichiarazione del genere. Oggi monsignor Charamsa sarà a Roma alla prima assemblea internazionale dei cattolici lgbt organizzata dal Global Network of Rainbow Catholics alla vigilia del Sinodo sulla famiglia, per sostenere il dialogo sui gay cattolici.
Agence France-Presse on Oct 3, 2015
The Vatican reacted furiously on Saturday after a Polish priest employed as a senior official publicly declared his homosexuality on the eve of a bishops' synod set to touch on the divisive issue of the Catholic Church's relationship to gay believers.
In a statement, a spokesman for Pope Francis said Krzystof Charamsa's action had been "very serious and irresponsible", and that the priest would be automatically kicked out of his post as a theologian in the Vatican.
Flanked by his Catalan boyfriend and wearing his priest's collar, Charamsa told a news conference in Rome he had been compelled to speak out against what he said was the hypocrisy and paranoia that shapes the Church's attitude to sexual minorities.
While appearing resigned to the fact that his life as a priest is over, he said: "I'm out of the closet and I'm very happy about that."
BY JOHN SEASLY
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD
An incident in which a Little Ferry priest allegedly pointed an unloaded Civil War-style rifle at an 8-year-old boy was preceded by a conversation between the two about their football loyalties and a game to take place that night, Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said.
Rev. Kevin Carter, 54, of St. Margaret of Cortona Catholic Church, was talking about football with the boy in the church before Mass on Sunday, Sept. 13, Molinelli said. Carter reminded the boy, who was wearing a Dallas Cowboys jersey, that the priest is a fan of the New York Giants. The two teams were scheduled to play each other that night. The boy has not been identified by police.
A few minutes later, Molinelli said, Carter called the boy into one of the rectory rooms and had the boy stand against a wall. Carter then pointed an unloaded, Civil War-style musket at him and said, “I’m going to shoot you,” Molinelli said in an interview Saturday.
“Even if it was a joke, you don’t play that kind of a joke on an 8-year-old,” Molinelli said Saturday.
BY BEN YAKAS
A NJ priest has been arrested after he allegedly pointed a musket at an 8-year-old boy and threatened him because the child was rooting against the Giants. Which, yeah, that sounds like a Giants fan alright.
Father Kevin Carter, a 54-year-old priest at St. Margaret of Cortona Roman Catholic Church in Little Ferry, has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault by pointing a firearm for the incident.
According to NBC, the priest allegedly approached the child before Mass services at the church on September 13th. Prosecutors say that Carter asked to see him in one of the rectory rooms, where he then retrieved a musket and pointed it at him. "As he raised his weapon and pointed it at the boy, he said, 'I'm going to shoot you,'" Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli told NBC.
The whole thing was apparently sparked because Carter was upset that the child was going to root for the Cowboys instead of the Giants in their NFL season opener. "The young boy was apparently a fan of a particular football team, the priest was not. So perhaps we have indication it started out as that," said Molinelli. "There's no such thing as joking around with a weapon when you're dealing with an 8-year-old kid."
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Saturday, Oct. 3
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those abused by Priests (314 566 9790, firstname.lastname@example.org)
A priest points a gun at an eight year old. Another priest is being investigated for taking $250,000 in money and expensive gifts from elderly parishioners. A third priest admits abusing a child. Two other church officials, he says, told him to flee the US when the boy reported the crimes.
All of this happens or comes to light in just over a month. Decades of corruption is catching up to the Newark Archdiocese.
And this is an archdiocese with TWO archbishops, Bernard Hebda and John Myers, where presumably there should more and better supervision of priests.
It’s not just priests breaking laws and acting unethically. It’s Hebda and Myers behaving irresponsibly too.
In the latest incident – Fr. Kevin Carter aiming a gun at a boy and threatening to shoot him – Hebda and Myers waited three days to call the police.
[New York Daily News]
In the money scandal – Fr. Alex Orozco manipulating and lying to elderly women to enrich himself – Hebda and Myers refuse to even suspend him.
In the admitted predator case – Fr. Manuel Gallo Espinoza – Hebda and Myers refuse to even investigate, much less discipline, the two clerics who reportedly told the child molester to run from law enforcement.
We hope Newark Catholics vote with their wallets and stop donating to an institution that endangers the vulnerable and start donating to agencies that protect the vulnerable.
Yamiche Alcindor, USA TODAY October 3, 2015
The Vatican fired a priest Saturday after he came out as gay and revealed he has a boyfriend on the eve of an important meeting of the world's bishops to discuss church teachings on family life, a topic that encompasses divorce, homosexuality and cohabitation.
Considered a high-ranking Vatican official, Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, 43, lived in Rome for the last 17 years and worked at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith since 2003.
In several interviews, Charamsa said he was happy and proud to be a gay priest, and was in love with a man whom he identified as his boyfriend, according to the Associated Press. He said he wanted to challenge the church's "backwards" attitude to homosexuality, the BBC reported.
By IMOGEN CALDERWOOD FOR MAILONLINE
3 October 2015
The Vatican has come under fire after dismissing a high-ranking Polish priest on the same day he revealed that he was gay.
Father Krzystof Charamsa, who held a post in the Vatican's branch for protecting Catholic dogma, urged the Catholic church to change its 'backwards' attitude to homosexuality.
The 43-year-old revealed that he also had a Spanish partner, in two separate interviews with an Italian newspaper and a Polish news programme.
'It's time for the Church to open its eyes about gay Catholics and to understand that the solution it proposes to them – total abstinence from a life of love – is inhuman,' he told the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, saying he wanted to challenge the Church's 'paranoia'.
'I know that I will have to give up my ministry which is my whole life.
National Catholic Reporter
Joshua J. McElwee Dennis Coday | Oct. 2, 2015
The 14th general assembly of the Synod of Bishops opens in Rome Oct. 4. It will bring together some 300 cardinals and bishops, along with a few dozen lay and religious advisers and consultors to discuss pressing issues around family life.
The synod -- its official theme is "The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and Contemporary World" -- runs until Oct. 25 and is the culmination of more than two years of preparation that included among the widest consultations the Vatican has ever undertaken.
In the fall of 2013 and early 2015, the Vatican distributed questionnaires about family life and church teaching on the family to the world's bishops with the instructions that the questionnaires be used as tools to consult parishes and deaneries.
Although how individual bishops consulted with their people varied widely, the Vatican did receive thousands of responses to questions like:
* "Is cohabitation ad experimentum a pastoral reality in your particular Church?"
* "What knowledge do Christians have today of the teachings of Humanae Vitae on responsible parenthood? … Is this moral teaching accepted?"
* "What questions do divorced and remarried people pose to the Church concerning the Sacraments of the Eucharist and of Reconciliation?"
The Vatican's call for consultation and the fact that many bishops and some national bishops' conferences did consult the faithful openly and widely, coupled with the intimate nature of the subjects under discussion, caused great interest and wide anticipation.
New York Daily News
BY LAURIE HANNA NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Saturday, October 3, 2015
A New Jersey priest has been arrested over claims he pointed a musket at an 8-year-old boy because of a football rivalry.
Father Kevin Carter allegedly threatened the child because he was planning to root for the Dallas Cowboys instead of his beloved New York Giants.
The 54-year-old priest of St. Margaret of Cortona Roman Catholic Church in Little Ferry was arrested Friday on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault by pointing a firearm, say authorities.
The priest allegedly approached the boy before Mass services at the church on Sunday, Sept. 13, and asked to see him in one of the rectory rooms, reported NBC 4 New York.
The New Civil Rights Movement
Now that the Vatican has distanced itself from Kim Davis, saying it feels a "sense of regret" over the Pope's meeting with her, who's to blame for arranging it in the first place?
This week, after days of obfuscation, the Vatican finally confirmed that Pope Francis did indeed meet with Kim Davis, the Rowan County Clerk who spent six days in jail for refusing to comply with a court order directing her to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Today, the Vatican went even further, distancing itself by labeling it a "brief greeting," and stating the meeting "should not be considered a form of support of her position" by the Pope.
Davis and her current husband, Joe, met with the Pope in secret when they were in Washington, D.C., where Kim received the Cost of Discipleship award from the Family Research Council for denying gay couples their constitutional right to marry. According to Mathew Staver, Kim Davis’s attorney, the invitation to meet with Davis came from the Vatican a week or so before the Pope’s six-day visit to the United States, and not from American Catholic institutions.
Staver’s reliability on this point is questionable. The same day, Tuesday, that he announced Kim Davis met with the Pope, he also falsely claimed that 100,000 Peruvians had come together to pray for Kim Davis. It was later revealed that the picture he posted of the alleged event was actually a photo of a gathering from May 2014.
The New Civil Rights Movement has learned through a source within the Apostolic Nunciature, the Vatican embassy, that Kim Davis’ meeting with the Pope was arranged – contrary to theories espoused in the media – by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The USCCB is led by President Joseph E. Kurtz, the Archbishop of Louisville, in Davis’ home state of Kentucky, and by the Archdiocese of Washington led by Cardinal Donald Wuerl. Both institutions have actively opposed same-sex marriage. In 2009, Cardinal Wuerl signed the Manhattan Declaration, an ecumenical statement calling on Evangelical, Orthodox, and Catholic Christians to defy laws permitting same-sex marriage and other issues they claim challenge their religious freedom.
NBC New York
By Checkey Beckford
A New Jersey church priest pointed a musket at an 8-year-old child inside his church and threatened him with it over an apparent sports rivalry, prosecutors say.
The 54-year-old priest at St. Margaret of Cortona Roman Catholic Church in Little Ferry was arrested Friday on charges of endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault by pointing a firearm, the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office said.
The priest allegedly approached the boy before Mass services at the church on Sunday, Sept. 13, and asked to see him in one of the rectory rooms, according to prosecutors.
Once they were in the room, the priest allegedly had the boy stand against the wall, then retrieved a musket and pointed it at him, prosecutors said, citing several witnesses.
By Mike LaBella email@example.com
HAVERHILL — One of his victims says it will be up to society to keep an eye on convicted pedophile and defrocked priest Ronald H. Paquin.
Mike Emerton, 49, a Haverhill native now living in Newburyport, told The Eagle-Tribune that he was one of Paquin's victims and that he was hoping Paquin would be found sexually dangerous and continue to be held. At the time of the assaults, Emerton was an altar boy at St. John the Baptist in Haverhill.
"There is no cure for pedophilia," Emerton said. "It was my hope that he would be found as a sexually dangerous person and be held indefinitely."
The Essex District Attorney's Office on Friday withdrew its petition to hold defrocked Haverhill priest Ronald H. Paquin as a sexually dangerous person. Neither of the experts who examined him found him "sexually dangerous," therefore, the District Attorney's Office must, by law, withdraw its petition.
On the eve of the Catholic’s Church’s Synod on the Family, the Holy See was rocked on Saturday by the public coming out of 43-year-old Monsignor Krzysztof Charamsa, a senior official at the Vatican’s Congregation For the Doctrine Of The Faith (CDF), ex-Holy Office.
In an interview in Saturday’s Corriere Della Sera, timed to coincide with Sunday’s opening of the Synod, Monsignor Charamsa declared himself to be gay.
“I want the Church and my community to know who I am - a homosexual priest, happy and proud of his own identity.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican has fired a monsignor who came out as gay on the eve of a big meeting of the world's bishops to discuss church outreach to gays, divorcees and more traditional Catholic families.
Monsignor Kryzstof Charamsa was a mid-level official in the Vatican's doctrine office. In newspaper interviews published in Italy and Poland Saturday, Charamsa said he was happy and proud to be a gay priest, and was in love with a man whom he identified as his boyfriend.
In a statement Saturday, the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Charamsa's public statements were "serious and irresponsible" coming on the eve of the synod and that he could no longer continue working at the Vatican or its pontifical universities.
Mary E. Hunt
Pope Francis came, saw and conquered during his U.S. visit. A gracious guest with the heart of a grateful immigrant, he experienced American life from the tables of the poor to the lofty spires of the rich. He challenged Americans to share wealth, safeguard the environment and work for the common good. What can he do for an encore?
First, there is a disconnect between the pope's rhetoric about equality and the institutional Roman Catholic Church's practice with regard to women. It was unmistakable during the televised masses and meetings. Hundreds of robed men — priests, bishops, cardinals and their successor seminarians — were visible at every turn. The principal of a school and the head of a social service agency were among the very few women in evidence. Women sang, led music and voiced the occasional prayer, but it was hard to miss that Pope Francis' organization is virtually all male-led. Young male seminarians serenading the Pope assured that the future will mirror the past. So much for Francis' call for education of girls as well as boys.
To be a decision-maker in Catholicism, to have jurisdiction, requires ordination. Women are prohibited from being ordained because they are not men — a tautology postmodern people reject. Equality is equality. Women's ordination is important not so women can dress up like men on ceremonial occasions and celebrate the sacraments. It is to give women voice and vote in every church decision from parish to synod. Women's participation will erase the impression that some people, namely men, are more equal than others because of gender, race, class and the like. That could change the world.
Currently, more American Catholic women than men minister in parishes and similar settings. A pope who calls people and nations to open their doors and embrace immigrants cannot say "the door is closed" on women's ordination.
Second, the pope needs to make good on his promise to survivors of clergy sexual abuse. While his pastoral touch is deft, the pain of survivors of priest pedophiles and other criminals remains an open wound salved only by action. To commend bishops — some of whom covered up for their brother priests and/or moved them around to avoid prosecution — and to suggest that God weeps is inadequate and insulting.
It is time to rout out bishops who act illegally and to create structures of accountability to prevent future problems. A robust airing of sexual abuse cases with Francis and bishops in full listening mode would begin to put this disgraceful chapter of church history to rest. It is time to redirect energies away from individual cases that wind their way slowly, if at all, through the courts and focus instead on structural problems that require systemic change.
By Bob Allen
A Texas Baptist church is facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit filed by parents claiming sexual abuse by a youth minster in the 1990s led to their son’s death by suicide.
A lawsuit filed in Dallas County District Court accused First Baptist Church in Rockwall, Texas, of negligence and fraud that ultimately gave rise to the Jan. 19 suicide death of 37-year-old John Jeremy Sweet-Gomez in Dallas.
Parents Carla Sweet and Ed Gomez claim their son’s abuse began when he was 12 or 13 years old. The lawsuit alleges “a civil conspiracy, accompanied by a meeting of the minds regarding concerted actions” for the purpose of concealing and minimizing public knowledge about their son’s abuse.
Representatives of First Baptist Church of Rockwall, it claims, “engaged in this conspiracy to avoid prosecution, to cover up sexual misconduct and abuse and to conceal claims arising from crimes or conduct of their youth pastor.”
Steve Swofford, pastor of First Baptist Church of Rockwall since 1989, did not respond to an email request for comment.
Swofford is a past president of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention. In 2005 he received the M.E. Dodd Award at the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Nashville, Tenn., for his church’s longstanding denominational support through the Cooperative Program giving plan.
ST. JOHN'S, Oct. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - On Monday, September 28, 2015, the four-month trial began in Anderson v. Canada, the class action that concerns historical abuse at five Indian Residential Schools in Newfoundland and Labrador.
The opening statements are now complete and all key documents have been admitted into evidence. These documents demonstrate that in the 1950s and 1960s Canada and its lawyers drafted two internal legal opinions in which Canada recognized it held a legal responsibility for Aboriginals in Newfoundland and Labrador. Despite this, Canada failed to comply with its responsibilities. To this day, Canada continues to refuse to take responsibility for the Indian Residential Schools in Newfoundland and Labrador.
In 2007, a national Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement was reached between Canada and the survivors of the Indian Residential School system in every province and territory except Newfoundland and Labrador. This was the largest class action settlement in Canadian history. The settlement recognized the damage inflicted by the Indian Residential School system on the lives and culture of Canadian Aboriginals and established a $5 billion compensation package for the approximately 150,000 people who were forced to attend these schools.
In 2008, on the floor of the House of Commons, the Prime Minister publicly apologized on behalf of Canada for the forcible removal of Aboriginal children from their homes and communities to attend Indian Residential School schools throughout Canada.
By Mark Solomons
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has made a direct appeal to children in care to give evidence.
Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald addressed more than 100 children under 18, many of whom are in the child protection system, at a youth conference in Brisbane today.
He invited them to tell their stories and give advice to the commission based on their experiences.
"I, as a Commissioner, don't know how it feels to be in and out of home care," he told delegates.
"You've felt it, experienced it. You know what we need to do. Tell us."
Mr Fitzgerald said much of the evidence already heard in the royal commission involved historic allegations of abuse in schools, religious institutions and other organisations.
But with about 50,000 children moving in and out of care each year in Australia, he said it was important to hear contemporary accounts of their experiences.
[Pope Francis made a strong defense of Bishop Juan Barros in a video said to have been made last May at the Vatican where a group of Catholics asked the pope to send a message to the community of Osorno who were upset by the arrival of Barros. The pope said he is the first to try and punish someone who had such allegations but he said there was no clear evidence against Barros. It is alleged that Barros had knowledge that priest Fernando Karadima was abusing minors but told no one.]
El Pontífice se refirió a los cuestionamientos al sacerdote, a quien sindican como presunto cómplice de los vejámenes cometidos por Fernando Karadima.
Una férrea defensa hizo el Papa Francisco del cuestionado obispo de Osorno, Juan Barros, quien ha sido señalado por las víctimas del sacerdote Fernando Karadima, como uno de los cómplices de sus abusos sexuales.
El registro, exclusivo de "AhoraNoticias", fue grabado en mayo pasado en el Vaticano, donde un grupo de fieles le pide al pontífice que mande un mensaje a la comunidad de Osorno, molesta por la llegada de Juan Barros.
Las imágenes muestran al Santo Padre pidiendo que "piensen con la cabeza y no se dejen llevar por acusaciones infundadas de los zurdos"
El Vaca Nudo
[An as yet unpublished video presented Friday night on a television newscast, AhoraNoticias, seems to show Pope Francis making a strong defense of the Bishop of Osorno, Juan Barros, who has been criticized for possible knowledge that priest Fernando Karadima was abusing minors. The pope appears to have said on the video that accusations linking Barros to the Karadima case were made by politicans who had no proof.]
03 de Octubre, 2015 03:10
Un video inédito que fue una verdadera bomba, fue el que presentó este viernes en la noche el noticiario central de Mega, AhoraNoticias, en el cual el Papa Francisco hace una férrea defensa del Obispo de Osorno, Juan Barros, por su posible vinculación en el caso Karadima en el cual se le señala como uno de los encubridores del ex párroco de El Bosque.
En el registro, el sumo pontífice señala que las acusaciones que vinculan a Barros Madrid al caso Karadima fueron hechas "por políticos sin ninguna prueba".
En la frase que más llama la atención, el Santo Padre les pide a los fieles chilenos que "piensen con la cabeza y no se dejen llevar por acusaciones infundadas de los zurdos".
"Soy el primero en juzgar y castigar a alguien, que tiene acusaciones de este tipo, pero en este caso, ninguna prueba, de corazón se los digo", dijo Francisco, pidiendo que el mensaje sea compartido con los osorninos.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — As a young teen, Roy Jeffs would spend long days typing up his father's sermons while stuck inside a house in an Albuquerque subdivision where he and his mother were sent to live in hiding. In the middle of the night, the phone would ring. It was his father, polygamous leader Warren Jeffs.
"There would be like this piercing of despair in your heart," Roy Jeffs said. "What's he going to say now? Is he going tell me I've lost my place? Is he going to kick me out?"
Roy Jeffs, now 23, says he was controlled, manipulated and shuffled around the country and assigned to work crews to atone for his perceived transgressions before leaving the sect last year.
His stories provide a window into the secretive sect based on the Utah-Arizona border in which cellphones, toys, movies, the Internet, bicycles and even swimming were strictly forbidden. He said Jeffs imposed his control over followers by reassigning children and wives to different men, sending people to "houses of hiding" and wielding the constant threat of exile.
Posted: Friday, October 2, 2015
BY JON VANDERLAAN firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story contains graphic sexual descriptions.
The Odessa missionary accused of abusing 11 orphans at a children’s home in Malawi will continue to be held without bond after he waived a preliminary hearing regarding the probable cause for his arrest.
Gerald Dean Campbell, who is charged with engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places, could face up to life in federal prison if convicted.
By waiving his hearing, Campbell will be held without bond and declined to contest his arrest.
According to a federal complaint, Campbell was the general manager of the Victory Christian Children’s Home from 1997 until he resigned in 2009 amid the sexual abuse claims.
Campbell is a member of Grace Fellowship Church, which has had ties with the children’s home for a number of years.
Roy Key, the former business manager at the church and occasional pastor, said he’s known Campbell since shortly after joining the church in 2008, and he heard rumors of the reported sexual abuse when he became business manager.
The Columbus Dispatch
By Earl Rinehart
The Columbus Dispatch • Friday October 2, 2015
A former Watterson High School teacher accused of having sexual contact with an underage male student from the high school was charged today with producing child pornography.
Brian Sze, who was assistant director of music at Watterson last school year, is accused in a federal complaint of giving his phone to the boy and telling him to record himself masturbating at Sze’s Lewis Center home.
The boy told investigators that he and Sze also watched pornography together. Investigators said they found sexually explicit emails and text messages from Sze on two of the student’s electronic devices.
The acts occurred between April 2014 and May 2015, according to the complaint filed on Friday in U.S. District Court in Columbus. ...
In a letter to families, Joseph Brettnacher, superintendent of schools for the Catholic Diocese of Columbus, said Sze was fired on June 15 after admitting that he sent inappropriate text messages to a student and the matter was reported to the Ohio Department of Education.
“At that time, there was absolutely no other indication of any other wrongdoing,” the letter says. “At the time of his termination we had no knowledge or suspicion of any sexual contact or sexual abuse.”
October 2, 2015
Saturday, October 3, 2015
Defrocked pedophile priest Ronald H. Paquin, who admitted to sexually abusing boys throughout his two decades as a pastor, has been sprung from a state mental hospital over the protests of prosecutors who say the convicted child predator is still a danger to the community.
Two taxpayer-funded independent psychologists found that Paquin, 72, is no longer sexually dangerous because of his age and health problems. Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett, who tried to have the convicted rapist civilly committed, said he remains a threat.
“Our contention is that Mr. Paquin poses a danger to the community,” Blodgett said. “Unfortunately, we have no further legal options available to hold Mr. Paquin.”
Paquin, who will not be under any parole or probation supervision when he is released, pleaded guilty to three counts of rape of a child in December 2002 and was sentenced to 12 to 15 years in state prison. The rapes took place in Haverhill between 1989 and 1992, beginning when the victim was 12.
The Bergen Dispatch
By Paul Nichols
Friday, Oct 02, 2015
The Bergen County Prosecutor announced the arrest of Father Kevin Carter, 54, of St. Margaret of Cortona Roman Catholic Church in Little Ferry, New Jersey on charges of Endangering the Welfare of a Child and Aggravated Assault by Pointing a Firearm. The arrest came about as a result of an investigation conducted by members of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Special Victims Unit and the Little Ferry Police Department.
On Friday, September 25, 2015, a parishioner of St. Margaret of Cortona Church made officials of the Newark Archdiocese aware of an alleged incident that took place at the church several weeks prior, involving a priest of the parish pointing a firearm at an eight year old child.
On Monday, September 28, 2015, the Archdiocese made the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office aware of the allegation. Once learning of the alleged assault, The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Special Victims Unit initiated a joint investigation with the Little Ferry Police Department.
The investigation revealed the following: On Sunday, September 13, 2015, the victim and several family members arrived at the church for Sunday services. Prior to the mass beginning, Father Kevin Carter asked to see him in one of the rectory rooms. Once in the room, Father Carter had the victim stand against a wall. He then retrieved a long gun from nearby and pointed it at the child with an indication that he would shoot him. This was witnessed by several individuals that were standing outside of the room.
On Friday, October 2, 2015, Father Carter was located at the rectory and interviewed by detectives. A search of his room located the weapon in question, as well as gun powder, ammunition and associated items for the gun. The weapon was found to be a functioning civil war style musket. Father Carter was subsequently placed under arrest.
BY JAMES M. O'NEILL
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD
A Catholic priest in Little Ferry was arrested Friday after allegedly aiming a functioning Civil War style musket at an 8-year-old boy.
The Rev. Kevin Carter, 54, pastor of St. Margaret of Cortona Catholic Church, has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault by pointing a firearm, Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said.
The incident allegedly occurred when the boy and several family members arrived for Mass on Sept. 13.
Carter asked to see the boy in one of the rectory’s rooms and had him stand against a wall, Molinelli said in a press release. The priest then got out a long gun and pointed it at the child with an indication he would shoot, Molinelli said.
Several witnesses standing outside the room saw the incident take place, according to the release.
During a search of Carter’s room at the rectory on Friday, the musket was found, along with gunpowder, ammunition and other items related to the gun, Molinelli said. Carter was arrested, and was being held at the Little Ferry police station Friday evening. Bail has been set at $15,000 with the stipulation that Carter have no contact with the child and that he surrender all firearms.
FOX 5 NEWS - A pastor at a Catholic Church in Bergen County, New Jersey, who also apparently serves as a police chaplain is accused of aiming a Civil War-style musket at a child and threatening to shoot him, according to the county prosecutor.
Detectives arrested Father Kevin Carter, 54, of St. Margaret of Cortona Roman Catholic Church in Little Ferry on Friday and confiscated the musket, gun powder, ammunition, and accessories for the gun, according to a press release from Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli. Authorities charged him with endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault by pointing a firearm.
According to prosecutors, a parishioner told officials at the Archdiocese of Newark that on Sunday, September 13, Father Carter made an 8-year-old boy -- who was there with his family for Mass -- in the stand against the wall of the rectory, aimed the unloaded but fully functional musket at him, and said he would shoot him. Authorities said that several people standing outside the room witnessed what happened.
LITTLE FERRY, N.J. (WABC) -- A priest in Bergen County has been arrested for allegedly pointing a gun at a child.
Father Kevin Carter, 54, of St. Margaret of Cortona Roman Catholic Church in Little Ferry is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault by pointing a firearm.
On Friday, September 25th a parishioner made officials of the Newark Archdiocese aware of an alleged incident that took place at the church several weeks prior.
On Sunday, September 13th the 8-year-old victim and several family members arrived at the church for Sunday services.
Prior to the mass beginning, police say Father Carter asked to see him in one of the rectory rooms.
Once in the room, Father Carter allegedly had the victim stand against a wall. He then retrieved a long gun from nearby and pointed it at the child with an indication that he would shoot him.
By Paul Milo | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on October 02, 2015
LITTLE FERRY — A Roman Catholic priest who has served at several parishes across North Jersey was arrested Friday for pointing a musket at an 8-year-old parishioner, the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office said.
Father Kevin Carter, 55, who is currently assigned to St. Margaret of Cortona Church, has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and aggravated assault by pointing a firearm. Carter was being held on $15,000 bail in Little Ferry and has been ordered to surrender all firearms as well as to avoid contact with the child.
Authorities learned of the allegation after a St. Margaret parishioner contacted the Archdiocese of Newark a week ago. The archdiocese contacted the prosecutor's office Monday.
The incident occurred Sept. 13, when the child and his family arrived at the church for Sunday Mass, according to a subsequent investigation by the prosecutor's office Special Victims Unit and Little Ferry police. Before the service, Carter allegedly asked to see the child in a room at the rectory, then ordered him to stand against a wall. Authorities said Carter then grabbed a "Civil War-style" musket and aimed at it him. The incident was seen by several people who were outside the room at the time, authorities also said.
Police later seized the functioning weapon as well as ammunition, gun powder and other items.
By Len Lazarick
In an old Catholic observance, First Fridays of the month were set aside for special devotions to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. For the last 10 years, Art Baselice, an ex-cop, First Fridays of the month have been set aside for another devotion.
From noon to 1 p.m., as he plans to do this Friday, he stands outside the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Philadelphia with a poster that says "Victim of Catholic Clergy Sex Abuse." The poster has a picture of his late son Arthur and the Franciscan priest and brother that abused him.
I met Art by chance June 5 after visiting the cathedral while in Philadelphia for the conference of Investigative Reporters and Editors.
You might have seen this block of 18th Street during Pope Francis's visit to Philadelphia. He said Mass at the Cathedral on Saturday, and stopped by it in the pope-mobile on his way to the huge Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway Sunday.
There were no crowds when I met Baselice. He was alone and wary. His is a lonely crusade.
Baselice wants the church he grew up with in South Philly to do more to correct and punish the sex abuse by priests and religious that helped lead to the death of his son Arthur from a heroin overdose. That addiction began years earlier, financed by the high school principal that abused him at Archbishop Ryan High School, according to a lengthy article in Philadelphia magazine.
Religion News Service - Rhymes with Religion
Boz Tchividjian | Oct 2, 2015
A few months ago I wrote about the deceitful, but all too successful, ways sex offenders in the church act when confronted with abuse allegations. Tragically, the sex offenders are not the only ones who deceive when confronted with abuse disclosures. Too often, leaders of faith institutions respond similarly when confronted with the mishandling of sexual abuse disclosures. Instead of acknowledging the failure and grieving over the pain the institution has caused an already traumatized victim, some leaders immediately move into self-protection mode and will stop at almost nothing in shifting the focus away from their own reprehensible failings in order to protect personal and organizational reputations. (On an encouraging note, as I my last blog post noted, more and more church leaders are responding to abuse disclosures in a manner that places the affirmation and care of the victim above all else.)
A spotlight is switched on whenever an abuse survivor steps forward to tell others how institutional leaders mishandled their sexual abuse disclosure. Spotlights that shine light into dark places are seldom welcomed by those responsible for the darkness. These spotlights come in many different forms and sizes. Some are media reports or articles, while others take the form of lawsuits and criminal cases. In recent years, many survivors have been empowered to turn a blog or a Facebook page into bright and stubborn spotlight. A few years ago, I learned of a faith institution whose leaders had failed miserably when learning that children under its care had been sexually and physically abused. Years later, a handful of these children who were now adults privately confronted the leaders about how their failure to respond had devastated the lives of so many who had been abused. The leaders expressed concern and promised to “look into it”. After two years of empty lip service, the survivors realized that the leaders had little or no plans to do anything. The sad reality was that as long as these conversations remained private, many of the survivors believed that the leaders had nothing to lose by dragging it out as long as possible with the hope that they would simply go away. Instead of continuing the endless and fruitless private dialogue, these brave young adults decided to turn on a spotlight in the form of a public blog that exposes the horrors committed by offenders and the ongoing failures by the institutional leaders to properly respond to these crimes. Over time, this spotlight grew brighter as it reached more and more people around the world. Suddenly, empty lip service was no longer a viable response as the institution no longer controlled a private narrative.
Instead of focusing time and energy in doing the right thing when a spotlight is turned on, many leaders will focus time and energy trying to get them turned off, or at the very least pointed elsewhere. Fortunately, truth can be quite stubborn and has a way of finding the spotlight regardless of how hard others try to turn it off or point it elsewhere.
Turn off the spotlight. This is simply an effort by leaders to take the matter out of the public eye where they have very little control. Turning off the spotlight allows leaders to retake control of the narrative by taking it out of the public eye with little or no accountability. Here are just two ways that leaders attempt to turn off spotlights that are beginning to have an impact.
By Ivey DeJesus | email@example.com
on October 02, 2015
One of the most widely covered events during the Pope Francis visit to the U.S. was his meeting with victims of clergy sexual abuse.
Francis, who met with survivors of abuse on Sunday, his last day in Philadelphia, expressed his regret that trusted church officials had violated the innocence of children and had failed to protect them.
Francis consoled them by saying God heard their cries and believes them, and vowed to hold accountable the people who committed and covered up the crimes.
The overture was welcomed by some as a step in the right direction. For those who still struggle with the ravages of the years of abuse at the hands of a trusted priest, the pontiff's gesture was little more than lip service.
More than 10 years after the clergy sex abuse scandal rocked the church in the U.S., the issue has forged little resolution between church officials and victims.
"I kind of wanted to like the pope until I saw what he was doing," said John Delaney, who as a student at St. Cecilia Church in Philadelphia, was molested by a priest for more than 10 years. "He is not doing anything for me. He was applauding the bishops. It was a smack in my face. I was very hurt."
Delaney was "Sean" in the 2005 grand jury report that detailed widespread clergy abuse of minors in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The 2005 report, alleged how the The Rev. James Brzyski subjected Delaney and at least 16 other boys to "unrelenting abuse, including fondling, oral sex, and anal rape" while working as an assistant pastor at two churches in the late 1970s and early '80s.
by Joseph Pelletier • October 2, 2015
SANTIAGO, Chile, October 2, 2015 (ChurchMilitant.com) - A Chilean cardinal and close advisor to the Pope is being accused of complicity in the cover-up of sex abuse.
Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, one of nine appointed by Pope Francis to the highly influential Council of Cardinal Advisers, testified for five hours Wednesday in a suit filed by the victims of Fr. Fernando Karadima, a high-profile priest accused of sexually abusing several boys two decades ago. The accusations assert that Cdl. Errázuriz, Archbishop-Emeritus of Santiago, Chile, was fully aware of the abuse as early as 2003 and that he chose to ignore the victims' pleas for action.
Cardinal Errázuriz contends that, while admitting knowledge of the allegations against Karadima, his refusal to act stemmed from a genuine belief that the charges were untrue.
In 2011 the Vatican found Fr. Karadima guilty of sexually abusing several minors and sentenced him to "lifelong prohibition from the public exercise of any ministerial act, particularly confession and the spiritual guidance of any category of persons." This following the Chilean Catholic Church referring the case to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in June 2010.
BOSTON | BY SCOTT MALONE
A former Massachusetts priest who figured prominently in the Roman Catholic Church's sex abuse scandal and pleaded guilty in 2002 to raping a child will be released from prison after prosecutors dropped their effort on Friday to send him to a state facility for sexual predators.
Ronald Paquin, who was defrocked in 2004, was one of the first arrested amid revelations that members of the Catholic clergy had sexually assaulted children and that bishops had covered it up.
Paquin, who had served in Haverhill, pleaded guilty to three counts of raping a child, beginning in 1989 when the child was 12 years old.
He completed his sentence earlier this year but prosecutors in Essex County, Massachusetts, north of Boston, had tried to have him declared a "sexually dangerous" person who must be confined. Two qualified examiners interviewed Paquin and reviewed his case and concluded that he posed no threat.
By Karen Lee Ziner
Journal Staff Writer Posted Sep. 24, 2015
Ann Hagan Webb, Rhode Island coordinator for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says "SNAP phones have been ringing off the hook" from callers upset by the pope's visit to the United States this week.
"They have been triggered by the pope coming because there’s like a love fest going on with the public and the press, despite him not really doing anything about the [clergy] abuse crisis," says Webb. "That drives people crazy, including me."
Survivors were recommending "self-care," Webb said. "Limiting exposure to the pope in the media, reaching out to each other ... . We are all wishing the visit was over ... . It's so easy for us to access our shame and embarrassment regardless of how many years we spent overcoming it."
A psychologist, Webb was victimized by a Warwick priest who is now deceased, she said. "Personally, it [the pope's visit] has brought old PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] symptoms of anxiety, agitation and hyper-vigilance back when I least expected it," said Webb.
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
SALEM, Mass. — Oct 2, 2015
A former Roman Catholic priest who spent more than a decade in a Massachusetts prison for raping an altar boy will be freed after prosecutors withdrew a civil petition Friday to have him committed as a sexually dangerous person.
Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said he had no choice but to withdraw the petition under state law because two experts who examined Ronald Paquin determined he was no longer sexually dangerous.
"Our contention is that Mr. Paquin poses a danger to the community," Blodgett said. "Unfortunately, we have no further legal options available to hold Mr. Paquin."
Under the law, anyone found sexually dangerous can be civilly committed indefinitely at a state treatment center even after their prison sentence has ended.
BY ANTHEA BUTLER OCTOBER 2, 2015
Seems like the meeting between Pope Francis and Kim Davis was not as good for him as it was for her. In a statement released by the Vatican, approved by the pope, the Vatican stated “the Pope met with several people at the nunciature and that “the Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.”
Translation: “we got played, but this is not our game in the first place.”
The fact that the Vatican actually issued a statement after Vatican spokesman Fr. Lombardi said he wouldn’t comment is amazing enough. It would be a mistake, however, to make simplistic assumptions that either the Pope is in the tank for Kim Davis, that Liberty Counsel’s Mathew Staver’s version of the meeting is the truth, or that the Pope proved he was really a culture warrior who lied about everything he said in the US. To quote Facebook: it’s complicated.
While this feels like a break up between the Pope and all the great press he received for his welcoming tone in America, the truth is more complicated.
The best explication of what most likely happened has come from Charles Pierce in Esquire, who verified (correctly) that Archbishop Carlo Vigano, the nuncio, is the person who hastily arranged the meeting between the Pope and Kim Davis.
Archbishop Vigano is a Pope Benedict XVI supporter involved in the Vatileaks scandal. Vigano has lied about his own brother, with whom he is involved in a dispute about their considerable family inheritance. Or, to put it another way, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano is the Petyr Baelish of this particular iteration of Vatican “Game of Thrones.” The Archbishop decided to wade into the culture wars at the behest of parties yet unknown, or his own spite at being driven out of Rome.
NEW YORK | BY ANGELA MOON
Sentiment towards Pope Francis turned sour on social media over his meeting with a Kentucky county clerk who refuses to issue same-sex marriage licenses, data compiled by Thomson Reuters showed.
The ratio of positive versus negative tweets on the pope had been about 2.6 to 1 on average during and shortly after his Sept. 22-27 visit to the United States. But the ratio fell sharply to about even on Sept. 30 after reports of the meeting, which was originally kept secret.
On Friday, the Vatican said there was "a sense of regret" that the pope had ever seen Kim Davis, the clerk who went to jail in September for refusing to honour a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and issue same-sex marriage licences.
A former Roman Catholic priest who spent more than a decade in prison after pleading guilty to raping an altar boy will be freed after prosecutors withdrew a request to have him civilly committed indefinitely as a sexually dangerous person.
The Essex district attorney's office announced Friday that it had withdrawn its petition because neither expert who examined Ronald Paquin found him "sexually dangerous," which is required under state law for civil commitment.
The now 72-year-old Paquin pleaded guilty in December 2002 to child rape charges for molesting a boy between 1989 and 1992 while assigned to a Haverhill, Massachusetts, church. The boy was 12 when the abuse started. Paquin was sentenced to 12 to 15 years in prison. His sentence ended in May.
HAVERHILL, Mass. (WHDH) -
The Essex District Attorney's office on Friday withdrew its petition to hold Ronald Paquin as a sexually dangerous person.
According to the DA, neither of the experts who examined him found him "sexually dangerous." The DA is required by law to withdraw its petition.
Paquin, a former priest in Haverhill, pleaded guilty to three counts of rape of a child in December 2002 and was sentenced to 12-15 years in state prison. The rapes took place in Haverhill between 1989 and 1992, beginning when the victim was 12 years old.
According to the law, a judge must find probable cause after which the person is evaluated by two independent "qualified examiners." If at least one of the qualified examiners finds the person sexually dangerous, the Commonwealth can proceed to a trial at which is must prove that the defendant meets the criteria for sexually dangerousness beyond a reasonable doubt.
By ADAM SWIFT (Patch Staff)
October 2, 2015
On Friday, the Essex County District Attorney’s office in Salem withdrew its petition to have a former Roman Catholic Priest classified as a sexually dangerous predator in an effort to keep him confined in prison.
Ronald Paquin, now 72, pleaded guilty in 2002 to sexually assaulting a 12-year-old altar boy at a Haverhill church between the years of 1989 and 1992, beginning when the victim was 12 years old.
The Essex County prosecutors attempted to keep Paquin confined by having him classified as a sexual dangerous predator, but was forced to withdraw the petition when the experts who examined Paquin found him not to be sexually dangerous.
“Our contention is that Mr. Paquin poses a danger to the community,” Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “Unfortunately, we have no further legal options available to hold Mr. Paquin.”
Friday, October 2, 2015
By: Joe Dwinell
A former Haverhill priest locked up amid the Catholic sexual abuse crisis has been ordered released, the Essex DA's office announced today.
Ronald H. Paquin pleaded guilty in 2002 to raping a Haverhill altar boy between 1989 and 1992 and he was sent to the Massachusetts Treatment Center at the Bridgewater Correctional Complex for up to 15 years. He completed his sentence this summer and now the DA says he is being set free after he was deemed not to be sexually dangerous.
Here is the release:
"The Essex District Attorney’s Office today withdrew its petition to hold Ronald H. Paquin as a sexually dangerous person. Neither of the experts who examined him found him “sexually dangerous,” therefore, the District Attorney’s Office must, by law, withdraw its petition. “Our contention is that Mr. Paquin poses a danger to the community,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said.
Essex District Attorney's Office
The Essex District Attorney’s Office today withdrew its petition to hold Ronald H. Paquin as a sexually dangerous person. Neither of the experts who examined him found him “sexually dangerous,” therefore, the District Attorney’s Office must, by law, withdraw its petition.
“Our contention is that Mr. Paquin poses a danger to the community,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “Unfortunately, we have no further legal options available to hold Mr. Paquin.”
Paquin, a former priest in Haverhill, pleaded guilty to 3 counts of rape of a child in December of 2002 and was sentenced to 12-15 years in state prison. The rapes took place in Haverhill between 1989 and 1992, beginning when the victim was 12 years old.
Under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 123A, Section 1, the Commonwealth may file a civil commitment petition to hold a person believed to be sexually dangerous upon completion of their prison term. A Judge must find probable cause after which the person is evaluated by two independent “qualified examiners.” If at least one of the qualified examiners finds the person sexually dangerous, the Commonwealth can proceed to a trial at which it must prove that the defendant meets the criteria for sexually dangerousness beyond a reasonable doubt.
A probable cause hearing was held over the course of two day in early August, at which Essex Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Kirshenbaum presented testimony from Dr. Gregg Belle, a forensic psychologist specializing in sex offenders. Judge James Lang found probable cause on August 20, 2015. Paquin was then evaluated by two qualified examiners. Neither of them found him sexually dangerous, therefore the Commonwealth must withdraw its petition and Paquin will be released.
Paquin is represented by Attorney David Erickson.
By John R. Ellement GLOBE STAFF OCTOBER 02, 2015
Essex County prosecutors have lost their bid to have Ronald H. Paquin, a former Roman Catholic priest at the center of the abuse scandal in the Boston Archdiocese, confined to a special state facility for sexual predators.
Prosecutors on Friday notified victims of the 72-year-old Paquin that two qualified experts have concluded he is not a sexually dangerous person. If he had been declared sexually dangerous, Paquin could have been civilly committed to the Massachusetts Treatment Center.
Such a designation could potentially have lasted the rest of his life.
“This is a tragedy,’’ said Michael Emerton, who said Paquin sexually assaulted him when he was a teenager attending the Haverhill parish to which Paquin was assigned in the 1980s. “Everyone needs to be vigilant and watch this person.’’
Emerton was one of the victims contacted Friday by Essex District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett’s office, which launched the effort to have Paquin designated as a sexually dangerous person after Paquin finished his sentence in May.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Friday, Oct. 2
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those abused by Priests (314 566 9790, firstname.lastname@example.org)
A notorious Boston predator priest will soon walk free and Catholics will learn whether Boston church officials will honor or ignore Pope Francis’ recent promises.
Just days ago, Pope Francis said that “never again” should clergy sex crimes happen and that church officials will provide "careful oversight to ensure that youth are protected.”
Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley can provide that “careful oversight” but likely won’t. We urge O’Malley to use pulpit announcements, church bulletins and parish websites to beg other victims of Ronald Paquin to speak up and call police. An outreach effort like this could well bring forward others who could prosecute Paquin and keep him behind bars away from kids.
But we doubt O’Malley will do this. It would take real courage. It would require doing more than the bare minimum. Very few bishops have done this: acted like truly compassionate shepherds and taken the initiative to help law enforcement pursue predator priests.
In light of these recent papal pledges - and others – and given Paquin’s dangerous propensities, we challenge O’Malley to take tangible steps to act on Francis’ noble sentiments and potentially help keep Paquin away from children.
Recently, Francis talked tough on abuse. Let’s see if O’Malley was listening.
By Daniel Burke, CNN Religion Editor
(CNN)The day before Pope Francis met anti-gay county clerk Kim Davis in Washington last week, he held a private meeting with a longtime friend from Argentina who has been in a same-sex relationship for 19 years.
Yayo Grassi, an openly gay man, brought his partner, Iwan, as well several other friends to the Vatican Embassy on September 23 for a brief visit with the Pope. A video of the meeting shows Grassi and Francis greeting each other with a warm hug.
In an exclusive interview with CNN, Grassi declined to disclose details about the short visit, but said it was arranged personally by the Pope via email in the weeks ahead of Francis' highly anticipated visit to the United States.
A Church of England priest and former teacher who gave money to two boys he sexually abused has been jailed.
The Reverend Christopher Howarth, of Rocks Park Road, Uckfield, was found guilty of 26 offences against the boys, now aged 19 and 20.
The court heard he paid money to the boys in return for sexual gratification and told one of them he was "preparing" him for a girlfriend.
Howarth was jailed for 10 years at Lewes Crown Court on Friday.
The 68-year-old, who had admitted one count of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, was also ordered to be placed on the sex offenders' register indefinitely.
SALEM, Mass. —A former Roman Catholic priest convicted of sexually abusing children 13 years ago will be released after prosecutors lost their attempt have him classified as a sexually dangerous person.
Ronald Paquin, now 72, pleaded guilty in 2002 to sexually assaulting a 12-year-old altar boy at a Haverhill church over a period of three years. The rapes took place between 1989 and 1992, beginning when the victim was 12 years old.
Essex County prosecutors attempted to keep Paquin confined, but lost when neither of the experts who examined him this year found him to be sexually dangerous.
“Our contention is that Mr. Paquin poses a danger to the community,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “Unfortunately, we have no further legal options available to hold Mr. Paquin.”
William D. Lindsey
On the day that news broke of the pope's meeting with Kim Davis, I was finishing Mary Dispenza's painful, liberating account of her struggle to come to terms with her sexual abuse by a priest as a little girl, followed by her struggle to come to terms with her gay sexual orientation as an adult — and, in both cases, her narrative centers on her difficult attempt to deal with the callousness and cruelty of Catholic "pastoral" leaders as she struggled along. And so Mary Dispenza's story now blends together in my mind with the revelation that, while refusing to meet with a single LGBT Catholic on his recent tour of "mercy" in the U.S., Pope Francis met with Kim Davis. Of all people . . . .
I learned of Mary Dispenza's memoir SPLIT: A Child, a Priest, and the Catholic Church (Bellevue, WA: Moon Day, 2014) at the SNAP conference two months ago, where the book was cited several times by presenters in sessions I attended. And then I came home and asked my library to obtain a copy for me via interlibrary loan — which resulted in the library's notifying me that it wanted, instead, to buy a copy for the library.
What follows is not really a review of SPLIT. It's more a set of disconnected booknotes.
What really grabbed my attention as I read Mary's memoir was, of course, her painful attempt to deal with the reality that she is lesbian, in a church (which was her employer at the time) whose pastoral leaders commonly make life a living hell for LGBT human beings. I won't deny that I found it difficult to read the first part of her memoir, recounting her repeated sexual abuse by Father George Neville Rucker when she was a little girl attending a Catholic school in East Los Angeles.
By John Fidler
The excitement generated by the pope's visit to the Americas will linger a lifetime for those who saw him. So will the disappointment felt by those who'd hoped for more from the people's pope about the sexual abuse crisis that continues to exact a toll on the survivors of abuse by Catholic priests, the survivors' families and the Catholic Church itself.
On his trip back to Rome Sunday night, Francis admitted that bishops had covered up abuse cases.
"When a priest abuses, it is very grave because the vocation of the priest is to make that boy, that girl grow toward the love of God," Francis told reporters on the plane, according to published accounts. "For this reason, the church is strong on this, and one must not cover these things up. Those who covered this up are guilty. Even some bishops who covered this up."
On Sept. 23 in Washington, Francis shocked survivors and their supporters by praising American bishops for their role in responding to sexual abuse by priests.
He said that he was aware of the suffering - by the bishops and priests.
Advocates for survivors erupted. Even a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, a special panel that Francis appointed, was taken aback, The New York Times reported.
The Daily Beast
Barbie Latza Nadeau
VATICAN CITY — It has undoubtedly been a long week for the Vatican press office since the news that Pope Francis met Kim Davis in what was described as a private meeting in Washington, D.C. on September 24 after his historic address to Congress. The meeting, which Davis’s lawyers implied was a secret rendezvous complete with a warm hug from the pope and words of encouragement, was apparently just a meet and greet of the kind Francis and other dignitaries do rather blindly.
On Friday, undoubtedly succumbing to stalker-like pressure from the Vatican press corps in Rome and beyond, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi finally clarified the circumstances of the apparent non-event. “The brief meeting between Mrs. Kim Davis and Pope Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, DC has continued to provoke comments and discussion,” Lombardi scolded in his statement. ...
The Vatican statement will do little to quell the many conspiracy theories that include rumors of a holy coup against the pontiff by evil conservatives duping him in an attempt to sully his reputation ahead of the Grand Synod to begin on Sunday. The pope has a mind of his own, but he is one of the most advised leaders in the world, especially on the U.S. visit, which was planned down to the minute with the help of the powerful American Bishops, some of whom are clearly at odds with the Francis approach to the Church.
It should also be noted, as we've reported in The Daily Beast, that the pontiff's attitude toward same-sex marriage is far from what the LGBT community would hope, and some believe.
And finally, the statement does little to answer the very basic question about just who else was in the group of “several dozen persons” who were apparently with Davis and her husband when they were at the Vatican embassy. Surely a witness to such an historical and hysterical event would have come forward by now to clarify just what contact the pontiff and the gay marriage martyr had.
By Michelle Boorstein October 2
Two days after news of a Kim Davis-Pope Francis meeting renewed the U.S. fascination over what this pope stands for, the Vatican on Friday put out a statement that appeared to downgrade the visit’s significance, saying it should “not be considered a form of support” of the Kentucky clerk’s “position in all of its particular and complex aspects.”
Davis, an Apostolic Christian who went to jail rather than allow her office to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, has become a polarizing figure in the country’s debate over religious freedom.
Since the revelation that she met with Francis — an event that was announced by her lawyer, not the Vatican, and kept secret until after the pope had returned to Rome — church insiders have been furiously swapping rumors about who exactly set up the meeting, which U.S. bishops knew of it, who was happy about it and who was upset.
The meeting was cheered by conservatives, who view Francis with suspicion because of previous statements that appeared to be accepting of homosexuality. But it was greeted with dismay by liberals, who have embraced Francis precisely because of his reluctance to engage in U.S. culture wars and his “who-am-I-to-judge” attitude.
[Capehart: Why I am disappointed with Pope Francis]
Church leaders in the United States and in Rome have been resolutely tight-lipped about the meeting, perhaps concerned about the prospect of appearing to publicly rebuke or challenge the pope, particularly on such a sensitive issue.
Among those who declined to comment was the Rev. Carlo Maria Vigano, the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States, at whose residence the meeting took place. On Friday, the Vatican said Davis was among dozens of people “invited by the Nunciature” — or the ambassador. Church-watchers have debated and swapped rumors all week about whether Vigano worked on his own to set up the meeting, or at the behest of the pope himself, or in tandem with other bishops or religious freedom advocates or donors.
This week, lawyers for Liberty Counsel and representatives from the Vatican confirmed that Pope Francis met with Kim Davis, the clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky, who has refused to perform same-sex marriages. It immediately became one of the biggest stories about the pope’s trip to the United States: A pontiff who has strained to change the Church’s tone on issues from abortion to homosexuality met with one of the most divisive figures in American politics.
Conservatives chalked it up as a win. The Church’s more progressive prelates pushed back. Now, the Vatican is downplaying the get together. “Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City,” wrote the Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi in a statement to reporters. “Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the Pope’s characteristic kindness and availability.”
The greatest source of speculation since the news of the visit came out has been: Did the pope know who Kim Davis was and understand the controversy she represents? “The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis,” Lombardi wrote. “His meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.”
A few hours after the Vatican released its statement, Liberty Counsel, the firm representing Davis, shot back its own counter-statement. “Neither Kim Davis nor Liberty Counsel ever said the meeting was an endorsement of her legal case,” said Mat Staver, Davis’s lawyer. “Rather, the meeting was a pastoral meeting to encourage Kim Davis in which Pope Francis thanked her for her courage and told her to ‘Stay strong.’ His words and actions support the universal human right to conscientious objection.”
It’s still not clear who arranged the meeting with Davis from the Vatican side. In an interview on Wednesday, Staver refused to say who had reached out to his firm, although he noted that their conversations began before Francis arrived in the United States. Thomas Rosica, the Vatican’s English-language media representative, claims that Vatican staff did not organize the meeting, according to the Religion News Service. Michael Sean Winters of the National Catholic Reporter has speculated who the representative was: “Seeing as the meeting happened at the nunciature in Washington, it could only have happened with the approval and participation of the nuncio, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano.”
William D. Lindsey
So the hugely damaging fallout from the pope's meeting with Kim Davis has now provoked an unusual response-retraction of sorts from the Vatican media spokesperson Father Lombardi, who says that the pope is a characteristically kind and available man who meets with all sorts of persons (and isn't that nice, but isn't it interesting that his kindness and availibilty didn't extend to a meeting with a single LGBT Catholic among many who asked to see him on his U.S. visit?) Father Lombardi's brief account of the meeting makes it appear that Kim Davis was "one of several dozen persons" who simply happened to be bustled in front of the pope as he made preparations to leave D.C.
And it does further damage control by stating that the brief meeting with Ms. Davis (and her husband and Mat Staver) does not constitute endorsement of her understanding of religious freedom — though it's rather difficult to put that disclaimer together with the pope's words about religious freedom on the plane back to Rome, which seemed precisely to be endorsing her version of religious freedom without naming her.
Here's what I think as one of the tiny peons far removed from Vatican politics or the heady universe of the heterosexual old boys (of both genders, in some cases) who spin the pope for the rest of us in the Catholic media, along with his clerical spinmeisters: I think the Vatican is in damage-control mode after news of the meeting with the Davises and Mat Staver of the anti-gay hate group Liberty Counsel was leaked. And it now intends to throw the Davises and Mr. Staver to the wolves, without really telling us the full story of what happened.
The statement by Lombardi that this meeting does not necessarily constitute an endorsement of everything that Kim Davis stands for, and the attempt to represent the meeting as the brief encounter of a kind, avuncular pope with a bunch of people he hardly knew, may be the closest we'll ever get to the "truth" of what happened here.
[with copy of the letter to Pope Francis]
Canberra Times reporter
Child sexual abuse campaigner Damian De Marco has urged Pope Francis to release cardinals from an oath that may restrict them from speaking out about child sexual abuse.
In an open letter to the pontiff, the 2015 ACT Local Hero and Bravehearts ambassador said the oath all new cardinals must swear, which prohibits them from disclosing information which could damage the Roman Catholic Church, is "inappropriate" due to the church's history of concealing child sexual abuse.
"In Australia, the Catholic Church now has 749,000 children in its care and each of those children are entrusted to a cardinal who will promise to conceal any information that could harm the church," Mr De Marco said.
"They really should be standing up and saying 'I promise I will protect these children' rather than saying we 'will protect the church'."
Mr De Marco said despite ratifying the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1984, church officials have regularly imposed a "code of silence" on cases of child sexual abuse and placed the reputation of the institution ahead of the protection of children.
National Catholic Reporter
Joshua J. McElwee | Oct. 2, 2015
After days of speculation about Pope Francis’ meeting while in the U.S. with a Kentucky county clerk who has refused to issue same-sex marriage licenses, the Vatican clarified Friday that the meeting should not be seen as a show of support by the pope for the clerk.
Francis’ meeting with Kim Davis “should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects,” Vatican spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi said in a statement.
“Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City,” Lombardi said in the statement. “Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the Pope’s characteristic kindness and availability.”
“The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects,” said the spokesman. ...
While Friday’s statement clarifies the Vatican’s position on Francis’ meeting, it does not look likely that it will close discussion on the matter.
Davis’ lawyer, Mat Staver, responded almost immediately to the Vatican, disputing the claim that the pope only met the clerk as part of a group. Davis and her husband, Staver told the Associated Press, met the pope alone.
Staver also told the AP that Vatican personnel initiated contact, saying the pope wanted to meet Davis. The lawyer did not name the Vatican officials.
VATICAN CITY | BY PHILIP PULLELLA
Pope Francis did not ask to meet a Kentucky county clerk who had been jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples and did not offer her unconditional support, the Vatican said on Friday.
Looking to limit controversy after last week's meeting in Washington between the pope and Kim Davis, Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said she was one of "several dozen" people who had been invited by the Vatican ambassador to see Francis.
"The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects," Lombardi said in a statement.
The meeting with Davis, which was originally kept secret, disappointed many liberal Catholics but delighted conservatives, who saw it as a sign that the pope was clearly condemning a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage.
A former Uckfield deputy principal and lay priest who was convicted of sexual offences against two boys has been sentenced to 10 years in jail.
Christopher Howarth, of Rocks Park Road, Uckfield, was convicted at Hove Crown Court on July 17 after a ten-day trial.
The retired 68-year-old was found guilty of 26 offences, all committed in the Uckfield area. He was found not guilty of five offences. He had previously pleaded guilty to two other sexual offences against one of the boys.
Howarth appeared at Lewes Crown Court this afternoon (Friday, October 2) after two previous sentencing dates, on August 7 and September 14, were postponed due to the availability of Her Honour Judge Shani Barnes and of a free courtroom with disabled access to meet Howarth’s needs.
Howarth, who was deputy principal of Uckfield Community Technical College until 2007, and, until his arrest in December 2012, a lay priest at Holy Trinity CofE church in Uckfield, was jailed for ten years.
by Kiana Schmitt - October 1, 2015
SANTA MONICA—Eight months after a survivor spoke publicly about her years of sexual abuse from her Rabbi, on Wednesday, September 30, Santa Monica Police Department arrested and booked Rabbi Sholom Dovber Levitansky on felony charges for sexual abuse of a child.
Levitansky, 38, was charged by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office with five counts of oral copulation of a person under 18 years of age, five counts of sexual penetration by a foreign object, and one count of lewd act upon a child.
On February 28 of this year, Jewish Community Watch (JCW), added Levitansky to their Wall of Shame. “Multiple victims came forward and revealed to JCW that they had been abused by Levitansky,” The online posting reads. “After an investigation by JCW’s investigative team that spanned 18 months and following a review by JCW’s board, it was determined that public exposure was warranted and necessary.”
The brief meeting between Mrs. Kim Davis and Pope Francis at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, DC has continued to provoke comments and discussion. In order to contribute to an objective understanding of what transpired I am able to clarify the following points:
Pope Francis met with several dozen persons who had been invited by the Nunciature to greet him as he prepared to leave Washington for New York City. Such brief greetings occur on all papal visits and are due to the Pope’s characteristic kindness and availability. The only real audience granted by the Pope at the Nunciature was with one of his former students and his family.
The Pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects.
[01616-EN.01] [Original text: English]
Testo in lingua italiana
Dichiarazione su un incontro di Papa Francesco con la Signora Kim Davis alla Nunziatura di Washington, DC (P. F. Lombardi, Direttore della Sala Stampa della Santa Sede)
Il breve incontro fra la signora Kim Davis e il Papa presso la Nunziatura di Washington ha continuato a provocare una serie di discussioni e commenti.
Al fine di contribuire a una comprensione obiettiva di ciò che è avvenuto posso precisare che:
Il Papa ha incontrato presso la Nunziatura di Washington successivamente diverse decine di persone invitate dalla Nunziatura per salutarlo in occasione del suo congedo prima della partenza da Washington per New York City, come avviene durante tutti i viaggi del Papa. Si è trattato di saluti molto brevi di cortesia a cui il Papa si è prestato con la sua caratteristica gentilezza e disponibilità. L’unica “udienza” concessa dal Papa presso la Nunziatura è stata ad un suo antico alunno con la famiglia.
Il Papa non è quindi entrato nei dettagli della situazione della signora Davis e il suo incontro con lei non deve essere considerato come un appoggio alla sua posizione in tutti i suoi risvolti particolari e complessi.
BY JEFF GREEN
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD
MIDLAND PARK — The Newark Archdiocese has declined to take any action concerning a Midland Park priest who is under investigation for allegedly accepting more than $250,000 in cash, checks and gifts from elderly members of an Essex County parish where he worked last year.
Jim Goodness, an archdiocese spokesman, called the investigation by the Essex County Prosecutor's Office a "personal issue" for the Rev. Alex Orozco to deal with, because neither the archdiocese nor any of its parishes were harmed.
No charges have been filed in the case. Orozco, 37, is being investigated on claims he took large sums of money from wealthy elderly women when he was assigned to St. Rose of Lima Church in Short Hills. He used their cash and checks to buy cars, houses, plane tickets to his native Colombia and a big-screen TV among other items, according to an article first published by NJ Advance Media. In one case, when a woman — whom he called his "grandma" — asked for receipts for the purchases, Orozco failed to produce them, the report said.
Orozco did not respond to a request for comment Thursday. He told NJ Advance Media in an interview that he made mistakes in his solicitations but that parishioners "want to embrace me."
[There are other complaints against Fr. Francesco Zappella.]
Potrebbe cambiare da violenza sessuale in abuso di minori la posizione del prete missionario di Borghetto S. Spirito don Francesco Zappella. Nelle ultime settimane la Rete L’ABUSO ha continuato a raccogliere segnalazioni arrivate non solo da oltre oceano, ma anche dalla Liguria e dal bergamasco dove sembrerebbe che la posizione del sacerdote fosse già piuttosto chiacchierata venti anni fa, al punto tale di costargli l’allontanamento dal Seminario di Bergamo e il successivo reclutamento in quello di Albenga.
L’associazione ha puntualmente trasmesso agli inquirenti quanto appreso dalle segnalazioni depositando agli atti ben 4 informative, l’ultima di ieri mattina, contenente anche la denuncia di un’altra presunta vittima poco più che 20enne, la quale potrebbe costare al sacerdote, attualmente indagato per violenza sessuale, l’incriminazione per abuso di minori.
BY KARA LOEWENTHEIL OCTOBER 1, 2015
When Pope Francis came to New York last week traffic came to a standstill. But traffic on social media was brisk, with many of my friends from the social justice world celebrating the Pope’s “liberal” (read: barely modern and centrist in the overall scheme of things) take on hot-button domestic issues. The Pope believes in climate change! He cares if people are starving! He’s willing to let priests forgive women for abortions, at least for a single year of “mercy” (normally, you see, abortion is such a grave sin that a bishop has to be entreated for forgiveness).
And then the news leaked that the Pope had met with Kim Davis, and suddenly all that changed: My Facebook feed was filled with anger, vitriol, and even a sense of betrayal that the Pope was supporting religious exemptions.
Now on one level, this just seems bizarre. Of course the Pope supports religious exemptions. He’s the POPE. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops pays fancy lobbyists every year to push for broad readings of religious exemptions laws. And who’s their boss? The Pope. Many of the non-profit organizations objecting to even signing the form to take advantage of the accommodation from the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive coverage requirement are Catholic organizations. So why is it so surprising that the Pope would support Kim Davis and her attempt to claim a religious exemption to performing same-sex marriages—or even appearing to validate them in her official capacity?
New York Times
By SAM ROBERTS
OCT. 2, 2015
Joseph Coffey, a New York City detective who took the confession of the serial killer known as Son of Sam, arrested John J. Gotti three times, trailed a minor mobster from Little Italy to Germany in a case that implicated the Vatican Bank, and danced with Nancy Reagan at the Waldorf one night when he was assigned to guard her, died on Sunday at his home in Levittown, N.Y. He was 77.
The cause was complications of a heart condition, his wife, Susan Elise Coffey, said.
“He was instinctive, he understood people and when you were in his cross hairs he knew everything about you,” said Jerry Schmetterer, who collaborated with Mr. Coffey on “The Coffey Files: One Cop’s War Against the Mob,” which was published in 1992. ...
Eavesdropping on a wiretapped conversation during an investigation into an attempted mob takeover of the Playboy Club in Manhattan, Sergeant Coffey overheard a minor mobster, Vincent Rizzo, mysteriously arrange a mission to Munich, but not through the usual organized-crime-connected travel agency.
His suspicions took him to Germany, where he persuaded United States Army intelligence officers to plant a bug in a hotel room. There Mr. Rizzo and two confederates detailed the transfer of counterfeit and stolen securities through the Vatican Bank.
The case ultimately led to charges against an archbishop who was the bank’s president.
VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican said Friday that Pope Francis' meeting with Kim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who went to jail for refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, "should not be considered a form of support of her position."
After days of confusion, the Vatican issued a statement Friday clarifying Francis' Sept. 24 meeting with Davis, an Apostolic Christian who has become a focal point in the gay marriage debate in the U.S.
In a statement, the Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Francis met with "several dozen" people at the Vatican's embassy just before leaving Washington for New York.
Lombardi said such meetings are due to the pope's "kindness and availability" and that the pope only really had one "audience" with former students and his family members.
"The pope did not enter into the details of the situation of Mrs. Davis and his meeting with her should not be considered a form of support of her position in all of its particular and complex aspects," Lombardi said.
Walter Masocha, 51, self-styled 'prophet' and founder of the Agape for All Nations church, dodged a jail term earlier this year for groping a deaconess and molesting a schoolgirl.
The Zimbabwe-born preacher molested members while leading the Agape for All Nations church, it has been said.
He regularly invited women worshippers to private “surgeries” held in his bedroom but banned their husbands from attending, the Daily Record reported.
After his conviction, the Stirling church said they “apologised for any harm done to those affected” and announced the 51-year-old was suspended.
But the preacher is still a central figure in the organisation. A video posted on Agape’s website shows Masocha front and centre during a church event in July, just a month after he was sentenced to a community payback order.
By Victor Davis Hanson / Syndicated Columnist
Friday, October 2nd, 2015
Unpopular though it may be to say so, I, for one, grew exhausted by the nonstop pronouncements/commentaries of Pope Francis. The spiritual leader of 1 billion Catholics – roughly half of the world’s Christians – Francis just completed a high-profile, endlessly publicized visit to the United States.
But unlike past visiting pontiffs, the Argentine-born Francis weighed in on a number of hot-button U.S. social, domestic and foreign-policy issues during a heated presidential election cycle.
Francis, in characteristic cryptic language, pontificated about climate change. He lectured on illegal immigration. He harped on the harshness of capitalism, as well as abortion and capital punishment. ...
In this new freewheeling climate of frank exchange, should Protestant friends now advise Catholic dioceses to open their aggregate 200 million acres of global church lands to help house current migrants? Or should Francis first deplore the capitalist business practices in the administration of the so-called Vatican Bank?
Should the church turn over to prosecuting attorneys all the names of past and present clergy accused of criminal sexual abuse, and cede all investigation and punishment to the state?
Lots of hypocrisy inevitably follows when churches and their leaders politick.
A 45-year-old priest was charged on Thursday with the rape of a minor after being arrested on Monday.
The charges brought against Father Adam W. (surname withheld under Polish privacy laws) follow an investigation that was launched on 11 August by the Regional Prosecutor's Office in Jędrzejów, southern Poland.
The 45-year-old had served as vicar of a parish near Jędrzejów, but he resigned last week.
He stands accused of raping a girl below the age of 15, and he has also been charged with two other counts of sexual abuse.
The alleged offences took place between September 2013 and February 2015.
A court in Kielce, southern Poland, has ruled that the suspect should be initially kept in custody for three months.