A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse.
Click on the headline to read the full story.
March 28, 2017
The Guam Daily Post
By Mindy Aguon | For the Guam Daily Post
Victims of sexual abuse can file civil action and protect their identity, according to attorney Kevin Fowler.
The attorney filed two lawsuits in the Superior Court today against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America and Father Louis Brouillard. One lawsuit was filed by an individual with the initials “M.M.”.
Fowler said it is the first suit that protects the identity of sexual abuse survivors. He said it is common for courts to protect the identity of sexual assault victims, including survivors of childhood sexual abuse, at least until trial. “People who survived abuse should not think they have to make their names publicly known in order to seek justice,” Fowler said.
The lawsuit filed by “M.M.” alleges that Brouillard, a former priest at San Isidro Parish in Malojloj and a Boy Scout Master on Guam, sexually abused him for approximately five years during overnight stays beginning when he was 9 years old.
March 27, 2017
Pacific Daily News
Haidee V Eugenio , firstname.lastname@example.org March 28, 2017
Two former altar boys allege former Catholic priest Louis Brouillard sexually abused them multiple times on parish grounds and during Boy Scouts of America activities starting when they were only about 9 years old.
Lawsuits filed by “M.M.”, now 56, and John Cruz, now 55, bring to 35 the Guam clergy sexual abuse cases filed thus far in local and federal court.
The first complaint identifies the plaintiff only as “M.M.," this is the first Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuit that protects a plaintiff’s identity. M.M. lives in Washington state. Cruz lives in Agat.
The men filed their lawsuits in the Superior Court of Guam against the Archdiocese of Agana and the Boy Scouts of America Tuesday morning.
Summary of Case: Wallace A. Harris was ordained for the Archdiocese of New York in 1972. He assisted at St. Joseph of the Holy Family for more than a decade and, from the late 1970s through the 1980s, was on the faculty of Cathedral Preparatory Seminary. In 1990 Harris was named pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Harlem, where he remained for nearly twenty years. In addition, he was administrator for several years of two other parishes in the 2000s - St. Peter's, and Resurrection in Harlem.
Through the years, Harris rose to prominence in the archdiocese. He held the position of Spiritual Advisor for the Society of St. Vincent De Paul, served on the Archdiocesan Priests Council, and was an Archdiocesan Consultor. In 2009 he was elevated to Monsignor. He was selected in 2002 to testify before the USCCB's National Review Board; Harris told the board that clergy sex abuse was a problem, but that too many innocent priests were being accused. In March 2008 Msgr. Harris gave the invocation for the new governor's inauguration and the following month he organized Pope Benedict XVI's mass at Yankee Stadium.
In June 2008 a man alleged that, when he was a 13- or 14-year-old Cathedral Prep student, Harris sexually abused him. The D.A. investigated and discovered another former Cathedral Prep student with allegations against Harris. Harris was suspended in late July. Soon thereafter a third man came forward, saying Harris sexually abused him when he was 13 to 16 years-old. This accuser said he was Harris' godson, and had been his student at St. Joseph's parish and Cathedral Prep. By September 2010 seven additional men had come forward. Harris denied the allegations. He was not criminally charged due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.
In 2012 Harris was sentenced by the Vatican to "a life of prayer and penance." Per the archdiocese, he was living under "very, very close supervision" in a Catholic facility.
By John Paul Tasker, CBC News Posted: Mar 27, 2017
Senator Lynn Beyak says she doesn't need any more education about the horrors of the residential school system because she "suffered" alongside Indigenous people who were sent to the institutions.
The Conservative senator from northwestern Ontario reiterated her defence of the schools in an interview with CBC News on Monday.
"I made my statements, and I stand by them," she said. "I think, if you go across Canada, there are shining examples from sea to sea of people who owe their lives to the schools," she said, while acknowledging that the bad parts of the schools were "horrific."
"I've suffered with them up there. I appreciate their suffering more than they'll ever know," she said. "The best way to heal is to move forward together. Not to blame, not to point fingers, not to live in the past."
The Times (UK)
March 28 2017
The Catholic church’s commission on child safety has called on the Vatican to react “directly and compassionately” to letters from victims of clerical sex abuse after concerns were raised by Marie Collins.
Ms Collins, who was abused by a Dublin hospital chaplain when she was 13, was one of two victims on the 16-person Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. She resigned because a separate Vatican body was not responding to letters from victims and had refused to co-operate with the establishment of a tribunal into alleged abuse, which was announced by the Pope and promised significant resources in 2015. The tribunal has since been scrapped.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a Vatican body that oversees the theology of the church, had claimed that letters from victims were being deferred to local pastors and that the tribunal had only ever been a “blueprint”.
Last weekend the child safety commission held its first meeting since Ms Collins resigned. In a statement issued yesterday it emphasised the importance of writing back to victims. “The commission discussed the importance of responding directly and compassionately to victims/survivors when they write to offices of the Holy See. Members agreed that acknowledging correspondence and giving a timely and personal response is one part of furthering transparency and healing.”
TROY, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson is accused in a lawsuit of mishandling the case of a priest once charged with molesting a teenager.
The lawsuit filed in 2013 alleges that Carlson knew the Rev. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang was a danger to children before Jiang was charged with sexual misconduct involving the then-16-year-old girl in 2012. Jiang was added as a defendant in the lawsuit in 2015. Jury selection began Monday.
Archdiocese spokeswoman Elizabeth Westhoff said in an email Monday that the archdiocese "has steadfastly denied these allegations since they were first raised and intends to defend itself in court."
According to the lawsuit, the girl told police that Jiang, then an associate pastor at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, had molested her at her home in Old Monroe, Missouri, about 40 miles northwest of St. Louis. The suit also alleged that a witness saw Jiang kissing the girl on the mouth and touching her inappropriately "in the parking lot of the church rectory."
Religion News Service
By Josephine McKenna
ROME (RNS) Pope Francis’ sex abuse panel has pledged to continue its work minus the two sex abuse victims who were appointed to help overhaul the Catholic Church’s response to the scandal.
Irish abuse survivor — a term many prefer to be known by — Marie Collins recently resigned from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. British abuse survivor Peter Saunders stepped down from the commission a year ago and has called for more urgent action to tackle perpetrators of these “vile crimes.”
But a commission statement vowed that victims of clerical abuse should have a voice in the future.
“Commission members have unanimously agreed to find new ways to ensure its work is shaped and informed with and by victims/survivors,” read a statement released after concluding a meeting in Rome on Sunday (March 26).
The New Indian Express
KALPETTA: At a time when the Church is struggling to get out of a sticky situation after a sexual abuse complaint surfaced against a priest in Kottiyoor, Kannur, comes the allegation from a girl saying a priest misbehaved with her at the Chundakkara church in Wayanad.
The police have launched a detailed probe based on the girl’s complaint.
She revealed the details to the child protection unit.
“We have received a complaint against the priest identified as Jino Mekkat. Our team is probing the matter,” confirmed Wayanad SP Rajpal Meena.
27 March 2017
A panel advising Pope Francis on child protection has called on the Vatican to react "directly and compassionately" to letters from victims of clerical sex abuse, reviving an issue that unleashed a storm just weeks ago.
The Pontifical Commission on the Protection of Minors made the recommendation after a weekend meeting.
It was the panel's first meeting since Marie Collins, an Irish survivor of abuse, angrily quit after a similar request was turned down.
"The Commission discussed the importance of responding directly and compassionately to victims/survivors when they write to offices of the Holy See," the panel said in a statement issued on Monday.
"Members agreed that acknowledging correspondence and giving a timely and personal response is one part of furthering transparency and healing."
Catholic News Service
By Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Following the resignation of a prominent member and abuse survivor, a pontifical commission charged with addressing issues related to clergy sex abuse vowed to continue to seek input from victims and survivors.
The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors said the resignation of Marie Collins was a "central topic" of its March 24-26 plenary assembly, and it "expressed strong support for her continuing work" to promote healing for abuse victims and ensuring best practices for prevention.
"Commission members have unanimously agreed to find new ways to ensure its work is shaped and informed with and by victims/survivors. Several ideas that have been successfully implemented elsewhere are being carefully considered for recommendation to the Holy Father," the commission said in a March 26 statement published by the Vatican.
Among the main concerns addressed by the commission was outreach out to victims, an issue first raised by Collins shortly after she resigned from her position.
The Supreme Court has ruled that three victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth are entitled to a full hearing of their claim for damages in the High Court.
The three had appealed a previous ruling that they were bound by the settlement of cases they had taken in Northern Ireland.
The man, his sister and their cousin - were sexually abused as children by Smyth between 1969 and 1988.
In the late 1990s, they settled actions in the Belfast High Court for £25,000 each for the man and the cousin and £16,000 for the sister.
They say they learned from newspapers in 2012, that the Catholic Church authorities had been informed of Smyth's abuse as far back as 1975, by another boy. The same boy had also said the man in this case had been away on a holiday with Smyth where abuse occurred.
The Irish News
A court in the Republic has said three victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth are entitled to a full hearing of a claim for damages.
The Supreme Court ruling came after the victims appealed a decision that they were bound by settlements of cases taken in the north.
The appeal was brought by a brother and sister and their cousin who were abused between 1969 and 1988.
In the late 1990s, the three settled actions at the High Court in Belfast.
They say they later learned through the media that the Catholic Church was aware of Smyth’s abuse in 1975 and launched fresh proceedings against Bishop Leo O'Reilly and Cardinal Sean Brady.
Three victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth are entitled to a full hearing of their claim for damages in the High Court despite previous rulings that they were bound by settlements of cases taken by them in Northern Ireland, the Supreme Court has ruled.
The three — a man and his sister and their cousin — were sexually abused as children by the since deceased Smyth between 1969 and 1988.
In the late 1990s, they settled actions in the Belfast High Court for £25,000 each for the man and the cousin and £16,000 for the sister.
They say in 2012, they learned from newspapers that as far back as 1975 the Catholic Church authorities had been informed of Smyth’s abuse by another boy who had also named the man in this case as having been away on holiday with Smyth where abuse occurred.
As a result, they brought new proceedings in the Republic here claiming, among other things, that they had suffered a recurrence of trauma as a result of the publication of that information.
National Catholic Reporter
[Pédophilie dans l'Eglise : le poids du silence - Cash Investigation (Intégrale) - YouTube]
Tom Heneghan | Mar. 27, 2017
PARIS A hard-hitting French television investigation has accused 25 Catholic bishops of protecting 32 accused clerical sex abusers in France over the past half century and often transferring them to other parishes or even other countries when they were singled out for sexual abuse of minors.
The French bishops' conference declined an invitation to participate in the France 2 television program aired March 21. A conference spokesman accused journalists of trying to blackmail the church, an allegation the program's editor vigorously refuted.
Mediapart, an online journal that cooperated in the investigation, called the resulting report "a French Spotlight," a reference to The Boston Globe team that in 2002 reported on sexual abuse in the Boston Archdiocese. The yearlong French inquiry was also published March 22 as a book titled Church: The Mechanism of Silence.
The controversy over the program, titled "Pedophilia in the Church: The Burden of Silence," came as the bishops' conference struggles to demonstrate its concern for abuse victims while details of past negligence keep emerging.
We have become so accustomed to boilerplate accounts of Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes that even the most absurd accusations leave us numb. This is wrong. Indeed, it is dangerous. It is also born of blind hatred of all things Catholic.
Those who are making wild-eyed accusations consider themselves tolerant and open-minded, yet they are anything but. Like all hard-core ideologues, their minds have been made up: they are both judge and jury, and their sentence has been delivered.
Some of us, however, are still persuaded by evidence, data, logic, and reason, and do not allow emotion to dictate our thinking. This surely includes many who have contacted me from Ireland. One of them recently sent a very sober and well-researched article written by an anonymous orphan from Galway. It debunks many myths about Irish nuns, and recounts some harsh realities.
Voz Iz Neias (US)
Jerusalem - Twenty two ultra-Orthodox (haredi) Jews were arrested Monday and charged with sexually assaulting minors and women. The individuals, who were not named, are all between the ages of 20-60 and are residents of Jerusalem, Beitar Illit, Beit Shemesh and Bnei Brak.
Police spokespeople said the arrests were made as part of an ongoing investigation into widespread sex crimes in haredi communities, and that the individuals arrested are suspected of committing crimes over a period of two years.
The police posted below video depicting the arrests on social media.
Nir Hasson and Yair Ettinger Mar 27, 2017
The police arrested 22 Haredim in Jerusalem and three other Israeli cities on Monday morning, on suspicion of sexually molesting minors and women over the last two years.
In some cases, ultra-Orthodox residents in the four cities – Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Betar Ilit and Bnei Brak – attacked the police, throwing stones and other items, and tried to block the arrests. In Jerusalem, the windows of two police cars were shattered by rocks.
The investigation by the police’s Jerusalem District began after they received information that ultra-Orthodox elements were concealing information on sex crimes in their community.
These Haredim allegedly received their rabbis’ blessing to seek and collect information on sexual predators in the community, without involving the police. They did so, even maintaining written records of attacks and the people involved. At the end of the process, the perpetrators were forced to agree to undergo therapy within the ultra-Orthodox world.
During their investigation, the police seized the notebooks in which the records were kept. Tens of alleged attackers were documented, some of whom had committed serial offenses, including against children, the police said.
Based on this information, the police arrested 22 suspects, ages 20 to 60. Each is alleged to have committed several attacks over the last two years.
Following the arrests, the police said that the ultra-Orthodox community had been handling the matter internally, collecting information and conducting some form of internal procedure, culminating in a sort of punishment.
The upshot, the statement said, was that the suspects could continue to live their lives without paying a penalty, and dozens of victims were left without help. The police added they will make sure that those arrested are brought to trial.
The records on the alleged sexual predators were kept by a single person – known in ultra-Orthodox circles as a “fixer.” This person operates under the imprimatur of a Jerusalem-based body known as the “purification commission” of the community, which operates in different Haredi communities (including the Hasidic and “Lithuanian” sects).
The fixer himself is not a suspect in the case and is not under arrest. He has been in contact with the police for years and testified in many sexual-offense cases, helping the police to achieve convictions. However, it has only become apparent now that he was maintaining a network that would field and investigate complaints about sexual offenses, using old-world methods accepted in the Haredi world.
Usually, offenders “tried” within Haredi circles are forced to undergo therapy, possibly with a psychologist, or might be “exiled” to another city.
The present affair arrives with the Haredi community in the midst of a changing attitude toward sex crimes. This is expressed chiefly by extensive collaboration with the police – even by the more extreme sects.
Another change is the intensive media coverage such cases receive on ultra-Orthodox news sites – though still not in the printed press – and in online forums.
Eli Schlesinger, a reporter for the Behadrey Haredim website, which is notable for its coverage of matters that were once silenced, noted that the purification commission is very helpful to the police and provided officers with information about alleged sexual offenses in Modi’in Ilit last year.
Cooperation with the police is based on the rabbis having faith in the process, Schlesinger said – a faith that might be damaged by the present investigation.
February 17, 2017
Last week’s JC reported that the Orthodox schools establishment had responded positively to the call to place relationships teaching on the curriculum. Judith Nemeth, executive director of the National Association of Orthox Jewish Schools was quoted as saying that compulsory relationships education was “good news for all”.
But how far will this go within Strictly Orthodox circles? Entrenched attitudes and beliefs — among parents as well as teachers — cannot be merely swept aside. And there is no area in which attitudes are more entrenched than that of sex education.
In Deborah Feldman’s memoir of her life as a Satmar Chasid, Unorthodox, one scene is not for the squeamish. A friend tells Deborah how her new husband managed to rupture her colon in a painful attempt to consummate the marriage. As an example of what happens without adequate sex education, it couldn’t be bleaker.
Even if that’s an extreme case, it’s not an exaggeration to suggest that some strictly Orthodox Jews are being brought up without full understanding of the complexities of sexuality and modern relationships or, at best, an understanding only within narrow religious parameters.
Officers pelted with projectiles and their vehicle windows are smashed, as they detain residents of Orthodox neighbourhoods
March 27, 2017
Israeli police were pelted with rocks with strictly Orthodox Jews across four cities in the early hours of Monday morning as they arrested 22 Charedi men suspected of sex crimes against women and children.
The men, who were being sheltered by their various religious communities, were arrested in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Betar Illit and Bnei Brak, as residents seeking to prevent the arrests turned on police, hurling projectiles at officers and smashing the windscreens of police vehicles.
The 22 arrested men are aged 20-60 year and in some cases were identified two years ago, but Israel’s tight-knit Orthodox communities have sheltered them from the law. Police say they believe Charedi leaders have also helped conceal their crimes.
According to reports in Israeli media, the police investigation revealed that the Charedi communities were dealing with the alleged sex crimes internally, with religious leaders ordering the perpetrators to get therapy within the community.
Times of Israel
BY STUART WINER March 27, 2017
Police on Monday arrested 22 suspects from ultra-Orthodox communities on suspicion they carried out dozens of sex crimes against women and minors over the past two years, but were sheltered from the law by community figures who preferred to deal with the matter in their own way.
Investigators believe that various senior ultra-Orthodox leaders were aware of the suspects’ alleged crimes but did not report them to police or welfare workers, police said.
The early-morning arrests of men aged 20-60 were made in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Beitar Illit, and Bnei Brak, cities with large ultra-Orthodox communities.
As police closed in on the suspects, ultra-Orthodox protesters tried to prevent the arrests by attacking officers and throwing stones at police vehicles, some of which were damaged.
Police suspect that the alleged crimes were not reported at the behest of so-called “modesty guards,” vigilante groups that act to enforce the ultra-Orthodox community’s strict lifestyle regulations of modesty and social behavior without the involvement of law officials or welfare authorities.
TROY, MO (KTVI)- Jury selection is set today in a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Louis. According to our partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the family of a teenage girl claims Archbishop Robert Carlson failed to discipline Father Joseph Jiang, who was charged at the time with molesting the girl in 2012.
Prosecutors later dropped the case.
TROY, Mo. (AP) — A trial is set to get underway near St. Louis over allegations by a young woman and her family that St. Louis' archbishop mishandled the case of a priest once charged with molesting her as a teenager.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2o0nyta ) reports that jury selection was scheduled for Monday in Lincoln County. The 2013 lawsuit alleges Archbishop Robert Carlson knew the Rev. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang was a danger to children before Jiang was charged with sexual misconduct involving the young woman in 2012, when she was 16.
Jiang was added as a defendant in the lawsuit in 2015.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
By Joel Currier St. Louis Post-Dispatch
TROY, MO. • Jury selection is set for Monday in a civil trial in which a Lincoln County teenager and her family have accused St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson of knowing a priest was a danger to children before the cleric was charged with molesting the teen in 2012.
Jurors will be selected Monday from a pool of about 110 Lincoln County residents, with opening statements set to follow in the trial presided over by St. Louis Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer.
The lawsuit was filed in 2013 by the girl’s parents against Carlson and the Archdiocese of St. Louis after she told police the Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang, then an associate pastor at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica in the Central West End, had molested her at her home in Old Monroe. Jiang was added as a defendant in the lawsuit in 2015.
The alleged victim was 16 at the time of the alleged abuse. Jiang was in his late 20s. Charges of child endangerment and witness tampering that accused Jiang of leaving a $20,000 check and an apology on a family’s car as hush money were dismissed in 2013.
The presence of Marie Collins on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors seemed to guarantee both the commission’s seriousness and its effectiveness. Many believed that Ms. Collins, an outspoken survivor of clergy sexual abuse, would not allow the Vatican to ignore the urgent need to combat sex abuse and provide adequate protection for minors. That is why her resignation from the commission on March 1 was such a blow. In a letter published in The National Catholic Reporter on March 14, Ms. Collins said that “lack of resources, inadequate structures around support staff, slowness of forward movement and cultural resistance” made the commission’s work nearly impossible. In a later interview with America, she pointed to the resistance from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to adhere to Pope Francis’ instruction that Vatican departments should acknowledge every letter received from victims of abuse.
That prompted a response by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the C.D.F., dismissing Ms. Collins’s concern as fostering a “cliché” that pitted the Roman Curia against Pope Francis, and saying that “local shepherds” are better suited to respond to letters from abuse victims. That, in turn, led to an extraordinary statement from Ms. Collins rebutting his account and even correcting the cardinal’s statement that he had never met her. Overall, she said, “I would ask that instead of falling back into the church's default position of denial and obfuscation, when a criticism like mine is raised the people of the church deserve to be given a proper explanation. We are entitled to transparency, honesty and clarity.” Especially in the area of sexual abuse, where the church ignored and minimized reports for decades, the need for transparency must be evaluated from the perspective of the victims of abuse.
March 27, 2017
The perpetrators of institutional child abuse across Australia have been overwhelmingly adult men, most commonly members of the clergy and their victims most like to be boys aged between 10-14, a royal commission has heard.
The opening morning of the 57th and final public hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard over a third of child victims reported abuse that went on for over a year.
Thirty six per cent of the more than 6500 victims who have given evidence in private to the commissioners said they had been abused by multiple perpetrators, the commission heard.
“The majority of perpetrators were adult males, that is nearly 94 of child abuse victims reported abuse by a male perpetrator,” counsel assisting the commission, Gail Furness SC said.
“The positions held by adult perpetrators within institutions most commonly reported were members of the clergy — that is 32 per cent, teachers — that is 21 per cent and residential care works — that is 13 per cent,” she said.
By Nicole Chettle
Victims have waited too long for a response to their suffering and protection of children should be a top priority in Australia, says the chair of the royal commission into child sexual abuse.
After three-and-a-half years with sessions in every capital city, the final public hearing has begun in Sydney.
Chair of the commission, Justice Peter McClellan, said it was remarkable there were failures at more than 4,000 institutions identified in abuse allegations.
He said more than 1,200 witnesses gave evidence about abuse that occurred at "public and private schools, detention centres, out-of-home care, churches, orphanages and government bodies".
"We have also inquired into defence establishments, sporting clubs, after-school care, dance and performing arts academies, institutions providing services for children with disability, scouts, healthcare providers and a yoga ashram."
Sydney Morning Herald
Thousands of institutions have been implicated in allegations of child sexual abuse, according to new data released by a royal commission.
As the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse commences its final public hearing, chairman Justice Peter McClellan has urged child protection reform and proper redress for victims.
The $500 million inquiry is Australia's longest royal commission, starting in 2013 and due to finish with a final report to the federal government in December.
In his opening remarks to the hearing, Justice McClellan said governments and institutions needed to focus on redress and regulatory changes, "designed to ensure that so far as possible no child is abused in an institutional context in the future".
Monday, March 27, 2017
By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter
Despite the many pronouncements on the Magdalene Laundries, the State is hugely concerned at the payout it may have to make, writes Conall Ó Fátharta.
FEW people will forget the apology offered by Taoiseach Enda Kenny in February of 2013 on behalf of the State to the women who suffered in the Magdalene Laundries.
He spoke of a “nation’s shame” and of women taking the country’s terrible secret and making it their own.
“But from this moment on you need carry it no more. Because today we take it back. Today we acknowledge the role of the State in your ordeal,” he said.
However, less than two years earlier in June 2011, many members of his Cabinet were determined to distance the State as far as possible from any liability.
A series of cabinet observations on a Department of Justice memorandum for Government seeking permission for the establishment of what eventually became the McAleese Committee reveal a Cabinet concerned about three things — not conceding on the issue of that State liability, calls for further inquiries into issues like Mother and Baby Homes and foster care settings and avoiding a redress bill.
Monday, March 27, 2017
By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter
Concerns were expressed at Cabinet in 2011 that, if there was an inquiry into Magdalene laundries, it could lead to calls for inquiries into abuses in mother and baby homes, psychiatric institutions, and foster care settings.
The concerns are in a memorandum for Government seeking permission to establish what became the McAleese committee.
Some six years later, Ireland’s mother and baby home system and the treatment of more than 40 vulnerable adults in a foster care setting are now the subject of State inquiries.
The document from June 2011, obtained by the Irish Examiner, reveals that a key issue for government and the attorney general was that the move could lead to pressure for further inquiries and for redress.
It is also repeatedly stressed that the State was not liable for any women who suffered in Magdalene laundries.
The observations of the then Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn state that, although he is supportive of the approach outlined in the memorandum, “there may be demands for enquiries [sic] into other situations”.
Daily Mail (UK)
By Kelly Mclaughlin For Mailonline
Eerie photos from Magdalene Laundries around the world show children eating dinner as nuns watch over them and young women working on heavy equipment.
The images give an insight into life inside the laundries, which were places for women branded 'undesirable' by the church and orphaned children, where untold horrors are said to have taken place.
The establishments were set-up to house 'fallen women', a term that was used to imply female sexual promiscuity, when in reality they were women who had children out of wedlock.
These institutions, also known as Magdalene asylums, have sparked great controversy, only this month a mass septic tank containing the skeletons of 800 babies was found in County Galway, Ireland.
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Members of Pope Francis' sex abuse advisory board vowed Sunday to press ahead with their work even without abuse survivors on the panel following the resignation of a respected child advocate.
The commission wrapped up a plenary Sunday saying it would "find new ways" to ensure people who were abused by clergy shape and inform its work. But no specifics were announced, and it wasn't clear if survivors would be named as members down the line.
Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins, a founding member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, resigned on March 1, citing what she called "unacceptable" resistance to the commission's proposals from the Vatican's doctrine office, which is responsible for processing cases against abusive priests.
Collins mentioned in particular the alleged refusal by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to implement proposals approved by the pope and to collaborate with the commission.
(Vatican Radio) The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors [PCPM] met for its eighth Plenary Assembly from March 24-26, 2017. The resignation of founding member Marie Collins was a key topic on the agenda. The Commission expressed its gratitude to her and supported her continuing work to promote healing for victims of abuse and the prevention of all abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. During the Plenary the Commision also discussed the importance of responding directly and compassionately to victims/survivors when they write to offices of the Holy See. The Plenary Assembly followed the Education Day on March 23, at the Gregorian University, co-sponsored in partnership with the Centre for Child Protection and the Congregation for Catholic Education.
Please find below the Concluding Statement
The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors [PCPM] met for its eighth Plenary Assembly from March 24-26, 2017.
A central topic in this Plenary Assembly was the resignation of founding member Marie Collins. The Commission members expressed strong support for her and her continuing work to promote healing for victims of abuse and the prevention of all abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. They also expressed their particular gratitude that Marie Collins has agreed to continue working with the Commission’s educational programs for new bishops and the offices of the Roman Curia.
Commission members have unanimously agreed to find new ways to ensure its work is shaped and informed with and by victims/survivors. Several ideas that have been successfully implemented elsewhere are being carefully considered for recommendation to the Holy Father.
National Catholic Reporter
Joshua J. McElwee | Mar. 27, 2017
VATICAN CITY Pope Francis’ commission on clergy sexual abuse has expressed its “strong support” for a former member of the group who resigned earlier this month due to frustration with Vatican officials' reluctance to cooperate with its work to protect children.
The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors said in a statement late Sunday that the resignation of abuse survivor Marie Collins had been “a central topic” of their discussions during their plenary assembly, held in Rome March 24-26.
“Commission members expressed strong support for her and her continuing work to promote healing for victims of abuse and the prevention of all abuse of minors and vulnerable adults,” said the statement.
Collins, who had been the last active member of the commission who is an abuse survivor, resigned March 1.
National Secular Society (UK)
Posted: Mon, 27 Mar 2017
by Keith Porteous Wood
The reach and power of the Catholic Church has waned considerably in recent years in Ireland. But there are troubling signs that its undue influence over the country is returning, writes Keith Porteous Wood.
It is difficult to envisage now, but when the UK was formed at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Dublin was regarded as the "Second City of the British Empire". Ireland's role in British political life was no less than that of England, Scotland and Wales from then until the progressive separations from Britain that started during the First World War.
The Catholic Church that had been suppressed by the Imperial power was quick to help fill the vacuum left by the British departure. The 1937 constitution was based on Papal encyclicals and presented on two occasions to the Vatican (a foreign state) for review and comment, and unsurprisingly accorded the Roman Catholic Church a "special position", a position it certainly occupied in education at least. This formal status was repealed only in 1972, but was not of course matched by any reduction in the Church's role in education.
The Church's power came from its pervasive and anti-secular influence in the Government and Parliament, where the pious may well have been faced with conflicts of interest, and not only on sensitive matters of social policy such as divorce and abortion, but crucially on financial matters.
March 27, 2017
The mother of Stephanie Otobo, the Nigerian woman who accused a cleric, Johnson Suleiman, of infidelity and abuse, visited the Omega Fire Ministry headquarters in Auchi, Edo State, on Sunday to plead on her daughter’s behalf.
Ms. Otobo’s sister accompanied their mum who is popularly called Mama Tope to the church. Their statements and apologies were beamed live on the church’s website on Sunday morning.
But in a swift video reaction on Instagram on Sunday, Ms. Otobo, who said she has since returned to Canada, claimed that her mother was threatened to apologise to the embattled pastor.
The budding singer also debunked her apology to Mr. Suleman, popularly called Apostle Suleman, saying she was threatened.
Inés San Martín March 27, 2017
ROME - Pope Francis’ point man in the fight against sexual abuse insists that the Vatican remains committed to holding bishops accountable for enforcing zero tolerance, but conceded that “time will be the test” in terms of how, and whether, new procedures for imposing accountability actually work.
“I think Madre Amorevole [a document issued by Pope Francis in June 2016] has put the spotlight on the problem, and has publicly committed the Church to a course of action,” said Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley in a Crux interview on Monday.
“Time will be the test of it, but I think it’s the first time there’s been that kind of a public commitment and a realization of the need for accountability,” he said.
“You need a clear process, from the point of view of the bishops, too,” he said. “Unfortunately, oftentimes in the past the way things were done is that if there was a lot of publicity around it, then the bishop just resigned. He never really had the chance to make his case. And if he were a bad actor and there wasn’t a lot of publicity, maybe nothing would happen.”
“That’s not the way to run a railroad!” he said.
Asked if the Vatican now has such clear procedures, O’Malley said, “I hope we do, but we need to see how it’s going to work.”
By Julie Mack | email@example.com
on March 24, 2017
Dr. Larry Nassar, a former Michigan State University sports medicine doctor, has been in the news since September 2016 when former patients first began accusing him of sexual abuse.
Neither Nassar, nor his attorney, have commented on the allegations. But a document released this week sheds some light what Nassar may have told investigators.
That document is a 28-page report from Michigan State University's Office of Institutional Equity, and summarizes a Title IX investigation into a complaint filed by Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to go public with allegations against Nassar.
The report, which says a "preponderance of evidence" supports Denhollander's accusations, includes a lengthy summary of the investigator's Sept. 8 interview with Nassar, who was fired two week after the interview.
Nassar is currently in federal custody on child-pornography charges, and also has been charged with 25 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving 10 women, nine of whom are former patients.
By Brigid Kennedy
March 26, 2017
Former MSU employee Larry Nassar was a catechist for St. Thomas Aquinas Church’s seventh grade class, though the parish is not eager to claim him.
Nassar also served as a Eucharistic minister at St. John Church and Student Center, also part of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, according to the spring 2000 edition of Communiqué, the magazine of the College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Nassar is accused of sexually abusing his patients and other young women with whom he had contact.
Nassar was arrested in December 2016 on charges of possessing “at least 37,000” images of child pornography.
March 26, 2017
March 27, 2017
In a case with striking similarities to testimony made by residential school survivors, two Indigenous adult women say they were repeatedly sexually abused by clergy at a Catholic day school in Manitoba they were forced to attend as children.
And now they've launched a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, the two now-deceased men they say were responsible, the province and other defendants.
Both women — one now 67 and Status Indian, the other a 63-year-old Métis woman — attended the same elementary school in Bloodvein, Man., about 200 kilometres north of Winnipeg, from about 1956 until the mid-1960s.
The two women say the same two men, now dead, fondled and raped them as children beginning at ages seven and six, respectively.
KALPETTA: A complaint has been lodged against a priest of the Chundakkara church for allegedly misbehaving with a minor girl. A case has been registered against Father Jino Mekkat based on the complaint.
It has been reported that the incident took place at the Chundakkara church while Father Jino was working in the Mananthavady diocese in September.
A child protection officer took a statement from the victim after he heard about the incident through confidential sources. The complaint states that the girl was called into the church and the father groped and misbehaved with her.
Honduras: Evangelical pastor was sentenced to 136 years in prison for sexually abusing four minors.The condemned's name is Franklin Geovanny Cabrera Sierra, 48 years old, who was a religious "leader" of the Evangelical Resurrection of Christ Church.]
Honduras – Pastor evangélico de la capital es condenado a 136 años de cárcel por abusar sexualmente de cuatro menores de edad.
El nombre del condenado es Franklin Geovanny Cabrera Sierra de 48 años de edad; quien era “líder” religioso de la Iglesia Evangélica Resurrección de Cristo.
Los deplorables hechos fueron realizados en la colonia La Independencia, Comayagüela; según se informó, un total de ocho veces.
[A complaint filed against Bishop Barbarin. ... The prosecutor of Lyon filed a complaint against Cardinal Barbarin in December 2016 for "non-denunciation" of sexual assaults and putting others in danger.]
Cette information fait visiblement moins de bruit que lors du dépôt de la plainte… Le procureur de la République de Lyon a classé sans suite, en décembre 2016, une plainte contre le cardinal Barbarin pour « non-dénonciation » d’agressions sexuelles et « mise en danger de la vie d’autrui ». Après neuf mois d’enquête, le ministère public a décidé de prendre cette décision « en l’absence d’infraction susceptible d’être caractérisée ».
Daily News Cameroon
[A survey conducted by "Cash Investigation" reveals cases of sexual abuse committed by brothers in the Saint John community. ]
Une enquête menée par « Cash Investigation » révèle des affaires d’abus sexuels commis par des frères enseignants de la communauté Saint-Jean. Ces derniers dirigent l’un des grands collègues de la capitale camerounaise, notamment le collège Francois-Xavier Vogt, communément appelé collège catholique Vogt de Yaoundé.
L’ampleur du scandale est sans précédent. L’église catholique serait impliquée mais cette dernière ferme les yeux de peur de ternir son image, d’après les révélations de l’enquête menée conjointement par des journalistes de France 2 et du site d'information Mediapart.
[Sexual abuse: How the Catholic Church transferred priests between Guinea and France (Mediapart)]
Par Daphné Gastaldi, Mathieu Martiniere et Mathieu Périsse (We Report)
Ce sont deux religieux soupçonnés d’avoir commis des agressions sexuelles. Le premier, à Lyon, a été exfiltré en Guinée. Le second, parti de Conakry, termine sa carrière en Haute-Loire. Ils n’ont jamais été dénoncés à la justice. Révélations tirées du livre Église, la mécanique du silence (JC Lattès), en partenariat avec « Cash Investigation ».
[The final report on sexual and other violence in the Regensburger Domspatzen is expected in May. The reason for the delay is "numerous supplementary information" which has been received in recent weeks and months from both known and new victims.]
Eigentlich sollte der Abschlussbericht zur Aufklärung der Übergriffe bei den Regensburger Domspatzen im ersten Quartal 2016 vorliegen. Doch durch viele neue Informationen verzögert sich der Vorgang um einige Wochen.
Der Regensburger Rechtsanwalt Ulrich Weber will seinen Abschlussbericht zur Aufklärung der Übergriffe bei den Regensburger Domspatzen im Mai veröffentlichen. Über den genauen Termin werde er noch informieren, teilte der unabhängige Sonderermittler am Mittwoch auf seiner Internetseite mit.
[In the run-up to the plenary session, the Pontifical Commission has been caught in the news because Marie Collins has declared her departure. This means only one abuse victim among the Commissioners: Peter Saunders. However, he is also on leave and remains outside the current session. Saunders was sexually abused as a 12-year-old by two Jesuits over four years.]
Im Vorfeld der Plenarsitzung ist die Kommission in die Schlagzeilen geraten, weil die Irin Marie Collins überraschend ihren Austritt erklärt hat. Damit ist nur noch ein Missbrauchsopfer unter den Kommissionsmitgliedern: Der Brite Peter Saunders. Allerdings ist auch er beurlaubt und bleibt bei der aktuellen Sitzung außen vor. Saunders wurde als 12-Jähriger von zwei Jesuiten sexuell missbraucht, über vier Jahre hinweg. Er hat es verdrängt bis seine beiden Kinder später in das Alter kamen, in dem er missbraucht wurde. "Alles, was damals passiert ist, war plötzlich wieder da", erzählt Saunders.
In einem Büro in London leitet Peter Saunders die erste Anlaufstelle für Missbrauchsopfer in Großbritannien und betreibt eine kostenlose Hotline. Einen Anruf im Dezember 2014 wird Peter Saunders nie vergessen. Am Hörer war der Vorsitzende der Kinderschutzkommission, die Papst Franziskus gerade erst ins Leben gerufen hatte. Die Frage, ob er der Kommission beitreten wolle kam für den Briten überraschend: "Ich dachte, jawoll, endlich die Gelegenheit, Dinge wahrzumachen und zu verändern!" Denn bereits in den 1990er-Jahren hatte Saunders auf eigene Faust versucht, das Thema Missbrauch in der katholischen Kirche anzugehen. Aus seinem Engagement entstand NAPAC, ein zehnköpfiges Team, das Missbrauchsopfer in Großbritannien berät - unabhängig von der Kirche.
[At least 8,000 Catholic priests could be pederasts. The pope calls it the "leprosy infestation" of the Catholic Church: He means the estimated two percent of clergymen are pederast. That's a lot of men.]
Gut 8.000 katholische Priester sollen Päderasten sein
Der Papst nennt es den "Lepra-Befall" der Katholischen Kirche: Er meint damit die seiner Schätzung nach "2 Prozent" der Geistlichen, die als Päderasten auffallen. Das sind immerhin noch gut 8.000 Mann.
Seinem Vorgänger, dem deutschen "Wir-sind-Papst"-Ratzinger — gelang es in seiner 8jährigen Amtszeit gerade eben mal 8oo auffällig gewordene Priester auszuheben. Die 8.000, die der argentinische Jesuit Bergoglio — Künstlername: "Franziskus" — (also der jetzige Papst) meinte, müssten daher entweder unter Ratzinger übersehen worden sein, oder sie wären in der relativ kurzen Zeit seit der Amtsübernahme Bergoglios "nachgewachsen". In jedem Fall: Eine zehnfach erhöhte Zahl gegenüber der Ratzinger-Ära. Eine Katastrophe. Wie beim Frisör wäre es daher an der Zeit, den päderastischen "Nachwuchs" wieder mal zu "trimmen".
By Julius Joho For Citizen Digital
Published on 26 March 2017
Members of a Catholic church in Wundanyi, Taita Taveta County staged a demonstration today morning (26th March) demanding the removal of their priest who they claim has been mismanaging church funds and a secondary school sponsored by the church.
It took the intervention of the police to disperse the irate members of St. Anne Mghange Catholic Church who had paralyzed the normal Sunday church service.
According to the members, the new priest has been misusing church funds for personal gain, including employing ‘his own’ people to manage the school sponsored by the same church.
By Ginnie Graham News Columnist
Oklahoma Rep. Kevin McDugle wishes he could legally do something about the youth pastor who abused him around 35 years ago.
The stigma on sex abuse victims, particularly on boys, kept him from talking about it back then. The statute of limitations prevents him from doing anything about it now.
It’s why he joined as a co-author on a pair of bills — House Bills 1468 and 1470 — sought by Tulsa resident Virginia Lewis, herself a survivor of child sexual abuse. It allows victims to come forward with criminal and civil charges as late as age 45.
“I found out the individual who did it to me works at a church in Tulsa,” McDugle said last week.
“These bills do me no good. But I am contacting legal counsel to at least see if the church can be notified. They need to know, and we’ll go from there.”
The no-talk culture, shame and the added benefit of time are what predators depend on.
March 26 2017
The Christian Brothers dropped a threat to sue an abuse survivor over records he took from an industrial school in Limerick after his case was raised in the Dail.
Tom Wall, who survived a childhood of abuse at an industrial school in Glin, says he was asked by the Christian Brothers to burn the records when the school closed in 1973. But he retained many of the files, including his own.
The Christian Brothers claimed ownership of the files after Wall donated them to the University of Limerick and threatened legal action. The religious order backed down after Niall Collins, the Fianna Fail TD, raised Wall's case in the Dail last Wednesday. Deputy Collins called on the State to intervene to secure the records, which he said included "contracts for sale" that showed how children were effectively "sold into slavery".
The case has highlighted concerns about the records held by religious orders on the mothers and children who were incarcerated in their institutions. Survivors have complained about the difficulties accessing the records which the Minister for Children, Katherine Zappone, said was "disconcerting".
by Norma Costello
Tuam, Ireland - When human remains were discovered in a septic tank in Tuam, in western Ireland, last month it didn't come as a complete surprise to everyone.
The unearthing at the site - a former home for unmarried mothers - was the result of a government commission charged with investigating claims of abuse by religious orders. Excavations uncovered an underground structure where human remains were found.
Local historian Catherine Corless had initially uncovered details of a mass grave at the home run by the Catholic Church affiliated Bons Secours, where, according to her, up to 800 infants born to unmarried mothers had been unofficially buried in a disused sewage tank.
But a 2014 email sent by Bons Secours' PR representative Terry Prone to filmmaker Saskia Weber dismissed the need for an investigation into the site, saying: "If you come here, you'll find no mass grave, no evidence that children were ever so buried, and a local police force casting their eyes to heaven and saying 'Yeah, a few bones were found' - but this was an area where famine victims were buried. So?"
March 25, 2017
Sunday, March 26, 2017
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has ruled that an accusation of child sexual abuse against Father John Fitzgerald, 68, of the Diocese of Pittsburgh “has not been proven.” It could not be determined with certainty whether the abuse did or did not occur.
In addition, the congregation has directed Bishop David Zubik to take appropriate action that provides for the welfare of all parties involved, including the welfare of the public.
As a result, Father Fitzgerald has requested that he begin retirement. Bishop Zubik has granted his request. He will not exercise public ministry.
Father Fitzgerald, whose last assignment was pastor of Our Lady of Peace Parish in Conway, Beaver County, has been on administrative leave since July 31, 2014, due to the allegation that he had abused a minor in the late 1990s. It is the only allegation against him ever brought to the diocese. Father Fitzgerald has maintained his innocence throughout. At the same time, the person who brought the allegation has maintained that the abuse did occur.
BY MICHAEL SWAN, THE CATHOLIC REGISTER
March 25, 2017
In a moment of truth and clarity, Archbishop Anthony Mancini once summed up the shock he has shared with most Catholics over the last 30 years as a feeling of “shame and frustration, fear and disappointment, along with a sense of vulnerability and a tremendous poverty of spirit.”
Halifax’s plain-spoken bishop spoke those words in 2009 when he was faced with a hydra’s head of media microphones asking how he reacted to news that Antigonish Bishop Raymond Lahey had been stopped at the border with a trove of child-porn images and videos on his laptop.
Nothing has wounded the Church more deeply nor threatened the faith of individual Catholics more certainly than the sad, brutal parade of child sexual abuse revelations that began with the Mount Cashel Orphanage stories in 1989. It started in St. John’s, Nfld., but almost immediately became a global story about pure evil covered up and shoved aside by bishops and Church bureaucrats over generations.
Decades later, Catholics are still trying to comprehend how priests could abuse minors and to understand the Church’s unsatisfactory response.
“We are 30 years since the public revelations of this stuff,” said Sr. Nuala Kenny. “Why is it that as the Church of Jesus Christ we have not been able to get at the heart of the matter?”
BY MARK DAVID SMITH
A Hurst associate pastor faces a child pornography charge after he took his computer to a Best Buy store to be repaired, according to a Hurst Police Department news release.
Store employees called police about 8:40 p.m. Thursday after finding what appeared to be child pornography on a customer’s computer, according to the news release. After investigating, police arrested and charged the owner of the computer, 78-year-old James Rankin, with possession of child pornography, a third-degree felony. Bond was set at $5,000.
Rankin was released after posting bond Friday. Rankin’s computer has been submitted to technicians for forensic testing, but results may not be available for several weeks, according to police. Once the testing has been completed additional charges may be added, police said. Further information about the case was not immediately available from police.
New York Post
By Jackie Salo March 24, 2017
A Texas pastor was busted on child pornography charges after he brought his computer to a Best Buy store.
Employees contacted police Thursday after finding what appeared to be child pornography on a device brought into the store in Hurst, Texas.
Police said they discovered the computer belonged to 78-year-old James Rankin, who is an associate pastor at Bellevue Baptist Church.
Rankin was charged with possession of child pornography, which is a third-degree felony, according to a Hurst Police Department news release.
The church has been notified of Rankin’s arrest, police said. He still is listed as staff on the church’s website.
HURST - An associate pastor for a church in the Mid Cities has been arrested on child porn allegations.
Officers were called to a Best Buy in the 800 block of Northeast Mall Boulevard just before 9 p.m. Thursday after employees found what appeared to be child pornography on a customer's computer.
Police discovered that the computer belonged to James Rankin, 78, an associate pastor at Bellevue Baptist Church in Hurst. He was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography, which is a third degree felony.
[Seven people who formerly living in a home run by the Protestant Brethren have alleged they were sexual abuse. The prosecutor's office in Korntal is investigating.]
Sieben ehemalige Heimkinder zeigen die Evangelische Brüdergemeinde wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs von Schutzbefohlenen an. Jetzt muss die Stuttgarter Staatsanwaltschaft in Korntal aktiv werden.
Für Alfred Wieland ist es ein schwerer Gang. Gegen den beißenden Wind, der am Freitagnachmittag auf dem Korntaler Saalplatz weht, trägt er einen dunkelblauen Mantel. Auf der rechten Seite steht der große Saal der Evangelischen Brüdergemeinde. Gegenüber liegt der Posten der Korntaler Polizei. Alfred Wieland wählt mit seinen sechs Mitstreitern den Eingang der Polizei. Sie sind angereist, um die Evangelische Brüdergemeinde anzuzeigen – wegen des sexuellen Missbrauchs Schutzbefohlener.
Wieland, 67, kommt 1960 zum ersten Mal in das Kinderheim Hoffmannhaus an der Zuffenhauser Straße. Er geht fünf Jahre lang in Korntal zur Schule, verbringt dort die Nachmittage und kehrt abends nach Hause zurück. „Wenn ich damals erzählt hätte, was mir angetan worden ist, wer hätte mir geglaubt?“, fragt Wieland. Er meint den fast alltäglichen Missbrauch, die Misshandlungen und Demütigungen, die er nach eigenen Angaben in der Einrichtung der Evangelischen Brüdergemeinde erlebt hat. „Ich habe sie jahrzehntelang in meine untersten Schubladen verbannt.“
By JESSE WINTER
Fri., March 24, 2017
Edmund Metatawabin has gotten used to waiting.
“We’re always the last ones when it comes to reconciliation and acknowledgement,” he says with a sigh.
Now Metatawabin and his fellow survivors of St. Anne’s Indian Residential School will have to wait a few more weeks for an important decision in their ongoing abuse compensation case.
Metatawabin, along with a female survivor identified in court only as K-10106 and hundreds of other indigenous children, attended the notorious school in Fort Albany in northeastern Ontario. They say they were victims of horrific treatment including sexual abuse, being shocked by an electrified chair and being forced to eat their own vomit.
Metatawabin and the female survivor are leading a court challenge, arguing that many students didn’t receive proper compensation for the abuses they suffered.
They want the Superior Court to order a full-scale inquiry into why thousands of pages of police records from an investigation in the 1990s detailing the abuse were not disclosed when survivors were seeking compensation under the Indian Residential Schools settlement process beginning in 2006.
The Guam Daily Post
The newly created Archdiocesan Receivership Committee is taking over the management of finances and assets of the Guam Catholic Church's main edifice – the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica.
The Cathedral-Basilica's finances have fallen "in such a state requiring this urgent action," said Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Byrnes.
"The Agana Cathedral-Basilica ... is under severe financial strain," Archdiocese Finance Council President Richard Untalan said during a press conference yesterday. "It cannot meet its obligations. Within the last two and a half years, it incurred a debt of $1.9 million, $800,000 of which is a refinance portion of a loan and the rest are outstanding payables."
Businesswoman and former Sen. Toni Sanford has been named chairwoman of the receivership committee. Ricardo C. Duenas and former Department of Revenue and Taxation Director Art Ilagan are the committee's members.
The receivership committee's chairwoman will have unrestricted financial, administrative and operational management powers, including: bank account signatory; hiring or firing staff and volunteers; and reconstituting or establishing finance and pastoral councils.
Ciaran Tierney @ciarantierney March 25, 2017
A steady stream of survivors from institutions all across Ireland have been making their way to the home of historian Catherine Corless since it was officially confirmed that human remains of a significant number of babies have been found on the site of a former mother and baby home in Co Galway.
Only for her painstaking research over the past six years, the world might never have known that hundreds of babies were buried in unmarked graves at the Tuam site – some of them in vaults constructed from a sewage tank which had not been used since 1938.
Many of the survivors have contacted the quiet-spoken historian in order to talk about their experiences as “home babies” in such institutions for the first time in their adult lives.
“I didn’t go looking for survivors. They looked for me. They rang me and called to the house. They just kept coming. We’d sit down and discuss over cups of tea what I could do for them. They have begun to speak out and to find their true voice, which is fantastic,” she told IrishCentral this week.
Pacific Daily News
Haidee V Eugenio , firstname.lastname@example.org March 25, 2017
A group of Catholics on Guam reached out to other islands about the Neocatechumenal Way.
The Neocatechumenal Way is a movement within the Catholic church whose practices sometimes are at odds with those of Guam's traditional Catholic community.
David Sablan, president of Concerned Catholics of Guam, wrote separate letters and made phone calls to leaders of the Catholic church on Saipan, Chuuk, Palau and other islands after learning that the Neocatechumenal Way wants to establish communities there too.
“At the root of all our problems within our church on Guam is an itinerant organization called the Neocatechumenal Way,” Sablan said in his letters, dated between Feb. 13 and March 16.
Sablan cited as examples the Neocatechumenal Way’s alleged lack of valid mandate from the pope, its Mass celebration that does not conform to the general instruction of the Roman missal and its alleged use of Catholic church and parish resources while it does not conform to Catholic laws.
Much has changed within the Chabad world since the Royal Commission hearings, more than two years ago, into child sexual abuse in the Melbourne and Sydney Yeshiva communities.
But old loyalties remain stubbornly resistant to change. Rabbi Zvi Telsner, the disgraced former chief rabbi of the Yeshiva Centre in Melbourne, is still being paid a salary more than 18 months after he resigned over his conduct towards victims and their families.
At the Royal Commission’s final hearing into the two communities on Thursday, Rabbi Chaim Zvi Groner, the Director of Adult Torah Education at the Yeshiva Centre, was unable to shed light on why Rabbi Telsner was still being paid a salary when his involvement these days amounts to being a congregant and giving occasional classes.
“Why does he still receive a salary?” asked counsel assisting the commission, Naomi Sharp.
Rabbi Groner: “The current board is dealing with this in regard to the financial arrangement around his resignation.”
Holly Meyer , USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee
March 24, 2017
A controversial Williamson County ministry that has been scrutinized as a cult appears to be moving to Dickson County.
Wayne Jolley Ministries, Inc. purchased about 3 acres of undeveloped land on Highway 96 in the city of Burns, according to property records from the Dickson County Register of Deeds. The ministry paid $85,000 for the property east of the city of Dickson.
The sale happened in late 2016, just over a year after a Christianity Today report revealed serious concerns with how the late Wayne Jolley treated the members of The Gathering International, a small church group connected to his ministry. Former members told the magazine that Jolley's ministry took their money, ruined families and covered up accusations of physical and sexual abuse.
A sign on the land says "Future Home of: The Gathering International." ...
In early May 2016, the Secretary of State's Division of Charitable Solicitations, Fantasy Sports and Gaming fined the ministry $5,000 for "unfair, false, misleading or deceptive acts and practices affecting the conduct of solicitations for contributions."
The complaint that prompted the state's investigation into the ministry accused Wayne Jolley Ministries of misusing charitable donations, including for a radio ministry with grossly overstated reach. It also drew attention to substantial renovations to a Williamson County residence owned by the late pastor. The Gathering International congregation met in the home.
The state also stripped the ministry of its church status due to a tax issue. Since the ministry files a Form 990 with the IRS, Wayne Jolley Ministries no longer qualifies for the "bona fide religious institution" exemption and needs to register with the state under the Tennessee Charitable Solicitations Act.
BY COLIN PERKEL, THE CANADIAN PRESS ON MARCH 24, 2017.
TORONTO – The courts must clear up the mystery of why the federal government withheld thousands of relevant documents from survivors who sought compensation for their horrific abuse at a notorious Indian residential school, a judge was told Friday.
In calling for a wide-ranging investigation into the non-disclosure, lawyer Michael Swinwood said one of the plaintiffs in the case was retraumatized by the initial denial of her compensation claim.
“There’s something amiss in relation to the non-production of these documents,” Swinwood told Ontario Superior Court Justice Paul Perell. “The court needs to know why is it that we’re in this situation.”
Two survivors of St. Anne’s residential school in Fort Albany, Ont., are trying to persuade Perell to order the probe into the documents that flowed from a lengthy criminal investigation into abuses at the school. The documents record details of the sexual and physical abuse of about 1,000 children who attended the school.
The settlement of a class action related to the residential schools established the independent adjudication process to hear compensation claims. One of the St. Anne’s survivors, K-10106 , hired a law firm to represent her.
Herald & Review
HUEY FREEMAN Herald & Review
DECATUR – Jose Luis Aboytes stood in front of the bench of Associate Macon County Judge Phoebe Bowers, dressed in a black-and-gray jail jumpsuit, flanked by his attorney and a translator.
The judge read aloud seven felony counts to him in English, which were each related to him in Spanish by the translator.
Aboytes, a former assistant pastor of an eastside church, was told he is charged with one count of predatory sexual assault of a child, two counts of criminal sexual assault and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse.
He declined Bower's offer to read aloud the detailed charges, which specified the particular acts he allegedly performed on the female victim, who was younger than 13 years old when the first sexual assault occurred.
by Muriel Porter, Australia Correspondent
Posted: 24 Mar 2017
THE Australian Primate, Dr Philip Freier, Archbishop of Melbourne, appearing before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, has warned against seeking simple answers about abuse.
On the final day of the four-day hearing on the Anglican Church’s responses, a panel of six witnesses was questioned intensively about the causes of child sexual abuse in the Church, particularly focusing on clericalism. Dr Freier cautioned, however, that the propensity to abuse children was found in all forms of human community because “it is a deep thing in our human nature that we need to be very vigilant to protect against.”
In response to the suggestion that the Church might need to reflect on whether distinctive clergy dress and church ceremonial created an impression of power on impressionable people, Dr Freier explained that the symbolism of clerical vesture did not so much indicate a unique status as that the priest was a representative of the whole baptised community.
Earlier, the Archbishop of Sydney, Dr Glenn Davies, suggested that the Anglo-Catholic tradition of calling priests “Father” might have been a significant aspect of church-based child abuse, “particularly for vulnerable boys, where the fatherhood connection has been lost and the priest becomes the surrogate father”.
by BARCLAY WHITE MARCH 25, 2017
A man who was sexually abused as a child by a Marist Brother teacher in Shepparton will return to his former home next week to speak about the challenges facing survivors.
Greg Barclay, 61, was just 13 when he was indecently assaulted by John Skehan at St Colman’s College in Shepparton, which is now Notre Dame College.
After years of being haunted by the attack, Mr Barclay only came forward to the authorities about what Mr Skehan did to him in the past few years.
In 2014 his attacker faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court, and was handed a suspended sentence for his crimes.
But, to the disappointment of Mr Barclay, the magistrate did not sentence his attacker to any time inside a jail cell.
Pacific Daily News
Haidee V Eugenio , email@example.com March 25, 2017
Three months after the CNMI lifted the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases, retired Saipan bishop Tomas A. Camacho faced accusations he raped an altar boy in the 1970s. Camacho also is a former Guam priest.
That was in November, two months after Guam enacted a law that would allow victims of child sex abuse to sue their abusers and the institutions with which they are associated, at any time, paving the way for at least 18 former altar boys to file clergy sexual abuse lawsuits in the U.S. District Court of Guam.
“Our focus was more on the victims and family,” said former CNMI Rep. Ray Tebuteb, author of the bill that became CNMI law on Nov. 17, 2016. In a phone interview, he said the law helps child sex abuse victims, including those whose perpetrators are priests and other clergy, obtain some sense of healing, justice and closure.
Tebuteb’s bill became CNMI Public Law 19-72, “allowing the prosecution for sexual crimes committed against persons under the age of 18 to commence at any time.”