A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse.
Click on the headline to read the full story.
September 2, 2014
Many National Catholic Reporter (NCR) bloggers are today imploring NCR’s editor, Dennis Coday, in comments like the following:
“Dennis, Can you comment on why Jerry Slevin has been apparently banned from posting in the NCR comments section? Thanks.” and
“I would also like to hear from Mr. Coday on this. I don’t think we want this website to be known for censorship of anyone’s views. We already have an institution that works that way.”
NCR has seemingly ducked these calls for transparency for over a week now. Will NCR now respond independently or will it follow the censorship lead of the Catholic Church hierarchy that NCR claims to be “independent” of?
Dennis Coday’s response, or lack thereof, may be fundamental to whether NCR is still an independent voice or just another captive echo chamber of the Catholic hierarchy and their wealthy right wing apologist supporters. It is ominous surely that NCR today has a column praising EWTN, the ultra-right wing Catholic media outlet.
NCR, of course, knows Catholics are good at accepting censorship, which is sadly the case, even for many NCR bloggers who purport to be progressive and prophetic.
The New York Times
By KATRIN BENNHOLD
SEPT. 1, 2014
[The Rotherdam Report]
ROTHERHAM, England — It started on the bumper cars in the children’s arcade of the local shopping mall. Lucy was 12, and a group of teenage boys, handsome and flirtatious, treated her and her friends to free rides and ice cream after school.
Over time, older men were introduced to the girls, while the boys faded away. Soon they were getting rides in real cars, and were offered vodka and marijuana. One man in particular, a Pakistani twice her age and the leader of the group, flattered her and bought her drinks and even a mobile phone. Lucy liked him.
The rapes started gradually, once a week, then every day: by the war memorial in Clifton Park, in an alley near the bus station, in countless taxis and, once, in an apartment where she was locked naked in a room and had to service half a dozen men lined up outside.
She obliged. How could she not? They knew where she lived. “If you don’t come back, we will rape your mother and make you watch,” they would say.
At night, she would come home and hide her soiled clothes at the back of her closet. When she finally found the courage to tell her mother, just shy of her 14th birthday, two police officers came to collect the clothes as evidence, half a dozen bags of them.
But a few days later, they called to say the bags had been lost.
“All of them?” she remembers asking. A check was mailed, 140 pounds, or $232, for loss of property, and the family was discouraged from pressing charges. It was the girl’s word against that of the men. The case was closed.
A 70-year-old former child migrant from a Catholic-run home in Londonderry has said he was sexually abused after being shipped to Australia.
Des McDaid, who has waived his right to anonymity, was giving evidence to the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.
He had travelled from St Joseph's Home, Termonbacca in Derry to the Clontarf orphanage in Perth, when he was eight.
He said there was a lot of brutality at the Clontarf home and a number of brothers sexually abused the boys.
He said he was sexually abused by older boys, members of the Christian Brothers religious order and a lay teacher.
A former child migrant to Australia has told a public inquiry he was transferred with no idea where he was going and faced more sexual abuse when he arrived in a Catholic home there.
The man, originally from Co Donegal, was housed at Termonbacca in Derry before being transported to Australia.
Des McDaid, 70, said he was targeted by older boys, a lay teacher and members of the Christian Brothers religious order which ran the Clontarf institution near Perth in Western Australia. Aged eight, he was not told where he was going when he was transferred on board the ship the New Australian.
He gave evidence to the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry, which was established by ministers in Belfast.
Child migrant sexually abused in Australia after arriving at Catholic home, abuse inquiry hears
BY MICHAEL MCHUGH – 02 SEPTEMBER 2014
A former child migrant from Northern Ireland to Australia has told a public inquiry he was transferred with no idea where he was going and faced more sexual abuse when he arrived in a Catholic home there.
Des McDaid, 70, said he was targeted by older boys, a lay teacher and members of the Christian Brothers religious order which ran the Clontarf institution near Perth in Western Australia. Aged eight, he was not told where he was going when he was transferred on board the ship the New Australian.
He gave evidence to the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry, which was established by ministers in Belfast.
He said: "The big thing I want you to remember is the helplessness."
He said he was raped by an older boy at the Termonbacca boys home in Londonderry run by an order of nuns and the paedophilia continued in Australia.
Using a video link from Australia, he said: "I had a lot more of it over here, from the Christian Brothers etc."
Western Daily Press
The next stage in the process of appointing the future Bishop of Gloucester will take place on September 22 in the city.
Members of the public are invited to participate in an open public meeting and consultation which will be held at 7pm in the Chapter House of Gloucester Cathedral to discuss what will happen next with the role.
The meeting will provide any member of the public with the opportunity to put forward their views and expectations of what they would like the future Bishop of Gloucester to bring to the diocese.
The meeting will be chaired by the Venerable Robert Springett, Archdeacon of Cheltenham and chair of the diocesan’s Vacancy in See Committee.
The Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments and the Prime Minister’s Secretary for Appointments will be there to listen to the views put forward.
The case of a former New Brunswick Roman Catholic priest, who is facing eight sex abuse charges involving boys dating back to the 1970s, has been adjourned for three months.
Yvon Arsenault, 71, of Aldouane, was scheduled to have a preliminary inquiry in Moncton court on Tuesday.
But the matter was set over until Dec. 9 at the request of his defence lawyer, who wanted all of the alleged victims to be present.
Arsenault did not appear in court.
He is charged with three counts of indecent assault, four counts of gross indecency and one count of sexual assault involving four boys under the age of 18.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
Admitted serial predator priest gets “full honors”
SNAP: “Move re-victimizes the wounded & deters other victims”
Group also discloses names of 18 predator priests in archdiocese
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will:
--blast Seattle Catholic officials for burying an admitted serial predator priest with full honors,
--urge each of the 20 clerics involved to publicly apologize,
--prod Seattle's archbishop to work to reform the church's national abuse policy to prevent such “callous and hurtful” funerals in the future with other child molesting clerics.
The group will also disclose the names of 18 predator priests who have received little or no public attention in the Seattle area and urge church staff to “aggressively reach out to anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered their crimes.”
Tuesday, Sept. 2 at 2:00 p.m.
Outside St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 732 18th Ave. East in the Capitol Hill section of Seattle
Three or four adults who were abused as kids by clergy and belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (including a Seattle woman who once supervised the admitted predator and a Missouri man who is SNAP's long time executive director)
1) An ex-Seattle archdiocesan priest who admitted molesting youngsters was buried last month with full priestly honors in a highly visible funeral led by 30 local clerics. He is David Peter Jaeger, who was defrocked because of allegations that he molested 8-10 children in the 1970s.
SNAP does not oppose church funerals for predator priests. But the group feels these should be low-key events; otherwise, they “rub salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of thousands who have been raped and sodomized by Catholic priests and re-victimized by callous and deceitful Catholic officials.” Such ceremonies also discourage and deter other victims from “speaking up, exposing predators and protecting kids,” SNAP says.
According to Jaegar's website (www.davidpjaeger.com), Fr. John McGrann performed the funeral mass at St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Capitol Hill. About 20 priests concelebrated, eight nuns were Eucharistic ministers and hundreds of mourners attended.
One priest has already apologized for the ceremony. On Aug. 2, in a two page, single-spaced letter to his flock at St. Joseph's, pastor Fr. John D. Whitney said “I apologize for the confusion and hurt” caused by letting the funeral take place at his church in the way that it did.
MÉXICO, D.F. (proceso.com.mx).- El pastor de una iglesia cristiana fue consignado por su presunta responsabilidad en el homicidio de una adolescente de 14 años, con quien sostenía una relación amorosa, en Tijuana.
El crimen ocurrió el pasado lunes 25 en un camino vecinal a la altura del kilómetro 27 de la carretera libre Tijuana-Tecate. La víctima, identificada como Adriana, fue localizada al día siguiente en las inmediaciones de esa misma vía.
Autoridades de Baja California indicaron que José Baltazar Hernández Molina, de 31 años, quien es originario de Oaxaca, pasaba mucho tiempo con la menor a quien conoció hace dos años en una congregación cristiana en la colonia Maclovio Rojas de Tijuana.
Sep 02, 2014 By Steve Robson
Jose Baltazar Hernandez Molina, 31, flew into a jealous rage and beat Adriana Sanchez Beltran before breaking her neck, police have said.
A perverted pastor killed his 12-year-old lover after she ended their two-year affair for a teenage boy, police have said.
Christian minister Jose Baltazar Hernandez Molina, 31, moved into the town of Maclovio Rojas, in the north-western Mexican state of Baja California, after being deported as an illegal alien from the United States.
He was able to become pastor of the local church and later seduced 12-year-old Adriana Sanchez Beltran, investigators say.
The pair had a two-year affair but the relationship ended when Adriana refused to let him move into her home and that she wanted to see someone her own age.
BY TOM HENEGHAN
Fri Aug 29, 2014
(Reuters) - A change in Germany's capital gains tax has prompted an exodus from its Catholic and Protestant churches this year as thousands of registered members quit their parishes rather than pay the money.
Dioceses in both churches have reported in recent weeks that the number of members deserting them has jumped compared to last year, often by 50 percent or more, as banks prepare to withdraw church tax at source for capital gains from January 1.
German tax authorities collect an 8 or 9 percent premium on churchgoers' annual tax bills and channel it to the faiths to pay clergy salaries, charity services and other expenses. Members must officially leave the church to avoid paying this.
Under a simplified procedure starting next year, banks will withhold that premium from church members earning more than 801 euros ($1,055) in capital gains annually and pass it on to tax authorities for distribution to the churches.
Letters from banks announcing the new procedure this summer and asking clients for their religious affiliation -- so they can earmark funds to the right churches -- have worried many members. Churches have scrambled to explain the changes.
Detroit Free Press
The Archdiocese of Detroit has found a Mount Clemens priest was “negligent” when he didn’t promptly report a sexual assault on church property to police.
The archdioceses says an investigation by a panel of church law judges concluded Rev. Michael Cooney of St. Peter’s Catholic Church didn’t properly notify police in 2011. The panel says Cooney failed to take measures to protect a 14-year-old girl when he learned a 19-year-old usher had sexually abused her at a church event.
Archbishop Allen Vigneron says Cooney has apologized for not taking action. He says he’s requiring Cooney to make a retreat and write letters of apology to people involved.
The West Australian
AMANDA BANKS The West Australian
September 2, 2014
Several dozen men who were abused as boys at four Christian Brothers' homes in WA are having their compensation reviewed after the order opened the door to increasing payouts at a public hearing of a royal commission nearly four months ago.
The commitment by the Christian Brothers to revisit any settlements which were regarded as unjust has been highlighted in closing submissions to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse which were published last week.
In a separate statement released this afternoon, a spokesman for the Christian Brothers said the order had responded to several dozen individuals who had asked for their payouts to be re-examined and expected to address matters over the next two to three months.
Some individuals had also taken up an offer of ongoing psychological counselling in the wake of the public hearing.
Why Did Leading US Haredi Rabbis Really Endorse Israeli Seminaries Formerly Run By Alleged Sex Abuser?
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
When the Novominsker Rebbe, Rabbi Aharon Schechter, Rabbi Aharon Feldman and other members of Agudath Israel of America’s moeztzet, Council of Torah Sages, issued a letter last week endorsing as safe Pnimim and other seminaries once owned and run by Rabbi Elimelech Meisels as safe, some – including me – questioned how these rabbis could make this endorsement when all of the staff who allegedly enabled Meisels still worked at these seminaries. In fact, staff members who were allegedly told at the time of the alleged abuse by victims that Meisels had sexually abused them still work at all of these seminaries.
So how could these top haredi rabbis endorse them? Even if Meisels is truly no longer involved in the seminaries, these enablers are.
A source who is close to this case explained what allegedly happened.
1. An Israeli delegation of haredim, some linked to the Gerrer rebbe, came to America a few weeks ago to get these the American rabbis to sign the letter.
2. They provided no evidence that the seminaries are safe.
3. Instead, they claimed that if the rabbis did not sign the letter, American girls would stop enrolling in these seminaries and the seminaries would therefore be forced to shut down. And that, these Israeli haredim said, would cost many people their jobs and would be a disaster in this time of economic constraint in the haredi community there.
By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
PUBLISHED: Tuesday, September 2, 2014
The Diocese of Gallup had racked up more than $600,000 in court-approved fees for attorneys and accountants by April 30, during the first six months of the diocese’s bankruptcy case, court records show.
The diocese last year became the nation’s ninth Roman Catholic diocese to file for Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy in response to a growing number of lawsuits filed by alleged victims of clerical sex abuse.
A total of 56 people have filed claims alleging they were abused by priests in the diocese. Aug. 11 was the deadline set by U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge David Thuma to file a claim.
Attorneys for both the diocese and the claimants are required to submit interim applications for payment every six months for Thuma’s review.
The Federal Government has agreed to an extension for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse for a further two years.
The Governor-General will be asked to amend the current Letters Patent to enable the Royal Commission to deliver its final report by December 15 2017.
The Attorney-General Senator George Brandis says he met the Chair of the Royal Commission, Justice Peter McClellan AM, on two occasions since the beginning of this year, to discuss the future program and additional needs of the Commission.
“On both of those occasions, Justice McClellan was assured, given the importance of the work in which it was embarked, the Government would look favourably upon any request for an extension of the Royal Commission reporting date.
THE Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been extended for another two years by the Abbott government.
The Attorney General George and Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews have also announced an extra $125 million for the Commission.
It’s final report is now expected by December 15, 2017.
In a statement Senator Brandis said he had met with Chair Justice Peter McClellan AM twice since the start of the year to discuss the program’s future.
He is said to have assured them that the extension will be “sufficient” for the Commission to finish its work.
Sydney Morning Herald
September 2, 2014
National political reporter
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse that was initiated by former prime minister Julia Gillard has been extended for another two years by the Coalition.
The royal commission requested an extra two years to complete its work in its interim report handed down in June: the government has agreed to the request and the reporting date is now set for December 15, 2017, which is after the next federal election.
Attorney-General George Brandis told the Senate on Tuesday the cost will now total half a billion dollars but said the "outlay was justified" because of the importance of the royal commission's work.
"There is more to be learned, there is more that needs to be learned," Senator Brandis told Parliament.
"The extension will give the commission the capacity to hear more stories from victims, conduct more public hearings and issue additional interim reports," the Attorney-General said in a statement.
by Mark Chandler, deputy news editor
Five members of a Sydenham paedophile ring who systematically abused boys from a church in the 1970s and 1980s have finally been jailed.
Four young members of St Bartholomew's Church, aged between eight and 16, met their abusers after being introduced by choirmaster Tony Brockhurst.
The group then preyed upon the boys, grooming them with small gifts and takeaway food to gain their trust before subjecting them to sickening abuse.
Many of the attacks took place in the victim's own homes, with one boy plied with alcohol before he was sexually assaulted.
One of the victims finally found the courage to report the abuse to police in 2011 - four years after Brockhurst died.
An investigation was launched by the Met's Child Abuse Investigation Team (CAIT) at Sidcup, leading to three more victims being identified. And police believe there may be others who have not yet come forward.
September 2, 2014
Evidence from people who suffered grave sexual and physical abuse when they were sent as children to Australia will be handed over to the royal commission into child sex abuse by a Northern Ireland inquiry.
Over the next three weeks the Historical Abuse Inquiry (HIA) being held in Banbridge, County Down will hear from 50 men and women who were part of a child migrant program which saw 130 children sent to Australia between 1922 and 1995.
Some will give evidence by video link from Australia while others have made statements. Officials from the HIA have been in Australia twice over the past year meeting with witnesses.
Sir Anthony Hart who heads up the HIA inquiry into institutions run by the Catholic Church and the state said evidence from Australian witnesses "would not be swept under the carpet."
Daniel Hurst, political correspondent, and Helen Davidson
theguardian.com, Tuesday 2 September 2014
Australia’s royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse will be extended by two years at a cost of $126m.
The attorney general, George Brandis, said the government’s decision would alter the commission’s reporting date to 15 December 2017.
“I’m assured by the chairman of the royal commission, Justice [Peter] McClellan, that this will be sufficient to enable the royal commission to complete its work,” Brandis told the Senate on Tuesday.
“The extension of the royal commission will be at a cost of $125.8m. That is in addition to the $377m currently budgeted for, bringing the commonwealth’s total commitment to slightly above $500m.
September 1, 2014
Source AAP 2 SEP 2014
The government's decision to give an extra $126 million and a two-year extension to the royal commission into child sex abuse will allow more survivors to tell their stories, advocates say.
Attorney-General George Brandis on Tuesday announced the government would allocate the extra funds needed by the commission to complete its historic inquiry.
Senator Brandis also announced he had been asked to extend the commission's reporting deadline to December 15, 2017.
In its interim report in June, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse said it would need a two-year extension on its 2015 deadline and $104 million to finish its work.
SECOND MURDER VICTIM, KILLED FOUR DAYS AFTER “SISTER CATHY,” HAD CLOSE TIES TO PARISH WHERE SEX ABUSE ALSO TOOK PLACE
“After his departure…in 1994 [from a Catholic rectory where he'd been serving as a Baltimore-area parish priest], guns were found in the residence.”
–Sean Caine, spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, describing the results of a Church investigation into priestly sexual abuse at Archbishop Keough High School
By Tom Nugent
September 2014 – More than 44 years after Sister Catherine Ann Cesnik was brutally murdered while reportedly attempting to blow the whistle on widespread sexual abuse at her Catholic high school in Baltimore, there is startling new evidence to suggest that she was killed to prevent her from speaking out.
The same evidence sheds new light on the murder of a second victim – 20-year-old Joyce Malecki, whose body was found only a few days after the nun died from a blow to the head. Increasingly, investigators believe Malecki may also have been killed in an effort to keep Church-related sex abuse hidden from the public.
Obtained during a two-year investigation by this reporter, the new findings also include testimony indicating that one or more local police officers participated in the sex abuse . . . and that both the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore and Baltimore-area police officials then orchestrated a cover-up of the two killings that has lasted for more than four decades.
The new evidence shows that the second murder victim had close ties to the same Catholic parish – St. Clements in Lansdowne, located only a few miles from Archbishop Keough High School in southwest Baltimore – where two Catholic priests who were later defrocked for rampant sexual abuse lived off and on during the period in which the nun was killed.
One of those later-defrocked priests was serving as the chaplain at Keough when the nun (a beloved English teacher and also the drama coach) was abducted and killed on the evening of November 7, 1969.
The Macomb Daily
By Mitch Hotts, The Macomb Daily
A Mount Clemens priest was “negligent” when he failed to promptly report a sex assault on church property to the police, according to a report by the Archdiocese of Detroit.
The archdiocese on Saturday published the findings of its investigation into the 2011 incident where the Rev. Michael Cooney of St. Peter Catholic Church did not vontact police when he learned a 19-year-old usher had sexually abused a 14-year-old female at a church event.
According to the report, a panel of three canonical, or church law, judges concluded Cooney was “negligent in performing his duties as pastor” at St. Peter “by failing to property report the suspected abuse of a minor in a timely manner” and failing to take measures to protect the teen.
Cooney did advise the girl’s family to report the incident to civil authorities, but he also had the responsibility to notify the authorities once he learned of the suspected abuse, the church panel concluded.
Voice of Russia
A hearing into the historic transportation of children from Northern Ireland to Australia opened today, with child rights groups calling for a nationwide inquiry into what campaigners have labeled "the largest child abuse scandal in Britain's history."
Around 50 former residents of institutions in Northern Ireland are set to give evidence in a series of hearings in Banbridge, County Down, about the child migration programme that ran from the 1920s until the 1970s.
Documentary evidence found that around 140 young children from Northern Ireland, who were in the care of voluntary institutions, religious charities or state bodies were sent to Australia as child migrants, with many allegedly sexually abused.
The hearings form the second part of the Inquiry into Historical Institutional Abuse in Northern Ireland.
The inquiry is set to hear evidence from children who were taken away without the knowledge or consent of their parents.
Some mothers whose children became migrants to Australia were told they had died, a public inquiry in Northern Ireland has heard.
Youngsters themselves thought they were going on holiday, but never returned. When their mothers found out the truth they were overcome with guilt and never-ending mourning, an expert witness said.
Dr Margaret Humphreys works with the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry.
“Many child migrants did not realise they would not be coming back,” she said. “They thought it was a holiday, hardly preparation for a life the other side of the world, never to return again.”
The Nottinghamshire social worker established the Child Migrants Trust, a charity which helps reunite them with their families.
The “disposal” of children by emigration to Australia produced substantial savings, according to a 1928 report by Northern Ireland’s Government.
Support for the migration schemes was broadly due to concern for the child and concern for the community and the religious and moral welfare of the young person, the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry heard.
Removal also allayed the danger posed by remaining at an unsuitable home or in an institution.
Britain and Northern Ireland was over-populated whereas the colonies were under-populated.
Christine Smith QC, lawyer to the inquiry, said: “There was a need to build up the Empire and ensure the Empire was of white common British stock.”
Emigrants would have a chance to better themselves and make room in overcrowded workhouses and orphanages.
Children in institutions in Northern Ireland were exported to Australia like “baby convicts”, a witness has told a public inquiry into historical abuse.
The Sisters of Nazareth order of Catholic nuns was responsible for the removal of 111 child migrants aged as young as five before and after the Second World War, some of whom faced grave sexual and physical violence after arrival. Another 20 were sent by other institutions.
In some cases parental consent was not sought, migrants were separated from siblings and some deprived of their real identities by withholding of birth certificates, a lawyer for the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry said.
Reasons for transport included boosting “Catholicisation” or other religious authority in the colonies, propping up the number of white inhabitants of the Empire or saving money and emptying overcrowded workhouses, the investigation heard.
Newstalk (New Zealand)
By: AAP, International News | Tuesday September 2 2014
Horrific details have been given to a public hearing in Northern Ireland about children in institutions who were exported to Australia before and after World War II.
Some were as young as five, and many suffered grave sexual and physical abuse in Australia.
A lawyer has told the inquiry in some cases parental consent was not sought, migrants were separated from siblings and some deprived of their real identities by the withholding of birth certificates.
By Tara Mills
BBC News NI
The Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) began in January and so far almost 70 people have given evidence.
Thirty-four of those were children who lived in homes.
Some have told the BBC they are unhappy with the structure of the inquiry and feel that their vulnerability has not been appreciated when they have taken the stand.
Allison Diver, 44, went to live in Termonbacca children's home in Londonderry when she was 10.
She said she suffered physical and sexual abuse during her time there, horrors that are still clear in her mind.
"Nights are the worst for me," she said.
"Where other people would be sleeping, I'm walking the floors. You're remembering every last detail - smells, bangs. It's like someone plays a movie and then won't let it stop and hides the remote control."
From my archives of 9/20/12. First posted in the lead-up to Nechemya Weberman’s trial which concluded with a 103-year sentence.
She was a bad girl. Was it because she talked to boys, or she was dressing too fashionably, or she asked too many questions? That didn’t matter. She was bad and the vaad hatznius (modesty committee) of Williamsburg was willing to fix her, for a hefty fee, of course. The alternative was being stuck with a reputation as a nebbish (loser), an oiysvorf (outcast), and a shiksa (gentile). Once you acquired that reputation no decent family would let you marry their son.
Her family’s last hope was a “Torah therapist” who could change her into a good girl. She didn’t know what to expect. But she assumed he would counsel her with words of Torah. He would be a rabbi with a reputation for being zealous about torah and tznius (modesty). That of course meant he would scrupulously observe all the halachos (rules) and minhagim (customs) governing relations between men and women. She was only twelve, just a bat mitzvah, and thus liable for violating any of the halachos applying to a grown woman.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
Neither has been publicly accused before
Both victims speak out for the first time
One got a $750,000 settlement last year
SNAP urges archdiocesan outreach now
Catholic officials admit 5 allegations vs. one cleric
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, two clergy sex abuse victims will speak publicly for the first time about their abuse at that hands of two Chicago predator priests who have never been publicly accused before. (One victim received a $750,000 secret settlement last year.)
Advocates for clergy sex abuse victims will also blast Catholic officials for their continued secrecy about clergy sex crimes and will urge two church institutions to
--be more open and transparent about child molesting clerics, and
--post the names of all credibly accused clerics on church websites.
The victims will also
-- urge anyone who saw, suspected or suffered abuse, no matter how long ago, to come forward &
– urge parishioners to ask their friends and family if they were ever hurt by these two priests.
Thursday, July 31 at 2:30 p.m.
Outside the Chicago archdiocese headquarters,835 N. Rush St. (corner of Chestnut), Chicago, IL
Two clergy sex abuse victims (one local and one from out-of-state) who have never spoken publicly before and three- four other members of a self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org).
1) In 2005, Gail Peloquin Howard reported to Chicago archdiocesan officials that in 1964, as a teenager, she sought guidance from her pastor at Ascension parish in Oak Park, Msgr. John D. Fitzgerald, who sexually attacked her during that meeting and later he offered to pay her for one year of therapy.
That same year (2005), church staffer Leah McCluskey (who has dealt with hundreds of victims) told Howard that her report was “credible” but refused to publicly acknowledge this or publicly admit that Msgr. Fitzgerald had been accused of abuse. The archdiocese has paid for Howard's therapy.
Howard will provide five pages of correspondence between her and archdiocesan officials. She did not come forward until her mother, who worked for her perpetrator, passed away.
2) A Chicago man, who says he was abused by Fr. Donald J. O’Shaughnessy, has reached a $750,000 settlement with the priest's superiors in the Jesuit religious order. The victim is releasing a copy of his two page settlement agreement with church officials and a detailed four page letter from an attorney confirming that five others reported to the archdiocese that they too were abused by Fr. O'Shaughnessy.
Fr. O’Shaughnessy molested the m from 1977-1979 when he was a sophomore at Loyola Academy in Wilmette. Fr. O’Shaughnessy was the boy's school advisor and pulled him out of class daily. Fr. O'Shaughnessy also spent time at the Colombiere Center in Clarkston Michigan (in the Detroit Archdiocese) and Brebeuf Prep. School in Indianapolis Indiana.
September 1, 2014
On Saturday past, I reported on my censorship by the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) here
On Saturday, NCR posted a notice that new comments would be deferred until Tuesday for the US Labor Day Weekend. Notwithstanding that notice, NCR permitted comments to be posted until this morning (Monday) by all but me, except that yesterday around 3 pm, NCR closed comments on the one article that NCR bloggers were still using to complain about NCR’s censorship policy! Some bloggers earlier yesterday were still posting censorship complaints, until NCR blocked new comments to that article.
This morning (Monday) NCR had apparently blocked access to all NCR comments, at least when I tried to access them . If this applies to others as well, NCR bloggers cannot now EVEN READ their own or others’ prior comments, including the comments made last week by numerous bloggers objecting to NCR’s censorship approach.
Now (Monday afternoon) an NCR notice has been posted on BishopAccountability (just above my remarks here) saying no comments will be permitted on Labor Day Weekend, even though they had already been permitted for the first two days of this three day weekend. It appears NCR is trying to undercut my remarks, but is doing so in an amateurish and misleading way. This is very troubling, but just shows how NCR currently is operating.
Does NCR think it can just duck its censorship critics with gimmicks like this? Will this creeping censorship ever end? At least for today, I may not be alone in being “banned” from expressing my views at NCR. Will you be the next blogger to be banned by NCR?
While I can only guess at present as to NCR’s reasons for banning me, we have had a longstanding disagreement over calling for a US Presidential Commission to investigate institutional child sexual abuse.
Pacific Daily News
Many are probably wondering "What on Earth?" as the fight within the local Catholic Church spills into the streets and onto the pages of newspapers and nightly news. It's a mess by anybody's reckoning. And it's time for an explanation.
The war is not new. It has been 20 years in the making. Twenty years ago, a certain Fr. Pius Sammut arrived on Guam to plant the Neocatechumenal Way -- a particular approach to Christianity started in the 1960s in Spain. Fr. Pius found a warm welcome in Archbishop Apuron and together they set off to plant the Neo flag in Guam.
There are many different groups within the Church, but none have caused such division as the Neocatechumenal Way. The cause of this division is inherent in its structure. For whereas the holy sacrifice of the Mass is the central prayer and unifying act of all Catholics regardless of what group they may or may not belong to, the Neocatechumenal Way celebrates its own version of the Mass apart from the rest of the Church, and usually not even in a church.
It would be difficult to explain the different levels of authority they have or don't have to do this. The bottom line is that regardless of those permissions or lack of them, the Neocatechumenal Way practices have led to the painful division that is now spilling into the street.
National Catholic Reporter
NCR Staff | Aug. 30, 2014 NCR Today
NCR headquarters is closed for the Labor Day holiday. To make the return next week easier on our staff, we have decided to turn off the comments system for the weekend. So write down what you want to say and come back Tuesday morning to share your thoughts on our stories, blogs and columns!
Have a wonderful weekend. We will see you all on Tuesday.
Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: September 1, 2014
St. Olaf pastor said Rev. John Nienstedt lacks a bond with local Catholics
The Rev. Patrick Kennedy of St. Olaf Catholic Church has called for the resignation of Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt, saying it would create a “collective sigh of relief” from Twin Cities Catholics.
In the Aug. 31 church newsletter, Kennedy wrote that he reached the conclusion after returning to Minneapolis recently following two years away. It was then that he realized “full effect” of the recent clergy sex abuse scandal on Catholics in the pews.
“There appears to be a pall over the Archdiocese that is affecting the ministry we are trying to be about,” wrote Kennedy, pastor at the downtown Minneapolis church.
“People are leaving our parishes. Some have stopped giving money. Others have stayed but carry a heavy heart …” he wrote.
By James Carroll | GLOBE COLUMNIST SEPTEMBER 01, 2014
A MORAL contradiction casts a shadow on Roman Catholicism, and lately the shadow has lengthened. The church straddles two poles at once, and at times they pull in radically opposite directions. First, it is a community of believers seeking to embody the values of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet through accidents of history, that community is organizationally centered on Vatican City — a 110-acre territory where the Holy See, the ancient seat of papal authority, is headquartered. The Vatican is a sovereign state. And like every state, alas, politically empowered Catholicism yields now and then to the amoral pressures of realpolitik.
This contradiction was laid bare recently when the Holy See, acting in secret, threw the protective cloak of diplomatic immunity over Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski — the papal nuncio in the Dominican Republic and an alleged serial abuser of minors. In a show of toughness, church officials defrocked Wesolowski and promised to try him according to the laws of Vatican City. In effect, though, church officials once again shielded a predator priest from civil jurisdiction. Victims and officials in the Dominican Republic were left to stew.
The Holy See might have boxed itself into handling the accused diplomat in that odd manner. Before the United Nations last winter, representatives of the Vatican had insisted that it was morally and legally responsible only for abuse perpetrated by Vatican citizens — and not for abuse by thousands of Catholic priests around the world. Both then and now, the Catholic hierarchy has been hiding behind the political prerogatives of a sovereign state, violating broader norms of ethical responsibility. Vatican statehood is part of the problem.
Catholics and others may think of the Vatican as institutionally essential to the church, as if willed by God. But it’s not. Today’s Vatican City is an after-image of the once vast papal states that were lost in 19th-century revolutions. In its present form, this headquarters of world Catholicism was created only in the 20th century. Under the 1929 Lateran Treaty, an agreement with the Mussolini government whose terms ultimately received international recognition, the Holy See began to function from the newly autonomous state of Vatican City.
[Summary: A former pastor from Golega has been accused of two counts of aggravated sexual abuse of minors. Antonio Julio Santos was arrested in mid-December by judicial police and the Santarem diocese opened a canonical process.]
01 Set, 2014
O antigo pároco da Golegã foi acusado da prática de dois crimes de abuso sexual de menores na forma agravada, confirmou hoje à Lusa o seu advogado.
Rui Rodrigues disse à Lusa que a acusação foi deduzida em meados de julho, não tendo havido da parte da defesa pedido de abertura de instrução.
António Júlio Santos foi detido em meados de dezembro último pela Polícia Judiciária por ser "presumível autor de dois crimes de abuso sexual de crianças cometidos na forma agravada", tendo a Diocese de Santarém aberto um "processo canónico de averiguações a propósito de suspeitas" sobre o pároco.
The Vatican newspaper “L’Osservatore Romano’s” monthly women’s insert interviews the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: “We are not misogynists!” he says, revealing that the number of women in the Congregation will go from two to five or six, at the Pope’s request
The latest issue of the women’s insert published monthly by Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano reveals the identity of the Pope’s next nomination; more women are going to be joining the international theological Congregation: the number will be rising from two to “five or six”. This is according to the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller who was interviewed by historian Lucetta Scaraffia, a prestigious contributor of the newspaper headed by Gian Maria Vian.
The members of the theological commission that assists the Holy See, particularly the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in examining crucial doctrinal questions are nominated for a five-year period and there are currently thirty of them, including two women: Barbara Hallensleben (professor of Dogmatic Theology and Ecumenism at the Faculty of Theology in Fribourg, Switzerland) from Germany and sister Sara Butler (professor of Dogmatic Theology at the University of Saint Mary of the Lake - Mundelein Seminary – in Chicago, US).
In the article published by the L’Osservatore Romano’s women’s insert, Scaraffia says the cardinal “also informed me that the new international theological Commission the Pope is about to make nominations for will include more women than previously: As far as I understood the number of women will go from two to five or six.” That would be a significant increase.
The interview took place in the cardinal’s apartment and the Vatican newspaper’s reporter was given an informal welcome. During their discussion, Müller underlined that the female presence in the Church needed to be recognized within its own specific context, it should not be an imitation of the male model. He stressed that the Church needs to be like a mother, not an institution, because an institution cannot love but a mother can.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
1 September, 2014
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has today published two research reports by the Australian Institute of Criminology:
* History of child sexual abuse offences in Australia
* Brief review of contemporary sexual offence and child sexual abuse legislation in Australia
Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the results of this research provide important reference material for the Royal Commission and other organisations carrying out work in this area.
“The first report outlines significant socio-political developments in respect of child sexual abuse which will assist the Royal Commission’s understanding of the way child sexual abuse legislation has developed in Australia. ...
A summary of both reports is available below, the full reports can be read on the Royal Commission website
Key findings of reports
History of child sexual abuse offences in Australia
* The report provides an overview of the socio-political factors and events that have influenced the development of Australia’s child sexual abuse legislation from 1788-2013.
* The AIC concludes that during this period child sexual abuse has been marginalised, denied, ‘discovered’ and ‘rediscovered’.
* The report also provides an overview of the development of legislation during the period 1950-2013 in the nine Australian jurisdictions
* Key developments in relevant legislation during this period which are discussed in detail in the report include:
o the decriminalisation of homosexual acts between consenting males
o the removal of gendered language from legislation to enable the law to deal with matters involving male victims, female offenders and same sex offences
o broadening the definition of sexual intercourse
o introduction of specific legislation relating to child pornography
o introduction of mandatory reporting laws
Source AAP 1 SEP 2014
The crime of child sexual abuse has been denied, marginalised and "discovered and rediscovered" at various stages throughout Australia's history, a new report says.
The report, commissioned by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse, found broader social awareness of child sexual abuse emerged in the 1960s because of the efforts of feminist groups.
Prior to women's rights advocates challenging government responses to sexual violence, psychoanalysts and other theorists downplayed the significance of sexual abuse on children and officials downplayed its prevalence and impact.
Between the late 1800s and 1960s "child sexual abuse was denied or minimised by academics, psychoanalysts and the broader community as the fantasies of disturbed individuals or the result of sexually promiscuous or aggressive children," the report said.
The report, prepared by the Australian Institute of Criminology, found that the greatest period of reform in Australia's child abuse laws occurred after the 1970s.
Published Monday, 01 September 2014
Public hearings on child migrants sent from Northern Ireland institutions to Australia have begun on Monday as the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry resumes.
The hearings will last for three weeks, during which evidence will be heard from 50 people who are now living in Australia.
They are all former residents of institutions in Northern Ireland and were sent to the country as part of a child migration programme.
The inquiry is being chaired by retired High Court judge Sir Anthony Hart.
In his opening remarks he said: "In their witness statements, many of those who will give evidence describe their experiences after they arrived in Australia in shocking terms, setting out in graphic detail their descriptions of the severe hardships, and grave sexual and physical violence, to which they say they were subjected as children in the institutions to which they were sent in Australia."
The inquiry is limited to what happened to children in institutions in Northern Ireland and does not have the power to investigate what befell migrants in Australian institutions.
Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent
theguardian.com, Monday 1 September 2014
Northern Ireland's orphanages and homes operated a policy of forcibly transporting children to Australia until the 1950s, a long-running inquiry into child abuse at these institutions will hear on Monday.
Sixty-six former residents have given evidence of how they were sent across the world without their consent between 1946 and 1956. Many of those who have come forward will give evidence via video link over what happened to them under the scheme.
The migration scheme to Australia will be examined at the historical institutional abuse inquiry held at Banbridge courthouse in County Down.
The public inquiry is the largest held into such institutions like orphanages anywhere in the UK. Thirteen Catholic and state-run institutions are under scrutiny.
The inquiry will be told that the transport of children from institutions in Northern Ireland mainly to similar homes in western Australia was part of UK government policy at the time.
An Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Northern Ireland has started to hear evidence of the child migration scheme that selected over 100 children from institutions in the North and sent them to Australia.
It is the first time that a judicial inquiry will hear evidence of the practice operated by the UK authorities in the years immediately after World War II.
When the inquiry team went to Australia last year to begin gathering evidence about Northern Irish children who participated in this scheme, they interviewed a 75-year-old man.
He told them: "We were exported to Australia like little baby convicts. I found it hard to show affection to my children when they were young. I have a nightmare every night of my life. I relive my past and I am happy when daylight comes."
The man has since died, but his full statement and the video evidence accounts of over 50 others will be heard in Banbridge over the next three weeks.
One hundred and thirty children from Northern Ireland, some as young as five, were sent to Australia as child migrants, an inquiry has heard.
The experiences of 50 of them will be heard by the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) either by oral or written evidence.
It is examining the extent of child abuse in religious and state-run institutions in NI from 1922 to 1995.
A team from the inquiry has already made two trips to Australia.
HIA chairman Sir Anthony Hart said his staff had made the trip for two reasons - to enable those who lived there to have the same opportunity to describe their experiences as others, and to allow the HIA's legal team to gather a considerable amount of information from their witness statements.
The New York Times
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
SEPT. 1, 2014
Roman Catholics and much of the world have been closely watching for evidence that Pope Francis has the wherewithal to buck the resistance to reform from the Vatican’s powerful bureaucracy.
An encouraging sign emerged last week with the announcement that the Vatican’s former ambassador to the Dominican Republic had been stripped of diplomatic immunity and could be tried there for his alleged soliciting of underage boys for sexual acts. The announcement reversed a devious and secret stratagem engineered by unidentified Vatican officials last year to recall the ambassador, Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, before Dominican authorities could bring criminal charges of child abuse against him.
The Vatican’s use of immunity to shield the prelate from criminal prosecution outside the Vatican set off a furor, particularly in light of Pope Francis’s promise that in the pedophilia scandal “there are no privileges” for priests or prelates. That diplomatic immunity was suddenly reversed after an article in The Times by Laurie Goodstein detailing numerous cases of the archbishop’s alleged preying on impoverished Dominican shoeshine boys and others who said they were paid for sex. There are suggestions Pope Francis might have had a hand in the reversal; he previously stressed to a colleague that the Wesolowski case felt like “a dagger” in his heart.
The Vatican denied it had attempted a cover-up in recalling the archbishop, pointing out that he was later defrocked after church officials concluded he was indeed guilty of abusing children. Defrocking is hardly adequate punishment for criminal acts, however, and the Vatican maintains the former archbishop might still face criminal charges under its own laws. There are understandable concerns that this could be used to shield him from full justice in the places where he allegedly abused children. However it ends, the case will be followed as an indicator of Pope Francis’s commitment to true church reform.
By The Associated Press
on August 31
HERNANDO, Miss. -- A Mississippi man has filed a complaint alleging that a male teacher at a church-run school sexually abused him in an attempt to change his sexual orientation from homosexuality.
Jeff White, 32, said he realized he had a duty to stand up against people who harmed him in the 1990s because such efforts still hurt others.
The Washington Blade reported that White told it in an interview that a teacher at Bethel Baptist School in Walls when he was a student there repeatedly forced him to have oral and anal sex for three years. White said the teacher scheduled an appointment each Wednesday for the sexual abuse to occur.
His parents enrolled him in the school when he was 14 and in the seventh grade.
"He would rape me because I was gay and because it would make me hate men and make me change," White said.
Mon, Sep 1, 2014
The Northern Ireland inquiry into historical institutional abuse in the coming weeks will hear “shocking” evidence of alleged abuse against children who were transported to Australia, the inquiry chairman Sir Anthony Hart said today.
In the next three weeks the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry will hear, mostly by video-link, evidence from 50 individuals who are now resident in Australia and were former residents of institutions in Northern Ireland.
Sir Anthony Hart at Banbridge court house today recounted how the 50 men and women were part of a group of approximately 130 children who were sent to Australia as part of a child migration programme between 1922 and 1995.
The inquiry is investigating allegations of child abuse in institutions run by the Catholic Church and Northern Ireland state from 1922 to 1995. This includes allegations by those who were part of the migration scheme.
Sir Anthony Hart explained that the inquiry could not investigate any allegations of abuse in Australia that the witnesses will make in the coming weeks, as the inquiry’s term of reference relates solely to institutions in Northern Ireland. However, this information would not be “swept under the carpet” and the authorities in Australia would be notified of any allegations, he said.
Henry McDonald, Ireland correspondent
theguardian.com, Monday 1 September 2014
Children as young as five were sent from Northern Ireland to Australian orphanages and other institutions where they were sexually and physically abused, the chairman of an inquiry into institutional child abuse has revealed.
Sir Anthony Hart, who is chairing the historical abuse inquiry, said witness evidence will show "in shocking terms" how children were subjected to "severe hardships, and grave sexual and physical evidence" when they arrived in the country.
The retired judge made his remarks during the latest session of the inquiry, held at Banbridge courthouse in County Down on Monday. This aspect of the largest public investigation into the abuse of children in state- and church-run homes is focusing on the treatment of 130 orphans and young people in care who were sent to Australia between 1946 and 1956.
Sixty-six former residents of these institutions have given evidence of how they were transported across the world without their consent. Many of those who have come forward will give evidence via video link over what happened to them under the scheme.
Children from Northern Ireland who were sent to Australia shortly after the Second World War faced grave sexual and physical violence after arrival in institutions, witnesses have told a public inquiry.
Survivors have given graphic details of their ordeals while aged as young as five, according to the chairman of the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry established by ministers in Belfast.
Approximately 130 young children in the care of religious voluntary institutions or state bodies became child migrants, most in the decade after the war.
The experiences of around 50 of them will be examined in person or via video- link and their statements furnished to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia.
Inquiry chairman Sir Anthony Hart said: "In their witness statements, many of those who will give evidence describe their experiences after they arrived in Australia in shocking terms, setting out in graphic detail their descriptions of the severe hardships, and grave sexual and physical violence, to which they say they were subjected as children in the institutions to which they were sent in Australia."
August 31, 2014
The Japan Times
When parents of students at St. Mary’s International School in Tokyo received a letter earlier this year informing them of an allegation of sexual abuse against a former teacher and elementary school principal at the Catholic boys school, shock waves rippled through the tight-knit school community.
The letter, dated Jan. 31 and signed by the current headmaster, Saburo Kagei, says: “In recent days, it has come to the attention of the school administration that an allegation of sexual misconduct has been made against Brother Lawrence Lambert by a former student. The misconduct allegedly occurred in 1965 when Br. Lawrence was a teacher at the first St. Mary’s campus in Sengakuji.
“After the school administration learned of the situation, we notified the local Japanese police authority and the Archdiocese of the Catholic Church in Tokyo. Both agencies are conducting investigations with the school’s full cooperation. While the investigation is ongoing, Br. Lawrence Lambert is prohibited from having any contact with students, staff or parents at SMIS.”
The following day, the letter regarding Lambert, who was the elementary school principal for around three decades from 1982, went up on the St. Mary’s International School Labor Dispute website, a blog started by an aggrieved former employee, and the news of a sexual abuse allegation at one of Japan’s most prestigious international schools started to circulate around the school community.
Shortly after, the letter was also posted on Sylvia’s Site, a well-read blog dedicated to exposing sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Canada and elsewhere. St. Mary’s is run by the Brothers of Christian Instruction, a Catholic order founded in France in the 19th century that has schools on every continent.
01 SEPTEMBER 2014
A woman abused while resident at a children's home in Northern Ireland was left suicidal after telling her story before a public inquiry.
Kate Walmsley, 58, was in an institution in Londonderry from 1964 to 1969, having been admitted as a young child. She recalled being targeted aged eight by a priest in a confessional box while under the care of the Sisters of Nazareth order of Catholic nuns.
The UK's largest child abuse inquiry so far is to resume again next week. A retired High Court judge is chairing the probe and took harrowing evidence from Ms Walmsley earlier this year.
She said: "It was reliving a nightmare and then being told horrible things about yourself.
"I just thought that I had spoiled my chance, the only chance in my life to get some sort of healing and they have ruined it.
"I ended up being suicidal and thinking I have wasted that day, the special day."
William D. Lindsey
It's fascinating to see, this morning, that the posting I made Friday reporting on how National Catholic Reporter has treated Jerry Slevin has had ... 1002 reads (and counting)* in a mere two days — and on a holiday weekend at the end of summer at that, when many Americans are out of pocket due to Labor Day and people elsewhere are finishing summer vacations and not spending time online as a result.
It's remarkable to have this report so widely read and so widely distributed on such a weekend. My stats counter for the posting reminds me that Abuse Tracker and the Catholica blog in Australia have both linked to it, and I've noticed it being tweeted by folks to whom I connect on Twitter, too.
I read the interest in this story as a good sign that there are many lay Catholics who are extremely tired of the shoddy way in which many of our Catholic leaders and Catholic institutions play political games to make so many of us voiceless — when many of us, certainly people like Jerry Slevin, have important things to say to the Catholic community, and deserve a hearing. The shoddiness with which NCR has dealt with Jerry Slevin, the lack of transparency about how it censors people making commetns at its blog sites: these mechanisms deserve attention if we really do want to buid a healthy, vibrant, authentically catholic Catholic community.
By Revital Hovel and Yair Ettinger | Aug. 28, 2014
The Jerusalem Regional Rabbinical Court forced a woman to speak privately with her abusive husband after the judges were allegedly swayed by fixers, or macherim, a complaint filed against the judges by the woman revealed.
According to the complaint, the macherim went to the rabbinical judges’ homes and affected the way the case was handled. The complaint suggests that this was not an isolated case.
The ombudsman of the Israeli judiciary, retired Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Rivlin, found the complaint justified. Another complaint against an almost identical panel, which alleged that the judges had refused to accept women’s testimony, was also found justified.
The complaint was filed by a woman whose husband used to beat her and her children. He was convicted of assault and sent to prison. When the woman wanted to divorce him, the rabbinical judges told her that macherim had spoken to them and suggested letting her husband have a private conversation with her for half an hour.
They said that if her husband failed to convince her to take him back, he would grant her the divorce.
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
The official state Jerusalem Regional Rabbinical Court reportedly forced a woman to meet privately with her violent and abusive husband against her will. The rabbi-judges apparently made the move after haredi fixers taking the side of the husband visited them privately and convinced them to do it.
According to a complaint filed with the state ombudsman for the judiciary, retired Supreme Court Justice Eliezer Rivlin, the fixers went to at least on rabbi-judge’s home and lobbied him. Ha’aretz reported that the complaint indicates that this was not an isolated incident.
Rivlin found the complaint justified, Ha’aretz reported.
The complaint was filed by a woman whose husband beat her and beat her children. He was convicted of assault and imprisoned.
When the woman filed for divorce, the rabbi-judges told her that the haredi fixers had spoken to them and suggested that they allow her husband have a private conversation with her for half an hour.
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Israel’s state prosecution will soon file a wide-ranging criminal indictment, pending a hearing, against former Ashkenazi haredi Chief Rabbi of Israel Yona Metzger, Arutz Sheva reported based on a report by Israel’s Channel 10 News.
Metzger was arrested in November on fraud, embezzlement bribery, money laundering and breach of public trust charges and stepped down as chief rabbi shortly afterward.
He allegedly took millions of shekels through bribes and embezzlement from charities he controlled or worked with.
Metzger had a long history of sexual abuse and fraud allegations before he was elected chief rabbi 11 years ago in a back room deal orchestrated by the former top Ashkenazi haredi rabbi, Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, who passed away two years ago. After the election, Elyashiv admitted to Shmarya Rosenberg through a spokesperson that he knew the details of the accusations against Metzger before backing him but backed him anyway in order to “return the glory to the Chief Rabbinate.”
Alison Morrow and Alex Rozier, KING 5 News
On August 22, nine current Mars Hill pastors submitted an accusatory letter to church leadership demanding Mark Driscoll step down from his role as lead pastor.
The letter describes a "lack of transparency" and creating a "culture of fear." It also accuses Mark Driscoll of misrepresenting the condition of the church and his leadership.
One of the pastors who signed the letter, Pastor Mark Dunford, was terminated on August 27, five days after the letter was submitted, sources tell KING 5. Dunford was an unpaid lay pastor at Mars Hill Portland.
Sources tell KING 5 the reason for his termination was "rebellion against the church."
The other pastors who signed the letter were called into a meeting Thursday with Mars Hill leadership.
In recent months, Driscoll has been embroiled in controversy, including being kicked out of the Acts 29 Network he helped create.
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.
Updated August 31, 2014
To idiot Catholics members and priests of the Legion of Christ,
Below is our added REBUTTAL to the MM analogy between Marcial Maciel and Mary Magdalene – where we analyse sentence by sentence – the two key paragraphs of the booklet for the Magdala project. The Legion of Christ members are very stubborn in trying to justify their religious existence despite the fact that their order was founded by an evil man – thus making their congregation as a “castle built on sand”. And they will try to use this analogy in another shape and form again. This MM analogy reflects their deep-rooted fanaticism in their charismatic founder Marcial Maciel who is akin to Adolf Hitler (but in the Catholic Church). Hitler was so charismatic he convinced the youth and the entire nation of Germany to fight to be the superior race. The Legion’s Magdala project in Galilee is tantamount to having a Hitler project – with Hitler’s Nazis’ looted money – for the purpose of Holocaust victims. The Legion’s Magdala project in Galilee is already – and will be – an exploitation of women.
Staten Island Advance
By Mira Wassef | email@example.com
on August 30, 2014
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.-- Two female former basketball coaches at Moore Catholic High School are accused of having sexual relationships with students, and the NYPD is investigating the allegations, according to a report Saturday in the New York Post.
Megan Mahoney, 25, who was an assistant basketball coach and gym teacher at the Graniteville school, is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old student that lasted months, and Moore's athletic director, Richard Postiglione, allegedly failed to report the the accusation, the article states.
The report said Postiglione and the principal, Bob Manisero, both knew about the allegations of faculty-student relationships.
The Post reports that the boy's mother claims she informed the Archdiocese in April, but got no reply. The Archdiocese told the paper it contacted the Staten Island District Attorney's office when it learned of the allegations.
New York Post
By Brad Hamilton
August 30, 2014
Two female basketball coaches turned a Catholic secondary school into Horndog High, bedding students for years under the watch of a skirt-chasing athletic director, according to an alleged victim and three school sources.
The NYPD says it’s now investigating sordid allegations swirling around Moore Catholic HS, a top Staten Island institution founded by nuns in 1962 and charging $8,000 in annual tuition.
Among the claims is that Megan Mahoney, a former assistant women’s basketball coach and gym teacher, had a months-long sexual relationship last year with a 16-year-old student; and that Richard Postiglione, Moore’s athletic director and chief operating officer, failed to report multiple faculty-student affairs to authorities beginning as early as 2006, though he and the principal were told of the randy romps.
The most recent alleged victim, whose name is being withheld by The Post, said he and Mahoney engaged in multiple trysts in her car, beginning last fall after she approached him in the gym and offered to coach him in basketball.
Avantika Mehta , Hindustan Times New Delhi, August 31, 2014
A traumatised eight-year-old, who was raped on Janmashtami by a 70-year-old priest from a temple, says she doesn't want to fall asleep again. "I see Baba’s face every time I close my eyes," she explains.
A fortnight after the incident, she has to relive the trauma over and again — giving her statement to police, identifying her rapist in the Test Identification Parade (TIP), and the unwavering gaze of journalists eager for a story.
The report of her rape has translated into legal proceedings before a magistrate's court in Saket, and this eight-year-old has already had to confront her rapist twice — during identification and when he was sent to judicial custody on August 19.
On Sunday, she laid supine on a chattai, surrounded by her mother, father, neighbours, and acquaintances — but only another seven-year-old friend, sitting quietly by her — the priest’s other victim — could truly empathise.
The incident was discovered on August 18 — Janmashtami day. The priest — a trusted member of the girls’ village near Mehrauli for over a decade who had been repeatedly raping both girls for a week — tried to have penetrative sex with the eight-year-old child. Unable to endure any more traumas, the girl broke down and told her family everything.
By Azzo Rezori, CBC News Posted: Aug 31, 2014
Where does misery begin. Where does it end?
In the lives of some people it follows them around like a shadow, always and everywhere, even in the dark where they think they're safe.
"Where does one start?" asked Catherine Dinn in her statement to the court charged with sentencing her for her part in defrauding the Anglican parish of St. John the Evangelist in Topsail of money collected for missionary work, including support for orphans in Uganda.
More than $9,000 went missing between July and November of 2012. Catherine and her husband John Dinn, the parish's former priest, pleaded guilty to stealing it.
The Dinns were sentenced on Friday. He got two months house arrest, she a conditional discharge recognizing that he is out of a job and she is now the only breadwinner in their family of four.
'Many paths to this sad ending'
Not once in her statement did Catherine Dinn take responsibility for what she did. Instead, she presented herself as a victim of life-long misery.
"Looking back at my life from this end, there are many paths that have led me to this sad ending," she wrote.
That ending involved not just the Dinns. It cast a lasting chill over the entire parish.
Posted: Sunday, August 31, 2014
Wesley Young/Winston-Salem Journal
The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Charlotte will preside at a memorial Mass in Kernersville for the Rev. Joseph Kelleher, a priest who served in the Triad for a number of years and who was accused of child sex abuse in 2010 for an alleged incident more than 30 years earlier in Albemarle.
Bishop Peter Jugis will lead the service at Holy Cross Catholic Church on Wednesday morning.
Kelleher, 86, died in High Point on Aug. 20, weeks after a criminal charge against him was dismissed because of his poor health.
“The bishop always celebrates memorial Masses for priests,” David Hains, the director of communication for the diocese, said on Saturday. “Father Kelleher is a lifelong Catholic. This is the type of Mass that would be celebrated for the life of any Catholic.”
The Charlotte leader of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), David Fortwengler, called the bishop’s decision “painful.”
“I’m really disappointed and sad for the victims of Father Kelleher,” Fortwengler said. “I’m not shocked. I’m not surprised, but I sure wish they cared about the victims as much as they do about the offending priests. I certainly do not rejoice in his death. But they could certainly do it more low key without the bishop presiding.”
By Simon Danczuk 31 Aug 2014
The ball bounces high in the shadows off the gable end and a handful of kids chase it down the road. Under the stairway to the flats nearby, half a dozen teenage girls lie sprawled on the concrete, sheltering from the slate-grey drizzle. They watch the ball ping back up the street, strung out in the fading evening light, as the acrid smell of cannabis hangs overhead. Further down the road, a group of lads in hoodies mill around the off-licence asking passers-by if they can buy a few cans of strong lager for them.
It’s a scene you’ll find in many parts of northern England and one I’m all too familiar with. Even now, when I see the boredom and despair in kids’ eyes out on the streets, the same feeling comes back to me. Growing up in a single-parent family near Burnley, drinking at 14 and hanging around off-licences asking grown-ups to buy me a drink, just as I see in Rochdale now, I knew about the vulnerability of kids roaming the streets with nothing to do. There were dangers then, but now it’s worse. For gangs of men looking to groom kids to be violently abused, they’re easy prey.
Scenes like this are not far from Rochdale Council’s new £50 million offices. But when I spoke to child-protection bosses in the wake of Rochdale’s grooming scandal a few years ago, where young girls had been continually raped by gangs of men, I may as well have been in a foreign country. Despite talking about a reality that existed a few minutes’ drive from their offices, there was no awareness of what life was like for these kids. No connection, no empathy. The head of the Rochdale Safeguarding Children Board told me they needed to take “a deeper dive into the theory” to understand the problem. The director of children’s services implied to me that young girls who were being raped were “making lifestyle choices”. She later admitted to an incredulous home affairs select committee that she’d never met any of the victims.
The impression I got was that they viewed these girls as an astronomer would look through a telescope at planets. Their lives were so far from the girls’ experiences that to them, they might as well have been a remote dot.
The Rochdale grooming scandal would have never come to light had it not been for the fantastic health care workers who helped these young girls. They listened, they understood and they cared. They were steeped in working-class community values, not remote theory. One of them in particular tried desperately hard to get the police and social services to listen to the girls and take action, but to no avail.
Roger E. Olson
August 30, 2014 by Roger E. Olson
Some Thoughts about Evangelical Superstar Pastors and Evangelists and Why They Fall
In recent weeks and months another American evangelical superstar pastor (also author and popular speaker) has fallen off his pedestal—if not completely at least partially and with a loud noise. As always when this happens, his followers and fans are divided. Some support him almost unconditionally while some accuse him of spiritual abuse, abuse of power and various misdeeds. It has all gone viral. This time, fortunately, the national secular media are not paying attention. I assume that’s because there’s no sex scandal to feast on. (In my opinion America’s secular media exudes a rare combination of prurience and Puritanism.)
I’m not interested in delving into all the charges against the pastor (whom Christianity Today once described as “Pastor Provocateur”). I’m not close enough to the situation even to form an opinion other than to say a significant number of his former friends and colleagues in ministry (elders of his church) have departed and are going public with accusations and charges of misconduct (but not sexual). The situation is severe enough that the pastor in question is taking a leave of absence from the church and ministry he built up to mega-status.
Anyone who has been around in American evangelical life for fifty years (and probably less) can remember so many evangelical superstar pastors and evangelists who fell off their pedestals with a thunderous crash. Sometimes the thunder is only local (as in the case of a pastor I once worked with and knew very well); sometimes its echoes and shock waves spread out nationally and even internationally. But it always leaves behind disillusionment and confusion.
Our tendency is always to point our accusing fingers at the minister who fell. He (it’s almost always a he) let us down, betrayed us, humiliated us (for being his fans), besmirched the reputation of evangelicalism. That’s understandable.
However, my concern is that we evangelicals (and others) take a deeper look into the causes of this pattern. Why does this happen so often? Could we have met the enemy and discovered it’s us—as much as the persons who fell?
Here’s my diagnosis and prescription for this chronic evangelical problem.
I believe we tend to put too much trust in mere mortals once they attain a certain crucial level of evangelical ministry “stardom.” We want to believe there are men who rise above the temptations and sins the rest of us face and fall into. We want to believe in near, if not total, Christian perfection. So we gradually allow, even encourage, lack of accountability. “That person,” we think, “is so close to God he doesn’t need to be accountable to mere mortals like us.” Gradually these evangelical superheroes, with their inevitable feet of clay (that we try to ignore), fall—partly because they are mere mortals and power corrupts mere mortals and unaccountability is power. We set them up for failure.
August 30, 2014
The Post and Courier
Aug 31 2014
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic - A court in the Dominican Republic has taken the first steps toward possible sexual abuse charges against a former Vatican ambassador to the Caribbean country.
An investigative magistrate is examining allegations against Josef Wesolowski to determine if there is sufficient evidence to warrant criminal charges, the Santo Dominican prosecutor's office announced last week.
The announcement came a day after the Vatican said its former ambassador had lost his diplomatic immunity.
The Vatican recalled Wesolowski in August 2013 after allegations emerged he had sexually molested boys there.
Dominican officials say his presence is not required in the country for authorities to review an investigation of the allegations and decide whether formal charges are warranted.
One of the clear effects of Pope Francis’ strong management style has been an expanded Vatican media “management” effort that includes trying to cultivate more “papal apologists”, while also employing papal apologists to try to curtail Vatican critics.
As a longtime Vatican critic, I have recently experienced what appears to me to be an instance of this curtailment effort. I am being barred without explanation from making future comments on the National Catholic Reporter (NCR) website, after having made around 10,000 NCR comments, plus having written two NCR columns , over the last four and a half years.
Admittedly, as a Harvard Law trained retired Wall Street lawyer, I sometimes write with an “edge”. But the rape of thousands of innocent children by perverted priests protected by ruthless bishops makes a grandfather like me “edgy” sometimes.
This has been picked up by other websites, including Bilgrimage. A quick review of the comments to date to the current Bilgrimage column by theologian, Bill Lindsey, suggests that the NCR censorship efforts may be backfiring. Catholics are waking up! Amen!!
For what I am driving at, please see Bill’s column and the many new comments here:
In thinking about why Catholics are turning off to escalating Vatican spin efforts, the “elephant in the room” is, of course, always the continuing priest child abuse scandal. This is increasingly exacerbated by Pope Francis’ failure after almost a year and a half to address honestly and transparently holding bishops accountable for covering up, as well as for failing effectively to deal with, the continuing scandal.
Northern Ireland's Historical Abuse Inquiry is to hear evidence about the practice of sending children from homes in the North to institutions in Australia.
Documents examined by the Inquiry have revealed how in the decade up to 1956 the child migration scheme was in place and it has gathered testimony from over 60 people who were sent to Australia.
The Historical Abuse Inquiry was set up by Northern Ireland's power-sharing executive.
It is tasked with investigating what took place at residential institutions, run by the state and religious organisations in the 73 year period up to 1995.
By Ellen Scott
India's streak of making headlines for horrific acts of rape and sexual assault continues this week with the revelation that two young girls, aged seven and eight, were raped in a temple in South Delhi by a 70 year old priest.
The priest, Baba Vishvabandhu, allegedly molested the girls over the course of a week, taking advantage of Janmashtami day, when celebrations were taking place. The eight year old girl broke down and revealed what happened to her mother, after complaining of pain in her abdomen and difficulty passing urine.
The girls said that the man molested them each time they had gone to the temple in the past week. He offered money and food to buy their silence, and threatened them to ensure they told no-one about what he had done.
When the news broke, residents of the area dragged the priest out of the temple and beat him before going to the police. He has been arrested, but there are not yet any details of the length of his sentence.
New York Daily News
BY CAROL KURUVILLA
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Thursday, August 28, 2014
A Florida youth pastor has been busted for reportedly victimizing the same age group he set out to serve.
Lucas Dillon Brandenburg, 30, was arrested Thursday on 10 counts of possession of child pornography, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed in a statement.
Cops were tipped off to the Titusville pastor's deranged preferences in July after identifying a computer at his home that was reportedly sharing images of young girls involved in sexual activity with men and boys. Some of the victims were as young as 9 years old.
In his arrest affidavit, Brandenburg "stated he has been viewing child pornography for over 10 years," WESH.com reports.