A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse.
Click on the headline to read the full story.
September 24, 2016
By Andrew J. Nelson / World-Herald staff writer
A charge of soliciting prostitution has been dropped against a southwest Iowa priest after the Catholic church decided to return him to his home country of Ghana, according to a prosecutor and court documents.
Dominic Yamoah, now 41, was arrested in Fremont County on July 9; authorities accused him of offering to purchase the services of a confidential informant for a sex act.
The Diocese of Des Moines said in a statement after the arrest that Yamoah “very sincerely regrets his actions” and that it had suspended him from public ministry, according to The Associated Press. Yamoah, who was released on bail, had been a pastor of churches in Clarinda, Bedford and Villisca.
There is a school in the inner Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick that exclusively serves a small and secretive Jewish sect, the ultra-Orthodox Adass Israel community, comprising about 200 families. It has been the scene of shocking sexual abuse, and is at the centre of an ongoing scandal that allegedly involves community members helping to finance the life of the exiled perpetrator, the predatory former principal Malka Leifer, who was protected by school leaders after her crimes were discovered.
The Adass Israel School looks like a prison. Upon its looming, grim walls perch security cameras. Its gates are locked. Security guards prowl throughout the day. These unusual measures are presumably to protect the children. But the enemy has been within.
There is no suggestion of which I am aware that current students are being abused. But the available evidence indicates the school leaders have failed to adequately grasp their responsibility to ensure any current or former members of the school community can seek the most appropriate help should they have been involved in the Leifer atrocity or any similar occurrence.
The entire situation is a tragedy and a travesty. Back in 2008, Leifer, a mother of eight, was found to have abused girls under her charge. Instead of denouncing her to the police, school leaders immediately arranged a late-night flight and she escaped to Israel, where she remained at large for several years. The tickets were funded by members of the Adass community.
Supreme Court judge Jack Rush has indicated in a judgement that some of the school and community leaders responsible for such a perversion of justice may well have broken the law, and police are reportedly belatedly investigating. What sort of message does protecting a child-sex criminal send to the obedient and reserved members of the Adass community, who undoubtedly cherish their children as much as any other people? When he awarded one of Leifer's victims $1.2 million compensation last year, Justice Rush lambasted then and current Adass Israel school board president Yitzhak Benedikt and board member Mark Ernst for organising the 1.20am flight – hours after her sacking – in full knowledge of the hideous, criminal abuse of trust and power she had allegedly committed.
Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse - FACSA
Advocates, survivors and members of the General Assembly will stand with state Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, to call on House leadership to run H.B. 1947 with the retroactive component that overwhelmingly passed the House 180-15 in April.
The news conference will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27 in the Main Capitol Rotunda. The bill would substantially revise the statute of limitations on child sex crimes and abuse.
Special guest speakers at the news conference will include:
*Jennifer Storm – state victim advocate;
* Josh Shapiro – chairman, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD);
* Delilah Rumburg – chief executive officer, Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR);
* Charles Gallagher – senior prosecutor for the 2003 and 2005 Philadelphia Archdiocese grand juries under former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham; and
* Shaun Dougherty – Altoona/Johnstown clergy abuse survivor, advocate.
Rozzi will address the recent news of the investigation of the remaining six Roman Catholic dioceses within the commonwealth and the statements by state Attorney General Bruce Beemer concerning H.B. 1947. Additionally, Rozzi intends to discuss the need for the state Senate to allow the courts to decide the constitutional concerns of the bill and pass the reinstated measure to the governor before the end of the legislative session.
SABRINA BEDFORD, THE RECORDER AND TIMES
“Mr. Rancourt, you no longer own me.”
That statement, from a woman in a case of sexual exploitation and sexual assault, was part of a powerful victim impact statement delivered Friday at the Brockville courthouse that left many in the courtroom in tears.
“I was outsmarted and manipulated by a person I trusted,” said the victim of years abuse at the hands of her high school teacher, adding she has been diagnosed with depression, anxiety and PTSD in the aftermath of the abuse.
“I can’t walk down the street. I live each and every day in fear of being hit, of being yelled at, of being used as a sexual tool.”
Dave Rancourt, a former teacher at St. Mary Catholic High School, was found guilty on one count of sexual exploitation and one count of sexual assault in July.
By Craig McCarthy | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
HACKENSACK — A former pastor at a Wyckoff church has been sentenced to six years in prison for sexually assaulting teenage girls in a youth group, NorthJersey.com reports.
David Hayman, 38, was arrested in March of last year. Hayman was charged with two counts of sexual assault and five counts of child endangerment.
Authorities said Hayman exchanged videos with two 16-year-old girls in the youth group and texted explicit messages to two others, one who was 15-years-old and another who was 16 at the time.
"All of the victims were members of a church youth group, of which Hayman was the pastor and for whom he had direct supervisory responsibility," Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli said in a statement last year.
By Kerri O'Brien
Published: September 23, 2016
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Convicted sex offender and former Richmond megachurch Pastor Geronimo Aguilar has officially filed his appeal in Texas. You’ll remember, last year the former “Roc Church” pastor was convicted on seven counts of sexual assault on a minor. It happened during the 1990’s while he was a youth pastor in Texas.
In the brief, Aguilar and his legal team are asking a Texas appeals court to reverse his conviction and grant him a new trial. One of the grounds for appeal argues the Texas trial court abused its discretion in admitting extensive evidence of Pastor Aguilar’s extramarital affairs here in Virginia.
READ: Pastor G files appeal
Aguilar’s attorneys argue, “what started out as an allegation in Texas 19 years ago evolved into a Virginia circus.” The brief goes on to say the “pastor’s circus of a trial was anything but fair.”
Legal experts say the inclusion of those adult affairs could give an appellate judge some pause to consider the case.”
“Generally speaking, if it is more prejudicial than probative that is going to hurt the witness worse than any reason for admitting it’s not admissible,” Chesterfield County attorney Bill Shields told 8News Investigative Reporter Kerri O’Brien. “In Virginia the admission of that evidence would have been problematic.”
By Daniel Hubbard (Patch Staff) - September 24, 2016
A former church youth pastor was sentenced to six years in prison Friday for sexually-explicit charges involving teenage girls, NorthJersey.com reported.
David Hayman, 38, of Oradell, was charged with engaging in inappropriate sexual activity and exchanging sexual explicit videos on several occasions with two 16-year-old girls, then-Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli said when Hayman was arrested in March 2015.
Hayman, a married father of three, had inappropriate relationships with at least five girls at Cornerstone Christian Church in Wyckoff, the report said. Hayman worked at the church for about 10 years.
One victim said in court that knowing Hayman, "has been the most negative experience of my life," according to the report.
24 Sep 2016
THE Royal Commission hearings in Newcastle earlier this month heard repeated evidence of the physical and sexual abuse that characterised life for many Marist Brothers pupils at Hamilton and Maitland.
Counsel assisting the commission, Stephen Free, said 32 people had made claims of sexual abuse against one or more Marist brother from schools in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, including nine people whose claims were against more than one individual.
Francis Cable, known as Brother Romuald, had been the subject of 12 claims, nine of which related to incidents at Marist Brothers Hamilton and Maitland. Cable went to trial in 2015. He is serving a 16-year jail term, with eight years minimum non-parole, over offences relating to 19 complainants.
By PWhitelam_LE | Posted: September 24, 2016
Allegations of child sexual abuse at a Lincoln school are being investigated by Lincolnshire Police.
The force has confirmed that it is looking into claims surrounding the Cathedral School in Lincoln as part of an investigation called Operation Redstone.
The school, which educated the minster's choristers, was amalgamated with others in 1996 to become Lincoln Minster School.
Detectives launched Operation Redstone after "a number of concerns" were referred to Lincolnshire Police in 2015 following a review of past safeguarding cases by the Diocese of Lincoln dating back to the 1958.
Detective Superintendent Rick Hatton, who is leading the enquiry team, said: "As there are individual investigations under the umbrella of this operation it would not be appropriate to give specific details, but suffice to say that all appropriate care and support is being given to past victims by both the police and the Diocese.
"Anyone who has any information relating to such cases is urged to contact Lincolnshire Police or the Diocese of Lincoln and the matter will be investigated."
AS the Royal Commission hearings into events at the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese of the Catholic Church drew to a close, I found myself wondering about the sanctity of priests, and what a devout, doctrinal Catholic would think about the sins of their priests, from a theological point of view.
Despite the march of science, some practising Christians still adhere to a literalist reading of the Bible, meaning that they take both the Old and New Testaments as the literal word of the one God. They believe in Heaven and in Hell, and accept that God created the world in seven days, shortly before he put Adam in Eden and fashioned Eve from one of his ribs.
Even if most Catholics now recognise the mythical aspects of Christianity, many of the church’s 1.2 billion adherents still place great store in the rituals and symbols of the church despite the reprehensible behaviour of many of its priests and brothers.
As an example, one of the aged Marist Brothers whose conduct was examined at the Newcastle royal commission hearing – Darcy John O’Sullivan, known as Brother Dominic – was jailed on Friday for crimes he committed in the 1970s and early 1980s.
The chairman of the commission, Justice Peter McClellan, said more than once during the hearings that the inquiry was very interested in the Catholic use of the confessional, which critics say was relied on by the church to absolve the sins of its priests while keeping the church’s problems away from public scrutiny.
Friday 23 September 2016
The furrows deepened on the brow of Father Brian Lucas. His bouncy confidence evaporated in the witness box. He sweated under questioning. He confessed over and over again to be puzzled by his own actions. Puzzled by the actions of others. So puzzled. But he gave no ground.
On one reading of this tangled story, Lucas could face possible criminal charges for failing to alert the police 24 years ago to the apparently frank confessions of a paedophile priest. He doesn’t see it that way.
Lucas put everything he had this week into convincing the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse that his handling of the case of Father John Farrell – who was abusing children from the moment he was ordained in 1981 – was absolutely proper.
Lucas matters. Though he has no fancy title and doesn’t wear lace, this lawyer priest has been a fixer of great skill within the Catholic church for decades. He has been one of the hard men in the church bureaucracy: for years the spokesman of the archdiocese of Sydney and then secretary to the Bishops’ Conference.
September 23, 2016
By Sabra Stafford
Crime Desk email@example.com 209-634-9141, ext. 2002
The Diocese of Stockton has filed a reorganization plan with the bankruptcy court that, if approved, will allocate $15 million to the more than two dozen victims of sexual abuse that have come forward since 2014.
The Roman Catholic Bishop of Stockton filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2014 after a series of costly sexual abuse settlements left them financially drained. Once the Diocese made the decision to file for bankruptcy they began a notification process that over the course of three months led to 34 new claims of sexual abuse. The new claims were filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court and the proposed plan will provide $15 million to 27 survivors of sexual abuse as well as non-monetary commitments such as therapy and counseling.
“The plan demonstrates the Diocese of Stockton’s continued commitment to providing for survivors of sexual abuse in a fair, just and equitable manner from its available resources,” the Diocese said in a released statement.
Locally, the Diocese oversees All Saints University Parish, Sacred Heart Church and Our Lady of the Assumption of the Portuguese Church, all in Turlock, and St. Anthony’s Church in Hughson. It also includes Sacred Heart’s Turlock schools. However, the bankruptcy filing will have no impact on the parishes, schools and other ministries.
Guam Daily Post
John O'Connor | Post News Staff
Bill 326-33 has been signed into law by Gov. Eddie Calvo, opening the door for civil action against perpetrators of child sex abuse. The governor, in a lengthy letter, detailed his reasoning for signing the bill.
"My conscience has been conflicted for the last two weeks. Let me be clear that I am not judging any single person or institution. I am deciding whether a group of people has been denied justice and should therefore be entitled to seek it with judgment by due process of law," the governor stated.
Bill 326 lifts the statute of limitations for civil cases involving child sex abuse. The measure was authored by Sen. Frank Blas Jr. and was passed by 13 senators during a legislative session in September. Sens. Tina Muña-Barnes and Tom Ada were absent during the vote.
The bill developed amid accusations of sexual molestation by Archbishop Anthony Apuron. Three former altar boys – Walter Denton, Roy Quintanilla and Roland Sondia – and Doris Concepcion, the mother of the late Joseph “Sonny” Quinata, have all accused Apuron of abuse. Other individuals have also come forward either as alleged victims of abuse by clergy or as witness to such abuse.
By Michelle Brown
The New South Wales Government has been accused of holding up a national $4.8 billion redress scheme for children who suffered abuse in institutions.
The scheme was recommended by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in August last year.
It recommended a national scheme be set up under the auspices of the Commonwealth Government, which would provide the support and back up.
Institutional and other parties would make their contributions to a board of trustees that would run the scheme.
Wayne Chamley, from victims advocacy group Broken Rites, said all the major churches except for the Salvation Army had agreed to contribute to the scheme as required.
"There's no argument among the major religions, Anglicans, Presbyterians, Catholics, they will contribute whatever is required," he said.
Frances Mulraney @FrancesMulraney September 21, 2016
US Catholics who have left the church don’t believe they could be tempted to return, according to a survey by Pew Research Center, carried out in 2015, examining American Catholics and family life.
In the lead up to Pope Francis’ US visit at the end of September 2015, the survey also revealed that although the number of practicing Catholics in the US may be dropping, the number of people affiliated in some way with the Church is in fact rising, be it through their parents, a spouse or some other cultural connection.
For a long time, a quarter of the US population was made up of Catholics but the new Pew survey shows that this dropped to 20.8 per cent in 2014 from 23.9 per cent in 2007.
Many Americans brought up as Catholics are turning their backs on the faith for a number of reasons. Seventy-seven per cent of those who have left say they could never envision returning to the Church and gave no clear indication that any change to Church teachings would make them reconsider this.
The survey showed that as many as half those who were raised as Catholics left at some point in their lives, although 11 per cent did return.
@agrimm34 | email
Octavio Munoz, a 40-year-old Chicago priest accused of possessing child pornography, has posted $50,000 bail and is free on electronic monitoring, authorities said Friday.
A family member put up the money–$5,000–to secure Munoz’s release, a Cook County Jail spokesman said Friday.
Munoz’s had only $2,000 in savings, his lawyer said at a bond hearing Wednesday.
Munoz is charged with a single felony count, after investigators hired by the Archdiocese of Chicago found a video of pre-pubescent boys engaging in sex acts on a computer that belonged to the priest, prosecutors said.
Police still are sorting through hundreds of DVDs and VHS tapes seized in a search of Munoz’s home, Assistant State’s Attorney Guy Lisuzzo said Wednesday. Investigators also found child-sized underwear and magazines depicting young boys.
Munoz was director of Casa Jesus, 750 N. Wabash, an archdiocese program that recruited Spanish-speaking candidates for the priesthood locally and internationally. Munoz left that post in July to become pastor of St. Pancratius,, 4025 S. Sacramento in the Brighton Park neighborhood.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Friday, Sept. 23, 2016
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, 314 645 5915 home, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Some Dallas churches are patting themselves on the back for a purported child abuse prevention program in which they’re involved. Such self-congratulations is self-serving and dangerous.
We endorse virtually any effort to increase public awareness and understanding of abuse and prevention. But we worry that many church officials engage in programs like this for their public relations value. And we worry that these programs can inadvertently add to an already pervasive and unhealthy sense of complacency in churches.
And we must remember that it’s rarely a lack of information that’s problematic in these cases. It’s a lack of courage and compassion. Church officials usually know the right thing to do about suspicions or knowledge of child sex crimes. But all too often, they’re too timid to call 911, fearing controversy, decreased membership and declining donations.
So while education can be and usually is beneficial, it’s not a panacea. Secular authorities must aggressively investigate, prosecute and punish church officials who know of or suspect child sex crimes and cover ups.
BY ALLISON PRIES
STAFF WRITER | THE RECORD
A former youth pastor at a Wyckoff church was sentenced to six years in prison on Friday for crimes against teenage girls that ranged from sexually explicit text messages to intercourse.
David Hayman, 38, a married father of three, appeared before Judge Margaret Foti in Superior Court in Hackensack. Hanging his head, he listened as three victims spoke of the damage they suffered after becoming his “daughters,” as Hayman had described them.
“What could be safer than a youth group?” Assistant Prosecutor Demetra Maurice said. “But it wasn’t.”
Related: Wyckoff youth pastor charged with sex assault
Hayman had inappropriate relationships with at least five girls at Cornerstone Christian Church.
During the past 15 years almost no public figure in Australia has been subjected to the amount of abuse, vilification and downright hate as Cardinal George Pell. This has ranged from smears about lack of action on sexual abuse by clergy to vague innuendo about his own behaviour and flimsy allegations about impropriety while play-fighting in a pool and changing in the dressing sheds, which, frankly, verge on the ridiculous. Ask anyone what they think about the cardinal and you will get responses on a spectrum from villain to hero.
I had lunch with Pell in his apartment in Rome in July. It was not the first time I had met him, but it was the first time I had a prolonged conversation with him.
He lives in a quiet block comfortably furnished in clerical style and the lunch was prepared and served by a sharp young American nun who, much to everyone’s astonishment, had attended the West Point military academy.
Conversation moved from the cardinal’s work at the Vatican to the scandals destroying his character in Australia. Although he seemed pessimistic about his financial reforms, he was in a very relaxed mood and — oddly, considering what is happening here — much more generally good-humoured than I had expected. Many people close to Pell are confident that the latest accusations being investigated by Victoria Police, arising from complaints about Pell’s time in Ballarat, Torquay and Melbourne, will simply fade away.
Pell is not a man to be destroyed easily. Time and again, from the beginning of his archbishopric in Sydney, enemies of the church have focused on the cardinal as the personification of wrongdoing — as in David Marr’s Quarterly Essay The Prince, a simplistic way of trying to further destabilise and disenfranchise the confused laity, most of whom don’t identify as reactionaries or conservatives.
Salt Lake Tribune
By KIMBERLY WINSTON Religion News Service
It's bad news for organized religion: A majority of the religiously unaffiliated — the so-called "nones" — say they fell away from faith not because of any negative experience, but because they "stopped believing," usually before age 30.
Gloomier still for religion is this: Nones make up 25 percent of the American population, making them the single largest "faith group" in the U.S., ahead of Catholics (21 percent) and white evangelicals (16 percent).
And only a fraction — 7 percent — say they are looking for a religion to belong to at all.
Those are among the more salient findings of a new study of the religiously unaffiliated conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute.
The study challenges the assumption that the unaffiliated are leaving religion because they are offended by religious institutions' treatment of gay and lesbian people or clergy sex abuse scandals, said Daniel Cox, PRRI's research director.
"Those things matter," he said, "but they are dwarfed by this central idea that people no longer believe in religious teachings."
Casa Grande Dispatch
Staff and Wire Reports
HAGATNA, Guam — Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo said Friday he signed a bill that would lift the statute of limitations on child sex abuse charges for civil cases after allegations were made earlier this year by a Casa Grande man and three others that they were abused as children by the local archbishop.
Catholic leaders say the move could bankrupt the church in the largely Catholic U.S. territory.
The bill, which does not apply to criminal prosecutions, was approved by the Legislature after abuse allegations surfaced against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.
Current Casa Grande resident Walter Denton publicly revealed he was molested as a child by Apuron when the archbishop was a Catholic priest in Guam. The 52-year-old Denton told the Casa Grande Dispatch he attempted to report the incident almost 40 years ago, but nothing was done about it.
Denton held a press conference June 7 in Guam where he alleged he had been the victim of sexual abuse while serving as an altar boy at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, located in the village of Agat. He accused Apuron of raping him as a 13-year-old during a sleepover.
September 23, 2016
A former Bloomington resident and Prior Lake youth pastor has been charged after he admitted to having a sexual relationship with a girl who was 16 years old at the time.
According to the criminal complaint, the girl told her priest about her relationship with 23-year-old Mitchell Geoffrey Bolkcom, who now lives in Grand Forks, North Dakota. The relationship was reported to police Tuesday, Sept. 13.
In an interview, the girl told police she met Bolkcom at a church retreat in late 2015. The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis said in a statement that Bolkcom was an employee and volunteer at the Church of Saint Michael in Prior Lake at the time.
The girl told police she and Bolkcom started to meet up to talk about her depression. At first, they met at coffee shops, but she said they eventually started going to Bolkcom’s apartment in Bloomington, according to the criminal complaint.
A man from Denbighshire who was accused of harassing a Catholic priest who he claimed abused him will not face trial.
Mark Murray from St Asaph will instead have to pay 1,700 euros - nearly £1,500 - in legal fees.
He went to Italy last year to face Father Romano Nardo, who taught him in Yorkshire in the late 1960s and told him the impact he had on his life.
The encounter was filmed by Italian newspaper La Repubblica and posted online.
In the film, the priest can be seen sinking to his knees and begging forgiveness.
Mr Murray was summoned to court in Verona earlier this year over the encounter and a hearing took place last week in his absence.
The judge found Mr Murray had not persecuted Father Nardo and his behaviour was not considered criminal - the case was dropped but Mr Murray will have to pay legal fees.
The Worthy Adversary
September 23, 2016 Joelle Casteix
Today, Guam Governor Eddie Calvo “signed a bill that allows victims of child sexual abuse to sue their abusers as well as anyone who helped them and the institutions with which they are affiliated.”
I am overjoyed for Guam’s victims of sexual abuse and Catholics as a whole. They have fought long and hard for accountability. Now, they are going to be able to use the courts to get it.
I predict that the local church and Rome are going to throw tons of money into the legal fight against these cases. Fortunately, the recent civil windows in Hawaii, Minnesota, Delaware, and California have provided victims and their attorneys with great knowledge, expertise, and insight.
We will learn a lot about what people knew on Guam and when they knew it. A lot of accused predators are going to be exposed—many still working in churches. It won’t be pretty, but victims and local Catholics will come out stronger.
Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., Sept. 17, 2016
Facility will be donated to Sisters of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joseph
By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
GALLUP – In further fallout from the Diocese of Gallup’s bankruptcy case, diocesan officials announced this week they have sold the diocese’s chancery building in Gallup.
“There are several reasons for this move, all of them positive,” Bishop James S. Wall stated in a letter to local Catholics released Wednesday. “The first reason is that the sale of the current chancery offices will allow us to make a substantial contribution to our Chapter 11 payment plan, which was set in place to ensure that survivors of abuse receive just compensation.”
The chancery building, located at 711 S. Puerco Drive, has long been a religious landmark in Gallup’s downtown residential neighborhood. It was previously used by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before being sold to the Gallup Diocese.
According to the bishop, the chancery was purchased earlier this month by Dr. and Mrs. Raymond Ponce, of California, who “will be gifting” the property to Mother Magda Garcia and her Sisters of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joseph “as a permanent place to live and work.” The sisters have long operated a ministry in Gallup’s north side neighborhood, near East Wilson Avenue and Black Diamond Canyon Drive. Suzanne Hammons, a spokeswoman for the diocese, said the chancery building’s appraised value was $475,000, which “is around what it sold for” to Ponce.
The diocese will move its chancery offices to the second floor of the Catholic Indian Center, located at 503 W. Historic Highway 66. That move is expected to be completed by the end of October, the bishop said. Two diocesan nonprofit organizations, Catholic Charities of Gallup and the Catholic Peoples Foundation, will continue to use their current office space in the Catholic Indian Center.
Parking is limited in the center’s parking lot and along Historic Highway 66. Neither the bishop’s letter nor a follow-up response by Hammons addressed the move’s impact on the parking issue.
North side presence
In a telephone interview Friday, Garcia said she did not know when the sisters in her religious order would be moving into the chancery property. Garcia said she was not involved in the meetings between Ponce and diocesan officials.
Garcia said she met Ponce more than 50 years ago in California, and she cited his ongoing kindness in supporting her ministry.
Garcia was asked if she will miss having a presence on the north side.
“Of course,” she said. “I never wanted to move.”
Garcia explained, however, that she and her sisters had no choice but to move because of the poor condition of their current location. Garcia said December will mark the 40th anniversary of her sisters’ ministry on the north side of Gallup.
The Sisters of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Joseph are known for their outreach to the local Spanish-speaking community, their service to St. Francis Parish and elementary school, their assistance to immigrants, and the operation of Casa Reina, a chapel of perpetual adoration.
Garcia said the sisters will move Casa Reina to the new south side location. They will also continue their ministry to immigrant families in Gallup.
“I’ll keep doing that as long as I live,” she said.
Garcia said she did not know what would eventually be done with the north side property because it belongs to the Diocese of Gallup. She also said she wasn’t sure what would be done with a house on Green Street, located across the street from Sacred Heart Cathedral, which Ponce purchased for her sisters several years ago.
In January 2015, the Diocese of Gallup requested permission of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court to get an appraisal of the chancery property, along with a request to appraise the Sacred Heart Retreat Center, Sacred Heart School (formerly Gallup Catholic School), and disputed property at St. Bonaventure Indian Mission and School in Thoreau.
According to court documents, the diocese obtained a loan for approximately $2.3 million from the Catholic Order of Foresters, which was secured by the retreat center and school property. St. Bonaventure contributed $550,000 to the diocese’s plan of reorganization to settle its property ownership dispute with the diocese.
The sale of the chancery completes the diocese’s efforts to raise funds from this set of appraised property.
Hammons was asked if the diocese or Ponce would be doing renovations to the aging chancery before Garcia’s religious order moved into the building.
“While we’ve been here we’ve done some work on things like the air conditioning and heating, so those things plus others, like windows, are in operational order,” Hammons stated in an email. “I believe Dr. Ponce plans to do some work on the roof, and other basic remodeling to turn it from a building with offices into one more suited to a convent.”
Guam Daily Post
Gov. Eddie Calvo has signed Bill 326-33 into law, which now means the statute of limitations has been removed for sex abuse crimes, and victims can now take legal action against their assailants.
Download Gov. Calvo's letter to the people of Guam.
[Relatives and neighbors of a child allegedly sexually abused by a pastor have organized a march in protest against the pastor in in front of the religious school where the child was abused.]
Familiares y vecinos del menor de 8 años que aparentemente fue víctima de abuso sexual por parte de un pastor que ejercía la docencia en la Escuela Emanuel, organizan una marcha en repudio a la pedofilia que se llevará a cabo frente a la institución educativa donde aparentemente el niño fue manoseado.
A las 18:00 horas iniciará la manifestación contra la pedofilia que se llevará a cabo frente a la Escuela Emanuel de San Antonio, donde se registró el abuso sexual contra un menor de 8 años, que presuntamente fue perpetrado por el pastor Josías Cabral
September 22, 2016
APTN National News
A survivor from the notorious St. Anne’s Indian Residential School has asked the Law Society of Upper Canada to investigate the handling of his residential school case by lawyers from a firm based in northern Ontario, APTN National News has learned.
The survivor, known in court documents only as H-15019, filed the complaint sometime before May 20 against lawyers from Wallbridge, Wallbridge, a law firm with offices in Timmins, Ont., North Bay, Ont., Sudbury, Ont. and Liskeard, Ont. The firm is also looking to expand in Ottawa, according to its website.
The law society complaint against the lawyers was noted in court documents filed this August as part of a $15 million defamation lawsuit launched by James Wallbridge, Almeda Wallbridge and Wallbridge, Wallbridge against Fay Brunning, the Ottawa lawyer currently representing H-15019. The Wallbridge firm’s lawyers allege they were defamed by Brunning when she claimed they sat on pivotal police files that supported H-15019’s residential school compensation claim.
H-15019 is in the midst of a re-hearing of his case before the residential school settlement agreement created adjudication process known as the Independent Assessment Process (IAP). An IAP adjudicator initially rejected his claim. The IAP determines the level of compensation and whether it is deserved for claims of abuse suffered at the schools which existed for over a century.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2016
Male students accustomed to Brother Dominic's abuse would tighten their belts, barricade their desks and even meet before class to discuss how to avoid him reaching under their clothes.
"Bums to the wall, Dom's on the crawl" was a well-known catch phrase among students at one of his schools.
The 78-year-old Marist brother and former school teacher was on Friday jailed for at least three years after pleading guilty to a string of child sex offences involving 12 victims at NSW Catholic secondary schools between 1971 and 1983.
Sydney District Court judge Kate Traill stressed that she was required to sentence according to laws at the time, which were more lenient towards sex offenders.
JESSE FEITH, MONTREAL GAZETTE
The case against a member of the Congrégation de Ste-Croix who faces charges of sexually abusing a former student at Collège Notre-Dame will go to trial in November, it was decided on Thursday.
Olivain Leblanc, 74, faces charges of gross indecency and sexual touching of an ex-student between 1979 and 1981.
Following many delays, the congregation handed out $18-million in settlements in 2013 to more than 200 victims from three schools — Collège Notre-Dame, Collège Saint-Césaire and Notre-Dame-de-Pohénégamook. Leblanc is one of two members who were charged in criminal court the same year.
Sébastien Richard, a spokesperson for the victims, was irate with Thursday’s decision to postpone the case to November.
“Men suffer in silence for years. The day they decide to finally come forward often only comes after having lived wasted lives,” Richard said outside the courtroom.
23 September 2016 by Andy Ricketts
The Charity Commission says its inquiry found inadequacies in the procedures and practices at Bourne Christian Centre
The Charity Commission has criticised a Christian church in Bristol for management and safeguarding failures after its former youth pastor was convicted of sexual offences.
The regulator today published an inquiry report on the Bristol Community Church, which has since changed its name to Bourne Christian Centre. The regulator says there had been misconduct and mismanagement in the administration of the charity because failures in its safeguarding policies and practices had left beneficiaries vulnerable to undue risk.
In October 2011, it says, it was notified by a congregational member that allegations of sexual abuse had been made against the charity’s youth pastor, who is not named in the report.
The regulator opened a compliance case on the charity in the same month. This was escalated to a statutory inquiry in December 2011 after the initial responses from the charity raised serious concerns about the adequacy of its safeguarding policies.
Updated: Sep 23, 2016
By Krystal Paco
The highly-controversial legislation that's predicted to force the church into bankruptcy has been signed into public law by Governor Eddie Calvo. Bill 326 lifts the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases.
The bill was inspired by a petition circulated by the Silent No More Movement with a mission to bring justice to victims of child sex abuse. On Wednesday however, a petition circulated by the Archdiocese of Agana was submitted to the Governor's Office to veto the measure due to concerns over bankruptcy and potential closures of Catholic schools and other church services.
A statement from the Archdiocese of Agana states that they acknowledge the agony suffered by victims of child sex abuse by clergy and the responsibility the archdiocese has to bear. They are in the process of developing a dedicated fund to help persons who have been hurt.
The signing drew praise from outspoken critics of Archbishop Anthony Apuron. JungleWatch blogger Tim Rohr said it was the right thing to do, and that the next step is up to the archdiocese. He said if they are cooperative to the victims there will be an outpouring of support. If not, he asserted, the people will turn against them.
Former senator Bob Klitzkie said it was good news for the victims, and all those who are concerned for them. He says it shows that the governor cares.
Concerned Catholics of Guam spokesman David Sablan added, "This will bring closure to all the heartaches and pain survivors of child sex abuse have held on to over the past several years. It brings justice now for these survivors. God bless him."
Meanwhile, veto advocate former Guam attorney general Doug Moylan says he believes the law has constitutional flaws, including its retroactive provisions. Moylan says the Guam Legislature and the governor now have the right to request a declaratory judgment from the Supreme Court of Guam, and he hopes he exercises that right.
Pacific News Center
Written by Janela Carrera
The church announced that they will be setting up a special fund.
Guam - The Archdiocese of Agana released a statement today minutes after Governor Eddie Calvo signed bill 326 into law, announcing that they will set up a special fund "to help persons who have been gravely hurt" by clergy members.
"We acknowledge the agony suffered by victims of child sexual abuse by clergy and the responsibility the Archdiocese has to bear," the statement, signed by Apostolic Administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai.
He also thanked Governor Eddie Calvo and lawmakers "for their part in Bill 326-33."
"Once again, we apologize to and ask forgiveness from all victims of sexual abuse in our Archdiocese. We pledge to strengthen our response and care of victims and are working to ensure that all people, especially the most vulnerable, our children, are served in a welcoming, safe environment in our Church," Archbishop Hon concluded.
Pacific News Center
Written by Rebecca Elmore
The measure lifts the civil statute of limitations on child sexual abuse crimes.
Guam - Governor Eddie Calvo signed bill 326 into Public Law 33-187, opening the door for victims and survivors of child sex abuse to go after their perpetrators and the institutions that protected them through civil litigation.
You can read the governor's signing message below:
My Dear People of Guam,
Transmitted herewith to the elected representatives of your Legislature is the new law opening the doors of justice to those who suffered a terrible harm as children. I have signed it into law as P.L. 33-187.
I am a practicing but imperfect Catholic; a husband, father, grandfather, brother, and son; a Chamorro man, who believes in second chances, yet has no tolerance for those who prey on the most innocent and vulnerable, the children. Thanks to the trust of our people, I’m also the governor. And on days like this, when my different roles may not join in harmonious conviction, I am resolute about this decision. It comes after days of listening to very different opinions, hearing the cries, considering the consequences, separating one issue from another and then reconciling it all within my conscience. So, today, though I am pleased that our community has confronted what once was unthinkable, I am saddened that even a single injustice had to happen in order to make this law necessary. There are no winners. Justice is the only victory.
When matters of justice come about, our system of government has spared me from any duty to judge another human being. It is neither my role, nor my desire, to judge others. I will not second guess the assertions of those who have been victimized, nor will I deny the protestations of those accused. The law spares the governor from the duty of judging beyond one matter: whether there is a new threshold for justice, that will be determined by the judges.
Today is that day, when I am due and bound by duty to judge this matter. I now understand why some say leadership is a burden. My conscience has been conflicted for the last two weeks. Let me be clear that I am not judging any single person or institution. I am deciding whether a group of people has been denied justice and should therefore be entitled to seek it with judgment by due process of law.
Steve Limtiaco, Pacific Daily News (Guam) September 23, 2016
HAGATNA, Guam — Gov. Eddie Calvo on Friday signed a bill that allows victims of child sexual abuse to sue their abusers as well as anyone who helped them and the institutions with which they are affiliated.
The bill, by Sen. Frank Blas Jr., D-Barrigada, was introduced after several former Agat altar boys accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron of molesting or raping them in the 1970s. It retroactively lifts the statute of limitations on civil suits, and at least one Apuron accuser has said he plans to sue.
The Archdiocese of Agana opposed the bill and encouraged Calvo to veto it, arguing lawsuits against the church could financially cripple it and impact its ability to run Catholic schools and provide services.
In a letter accompanying the new public law, 33-187, Calvo said it opens the doors of justice to those who suffered a terrible harm as children.
Calvo said the bill has several legal and technical concerns — including whether it is even possible under the constitution to retroactively lift the statute of limitations.
“Despite these questions, today I will err on the side of the aggrieved,” he stated.
Melanie Blow September 22, 2016
Every year, New York newspapers cover child sexual abuse scandals, like the one unfolding with the Hudson Valley Council Boy Scouts. These headlines shock everyone, except subject matter and public policy experts like me. Every year, legislation to do something about the issue is introduced and often passed. And every year, more children are sexually abused.
Fixing mandated reporter laws, as state Sen. Sue Serino, R-Hyde Park, is trying to do, isn’t a bad idea, but it doesn’t fix the problem. Most children never disclose sexual abuse while they’re still children. Sexual abuse generally leaves few physical signs and nonspecific behavioral signs, so there aren’t a lot of red flags for alert mandated reporters. But the failure of anyone who hears a child disclose their sexual abuse, believes it, and does nothing is a heinous wrong. I cannot imagine what was going through the mind of anyone who believed former Dutchess County Legislator Michael Kelsey had sexually abused two boys but didn’t alert the authorities. But most likely the faint threat of arrest wouldn’t have stopped it.
The story of the Boy Scouts of America Hudson Valley Council is still unfolding, but since research shows offenders usually abuse child after child until they experience consequences, it is likely Michael Kelsey has other victims. The trauma these children suffer is so horrific and the manipulations of their abusers are so effective that it takes them an average of 21 years to disclose their abuse. And in New York state, survivors usually lose the right to press charges on their 23rd birthday. If a sex offender is convicted in criminal or civil court, it is a fairly simple matter to ensure that child-serving organizations, such as schools and scouts, don’t put them around kids. But according to experts, 90 percent of sex offenders never see a day behind bars. The best legislative remedy to this is the Omnibus Child Victims Act, a bill that would eliminate the Statute of Limitations for child sexual abuse.
September 22, 2016
CATHOLIC NEWS SERVICE
ROME - To say a bishop “smells like his sheep” is considered high praise today, and is one of the top characteristics Pope Francis says he wants in bishops and candidates for the position of guiding a diocese.
But like many of the other traits Pope Francis says he is looking for, there is no foolproof smell test and, in fact, a variety of sheep with varied scents are present in most dioceses.
Pope Francis’s instruction - almost a plea - to the world’s apostolic nuncios Sept. 17 to “cast the nets” wider when identifying potential new pastors for a diocese and his continuing discussion with his international Council of Cardinals about “the spiritual and pastoral profile necessary for a bishop today” make it clear that providing good shepherds for every diocese is a responsibility the pope takes seriously.
While the pope makes the final decision, the task of identifying, scrutinizing and proposing candidates to him is a burden shared by regional groups of bishops, the leadership of bishops’ conferences, the nuncios and either the Congregation for Bishops, the Congregation for Eastern Churches or the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
By Jenn Abelson GLOBE STAFF SEPTEMBER 22, 2016
Dozens of Phillips Exeter Academy alumni are urging abuse victims to boycott the prep school’s investigation into sexual misconduct, calling it a “trustee-controlled” review that so far has contacted few victims.
More than 40 alumni, including graduates who say they were sexually assaulted, criticized the five-month-old investigation for its slow pace and lack of transparency in a letter circulated Thursday. They demanded an inquiry similar to the one conducted at St. George’s School in Rhode Island, where victims and the school jointly retained a lawyer who released a public report.
Susannah Curtis, who started a Facebook group for Exeter survivors of sexual violence, said only one of the more than a dozen victims in the group has been contacted by Holland & Knight, a national law firm hired by Exeter in April to conduct the investigation.
“I’m not only concerned about the firm’s lack of urgency but also its ability to impartially investigate when it has been retained on Exeter’s behalf,” said Curtis, who recently reported for the first time that she was sexually assaulted by a male classmate in the fall of 1989.
Pacific Daily News
The legislation that aims to lift the civil statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases is now law, and we commend Gov. Eddie Calvo for signing the bill Friday. It was the right thing to do.
Sen. Frank Blas Jr. introduced Bill 326-33 a few months ago, after several people made public allegations of clergy sex abuse.
Catholics and other community members have been divided over the legislation. At issue is an amendment that allows individuals to sue institutions.
Accusers and other supporters of the bill have said abusers and their institutions should be held responsible. The Archdiocese of Agana has argued that lawsuits could push the local church to the brink of bankruptcy.
BRUNSWICK, Ga. - A bond hearing for Pastor Ken Adkins on charges of child molestation was postponed from Friday to next Tuesday when the judge who was to preside over the hearing recused himself due to a conflict of interest.
Adkins, 56, has been in the Glynn County Jail since last month on charges stem from alleged incidents in 2010 between Adkins and teenage boy who was a member of his church.
Adkins, pastor of the Greater Dimensions Christian Fellowship, has drawn fire in the past for his remarks about homosexuals.
A young man told the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that Adkins molested him when the boy was under the age of 16.
In court ealier this month, prosecutors showed two pictures of Adkins' private parts that were allegedly emailed from his phone to the boy. Adkins' lawyer said that since the defendant had multiple businesses, he could have had more than one phone and others could have had access to them. He also said the timing doesn't add up, as the pictures were sent in November 2014 to prove something that happened in 2010.
By Liam Migdail-Smith
As Pennsylvania's new top law officer sees it, giving childhood sexual abuse victims a chance to sue, regardless of when the abuse occurred, could encourage more victims to come forward.
Attorney General Bruce Beemer told the Reading Eagle on Thursday that he believes there's a solid case to be made that legislation to that effect would be constitutional. Advocates for child sex abuse victims have sought changes in state law to allow victims to file lawsuits even in cases where the statutes of limitation have expired.
Beemer said legal minds could disagree and the matter is unsettled, as state courts have not weighed in.
But he said, "I think it's important to law enforcement to be able to stand up for victims to be able to air their complaints and have a forum in which they can be heard."
Beemer's take counters that of former Solicitor General Bruce L. Castor Jr., who told a state Senate panel in June that allowing victims to file lawsuits when the deadline to do so has passed would violate the state Constitution.
BY GREG KOCHER
Lou Anna Red Corn was appointed Thursday by Gov. Matt Bevin as the commonwealth’s attorney for Fayette County.
“I am confident that Lou Anna will serve the citizens of Fayette County well as commonwealth’s attorney,” Bevin said in a news release. “She has long been an advocate for fair, firm prosecution of individuals who violate the law. Lou Anna is highly respected by prosecutors, defense attorneys, police and victim advocates alike.”
Red Corn will succeed Ray Larson as Fayette County’s chief prosecutor. Larson, 73, announced earlier this month that he is retiring. His last day will be Sept. 30. ...
In her career as a prosecutor, she has tried more than 225 felony cases, including 51 homicides. Some of the more notable cases include Shane Ragland for the sniper-style killing of University of Kentucky football player Trent Diguiro; Leonard Neinabor, a Catholic priest who sexually abused parish children over several decades; and Donald Southworth for the murder of his wife, Umi. Most recently, she prosecuted Mark Taylor for the kidnapping and murder of UK chef Alex Johnson.
By Almendra Carpizo The Stockton Record Updated
STOCKTON – The Diocese of Stockton on Tuesday announced a plan that could result in its exit out of bankruptcy more than two years after legal costs stemming from dozens of child sexual-abuse lawsuits depleted its funds.
What impact that would have on priest molestation victims in Calaveras County was not immediately clear. John C. Manley, an attorney who has represented some of the victims at St. Andrew’s Parish in San Andreas, did not immediately respond to a telephone message.
Both the Rev. Oliver O’Grady, who was convicted of molestation charges and featured in the noted documentary “See No Evil” and later the Rev. Michael Kelley served stints at St. Andrew’s Parish in San Andreas.
The Calaveras County District Attorney’s Office in 2011 filed criminal charges against Kelly. Kelly was accused of molesting a 10-year-old boy over a two-year period while serving at the church. In 2014, Kelly was indicted and a judge issued a warrant for his arrest. He is believed to be living in Ireland. However, the case was withdrawn this year because the victim died, a District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman said Thursday.
The Morning Call
In the past decade or so, I have walked away from my cradle faith, Catholicism, a handful of times. These departures were occasioned by reporting on the sexual abuse of children, which is a crime that happens everywhere but is especially grievous when committed by people entrusted with the care of souls.
I had no direct experience of the crushing dismay that comes with the arrest of a priest. But wading through the detailed horrors contained in grand jury reports was enough to drive me out of the fold, into other churches where there were no priests and the demands of faith were uncomplicated.
Among Baptists, for instance, one assented to the idea that the debt of sin had been paid by Christ on the cross, and that was that. Live well and look forward to the kingdom.
Presbyterians offered the terrifying, but somehow comforting, notion that the matter of salvation or damnation has been settled from eternity, and there's really nothing to be done about it. A good life might be a sign that God had found in your favor, but there were no guarantees.
I CAME home from work today to my seven-year-old daughter who was in inquisition mode. “How was your day today mum?”
“Was work good?”
“What did you do today mum?”
I struggled to find the words for an appropriate answer.
Mummy had spent the morning in court listening to horrific details of a paedophile priest’s long history of abuse during his sentencing hearing. I had spent the morning sitting alongside his victims as they eyeballed their perpetrator — a man who had terrorised their lives and thoughts for so many years. I stood with them as they openly wept, and at the same time cheered, as his long sentence was finally handed down.
I had then spent the afternoon talking with a man, the same age as my own dad, who quietly explained to me how as a 16-year-old boy in the Australian Navy he had been so happy and excited to commence his career in the Defence Force.
By Olivier Uyttebrouck / Journal Staff Writer
Thursday, September 22nd, 2016
Lawyers representing alleged victims of clerical sexual abuse told a judge last week that the Archdiocese of Santa Fe is liable for the actions of its priests because it provides them with “extraordinary power” over parishioners, comparable to that of police and corrections officers.
The legal theory, called “aided-in-agency,” is becoming more common in civil cases and gives attorneys a potent new tool in clerical abuse cases, attorneys in the case said.
Second Judicial District Judge Denise Barela Shepherd agreed and ruled Sept. 14 that a San Miguel County man who alleges he was raped by a Las Vegas priest in the late 1970s can use the aided-in-agency theory in his lawsuit against the archdiocese.
The judge also urged the archdiocese to appeal her ruling to an appellate court. Barela Shepherd said in the hearing that the issue needs the clarity that an appellate court can provide.
September 22, 2016
September 23, 2016 Associated Press
HAGATNA, Guam – Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo said he signed a bill Friday that would lift the statute of limitations on child sex abuse charges for civil cases, a move that Catholic leaders say could bankrupt the church in the largely Catholic U.S. territory.
The bill, which does not apply to criminal prosecutions, was approved by the Legislature after abuse allegations surfaced against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.
Church leaders say lifting the statute of limitations would subject the church to unlimited financial liability, forcing the closure of parish churches and schools on the island where more than three quarters of Guam's 162,000 residents are Roman Catholics.
Apuron, now 70, has been accused of molesting at least five altar boys in the 1960s and 70s. He has denied the allegations and hasn't been charged with any crime.
His lawyer hasn't returned repeated messages left by The Associated Press.
In response to the allegations, the Vatican appointed Archbishop Savio Hon as temporary apostolic administrator for Guam.
While in Rome discussing the matter, he sent a letter home urging parishioners to sign a petition against the bill. In the letter, which priests read out loud during Mass on Sunday, he promised a canonical trial for Apuron.
Archbishop Hon returns to Guam from Rome - YouTube
Updated: Sep 21, 2016
By Krystal Paco
Fresh off the plane, KUAM News got an exclusive interview with apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, who arrived at the Guam International Airport early Thursday morning. Hon was in Rome to attend a seminar for new bishops as well as give the Holy See a status report on the Archdiocese of Agana.
"I expressed the wish of the people here and the clergy here," Hon said upon arriving. "I think I mentioned already in my earlier message that for the best interest of the archdiocese that the Holy See declare sede vacante for the archdiocese."
Sede vacanta means "without a bishop".
In a previous statement from Hon, he says he was urging the Holy See to remove Apuron and appoint a successor. Now back on Guam, he also makes a final plea to Governor Eddie Calvo to veto Bill 326, the controversial legislation the church believes would force the church into bankruptcy and potentially lead to the closure of Catholic schools and other church community services.
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
Date: Sunday, September 18, 2016
Source: Tom Halden, Director of Communications
From Tim O'Malley, Director of the Office of Ministerial Standards and Safe Environment
The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis learned this weekend that Bloomington Police arrested Mitchell Bolkcom, a former employee and volunteer at the Church of Saint Michael in Prior Lake. He was charged in Hennepin County with criminal sexual conduct after an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. At the time of the alleged criminal sexual conduct, Bolkcom was an employee at Saint Michael. At the time of his arrest, Bolkcom was working for FOCUS – the Fellowship of Catholic University Students – at the Saint Thomas Aquinas Newman Center at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
The Archdiocese and the Church of Saint Michael are cooperating with law enforcement and we encourage anyone with information to contact police. Please keep all those who have been abused in your prayers.
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis
Date: Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Source: Tom Halden, Director of Communications
The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Rev. Joseph Thomas Forcelle and immediately reported it to law enforcement. The alleged sexual abuse is from the late 1970s and early 1980s when he was serving as a priest at Saint Mark Church in Saint Paul.
Yesterday, the Saint Paul Police Department advised that there would not be a criminal investigation and gave permission to the Archdiocese to take action, including making this disclosure. My office notified the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where Father Forcelle has been serving since 1984.
Any questions about Father Forcelle’s status as a priest should be directed to the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota at 605-334-9861.
Joseph Thomas Forcelle
Ordained: May 31, 1980, for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Father Forcelle’s Assignment history in the Archdiocese:
Associate priest, Saint Olaf, Minneapolis, 6/17/80-6/16/81
Associate pastor, Saint Mark, Saint Paul, 6/16/81-6/12/84
Director, Office of Youth Ministry, Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 6/12/84
Incardinated into the Diocese of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 2/8/88
If anyone has suffered any type of abuse, I encourage you to contact the police immediately.
Published September 22, 2016
A 23-year-old North Dakota man has been charged with one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, accused of having a sexual relationship with a minor he met through a church retreat.
Mitchell G. Bolkcom was living in Bloomington and working at St. Michael Catholic Church in Prior Lake when he met the victim, a 16-year-old Burnsville girl, in late 2015, according to a complaint filed in Hennepin County District Court.
Bolkcom and the girl met at an unspecified church retreat in late 2015 and exchanged phone numbers, according to the complaint. Bolkcom, who was working as the director of middle school and adult faith formation at St. Michael, according to his online resume, began meeting in January to discuss the girl’s depression. They originally met at coffee shops, but then began meeting at his Bloomington apartment. During their meetings at his apartment they engaged in a variety of physical activities, which included intercourse and oral sex, the complaint noted.
When Bolkcom and the girl met for a fourth time, she had expressed concern about meeting at his apartment again, and he responded by saying he was leaving for a new job in Florida and only had seven years to live due to a heart condition, according to the complaint. During the fourth meeting at his apartment, they had consensual intercourse at his apartment, the complaint noted.
Guam Daily Post
Neil Pang | Post News Staff
As the Friday deadline for the governor's action on Bill 326-33 draws close, proponents of the sex abuse legislation urged Gov. Eddie Calvo to sign the bill into law as a matter of moral necessity.
"Gov. Calvo, please sign Bill 326," said Roland Sondia in a press conference at the foot of the stairs leading up to the office of the governor in Adelup.
Sondia, one of the four individuals who first came forward with accusations of child sex abuse against Archbishop Anthony Apuron in June, asked the governor to sign the bill into law.
"Today I'm here to ask Gov. Calvo to do the right thing and sign Bill 326," Sondia said.
Sondia, along with Roy Quintanilla, Walter Denton and Doris Concepcion – representing her late son – alleged that Apuron had sexually abused them more than 40 years ago when they were altar boys at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Agat, where Apuron was pastor in the 1970s.
A former Chicago priest is facing new allegations from a man who says the convicted, defrocked priest abused him as a boy, according to court records.
The lawsuit, filed Friday in Cook County court, claims Norbert Maday sexually abused the Cook County man, identified only as John Doe, when he was a student at St. Bede the Venerable in Chicago, starting in 1979 when Doe was a 10-year-old altar boy.
The three-count suit accuses Maday of battery, alleging he “engaged in the intentional, non-consensual, harmful and offensive touching and sexual abuse of Plaintiff on multiple occasions from 1979 to 1981,” in Maday’s bedroom and car and in the church sacristy.
The man also accuses the Catholic Bishop of Chicago and the Archdiocese of Chicago of negligence and willful and wanton misconduct, including failing to properly investigate reports of inappropriate sexual behavior or abuse by priests including Maday.
The suit also faults the archdiocese and Catholic Bishop with failing to report Maday when they knew or should have known about his sexual misconduct, with allowing Maday to have unsupervised contact with young boys and with not warning Doe and his family about Maday, according to the lawsuit.
Pacific Daily News
Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News September 23, 2016
A committee of Catholic priests said a seminary in Yona may need to be closed for the good of the Archdiocese of Agana unless the seminary can clarify its purpose, seek formal accreditation to ensure the quality of its priest formation program, and ensure its financial independence.
Father Jeffrey San Nicolas, delegate to Apostolic Administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai, released the church report earlier this week after holding a press briefing about issues facing the Catholic church on Guam, including the Neocatechumenal Way’s alleged interference in local church matters.
A member of the board of directors of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary, which is run by the Neocatechumenal Way, said the report is biased.
“The way this committee arrived at their conclusion came from a biased perspective. They’re not interested in the Redemptoris Mater Seminary. They’re more interested in the closure of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary,” said Dr. Ricardo B. Eusebio, who has been a member of the Neocatechumenal Way on Guam for 19 years.
He said the seminary has produced 17 priests now serving the community.
Pacific Daily News
Haidee V Eugenio, Pacific Daily News September 23, 2016
Gov. Eddie Calvo is weighing the concerns of the Catholic church and the community as he decides what to do with a bill that would allow victims of child sexual abuse to sue their abusers, according to the governor's office.
Today is the governor’s last day to sign or veto Bill 326-33, or the bill lapses into law without his signature. Senators on Sept. 12 approved the bill 13-0. If it becomes law, it could make the Catholic church on Guam open to lawsuits by those who, in recent months, have publicly accused priests of raping or molesting them.
The Archdiocese of Agana has stated its opposition to the bill, arguing lawsuits could financially cripple the local church. It submitted thousands of signatures to the governor, urging him to veto the measure.
The governor’s director of communications Oyaol Ngirairikl said, “(Calvo is) still contemplating. He’s still going over some of the information that we’ve researched for him. He's looking at it very carefully because he wants to make the best decision. I think he’s firm in making a decision before the end of the day.”
At around noon Thursday, a press conference was held at the governor's complex by one of the alleged sexual abuse victims of Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron. The accuser once again for the governor to sign the bill.
“This is not about money or destroying the church. This is about the church taking responsibility. Actual responsibility. True and honest responsibility,” said Roland L. Sondia, who in June publicly accused Apuron of molesting him when Sondia was a 15-year-old altar boy in Agat in the 1970s. “No more talking. No more stalling and hiding and scaring and confusing the public and the Catholic faithful. No more excuses.”
The Worthy Adversary
September 22, 2016
There is a huge chance that the history of the Catholic Church on Guam will be rewritten … by Catholics. And it’s pretty awesome.
All it will take is a small change in the law that will give victims of sexual abuse the opportunity to use the civil courts to expose their abusers and the men and women who covered up the abuse.
From the Pacific Daily News:
Gov. Eddie Calvo is weighing the concerns of the Catholic church and the community as he decides what to do with a bill that would allow victims of child sexual abuse to sue their abusers, according to the governor’s office.
Today is the governor’s last day to sign or veto Bill 326-33, or the bill lapses into law without his signature. Senators on Sept. 12 approved the bill 13-0. If it becomes law, it could make the Catholic church on Guam open to lawsuits by those who, in recent months, have publicly accused priests of raping or molesting them.
In the past few days, Archbishop Savio Tai Fai Hon, the current apostolic administrator of the Catholic archdiocese, has collected signatures and spoken out against the bill. He says (like many of his brother bishops) that the bill will force them to close churches and end many needed services on the island.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
The real fear is that this bill, if made law, will expose DOZENS of sex-abusing clerics on Guam. Worse (for him) still, victims will have the opportunity to find out WHAT church officials knew and WHEN they knew it.
The Worthy Adversary
September 22, 2016
Back in December, I wrote about a US Senate bill that that would give states money if they enacted legislation that extended or eliminated unexpired statutes of limitation for child sexual abuse.
Now, the House of Representatives has put together a bipartisan bill that “harmonizes the statute of limitations for sex abuse victims and sex trafficking victim minors to 28, rather than the current age of 21.”
I was cranky when I posted about the Senate Bill, mostly because of the lack of retroactivity (meaning that statutes were not revived for victims who had proof of crimes, but whose time limit had already passed).
I shouldn’t have been.
In fact, these bills are great first steps in allowing victims more time to heal and come to terms with their abuse in order to report the crime.
Hopefully, they will also embolden state lawmakers to pass robust retroactive civil laws that get predators off the streets RIGHT NOW.
[A priest was convicted in France on Wednesday for raping a teenager and suspended from office, a new case which tarnishes the image of the church already shaken by sexual abuse cases.]
Un prêtre a été inculpé en France mercredi pour le viol d'un adolescent et suspendu de ses fonctions, une nouvelle affaire qui ternit l'image de l'Eglise déjà ébranlée par des affaires d'abus sexuels.
Le prêtre de 55 ans a été mis en examen pour des faits de viol anciens mais non prescrits, commis sur un jeune âgé d'une quinzaine d'années, ont indiqué une source proche du dossier et le diocèse de Belfort-Montbéliard.
[The Public Prosecution charged and issued an arrest warrant against a teaching pastor of San Antonio for allegedly molesting a student of 8 years. Incredibly, the school authorities seek to expel the victim.]
El Ministerio Público imputó y libró orden de captura contra un pastor docente de la ciudad de San Antonio por presuntamente haber abusado sexualmente de un alumno de 8 años. Increíblemente, las autoridades del colegio buscan expulsar a la víctima.
Se trata del pastor Josías Cabral, ya imputado por abuso sexual por la fiscala María José Pérez, quien dijo a ABC Cardinal que el relato de los padres, una denuncia de la Codeni de San Antonio y un informe clínico forense del Ministerio Público revelan fuertes indicios de que el niño efectivamente resultó víctima.
Tampa Bay Times
Colleen Wright, Times Staff Writer
Thursday, September 22, 2016
A Clearwater Central Catholic High alumnus is suing his alma mater and former wrestling coach, alleging he suffered two years of physical, emotional and sexual abuse at the school.
A complaint in Pinellas County Circuit Court details how Scott E. Stern, the school's wrestling coach from 2003 to 2014, was also assigned to monitor at-risk students with known or perceived drug or addiction problems without proper training or experience.
The plaintiff, identified as John Doe, was a member of the school's wrestling team in 2013 when, according to the lawsuit, Stern began using physical harm and threatening to tell others the student was using illegal drugs. The suit alleges that, for two years, Stern required and "taught" the student to assume sexual positions and simulate sexual activities "for Coach Stern to observe, critique and salaciously enjoy."
Jason Whittemore, an attorney representing the plaintiff, said the sensitive nature of the case contributed to a delay in filing the lawsuit. The plaintiff graduated from the school in 2014; the action was filed Sept. 9.
"It's a decision that had to be made on his end, and one he decided to move forward with," Whittemore said. The former student is seeking $15,000 for negligence on the part of the school and Stern, and intentional wrongful conduct by Stern.
The following testimonies on Bill 326-33 (as substituted by the committee) were given on July 28 and August 1 2016 at the Guam Legislature public hearing room. The Bill proposes to lift the statute of limitations on past sex crimes against minors. The substitute version includes institutional liability.
Testimonies IN FAVOR:
Testimony of John M. "Champ" Quinata (brother of Joseph "Sonny" Quinata)
Testimony of Roy T. Quintanilla
Testimony of Walter G. Denton
Testimony of Roland Paul Lizama Sondia
Testimony of Timothy Rohr
Testimony of Vincent Pereda
Testimony of Leo Tudela
Testimony of Anthony San Nicolas
Testimony of Zoltan Szekely
[Pope Francisco announces visit to Chile after the Vatican refused to provide information about Bishop Barros.]
Luego que el máximo tribunal aprobara el envío de un exhorto al papa Francisco, en el marco de la demanda contra el Arzobispado de Santiago por el encubrimiento de los abusos de Fernando Karadima, el abogado querellante Juan Pablo Hermosilla -quien solicitaba la entrega de antecedentes de la relación del obispo de Osorno, Juan Barros, y el ex párroco de El Bosque- confirmó que el vaticano rechazó entregar datos de Barros porque habría sido también encubridor de los abusos.
Cabe recordar que el exhorto enviado al Vaticano fue solicitado en octubre del año pasado, luego que fuera publicado un video donde el papa Francisco brindó un fuerte respaldo al cuestionado obispo de Osorno, quien fue denunciado como presunto encubridor de los abusos imputados a Fernando Karadima.
By Lorraine Swanson (Patch Staff) - September 21, 2016
New details emerged during a bond court hearing for a once prominent Chicago Catholic priest after a year-long investigation determined that his electronic devices possibly contained images of minors engaging in sex acts, prosecutors said Wednesday in court.
Octavio Munoz-Capetillo, 40, appeared before Cook County Judge Maria Kuriakos-Ciesel, on a felony charge of possession of child pornography. Munoz was suspended from the priesthood last year while the investigation was pending.
An investigation into the priest’s online activities was triggered by Archdiocese of Chicago officials, who notified police following an internal investigation when an employee reported seeing a web cam streaming child pornography on a computer owned by Munoz in July 2015, prosecutors said.
Between 2009 and 2015, Munoz was the director of Casa Jesus, a program of the Archdiocese that helped prepare Latin American men considering vocations in the Catholic priesthood for seminary. While holding the position of rector, Munoz was provided with his own apartment.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
22 September, 2016
Research conducted for the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has considered the feasibility and need for a comprehensive study into the prevalence of child maltreatment in Australia.
Australia is one of the few developed countries that does not collect reliable, nationally representative prevalence data on child sexual abuse.
In response to this knowledge gap, the Royal Commission appointed a group of researchers across Australia to investigate the research design, methodology, cost and governance structures of studies into the prevalence of child maltreatment in Australia, including the prevalence of institutional sexual abuse.
As part of their work, the research team conducted a systematic literature review examining best practice design of prevalence studies and a review of existing Australian surveys and data collections. They also consulted with international experts in the field.
Royal Commission Acting Chief Executive Officer Marianne Christmann said such little work had been done to measure the extent of child maltreatment in Australia that this was the first time that the feasibility of such a study had been examined.
"This research identifies a significant knowledge gap about the extent of maltreatment, and in particular, how this varies among different groups within the general population," Ms Christmann said.
"It also shows the importance of developing a baseline for measuring the effectiveness of future policies and programs to combat child abuse and to better understand how previous policies have affected different groups of children so we can better guide prevention and response efforts."
The Royal Commission will consider the findings of this research in determining its recommendations in relation to a future study into the prevalence of child maltreatment in Australia.
Scoping study for research into the prevalence of child abuse in Australia was conducted by the Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC) at the University of NSW, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the Australian Centre for Child Protection (ACCP) at University of South Australia, and the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS).
Read the full report.
Updated: Sep 22, 2016
By Krystal Paco
Friday is the deadline for Governor Eddie Calvo to take action on highly controversial legislation. Bill 326 seeks to lift the civil statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases. Advocates say the bill gives justice to survivors of abuse while critics worry about the potentially crippling consequences the bill could have not only on the church, but Catholic schools and other church services.
Joe Santos is the founder of the Silent No More movement - a petition that prompted senators to introduce Bill 326. "The mission then was to get the Legislature to pass a bill that would lift the statute of limitations and civil action against abusers of child sex abuse," he explained at a press event earlier today.
While the petition was circulated, survivors surfaced, including Roland Sondia, who alleges he was 15 years old when he was molested by Archbishop Anthony Apuron, who was a priest at the time. At today's press conference, Sondia made one last cry to the island's chief executive to sign the bill into law, saying, "Governor Calvo, please sign Bill 326. The Archdiocese of Agana must take total responsibility for the actions of Anthony Apuron. And the other perpetrators - this is not about money or destroying the church. It's about the church taking responsibility."
Daily Mail (UK)
By DAVID MARTOSKO, US POLITICAL EDITOR FOR DAILYMAIL.COM IN CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, OHIO
An Ohio preacher was hurriedly disinvited from participating in a Donald Trump campaign event with black pastors Wednesday morning because he is scheduled to stand trial next month on charges that he sexually abused his adopted daughter.
Trump was the featured attraction at the Midwest Visions & Values Pastors & Leadership Conference held at the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Heights.
Pastor Paul Endrei's name was included in a list, which the Trump campaign gave reporters, of 17 participants who were to appear with the Republican presidential nominee at the front of the church's sanctuary.
Pastor Darrell Scott, who co-founded the National Diversity Coalition For Trump and leads the New Spirit congregation, invited featured guests who, like Endrei, had no connection with Trumpworld.
Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune SEPTEMBER 21, 2016
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has racked up $11 million in fees to attorneys and other professionals since declaring bankruptcy in January 2015.
Another $1 million is divided between the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Minnesota Catholic Conference, a lobbying organization.
Child support payments of about $600 also show up on many monthly financial reports, as well as thousands of dollars in mundane expenses ranging from catering to counseling to shredding services.
The spending, revealed in the archdiocese’s monthly financial reports filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, offers a rare view of the financial operations of the archdiocese — home to a reported 800,000 Catholics in the 12-county metro area.
This year alone, attorney and professional fees reached nearly $6 million through July. They ranged from $388,000 to $867,000 a month for at least five law firms and dozens of staffers. Legal fees accounted for most of that amount.
That’s on top of more than $5 million spent last year.
The State Journal
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Culled from his work, his faith and his father’s life, state Rep. Jim Wayne’s first novel, “The Unfinished Man,” takes readers on a journey of personal introspection through the experience of a Catholic priest who learns of sexual abuse in his own diocese.
Wayne will have a book signing for “The Unfinished Man” 5-9 p.m. Friday at Poor Richard’s Bookstore, 233 W. Broadway, during the Art Walk.
The main character in Wayne’s book, Father Justin Zapp, must confront his past and the abuse he endured from a priest at a young age while relying on his faith to embolden him as a champion to protect those in the present.
Wayne said there wasn’t just one reason for the novel.
As a practicing psychotherapist, he has spent his career working with victims of sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church and victims raped or molested by other authority figures.
Updated: Sep 22, 2016
By Nestor Licanto
One of the most outspoken critics of Archbishop Anthony Apuron and the Neocatechumenal Way spoke before the Rotary Club. Tim Rohr laid out his view of the complex controversy now gripping the local church.
Rohr has chronicled the many twists-and-turns of the apparent civil war between the traditionalists and the so-called "NeoCats" on his blog, JungleWatch. Central to the dispute is the now-replaced Archbishop Apuron, who Rohr blames for multiple transgressions: from handing over control of the Redemptoris Mater Seminary to the Way, to the removal of rival priests for an eventual Neo-friendly successor.
But in Rohr's view, it is the lifting of the veil on a decades-old sexual abuse scandal that is transforming the ripples of dissent into angry waves. He says for too long the church hierarchy has taken advantage of local Catholics who have been reluctant to speak out.
As an example, he told the story of a woman - now in her 60's - that was raped by a priest when she was a teenager, but ended up getting scolded when she told her mother. "She said, 'I told you not to go there alone.' The mother knew that this is what the priest does. That's why she warned her not to go to the reverend. We have a lot of that going on," Rohr detailed.
Rohr says the alleged rapist is still a pastor on Guam, but times are changing. In recent months several former altar boys have come forward about being abused by clergy, including Apuron. There are also weekly protests in front of the Cathedral Basilica demanding Apuron to be ousted - more signs Rohr believes that the Catholic faithful are no longer afraid to rise up and hold church leaders accountable.
Australian Associated Press
Thursday 22 September 2016
A senior Catholic church figure has admitted giving conflicting accounts of what he meant in a diary entry he made about paedophile priest John Farrell and child sexual assault.
The former vicar general of Sydney John Usher told the child sexual abuse royal commission his 1992 note about a plan to defrock Farrell “following CSA [child sexual assault]” meant “following a CSA meeting”, not following assaults committed by Farrell.
Usher and another senior church official have denied that Farrell admitted to them at a September 1992 meeting that he had abused boys in the 1980s.
The commission heard that in 2012 Usher told an inquiry he couldn’t explain the “cryptic” diary note and didn’t know what it meant. But in a statement to police in May he said “CSA” referred to matters Farrell had already been in court for.
Probed about the three different accounts, he told the child sexual abuse royal commission he had “no explanation”.
“I’m only human and I made some different comments,” he said on Thursday.
By Ursula Malone
A senior Catholic priest has told the royal commission into child sex abuse there is a tendency by some in the church to put the institution ahead of victims.
Monsignor John Usher, who served as Chancellor of the Sydney Archdiocese for a decade until his retirement last year, was recalling a meeting he had attended with then priest Father John Farrell in 1992.
"There was in those days and there still is in some places today an inclination to handle these matter as if we're looking after the church," he said.
During the 1990s, Monsignor Usher, along with Father Brian Lucas, was part of a small group of senior Catholic priests who were called upon to help bishops deal with offending clergy.
"Even way back then, my prime concern in any of these matter was the victims of any abuse that took place," he told the commission.
Asked why he had given three different accounts of a diary note of the meeting with Farrell, he told the commission he was "only human".
September 21, 2016
Northern Daily Leader
22 Sep 2016
The former chancellor of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney denied he was trying to save Cardinal George Pell from embarrassment by sticking to his claim about a paedophile priest in the face of conflicting accounts, a royal commission has heard.
In the final day of an inquiry into convicted paedophile John Joseph Farrell, Monsignor John Usher insisted the priest never admitted to crimes against children at a 1992 meeting.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard the meeting was attended by Mgr Usher and Fathers Brian Lucas and Wayne Peters in response to concerns about Farrell raised by the then Bishop of Armidale, Kevin Manning.
When the ABC's Four Corners program made inquiries about the meeting two decades later, the three priests consulted each other and agreed they did not recall Farrell admitting to sexually abusing children, the inquiry heard.
A letter from Fr Peters, written eight days after the 1992 meeting and tendered in evidence, records Farrell saying: "There had been five boys around the age of ten and eleven that he had sexually interfered with in varying degrees in the years approximately 1982 to 1984 while he was the assistant priest at Moree."
Radio New Zealand
The Catholic Church in Guam has collected more than 4,000 signatures for a petition opposing a bill that could expose it to sexual abuse lawsuits.
Pacific News Center reports the Church has delivered the petition calling on Governor Eddie Calvo to veto the bill to his office.
It collected 4,500 signatures in four days for the petition.
The bill lifting the statute of limitations for civil action on child sex abuse claims was passed unanimously by the Guam legislature last week.
The Church says it will go bankrupt if the bill becomes law.
In the past few months Archbishop Anthony Apuron and other clergy members have been accused of abusing altar boys decades ago.
Radio New Zealand
The Catholic Church in Guam is being accused of putting its assets ahead of abuse victims.
The Church has launched a petition calling on Governor Eddie Calvo to veto a bill which would lift the statute of limitations on civil lawsuits in historical sex abuse cases.
It warned it would be left bankrupt and scrambling to fund schools and social services if it was forced to pay settlements to abuse claimants.
But Concerned Catholics of Guam Secretary Evangeline Lujan said those services received little funding from the Church.
She said church leaders were using threats to try and get their way
"I think it's unfair that they would decide that the assets of the church were more important than healing of the victims," she said.
By Chuck Goudie and Ross Weidner, Barb Markoff, Christine Tressel
CHICAGO (WLS) -- The ABC7 I-Team has new details on how the Chicago Archdiocese handled the investigation of a priest in a child pornography case.
On the surface, this child porn scandal involves Rev. Octavio Munoz who once ran the crown jewel of the church's Hispanic priest outreach program, Casa Jesus.
Munoz was arrested in Maryland where he was undergoing church-sponsored treatment and appeared in Cook County court today on a child porn charge.
Court records raise disturbing questions about who reported the child pornography and how quickly law enforcement officials were informed.
Munoz, 40, was charged Wednesday with possession of child pornography.
Last summer, Archbishop Blase Cupich tapped Rev. Kevin Hays to replace Munoz.
On July 7, 2015 Hays and a church employee went to Casa Jesus to inspect Hays' new living quarters.
According a legal proffer filed Wednesday by Cook County prosecutors, when Hays and the church employee walked into Munoz's former apartment there was "a black Sony laptop ... there was displayed a moving image on the screen that appeared to be running from a web cam. The image was of a young boy (engaged in a sexual act.)"
Former Federal Court judge Tony Whitlam QC has accused the ABC of portraying him as a “stooge” of the Catholic Church who helped cover up for John Farrell, a notorious pedophile priest whose crimes are under scrutiny by the royal commission into child sexual abuse.
Mr Whitlam, a son of Gough Whitlam, has launched a defamation suit against the ABC over an item on its 7.30 program on May 2, the day Farrell was sentenced to at least 18 years’ jail for 62 child-sex offences.
In a statement of claim filed with the Federal Court last month, Mr Whitlam attacked the ABC over its reporting of an inquiry into Farrell that he did for the bishops of Armidale and Parramatta after a Four Corners expose in 2012.
The royal commission has spent seven days investigating the reign of terror in the 1980s and early 1990s for which Farrell was jailed and the way the church dealt with his offending.
Counsel assisting Gail Furness SC has told the commission Mr Whitlam in his report “said there was no ‘cover-up’ in 1992”.
In his claim, Mr Whitlam says the 7.30 piece painted him as someone who committed a serious criminal offence by concealing Farrell’s sexual abuse of children. He claims the program falsely portrayed him as deliberately concealing the crimes, “enabling Farrell to abuse even more children”. It also allegedly depicted him as conducting a “sham” inquiry and as “a stooge who took money from the Catholic Church to carry out a rigged investigation into a Catholic priest”.
A transcript of the broadcast, filed by Mr Whitlam, quotes Bernard Barrett, of victims’ rights group Broken Rites, saying “the Tony Whitlam report doesn’t look good now in view of what’s happened to Farrell in the court”.
However, Mr Whitlam seems more aggrieved by a moment in the broadcast when Mr Barrett, who is not a target of the lawsuit, made air quotation marks — a “mocking, derisive and sensational gesture” — while discussing the investigation. Mr Whitlam claims this, along with other factors including the ABC’s “arrogant and highhanded refusal to apologise”, entitles him to aggravated damages.
Underlying the dispute, and probed yesterday at the royal commission, is what happened at a meeting between Farrell and three priests on September 3, 2002. Two of the priests, Brian Lucas and John Usher, did not recall Farrell admitting to having had oral sex with young boys.
However, the commission has heard that the third priest, Wayne Peters, wrote a letter at the time that referred to the admissions and formed part of the Four Cornersbroadcast in 2012.
In his report, Mr Whitlam found “nothing sinister” about the two priests not recalling any admissions and said Father Peters’s letter was not necessarily “a more accurate record”.
In evidence at the commission yesterday, Father Usher said he “didn’t believe the letter”.
Mr Whitlam’s lawsuit is set down for a case management conference on October 10.
He and his solicitor, Mark O’Brien, did not respond to calls and emails. An ABC spokesman declined to comment.
Catholic News Agency
Mexico City, Mexico, Sep 21, 2016 / 04:38 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After the Mexican branch of the “hacktivist” group Anonymous reported that the Archdiocese of Mexico had let off an alleged priest who confessed to having molested 30 girls, the Church in Mexico has denied that the priest even exists, calling the Anonymous report “irresponsible and malicious.”
On Sept. 8 Anonymous Mexico claimed that the Archdiocese of Mexico “decided to let off from any crime and punishment José Ataulfo García, the priest who allegedly confessed to raping more than 30 indigenous girls in the state of Oaxaca.”
The report by the hackers group was picked up this weekend by several Spanish-language newspapers, and this week by some English media.
Religión Digital posted an article with the headline “Priest with HIV who confessed to molesting 30 girls let off”, but it has since been deleted.
SIAME, the communications office of the Archdiocese of Mexico, has stated that the supposed priest José Ataulfo is not listed in their jurisdiction's records, nor in those of the Archdiocese of Antequera, Oaxaca.
Erneut sorgt ein mutmaßlicher Kindesmissbrauch in der katholischen Kirche für Aufsehen. Die mutmaßlichen Opfer haben bei dem Geistlichen übernachtet. Was wir bislang über den Fall in Lohne wissen, lesen Sie in einer Übersicht der wichtigsten Fragen und Antworten.
LOHNE Nach einer Missbrauchsanzeige gegen einen katholischen Priester (73) aus Lohne (Kreis Vechta), hat die Oldenburger Staatsanwaltschaft bereits das Haus des Geistlichen durchsuchen lassen. Der Mann soll Kindern Bilder mit pornografischem Inhalt gezeigt haben. Bei der Durchsuchung sei Beweismaterial beschlagnahmt worden. Ob es sich dabei um pornografisches Material handelt, wollte Staatsanwalt Torben Tölle auf Anfrage nicht kommentieren. Viele Fragen ranken sich um den Fall, es wird spekuliert. Um Gerüchten entgegenzutreten, hier die Antworten auf die am häufigsten gestellten Fragen.
[The full text of the letter sent by the Regional Councillor Nunzia Lattanzio to Pope Francis.]
A SUA SANTITA’ PAPA FRANCESCO
CASA SANTA MARTA
00120 CITTA’ DEL VATICANO
A SUA EMINENZA CARDINALE GERHARD LUDWIG MULLER
PREFETTO DELLA CONGREGAZIONE PER LA DOTTRINA DELLA FEDE
P. ZZA DEL SANT’UFFIZIO N.11
A Sua Santità Papa Francesco,
nella mia qualità di mamma, già Esperto del Tribunale di Sorveglianza di Bari, già Tutore Pubblico dei Minori della Regione Molise, già Giudice Onorario del Tribunale per i Minorenni di Campobasso, Consigliere regionale del Molise nonché Presidente della IV Commissione consiliare Affari sociali, sono a portare alla Sua riflessione quanto segue:
– negli anni 2009-2010, nel piccolo borgo di Portocannone (CB), si consumava un gravissimo crimine ai danni dell’allora minorenne Giada Vitale, a causa dei reiterati abusi compiuti da Don Marino Genova, Ministro della Chiesa cattolica.
Auf der beliebten Urlaubsinsel Guam im Pazifik droht der katholischen Kirche ein neuer Missbrauchsskandal. Der betroffene Erzbischof bestreitet die Vorwürfe, ein Sonderermittler empfiehlt dennoch seine Absetzung. Die Diözese fürchtet den Bankrott.
Ein Skandal um Kindesmissbrauch auf einer abgelegenen Pazifik-Insel bewegt die katholische Kirche: Ein vatikanischer Sonderermittler empfahl nach dreimonatiger Untersuchung die Absetzung des Erzbischofs im US-Pazifikterritorium Guam. Ein kirchliches Gericht werde sich um die "äußerst ernsten Vorwürfe" gegen Erzbischof Anthony Apuron kümmern, heißt es in der Erklärung, die in Guams Kirche verlesen wurde. Er soll vor Jahrzehnten Ministranten sexuell belästigt haben. Papst Franziskus verfolge den Fall persönlich.
CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Chicago priest appeared in court on a child pornography charge.
Fr. Octavio Munoz was removed from ministry last year. He is the former director of the Archdiocese's Casa Jesus program.
Fr. Munoz had been receiving treatment at a Catholic facility in Maryland when a warrant was issued for his arrest.
Over a year after authorities collected his computer, movies and other items, prosecutors said ongoing forensic examination of his belongings led to the priest being arrested and being brought back to Chicago.
A Chicago priest appeared in Cook County Criminal Courtroom, charged with possession of child pornography.
Munoz stood before a judge as a prosecutor gave reasons for the charge.
"Forensic analysis of the defendants electronic devices revealed the two movies previously mentioned, as well as emails and stories of sex with children," said Guy Lisuzzo, a Cook County assistant state's attorney.
A Catholic priest responsible for recruiting young men to the priesthood appeared in court Wednesday on child pornography charges after police tracked him to a Maryland treatment center where the Chicago Archdiocese had sent him without notifying authorities, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors also disclosed that the archdiocese initially hired a private investigator after an employee reported seeing child pornography on the laptop of the Rev. Octavio Munoz, 40, last year. The archdiocese conducted its own investigation for more than a week before contacting Chicago police. The laptop was never found, they said.
The archdiocese then sent Munoz to Maryland for counseling as the police investigation heated up, prosecutors said, prompting a sharp question from Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil.
"Isn't there counseling in the state of Illinois that he could've been afforded?" she asked.
She ordered Munoz to turn over all his passports and remain in Illinois if he can post his $50,000 bail on the single count of possession of child pornography. She also banned him from having any contact with minors or using the internet.
Munoz had been rector of the archdiocese's Casa Jesus, a renowned training program for Latin American men who want to become priests. In that role, he traveled abroad to recruit young men to study in the United States, according to Assistant State's attorney Guy Lisuzzo.
By Ivey DeJesus | email@example.com
The Pennsylvania lawmaker who has spearheaded the movement to reform the state's child sex crimes law says he is emboldened by the fact that the state's newly appointed top law enforcement official is leaning on the side of reform.
"It's great day for victims knowing we have an attorney general who is not afraid to stand up and do what is right and fight for the victims of this commonwealth," said Rep. Mark Rozzi D-Berks.
In an interview with The Philadelphia Inquirer, newly appointed Attorney General Bruce Beemer rejected the opinion that allowing past victims of abuse the ability to revive expired civil legal rights in order to bring to court predators would not violate the state constitution.
In so doing, Beemer countered the opinion given by his immediate predecessor Bruce Castor, Jr., who as solicitor general, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee attesting that the retroactive measure in House Bill 1947 would be unconstitutional.
Melissa Gulbin | 22nd Sep 2016
AFTER an emotionally-charged four-week trial which left a jury in deadlock, Catholic Priest Father John Casey will again face trial over the alleged sexual abuse of three boys nearly 30 years ago.
ON August 12, Lismore Diocese Catholic Priest, John Patrick Casey, was found not guilty of 16 charges, but the jury could not make a decision on the remaining 11 counts relating to child sex offences.
Yesterday at Lismore District Court, 14 charges for retrial were listed, including three charges of homosexual intercourse with a male between the ages of 10 and 18 years and three charge with a male under the age of 10 years. There are also five charge of indecent assault with a person under 16 as well as a three charges of sexual assault with a person under 16.
This matter is listed for mention on September 30 at the District Court at Sydney Downing Centre.
Father John Casey's bail is to continue and he is excused from attending on the next mention.
SEPTEMBER 20, 2016, BY TAMMY VIGIL
HORNTON, Colo. -- Court documents question whether church leaders in Thornton conspired to protect a fellow pastor accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl.
What’s more incredulous is the reaction from the victim’s own parents.
A 16-page arrest affidavit paints a disturbing picture of what was going on inside Agape Bible Church at West 88th Avenue and Huron Street after it came to light one of its former pastors was having a sexual relationship with a girl who is now 14 years old.
Robert "Bob" Wyatt is accused of sexually assaulting a child of a congregation member for nearly two years, a chile he came to know at Agape and then began homeschooling her.
21 SEP 2016
A church in Thornton, Colorado has come under fire after court documents revealed this week that it failed to report a pastor’s sexual abuse to police because it believed the problem could be solved with “biblical counseling.”
Local news station KDVR reports that Pastor Robert Wyatt repeatedly had sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl who was parishioner at the Agape Bible Church in Thornton. What’s even more disturbing about this case, however, is the fact that court documents show church officials knew about Wyatt’s sexual abuse and did nothing.
According to an arrest affidavit for Wyatt, both head pastor Darrell Ferguson and the 12-year-old girl’s adoptive parents agreed that it would be best to not go to the police because they were concerned about what would happen to Wyatt.
Instead, the affidavit claims, the church and the parents agreed that “biblical counseling they would receive through the church was sufficient” to fixing the problem.
The officer who interviewed the girl’s adoptive father said that the man “made it clear his interest was in protecting the church and its reputation more than protecting his daughter.”