A digest of links to media coverage of clergy abuse.
Click on the headline to read the full story.
August 1, 2014
GRAND BLANC -- After being on paid administrative leave since May, Fr. Ken Coughlin, pastor of Holy Family Church, is taking a leave of absence. Fr. Coughlin faces allegations of inappropriate touching of students.
In a letter to parishioners today, Fr. Coughlin continued to claim his innocence, saying, "My hope is that the investigation will prove what I know to be true, that I am innocent of anything criminal."
In the letter he also says the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Lansing has asked him to, "Consider entering a program of assessment that assists clergy and religious with their ministry."
Coughlin says he has agreed to the request.
SCRANTON, Pa. (AP) - A northeastern Pennsylvania judge has dismissed charges against a priest accused of plying a 13-year-old girl with alcohol and touching her inappropriately after a midnight Christmas Mass in 1998.
The (Scranton) Times-Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/1uPRgyh ) that Lackawanna County Judge Michael Barrasse dismissed charges against the Rev. Philip Altavilla. The judge ruled Friday that the statute of limitations had expired.
Altavilla had been charged with indecent assault and corruption of minors.
The accuser testified in May that Altavilla rubbed her feet and thigh. Defense attorney Paul Walker questioned whether the touching constituted indecent contact and also argued that the statute of limitations had run out.
Agence France-Presse August 1, 2014
The Vatican bank on Friday denied that its new chief executive faces a conflict of interest as his son works for a company brought in to audit the scandal-hit institution's accounts.
Italian magazine L'Espresso reported that Jean-Baptiste de Franssu's son works for Promontory Financial Group, which is conducting a forensic investgation into the bank and its client relationships.
Louis-Victor Douville works as a London-based analyst for the US company, according to its website.
"The question of a conflict of interest is not an issue for us because, by law, the AIF (the Vatican's financial watchdog), has approved the appointment of our president," bank spokesman Max Hohenberg told AFP.
The issue is the latest scandal to hit the Vatican bank, also known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), after a year of internal investigations led to the closure or suspension of thousands of suspicious, ineligible or inactive accounts.
Catholic News Agency
Minneapolis, Minn., Aug 1, 2014 / 12:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Archbishop John Nienstedt of Saint Paul-Minneapolis, facing calls for his resignation amid legal battles over the local Church's handling of clerical sex abuse, apologized Wednesday but refused to resign.
“It comes down to this: 18 years ago, Pope John Paul II chose me to serve the Church as a bishop, an authentic successor of the apostles,” he wrote in a July 30 column at The Catholic Spirit.
“A bishop’s role is more like that of a father of a family than that of a CEO. I am bound to continue in my office as long as the Holy Father has appointed me here.”
“I have acknowledged my responsibility in the current crisis we face, and I also take responsibility for leading our archdiocese to a new and better day.”
The column began noting that “to say this has been a difficult year is quite an understatement.”
Roman Catholic Diocese of Ciudad del Este
[RESUMEN EXPLICATIVO DE LA SITUACIÓN]
THE APOSTOLIC VISIT
The chapters in this story
1. LUGO AND LIVIERES
2. «ECCLESIAL COMMUNION»
3. RELIGIOUS PEOPLE
4. THE CLERGY
5. NEW SEMINARS FOR THE THIRD MILLENNIUM
6. STONE OF SCANDAL
7. FATHER CARLOS URRUTIGOITY
8. MONSEGNIOR PASTOR CUQUEJO
9. NEW COMMUNITIES
10. ECONOMIC ISSUES
11. JAVIER MIRANDA
12. LET’S NOT REPEAT THE STORY
Officially, the Apostolic Nuncio in Paraguay, in a public conference of 2 July 2014, announced that the Diocese of Ciudad del Este would receive an imminent Apostolic Visitation i«n order to offer an assistance for the good of that particular church» informally, the mass media said it was about a true «intervention to the Diocese» i.e. of a process that would end up, either with the resignation or with the deposition of our Bishop, and the stop to the work which has been going on.
We present now, an explicative summary that frames the milestone of this juncture with its facts and supporting documents. We do it in a plane and direct style of God's People, and with the transparency and honesty to which Msgr. Rogelio accustoms us.
1. LUGO AND LIVIERES
The most famous Paraguayan bishop, with no doubt, is the «father-Bishop» Fernando Lugo, the Republic's ex-president. He took on the presidency on august of 2008, after being dispensed of obligations as a consecrated bishop and reduced to the laical state.
He was deposed in 2012, after a political judgment in the Congress.
Lugo and the minuscule but intelligent left of the country would have never reached power and overridden the Red Party without alliance with the strongest minority of the country, the Liberal Party, and the massive support (expressed or tacit) of the hierarchical church. From decades, in Paraguay, there has been a systematically assignments as bishops with certain anti-red party tendencies and, moreover, soaked up in a blurry formation on the derived ideologues of the theology of liberation. ...
7. FATHER CARLOS URRUTIGOITY
A separate chapter in this history of opposition to our bishop Livieres and to the new seminary in Ciudad del Este is, without a doubt, the attack against Father Carlos Urrutigoity. He arrived to the diocese in 2005 together with other priests and laymen who would later on establish the Priestly Communities of Saint John. Father Urrutigoity came to the diocese recommended by some cardinals with roles in the Vatican (one of whom was elected pope Benedict XVI a few days later). Father Carlos brought with him a long and harsh defamation campaign in the U.S. Full of calumnies, about which Msgr. Livieres wrote a detailed letter clarifying matters.
From the beginning, Father Carlos proved to be a close collaborator of the bishop, and due to this his case was used as a battle cry to question everything the bishop achieved pastorally in the diocese, specially concerning the formation of a new clergy. This was specially so because Father Carlos was intimately involved in the formation of the new seminary. He later left this activity to help with the diocesan curia.
The bishop's continual refutations notwithstanding, a repetitive and self referential press continued to quote itself again and again, on matters of alleged “accusations of pedophilia” which, in reality, never existed. These defamation campaigns have been generally headed in Paraguay by the same newspaper that, prior to this time, had forced the resignation of another Bishop with the surname Livieres. (The courts of justice in that case showed as well the falsity of the accusations, all made by paid witnesses involved in a political maneuver to force the resignation of the bishop). At the same time, the press has been fueled by the same Paraguayan ecclesiastical opponents already mentioned above, who have influential contacts in the U.S. And in Rome, and with whom they share identical lobbies and political tendencies.
These sources came up with all sorts of things, except, of course, proofs of pedophilia. This was due to the simple fact that there were no accusations from any victims at all. All that could be repeated was a rehashed series of calumnies made by interested third parties. Consequently, there was no criminal process, nor any condemnatory judgments in any court of law whatsoever of any country, nor of the Holy See. To top it all off, Father Carlos' heterosexuality was confirmed professionally by two independent psychological evaluations, one of which was in the U.S. and the other in Canada. These evaluations discarded any possibility of psychopathies or personality disorders.
Neither was it true that new accusations came up over time (always without any proof). All accusations made may be reduced to a stubborn and evil repetition of those invented years ago, not by alleged victims, but by two ideological persecutors of Father Carlos. These separately acted from their respective countries, fueling different campaigns at different times: one sustained a “cloister” campaign and the other a cybernetic and mass media campaign. The first persecutor was a “sedevacantist” Argentine priest who is of the opinion that no pope since John XXIII has been legitimately a pope, and who, in addition, had himself “consecrated as a bishop” outside of the legitimate Catholic hierarchy. The second detractor is an American man, a disgruntled ex-employee of the religious community founded by Father Carlos. He was disgruntled because he was disaffected from an educational project by Msgr. Timlin, bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, after the employee tried to illegally take over the project for his own purposes.
The sole accusation presented against Father Urrutigoity before the criminal courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in the U.S. (under the name of an adult by the name of Michael Prorock) was dismissed in limine (from the beginning) by two independent investigations by two state district attorneys in two separate counties of the State of Pennsylvania.
From the above two things appear as strikingly clear: First, that the accusations against Father Carlos Urrutigoity did not imply cases of pedophilia, since in the year 2000, the year of the alleged acts, the accuser was an adult; and second, that due to the district attorneys' dismissal of any charges against Father Carlos, there was never a criminal indictment in the U.S. With respect to the Church's canonical tribunals, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith denied any possibilities of starting a criminal process against Father Carlos for the same reason: there were no existing accusations of pedophilia.
This failure before the criminal courts seriously damaged the detractors' lawyers' case before the civil courts, diminishing any chances to obtain a judgment granting them a large monetary compensation, as is usual in American courts. These detractors began a civil case against the Society of Saint John, founded by Father Carlos, but in it they included for good measure and to assure deep pockets, the Bishop of Scranton, the Diocese of Scranton, the Fraternity of Saint Peter and the Academy of Saint Gregory.
To those not familiar with the ins and outs of legal cases in the U.S., it should be noted that in that country one may initiate at the same time and for the same cause a case before the criminal as well as the civil courts. Success in civil court means large monetary judgments to be paid by the defendant. Such success is substantially diminished where the criminal courts dismiss the complaints as without merit to be judged criminally. Yet, in the United States, it is still worth pursuing a civil case, even if in the criminal courts the parties have not reached the stage of trial due to lack of relevant facts or proofs. There, the possibilities to obtain monetary damages in a civil trial remain high. The cost of defending one self and going to civil trial is so high that many times complainants continue the case to force a large monetary settlement. In average, a diocese may spend over US $2,000,000 in attorneys and costs to defend a case all the way to the end. It remains typical in the system that parties, in order to avoid these large defense costs, reach an early monetary settlement with the judge's approval.
The Society of Saint John, refused, on principle, to negotiate a settlement. Yet, it was forced to join as a party to a settlement agreement entered into by Msgr. Martino, the new bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, for a total of US $450,000. Of that amount the Society of Saint John had to contribute only US $55,000, an insignificant amount considering the usual amounts paid in these types of cases. This is explained by the fact that the accusing attorneys lacked any minimally solid proofs against the Society in order to demand any more from them, or to refuse a settlement and try to go to trial in civil court.
The Society of Saint John imposed as a condition to sign the settlement agreement that it be stated in writing that the accused were innocent of all charges and the accuser, for his own part, would renounce to any other posterior campaign of accusations or to any other civil action.
It seems that it holds true everywhere that “money talks,” without any concern about deceiving the public nor discrediting innocent people. Coming back to our actors of Ciudad del Este, on the 23rd of this month of July, 2014, in case 2014-6130 before the Juzgado Penal de Garantias No. 6 (Criminal Court No. 6) of the department of Alto Paraná, the district attorney in charge, Ms. María Graciela Vera Colman, requested the total and complete dismissal and filing away for lack of any proofs, of the accusations “filed” before such a court by a radio in Asunción, Paraguay, against Father Urrutigoity, by telephone, of all means! The accusations were the old “alleged sexual abuse of children, not mentioning any names of victims... on top of not identifying.... address and/or date or place in which such deeds allegedly occurred.” All accusations began from the diatribes made – and recorded – in a radio program of Radio Unión from Asunción, by the well known serial accuser Javier Miranda, who, when cited by the district attorney to appear in court to give his “sworn declaration,” never appeared but rather, valiantly disappeared stage left, showing his clear acting conditions.
Being a shepherd and not a mercenary who flees from the wolves, Bishop Livieres always remained adamant in defending the innocent. In the case of Father Carlos, Msgr. Livieres did the same even against those who, while recognizing the justice of the case, still found it imprudent to receive father Carlos in the Diocese and then to promote him to various positions, arguing that such actions may compromise the Bishop’s own image and his “ecclesiastical career”. However, Monsignor judged it healthier and more realistic to take advantage of the concrete human resources that Providence placed in his hands.
Despite the occasional media uproar and clerical protest, the Vatican respected the decision of the Bishop. After a prudent waiting time and accumulation of experience in the new Diocese, the Vatican authorized through the Apostolic Nuncio, and with the consent of the excardinating bishop, the incardination in Ciudad del Este of Father Carlos. That same year, the Vatican issued the laudatory letter consenting to the elevation as a Society of Apostolic Life the Priestly Communities of San Juan. Meanwhile, seminarians, priests, religious and laity of the Diocese, in their vast majority supported and continue to support the bishop and Father Carlos because they are witnesses to their ministry in the Diocese and to their human qualities and moral honesty. These supporting statements are not assumed. They are clearly manifested in written and signed statements available for anyone who wants to see. And when it came time to appoint a new Vicar General for the Diocese, consulted priests and lay leaders almost unanimously proposed father Carlos as the candidate of their choice.
It should finally be noted that when Bishop Livieres faced real corruption or violations of priestly celibacy, in any form, he did not hesitate to proceed, even facing high pressures, according to canon law, and to proportionally and medicinally punish the guilty.
[RESUMEN EXPLICATIVO DE LA SITUACIÓN - Ciudad del Este diocesis]
Catholic World News - August 01, 2014
The Diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, has published an aggressive defense of the leadership of Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano, claiming that a priest who had been accused of abuse in the US was placed in ministry on the recommendation of then-Cardinal Ratzinger.
Bishop Livieres incardinated Father Carlos Urrutigoity, who had been accused of sexual abuse in Pennsylvania, into his diocese in 2005. The diocese stated that the priest “came recommended by some cardinals with functions in the Holy See (one of them, elected a few days later Successor of Peter).” In 2005, Bishop Joseph Martino of Scranton suppressed the Society of St. John-- which had been known for its promotion of the extraordinary form of the Mass, but also criticized for reports of lavish spending-- following accusations of sexual abuse against its founder, Father Urrutigoity. Bishop Martino’s predecessor, Bishop James Timlin, had suspended Father Urrutigoity’s faculties after a diocesan review board found an abuse allegation credible. In defending Bishop Livieres, the
Paraguayan diocesan website stated:
* In 2004, Paraguay’s bishops wrote to Pope St. John Paul II to protest his appointment of Father Livieres, a priest of Opus Dei, to the diocese, but the Holy See held firm.
* Bishop Livieres was the only bishop who publicly opposed the presidential candidacy of former bishop Fernando Lugo, who governed the nation from 2008 to 2012.
* Opposition to Bishop Livieres among religious orders intensified when he forbade the “political or ideological instrumentalization” of their work and when he called for the proclamation of the Gospel to indigenous peoples.
* Ten priests from his diocese, and 150 from across the nation, urged Pope Benedict XVI to remove the bishop after he sought to “renew ecclesial discipline.” Today, however, the vast majority of the diocese’s “young and numerous” clergy support him.
West Central Tribune
By Tribune Opinion
Archbishop John Nienstedt said Wednesday that he plans to remain as the head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
This is unfortunate that Nienstedt is putting his own wishes ahead of the church. It is time that the interest of the Twin Cities archdiocese and the state of Minnesota become paramount for the
The best thing is for Nienstedt to end his service to the Twin Cities archdiocese.
Nienstedt has been under fire for months for his handling of clergy sex abuse cases.
"I have, however, been too trusting of our internal process and not as hands-on as I could have been in matters of priest misconduct," he wrote in the Catholic Spirit this week.
SCRANTON — Charges were dismissed in Lackawanna County court against a priest accused of improper acts with a teen girl.
A judged dismissed the charges Friday morning against Fr. Phillip Altavilla, a well-known priest who held one of the most prominent positions in the Diocese of Scranton.
Fr. Altavilla was charged in April with child sex abuse charges, along with furnishing alcohol to minors after alleged contact with a 13-year-old parishioner in 1998.
TERRIE MORGAN-BESECKER, STAFF WRITER
Published: August 1, 2014
A Lackawanna County judge today dismissed charges filed against a Diocese of Scranton priest accused of inappropriately touching a teenage girl because the statute of limitations had expired.
Judge Michael Barrasse issued the ruling in the case of the Rev. Philip Altavilla following a hearing this morning, said Paul Walker, Mr. Altavilla’s attorney.
Father Altavilla, 48, was charged in April with indecent assault, corruption of a minor and a related offense after a female came forward to allege he indecently touched her in 1998, when she was 13.
Mr. Walker sought to dismiss the charges, arguing they fell outside the statute of limitations.
Speaking after the hearing, Mr. Walker said at the time the offense allegedly occurred the statute of limitations required the crime be reported within two years after the victim turned 18. In this case, that meant she had to come forward with the allegation by 2005.
The Catholic Diocese of Lafayette points to a 1992 investigation clearing the Rev. Gilbert Dutel of pedophilia allegations as the reason the priest remains active in the church, yet on Thursday, church officials said they were unable to locate any records proving their claim.
The allegations against Dutel — who's currently ministering at St. Edmonds Catholic Church in Lafayette — resurfaced recently with the unsealing of federal court documents and an investigative, four-part news series by Minnesota Public Radio, showing that the priest was alleged to have molested a young boy in the mid- to late-1970s, prompting an investigation by now retired Bishop Harry Flynn in 1992.
Yet, according to this report from The Daily Advertiser, the diocese responded Thursday to the paper’s request for information pertaining to the 1992 investigation, including the name of who handled the inquiry as well as the contents of Dutel’s file.
The diocese responded through media liaison Monsignor Richard Greene, who tells the Advertiser that it appears the investigation was handled solely by the former bishop, adding that “to the best of our knowledge the police were not involved.”
A former army intelligence officer has claimed he was told to stop investigating sexual abuse at a boys' home in Belfast in the 1970s.
Brian Gemmell told the BBC he was ordered to halt his investigation into Kincora Boys' Home by a senior MI5 officer in 1975, after he presented a report on the allegations.
In 1981, three senior care staff at the east Belfast home were jailed for abusing 11 boys and it has been claimed that people of the "highest profile" were connected.
Mr Gemmell claimed he found out about the abuse through two sources, including an agent called Royal Flush, while he was gathering information about loyalists.
The claims come during a public inquiry in Northern Ireland into institutional child abuse between 1922 and 1995.
01 AUGUST 2014
The Official Secrets Act should be suspended to allow former intelligence officers to give evidence about alleged cover ups during the child abuse inquiry, Amnesty International said.
An ex-soldier involved in military intelligence has claimed he was told to stop investigating sexual abuse at a boys' home in the 1970s.
Brian Gemmell told the BBC he was ordered to halt his probe into Kincora Boys' Home in Northern Ireland by a senior MI5 officer in 1975 after presenting a report on the allegations.
Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International's Northern Ireland director, said: "The focus must be the protection of children, rather than officials and their dirty secrets."
August 1, 2014
By: Bill Healy
Barbara Blaine was in eighth grade when she was sexually abused by a priest at her Catholic grammar school in Ohio. She felt responsible, that she had caused a good, holy priest to sin.
Last week, Blaine sat down with her friend and mentor, retired Judge Sheila Murphy in the Chicago StoryCorps booth to talk about the trauma that led her to create a network of survivors of sexual abuse by priests.
Blaine asked church leaders to ensure that the priest who abused her would be monitored, and would not come into contact with children. To her surprise, he began working at a hospital where kids sometimes went unsupervised.
Around that same time, Blaine’s father had a stroke and wound up in the same hospital where the priest worked. When she asked the head of pastoral care to make sure the priest didn’t come by her father’s room, she discovered that he was not being monitored, and “It was like a knife going in my stomach,” she said. “I felt so betrayed. I immediately started wondering: If they lied about this, what else did they lie about? I learned much later that he had actually continued to abuse many more girls over the years. And it’s heartbreaking because I feel somewhat responsible.”
National Catholic Reporter
Tom Roberts | Aug. 1, 2014
The call reporter Madeleine Baran took from a former employee of the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese in June last year was the first step she and her colleagues at Minnesota Public Radio would take down a long and complex trail into another ugly chapter of the clergy sex abuse scandal.
"That was an unusual call to get because people within the chancery do not normally come forward to divulge secrets publicly," Baran said in a recent interview. "Right away, I knew that this was a unique situation, and right away my editors agreed with that."
The caller was Jennifer Haselberger, a canon lawyer who, in her work as chancellor of canonical affairs for the archdiocese, had found among its records and archives unreported allegations of clergy sex abuse and lapses in internal investigations. Unable to convince Archbishop John Nienstedt to take the lapses seriously, she had resigned her position in April 2013.
Three months later, she called Baran at Minnesota Public Radio and began telling what she knew. MPR News assembled a team that started an investigation of the details and broadcast its first story in September. The archdiocesan façade began to crumble quickly. As the MPR website states in an introduction to its latest online venture: "The vicar general resigned within days. Police launched criminal investigations. Catholics held protests, and Nienstedt canceled his public appearances."
Friday 1st August 2014
● FR. BRIAN D’ARCY
I’ve just read Sworn to Silence, a new book by Brendan Boland which tells of his abuse at the hands of Father Brendan Smyth.
Boland was an eleven-year-old altar boy at the time.
He is 53 years old and only now feels able to tell his story. It makes harrowing reading, not only because it deals with the abuse itself, but also covers the canonical inquiry when the young Brendan was questioned by three priests, including Fr John Brady – now Cardinal Sean Brady.
Brendan Boland tells his story with Darragh MacIntyre, an awarding-winning investigative reporter.
For the first time the transcript of the interview with the three priests is published word for word. With hindsight, the way Brendan was questioned makes truly awful reading.
Here we have an outstanding example of everything that is wrong with the Church’s handling of abuse victims.
In March 1975, Brendan Boland was brave enough to report Smyth’s abuse. This led to a canonical inquiry. Brendan’s father was not allowed to be present at the interview.
In his book, Brendan tells that even though he was only 14 years old at the time, it was obvious the inquiry tried to put the blame on him.
National Catholic Reporter
Sr. Rose Pacatte | Aug. 1, 2014
It's present day in County Sligo, Ireland, and Fr. James Lavelle (Brendan Gleeson) is sitting in the confessional waiting for penitents. A man begins speaking, telling about the horrific sexual abuse by a priest that he endured over several years. Lavelle asks him if he's reported the priest. No, he's dead. Are you getting help? You mean therapy so I can move forward with my life? No.
Then the man tells Lavelle that he is going to kill him, because what good would it do to kill a bad priest? No, he isn't going to kill Lavelle now. Instead, he tells Lavelle to meet him on the beach on Sunday morning, a week away.
Lavelle speaks with Bishop Garret Montgomery (David McSavage) and they quickly, and accurately, establish that the seal of confession does not apply because the man didn't state his sins or ask forgiveness. The bishop asks if Lavelle knows who the man is and Lavelle admits that he does. When Lavelle asks if he should report the threat to his life to the police, the bishop says, oddly, that it's up to him to decide what to do.
ST. LOUIS (MO)
The Kansas City Star
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
A minister is taking his own denomination to task, claiming in a lawsuit that the Presbyterian Church was partly responsible for sexual abuse he suffered as a teenager.
The Rev. Kris Schondelmeyer, a youth minister in Toledo, Ohio, is seeking unspecified damages in a lawsuit he filed against the Louisville, Ky.-based Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.); First Presbyterian Church of Fulton, Mo.; the Missouri Union Presbytery in Jefferson City; and his alleged abuser, Jack Wayne Rogers.
Schondelmeyer, 31, a native of Sedalia, Mo., said he was sexually abused at a youth conference in 2000 in Maryland. At the time, Rogers was a lay pastor in Montgomery County, Mo. The lawsuit alleges Presbyterian officials allowed Rogers to work as a chaperone despite Rogers’ 1992 conviction for child pornography.
An attorney for the denomination declined to comment, citing the pending litigation.
Rogers, 69, has a long criminal history.
In 2004 he pleaded guilty in Missouri for practicing medicine without a license and assault for cutting off a man’s penis at a hotel in Columbia as part of a makeshift gender reassignment surgery. That same year he was convicted of federal child pornography and obscenity charges.
Friday, August 01, 2014 5:36 a.m. EDT by John McNeill
BATTLE CREEK (WKZO) -- Former Christian radio host John Balyo has waived his preliminary exam in Calhoun County District Court on child sexual abuse charges.
He may have waived the hearing to avoid forcing the 11-year-old victim to testify, and a plea deal may be in the works.
That would be consistent with Balyo’s decision Tuesday to cut a deal with U.S. Attorneys and plead guilty to federal charges that he engaged a sexual encounter with a 12-year-old in a Kalamazoo Motel room.
By a Broken Rites Australia researcher (updated 1 August 2014)
On 1 July 2014 an Australian jury convicted a Melbourne priest (Father James Henry Scannell, 88) on a charge of buggery, committed against a 12-year-old boy more than 40 years ago. After the assault, the priest required the boy to take part in Confession and ordered him not to tell anybody about the assault, the court was told. The victim (now in his fifties) finally reported this crime to the police after learning that his aunt's funeral in 2010 was to be conducted by this priest. As well as working in this parish, Father Scannell was a "chaplain" for many years for vulnerable people at the Kew Mental Hospital and Children's Cottages in Melbourne.
In the Melbourne County Court on 1 August 2014, Judge David Parsons began pre-sentence proceedings for Scannell. The judge heard submissons by the prosecutor and the church's defence lawyer about what sort of sentence should be imposed on Scannell. The court received a written impact statement from the victim, outlining how the church-abuse disrupted his adolesence and his later life. The judge then remanded Scannell in custody. The judge will hand down his sentence in a week's time.
Court documents stated that in the early 1970s, as well as his chaplaincy at the Kew Cottages, Father Scannell was doing some ministering in a nearby parish (St Anne's, East Kew), and this is where the 12-year-old boy lived. The boy's aunt knew Father Scannell and this is how the boy came into contact with the priest. The boy was paid to do some odd jobs at the priest's house in East Kew, where the sexual abuse occurred. Father Scannell was then aged in his mid-forties.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: July 31, 2014
WILMINGTON, Delaware — A Delaware judge says much of the settlement money for a man who was sexually abused by a Catholic priest has been spent by family members on cars, jewelry and other property.
The man was one of more than 150 abuse victims who reached settlement with the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington in 2011.
The News Journal of Wilmington (http://delonline.us/1s5pRoC) reports $347,901 that was put in a trust dwindled to barely $3,000 in five months. Court records show two relatives denied cheating their relative. They contend purchases were made with his consent and often for his benefit.
A Victorian man sexually assaulted as a child by a Catholic priest says weddings and christenings leave him devastated for months because they stir up memories of the attack.
The former altar boy, now aged in his 50s, said he lived with guilt and loss every day since he was molested in the 1970s.
The now-retired priest, 88-year-old James Henry Scannell, was last month found guilty of a single charge of buggery by a Victorian County Court jury.
He continues to deny committing the assault.
The victim said the attack had left him unable to form one-on-one friendships and put a strain on his marriage.
'I have lost my religion, I lost this the day I was molested,' he said in a victim impact statement read to the court.
All the News That’s Fit To Manufacture: NYT’s Laurie Goodstein Provides Free P.R. For New Jeff Anderson Lawsuit And Touts Non-Existent Campaign to Force St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop’s Resignation
While the New York Times' travails are well known, it appears that the venerable old newspaper still has the resources to devote a reporter to cover a single story line if that story line happens to dovetail with the paper's political leanings.
As our nearby Scoreboard illustrates, the Times' National Religion Correspondent, Laurie Goodstein, seems to really only cover one story in the vast world of religion today: old sex abuse claims in the Catholic Church.
Now Goodstein is providing free p.r. for another lawsuit against the Church by Jeff Anderson and promoting a flimsy campaign among left-wing crazies to sack St. Paul – Minneapolis Archbishop John C. Nienstedt.
And, as it just so happens, the Times' editorial board later wrote an editorial calling for Nienstedt's resignation.
On Wednesday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley ruled that the Milwaukee archdiocese must pay legal and professional fees they have accrued over the last 17 months. The diocese must use $1.35 million in surplus cash, according to the National Catholic Reporter.
Lawyers who have represented the creditors in the case must be paid by the archdiocese. Most of the creditors in the case are survivors of sexual abuse. The archdiocese was also ordered to pay its own legal experts in the case.
The archdiocese has accrued more than $14 million in legal fees since filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January of 2011.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
1 August, 2014
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has published 78 submissions in response to its recent issues paper on redress schemes.
Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the high number of submissions reflected strong community interest in the issue.
“The Royal Commission is undertaking broad consultation and research on the effectiveness of redress schemes in the context of child sexual abuse in institutions, and expects to make recommendations by mid-2015,” Mr Reed said.
“The Royal Commission is currently reviewing and analysing national and international redress schemes, and has published three issues papers on civil litigation, redress, and compensation schemes.”
Submissions to issues paper six were received from a range of individuals and organisations, including government, religious organisations, community service organisations, lawyers, survivor advocacy and support groups and other support services.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
1 August, 2014
The Royal Commission is holding a national information session in Sydney on Monday for people who are deaf, deafblind or hard of hearing.
The event will feature live captions and Auslan interpreters, and it will also be webcast on the Royal Commission website.
Commissioner Robert Fitzgerald will explain the work of the Royal Commission and answer questions from the community.
If you cannot attend in person, but would like to ask a question about the Royal Commission you can let us know by Twitter or email. Please send your question to @CARoyalComm on Twitter or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Diocese of Lafayette is considering a review of an investigation they did decades ago on abuse allegations by a current priest.
Father Gilbert Dutel was named in a deposition from 1992, that was recently uncovered by a Minnesota Public Radio investigation. The Lafayette Diocese told KATC they investigated the claims at the time and the allegations were never proven.
However, today, Bishop Michael Jarrell tells KATC he may submit the matter to the Diocesan Abuse Review Board. Dutel's name was not listed in any lawsuit or criminal filings as a defendant.
KATC did find new details on just how much the diocese has paid out and how many allegations were made.
About 50 families were paid about $23.5 million in settlements from 1983 to 1991 after they were apparently abused by priests employed by the Catholic Diocese of Lafayette, according to court documents.
Billy Gunn| email@example.com
July 31, 2014
LAFAYETTE — Diocese of Lafayette officials said Thursday they do not have the investigative report they say exonerated the Rev. Gilbert Dutel after claims of sexual abuse were leveled at the priest in 1992.
Dutel, 69 and the priest at St. Edmond Catholic Church in Lafayette since June 2010, was revealed in newly uncovered court documents as a priest suspected of abusing at least one youth in the mid- and late-1970s, a boy who said he was 9 or 10 when it started and an early teen when it stopped.
“There was an investigation by Bishop Harry Flynn in 1992,” Monsignor Richard Greene, media liaison for the diocese, said in an emailed response to questions posed by The Advocate.
Claire Taylor July 31, 2014
Bishop Michael Jarrell may ask a confidential review board to advise him with regard to sexual abuse allegations made in 1992 against a priest still ministering in Lafayette.
But Jarrell, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette, doesn't plan on re-opening an investigation into the claims made by a 26-year-old man in 1992 against the Rev. Gilbert Dutel, who is pastor at St. Edmond Catholic Church.
The Daily Advertiser submitted questions to Jarrell on Wednesday, and Thursday via email to Monsignor Richard Greene, the diocese's media liaison, after learning about the 1992 accusations.
In a sworn statement, the accuser said that when he was a boy in Vermilion Parish Dutel was a family friend and priest who abused him over several years. He also accused two other priests of molestation, one of whom was convicted of molestation in Washington state and the other who admitted to abusing children and later committed suicide in Virginia in 2012 when some of his victims confronted his wife about his past.
Jay Olstad, KARE July 31, 2014
ST. PAUL, Minn. – In a rare series of interviews, Archbishop John Nienstedt sat down with KARE 11 and other news outlets to answer questions about the growing concerns over his handling of clergy sex abuse.
For months, his critics have called for his resignation. Nienstedt said he's not going anywhere.
"We want people to know we are not just sitting here taking our licks. We've been working very, very hard and I have whole new team in place now," he said.
He said the church has made improvements, including beefing up monitoring programs for priests who have abused in the past. He also said church officials have reviewed 3,000 priest files and are implementing recommendations from an archdiocese task force.
Nienstedt took over as Archbishop in 2008 and one year later assigned Father Curtis Wehmeyer to be the pastor at Blessed Sacrament in St. Paul.
He did this despite warnings by some church officials about Wehmeyer's past sexual behavior, including a time where he allegedly solicited young men for sex in a coffee shop. Nienstedt said the allegations did not involve young children.
July 31, 2014
By: Jay Kolls
In one-on-one interview, the Archbishop of the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese defended himself and his actions as head of the Catholic Church in Minnesota.
Archbishop John Nienstedt tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS "I never covered up allegations of child sexual abuse by priests." Nienstedt and the Catholic Church have been sued for not reporting and then covering up allegations of child sexual abuse by priests in the St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese.
When questioned about his time as Bishop of the New Ulm Diocese, the Archbishop tells 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS his memory about incidents when he was in charge there between 2001 and 2007 are not as clear.
We asked if he ever received a report about a priest sexually abusing a child and then reported it to police. Nienstedt said "my recollection is a little, ah, short at this point. Um, but I think, um, I just don't remember, to be honest with you." Some see his response as a bombshell.
Dr. Charles Reid, a lawyer and Catholic Church expert at the University of St. Thomas, says Nienstedt's response is "absolutely unbelievable. He either knows, or he doesn't know. It is an absolutely unbelievable response."
by Tom Lyden
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has been embroiled in controversy for months, and the man at the helm, Archbishop John Nienstedt -- himself accused of impropriety, is breaking his silence.
In a one-on-one interview with Fox 9's Tom Lyden, Nienstedt made it quite clear he believes he has enough energy, information and experience to be able to lead and represent the Catholic Church in the state's largest metropolitan area. When asked if he believes he has the moral authority, Nienstedt replied, "I do."
"I read all e-mails; it's divided, but I have a lot of support, and I'm grateful for that support," he continued.
Additionally, Nienstedt also told Fox 9 News, and may truly believe, that the worst of the sex scandal is behind him. According to the archbishop, the archdiocese has reviewed the files and performed background checks on more than 3,000 priests -- and beefed up monitoring of priests who have abused.
Eric Dejaeger, the disgraced and defrocked priest who is currently in custody awaiting verdicts in 68 sex-related charges stemming from incidents in Igloolik between 1978 and 1982, will face a new judge soon, in Edmonton.
The Canadian Press is reporting that Dejaeger waived his right to a preliminary hearing this week and will return to an Edmonton courthouse Sept. 12 to have a trial date set.
Dejaeger, 67, lived in Edmonton in the mid-1970s and studied at Newman Theological College before heading north to work as an Oblate missionary in what was then the Northwest Territories.
He was charged in 2011 with one count each of indecent assault and gross indecency in connection with a series of incidents involving a minor alleged to have occurred in Edmonton between 1975 and 1978.
The Belgian-born ex-priest, who now holds Canadian citizenship, has a long history with the Canadian justice system.
Posted by Mike Bryant
July 31, 2014
The Minnesota Child Victims Act is now a year old and has two more years to go. The Minneapolis Tribune took time for the anniversary to look at how it is going. The story was interesting for its overview, but there are areas that are worth looking at a little closer.
The headlines of the story were interesting. In the paper the headline was: Abuse Law Unleashes Firestorm On Church and in the internet version it was: Minnesota Child Victim’s Act Generates Nearly 40 Lawsuits, Church Reforms. The law didn’t start things. The abuse that has been hidden for years is what created the firestorm. The hiding is what caused the need for the law.
The numbers are interesting. There have already been over 40 lawsuits against 30 different priests. In comparison, the story points out the other states which have had open window laws:
California witnessed more than 1,100 lawsuits during its one-year window, Hamilton said. About 170 lawsuits were filed in Delaware and about 75 in Hawaii during their two-year windows.
It may be a little early to really compare the numbers. It also should really look at the number of disclosed pedophiles who were credibly accused. Minnesota has over 100 disclosed already.
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Agana
Statement from the Archbishop Anthony Apuron, OFM Cap., D.D.
The Archdiocese of Agana has been working diligently to review its financial condition with the help of the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche and the Archdiocesan Finance Officer, following the indication of Cardinal Filoni, Prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
Together with the Archdiocesan Finance Council, I decided that on an annual basis the Archdiocese of Agana, Catholic Cemeteries of Guam, Inc. and the Redemptoris Mater Archdiocesan Missionary Seminary of Guam will publish the financial reports and financial review.
I am pleased to tell you that through this review we have verified that the overall financial situation of the Archdiocese is healthy and that the debt of the Archdiocese in the past years has been reduced by twenty percent (20%).
However, two (2) entities of the Archdiocese, the Agana Cathedral-Basilica and Catholic Cemeteries of Guam, Inc. have about seven million dollars of indebtedness which has been reduced only marginally and which accounts for about one quarter of the total indebtedness of the Archdiocese of Agana.
Moreover, Deloitte & Touche has determined that the accounting practices, especially of the Catholic Cemeteries of Guam, Inc., are “inappropriate”. Deloitte and Touche, listing the cases of inappropriate accounting, concluded that an audit is not possible until appropriate accounting has been reestablished in The Catholic Cemeteries of Guam, Inc.
I informed the Presbyteral Council, the College of Consultors and the Archdiocesan Finance Council about this situation, and they expressed their support.
Based on these findings, I have decided that a change in administration in these two entities, the Agana Cathedral-Basilica and The Catholic Cemeteries of Guam, Inc., is necessary and urgent to reestablish proper accounting practices and to complete the financial review, financial report and the audit.
Most Rev. Anthony S. Apuron, OFM Cap., D.D.
Archbishop of Agana
by Sabrina Salas Matanane
Guam - The head of the island's Catholic church is breaking his silence revealing more information as to why he removed Monsignor James Benavente from his duties within the Archdiocese of Agana.
It's clearly a church divided.
"We are losing confidence and trust in his leadership," said parishioner Andy Balajadia. "I hope that by praying, he will change."
Concerned Catholics in Guam united in prayer this week concerned about a series of events that have been occurred in the Archdiocese of Agana. Most recently the sudden removal of Monsignor Benavente as the rector for the Cathedral Basilica and director of the Catholic Cemeteries his termination came just one week after the church celebrated his 20-year anniversary. Tommy Tanaka said, "What the archbishop is doing is providing division not only with the shepherd, but also the flock."
Earlier this week Archbishop Anthony Apuron through a press release said that based on the findings of a recent audit he decided that a change in administration was necessary and urgent to re-establish proper accounting practices, complete a financial review, financial report and an audit. According to His Excellency, an audit conducted by Deloitte & Touche revealed the Cathedral and Catholic Cemeteries have about $7 million in indebtedness. He added the firm determined the accounting practices, especially in the Catholic Cemeteries, are "inappropriate" and that an audit is not possible until appropriate accounting has been re-established in the Catholic Cemeteries of Guam.
Today the archbishop issued another press release detailing more information from the audit about "significant accounting deficiencies in the Catholic Cemeteries of Guam, Inc.". Auditors found that the Catholic Cemeteries had incorrectly included it its assets land which was not in its own name, thus overstating its assets and using this property to secure a loan, the audit found that construction costs were duplicated incorrectly overstating its assets by $3.8 million and that the construction contracts needed to verify the exact costs were missing.
Pacific Daily News
Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno
Pacific Daily News
The previous management of Guam's Catholic cemeteries overstated its assets and used land that wasn't under its name to secure a loan, Archbishop Anthony Apuron announced yesterday.
The archbishop issued a public statement to further explain his reason for firing Monsignor James Benavente, who was the director of Catholic Cemeteries of Guam Inc.
Apuron also removed Benavente as rector of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica -- a post he held for nearly 20 years.
Benavente this week declined to comment on the issue, but he participated in a Tuesday prayer, organized by those who do not support the archbishop's actions.
Richard Untalan, a former finance official for the island's Catholic Church, this week questioned the decision to blame Benavente, saying Apuron also played a role in the financial decisions.
Untalan, former president of the Archdiocesan Finance Council, said a $7 million debt cited by Apuron is related to money that was borrowed by the church for renovation and construction.
National Catholic Reporter
Brian Roewe | Jul. 31, 2014
On the same day St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt doubled down on his commitment to remain leader of his apostolic see, Catholics elsewhere in the region discussed his possible successor.
The Catholic Coalition for Church Reform announced Wednesday they had identified seven nominees believed to have the ability to lead the archdiocese into its future and likely out of the current clergy abuse scandal ensnaring the archdiocese since September.
While calls for Neinstedt to be replaced have rung louder in recent weeks, including in editorials in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and The New York Times, Nienstedt on Wednesday fortified his resolve to remain archbishop "as long as the Holy Father has appointed me here," he wrote in a column in his archdiocesan newspaper.
In the past, Nienstedt cautioned local Catholics from interacting with the coalition, which includes local chapters of DignityUSA, Call to Action, and Roman Catholic Women Priests.
The group reached its seven candidates after whittling down an original list first from 55 priests, then from 23. They are Fr. J. Michael Byron, Fr. Paul Feela, Fr. Paul Jaroszeski, Fr. Phillip Rask, Fr. Timothy Wozniak, current moderator of the curia and vicar general Fr. Charles Lachowitzer, and Auxiliary Bishop Lee Piché.
In the fall, the committee plans to hold "know the nominees" workshops. During the first half of November, an "election-like process" will produce the three names they will send to Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the apostolic nuncio to the United States. Per canon law, the nuncio provides the pope three people for consideration when a bishop's see opens.
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis says he will not resign and insists the Church has turned a corner with new policies to better address allegations of sexual abuse by priests.
John Nienstedt is doing a series of interviews about the abuse scandal and he also is answering questions about recently surfaced allegations that he was involved in sexually inappropriate relationships with men.
While talking with WCCO’s Esme Murphy, Nienstedt denied ever having any kind of inappropriate relationships with men. He said he expects to be cleared of the allegations eventually.
The claims surfaced after Jennifer Haselberger, former canon lawyer for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, revealed she had been interviewed by an outside law firm investigating the allegations.
Those allegations contrast sharply with the archbishop’s campaign in support of the 2012 constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. The archbishop defended the church’s $600,000 campaign in favor of that amendment.
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, July 31, 2014
EDMONTON - A former Arctic priest defrocked for sexual misbehaviour will face trial on two sex-related charges in Edmonton.
Eric Dejaeger has waived his right to a preliminary hearing and will have his trial date set on September 12.
The 67-year-old former Oblate missionary lost his status as a priest for his behaviour in two missions in Nunavut.
Dejaeger was stationed in Igloolik and Baker Lake between 1978 and 1989, when the Oblates asked him to leave.
He lived in Edmonton during the mid-1970s after moving from Belgium.
Mark Silk | Jul 31, 2014
John Nienstedt, the embattled archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, has decided to tough it out and disregard the calls for him to resign over his handling of sex abuse cases. He is now publicly campaigning to keep his job.
“In the end, it comes down to this: 18 years ago, Pope John Paul II chose me to serve the Church as a bishop, an authentic successor of the apostles,” he writes in a column posted on the archdiocesan website. “I am bound to continue in my office as long as the Holy Father has appointed me here.”
In other words, Rome is going to have to give him the heave-ho, which is to say that he’s got to persuade the papal nuncio to the U.S., Carlo Maria Viganò, that he deserves to stay.
National Catholic Reporter
Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service | Jul. 31, 2014
Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals continue to study the most effective and efficient way to organize the Roman Curia, a large bureaucracy with a long history of expansions and a few, short-term, attempts at consolidation.
For centuries, popes were assisted in their ministry by the cardinals meeting in consistories; the practical matters were handled by what was called the Apostolic Chancery. But as the church grew and matters became more complicated and more time-sensitive, offices were added. The first was the Sacred Congregation for the Inquisition, a tribunal established in 1542 by Pope Paul III to judge heresy and orthodoxy.
Over the next four decades, a few other offices were added, but an organized Roman Curia came into existence only with Pope Sixtus V in 1588.
Currently the principal offices of the Roman Curia are the Secretariat of State, nine congregations headed by cardinals and 12 pontifical councils led by cardinals or archbishops. The offices share the mission of helping the pope carrying out his ministry "for the good and service of the whole church and of the particular churches," according to St. John Paul II's 1988 apostolic constitution Pastor Bonus ("The Good Shepherd").
Kol B'Isha Erva: THE VOICE OF A WOMAN IS NAKEDNESS
Oy veh! Did you hear about the female Mashpia who was accused of hanky panky at Jerusalem’s Yeshivas Rabbeinu Moshiach? This sad excuse for a tzanua engaged in regular yichud with bachorim entrusted to her by their parents who are far away in Chutz La’Aretz! Rachmuna litzlon! No you didn’t hear? That would never happen because yeshivas don’t hire women to work in direct contact with their boys? Baruch Hashem!
Of course, how could I have thought such a thing! Yeshivas would never engage in such impropriety as to hire women! My apologies to the nonexistent female Mashpia! Now remind me, what is the excuse for seminaries hiring men?
Sorry, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. You can’t indoctrinate women with the idea that men are animals who can’t control their sexual urges and then paint them as holy bastions of indifference and self control when they have the title “Rabbi” tacked in front of their names. It doesn’t work that way. What applies to one applies to all.
On July 11, 2014 I broke the story about Rabbi Elimelech Meisels sexually exploiting female students. I reported that a rabbinical court in Chicago called him out on his conduct and issuing a ruling that students should not attend the four post-high school institutions he owned and operated because they were not safe. There has since been an explosion of coverage, leaked documents, and a defense of those seminaries by another rabbinical court. This controversy has rocked the non-Hasidic ultra orthodox world because these so-called seminaries based in Israel are now practically standard “finishing school” experiences for diaspora ultra orthodox Jews who are not Hasidic.
Below is a compendium of articles to date. I have bolded the articles I consider most important.
Posts on Frum Follies (“Yerachmiel Lopin”)
By ANN ANOOSHIAN, Staff Writer
The Ninth U.S. Circuit of Appeals yesterday ruled that the Diocese of Phoenix of the Roman Catholic Church was not covered by its insurance policy for sex abuse claims.
The panel, in a 2-1 decision, held that an “assault and battery” exclusion in the relevant policy precluded indemnification of the diocese, as well as of the individual priests. It overturned the ruling of U.S. District Judge Neil Wake of the District of Arizona, who held that the exclusion applied only to the offending priests.
The appeals court ruled in favor of Interstate Fire & Casualty Company, Inc., the excess liability carrier for the diocese, which brought a declaratory action after the diocese sought indemnification for settlements it paid in four lawsuits.
In its complaint, the diocese said it settled two claims in California alleging sexual abuse by Father John Giandelone in 2007, for approximately $1.3 million. The complaint also stated the diocese paid $1.8 million to settle claims in Arizona, alleging abuse by Fathers Mark Lehman, Dale Fushek and Phil Baniewicz.
Interstate Fire cited the exclusion of liability to “any Assured for assault and battery committed by or at the direction of such Assured.”
Bill Donohue comments on the decision by St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt not to resign:
It’s all about homosexuality. Ever since Archbishop Nienstedt criticized the pro-gay film, “Brokeback Mountain,” he has been targeted by homosexual activists all over the nation. So it is hardly surprising to read a story on him in today’s New York Times that cites his take on the movie. Had he liked it, and had he been silent on the subject of gay marriage, no one would be calling for his resignation.
If there is one area where critics have a point it is the handling by archdiocesan officials, prior to Nienstedt’s tenure, of two disturbed priests: there were enough red flags early on to warrant a more punitive approach. What these critics fail to say, however, is that the red flags involved homosexuality. At least in one case, it appears that the priest was protected precisely because he was gay. This is indefensible.
Further proof that homosexuality is the real issue driving the foes of Nienstedt can be found in today’s Star Tribune and Pioneer Press, two newspapers in the Twin Cities. Both asked him yesterday what he does in bed and with whom. He told the former, “No, I’m not gay. And I’m not anti-gay.” When the latter asked if he had had sex with men since becoming archbishop, he said, “No. Not even before.”
In reacting to the recently resurrected allegations of sexual abuse among local clergy, is the Catholic Diocese of Lafayette maintaining its old stance of protecting their own?
In a four-part series released last week, Minnesota Public Radio — using a recently un-sealed federal lawsuit filed in 1988 by the Diocese of Lafayette against its insurance broker — has shed new light on the church’s handling of a 1980s pedophilia scandal, including the name of a priest still working in the diocese.
That priest, according to the report, is the Rev. Gilbert Dutel of St. Edmond Catholic Church in Lafayette.
According to a statement filed in 1992 by Dutel’s alleged victim, the sexual relationship with the local priest started in 1976. The victim was 9 or 10, and the alleged relationship would go on for another five or six years, eventually including two additional priests from the diocese.
“[Dutel] would just put his arms around me and he was, I guess, trying to be consoling, kind and gentle and then he just started playing with me and he unzipped my pants,” claims the victim, a former altar boy who’s name was redacted from the 1992 document recounting his first sexual encounter with Dutel in Vermilion Parish.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy
A longtime executive with a clergyman’s upstate New York charity organization was arrested Wednesday on charges that she stole more than $1-million in taxpayer funds and approved a phony job for a former state legislator, the Times Union of Albany reports.
Prosecutors allege Jacqueline Gentile diverted state grants intended for drug-treatment and job-training programs to cover deficits and pay salaries at the Rev. Peter Young’s network of social-service agencies, with which she has worked for 28 years. She was also accused of falsifying records in connection with what authorities said was a no-show job for ex-state Assemblyman William F. Boyland at a Young charity.
Ms. Gentile was released on $25,000 bail. Her lawyer denied any wrongdoing, and she was vehemently defended by Mr. Young, whose Schenectady-based network operates more than 100 sites statewide that provide housing and other services for the homeless, substance abusers, and ex-convicts. “I’ve been with her for approximately 30 years. In 30 years she’s a person of complete integrity,” he said.
National Catholic Reporter
Marie Rohde | Jul. 31, 2014
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley on Wednesday ordered the Milwaukee archdiocese to use $1.35 million in surplus cash to partially pay legal and profession fees that have been accruing over the past 17 months.
The archdiocese must pay lawyers representing the creditors in the case, most of whom are survivors of sexual abuse, as well their own legal experts. So far, the archdiocese has amassed close to $14 million in legal fees since the Chapter 11 bankruptcy was filed in January 2011.
While the mounting legal bills are a matter of concern to Kelley, a quick end is not in sight. Eight lawyers were in court and four others attended via a telephone hookup for a two-hour hearing Wednesday, further driving up the bills.
The $1.35 million would probably result in a payment of about 20 cents on the dollar, said lawyer James Stang, the lead lawyer for the creditors. Lawyers for the other side restated that everyone would be paid in full once a reorganization plan is approved, a notion that seems distant.
Kelley put the approval process for the archdiocesan-proposed reorganization plan on hold until the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decides other issues, including whether some $57 million in a trust fund for the perpetual care of nine cemeteries could be used for claims. That decision is not expected until October.
Posted on 07/30/2014 by Yerachmiel Lopin
Until now the Chicago Beis Din (CBD) did not discuss the role of staff in enabling Elimelech Meisels to sexually abuse student in his seminaries (Pninim, Binas Bais Yaakov, Chedvas Bais Yaakov, and Keser Chaya). This morning they sent a letter elaborating their concerns. They wrote:
We stand by our July 10 statement that we do not recommend prospective students attend these seminaries, and also note, based on evidence including testimony by victims and staff and admissions by Elimelech Meisels, our conclusion that certain senior staff members failed in their responsibilities toward students.
Thus it is irrelevant whether Meisels actually sold his seminaries to Yankie Yarmush, or whether it was a sham sale with Yarmush fronting for Meisels. What matters is that staff turned a blind eye to his grooming and late night excursions and rebuffed or harangued the students who begged them to intervene. The culprits are still there and cannot be trusted to ensure student safety. Moreover, as we saw with the Kahane letter, the staff who enabled the abuse are now invested in protecting Meisels’ reputation. This makes it possible for him to return some day with a chorus of beholden employees proclaiming his righteousness.
HTC Suspends Accreditation of Meisels’ Seminaries Threatening Cutoff of Governmental Financial Aid
Posted on 07/17/2014 by Yerachmiel Lopin
The Meisels seminaries are accredited through the Israel Experience Program (IEP) of Hebrew Theological College (HTC) in Skokie, IL. This accreditation is essential for getting governmental financial and receiving college credit.
HTC accepts the authority of the Chicago “Special Beis Din” of Rabbis Schwartz, Feurst and Cohen. They accept its July 10th rabbinic ruling to not enroll students in these seminaries because of sexually abusive behavior by Meisels and are freezing any finalization of arrangements for 2014-2015 enrollees.
On July 14 they sent out the following message to the 62 students, accepted through them to the Meisels seminaries, to start in Fall 2014:
Hebrew Theological College
7135 N. Carpenter Rd.
Skokie, IL 60077
In response to the decision of the Chicago Special Beis Din regarding Pninim, Binas Bais Yaakov, Chedvas Bais Yaakov and Keser Chaya seminaries, HTC is currently reviewing the status of these programs with our college. Meanwhile, we request that you send us the signed IEP Participation Agreement (see attached) and $1,500 Program fee by the July 31, 2014 deadline if you have not yet done so. We will not deposit any checks or run any credit card payments unless we determine that our affiliation with these seminaries will continue for the 2014-15 school year. If your program fee has already been deposited, please be assured that if the decision is ultimately made to suspend our affiliation with these seminaries, we will fully refund your payment.
Posted on 07/16/2014 by Yerachmiel Lopin
The great flaw of the Israeli Beit Din dealing with the sex offending Elimelech Meisels (see here) is thinking they are dealing with isolated violations arising from spontaneous lust for which Meisels has repented. In truth they are dealing with a manipulative man who strategically and aggressively groomed his victims, often starting at the admissions and scholarship stages. He created cliques of his favorites that he showered with attention and was often publicly abusive to others, including staff. His manipulations succeeded to the point that housemothers invalidated or berated the concerns of students.
Manipulation cartoon mathThis was also the pattern for serial offenders like Rabbis (sic) Baruch Lanner, Dovid Weinberger, and Motti Elon. All of them persisted in their manipulations even after they offered (insincere) apologies.
Posted on 07/15/2014 by Yerachmiel Lopin
According to a letter sent out this week by seminaries owned by the Meisels family (Pninim, Binas Bais Yaakov, Keser Chaya, & Chedvas Bais Yaakov):
Our Founder/Dean, Rabbi Elimelech Meisels, has chosen to resign from his position. This was done in accordance with the beit din of Rav Mendel Shafran Shlitah in Bnei Brak that was retained by Torah Umesorah. Rabbi Meisels resigned eight weeks ago and is no longer affiliated with the institutions in any capacity whatsoever…… The schools will be under new management and G-d willing, in the coming days, an announcement will be forthcoming about the addition of a new menahel who will oversee the running of all four institutions.
There are several problems with this declaration.
Pninim Staff Listing on website on 7-15-14 1 pm EST US1. They claim that “Elimelech [Eli] Meisels resigned eight weeks ago.” Nobody else in the Jewish world knew about that development. In fact the website for Pninim still listed Meisels at the top of their staff list as of 1:00 p.m. (EST) today (Tuesday, 7/15/14). (see screenshot on the side). Eight weeks would have been plenty of time to update their staff listing.
2. They say “Meisels is no longer affiliated with the institutions in any capacity whatsoever.” However it is widely known that his family continues to “own” the institution. I put own in quote marks because technically it is a not-for-profit which gives it all sorts of tax advantages. But in the eyes of a beit din they are accepted as the controlling agents and all the officers with legal control answer to them. As of yesterday the Meisels family continued to refuse to give up their control. Because the family insists on retaining control, the letter is not telling the truth when it claims “The schools will be under new management.” Perhaps that will happen but there is no reason to be certain about it.
Israeli Beit Din Announces Removal of Meisels from His Seminaries and Gives Green Light for Attendance
On Friday I posted a 7/10/14 Chicago Beit Din ruling about an investigation into sexual misconduct by Elimelech Meisels which advised against sending girls to Meisels’ four Israeli post-high-school seminaries. Last night (7/13/14) an Israeli Beit Din issued a ruling reporting “the removal of the party responsible” [i.e., Elimelech Meisels] and a legally binding agreement empowering the Israeli Beit Din to make, supervise, and control changes in the ownership and management of the seminaries. Based on these interim measures, the Israeli Beit Din advises parents and principals of US and Canadian girls’ high schools to feel comfortable sending students to these seminaries.
Below is an image of the Israeli ruling and my rough translation.
UPDATE 7/14/14: 9:00 a.m. — See new post: Israeli Beit Din Announces Removal of Meisels from His Seminaries and Gives Green Light for Attendance
The Special Beis Din (rabbinical court) of Chicago exists to address allegations of sexual abuse which cannot be, or will not be, directed to the criminal justice system. It is led by Rabbi Gedalia Dov Schwartz, the Av Beis Din (court head) for the Beth Din of America (BDA) and the emeritus Av Beit Din of the Chicago Rabbinical Council (CRC).
Rabbi Elimelech (aka Eli) Meisels with his father, owns and operates several Israeli “seminaries” for post-high-school, year-in-Israel religious education of young women, mostly from Yeshivish ultra-orthodox backgrounds in the English speaking world. These include: Pninim, Binas Bais Yaakov, Chedvas Bais Yaakov and Keser Chaya. Meisels is associated with Ohr Somayach and is second author with Rabbi Dovid Kaplan of The Kiruv Files (2008)
In a ruling issued on Thursday July 10, 2014, the Beis Din reported that they believe “that students in these seminaries are at risk of harm and it does not recommend that students attend these seminaries at this time.
Posted: Jul 31, 2014
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -
Despite rising pressure to resign, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt says he’s not going to step down.
Nienstedt wrote a letter that will be published Thursday in the Catholic Spirit, and in it, he says he feels bound to his position because the Holy Father put him there. He also claims he never knowingly covered up any clergy abuse, but did say he could have been more involved in handling priest misconduct. He also answered questions regarding allegations of his own possible sexual misconduct, and included how he intends to help the church come together again.
His interview and announcement comes in the wake of lawsuits filed regarding the alleged abuse and cover up of crimes committed by church officials and priests. In court depositions, Nienstedt said he knew of priests accused under the church's internal monitoring program but weren’t removed from their respective parishes.
Buenos Aires Herald
Pope Francis is taking action in a divisive diocese in Paraguay where an Argentine priest, accused by a former superior of being a “serious threat to young people,” has been removed as the No. 2.
Carlos Urrutigoity is still an active priest in the Ciudad del Este diocese, however, in a sign that he remains in good standing with his bishop.
Urrutigoity has denied allegations of impropriety, even though he has never been charged. His bishop, Monsignor Rogelio Livieres, has stressed that there is no accusation of sexual abuse against the priest. But Urrutigoity’s case re-emerged after Francis sent a team of Vatican investigators to the diocese this month to look into criticisms against Livieres by other Paraguayan prelates.
Livieres in 2005 allowed Urrutigoity to join his diocese, even though Urrutigoity’s then-superior in Scranton, Pennsylvania had warned the Vatican that he was a threat and unsuitable for the priesthood.
Urrutigoity had been a member of the schismatic, traditionalist Society of St. Pius X. He later joined the Scranton diocese and founded a priestly society where the old Latin Mass was celebrated.
The Washington Times
By Meredith Somers-The Washington Times Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Fearless advocates. Vicious enemies. The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests has been called a variety of names — positive and negative — in the last quarter century.
On Friday what’s projected to be the largest conference in SNAP’s history is set to begin in Chicago, where members of the 19,000-strong advocacy group that has been the leading voice in the Catholic Church’s priest abuse scandal plan to discuss the challenges and triumphs of the past year, and usher in the next 25 years under what leaders say is a “cautiously optimistic” view.
“It does feel like we’ve come a long way,” said David Clohessy, SNAP’s national director. “At the risk of sounding cliche, we’ve all seen just the tip of this devastating iceberg that doesn’t ever seem to shrink in size.”
Unlike the first year of the Survivors Network, which Mr. Clohessy said was little more than an answering machine and a post office box, the advocacy group now has numerous prosecutors, advocates and victims that are part of their ongoing fight against clergy abuse.
“The most encouraging milestones have been when secular authorities … either investigated or exposed cover-ups and reformed archaic, predator-friendly laws,” Mr. Clohessy said. “When those things happen, that’s what really encourages us more than anything.”
The News Journal
Beth Miller, The News Journal July 30, 2014
A 43-year-old Newark man who was sexually abused by a Catholic priest was victimized again by family members who used much of his $347,901 in settlement money to buy cars, jewelry and other property, a Chancery Court judge said in a scathing opinion Tuesday.
Duane Hardy was among more than 150 abuse victims who reached settlement with the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in 2011. He was among those who had been sexually assaulted by the late Rev. Edward B. Carley, who died in 1998.
The money was meant to supplement his disability payments and provide for his care for a lifetime. A trust set up in his name, though, was drained by two family members, court documents say – his older sister, Sherry Hardy, and her son, Michael Hardy – to barely $3,000 in just five months’ time.
Court records show both denied cheating their relative out of his funds, saying their purchases were made with his consent and often for his benefit. Neither Sherry nor Michael Hardy could be reached for comment Wednesday.
By Noel Baker
An extensive critique of the McAleese Report into the Magdalene laundries could be published by the year end, according to the Justice for Magdalenes (JFM).
The campaigning group, now known as JFM Research, is currently compiling its analysis of the McAleese Report which was published last year and which has been strongly criticised on a number of fronts.
“We are going to put out all the evidence that we have and to show where he went wrong,” Claire McGettrick of JFM Research, told an audience at the Mother Jones Festival in Cork’s Firkin Crane.
Ms McGettrick said there had been a number of shortcomings in the McAleese Report, including that it did not examine all records and that it had inadequately investigated deaths.
The Police in Delta State have arrested a 25-year-old woman, Ese Oghenevwe, and her church priest, Austin Eduviere following a report that her two sons died after consuming a liquid substance the priest gave to her.
According to a police press release issued on Wednesday evening, the Police at Abraka received information that the women had killed her two children, Prayer Clement, nine months old, and Wisdom Clement, 2, by giving them a liquid substance to drink.
"Based on the information, detectives arrested the said Oghenevwe. The suspect revealed that the liquid substance was given to her by Eduviere of Triumphant World International Church Abraka for healing purposes as the Apostle claimed he had prayed over it," the police release by the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Celestina Kalu said.
Accountability – For whom?
I have been watching with interest the media coverage of the first meeting in Rome of the newly established Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in the Catholic Church. This body carries on its shoulders the expectations of many millions of interested observers all hoping that it will guide the Church down the right path to a position where we can all be confident that vulnerable children will be safeguarded in its care. The signs so far have been encouraging in that emphasis appears to be placed on establishing how accountability can be strengthened when the abuse of a child is suspected or discovered.
Holding people accountable is an essential requirement of a responsible organisation. However from a safeguarding perspective, it is not enough to focus only on those who have directly harmed a child when pursuing accountability. It is also necessary to look at and address the issue with regard to those in leadership who have failed to discharge their responsibilities adequately. This is not comfortable territory for many in the Irish Catholic Church, because if you examine the abusive career of most of the offenders that have been identified and brought to justice amongst the clergy, you will find a list of missed opportunities to intervene and prevent further abuse. Superiors, and sometimes peers, failed to act and as a consequence abuse continued for longer than it should.
In addressing this issue, it is necessary to reflect on why such a situation has been allowed to exist for so long in the first place. The abuse of a vulnerable child is an abhorrent act which has a profound impact on most people who come in contact with it. Why then was “a blind eye” turned to its existence so frequently when it was suspected or known about in the Church? I do not believe that there is one definitive answer to that question but there is evidence that is relevant to aiding our understanding that has emerged from within the Irish Church.
Recently the media has focused on the incidence of abuse in society and also specifically within the Catholic Church. Pope Francis mentioned in an interview that he gave to a reporter that he understood the incidence of paedophilia to be approximately 2% amongst the clergy in the Catholic Church worldwide. Many would regard this figure as an underestimate of what is the likely reality but in the absence of sound evidence it is impossible to be certain. Similarly the media in the United Kingdom have given prominence to the arrest of 660 individuals for accessing images of children being abused from the internet. Only 39 of those arrested were on the sex offenders register. In their coverage much emphasis has been placed on the occupations of these individuals. Some were doctors, teachers, youth leaders, and care workers.
To anyone who has worked in the field of safeguarding there is nothing in this that would be surprising. Indeed, it has previously been reported in the media that there are a substantial number of individuals in the United Kingdom that regularly access hard core child pornography sites on the internet. This figure should be regarded as just the tip of the iceberg. The numbers involved have been quoted as being very much higher than just 660 in the past. What is surprising and worthy of comment is the fact that society, through the operation of the National Crime Agency, has at last taken action. It is acknowledged that it has not had to use new technology in doing so. The means of doing so was previously available but not applied in a focused way until recently.
The possibility of past abuse being covered up by powerful individuals at the heart of the establishment in the United Kingdom, is to be the subject of a full judicial inquiry. Allegations that senior politicians and others were involved in the abuse of young children are now to be properly investigated. All this is following in the wake of the scandal of the hidden abuse by Jimmy Saville.
I was struck recently by the content of an article carried by the Catholic News Service published on 24th July. The article was headed “Vatican revising canon law on abuse penalties, cardinal says”. This is a subject that has interested me for some years and so I read the article with great interest. It reported the content of an interview given by Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmeiro who is the president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts. He was speaking to a reporter from the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatoire Romano. What was described shocked me.
The Vatican is indeed revising the canon law penalties which it has recognised are too vague and this is creating a situation where they are being applied haphazardly. The latter opinion is not only mine but is the stated view given by Bishop Ignacio Arrieta, the Council secretary. I was encouraged to hear that this was actually recognised and being acted upon but then I read on and discovered that the work of revision has been in progress since 2008! There is no anticipated date offered as to when it will be finished.
This really shocked me. On the one hand, a picture is being presented that it is understood that all that can be done to address the problem of clerical abuse within the Catholic Church, will be done but here we have a revision of canon law penalties taking six years and counting with no end in sight! With respect, I do not regard that as a credible position. Either there is a serious effort being made or there is not. I would suggest that taking six years to revise a section of the code of canon law does not indicate that the issue is being sufficiently prioritised.
I appreciate that the Catholic Church is not known for changing quickly. It tends to take its time to make decisions but there are some matters that require speedier responses. If a house is on fire, there is little to be gained in discussing fully with everyone the merits of calling the fire brigade before you actually do it. With regard to the problem of clerical abuse in the Catholic Church, the house is on fire and has been burning for quite a while and has really caught hold. It is time to get the fire brigade out.
The Catholic Church's revision of penalties and procedures for dealing with clerical sexual abusers is taking far too long, the former head of the national board for safeguarding children has warned.
Ian Elliott described himself as "shocked" that the revision of canon law's abuse penalties has been going on since 2008 and there is still no sign of it nearing completion.
In his blog, 'Keeping it Simple', the safeguarding consultant said "some matters require speedier responses".
He said that a picture is being presented by the Catholic Church that all that can be done to address the problem of clerical abuse is being done.
But he said the credibility of this was thrown into doubt by the six years the revision by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts has taken so far. No date has been given for its completion.
Word & Way
By Vicki Brown
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Ministers are responsible for their actions as individuals, sometimes by civil authorities and ultimately by God. But what responsibility, if any, should the local church and the denomination bear for unethical behavior of their pastors and other church ministers?
Ministers must be aware of their relationship with each church member. Role reversal can open the possibility for confusion and abuse.
That question is difficult for religious bodies that follow a congregational form of governance that emphasizes the autonomy of the believer and of the local church. That stance has become the primary basis for refusal by many groups, including many Baptist denominations, to compile lists of ministers caught in unethical or immoral behavior, particularly sexual misconduct.
Establishing an organization-wide procedure is more difficult for denominations without a hierarchical structure, Joe Trull acknowledged. “As Baptists, we want to maintain our belief in local church autonomy and are hesitant to be viewed as telling churches what to do,” noted the retired professor of Christian ethics at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and a former editor of Christian Ethics Today magazine.
Trull also was an adjunct professor at Logsdon Theological Seminary in Abilene, Texas, and at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas. The author of several books co-wrote with James Carter two editions of “Ministerial Ethics.” The 1993 edition is titled “Ministerial Ethics: Being a Good Minister in a Not-So-Good World,” with the 2004 edition as “Ministerial Ethics: Moral Formation for Church Leaders.” The authors currently are updating the book, due to be released next year.
Word & Way
By Vicki Brown, Word&Way Associate Editor
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Anyone who has ever googled any topic or product online usually will get a similar ad from amazon.com at or near the top of the returned search list. Smart marketing — but in the case of ministerial or pastoral ethics, everyone pays a high price when the church shepherd breaches trust.
God's under-shepherds must be held accountable for the care of their congregations.
“I just wanted to talk to the pastor about my uncle’s abuse,” the young woman sobbed to her friend. “Instead, he pushed me down on the couch in his office and raped me.” Though she remains active in a local church in a different town, she still has difficulty sitting through most worship services.
The teenaged girl often hung out with her best friend, a PK (pastor’s kid), after school, usually at one or the other’s home. One day at the minister’s house, the pastor grabbed his daughter’s friend while his daughter was next door. The girl managed to fight him off. A few years later she learned her mother and the pastor were having an affair.
Both these stories are true. The victims aren’t identified because neither reported the incidents and probably never will.
Sexual misconduct and abuse grab the most headlines among the ethical and moral breaches ministers make, primarily because of the clergy sexual abuse scandal that rocked the Roman Catholic Church. Uncovered first in Boston in 1992, the scandal and ongoing investigations continue to unveil abuse.
While sexual misconduct gets the most attention, other moral issues also are garnering notice. The Internet and social media have helped both to uncover unethical behavior and to contribute to it, believes Tarris Rosell, Rosemary Flanigan Chair at the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City, Mo.
Dr. Mark Laaser is a thriving ordained pastor today, but his past is much darker thanks to another man of the cloth abusing him as a child. He joined HuffPost Live to talk about his sexual assault and how that contributed to his addiction to sex.
Laaser opened up to host Nancy Redd about how his childhood abuse by a pastor fueled his 27-year battle with a sex addiction. After the assault, he said he did the "typical route" through pornography, masturbation and sexual encounters throughout his adult years until he went into treatment in 1987.
"What helped me finally was breaking that silence, being able to talk about the immoral behavior that I was doing and to get community around me to support me in making the healthy changes," Laaser said.
Overcoming the abuse wasn't Laaser's only struggle -- once he recovered, he and his wife had to redefine their sexual relationship after 15 years of marriage.
"Part of the first 15 years of our marriage, we had sexuality, we produced three children, but it wasn’t imminently connected," Laaser said. "My brain was never really in the room when we were having sex. My brain was off other places, and I think part of our journey of healing has been the integration of emotions and spirituality into sexuality."
The New York Times
By MICHAEL PAULSON
JULY 30, 2014
The Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, under fire for the way his diocese has dealt with sexually abusive priests, apologized Wednesday for his conduct but rejected calls for his resignation.
The archbishop, John C. Nienstedt, acknowledged errors in his diocese’s response to abuse allegations, writing in a column for the diocesan newspaper that “it is very clear that we did not handle all complaints the way we should have in the past” and that he had only recently removed from ministry several priests accused of abuse.
The American bishops agreed 12 years ago that all clergy members facing credible accusations of abuse would be permanently removed from ministry.
“I have never knowingly covered up clergy sexual abuse,” Archbishop Nienstedt wrote. “I have, however, been too trusting of our internal process and not as hands-on as I could have been in matters of priest misconduct.”
He did not directly address accusations that he himself had had inappropriate sexual relationships with adult men, other than to say that he commissioned an investigation “because I had nothing to hide and wanted to be vindicated from false allegations, as anyone would.”
“I have no doubt that my administrative and personal style, with its strong point of view, may have offended some,” he wrote. “I apologize to those I have hurt. The last year has helped me realize I need to change my administrative style, soften my words, and get out from behind the desk to spend more time with the faithful.”
The Diocese of Lafayette is defending one of its priests after old allegations of sexual abuse resurface in a report by Minnesota Public Radio.
Father Gilbert Dutel (pictured) is the priest at St. Edmund Catholic Church in Lafayette. In a recently-released court deposition from 1992, an alleged victim claimed Fr. Dutel sexually abused him when he was a child.
When the allegations first surfaced in the 1990's, the Diocese of Lafayette, under then-Bishop Harry Flynn, investigated and found no truth to the allegations against Fr. Dutel.
The Diocese of Lafayette released the following statement Wednesday:
Many years ago, unproven allegations were made about Father Gilbert Dutel. An investigation took place back then which considered the totality of the facts available. No new information exists that warrants any action by the Diocese. In the absence of any contrary information, Father Dutel remains a priest in good standing at the Diocese of Lafayette.
The Diocese of Lafayette is committed to providing a safe environment for children. Anyone who has been a victim of abuse by church personnel or who may have information concerning a crime is encouraged to call a local law enforcement agency.
In light of the report by Minnesota Public Radio, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, SNAP, is calling for Father Dutel to be suspended.
Updated: July 30, 2014
Attorneys clashed in court Wednesday over how much data the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis must release in two lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by a priest.
The hearing before Ramsey County District Judge John Van de North involved two men, John Doe 100 and John Doe 104, who allege in separate suits that the Rev. Thomas Stitts abused them in the early 1970s. Both suits allege that the church was aware of previous allegations of sexual misconduct by Stitts years before he allegedly abused Doe 100 and Doe 104 at St. Leo’s Church in St. Paul and St. George’s parish in Long Lake, respectively.
Attorneys Patrick Noaker and Craig Vernon filed a motion to compel the church to release more documents about other priests who allegedly abused children and church “communications” about sexual misconduct, among others. The documents will help show there was reason to suspect that Stitts was capable of abusing children, Noaker said.
Archdiocese attorney John Gunderson argued that Noaker’s motion was too broad and the suits’ claims were “amorphous.” The church has provided all of its documents on Stitts, about 1,000 pages of paperwork and electronic data, Gunderson said. The other data are beyond the scope of the lawsuits, he added.
Van de North asked attorneys to submit additional written arguments in August. He told Noaker to narrow the time frame and scope of his request.
July 30, 2014
Insurance News Net
Lawyers seek decades-old church records on late St. Paul priest linked to sex abuse scandals
By Marino Eccher, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.
McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
July 31--Records of what the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis knew about sexual misconduct within its ranks decades ago are critical to show a pattern of negligence, attorneys suing the church argued Wednesday.
But the archdiocese said those requests go beyond the scope of what the plaintiffs are entitled to.
The arguments before a Ramsey County district judge concerned a lawsuit about the late Rev. Thomas S. Stitts.
The lawsuit alleges abuse inflicted by Stitts occurred at St. Leo the Great Church in the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul when the plaintiff, an altar boy, was about 14.
Other lawsuits claim that Stitts sexually abused boys in the 1960s and 1970s and that the church should have known about it and done more to prevent it.
Grant Gallicho July 30, 2014
In a column that will be published tomorrow, the embattled archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis says he will not resign. Soon after I reported that Archbishop John Nienstedt was being investigated for a series allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct with seminarians, priests, and other adult men--part of which is now complete--an affidavit filed by Nienstedt's former top canon lawyer strongly criticized the archdiocese's sexual-abuse policies and practices. ...
Update: I asked archdiocesan spokesman Jim Accurso when the investigation of Nienstedt would conclude and whether the investigating law firm's report would be made public. In response, he sent me a statement from auxiliary Bishop Lee Piché, which read in part: "I have received [the law firm] Greene Espel’s information. However, this matter involves more than just their role. The investigation is ongoing and I will respond appropriately as the review process continues."
Hamilton and Griffin on Rights
July 29, 2014
It is not terribly surprising to hear that Pope Francis has chosen to visit Philadelphia during the fall of 2015, when the city will be hosting the 2015 World Meeting of Families.
Philadelphia is a landmark for the Catholic Church in many ways. There are roughly 4 million people in Philadelphia and about 1.5 Catholics; no fewer than three major Catholic universities: St. Joseph’s University, Villanova University, and La Salle University; and a blanket of parishes and parochial schools and Catholic high schools.
Philadelphia also was the home of the remarkable American saint, Sister Katharine Drexel, who was born Catherine Marie Drexel into the wealthy Drexel family, but who chose devotion to the needs of the Native American and African American communities over marriage proposals and money.
To his credit, Pope Francis has been outspoken about the evils of child sex abuse and the need to bring priest perpetrators and bishops responsible for the coverup to account. Fittingly, Philadelphia is the American city that knows the most about the Catholic bishops’ coverup. Why? Because it is the only American city where the District Attorney’s Office has pursued and published in-depth grand jury investigations into the ways in which the Archdiocese covered up and fostered child sex abuse by its priests. It is also the only Archdiocese to criminally prosecute a higher-up, Msgr. William Lynn, for his role in the perpetuation of abuse by serial pedophiles. There is much the Pope can learn here about the betrayal of some of the most loyal Catholics in the world.
Knowing that the Pope will want a people’s tour of Philadelphia and that he will also want to capitalize on this opportunity to understand how the American bishops have failed to protect so many of the Church’s own children, I make the following humble suggestions for his trip. The Philadelphia region has been my home for 30 years, and I look forward to his arrival.
Handy Reading List
1. The 2005 Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Grand Jury Report on the Sexual Abuse of Children in the Philadelphia Archdiocese
2. The 2011 Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office Grand Jury Report on the Sexual Abuse of Children in the Philadelphia Archdiocese
3. Benjamin Franklin on Tolerance. Ben Franklin founded the University of Pennsylvania, which was the first major American university to have no religious affiliation. He believed in God, but he declined to accord allegiance to any one religion. Ben was also relentlessly practical and down-to-earth. I believe the Pope would have liked Ben and vice versa.
National Catholic Reporter
Brian Roewe | Jul. 30, 2014
Apologizing "for the distractions I have inadvertently caused," St. Paul-Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt expressed Wednesday his resolve to lead his archdiocese through its current clergy abuse scandal -- with no intention of resigning.
"A bishop's role is more like that of a father of a family than that of a CEO. I am bound to continue in my office as long as the Holy Father has appointed me here," he said in a column in the archdiocesan Catholic Spirit newspaper, echoing comments he made to NCR in early July.
"I have acknowledged my responsibility in the current crisis we face, and I also take responsibility for leading our archdiocese to a new and better day," Nienstedt said before quoting 2 Chronicles where the spirit of the Lord tells King Jehoshaphat and his army, "Stop being afraid, and stop being discouraged because of this vast invasion force, because the battle doesn't belong to you, but to God."
As for the calls he resign -- most recently from the Minneapolis Star-Tribune editorial board -- the archbishop said he has heard them all and has heard similar chants since his arrival in the Twin Cities in 2007. He has read letters labeling him "a hypocrite, a domineering boss and a liar," as well as "a courageous moral leader and a true shepherd."
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
By Bruce Vielmetti of the Journal Sentinel
The Archdiocese of Milwaukee must come up with $1.35 million to pay lawyers involved in its ongoing bankruptcy case, at least a portion of the many more millions they're owed, a judge ordered Wednesday.
The lawyers and other professionals involved haven't been paid since the archdiocese won a suspension of payments more than a year ago, saying it barely had enough money to continue operations.
At the same hearing Wednesday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley also granted the archdiocese's request late Tuesday to return the case to mediation for a possible consensual resolution to the long, complex and fractious proceeding.
"If the parties truly are sincere and willing to work issues out, we should explore that post haste," Kelley said. "Let's 'git 'er done,' to use the vernacular."
Kelley gave the parties 28 days to submit statements for the mediator, who ideally would begin the process in early September. A prior mediation effort in 2012 failed to reach a settlement.
The bankruptcy case has been at a standstill since June when Kelley ruled that she does not have jurisdiction to approve the archdiocese's bankruptcy reorganization plan while key questions in a related lawsuit over $60 million it holds in trust for the care of cemeteries are pending before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
M.L. JOHNSON, Associated Press July 30, 2014
MILWAUKEE — A federal judge ordered mediation Wednesday in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's bankruptcy case, saying she believed it was the best bet for resolving the hard-fought case and keeping more money from going to lawyers rather than sexual abuse victims.
The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in January 2011, saying it would not have the money to pay if it lost lawsuits filed on behalf of victims of clergy sexual abuse. More than 500 abuse victims have since filed claims in bankruptcy court.
A reorganization plan proposed by the archdiocese earlier this year would give 128 victims roughly half of an $8 million insurance settlement. Others who have filed claims would receive nothing. Meanwhile, attorneys' fees are now estimated at $13.7 million, and victims have been outraged by the idea that attorneys would receive more money than them.
Bankruptcy Judge Susan Kelley said during a morning hearing that she would likely issue a written order later in the day for mediation to take place in early September.
"The point of this is to try to negotiate a resolution quickly and stop the legal fees," she said.
A mediation attempt in 2012 failed, in part because the archdiocese maintained there were too many issues to hash out. A sticking point this time could be whether the archdiocese's former insurers participate.
Bucks County Courier Times
Wed Jul 30, 2014.
By GEMA MARIA DUARTE Staff writer
St. Ann parishioners in Bristol have asked the Vatican to investigate the stewardship of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on the recommendation of a consultant hired to appeal the closing of the parish.
St. Ann is one of five Bucks County churches closed in June and merged into nearby churches this month.
The parishioners are appealing the closure of their church too. They hired Boston-based consultant Peter Borre and two lawyers based in Italy who are familiar with canon law to handle that appeal. Borre recommended they also ask the Congregation for the Bishops, the senior personnel department of the Vatican, to look into how Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput is overseeing the diocese.
“We are asking for a formal investigation of Archbishop Chaput's stewardship of the archdiocese because we contend that the cure is becoming worse than the disease,” he said.
The request and the church closure appeal were included in 48 pages of documents sent to Rome this month.
It is unfortunate that “rapidly spreading dysfunction,” as Chaput’s critics call it, is spreading through the archdiocese as Philadelphia prepares for the World Meeting of Families in September 2015, the investigation request states.
Minnesota Public Radio
MPR News Staff St. Paul, Minn. Jul 30, 2014
Archbishop John Nienstedt, under increasing pressure to step down amid scandal, said he will continue to serve as leader of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
In a column posted to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis' website, Nienstedt acknowledged that he has been a divisive figure among Twin Cities Catholics.
"I will continue to listen to those who express concerns about my leadership," he wrote, "but I will also continue serving as I have been called to do."
Nienstedt wrote that he has "never knowingly covered up clergy sexual abuse."
"I have always been honest with the Catholics of this local Church," he added.
Calls for Nienstedt's resignation, which began soon after the clergy sexual abuse scandal erupted in the Twin Cities last fall, have grown louder in recent weeks. The Star Tribune joined the chorus Sunday, with an editorial calling for his ouster.
"For the sake of one of this state's most valued institutions and the Minnesotans whose lives it touches, Nienstedt's service at the archdiocese should end now," the paper wrote. The New York Times last week cited the Twin Cities archdiocese in an editorial insisting the Catholic Church make its bishops accountable for covering up clergy abuse, saying the archdiocese has "made a mockery of accountability."
JULY 30, 2014, BY KATIE DELONG
MILWAUKEE COUNTY (WITI) — A former Milwaukee-area priest accused of stealing from his church will stand trial.
Father James Dokos was in court on Wednesday morning, July 30th — facing charges of felony theft.
Prosecutors say he took more than $100,000 from Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa when he was a priest there.
Courthouse News Service
By TIM HULL
(CN) - The Catholic Diocese of Phoenix's insurance policy does not cover sexual abuse claims, the 9th Circuit ruled Wednesday.
After settling with four men who say they were sexually abused by priests in the 1970s and 80s, The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix sought indemnification for excess liability from its insurance company, Interstate Fire & Casualty Company.
The insurer shot back with its own request for a judgment stating that the Diocese's policy excluded liability for assault and battery.
U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake ruled for the Diocese in Phoenix, finding that the exclusion applied only the offending priests and did not necessarily deny coverage for sexual abuse claims.
A divided appellate panel reversed on Wednesday.
The question came down to the relative meanings of the words "any" and "such".
By Jesse Marx
Wed., Jul. 30 2014
For decades, Bob Schwiderski has been a voice for victims of clerical abuse. He's blanketed the neighborhoods of accused priests with fliers and held press conferences to encourage others to speak out.
This week, Schwiderski kicked up his crusade. He released an updated version of a map he created showing where each of the allegations of sexual misconduct that he's recorded over the years occurred and by whom. There's 250 names total, and they include not only Catholic priests and monks, but Episcopal and Protestant pastors and their staff. You'll also find four nuns.
The map is entitled "The Hunting Grounds" because Swiderski believes that places of worship, no matter the denomination, attract sexual predators. "Some people know that if they present themselves in this godly way they'll have access to children," he tells us. "And the families are trusting of the people who work in the churches."
He would have included allegations against leaders of other religions, but he doesn't know of any. And even if he did, he'd need a second source. Every person on the map has at least two allegations against them, he says. Another list he keeps private includes 261 Christians.
His careful approach of naming people publicly, which he honed as the head of the Minnesota chapter of SNAP, has the benefit of bringing victims together. Schwiderski asks everyone who comes forward with an allegation to contact their old friends and classmates, looking for similar stories of abuse. "All of a sudden, there's two or three people and they haven't talked in 20 years," he says, "but now they have people to walk forward with."
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com )
The Vatican confirmed today that Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, a credibly accused serial predator, has been suspended from his post as deputy bishop of a diocese in Paraguay.
The Pope should fire Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano. Livieres deliberately promoted a credibly accused abuser who admitted sleeping with teens and allegedly molested several of them.
Livieres ignored a fellow bishop who explicitly warned that Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity is “a serious threat to young people.” How much more reckless can a church official be?
And Pope Francis should harshly and publicly explain and denounce Livieres' irresponsible actions, instead of letting him “save face” by yet-another vague and minimizing statement from a lower-level Vatican staffer.
This piecemeal, reactive approach – gently disciplining egregious wrongdoers only when they're publicly exposed – won't cut it. For years Vatican officials have taken belated, grudging and lenient action against church officials when their wrongdoing has been so bad that it prompted international criticism. So this hand-slapping of one Paraguay bishop is inadequate. It is far from ground-breaking.
Covering up abuse and endangering kids is a cancer on the church. It requires severe surgery, not an occasional band-aid only applied under duress. Francis must publicly oust a number of complicit bishops and say why in no uncertain terms if he really wants to get other bishops to stop putting innocent children in harm's way.
Fr. Urrutigoity spent time in Canada, Switzerland, Minnesota (Winona), and Pennsylvania (Scranton). He's accused of abuse in Minnesota and Pennsylvania.
Grant Gallicho July 30, 2014
In a column that will be published tomorrow, the embattled archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis says he will not resign. Soon after I reported that Archbishop John Nienstedt was being investigated for a series allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct with seminarians, priests, and other adult men, an affidavit filed by Nienstedt's former top canon lawyer strongly criticized the archdiocese's sexual-abuse policies and practicies. Calls for his resignation began to grow. Earlier this week, the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran an editorial urging the archbishop to step down. So did the New York Times. But Nienstedt won't go.
Eighteen years ago, Pope John Paul II chose me to serve the Church as a bishop, an authentic successor of the apostles. A bishop’s role is more like that of a father of a family than that of a CEO. I am bound to continue in my office as long as the Holy Father has appointed me here. I have acknowledged my responsibility in the current crisis we face, and I also take responsibility for leading our archdiocese to a new and better day.
“This is what the Lord says to you," Nienstedt's column continues, citing Second Chronicles: "'Stop being afraid, and stop being discouraged because of this vast invasion force, because the battle doesn’t belong to you, but to God.'"
Apologizing for the "distractions I have inadvertently caused," the archbishop emphasizes three things about his response to the months-long scandal. First, he announces that he has a new leadership team that operates with the philosophy of "Victims First." In consultation with victims, Nienstedt says he plans to hire a new victims liason--who will be a layperson. Second, he claims that he has never knowingly covered up sexual abuse. He admits that he was too trusting of the archdiocese's process, and that "we did not handle all complaints the way we should have in the past." And third, Nienstedt says that he has always been honest with his people. Over the past year, according to the archbishop, he has learned that he must change his leadership style.
Bengaluru, July 30, 2014
An 11-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a temple priest in Bangalore on Tuesday, less than a month after a seven-year-old was raped in a city school, sparking widespread protests in the southern city.
Police say the 53-year-old priest, a friend of the victim's family, has been arrested. On Tuesday night, he forced himself upon the girl at her home when her parents were away. Hearing the victim's screams, her two sisters – also minors – ran in from another room, forcing the priest to flee. Later, the parents filed a case with the local police.
In another incident that came to light on Wednesday, a 26-year-old carpenter has reportedly confessed to police that he raped a seven-year-old girl. Results of the victim's medical tests will reveal when the incident took place, police officials said. The carpenter's mother worked as a domestic help at the girl's residence. His family, however, says police tortured him to get the confession.
Anger against sexual violence has been rising in the country since December 16, 2012, when a 23-year-old medical student was brutally gang-raped, and killed, by six men inside a private bus in south Delhi.
July 30, 2014
On June 15, 1992, a 26-year-old man provided a legal statement accusing three Diocese of Lafayette priests of sexual misconduct against him in the 1970s and 1980s.
One of those priests, Ronald Lane "Jean Paul" Fontenot, pleaded guilty and was convicted in 1986 of statutory rape in Spokane, Washington, where he was transferred for counseling after he was placed on leave in Lafayette in 1983 when a civil lawsuit was filed.
A second priest, David Primeaux, admitted in a 1984 psychological evaluation that he started abusing children in 1980 at St. Benedict in Covington. The Diocese settled a lawsuit in 2000 in which Primeaux allegedly admitted molesting a boy while serving at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Milton in the early 1980s.
Primeaux left the priesthood in 1985 and later got married. When some of his victims confronted the wife of the priest-turned-professor in Virginia in December 2012, he committed suicide.
The final priest accused by the young man is the Rev. Gilbert Dutel, who today serves as pastor of St. Edmond Catholic Church in Lafayette.
(Vatican Radio) Responding to journalists’ questions, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Father Federico Lombardi SJ, made a statement about the situation in the Diocese of Ciudad del Este (Paraguay) and the Apostolic Visitation of Cardinal Santos Abril y Castelló.
The Visitation was announced by the Apostolic Nuncio to Paraguay on 2 July, and took place from 21-26 July.
“Concerning the situation in the Diocese of Ciudad del Este (Paraguay),” Father Lombardi said, “I can confirm that in the course of the visitation, Cardinal Santos Abril y Castelló cautioned Bishop [Rogelio Ricardo] Livieres [Plano] against proceeding with further priestly ordinations. No other provisions were announced. Cardinal Santos Abril y Castelló will report the results of his visitation to the Pope.”
News reports had also suggested that the Vicar General of the Diocese, Fr Carlos Urrutigoity, had been fired. Father Urrutigoity has been the subject of accusations of sexual misconduct involving minors at a school in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. The Diocese has pointed out the allegations against Father Urrutigoity were never proven.
In his statement, Father Lombardi noted that Father Urrutigoity had been relieved of his duties as Vicar General shortly prior to visitation: “With regard to Father Carlos Urrutigoity, he had been relieved of his duties as vicar general by Bishop Livieres on July 14, a few days before the visitation, on the grounds of the completion of other duties on his part.”
By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press
First Posted: July 30, 2014
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is taking action in a divisive diocese in Paraguay where an Argentine priest, accused by a former superior of being a "serious threat to young people," has been removed as the No. 2.
The Rev. Carlos Urrutigoity is still an active priest in the Ciudad del Este diocese, however, in a sign that he remains in good standing with his bishop.
Urrutigoity has denied allegations of impropriety, has never been charged and his bishop, Monsignor Rogelio Livieres, has stressed that there is no accusation against him that he sexually abused minors. But Urrutigoity's case re-emerged after Francis sent a team of Vatican investigators to the diocese this month to look into criticisms against Livieres by other Paraguayan prelates.
Livieres in 2005 allowed Urrutigoity to join his diocese, even though Urrutigoity's then-superior in Scranton, Pennsylvania had warned Livieres and the Vatican that he was a threat and unsuitable for the priesthood.
Urrutigoity had been a member of the schismatic, traditionalist Society of St. Pius X. He later joined the Scranton diocese and founded a priestly society where the old Latin Mass was celebrated.
By Elizabeth Mohr
Responding to calls for his resignation, Archbishop John Nienstedt said Wednesday that he will remain at the helm of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.
Nienstedt has come under fire in recent months for his handling of clergy sex abuse cases.
"I have acknowledged my responsibility in the current crisis we face, and I also take responsibility for leading our archdiocese to a new and better day," Nienstedt wrote in a column to be published in Thursday's Catholic Spirit newsletter.
That "crisis" is the result of accusations and lawsuits against the Archdiocese, church officials and priests regarding alleged child abuse and what some have called cover-up of crimes.
Critics say Nienstedt and his predecessors did not take action to remove credibly accused priests from the ministry.
Nienstedt said he will not resign and will, instead, "apply these hard lessons that I have learned over the past months."
The archbishop said that he is creating "a new leadership team that operates under the philosophy of 'Victims First' " and that he's appointing a victim liaison. Nienstedt said the church has reached out to victims of abuse for their input.
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Roman Catholic archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis says he won't resign despite criticism over the archdiocese's handling of sexual abuse claims involving priests.
Archbishop John Nienstedt made his comments in in a column that will appear in Thursday's archdiocese newspaper, The Catholic Spirit. He says he's bound to stay in office as long as Pope Francis wants.
Nienstedt says he'll continue to apply the hard lessons he's learned over the past months.
He says he's never knowingly covered up clergy sexual abuse. He says he's created a new leadership team that puts victims first. And he maintains he's always been honest with Catholics of the archdiocese.
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis - The Catholic Spirit
Archbishop John C. Nienstedt | July 30, 2014
To say that this has been a difficult year is quite an understatement.
Here in the archdiocese, Catholics have witnessed many troubling media reports, and many of us have had difficult conversations with friends and family about what it means to be Catholic and why we still profess the faith. I, myself, have been the subject of two investigations, which have brought with them more public scrutiny. I have received messages calling me a hypocrite, a domineering boss and a liar. Others have written that I am a courageous moral leader and a true shepherd. I have read them all. I am grateful for everyone who has taken the time to write, regardless of how they feel, as most believe they are acting in the best interests of the Church.
In the end, it comes down to this: 18 years ago, Pope John Paul II chose me to serve the Church as a bishop, an authentic successor of the apostles. A bishop’s role is more like that of a father of a family than that of a CEO. I am bound to continue in my office as long as the Holy Father has appointed me here. I have acknowledged my responsibility in the current crisis we face, and I also take responsibility for leading our archdiocese to a new and better day.
In Second Chronicles 20:15, the spirit of the Lord tells King Jehoshaphat and the troops, as his enemies are approaching across the Palestinian wilderness in battle, “This is what the Lord says to you: ‘stop being afraid, and stop being discouraged because of this vast invasion force, because the battle doesn’t belong to you, but to God.’ ”
I have heard calls for my resignation since I arrived in this wonderful archdiocese seven years ago. I will continue to listen to those who express concerns about my leadership, but I will also continue serving as I have been called to do. I am devoted to serving this local Church, and I will continue to do so and to apply these hard lessons that I have learned over the past months. While it may be difficult to believe, the suffering we have endured is bearing much fruit in reform of practices and correction of decisions that were made in the past, either by me or my predecessors.
Catholic World News - July 30, 2014
The Vatican has confirmed that all priestly ordinations have been suspended in the Diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, after a Vatican investigation of the diocese.
Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office, told reporters that Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, who headed the Vatican investigation, was reporting his findings to Pope Francis. The Vatican spokesman said:
I can confirm that in the course of the visitation, Cardinal Santos Abril y Castelló cautioned Bishop Livieres against proceeding with further priestly ordinations. No other provisions were announced.
Wed, Jul 30, 2014
Former priest and serial child abuser Tony Walsh has failed in appeals against separate sentences imposed on him for what the Court of Criminal Appeal has described as the “depraved” rape and sexual abuse of young boys.
Walsh, who was known as the “Singing Priest” for his role in a travelling all-priest vocal group before he was defrocked, is serving a 16-year sentence imposed on him in 2010 for the rape and abuse of three schoolboys.
In 2012 Walsh had 15 months added to this sentence for abusing two other boys.
In a written judgement delivered by presiding judge Mr Justice John Murray, the appeal court said that with regard to the first appeal the offences were of the “utmost gravity”, but even that description did not do justice to the “appalling nature” of the offences committed against young boys.
Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: July 30, 2014
John Nienstedt writes in a church newspaper column, “I am bound to continue my office.”
Archbishop John Nienstedt will announce Thursday that he is not resigning as head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, despite growing pressure for him to step down.
Nienstedt will make the announcement in his column in the The Catholic Spirit, the newspaper of the archdiocese.
“To say that this has been a difficult year is quite an understatement,” wrote Nienstedt.
“In the end, it comes down to this: eighteen years ago, Pope John Paul II chose me to serve the Church as a bishop, an authentic successor of the Apostles … I am bound to continue in my office as long as the Holy Father has appointed me here.”
Nienstedt, who has led the Twin Cities archdiocese since 2008, has been under growing criticism for his handling of child clergy abuse cases in the archdiocese.
A Minneapolis law firm hired by the archdiocese to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct by Nienstedt with adults has completed its work and submitted a report. Auxiliary bishop Lee Piché said Tuesday that church officials will review that along with “any other information we receive.”
Religion News Service
Josephine McKenna | July 30, 2014
VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican has ordered a Roman Catholic diocese in eastern Paraguay to remove a priest accused of sex abuse in the U.S. and to restrict the activities of the bishop who hired him.
Pope Francis is sending a papal delegation to Paraguay to investigate the activities of the Rev. Carlos Urrutigoity, a priest accused of sex abuse in Pennsylvania.
Pope Francis sent a papal delegation to Paraguay to investigate the activities of the Rev. Carlos Urrutigoity, a priest accused of sex abuse in Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy P. Alvarenga, Vanguardia
Pope Francis sent a cardinal and an archbishop to investigate Carlos Urrutigoity in the diocese of Ciudad del Este. The two men visited the country July 21-26.
The removal is the latest demonstration of the pope’s “zero tolerance” of clerical abuse, and it suggests priests suspected of child abuse in one country can no longer find shelter in other countries.
In 2002, Urrutigoity was accused of sexual abuse of minors in a highly publicized lawsuit in the Diocese of Scranton, Pa. He and another priest, Eric Ensey, were suspended by then-Bishop James Timlin amid allegations they had sexually molested students at St. Gregory’s Academy. The diocese reportedly reached a $400,000-plus settlement in the case in 2006.
Urrutigoity, a native of Argentina, was transferred to Canada before settling in Paraguay.
The Raw Story
By David Edwards
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
An Idaho church deacon who blamed Satan after he molested a 12-year-old girl in a storage closet has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, but could spend less than a year behind bars.
Alexander Gonzalez Garcia, 57, was arrested last December on charges of lewd conduct with a minor.
According to authorities, the girl said that Garcia had touched her inappropriately while they were in a storage closet at Nampa Seventh-Day Adventist Church, where he was a deacon.
Garcia reportedly told investigators that “Satan was in the storage room with him and the girl.” But he insisted that he had only kissed her and hugged her.
By Alexandra Chachkevitch
12:12 p.m. CDT, July 30, 2014
A Greek Orthodox priest charged with felony theft waived his right to a preliminary hearing in a Milwaukee County courtroom this morning.
The Rev. James Dokos, who was affiliated with Saints Peter and Paul Church in Glenview, is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 26.
"There are significant jurisdictional issues to address in this matter," Dokos' lawyer Patrick Knight said in court Wednesday. Knight did not specify the issues.
Dokos is accused of improperly spending more than $100,000 from a trust fund intended to benefit Annunciation Church in Milwaukee, where he was a longtime pastor until transferring to Saints Peter and Paul Church in 2012.
Dokos, 62, who has been suspended from his duties at the Glenview church, made his initial court appearance two weeks ago, where bail was set at $5,000. Because it was a personal recognizance bond, he was not required to post any money for his release.
South Jersey Times
By Alex Young | South Jersey Times
on July 29, 2014
SALEM — The former pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Salem pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexually assaulting a minor child — one of his own relatives — in the summer of 2013.
Jonathan Smith, 59, formerly of Market Street in Salem, will be sentenced to four years in New Jersey State Prison when he returns to Superior Court in September. He pleaded guilty to one count of second degree sexual assault.
In court Tuesday, Smith admitted to sexually assaulting a victim less than 13 years old. At Smith's arraignment in April, Assistant Salem County Prosecutor Lisa Rastelli revealed that the victim was a relative who spent time during the summer of 2013 at Smith's home, the Presbyterian pastor's house on Market Street.
The boy's mother reportedly became concerned when he returned home after his time in Salem and something didn't seem right. The victim told his mother about the incidents, who then alerted the authorities.
JOHANNESBURG – Police say the extradition of a German Catholic priest to face charges relating to sexual abuse is the culmination of a process that began last year.
The 56-year-old priest was handed over to German police officers last night having spent seven years living in South Africa.
He has been in custody since being arrested in September but the local charges have been withdrawn to pave the way for the extradition which will see him face almost 40 charges back home
The spectre of priest sex abuse has returned to haunt the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette following the recent release of an investigative report by Minnesota Public Radio, revealing new allegations of another child predator hiding behind the clerical collar.
The investigative, four-part series by Minnesota Public Radio delves into court documents tracing as far back as the 1980s, when the first reported priest sex abuse scandal put the Lafayette Diocese under the national spotlight. New information revealed in MPR’s report, however, shows one alleged child predator, the Rev. Gilbert Dutel, has remained with the Diocese, and currently serves as the pastor of St. Edmond Catholic Church in Lafayette.
According to MPR, Dutil’s alleged sexual abuse traces back to the 1970s, during his tenure as pastor of St. Theresa Church in Abbeville, and a case involving a young boy:
In the case of Dutel, the documents show, the allegations weren’t limited to young adults. Dutel had also been accused of sexually abusing a child. In an interview with a lawyer in 1992, the alleged victim said Dutel had abused him in the 1970s, starting when he was 9 years old.
Despite the allegations, Dutil, who is now 69 years old, has remained with the church, even receiving assignments to work with several elementary and high schools over the 22 years since the claims first surfaced, including a spot on the St. Thomas More Catholic High School’s board of directors, as well as a more than 10 year stint with the St. Peter and Paul Church in Scott. The church in Scott also operates as an elementary school, and in 2010 an anonymous donor who paid for the school’s playground requested it be named “Father Gil’s Playground” in honor of Dutil.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Is the Archdiocese of Milwaukee too broke to pay its legal bills?
That's the question Bankruptcy Judge Susan Kelley will be asked to answer Wednesday.
Kelley agreed more than a year ago that the archdiocese would not have to pay legal fees while its bankruptcy case was pending so it could keep enough cash on hand to cover at least one month's bills. Bankruptcy law requires the archdiocese to pay legal fees for itself and its creditors.
In this case, most creditors are victims of clergy sexual abuse.
Their attorneys say the archdiocese has more cash than anticipated, and they'd like to get paid. The lawyers say they are owed more than $2 million.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Statement by Frank Meuers of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 952-334-5180, firstname.lastname@example.org )
Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt may speak to some reporters today about partial results from an investigation into his alleged sexual misconduct with adults. We hope he'll explain why he has so clearly violated the US bishops' abuse policy by hiding and helping proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics. We doubt, however, that he will, in spite of his repeated promises to be “open and transparent” about clergy sex crimes.
As we've said before, we don't care about Nienstedt's private behavior, unless it involves sexually harassing seminarians or underlings or makes him unable or unwilling to discipline predators in his archdiocese.
We care deeply about Nienstedt's public behavior which inexcusably puts children in harm's way. He has been and remains, secretive, reckless and callous about clergy sex crimes and cover ups.
We have little faith in so-called "investigations" that are funded or carried out by Catholic officials. Powerful prelates can always find and pay lawyers or "experts" who will tell them what they want to hear. (This is why they continue to quietly send proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics to the same church-funded "treatment" centers year after year after year, while hypocritically blasting those same centers in public for the allegedly "bad advice" they gave about putting predators back on the job.)
As my colleague, Barbara Dorris of SNAP said:
“We believe that most priests don't or can't honor their celibacy pledge. So they have sexual secrets. And if you have a sexual secret, you're less willing to report the sexual secrets of your colleagues and supervisors, especially if those secrets involve criminal behavior.
This is perhaps the most disturbing sentence we've read about this investigation: ‘he also stands accused of retaliating against those who refused his advances or otherwise questioned his conduct.’
We are highly skeptical when bishops like Nienstedt claim that allegations against them are ‘personal attacks’ due to ‘my unwavering stance on issues consistent with church teaching, such as opposition to so-called same-sex marriage.’ This is especially unlikely if there are in fact ten accusers including some who were or are Catholic clerics.”
Philadelphia Daily News
VALERIE RUSS, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER RUSSV@PHILLYNEWS.COM, 215-854-5987
POSTED: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
THREE WEEKS before taking the helm of North Philadelphia's Zion Baptist Church, the Rev. A. Carl Prince met with leaders of the small Virginia church he was leaving.
On Dec. 18, 2011, he and Mount Hope Baptist Church leaders signed an "Announcement of Retirement" that took effect at the end of that year.
Prince asked that "in the interest of the Church and Christian civility, that all litigation and investigations both civil and criminal, present and future, be ceased," the statement said.
On Jan. 12, 2012, Prince officially started at Zion, at Broad and Venango streets, one of the city's most prominent churches. For 38 years, it had been the church of the late human-rights and economic-development advocate Rev. Leon Sullivan, the "Lion of Zion."
It seems that Prince, who was voted out as pastor of the Philly church this month, had left some problems behind at Mount Hope, in Prince George County, 30 miles from Richmond.
There were 400 members when Prince arrived, but just 20 when he left, former trustee John Allen said.
"He wrote new bylaws that made him both the CEO and CFO of the church," Allen said.
"He had his name put on the church bank account and he tried to sell the church out from under the last 20 members."
Posted on July 28, 2014 by Sylvia
Amazing and most welcome news from Paraguay:
28 July 2014: “Reports: The Vatican fires a priest in Paraguay accused of molesting US seminarians” & related articles
The articles are of interest to Catholic around the world, but of particular interest to many Canadians whose sons were exposed to Father Carlos Urrutigoity while the latter – and fellow priests from the fledgling Society of St. John – first lived at and then near at St. Gregory’s Academy just outside Scranton Pennsylvania. St Gregory’s, an all boys Catholic school, was then run by the Fraternity of St. Peter.
There have been allegations about the goings on in the Society in the Society of John for years, and often battles and friction between those who alleged that Fathers Urrutigoity and Eric Ensey were sexual predators and those who defended the pair.
Some may recall that Bishop Rogelio Livieres the Opus Dei bishop of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay took Urroitigoityand other members of the Society of Sgt. John into his diocese. Livieres allegedly refused to believe the allegations against the priest, and refused to heed warning from the Bishop pf Scranton, NY when Urrutigoity was previously incardinated.
Urrutigoity became Vicar General of the Diocese. Dominic Carey, a Canadian who has had no problem at all with priests bedding down with young lads, is, I think, serving in the Ciudad del Este seminary and assisting – or perhaps even directing? - the formation of new priests (? – I must check this out )
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com )
We're appalled that an admitted child molesting deacon who abused a 12 year old and blamed it on Satan may spend just a year in prison.
Prosecutes say Deacon Alexander Gonzales Garcia molested the girl by locking her in a closet during a July 2013 potluck at his church. That kind of crime strongly suggests that Garcia is out of control and not likely to respond well to treatment.
We are deeply disappointed in Judge Bradly S. Ford's decision. And we call on him to publicly explain why he gave such a lenient sentence – more appropriate for a purse snatcher than a child molester.
We beg officials in the Seventh-day Adventist Church – at the national and regional levels and the congregation in Nampa where the crime happened – to aggressively reach out to anyone who saw, suspects, or suffered child sex crimes and urge them to call police and start healing.
Former priest and serial child abuser Tony Walsh has failed in appeals against separate sentences of 16 years and 15 months imposed on him.
The jail terms were handed down for what the Court of Criminal Appeal has described as the "depraved" rape and sexual abuse of young boys in the 1970s and 80s.
Walsh, who was known as the "Singing Priest" for his role in a travelling all-priest vocal group before he was defrocked, is serving a 16-year sentence imposed on him in 2010 for the rape and abuse of three schoolboys.
In 2012 Walsh had 15 months added to this sentence for abusing two other boys.
In a written judgment delivered today by presiding judge Mr Justice John Murray, the appeal court said that with regard to the first appeal the offences were of the "utmost gravity".
He said even that description did not do justice to the "appalling nature" of the offences committed against young boys.
30 July 2014 by Liz Dodd
The Vatican has suspended ordinations to the priesthood in a Paraguayan diocese in which its vicar-general has been accused of sexual abuse while serving as a priest in the US.
The Church has not given an official reason for the ban on ordinations in Bishop Rogelio Livieres Plano’s diocese of Ciudad del Este.
A week-long Vatican investigation into the diocese led by Spanish Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello ended on Saturday.
The investigation followed allegations that the diocese’s vicar-general, Argentine priest Fr Carlos Urrutigoity, had abused seminarians in Minnesota and Pennsylvania more than a decade ago.
Fr Urrotigoity denies the allegations.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
30 July, 2014
People with disability have been invited to attend an important information session in Sydney next month to find out more about the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the forum was part of ongoing consultations with the disability community on the issue of child sexual abuse in institutions.
“The Royal Commission is aware that many people with disability have experienced child sexual abuse while in the care of an institution,” Mr Reed said.
“We are determined that people with disability can participate in the process of the Royal Commission.
“You will not be required to discuss your personal story at the forum, it is a chance to find out more about the work of the Royal Commission and how you can share your story.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
People in Geelong are invited to learn more about the work of the Royal Commission at a community information forum next month.
Chair of the Royal Commission Justice Peter McClellan will address the forum on Wednesday 13 August 2014.
Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the community forum is open to any members of the public who have an interest in the Royal Commission.
“We particularly encourage people affected by child sexual abuse while in the care of an institution to attend the community forum,” Mr Reed said.
Article by: TONY KENNEDY, Star Tribune
Updated: July 29, 2014
A Minneapolis law firm hired by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct with adults by Archbishop John Nienstedt has completed its work and submitted a report to church officials.
Attorney Matthew Forsgren of the firm Greene Espel declined to discuss the findings and referred questions to the archdiocese.
The archdiocese commissioned the investigation earlier this summer in an effort to address accusations received by the chancery as Nienstedt fended off mounting criticism over the church’s handling of other sexual misconduct cases.
Lee Piche, auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese, said in a statement late Tuesday that the Greene Espel report “does not comprise” the entire investigation.
“We need to digest the information and any other information we receive,” said Piche, who was not available to answer questions.
Piche announced July 1 that Nienstedt asked him to investigate claims about the archbishop, which he said were received by the archdiocese several months earlier. Piche said the misconduct allegations “did not involve anything criminal or with minors.”
Nienstedt said at the time that the accusations were “absolutely and entirely false.” He called the allegations “a personal attack against me due to my unwavering stance on issues consistent with church teaching, such as opposition to so-called same-sex marriage.
Wed, Jul 30, 2014
Adam contented himself with decorating a letter from his sister, Nicole (14) and putting a seal on it instead.
He didn’t write himself as he felt “cynical”, he said. “I did believe the gesture [of the pope meeting his mother] was sincere but I honestly didn’t believe it would produce any real result.”
Nicole Kane with her Mum Marie and the letter she received from the Pope. Photograph: Thomas NolanPope Francis thanks Irish teenager for supporting mother
However, following reports of the meetings Francis had with his mother and the five other abuse survivors, he now believes the pope is sincere about the abuse issue “more so than his predecessor. It seems that way. I’d like to think so”.
[Summary: The Trier diocese has been sharply criticized for returning to service a priest who was accused to sexual abuse. Hermann Schell of Schafsbrief initiative, said on Tuesday that the move was unacceptable. He said it defames all abuse victims and shows that the diocese lacks awareness of injustice. A spokesman for the prosecutor's office said the charges could not be proven. The arrest of judgment was not carried out "because of proven innocence, but due to low guilt," said the spokesman. The pastor is alleged to have given the youth money in exchange for sex but the boy ran away.]
Nach der aufgehobenen Beurlaubung eines früheren Pfarrers hat eine Missbrauchsopfer-Initiative das Bistum Trier scharf kritisiert.
Es sei nicht hinnehmbar, dass der Geistliche aus dem saarländischen Lebach wieder als Vertretung oder Aushilfe arbeiten dürfe, sagte der Sprecher der Initiative Schafsbrief, Hermann Schell, am Dienstag. Dies sei eine Diffamierung aller Missbrauchsopfer und zeige beim Bistum „fehlendes Unrechtsbewusstsein ohne Ende“. Das Verfahren gegen den früheren Lebacher Pfarrer wegen des Verdachts des sexuellen Missbrauchs war im März dieses Jahres von der Staatsanwaltschaft Saarbrücken gegen die Zahlung von 6000 Euro eingestellt worden. Die Einstellung sei nicht „wegen erwiesener Unschuld, sondern wegen geringer Schuld“ erfolgt, sagte der Sprecher der Staatsanwaltschaft am Dienstag.
Man gehe davon aus, dass sich der Geistliche über eine Internetplattform mit einem Jungen in Saarbrücken „zu sexuellen Dienstleistungen“ verabredet habe, sagte der Sprecher. Bei dem Treffen habe der Pfarrer dem Minderjährigen auch Geld gegeben, der Junge sei aber weggelaufen und es sei nicht zu sexuellen Handlungen gekommen.
Andrew Hamilton | 30 July 2014
Reckoning: the Catholic Church and Child Sexual Abuse, written by Chris McGillion and Damian Grace, and jointly published by Eureka Street and ATF Press, offers a useful map of the journey that has led to the Royal Commission into Sexual Abuse. It recalls how the widespread sexual abuse of children within the Church came to prominence in Australia, outlines the variety of responses to it, and reflects on the explanations given for it.
The book is modest and even in its tone. It offers a broad perspective on the challenges that will arise from ensuring that children are safe in the future.
The dimensions of an adequate response to child sexual abuse by the Catholic Church are now fairly clear. First, children must be protected from abusive behaviour. This requires curtailing the opportunities for potential abusers to meet, groom and abuse children. It also requires preparing, monitoring and supervising church representatives who are in contact with children.
Second, the criminal gravity of sexual abuse must be recognised, and the response both to victims and offenders be proportionate to the seriousness of the crime. This requires responding professionally and transparently to accusations of abuse, excluding from public ministry those who have offended, and continuing to monitor any offenders who remain within religious communities.
Third, the serious harm suffered by people who were abused as children must be recognised. This is done by ensuring they receive the pastoral care and counseling they desire, and can claim compensation.
Finally, the Catholic Church must take responsibility for the sexual abuse inflicted by its representatives and for its concealment, and for ensuring that aspects of its culture that encourage abuse are remedied. For this, serious and independent study will be necessary.
Katie Terhune, KTVB July 29, 2014
CALDWELL-- A Nampa deacon who claimed that Satan took control of his body and made him molest a 12-year-old girl in a church storage room is headed to prison.
But 57-year-old Alexander Gonzales Garcia, who was arrested in December, could spend only a year behind bars after Judge Bradly S. Ford opted Tuesday to retain jurisdiction.
Garcia was sentenced to 20 years in prison with five years before parole eligibility, but could still be released as early as 2015 if he successfully completes his term of retained jurisdiction, commonly known as a "rider."
He will also be required to register as a sex offender and pay about $8,000 in civil fines and court costs.
Garcia, a deacon with the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Nampa, was originally charged with lewd conduct with a minor under 16. In an interview with police detectives, he admitted touching the girl inappropriately during a July potluck at the church, but insisted Satan had been in the storage room with him, and had made him molest the girl.
Idaho State Journal
CALDWELL, Idaho (AP) — A former southwestern Idaho church deacon who told police Satan may have taken control of his body, causing him to molest a 12-year-old girl in a church storage room, has been sentenced to five to 15 years in prison.
However, District Judge Bradly S. Ford retained jurisdiction for a year, meaning 57-year-old Alexander Gonzalez Garcia of Middleton could get out of prison after a year if he responds well to treatment programs.
Garcia was initially charged with lewd conduct with a child, but pleaded guilty in March to sexual abuse of a minor. He must register as a sex offender and have no contact with the girl, her family or any girls under the age of 18.
By On Your Side Newsroom.
CREATED Jul 29, 2014
Alexander Gonzalez Garcia, 57, of Middleton has been sentenced to five years fixed and up to 15 years in prison for felony sexual abuse of a minor under 16 years of age.
Garcia was a deacon at the Nampa Seventh-Day Adventist Church was arrested in December 2013 after the Nampa Police Department found he had sexual contact with a 12-year-old female victim on church grounds. In an investigation revealed in July of 2013, detectives found that Garcia locked the 12 year-old in a closet and began kissing, hugging and touching her inappropriately.
Garcia in an interview with police claimed that Satan was in the room with him and made him do it.
During today’s hearing, Judge Ford commended the victim for her courage in coming forward immediately and reporting the abuse. He noted that if there’s one place a child should feel safe, it’s in a church.
Last December, Alexander Gonzalez Garcia blamed Satan for causing him to molest a 12-year-old girl in a storage room at the Nampa Seventh-Day Adventist Church where he served as a deacon.
On Tuesday, 3rd District Judge Bradly Ford sentenced the 57-year-old Middleton man to at least five and up to 15 years in prison for that felony. But the judge retained jurisdiction, which means Garcia will be evaluated in the prison system for one year, after which Ford can decide whether to release him on probation or have him complete his prison term.
“Mr. Garcia used his position of trust in the church to take advantage of the victim, and he deserves to be behind bars where he can no longer be a danger to the community,” Canyon County Prosecutor Bryan Taylor said in a news release. “This case should serve as a reminder to every parent that you need to be very careful of who your kids are hanging around with.”
Ford commended the victim for her courage in coming forward and reporting the abuse, which reportedly happened in July 2013. Court records show Garcia initially denied the abuse but later told police Satan was in the locked room and made him touch the girl inappropriately.
By FIONA HENDERSON July 29, 2014
PASTOR Scott Williams was described as “charismatic” by former Ballarat East High School staff and students.
However, concerns were also raised about the ex-teacher’s daily lunchtime meetings with senior students during his Ballarat tenure to discuss religious matters.
Williams on Monday night was accused of horrific sexual and physical abuse at his religious cult Christian Assemblies International (CAI) by the ABC’s Four Corners program.
He is also accused of misusing vast amounts of money donated by CAI members and building up a worldwide multi-million dollar property portfolio.
Mr Williams taught at Ballarat East High School in the early 1970s before heading to Germany as a missionary, where he worked in Feldafing as a pool attendant at a military school for young men.
29 JULY 2014
In the hit Cold War TV drama series The Americans, one of the main weapons both the KGB and the CIA-FBI deploy against each other is sex. The story of the undercover Soviet spies posing as the all-American apple pie family, Elisabeth and Phillip Jennings, swirls around issues of infidelity, bedroom betrayals, pillow talk and the ever-present threat of blackmail in the background.
The Jennings' unsuspecting nemesis and neighbour, the FBI spy catcher Stan Beeman, is himself using his sexual prowess to seduce an attractive female Russian agent who initially turns to the American because she has been sexually exploited and abused by a senior KGB operative at the USSR embassy in Washington DC.
The Americans plot line and the heavy emphasis on lust, love and treachery (of both the sexual and political kind) is laden with hammed up Holywood-style psycho-drama although to be fair its creator Joe Weisberg was a CIA case officer who served on the Cold War frontline.
Indeed, the series and its main premise is not so far-fetched perhaps when you consider the long history of how intelligence services used sexual blackmail to recruit and "turn' agents, including here in Northern Ireland.
Back in the mid-1970s there was little or no sign of the Cold War thawing and in the UK there was a real sense of national crisis and decline.
'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse': Richard Dawkins sparks outrage during Twitter debate
By SAM MARSDEN and STEPHANIE LINNING
Controversial scientist Richard Dawkins provoked fury yesterday after referring to ‘mild date rape’ and ‘mild paedophilia’ in comments on Twitter.
Campaigners for women and child abuse victims condemned the prominent atheist’s posts as ‘offensive and damaging’.
Professor Dawkins, 73, became embroiled in the row when he made a point about logical thinking to almost a million followers on the social networking site.
The academic sparked anger by choosing the example of sexual abuse to illustrate the idea.
He began by writing: ‘X is bad. Y is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of X, go away and don’t come back until you’ve learned how to think logically.’
Then he added: ‘Mild pedophilia [sic] is bad. Violent pedophilia is worse. If you think that’s an endorsement of mild pedophilia, go away and learn how to think. ...
However in a statement on his website last night, he said he ‘was only talking logic’, and had ‘no desire to make light of the seriousness of any kind of rape or [sic] pedophilia’
Claire Taylor July 29, 2014
Here in the heart of Cajun country, where the first priest sex abuse scandal rocked the Roman Catholic Church faithful in the 1980s, allegations have surfaced that a priest who sexually abused a boy in the 1970s continues to minister in Lafayette.
Two documents from the 1990s uncovered during a recent Minnesota Public Radio investigation allege the Rev. Gilbert Dutel sexually abused a boy in the 1970s while serving at a church in Abbeville. He was also was accused of coercing young men into having sex, the MPR story says.
Both Dutel, who is pastor of St. Edmond Catholic Church in Lafayette, and the Diocese of Lafayette denied the allegations Tuesday.
The Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests issued a statement July 21, following the MPR investigation, urging Diocese of Lafayette Bishop Michael Jarrell to suspend Dutel immediately.
The Diocese of Lafayette, in a written response to The Advertiser's questions about the reports Tuesday, said the "unproven allegations" against Dutel were investigated years ago.
"No new information exists that warrants any action by the Diocese," the statement reads. "In the absence of any contrary information, Father Dutel remains a priest in good standing."
By Wesley Stephenson
The Pope was recently reported to have said that about 2% of Catholic clergy are paedophiles. But how does this compare with society as a whole - is it more or less than average?
As soon as you give this question a moment's thought, you realise that it's not going to be an easy one to answer. Paedophiles are not easy to identify.
"Because paedophilia is so secretive and so few people are willing to admit it, there is no meaningful way to get a reliable estimate," says Dr James Cantor, a psychologist and sexual behaviour scientist at the University of Toronto.
"There's no meaningfully ethical way of taking 200 men, hooking them up to detectors, showing them pictures of adults and children and seeing how many respond most to children."
One person who has attempted an estimate is Dr Michael Seto, a clinical and forensic psychologist at the Royal Ottawa Healthcare group.
In 2008 he wrote a book in which he put the prevalence of paedophilia in the general population at 5%.
The figure was based on surveys conducted in Germany, Norway and Finland in which men were asked whether they had ever had sexual thoughts or fantasies about children or engaged in sexual activity with children.
July 29, 2014
By Sapa-AFP | Jul 30, 2014
Originally from Aachen in West Germany, Kerkhoff is wanted for alleged sex crimes against children committed before he moved several years ago to South Africa, where he was arrested on similar charges.
A German Catholic priest accused of sexual abuse of children in his native country and in South Africa has been extradited to Germany, police said Wednesday.
Georg Kerkhoff, who is in his 50s, was put on a plane to Germany on Tuesday night, South African police spokesman Lungelo Dlamini told AFP.
"We took him to the airport and handed him over to the German police. He will face trial in Germany," he said.
Originally from Aachen in West Germany, Kerkhoff is wanted for alleged sex crimes against children committed before he moved several years ago to South Africa, where he was arrested on similar charges.
Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, Jul 29, 2014 / 04:39 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- An apostolic visitation of Paraguay's Cuidad del Este diocese concluded on Saturday with the visitors suspending a scheduled ordination until they have reached conclusions about their investigation.
“For the time, priestly and diaconal ordinations for the students of St. Joseph's Major Seminary are suspended and it is unknown how long this will endure – it can only be revealed by the Pope,” Cardinal Santos Abril y Castello, who led the apostolic visitation, said at a July 26 press conference.
The diocese was scheduled to have priestly ordinations Aug. 15. A release from the diocese clarified that “the ordinations of Aug. 15 have been suspended until the conclusion (of the visitation), not canceled.”
While the visitation took place July 21-26, Cardinal Abril y Castello and Bishop Milton Troccoli Cebedio – who assisted the cardinal in the investigation – will return to Rome to arrange the data collected and present it to Pope Francis.
The conclusion has not yet been scheduled, but is anticipated in September. The apostolic visitation of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este was announced by the apostolic nuncio to Paraguay July 2.
By Bill Dolan email@example.com, (219) 662-5328
GARY | A national organization advocating change within the Roman Catholic church wants local parishioners to use the group's website to tell church fathers who should be the diocese's next bishop.
"Church law encourages all Catholics to express their views on Church matters that concern them, and this includes who their new bishop may be," Nick Ingala, a spokesman for Voice of the Faithful, said Tuesday.
However, Debbie Bosak, communications director for the Gary Catholic Diocese, said she is skeptical of the the group, which first formed a dozen years ago in response to the sex abuse scandal of recent years.
"They are not an official organization of the Catholic Church but rather a dissident group of lay Catholics with an agenda," she said.
Ingala said Voice of the Faithful, headquartered in Newton, Mass., supports "survivors of clerical sexual abuse, recognizes priests of integrity and seeks to shape structural change in the Church," and wants greater participation in bishop selection.
He said the group's motto is, "Keep the Faith, Change the Church."
"That change-the-church part really does create some opposition," he said, adding his group isn't challenging the pope's authority to name bishops.
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.
Opus Dei Beast PR Stunt of the Day: Wall Street Journal “Speculation Grows Over Potential Visit by Pope Francis to U.S.” to goad big American business donors and American idiot Catholics to give millions to Vatican Mammon Beast.
It’s very easy to detect the American journalists who are part of the Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Team at the Vatican – they all speak positively and fanatically about Pope Francis -- in order to brainwash and entice American idiot Catholics to give blindly and stupidly millions of dollars to the voracious evil Vatican Mammon Beast. Take the Wall Street Journal title Speculation Grows Over Potential Visit by Pope Francis to U.S. and its first paragraph to instantly programme American idiot Catholics that there is an “’intense’ speculation” of Pope Francis’s visit (see news articles below with our comments and emphases). Its purpose is to incite a pop star hype - to attend Pope Francis's Mass - like attending a concert of porno naked singer Miley Cyrus.
Pacific Daily News
Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno
Pacific Daily News
There's a bigger, deeper battle behind the recent controversies involving the local Catholic church, some observers said yesterday.
As dozens of island Catholics gathered yesterday at the steps of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica to support ousted Monsignor James Benavente, and also to pray for healing, observers said the deeper rift stems from a sect within the church whose actions depart from some of the oldest Catholic traditions.
Archbishop Anthony Apuron removed Benavente from being rector of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica in Hagåtña over alleged fiscal mismanagement, the archbishop stated yesterday.
"There is a bigger issue at play here: The imposition of the Neocathecumenal Way upon the Catholic Church in Guam," said Charles White, a Guam resident who writes a blog called The Thoughtful Catholic.
"Members of the Neocathecumenal Way practice their faith in a way that largely separates them from their parishes," White wrote in an email.
"For example, they celebrate Mass away from the Church proper every Saturday night, instead of attending normal parish Masses," White stated. "While they insist that these Masses are open to others, in practice, they are not. They are not even published in the parish bulletin." ...
The Guam Catholic church's leadership, through Archbishop Anthony Apuron, hasn't responded to phone calls or emailed requests for comment on the Neocatechumenal Way.
Apuron is a member of the Neocathecumenal Way, says Tim Rohr, another outspoken critic of the archbishop who offers daily updates on local church issues on his blog Jungle Watch.
The story can be found here. Following is the comment I posted on the PDN website.
Here's a few facts for now. Not that they matter to Apuron.
The 7 million dollar debt was incurred in the building of the Saint Therese chapel and the addition of the museum at the Cathedral. Both projects were approved by all the required boards and councils and ultimately signed off on by Apuron, since HE is the only person who can do so.
The loan is current and is amortized over 30 years. It is also fairly recent. And as anyone with a mortgage knows, the mortgagee makes little headway knocking down the principal for the first several years. Apuron approved the projects with enthusiasm because they made him look good. There will be more facts to come, but for now:
Pacific Daily News
Jul. 30, 2014
Archbishop Anthony Apuron yesterday said Monsignor James Benavente was removed as rector of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica because of poor financial management.
The Cathedral-Basilica and the Catholic cemeteries are millions of dollars in the red, according to the archbishop, and accounting practices are so "inappropriate" the cemeteries' funding cannot be properly audited.
Apuron released a statement, shortly before a huge crowd of Benavente supporters gathered at the steps of the Cathedral-Basilica, that he decided "a change in administration" at the Cathedral-Basilica and Catholic Cemeteries of Guam Inc. is necessary so accounting practices can be re-established and financial audits can be completed.
Benavente, who had been the rector at the Cathedral-Basilica for nearly 20 years, declined to comment on the allegations.
He did say a prayer before a few hundred of his supporters who gathered despite strong winds and rain outside the Cathedral-Basilica and across the street from the church in Hagåtña.
Published on July 29, 2014
A woman suspected of swindling hundreds of thousands of dollars from St. Patrick's Parish in St. John's will go to trial this fall.
Dianne Clare Coady wasn't in provincial court Monday when her case was called. Instead, she was represented by her lawyer Amanda MacDougall.
MacDougall and Crown prosecutor Mike Murray agreed to have the trial begin Nov. 3. Murray told Judge Colin Flynn that the trial is expected to last two weeks.
Coady has pleaded not guilty to three charges - theft over $5,000, fraud over $5,000 and uttering forged documents.
National Catholic Reporter
Nicholas Sciarappa | Jul. 21, 2014
The Association of Roman Catholic Women Priests donated $1,000 to a Catholic Worker house that shelters homeless women after the Cincinnati archdiocese retracted its funding because a woman priest led a prayer service at the shelter.
The archdiocese had promised Lydia's House, which offers shelter to homeless women and their children, $1,000 toward the purchase of a new washer and dryer. A number of community organizations support the house, which can hold up to four women and six children, and the archdiocese was an irregular donor.
"We spent the money in June with the promise that it would be reimbursed at the start of the new fiscal year July 1, and we submitted the receipt on July 5," said Mary Ellen Mitchell, one of the founders of Lydia's House. "We found out Wednesday, July 16, of this week that [the archdiocese] wouldn't do the reimbursement."
The archdiocese withdrew the donation after learning that Debra Meyers would hold a July 20 prayer service at the house. Meyers is a Roman Catholic Woman Priest, but the house's monthly newsletter, which contained information about the prayer service, did not identify her as such.