May 3, 2015
A pedophile priest who used alcohol, cigarettes and video games to lure his school boy victims will be sentenced in a Melbourne court.
Former Catholic priest David Edwin Rapson, 61, was found guilty of sexually assaulting six boys at two Victorian boarding schools between 1970 and 1980.
Rapson was jailed for 13 years in 2013, but was bailed 12 months later when the Victorian Court of Appeal quashed his rape and sexual assault convictions.
Effingham Daily News
Posted: Sunday, May 3, 2015
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki spoke today with parishioners of Sigel, Neoga, Green Creek and Lillyville regarding the status of the case concerning Father Robert “Bud” DeGrand.
Bishop Paprocki stated that progress on the case has been impeded consistently by Father DeGrand’s lack of cooperation. Bishop Paprocki reviewed with parishioners what has transpired:
In January 2014 the Diocesan Review Board unanimously found that the allegation against Father Robert DeGrand of clerical sexual misconduct with a minor was credible.
On September 20, 2014, Bishop Paprocki met with parishioners in Sigel and reported that Father DeGrand’s case was pending at the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
One week later, Bishop Paprocki received a letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith referring the case back to him. The letter was dated September 10, 2014; however, due to the time it takes for mail to be sent from the Vatican by diplomatic channels through the Vatican’s Embassy in Washington, D.C., the letter did not arrive until after the September 20, 2014 meeting in Sigel.
A rumor circulated that the letter from the Vatican “cleared” Father DeGrand and dismissed the charges against him. That rumor was not and is not true. The Vatican letter stated that a canonical trial could not take place due to “prescription,” which is the terminology used in canon law to describe the more familiar “statute of limitations” in civil law, which in most cases, prevents initiating legal action because the passage of time since the allegation was filed exceeds a certain time frame. It should be noted that Bishop Paprocki requested that the Vatican issue a waiver of prescription allowing a trial to proceed to determine Father DeGrand’s guilt or innocence, however, Father DeGrand did not agree and instead insisted that the trial be barred.
A Dominican priest has been removed from his post after an internal church investigation confirmed a complaint a woman first made to the archdiocese of Chicago about her relationship with him.
The Rev. Brendan Curran, who was pastor at St. Pius V Church in Pilsen, was suspended April 30 by Archbishop Blase Cupich after an investigation was completed by the archdiocese and the Dominican order, according to a statement from the Dominican Province of St. Albert the Great, or the Central Province.
Curran committed to a vow of chastity in 1995, the statement said.
The statement said there was no indication or allegation of sexual misconduct with minors.
“Though the incident occurred a number of years ago and ended, Father Brendan acknowledged his actions were inappropriate,” the statement said. “Father Brendan affirms that this was an isolated instance, and he understands the consequences.”
Curran has since left the church and the Chicago area, the statement said.
A well-known Catholic priest in the Pilsen neighborhood has been removed from the ministry following allegations of an inappropriate relationship with an adult woman.
The Rev. Brendan Curran, the pastor of St. Pius V Catholic Church since 2006, issued an apology Sunday for the relationship that he said occurred several years ago, according to the Chicago Tribune, who first reported the story. ...
"It is inherently problematic when clergy have any sexual contact with congregants," officials at SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said in a statement following Curran's removal.
"There can be no true 'consent' given the power difference between the individuals."
The Worthy Adversary
Posted by Joelle Casteix on May 3, 2015
Friday’s document release from religious orders whose members abused children in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles shines a very bright light on ugly doings at Anaheim’s Servite High School.
I already wrote about the sadomasochist Joe Sharkey. That one was a jaw dropper. Take the time to read it if you haven’t. The Register also covered it here.
But the other Servite file—Brother Gregory Atherton—is uglier. Not because of the graphic nature of the abuse, but because of the cover-up. Not because of the fact that Atherton was sent to treatment for abusing kids at Servite High School, but because the Servites lied then and continue to lie now about his status.
The quotes say it all.
“We’ve put him under a safety plan. He reports to a supervisor. He mostly stays home and does some work like bookkeeping or helping around the house.”
– Rev. John Fontana, Provincial Superior of the Servite Order in the United States
Let’s see how the facts pan out.
“It’s a marvelous occasion for us,” said Servite Brother Gregory Atherton, who also attended a national anniversary celebration in June in Chicago. As Brother Atherton spoke after Friday’s Mass, people swarmed around tables nearby to grab slices of vanilla and chocolate cake, decorated with congratulatory words marking the occasion.
Pope Francis evidently seeks to win next year the political “World Cup” for his desperate team — election of a “Vatican friendly” US President, preferably named Jeb Bush and certainly not named Hillary Clinton! Francis, an Oz-like wizard with current media techniques, has stepped up his US presidential election political outreach to US Latino voters with his recent major “saint making” event for 18th Century Hispanic Franciscan missionary, Fr. Junipero Serra. It was held at Rome’s North American College (NAC), the US bishops’ well funded elite seminary. Paradoxically and perhaps unintentionally, the pope apparently is by these political machinations also prodding unrelated opposition groups (Native Americans, priest abuse survivors, disrespected women, gay and divorced Catholics, advocates for children, disgusted “ex-Catholics”, et al.) to organize together, likely for highly visible and media attractive protests during his upcoming US visits, as are currently continuing in Chile and are now underway against NY’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan at a New York Jesuit university, Le Moyne College, no less. Not surprisingly, the US Knights of Columbus head, Carl Anderson, reportedly gave the NAC/Serra event closing talk. The Knights have “invested millions” in supporting the US bishops’ politically motivated US crusade against women and gays.
At NAC, Pope Francis reportedly said of Junipero Serra, despite some significant contrary facts that the pope seemingly overlooked: “He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, a saintly example of the Church’s universality and special patron of the Hispanic people of the country, ..” In the opinion of others, however, “Serra should be considered nothing less than a monster.” “The missions were coercive religious, forced labor camps….” And see also, “NATIVE AMERICANS PROTEST FATHER JUNIPERO SERRA’S SOON-TO-BE SAINTHOOD, with video here,
NAC ceremonial events draw major US wealthy donors and top cardinals, as indicated extensively on NAC’s website’s photo gallery. See there interestingly the recent photo of depressed looking and disgraced Boston Cardinal Bernard Law with the current German Shepherd, Cardinal Gerhard Muller. They both appear to be recovering from their recent capitulation to the LCWR and the American sisters they reportedly tried to dominate. Pragmatic Pope Francis and Law and Muller now appear, however, already to have what they needed — a chastened and silenced US sisterhood unlikely to undercut next year, as they did with Sister Simone Campbell and the Nuns on the Bus in 2012, the Vatican’s significant efforts to elect a right wing US President. Please see that revealing picture and others, here [North American College photo gallery]
New York’s Cardinal Dolan, a former NAC rector, is currently under fire from some Catholic college students reportedly on his child abuse cover-up and anti-gay positions. A petition on Change.org is asking NY’s Jesuit Le Moyne College administrators to replace Dolan as their upcoming graduation speaker. See the video of some of the well spoken and concerned students, “Le Moyne Students Plan to ‘Ignore’ Cardinal Timothy Dolan Commencement Speech“, here, TWC News . Please sign this petition now by clicking on here Change.org !!
Brighton and Hove News
Posted On 03 May 2015
By : Frank le Duc
A High Court judge will decide whether a bishop who began his career in Brighton is fit to stand trial charged with indecent assault.
The case of Peter Ball, 83, a former Bishop of Lewes, was discussed at the Central Criminal Court – better known as the Old Bailey – on Friday (1 May).
Mr Justice Sweeney – Sir Nigel Sweeney – said that the trial of Ball and his fellow former Brighton priest Vickery House had been allocated to Mr Justice Wilkie, a High Court judge.
It would be up to the trial judge – Sir Alan Wilkie – to decide whether Ball was fit to stand trial.
A prominent Roman Catholic priest in Pilsen has been removed from his ministry immediately after the Archdiocese of Chicago received an allegation from an adult lady of an inappropriate partnership.
The Rev. Brendan Curran, a nicely-identified immigration activist and longtime pastor of St. Pius V Catholic Church, acknowledged the connection happened a quantity of years ago and apologized.
"I deeply regret not self-identifying sooner about my immoral behavior: that was a error," Curran stated in a joint statement released by the archdiocese and Dominican Friars on Sunday. "I failed to try to remember my ministry and my commitment as a priest, and for that I can't apologize adequate. I am heartbroken to know that my actions have triggered pain to so quite a few persons. From the bottom of my heart, I apologize and ask for forgiveness. I strategy on attempting to make amends by looking for spiritual healing and rededicating myself to God's service."
According to the statement, Curran stated the partnership was an "isolated instance."
By Manya Brachear Pashman
A prominent Roman Catholic priest in Pilsen has been removed from his ministry after the Archdiocese of Chicago received an allegation from an adult woman of an inappropriate relationship.
The Rev. Brendan Curran, a well-known immigration activist and longtime pastor of St. Pius V Catholic Church, acknowledged the relationship happened a number of years ago and apologized.
"I deeply regret not self-identifying sooner about my immoral behavior: that was a mistake," Curran said in a joint statement released by the archdiocese and Dominican Friars on Sunday. "I failed to remember my ministry and my commitment as a priest, and for that I cannot apologize enough. I am heartbroken to know that my actions have caused pain to so many people. From the bottom of my heart, I apologize and ask for forgiveness. I plan on trying to make amends by seeking spiritual healing and rededicating myself to God's service."
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Sunday, May 3
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
Trying to avoid bad publicity, NYC Cardinal Timothy Dolan has quietly suspended a priest accused of abusing a teenaged parishioner and giving him money to buy drugs.
In February, Dolan’s second-in-command (Bishop Gerald Walsh) wrote to parishioners of Pine Bush’s Church of the Infant Saviour telling them that Fr. Kevin Gallagher had been suspended. A criminal investigation is on-going.
Dolan should have told the public. He should have put notices on the archdiocesan website and in all parish bulletins. He should have personally visited the parish. He should have gone to other parishes where Fr. Gallagher worked. He should be actively begging anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Gallagher to call police.
Instead, Dolan does the absolute bare minimum: writing one letter to the priest’s current parishioners.
Mikey Kyles says that as an addicted 19 year old, Gallagher sexually abused him in the rectory “after giving him hundreds and hundreds of dollars over a few years to buy drugs for a heroin habit,” according to The Times Herald-Record.
This is a heinous betrayal. Dolan should be outraged. Dolan should be taking decisive action. Instead, Dolan’s doing what bishops have done for decades: telling as few people as possible and doing as little to help as possible.
Our hearts go out to Mikey Kyles and his family. What terrible suffering he has endured: losing his twin brother at an early age, becoming addicted, and then being emotionally manipulated and sexually exploited by an purportedly celibate spiritual guide and now, being essentially ignored by Dolan, Walsh and other top Catholic officials who are choosing to protect their reputations and careers instead of protecting their flock from a predator.
We hope every single person who has information or suspicions about Fr. Gallagher – or any New York archdiocesan child molesting cleric (priest, nun, brother, bishop, seminarian or lay employee) – will find the courage that Mikey Kyles is showing and will call law enforcement immediately. That’s the best way to protect the vulnerable, heal the wounded and expose the truth.
Bill Maher doesn't understand why American police are "infallible."
On "Real Time with Bill Maher" Friday night, the host compared police unions to the Catholic Church, saying both have an infrastructure that has historically protected members who abuse power.
"In the Catholic Church, of course not every priest was a pedophile," Maher said. "But the institution covered up for the pedophiles. And this is what I see [with the police]."
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody
Posted on May 3, 2015 by Betty Clermont
Yesterday, Pope Francis led a celebration for the soon-to-be canonized Junípero Serra by praising the 18th century Spanish Franciscan friar who founded the first nine of 21 Spanish missions in California. “He was one of the
Founding Fathers of the United States, a saintly example of the Church’s universality and special patron of the Hispanic people of the country,” the pope said.
In the opinion of others, “Serra should be considered nothing less than a monster.” “The missions were coercive religious, forced labor camps….The Indians who wound up there had their children taken from them, and harsh, manual labor was the rule. Beatings and filthy living conditions were common. The death rate at the missions was appalling. By 1818 the percentage of Indians who died in the missions reached 86 percent. Over 81,000 Indian ‘converts’ eventually managed to successfully flee the missions.”
Yesterday’s event was officially titled a “day of reflection” for Serra before the pope canonizes the missionary at a Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington DC on Sept. 23 during his visit to the U.S. It will be a “national event,” the pope said.
The Altoona Mirror
May 3, 2015
By Phil Ray (email@example.com) , The Altoona Mirror
A Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision holding an official of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia criminally responsible for the sexual abuse of children even though he did not commit the abuse is an important step to protecting children from predators, an Altoona attorney said.
The decision not only applies to clergy or officials of a particular religion but extends responsibility to protect children to supervisors of day care centers, children's camps and schools, to give a few examples, Altoona attorney Richard M. Serbin said Friday.
He said the struggle to provide legal protection for children has been a long haul, but Serbin cited cases he has been involved with and other decisions as progress.
Serbin delved into the clergy sexual abuse issue as far back as 1988 when he represented a young man abused by an Altoona priest.
He won a civil lawsuit on behalf of the youngster that held Father Joseph Luddy and the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese responsible for the abuse.
Last Friday, my step-daughter got up to sing at her Confirmation mass. It was a beautiful moment. She did credit to herself, her family and her school.
But all I have of it is a memory. Because a few minutes before she sang, the presiding priest told families that photographing the event would be illegal.
"According to the rules of child protection law, we have to ask you not to take pictures," he said.
This is not an isolated incident. A spokesman for the Dublin archdiocese later said that this is now the advice given out to parishes: photos of kids' events in churches are banned as a matter of "best practice".
To thousands of parents in the middle of Communion and Confirmation season, it won't feel like best practice. It will feel more like the latest in a series of depressing overreactions.
All over Ireland, there is a growing tension at children's events. School plays and junior sports events are becoming no-go areas for cameras. An underage sports contest I recently attended required by-standing parents to fill out consent forms, ostensibly to give the organisers legal cover for any photos taken. Kids' Christmas musicals now routinely forbid parents in the audience to take photos "for child safety reasons".
Parents are being banned from taking Confirmation pictures during the ceremony - because the Catholic Church fears images of children may end up in the hands of potential abusers.
Each diocese in Ireland has been directed to have specific guidelines governing the filming and photography of children while they are on church grounds.
The rules derive from the 'Safeguarding Standards' guidelines, introduced by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCC), in 2008.These stipulate that each diocese must have robust child protection policies in place, which are "implemented consistently".
The National Board was established in response to the clerical abuse scandals, as a way of ensuring that a given set of standards were put in place, and are adhered to.
"It's to avoid a situation whereby photos get into the wrong hands of potential abusers," said Ger Kenny, spokesman for the NBSCCC.
2 May 2015
Each diocese in Ireland has been directed to have specific guidelines governing the photography of children
Parents have been banned from taking photos of their children at Communion and Confirmation ceremonies.
The Irish Independent reports that each diocese in Ireland has been directed to have specific guidelines governing the photography of children while they are on church grounds.
According to the paper, the rules derive from the 'Safeguarding Standards' guidelines, introduced by the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in 2008, established in response to the clerical abuse scandals.
A priest has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 37-year-old married woman for the past five years in outer Delhi's Rohini Sector 7 area, police said on Saturday.
The victim also alleged that the priest, identified as Rajesh Pandey, video-recorded the act the first time around five years ago and then repeatedly sexually assaulted her by threatening her of leaking the video clip.
"The woman, who lives with her husband and their two children at Rohini Sector 7, had approached Pandey who is a priest at a nearby temple to seek solution to some of her domestic problems. One day, Pandey took her to his residence on the pretext of some ritual and allegedly raped her," said a senior police official quoting the victim's complaint.
Her abuse had been going on since then as he threatened her of posting the alleged video clip on the internet, he added.
The New Mexican
1947: Servants of the Paraclete is unofficially founded in Jemez Springs under the “patronage” of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. Its mission is to provide assistance to priests with substance abuse and psychosexual problems.
1952: Servants of the Paraclete is officially recognized as a “diocesan community,” which means it is under the authority and control of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
The Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald, a founder of the Servants of the Paraclete, writes to the bishop of Reno about priests in the program, stating: “Many bishops believe that men are never free from the approximate danger once they have begun. Hence, leaving them on duty or wandering from diocese to diocese is contributing to scandal or at least to the proximate danger of scandal.”
1957: Fitzgerald writes to Archbishop Edwin Byrne of Santa Fe, addressing him as “co-founder” of the Servants of the Paraclete, concerning pedophiles in their midst: “It is for this class of rattlesnake I have always wished an island retreat. But even an island is too good for these vipers, of whom the gentle master said ‘it were better they had not been born.’ ”
Fitzgerald also requests permission to not offer hospitality to men who have seduced or attempted to seduce boys or girls, stating: “Experience has taught us these men are too dangerous to the children of the parish and neighborhood.”
1960: Servants of the Paraclete makes a down payment for purchase of an island to house men who abuse children.
1962: Fitzgerald writes a report for the Prefect of the Holy Office (Vatican) dealing with the issue of priests who abuse minors. He recommends such priests “be given the alternative of retired life within the protection of monastery walls or complete laicization. We have the former in most cases, for laicization is at best the less of two evils.”
Also, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe asks the Servants of the Paraclete to provide it with detailed information on each resident priest, including offenses, status of treatment, etc.
1963: Fitzgerald has an audience with Pope Paul VI on Aug. 26, 1963, at which he discusses the problem of priest sexual abusers. Describing the meeting in a letter dated Sept. 16, 1964, Fitzgerald writes, “I myself in an audience I was privileged to have with His Holiness Pope Paul, and spoke of this matter which undoubtedly has been one of the deep concerns of his fatherly soul.”
The New Mexican
By Patrick Malone
The New Mexican
When Salt Lake City Bishop John Wester takes over as the head of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe this summer, he’ll inherit a flock haunted for decades by allegations of sexual abuse by priests.
During his introduction last week, Wester referred to sex abuse as “a terrible, terrible sin” and called protection of children in the church “more important than anything.”
In the journey that brings him to Santa Fe, Wester climbed the ranks of the Catholic Church. As vicar for clergy in the Archdiocese of San Francisco from 1998 to 2007, he took on duties that involved sorting out the rampant sexual-abuse claims that have rattled the church globally for the past two decades.
The Archdiocese of San Francisco became known for its reform efforts during Wester’s tenure there under then-Archbishop William Levada. It established one of the first boards in the nation where congregation members reviewed sex-abuse claims against priests, and it helped develop the church’s “zero-tolerance” policy in the United States. ...
The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, an organization that tracks sexual abuse by clergy, says Wester in San Francisco served as a cog in a churchwide system of shuttling accused abusers to new destinations that gave them fresh starts and access to potential new victims.
“The leading church officials, bishops, chancellors, vicars of the clergy, routinely transferred known priest pedophiles and child molesters from one parish to another or country to country,” the survivors network said in a written statement to The New Mexican. “Bishop Wester seems to follow the historical pattern of responding to reports of child sex abuse by clergy.”
The group said Wester “failed to act aggressively in kicking out clergy who rape and molest children.”
Joey Piscitelli, who grew up in the Bay Area and was a victim in childhood of sexual abuse by a priest, had numerous face-to-face meetings with Wester about his case. He called Wester a barrier to justice who protected accused abusers from punishment. Piscitelli said Wester tended to claim ignorance when confronted with information about the dark pasts of some priests he was responsible for overseeing.
“His history in San Francisco of refusing to act prudently in removing several accused child molesters is disgraceful, and should act as a warning sign to parents and children in New Mexico,” said Piscitelli, 59.
Sydney Morning Herald
May 3, 2015
Associate Editor of The Age
Despite a series of sex abuse scandals, the Catholic Church has seen a renewed interest in training for the priesthood.
Father Brendan Lane didn't see this coming. Twenty years ago, the number of young men training to be Catholic priests in the seminary had dwindled to about 20. Lane, the silver-haired priest who heads the Corpus Christi College, saw an institution in decline.
"I thought with attitudes as they were, we're finished," says Lane, then a parish priest. Two decades on, and the priest of 41 years has witnessed a transformation, a revival in interest in the priesthood that means he doesn't have enough rooms at the seminary, and an appeal to fund an extension will be launched.
At last count, this year will see close to 60 men in training to be priests in Melbourne alone – the highest number since the early 1970s. Across Australia, the number is more than 150.
May 2, 2015
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.
Roman Catholic Goliath-bully Bill Donohue is spewing venom of anger and deceits again as is his regular habit because he is the most vicious member of the Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Team in the USA in his Vatican highly funded $50 million “Catholic League”. In his article, “KANSAS CITY STAR GETS INTRUSIVE”, Goliath-bully Donohue tells lies to deceive idiots Catholics, especially morons Americans Catholics. First, typical Opus Dei member misogynist Catholic Bill Donohue attacks the mother of the journalist, Yael T. Abouhalkah and telling her to “should have told her son to mind his own business”.
ROME (KABC) -- Pope Francis is expected to canonize an 18th-century Franciscan friar who founded the first nine Spanish missions in California, despite backlash from the Native American community.
Father Junipero Serra, who died in 1784, "ushered in a new springtime of evangelization in those immense territories, extending from Florida to California," Francis said. The Vatican sees Serra as a role model for the growing U.S. Hispanic Catholic population.
The soon-to-be saint also helped defend "indigenous people against abuses by the colonizers," Francis contended.
Native Americans, however, believe Serra brutally converted indigenous people to Christianity, enslaved converts and helped spread diseases like smallpox.
"To canonize Junipero Serra is to canonize the genocide against us as indigenous people," said Citlalli Anahuac with Mexica Movement, which has held several protests at the Archdiocese in Los Angeles.
"His job was to kill the indigenous people, who we were as a people, and instead revive us as Christians," Anahuac added.
Members of the Archdiocese were in Rome holding meetings about Serra, his treatment of indigenous people and his canonization.
By Steve Israel
Posted May. 2, 2015
PINE BUSH – Mikey Kyles’ 17-year-old twin brother, Tyler, had just been killed in a car crash – with Tyler sitting in the back seat of the 2004 Honda and Mikey in the front passenger seat.
So in August 2009, the priest who had just officiated at the mass for Tyler visited the Kyles’ bi-level home outside this northern Orange County hamlet.
Rev. Kevin Gallagher of Pine Bush’s Church of the Infant Saviour hugged Mikey Kyles and told him he would be there for the teen who did everything with his twin, from shooting baskets in the driveway to skateboarding around town.
“If you ever need anything, come and talk to me,” Kyles recalls Gallagher saying.
Mikey Kyles, now 22, claims Gallagher subsequently sexually abused him in the rectory behind the church – after giving him hundreds and hundreds of dollars over a few years to buy drugs for a heroin habit that Kyles has since kicked. He claims the abuse started when he was 19.
“He was feeding me money to get close to me; he knew what he was doing,” says Kyles in the home where Gallagher first offered his help. “He groomed me. He found a broken kid and when I needed the help the most he abused me.”
Because of that year-old allegation to the Archdiocese of New York, Gallagher, 63, has been forbidden to serve as a priest.
Concerned Catholics of Guam
Hagatna, Guam – The Concerned Catholics of Guam (CCOG) today announced that the organization will be hosting an island-wide prayer rally and motorcade on Sunday, May 3, 2015. The rally is being organized to appeal for justice, accountability, and action from the archdiocese’s leadership, which has remained silent on controversial issues facing the Catholic community on Guam.
Despite repeated letters and requests from members of the Concerned Catholics of Guam to meet with Archbishop Anthony Apuron to begin a dialogue on these issues, Archbishop Apuron continues to hide behind a veil of secrecy and is completely out of touch with the people of God in the Archdiocese of Agana.
“We are again appealing that Archbishop Apuron come to his senses and to reach out, in a genuine and tangible way, to a hurting and divided Church on Guam. We have waited too long and his style of leadership and silence cannot be tolerated any longer,” said Greg Perez, president of Concerned Catholics of Guam, Inc.
“I’m inviting everyone to please join us for this island-wide prayer rally and motorcade to send a clear message to Pope Francis and to Rome that nothing has been done to reconcile and reunite our Church. We want justice, accountability, and a real effort to move our church forward.”
Concerned Catholics of Guam
UPDATE: MOTORCADE INFORMATION
· NORTHERN I (Agafa Gumas, Dededo, Yigo)
Location: Dededo Mayors Office/Santa Barbara Church
Meeting Time: 2:30 PM
Departure: 3:00 PM
· NORTHERN II (Tamuning, Tumon, Harmon)
Location: Tamuning Mayors Office
Meeting Time: 2:45 PM
Departure: 3:15 PM
· CENTRAL I (Barrigada, Chalan Pago, Mangilao)
Location: Mangilao Senior Center/Santa Teresita Church
Meeting Time: 3:00 PM
Departure: 3:30 PM
· CENTRAL II (Hagatna, Mongmong, Toto, Agana Heights)
Location: Mongmong-Toto-Maite Mayors Office/
Immaculate Heart of Mary Church
Meeting Time: 3:15 PM
Departure: 3:45 PM
· CENTRAL III (Asan, Maina, Sinajana, Piti)
Location: Asan Beach (War in the Pacific National Park)
Meeting Time: 3:15 PM
Departure: 3:45 PM
· SOUTHERN I (Santa Rita, Talofofo, Umatac, Merizo)
*Combined with Central III Villages
Location: Asan Beach (War in the Pacific National Park)
Meeting Time: 3:15 PM
Departure: 3:45 PM
· SOUTHERN II (Inarajan, Talofofo, Yona)
Location: St. Francis Church/Yona Gym
Meeting Time: 2:45 PM
Departure: 3:15 PM
NOTE: Safety briefings will be provided at each location prior to departure. All motor vehicle and traffic laws must be followed at all times.
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.
With news compilation
Introduction - read our related article, Benedict XVI rejected by Rome's Sapienza University students and professors http://pope-ratz.blogspot.ca/2008/01/benedict-xvi-rejected-by-romes-sapienza.html
There are 600 graduating students and already 500 have signed the online petition to reject Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York as their convocation speaker. The USA is a democracy by-the-people and for-the-people in sharp contrast to the (VA) Vatican Autocracy aka Roman Catholic Church that is a theocracy ruled by the dictatorial pope (dictating from his false country that’s only one medieval building and 800 foreigners as residents and citizens) and ruling with his medieval princes of cardinals and bishops worldwide (with their Middle Age doctrines out-of-touch with 21st Century reality). But these US Le Moyne grads should also learn from the students of La Sapienza University, the largest university in Europe, who rejected (newly elected) Benedict XVI-RATzinger as their convocation speaker in 2008 -- and they succeeded because the pope cancelled his speech and visit (to save his ugly Opus Dei Beast face). Even the Italian Police refused to provide security.
Pope Francis has praised the “holiness” and “zeal” of an 18th-century Franciscan missionary he will make a saint when he visits the US this fall, but whom Native Americans in California contend brutally converted indigenous people to Christianity.
Francis on Saturday praised the accomplishments and qualities of Reverend Junípero Serra during a homily at a Rome seminary training future priests from North America. The pope will elevate the Spanish native to sainthood in a ceremony in Washington on 23 September during his US pilgrimage.
Native Americans have held protests in California, saying instead of being honored, Serra should be criticised for what they say is his role in wiping out native populations in a brutal campaign to impose Catholicism.
Without addressing specific accusations, Francis praised Serra’s missionary zeal and said the priest “defended the indigenous peoples against abuses by the colonisers”.
May 2, 2015 Author: berger
New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan has been asked by some students and faculty of Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. to be removed as commencement speaker on May 17. They will close their eyes if Dolan is allowed to speak. Their statement: “Dolan’s handling of child sex abuse against priests and comments he’s made about gays and lesbians make him an unfit speaker.”
Dolan, a native of Ballwin, was named archbishop by Pope Benedict XVI in 2009.
ROME (AP) — Pope Francis on Saturday praised the zeal of an 18th-century Franciscan missionary he will make a saint when he visits the United States this fall but whom Native Americans contend brutally converted indigenous people to Christianity.
Francis praised Junipero Serra during a homily at a Rome seminary training future priests from North America. The pope will proclaim the Spaniard a saint during a Washington, D.C., ceremony Sept. 23.
Native Americans have protested in California, saying the friar should be criticized for what they contend is his role in wiping out native populations in a brutal campaign to impose Catholicism. They contend he enslaved converts.
Francis described Serra as part of a missionary corps who "went out to all the geographical, social and existential peripheries" to spread the Gospel.
"Such zeal excites us," Francis said.
Without wading into specific criticisms of Serra, Francis said of these missionaries: "Sometimes we stop and thoughtfully examine their strengths and, above all, their weaknesses and shortcomings."
ROME (Reuters) - Pope Francis defended an 18th-century Spanish priest on Saturday from accusations he brutalised Native Americans in missionary work that helped lay the foundations for the Catholic Church in the United States.
The pope intends to declare Father Junipero Serra a saint at a Mass celebrated at the National Shrine in Washington on Sept 23 during his U.S. visit.
The Franciscan missionary built a series of missions along the Pacific coast in the latter 18th century, in what is now California, to spread the faith among Native Americans there.
Tribal leaders in California say Serra beat and imprisoned local peoples, suppressed their cultures and facilitated the spread of diseases that decimated the population.
Without addressing specific accusations, Francis praised Serra's missionary zeal and said the priest "defended the indigenous peoples against abuses by the colonisers".
Earlier today our Holy Father, Pope Francis, visited the Pontifical North American College in Rome, the national seminary for the United States on the Janiculum Hill. The seminary is under the auspices of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and includes a graduate housing facility called the Casa Santa Maria.
Like many other dioceses, the W.D.O.E sends students to the NAC for major seminary studies and also for graduate work. And, apparently, that number is set to go up by one. Months after plans were scuttled to send Father Joseph Gallatin to the Catholic University of America to study canon law, allegedly because of complaints from victims groups, the rumor is that a new plan is afoot to send him to Rome to complete those same studies.
SHANNON DEERY SUNDAY HERALD SUN MAY 03, 2015
DAVID Edwin Rapson made a career out of destroying lives.
For two decades he used the protection of the priesthood to prey on young, vulnerable boys.
Underneath the holy garments and behind the broad smile lay a hidden evil. Rapson was the Devil in disguise.
His crimes were so appalling that Pope John Paul II made the extraordinary decision to defrock him in 2004, following a campaign by his former colleagues.
The head of his order rallied the pontiff to make the unusual move, telling him Rapson was “an offender of the worst kind”.
But for the victims of his unrelenting reign of terror it was too little, too late.
The same priests that had moved to have him kicked out of the church had protected him for too long.
[Sentence of 33 years in prison for sex abuse priest.]
El proceso se abrió cuando familias de niños se quejaron de un presunto abuso sexual por parte de William de Jesús Mazo Pérez, quien era párroco de la iglesia Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria del barrio Alfonso Bonilla Aragón, en el oriente de Cali.
A Mazo lo capturaron el 30 de junio de 2010 y la Fiscalía lo acusó en septiembre de ese año por el delito de acceso carnal abusivo con menor de 14 años, agravado y en concurso homogéneo. Un investigador de la Policía asumió el caso y consiguió pruebas.
El Juzgado 22 Penal del Circuito dictó en 2012 la que se considera la sentencia más alta a un religioso en Colombia. Mazo niega los cargos y su abogado defensor apeló porque no se habrían valorado inconsistencias en las declaraciones de los menores.
The Jesuit impact on students still thrives. The Catholic Revolution that began recently with parents and grandparents in a Chilean cathedral (see here, here, and here) is spreading to younger Catholics, now to a New York Jesuit university. As I recently noted here, “Must Jesuits Overlook Jesuit Pope’s Mistakes?” , some Jesuit priests seem often to be silent under our Jesuit pope, but a majority of the 2015 graduating class at Jesuits’ Le Moyne College are objecting to the most prominent US prelate, New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan’s being the speaker at their commencement ceremonies in a few weeks. A petition on Change.org asking the college to change the speaker has been signed by more than 500 people. The college’s graduating class is roughly 600 students. See the video of some of the concerned students here,
The LeMoyne protest by mature Jesuit students suggests the Jesuit pope may face protests when he visits the USA for the first time in a few months. Meanwhile, Cardinal Dolan appears to be reaping a better return on his US presidential election campaign oriented “evangelization” efforts directed at “low tax/less regulation/least safety net” wealthy 0.01% US donors; see his recent conference with Goldman Sachs’ CEO and top bankers, and his earlier “the pope loves the rich” spiel on the CNBC international business network here, Goldman Sachs , and here, CNBC .
Students at LeMoyne reportedly say their research led them to reports that Dolan has been involved in efforts to cover up priest sexual abuse of children. “We have tried to make steps to state our intolerance with sexual violence on this campus and, also, within the church it shouldn’t be tolerated,” said Amy Denny, a senior. “Overall, I do not think Cardinal Dolan represents the tenets we value at Le Moyne College,” said Katherine M. Bakhuizen, a senior. Take that, Tim!
Kailey McDonald, also a senior, is holding out hope that the college will disinvite Dolan. “Jesus taught love and acceptance, and so does Le Moyne,” McDonald said.”The Jesuits do not condemn people for the way they love. I have not seen evidence that Cardinal Dolan reflects these teachings, and I hope Le Moyne recognizes that.”
Cardinal Dolan, the USA’s most visible prelate, is surely having a tough stretch. The former top aide to Dolan’s St. Louis’ mentor, retired Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali, has just been sent back to jail by a Jesuit educated judge for a child endangerment crime, see here, “Two Cardinals’ Aide’s Crime Upheld Yet Philly Visit Is Still On?”
And Dolan’s former St. Louis subordinate, Bishop Finn, was just sacked by Pope Francis over a criminal failure to report a serial child pornographer priest, see here,”Finn’s Law: Police Must Now Handle Crimes Says Pope”.
New Delhi: In a shocking incident, a 39-year-old woman has levelled allegations of sexual exploitation on a temple priest in Delhi’s Rohini area.
According to police, the accused named Rajesh Pandey has been raping the woman for the past 6 years.
The victim has alleged that the accused has also made videos of rape and has been blackmailing her with it.
The Orange County Register
BY TONY SAAVEDRA AND DEEPA BHARATH / STAFF WRITERS
The last of the internal misconduct files on Roman Catholic clergy in Southern California were released Friday, offering new allegations of extensive sexual assaults in Orange County’s Servite community.
Amid thousands of pages of records were letters on the Rev. Joseph Sharkey, who came from Ireland in 1967 to Servite High School in Anaheim.
A year later, Sharkey was accused of sexual misconduct “with at least five students ... four of whom are minor seminarians,” said a letter from the Rev. Stephen Ryan at the Provincial Center in Buena Park to the Very Rev. Terence M. O’Connor, Eastern Province of the Servites.
“I'm terribly sorry about the misfortune of Joe Sharkey. I really hadn't the slightest idea that he was a sadomasochist,” O’Connor wrote in that letter.
Ryan said he’d heard Sharkey committed the same misdeeds at Benburb Priory in Ireland, where a 1956 novice report called him a “mature, solid” person with virtuous character.
Joelle Casteix, an abuse victim and activist from Orange County, called the news “jaw-dropping.”
The Rev. John Fontana, Provincial Superior of the Servite Order in the United States, said Friday that improvements have been made to prevent future assaults on children.
May 1, 2015
By Alex Good
The Nuns of Sant'Ambrogio: The True Story of a Convent in Scandal
by Hubert Wolf (Knopf, 498 pages, $35 hardcover)
Long before the current landslide of reports of child sexual abuse became headline news, the Catholic Church was a hotbed of scandal.
Indeed, the link goes back as far as the dawn of the modern mass media, with prints of all the debaucheries going on behind cloistered walls making great propaganda material during the Reformation. Catholic-themed porn was off and running.
More recently, an entire sub-sub-genre of semi-mainstream Eurotrash films in the 1970s, dubbed "nunsploitation," took convents as the setting for tales of sexual perversion. A notorious precursor was Ken Russell's 1971 film "The Devils," which even managed to get banned in many countries.
by Dora Scheidell
SYRACUSE -- A majority of the 2015 graduating class doesn't want him to speak, but the president of Le Moyne College says Cardinal Timothy Dolan will speak at this year's commencement regardless.
Dolan is the leader of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of New York. Some say he has some controversial views, specifically his stance on gay marriage and his handling of allegations of child sexual abuse against priests. However, the Le Moyne administration is thrilled to have him speak, saying he's arguably the most influential leader within the U.S. Catholic Church.
The students aren't nearly as thrilled. More than 300 signed a petition on change.org. There are roughly 600 students in the graduating class. While not every person who signed the petition is a senior, it's fair to say a majority of students who will be attending commencement will not be happy to hear it's star speaker.
Le Moyne president, Linda LeMura says it doesn't bother her. In fact it makes her proud.
"In reality I see it as a great call for celebration. Our students are questioning decisions we've made. They want to understand the rationale at a deeper level. They're indicating concern for members of society that are historically marginalized. I think Cardinal Dolan will take some joy in the fact that our students are well educated and want more questions answered. It's a sign of engagement," says LeMura.
By Bill Carey
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- In the Catholic world, it's a major accomplishment for Le Moyne College: a commencement address by Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York.
"He's really the most prominent Catholic leader in the United States these days. So, Cardinal Dolan will offer, I'm sure, an enthusiastic, heart warming, and I think, pastoral message to our students," said Rev. David McCallum, the college's director of mission and identity.
But, some members of the class of 2015 say they plan to ignore that speech.
"I think that, as a group, a group of people who have their own identity, we have decided that Cardinal Dolan doesn't really embody the values that we've been taught at a Jesuit school," said Le Moyne senior Kate Bakhuizen.
By Marnie Eisenstadt | firstname.lastname@example.org
on April 28, 2015
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Some students and faculty at LeMoyne College will be closing their ears when Cardinal Timothy Dolan speaks at this year's commencement.
Dolan's handling of allegations of child sexual abuse against priests and comments he's made about gays and lesbians make him an unfit speaker, they said. Dolan is the leader of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.
"Overall, I do not think Cardinal Dolan represents the tenets we value at Le Moyne College," said Katherine M. Bakhuizen, a senior and president of CARE, a group promoting the acceptance of gay and lesbian students on campus. "With sexual assault becoming endemic on college campuses and marriage equality with LGBTQ+ acceptance on the forefront of history, we cannot welcome someone who does not align with our values as a Jesuit institution."
A petition on Change.org asking the college to change the speaker has been signed by more than 300 people. The college's graduating class is roughly 600 students.
National Catholic Reporter
Mandy Erickson | May. 1, 2015 NCR Today
Supporters of San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone have moved their May 16 picnic to a different venue in the city.
They will gather at 11 a.m. at Sue Bierman Park at The Embarcadero and Washington Street. The event was originally planned for Little Marina Green, but another event with more than 3,000 participants was scheduled at Marina Green for the same time, said Eva Muntean, who started the website sfcatholics.org. She added that city officials were concerned the number of people from both events would be too large.
Muntean, organizer of the annual Walk for Life in San Francisco, started the trilingual (English, Spanish and Chinese) website after parents, students and teachers at four archdiocesan high schools began protesting Cordileone's decision to change aspects of the teachers' employment.
One of the changes is an addition to the teachers' handbook that states teachers are expected to adhere to church teaching in their personal lives. The "affirm and believe" clauses in the statement include condemnation of artificial birth control, gay marriage and extramarital sex.
The Baltimore Sun
By Jonathan Pitts
The Baltimore Sun
Heather Elizabeth Cook, the Episcopal bishop accused of drunk driving and fatally striking a bicyclist in December, has resigned as bishop suffragan of the Diocese of Maryland, the diocese announced Friday
In a separate action, Cook has also reached an accord with the national church that terminates her right to act as a priest, officials said.
Cook, 58, tendered her resignation by letter this week, and Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton and the diocese standing committee — the church's equivalent of a board of trustees — accepted it Friday.
The standing committee asked for Cook's resignation in January.
Cook and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the national church's top official, have reached a separate accord under the church's disciplinary code known as a "sentence of disposition," according to a statement Jefferts Schori's office released Friday.
Episcopal News Service
[Episcopal News Service] Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori announced May 1 that she and Episcopal Diocese of Maryland Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook have reached an agreement that deprives her of her status as an ordained person in The Episcopal Church; moreover, that announcement came on the same day that Cook resigned her diocesan post.
Cook is scheduled to go on trial in June for allegedly causing the Dec. 27 car-bicycle accident in Baltimore that killed bicyclist Thomas Palermo. The simultaneous May 1 announcements do not involve the legal proceedings against Cook, but they do end all ecclesiastical disciplinary matters pending against her.
Maryland Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton had placed Cook on administrative leave shortly after the accident. Jefferts Schori restricted her ministry on Feb. 10.
The statement from the Office of the Presiding Bishop is here and below.
“Pursuant to Title IV of the Canons of The Episcopal Church, the Presiding Bishop and Bishop Cook have reached an Accord. Under the terms of the Accord, Bishop Cook will receive a Sentence of Deposition, pursuant to which she shall be ‘deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority of God’s word and sacraments conferred at ordination.’
In a release closely coordinated with the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, the presiding bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church has announced that disgraced Bishop Heather Elizabeth Cook has accepted a “sentence of deposition” that will strip her of rights as an ordained priest of the church.
U.S. Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said today’s action was the culmination of the church’s Title IV disciplinary proceeding that began after Cook was revealed to be the driver of the hit-and-run crash in Baltimore that killed bicyclist Thomas Palermo.
Cook, who registered a breath alcohol reading nearly three times the legal limit when she returned to the crash scene, was charged with manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident, and DUI by Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby.
This afternoon, in a separate press release, Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, announced that Cook had resigned her position as the No. 2 diocesan leader.
BALTIMORE —The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland announced Friday it has accepted the resignation of Bishop Heather Cook.
The statement said Cook is no longer employed by the diocese and that her resignation is independent of any disciplinary action the diocese could take.
The diocese sought Cook's resignation in January after she was charged in the death of bicyclist Thomas Palermo. A trial date is set for June 4.
Episcopal Diocese of Maryland
Baltimore, MD — The Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton and the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland today announced the acceptance of the resignation of Heather E. Cook as bishop suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland. This means that Cook is no longer employed by the diocese. The acceptance of Cook’s resignation is independent of any Title IV disciplinary action taken by the Episcopal Church.
The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland is a Christian community of 21,500 households in 108 congregations covering 10 counties and Baltimore City; our purpose is to sustain our community of churches, congregations and ministries while living into our Baptismal Covenant to proclaim by word and example the good news of God in Christ, seek and serve Christ in all persons, and strive for justice and peace among all people, respecting the dignity of every human being. Please visit www.episcopalmaryland.org for more information. The Episcopal Church is a community of 2.4 million members in 100 nationwide dioceses, 10 overseas dioceses and six extra-provincial territories; www.episcopalchurch.org . The Anglican Communion is a global community of 77 million Anglicans in 38 member churches/provinces, including The Episcopal Church; www.anglicancommunion.org.
Please contact the Rev. Dan Webster, canon for evangelism for the Episcopal Churches of Maryland, 410-467-1399, email@example.com.
Presiding Bishop’s office releases information on Cook
[May 1, 2015] The office of Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has released information concerning Heather Cook of the Diocese of Maryland.
Pursuant to Title IV of the Canons of The Episcopal Church, the Presiding Bishop and Bishop Cook have reached an Accord. Under the terms of the Accord, Bishop Cook will receive a Sentence of Deposition, pursuant to which she shall be “deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority of God’s word and sacraments conferred at ordination.”
As such, Cook will no longer function as an ordained person in The Episcopal Church.
The Accord resolves all ecclesiastical disciplinary matters involving Cook.
This Accord is separate from any resolution of employment matters involving Cook and the Diocese of Maryland as well as from criminal matters pending in the secular courts.
Title IV http://www.episcopalchurch.org/files/candc_2009pp123-166.pdf
The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org
# # # #
For more info contact:
Neva Rae Fox
Public Affairs Officer
The Episcopal Church
212-716-6080 Mobile: 917-478-5659
Top female Episcopal bishop defrocked four months after her DUI arrest in bicyclist’s death
By Michelle Boorstein May 1
Facing a manslaughter trial next month in the drunk-driving death of a bicyclist, a top Maryland bishop was defrocked Friday by the Episcopal Church. Heather Cook was the first female bishop in the Diocese of Maryland, which also announced Friday that she has lost her position there.
Cook’s resignation as an employee of 44,000-person diocese ends what was an embarrassing employment issue for the diocese. Bishop Eugene Sutton, the diocese’s leader, had asked in January for her to step down and thousands of Episcopalians were on Facebook pages calling for her to leave her job and to face tough criminal charges.
On Friday, the national denomination announced she had been “deprived of the right to exercise the gifts and spiritual authority of God’s word and sacraments conferred at ordination.” Despite criticism of how other top church officials handled Cook in the run-up to her election last year, the Episcopal Church’s internal probe focused only on Cook and there is no independent investigation of other church leaders. Neva Fox, a spokeswoman for the denomination, declined comment.
While Cook, a 58-year-old lifelong Marylander whose father was a well-known Baltimore priest, has been in treatment since her January arrest and out of public view, the fact that she was still the No. 2 bishop in the diocese was a concern for the church.
One cannot follow Pope Francis closely without noticing he sometimes says one thing one day (he “winks”), then days later he acts differently (he “nods”). As far back as four decades ago, his two tortured Jesuit teachers reportedly complained bitterly they, in effect, were given assurances of protection one day that he seemed to violate the next. The pope’s most visible recent example of “winkling and nodding” was his Christmas party public critique of his Vatican bureaucracy, with Cardinals Bernard Law and Raymond Burke prominently in attendance. Good theater, but little else. Similar “winks & nods” have occurred on condemning “trickle down” economics, on holding bishops accountable for protecting priest child abusers, on respecting women as equals and on treating gay Catholics in a Christian manner.
The latest “wink & nod” that has major implications for poor children and women appears to be coming on climate/global warming. The pope’s long-anticipated encyclical on climate change is now being translated into several languages for release in June, according to press reports.
Please see my related remarks, “The Crisis Pope Francis Faces“, “Two Cardinals’ Aide’s Crime Upheld Yet Philly Visit Is Still On?” , “What Do We Now Know About The Real Goal Of Pope Francis?” , “Francis’ Breeding Policy Fails Kids, Women & Gay Folks“, “Pope’s “Messes”: Philly, Climate, Kids & Now Hillary“, “Pope’s Fix For Street Child Woes: More Babies ?“, “Childless Pope Faces Man-Made “Mess”: Children & Climate Change” , “Vatican Revolt Negates Synod & Sex Commission” , “Hillary Clinton vs. Pope Francis in 2015 USA Politics“, “A Pope, A New US War, Jeb Bush Neocons & Big Oil” , and “Finn’s Law: Police Must Now Handle Crimes Says Pope“.
As Jesuit educated and highly respected investigative reporter, Jason Berry, recently pointed out, Ghanaian Cardinal Peter Turkson, who helped draft parts of this papal encyclical as president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council on Justice and Peace, reportedly said, “So when Pope Francis says that destroying the environment is a grave sin; when he says that it is not large families that cause poverty but an economic culture that puts money and profit ahead of people; when he says that we cannot save the environment without also addressing the profound injustices in the distribution of the good of the earth… He is … restating ancient Biblical teaching.” Of course, large families often contribute to poverty, as self interested childless celibates like Turkson and the pope refuse to acknowledge.
Yet as AP’s balanced Vatican reporter, Nicole Winfield, indicated about a recent Vatican conference of Nobel Prize-winning scientists, Francis’ key environmental advisers and faith leaders, they were unanimous in agreeing that climate change is real, mostly man-made, hardest on the poorest, and a problem that only collective action can solve.
Of course, many US Republicans, who have benefited from Vatican and US bishops’ political support, have opposed efforts to reduce fossil fuels and other pollutants that contribute to global warming, and some deny that human activity is responsible. The recent Vatican conference’s host, Msgr. Sanchez Sorondo, one of the pope’s top advisers who likely knows what will be in the encyclical, had choice words for such skeptics: “It’s the same people who defend the oil industry… . It’s the lobby of profit.”
Religion News Service
Kevin Eckstrom | May 1, 2015
WASHINGTON (RNS) An Episcopal bishop in Maryland who’s facing manslaughter charges in the drunk-driving death of a bicyclist has been defrocked and “will no longer function as an ordained person in the Episcopal Church.”
Heather Cook was a suffragan (assistant) bishop in the Diocese of Maryland when she was charged with manslaughter in the Dec. 27 hit-and-run death of cyclist Tom Palermo, a 41-year-old husband and father of two, in Baltimore. Within a month of the accident, the diocese that she had helped lead for just three months asked her to resign.
Cook, who is free on bail and seeking treatment for alcoholism, faces 13 charges including drunken driving, leaving the scene of an accident and causing an accident due to texting while driving.
Cook left the crash scene and returned about 30 minutes later, according to court documents. A breath test showed a blood-alcohol level of 0.22, almost three times Maryland’s 0.08 limit.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Friday, May 1
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A new child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit has been filed against a priest, a nun and the Louisville archdiocese.
We urge Archbishop Kurtz to aggressively seek out others who were hurt by Fr. James R. Schook or any of the 63 other current or former Louisville area Catholic clerics who have been publicly accused as child predators. (See BishopAccountability.org)
That's the least Kurtz can do at this point. (After all, Louisville Catholic officials recruited, educated, hired, trained, shielded and transferred this priest.)
We applaud these brave men who are seeking justice and exposing wrongdoing. We hope this litigation will bring them healing and closure.
We urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by this priest or nun to come forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.
Catholic News Service
By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis has set up a five-person committee -- which includes Irish Msgr. Paul Tighe -- to find ways to implement recommendations for streamlining and modernizing the Vatican's many communications structures.
When the pope met with his Council of Cardinals in April, the cardinal advisers suggested he name a new commission to implement a reform plan drafted by a previous 11-member papal commission.
The reform effort is looking at how Vatican communications outlets can adapt to changing media consumption trends, better coordinate its existing channels and make substantial financial savings.
The Worthy Adversary
[Files on the Servites, Carmelites and Redemptorists - Boucher LLP]
Posted by Joelle Casteix on May 1, 2015
From Fr. Steven Ryan to Servite Provincial Fr. Terence O’Connor:
One of the difficulties awaiting my return from Australia was that Joe Sharkey had been guilty of sadism and masochism with at least five students at Servite, four of whom are minor seminarians.
Servite provincial Fr. Terence O’Connor to Fr. Steven Ryan:
I am terribly sorry about the misfortune of [former Servite high school teacher] Joe Sharkey. I really hadn’t the slightest idea that he was a sadomasochist.
Makes you want to call your Servite friends and see if they can get a tuition refund.
By Rosie Scammell
2015 Religion News Service
VATICAN CITY (RNS) Despite growing resistance from some Native Americans and U.S. Catholics, the Vatican on Saturday (May 2) will host an event to celebrate the life of Junípero Serra, the Spanish missionary priest whom Pope Francis plans to canonize during his upcoming American tour. The Pontifical North American College, the American bishops’ elite seminary in Rome, has joined with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Pontifical Commission for Latin America to host the “Day of Reflection,” which includes an appearance by the pope.
The event has the highest backing within the Roman Catholic Church, with organizers announcing the pontiff will celebrate a Mass for supporters of Serra, an evangelizer who helped establish the mission system in 18th-century California. ...
Many ancestors of Native Americans who survived the missions share an entirely negative view of the soon-to-be saint. Ronald Andrade, executive director of the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission, said there is “nothing positive in the history of Serra.”
The upcoming canonization is a “strictly political” move, Andrade said. “You will see how far modern tribes are away from the church. The (Native American) culture is reviving; that proves to me that they are moving away from what Serra had wanted.”
Andrade accused Francis of orchestrating the canonization “to get some publicity” and revive Catholicism in California. His view was echoed by Elias Castillo, who wrote the book: “A Cross of Thorns: The Enslavement of California’s Indians by the Spanish Missions.”
“This is nothing more than a PR move by the Catholic Church to entice more people to become Catholic,” he said, calling Serra’s reign a “devastating period” and the pope’s plans to canonize the Franciscan “disgraceful.”
The Tablet (UK)
30 April 2015 by Ellen Teague
An Irish Columban priest has told a hearing of the US Congress that if child trafficking in the Philippines is to be tackled properly, then it will be necessary to reform the police and the judiciary.
Fr Shay Cullen, founder and president of the Preda Foundation, which has worked for four decades to protect street children and tackle sex tourism in the Philippines, said that “while the Philippines Government is striving to address the problem of human trafficking and improve the record of convictions much remains to be done”.
He called for local government to stop issuing permits and licences to sex bars that take in trafficked persons. Children trafficked must have greater protection and those responsible “must be prosecuted in a robust manner with integrity”, he said.
Fr Cullen testified on 22 April in Washington before a hearing of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organisations on the fight against human trafficking. The committee was instrumental in getting the latest anti-trafficking law passed by the US Congress on the same day.
By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor 01 May 2015
The former leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales had said he feels “sorrow and shame” for allowing a known paedophile to continue working as a priest.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor admitted that his decision to appoint Michael Hill as an airport chaplain instead of reporting him to the police left him free to abuse again.
In an extract from the his memoirs published in The Tablet, the Cardinal admits that he failed at the time to recognise the lasting pain and damage sexual abuse inflicts on victims.
He uses the book to apologise to victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Britain and around the world.
May 01, 2015
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- Two men are suing a Catholic priest, the Louisville archdiocese and a Dominican nun, claiming they were sexually abused by the priest in the 1970s and the church failed to protect them.
The Rev. James Schook, was convicted last year of molesting one of the two. He is serving a 15-year prison sentence.
The 67-year-old Schook was tried on allegations that he abused both boys, but convicted for just one. His attorney argued that the second man was of legal age when the relationship began.
The Tablet (UK)
01 May 2015 by Isabel de Bertodano
Students at the Catholic University of Santiago have staged a demonstration against Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, over the dismissal of a prominent liberation theologian.
The protest took place during an event last month attended by the cardinal, who was targeted by students angry over his decision to dismiss Professor Jorge Costadoat from the theology faculty.
“The professor did not adhere to the syllabus, nor did he give the majority of the fundamental content of the course, blurring its essence and obliging some students to study the material on their own. In my evaluation, this is the element that has the most weight and is essential,” Cardinal Ezzati said in his 5 April letter to the university council.
The Jesuit priest has been outspoken on the social mission of the Church and sexual morality, in particular the issue of Communion for divorcees who have remarried.
However, in a letter to El Mercurio newspaper last month Fr Costadoat said he did not know what the cardinal, who is Grand Chancellor of the university, was accusing him of.
National Catholic Reporter
It seems, in what can be gleaned from the final report of the doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, that a certain reasonableness ultimately prevailed in an exercise that has rightfully been called "a disaster."
Religious women remain one of American Catholicism's great treasures. Of all the matters in the church in need of investigation, the organization whose members are leaders of more than 80 percent of women religious in the United States was not one of them.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's "assessment" of LCWR was a disaster, an unnecessary sign of distrust. Keeping that assessment in mind should temper the celebration coming from some quarters of the church and commentariat acclaiming the success of "dialogue."
If there is reason to cheer, it is that the women managed to impress upon the Vatican that they had no intention of engaging the issue exclusively on the arcane protocols of an all-male clerical culture in which only its members are clued in to the means of survival. So the women held out, apparently (though no one is talking yet), for that conversation of equals.
In the meantime, the clerical culture received what must have been a stunning immersion into the reality of church as it exists beneath the hierarchical level. The raw fact -- a necessarily political fact, as it turns out -- is that most Catholics and many others know the nuns, have been helped by them or influenced by them in countless ways, while few people would know their bishop if he showed up at the front door.
People from various fishermen's hamlets in this district today picketed the residence of the Bishop Ivan Ambrose to protest against the sacking of a priest of church at Punnakayal.
The priest of Punnakayal Church, A V Santhanam was sacked for allegedly violating the code of conduct.
Police said they held conciliatory talks between the locals and the bishop during which the latter assured that he would talk to them about it
Wall Street Journal
By TOM CORRIGAN
A bankruptcy judge has ordered the Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup, N.M., its insurance carriers and lawyers representing 58 alleged sexual-abuse victims to begin mediation no later than July 15.
Judge David Thuma, who oversees the diocese’s bankruptcy proceedings, signed off on mediation at the request of both alleged victims and the diocese, which stretches across broad swaths of northern Arizona and New Mexico.
Mediation is likely the best opportunity to resolve the diocese’s bankruptcy case through a settlement that provides compensation to alleged victims and protects the church from future litigation, according to lawyers involved in the case. Other diocesan bankruptcies prompted by sexual-abuse claims have stretched out over years, racking up huge legal bills.
In advance of mediation, lawyers representing the diocese, insurers and alleged victims have spent nearly a year and a half seeking out victims, assessing the value of the diocese’s assets and collecting evidence on the allegations of abuse and alleged cover-up by diocesan officials, much of which is said to have taken place decades ago.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Friday, May 1, 2015
Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga, California, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), SNAP Orthodox Director (925-708-6175, firstname.lastname@example.org)
An Orthodox educator from Florida was sentenced yesterday to ten years in prison as the result of a plea deal. The sentence will be followed by ten years’ probation and life time registry as a sex offender.
[Tampa Bay Times]
We are glad that James Larkin will spend time behind bars. While incarcerated, he will be unable to hurt any more kids.
Now that the criminal process is complete, we beg the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (GOA) to use all of their resources to reach out to the students, faculty and volunteers who were at Saint John Greek Orthodox Day School in Tampa from 1978 to 2009, when Larkin was the principal. Since one of Larkin’s admitted victims was abused during this period of time, the Church should urge anyone who experienced, witnessed or suspected Larkin of child sexual abuse to contact the police.
We applaud the courage of the three men who reported their abuse by Larkin to law enforcement. Hopefully, their bravery will encourage other victims to speak up, report to law enforcement and begin healing.
by Matthew Taylor
A TRAFFORD author will release a startling account of the abuse he and others received at the hands of shamed teacher Alan Morris next month.
David Nolan, a former pupil of St Ambrose Catholic College in Hale Barns, will unveil ‘Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil’ during a unique book launch event at Local Creation in Altrincham on Thursday, June 25.
Reverend Morris, a former deacon, was imprisoned for nine years for a string of sexual abuses carried out on St Ambrose schoolboys between the 1970s and early 1990s.
David, 50, forfeit his right to give evidence during the trial in order to produce an ITV documentary about the scandal and contact former victims.
[Last clergy files released in Los Angeles 8 years after deal - Associated Press]
MAY 01, 2015
Available for download here: https://boucherllp.box.com/clergyfiles
Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor's shame and regret at moving paedophile priest who went on to abuse another child
01 May 2015 by Elena Curti
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has written of his “sorrow and shame” for allowing a priest who abused children to remain in ministry when he was Bishop of Arundel and Brighton.
In an exclusive extract from his memoirs in this week’s Tablet, Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor describes his profound regret for giving another chance to one of his priest, Michael Hill, in the early 1980s, despite knowing that he had twice abused young boys.
The cardinal took note that one psychiatrist had advised that Hill might be given a job where no children were involved. He sent Hill to be a chaplain at Gatwick Airport, where he abused a disabled child.
“I should have reported him to the police and the social services. I will always look back on my decision with sorrow and shame,” writes Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor.
The affair became public soon after Cardinal Cormac-O’Connor received his red hat in 2000, leading to calls for his resignation as Archbishop of Westminster. The cardinal said he decided to stay on after becoming convinced that his task was “to start to put things right”.
He set up a review of child protection in the Church in England and Wales led by the Catholic peer, Lord Nolan, that determined that the interests of the child should be paramount. The bishops accepted the committee’s recommendations in 2001.
Nicole Winfield, Associated Press Friday, May 1, 2015
VATICAN CITY (AP) — When Pope Francis visits the United States this fall, he can expect the same rock-star adulation that greets him wherever he goes. But his positions on hot-button issues such as the death penalty and climate change could quickly set the stage for conflict. That may explain why Francis has been clearing the decks on a host of less high-profile matters of contention that could also have marred the visit.
In a matter of a few short weeks, Francis abruptly ended the Vatican's deeply contested investigation of U.S. nuns and engineered the removal of an American bishop who failed to report a suspected sex abuser. Had he left those issues to fester, they would certainly have cast a cloud over the historic trip — which will include the first papal address to the U.S. Congress.
On Saturday Francis will try to address another controversy over his planned canonization of an 18th century Franciscan missionary, Junipero Serra, accused by Native Americans of running a genocidal machine that tortured indigenous converts and spread disease. Francis will celebrate a Mass in Serra's honor at the main U.S. seminary in Rome.
By EVENS SANON
Apr. 30, 2015
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — A judge in Haiti has dismissed the case against a U.S. citizen who was accused of abusing residents of an orphanage that he has run for three decades in the Haitian capital.
Michael Geilenfeld, who had been in custody since his Sept. 5 arrest, was released Wednesday after a brief trial before a judge in Port-au-Prince.
Five former residents of the St. Joseph's Home for Boys had accused Geilenfeld of physical and sexual abuse. None of the alleged victims, all adults now, testified at the trial.
Defense lawyer Alain Lemithe said the accusations were vague and unsubstantiated.
"They had nothing against him," Lemithe told The Associated Press on Thursday. "They had no proof whatsoever so he has been released."
Manuel Jeanty, a lawyer for the victims, said neither he nor any of his clients attended the proceeding because they weren't notified in advance that it would be taking place. He said he planned to file an appeal.
Portland Press Herald
BY SCOTT DOLAN STAFF WRITER
email@example.com | @scottddolan | 207-791-6304
The American founder of an orphanage in Haiti who sued a Freeport man over repeated accusations of child sexual abuse has been released from a Haitian jail after a judge there found the accusations unsubstantiated.
The release of Michael Geilenfeld will likely clear the way for his defamation claim against child abuse activist Paul Kendrick to go forward in U.S. District Court in Portland.
The trial in Maine had been scheduled for last fall when Geilenfeld was arrested at the St. Joseph’s Home for Boys in Port-au-Prince on Sept. 5. The arrest and questions about when he might be released caused the court in Maine to delay the trial.
A Haitian judge ordered 63-year-old Geilenfeld released Wednesday after a brief trial. His defense attorney in Haiti, Alain Lemithe, said Thursday that the accusations against Geilenfeld by five former orphanage residents were vague and unsubstantiated, the Associated Press reported.
Friday 1 May 2015
A judge will determine in open court whether an elderly former bishop is fit to stand trial for alleged sex crimes against boys and young men dating back 40 years.
Peter Ball, 83, was charged by the Crown Prosecution Service two years ago with sexually assaulting boys and young men in the 1970s and 80s, around the time when he was Bishop of Lewes. He is due to face trial in October but his ill health could mean that he does not face prosecution.
The charges against him include misconduct in public office between October 1977 and December 1992; indecent assault on a boy then aged between 12 and 13 in 1978 and the same offence against a man aged 19 to 20 between 1980 and 1982.
He is also charged with indecent assault on a man over 16 between 1990 and 1991 in Berwick, East Sussex, and on a boy under 16 between 1984 and 1985, in Litlington.
Ball has yet to enter pleas on any charges.
A senior judge will decide whether a retired Anglican bishop is well enough to stand trial for alleged sex crimes dating back nearly 40 years.
Bishop Peter Ball, 83, is accused of sexually assaulting boys and young men when he was Bishop of Lewes, East Sussex in the 1970s and 80s.
The Old Bailey was told a 10-week trial is provisionally set to start in the first week of October.
The trial judge will hear argument on whether Bishop Ball can stand trial.
Mr Justice Sweeney said senior judge Mr Justice Wilkie has been allocated to hear the case.
The health of an elderly ex-bishop will determine whether he can go on trial for alleged sex crimes dating back nearly 40 years, a court heard.
Peter Ball, 83, is accused of sexually assaulting boys and young men around the time he was Bishop of Lewes in the 1970s and 80s.
A 10-week trial is provisionally set to start in the first week of October at a venue yet to be decided, the Old Bailey heard.
Mr Justice Sweeney also confirmed another senior judge, Mr Justice Wilkie, had been allocated to hear the case.
He told the court that it would be up to the trial judge to hear argument on whether Ball, of Aller, near Langport in Somerset, is well enough to stand trial.
By DAVID SHARP
PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A federal defamation lawsuit may become the only venue for young men from Haiti to air abuse allegations in open court following the dismissal of a case against the orphanage founder accused of assaulting them when they were boys in Port-au-Prince, according to the target of the defamation lawsuit.
Lawyers involved in the defamation case say it will go forward now that Michael Geilenfeld has been released from custody and charges against him have been dismissed.
Paul Kendrick, the defendant in the defamation lawsuit, said he welcomes the trial in U.S. District Court in Maine where the men can testify openly about what Geilenfeld allegedly did to them. The men didn't get to testify before the judge who dismissed the criminal case against Geilenfeld in Haiti.
"I want the world to hear their testimony. This man did disgusting and despicable things to them when they were children. And they will be able to tell their stories here in a U.S. courtroom," Kendrick said.
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is seeking community views on its latest issues paper looking at the criminal justice system including police responses and prosecution processes to child sexual abuse in institutional contexts.
Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said this is the eighth issues paper the Royal Commission has released and forms part of the Royal Commission’s program of work on criminal justice.
“If you have personal experience of police responses or prosecution processes in relation to child sexual abuse in an institution, either as a complainant, family member, witness, support person or affected institution, the Royal Commission would like to hear from you,” Mr Reed said.
“The Royal Commission is considering many aspects of the criminal justice system, including the reporting of child sexual abuse to police, how police responded and investigated, and prosecution and trial processes,” he said.
“Our Terms of Reference require us to explore how to best respond to child sexual abuse in institutions, including removing or reducing barriers to effectively reporting, investigating and responding to allegations and incidents of sexual abuse through the criminal justice system,” Mr Reed said.
An institution means any organisation, club, agency or association, including children’s homes, government agencies, schools, sporting clubs and out-of-home care.
Submissions are also welcome from those who have professional experience of police and prosecution responses, including as legal representatives, service providers or researchers.
Organisations and individuals wishing to respond to Issues Paper 8 should lodge their submission by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 15 June 2015.
For more information on Issues Paper 8 or to lodge a submission visit http://childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/research-issues-papers/issues-papers-submissions
For specific stakeholder enquiries please contact email@example.com
Road to Recovery
Helen Gumpel, retired fashion model and actress, who thwarted a sexual attack in Bill Cosby’s dressing room on the set of “The Cosby Show,” and currently an advocate for the women who were sexually abused by Bill Cosby, will join her husband, Neal E. Gumpel, at Fordham University, Bronx, New York, to draw attention to the sexual abuse of her husband when he was a minor child.
Neal E. Gumpel is a clergy sexual abuse victim of Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ, a deceased former professor at Fordham University, Bronx, NY, and Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine, where Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ sexually abused Neal E. Gumpel, when he was a minor child.
Fordham University and the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), who staff Fordham University and were responsible for Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ for decades until his death, refuse to acknowledge and bear responsibility for the allegation of sexual abuse against Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ in Maine and give any assistance to Neal E. Gumpel, settle and validate his claim, and help him heal.
A press conference and leafleting alerting the media and general public that the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus (Jesuit Priests and Brothers) and Fordham University refuse to assist a clergy sexual abuse victim of one its priests, Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ.
Friday, May 1, 2015 from 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM.
On the public sidewalks outside the motor vehicle entrance to Fordham University, Rose Hill, Bronx, New York, across from the Bronx Botanical Gardens on Southern Boulevard.
Hollywood screenwriter Neal E. Gumpel, a resident of Connecticut, who has alleged that he was sexually abused as a minor teenager by Fr. Roy Alan Drake, SJ; Helen Gumpel, wife of Neal E. Gumpel, former fashion model and actress who appeared on an episode of “The Cosby Show and thwarted a sexual assault by Bill Cosby in his dressing room; and members of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families.
Neal E. Gumpel, whose mother and father are both graduates of Fordham University, was an unsuspecting high school minor teenager when his brother invited him to spend a weekend with him at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, Maine. Rev. Roy Alan Drake, SJ was a Jesuit priest from Fordham University who was working at the time at Maine Maritime Academy and invited Neal E. Gumpel to his residence on or near the campus, served him alcohol, and sexually abused him. Demonstrators will call on Fordham University and the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus to do the right thing and help Neal E. Gumpel heal.
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA – 617-523-6250
By Jolene Toves
Calling for justice, accountability and action from the Archdiocese of Agana the Concerned Catholics of Guam is hosting a prayer rally and motorcade on Sunday, May 3. According to CCOG president Greg Perez the motorcade has been divided into seven groups two in the north (Tamuning Mayor's Office and Dededo Mayor's Office, three in the central (MTM Mayor's Office, Asan Beach Park and Mangilao Senior Center) and two in the south (St. Francis Church and Asan Beach Park) parishioners are to meet at these designated areas.
Early in his papacy Pope Francis committed to continuing the work of Pope Benedict XVI to impose a zero-tolerance policy for abuser priests and see-no-evil bishops. So it was more than symbolic in late April when a Kansas City bishop was forced into retirement following a criminal conviction of failing to report suspected child abuse.
The strong signal being sent from the Vatican is that the days of turning a blind eye are gone and bishops will be held accountable for their actions and inactions when it comes to crimes committed against children. We say hurray to that.
Officially, Bishop Robert Finn left office in compliance with a provision of Canon Law that states: “A diocesan bishop who has become less able to fulfill his office because of ill health or some other grave cause is earnestly requested to present his resignation from office.” In this case, the grave concern was Finn’s suitability to retain office after he was found guilty and received probation for failing to report that the personal computer of one of his priests was found to hold a huge cache of child pornography. The priest was eventually arrested and, following guilty pleas to five charges, is serving a 50-year sentence for producing child pornography.
Although Finn had his supporters, the abounding opinion is that he had to go. That view is hard to dispute. Finn represents a type of bishop whose fear of public scandal clouds their obligation to safeguard the well being of children. Countless times over the decades these bishops have remained silent and reassigned priests in response to terrible crimes committed against minors. That policy was never defensible but it is even more indefensible today given the thousands of cases of priest-inflicted child abuse that have been uncovered around the world over the past quarter century. The damage this code of silence has done to the Church is incalculable and it pales compared to the physical and psychological injuries suffered by the victims.
By Rick Bella | The Oregonian/OregonLive
on April 30, 2015
Pastor Mike Sperou was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison for sexually abusing a girl who grew up in his Happy Valley church.
Two sheriff's deputies led Sperou away in handcuffs while several supporters sobbed. He didn't address the court.
A Multnomah County jury of six women and six men had convicted Sperou moments earlier on three counts of first-degree sexual penetration of a person under the age of 12. The jury deliberated just 2½ hours after hearing 12 days of conflicting testimony.
Circuit Judge Cheryl A. Albrecht also ordered Sperou, 64, to register as a sex offender and to pay the victim $20,000 for her ongoing counseling and mental health therapy. When Sperou is released from prison, he must remain under supervision for an additional 10 years.
Victim Shannon Clark said by phone that she was "thrilled" with the sentence, for her the closing chapter in a long legal struggle. Clark was among seven young girls who complained in 1997 that Sperou had abused her while her family was part of the North Clackamas Bible Community. After a Portland police investigation, prosecutors declined to file charges and dropped the case.
Daily Inter Lake
As part of a legal settlement, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena posted a list Wednesday of all priests and other diocese workers who have been accused of sexual abuse at some time in the past.
The Inter Lake has studied the list to locate personnel who were assigned to Northwest Montana parishes, and provides the information below.
The diocese has agreed to post the full list on its website home page for at least 10 years, with the names and assignments of alleged perpetrators who are identified in the complaints filed in the Whalen and Does cases as child sexual abusers between the 1930s and 1970s.
The diocese said it is also listing priests against whom accusations of sexual abuse of minors have been made only to the diocese.
An introductory note on the list declares, “The Diocese hopes that this step helps to provide a pathway to healing for those who have been abused and brings light into a dark and difficult chapter in our diocesan Church.”
Daily Inter Lake
HELENA — The names of former priests and other employees who were accused of sexually abusing children have been posted online by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena.
The list, posted Wednesday at www.diocesehelena.org/4850-2, is one condition of settling lawsuits filed by hundreds of people who said they were abused by priests, nuns and others dating back to the 1940s.
The list includes people who were named in the lawsuits as well as some the diocese added that had been accused internally of abuse, diocese spokesman Dan Bartleson said.
“It’s difficult to think of someone you grew up with who was good to you and your family being accused of sexual abuse,” Bartleson said. “But we need to make sure we err on the side of victims if in any way this could contribute to their healing or give them any kind of closure.”
The diocese also agreed, as part of a bankruptcy filing, to set aside $20 million for the 362 victims named in two lawsuits along with a $920,000 trust for any victims who come forward in the future.
The list will remain on the website for 10 years, and will be updated as necessary.
San Antonio Express-News
BY GILLIAN FLACCUS, ASSOCIATED PRESS : MAY 1, 2015
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An attorney for hundreds of sex abuse victims in Los Angeles released the last batch of files Friday kept by the Roman Catholic church on priests accused of molesting children.
The final 11 files were made public eight years after the Archdiocese of Los Angeles paid $660 million to settle hundreds of sex abuse claims. Overall, 205 confidential clergy files have been released by the nation's largest archdiocese and more than two dozen religious orders.
The public airing of the final 2,400 pages brings a close to the devastating saga that began in 2002, when state lawmakers created a one-year window that allowed sex abuse victims to sue for abuse that happened years before. In all, more than 500 people filed lawsuits.
Part of the 2007 settlement included a process for the church to open its confidential records on priests who had been accused of molestation.
The files released Friday were kept by three religious orders — the Servites, Carmelites and Redemptorists — that had clergy working in the Los Angeles archdiocese.
"These files are so important and so damning," said Ray Boucher, the lead attorney for plaintiffs who worked for years to get the totality of the files released. "There are always more cases, but nothing of this magnitude."
April 30, 2015
By GOSIA WOZNIACKA, Associated Press Published: Apr 30, 2015
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - The pastor of a small Oregon church community described as cultlike by prosecutors was convicted Thursday of molesting the daughter of a church member in the 1990s and was immediately sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Michael George Sperou, 64, pastor of the North Clackamas Bible Community, was found guilty by a Portland jury on three counts of unlawful sexual penetration.
Sperou was investigated in 1997 after seven girls said he had sexually molested them, but prosecutors never brought charges because of inconsistent statements by the girls.
Two years ago they again brought their complaints to police. Prosecutors determined the statute of limitations had expired on complaints by all but one of them. But the other six were allowed to testify so jurors could decide whether the pastor's behavior was intentional and part of an ongoing pattern.
KANSAS CITY (MO)
By Chris Oberholtz, Multimedia Producer
By Elisabeth Rentschler, Multimedia Journalist
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -
Bishop Robert Finn, who was convicted three years ago of failing to report suspected child abuse, has resigned, but some in the Catholic community are still angry.
The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests maintains that Kansas City, KS, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who was appointed temporary leader of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese after Finn resignation, isn't the right choice.
SNAP members say Naumann is part of a child sex abuse cover-up that happened at the Catholic Archdiocese in KCK. They are calling for systemwide change in the Catholic church.
They held a protest at the Kansas City-St Joseph Diocese after they found out that Finn will preside over the ordinations of seven deacons next month due to a scheduling conflict for his temporary replacement.
Naumann will be leading the ordination ceremony of deacons in the KCK diocese he leads at the same time the May 23 ordinations are scheduled for the Missouri diocese. ...
Jack Smith, a spokesman for the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese, brushed off those accusations on Naumann's behalf.
Smith said Naumann reported the complaints as soon as he heard about them.
"There's no possible way you could claim the archbishop was covering this up when he sent it to the prosecutor, when he alerted parishioners," Smith said. "It's just completely spurious."
Some interesting items making the news today, especially for those following the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church and/or the downward spiral of the W.D.O.E.
First, Msgr William Lynn, the first Catholic diocesan official convicted of child endangerment, was remanded back into custody in Philadelphia today. Msgr. Lynn served eighteen months of his 3-6 year sentence before an appellate court reversed the verdict against him. However, on Monday the same appellate court reinstated his conviction, according to philly.com, paving the way for Msgr. Lynn to return to prison.
The Lynn case was watched carefully by those of us in St. Paul, and in Chanceries throughout the country. The original conviction came in 2012, just weeks prior to the revelation of accusations of abuse against Father Curtis Wehmeyer. I can recall the Chancellor for Civil Affairs, Andy Eisenzimmer, reviewing Minnesota's child endangerment statute carefully, and then offering his opinion that the statute was written in such a way that it could not be applied to any Archdiocesan personnel (the question was whether we could be charged with child endangerment, as by that point it was obvious to everyone that we had endangered children).
To date, only Father Wehmeyer has been prosecuted for his actions, but it is my understanding that the investigation by the Ramsey County Attorney's Office is ongoing. So, perhaps we will see additional charges sometime soon.
The second item of interest involves a former employee of the Catholic Finance Corporation, Michael Schaefer. You may have noted that early bankruptcy filings by the W.D.O.E. identified Mr. Schaefer as having a potential claim against the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Today's edition of the Courthouse News Service explains why. I was not aware that any allegations of sexual misconduct had been made against Mr. Schaefer, although I was aware that accusations were made against a director at another 'related entity', the Minnesota Catholic Conference. At the same time, it would not surprise me that, if indeed the Archdiocese was aware of accusations, they did not notify the Diocese of Orange of their concerns. Par for the course, as they say.
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.
Someday soon, the Vatican shall have this scenario that happened last April 15 in Brooklyn, New York. Look at how pathetic was this actual Mass in a grandiose (but almost empty) St. James Cathedral-Basilica in downtown Brooklyn -- where there were only 100 people in the congregation -- but the altar was filled with 70 men (almost as much as the attendees) -- 3 bishops, 57 priests and 10 deacons. (Are these the only Roman Catholics left in Brooklyn? No wonder Cardinal Dolan is so busy shutting down and merging more than 150 Catholic churches in New York, read links below). The 3 bishops were Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, his auxiliary Bishops Raymond Chappetto and Octavio Cisneros. And it was dubbed “Mass of Hope and Healing for survivors of sexual abuse by clergy”.
By Phil Lawler Apr 30, 2015
Pope Francis has formed a new commission to implement proposals for a reform of the Vatican’s media operations . That’s good news, I suppose. Or is it?
The April 30 announcement from the Vatican press office about this new commission did not provide details. What will this new commission do? How does it differ from another special commission, forned only last year, which just finished its work, providing recommendations for reforms? According to the press office, upon reviewing the report submitted by the first commission, the Council of Cardinals “proposed His Holiness the institution of a commission to study this final report and to suggest feasible approaches to its implementation.” Didn’t the first commission give any attention to feasible plans for implementation of its recommendations?
In short, the April 30 announcement raises more questions than it answers. If the ultimate goal of a reform in the Vatican media operation is to encourage candor and clarity, it’s obvious that the reforms haven’t taken effect yet.
Yet there’s a more important reason for concern about today’s news. The original commission was composed of recognized experts in the fields of media and communications, drawn from institutions around the world. The new commission is made up of clerics currently involved in the Vatican’s media operations—along with one executive of the newspaper owned by the Italian bishops’ conference. This is very much an in-house bunch.
KANSAS CITY (MO)
Chris Oberholtz and Elisabeth Rentschler
Kansas City, MO -- Bishop Robert Finn, who was convicted three years ago of failing to report suspected child abuse, has resigned, but some in the Catholic community are still angry.
The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests say Kansas City, KS, Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who was appointed temporary leader of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese after Finn resignation, isn't the right choice.
SNAP members say Naumann is part of a child sex abuse cover-up that happened at the Catholic Archdiocese in KCK. They are calling for system-wide change in the Catholic church.
They held a protest at the Kansas City-St Joseph Diocese after they found out that Finn will preside over the ordinations of seven deacons next month due to a scheduling conflict for his temporary replacement.
Naumann will be leading the ordination ceremony of deacons in the KCK diocese he leads at the same time the May 23 ordinations are scheduled for the Missouri diocese.
SNAP members feel that makes Finn's resignation useless.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Wednesday, April 29
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )
A civil lawsuit has been filed against a Little Rock minister accusing him of sexually exploiting an adult congregant. We applaud this brave woman and are confident that her speaking out will prod others who were hurt by this minister to step forward and get help.
Apostle Lawrence E. Braggs, pastor of the Awareness Center International Ministries, allegedly manipulated, abused and exploited a church member, Jennifer Richardson, from roughly 2007 until 2012.
This was NOT an “affair” or a “relationship.” This is exploitation.”
It’s not “consent.” It’s manipulation under the guise of spiritual help. It’s awful.
It is inherently problematic and unhealthy when clergy have any sexual contact with congregants. There can be no true "consent" given the power difference between the individuals.
Our society has long understood that it's virtually always hurtful when a doctor has any sex with a patient or a psychologist has any sex with a client. Gradually, more people are finally understanding this.
An allegedly holy religious authority figure who holds the exalted title of “reverend” cannot ever have truly consensual or healthy sexual contact with a congregant. It is always morally wrong and emotionally harmful. Often, it’s also illegal.
That harm is compounded when the minister or his backers mischaracterizes the exploitation.
Clergy always hold an exalted position, and when they have any sexual involvement with church-goers, it is always hurtful.
New York Review of Books
An authentic pope should be a scary one. Jesus scared the dickens out of people (it cost him his life). Is Pope Francis truly scary? One might think so from the reaction of some guardians of orthodoxy, men like New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, who thinks he must threaten the pope with schism to protect the sanctity of marriage, since “this pope may be preserved from error only if the church itself resists him.” But ecclesiastical nitpickers have no armies of similar thinkers to summon. This is not even medium scary.
Now, however, something is looming that has billionaires shaking in their boots, and when Catholic billionaires shake, Catholic bishops get sympathetic shudders. These are the men who build their churches, hospitals, schools, and libraries. Catholic lore has made winning over such Money Men the mark of the true church leader—the Bing Crosby priest crooning dollars out of a cranky donor in Going My Way, or the J. F. Powers priest putting up with a wealthy boor to get a golf course for his retreat house.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan was recently reminded of these facts of churchly life by Kenneth Langone, a co-founder of Home Depot. The cardinal is working to restore St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York, at a cost of $175 million. Langone asked why he and his fellow benefactors should raise such money when the pope is denouncing “the idolatry of money.” He said the pope’s criticism will make his fellow donors “incapable of feeling compassion for the poor.”
But this, too, was a minor threat. Langone was simply threatening to withhold money. Now, as the pope prepares a major encyclical on climate change, to be released this summer, the billionaires are spending a great deal of their money in a direct assault on him. They are calling in their chits, their kept scientists, their rigged conferences, their sycophantic beneficiaries, their bought publicists to discredit words of the pope that have not even been issued: “He would do his flock and the world a disservice by putting his moral authority behind the United Nations’ unscientific agenda on the climate,” they say. They do not know exactly what the pope is going to say in his forthcoming encyclical on preserving God’s creation, but they know what he will not say. He will not deny that the poor suffer from actions that despoil the earth. Everything he has said and done so far shows that Francis always stands for the poor.
By Tim McGonigal - MTN News
The Diocese of Helena has agreed to post the names of members accused of child sexual abuse on its website.
This decision comes as one of the non-monetary terms for resolving the child sexual abuse cases brought against the Helena Roman Catholic Diocese (Whalen, et al. v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, et al., and Does, et al. v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, et al.).
The names will be available on the Diocese website for a minimum of 10 years.
The settlement comes after accusations of sexual abuse of children during the time period from the 1930's to the 1970's came to light.
The lawsuit claimed more than 360 people were victimized in this case.
The Diocese also is listing the names of priests against whom accusations of sexual abuse of minors have been made only to the Diocese.
In a press release, the Diocese said that they would continue to update the list, if and when new information comes to light.
Courthouse News Service
By ROSE BOUBOUSHIAN
(CN) - A man who says he used to give financial advice to Catholic organizations claims in court that the church defamed him by spreading a psychic's claims about him.
Michael Schaefer and his Dakota County, Minn.-based business, MPSCHAEFER, brought the complaint on April 21 against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis; Catholic Finance Corp.; Mater Dei High School; the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange; and that diocese's revocable trust.
Schaefer claims that the Minnesota archdiocese hired him in April 2000 while it was in the process of creating a financial-advisory firm for Catholic organizations.
The diocese ultimately tapped Schaeffer to serve as executive director of that entity, Catholic Finance Corp., according to the complaint in Dakota County District Court.
In that capacity Schaefer says he "completed approximately $600 million in financing for Catholic organizations," working directly or indirectly "in seven different dioceses with over 200 parishes and schools."
Schaefer allegedly opened his own firm in 2011, and that the Diocese of Orange contracted him to act as its finance director on an interim-to-permanent basis in late 2013.