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September 20, 2014

Steinberg: Cardinal George has steered church, self through strife

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

By NEIL STEINBERG September 20, 2014

When the Rev. Francis George, archbishop of Portland, Oregon, learned that Pope John Paul II had named him as the successor to Chicago’s much-beloved Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, the unassuming priest asked in surprise, “Are you sure the Holy Father has considered all the options?”

He had.

The former Northwest Sider became Cardinal Francis George, the city’s sixth cardinal and the first priest born within the Chicago Archdiocese to be called upon to lead it, which he has done with seriousness and a firm hand. On Saturday, Pope Francis namedBishop Blase Cupich, of Spokane, Washington, as George’s successor, according to the Associated Press.

Considered conservative at the time of his appointment — he was named head of the Chicago Archdiocese in April 1997 and elevated to cardinal in January 1998 — George tried to set an accepting tone for the archdiocese’s 2.3 million Catholics.

Cupich appointment could upend conservative dominance of US hierarchy

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

David Gibson | Sep. 20, 2014 NCR Today

The appointment of Bishop Blase Cupich, a prelate closely identified with the Catholic Church’s progressive wing, to succeed Cardinal Francis George could upend decades of conservative dominance of the American hierarchy.

Cupich, 65, will succeed Cardinal Francis George, a doctrinal and cultural conservative who has headed one of the American church’s pre-eminent dioceses since 1997. In that time he became a vocal leader among the bishops and earned a reputation as a feisty culture warrior in line with the Vatican of the late St. John Paul II and retired Pope Benedict XVI.

That track record won him fans on the Catholic right, but George was seen as out of step with Francis’ desire for more pastoral bishops who are less focused on picking fights over sex and more involved in promoting the church’s social justice teachings and sticking close to the poor.

Cupich, who will now be in line to get a cardinal’s red hat, would seem to fit that bill.

Named by Pope Benedict XVI to head the Diocese of Spokane in September 2010, Cupich (pronounced “SOUP-itch”) has steadily staked out positions that align him with Catholics who want the church to engage the world rather than rail against the forces of secularism.

Sneed: Cupich cut from same cloth as Pope Francis

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

BY MICHAEL SNEED September 20, 2014

The pope’s pick . . .

The new leader of Chicago’s Roman Catholic flock, Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, is being likened to the man who chose him.

“ln a pastoral sense, Cupich is like Pope Francis,” said Mark Rowlands, a former Roman Catholic seminarian from Columbus, Ohio, where Cupich had been president-rector of the Pontifical Josephinum College years ago.

“He is a humble man. Spiritual. Not pompous,” Rowlands said. “You never got the feeling you were watching a play about a guy getting dressed up in clerical frippery.

“He was approachable, a good listener . . . not an episcopal thinker who wore French cufflinks and thought himself a prince of the church . . . and certainly not into the trappings of office,” added Rowlands, who described the selection of Cupich as a “left-field choice.”

George led flock through tough times

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya Brachear Pashman,
Tribune reporter

The appointment of Cardinal Francis George's successor represents an unprecedented transition in the city's Roman Catholic Church, where no other leader has lived long enough to meet the man taking his place.

George's more than 17 years at the helm of the nation's third-largest archdiocese ended Saturday with the Vatican's announcement of Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Wash., as archbishop of Chicago.

During George's tenure, he shepherded the church through a recession, political battles over gay marriage and immigration, and a clergy sex abuse scandal.

George also emerged as the point man between the U.S. and Vatican on matters including the liturgy of the Mass, a zero-tolerance policy for clergy sexual abuse and the selection of two popes. In fact, throughout his tenure, he fended off occasional rumors that he would be called away from Chicago to serve in Rome. ...

After his years in Rome, George moved back to the U.S. in 1987 to become the coordinator of the Circle of Fellows at the Cambridge Center for the Study of Faith and Culture in Massachusetts. The Catholic think tank was established by Cardinal Bernard Law, then archbishop of Boston, to study the relationship between the Catholic faith and American culture. Law would later become one of the principal promoters of George's candidacy for archbishop of Chicago.

BISHOP BLASE CUPICH TO SUCCEED CARDINAL GEORGE AT CHICAGO ARCHDIOCESE, VATICAN OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

[with video]

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, will be the next archbishop of Chicago. The Vatican officially announced Saturday Cupich will succeed Cardinal George.

Chosen by Pope Francis, Cupich is now archbishop-elect in Chicago. He will be installed as archbishop during a special Mass on November 18. Until then, George remains cardinal, though without administrative power.

The Chicago Archdiocese scheduled a rare weekend announcement for Saturday morning. ABC7 will carry the announcement LIVE Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

This will be the first time in the history of the Chicago Archdiocese that a new leader is appointed while the former is still alive. All those before George died while serving.

George and Cupich have worked together in the past. Cupich is considered a moderate within the Catholic Church.

"I've been privileged to know the Cardinal upfront from the work I've that I've done from the Catholic Extension Society. He invited me some years ago to be a member of the board. So I could see that he is a man who cares deeply about the church and has the ability to care about the real needs of people," Cupich said in an earlier interview with ABC7 Chicago.

Father John I. Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame released a statement Saturday morning.

"Having first met Bishop Blase Cupich when I was an 18-year-old backpacker in Europe and he was a seminarian in Rome, I can say with confidence that, as Archbishop of Chicago, he will be a pastorally dedicated, theologically astute and visionary leader in line with Francis's transformative Papacy. We thank Cardinal George for his dedicated service, and we welcome Bishop Cupich to the great Archdiocese of Chicago," Father Jenkins wrote.

In June at the Vatican, Pope Francis will grant the new Chicago archbishop his pallium, which is the scarf symbolizing his pastoral authority.

Cupich called "White Thunder" while working in South Dakota

Cupich, 65, has been bishop of Spokane for the past four years. Born in Omaha, he speaks Spanish and was given the nickname "White Thunder" by Native Americans when he served in South Dakota. At one point, he led the U.S. bishops' committee handling the sexual abuse crisis.

Pope names new archbishop of Chicago

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has named Bishop Blase J. Cupich to succeed Cardinal Francis E. George as the archbishop of Chicago.

The Pope accepted the resignation of Cardinal George, in conformity with canon 401 of the Code of Canon Law. At the time of his nomination, Bishop Cupich was heading the Diocese of Spokane in Washington.

Bishop Cupich was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1949. He earned his bachelor’s in philosophy from the College of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1971. For the next four years, he was a seminarian at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he studied theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Omaha in 1975, later earning a licentiate (1979) and a doctorate (1987) in sacramental theology from the Catholic University of America.

Among his pastoral assignments, he served as vicar at Saint Margaret Mary Parish and taught at Paul VI High School in Omaha (1975-1978). Subsequently, he served as director of the archdiocese’s Liturgy Office (1978-1981) and worked at the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C. (1981-1987). He was pastor at Saint Mary Parish in Bellevue (1987-1989) before returning to the world of education as president and rector of the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio (1989-1997). He then served as pastor at Saint Robert Bellarmine Parish in Omaha for one year, before being named bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, in 1998. In 2010, he was named bishop of Spokane.

The 65-year-old bishop is currently a member of various committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, including the Subcommittee on the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, the National Collections Committee and the Subcommittee on the Translation of Scripture Text.

For Chicago, The "Thunder" Is In

UNITED STATES
Whispers in the Loggia

At Roman Noon, the report became reality: the Pope accepted the resignation of Cardinal Francis George for reasons of age, naming Blase Cupich the Ninth Archbishop of Chicago.

As previously relayed, the archbishop-elect will be introduced at a 9.30am Central press conference at the Archbishop Quigley Center, now the Chancery of the nation's third-largest diocese. Livestreams, etc. will follow here then.

Cupich's installation in Holy Name Cathedral has been set for Tuesday, November 18th. On a wider level, meanwhile, the last 48 hours have now brought what could well end up being Francis' two most consequential appointments of his entire pontificate in the English-speaking church.

* * *
As reaction goes, suffice it to say, the phone didn't stop ringing from around 2pm yesterday 'til well past midnight. And while the Stateside bench's centrist-progressive bloc was greatly cheered and the more conservative wing is deeply concerned, the one thing everyone had in common was being utterly stunned, both at the choice and its arrival on a timeline far quicker than anybody expected.

Putting one key question to rest, asked about Cupich's proficiency in Spanish for a 2.3 million-member archdiocese now in range of a Hispanic majority, a longtime friend said "He doesn't have it." Here, it's worth reminding that Chicago is home to what's become American Catholicism's largest annual event – the 36-hour Guadalupe feast at the shrine in suburban Des Plaines, which has drawn as many as 250,000 people over recent December 12ths.

Pope Appoints New Archbishop for Chicago

CHICAGO (IL)
The New York Times

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
SEPT. 20, 2014

In his first major appointment in the United States, Pope Francis has named Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Spokane to be the next archbishop of Chicago, replacing a combative conservative with a prelate whose pastoral approach to upholding church doctrine is more in keeping with the pope’s inclusive new tone.

Bishop Cupich, 65, will succeed Cardinal Francis George, 77, who is ill with cancer. Two years ago, at 75, Cardinal George offered his resignation, as is traditional at that age.

Francis’ choice of prelate for Chicago was highly anticipated as a sign of the direction he intends to set for the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. Chicago is the nation’s third largest diocese, with 2.3 million members, and its archbishops have often taken leading roles in the American hierarchy.

Bishop Cupich has been chairman of the bishops’ committee responding to the sexual abuse crisis, and has at times been unusually forthright in criticizing the church’s record on abuse. He took over the Spokane diocese after it was sued by abuse victims and declared bankruptcy, and is still embroiled in a legal case over how the bankruptcy was handled.

He spoke out against a referendum on same-sex marriage in Washington state in 2012. But even before Francis became pope, Bishop Cupich and he sounded much alike. Bishop Cupich emphasized care for the poor and dispossessed, and on hot-button moral issues employed a tone that emphasized respect and dignity for gays and dialogue with those who disagreed with church teaching. “In stating our position,” Bishop Cupich wrote in a pastoral letter before the same-sex marriage vote, “the Catholic Church has no tolerance for the misuse of this moment to incite hostility toward homosexual persons or promote an agenda that is hateful and disrespectful of their human dignity.”

Blase Cupich to be next archbishop of Chicago.

CHICAGO (IL)
dotCommonweal

Grant Gallicho

Updated.

Atlanta -- Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, will succeed Cardinal Francis George as archbishop of Chicago. His installation Mass will be held on November 18. The Associated Press broke the story Friday night, and was quickly followed by other outlets. Vatican Radio confirmed the appointment early Saturday morning. On Friday evening, the Archdiocese of Chicago announced it would hold a press conference on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. Central. (A spokesperson for the archdiocese would not confirm the purpose of the event, and Cupich did not respond to a request for comment.) The AP cited an anonymous source, which supported rumors that began circulating Friday among several journalists who had gathered here this weekend for the Religion Newswriters Association conference.

The appointment of George's successor was widely considered to be Pope Francis’s most significant decision for the church in the United States. If true, the decision to tap Cupich to lead Chicago--the third largest U.S. diocese--signals a major change for the American church.

In 1997, Pope John Paul II selected George to be the eighth archbishop of Chicago. He was the first Windy City native to serve as archbishop, and he followed Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, a leading liberal churchman beloved of his people. Before long, Chicago Catholics would learn just how different George was from his predecessor. Highly regarded for his intellect, George never shied away from taking sides in the culture wars, most recently as a vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act over its abortion-funding mechanism and the contraception mandate.

Cupich named new Chicago archbishop; seen as ‘moderate’ towards LGBT

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Phoenix

Gerald Farinason
September 20, 2014

The Catholic Bishop of Spokane, Wash. will be installed as the new archbishop of Chicago, the Vatican confirmed at 5 a.m. Saturday morning. Most Rev. Blase Joseph Cupich (pronounced sooh-pitch), 65, will become the 14th ordinary, ninth archbishop of Chicago, and leader of 2.2

The choice is a surprise to most Catholics. He is a bishop, not a metropolitan archbishop. All those indicated as favorites for the job were archbishops. A long shot, Cupich’s name only appeared as a possibility in the last couple days.

Cardinal Francis George, 77, is retiring as he battles cancer—which he expects will take his life. All previous archbishops died in office.

Cupich is the first major U.S. appointment by Pope Francis. The decision was seen by church-watchers as indicative of the direction the pontiff hopes to shepherd America’s Catholics.

According to Religion News Service writer David Gibson, the appointment dashes the hopes of conservatives as Cupich comes from a progressive wing of the church.

Reports: Spokane Archbishop to replace George

CHICAGO (IL)
Windy City Media Group

by Matt Simonette
2014-09-20

Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, will reportedly be the successor to Cardinal Francis George in leading the Archdiocese of Chicago.

An official announcement was expected for the morning of Sept. 20.

This is the first major appointment by Pope Francis, one that will be closely watched by Catholic insiders. Cupich purportedly shares the Pope's stated commitment to fighting poverty and economic injustice, but nevertheless took stands, albeit measured ones, against the referendum that ultimately led to gay marriage in Washington State.

George has been taking a less-active role in the day-to-day affairs of the Archdiocese since early this year, when he announced that he was battling cancer. He submitted a letter of resignation in January of 2012, but that was a formality expected of all cardinals upon their turning age 75, and it was up to the discretion of the Pope whether to accept it or not.

Cupich has been in Spokane since 2010, and spent a great deal of time cleaning up a large-scale child abuse scandal in the Church there. Ultimately, the Archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in the wake of that scandal.

War of words heats up as Vatican counts down to synod

VATICAN CITY
John Thavis

Journalists often exaggerate conflict at the Vatican. But it’s no exaggeration to say that sharp battle lines are being drawn for the October Synod of Bishops, in particular on the issue of Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics.

This week saw several leading cardinals and Vatican officials weigh in on the “No” side, with the imminent publication of two new books on the topic. Among them were two leading Roman Curia officials – German Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Australian Cardinal George Pell, head of the Vatican’s new Secretariat for the Economy.

Specifically, they took issue with Cardinal Walter Kasper, who was selected by Pope Francis to address the world’s cardinals last February. Kasper proposed that the church find ways to allow divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion, arguing that the Eucharist should be a spiritual “life raft” for those who need it most.

There are two ways of looking at these developments. For some, it’s part of the open and lively debate that Pope Francis desired when he chose the synod’s theme (the family) and called for a more merciful and pastoral approach on the issue of divorced Catholics.

Pope gives Chicago a Pastor committed to the culture of encounter and the poor

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

In his most important decision to-date in the United States, Pope Francis has chosen Bishop Blase Cupich, a talented leader with vision, who is committed to the culture of encounter and to the poor, as the new archbishop of Chicago

GERARD O’CONNELL
ROME

Pope Francis has given a new direction to the American Church by appointing the bishop of Spokane, Blase Joseph Cupich, 65, as the ninth archbishop of Chicago.

The archbishop-elect is a highly-talented leader, a pastor with vision, together with long, varied and successful pastoral and administrative experience in two dioceses and a college. He is totally committed to the culture of encounter, does not engage in confrontation, has a zero-tolerance line on child abuse, and is deeply committed to the poor and marginalized.

He succeeds Cardinal Francis George who has governed the archdiocese – the third largest in the country with 2.3 million Catholics and the largest Catholic charities, health care and school systems - for the past 17 years. Earlier this year, the cardinal who is combatting cancer asked the Holy See to appoint his successor.

The Vatican confirmed the news of Bishop Cupich’s appointment at midday (Rome time) Saturday, seven hours ahead of the Chicago press conference called for the same purpose.

CUPICH TO CHICAGO: WHAT IT ACTUALLY MEANS

UNITED STATES
Catholic Vote

BY THOMAS PETERS

Pope Francis just issued his own ice bucket challenge to liberal Catholics, even if they don’t know it yet.

For months upon months, liberal Catholics have been salivating over Pope Francis choice to succeed Cardinal George. Back in February, I warned that liberal Catholics would try to make as much as they could of Pope Francis’s appointment to this critical American see.

Liberal writers like David Gibson are already publishing articles now claiming Bishop Blase Cupich’s appointment is “dashing conservative hopes”.

But you when you read Gibson’s article, you realize it’s mostly fluff. Liberals are trying so hard to spin this but it reminds me of cotton candy: sweet, but all air.

I’m going to make the argument that Pope Francis’ choice of Bishop Cupich should actually pour cold water on liberal hopes of a leftward turn in the American episcopacy.

Progressive Cupich to be Next Chicago Archbishop

UNITED STATES
Utah People's Post

September 20, 2014 By David Jackson

Since Pope Francis was appointed the new Pope, the Catholic world has seen a massive change in Vatican politics. In one and a half years, the Argentinian Pope signaled a turn from the conservative political discourse of Pope Benedict XVI to a more socially progressive stance. Francis’s message was that the Catholic Church must focus on the social and economic inequalities. In such a short time, Francis became one of the most popular Popes in history, with poor people everywhere finding a new ally in him and the Catholic Church as politicians failed to raise up to their expectations.

The U.S. may soon by more influenced by Francis’ actions as well, as the new Pope plans to appoint a new Chicago Archbishop. Cardinal Francis George is now 77 years old and battles a recurring bladder cancer. The archidiocese will hold a press conference on Saturday morning. According to Associated Press, Blase Cupich of Spokane will soon be named the new Chicago Bishop. Cupich, 65, is widely known as a progressive member of the American Catholic Church, thus closer to Pope Francis’ views.

Cardinal George was more in line with the two former popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. The present Chicago bishop, who was favored by the Catholic right wing, due to his strong cultural messages on sex politics, was appointed by Benedict XVI in 2010.

Blase Cupich named Chicago archbishop

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman-Review

Catholic Bishop of Spokane Blase Cupich will be the next archbishop of Chicago, the Associated Press is reporting.

It’s a major step for the 65-year-old Cupich, who came to Spokane four years ago to rebuild a diocese struggling in the aftermath of bankruptcy.

Chicago has 2.2 million Catholics – making it the third-largest archdiocese in the country. The Spokane diocese has about 90,000 parishioners.

Cupich will succeed Cardinal Francis George, according to a person with knowledge of the selection, who spoke to the Associated Press Friday on condition of anonymity because the person wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. George, 77, has been battling cancer. He was bishop of Yakima before being named to the Chicago post.

The Archdiocese of Chicago has scheduled a news conference for this morning. A spokeswoman for the archdiocese would not comment. Cupich did not return a phone message left Friday evening.

Cupich has taken bold steps since his arrival in Spokane, including filing a major malpractice lawsuit against the diocese’s own bankruptcy lawyers. That case is bound for trial in February. He is considered a tough leader related to the Catholic Church’s response to sex abuse scandal as an early advocate for zero tolerance. When he was installed as bishop in Spokane, he spoke of the need for the church to address the disgust and anger over the abuse scandal.

Pope Francis’ choice for Chicago has been closely watched as his first major appointment in the U.S., and the clearest indication yet of the direction he will steer American church leaders. Cupich is considered a pragmatist and a moderate leader who is not among U.S. Roman Catholic bishops who have taken a harder line on hot-button topics. Francis has called the church’s focus on abortion, marriage and contraception narrow and said it was driving people away.

Vatican confirms: Cupich new Chicago archbishop

CHICAGO (IL)
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Sep. 20, 2014 NCR Today

ROME The Vatican announced Saturday that Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Wash., as the new archbishop of Chicago, confirming Friday's early reports of the appointment.

While the Vatican press release only states the basic facts of the appointment -- for example, giving Cupich's academic background and ecclesiastical history -- selection of the new Midwestern archbishop may give clearer view into what the pontiff is looking for in selecting prelates.

Cupich, a 65-year-old Omaha, Neb., native who served as a pastor and director of worship for that diocese before being appointed bishop of Rapid City, S.D., and then Spokane, will replace Chicago Cardinal Francis George, who is 77 and has been fighting cancer.

Known for a certain moderate stance amongst the U.S. episcopate, Cupich sought to tamp down fears during the U.S. bishops' fight against a federal mandate requiring coverage of contraceptive services in healthcare plans that Catholic ministries might shut down over the issue.

Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane chosen to replace Francis Cardinal George

CHICAGO (IL)
WGN

[with video]

Pope Francis has named Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane as the next Archbishop of Chicago.

The Vatican released the announcement early Saturday morning.

Bishop Cupich was born in Omaha, Nebraska, in 1949.

He earned his bachelor’s in philosophy from the College of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1971.

For the next four years, he was a seminarian at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, where he studied theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University. He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Omaha in 1975, later earning a licentiate (1979) and a doctorate (1987) in sacramental theology from the Catholic University of America.

The Archdiocese of Chicago is scheduled to make the formal announcement about Francis Cardinal George’s successor at a Saturday morning news conference at the Archbishop Quigley Center in downtown Chicago.

The 9:30 a.m. press conference will air live on WGN-TV, CLTV and WGNTV.com.

Pope names moderate as Chicago archbishop, key role in US Church

VATICAN CITY
Daily Mail (UK)

VATICAN CITY, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Pope Francis, in his first major appointment in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in the United States, on Saturday named Bishop Blase Cupich as the new archbishop of Chicago.

Cupich, 65, who is seen as a moderate and is currently the bishop of Spokane, Washington, succeeds the more conservative Cardinal Francis George, 77, who is retiring.

Chicago, with more than 2.2 million parishioners, is the third-largest diocese in the United States by population and its archbishop has traditionally played a major role in the American Church hierarchy and in relations with national political leaders.

The city's archbishops are traditionally elevated to the rank of cardinal, meaning Cupich would be able to enter a conclave to elect a pope after Francis's death or resignation.

A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Cupich studied at Catholic universities in the United States and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Crux, a major U.S. Catholic website associated with the Boston Globe, said Cupich is "widely viewed as a moderate voice among Catholic bishops (and he) often eschews cultural battles in favour of dialogue and engagement".

In this sense, he is in line with Francis' call for compassion rather than condemnation or confrontation on issues such as abortion and same-sex couples.

Pope Francis Chooses Cupich to Lead Chicago Archdiocese

CHICAGO (IL)
NBC Chicago

[with video]

By Mary Ann Ahern

Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington the next Chicago Archbishop, The Associated Press reported.

The announcment was made Saturday morning by the Chicago Archdiocese.

Cupich will succeed Cardinal Francis George, 77, who announced several months ago that he wanted to begin the process of finding his replacement after he was diagnosed with kidney cancer.

According to the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Cupich, 65, was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Omaha in 1975. He was named Bishop of the Rapid City, South Dakota Archdiocese in 1998 before taking over the Spokane position in 2010.

Pope Francis taps Blase Cupich to lead Chicago archdiocese

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Agency

Vatican City, Sep 20, 2014 / 05:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has appointed Spokane, Wash. Bishop Blase Cupich as the new shepherd of the Archdiocese of Chicago, replacing retiring Cardinal Francis George.

The 65-year-old prelate was named Chicago's new archbishop on Sept. 20.

He sits on numerous committees at the U.S. bishop's conference including the Subcommittee on the Church in Central and Eastern Europe.

Born in Omaha, Neb. In 1949, he was ordained a priest in 1975 and studied at the College of St. Thomas in Minnesota as well as the Pontifical College of North America in Rome. In 1998, he was named bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota, and in 2010, he was named bishop of Spokane.

He will replace Cardinal George, who submitted his resignation two years ago, when he turned 75, as is required by Canon Law.

The 77-year-old cardinal has struggled with his health, facing cancer three times. After being diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2006, he underwent a five-hour operation to remove his bladder, prostate gland and sections of his ureters, the tubes which connect the kidneys to the bladder. In August 2012, cancerous cells were discovered in his kidney and in a nodule that was removed from his liver. He underwent chemotherapy, and the cancer cells in his kidney became dormant.

New archbishop of Chicago named

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS News

Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, will be named the next archbishop of Chicago, The Associated Press has learned.

Cupich will succeed Cardinal Francis George, according to a person with knowledge of the selection, who spoke Friday on the condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak publicly. George, 77, has been battling cancer and has said he believes the disease will end his life.

The Archdiocese of Chicago has scheduled a news conference for Saturday morning. A spokeswoman for the archdiocese would not comment.

Pope Francis' choice for Chicago has been closely watched as his first major appointment in the U.S., and the clearest indication yet of the direction he will steer American church leaders. Cupich is a moderate, and is not among U.S. Roman Catholic bishops who have taken a harder line on hot-button topics. Francis has called the church's focus on abortion, marriage and contraception narrow and said it was driving people away.

An official from the Diocese of Spokane said he could not comment.

Reports: Cupich to be named next archbishop of Chicago

CHICAGO (IL)
USA Today

David Gibson, Religion News Service

Pope Francis on Saturday will name Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Wash., a prelate closely identified with the Catholic Church's progressive wing, to be the next archbishop of Chicago, according to news reports.

Cupich will succeed Cardinal Francis George, according to a person with knowledge of the selection, who spoke to the Associated Press Friday on the condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak publicly. George, 77, has been battling cancer and has said he believes the disease will end his life.

It is the pontiff's most important U.S. appointment to date and one that could upend decades of conservative dominance of the American hierarchy.

George is a doctrinal and cultural conservative who has headed one of the American church's pre-eminent dioceses since 1997. In that time he became a vocal leader among the bishops and earned a reputation as a feisty culture warrior in line with the Vatican of the late St. John Paul II and retired Pope Benedict XVI.

That track record won him fans on the Catholic right, but George was seen as out of step with Francis' desire for more pastoral bishops who are less focused on picking fights over sex and more involved in promoting the church's social justice teachings and sticking close to the poor.

Spokane's Cupich to Be Next Chicago Archbishop

UNITED STATES
ABC News

Sep 20, 2014, 5:04 AM ET
By RACHEL ZOLL AP Religion Writer

Bishop Blase Cupich, a moderate who has called for civility in the culture wars and has embraced Pope Francis' focus on fighting poverty, will be named the next archbishop of Chicago, The Associated Press has learned.

Cupich of Spokane, Washington will succeed Cardinal Francis George, according to a person with knowledge of the selection, who spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak publicly.

The Archdiocese of Chicago has scheduled a news conference for Saturday morning. A spokeswoman for the archdiocese would not comment. George, 77, has been battling cancer and has said he believes the disease will end his life.

The pope's choice for Chicago has been closely watched as his first major appointment in the U.S., and the clearest indication yet of the direction he will steer American church leaders. Cupich is a moderate and is not among U.S. Roman Catholic bishops who have taken a harder line on hot-button issues. Francis has called for a greater focus on mercy and compassion instead of divisive social issues.

The Archdiocese of Chicago serves 2.2 million parishioners and is the third-largest diocese in the country. Chicago archbishops are usually elevated to cardinal and are therefore eligible to vote for the next pope.

Former Sunday school teacher, coach gets 6-23 months for possessing child porn

PENNSYLVANIA
Daily Times

By Alex Rose, Delaware County Daily Times
POSTED: 09/19/14

MEDIA COURTHOUSE — A former Parkside Sunday school teacher and youth basketball coach who pleaded guilty in June to possessing child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility was sentenced to serve 6-23 months at the county prison in Concord Friday.

Steven Daniel Almond, 55, of the first block of West Forestview Road, will serve three months at the prison followed by three months of electronic home monitoring, under the sentence handed down by Judge Gregory Mallon. He will report to the prison Oct. 3 at 6 p.m.

Almond, who served as a deacon at the Middletown Presbyterian Church, turned himself over to authorities in June 2013 on two counts of disseminating photos or films of child sex acts, 25 counts of sexual abuse of children for possession of child pornography and 27 counts of criminal use of a communication facility.

Brothers, a former teacher, pastor, sentenced to 20 years to life for child molestation

COLORADO
Steamboat Today

By Matt Stensland

Steamboat Springs — A former Christian school teacher and pastor convicted of repeatedly molesting a boy was sentenced Friday at the Routt County Justice Center to 20 years to life.

Near the end of the sentencing hearing, Judge Shelley Hill told John Brothers Jr., 45, there were only two ways he could ever be released from prison.

"You need to find it in yourself to decide what you are going to do with the rest of your life," Hill said.

She said Brothers could seek to win an appeal and have his conviction overturned at a new trial, or he could admit what he had done, get treatment and convince a parole board he should be released.

"I know that you continue to deny that these events happened," Hill said. "I understand that, and I understand that you will be seeking relief in the appellate courts."

Former pastor indicted for a second time on sexual battery charges

MISSISSIPPI
WREG

[with video]

SEPTEMBER 19, 2014, BY MIKE SURIANI

ALCORN COUNTY, Miss. — The Grand Jury in Alcorn County, Missi., has indicted former pastor Timothy Nall for a second time on allegations stemming from a sexual battery case involving a young girl.

Nall, who is no longer the pastor of Farmington Baptist Church near Corinth, is accused of sexually abusing the young girl when the child was 6 and 7 years old.

The alleged abuse happened while Nall was still pastor at Farmington Baptist.

Nall’s trial in August ended in a mistrial after jurors couldn’t agree on a verdict.

Ex-Henderson youth minister sentenced in Colorado; denies guilt

COLORADO
Courier & Press

Beth Smith
5:20 PM, Sep 19, 2014

A Colorado court on Friday sentenced a former Henderson youth minister to 20 years to life on sexual abuse charges.

John H. Brothers Jr., who also faces sexual abuse charges in Henderson, was convicted in Routt County, Colorado, in June on 16 counts of sexual assault on a child.

Routt County District Attorney Brett Barkey told The Gleaner Friday that prosecutors were disappointed in the sentence.

“Chief Deputy District Attorney Matt Karzen argued for a total sentence of 80 years to life in prison,” Barkey said. “He noted that the evidence at trial demonstrated that Mr. Brothers was a serial child predator who relentlessly manipulated children to satisfy his sexual desires.”

BISHOP BLASE CUPICH TO SUCCEED CARDINAL GEORGE AT CHICAGO ARCHDIOCESE, VATICAN OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, will be the next archbishop of Chicago. The Vatican officially announced Saturday Cupich will succeed Cardinal George.

Chosen by Pope Francis, Cupich is now archbishop-elect in Chicago. He will be installed as archbishop during a special Mass on November 18. Until then, George remains cardinal, though without administrative power.

The Chicago Archdiocese scheduled a rare weekend announcement for Saturday morning. ABC7 will carry the announcement LIVE Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

This will be the first time in the history of the Chicago Archdiocese that a new leader is appointed while the former is still alive. All those before George died while serving.

Catholic Church Tries to Stave Off Priest Abuse Lawsuits

CONNECTICUT
The Connecticut Law Tribune

Christian Nolan, The Connecticut Law Tribune
September 19, 2014

After what seemed like a never-ending series of child sexual abuse scandals involving the Roman Catholic Church, lawmakers both nationally and in Connecticut sought ways to protect victims' rights.

Initially in Connecticut, people claiming they were sexually abused as children or teens by anyone had to file lawsuits within two years of turning 18. In 1991, state lawmakers extended the statute of limitations to allow alleged victims to bring civil sexual abuse claims until they were 35. Then in 2002, after a rash of claims were made against clergy in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, lawmakers again extended the age limit, giving potential plaintiffs until age 48 to file claims.

Since then, Connecticut plaintiffs lawyers have brought countless claims against priests and church officials, and have netted tens of millions of dollars in settlements and jury verdicts, damages that would not have been available if not for the extension of the statute of limitations. Now, in a case before the state Supreme Court that has captured the attention of trial lawyers, the Archdiocese of Hartford is trying to change the legal landscape.

Specifically, the church is challenging the constitutionality of the retroactive application of the state's civil sexual abuse statute. Both the 1991 and 2002 statutory changes gave alleged victims who were too old to file suit under the previous law the right to bring claims under the amended one.

REPORT: Spokane’s Catholic bishop to be named new archbishop of Chicago

WASHINGTON
Fox Q13

SEATTLE — The Vatican will announce Saturday the appointment of Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane as the new archbishop of Chicago, one of the top Roman Catholic posts in the United States, it was reported Friday.

The National Catholic Reporter said Cupich, 65, will succeed Cardinal Francis George, 77, who has been archbishop of Chicago since May 1997 and who is now battling cancer.

Cupich has been bishop of Spokane since September 2003. He served as bishop of Rapid City, S.D., from 1998 to 2003, and before that he was a priest with the Omaha, Neb., archdiocese.

Chicago is the third most populous Catholic diocese in the U.S. and is historically one of the most important, the National Catholic Reporter said.

IL -- Victims Worry about New Head of Chicago Archdiocese

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Sept. 19

Statement by Kate Bochte, SNAP leader, 630-768-1860, keight@sbcglobal.net

Victims worry about new head of Chicago Archdiocese

We hope that Chicago's next Catholic Archbishop will do more to prevent future clergy sex crimes and cover-ups. But we're not optimistic. Pope Francis, like his predecessors, keeps promoting bishops who have concealed or are concealing heinous sexual violence against kids. Cupich is another prelate like this.

Earlier today, the Spokesman Review reported that more than 200 victims have come forward in Spokane.

[SNAP]

Cupich acted irresponsibly by exploiting bankruptcy law to avoid embarrassing disclosures about the complicity of the Spokane church hierarchy in dreadful crimes against kids.

In a 2010 interview with a Washington newspaper, Cupich made some startling comments about the church’s child sex abuse and cover up crisis. Cupich’s remarks endanger kids, hurt victims and mislead Catholics by mischaracterizing and minimizing the horrific scandal.

In the interview, Cupich makes three stunning and patently ridiculous claims.

1) “Sexual abuse of children is not happening in the church today.”
2) “The scandal is that, 30 years ago, the world of psychology, criminal law and the church didn’t handle the situation well. Society didn’t handle the situation well.”
3) “Various institutions that work with kids that don’t have in place codes of conduct and training that we have in place.”

Let’s look at all three of these claims.

First, on the very day Cupich’s interview appeared, Illinois newspapers were reporting on the new guilty plea by a Chicago area predator priest, Fr. Alejandro Flores. He was ordained in 2009. He molested a boy in 2010. Ancient history? Hardly!

Even worse, the local bishop’s top staff knew this predator had problems even before he was ordained. According to one newspaper: “Prosecutors say Catholic officials had some warning signs about Flores” because he “was caught with gay porn on his computer” and “some of the images appeared to be those of young boys.”

So what did the Illinois bishop do? He warned no parishioners about this incident and went ahead and ordained Flores anyway.

The day before Cupich’s interview appeared in print, Fr. Joseph Fiala was arrested in Kansas for child sex crimes he allegedly committed in 2007 and 2008.

(And I write this within hours of reading that a California priest has been suspended from active duty because of allegations that he molested two brothers “within the last two years.”

10:15 a.m. SNAP News Conference Concerning New Chicago Archbishop

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victims News Conference re New Chicago Archbishop

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will
-- respond to Pope Francis' choice to head the Chicago archdiocese,
-- make recommendations to him on what he should do first, and
– urge Chicago citizens and Catholics to remain vigilant and avoid complacency regarding the safety of kids.

WHEN
Saturday, Sept. 20 at 10:15 a.m.

WHERE
On the sidewalk outside the Chicago archdiocesan headquarters, 835 N. Rush Street (at E. Chestnut St.) in downtown Chicago

WHO
Two-four adults who belong to a self-help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). Some were molested as kids; others are concerned Catholics.

WHY
The group will offer perspective on Chicago's new archbishop and recommend some “first steps” he should take as he assumes his new office.

FYI - Lawyers who have dealt with Spokane clergy sex abuse and cover up cases include John Allison of Spokane, Michael Pfau (206.462.4334, mike@pcvalaw.com), Tim Kosnoff (425-837-9690, tim@kosnoff.com),Lee James (208-667-0683, ljames@jvwlaw.net), Blaine Tamaki (509) 248-8338, Erin Olson 503-546-3150, Lee James of Idaho and bankruptcy attorney Jim Stang310.2,77.6910 jstang@pszjlaw.com).

CONTACT
David Clohessy 314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com, Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com, Kate Bochte 630 768 1860 (cell), keight@sbcglobal.net

New Chicago archbishop Blase Cupich: A moderate voice

UNITED STATES
Crux

By Michael O'Loughlin
National reporter September 19, 2014

When Archbishop Joseph Kurtz was elected president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2012, Spokane’s Bishop Blase Cupich said that the decision reflected the pope’s desire for pastoral leaders. “Pope Francis doesn’t want cultural warriors, he doesn’t want ideologues,” he said.

With reports that Cupich (pronounced “SOUP-itch”), 65, has been tapped as Chicago’s next archbishop, many believe he embodies the pope’s vision for a bishop. Widely viewed as a moderate voice among Catholic bishops, he often eschews cultural battles in favor of dialogue and engagement.

As Catholic bishops fought the Obama Administration’s mandate that employers, including Catholic hospitals, schools, and nonprofits, offer insurance for contraception, Cupich offered a conciliatory approach, supporting the cause but calling for dialogue and compromise.

He lamented policies that gave government the power to “decide what it means for any church to be church and what defines the permissible exercise of religion,” but chastised those church leaders who threatened to shutter social services rather than comply with the mandate.

George led flock through tough times

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya Brachear Pashman,
Tribune reporter

George led flock through tough times

Reports that Cardinal Francis George's successor will be announced this weekend could set the stage for the retirement for Chicago's longtime archbishop and would mean an unprecedented transition in the city's Roman Catholic Church, where no leader has lived long enough to meet the man taking his place.

George's planned news conference for Saturday, during which reports from The Associated Press and National Catholic Reporter say that he will confirm he is being replaced by Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Wash., would cap George's more than 17 years at the helm of the nation's third-largest archdiocese. During that time, he has shepherded the church through a recession, political battles over gay marriage and immigration, as well as a clergy sex abuse scandal.

He also has emerged as the point man between the U.S. and Vatican on matters including the liturgy of the Mass, a zero-tolerance policy for clergy sexual abuse and the selection of two popes. In fact, throughout his tenure, he has fended off occasional rumors that he would be called away from Chicago to serve in Rome.

"I hope to die in Chicago," he said in a 2001 Tribune interview. "Much to the chagrin of a few folks."

Rinuncia dell’Arcivescovo Metropolita di Chicago (U.S.A.) e nomina del nuovo Arcivescovo Metropolita

CITTA' DEL VATICANO
Bolletino

Il Santo Padre Francesco ha accettato la rinuncia al governo pastorale dell’arcidiocesi metropolitana di Chicago (U.S.A.), presentata dall’Em.mo Card. Francis E. George, O.M.I., in conformità al can. 401 § 1 del Codice di Diritto Canonico.

Il Papa ha nominato Arcivescovo Metropolita di Chicago (U.S.A.) S.E. Mons. Blase J. Cupich, finora Vescovo di Spokane (U.S.A.).

S.E. Mons. Blase J. Cupich

S.E. Mons. Blase J. Cupich è nato a Omaha (Nebraska) il 19 marzo 1949. Dopo aver frequentato le consuete scuole primaria e secondaria, ha frequentato il "College of Saint Thomas" a Saint Paul (Minnesota), dove ha ottenuto il Baccalaureato in filosofia nel 1971. Dal 1971 al 1975 è stato alunno del Pontificio Collegio Americano del Nord a Roma ed ha studiato teologia presso la Pontificia Università Gregoriana. Più tardi ha ottenuto la Licenza (1979) e il Dottorato (1987) in Teologia Sacramentale presso l’Università Cattolica d’America a Washington, D.C. È stato ordinato sacerdote il 16 agosto 1975 per l’arcidiocesi di Omaha.

September 19, 2014

Spokane Catholic Bishop Blase Cupich promoted to Chicago archbishop

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman-Review

Catholic Bishop of Spokane Blase Cupich is being appointed the Archbishop of Chicago, the Associated Press is reporting tonight.

It’s a major step for the 65-year-old Cupich, who came to Spokane four years ago to rebuild a diocese struggling in the aftermath of bankruptcy.

He has taken bold steps since his arrival, including filing a major malpractice lawsuit against the diocese’s own bankruptcy lawyers. That case is bound for trial in February.

Cupich is considered a thought leader in regards to the Catholic church’s response to sex abuse scandal, an early advocate for zero tolerance.

His appointment to Chicago is the first major appointment in the United States by Pope Francis.

AP NewsAlert

CHICAGO (IL)
East Oregonian

ATLANTA (AP) — Associated Press learns Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane will be the next Chicago archbishop.

An open letter for Chicago’s new archbishop

CHICAGO (IL)
National Catholic Reporter

Patrick T. Reardon | Sep. 19, 2014

Dear Archbishop-elect Cupich:

Eat at Burger King. By yourself. In street clothes.

If you want to get to know Chicago and those of us who live here, go to the Burger King on Lawrence Avenue, just west of Western Avenue. And, as you’re eating your Whopper, watch the Mexican-American family that is likely to be eating there.

The father is just off work, and you can see the weariness drip off of him. He’s got some menial job — in a factory, or as a bus boy, or perhaps in the kitchen at another Burger King. Those are jobs without much dignity in our American culture, but, with his family, he holds his head high, and his kids chatter with him with great love and respect.

Listen to the two gray-haired, gray-bearded Serbian guys. Unless you’re a polyglot, you’re not going to be able to guess what they’re saying, but you can tell they’ve got strong opinions.

Look at the elderly man in a tie, white shirt and dark suit. He always sits alone at one of those small tables along a wall and does a crossword puzzle.

AP: New Chicago Archbishop Selected

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS Chicago

[with video]

(CBS) — The Associated Press has learned Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Wash. will be the next Chicago archbishop, replacing Francis Cardinal George, the news agency reported Friday.

A person with knowledge of the selection spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person wasn’t authorized to speak publicly. The Archdiocese of Chicago has scheduled a news conference Saturday, but will not comment.

Pope Francis’ choice for Chicago has been closely watched. It is his first major U.S. appointment and the clearest sign yet of the direction he hopes to steer American church leaders.

Omaha man named next archbishop of Chicago

NEBRASKA
JRN

By Jennifer Griswold.

OMAHA, Neb. - Bishop Blase Cupich will be the next archbishop of Chicago according to the Associated Press.

He was installed as the Bishop of Spokane in 2010. According to the Spokane Diocese website, Cupich is from Omaha and was ordained here in 1975.

He will succeed Cardinal Francis George. The person giving the information spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak publicly. The Archdiocese of Chicago has scheduled a news conference Saturday, but will not comment.

Pope Francis' choice for Chicago has been closely watched. It is his first major U.S. appointment and the clearest sign yet of the direction he hopes to steer American church leaders.

Cupich is considered a moderate.

Reports: Chicago Imminent

CHICAGO (IL)
Whispers in the Loggia

After a sudden afternoon flurry of buzz, at 5pm Central the archdiocese of Chicago called a press conference for 9.30 tomorrow morning for an unspecified purpose.

Slated to be held at the Archbishop Quigley Center – the former high-school seminary turned headquarters of the 2.3 million-member local church – ops have begun to anticipate that the event will introduce the city's ninth archbishop on the retirement of Cardinal Francis George, 77. Named to succeed Cardinal Joseph Bernardin on 8 April 1997, George – widely hailed as the American hierarchy's leading intellect for nearly two decades – recently entered an experimental treatment program amid a third round of the bladder cancer he's battled over recent years.

The appointment to the US' third-largest diocese – for almost a century, the nation's largest local church – is likely to be the most significant choice for the Stateside bench Pope Francis makes during his entire pontificate. Accordingly, over recent weeks the Pope has reportedly phoned the American cardinals and other senior prelates to consult on his options for the choice facing him, even to the point of floating names he heard elsewhere past others. Given the timetable, it is unclear if the appointment has been processed through the Congregation for Bishops, which points to the surreal possibility that Francis circumvented the traditional final step to reserve the deliberations to himself.

Report: Spokane’s Blase Cupich is new Catholic archbishop of Chicago

WASHINGTON
Seattle PI

Posted on September 19, 2014 | By Joel Connelly

Spokane Bishop Blase Cupich has been tapped to succeed Cardinal Francis George as archbishop of Chicago in the most important ecclesiastical appointment facing Pope Francis, according to the Associated Press.

Cupich, 65, would succeed the cancer-stricken, 77-year-old George, a conservative disciplinarian in the U.S. Catholic hierarchy. A Saturday morning news conference is scheduled in Chicago.

Cupich will be heading his third diocese, having served as bishop of Rapid City, South Dakota — Lakota Indians gave him the nickname “White Thunder” — and since 2010 as bishop of the troubled Spokane diocese. In 2004, Spokane was one of the first American dioceses to file for bankruptcy due to lawsuits over sexual abuse by its clergy.

The authoritative website “Whispers in the Loggia” has described Cupich as “one of the most competent and effective (and, indeed tech savvy) members of the Stateside bench.” It described his role as “lead man” in dealing with fallout from the sex abuse scandal that hit America’s Catholic Church in the last decade.

But Cupich was a strong opponent of Washington’s marriage equality referendum in 2012. He will be going to Illinois, which recently legalized same-sex marriage.

In a 2012 letter to parishoners, called “Some Reflections on Referendum 74,” Cupich argued:

Reports: Blase Cupich to be next archbishop of Chicago.

CHICAGO (IL)
dotCommonweal

Grant Gallicho September 19, 2014

Atlanta -- Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, will succeed Cardinal Francis George as archbishop of Chicago, according to an Associated Press report. Earlier this evening the Archdiocese of Chicago announced it would hold a press conference for tomorrow morning at 9:30 Central. A spokesperson for the archdiocese would not confirm the purpose of the event, and Cupich did not respond to a request for comment. The AP report cites one anonymous source, which confirms rumors that began circulating this evening among several journalists who have gathered here this weekend for the Religion Newswriters Association conference. It's not clear whether these rumors stem from the same source.

The appointment of George's successor was widely considered to be Pope Francis’s most significant decision for the church in the United States. If true, the decision to tap Cupich to lead Chicago--the third largest U.S. diocese--signals a major change for the American church.

In 1997, Pope John Paul II selected George to be the eighth archbishop of Chicago. He was the first Windy City native to serve as archbishop, and he followed Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, a leading liberal churchman beloved of his people. Before long, Chicago Catholics would learn just how different George was from his predecessor. Highly regarded for his intellect, George never shied away from taking sides in the culture wars, most recently as a vocal opponent of the Affordable Care Act over its abortion-funding mechanism and the contraception mandate.

By contrast, Cupich is widely considered a moderate who has not always been in step with his more conservative colleagues in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. For example, he has expressed skepticism about the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops strategy of opposing Obamacare, and urged bishops to . And when the bishops were considering a draft of a statement on the economy, Cupich criticized it with vigor: "I don't see that I would share this with anybody, or that it would make any difference." He has expressed great enthusiasm for Pope Francis, praising the pontiff's preferance for episcopal governance. He wrote:

Rather than limiting our consultation to those with financial and legal abilities, we also need to listen to those who work side by side with the poor each day, and who are on the frontlines in health care, education and other fields of ministry. We diminish our effectiveness when we do not call on these brothers and sisters to gain insight before making decisions in these areas. But, even more importantly, we pass up the chance to see how God is working through them and to more fully know God’s will.

APNewsBreak: Cupich to Be Next Chicago Archbishop

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC News

Sep 19, 2014
By RACHEL ZOLL AP Religion Writer

Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, will be named the next archbishop of Chicago, The Associated Press has learned.

Cupich will succeed Cardinal Francis George, according to a person with knowledge of the selection, who spoke Friday on the condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak publicly. George, 77, has been battling cancer and has said he believes the disease will end his life.

The Archdiocese of Chicago has scheduled a news conference for Saturday morning. A spokeswoman for the archdiocese would not comment.

Pope Francis' choice for Chicago has been closely watched as his first major appointment in the U.S., and the clearest indication yet of the direction he will steer American church leaders. Cupich is a moderate, and is not among U.S. Roman Catholic bishops who have taken a harder line on hot-button topics. Francis has called the church's focus on abortion, marriage and contraception narrow and said it was driving people away.

An official from the Diocese of Spokane said he could not comment.

The Archdiocese of Chicago serves 2.2 million parishioners and is the third-largest diocese in the country. Chicago archbishops are usually elevated to cardinal and are therefore eligible to vote for the next pope.

The Chicago church has long been considered a flagship of American Catholicism, sparking lay movements of national influence and producing archbishops who shape national debate. Before George, the head of the archdiocese was Cardinal Joseph Bernardin, a hero to Catholics who place equal importance on issues such as abortion and poverty.

BISHOP BLASE CUPICH OF SPOKANE WILL BE THE NEXT CHICAGO ARCHBISHOP: AP

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC 7

Friday, September 19, 2014

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Associated Press has learned that Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane, Washington, will be the next archbishop of Chicago.

A person with knowledge of the selection says Cupich will succeed Cardinal Francis George. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person wasn't authorized to speak publicly. The Archdiocese of Chicago has scheduled a news conference Saturday, but will not comment.

Cupich is a moderate and is not among the U.S. Roman Catholic bishops who take a culture warrior approach on hot-button topics. Francis says the church should emphasize mercy over divisive social issues.

Pope Francis' choice for Chicago has been closely watched. It is his first major U.S. appointment and the clearest sign yet of the direction he hopes to steer American church leaders.

The Chicago Archdiocese will hold a rare press conference over the weekend. No details have been released, but the search for Cardinal George's successor began earlier this year and was expected to take through the fall.

ABC7 will carry that announcement LIVE Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

Cardinal George submitted a request for retirement quite some time ago, and the process to find a successor had begun in May 2014. At that time, the archdiocese said it could take until fall.

Cupich of Spokane to be named archbishop of Chicago

CHICAGO (IL)
National Catholic Reporter

Dennis Coday | Sep. 19, 2014

The Vatican is to announced Saturday the appointment of Bishop Blase Cupich of Spokane as the new archbishop of Chicago, NCR has learned. He will succeed Cardinal Francis George, who has been archbishop of Chicago since May 1997.

Cupich, 65, has been bishop of Spokane, Wash., since September 2003. He served as Bishop of Rapid City, S.D., from 1998 to 2003, and before that he was a priest with the Omaha, Nebr., archdiocese.

At 77, George is two years past the usual retirement age of bishops. He has also been battling cancer. In May, the archdiocese announced that the Vatican's representative to the U.S. had begun the vetting process to find a replacement and suggested the announcement would be made this fall.

Chicago is the third most populous Catholic diocese in the U.S. and is historically one of the most important. Since the election of Pope Francis in 2013, church watchers have been saying the replacement for George would be the popes most important U.S. appointment because it would be interpreted as sign of the direction Francis wants the American church to take.

Patrick T. Reardon, a life-long Chicago Catholic and a member of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council in Chicago, told NCR in an interview that the greatest challenge facing the next archbishop of Chicago “is how to serve a modern American society that isn’t much interested and doesn’t want to listen to a religious and moral leader.”

Pell’s successor vows to improve Church’s record on abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet (UK)

19 September 2014 by Abigail Frymann Rouch

A successor to Cardinal George Pell, one of Pope Francis' group of nine cardinal-advisers, has been announced to run the archdiocese of Sydney.

The Bishop of Parramatta, Anthony Fisher, 54, takes over the reins after Pope Francis appointed Cardinal Pell to lead the newly created Secretariat for the Economy in Rome.

A Sydney native, Archbishop-elect Anthony has degrees in history and law and after ordination completed a PhD in bioethics at Oxford University and is Professor of Moral Theology and Bioethics at the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family in Melbourne. He has also lectured at the Australian Catholic University.

Speaking of next month’s Synod for the Family in Rome, he said: “I think one of the things the Synod can – and I really hope will – do for us is help restore some confidence in the beauty of marriage. In the way it reveals to all of us very important things about the human person and human condition such as self-sacrifice, commitment and reconciliation … I think the world needs desperately to learn how to love again.”

As Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse continues, the archbishop-elect immediately committed the Church to "doing better" in its response to victims of sexual abuse by clergy, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Former Santa Paula priest accused of molesting two girls

CALIFORNIA
Ventura County Star

Tom Kisken
2:51 PM, Sep 19, 2014

A lawsuit filed Thursday accuses a former Santa Paula priest of molestation and alleges the Archdiocese of Los Angeles used Our Lady Of Guadalupe Church in Santa Paula as a dumping ground for clergy accused of sexual acts involving children.

The lawsuit also alleges the archdiocese and the Franciscan Friars conspired to hide the Rev. Robert Peguero Hernandez in Mexico, where he is still in ministry.

Contacted at the Holy Trinidad Parish in Zapotlanejo, Mexico, Hernandez said he was unaware of the lawsuit and denied the allegations.

“Absolutely nothing happened,” he said.

The lawsuit alleges Hernandez — also referred to as Roberto Peguero — was a member of the Franciscan Friars of the Saint Barbara Province assigned to Our Lady of Guadalupe, where he lived from 1978 to 1992. The lawsuit is filed by two women — identified as Jane DM Doe and Jane LF Doe — who allege they were repeatedly molested by the priest as girls.

LaGrange Park man conquers Ironman, continues fundraising in 2 marathons

ILLINOIS
The Doings LaGrange

Jane Michaels
jmichaels@pioneerlocal.com | @janemichaels22

Conquering an Ironman Triathlon would leave most challengers exhilarated, but ready for a rest.

But LaGrange Park’s Ken Kaczmarz isn’t putting his feet up just yet. After successfully completing the Ford Ironman Sept. 7 in Madison, Wis., he has his sights set on finishing two more marathons by Nov. 2.

Kaczmarz also is extending his efforts to raise funds for World Vision’s Child Protection programs to combat child trafficking. He set a goal of $10,000 in June and exceeded it before the triathlon. With the generosity of more than 150 donors, he has raised $17,800, including $2,500 from an event Aug. 3 at Brixie’s in Brookfield. ...

“One of the reasons I became involved was because as a kid, I was molested by a priest,” he said. “I was extremely active in the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests from 2002 to 2006.”

As one of the leaders of the group in Chicago for years, Kaczmarz said he later decided to channel his efforts in another direction.

“I had to get out of it. It was absorbing my life,” he said. “I’ve helped hundreds of survivors, so I saw what sexual abuse does and how it destroys lives.”

Joliet Diocese faces another sex abuse lawsuit

ILLINOIS
My Fox Chicago

JOLIET, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -
The Diocese of Joliet is facing another lawsuit claiming a now-deceased Catholic priest from a west suburban parish sexually abused three boys more than 30 years ago.

The three alleged victims were between 6 and 11 when they were abused by the Rev. Leonardo Mateo starting in about 1980, according to the suit filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court.

Mateo never faced criminal charges, and died in 2004, the Sun-Times previously reported. The Joliet Diocese deemed allegations of abuse against him credible, according to documents released in April.

The boys—two of whom are brothers—and their parents were parishioners at Immaculate Conception Parish at 134 Arthur St. in Elmhurst when Mateo started inviting the children out for ice cream and fast food, the suit said. He also would take the boys to swim at the YMCA in Elmhurst, where he allegedly molested them in the pool or locker room. ...

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, issued a statement about the lawsuit Friday morning.

“To local Catholics in every place Mateo worked, we plead: Ask your loved ones if they might have heard about or seen sexual misconduct by Mateo,” the statement read. “If so, urge them to call police right away. Even though Mateo is dead, it is possible his victims are still suffering in silence and self blame, and that church officials who concealed his crimes might still be prosecuted.”

Merrimack College Professor Arrested For Child Porn

MASSACHUSETTS
CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) – A Merrimack College professor was arrested Friday for possession of child pornography. Gary S. Spring, 61, of Danvers, is the chairman of the college’s Civil Engineering Department.

According to the criminal complaint, Merrimack College, in North Andover, uncovered suspicious activity on one of the school’s loaner computers in June.

An internal investigation determined that the computer had been loaned out to Spring, and that Spring had been logged on when virus threat detection alerts were triggered. Further investigation determined that the computer was used to access child pornography.

Search warrants were executed at Spring’s office at Merrimack and his Danvers home. Spring was arrested after it was confirmed that he possessed child pornography.

Merrimack professor arrested for child pornography

MASSACHUSETTS
WHDH

Reported by Anthony Miller

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (WHDH) -
A Merrimack College civil engineering professor was arrested on Friday for possession of child pornography.

Gary Spring, 61, of Danvers was the chairman of the college's civil engineering department and was the administrator of the residential summer camp for middle and high school students.

According to the U.S. Attorney, Merrimack uncovered suspicious activity associated with one of the college's loaner computers back in June. An investigation revealed that the computer, which triggered virus threat detection alerts, was used to access child pornography and that Spring had signed out the computer around that time.

Merrimack College department chairman charged with possessing child pornography

MASSACHUSETTS
WCVB

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. —A college administrator has been arrested and charged with possession of child pornography.

Gary Spring, 61, of Danvers had his initial appearance in court Friday according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Spring is the administrator of Merrimack College's residential summer camp for middle- and high school-aged students.

He also serves as the chairman of the civil engineering department.

According to the criminal complaint, college officials discovered suspicious activity associated with one of the college’s loaner computers that had been assigned to Spring.

Mexico- Runaway priest sued for abuse, victims respond

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by priests

For immediate release: Friday, September 19, 2014

Statement by Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP Western Regional Director, ( jcasteix@gmail.com, 949.322.7434 cell )

It is shocking and upsetting to learn that credibly accused child predator Roberto Peguero Hernandez is still living and working as a priest in Mexico. Not only has he been named as an abuser by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, but he was allowed to escape the country when police in Santa Paula learned about the allegations.

And all along, Peguero Hernandez has been protected by the Franciscan Friars of Santa Barbara.

We fear that there may be hundreds of children in Jalisco who are in danger of abuse. We beg Guadalajara Archbishop Francisco Robles Ortega to immediately remove Peguero Hernandez from ministry and send him back to the United States.

We also urge law enforcement to vigorously investigate these cases in the hopes of putting Peguero Hernandez behind bars and finding more victims in need of help and justice.

Finally, we salute the bravery of the victims in this case, who were abused when they were young, vulnerable children. Their fight for justice will keep children in Mexico and California safer from abuse.

Orthodox Must Fight Sexual Abuse

NEW JERSEY
The Jewish Week

09/16/14
Gary Rosenblatt
Editor and Publisher

David Cheifetz, describing himself as the name and face of countless nameless and faceless victims of sexual abuse as a child, told a hushed audience of about 200 people on Sunday night that “we [the Orthodox community] need to change our culture” from denial and avoidance to recognition of the dangers of molestation and “show support for victims and their families.”

Cheifetz was instrumental in organizing the evening’s program at his Orthodox synagogue (and this reporter’s), Rinat Yisrael, in Teaneck, N.J. Sponsored by Rinat and three other local Orthodox synagogues, the event sought to raise communal and parental awareness of the scope and nature of child sexual abuse and offer practical advice on how to deal with it.

Experts in the field say such efforts by Orthodox congregations to publicly acknowledge and address the problem are all too rare.

Rabbi Yosef Adler, spiritual leader of Rinat Yisrael, noted that sexual abuse is prohibited in the Torah, and he praised his congregants for initiating the program.

Cheifetz first went public a year and a half ago with an Opinion essay in The Jewish Week, headlined “Sharing The Secret That’s Haunted My Soul.” He told the story of being sexually abused more than 30 years ago as a 13-year-old camper at the hands of a rabbi at Camp Dora Golding, an Orthodox sleep-away camp for boys. When camp officials learned of what transpired they sent Cheifetz home, with no explanation to him or his parents, and took no direct action against the young rabbi, who went on to teach in boys’ yeshivas for decades.

Policies are the best policy

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey Jewish Standard

Larry Yudelson • Local
Published: 19 September 2014

Does your synagogue have policies in place to protect children from sexual abuse? Do your children’s schools and camps?

Such policies, Dr. Shira Berkovits told a meeting in Teaneck on Sunday night, can make a difference to children’s safety.

Dr. Berkovits is a consultant for the Department of Synagogue Services at the Orthodox Union, and she is developing a guide to preventing child sexual abuse in synagogues. She was speaking at Teaneck’s Congregation Rinat Yisrael, as part of a panel on preventing child sexual abuse co-sponsored by three other Teaneck Orthodox congregations: Netivot Shalom, Keter Torah, and Lubavitch of Bergen County.

A written policy brought up in the hiring process “serves as a very good deterrent” to would-be molesters seeking to work for the organization, she said, because it would prod them to look for a less-aware organization. She said: “There’s an oft- cited belief molesters can’t control their urges. If that were the case they would molest when walking down the street, in the mall, on the bima. That doesn’t happen.” Instead, she said, they wait for the right opportunity, “when there are fewer chances of getting caught.”

Dozens Of Hasidic Kids Not Enrolled In School ...

NEW YORK
Failed Messiah

Dozens Of Hasidic Kids Not Enrolled In School Because Rabbis Are Blocking Yeshiva Placements To Hurt Parents, Activist Alleges

There are allegedly at least 40 hasidic kids between the ages of six and 12 living in Williamsburg and Borough Park, Brooklyn who don't have a yeshiva to go to because rabbis are using yeshiva placement as a club to punish the kids' families – sometimes allegedly because a family complained about child sexual abuse or reported abuse to police.

There are allegedly at least 40 hasidic kids between the ages of six and 12 living in Williamsburg and Borough Park, Brooklyn who don't have a yeshiva to go to because rabbis are using yeshiva placement as a club to punish the kids' families.

Rabbi Nuchem Rosenberg told me tonight that he personally knows of 40 such kids and that there are likely many more.

According to what I've heard, the city knows this. (It may not know the exact numbers, but it knows it is happening.) And likely the state knows, as well. But they allegedly aren't willing to cross the large hasidic bloc vote, and these kids are simply not being educated.

A parent I was told about enrolled her child in a public school after the yeshiva the child had previously attended would not take him back. The public school was shocked to see that an 8-year-old didn't even know the letters of the alphabet because he hadn't really been taught them in yeshiva. The child had no mental illness, no learning disabilities and doesn't have ADHD. When the yeshivas realized how dangerous this situation could be for them, the child suddenly got a yeshiva placement.

Jewish Watchdog Group Challenges Child Sex Abuse Taboo

NEW YORK
Arutz Sheva (Israel)

By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 9/18/2014

One thousand Orthodox Jews crowded into a Crown Heights, Brooklyn, NY hall Monday evening for a noble purpose: to raise awareness of, and educate themselves about, child sexual abuse - an issue all too often avoided as taboo within some circles.

The highly charged event served as an opportunity to show support to victims of abuse, to educate the public about the dangers of abuse and to present the relaunch of Jewish Community Watch (JCW), a watchdog group monitoring abuse in the global Jewish community.

Survivors (JCW makes a point of rejecting the term "victim"), Rabbis, politicians, mental health professionals and others repeated a dual message: that the Orthodox Jewish community will no longer sweep abuse under the rug, and that survivors who step forward will be embraced. Campaigners lament that all too often victims of abuse are urged not to turn to the police but to allow rabbis to deal with the crimes "within the community" - but a growing number of leading rabbis and communal figures are publicly rejecting such an approach and calling on victims to report such crimes immediately to the relevant authorities. JCW's work has certainly contributed towards that change in attitudes.

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Tompson as well as Deputy District Attorney Benny Forer, founder of Lamplighters Yeshiva, Yocheved Sidoff, marriage and family therapist Chaim Drizin and abuse survivor Meira Bookman also addressed the crowd.

Church To Seek Reversal Of Law That Extended Time Abuse Accusers Can Sue

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

By Dave Altimari

The Archdiocese of Hartford is seeking to have the state Supreme Court overturn a $1 million verdict in a priest sex abuse case while at the same time reversing a state law that extended the amount of time accusers can file a lawsuit against it.

In Feb. 2012 a jury in Waterbury awarded a former altar boy $1 million following a trial in which the victim, identified as Jacob Doe in court papers, testified that he and another friend were repeatedly molested and sexually assaulted by the Rev. Ivan Ferguson and a friend of the priest.

The diocese is asking the Supreme Court to overturn that verdict based on a variety of claims – including that the trial judge erred by not allowing an expert witnesses to testify for the church and by allowing testimony from a deposition of Ferguson to be heard by the jury.

But the most controversial argument is the claim that a state law last updated in 2002 that bumped the statute of limitations when a victim of sexual abuse could file lawsuit to 30 years is unconstitutional and should be stricken.

The court will hear arguments on Monday, but it will likely be months before a ruling is issued.

In 2002, the state legislature voted to extend the statute of limitation for civil cases on sex assault claims to 30 years from when a complainant reaches 18. It had previously been 17 years. The law was retroactive.

New sex abuse lawsuit against Baker Diocese, Capuchin Order

OREGON
Anthony Demarco and Kristian Roggendorf law offices

Pendleton, OR — A man in his mid-30s brought a lawsuit today in Federal District Court alleging sexual abuse by a Capuchin priest who had been accused of child abuse before being transferred to Hermiston, Oregon, and claiming an effort by church officials to silence the family, allowing the then-admitted pedophile cleric to escape the country to avoid criminal prosecution.

The complaint alleges that the victim was abused by Capuchin Franciscan priest Fr. Luis Jaramillo (har-a-ME-o), who was born and ordained in Colombia, South America. The abuse took place from 1988 to 1989 at Our Lady of Angels Parish in Hermiston, Oregon, located in the Diocese of Baker. At the time, the victim was between the ages of nine and ten. Before the Capuchins transferred him to Oregon, Fr. Jaramillo had been accused of abusing boys in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

According to personnel files obtained from the Los Angeles Archdiocese and the Capuchin Franciscan Order, Capuchin officials sent the priest to remote Hermiston in 1987. Consistent with the Diocese of Baker’s practice at the time, Jaramillo, then known to be an accused child molester, was accepted by the Diocese of Baker to work at Our Lady of Angels Parish. Within a few weeks or months of his arrival, the lawsuit says, Jaramillo began abusing the victim and threatened to kill him if he resisted.

The boy eventually told his mother, who reported the abuse to Capuchin officials in 1989. The complaint states that a Capuchin supervisor immediately interviewed Father Jaramillo, who admitted to the abuse. Despite the priest’s admission, the provincial—or “chief executive” of the Capuchin order—allegedly told the boy’s mother that if she attempted to have Father Jaramillo prosecuted, it would be her son’s word against the priest, and she would cause her family and son to be shamed and scorned. The complaint states that he also told her that she would have to
“answer to her Maker” for any souls lost to God if she reported the abuse.

Catholic Diocese of Spokane sues its lawyers in sex abuse cases

WASHINGTON
TribTown

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: September 19, 2014

SPOKANE, Washington — A lawsuit filed by the Catholic Diocese of Spokane against the lawyers who led it through a 2004 bankruptcy related to sex abuse lawsuits is set for a February trial.

Bishop Blase Cupich (SU-pitch) quit using the legal team at the Paine Hamblen law firm after he arrived in 2010.

He has since pursued a malpractice complaint that accuses the firm of failing to use a strategy that could have saved the diocese millions of dollars and prevented a new round of priest sex-abuse claims.

The Spokesman-Review (http://bit.ly/1v0haeV) reported Friday that those claims reached 230 in the past year. However, more than 150 of the 230 people who filed future claims had their cases rejected by a former federal judge tasked with reviewing the claims and awarding payouts.

WA- Hundreds more clergy sex victims come forward; SNAP responds

WASHINGTON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Sept. 19, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com )

We are shocked to learn that more than 150 adults who say they were molested by Spokane diocese priests have “had their cases rejected by a former federal judge” over the past several months. And since the Spokane Diocese bankruptcy settled in 2004, a total of 230 people have filed such claims, according to a new story in the Spokesman-Review newspaper.

We applaud these brave men and women who are coming forward hoping to expose predators, protect kids, achieve justice and start healing.

And we again denounce selfish Spokane Catholic officials who exploited and are still exploiting secular bankruptcy laws to hide widespread clergy sex crimes and horrific cover ups of those crimes.

We reject the notion that somehow, more clergy sex abuse and cover up cases somehow “threaten Eastern Washington parishes.” Catholic officials desperately want to avoid embarrassing abuse and cover up trials at which their recent and often continuing complicity is publicly exposed. So they often make this claim that abuse victims coming forward may result in parish closures. That's an obscene and unsupported claim that's often intended to scare victims.

The Catholic hierarchy has massive wealth and many options to take loans if need be. Disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston borrowed $25 million from a Catholic men's group to help settle clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. So no one should be fooled by claims that somehow any Catholic diocese may have to shutter churches because bishops have acted so recklessly, callously and deceitfully about the safety of kids. That claim is a self-serving ploy.

A novel peek into the “convoluted world” of grooming

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on September 19, 2014

A very good friend of mine pointed me to a recent review of Eimear McBride’ novel A GIRL IS A HALF-FORMED THING. The author of the review, Paige Reynolds, includes this very intuitive and honest description of some of the reasons why the sexual abuse of teens can be so damaging:

The novel thus showcases the genuine complexity of sexual abuse as experienced by someone in her teens. It acknowledges the fact that sexual abuse can feel good physically … if not psychologically or socially appropriate, that it is a perceived exercise of power … that it appears to give immediate access to the coveted world of adulthood, that the secrecy demanded by abuse becomes something that belongs to the victim and sutures him or her to the adult abuser, even as it enables more harmful abuse. The novel depicts the convoluted nature of sexual abuse, even as its distressing conclusion confirms that this abuse is fundamentally harmful and can have deadly consequences.

What the reviewer does not discuss, however, is that the glimpse into the “coveted world of adulthood,” the “secrecy,” and the “convoluted world” are keynotes of grooming – the way that a predator flatters and manipulates a child or teen into becoming a “compliant” victim. The adult does this by gaining the child’s implicit trust and love, blurring sexual boundaries, sexualizing behavior, and convincing the child or teen that a positive physical response (even though the child or teen is hurt, confused, shamed, isolated, or disassociating) means that the child or teen wants and needs the abusive behavior.

If a predator can use grooming to create a world that confusing and convoluted for an adult book reviewer, how can a child or teen stand a chance?

DC- SNAP praises attorney for SOL elimination efforts

WASHINGTON (DC)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, September 19, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

The attorney for DC is calling on city council member to eliminate the statute of limitations for sex crimes. We applaud this effort.

Archaic statutes of limitations on child sex crimes only protect dangerous predators who more often than not will hurt more than one child. To help prevent future crimes removing the statute of limitations (SOL) is necessary.

Kids are safest when predators are jailed. The biggest obstacle to that is a restrictive, arbitrary and predator-friendly statute of limitations.

Furthermore, most child molesters are never prosecuted. So the next best approach is to use the courts to warn parents and the public about them, and get them exposed, suspended, or fired so they will have less access to kids. That's why removing the civil statutes of limitations is also important.

IL- Diocese of Joliet sued, SNAP responds

ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, September 19, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

The Catholic Diocese of Joliet is being sued for allegedly hiding the crimes of a now deceased predator priest. We applaud these brave victims for having the courage to hold church officials accountable.

According to the new lawsuit, Fr. Leonardo Mateo abused at least three boys while he was working at Immaculate Conception Parish in Elmhurst, IL. Mateo also faces allegations from when he was ordained in the Philippines and when he worked in Los Angeles.

We urge Catholic officials in Joliet, Los Angeles and the Philippines to immediately reach out to parishioners and beg anyone who saw, suspects or suffered Mateo’s crimes to come forward, expose wrongdoers and start healing.

To local Catholics in every place Mateo worked, we plead: Ask your loved ones if they might have heard about or seen sexual misconduct by Mateo. If so, urge them to call police right away. Even though Mateo is dead, it is possible his victims are still suffering in silence and self blame and that church officials who concealed his crimes might still be prosecuted.

Strike Force Georgiana: investigations and convictions

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

By JOANNE McCARTHY Sept. 19, 2014

STRIKE Force Georgiana was launched in October 2007 from Lake Macquarie local area police command.

In seven years 480 charges have been laid against 14 alleged offenders, and more than 350 witness statements have been obtained.

Five alleged offenders – three Catholic priests and two brothers – are currently before the courts.

Convicted priests include John Denham, John Houston and the late Tom Brennan, who was the first Australian Catholic priest charged with concealing a serious crime.

Lake Macquarie Commander, Superintendent Brett Greentree, praised the bravery of people who reported historic child sexual abuse to police, and said Strike Force Georgiana was an intensive and extremely involved investigation.

Youth pastor arrested on sexual assault charges

TEXAS
KXII

SHERMAN, Texas -- An area church youth leader turned himself in to police after being accused of sexually assaulting a child.

Sherman police allege Robert Bradley Brooks, 28, was part of an ongoing investigation and is accused of having a sexual relationship with a female younger than 17.

Police say the girl reported it to the police back in December of last year and told them Brooks was her youth leader at church.

MI- Grand Haven priest takes leave of absence, SNAP responds

MICHIGAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, September 19, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

A Michigan Catholic priest will take a leave of absence over a sexual encounter with an adult. If she is or was a parishioner, we are deeply concerned. In 17 states, such conduct is illegal.

Fr. Bill Langlois from St. Patrick’s/St. Anthony’s Parish in Grand Haven admits he became sexually involved with a woman.

A highly educated, allegedly celibate man who holds the revered title Catholic priest cannot ever have truly consensual sex with a congregant. Catholics have been raised since birth to believe priests are God's representatives on earth, can forgive our sins, can turn wafers and wine into the body and blood of Christ. Priests always hold an exalted position, and when they have any sexual involvement with parishioners, it is always wrong and hurtful.

There is an inherent power imbalance between clergy and church members. It is much like a doctor-patient or therapist-client relationship, where any sexual contact is expressly forbidden. It's the bishop's duty to help congregants understand this.

We hope Bishop David Walkowiak will explain this to parishioners and take necessary precautions that no other people are hurt. We also hope he aggressively reaches out to the public and parishioners – not just in Grand Haven, but in other places where Fr. Langlois worked – and urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered exploitation by the priest to get help and speak up so that others might be safer and be healed.

Shatter the silence: A call to the Black Church to protect our children

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service - Rhymes with Religion

Boz Tchividjian | Sep 19, 2014

As the heartbreaking news of a football player abusing his son and calling it discipline surfaced this past week, I reached out to an individual who is undoubtedly qualified to speak on this grave subject. Dr. Thema Bryant- Davis is a well respected expert on issues related to trauma with a focus on women and minorities. Dr. Bryant- Davis has also been working with GRACE to develop a seminary curriculum on child protection.

I am grateful for her contribution of this powerful guest post on a subject that can no longer be ignored by any church. – Boz
_____________________________________________________________________________

Matthew 18: 10a Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones…

From its inception, the Black Church has been a voice for the love of Jesus that stands in opposition to injustice, inequality, and degradation. We have stood against multiple forms of oppression as we uplift the gospel. In essence, we have seen the way we treat each other as central and reflective of our faith. One of the areas, however, that far too many of our sanctuaries have met with silence is child abuse.

Our children, like all of God’s children, are precious and sacred. Despite this fact, in the United States, between four and seven children die every day as a result of child abuse which leads to over one thousand preventable child deaths annually. Approximately 70% of children that die from abuse are under the age of 4. Child abuse occurs at every socioeconomic level, across ethnic and cultural lines, within all religions and at all levels of education. There are children in our pews that have been abused and there are members of our churches who are the abusers. While childhood physical abuse crosses all demographic categories, African American parents are more likely to endorse the use of severe physical punishment and African American children are disproportionately faced with the consequences of abuse including removal from the home.

The silence regarding the treatment of the “least of these” is disheartening, especially when Jesus taught that we should bring children to a deeper faith. On the contrary, child abuse not only dismantles children emotionally and physically, it can also scar them spiritually as they are left to wonder where is God and where is my faith community when I need them most.

Pope Francis to Demote Raymond Burke, Controversial St. Louis Archbishop: Report

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Riverfront Times

By Danny Wicentowski Thu., Sep. 18 2014

The divisive rise to power of former St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke may soon end -- not with a criminal conviction, as some have hoped, but with a demotion from Pope Francis.

A report from Vatican observer Sandro Magister appears to have broken open a rumor that's been bouncing among Catholic insiders form awhile -- namely, that Burke is about to go from Vatican power player to ceremonial figurehead. Magister describes Burke's imminent demotion from his current spot on the church's highest court to honorary head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta as an "eminent decapitation."

"He's removed from all power," says Frank Flinn, a retired adjunct professor of religious studies at Washington University, describing the difference between the two positions. Flinn argues that this move isn't the result of a simple clash of personalities between Burke and Pope Francis.

"It's much more than just a style thing that's going on here," Flynn says. "It's the direction of the church."

The Catholic Church's dirty secrets: abuse, injustice and a damning letter

AUSTRALIA
Newcastle Herald

Strike Force Georgiana: investigations and convictions

By JOANNE McCARTHY Sept. 19, 2014

HE’S the man whose statement to Hunter police about being sexually abused by a Catholic priest launched Strike Force Georgiana in 2007, and ultimately led to a royal commission.

His name is John Parmeter, pictured above, and he wants people to know who he is as Strike Force Georgiana enters its eighth year investigating historic child sexual abuse cases.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold its 17th public hearing next week, with more than 16,000 calls about child sexual abuse so far, and another three years to go.

The priest, Peter Brock, pictured below, died last week. Today, Mr Parmeter reveals the ugly truth – what he calls the ‘‘dirty secrets’’ – about the Catholic Church’s elevation of Father Brock to a national role in 2010, despite knowing of his ‘‘sexual misconduct’’ with Mr Parmeter and his twin brother from when they were nine years old.

Abuse survivors name St. John's Abbey in nuisance claim

MINNESOTA
KARE

[with video]

John Croman, KARE
September 19, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A group of clergy abuse survivors Thursday filed a public nuisance lawsuit against St. John's Abbey and the Diocese of St. Cloud, claiming those organizations aren't doing enough to police priests who've been credibly accused of abuse.

Two of those plaintiffs, John and Al Vogel, became victims in the early 1970's, and were part of a lawsuit that was settled in 2002. At the time their attorney, Jeff Anderson, and their father, Raymond, celebrated the settlement.

"It helps me a great deal, the factor, the safety for the children," Raymond Vogel told KARE in 2002. Vogel, who has since died, worked at St. John's Abbey for 40 years and knew the priests his son's accused.

But 12 years later John and Al Vogel were once again standing before the camera in the St. Paul law offices of Attorney Jeff Anderson, saying St. John's and the Diocese weren't taking all the steps necessary to reign in credibly accused violators.

"The deceit continues. Promises continue to be broken," John Vogel, who now lives in Texas, told reporters."

Al said promises were made in the 2002 settlement weren't being taken seriously the Abbey and the Diocese.

CT--Victims to leaflet mass-goers

CONNECTICUT
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Victims to leaflet mass-goers
They “out” a predator priest for the first time
He's being sued but has never been publicly accused before
SNAP also warn parishioners about archbishop's “recklessness”
Group hands out “fact sheet” about his “most egregious” cases

WHAT
As parishioners head into mass, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will

--publicly expose, for the first time, a Hartford/New Haven area predator priest who's being sued, and

–hand out a fact sheet about Hartford's relatively new Catholic archbishop & his “dreadful” role “concealing clergy sex crimes.”

WHEN

Friday, Sept. 19 at 11:45 a.m.

WHERE
Outside the Cathedral of St. Joseph, 140 Farmington Avenue (corner of Sigourney St.) in Hartford CT

WHO
Three-four men and women who are abuse victims and members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including an Ohio woman who exposed clergy sex crimes and cover ups by Hartford's relatively new archbishop when he headed the Toledo diocese for a decade (2003-2013).

WHY
An elderly, long time Hartford archdiocesan priest, who worked six towns in the New Haven/Hartford area, is being sued for reportedly molesting a child in the 1980s. He is Fr. Peter G. Mitchell, who sexually violated a boy in the priest's car and priest's home on Colony Road in New Haven. The civil suit has never been publicized before and Fr. Mitchell has never been publicly accused before. It is set to go to trial in November.

Fr. Mitchell is still alive, has apparently not been defrocked, and led a youth marching band called “The Emerald Cadets.”

He was ordained in 1951 and worked at parishes in Hartford, Derby, West Hartford, New Haven, Woodbridge, East Haven and (from 1998-2002) as a chaplain at St. Francis Hospital/Medical Center. The Official Catholic Directory lists him as “retired” in 2004.

Victims want Archbishop Leonard Blair, the archdiocese's relatively new top official, to warn the public about Fr. Mitchell and use parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements to prod others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by him to “come forward, get help, expose wrongdoers and protect kids and start healing.”

Prior to being promoted to Hartford, Archbishop Blair spent ten years as head of the Toledo diocese, where SNAP charges that he had a “terrible” record on clergy sex abuse and cover up cases there. The group will hand parishioners a “fact sheet” outlining some of the “most egregious” cases Blair oversaw while he was in Ohio. And a long time Toledo abuse advocate will detail her experiences exposing wrongdoing by Blair and his top aides.

Finally, SNAP will again urge Blair to post on his archdiocesan website the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of the 33 publicly accused child molesting clerics who are or have been in the Hartford Archdiocese. Roughly 30 US bishops (including Bridgeport's) have done this. In SNAP's view, this is “the bare minimum” Catholic officials should do.

Bishop hopes for healing after abuse trial Bishop Tony

CANADA
The Catholic Register

BY MICHAEL SWAN, THE CATHOLIC REGISTER
September 19, 2014

With a guilty verdict on child-sex charges against former missionary priest Eric Dejaeger, Bishop Tony Krotki hopes the people of Igloolik in the diocese of Churchill-Hudson Bay will be able to continue healing with support from the Church and away from the media spotlight of a lurid, wrenching trial.

Dejaeger, a former Belgian Oblate, was a priest in Igoloolik from 1978 to 1982. He pled guilty last December to eight of 70 charges but, despite the passage of more than 30 years, there was suf-ficient evidence to find Dejaeger guilty on a total of 24 counts.

The slow and winding path of the criminal justice system left Dejaeger’s victims reliving the darkest days of their childhoods over and over, Krotki told The Catholic Register in an email.
“They had to go through it with lawyers, then with police, then in court more than once. And at the end the media reminded them time and time again,” Krotki said. “It was devastating and agonizing.”

Krotki himself served as pastor in Igloolik, years after Dejaeger’s time, and became close to some families who brought charges against Dejaeger.

“Their lives are always on my mind. Their families are always in my thoughts. They are so present in my heart,” Krotki said. “I am still waiting for the moment to let them know how dear they are to me.”

Royal Commission calls for Indigenous survivors to share their story

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

19 September, 2014

Indigenous communities in the Top End are encouraged to learn more about the Royal Commission and share their story of child sexual abuse in an institution.

New community announcements in Yolngu Matha and Modern Tiwi are being aired on Northern Territory radio stations in Darwin and more than 40 remote locations from today. The announcements will air ahead of the Royal Commission’s first public hearing in Darwin commencing Monday 22 September.

Royal Commission CEO Philip Reed said the announcements were part of the Royal Commission’s commitment to effective communication with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities around the country.

“The Royal Commission wants to ensure all survivors of child sexual abuse in an institution have the opportunity to share their story with the Royal Commission if they wish to,” Mr Reed said.

“These community announcements explain in Aboriginal languages that there is a public hearing in Darwin into the Retta Dixon Home starting next week. This is different to a private session where a survivor can come and tell their story to a Commissioner in private. Survivors of child sexual abuse in an institutional context who wish to share their story in a private session are invited to contact the Royal Commission.”

Catholic Diocese of Spokane lawsuit trial date set

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman-Review

John Stucke The Spokesman-Review

A multimillion-dollar lawsuit pitting the Catholic Diocese of Spokane against the lawyers entrusted to shepherd it through its 2004 bankruptcy is set for a February trial.

Bishop Blase Cupich quit using the legal team at the Paine Hamblen law firm after he arrived in 2010. He has since directed a malpractice complaint that accuses the firm – and specifically attorneys Shaun Cross and Greg Arpin – of failing to use a strategy that could have saved the diocese millions of dollars and prevented a new round of priest sex-abuse claims from continuing to threaten Eastern Washington parishes.

Those claims reached 230 in the past year, according to court documents, and bring urgency to the dispute.

That’s more than double the number of victims who came forward during the initial phase of the bankruptcy. More importantly, in terms of the malpractice suit, the number of so-called “future claims” vastly outstripped what the diocese’s lawyers made accommodations for in the original settlement.

Priest: Church crisis led to book release

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Friday 19 September 2014

A PRIEST has claimed a crisis in the Catholic church provoked him to release a controversial book that included allegations of a gay mafia in the priesthood.

Father Matthew Despard said the resignation of Cardinal Keith O'Brien and a lack of leadership from senior church figures last year led to him publishing Priesthood In Crisis, a book he had written three years before.

Cardinal O'Brien resigned from the church in disgrace amid allegations of sexual misconduct from three priests and one former priest.

Father Despard, 49, was later ordered to leave his home at St John Ogilvie in High Blantyre, Lanarkshire, on the orders of the Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Toal, but he refused.

The civil hearing before Sheriff Joyce Powrie at Hamilton Sheriff Court had earlier heard Father William Nolan deny he targeted Father Despard after being offended by his book. Father Nolan, 60, replaced Father Despard at St John Ogilvie Church following the dispute with Church authorities.

Former youth pastor arrested on child porn charges

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

By Nick Malawskey | nmalawskey@pennlive.com
on September 18, 2014

A Harrisburg man – and former youth pastor – was arrested Thursday on 162 counts of possession of child pornography after law enforcement officials received a tip he was uploading child pornography to the Internet.

According to Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico Jr., his office executed a search warrant Thursday morning at the home of Daniel Tipantiza, on Derry Street.

During the search Tipantiza admitted to officers he was uploading child pornography to the Internet, and was subsequently charged and placed in Dauphin County prison in lieu of $150,000 bail. Marsico's office said several pieces of computer equipment were also seized from Tipantiza's home and will be searched.

Former youth pastor charged with 122 counts of child pornography

PENNSYLVANIA
Fox 43

SEPTEMBER 18, 2014, BY HOWARD SHEPPARD

HARRISBURG, Pa.,-(WPMT) On July 22, the National Center For Missing & Exploited Children received a CyberTipline report from Yahoo, Inc. that someone using their system uploaded 61 images of child pornography. That report was forwarded to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division for an investigation.

This morning, Division detectives executed a search warrant this morning on the home of Daniel Tipantiza on Derry Street in Harrisburg.

Tipantiza was taken into custody at the scene. While being interviewed by detectives, he admitted to uploading the 61 images of child pornography to his Yahoo account. During their search detectives seized various computer items from the home. Additional searches of those computers will be made to see if he possessed additional images of child pornography.

Tapantiza is charged with 61 counts of Distribution of Child Pornography and 61 counts of Possession of Child Pornography.

Youth pastor arrested on 122 counts of child pornography

PENNSYLVANIA
ABC 27

By Myles Snyder

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) -
A former youth pastor in Dauphin County has been arrested on 122 counts of child pornography.

Daniel Tipantiza, 40, of Harrisburg, was taken into custody Thursday after detectives from the Dauphin County District Attorney's Office executed a search warrant at his Derry Street home.

Tipantiza later admitted to uploading 61 images of child pornography to his Yahoo account, District Attorney Ed Marsico said.

He was arraigned on 61 counts of child pornography distribution and 61 counts of child pornography possession and committed to the Dauphin County Prison on $150,000 bail.

His computers will be searched for additional images.
Authorities said Tipantiza was a youth pastor at Valley Baptist Church in Middletown until this summer.

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage...

UNITED STATES
Bilgrimage

William D. Lindsey

Droppings from the Catholic Birdcage: "All Friends Who Had Attended a Local Catholic High School Together"

David Badash at The New Civil Rights Movement site:

According to multiple reports, the two men, 26 and 28-years old [i.e., two gay men who had their faces bashed in on September 11 in Philadelphia], were asked by members of the group, all friends who had attended a local Catholic high school together, if they were a couple. Not in a nice way.

Yet, as Badash also reports, according to multiple sources, members of the gay-bashing group are now claiming that they acted in self-defense — though reports by several eyewitnesses who saw what happened say that the two gay men were minding their own business when they were accosted by the group, who began to shout anti-gay slurs at them. And then the gay-bashing followed.

All friends who had attended a local Catholic high school together.

In fact, one of the participants in the crime, Fran McGlinn, has just been fired by Archbishop Wood Catholic high school, where he was a basketball coach, after his role in the gay-bashing came out. McGlinn is a graduate of Archbishop Wood Catholic high school, and as Jean Ann Esselink reports for The New Civil Rights Movement (see the link I've just provided), several more of those involved in this brutal gay-bashing are also graduates of this Catholic high school.

Can we please talk again about what it means for Catholic institutions that the Catholic church in the U.S. is moving backwards regarding full inclusion of gay people, while all other religious institutions move forwards? Can we talk some more about exactly why people keep reporting in one poll after another that they see the Catholic community as the religious community more hostile to gay folks than any other religious community in the U.S.?

Little faith in new archbishop: victims

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

KARLIS SALNA AAP SEPTEMBER 19, 2014

SURVIVORS of abuse at the hands of Catholic priests say they have little hope the church will change under the newly-appointed archbishop of Sydney.

BISHOP of Parramatta Anthony Fisher, 54, was appointed to his new role by Pope Francis on Thursday night.

Bishop Fisher has vowed to repair the relationship between the church and survivors of abuse, insisting there will be no more cover-ups and that victims will come first.

But abuse survivors on Friday slammed the appointment, citing "callous" comments Bishop Fisher made at the World Youth Day in 2008 when he said the parents of an abuse victim who had committed suicide were "dwelling angrily on old wounds".

"Many survivors believe the only place where we will be first under Bishop Fisher is in media statements, mentioned dismissively with an insincere apology, and then ignored," Nicky Davis, from the survivors network SNAP, said on Friday.

"I am ashamed": new Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher admits church has failed abuse victims

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

September 19, 2014

Rick Feneley

The new archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, has used his first news conference to express his shame and sorrow for child abuse by the clergy and the church's abandonment of its victims.

To the survivors of abuse and to the church's youth, Archbishop Fisher said: "To both of them I say, no excuses, no cover-ups. I am ashamed and I'm sorry for where we've failed you in the past. The church can do better and I'm determined to play my part as a leader in Sydney."

Archbishop Fisher said he hoped the Catholic church would emerge as a "purified and humbler church".

At the news conference in Parramatta, where he has led the Diocese since 2010, he said: "It's been harrowing to listen to the stories of the survivors of abuse as I have done here as Bishop of Parramatta."

On his first day in the job, Archbishop Fisher said he hoped to meet Muslim leaders on Friday afternoon to discuss the anti-terrorism raids in Sydney. He said faith leaders had to play a role in ensuring calm and harmony.

New Sydney Catholic Archbishop vows 'no cover-ups' in wake of sex abuse inquiry

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

The newly appointed Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, the Reverend Anthony Fisher, has promised "there will be no excuses and no cover-ups" in the wake of the child sex abuse inquiry.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard the Catholic Church was actively involved in covering up sex offences against children over several decades.

Archbishop-elect Fisher has been the Bishop of Parramatta for the past four years, and takes over the role from Cardinal George Pell who has been appointed to a senior role at the Vatican.

He has promised that the Catholic Church will be fully accountable in the wake of the royal commission.

"I think the Catholic Church is going through a period of well-deserved public scrutiny and humiliation and certainly self examination, but I hope we'll emerge from that purified, more humble, more compassionate and be spiritually regenerated," Bishop Fisher said.

Visalia church volunteer arraigned in child molestation

CALIFORNIA
The Fresno bee

BY NADIA PEARL
The Fresno Bee
September 18, 2014

A Visalia church volunteer was arraigned Monday in Tulare County Superior Court for alleged child molestation.

Two counts of lewd and lascivious acts upon a child under the age of 14 and the special allegation of substantial sexual conduct were filed against Daniel Sisk, 34, District Attorney Tim Ward said.

If found guilty, Sisk could be sentenced to a maximum of 10 years in state prison.

Child abuse victims at the top of new Sydney Archbishop's agenda

AUSTRALIA
Christian Today

Bishop Anthony Fisher has been appointed as the new Archbishop of Sydney in an announcement by Pope Francis, Thursday.

The current Bishop of Parramatta will replace Cardinal George Pell, who was transferred to the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy earlier this year.

The Archbishop-elect committed to regaining the trust and confidence of the church and wider community amidst the ongoing investigation of sexual abuse of children within Australian institutions.

"The Catholic church in Australia is going through a period of public scrutiny and self-examination," Bishop Fisher said.

"Victims of abuse and all young people must come first – no excuses, no cover-ups."

Cardinals jousting in public? Been there, done that

UNITED STATES
Crux

By John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor September 18, 2014

Back in February, I was sitting in a Rome restaurant with a member of the College of Cardinals the day after retired Cardinal Walter Kasper of Germany had delivered an impassioned appeal to fellow members of the church’s most exclusive club for relaxing the church’s ban on divorced and remarried Catholics receiving Communion.

Kasper had been tapped to speak to the cardinals by Pope Francis in advance of an Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops on the family. Francis certainly knew what Kasper was likely to say, since back in 1993 he had been one of three German bishops who tried to loosen the Communion ban, only to be slapped down by Pope John Paul II’s Vatican.

I asked the cardinal what he made of Kasper’s speech. He put a pained expressed on his face, paused as if to measure to his words, and then delivered the following verdict.

“That guy,” he said, “is off his rocker.”

Parramatta Bishop Anthony Fisher appointed Archbishop of Sydney

AUSTRALIA
Parramatta Sun

By Vanessa Watson Sept. 19, 2014

The Archbishop-elect of Sydney Anthony Fisher has used his first address to call for harmony in the wake of the counter-terrorism raids.

The outgoing Bishop of Parramatta Anthony Fisher said we live in "troubled times" and called on "people of faith" to show calm, restraint and wisdom.

"Right now in Sydney we face some big issues about harmony," Fr Fisher said. "That's an issue right around the world at the moment.

"As a religious leader though I think people of faith have something very important to do and to say at the moment. [These are] troubled times in our world and even in our own city. We need to bring some calm and some restraint and some wisdom at this time.

Bishop Anthony Fisher calls for harmony ...

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

Bishop Anthony Fisher calls for harmony in first address as archbishop of Sydney

CATHY MORRIS PARRAMATTA ADVERTISER SEPTEMBER 19, 2014

THE newly appointed Catholic Archbishop of Sydney wants Australians to set an example to the rest of the world by showing how different nationalities can live together in peace following the anti-terror raids yesterday.

Bishop of Parramatta Anthony Fisher, who grew up in Lakemba, said Australians were “living in troubled times” and the Catholic Church had a role to play in getting the message out.

He was speaking at a press conference in Parramatta this morning to announce his new appointment as Archbishop of Sydney taking over from Cardinal George Pell who has taken up a senior role overseeing reform of the Vatican’s finances in Rome.

“Right now we face in Sydney some big questions about harmony as a city about coexistence and peace and friendship, that’s an issue right around the world,” Bishop Fisher said.

“I hope here in Sydney we’re going to be able to give the world a good example.”

Bishop Fisher said he has asked to meet with Muslim leaders to discuss current events.

“I’d like to hear from them what they’re feeling at the moment and in what ways we can do and say some things together that will move us forward and a more peaceful, more harmonious community.”

Marolt: Defending the Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
The Aspen Times

Roger Marolt

Why should I defend the Catholic Church? It’s held its own for 2,000 years and will continue to do so. I don’t know nearly enough to do this justice, but I do love her. I guess that’s enough.

I’ll begin defending her with what I can’t defend. That is the sexual abuse of children, mostly boys, by a few rogue priests.

It is important to remember that it was men who used the church in order to carry out their heinous crimes. It happens in the Boy Scouts, in schools (even in Aspen), in youth sports, with babysitters, within the ranks of law enforcement, etc., etc. The church’s inexcusable part was its administration, again just people, turning a blind eye until the scandal was massively exposed. Look, I know the fear. I’ve felt the shame. It happened to a group of us kids in Aspen. Our story is in the archives. That’s where my anger rests. My joy is moving forward holding tight to The Rock.

Oh, and then there are all the wars she’s responsible for. You know, like the Crusades and the — uhm — OK, the Crusades. Again, a few bad people using her as an excuse.

I’ve had doubts about Catholic rules and regulations. But it’s not really fair to categorize them like that. Aside from his unbounded love for us, God’s greatest gift is our free will. In that context, everything within the church that resembles a rule is actually guidance away from things that will harm our relationship with him. How about this perspective: God has chosen all of us to be with him. It is we who turn our backs.

Documentary unearths further horrific abuse of adoptees from Catholic nuns' homes

IRELAND
Irish Central

Jane Walsh @irishcentral September 19,2014

The documentary “This World: Ireland’s Lost Babies” unearths further truths about the 40,000 to 60,000 babies who were involuntarily given up for adoption, many to the United States, from Catholic mother and baby homes in Ireland, during the 1950s and 60s.

Presented by Martin Sixsmith the documentary alternates between Ireland and the US to tell the tales of the parents and children who were separated by the Catholic Church. Sixsmith is the journalist behind the tale of Philomena, which was later made in to a movie by Steve Coogan. His latest hour-long documentary examines the appalling treatment of the Irish women who became pregnant outside marriage and also the adopted children, who were farmed out to parents who had little vetting.

These babies were handed over to these unknown families. The children often chosen from a primitive mail order catalog and the Catholic Church often receiving a sizeable donation. They were selling babies by mail order to the people in the US.

A striking personal account from the documentary comes from Mary Monaghan, who was born in a mother and baby home in Ireland and sent to America by the nuns, adopted by a predatory pedophile. Now, aged 64 and living in Massachusetts, Monaghan told Sixsmith how she suffered years of sexual abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder after being adopted by the family of William O’Brien, a violent pedophile. Eventually Monaghan was reunited with her mother Therese, who has since died.

New allegations surface against former Akron Catholic schoolteacher Richard Rudman

OHIO
Beacon Journal

By Phil Trexler
Beacon Journal staff writer

New allegations have surfaced against a former Catholic elementary schoolteacher in Akron who quietly was sent to prison this year for sex offenses against a 12-year-old student.

The accusations are contained in a lawsuit filed Wednesday against the Catholic Charities Diocese of Cleveland, St. Mary’s School in Akron and former music teacher Richard Rudman.
The family of the 12-year-old girl contend in their lawsuit that school officials turned a blind eye to Rudman’s actions in the classroom, including his taking the student and others out of class under the guise of “helping him” with special projects.

The suit also contends that Rudman “groomed, sexually abused, violated, molested and manipulated” the girl at school and away from the classroom. It also alleges he gave other girls gifts and money during school hours and also encouraged the children to contact him on Facebook.

There have been no allegations that Rudman molested other children.

The lawsuit, filed in Summit County Common Pleas Court, seeks more than $50,000 in damages.

A spokesman for the diocese issued a prepared statement Wednesday afternoon.

“The sexual abuse of a minor is a horrific act that no child should have to endure. That is why, for the Diocese of Cleveland and St. Mary Parish, the safety and welfare of the children in their care is a priority of the highest importance.

Joliet Diocese faces another sex abuse lawsuit

ILLINOIS
Voices

By Mitch Armentrout
@mitchtrout | marmentrout@suntimes.com

The Diocese of Joliet is facing another lawsuit claiming a now-deceased Catholic priest from a west suburban parish sexually abused three boys more than 30 years ago.

The three alleged victims were between 6 and 11 years old when they were abused by the Rev. Leonardo Mateo starting in about 1980, according to the suit filed Thursday in Cook County Circuit Court.

Mateo never faced criminal charges, and he died in 2004. The Joliet Diocese deemed allegations of abuse against him credible, according to diocese documents released in April.
The boys — two of whom are brothers — and their parents were parishioners at Immaculate Conception Parish, 134 Arthur St. in Elmhurst, when Mateo started inviting the children out for ice cream and fast food, the suit said. He also would take the boys to swim at the YMCA in Elmhurst, where he allegedly molested them in the pool or locker room.

Toward the end of the summer in 1982, a sister of the brothers witnessed Mateo abusing the boys at the YMCA and told her mother about it, the suit claims. Their parents went to Elmhurst police but didn’t press charges, instead demanding that Mateo leave the parish, the suits said.

September 18, 2014

New Catholic archbishop of Sydney aims to 'regain community confidence'

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Australian Associated Press
theguardian.com, Thursday 18 September 2014

The newly appointed Catholic archbishop of Sydney is “committed to playing a leading role in regaining the confidence of the community and of our own members” after the clerical sex abuse scandal.

Pope Francis on Thursday appointed bishop of Parramatta Anthony Fisher to succeed Cardinal George Pell, who left the position in February to become the Vatican’s finance chief in Rome.

Fisher, who is expected to follow Pell’s orthodox approach, said he was determined to do everything he could to make sure the abuse didn’t happen again.

“There can be no more excuses, no more cover-ups and the victims have to be put first,” he said.

“The Catholic church in Australia is going through a period of public scrutiny and self-examination.

US attorney calls for an end to statute of limitations in sex crimes

WASHINGTON (DC)
Fox 5

[with video]

By Paul Wagner, FOX 5 Reporter

WASHINGTON -
The U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia is urging the D.C. city council to eliminate the 15-year statute of limitations on sex crimes.

U.S. Attorney Ron Machen says advances in DNA have erased the need for such a law. But a bill that would wipe the statute off the books has gone nowhere since being introduced early last year.

Since at least 2004, the U.S. Attorney's Office has repeatedly asked the D.C. city council to eliminate the statute of limitations on sex crimes. The council members have listened. But other than increasing the statute from six to 15 years, they have refused to eliminate it.

Machen says the time is now and at least two city council members agree.

D.C's top prosecutor says there are many reasons to eliminate the statute of limitations in the District of Columbia. But if he could cite one example, it would be the case of Kirk Odom. He is a man wrongfully convicted in a 1981 rape who served 20 years in prison.

St. Pat’s priest on leave for 6 months

MICHIGAN
Grand Haven Tribune

BECKY VARGO
GRAND HAVEN

Father Bill Langlois, 68, is taking time away from the St. Patrick’s/St. Anthony’s Parish in Grand Haven for “prayer, reflection and counseling,” said Carl Apple, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.

Apple declined to say where Langlois was headed, only that he would be gone for six months.

“He didn’t do anything illegal,” Apple said. “There’s no criminal activity of any kind.”

Apple said the reason the relationship is called inappropriate is because Langlois took a vow of celibacy when he entered the priesthood.

“Priests lead a chaste life,” he said.

Clergy Sex Abuse Victims Speak Out Against Hartford’s Archbishop

CONNECTICUT
Fox CT

[with video]

SEPTEMBER 18, 2014, BY MIKE KRAFCIK

HARTFORD– An organization made up of people who were abused by priests spoke out in the capital city today.

They gathered because of unrest over recent actions of Hartford’s Catholic Archdiocese.

The Archdiocese of Hartford is asking the state Supreme Court to overturn a verdict for a man who claimed he was abused by Ivan Ferguson, a Roman Catholic priest, at a school in Derby in the early 1980s.

In 2012, a jury found Hartford Archdiocese officials negligent and reckless in handling abuse reports against Ferguson and awarded the victim a $1 million judgment.

archbishopAmong other claims in a recently filed motion, the archdiocese contends the law that extended the statute of limitations for such lawsuits is unconstitutional.

It’s a move that has set off a fire storm, especially with victims of clergy sex abuse.

Grand Haven priest taking leave of absence after having inappropriate but legal relationship with woman

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Brandon Champion | bchampio@mlive.com
on September 18, 2014

GRAND HAVEN, MI – A Catholic priest at a prominent Grand Haven church is taking a six-month leave of absence.

Fr. William Langlois, 68, has served as priest at the St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish since 1996.

According to Carl Apple, director of communications for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids, Langlois requested for a leave of absence after he had an inappropriate relationship with a woman.

The woman was an adult and nothing illegal took place, Apple added.

"His request was granted by the Bishop," Apple said. "He's taking some time away for reflection, prayer and counseling."

Langlois' leave will take effect immediately. Parishioners at St. Patrick-St. Anthony were informed of his decision at four different masses earlier this week.

Fear and loathing in the Vatican

UNITED KINGDOM
The Spectator

Damian Thompson

Here is a picture of Cardinal Raymond Burke, whose grand title of Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura is matched only by the magnificence of his ecclesiastical dress. He is famous for his willingness to don the cappa magna, the astonishingly long silk cloak often worn by bishops before the Second Vatican Council but now confined to traditionalist ceremonies. The mere sight of this garment is like a scarlet rag to Catholic liberals, and they especially resent it being worn by Burke, who is (a) very conservative in matters of faith and morals and (b) the most powerful American cardinal in the Vatican.

It’s is true that, judging by the all those photographs of him looking as if he’s just stepped off the set of The Borgias, one would not infer that Burke is personally the most humble of cardinals. But he is. There are few more devout and obedient priests in the Vatican than Raymond Burke, which makes it all the more distressing that this week he is being ritually humiliated.

The legendary Italian Vatican blogger Sandro Magister reported yesterday that Cardinal Burke is about to be ‘decapitated’. He will lose his job as head of the Vatican’s ‘Supreme Court’, which has the power to overrule unjust decisions by other curial departments. According to Magister, he will instead become patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, an honorary position normally reserved for ancient retired cardinals. Burke, a former Archbishop of St Louis greatly admired by Benedict XVI, is only 66 – a mere teenager in Vatican years. The ultra-traditionalist blog Rorate Caeli says this would be ‘the greatest humiliation of a curial cardinal in living memory’, and for once it is not overstating its case.

New suits seek information on abusive priests in St. Cloud area

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

[with audio]

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Sep 18, 2014

Seeking to force St. John's Abbey and the Diocese of St. Cloud to disclose information on priests and brothers accused of sexually assaulting children, attorney Jeff Anderson today filed suit against the two institutions.

The lawsuits, filed in Stearns County District Court, rely on the same legal strategy Anderson used in a landmark lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona. Anderson's efforts in that case led a judge to order church officials to release a list of "credibly accused" priests and thousands of internal documents from clergy files.

Anderson's latest suits accuse St. John's Abbey in Collegeville and the Diocese of St. Cloud of creating a public nuisance by not releasing the names and files of all abusers. Anderson said their decision to withhold information continues to put children at risk.

In a statement, St. John's Abbey officials dismissed Anderson's claim as "absurd," saying it "represents fear-mongering at its worst."

However, those same officials are aggressively trying to keep some information secret. In another clergy sex abuse suit filed by Anderson against St. John's Abbey, church lawyers on Wednesday notified the attorney that they plan to ask a judge to seal the files on individual monks so that they cannot be released to the public. ​
The Diocese of St. Cloud did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

St. Paul, Collegeville priests sex abuse alleged in new lawsuits

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 09/18/2014

Years ago, he was a young Minnesota priest -- and alleged rapist

St. John's Abbey and two clerics -- one who worked at the Church of St. Bernard in St. Paul -- were sued Thursday by men claiming they suffered sexual abuse as children.

Attorney Jeff Anderson said at a news conference that the abbey in Collegeville, Minn., and the Diocese of St. Cloud made promises to two of those men 12 years ago: All abusive clergy would be taken out of ministry and closely restricted, and new policies would be put into place. But those promises were broken, Anderson said.

Current Bishop Donald Kettler and Abbot John Klassen of St. John's Abbey told the St. Cloud Times editorial board in January that priests identified as abusers were being kept away from children.

"We have one priest (in St. Cloud) who has been removed from ministry completely," Kettler told the newspaper, as seen in a video clip played by Anderson. "We are constantly taking care and observing that he ... is not in any contact with any young people."

Is Pope Francis 'To Demote' Anti-Divorce Reactionary Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke?

VATICAN CITY
International Business Times

By Umberto Bacchi
September 18, 2014

Pope Francis is reportedly set to demote a prominent US cardinal who recently spoke out against the pontiff's views on divorce and abortion.

The Pope is planning to exile Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke - who currently holds the powerful seat of head of the Apostolic Signatura, the Vatican's top court - from the Holy See. He would then position him in the prestigious but mainly ceremonial role of head of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Vatican analysts have suggested.

Burke, 66, would replace 80-year-old Paolo Sardi, L'Espresso magazine reported. If the decision is confirmed Burke will be removed from the Curia and left with little power just weeks before a key meeting of the Catholic Church.

A hard-line conservative, Burke is one of five cardinals who have come out against reforming attitudes to divorce and other family issues in the Catholic doctrine.

Headed by Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the former Roman Inquisition that oversees the adherence to doctrinal orthodoxy, the group is against the Pope's vision of a more inclusive and compassionate church, as revealed in a book that is to be published in October.

Kasper responds: Cardinals are attacking the Pope

VATICAN CITY
Crux

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service September 18, 2014

VATICAN CITY — The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will not open until Oct. 5, but some of its most prominent members are already publicly debating what is bound to be one of its most controversial topics: the eligibility of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

In an interview published Thursday, a proponent of changing church practice to allow such Catholics to receive Communion answered criticism from some of his fellow cardinals, suggesting they are seeking a “doctrinal war” whose ultimate target is Pope Francis.

“They claim to know on their own what truth is, but Catholic doctrine is not a closed system, but a living tradition that develops,” German Cardinal Walter Kasper told the Italian daily Il Mattino. “They want to crystallize the truth in certain formulas … the formulas of tradition.”

“None of my brother cardinals has ever spoken with me,” the cardinal said. “I, on the other hand, have spoken twice with the Holy Father. I arranged everything with him. He was in agreement. What can a cardinal do but stand with the pope? I am not the target, the target is another.”

Asked if the target was Pope Francis, the cardinal replied: “Probably yes.”

Grand Haven priest on leave

MICHIGAN
WZZM

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Catholic priest serving a lakeshore parish is on leave for six months.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Grand Rapids says Fr. William Langlois is taking leave from his duties at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish for having an inappropriate, but not illegal, relationship with a woman. The spokesman said the leave is an opportunity to heal.

The diocese describes Fr. Langlois as a very popular priest, and leaders hope he returns to his duties after his leave.

We need to end our love-affair with shame

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversry

Posted by Joelle Casteix on September 18, 2014

Slut-shaming, fat-shaming, victim-shaming, political shaming … we are a society in love with shame. And our children pay the price.

Note: Guilt is the nasty and usually appropriate feeling people have when they have DONE something bad. Shame is the nasty and usually inappropriate feeling people have when they believe that they ARE bad. In cases of slut-, fat-, victim and political shaming, the “shamer” is telling the target that he or she IS a bad or inadequate person.

Social media only adds very public fuel to the fire—in places like Twitter, 20 people with the proper hashtags can suddenly sound like they number in the millions. On Facebook, it can get far more personal.

Sex abuse victims, especially those in the Catholic Church and other religious organizations, know shame and shaming firsthand. Many victims who reported to church officials were told that their accusations were sinful and brought shame upon themselves and their families (unfortunately, this is still very true and common in the Latino community). Even now, Catholic spokespeople try to shame advocacy groups into silence through name calling, minimizing abuse, and victim-shaming. In the Protestant community, victims have been met with physical threats and even child victims of convicted sex offender Greg Kelly are being openly shamed on Twitter.

And there is a reason that people LOVE to use shame: It works. Want to know the #1 reason child sex abuse victims don’t come forward? Shame. Want to know the #1 reason many victims become self-destructive, addicts, violent, depressed and/or suicidal? Shame.

Pastor G child sex abuse trial set for Nov. 10

TEXAS
NBC 12

By Ray Daudani

TARRANT CO., TX (WWBT) -
A former Richmond pastor accused of sexually assaulting two young children is scheduled to go on trial in Texas in November.

The trial of Geronimo 'Pastor G' Aguilar is set to begin on November 10 and could last for a week or more, according to the Tarrant County, Texas prosecutors.

The 43-year-old former-pastor of the Richmond Outreach Cent

Expelled Guatemala group is 'extremist sect'

CANADA/GUATEMALE
The JC

By Adam Feinstein, September 18, 2014

The 230 Jews who were forced to leave the remote Guatemalan village of San Juan la Laguna for the capital, Guatemala City, earlier this month were members of the Charedi sect Lev Tahor, which has allegedly engaged in human trafficking and harboured sex abusers, according to search warrants issued by authorities in Quebec.

The Canadian documents detail a criminal case built against the group by Interpol and Israeli police before its members fled to Guatemala in March with its leader, Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans.

The warrants, issued in January, include allegations by former Lev Tahor members - among them, Helbrans' own brother, Nathan - of physical beatings, poor hygiene, forced ingestion of drugs, under-age marriage and sexual assault.

The group has vigorously denied all the allegations.

Helbrans founded Lev Tahor in Israel in the late 1980s and ran it both there and in Brooklyn, New York - where he was convicted of kidnapping - and then for a decade near Montreal.

I thought I could be a gay Jesuit priest. I can’t believe how wrong I was.

UNITED STATES
Washington Post

By Ben Brenkert September 17

I’ve come out as gay three times in my life. Most challenging was not telling my conservative family, at 14, but rather a group of men who promised to love and to labor alongside the materially and spiritually poor — my class of Jesuit novices, men who would someday become Jesuit priests or brothers.

Even as a teen, I felt called to join the priesthood. I attended mass daily and studied the stories of saints like St. Anthony, medieval missionaries like Matteo Ricci and mystics like Hildegard of Bingen. I wanted to be like them. And I was drawn to the opportunities to serve God by helping others. I worked as a religious education teacher with students with disabilities.

Over time, I prayed and reflected about working with LGBT youth who felt lost and rejected by those closest to them, alienated by a Church that made them foreigners. It was a feeling I knew too well.

In 2005, I joined the Jesuits, one of Catholicism’s most progressive religious orders. I was nervous, at first, that being gay would be a problem. After all, the church opposes gay marriage; many members of the church believe practicing homosexuality is a sin.

But I was open and transparent about my sexual orientation from the beginning. Before I committed, I talked to my vocation director. He was a gay Jesuit; he assured me I’d be welcomed into the Society of Jesus, that I wouldn’t have to go back into the closet. I met other gay Jesuits who told me the same. I hoped that I might be able to help nudge the church in a more accepting direction, pushing it to accept and support its gay and lesbian members.

Source: Archbishop Wood coach fired over Center City gay attack

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

[with video]

VINNY VELLA, DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER VELLAV@PHILLYNEWS.COM, 215-854-2513
LAST UPDATED: Thursday, September 18, 2014

AN ASSISTANT basketball coach at Archbishop Wood High School was fired last night because of alleged involvement in last Thursday's savage attack on two gay men in Center City.

The coach, identified by a source close to the team as Fran McGlinn, had been "serving as a coach on a contract basis," said Kenneth Gavin, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

McGlinn, 25, along with several other former Wood students, allegedly participated in the attack on a gay couple as the men were walking near Rittenhouse Square.

"He was terminated this evening and will not be permitted to coach in any archdiocesan school," Gavin said. "We expect all those who work with students in our schools to model appropriate Christian behavior at all times."

Catholic high school coach fired ...

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Daily Mail (UK)

Catholic high school coach fired after 'being identified as part of mob' that brutally beat gay couple in Philadelphia

By CHARLENE ADAMS FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 11:42 EST, 18 September 2014

A Philadelphia Catholic high school basketball coach has been fired after he was allegedly identified as being part of the group that brutally attacked a gay couple.

Fran McGlinn, 25, is said to have been among about dozen men and women in their twenties who participated in the attack on a 28- and 26-year-old gay couple, according to Philadelphia Daily News.

One of the victims told CBS Philadelphia that three men started 'pummeling' him and knocked him to the ground.

The two men were walking near 16th and Chancellor streets in the Center City area of Philadelphia just before 11pm on September 11 when the group of men and women confronted them, the 28-year old told CBS Philadelphia.

His 26-year-old boyfriend said that the men in the group asked if the two were a couple and, when he confirmed, the men began to pummel them both.

STATEMENT OF ARCHBISHOP CHARLES J. CHAPUT, O.F.M. CAP. REGARDING INCIDENT IN CENTER CITY LAST WEEK

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia

"A key part of a Catholic education is forming students to respect the dignity of every human person whether we agree with them or not. What students do with that formation when they enter the adult world determines their own maturity and dignity, or their lack of it. Violence against anyone, simply because of who they are, is inexcusable and alien to what it means to be a Christian. A recent beating incident in Center City allegedly involved, in some way, a part-time coach at Archbishop Wood High School. After inquiries by school leadership, the coach was contacted regarding the matter and he resigned. Archbishop Wood's handling of the matter was appropriate, and I support their efforts to ensure that Catholic convictions guide the behavior of their whole school community, including their staff."

# # #

Contact
Kenneth A. Gavin
Director of Communications
215-587-3747

Coach tied to beating of gay couple leaves job

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Yahoo! News

By MARYCLAIRE DALE

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An assistant coach at a Roman Catholic high school has resigned over his role in a beating that left two gay men injured, church officials in Philadelphia said Thursday.

About a dozen young adults were linked to the Sept. 11 encounter after police released surveillance video Tuesday and social media users mined online posts, including a group photo taken at a restaurant, to try to match the faces with names.

"Violence against anyone, simply because of who they are, is inexcusable and alien to what it means to be a Christian," Archbishop Charles Chaput said Thursday in a statement.

No arrests have been made, but some of the young men and women seen in the video have submitted to voluntary interviews with police, a spokesman said Thursday. ...

The large group included former students at Archbishop Wood, located in the Philadelphia suburb of Warminster, the archdiocese said. The part-time coach had worked at the same school but now is banned from coaching anywhere in the archdiocese, the church said.

Professor Accused of Past Sex Abuse Resigns From U. of St. Thomas (Minn.)

MINNESOTA
The Chronicle of Higher Education

September 18, 2014 by Nick DeSantis

A professor at the University of St. Thomas who was accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl more than a decade ago has resigned from the Minnesota university’s faculty, the Star Tribune reported.

The Rev. Michael J. Keating, an associate professor of Catholic studies, was accused of abusing the girl while he was studying to be a priest. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The university announced his resignation this week and posted his resignation letter on its website.

“After careful consideration of my current situation in light of my employment options and longstanding goals, I have decided to resign my faculty position with the University of St. Thomas, effective immediately,” his letter stated. “I have greatly enjoyed my time at the university and take with me fond memories of the St. Thomas community.”

Victim sues Abbey, Diocese for its handling of abuse allegations

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

By Dave Unzedunze@stcloudtimes.com September 18, 2014

ST. PAUL – A lawsuit filed Thursday in Stearns County District Court accuses St. John's Abbey and the Diocese of St. Cloud of creating a public nuisance with their handling of clergy sex abuse allegations against their priests and monks.

The lawsuit, announced at a press conference by attorney Jeff Anderson, accuses the diocese of lying about how it supervises a priest who abused children and references statements that Bishop Donald Kettler made to the St. Cloud Times Editorial Board.

It also accuses Abbot John Klassen of failing to follow through on promises he made as part of the settlement of several claims in 2002 and in 2011. Among the promises that Anderson said the abbey failed to keep was making public the complete list of abbey monks or priests who have been credibly accused of inappropriate sexual conduct.

Anderson again is asking the abbey and diocese to provide complete lists of those credibly accused and to provide to him all files the religious orders have on those credibly accused.
.

Only One Catholic News Source Allows Open Coverage and Commentary

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on September 18, 2014 by Betty Clermont

Considering that leaders of the Catholic Church made the decisive difference in the reelection of Pres. George W. Bush; after coming close to denying Americans affordable health insurance, theirs is the power and money obstructing women’s health care; and, having failed to stop same-sex marriage in this country, are going global to persecute gays (NOM is Opus Dei); one would think more would be concerned about the absence of critical information about the institution and its leader. But like its secular counterpart, the Catholic media have yielded to idolatrous obsequiousness towards Pope Francis.

Because Catholic insiders are the most dependable source of accurate reports about the institution and its leaders, the loss of reliable and accurate data has been sorely missed in the 18 months since his election. Befuddled Catholics can only surmise that previously neutral publications such as Commonweal and National Catholic Reporter have bowed to restrictions imposed by their advertisers. Oh, it’s alright to report on problems in the Church, they just can’t be attributable to the absolute monarch who is maintaining the status quo. To be fair, since Francis’ election, NCR has published a handful of articles with some factually negative information, but 99% of papal coverage is adulation. Even the comments section is edited.

There is only one source which presents “news and analysts of every position and persuasion” – Abuse Tracker. It has no advertisers. Begun in March 2002 “to help reporters keep up with fast-breaking coverage of the [Catholic] sexual abuse crisis,” the website has expanded to include news about the sexual torture of children around the world and in other denominations and religions as well.

Here we find that priests are still raping and sodomizing children, bishops are still aiding and abetting these criminals, and the perpetrators are still escaping justice by fleeing to other countries; and that almost every U.S. prelate appointed and promoted by Pope Francis has a poor record in this area. A year before the New York Times reported on the alleged sexual abuse of poor boys in the Dominican Republic by papal ambassador Archbishop Joseph Wesolowski, Abuse Tracker had the first-hand reports from that country. The reactions of their own national press to Cardinal Pell’s testimony before a government commission, the horrendous fates of the girls and women, their babies and children, in Irish homes run by religious women, the Catholic institutional sexual and physical violence against children in a multitude of countries are made available.

Abuse Tracker has expanded further and fills in the reporting gaps about the Catholic Church with news and opinion (including mine) concerning the pope and his men from numerous sources in other areas such as finance as well as other ecclesial events and opinion from around the world.

The website is sponsored by BishopAccountability.com which keeps a “full ‘account’ of the bishops’ responsibility for the sexual abuse crisis, both individually and collectively,” on every American bishop and Pope Francis when he was an Argentine prelate. They are expanding their documentation globally.

CT- Victims urge archbishop to drop his appeal

CONNECTICUT
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

Statement by Claudia Vercellotti of Toledo, Northern Ohio leader of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 419 345 9291, SNAPtoledo@aol.com )

For years, in Ohio, Leonard Blair succeeded in keeping child sex abuse victims from gaining the chance to expose predators in court. Now, in Connecticut, he is trying to revoke the chance that child sex abuse victims here have long had to expose predators in court. Like hundreds of others who care about vulnerable children and wounded adults, I sorely hope he doesn't prevail. If he does, Connecticut may as well roll out the red carpet for those who would sexually assault youngsters.

I'm honored to be here today with men and women who are abuse victims and members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including an Ohio woman who exposed clergy sex crimes and cover ups by Hartford's archbishop when he headed the Toledo diocese for a decade (2003-2013).

Hartford's Catholic archbishop wants the Connecticut Supreme Court to make it much harder for victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to protect children, inside and outside of the church. He wants the court to toss out a widely-praised 12 year old state law that gives victims more time to expose those who commit and conceal child sex crimes through civil litigation.

He also wants to have his cake and eat it too. He wants to claim he's not coddling child molesters. But he wants to roll back Connecticut law so he can keep coddling child molesters. He wants to pretend he doesn't protect predators any more. But he wants the law help him protect predators. He wants to say he cares about kids. But he wants courts to enable more pedophiles to hurt more kids.

Here's who loses if Blair wins:

Innocent kids will lose, because more child molesters will hurt more kids.

Concerned parents will lose, because fewer of them will learn about adults who commit or conceal child sex crimes.

Wounded adults will lose, because fewer of them will get the healing and validation they need and deserve.

Catholics will lose, because their church will be more unsafe.

CT- Victims speak out in favor of law

CONNECTICUT
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

Statement by Beth McCabe of SNAP ( 860 335 8187, thirdmccabe@comcast.net )

We as victims of childhood sexual trauma fought too long and hard to reform awful and outdated statutes of limitations to let one Catholic official roll back Connecticut law and help predators remain hidden. We desperately hope that our state's Supreme Court will side with kids who are at risk and adults who are suffering, and against a powerful public figure who wants to avoid the inconvenience and humiliation that come with clergy sex abuse trials, depositions, and discovery.

If Hartford Catholic officials have really reformed and are no longer hiding the crimes of Catholic clergy and the complicity of church supervisors, why would they fear letting the courthouse doors remain open to child sex abuse victims?

If this horrific scandal has taught us anything, it is that nothing exposes predators and protects children better than our justice system. It's not perfect, but it's far more effective and fair than letting self-serving Catholic officials keep dealing with heinous crimes “in house.” So let's not go backwards. Let's keep safeguarding the vulnerable by using our time-tested, impartial, and open court system to bring child sex crimes out of the darkness and into the light.

VATICAN SET TO OVERHAUL COMMUNICATIONS OFFICES

VATICAN CITY
Breitbart

by THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D. 18 Sep 2014

The church reforms promised by Pope Francis continue their inexorable march forward, and now the Vatican will begin revamping its public relations operations.

In a briefing on September 17, Father Federico Lombardi, head of the Vatican Press office announced that the first meeting of the Commission on Vatican Media will be held from September 22-24, at the Sancta Martha residence, within Vatican City.

Lombardi said that the meeting will be devoted to bringing commission members—several of whom are unfamiliar with the Vatican communications operations—up to speed on the situation, planning the work to be done over the coming months, and adopting a common work method.

Lombardi also noted that the commission itself will have to establish its own communications strategy for keeping the public informed, and so interviews would not be given prior to the meeting.

This latest reorganization follows on the now well-advanced reform of the Vatican Bank, as well as the ongoing reform of the Vatican’s administrative departments, or curia.

Last December the Vatican hired the US-based global consulting firm McKinsey & Company to analyze and propose a re-organization of the Vatican’s fragmented communications departments, including its newspaper, television, press office, and radio station to make them “more functional, efficient and modern.”

SA priest charged with indecent exposure

TEXAS
KSAT

By Courtney Friedman
VJ, Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio police said the Rev. Alberto Torres Trevino, 63, is being held in the Bexar County Jail on indecent exposure charges.

Trevino was arrested just before 2 p.m. on Tuesday at Olmos Park.

Investigators said undercover officers with the San Antonio Parks Police noticed Trevino sitting on a park bench touching his genitals.

The undercover officer said he spoke with Trevino and Trevino began to pleasure himself.

Officers arrested him on the spot.

KSAT has confirmed Trevino is a priest at the local chapter of Missionaries of the Holy Family (MHF).

Higher priests from the MHF organization say Trevino is a Formation Director -- the person who helps prepare anyone who want to become a priest or brother.

Bishop of Durham speaks on abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Sunderland Echo

THE Bishop of Durham has addressed an international conference on child protection within the church.

The Right Reverend Paul Butler spoke to delegates at The Churches’ Child Protection Advisory Service (CCPAS) event in London.

In his speech, Bishop Paul, chairman of the Church of England’s Safeguarding Board, said: “We are all very conscious of how much the world of safeguarding has changed over the past decades, and the rapid changes of recent years.

“The UK Church has come a long way in safeguarding over the past decades. There is much for which we can be thankful. We are in a better place than we were.”

But he admitted ‘there is much from our past that we have to face up to seriously’ and talked about the wider concerns of institutional abuse, including recent high-profile cases like that of serial paedophile Jimmy Savile and the Rotherham report.

CT- Deter wrong doing, preserve law SNAP says

CONNECTICUT
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Sept. 18, 2014

Statement by Jim Hackett, Connecticut co-leader of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 203-710-0968, SNAPct@cotse.net )

Deterrence. That's what I want to stress: current Connecticut law deters wrongdoing. That's why current Connecticut law should be preserved.

The message our current law sends is this: “Don't try to hide child sex crimes. With our smart and just statute of limitations, you won't succeed in keeping it under wraps long enough to escape detection. So when abuse reports surface, act promptly and responsibly and protect kids.” That's the message we should keep sending. That's the message Archbishop Blair doesn't want to hear. He wants to go back to the old days when a tight, unfair statute of limitations stopped victims who wanted to show the public, through judicial channels, who the molesters were and who their enablers were.

It's tough for a supervisor to call 911 when he or she suspects an employee is assaulting boys or girls. But in Connecticut, that supervisor knows those boys or girls, even decades later, may file lawsuits. They may prove to the public that trusted authority figures acted improperly. That's a strong disincentive for a supervisor who's tempted to act selfishly. That's a strong prod to a supervisor to act responsibly.

A restrictive statute of limitations will save complicit Catholic officials money. More importantly, it will save complicit Catholic officials' reputations and power and careers. We think this is the real reason Blair wants to overturn Connecticut's statute of limitations. And we think this is terribly dangerous and unwise. We hope he fails and kids win.

SAPD: Priest arrested for indecent exposure in Alamo Heights

TEXAS
KENS

SAN ANTONIO -- A Catholic priest in San Antonio was arrested Monday after allegedly exposing himself to an undercover officer at a park on the city's near north side.

Police said 63-year-old Father Alberto Trevino was taken into custody for indecent exposure at Olmos Park in Alamo Heights.

According to a police report, Trevino exposed himself to a park officer who was dressed in plain clothes.

Investigators said Trevino pleasured himself in front of the officer and while in plain view of an unidentified person at the park. Trevino then exposed and solicited himself to the officer, according to the San Antonio Police Department.

When asked if he had protection, the priest replied that he didn't. The officer then walked to his unmarked car and drove off, signaling nearby officers to make the arrest.

Priest accused of indecent exposure suspended from work

TEXAS
San Antonio Express-News

BY DREW JOSEPH : SEPTEMBER 18, 2014

SAN ANTONIO — A Catholic priest arrested Tuesday for allegedly exposing himself to an undercover police officer at Olmos Park has been temporarily banned from working as a priest, according to the religious group he was a member of.

The priest, Alberto Torres Trevino, 63, was charged with indecent exposure.

“His faculties to serve as a priest have been temporarily removed until this legal matter is fully addressed,” said Rev. James Wuerth, a spokesman for the Missionaries of the Holy Family, which describes itself as a global Catholic congregation with over 900 priests.

3 New Clergy Abuse Lawsuits to be Announced Thursday

MINNESOTA
KSTP

[documents - Jeff Anderson & Associates]

By: Jennie Olson

Three new clergy abuse civil lawsuits are expected to be announced Thursday.

Attorney Jeff Anderson is filing the lawsuits in Ramsey and Stearns County on behalf of four people who say they were sexually abused.

The Order of St. Benedict and St. John’s Abbey, the Diocese of St. Cloud, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, and Richard Eckroth are all named as defendants.

During a news conference Thursday in St. Paul, Anderson is also expected to ask the Diocese of St. Cloud and St. John’s Abbey to release all files of clerics who have been credibly accused of abuse. St. John’s has already named 22 clerics, and the Diocese of St. Cloud has named 33.

LIVE: ST. JOHN'S ST. CLOUD PRESS CONFERENCE

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

[with video and live stream]

4-15-11 St. John's Alumni Letter
12-9-13 Statement from St. John's Abbey
2002 St. Johns Response to Allegations of Sexual Misconduct
2011 OSB non-monetary actions
Abbots of St. John's photo
Doe 39 Summons and Complaint
Doe 40 Summons and Complaint
Fr. Cosmas Dahlheimer photo
Fr. Richard Eckroth photo
St. Johns List of Credibly Accused Priests
Thoennes 2014 Deposition- REDACTED
Vogels Summons and Complaint

The Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP Appointed New Archbishop of Sydney

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
18 Sep 2014

The Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP has been appointed as the new Archbishop of Sydney
Pope Francis has appointed the Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP as the new Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.

He has been Bishop of Parramatta since 2010.

Archbishop-elect Anthony Fisher will be the ninth Metropolitan Archbishop of Sydney. He succeeds Cardinal George Pell who was appointed to a new senior role in the Vatican earlier this year.

"The Catholic community in the Archdiocese of Sydney is delighted to welcome Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP as the ninth Archbishop of Sydney," says Bishop Peter Comensoli, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Sydney.

"He has a great breadth and depth of experience beyond Sydney, having engaged extensively in key areas of Australian life, including family, education, healthcare and young people. He combines this significant contribution to the wider community with his fine pastoral leadership of the Diocese of Parramatta over the past 4 years," he adds.

Following the announcement by Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Pope's representative in Australia, Archbishop Anthony said he was "deeply honoured" by the appointment.

TX- Catholic priest arrested; SNAP responds

TEXAS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, September 18, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

A priest has been arrested on “indecent exposure” charges. We hope San Antonio area Catholic officials will help police and prosecutors in this case by aggressively seeking out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered sexual crimes or misdeeds by Fr. Alberto Trevino.

He belongs to a Catholic religious order called Missionaries of the Holy Family. But San Antonio's archbishop also bears responsibility here. An archbishop is responsible for the safety of all Catholics in his archdiocese.

It's tempting, but wrong and complacent, to assume that this is Fr. Trevino's only sex crimes. He may well have committed even more hurtful crimes. The best way to find out is for Catholic officials to use parish bulletins, pulpit announcements and church websites to beg others with information or suspicions about Fr. Trevino to call police.

To the local church hierarchy, we plead: Don't be passive. Don't split hairs. Act responsibly and help law enforcement prosecute this case by using your massive resources to locate and help others who may have been hurt by Fr. Trevino.

‘Mud on boots’ of new chief Catholic Anthony Fisher

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

TESS LIVINGSTONE THE AUSTRALIAN SEPTEMBER 19, 2014

POPE Francis last night promoted the Bishop of Parramatta, ­Anthony Fisher, 54, as the new Archbishop of Sydney to replace Cardinal George Pell.

Bishop Fisher, a member of the Dominican Order of Preachers, is the first religious order priest appointed to Australia’s most senior church job since ­English Benedictine Roger Bede Vaughan in 1877.

Bishop Fisher, a qualified lawyer with a doctorate in Bioethics from Oxford University, attended St Ignatius College, Riverview, in Sydney where he was dux. He grew up in Lakemba in western Sydney when it was “an ordinary working class Anglo suburb”. His father, Colin Fisher, who turned 80 earlier this year, ran a pharmacy in the suburb and saw it change over the years to become a stronghold for Vietnamese migrants and later the Muslim community. His mother, Gloria Fisher, has a Spanish background and grew up in China and the Philippines. “Like many people in Parramatta and Sydney, I come from a multicultural background,’’ he said.

Last night, Bishop Fisher asked “all Catholics and other people of good will to pray for me that I might be a good shepherd after the heart of Jesus Christ”.

He said the Catholic Church in Australia was going through a period of public scrutiny and self-examination. “I hope it will emerge from this purified, humbler, more compassionate and spiritually regenerated,’’ he said.

Priest Accused Of Sex Abuse Resigns From St. Thomas

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A priest and full-time faculty member of the University of St. Thomas has announced he will resign from his position in the school’s department of Catholic studies.

The university announced Father Michael Keating’s resignation Thursday morning. He has been with the school since 2005.

“After careful consideration of my current situation in light of my employment options and long-standing goals, I have decided to resign my faculty position with the University of St. Thomas effective immediately,” he said in a statement. “I have greatly enjoyed my time at the university and take with me fond memories of the St. Thomas community.”

Last year, Keating went on a leave of absence after he was sued for alleged sex abuse. A woman filed a report with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Department, claiming that Keating touched her inappropriately when she was 14 or 15 years old.

NY- Albany Catholic deacon sentenced; SNAP responds

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, September 18, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com )

The sentencing of an Albany Catholic deacon for child sex crimes shows again that church officials continue to side with accused clerics over innocent children and, as a result, more children are hurt.

Albany Catholic officials defrocked Angel Garcia after reports that he sexually abused a minor in the early 1990s. We suspect that's all they did. We strongly doubt that they gave full information to and worked hard to help police and prosecutors. We strongly doubt that they held a news conference to announce that accusations against Garcia were founded or begged victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police. We strongly doubt that they aggressively warned parishioners about Garcia on parish websites, church bulletins and pulpit announcements. We strongly doubt that they put and kept Garcia's name and photo on their diocesan website so that moms and dads would know to keep their kids away from him.

And we strongly suspect, in this case like thousands of others, Catholic officials did the bare minimum – at best – and may not have even met that very low bar.

Had they acted with courage and compassion, Garcia might have had a tough time getting access to more kids. He might have even been prosecuted, convicted and imprisoned, years ago, so that he could not have assaulted another child.

But this didn't happen. And the result is that at least one more family has been devastated by the horror of child sexual abuse.

PA- Altoona priest is suspended; SNAP responds

PENNSYLVANIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com )

Altoona-Johnstown's Catholic Bishop Mark Bartchak should write his Central American colleagues and urge them to aggressively reach out to others who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misconduct by a priest who has just been put on leave because federal agents raided his church and home. And Bartchak should use his own parish bulletins, church websites and pulpit announcements to persuade his flock to share what they know or suspect about this priest with law enforcement.

Fr. Joseph Maurizio says he has “traveled to 100 countries and has worked with orphanages in El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Haiti, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Peru,” according to Tribune Review.

Bartchak will no doubt be tempted to do nothing. That's wrong. He has a civic and moral duty to help police investigate and perhaps help prosecutors pursue Fr. Maurizio. He should not passively sit back and evade responsibility. Fr. Maurizio was likely recruited, educated, ordained, trained and transferred by Altoona-Johnstown Catholic officials. They can't wash their hands of him now.

And we hope that every individual with knowledge of Fr. Maurizio's wrongdoing – in Pennsylvania or elsewhere – will find the courage to speak up, call law enforcement, and help get this troubling situation resolved.

ME- Priest admits abuse; What about his church?

MAINE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

A Maine priest admits that he committed child sex crimes. The question now is what will his congregants do now? Will they actively help police and prosecutors? Or will they sit passively back and force the brave victim to carry the burden of pursuing a predator alone?

We beg current and former staff and members of the Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Bangor to aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered child sex crimes by Father Adam Metropoulos.

That's the best way to protect kids. That's the responsible course of action. That's what Jesus would do, we believe.

But in most cases, colleagues and congregants of credibly accused child molesting clerics do little or nothing. They leave it up to a wounded victim and overworked police and overwhelmed prosecutor to keep a predator away from kids. Then they express shock and horror when the predator's shrewd lawyer gets him or her off on a technicality or gets a short sentence and later re-offends.

So we beg every person associated with Saint George to show courage and try hard to find and console others with information about or suspicions about Fr. Metropoulos' crimes. That's the right thing to do.

And we beg high ranking officials with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the jurisdiction to which Saint George belongs, to do likewise and to immediately open an investigation into how someone with a prior sex offense was allowed to both enroll in seminary and obtain a position of authority in the Church.

Bishop of Leicester apologises to sexual abuse victims of choirmaster John Bellamy

UNITED KINGDOM
Leicester Mercury

The Bishop of Leicester has apologised to the victims of a choirmaster who was jailed for sexually abusing choirboys in the city.

The Rt Revd Tim Stevens has issued the apology after John Bellamy was jailed for two years last week.

Bellamy, 72, was convicted of offences against five boys aged nine to 14 when he was choirmaster at St James the Greater Church in London Road.

The Right Rev Stevens said: “I deeply regret the pain and anguish, and the profound effect on the lives of all those affected by the offences for which John Bellamy was sentenced last week relating to a time in the 1970s when he was choirmaster in a parish church.

This World: Ireland’s Lost Babies review – an appalling story, told with admirable restraint

IRELAND
The Guardian

[This World: Ireland's Lost Babies]

Lucy Mangan
The Guardian, Wednesday 17 September 2014

There’s no point, really, in even trying to prepare yourself mentally or emotionally for a programme entitled This World: Ireland’s Lost Babies (BBC2). The bald facts, laid out by presenter Martin Sixsmith as he made his way between the emerald isle and the US, were bad enough. Between 40,000 and 60,000 babies were – by legal standards today and moral standards any time – involuntarily given up for adoption in the 1950s and 60s by Roman Catholic Irishwomen who became pregnant outside marriage. The treatment of the “fallen women” at the mother and baby homes run by fiercely unforgiving nuns was appalling. The vetting procedures for potential adoptive parents were worse. Catholic? Moneyed? You’re in. Take your pick.

It didn’t matter, as Mike Hawkes and his twin sister found out, if you were the brother of a paedophile priest who would rule your family with a rod of iron. “Going against his will was not healthy. Not healthy at all.” It didn’t matter, Mary Monaghan soon knew, if your new father was a sadistic paedophile himself. “My memories,” she says, “are terrible.” Nor if you had been rejected as adopters in your own country, as Kathy Deasey discovered. She was sent to the US at the age of five to a couple who wanted her as a companion to their biological daughter. When that daughter, years later, went to college in California, they turfed Kathy out, spent her college fund, sold their home and followed what suddenly stood revealed as their only beloved child to California. “It was horrible to say goodbye,” said Kathy, trying not to cry 40 years later, “because they’re the ones who said hello to me!” Her voice rose slightly, still in disbelief, as well it might.

Lily Boyce’s mother threw her out when Lily – so ignorant about sex that she didn’t realise she could be pregnant until she was nearly full term – went into labour. She walked her to the Castlepollard mother and baby home and left her on the steps. “Now you can do your own dirty work,” she said, and left. She gave birth to a boy called Joseph. “I would have loved to have kept him,” she says. “The longer I had him, the harder it was.” She had him for 17 months. You wonder how anyone bears the pain. And, rightly, you were largely left to wonder as Sixsmith’s admirably restrained and unsensationalist film continued wisely without attempting to resolve any of the ineffable mysteries suffusing it – faith, conscience, our capacity for endurance, grief, evil and forgiveness – into words.

When the Leading Cardinal in America is Simply a Careerist

NEW YORK
Waiting for Godot to Leave

Kevin O'Brien

For those of you who haven't been following, let me summarize in brief. Cardinal Dolan has given what I consider to be a poorly reasoned, condescending and annoyingly folksy rationalization of his decision to serve as Grand Marshal of New York's St. Patrick's Day parade, which will now show the children along the route a group of "gay Irish" marching under a banner identifying themselves as such. Dolan rightly points out that we condemn the sin, not the sinner - and of course gays have been marching in parades for centuries (though not parading about as gays). He wrongly points out that if a man or a woman marches under a Gay Pride banner, it's merely a way of indicating his or her sexual identity, and is in no way an endorsement of the sins that such a sexual identity seeks out. ...

Today, however, Kevin Tierney comments on the Dolan Situation at Red Cardigan's blog (my emphasis)...

Maybe we have to consider the unpleasant possibility that His Eminence knows exactly what he is doing, he is not the fool, and that these are conscious choices.

Too many events have happened in Dolan's history to suggest naivete or [foolishness]. There's something else at work here.

No, it's not him being a heretic, modernist, or whatever you want to say. Plain and simple, Dolan is a careerist. All of his controversial decisions from the Sheen dustup, to his role in the abuse scandals, to Holy Innocents, to now the parade have been about what's best for the bottom line ... his bottom line. What advances his profile is what is best for business.

Vatican Commission for Protection of Minors Sets Oct. 4-5 Meeting

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Register

by ANDREA GAGLIARDUCCI/CNA/EWTN NEWS 09/18/2014

VATICAN CITY — As Pope Francis’ council of cardinals for Curia reform gather this week in Rome, the newly-created Pontifical Commission for Protection for minors will soon meet to finish creating its statutes.

Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican’s press office, announced in a briefing with journalists Sep. 17 that the commission will hold its next meeting Oct. 4-5.

Msgr. Robert Oliver was appointed secretary of the commission Sep. 10, and that same day Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston was confirmed president of the commission.

As the commission takes shape, Father Lombardi underscored that “in the next few weeks other very important aspects will be specified regarding the statutes and further members of the commission.”

Msgr. Oliver immediately stressed that his first effort will be that of identifying new members for the commission, in order to include Asia, Africa and South America and thus represent all the world geographical areas.

The new secretary will also work on the statutes, harmonizing with the work of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which he left to assume his new post.

Speaking on the sixth gathering of the cardinals’ council, which took place Sept. 15-17, Father Lombardi said that a draft introduction of the new constitution for general Curia reform “was also drawn up and distributed.”

Greater lay involvement in Dublin’s Catholic archdiocese

IRELAND
Irish Times

Patsy Mcgarry

Thu, Sep 18, 2014

An enhanced role for the laity in Dublin’s Catholic archdiocese grows apace with the announcement that, for the first time ever, lay people will now be able to take part in deanery meetings.

It follows an agreement by Dublin’s Council of Priests and as adopted by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin. Up to this such meetings were mostly attended only by priests.

From this week the archdiocese’s 16 deanery groupings will include participation by parish pastoral workers, deacons, religious, chaplains and representatives from each parish pastoral council.

A conversation with Sydney’s new Archbishop

VATICAN CITY/AUSTRALIA
Vatican Radio

[with audio]

(Vatican Radio) It’s only been one week since the 54 year old bishop of Paramatta, Australia, Anthony Fisher OP received a visit from Apostolic Nuncio who informed him that the Pope was appointing him to lead the nations’ ‘Mother Church’, the Archdiocese of Sydney.

In his own words, he still ‘hasn’t got over the shock’: “As a boy, as a young man at university I used to go to Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral …and I never would have dreamed that I would be on the other side of the altar one day, there at the cathedral”.

Listen to his full interview with Emer McCarthy:

But shock aside, Pope Francis’ appointment is a homecoming for the Dominican who is a Sydney native and served as an auxiliary to the Archdiocese under Cardinal George Pell. Cardinal Pell has since been called to Rome to head the newly established Secretariat for the Economy.

Sydney may be Australia’s Mother Church, but it is also the most culturally diverse of its cities. This week the issue of coexistence came to the fore after counter terrorism police raided dozens of homes and detained 15 suspects, sparking angry protests from Sydney’s Muslim community.

“I think it’s a time that we need to hear the loving wisdom of Christ and his Church about peace and restraint on people’s anger and vengefulness” says Bishop Fisher. “The Catholic Church knows better than any institution in the world that people of different backgrounds can live together and love together…and I very much hope that Sydney can re-learn that right now”.

Another challenging facing the newly appointed Archbishop is the sexual abuse crisis which is being investigated by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Bishop Fisher says he is well aware of these challenges ahead and that his aspiration for his episcopal ministry is perhaps best explained by his chosen motto: Veritatem facientes in caritate' Speaking the truth in love’.

Is Francis About to Decapitate Cardinal Burke? Or...Just Give Him a New Job?

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

Mollie Wilson O'Reilly September 17, 2014

Something outrageous is happening in Rome: a new pope who was reportedly elected with a clear mandate to reform the curia has, over the course of a year and a half in office, been reappointing curial officials and moving bishops around in order to assemble a team that shares his priorities and can help implement his program for reform.

What's that? You're not outraged? I must have put it wrong. Let me try again: an upstart newcomer pope with no respect for tradition is carrying out a reign of terror at the Vatican, virtually executing respected princes of the church by denying them their God-given right to a high-status curial berth for life -- right under the nose of the defenseless pope emeritus who appointed them. Madness!

Sandro Magister, Vatican journalist and gloomy observer of the Franciscan papacy, is taking the latter view, as evidenced by his breathless report on rumors that Cardinal Raymond Burke is about to be removed from his position as Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura and reassigned to a largely honorary post, Prefect of the Knights of Malta, at the tender age of 66.

As WYD chief Fisher had rapport with youth

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

AAP SEPTEMBER 18, 2014

THE LIFE OF SYDNEY'S NEW CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP, ANTHONY COLIN FISHER

* born in Sydney in 1960 to Colin and Gloria Fisher.

* started school in 1965 at St Therese's, Lakemba parish school, then at St Michael's Lane Cove, Holy Cross College Ryde and St Ignatius' College Riverview.
* graduated with arts and law degrees from the University of Sydney
* practised law at city firm Clayton Utz
* entered the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) in 1985
* ordained in 1991
* completed a doctorate in bioethics at the University of Oxford.
* lecturer at the Australian Catholic University from 1995 to 2000
* director of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family, Melbourne from 2000 to 2003

Catholic Church names Bishop Anthony Fisher as Cardinal George Pell's successor

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

September 18, 2014

Richard Blackburn

The Bishop of Parramatta, Anthony Fisher, has been appointed the ninth Archbishop of Sydney, replacing the controversial Cardinal George Pell.

The Vatican announcement comes several months after Cardinal Pell was appointed to a newly created Secretariat for the Economy in Rome, charged with cleaning up the Vatican's finances.
Bishop Anthony immediately committed the church to "doing better" in its response to victims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests and brothers.

"Victims of abuse and all young people must come first – no excuses, no cover-ups. The Church must do better in this area and I am committed to playing a leading role in regaining the confidence of the community and of our own members," he said.

The comments come after Cardinal Pell was widely criticised for his appearance last month at the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, where he likened the Catholic Church's responsibility for child abuse to that of a "trucking company". If a driver sexually assaulted a passenger they picked up along the way, he said, "I don't think it appropriate for the leadership of that company be held responsible."

Stift Admont bedauert Prozessverzögerung bei Missbrauchs-Klage

OSTERREICH
Kathweb

[Admont regrets a process delay in in the abuse lawsuit.]

Graz (KAP) Das Stift Admont hat im Fall einer Zivilrechtsklage eines ehemaligen Zöglings am Landesgericht Leoben gegen zwei Admonter Patres und das Stift bedauert, dass sich die am Montag begonnene Neuverhandlung aufgrund eines Befangenheitsantrages des Klägers erneut verzögere. Das Stift sehe den Antrag und dessen nun erforderliche Prüfung durch den Senat des Landesgerichts als unbegründet, hieß es in einer Stellungnahme des Stiftes gegenüber "Kathpress".

In der Neuverhandlung geht es darum, ob der Rechtsweg der Klage zulässig ist oder nicht. Unstimmigkeiten gab es dabei vor allem bei der Frage, ob es in einer etwaigen unbeaufsichtigten Freizeit des Schülers oder aber im dienstlichen Bereich wie etwa während der Schul- oder Internatszeit zu den behaupteten Vorfällen gekommen ist, was Folgen für Haftungsfragen hätte. Das Stift betonte in seiner Stellungnahme, dass auch in der Freizeit des Schülers dessen von rechtswegen verpflichtende allgemeine Aufsicht stets gewährleistet gewesen sei. Dass der Kläger niemals Freizeit hatte, hätten die Patres entgegen dessen Darstellung nicht behauptet.

Kremsmünster: Gedenktafel erinnert an Missbrauchsopfer

OSTERREICH
Religion@ORF.at

[Summary: A plaque to commemorate victims of abuse has been installed at Kremsmuenster in the Kirchdorf district of Austria. Students were abused by clergy for decades.]

Das Stift Kremsmünster (Bezirk Kirchdorf) hat nach dem Missbrauchsskandal, der 2010 bekannt wurde, nun eine Gedenktafel. Jahrzehntelang wurden im Stiftsgymnasium Schüler durch Geistliche missbraucht.

„Mit dieser Gedenktafel wollen wir das Leid der Opfer anerkennen“, so Abt Ambros Ebhart in einer Presseaussendung am Mittwoch. Die Tafel befindet sich im Durchgang vom äußeren Stiftshof zum Gymnasium und zur Sternwarte. Die zentrale Figur in der Missbrauchsaffäre, der ehemalige Konviktsdirektor, war im Sommer 2013 zu zwölf Jahren Haft verurteilt worden. Das Urteil ist aber nicht rechtskräftig, derzeit liegt der Akt beim Obersten Gerichtshof (OGH), der im Oktober darüber entscheiden wird, wie er auf APA-Anfrage mitteilte.

Clear and Present Danger at St. John’s Abbey and in the Diocese of St. Cloud

Media Advisory
September 17, 2014

St. Paul News Conference Thursday
Sexual abuse survivors to speak and bring legal action

What: At a news conference on Thursday in St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson will:

• Announce the filing of three civil lawsuits filed in Ramsey and Stearns Counties on behalf of four sexual abuse survivors. Defendants named in the lawsuits include: The Order of St. Benedict a/k/a and d/b/a St. John’s Abbey; the Diocese of St. Cloud; the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis; and Richard Eckroth.

• Discuss the experiences of two survivors who previously settled with St. John’s. These men, abused as young boys by Richard Eckroth and Cosmos Dahlheimer, will speak publicly at the press conference.

• Request St. John’s and the Diocese of St. Cloud release all the files of clerics credibly accused of sexual abuse. St. John’s has publicly named 22 clerics and the Diocese of St. Cloud has named 33 clerics with credible allegations of child sexual abuse.

WHEN: Thursday September 18, 2014, at 11:00AM CDT

WHERE: Jeff Anderson & Associates
366 Jackson Street, Suite 100
St. Paul, MN 55101

This World: Irelands Lost Babies | FULL DOCUMENTARY

IRELAND
YouTube

Published on Sep 17, 2014

In 2013 the movie Philomena was shown in cinemas across the world and earned four Oscar nominations. The film was based on the true story of Philomena Lee, who was forced by the Catholic Church to give up her illegitimate son for adoption, and detailed her journey with journalist Martin Sixsmith to find her child 50 years later.

In the weeks and months after the film went out, Martin was contacted by other mothers who had their own stories to tell. Now, Martin Sixsmith goes on a journey to investigate the Irish Catholic Church's role in an adoption trade which saw thousands of illegitimate children taken from their mothers and sent abroad, often with donations to the Church flowing in the other direction. In Ireland and in America, Martin hears the moving stories of the parents and children whose lives were changed forever and discovers evidence that prospective parents were not properly vetted - sometimes with tragic consequences.

Public hearing into the Retta Dixon home to commence next Monday

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will hold its first public hearing in Darwin commencing Monday 22 September 2014 at 10:00am ACST.

Date: Monday 22 September 2014
Venue: Court 11, Supreme Court Building, State Square, Darwin
Hearing hours: 10:00am – 4:00pm ACST.

The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to:

1. Hear the experience of men and women who were sexually abused as children at the Retta Dixon Home in Darwin, Northern Territory between 1946 – 1980.

2. Inquire into the response of the Australian Indigenous Ministries (formally the Aborigines Inland Mission) and the Northern Territory and Commonwealth governments to allegations of child sexual abuse against AIM workers who were employed at the Retta Dixon Home.

3. Inquire into the response of the Northern Territory’s Police Force and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in 1975 and 2002 to allegations raised by residents of the Retta Dixon Home against Donald Henderson.

4. Inquire into the current laws, policies and procedures governing children in out-of-home care in the Northern Territory today.

Royal Commission to hold public hearing into Australian Christian Churches

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

18 September, 2014
The Royal Commission is holding a public hearing in Sydney from 7 October 2014 at 10.30am.

The public hearing will inquire into the responses by Australian Christian Churches (a Pentecostal movement in Australia) and two affiliated churches to allegations of child sexual abuse.

The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into:

1. The response of the Sydney Christian Life Centre and Hills Christian Life Centre (now Hillsong Church) and Assemblies of God in Australia (now Australian Christian Churches) to allegations of child sexual abuse made against William Francis “Frank” Houston.

2. The response of the Northside Christian College and the Northside Christian Centre (now Encompass Church) in Bundoora, Victoria and Assemblies of God in Australia (now Australian Christian Churches) to allegations of child sexual abuse made against former teacher Kenneth Sandilands.

3. The response of Australian Christian Churches to allegations of child sexual abuse made against Jonathan Baldwin.

4. The systems, policies, practices and procedures for the reporting of and responding to allegations of child sexual abuse of:
a. Australian Christian Churches,
b. Hillsong Church, and
c. Northside Christian College and Encompass Church.

5. Any other related matters.

Any person or institution who believes that they have a direct and substantial interest in the scope and purpose of the public hearing is invited to lodge a written application for leave to appear at the public hearing by 23 September 2014.

'Abuse can't happen again': new archbishop

AUSTRALIA
SBS

AAP

Parramatta Bishop Anthony Fisher has been appointed to succeed George Pell as Catholic Archbishop of Sydney.

The newly appointed Catholic Archbishop of Sydney is "committed to playing a leading role in regaining the confidence of the community and of our own members" after the clerical sex abuse scandal.

Pope Francis on Thursday appointed Parramatta Bishop Anthony Fisher to succeed Cardinal George Pell, who left the position in February to become the Vatican's finance chief in Rome.

Archbishop-elect Fisher, who's expected to follow Cardinal Pell's orthodox approach, said he was determined to do everything he could to make sure the abuse doesn't happen again.

"There can be no more excuses, no more cover-ups and the victims have to be put first," he told AAP.

"The Catholic Church in Australia is going through a period of public scrutiny and self-examination.

"I hope it will emerge from this purified, humbler, more compassionate and spiritually regenerated."

Pope appoints Bishop Anthony Fisher to Archdiocese of Sydney

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Anthony Fisher to the Archdiocese of Sydney.

It will be a homecoming for the 54 year old Dominican, who was born in Sydney and served as an auxiliary there before being appointed to the diocese of Paramatta. He takes over pastoral leadership of the Archdiocese from Cardinal George Pell who has been appointed Prefect of the new Vatican Secretariat for the Economy.

Bishop fishers Episcopal motto is : Veritatem facientes in caritate' Speaking the truth in love.

Born in Sydney in 1960 to Colin and Gloria Fisher, he was baptised Anthony Colin Joseph at St Thérèse Church, Lakemba, and attended the parish school in 1965 and 1966.

Thereafter, he attended St Michael’s School Lane Cove, Holy Cross College Ryde, and St Ignatius’ College Riverview.

At the University of Sydney he received degrees in History and Law before practising law in a city firm.

St. Thomas professor accused of abuse resigns

MINNESOTA
KARE

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A St. Thomas University professor who was sued for alleged child sex abuse, has resigned. The University announced Father Michael Keating's resignation on Wednesday.

Keating has been on a leave of absence since last October, after the allegations became public. The lawsuit accuses Keating of abusing a woman in the 1990's when she was in her early teens.

Keating wrote in his resignation letter to St. Thomas, "After careful consideration of my current situation in light of my employment options and long-standing goals, I have decided to resign my faculty position with the University of St. Thomas effective immediately. I have greatly enjoyed my time at the university and take with me fond memories of the St. Thomas community."

Priest facing sex abuse suit resigns from St. Thomas

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Tad Vezner
tvezner@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 09/17/2014

A University of St. Thomas professor accused of molesting a young girl when he was studying to be a priest has resigned.

Father Michael Keating, who has been a member of the Catholic Studies department since 2005, "has informed the university of his decision to resign from St. Thomas," according to a release posted Wednesday on the university's website.

A statement by Keating said:

"After careful consideration of my current situation in light of my employment options and long-standing goals, I have decided to resign my faculty position with the University of St. Thomas effective immediately. I have greatly enjoyed my time at the university and take with me fond memories of the St. Thomas community."

In October, a lawsuit was filed in Ramsey County District Court by a Chisago County woman referred to as Jane Doe 20. She alleged that in 2006, when she was 13, Keating -- who was studying to be a priest and nearly 30 years her senior -- repeatedly molested her in her home.

Priest accused of indecent exposure at Olmos Park

TEXAS
San Antonio Express-News

BY MARK D. WILSON : SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

SAN ANTONIO — A Catholic priest who allegedly exposed himself to an undercover police officer at Olmos Park was arrested Tuesday.

Alberto Torres Trevino, 63, was charged with indecent exposure after the incident, which happened just before 2 p.m. in the 600 block of Devine Road.

A San Antonio Police Department report said the area is known for having a high rate of sex crimes.

Trevino allegedly rubbed his genitals while sitting on a park bench, then began pleasuring himself on a nearby embankment, the report said.

Catholic priest arrested

TEXAS
Fox 29

By Randy Escamilla
Fox San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO -- A San Antonio Catholic priest with the religious order Missionaries of the Holy Family has been arrested by the San Antonio Park Police Covert Operations Unit.

The arrest happened Monday in the City's Olmos Park. Police say Father Alberto Trevino, 63, exposed himself to an undercover officer.

San Antonio Police Department Spokesman Sgt. Javier Salazar previously worked as an undercover officer arresting men for sex crimes in the city's parks.

Salazar says consensual sex between adults in private is not a crime, however, it becomes criminal when it happens in a public forum and parks are not the place.

South Ogden man extradited to Louisiana on sex charges

UTAH/LOUISIANA
Standard-Examiner

By ANDREAS RIVERA Standard-Examiner staff

SOUTH OGDEN — A former resident of Louisiana was extradited from Utah after investigators charged him with the sexual abuse of two young girls nearly 15 years ago.

Matthew Todd Wallis, a South Ogden resident, was arrested in August and extradited to Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana to face charges related to aggravated sexual abuse involving a girl as young as 4 years old at the time, according to a press release from the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office.

The alleged crime happened in Belle Chasse, a suburb of New Orleans, between 1999 and 2000. Police began looking into the allegations in May 2014 after the alleged victim came forward.

The girl told police that Wallis repeatedly abused her and on one occasion, recorded it with a camcorder. Other witnesses said the video was destroyed by Wallis’ mother in an attempt to “make it all go away,” according to the release. Wallis’ parents then admitted to police that they burned the tape in order to protect their son, police said.

Another witness told police that a second victim came forward to the bishop of Wallis’ LDS Church congregation in Louisiana. Officers said Wallis confided in the bishop about the abuse, who set him on a “repentance program.” There was no indication that the bishop, who has since died, ever told police about Wallis’ confession.

Flag on new NFL aide: Roger Goodell's criminal adviser ripped over abuse probe

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

BY MICHAEL O'KEEFFE
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The lawyers hired by Yeshiva University in January 2013 to investigate allegations that the Washington Heights school had covered up decades of sexual abuse didn't leave any stone unturned.

The investigators spent 6,300 hours on the case, interviewing more than 145 people, including victims and school employees accused of sexual abuse. They reviewed millions of emails and thousands of pages of documents, including personnel records, legal files and board meeting minutes.

The investigation was led by Karen Patton Seymour, the former chief of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, now a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, the Manhattan white-shoe law firm with offices across the globe. Seymour and S&C brought in Lisa Friel and her security firm, T&M Protection Resources, to assist with the probe.

Friel assumed an even bigger stage on Monday, when embattled NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced that he had hired the former chief of the Manhattan district attorney's sex crimes unit to advise him on criminal cases and violations of the league's personal conduct policy.

VISALIA CHURCH MEMBER ACCUSED OF MOLESTING A CHILD

CALIFORNIA
ABC 30

[with video]

By Mariana Jacob
Friday, September 12, 2014

VISALIA, Calif. (KFSN) -- The community in Visalia feels betrayed by a member of their own congregation who is now accused of molesting a child.

Visalia police have arrested a 34-year-old man for sexually abusing a child under ten years old.

Daniel Sisk is now being held at the Tulare County Jail. Investigators say he molested the young victim at a local church.

According to his pastor Brandon Hall the 34-year-old worshipped at The Road Church in Visalia and also volunteered to work with kids there. Now the pastor is stunned Sisk is suspected of molesting a young girl.

"From the church community it really shocks our conscious because there are things that are just not supposed to happen in life. Kids are so vulnerable," said Hall.

Investigators were tipped off last month when the victim's family came forward.

Church volunteer charged with molestation

CALIFORNIA
Visalia Times-Delta

Eric Woomer, ewoomer@visaliatimesdelta.com September 17, 2014

A volunteer accused of molesting a child at a Visalia church has been charged by the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office.

Daniel Sisk, 34, of Visalia was charged with two counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a child under the age of 14 and a special allegation that there was substantial sexual conduct.

If convicted, he faces 10 years in prison. He would be required to serve his sentence in state prison and his charges prohibit a judge from ordering felony probation.

The victim was a girl at The Road Church on Aug. 20 during an adult Wednesday evening Bible study. That’s when the alleged incident occurred. Sisk was arrested more than three weeks later on Sept. 11.

The NFL and the church share the same culture of silence on abuse (COMMENTARY)

UNITED STATES
Religion News Service

Autumn Miles | September 17, 2014

(RNS) Too often, it can be easy to assume that some issues are less prevalent in the church. We forget that, as a collective of individuals shaped by the culture at large, sin is indiscriminate in whom it touches. Many church leaders do not realize that all evils are present in their congregations, especially sins that carry a heavy culture of silence.

A new LifeWay Research poll shows that 74 percent of pastors misjudge the prevalence of sexual and domestic violence within their congregations. Considering that the World Health Organization estimates that 35 percent of women globally have experienced sexual or physical abuse, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reports that this statistic for men is 25 percent, it is past time pastors learned how to recognize the signs of domestic abuse and effectively address it.

After TMZ’s release of the video showing NFL running back Ray Rice assaulting then-girlfriend and now-wife Janay Rice in an elevator, pundits have criticized NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s handling of the case — specifically, that he suspended Rice indefinitely from the league only after the video became public (and after initially suspending him for a mere two games).

Victims advocates, sports columnists and legal experts alike have condemned Goodell for interviewing Janay and Ray Rice together during the disciplinary process, which took place after Ray Rice had been indicted by a grand jury on an assault charge. Asking a victim’s opinion of her abuser — while he is in the same room — parallels a broader concern about abuse victims not being supported or empowered to voice the crimes being committed against them.

84-year-old E. Texas man arrested for sexual assault of disabled person

TEXAS
KLTV

From the Mount Pleasant Police Department:

MOUNT PLEASANT, TX - The Mount Pleasant Police Department arrested L.C. Terry, 84 years of age of Titus County, on four counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault of a Disabled Individual, a First Degree Felony on Wednesday September 17, 2014.

The assaults are believed to have occurred over several months at an assisted living facility located in Mount Pleasant. Allegations about the crimes were reported to the police department on September 13, and warrants were subsequently obtained for the offenses after criminal investigators developed probable cause for the arrest. Terry was booked into the Titus County Jail after his arrest. Bond has not been set.

Due to the nature of the offenses committed, the Police Department is not releasing the identity of the victim, location of the offenses, or any additional information about the alleged crimes committed.

84-year-old Texas man charged with sexual assault

TEXAS
Daily Tribune

MOUNT PLEASANT, Texas (AP) — An elderly East Texas man has been charged with felonies for allegedly sexually assaulting a disabled person at an assisted living facility.

Mount Pleasant Police Chief Wayne Isbell says 84-year-old L.C. Terry was arrested Wednesday and charged with four counts of first-degree aggravated assault of a disabled individual. He says the assaults occurred over several months at the Mount Pleasant facility and were reported on Saturday.

Isbell has not released other information about the alleged assaults.

Terry is being held at the Titus County Jail. Bond has not been set and online jail records didn't indicate an attorney.

The Mount Pleasant Daily Tribune reports Terry is the pastor of the Spring Hill Missionary Baptist Church.

Hillsong Church to come under scrutiny at royal commission into child sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

September 18, 2014

Rachel Browne
Social Affairs Reporter

The popular Hillsong Church will come under the scrutiny of the child sexual abuse royal commission when it examines Australia's Pentecostal institutions at its next public hearing in October.

It will look at allegations made against Frank Houston, who admitted sexually abusing a boy in New Zealand in the 1970s.

Houston was sacked by his son Brian Houston, now the Hillsong Church's senior pastor, when the allegations became public in 2000. The disgraced evangelist died in 2004.

Frank Houston, widely regarded as the father of Australia's Pentecostal movement, admitted sexually abusing a boy in New Zealand in the 1970s.

Child abuse royal commission to look at allegations against father of Hillsong founder

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

Helen Davidson
theguardian.com, Thursday 18 September 2014

Child abuse allegations against a preacher who helped build Australia’s Pentecostal movement will be investigated by the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse, it was announced on Thursday.

The commission will examine how the Sydney Christian Life Centre and Hills Christian Life Centre (now Hillsong Church) and Assemblies of God in Australia (now Australian Christian Churches) treated allegations against the Pentecostal Christian pastor William Francis “Frank” Houston and two other men.

Houston, who died in 2004, confessed in 2000 to sexually abusing a boy in New Zealand more than 30 years earlier. He was immediately sacked by his son, Brian Houston, the high-profile founder of Hillsong.

Further allegations have been made in recent years, including that Houston sexually abused a trainee pastor in the 1980s in an attempt to “cure” him of homsexuality.

Sex abuse inquiry into Hillsong 'father'

AUSTRALIA
Sky News

Child sex abuse allegations against the man who founded the pentecostal movement which became the Hillsong Church will be examined by a national inquiry.

The sex abuse royal commission will examine how the Sydney Christian Life Centre and Hills Christian Life Centre, (now Hillsong Church) and the Assemblies of God in Australia, (now Australian Christian Churches) treated allegations against the Pentecostal christian pastor Frank Houston and two other men.

Houston, who died in 2004 aged 82, was considered the father of Sydney's Pentecostal churches.

He was a Salvation Army officer in his native New Zealand and founded his first Assemblies of God ministry at Lower Hutt in 1960. He later became superintendent of the New Zealand Assemblies of God before moving to Sydney in 1977.

Child abuse investigation into Frank Houston, father of Hillsong lead pastor Brian Houston

AUSTRALIA
Christian Today

Child abuse allegations against Frank Houston, the father of Hillsong's lead pastor Brian Houston, are to be investigated by a national inquiry, the Guardian reports.

In particular, Australia's royal commission on sexual abuse will examine the way in which the churches Houston was linked with dealt with the abuse.

Originally trained as a Salvation Army officer, Frank Houston later became a Pentecostal pastor in the Assemblies of God. He founded Sydney Christian Life Centre, which was in 1999 merged with his son Brian's church – Hills Christian Life Centre, now known as Hillsong.

He is therefore credited with building a movement that became one of the largest megachurches in the world.

Before his death in 2004 aged 82, Houston confessed to sexually abusing a boy in New Zealand three decades earlier, and was immediately removed from ministry by Brian

Defrocked deacon gets 5 years in prison

NEW YORK
Albany Times Union

ALBANY -- A defrocked deacon was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison, the Albany County District Attorney's Office announced.

Judge Stephen Herrick also ordered Angel Garcia, 61, of Albany to register as a sex offender and submit to 10 years of post-release supervision.

A jury found Garcia guilty on Aug. 14 of two felony counts of sexual abuse of a 6-year-old girl in 2003.

He was defrocked in 2010 for unrelated child molestation allegations. At the time, he was at the Church of the Holy Family on Central Avenue.

Each of the sex abuse counts carried a possible sentence of up to 7 years in prison.

The trial was not related to the allegation that Garcia sexually abused a minor in the early 1990s before his ordination as a deacon. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, which found reasonable grounds to believe the earlier allegations, defrocked Garcia.

4 survivors to attend church abuse lawsuit event Thursday

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

ST. PAUL – Four survivors of sexual abuse, some at the hands of St. John’s Abbey monks, will be at a news conference Thursday where lawsuits will be announced against St. John’s Abbey and the Diocese of St. Cloud.

Abbey monk Richard Eckroth also will be named as a defendant, according to clergy sex abuse attorney Jeff Anderson. Two survivors who previously settled lawsuits with St. John’s Abbey are expected to discuss their experiences at the news conference.

They were abused by Eckroth and the Rev. Cosmas Dahlheimer. It’s expected that Anderson will file a lawsuit that accuses St. John’s Abbey and the Diocese of St. Cloud of creating a public nuisance by their handling of allegations against their monks and priests.

Anderson plans to ask St. John’s and the Diocese of St. Cloud again to release all the files of clerics credibly accused of sexual abuse. St. John’s has publicly named 22 clerics, and the Diocese of St. Cloud has named 33 clerics with credible allegations of child sexual abuse against them, according to Anderson.

DIOCESE OF STOCKTON

CALIFORNIA
Manteca Bulletin

By Rose Albano Risso
City Editor ralbanorisso@mantecabulletin.com 209-249-3536
POSTED September 18, 2014

The Diocese of Stockton received 34 claims of sexual abuse in the three months prior to the Aug. 15 submission deadline related to the filing of bankruptcy protection by the diocese.

The Chapter 11 reorganization process is continuing right on schedule, said Sr. Terry Davis, Director of Communications for the Diocese, in a statement sent out to media outlets. The nearly three-dozen abuse claims that were filed do not identify any priest currently in active ministry, she reported.

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection was described by Bishop Stephen Blaire earlier this year as “the only way we can fulfill our responsibilities to the victims of sexual abuse and our responsibilities to the parishes and communities we served.” It was a “painful but necessary decision,” he added, and that it came only after months of “careful consideration, consultation and prayer.”

The key to the bankruptcy proceeding is to determine exactly what claims the Diocese will face which will enable the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of California to distribute the remaining assets of the diocese as fairly as possible, explained Davis at that time.

September 17, 2014

Priest on leave because of federal raid

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

By Richard Gazarik
Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

A Roman Catholic priest was placed on indefinite leave because federal agents raided his Somerset County church office and residence last week.

Bishop Mark Bartchak of the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese suspended the Rev. Joseph Maurizio Jr., 69, of Windber, diocesan spokesman Tony DeGol said on Wednesday.

Maurizio has been pastor of our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Central City, near Indian Lake Resort, since 2003, according to the diocese.

His suspension occurred because neighbors said they saw agents from Homeland Security searching his rectory office and his Windber home, carting off boxes of records.

Maurizio has extensive connections in Central and Latin America through orphanages that he supports financially, according to tax records.

DeGol said the diocese is not aware of Maurizio's nonprofit organizations and has no idea what the probe involves.

“Obviously, this is a federal investigation, and we're not privy to that,” he said.

Affidavit: Priest admits to touching boys

MAINE
WCSH

Grady Trimble, WLBZ September 17, 2014

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Father Adam Metropoulos of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bangor admitted to investigators that he inappropriately touched two teenage boys five years ago at his home. He also admitted to recording two women showering at his home over the years. This information is from a police affidavit filed in the case.

According to one police officer's statement, "Mr. Metropoulos told me that while the boys were sleeping, he felt both of them in the genital areas..."

Affidavit: Priest admits to touching boys

Metropoulos was arrested Saturday for allegedly recording a woman in the shower. He is charged with violation of privacy and possession of child pornography, which police said they seized after searching his computers.

Metropoulos' bail is set at $100,000 cash. Bail conditions include that Metropoulos is not to have contact with children under 18 and he is not to use or possess any devices that can access the internet. He will be subject to random searches for internet devices.

The Deputy District Attorney Michael Roberts said it is too early to tell if he will face any other charges.

"If he's somebody who's a predator, who's used his position in the church to gain the trust of children and parents and families to engage in this conduct, that's just horrific," Roberts said. "If he's somebody who's got issues of his own and has made a mistake here, but isn't necessarily a predator, that's a completely different situation, but we have to err on the side of caution and assume, given his history, particularly with an earlier conviction, that this may be a predator that we need to take very seriously."

MN--Accused predator priest resigns

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Sept. 17

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, davidgclohessy@gmail.com )

[Minnesota Public Radio]

Fr. Keating's resignation achieves virtually nothing. It's incumbent on Archbishop John Nienstedt to quickly announce whether Twin Cities Catholic officials find the child sex abuse accusations against him credible. And before that, it's incumbent on Nienstedt to use pulpit announcements, parish bulletins and church web sites to aggressively seek out anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Fr. Keating.

And it's deceitful for St. Thomas university officials to ignore the credible child sex abuse allegations against him. They too have a civic and moral duty to do outreach, especially to their staff and alums, about Keating.

The archdiocese's clergy review board recommended that Fr. Keating not be allowed to mentor teenagers and young adults, according to Minnesota Public Radio. But Fr. Keating did just that. “It's unclear whether (archdiocesan staff) rejected the recommendation and never passed it along to the university or if university officials knew of the recommendation and disregarded it,” MPR reported.

Every single staffer at the university and at the archdiocese should be up in arms until top officials at each institution until they disclose which one of them acted recklessly and ignored the board's recommendation. Such secrecy is unhealthy and irresponsible.

'Most abusive' priest worked in Gaylord, Sleepy Eye

MINNESOTA
Makato Free Press

Posted: Wednesday, September 17, 2014

By Dan Nienaber dnienaber@mankatofreepress.com

An abusive priest, who a top church official with the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis described as one of the "most abusive" to work in the archdiocese, spent time serving parishes in Gaylord and Sleepy Eye.

That description of the Rev. Louis Heitzer, who served as a priest from 1942 until he died in 1969, was made by former Vicar Gen. Kevin McDonough, the next highest-ranking official after the archbishop. He was responding to a letter written to him in 2002 by a woman concerned about the sexual abuse her brother and other boys experienced while Heitzer was working in Franklin from 1950 to 1954.

"As I have come to know more about what Louis Heitzer did, I believe he was perhaps the most abusive priest to ever be a part of this archdiocese," McDonough's letter said. "I now believe he abused boys every place he went."

The letter was in Heitzer's priest file, which had been provided by the archdiocese for a court case where an abuse victim is being represented by the Jim Anderson & Associates law firm. The firm is working with many victims throughout the state and has been leading an effort to have Catholic leaders release all the information they have about abusive priests who work, or have worked, in Minnesota.

There are 185 pages of information in the Heitzer file showing he spent much of his time as a priest working in churches that are now part of the New Ulm Diocese. The documents also show archbishops were very aware of numerous allegations against him by parishioners and their children. As the allegations arose Heitzer was moved to different churches.

Catholic priest arrested

TEXAS
News 4

Updated: Wednesday, September 17 2014

By Randy Escamilla SAN ANTONIO -- A San Antonio Catholic priest with the religious order Missionaries of the Holy Family has been arrested by the San Antonio Park Police Covert Operations Unit.

The arrest happened Monday in the City's Olmos Park. Police say Father Alberto Trevino, 63, exposed himself to an undercover officer.

San Antonio Police Department Spokesman Sgt. Javier Salazar previously worked as an undercover officer arresting men for sex crimes in the city's parks.

Former teacher accused of abuse arrested again

KENTUCKY
WLKY

PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. —A former Louisville Catholic school teacher and football coach who faces sex abuse charges in Jefferson County was arrested again Sunday evening in Pulaski County.

According to the Pulaski County Jail website, Dale Anderson was arrested Sunday on charges of second-degree sodomy, first-degree sodomy and first-degree sexual abuse.

Anderson, who now lives in Somerset, was arrested last month in Louisville and accused of abusing a student between the ages of 11 and 14 sometime between 1981 and 1993. At the time, he was a teacher at St. Raphael and a football coach for Trinity.

Former youth minister faces abuse charges

ALABAMA/TEXAS
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

A former Southern Baptist youth minister arrested Aug. 20 in Texas on a warrant has returned to Alabama to face charges of sexual abuse.

Charles “Kyle” Adcock, 31, appeared Sept. 12 in Colbert County District Court in Tuscumbia, Ala. He waived extradition from Frisco, Texas, and was transferred to Alabama on Wednesday, according to local media.

Adcock is charged with 22 counts of second-degree rape and nine counts of second-degree sodomy stemming from his time as youth minister at Woodward Avenue Baptist Church in Muscle Shoals, Ala.

Police say Adcock had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a girl in the church youth group between 2010 and 2012 beginning when she was 14. The alleged victim, now an adult, claims the incidents occurred at the church, Adcock’s home and a third location.

St. Thomas professor sued for child abuse resigns

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Sep 17, 2014

The Rev. Michael Keating, who was sued for alleged child sex abuse last year, has resigned from his position as a Catholic Studies professor at the University of St. Thomas, according to a statement published Tuesday on the university's website.

Keating had been on a leave of absence since October 2013.

"After careful consideration of my current situation in light of my employment options and long-standing goals, I have decided to resign my faculty position with the University of St. Thomas effective immediately," Keating wrote in his resignation letter, according to the statement. "I have greatly enjoyed my time at the university and take with me fond memories of the St. Thomas community."

A university spokesman declined to comment.

The university's statement does not refer to the abuse allegations against Keating. They became public in October 2013, when a woman sued the priest, claiming that he sexually abused her in the late 1990s when she was about 13 to 15 years old. The lawsuit remains unresolved.

Bangor Priest Appears in Court on Child Porn Charges

MAINE
WABI

[with video]

By John Krinjak

A Bangor priest accused of possessing child pornography made his first court appearance Wednesday.

We also learned that he may also have had sexual contact with children in Bangor.

52-year-old Adam Metropoulos has been suspended from his duties at St. George Greek Orthodox Church after his arrest this week on child porn and violation of privacy charges.

The investigation began after a woman told police she was photographed while taking a shower at the priest’s home.

Penobscot County Deputy District Attorney Michael Roberts says they found child porn on a computer in the home and Metropoulos also admitted to having sexual contact with children in Bangor.

“During the context of this investigation, when the police interviewed him, he acknowledged that a few years ago he had touched a couple of teenaged boys,” said Roberts.

University of St. Thomas professor accused of abusing girl resigns

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: September 17, 2014

The Rev. Michael Keating said he was resigning in light of "employment options and long-standing goals."

The Rev. Michael Keating, sued last year for allegedly sexually abusing a Twin Cities girl more than a decade ago, has resigned from his teaching position at the University of St. Thomas.

Keating, a full-time faculty member in the Department of Catholic Studies at St. Thomas since 2005, took a leave of absence last fall.

The university website posted his letter of resignation Tuesday.

“After careful consideration of my current situation in light of my employment options and long-standing goals, I have decided to resign my faculty position with the University of St. Thomas effective immediately,” wrote Keating.

“I have greatly enjoyed my time at the university and take with me fond memories of the St. Thomas community,” Keating wrote.

Ireland's Lost Babies, review: 'a heartbreaking, unholy mess'

IRELAND
Telegraph (UK)

The sinister side of the Catholic Church was laid bare in Martin Sixsmith's documentary about Irish mothers whose babies were taken from them, says Michael Hogan

4 out of 5 stars

By Michael Hogan 17 Sep 2014

I’m probably the wrong person to review This World: Ireland’s Lost Babies (BBC Two). As a new-ish father, I’ve become enormously soppy, especially when it comes to emotional stories about parents and children – welling up during the news, dabbing my eyes at adverts, snivelling in an undignified manner during episodes of ITV’s Long Lost Family. Must be hormones or something. I’m also half-Irish (full name: the none-more-Irish Michael Joseph Hogan), just to throw some extra emotion into the equation. So it was with some trepidation that I sat down to watch journalist Martin Sixsmith’s companion documentary to last year’s feature film Philomena.

That Bafta-winning, Oscar-nominated Hollywood production, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, dramatised Sixsmith’s efforts to to help Philomena Lee find her long-lost son Anthony, taken from her as a baby in the Fifties by the Catholic church and sent off to America for adoption. Naturally, that had me in floods too.

This follow-up saw the silvery, sincere Sixsmith meeting other Philomena figures and illuminating the wider story. He travelled across Ireland and America to hear touching stories of lives irrevocably changed, while investigating the Catholic Church’s role in a huge, horrible adoption racket which saw thousands of “illegitimate” children taken from their “fallen” mothers and packed off abroad, often with generous donations to the Church flowing in the other direction. Buying and selling babies by another name.

Bail set at $100,000 for suspended Bangor priest ...

MAINE
Bangor Daily News

Bail set at $100,000 for suspended Bangor priest charged with possession of child pornography

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Sept. 17, 2014

BANGOR, Maine — A district court judge set bail Wednesday at $100,000 cash or surety for the suspended Greek Orthodox priest arrested earlier this week on charges that he allegedly possessed child pornography and surreptitiously photographed a woman taking a shower in his bathroom.

Bail for Adam Metropoulos, 52, of Bangor originally was set at $10,000 cash. Since his arrest Monday, he has been held at the Penobscot County Jail unable to post bail.

Judge John Lucy set the bail recommended by Michael P. Roberts, deputy district attorney for Penobscot County, and Metropoulos’ attorney, Marvin Glazier. Lucy said the bail could be reviewed at a later date.

Conditions include no unauthorized contact with minors, no Internet access and not possessing a device that can take photographs.

Metropoulos is next due in court on Nov. 5.

Roberts said outside the courthouse after Metropoulos’ first court appearance that the high bail was warranted given the suspended priest’s 1983 conviction on a sex charge in Michigan and his admission to police that a few years ago, he “touched two 15-year-old boys inappropriately.”

The prosecutor also said that, so far, no sexually explicit photos or videos of local children had been found on Metropoulos’ computer.

DC- Catholic officials meet behind closed doors re abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com )

Today, despite repeated pledges of “openness and transparency,” in a gathering closed to the public and to journalists, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is co-sponsoring a meeting that we suspect will largely focus on the church's on-going clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis.

This week, the International Congress of Canon Law gathers at Catholic University in Washington DC to discuss “Crime and Punishment: Nature, Problems and Perspectives of Canonical Penal Law and Its Relation to Civil Law.”

According to the group's website, “The conference is an academic conference and is not open to the press.”

This is a key component of the crisis in a nutshell: Catholic officials meet in private with other Catholic officials to discuss how Catholic officials should deal with child molesting clerics (and perhaps, with complicit church supervisors). We hope the USCCB and the ICCL will quickly reconsider their decision to keep their deliberations private.

Catholic officials have held thousands of meetings about this crisis. But words and discussion won't fix it. Only decisive action will protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded. What is needed is clear: those who commit and conceal clergy sex crimes must be quickly and publicly exposed, disciplined, and turned over to law enforcement. Catholic officials must post names of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics on their websites. They must personally and promptly go to every parish where sex offender clerics worked, publicly name them, and beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered their crimes to call police and get help.

They must demote, not promote, their colleagues and employees who endanger kids by protecting predators, through acts of omission or commission. They must lobby for – not against – reforms to archaic, arbitrary and predator-friendly secular statutes of limitations.

The event began today at 8.00 a.m. at Catholic University of America and runs through Sept. 21. Participants are apparently staying at the Double Tree Hotel, 8727 Colesville Road in Silver Spring.

Victims urge archbishop to withdraw challenge

CONNECTICUT
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

He's trying to overturn “great” child safety law, they say
SNAP to prelate: “Stop protecting predators & hurting kids”
Group urges him to drop appeal before state Supreme Court
Hearing is set for Sept. 22 in pedophile priest/cover up lawsuit
They prod Catholic officials to post names of child molesting clerics

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will
–blast Hartford's Catholic archbishop for trying to overturn a state law that protects kids and exposes predators,
–reverse himself and drop his appeal to the state's highest court, and
–safeguard children by posting predator priests' names on parish and archdiocesan websites.

WHEN
Thursday, Sept. 18 at 1:00 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the Supreme Court building, 231 Capitol Avenue (corner of Lafayette St.) in Hartford CT

WHO
Eight-ten men and women who are abuse victims and members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including an Ohio woman who exposed clergy sex crimes and cover ups by Hartford's archbishop when he headed the Toledo diocese for a decade (2003-2013)

WHY
Hartford's Catholic archbishop is asking the Connecticut Supreme Court to make it much harder for victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to protect children, inside and outside of the church. He wants the justices to toss out a widely-praised 12 year old state law that gives victims more time to expose those who commit and conceal child sex crimes through civil litigation.

In 2002, Connecticut lawmakers extended the statute of limitations, letting child sex abuse victims to take legal action against their predators and employers who shield them until they turn 48 years of age. (Since 2002, lawmakers have extended it even further.)

Archbishop Leonard Blair - and his predecessor Archbishop Henry Mansell - claim that the statute was unconstitutional, based on the 'due process' clause of the state constitution.

“Two months ago, Pope Francis said the church should 'make reparations” to victims and “All bishops must (exercise) the utmost care in order to help foster the protection of minors,'” said David Clohessy, director of SNAP. “But Blair is doing the reverse. And worse, if he wins, he'll be enabling child molesters in all settings to remain under the radar and keep sexually assaulting kids.”

[NPR]

In 2012, a jury found Hartford Archdiocese officials negligent and reckless in handling abuse reports against Fr. Ivan Ferguson and awarded a victim a $1 million judgment (which includes $300,000 in punitive damages). Fr. Ferguson admitted his crimes. But Blair also wants to overturn this verdict.

Fr. Ferguson has been accused before. In 1993, three men filed civil abuse and cover up lawsuits charging that they were molested by Fr. Ferguson in the1970s and that archdiocesan staff could and should have prevented the crimes.

Two were settled. In 2002, Ferguson was still a priest but had no ministerial or teaching duties. At least two cases against Ferguson were included in a 2005 $14 million settlement with Archdiocese involving 14 predator priests. At least five other cases against Fr. Ferguson have been filed since then.

From 1985 to 1993, Ferguson worked as a chaplain at Hartford Hospital. He is now deceased.2002

During his ten years as head of an Ohio diocese, SNAP charges that Blair similarly fought against statue of limitations reform there.

Finally, SNAP is urging Blair to post on his archdiocesan website the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of the 33 publicly accused child molesting clerics who are or have been in the Hartford Archdiocese. Roughly 30 US bishops (including Bridgeport's) have done this. In SNAP's view, this is “the bare minimum” Catholic officials should do.

“Since bishops recruited, educated, ordained, hired, trained and transferred thousands of predator priests, the least they can do – to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded- is disclose who and where these offenders are,” said Clohessy.

[BishopAccountability.org]

[BishopAccountability.org]

The victim is represented by New Haven attorneys Tom McNamara (203 782 9241, tmacesq@gmail.com) and Hugh Hughes (203 683 1772). Over the past 22 years, McNamara has handled dozens of child sex abuse and cover up cases. The archdiocese is represented by John W. Sitarz (860 527 1141) and Wesley Horton (860 522 8338).

CONTACT
David Clohessy 314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com, Claudia Vercellotti 419 345 9291, SNAPtoledo@gmail.com, Beth McCabe 860 335 8187 thirdmccabe@comcast.net, Jim Hackett 203 710 0968 SNAPct@cotse.net

Greek Orthodox priest from Bangor held on $100K bail on child pornography charges

MAINE
Daily Journal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: September 17, 2014

BANGOR, Maine — A judge has ordered a Greek Orthodox priest held on $100,000 bail on a charge of possessing child pornography.

Deputy District Attorney Mike Roberts said Wednesday that police originally began investigating 52-year-old Adam Metropoulos when a woman complained that he'd photographed or videotaped her without her knowledge while she was showering in the priest's parish-owned home in Bangor.

Roberts tells WZON-AM that Metropoulos acknowledged having child pornography on his computer, as well as having had inappropriate contact with a teenager in the past.

NE- Pastor accused of inappropriate touching

NEBRASKA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com )

A Nebraska pastor has been charged with sexual assault after allegedly inappropriately touching a teenage girl. We applaud this brave girl for reporting her abuse. Other children will be safer because she had the courage to speak up.

Clifton J. Wells has been the pastor at the Church of Jesus Christ for 26 years and is a retired Omaha firefighter.

We hope this girl’s bravery will encourage anyone else who might have been hurt by Wells to come forward, contact police, and start healing.

Officials at the Church of Jesus Christ should immediately alert parishioners about Wells arrest and beg anyone who saw, suspects, or suffered abuse to come forward and report to law enforcement.

Pope's advisers start first draft toward document overhauling Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis' international Council of Cardinals has begun creating the first draft of a new apostolic constitution that would implement a major reform of the Vatican bureaucracy.

The so-called C9, a papally appointed group of nine cardinal members, held its sixth meeting Sept 15-17 with Pope Francis at the Vatican to help advise him on the reform of the Vatican's organization and church governance.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters Sept. 17 that the series of discussions have now begun a more "concrete" phase with "putting ink on paper" in the form of a draft for the introduction to a new constitution.

"It may be assumed that, with the next two meetings of the council -- Dec. 9-11, 2014, and Feb. 9-11, 2015 -- the draft constitution will reach an advanced stage of preparation, making it possible for the pope to proceed with further consultations," the priest said in a written statement.

Vatican- Cardinal Burke to be ousted by Pope? Abuse victims respond

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com )

In what a noted Vatican journalist calls a “decapitation,” and “a move without precedent,” Cardinal Raymond Burke – who had a very sorry tenure running the St. Louis archdiocese (2003-2008), “is on the verge of being demoted” from head of the church's highest court to a “purely honorary role” and an “ecclesiastically very modest title” at “the behest of Pope Francis.”

Even a staunch Burke defender says this demotion is “likely”.

“If confirmed,” writes veteran church observer Sandro Magister, “Burke would be completely removed from the curia and employed in a purely honorary position without any influence on the governance of the universal Church.”

Magister also wrote “On December 16, in effect, Pope Francis humiliated Burke by crossing him off from among the members of the congregation” and now “seems right at the point of giving the go-ahead for Burke's second and more grave demotion.”

We are reminded of Martin Luther King's remark that “The moral arc of the universe is long but it bends towards justice.” It is just that Burke's long troubling rise within the Catholic hierarchy has come to an end. The church will be safer and healthier as a result. Children will be better protected. And dozens of child sex abuse victims – in LaCrosse and St. Louis and elsewhere – will be comforted by the fact that such a cold-hearted prelate will have less influence.

We were sad when Pope Benedict promoted Burke to his post in Rome, one of a long string of bishops who ignored and concealed child sex crimes yet were rewarded by Vatican officials.

While in St. Louis, Burke was often reckless, deceptive and callous regarding predator priests, vulnerable kids and wounded victims. He expanded the troubling practice of importing sexually troubled priests from across the US, letting some of them work in local parishes and letting others stay in church facilities that are secretive and careless about public safety.

MN- “Most abusive Twin Cities priest” also worked in New Ulm; SNAP responds

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

Statement by Verne Wagner of Duluth, Northeast MN (Duluth, MN & Superior, WI) SNAP director ( 218- 340-1277, lwagsmn@yahoo.com )

According to just-released church records, for almost 60 years, numerous Minnesota Catholic officials concealed the crimes of a predator priest who:

– was at a church retreat house in Nevis, Minn., that let him say weekend masses at nearby parishes even though center staff had been warning in writing that he had molested children, and

– was returned to ministry as a chaplain at a nursing home in 1969 in Ivanhoe in the New Ulm diocese. (This fact had not been reported previously.)

We urge New Ulm Bishop John M. LeVoir to aggressively seek out anyone who may have been sexually assaulted by Fr. Louis Heitzer.

A Twin Cities Catholic official, Fr. Kevin McDonough, wrote in 2002 that Fr. Heitzer was “‘perhaps the most abusive priest ever to be part of this Archdiocese’ abusing kids ‘every place he went.’”

Papillion pastor accused of inappropriately touching teenage girl

NEBRASKA
KETV

[with video]

BELLEVUE, Neb. —A Papillion pastor is accused of sexual assault of a child.

It's an update to our report Monday on Clifton Wells, who's named in a criminal complaint by the Sarpy County Attorney's Office.

Prosecutors allege Wells inappropriately touched a 14-year-old girl several times.

The alleged incidents took place in July, when Wells gave the girl a ride to pick up a job application.

According to a court affidavit, the girl said Wells told her, "I am not going to treat you like a 14-year-old; I am going to treat you like a 17- or 18-year-old."

Wells told investigators he was counseling the girl because she was misbehaving at school, telling her he was going to "speak" to her like a 17- or 18-year-old. He said any contact with her was incidental during their conversation.

Warrant Issued in Sexual Assault Case

NEBRASKA
WOWT

[with video]

An arrest warrant has been issued for pastor Clifton Wells after he allegedly sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl.

In August, the girl's mother sought a protection order against Wells. That order was denied by Judge William Zastera.

Since then, the Sarpy County Attorney's office did file an arrest warrant and Judge Stefanie Martinez agreed to it.

Wells was the pastor of the Church of Jesus Christ (not affiliated with the Latter Day Saints).

Pastor accused of inappropriately touching Bellevue girl, 14

NEBRASKA
World-Herald

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2014
By Emily Nohr / World-Herald staff writer

A pastor who lives in Papillion has been charged with third-degree sexual assault of a child after he was accused of inappropriately touching a parishioner’s daughter, according to authorities.

According to a felony arrest warrant issued in Sarpy County, Clifton J. Wells, 61, is accused of touching the 14-year-old Bellevue girl in July while driving her to pick up a job application at a sandwich shop.

Upon the girl’s return home, according to the warrant, she told her mother about the incident, and her mother called Child Protective Services, which took a report and advised her to contact law enforcement.

According to the warrant, Wells is a pastor at a small church called the Church of Jesus Christ, which the mother told authorities is not affiliated with Latter-day Saints.

Omaha-area pastor charged in child sex case

NEBRASKA
Press & Dakotan

PAPILLION, Neb. (AP) — A 61-year-old Omaha-area pastor has been charged with felony sexual assault of a child.

Sarpy County prosecutors say Clifton Wells, of Papillion (puh-PIHL'-yuhn) inappropriately touched a 14-year-old girl several times in July when he gave the girl a ride to pick up a job application. Wells told investigators he'd been counseling the girl about her misbehavior at school, and he denied that any sexual assault occurred.

"See No Evil" is Spiritual Blindness

UNITED STATES
Waiting for Godot to Leave

Kevin O'Brien

I wrote this to some readers the other day ...

I'm beginning to suspect that when we catch wind of something wrong in the lives of our friends or associates, it's quite likely far worse than we suspect. People soft pedal their sins all the time, even to themselves. In our lack of faith and naivete, we say, "Oh, these priests wouldn't be child molesters," when in fact they may be evil to the core. They may not be, but it is only our fear and squeamishness that keeps us from seeing what may be the truth. It is only our lack of trust in God that prevents us from confronting the enormity of the darkness in our own lives and in the lives of others.

In other words, since we don't trust God to redeem and rescue us, even from the thickest of muck and mire, we put on our rose colored glasses and pretend that everything's OK. But sometimes things are so much more sordid and corrupt than we can imagine, and sometimes hell is hotter than we think.

The following examples illustrate this. These are all people I've known, though I've changed the names to conceal their identities.

* All the kids in junior high and high school made fun of Frank for being "gay". He was a friend of mine, and I knew he was effeminate, but after we graduated, he finally admitted the truth. Not only was he "gay", he had been having anonymous sex with men through the "glory hole" in the men's room stall at the truck stop, ever since he had gotten a job there as a bus boy at the age of 14. Dozens of times a day for many years.

ME- Priest charged with child pornography; he was convicted in Michigan

MAINE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Statement by Melanie Jula Sakoda of Moraga,CA, Orthodox Christian Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 925-708-6175, melanie.sakoda@gmail.com )

A former Brookline, MA seminarian, who was convicted of a sex crime in Michigan in 1983, has been arrested again in Maine and accused of possessing child pornography.

Father Adam Metropoulos has been charged with possessing child pornography and photographing a woman without her permission.

The clergyman was suspended “from all priestly duties” by his bishop yesterday. However, Metropoulos had been employed by Saint George Greek Orthodox Church in Bangor, Maine, from September 2001, until yesterday.

Before attending Holy Cross Seminary, Metropoulos worked as a high school chemistry teacher in Maine from 1990-1997.

We urge church officials to use their positions to reach out to the Greek communities in Bangor and Brookline and beg anyone who experienced, witnessed or suspected Metropoulos of sex crimes to contact the police.

We also urge the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the jurisdiction to which Saint George belongs, immediately open an investigation into how someone with a prior sex offense was allowed to both enroll in seminary and obtain a position of authority in the Church.

Former Crandall associate youth pastor arrested for indecency with a child

TEXAS
In Forney

CRANDALL, Texas – A former Crandall, Texas, associate youth pastor was arrested last week in Dallas County for indecency with a child by sexual contact.

67-year-old Steven Gray, a former associate youth pastor at the Lord's House of Prayer in Crandall, Texas, was arrested on September 8, 2014, for indecency with a child by sexual contact of a then-11-year-old boy at his south Dallas trailer home in the Pecan Lake Estates mobile home park. The boy and Gray allegedly met at the church.

According to Dallas County investigators speaking with Fox 4 News, who first broke the story, Gray left the church approximately three years ago after serving approximately 30 years. The incident is believed to have happened in 2009.

Texas youth pastor accused of molesting 11-year-old boy who wanted to ‘earn’ cowboy hat

TEXAS
The Raw Story

DAVID FERGUSON
17 SEP 2014

A 67-year-old former associate pastor at a Texas Christian church is accused of repeatedly molesting a then-11-year-old boy.

According to My Fox Dallas-Ft. Worth, former youth pastor Stephen Gray is accused of repeatedly molesting a boy from his congregation at Gray’s trailer in a mobile home park in south Dallas.

The boy, now 16, told his mother and family friend John Hall about the molestation, which took place over the course of a summer.

The boy, who knew Gray from Sunday school classes at the Lord’s House of Prayer in Crandall, apparently began to make daily visits to Gray’s trailer in the summer of 2009.

In Gray’s arrest warrant, the boy reportedly “started going over to [Gray's] residence on a daily basis…On one of these visits, the boy asked about a cowboy hat and [Gray] said if he wanted that hat, he would have to earn it.”

Archdiocese of Sydney dumps George Pell’s sex abuse verdict

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

SEPTEMBER 18, 2014

Dan Box
Crime Reporter
Sydney

THE Catholic archdiocese of Sydney has overturned the findings of a Vatican inquiry, conducted under its previous archbishop ­George Pell, which attacked the credibility of alleged child abuse victims and said they may have “fabricated” their claims of abuse by a priest.

A “definitive final ­decree”, written by Cardinal Pell’s interim successor, Bishop Peter Comensoli, found “with moral certainty” that the alleged victims were abused at a boarding school during the 1970s, as they claimed.

Evidence available to the initial inquiry but not mentioned in the previous decree suggested a “pattern of allegations and admissions” about the priest that “substantially undermines the credibility of his claim to innocence,” Bishop Comensoli found.

His final decree, issued this month, also raised “significant doubts” over the conclusions of the three senior Australian clerics appointed by Cardinal Pell to carry out the original investigation.

MN- “Most abusive Twin Cities priest” also worked in Crookston; SNAP responds

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014

Statement by Verne Wagner of Duluth, Northeast MN (Duluth, MN & Superior, WI) SNAP director ( 218- 340-1277, lwagsmn@yahoo.com )

According to just-released church records, for almost 60 years, numerous Minnesota Catholic officials concealed the crimes of a predator priest who worked in the Crookston diocese.

It's not news that Fr. Louis Heitzer was a prolific pedophile. However, his work in the Crookston diocese was not disclosed until yesterday.

We urge Crookston Bishop Michael Hoeppner to aggressively seek out anyone who may have been sexually assaulted by Fr. Heitzer.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that Fr. Heitzer was at a church retreat house in Nevis, MN, that “allowed Heitzer to preside over weekend Masses at nearby parishes,” even though center staff had been warned in writing that he had molested children.

A Twin Cities Catholic official, Fr. Kevin McDonough, wrote in 2002 that Fr. Heitzer was “‘perhaps the most abusive priest ever to be part of this Archdiocese’ abusing kids ‘every place he went.’”

In Bishop Hoeppner's diocese, we believe there may be eight or ten men who struggle in silence, shame, secrecy and self-doubt, living sad and lonely lives as they battle the life-long harm caused by childhood sexual trauma. They deserve comfort and consolation. They deserve a bishop who acts like a compassionate shepherd, not a cold-hearted CEO.

Bishop Hoeppner should use his diocesan websites, parish bulletins, and pulpit announcements to seek out and help anyone who may have been sexually assaulted by Fr. Heitzer or any other child molesting cleric in the Crookston area.