Abuse Tracker
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BishopAccountability.org – Documenting the Abuse Crisis

November 18, 2017

Abuse by priests is not due to celibacy, says Vatican expert

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Independent

November 18, 2017

By Sarah MacDonald

Celibacy cannot be blamed for clerical sex abuse because the average perpetrator does not commit the crime for up to 20 years after entering the priesthood, according to a top Vatican expert.

Professor Hans Zollner, a member of the Vatican's Commission for the Protection of Minors, said "celibacy as such is not the problem" because the average age of clerical paedophiles is 39. If were a problem, the age would be closer to that when priests take their vows, which is usually in their twenties.

The "biggest risk", he warned, was when "celibacy is not lived in an integrated way", and when priests are not given the support they need for their priesthood, which can lead to isolation, spiritual difficulties and even addictions.

Prof Zollner was giving an address to a symposium on the formation of Catholic priests at the national seminary in Maynooth, Co Kildare.

Vatican looks into alleged altar boy abuse

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
Reuters via news.com.au

November 19, 2017

The Vatican is investigating reports a priest abused a dormitory mate when they were both altar boys and living in a residence at the St Pius X Institute.

The Vatican says it has opened an investigation into reports that a former teenage altar boy, who allegedly repeatedly forced a dormitory mate to have sex with him, went on to become a priest.

The allegations concerning the St Pius X Institute, known as a pre-seminary, were made in a recent book and in Italian television reports.

The pre-seminary is a residence inside the Vatican for altar boys who serve at masses in St Peter's Basilica mostly presided over by priests, bishops and cardinals. At times they also participate in papal liturgies.

Missbrauchsopfer von Fischingen: «Die Kirche ist mir eine Antwort schuldig»

THURGAU (SWITZERLAND)
Tagblatt

November 18, 2017

By Ida Sandl

[Google translation: Abuse victims of Fischingen: «The Church owes me an answer» His body suffers and so does the soul. The dark shadows of the past catch Walter Nowak again and again. Even after so many years and so far away, in Vienna, where he lives now. Nowak has publicized the abuse and ill-treatment in the children's home of the Fischingen Monastery. He lived from 1962 to 1972 in the children's home, it was a traumatic time.]

Sein Körper leidet und die Seele auch. Die dunklen Schatten der Vergangenheit holen Walter Nowak immer wieder ein. Selbst nach so vielen Jahren und so weit weg, in Wien, wo er jetzt lebt. Nowak hat den Missbrauch und die Misshandlungen im Kinderheim des Klosters Fischingen an die Öffentlichkeit gebracht. Er lebte von 1962 bis 1972 im Kinderheim, es sei eine traumatische Zeit gewesen.

Er fühlt sich nicht ernst genommen

Die alten Wunden sind wieder aufgerissen. Walter Nowak fühlt sich von der Katholischen Kirche nicht ernst genommen. «Ich bin für sie nach wie vor ein Mensch zweiter Klasse.» Drei Briefe hat er geschrieben. Zwei an die Schweizer Bischofskonferenz, ­einen an die Diözese Basel. Antwort habe er keine bekommen. Das nagt an ihm.

An die Diözese wandte sich Nowak, weil er vom Genugtuungsfonds für Opfer verjährter sexueller Übergriffe gehört hatte. In den eingeschriebenen Briefen an die Bischofskonferenz kritisiert er, dass die Kollekte des nationalen Kirchenopfertages im August 2015 für Missbrauchs­opfer verwendet wurde. Die Kirche solle für ihre Fehler gerade stehen und nicht die Gläubigen zur Kasse bitten, ist Nowak überzeugt. Den ersten Brief hat er im Sommer 2015 abgeschickt, den zweiten diesen Oktober. «Zumindest eine Antwort wäre mir die Kirche schuldig.»

The priest who shattered my faith in the Catholic Church

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
Irish Times

November 18, 2017

By Professor Chris Fitzpatrick

[Note: See also the Murphy Report, Chapter 32 on Fr Dominic Savio Boland OFM Cap.]

Prof Chris Fitzpatrick, a Catholic, on how a revelation of sex abuse changed firmly held beliefs

Other than its also being a revelation of cataclysmic proportions, my road-to-Damascus moment was very different from St Paul’s. I was not on a horse, galloping along some dusty road in the Middle East. I was at a pre-Christmas drinks party in south Co Dublin. I was not a persecutor of Christians; I was one of them myself – a practising Catholic to boot. Nor was God the recriminating injured party on this occasion. (“Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”) Instead it was the distressed voices of suffering children that I came to hear.

Unlike Saul, who changed his nom de guerre to Paul, I did not change mine; nor did I reinvent myself as a proselyte or epistle writer or even as a martyred saint. Unlike Paul, who, without a hint of concussion, was transformed into a believer and a follower, the faith I had tenaciously held, ever since my First Holy Communion, in the institutions of the Catholic Church was shattered in one fell swoop.

It was as if a stone had been hurled through the centre of my windscreen. I could no longer see where I was going. The curtain of the temple was torn in two, and the world was suddenly a much darker place.

Let me backtrack. A few weeks before the party, which took place in 2009, I happened to become involved in a conversation with some friends about the clerical sex abuse of children. In response to a general agreement that, sadly, no one would trust a priest (or any man, for that matter) to be alone with young children these days, I replied that I had the privilege, as a kid growing up in the Dublin of the 1960s and 1970s, of having come under the positive spiritual influence of a saintly cleric, a paragon of virtue, a man beyond reproach. Or so I thought.

Trial again postponed for Aurora priest accused of sex abuse of girls

AURORA (IL)
Beacon-News/Chicago Tribune

November 17, 2017

By Hannah Leone

The trial for an Aurora priest charged with sexually abusing girls at their Catholic church has been pushed back again, from November to February, while lawyers figure out whether the lead investigator on the case destroyed or withheld notes that could affect its outcome.

The investigator's resignation from the Kane County Child Advocacy Center has complicated legal proceedings involving his work, including that of Alfredo Pedraza Arias, a Colombia national whose lost his temporary religious worker visa after he was charged with sexually abusing two young girls at Sacred Heart Church in Aurora and one of the girls' homes between 2012 and 2014. Arias, 50, has pleaded not guilty to a five-count indictment.

Immigration officials first arrested Arias at the county's St. Charles courthouse while he was free on bond after a hearing in May; an immigration judge ordered him voluntarily deported in June; and prosecutors have sought a series of bail and custody orders in efforts to keep him here through trial. He's been back in the county jail since July 28.

Prosecutors were going to call the investigator as a witness but now aren't planning to, according to court filings.

November 17, 2017

Revealed: monk who abused children on 'crime free' Caldey Island for decades

CALDEY ISLAND (WALES)
The Guardian

November 17, 2017

By Amanda Gearing

Exclusive: Abuse by a monk who preyed on girls on a tiny island off the coast of Wales was covered up in the 70s and 80s

Summer holidays on Caldey Island were seemingly idyllic. The tiny island off the Welsh Coast at Tenby is a place of beauty and holiness, with bluebell woods, clifftop walks, tea gardens and picturesque beaches. Pilgrims come for religious retreat, staying in the island’s cottages, joining the monks in prayer at the imposing Italianate Abbey of Our Lady and St Samson.

In November last year Caldey Island’s reputation for quaint charm was shored up by reports of the “only crime in living memory” to be investigated by police – when a father hit his seven-year-old son for misbehaving in the chocolate shop. The father faced court and got a fine; the monks were reported to be “concerned” about the island’s “crime of the century”.

For Emily those news reports were like a “punch in the stomach”. Some of her earliest memories are of an altogether more serious crime: being sexually abused by one of the monks, a predator called Father Thaddeus Kotik.

#MeToo: Women Who Never Told Of Sexual Abuse Are Now Breaking The Silence

FALMOUTH (MA)
The Enterprise

November 17, 2017

By Karen B. Hunter

Editor's Note
Warning! This column is very disturbing. It is a collection of firsthand accounts of women who were victims of sexual harassment, abuse and rape along the lines of the #metoo movement. They are stories of encounters that upended lives, even devastated lives. Be prepared; it is not easy reading.

We asked volunteers to step forward through referrals. Some who stepped forwarded referred others. The victims are anonymous but they are women who live on the Upper Cape.

While the column gives accounts from women only and women are certainly more vulnerable, men are among victims, too. We received a letter not long ago from a man who as a college student was a member of the College Light Opera Company. A director at the time forcefully pressed himself on him for a sexual encounter and denied him a role he wanted when he refused the advances. We did not publish the letter because it names the perpetrator, and newspapers, unlike Facebook, must be concerned with libel laws. Another story involves a young man who was hitchhiking many years ago and was picked up by an older man who was drinking and talked of forcing sex on boys. He was dropped off before the incident escalated, but it had lasting impact nonetheless.

The incidents related on the next page range widely in the age of the victims, in details and in severity. There is no thread that might lead to any sort of solution or resolution. But, with hope, publishing the accounts will help them and others heal, raise awareness, and allow for greater understanding.

Women are posting messages on social media to show how commonplace sexual assault, harassment and exploitation are, using the hashtag #MeToo to express that they, too, have been victims.

In the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct toward women by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, actress Alyssa Milano posted an invitation on her Twitter account asking women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted to type #MeToo.

Her intention, she said, was to reveal the extent of the problem and to shift the focus from the perpetrators to the victims.

Within weeks, millions of women around the world have said, MeToo—on social media, with friends and families, in articles, and behind microphones.

“I don’t know a single woman who can’t say ‘Me, too,’ ” said Meaghan E. Mort of Marstons Mills, who was among a group of female victims of sexual abuse who confronted Barnstable County Commissioner Ron Beaty at the commissioners’ meeting last week after he dismissed #MeToo as a “bunch of nonsense.”

Ms. Mort’s message, and the confrontation itself, spotlight the fact that stories of sexual harassment and abuse—and some people’s dismissive attitude toward them—are a painful fact of life.

“The most significant thing about this powerful movement is that it is bringing light to the extent of sexual violence, assault, and rape in our culture,” said Lysetta Hurge-Putnam, executive director of Independence House, a Cape Cod-based resource, counseling, and advocacy center that works to address and prevent domestic and sexual violence. “These women have kept their stories to themselves and kept secret. It is a personal, painful thing for most people. But we really need to hear, listen, and believe these stories.”

#MeToo: Women Who Never Told Of Sexual Abuse Are Now Breaking The Silence

FALMOUTH (MA)
The Enterprise

November 17, 2017

By Karen B. Hunter

Editor's Note
Warning! This column is very disturbing. It is a collection of firsthand accounts of women who were victims of sexual harassment, abuse and rape along the lines of the #metoo movement. They are stories of encounters that upended lives, even devastated lives. Be prepared; it is not easy reading.

We asked volunteers to step forward through referrals. Some who stepped forwarded referred others. The victims are anonymous but they are women who live on the Upper Cape.

While the column gives accounts from women only and women are certainly more vulnerable, men are among victims, too. We received a letter not long ago from a man who as a college student was a member of the College Light Opera Company. A director at the time forcefully pressed himself on him for a sexual encounter and denied him a role he wanted when he refused the advances. We did not publish the letter because it names the perpetrator, and newspapers, unlike Facebook, must be concerned with libel laws. Another story involves a young man who was hitchhiking many years ago and was picked up by an older man who was drinking and talked of forcing sex on boys. He was dropped off before the incident escalated, but it had lasting impact nonetheless.

The incidents related on the next page range widely in the age of the victims, in details and in severity. There is no thread that might lead to any sort of solution or resolution. But, with hope, publishing the accounts will help them and others heal, raise awareness, and allow for greater understanding.

Women are posting messages on social media to show how commonplace sexual assault, harassment and exploitation are, using the hashtag #MeToo to express that they, too, have been victims.

In the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct toward women by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, actress Alyssa Milano posted an invitation on her Twitter account asking women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted to type #MeToo.

Her intention, she said, was to reveal the extent of the problem and to shift the focus from the perpetrators to the victims.

Within weeks, millions of women around the world have said, MeToo—on social media, with friends and families, in articles, and behind microphones.

“I don’t know a single woman who can’t say ‘Me, too,’ ” said Meaghan E. Mort of Marstons Mills, who was among a group of female victims of sexual abuse who confronted Barnstable County Commissioner Ron Beaty at the commissioners’ meeting last week after he dismissed #MeToo as a “bunch of nonsense.”

Ms. Mort’s message, and the confrontation itself, spotlight the fact that stories of sexual harassment and abuse—and some people’s dismissive attitude toward them—are a painful fact of life.

“The most significant thing about this powerful movement is that it is bringing light to the extent of sexual violence, assault, and rape in our culture,” said Lysetta Hurge-Putnam, executive director of Independence House, a Cape Cod-based resource, counseling, and advocacy center that works to address and prevent domestic and sexual violence. “These women have kept their stories to themselves and kept secret. It is a personal, painful thing for most people. But we really need to hear, listen, and believe these stories.”

"Abusò di tre bambini della parrocchia". Definitiva la condanna per don Elice

ITALY
la Repubblica

November 16, 2017

[Google Translate: For four years he has abused three children in his parish. Everything began at the pilgrimage to Medjugorje. The little ones were 9.11 and 13 years old. The Court of Cassation has confirmed the condemnation of Fr Roberto Elice, six years and four months. Until November 2014, the priest was the parish priest of the Most Holy Assumption Church in via Perpignano. Heavy the controversy that he was moved, reiterated by the lawyer Antonella Arcoleo, who formed a civilian party representing one of the minors.]

Sei anni e quattro mesi di carcere. Una delle vittime si è costituita parte civile

Per quattro anni ha abusato di tre bambini della sua parrocchia. Tutto cominciò al pellegrinaggio a Medjugorje. I piccoli avevano 9,11 e 13 anni. La Corte di Cassazione ha confermato la condanna per don Roberto Elice, a sei anni e quattro mesi. Fino al novembre 2014, il sacerdote era il parroco della Chiesa Maria Santissima Assunta di via Perpignano. Pesante la contestazione che gli è stata mossa, ribadita dall'avvocato Antonella Arcoleo, che si è costituita parte civile in rappresentanza di uno dei minori.

Già nell’ottobre 2014, don Roberto aveva informato dei suoi problemi la Curia, il cardinale Paolo Romeo lo aveva subito sostituito, evidentemente cogliendo la gravità della situazione. Ma nessuna segnalazione, nessuna denuncia, è mai partita dal Palazzo Arcivescovile in direzione della procura, che già indagava sul sacerdote dal mese di aprile del 2014, da quando una donna, la mamma dei fratellini di 9 e 11 anni, aveva raccolto il drammatico racconto di uno di loro. Mesi difficili per i poliziotti della sezione minori della squadra mobile, che cercavano riscontri al racconto dei fratellini. Scavando nelle ferite di quella parrocchia, i poliziotti, dopo i due fratellini, hanno scoperto che pure un altro ragazzino aveva subito. Oggi è maggiorenne. La sua deposizione ha aperto un altro scenario drammatico. Don Roberto gli aveva regalato un telefonino per comprare il suo silenzio.

"Una scelta coraggiosa - dice l'avvocato Arcoleo - è stata quella dei genitori che si sono costituiti parte civile. Una scelta di grande forza, per arrivare alla verità".

Senator Al Franken Kissed and Groped Me Without My Consent, And There’s Nothing Funny About It

LOS ANGELES (CA)
790 KABC

November 16, 2017

By Leeann Tweeden

In December of 2006, I embarked on my ninth USO Tour to entertain our troops, my eighth to the Middle East since the 9/11 attacks. My father served in Vietnam and my then-boyfriend (and now husband, Chris) is a pilot in the Air Force, so bringing a ‘little piece of home’ to service members stationed far away from their families was both my passion and my privilege.

Also on the trip were country music artists Darryl Worley, Mark Wills, Keni Thomas, and some cheerleaders from the Dallas Cowboys. The headliner was comedian and now-senator, Al Franken.

Franken had written some skits for the show and brought props and costumes to go along with them. Like many USO shows before and since, the skits were full of sexual innuendo geared toward a young, male audience.

As a TV host and sports broadcaster, as well as a model familiar to the audience from the covers of FHM, Maxim and Playboy, I was only expecting to emcee and introduce the acts, but Franken said he had written a part for me that he thought would be funny, and I agreed to play along.

Hartford Archdiocese Given Poor Grade For Financial Transparency

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

November 16, 2017

By Ken Byron

A watchdog group has rated the Archdiocese of Hartford as one of the worst in the country for how much financial information it posts online in a just-released nationwide study of the Catholic Church.

The study, done by the international watchdog group Voice of the Faithful, said the archdiocese in Hartford did not do things that should be routine, like posting audited financial statements and information on the weekly collections that are a key source of church revenue. The study was done over the summer and covered 177 dioceses and archdioceses throughout the U.S. Voice of the Faithful, which focuses on the Catholic Church, announced the results of its survey on Thursday.

Hartford scored 17 points out of a possible 60 on a 10-question survey. That puts Hartford third from the bottom out of the 32 archdioceses in the survey, above Portland, Ore., and Mobile, Ala. The survey looked at dioceses as well. The Diocese of Bridgeport received a score of 55, and the Diocese of Norwich got a 19, according to an overview of the survey.

Archdiocese officials could not be reached for comment on Thursday. Voice of the Faithful spokesman Nick Ingala said there are easy fixes for a low score.

“It’s pretty simple,” Ingala said. “Most non-profits and corporations make financial statements readily available on their websites. That is what we would like to see archdioceses and dioceses do, and also publish guidelines for parish collections. Most of the church’s money comes from parishioners’ donations and they have a right to know where their money is going.”

Why we still don't understand sex abuse

MENDHAM (NJ)
The Record

November 17, 2017

By Mike Kelly

His name was Jim and he was a victim of sexual abuse. I thought of him this week amid the continuing stream of revelations of all manner of sexual harassment and outright attacks by powerful men against younger women.

In most of the recent sexual abuse cases involving women, the revelations of what happened to them have been met with justifiable anger against the perpetrators and welcoming support for the victims. But hovering on the edge of this national discussion is a strangely persistent and creepy criticism: Why did it take the women so long to speak up?

This is why I thought of Jim.

Jim Kelly, who is not related to me, lived in Mendham and worked for a telecommunications firm. Before dawn, on a Sunday in October 2003, he left his home and drove to the railroad station in nearby Morristown. As a Hoboken-bound train rolled into the station around 5:15 a.m., Jim sat down on the tracks. He died instantly as the train rolled over him. He was 37.

Why Jim Kelly took his own life was hardly a mystery to those who knew him well. His family and friends said the answer was obvious. As a boy, Jim had been regularly abused by the Catholic pastor of his hometown parish, St. Joseph’s Church in Mendham. Jim never got over the enduring emotional pain that ultimately handcuffed his life.

Assignment History– Rev. Ronald Sam Gilardi, O.F.M. Cap.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Ronald Sam Gilardi was ordained for the Capuchin Franciscans in 1988. He taught at St. Thomas More Prep - Marian High School in Hays, Kansas until 1996, which shared an address with the Capuchins' St. Bonaventure Friary. He resided there until 1995. In 1996 Gilardi was moved to Victoria, Kansas, where he was involved with the Capuchin Center for Spiritual Life and, from 1997-2000, he was the sole priest at St. Catharine's in Catharine, Kansas.

In June 2000 Gilardi was arrested after a report was filed that he had sexually abused a 14-year-old male St. Thomas More Prep - Marian High student in 1993-1994. The boy was a boarder from Texas. Charges included criminal sodomy and indecent liberties with a child. His victim said Gilardi plied him with tobacco, alcohol and pornography. Gilardi pleaded guilty to the indecent liberties charge; he was ordered to spend 32 months in a treatment facility, followed by five years' probation. His order sent him to the Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer, Missouri.

As of November 2017 Gilardi appears to have been registered as a Missouri Sex Offender. His last known address is that of the RECON/Wounded Brothers Project in Robertsville, Missouri.

Dark Canyon: Examining NM’s problem with pedophile priests [with audio]

SANTA FE (NM)
KSFR

November 15, 2017

By Dave Marash

The role of a priest, in the Catholic Church and other religions is that of a mediator, a connector, a communicator of that state of grace known as the Holy Spirit that puts man in touch with God. He is a kind of religious middle man, if you will, between the laity, the ordinary believers of a Churchly congregation and God.

Thus, when a priest abuses members of his congregation, he is committing, simultaneously, 2 betrayals…first, of his sacred relationship to God and his Church, — a breach of faith, and second, of his human relationship to the person he has abused – a breach of trust.

Both of these betrayals seem especially heinous when the victim of abuse is a child.

Compounding these offenses against God and humanity is when a priest’s abuses are covered up by his superiors in the hierarchy of the Church.

Former pastor at Canby church accused of sexually abusing minor

CANBY (OR)
KATU 2

November 16th 2017

CANBY, Ore. – The former pastor at a Canby church is accused of sexually abusing an underage girl, court records show.

Lee Philip Wiegand was a pastor at First Baptist Church, however authorities say the abuse was not related to his time at the church.

A secret indictment filed earlier this month charges Wiegand of nine counts of second-degree sexual abuse. Wiegand was arrested and has since been released after posting bail.

The indictment claims that he abused a minor between October 2011 and October 2012.

Wiegand is expected to appear back in court next month for a case hearing.

Daughter of polygamist Warren Jeffs speaks out on her father's abuse [with audio]

CANADA
CBC Radio- The Current

November 16, 2017

By Anna Maria Tremonti
Produced by Julian Uzielli

Warning: Some of the content may be disturbing

Story transcript

Rachel Jeffs was her father's third child. He would go on to have 50 more.

Her father, Warren Jeffs, is the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, also known as FLDS — a man believed by his followers to be a prophet.

"We were taught that the world was different than us," Rachel Jeffs told The Current's Anna Maria Tremonti.

The highly insular sect is a polygamist offshoot of the mainstream Mormon church. Outsiders aren't welcome in FLDS communities, where women wear pioneer-style dresses and men commonly take at least three wives.

'It was just going totally against what he had taught me.' - Rachel Jeffs

Obedience to her parents was paramount, followed by prayer and modest dress, according to Jeffs.

Catholic League: 'Al Franken Should Resign Immediately'

RESTON (VA)
CNS News

November 16, 2017

By Michael W. Chapman

(CNSNews.com) -- Commenting on breaking news and Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) admitting that he groped a woman who was sleeping and took a picture of his actions, Cathoic League President Bill Donohue said "Franken is an admitted molester" and he "should resign immediately."

"Senator Al Franken should resign immediately," said Donohue, adding, "There is no place in public office for sexual abusers."

"If Franken were an accused priest, he would be forced to step aside, pending an investigation," said Donohue. "Given that he is an admitted molester, he should resign."

Shattered Faith: A dangerous shuffle game

ALBUQUERQUE (NM)
KOB 4

November 17, 2017

By Chris Ramirez

Fighting for truth and transparency

By now, we know a lot about the priest abuse scandal that swept across the country. There are already countless news stories, big-budget motion pictures and thousands of legal settlements. So the question is, why keep fighting the Catholic Church for more information? Why does it still matter today?

In a three-part series we are calling Shattered Faith, we lay out why all this still matters. There are former priests walking the streets of New Mexico today who are responsible for victimizing dozens upon dozens of children. They have never been criminally charged and they have never faced prison time. In the time span of a few decades, clergymen preyed on more than a hundred children. Now as adults, their mental health has suffered. In fact, many mental health professionals believe the sheer number of adults dealing with childhood sexual trauma has put New Mexico into a mental health crisis.

THE HERALD'S OPINION: Child abuse 'greatest of personal violations'.

AUSTRALIA
The Newcastle Herald

November 17, 2017

After 57 public hearings across 444 sitting days, hearing from more than 1300 witnesses, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is a month away from drawing to a close.

The commission will sit for a final day on Thursday, December 14, a session its chief executive, Philip Reed, describes as a chance to thank the public for its continued support since the inquiry began in 2013. The commission will deliver its final report to the Governor-General the following day.

For the many thousands of Australians whose lives have been shattered by child abuse, the royal commission has been a welcome salve on wounds that have festered for years, and may never heal.

As the hearings continued, the chair of the commission, Peter McClellan, began to emerge as a figure of compassion and authority. Compassion when it came to victims gathering the courage to tell their stories. Authority when it came to those in the witness box having to explain their failings, or those of their organisations.

In a speech he gave in Melbourne on Tuesday, Justice McClellan described child abuse as “the greatest of personal violations”. The commission was contacted by 15,000 survivors or their families and received complaints about 4000 institutions. Clearly, the Australian experience was not one of “a few rotten apples”.

Catholic Church in $1bn plot to sell off Sydney’s cemeteries

SYDNEY (AUSTRALIA)
The Australian

November 15, 2017

By Brad Norington

All cemeteries across metropolitan Sydney could be up for sale, with a $1 billion privatisation proposal being considered by the NSW government that involves handing control to the Catholic Church.

Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher has been an active supporter of the proposal advocated by an investment advisory firm, Fabrico, which claims “a commercial way of thinking” is needed to tackle a burial-space shortage on crown land in greater Sydney.

Under the sell-off plan, Sydney’s four cemetery trusts currently owned by the NSW government and operating on crown land would be consolidated into a new company and leased for 99 years to Fabrico.

Fabrico would then seek to sublease management of the combined cemeteries covering all religious faiths to the Catholic Metropolitan Cemeteries Trust, which currently manages Australia’s largest cemetery at Rookwood in Sydney’s west, and is controlled by Sydney’s Catholic Archdiocese.

Sins of omission – should Catholic confession always be confidential?

AUSTRALIA
The Guardian

November 15, 2017

By Aida Edemariam

Australian law may soon require priests to break the confidentiality of the confessional and report anything they hear about sexual abuse. Would it simply bring the practice into line with therapy or does it pose a mortal threat to a cherished sacrament?

There’s a story that is sometimes told, in refresher courses for priests who regularly take confession, that goes like this: when a well-known local criminal died, he was given a full Catholic funeral. The faithful were outraged – not only was he a sinner, he was a well-documented, public sinner. Don’t worry, said his son (who happened to be a Catholic priest), I heard his confession on his deathbed. At once, the son was hauled in by his bishop and ticked off – not for taking his father’s confession, but for talking about it. Everyone knew he meant well, said the bishop, but the seal of confession was sacrosanct: under no circumstances could it be revealed who had given confession to whom, and what it was about. If he had done the latter, he might even have been excommunicated.

In August, a commission investigating child abuse in the Catholic church of Australia recommended that any failure to report suspicions of child sex abuse to the authorities should result in criminal charges – even if the discovery was made within the seal of the confessional. “We are satisfied,” the commissioners wrote, “that confession is a forum where Catholic children have disclosed their sexual abuse and where clergy have disclosed their abusive behaviour in order to deal with their own guilt.” The archbishop of Melbourne’s reply was unequivocal: the seal could not be broken, and if that meant going to jail, well, so be it. In the US, in 2009, Rebecca Mayeux sued the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge and one of its priests for not doing anything about her confession, when she was a teenager, that she was being abused by a parishioner. The case is due to be heard in the first circuit court of appeal, but was dealt a blow in September when the Louisiana supreme court upheld the confidentiality of confession.

Confession occupies a curious place in the culture, especially from the point of view of non-Catholics: shadowy boxes and gabbled catechisms, Hail Marys and rosaries. It is often treated ironically – or, if not, as the life-or-death moral choice of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1953 film I Confess, in which a priest to whom a murderer has confessed ends up accused of the deed himself.

Irish priests advised on how to deal with being accused of sexual abuse

IRELAND
Irish Central

November 17, 2017

By Nick Bramhill

An organization which represents over 1,000 Catholic priests across Ireland, has given each member a memo of instructions to follow in the event of an allegation of sexual abuse being brought against them.

The set of guidelines were unveiled by the Association of Catholic Priests at their recent annual meeting, following growing concern within the group that some members who have been falsely accused in the past have not received the backing from their religious superiors.

The organization, which drew up the seven-step information card following earlier meetings with the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCC), also spoke of its concern over what it sees as the “guilty until proven innocent” culture that has left many innocent priests traumatized.

Defrocked Priest Pleads Not Guilty to 31 Sex Abuse Charges

KENNEBUNKPORT (ME)
NECN

November 16, 2017

By Danielle Waugh

A former Massachusetts priest who spent a decade in prison for raping an altar boy has pleaded not guilty to 31 sex abuse charges in Maine.

Two men have accused Ronald Paquin of sexually abusing them at a trailer in Kennebunkport, Maine in the late 1980s. Both accusers were children at the time of the abuse.

Keith Townsend of Seabrook, New Hampshire, has identified himself as one of the accusers.

"I didn't know if people would believe a story as old as this, but all I could think of is, ‘how many more victims are going through what I'm going through?’" he said.

Long Island abuse victims face Dec. 21 deadline for compensation

UNIONDALE (NY)
National Catholic Reporter

November 16, 2017

By Peter Feuerherd

UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Recounting the trail of sex abuse crimes that ended with Fr. Romano Ferraro in a Massachusetts prison serving a life sentence, representatives from the Minnesota-based Jeff Anderson & Associates law firm came to Long Island, New York, with a warning for victims delivered at a Nov. 15 press conference at the Marriott Hotel in Uniondale.

Those abused by Romano, they said, need to put in a claim for compensation by Dec. 21 to the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, which ordained Romano in 1968.

Court documents show that Ferraro served not only in the Brooklyn Diocese but also in the Rockville Centre Diocese on Long Island. Records released at the press conference indicate that Ferraro also worked as a priest in New Jersey and Missouri, as well as in Florida and the Philippines, two places where he served as a naval chaplain.

Is Judge Moore an Abuser?

UNITED STATES
Times of Israel

November 15, 2017

By Michael J. Salamon

Dear Judge Moore,

I think you should avoid public life now. Some of your colleagues have suggested that you step aside. You would do well to heed them. I am not suggesting that you are guilty. I will leave that up to the members of your political party, your legal colleagues, and your religious community. However, there are certain things about your behaviors that I would like to highlight.
Do not bother suing the Washington Post. It will only cost a lot of wasted money. It is not in your best interest. If you go after the media, they will dig up even more dirt on you.

Pretending not to recall the names of malls and restaurants in your community where you hung out and sought out teenaged victims is also not advisable. You see, there are patterns that predators follow and you seem to fit some of them.

Abusers often have a script that they choose to perform from. They groom victims, select people they are familiar with either personally or by virtue of their lifestyle and personality and try to establish a good name for themselves in the community — it acts as a buffer against accusations. It’s almost like lying or massaging the truth as certain politicians are highly adapt at. But, you’re right, patterns are not so simple and many predators manage to get away with their heinous acts because of their overpowering images, rhetoric and bluster. In fact, when asked why they abused many sexual abusers simply say, “Because I could.”

Man accused of historical sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Australian Associated Press

November 16th, 2017

By Jodie Stephens

A former employee at Parramatta Girls' Training School has been committed to trial over alleged historical sexual assaults against schoolgirls.

Frank John Valentine was last year charged with more than 30 offences from the 1970s including rape, assaulting a female and committing an act of indecency, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Court documents show the 77-year-old was further charged about six months ago with another five historical offences against a male.

At Parramatta Local Court on Thursday, Magistrate Jennifer Giles committed Valentine to trial after he waived his right to a committal hearing.

He is scheduled to be arraigned in the NSW District Court on December 7.

November 16, 2017

OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR: Roy Moore Reminds Me of My Rabbi

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

November 15, 2017

By Bethany Mandel

In 2014, on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Rabbi Barry Freundel led the congregation of his Washington synagogue in pursuit of humble repentance before God. Ten days later, he was arrested and charged with dozens of counts of voyeurism. Ultimately, the rabbi was accused of having surreptitiously videotaped more than 150 women on hidden cameras in the bathroom of the mikvah, the ritual bath.

I was one of them.

What the Weinstein Effect Can Teach Us About Campus Sexual Assault

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

November 15, 2017

By Vanessa Grigoriadis

The outpouring of emotion over stories of sexual harassment in the workplace has been shocking and inspiring. After Harvey Weinstein’s sins were reported by The New York Times and The New Yorker, women (and men) in entertainment and a host of other industries have come forward with sickening tales of their own. The calls for greater accountability — meaning sustainable change beyond companies firing a handful of terrible, famous men — seem genuine.

This moment of clarifying anger is particularly impressive given the recent lack of respect paid to another type of victim, one who dominated the news directly before Mr. Weinstein’s fall from grace: the college sexual assault victim. Even as debate about sexual harassment at institutions as disparate as Fox News and Artforum rages on, we have entered a period of backlash regarding student-on-student sexual assault on campus.

About six years ago, colleges began offering better support and justice for victims, pushed in part by a grass-roots movement among students themselves. But in September, pundits across the political spectrum approved when the Education Department rolled back some Obama-era rules that had broadened protections for college sexual assault victims, ostensibly because they robbed accused students of their right to due process in campus courts. Obama’s rules were already pro forma at some colleges before his 2011 federal guidance, so I believe the backlash isn’t truly about government policy, but discomfort about the change in how students approach the problem of sexual assault today.

Kettler: 2 more men added to list of abusive clergy in Diocese of St. Cloud

Saint Cloud (MN)
SC Times

November 14, 2017

Bishop Donald Kettler of the Diocese of St. Cloud announced Tuesday that two names have been added to the list of clergy likely to have abused minors. Both men are deceased.

In a press release issued by the Diocese, Casimir Plakut and Augustine John Strub were named as religious order priests added by St. John's Abbey in Collegeville to its list of men "likely to have offended minors."

Plakut was ordained in 1938 and died in 1988. Strub was ordained in 1947 and died in 2015.

Schwank: End silence about sexual misconduct

HARRISBURG (PA)
Reading Eagle

November 16, 2017

By Beth Brelje

HARRISBURG - State Sen. Judy Schwank has offered legislation that she says will make it harder to keep sexual misconduct a secret in Pennsylvania.

The measure would make it illegal to silence victims with nondisclosure agreements to settle cases of sexual misconduct.

“For too long, sexual predators have hidden behind legal practices like nondisclosure agreements or settlements in which a victim agrees to not sue or discuss terms of a deal in exchange for a monetary settlement,” said Schwank, a Ruscombmanor Township Democrat. “If the agreement is violated, the other party can sue and seek damages from the victim.”

Her legislation would end this practice.

“Sexual predators should not be allowed to hide their secrets in the shadows of nondisclosure agreements, escaping justice because of their power, wealth or prestige,” Schwank said Wednesday during a news conference about the legislation at the state Capitol.

Ex-priest loses appeal over sexual assaults

DETROIT (MI)
The Associated Press

November 15, 2017

A former priest who says prosecutors waited too long to charge him with sexual abuse has lost his case at the Michigan appeals court.

James Rapp was sentenced to at least 20 years in prison for molesting students at Lumen Christi High School in Jackson in the 1980s. He was in prison in Oklahoma for similar crimes when he was charged in Michigan in 2015.

Accuser says Father Antonio Cruz molested him while visiting his parents

GUAM
Pacific News Center

November 15, 2017

By Janela Carrera

At the time of the alleged abuse, Father Antonio Cruz was a priest at the Chalan Pago Parish.

Guam – Another sexual abuse lawsuit has been filed in federal court, naming the late Father Antonio Cruz as the alleged perpetrator.

The alleged victim, L.J.G., who is now 58 years old, says Cruz sexually abused him at his house on several occasions when he was 15 years old.

Cruz was a friend of the family, according to the complaint, giving him access to the minor at the time.

This is 147th lawsuit to be filed agains the Archdiocese of Agana.

L.J.G. is seeking $5 million in damages.

Man accused of sexually assaulting children at Salvation Army church pleads guilty

CHARLESTON (SC)
ABC News 4

November 16th 2017

UPDATE | Armando Gonzalez pleaded guilty to 2 charges: lewd act w/ minor; criminal sexual conduct w/ minor 3rd degree.

-- This story is being updated --

Attorneys say a former Lowcountry Sunday school teacher is expected in court today. We’re told Armando Gonzalez will plead guilty to sexually abusing children.

The hearing was scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m.

Police say Gonzalez sexually abused children in 2010 and 2015. They say he and his wife were involved with a Salvation Army child care center in West Ashley.

Attorneys for the victims argue Salvation Army employees didn’t perform a proper background check on Gonzalez. They say employees should have discovered a history of abuse and never let him in the door.

The Roy Moore controversy is a thorny issue for Alabama Baptists

HUNTSVILLE (AL)
Los Angeles Times

November 15, 2017

By Jenny Jarvie

When Kenneth Frost, a Baptist deacon, first heard that a woman had accused Roy Moore of sexual abuse, he was skeptical. Not only did the allegation stem from nearly 40 years ago, but Moore — a figure he admires and believes to be a man of God — denied the woman’s claims.

The 79-year-old Republican vowed to support Moore, whether or not he was guilty.

“I believe in innocent until proven guilty, but even if he’s guilty, I’ll back him all the way,” said Frost, a member of Macedonia Baptist Church in Ranburne, a town of about 400 in eastern Alabama. “I still feel he’s a Christian man — and nobody’s perfect.”

The thorny issue of Moore, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate who faces accusations of sexual assault weeks before voters go to the polls, was not on the agenda as hundreds of church leaders gathered at the Whitesburg Baptist Church here this week for the annual meeting of the Alabama Baptist State Convention.

Yet up and down corridors and inside meeting rooms, pastors and deacons grappled with what to make of the allegations from women who say Moore, 70, a Baptist and former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, sexually assaulted or attempted a relationship with them when they were teenagers.

Ex-members of church urge overturning of court agreement

SPINDALE (NC)
The Associated Press

November 16, 2017

By Mitch Weiss and Holbrook Mohr

SPINDALE – Former members of a controversial Western North Carolina-based church want the state to take legal action to overturn a court-ordered compromise they say has crippled child abuse investigations involving the sect.

The former congregants of Word of Faith Fellowship also want Rutherford County child protection agency director John Carroll to resign, saying he pushed for the 2005 settlement and has failed to protect children from abusive practices inside the church.

The ex-members said they are sending letters urging action to North Carolina’s governor, attorney general and state and county child welfare officials.

Lawyers urge clergy abuse victims to come forward before deadline

LONG ISLAND (NY)
News 12 Long Island

November 15, 2017

KINGS PARK - Lawyers are asking anybody who may have been sexually abused by a Long Island priest to come forward.

Former Catholic priest Romano Ferraro is now a convicted serial pedophile.

"It is hard to hear this and know what he has done," says Marianne Helldorfer, a parishioner of St Joseph's Church in Kings Park, where Ferraro once served.

Attorneys who represent Ferraro's victims want to get the word out to others who may have been abused. That's because a monetary compensation program offered by the Brooklyn Diocese, where Ferraro was ordained, has a Dec. 21 deadline.

"It is vital that survivors here on Long Island, if they were abused by Father Ferraro...comply with the Diocese of Brooklyn guidelines," says attorney Michael Reck.

Ferraro served at St. Joseph's between 1975 and 1977. Two alleged victims have come forward, but attorneys believe there may be more.

"We believe there are many children that were abused and are suffering in silence," Reck says. "They are not alone and they do have rights."

Those fighting for the victims say that monetary compensation falls short. They say they want the church to admit there was a decadeslong cover-up to protect pedophile priests and want the names of the accused priests to be publicly released.

"The bottom line is secrets are kept," says Patrick Wall, a sex abuse victims advocate. "Secrets are kept in the archives of every diocese across the country."

Church officials released a statement saying in part, "We recognize that no amount of monetary compensation could ever erase or undo the grave harm suffered by survivors of child abuse."

Both the Diocese of Rockville Centre and Brooklyn are offering the compensation program.

Lawyers seek settlement in abuse suits against Guam archbishop

GUAM
USA Today Network

November 15, 2017

By Jerick Sablan

HAGÅTÑA, Guam — A settlement could be reached soon in four sexual abuse cases filed last year against Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron in Guam district court.

During a hearing Wednesday on a motion to dismiss the lawsuits, Apuron’s attorney, Jacqueline Terlaje, and attorneys representing the accusers asked Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood to delay her decision until Dec. 31 to give them time to work on a possible settlement.

Former altar boys Walter Denton, Roy Quintanilla, Roland Sandia and the family of deceased former altar boy Joseph “Sonny” Quinata sued Apuron last fall, accusing him of molesting and/or raping the boys in the late 1970s, when he was a parish priest. All came forward in summer 2016 to make public accusations against Apuron, who has denied the allegations. (Sondia is an employee of the Pacific Daily News.)

Apuron was removed from the island in June 2016 to undergo a Vatican trial in connection with the accusations, but details of the trial or its outcome remain unknown.

Former Ayrshire priest faces historic sex abuse charges with allegations of attacks at schools and leisure centres

AYRSHIRE (SCOTLAND)
Ayrshire Post via Daily Record

November 16, 2017

Francis Moore, 82, of Largs, is charged with crimes against three boys between 1977 and 1981 in locations in South and North Ayrshire.

The trial of a retired priest accused of historical sex abuse will now take place next year.

Francis Moore, 82, of Largs, is charged with crimes against three boys between 1977 and 1981.

He also allegedly indecently assaulted a student priest between 1995 and 1996.

Moore had been due to stand trial next month.

OP-ED: Why do sex-abuse victims remain silent for decades? Look at firestorm greeting Moore accusers

LEXINGTON (KY)
Lexington Herald Leader

November 15, 2017

By Jane Chiles

I have read, watched and listened to the commentary concerning the allegations that have been swirling around Roy Moore, candidate for the U.S. Senate seat that was vacated when Sen. Jeff Sessions joined the Trump Cabinet as attorney general. I can no longer remain silent. I had been hopeful that we had evolved beyond the “destroy the victim” culture, but it is clear that we have not.

In 2002, a lengthy series of investigative articles were published in the Boston Globe, exposing the U.S. Catholic Church’s long history of sexual abuse of minors by priests. Ultimately, after months of stories validating this evil, the church was forced to confront its demons.

As a lifelong Roman Catholic who had spent the most recent 12 years of my life as the executive director of the Catholic Conference, handling public policy for the Catholic bishops in Kentucky, and raising three sons in the church, I am unable to fully describe how crushingly painful, shocking, disappointing and anger-generating this was for me.

But I was one of the lucky ones. I was able to arrive at a horrific train wreck and roll up my sleeves and do something about this. I was appointed to the first National Review Board in July of 2002, a board created by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

NY sex abuse victims to push again for child victims' act

ALBANY (NY)
The Associated Press

November 16, 2017

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) Advocates for a bill in New York that would loosen the statute of limitations for molestation are hoping the national attention on sexual misconduct gives their cause fresh momentum.

The bill would have given victims more time to file civil lawsuits or seek criminal charges against their abusers. It also would create a one-year window for past victims to file civil suits.

Victims now have until they turn 23 to sue, but supporters say it often takes far longer for victims to report their abuse.

Catholic Church might be too broke to compensate sex abuse victims

NEW BRUNSWICK (CANADA)
CBC News

November 16, 2017

By Gabrielle Fahmy

56 lawsuits against Catholic priests currently in front of New Brunswick courts could cost millions

Dozens of new sexual abuse lawsuits involving priests from the Moncton archdiocese are threatening the financial viability of the church.

CBC News found at least 56 lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church in New Brunswick that are still in front of the courts, and this despite an extensive conciliation process that was conducted a few years ago.

Between 2012 and 2014, the church hired retired judge Michel Bastarache to talk to victims confidentially.

The Moncton archdiocese ended up paying $10.6 million to 109 victims, and the diocese of Bathurst $5.5 million to 90 victims.

It's estimated victims received between $15,000 and $300,000, depending on the severity of the abuse, how old they were when it started, and how many years it lasted.

What followed were major cutbacks by the church.

In Moncton, diocesan staff was slashed by half, from 19 before 2013 to fewer than 10 now. Only two staff members were kept on full time.

The diocesan centre in Dieppe, which used to be the home of the archbishop, was sold.

Lawyer says he expects hundreds of new N.B. Catholic abuse lawsuits to emerge

NEW BRUNSWICK (CANADA)
The Globe and Mail

November 15, 2017

By Kevin Bissett

A lawyer representing dozens of alleged Catholic sex abuse victims in New Brunswick says he expects hundreds more complainants may emerge.

Robert Talach said he believes more people will seek compensation through the courts after a 2012 reconciliation process that saw 80 victims compensated, and that the actual number of victims in the province is in the hundreds.

"It's going to be shocking for people," he said Wednesday from his office in London, Ont.

"You are talking dozens of victims for each priest. These guys were left in the field operating and abusing for decades."

Talach said he believes that a CBC News estimate of 56 current lawsuits against the Catholic Church in the province is low, noting that he's handling about 32 involving the late Camille Leger alone.

Leger was a priest in Cap-Pele, N.B., between 1957 and 1980. He died in 1990 and his accusers only came forward after his death.

"I'm not surprised by that," said Talach. "People wait for a juncture in their life where they can deal with it. Sometimes people wait until their elderly, very Catholic parents pass away. There are triggers that are very individual to every person."

November 15, 2017

Are sex abuse claims against clergy beyond statute of limitations?

GUAM
Kuam News

November 15, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Is it too little too late? Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood will have to decide if a 2016 law that lifted the statute of limitations on child sexual abuse cases covers all expired claims. The issue comes as defense for Archbishop Anthony Apuron motions for dismissal. At stake: the nearly 150 clergy sexual abuse lawsuits filed to date, both in the local and federal courts.

If the legislature intended to lift the civil statute of limitations for all child sexual abuse cases, they didn't do it right.

This according to Attorney Jacque Terlaje's reading of Public Law 33-187, the legislation that enabled the close to 150 clergy sexual abuse lawsuits filed in both the local and federal courts to date.

Terlaje represents Archbishop Anthony Apuron.

Though only four of the lawsuits name Apuron as an abuser, how Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood rules in these cases impacts all the others.

Wednesday's hearing addressed defense's objection to Magistrate Judge Joaquin Manibusan's report and recommendation to deny defense's motion to dismiss.

Terlaje urged the Chief Judge to look at the law's language noting the legislature should've been more specific in their 2016 law if their intent was a 100-percent lift of the statute of limitations.

Terlaje stated "the law in front of the court only corrected the 2011 law."

That law, if you recall, opened a window for victims to file their claims, but provisions in that law kept anyone from filing.

Italian priest draws fire after victim-blaming rape survivor

ROME
CRUX

November 15, 2017

By Claire Giangravè

On Nov. 3, a 17-year-old girl went to the Maggiore Hospital in Bologna, in northern Italy, saying that she had been raped and robbed. The local parish priest, Father Lorenzo Guidotti, was quick to write a post on his private Facebook account saying that he has no pity for the young woman, who, in his view, was responsible for what happened to her.

ROME - While sexual assault allegations against people in positions of power gain momentum in the United States, recent events in Italy have highlighted an ongoing culture of victim-blaming, even at times by Church and government officials.

Italian actress and director Asia Argento, one of the first victims to speak up against award-winning Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, has now described dozens of instances of alleged sexual assault, and reportedly fled to Germany to escape the “climate of tension” and “victim-blaming” in her native country.

This is not the only time when some Italian citizens and media have shown a lack of empathy with victims of sexual assault who condemn their attackers, including a recent case with a parish priest who took to Twitter to criticize a rape victim.

Priest who molested students at Jackson Lumen Christi loses case at Court of Appeals

JACKSON (MI)
Associated Press

November 15, 2017

JACKSON, Mich. (AP) A former priest who says prosecutors waited too long to charge him with sexual abuse has lost his case at the Michigan appeals court.

James Rapp was sentenced to at least 20 years in prison for molesting students at Lumen Christi High School in Jackson in the 1980s. He was in prison in Oklahoma for similar crimes when he was charged in Michigan in 2015.

The appeals court says any statute of limitations was suspended when Rapp was locked up in Oklahoma. The 3-0 opinion was released Wednesday.

The 77-year-old Rapp pleaded no contest to criminal sexual conduct. Authorities say he coerced students into having sexual contact while working as a teacher and wrestling coach.

Rapp worked in six states before he was defrocked as a priest.

Ex-priest implicated in lawsuits dies

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

November 15, 2017

By Mindy Aguon and John O'Connor

A former priest of the Archdiocese of Agana, defrocked and implicated in several sex abuse lawsuits, died on Tuesday.

Raymond F. Cepeda had been ill for many years, according to family members. He was 66 years old.

His death was mentioned in court by attorney Jacqueline Taitano-Terlaje during a hearing for sex abuse cases involving her client, suspended Archbishop Anthony Apuron, yesterday at the District Court of Guam.

Cepeda previously served as a priest at the San Vicente-San Roke Church in Barrigada and the Santa Barbara Church in Dededo.

He was laicized in 2009 for “serious allegations of abuse.”

Cepeda has been named in more than 10 cases of child sexual abuse from the 1980s and '90s.

Priest convicted of sexual abuse granted early parole

LOUISVILLE (KY)
WHAS 11

November 15, 2017

LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- A priest serving a 15-year-prison sentence for sexually abusing a teenage boy is getting out early.

James Schook has been granted early parole.

Anglican commission begins work to develop global safeguarding procedures

LONDON (ENGLAND)
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS)

November 15, 2017

An international commission established to make the Churches of the Anglican Communion safe places for children, young people and vulnerable adults has begun its work. The Anglican Communion’s Safe Church Commission was established by the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) at its meeting last year in Lusaka; in one of four resolutions on safeguarding.

The establishment of the commission was recommended by the Anglican Communion Safe Church Network – a global group of clergy and laity which “emerged out of a concern that a number of Anglican Provinces have seen highly publicised lapses in behaviour by some clergy and church workers with tragic consequences for those who have been abused.” The network, which was recognised by the ACC at its 2012 meeting in Auckland, “is a growing international group of people committed to the physical, emotional and spiritual welfare and safety of all people involved in churches throughout the Anglican Communion.”

While the network has an on-going brief to educate people about abuse and misconduct in churches, and to equip and support people working to make their churches safe, the commission has been given a specific time-sensitive task.

It will identify safeguarding policies and procedures currently in place within the Churches of the Communion; and develop new international guidelines in time for consideration by the Anglican Consultative Council at its next meeting in 2019. In its 2016 resolution establishing the commission, the ACC envisages that the guidelines will be implemented “as far as practicable” by each of the Communion’s provinces.

Cult leader's daughter opens up about child sexual abuse

UNITED STATES
CTV News

November 15, 2017

By Jeff Lagerquist

Warning: This story may contain details that some readers may find disturbing

Rachel Jeffs finds it hard to watch family videos of the life she left behind inside the
Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (FLDS) compound in Utah.

The reclusive breakaway polygamist sect of the Mormon Church from which she escaped in 2015 is totally isolated from the outside world, hidden behind six-foot concrete walls. Women are often married to men twice their age while still in their teens. Most husbands take several wives.
Jeffs’ trauma started much earlier. Her abuser was her father Warren, the church’s self-proclaimed prophet and leader, now serving a life sentence plus 20 years for child sexual abuse. He’s run the cult from his cell since 2011.

Jeffs is one of 53 children born to her father’s 78 wives.

In her vivid new memoir, Breaking Free, Jeffs details her years of sexual abuse at the hands of her cult-leader father and explains how she found the strength to escape with her five children to start a new, happier life.

Accused priest Cepeda dies at 66

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

November 15, 2017

By Jerick Sablan

Former Guam priest Raymond Cepeda, who is accused in 11 different lawsuits of sexually abusing children on island, died Tuesday, according to information provided at a hearing Wednesday morning in federal court.

Attorney Jacqueline Terlaje, who represents Archbishop Anthony Apuron in separate clergy abuse lawsuits, informed the court about Cepeda’s death during a hearing on the Apuron cases. She did not provide details about how or where Cepeda died.

Cepeda was 66, according to voter records.

Defrocked priest accused of sexual abuse dies

GUAM
Pacific News Center

November 15, 2017

By Janela Carrera

Guam – One of the defendants in the child sex abuse scandal has died. He is defrocked priest Raymond Cepeda.

Cepeda was previously a priest at Santa Barbara Catholic Church in Dededo. In 2009 he was laicized or defrocked amid allegations of sexual abuse.

Cepeda has also been named in a number of sex abuse lawsuits filed against the Archdiocese of Agana. As one of the few defendants living on Guam and still alive at the time the lawsuits were filed against him, Cepeda was served with court documents and was ordered to file an answer to the charges. Before he could do that, the cases were stayed pending mediation.

In the District Court of Guam, Cepeda was named a defendant in 10 sexual abuse lawsuits.

The archdiocese has released a statement saying Cepeda died Tuesday and that he had been ill for many years, adding “the archdiocese extends prayers and condolences to Cepeda’s family and friends.”

Cepeda was 66 years old.