Abuse Tracker
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BishopAccountability.org

BishopAccountability.org – Documenting the Abuse Crisis

March 29, 2017

Peter Saunders: ‘Vatican abuse commission wants compliant survivors, so I’m unlikely to return’

UNITED KINGDOM
Catholic Herald

by Madeleine Teahan
posted Wednesday, 29 Mar 2017

Peter Saunders told the Catholic Herald that he will never stay quiet about the issue of child protection

Abuse survivor Peter Saunders has confirmed that he is unlikely ever to return to the Vatican’s abuse commission.

Saunders, who was placed on indefinite leave from the commission last year, said that he was disappointed that Pope Francis had “never once visited” the commission.

On Monday Cardinal Sean O’Malley, head of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, told Crux that Saunders would probably never return to the commission.

In response, Saunders, founder of NAPAC (National Association of People Abused in Childhood), told the Catholic Herald: “When I spoke to Cardinal O’Malley a few weeks ago I said if there was anything I can do to help – I am here. I have apologised for whatever crimes I am deemed to have committed leading to my exclusion, but on the matter of child protection it is not a matter I will ever stay quiet about and I remain saddened that the Pope has never once visited his commission.”

Group heading to Harrisburg rally to push for retroactivity in sex-abuse statute of limitations bill

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

By David Hurst
dhurst@tribdem.com

Advocates pushing for a proposal that would hold Pennsylvania child sex abusers accountable for crimes committed years ago are heading to Harrisburg next week to deliver a loud message to state lawmakers to support the plan.

That message: Anything that doesn’t hold past abusers accountable will only enable such acts to reoccurring, according to Shaun Dougherty, a Westmont resident who, in the past year, has identified himself as a victim of sex abuse by clergy in the 1980s.

“Without that retroactivity portion, any bill they pass is not a protective measure, it’s an enabler’s bill,” he said.

Dougherty is among a group of Pennsylvanians pushing for the change who are planning to hold a rally at the State Capitol Building’s front steps at 11:30 a.m. Monday.

They’ll be joined by a Harrisburg ally, state Rep. Mark Rozzi, a three-term Berks County Democrat and onetime sex abuse victim, whose House bill includes language adding a retroactive statute of limitations window.

Assignment Record– Rev. Robert Harrison, OFM.Cap

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Robert Harrison was ordained a Capuchin priest of the St. Joseph Province in Detroit in 1964. He started his priesthood in his native Milwaukee as a parish assistant and teacher before going on to work as Director and Director of Social Services at a Wauwatosa home for adolescent boys. At some point he earned advanced degrees in Social Work and Law. Harrison appears to have left the Milwaukee archdiocese around 1977, living briefly in Bloomington, Indiana then relocating in 1978 to New York City. He reportedly worked as a civil attorney while living at a New York archdiocese-sponsored residence for young African-American men considering priesthood. The Official Catholic Directory shows several gaps in Harrison's assignment history. By 1983 he was an assistant priest at St. Charles Borromeo parish in Harlem, and by 1991 Harrison was a Cardinal Hayes High School faculty member and basketball coach.

In December 2014 Harrison was removed from Cardinal Hayes and suspended from public ministry after he admitted to having sexually abused ten minors during the 1970s and 1980s in Milwaukee, Manhattan and the Bronx. Harrison had been borrowing money from Hayes staff members and, when questioned about it, he said he needed the money to pay a victim. Per the Capuchins, Harrison was sent to a "professional facility" and the abuse was reported to district attorneys in the jurisdictions in which it occurred.

Ordained: 1964

Cardinal Dolan and his Belief in Sex Abuse Reform Bills

NEW YORK
The Worthy Adversary

March 29, 2017 Joelle Casteix

It’s true:

New York’s Archbishop Cardinal Timothy Dolan believes in Window Legislation and Statute of Limitation Reform for victims of child sexual abuse. He knows they both work to help victims heal. He’s showing us right now.

Just look at his actions, not his words.

In fact, since last fall, he’s shown that archaic Statutes of Limitations for child sexual abuse should NOT matter in pastoral care and that there is an INHERENT NEED for window legislation in Albany.

It gets better.

The requirements and success of his own compensation plan have CONTRADICTED the arguments that he and the Catholic Conference have been waging against window legislation.

Let’s start at the top.

The Independent Compensation and Reconciliation Plan (IRCP), now in its second phase, has one goal: compensate victims of sexual abuse by Archdiocesan priests, no matter when the abuse occurred.

According to the plan administrator, success will be measured by the number of victims who come forward and take advantage of the plan, accepting compensation offers by the Archdiocese.

Remember: All of these cases are barred by the civil statute of limitations.

That means these survivors don’t have a legal leg to stand on in the courts. Yet, Dolan—in his own press conference—said that pastoral care REQUIRES some kind of reconciliation and compensation.

Arraignment set for priest facing child porn charges

LOUISIANA
KATC

Updated: Mar 29, 2017

An arraignment date of May 2 has been set for Father Felix David Broussard, who was arrested in July 2016 on child pornography charges.

An arraignment is a formal reading of charges against a defendant. It usually is a chance for attorneys to make appearances and for the case's schedule, including a trial date, to be set. It is generally a legal housekeeping event. The defendant is required to enter a formal plea to the charges; in felony cases it is usually a not-guilty plea.

Broussard was arrested after more than 500 images of child porn were allegedly found on his personally-owned computer. The computer was located a Broussard's living quarters at the St. Bernard Roman Catholic Church in Breaux Bridge where he was pastor. The images were found by a computer technician who was working on the computer, and he reported them.

The Diocese cooperated fully in the investigation, and Lafayette Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel even held a press conference to announce the arrest prior to any release from law enforcement. The Bishop said at the time he wanted to ensure the Diocese is transparent in this case. Broussard was relieved of his duties at St. Bernard.

Lawsuits allege priest used ‘evil campaign’ to abuse victims

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For The Guam Daily Post

A sex abuse victim alleges former priest and Boy Scout Master Louis Brouillard took altar boys and Boy Scouts to watch pornographic films and misappropriated church offerings to pay for outings with minor boys.

Two new lawsuits were filed in the District Court of Guam yesterday against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America and Brouillard seeking $10 million each. The cases were filed by two individuals who wanted to protect their privacy.

A 53-year-old individual with the initials “M.A.” alleges he was sexually abused for three years by Brouillard at the San Isidro Catholic Church of Malojloj in 1972, beginning when he was 10.

The lawsuit states that Brouillard used various strategies to gain access to M.A. and other young boys and to induce their compliance as part of his “evil campaign to sexually abuse them” and achieve his “sexually predatory objectives.”

Brouillard is accused of deceiving parents of altar boys, asking that they be allowed to spend the night at the convent to ensure they would not be late to serve for early morning Masses, and instead molesting and abusing the boys. The lawsuit states, “Brouillard seized upon every opportunity to molest young boys.”

Catholic priest in sex scandal

ZIMBABWE
Bulawayo24

A CHECHECHE Roman Catholic priest who committed his life to celibacy is under fire for bedding a young girl.

Father Charles Makowa of St Peter's Catholic Church in Checheche has been allegedly involved with several women from his church with the latest being a minor whose mother is the Parish Youth Advisor (tete). The mother's name cannot be mentioned to protect the minor.

The man of cloth confirmed the developments that are making him leave the church, while the girl's mother said if the story sees the light of the day the writers would di

Maldon vicar Peter Low admits hoarding child sex abuse images

UNITED KINGDOM
Essex Live

A vicar has admitted downloading a horde of images showing the sexual abuse of children.

Peter Low, 65, of Crescent Road, Heybridge, served as the vicar of Heybridge and Langford Parishes, but was suspended when the images were discovered in July last year.

He was charged with three counts of possession of indecent images of children and one count of possession of a prohibited image of a child and pleaded guilty to the offences at Chelmsford Crown Court this morning.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Chelmsford said: "The Diocese of Chelmsford, where he had been working, took the police investigation extremely seriously, and worked closely with the police.

Indigenous students claim sexual abuse at Catholic day school in Manitoba

CANADA
CBC News

By Laura Glowacki, CBC News Posted: Mar 27, 2017

In a case with striking similarities to testimony made by residential school survivors, two Indigenous adult women say they were repeatedly sexually abused by clergy at a Catholic day school in Manitoba they were forced to attend as children.

And now they've launched a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, as well as the two now-deceased men they say were responsible, the province and other defendants.

Both women — one now 67 and status Indian, the other a 63-year-old Mé​tis woman — attended the same elementary school in Bloodvein, Man., about 200 kilometres north of Winnipeg, from about 1956 until the mid-1960s.

The complainants say the same two men fondled and raped them as children beginning when they were seven and six, respectively.

"One of them was a priest. He held certain powers over them," said the plaintiffs' lawyer, Israel Ludwig. "They thought they would be damned if they made a complaint."

New allegations emerge in lawsuit against priest

CALIFORNIA
The Union Democrat

By Alex MacLean, The Union Democrat
Published Mar 28, 2017

New allegations have surfaced in a lawsuit that alleges a former pool-maintenance contractor at Presentation Church in Stockton was fired after receiving a lewd text message from the parish’s pastor, Monsignor Larry McGovern, who is a high-ranking priest within the Stockton Diocese.

An amended complaint filed Friday in San Joaquin County Superior Court claims that McGovern had been removed from a position at Cathedral of the Annunciation in Stockton over allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct and undergone therapy prior to being put in charge of Presentation Church, which operates an elementary school for pre-kindergarten through eighth grade.

“We think it’s relevant because of the alleged systemic problem in the Stockton Diocese as has been uncovered with prior issues, including — but not limited to — Oliver O’Grady and (Michael) Kelly,” said Saul Wolf, an attorney for Manly, Stewart and Finaldi, the firm that is representing the plaintiff in the lawsuit.

Kelly, who served as priest of St. Patrick’s Church in Sonora from 1987 to 1997, remains wanted by federal authorities after fleeing to Ireland in 2012 while under criminal investigation by the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office over allegations he had sexually abused a 10-year-old boy at a Mokelumne Hill parish where he was a priest from 2000 to 2002.

Following arrest in cold case of missing boy, Ronnie Hyde facing 12 new child-porn charges

FLORIDA
Florida Times-Union

Posted March 28, 2017

By Eileen Kelley

A dozen child pornography charges have been added to a murder case involving a former youth pastor charged in the death and dismemberment of a 16-year-old boy who went missing in 1994.

Ronnie Leon Hyde, 60, of Jacksonville Beach was arrested on March 7 on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Fred Paul Laster, a boy he befriended in Yulee when Hyde was a youth pastor at Strength for Living Church. Hyde was to be in court Wednesday, though his arraignment date has been changed to April 11.

Monday’s new charges relate to 12 different pieces of pornography that depict a child in a sex act. Each of the 12 forms of evidence has at least 10 or more images, to include movies, of sexual performances by a child, according to a statement from the State Attorney’s Office.

According to court records, many of the titles of the evidence collected were a jumble of letters and numbers, though three contained names the Cindy, Steven and Paul. FBI officials were not speaking publicly about the matter Tuesday other than to acknowledge additional charges had been filed against Hyde. Coupled with the murder charge, Hyde now faces a maximum sentence of life plus 180 years if convicted of all charges.

Church ‘must reply to victims’, says Vatican's child protection commission

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Stephen Rogers

The Vatican’s child protection commission, from which an Irish abuse survivor resigned in protest in recent weeks, has told the Pope that the Church needs to start responding “directly and compassionately” to the victims of clerical abuse.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, of which Marie Collins was a founding member, met for its eighth Plenary Assembly over the past weekend.

Ms Collins stepped down from the commission at the start of March blaming “the resistance by some members of the Vatican Curia to the work of the commission”.

At the time, she said the lack of cooperation, “particularly by the dicastery most involved in dealing with cases of abuse, has been shameful.”

Following its assembly, the commission issued a statement in which it said members have unanimously agreed “to find new ways to ensure its work is shaped and informed with and by victims/survivors”.

Violin teacher jailed for sexual abuse at top Catholic school

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Andrew Norfolk
March 29 2017
The Times

A music teacher at Ampleforth College, a leading Roman Catholic public school, has been jailed for sexually abusing a girl when they met for violin lessons.

Dara de Cogan’s traumatised victim, who had seen him as a substitute father, feared she would be “thrown into hell”, a court heard.

De Cogan, who is now 58, started grooming the girl when she was 13, York crown court heard. He was a musician of international acclaim who was appointed head of strings at the boarding school in North Yorkshire in 2004.

The married man, who has two adopted daughters, told the child that he loved her and kissed her whenever he got the chance. They saw each other nearly every day at school, where the abuse took place. Outside of term time, he drove her to secluded parts of the countryside, where it continued.

The girl, who is now in her twenties, said in a victim impact statement read to the court that her musical ambitions after university had been thwarted by what she had gone through.

Need for more engagement with survivors

IRELAND
Galway Independent

Galway County Council need to engage in a “much more meaningful way” with Tuam historian Catherine Corless and representatives of the survivors of the Tuam Mother and Baby Home. That’s according to Sinn Féin Senator, Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.

This week, a Sinn Féin motion to set up a Truth Commission into the home and all other related institutions is due to be voted on in the Dáil, with the Galway Senator calling on all Galway TDs to support the motion.

Representatives of survivors are very upset by the way they are being treated by Galway County Council, Senator Ó Clochartaigh said. “It appears they are being completely ignored when any decision or announcements in relation to the Tuam Mother and Baby Home are being made.”

He described proposals for a Peace Garden at the site at this stage as “wholly inappropriate given what has been brought to public attention by Catherine Corless and others.”

Bill would remove statute of limitations on sex crimes, including human trafficking

WASHINGTON
Kitsap Daily News

RICHARD WALKER
Tue Mar 28th, 2017

OLYMPIA — The statute of limitations for most felony sex crimes in Washington state is three years.

That would change under House Bill 1155.

HB 1155, approved 90-8 by the state House of Representatives and referred to the state Senate, would make felony sex offenses prosecutable any time after they were committed.

The bill’s 13 sponsors include Rep. Dan Griffey, R-Allyn; and Rep. Michelle Caldier, R-Port Orchard.

Currently, the only crimes in Washington state for which there are no statute of limitations is murder, homicide by abuse, arson resulting in death, vehicular homicide, vehicular assault resulting in death, and hit-and-run resulting in death.

Conservative senators come to Lynn Beyak's defence while others say 'shame'

CANADA
CBC News

By John Paul Tasker, CBC News Posted: Mar 28, 2017

Conservative senators came to the defence of their colleague Lynn Beyak Tuesday, saying she has the right to free speech and should remain a member of the Red Chamber's Aboriginal Peoples committee, despite her rosy views of the residential school system.

"Senator Beyak has exercised her right to free speech. We don't want a bunch of yes people on committees who are only going to agree with what everyone else is saying," Senator Don Plett, the Conservative whip, told reporters when asked if he will remove her from the committee.

As for the outrage expressed by some of her fellow senators and residential school survivors, Plett said, "Life will go on. The sun will rise tomorrow and set again tomorrow night and we'll continue. There is no next step."

Plett said the Senate's reputation hasn't been damaged by her comments. "This may or may not affect her reputation," he said.

Alberta Conservative Senator Scott Tannas said he doesn't think she should be removed from the committee, even if there are mounting calls to toss her.

Treaty Three Grand Council and NAN Call for Senator’s Resignation

CANADA
Net News Ledger

Posted 29 March 2017 by Amanda Perreault in Anishinaabe

THUNDER BAY – Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler and Grand Council Treaty #3 (GCT#3) Ogichidaa Francis Kavanaugh are calling for the resignation of the Hon. Lynn Beyak as a member of the Senate of Canada following repeated statements by the Senator in defense of the Indian Residential School system.

“Senator Beyak’s repeated comments defending the Indian Residential School system are a national insult and unacceptable for a member of the Senate of Canada. Her callous dismissal of the horrors of the Residential School experience is unbefitting a member of the Senate, and today we join the growing calls for her immediate resignation,” said NAN Grand Chief Alvin Fiddler. “Her misguided statements, including comparisons of her suffering to those who were forced to attend Residential Schools, are an insult to Survivors and all the children who were lost. This makes a mockery of the Government of Canada’s efforts to move toward reconciliation.”

During debate on March 7, 2017, the Senator stated that an “abundance of good” has come from the Residential School system, and that the schools were “well-intentioned” and “mistakes” should not overshadow “good things” that happened.

Since then, the Senator has rebuked pleas for her to learn more about the horrors of Residential Schools, claiming to have ‘suffered’ with those who attended the schools, and purporting ‘shining examples from sea to sea of people who owe their lives to the schools’.

Royal Commission hears how sex predators groom and abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

A child psychologist held back tears as she told a royal commission how her son was allegedly abused by a teacher at the private school she believed to be "nurturing and protective".

Marija Radojevic​ told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse she trusted the school implicitly.

The commission is hearing evidence into how sexual predators manipulate their victims as well as those around them.

"My husband and I had no reason to suspect that our son was being groomed by an unmarried teacher," she said.

"We did not know it was happening right under our nose. We truly believed that the Christian ethic with which our son was raised and which the school espoused was a nurturing and protective one."

Dr Radojevic told the commission she and her husband, a child psychiatrist, placed too much trust in the unnamed school.

Sex abuse royal commission: Adults who molest children 'often popular members of community'

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nicole Chettle

Adults who are child molesters are often popular members of the community, and do not behave like predatory monsters, a royal commission has heard.

Experts told the final public hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney today that inaccurate stereotypes were hindering child protection.

Professor Anne-Marie McAlinden, from the University of Belfast, appeared via video link and said child molesters were often respected and well-liked individuals.

"That's one of the things that abusers will often strive to do," she said.

"To generate this perception that 'I am a nice person who's exceptionally kind to children', which then feeds into the popularity with other staff or parents and makes people less likely to challenge them."

When it comes to French elections, bishops are as lost as their flock

FRANCE
La Croix

By Anne-Bénédicte Hoffner, with Loup Besmond de Senneville, Clémence Houdaille and Céline Hoyeau

The atmosphere is likely to be tense. Even more than in November when sexual abuse by priests overtook the agenda, informal discussions are set to reveal that Catholics, and to a greater extent bishops, have not been spared the sense of disarray that pervades society.

The publication by the Mediapart website of the results of a year-long inquiry into pedophilia in the Church, and the simultaneous broadcast by the France 2 TV station of a documentary on the same subject feed into this.

Some clerics see the coverage as just an umpteenth episode in a hostile media campaign, one characterized by dishonesty, the conflation of 30-year-old incidents with new ones, and a lack of objectivity.

But others admit that the questions being raised are valid. “We no longer hear this idea of having it in for the Church,” said one recently appointed bishop. “This media pressure, which forces us to go further, more quickly, is not so bad.”

Gloriavale leaver says investigation outcome 'weak' and leaders are side-stepping allegations

NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Herald

A former Gloriavale member says leaders in the secretive West Coast community are "side-stepping" allegations of forced marriage and controlling behaviour.

The former member said he felt disappointed an 18-month investigation by Charity Services into the Christian Church Community Trust, which governs Gloriavale, didn't hold the community accountable for its behaviour.

The probe began in April 2015 after media reports about an increase in people leaving Gloriavale and allegations of sexual and physical abuse, the Newsroom website reported.

The investigation team worked with trustees, 18 community leavers and liaised with various government departments including the police who were already investigating the community over sexual abuse allegations.

The resulting report concluded that despite evidence of serious wrongdoing, the Christian Church Community Trust should not be issued with a warning notice but instead work with Charities Services to bring it up to standard.

Nassar in the news: Two plaintiffs come forward

MICHIGAN
The State News

By Casey Harrison
March 28, 2017

Amidst ongoing investigations by MSU and law enforcement, former university employee Larry Nassar has been under investigation since October 2016 for allegations of criminal sexual conduct.

To date, Nassar is now involved in multiple lawsuits, with plaintiffs named in cases against MSU and USA Gymnastics.

As details of the multiple cases unfold, the following is a recap of the newest information brought to light published by news organizations.

Nassar served as a catechist for St. Thomas Aquinas Church and was also a Eucharistic minister at St. John Church and Student Center.

The State News reported on Sunday a blog post affiliated with St. Thomas Aquinas Parish indicated he was a catechist for the 2015-16 school year and worked at the St. John Church and Student Center, according to a spring 2000 edition of Communiqué, the magazine of the College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Gloriavale rejects sex abuse claims

NEW ZEALAND
Otago Daily Times

Gloriavale has labelled claims of sexual abuse within the isolated community as ‘‘just nonsense’’.
A new report on an 18-month Government investigation has hinted a sexual predator is active in the Gloriavale community, a religious expert has said.

The Christian Church Community Trust, which governs the isolated West Coast community in Haupiri, was the subject of the Charities Services investigation.

The probe began in April 2015 after media reports about an increase in the number of people leaving Gloriavale and allegations of sexual and physical abuse, the Newsroom website reported.

Gloriavale trust board head Fervent Stedfast said yesterday the sexual assault allegations as well as comments that there was a sexual predator on the loose were ‘‘just nonsense’’.

‘No one is really saying he’s guilty,’ says victim after ex-Mormon bishop allowed to go free following sex crime convictions

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By JESSICA MILLER | The Salt Lake Tribune

Moments after a jury found him guilty of nearly a dozen sex abuse-related crimes, Keith Robert Vallejo walked out of the Provo courthouse last month a free man.

Despite requests from a prosecutor to have him jailed until his April sentencing date, a Utah County judge instead allowed the former Mormon bishop to remain free on bail, and to go home to his wife and eight children.

After three days of testimony, a 4th District Court jury found Vallejo guilty of ten counts of second-degree felony forcible sexual abuse and one count of object rape, a first-degree felony. Two women testified at the trial that he had inappropriately touched them during separate stays at his Provo home in 2013 and 2014.

"I still feel like, even after he's convicted, no one is really saying he's guilty," said Julia Kirby, who was 19 when Vallejo abused her. "Because if they were, why would the judge let him go home to a house full of young girls? I don't understand why that's a privilege he's given, when he's been convicted. He's been found guilty. It just, to me, says, 'Yeah, here a jury of his peers believed you, but this judge doesn't.' "

Jesus Army sex offender sentenced for string of indecent acts directed at children in Northamptonshire

UNITED KINGDOM
Daventry Express

ALASTAIR ULKE

A "predatory" man who indecently assaulted young boys while part of a Christian organisation in the 1980s has been sentenced at Northampton Crown Court.

Nigel Perkins, 56, from Cornwall, yesterday (March 28) pleaded guilty to three counts of indecent assault and two counts of gross indecency with a child under the age of 14.

His offences were carried out over six years in the 1980s while Perkins and his victims were members of the Christian community organisation

The Jesus Army, now known as the Jesus Fellowship, based in Northampton.

Perkins held head in his hands as the court heard how he 'opportunistically' assaulted his victims and how he convinced them not to talk about the incidents, causing long-lasting emotional damage to the boys.

His Honour Judge Smith said: "You moved from one young boy to another. Some have called it opportunistic but I term it predatory."

Church wants to help; encourages victims to reach out to survivor hotline

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Mar 29, 2017

By Krystal Paco

Lawsuits lodged against the Church may be on the rise, but calls to the Archdiocese of Agana's sexual abuse hotline number have come almost to a screeching halt. Deacon Len Stohr encourages victims to utilize the hotline number to get help from the Church.

In the last week, he's received only one call from a clergy sex abuse survivor. That individual, he says, has yet to file suit.

“I think people right now, do not trust the church, don't trust that they're going to have their best interests in mind. And I just want to ensure anyone whose listening that if you've been abused, we'd like to help you. We'd like to bring closure to the pain you've been suffering. And if there's a perpetrator out there that we can help to bring to justice and to get them away from other young people, that's the whole purpose of the hotline,” Stohr said.

Woodway: Pastors hear some frank talk about sexual assault, abuse

TEXAS
KWTX

By Ke'Sha Lopez Mar 28, 2017

WOODWAY, Texas (KWTX) Pastors from different denominations across the state were at First Woodway Baptist Church Tuesday, learning about sexual assault, sexual abuse, and how to prevent such crimes at church functions.

Taylor Post, Pastor of Child and Families at University Baptist Church in Waco, was one of dozens of pastors who watched a PowerPoint presentation that mentioned several pastors and teachers who have been charged or convicted of sex crimes against children.

Several were young adults, men and women, attractive, and what many would perceive as pillars in their communities.

"When you see pictures of people up on screen that look like people I would be friends with or people that would have been my mentor or something like that that really sort of drives at home,” Post said.

Attorney Greg Love, who runs the Ministry Safe program said the traditional parental “stranger danger” admonition isn’t enough to keep children safe.

At civil sex abuse trial, St. Louis priest is described as predator, brother and savior

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Joel Currier St. Louis Post-Dispatch

TROY, MO. • Wearing his clerical collar, Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang sat in a courtroom Tuesday as lawyers on opposing sides of a civil lawsuit portrayed him as a sexual predator who betrayed Lincoln County family’s trust and as the brotherly savior to a teenage girl seeking refuge from her family’s religious cult rituals.

Jiang, 34, is on trial this week in a civil suit accusing him of molesting a 16-year-old girl during a visit to her home in 2012. At the time, Jiang was an associate pastor at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica in the Central West End. The teen’s parents sued the priest, St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson and the St. Louis Archdiocese in 2013, accusing Jiang of abuse and Carlson of failing to supervise Jiang despite knowing that Jiang was dangerous to children.

Jiang arrived in St. Louis in 2009 with Carlson, who was installed as archbishop that year. Originally from China, Jiang had been in Carlson’s care since he was a young seminarian. Jiang was ordained here in 2010.

Lawyers for Jiang, his accuser and the archdiocese gave opening statements Tuesday to start what could be a two-week trial in Lincoln County Circuit Court. St. Louis Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer was appointed to preside over the trial after criminal charges against Jiang were dropped.

Jiang’s accuser, now 21, was in court Tuesday; the Post-Dispatch does not identify accusers in sex crime cases. Carlson, too, watched the opening statements from the courtroom.

Disgraced Ballarat Bishop Mulkearns who protected paedophiles erased from history

AUSTRALIA
The Age

Nino Bucci

Across Victoria, on buildings associated with the Catholic church, blank rectangles are appearing.

They signify the fresh removal of plaques, installed decades earlier to signify the opening of a school, church, hospital or hall.

Etched on the plaques is a name: Most Reverend R. A. Mulkearns.

Bishop Ronald Austin Mulkearns blessed almost every Catholic building opened in the Ballarat diocese between 1974 and 1996. He also supervised one of the worst periods of clerical child sexual abuse in Australia.

Treat us with humility, abuse survivors urge Church officials

ROME
Catholic Herald (UK)

by Catholic News Service
posted Tuesday, 28 Mar 2017

Prompt responses to emails and letters would be 'best practice', abuse survivor says

Acknowledging correspondence and treating victims with respect is the very least Church officials can offer, said survivors of clergy sex abuse.

Never letting a letter or email languish unanswered was such a key “best practice” of showing care and concern for victims of sexual abuse by clergy and religious that Marie Collins, an Irish survivor, stepped down from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors over the issue.

When it comes to whether an office should respond to a victim, “There’s an amazing ability to take whatever is simple” and make it sound “as if it’s highly complex,” said Declan Murphy, who was abused as an adolescent by two Christian Brothers in Dublin in the 1960s. Murphy, who was in South Korea, spoke to Catholic News Service via Skype in mid-March.

It’s a “basic courtesy” to respond, even if it is just a brief acknowledgment of receiving the letter with a general time frame of intended follow-up. “That’s the way most people work when they value and respect a person,” he said.

Alleged victim count now up to 37, latest accusers seek $10M each

GUAM
KUAM

Updated: Mar 29, 2017

By Krystal Paco

The number of clergy sex abuse lawsuits rises. Today, over three dozen plaintiffs are suing the institutions they allege failed to protect minors from known pedophile priests.

They'll only be identified by their initials in an effort to protect their privacy, but they're telling all when it comes to the abuse they endured while under the watch of Father Louis Brouillard. While he's a known pedophile priest, the latest filings in the District Court of Guam provide horrific details of the sex abuse.

For 59-year-old R.M.C., he was neither an altar boy or a Boy Scout. According to his complaint, his family couldn't afford the uniform or club fee, but Brouillard allowed him to join outings with other boys from the San Isidro Catholic Church in Malojloj anyway. The complaint details occasions where the priest would share his food with the boys, then encourage them to get naked and lay in his bed. One-by-one, he'd perform sex acts on them assuring them "this is not a sin" and "if this were a sin then we would not be enjoying this."

R.M.C. says the priest would force his hands and head towards his privates, but somehow, he was able to sneak away.

March 28, 2017

Tory Senate leader to take a look at Lynn Beyak’s comments on residential schools

CANADA
Toronto Star

By JORDAN PRESSThe Canadian Press
Tues., March 28, 2017

OTTAWA—The newly minted leader of the Conservatives in the Senate says he intends to take a second look at Sen. Lynn Beyak to see what, if any, actions the Tories should take over her comments on residential schools.

Beyak doubled down this week on her comments that there was “good” done in residential schools, insisting that she had no need for additional education about residential schools or indigenous culture, citing a long-standing friendship with an “aboriginal fellow” and her experiences in northern Ontario.

Beyak refused to elaborate Tuesday on the comments in a CBC interview where she described an outpouring of public support for her position.

Sen. Larry Smith, who takes over as Conservative leader on Saturday, said he plans to meet the rest of his leadership team to figure out if, among other things, Beyak should be removed from the aboriginal peoples committee, given the strong emotional reaction to Beyak’s comments inside and outside the Tory caucus.

Court date set in priest child-porn case

LOUISIANA
The Advertiser

Ken Stickney , kstickney@theadvertiser.com March 28, 2017

The Rev. F. David Broussard will enter a plea to child pornography charges at a 9 a.m. May 2 arraignment in District Court in St. Martin Parish.

Robert Chevalier, assistant district attorney in the 16th District Attorney’s Office, confirmed the court date Tuesday.

Broussard remains free on $25,000 bond. Chevalier said he was confident the priest, who is on administrative leave from the Diocese of Lafayette, would appear in court.

Under the conditions of his bond, Broussard was forbidden to use or possess a computer.

Justice for victims bigger than Commission TORs

AUSTRALIA
Lawyers Weekly

29 March 2017 Melissa Coade

A number of recommendations have been made in the latest report to come from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse's inquiry, but some lawyers have said that law reforms must go further to make a real difference.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) has welcomed the release of a new report concerning survivors of child sex abuse.

One of the latest documents to come from the royal commission is the report on redress and civil litigation. The report makes a key recommendation for all jurisdictions to remove limitation periods for child sexual abuse offences.

Dr Andrew Morrison SC, who is a spokesperson for the ALA, said the organisation considered the good work of the inquiry as an opportunity to secure justice for everyone.

He said enacting consistent reforms nationwide is the most direct way to deliver access to justice for all survivors of child sexual abuse.

KNIGHTS OF MALTA CALLED TO CONTRIBUTE TO ORDER'S REFORM AHEAD OF CRUCIAL ELECTION OF NEW LEADER, REVEALS LETTER

ROME
The Tablet

28 March 2017 | by Christopher Lamb in Rome

The knights’ former Grand Master, Matthew Festing, has hinted at a re-election bid

Knights of Malta from across the world have been asked to help with Pope Francis’ reform of the ancient Catholic lay order ahead of a crucial gathering in Rome to elect a new leader.

But the plans for an overhaul come as the knights’ former Grand Master, Fra’ Matthew Festing, has hinted at a re-election bid, a move that sources in Rome say would throw the order on to a collision course once again with the Vatican.

Next month’s election takes place after a bruising public fallout between the order and the Holy See which led to the resignation of Festing and the appointment by the Pope of a personal delegate to assist with a “spiritual and moral” renewal of the knights.

Archbishop Giovanni Becciu, a senior official in the Secretariat of State and Francis’ point man with the 800-year-old order, has, along with the knights’ acting leader, asked all members to send proposed changes by the end of this month.

“The aim of the order’s reform, wished for by the Holy Father, is that of consolidating and prolonging its distinguished heritage of faith and of spirituality and for this reason we would like to begin a study which lays the groundwork for open and constructive dialogue,” Archbishop Becciu and Fra’ Ludwig Hoffmann-Rumerstein write in their letter dated 6 March 2017 and seen by The Tablet.

Francis’ clericalism of mercy is perpetuating the sex abuse scandal

UNITED STATES
Spiritual Politics

By Mark Silk

Cardinal Sean O’Malley said last week that Pope Francis is committed to ending “the scourge of sex abuse.” Doth the cardinal protest too much?

I hope not. But things are not going well on the sex abuse front in Rome.

On March 1, abuse survivor Marie Collins resigned her position on the pope’s child protection commission, citing lack of cooperation from Vatican bureaucrats. The final straw, she said, was discovering that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), which has responsibility for handling cases of child abuse by priests, has refused to respond to letters from survivors.

When the head of the CDF, Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, sought to rebut Collins’ charges, she issued a humiliating point-by-point denunciation. The pope himself had approved the commission’s recommendation that the CDF respond to survivors’ letters.

Collins also pointed out that the CDF had declined papal instructions two years ago to establish a tribunal for disciplining bishops who have been negligent in handling abuse cases.

FEWER PRIEST ACCUSERS TO TESTIFY AT EX-OFFICIAL'S RETRIAL

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Associated Press

Updated: Mar 28, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A judge will allow "prior bad act" testimony from perhaps only one other church-abuse victim when a church official is retried on child endangerment charges.

Monsignor William Lynn is being retried after serving nearly three years of a three- to six-year sentence in a child endangerment case.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the conviction over weeks of testimony from 23 priest abuse victims not directly tied to his case.

This time, prosecutors asked to introduce complaints about nine other priests to try to show that Lynn helped the church cover up the priest-abuse problem.

Attorney: Sex abuse victims can hide identity

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

Mindy Aguon | For The Guam Daily Post

Victims of sexual abuse can file civil action and protect their identity, according to attorney Kevin Fowler.

The attorney, along with Washington-based law firm Pfau Cochran Vertetis Amala, filed two lawsuits in the Superior Court of Guam yesterday against the Archdiocese of Agana and Father Louis Brouillard.

One lawsuit was filed by an individual with the initials "M.M."

Fowler said it is the first sex-abuse suit against the Catholic Church on Guam that protects the identity of sexual abuse survivors. He said it's common for courts to protect the identity of sexual assault victims, including survivors of childhood sexual abuse, at least until trial.

"People who survived abuse should not think they have to make their names publicly known in order to seek justice," Fowler said.

'She's made a fool of herself': Senator stands by residential school comments

CANADA
CTV

Despite growing calls for her resignation, a Conservative senator who argued that Canada’s notorious residential school system had some benefits says she stands by her comments.

Sen. Lynn Beyak, a member of the Senate’s standing committee on aboriginal people, is refusing to resign. She attended a committee meeting on Tuesday, even though some members have said they now feel uncomfortable working with her on indigenous issues.

During a speech in the upper chamber earlier this month, Beyak said the government-funded residential schools, where indigenous children suffered widespread physical and sexual abuse, were not all bad. She said negative stories about the schools are overshadowing the good things they accomplished, such as raising indigenous children as Christians.

The chairwoman of the Senate committee on aboriginal people, Lillian Eva Dyck, said Tuesday she’s “stunned” that Beyak continues to stand by her comments. Beyak also said in an interview that she doesn’t need any more education on residential schools because she too has “suffered” alongside survivors.

OPINION Beyak perpetuates 'astonishingly insulting' narrative about residential schools: Wente

CANADA
CBC News

Conservative Senator Lynn Beyak reiterated her defence of residential schools in an interview with CBC News on Monday, saying, "I made my statements, and I stand by them."

Beyak, who had earlier said that residential schools were responsible for "good deeds," has argued there's no reason for her to step down from her position on the Senate's Committee on Aboriginal Peoples, despite suggestions from the chair that she should consider it.

"I think, if you go across Canada, there are shining examples from sea to sea of people who owe their lives to the schools," she said in her CBC interview, though she did acknowledge that the bad parts of the schools were "horrific."

Jesse Wente, an Indigenous pop culture columnist for CBC Radio's Metro Morning, spoke with host Matt Galloway on Tuesday about his reaction.

Pedofilia. La commissione vaticana: le proposte di padre Zoellner

ROMA
YouTube - TV2000

Published on Mar 27, 2017

Pedofilia. Nel comunicato della Pontificia Commissione per la Protezione dei Minori, riunitasi dal 24 al 26 marzo, l'auspicio di risposte più rapide

Abuse commission member: We asked pope to create Vatican office to train in responding to survivors

ROME
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Mar. 28, 2017

ROME A member of Pope Francis' commission on clergy sexual abuse says his group has asked the pontiff to create a new Vatican office to train the city-state's personnel in how to respond to letters from abuse survivors.

Jesuit Fr. Hans Zollner, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, told the Italian Catholic channel TV2000 Monday that Vatican officials need training before they can respond to survivors.

"Many people in the Vatican do not know how to respond because they lack the psychological, theological and juridical background," said Zollner, who also leads the Pontifical Gregorian University's Center for Child Protection.

"It takes a complex set of competences and professional abilities," he said March 27. "We have asked the pope to create an office to train people who can respond, as we must, to people."

The question of how the Vatican responds to abuse survivors' letters has been raised this month following Marie Collins March 1 resignation as a member of the pontifical commission.

CONVERSION OF CITY MAGDALENE LAUNDRY TO WOMEN’S REFUGE DELAYED AMID MOTHER AND BABY HOMES CONTROVERSY

IRELAND
Galway Bay FM

Galway Bay fm newsroom – The conversion of the old Magdalene Laundry at Forster Street in the city has been delayed until the outcome of the future of an investigation into mother and baby homes is determined.

Domestic Violence Outreach Worker with COPE Galway Waterside House, Jackie Carroll has given a presentation on the service to members of the City Joint Policing Committee.

It was revealed at the JPC meeting that breaches of barring, safety and protection orders have almost doubled in the Galway city garda district.

According to garda figures, rapes in the city last year increased by 38 per cent compared to the previous year, while sexual assaults were up by almost 30 per cent.

Jackie Carroll from COPE Waterside House told the meeting that there is no legal definition of domestic violence in Ireland.

Publication of mother and baby homes report delayed

IRELAND
Irish Times

Marie O'Halloran

Publication of the second interim report of the commission of inquiry into mother and baby homes has been delayed because of the time required to respond appropriately to its recommendations.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone pledged earlier this month to publish the report by the end of March but she said on Tuesday that the delay was “for very good reasons”.

Ms Zappone did not give a date for publication but she expected to be able to “clarify the time frame for the Government’s deliberative process in the coming week”.

The Minister was very disappointed that she could not publish it as she planned and she was “very sensitive to the expectation of former residents and their advocates who want to see the contents of the report”.

Pastor kept child porn to research Cupid, love, trafficking, affidavit says

TEXAS
Star-Telegram

BY DOMINGO RAMIREZ JR.
ramirez@star-telegram.com

An associate pastor told police he kept child pornography on his computer “to remind himself of what other people like to look at,” according to a search warrant affidavit.

James Rankin, 78, also saved about 50 images of children engaging in pornography as part of research for “a possible lesson involving Cupid, love and human trafficking seven to eight years ago,” the search affidavit stated.

But police noted that dates associated with some of the images were as recent as February, according to the affidavit obtained by the Star-Telegram on Monday.

Police say they believe the images appeared to be of “home-made”quality, according to the affidavit.

Rankin was arrested Thursday after employees at Best Buy called police to report they had found what they believed was child pornography on a computer brought in for repair by the associate pastor.

Investigation, removal of Florida priest divides parish

FLORIDA
National Catholic Reporter

Peter Feuerherd | Mar. 28, 2017

A Florida pastor in ecclesial limbo, even after being cleared by a state attorney's investigation into taking financial advantage of an elderly parishioner, is being supported by parishioners who want him reinstated.

Fr. Christopher Senk, 67, pastor of St. Isabel Parish on Sanibel Island in the Diocese of Venice, Florida, was put on paid administrative leave Oct. 28 of last year by Bishop Frank Dewane until a church investigation is completed. Senk's case is being examined by the Vatican.

A sister of Marion McIntyre accused Senk of taking advantage of a friendship which included donations of thousands of dollars through which he personally benefitted. The case was investigated by the Lee County Sheriff's office and the state attorney for two years. In April 2016 the state attorney decided not to press charges in the case.

"We had such a wonderful parish," Shirley Bohnert, a St. Isabel parishioner for the past 20 years and supporter of Senk, pastor for the past 14 years, told NCR. "There's just no joy now. Now it's just like a pall over the parish, like someone has died," she said.

Analysis Exile, Therapy and Only Sometimes the Police: How ultra-Orthodox Jews Handle Sex Offenders

ISRAEL
Haaretz

Yair Ettinger Mar 28, 2017

The arrest Monday of 22 ultra-Orthodox suspects on sexual offenses allegedly committed over the past two years against juveniles and women comes at a time of major change in the attitude of the Haredi public regarding the handling of sexual offenses. This is reflected first of all in a new level of cooperation between the Haredim and the police, even including educational institutions affiliated with particularly insular Haredi factions.

Another change relates to intensive coverage that Haredi news websites now devote to sexual offenses, even if it doesn’t extend to Haredi print journalism. It does, however, extend to Haredi social media.

But these arrests are a reminder that the traditional method of attempting to deal with sexual offenses within the community persists. Allegedly, records concerning the sexual predators were kept by a single person – known in Haredi circles as a “fixer.” This person is said to have operated under the auspices of a Jerusalem-based body known as the “purification commission” of the community, which works in various Haredi communities.

The fixer himself is not a suspect in the case and is not under arrest. He has been in contact with the police for years and testified in many sexual-offense cases, helping police obtain convictions. But it is now alleged that he also maintained a network that would field and investigate complaints about sexual offenses, using old-world methods accepted in the Haredi world. Usually, offenders who were said to have undergone “arbitration” proceedings of various kinds within the community reportedly were forced to undergo therapy, possibly with a psychologist, or they may have been “exiled” to another city.

The newly disclosed case was uncovered almost by happenstance after the fixer’s name came up in another major case in the Haredi community involving an attempt to incriminate two couples in Ukraine in connection with a family dispute. Last week an indictment was filed in that case. While investigators cleared the fixer of suspicion in the Ukraine case, they are said to have found that he had possession of the records that led to the new investigation.

Law enforcement officials in touch with the Haredi community have spoken of their increasingly close cooperation with the community’s leadership. A year ago a closed-door conference on the subject of sexual offenses was held under the auspices of the rabbi of the police Central District. And in Jerusalem, there is a center for treatment of juvenile victims in the Haredi community that operates with the involvement of police investigators, psychologists and municipal social workers.

Sources have recounted instances in which ultra-Orthodox schools have encouraged the filing of police complaints. Even if most cases are still handled without police being notified, until a few years ago it would have been unheard of to involve law enforcement officials. And now many Haredi schools, particularly for girls, have put programs in place to address the issue of sexual offenses in the family and community.

In the case of the 22 suspects, it now appears that representatives from the purification commission in touch with the police were using a two-track system of enforcement, one of which worked within the Haredi community and the other with outside officials. The investigation of the new case is therefore expected to look into what considerations came into play in deciding to turn certain suspects over to the police while quietly dealing with others inside the community.

Was it the severity of the allegations or did it have to do with the personal standing of the alleged victims and offenders? Did it have anything to do with the nature of their ties with the rabbis and others who dealt with the case?

Eli Schlesinger, a reporter for the Behadrei Haredim ultra-Orthodox website, who has been among the most prominent reporters covering the issue, which in the past wouldn’t have been touched by the Haredi media, noted that the purification commission has been providing major assistance to the police, and over the past year provided a great deal of material related to a major sexual offense case in Modi’in Illit. It is possible, Schlesinger added, that the new case will do damage to these cooperative ties.

Avigayil Heilbronn-Karlinsky is the founder of an organization called Lo Tishtok (Thou Shalt Not Be Silent), which began as a Facebook page and was transformed into an agency that provides substantial assistance to victims of sexual offenses in the ultra-Orthodox community. Although she supports involving the police, she told Haaretz there is no single sweeping approach that always applies. “There are a lot of private entities, not just Haredi ones, that legally deal with offenses in the community and sometimes they do it better than the police, whose means are limited,” she said.

But she also said her organization does not recommend dealing with cases in the traditional manner within the community, “other than in cases in which there is no alternative because legal authorities can’t help or because the victims will under no circumstances contact the police.”

Two particularly serious cases that were dealt with inside the Haredi community and are now the subject of legal proceedings involve two senior figures at Haredi yeshivas in the greater Tel Aviv area and in Jerusalem. The two cases were initially dealt with inside the community with the involvement of senior rabbis, but in both instances efforts to enforce the decisions in the cases failed. The offenders continued to commit sexual offenses and were not being punished.

The Lo Tishtok organization exposed one of the cases. Heilbronn- Karlinsky said, “In both cases, they were people who faced the threat of being turned over to the police, but even when they continued causing harm, the private and community officials never followed through on the threat. That’s what happened until we entered the picture and took the first complainant to the police.”

Orne : l’Eglise révèle une affaire de pédophilie vieille de 30 ans

FRANCE
MSN

[The Diocese of Orne/ Seez chose to announce to the public that it had received a complaint from a victim about acts of pedophilia committed by one of its priests.]

C’est suffisamment rare pour être souligné : l’Eglise révèle une affaire de prêtre pédophile. Dans un communiqué diffusé jeudi, le diocèse de Séez (Orne) dénonce des faits d’agression sexuelle commis à la fin des années 80 sur une lycéenne, mineure à l’époque.

«Au mois de février, j’ai été saisi par une personne d’une plainte concernant des agressions sexuelles commises par un prêtre du diocèse de Séez, l’abbé Daniel Prunier», écrit l’évêque Jacques Habert. Le prêtre mis en cause est un homme de 92 ans aujourd’hui, gravement malade et hospitalisé depuis plusieurs semaines. Selon Ouest-France, Mgr Habert serait allé au chevet de l’abbé Prunier qui aurait reconnu les faits.

Domfront (61), agressions sexuelles sur une lycéenne par un prêtre : la victime avait parlé en 1998

FRANCE
Franceinfo

The woman who had been the victim of sexual assaults when she was a minor on the part of Father Prunier, then Domfront's priest, had revealed the facts to the former bishop in 1998.

Les instances religieuses savaient dès 1998

La victime avait contacté Monseigneur Dubigeon, alors évêque du diocèse en 1998. A l'époque, l'affaire avait été "réglée en interne". Elle n'a pas été ébruitée et les archives de l'évêché n'en font pas mention. L'évêque actuel, Mgr Habert, est allé hier à la rencontre des paroissiens de Domfront qui étaient eux-même stupéfaits de la nouvelle.

Communiqué de Mgr Habert : Agression sexuelle sur mineure par un prêtre

FRANCE
Riposte Catholique

Communiqué issued by Monsignor Habert: Sexual assault on a minor by a priest Diocese de Seez.

Pédophilie à Yaoundé: l'église catholique donne sa version

CAMEROON
Cameroon Web

[In a long communique that the editorial staff of CameroonWeb reveals in its entirety, the Saint-Jean Community reply to the accusations of pedophilia within its community.]

against which it is the object and informs that "Brother Emmanuel obviously stands at the disposal of the French and Cameroonian justice, if They consider it necessary ".

Dans un long communiqué que révèle en intégralité la rédaction de CameroonWeb, la Communauté Saint-Jean répond aux accusations de pédophilie dont elle fait l’objet et informe que « le frère Emmanuel se tient évidemment à la disposition de la justice française et camerounaise, si elles le jugent nécessaire ».

La communauté avoue qu’elle a « honte » et demande « pardon aux victimes et à leurs familles pour les agissements inadmissibles des frères incriminés et pour les dysfonctionnements de la communauté dans la gestion de ces cas dans le passé ».

Un joven seminarista acusa a padre de Coahuila de abuso sexual (VIDEO)

MEXICO
Mientras Tanto

[A young seminarian accuses a Coahuila priest of sexual abuse.]

La iglesia espera la resolución de las autoridades para saber si castiga o no al sacerdote

El padre abusó de él cuando se encontraba bajo los influjos del alcohol

En 2013, a sus 15 años de edad, el joven “José” ingresó al Seminario Diocesano de Piedras Negras, el cual era dirigido por el padre Juan Manuel Riojas, popularmente conocido como padre Meño. Tras su ingreso, fue tutelado por el sacerdote.

Llaman a indagatoria al sacerdote denunciado por abuso sexual

ARGENTINA
TDFaldia

[Criminal lawyer Francisco Ibarra confirmed to Radio Fueguina that the priest Cristian Vázquez, accused of sexually abusing a minor, will be brought to probation next April 20, after the judge stated that there is sufficient evidence to suspect that the priest committed a crime.]

Será el próximo 20 de abril. Lo confirmó el abogado defensor de la joven víctima, Francisco Ibarra. "Entiendo que existen los elementos para probar que existió un abuso", sostuvo en diálogo con Radio Fueguina.

El abogado penalista Francisco Ibarra confirmó a Radio Fueguina que el sacerdote Cristian Vázquez, acusado de abusar sexualmente de menor de edad, será llevado a indagatoria el próximo 20 de abril, luego de que el Juez dispusiera que existen pruebas suficientes para sospechar que el cura cometió un delito.

“Se han realizado las medidas probatorias que se habían pedido y el señor Juez ha dispuesto la indagatoria para el mes que viene (20 de abril)”, explicó Ibarra, quien además señaló que existe “un cúmulo de pruebas y de declaraciones testimoniales que han sido corroboradas” y luego una Cámara Gesel “terminó de acreditar esto”.

Lawsuit accuses archdiocese of squandering money from cemetery fund

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

Two Orange County residents are suing the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, alleging that a Mission Hills cemetery has misused maintenance funds and left their family's gravesites in ruins.

Jodi Howard and William Howard, whose relatives are buried at San Fernando Mission Cemetery in Mission Hills, filed the class-action suit March 21 after they had difficulty finding the grave markers of their loved ones.

They allege breach of contract, negligence and fraud by concealment.

Along with what they claim is the generally poor state of the cemetery grounds, the plaintiffs said grave markers were either missing, damaged or covered in overgrown weeds during their repeated visits.

Vatikan-Antwort für Missbrauchsopfer: „Zeitnah, persönlich“

ROM
Radio Vatikan

[Vatican officials are not answering letters from abuse survivors.]

Die Päpstliche Kinderschutzkommission hat vorgeschlagen, dass an den Vatikan gerichtete Briefe von Missbrauchsopfern zeitnah beantwortet werden sollten. Dies geht aus der Erklärung der Kommission zu deren jüngster Plenarsitzung hervor. Was das genau bedeuten kann und wie die bisherige Praxis dazu aussieht, darüber hat Radio Vatikan mit dem Jesuiten Pater Hans Zollner gesprochen. Er ist Leiter des Kinderschutzzentrums an der Päpstlichen Universität Gregoriana und Mitglied der Päpstlichen Kinderschutzkommission.

Das ganze Interview hören Sie über das Anklicken des Lautsprechersymbols oben links.

Vatikan: Kinderschutzkommission fordert Mitgefühl

VATIKAN
religion@orf

[The pontifical commission for dealing with abuse has called on the Vatican to have more sympathy with victims of abuse in the Catholic church.]

Die päpstliche Kommission zur Aufarbeitung von Missbrauchsfällen hat den Vatikan zu mehr Mitgefühl mit Missbrauchsopfern in der katholischen Kirche aufgerufen.

Es sei wichtig, dass Briefe der Betroffenen an den Vatikan „zeitnah“ und „persönlich“ beantwortet würden, erklärte das Gremium am Montag. Dies könne zu „weiterer Transparenz und Heilung“ beitragen. Um diese Vorgaben umzusetzen, seien „spezifische Ressourcen und Prozeduren“ erforderlich.

Bistümer starten Aufruf an mögliche Opfer sexualisierter Gewalt des ehemaligen Jesuiten Peter R.

DEUTSCHLAND
Jesuiten

[Berlin / Hildesheim - The bishopric of Hildesheim and the Archdiocese of Berlin have today launched calls for possible victims in connection with allegations of sexual abuse by the former Jesuit riest Peter R.. The Jesuit priest, ordained priest in 1971 in Berlin, worked as a teacher and youth worker at the Canisius College in Berlin from 1972 to 1981. He was then employed in the Bishopric of Hildesheim from 1982 to 1989, initially as a dean of youth welfare in Göttingen, and then from 1989 to 1997 in the municipality of Guter Hirt in Hildesheim, from 1997 to 1998 in the municipality of St. Christophorus in Wolfsburg and from 1999 to 2003 In the municipality of St. Maximilian Kolbe in Hanover. In 1995, he was released from the Jesuit Order and transferred to the Bishopric of Hildesheim as a priest.]

Berlin/Hildesheim - In Bezug auf Vorwürfe des sexuellen Missbrauchs durch den ehemaligen Jesuitenpater Peter R. haben das Bistum Hildesheim und das Erzbistum Berlin heute Aufrufe an mögliche Opfer gestartet. Der 1971 in Berlin zum Priester geweihte ehemalige Jesuitenpater war zunächst von 1972 bis 1981 am Canisius-Kolleg in Berlin als Lehrer und in der Jugendarbeit tätig. Er war dann ab 1982 im Bistum Hildesheim tätig, zunächst von 1982 bis 1989 als Dekanatsjugendseelsorger in Göttingen und anschließend von 1989 bis 1997 in der Gemeinde Guter Hirt in Hildesheim, von 1997 bis 1998 in der Gemeinde St. Christophorus in Wolfsburg und von 1999 bis 2003 in der Gemeinde St. Maximilian Kolbe in Hannover. 1995 wurde er aus dem Jesuitenorden entlassen und wechselte als Priester ins Bistum Hildesheim. Er war von zahlreichen Personen beschuldigt worden, sie als Minderjährige in den Jahren von 1970-1988 sexuell missbraucht zu haben.

Lawmakers eliminating time-frame protection for child sex offenders

ILLINOIS
Columbia Chronicle

Eric Bradach, Metro Editor

Those who suffered sexual abuse and assault as children decades ago may soon be able to obtain justice by having their victimizers prosecuted.

State Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign, introduced Senate Bill 189 in January, which would eliminate the statute of limitations for all felony child abuse and sexual assault crimes. It already passed the Senate Criminal Law Committee, of which Bennett is a member, with a 10-0 vote March 7 and is now awaiting a full Senate vote, according to Illinois legislative records.

“What this does is say, ‘This shouldn’t be so complicated,’” Bennett said. “If a child has been sexually assaulted, the timeline should be up to that survivor to come forward, not some arbitrary time deadline.”

As a former assistant state’s attorney in Champaign County, Bennett said he primarily worked on cases of child sexual abuse and assault, and his experiences were a motivator in drafting the bill. The statute of limitations on these crimes can cause victims to hesitate coming forward, he added.

Advocates Try Again To Extend The Time Victims Have To Report Sexual Abuse

CONNECTICUT
CT News Junkie

by Jack Kramer | Mar 27, 2017

HARTFORD, CT - A proposal to extend the amount of time adult victims of a sexual assault have to report the crime was the subject of an emotional Judiciary Committee public hearing last week.

Victims, and advocates for victims, told committee members at the hearing Friday that the additional time is needed because it sometimes takes years for victims to find the courage to come forward.

Some, such as the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, argued there should be no time limit to report sexual assaults, noting that more than 20 states across the country already have laws in place either allowing victims 10 years or more to report crimes, and some, no time period whatsoever.

But some committee members, while sympathetic to the victims, voiced concerns over whether extending the time period, past the current five-year time period, would prove to be too costly.

Lock ‘em Up: Philly D.A. Who Put Innocent Priests in Prison Now Indicted On 23 Counts of Bribery and Corruption

PENNSYLVANIA
TheMediaReport

Inasmuch as Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams has been engaged in a years-long, Moby Dick-like obsession to throw innocent Catholic priests in prison, there was a sense of poetic justice when federal prosecutors indicted Williams last week on numerous charges of using his influence in exchange for opulent gifts, trips, and cash.

[**Click to read the federal indictment against Philly DA Seth Williams (pdf)**]

According to the indictment, Williams "solicited, accepted, and agreed to accept" gifts including round-trip trips to the Dominican Republic, Las Vegas, California, and Florida; Luis Vuitton clothing; a Jaguar XK8 convertible; thousands in cash, and more. And if this were not enough, Williams also stole money from his own adoptive mother.

Back in 2011, Williams orchestrated a grand jury to issue a report which made international headlines with its claims that numerous priests from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia committed sex abuse. Years later, however, we now know that Williams' grand jury report was completely bogus, and it destroyed the lives of numerous innocent men.

Upstate mom says WoFF severed relationship with daughter

SOUTH CAROLINA
WSPA

[with video]

By Brianna Smith
Published: March 27, 2017

SPARTANBURG, SC (WSPA) – An Upstate mother spoke with 7 News about the effects of Word of Faith Fellowship Church on her relationship with her daughter.

The Associated Press released a series of articles outlining abuse allegations from former members of the church.

Constance Hardin says her daughter, Cherish Santos, joined Word of Faith Fellowship 6 years ago.

Hardin states that at first she was allowed to visit Santos, but the longer she was in the church, the more she says Santos pushed away.

Lynn Beyak Won't Step Down From Senate Committee On Aboriginal Peoples

CANADA
Huffington Post

By Emma Paling

A Conservative senator who was criticized for praising “some good things,” about residential schools will not step down from the Senate committee on aboriginal peoples.

“I’ve made my statements and I stand by them,” Lynn Beyak told CBC News on Monday.

She said she’s received “hundreds and hundreds and hundreds” of letters of support since saying that the positive side of residential schools went unacknowledged.

"I've suffered with them up there," Beyak said of residential school survivors in her northwestern Ontario riding. "I appreciate their suffering more than they'll ever know."

Editorial | Support for sexually abused a phone call away

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

At first glance, a 200 percent increase in the number of adult male victims of childhood sexual assault seeking help from Victim Services Inc. within the past year is alarming.

But put into perspective, the time frame roughly follows the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General’s release of a grand jury report detailing an alleged decades-long cover-up of child sexual abuse within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown.

Are the two related? Mike Oliver, executive director of Victim Services, said there was “no way to gauge” because “that’s not a question that we ask (clients).”

However, the high-profile case and news coverage it received could have been the impetus for more victims to come forward, Oliver told reporter Dave Sutor.

Message in a bottle: Letters need humble response, say abuse survivors

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service
3.27.2017

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Acknowledging correspondence and treating victims with respect is the very least church officials can offer, said survivors of clergy sex abuse.

Never letting a letter or email languish unanswered was such a key "best practice" of showing care and concern for victims of sexual abuse by clergy and religious that Marie Collins, an Irish survivor, stepped down from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors over the issue.

When it comes to whether an office should respond to a victim, "There's an amazing ability to take whatever is simple" and make it sound "as if it's highly complex," said Declan Murphy, who was abused as an adolescent by two Christian Brothers in Dublin in the 1960s. Murphy, who was in South Korea, spoke to Catholic News Service via Skype in mid-March.

It's a "basic courtesy" to respond, even if it is just a brief acknowledgment of receiving the letter with a general time frame of intended follow-up. "That's the way most people work when they value and respect a person," he said.

Two more church sex abuse accusers brings total to 35

GUAM
KUAM

[with video]

Updated: Mar 28, 2017

By Krystal Paco

The number of plaintiffs suing for clergy sex abuse rises. Today, two more victims file suit in the Superior Court of Guam. Today's fillings mark the 34th and 35th victims to surface since Guam law was changed to lift the statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases.

Like the others, he alleges he was a victim of child sex abuse at the hands of a clergy member.

Only listed by his initials M.M., the 56-year-old alleges he was abused by priest and Boy Scout troop leader Father Louis Brouillard when he was around 10-years-old. The complaint, which was filed in the Superior Court of Guam on Tuesday, alleges Brouillard would drive around the Malojojo village on Saturday nights, picking up M.M. and other altar boys to serve mass the next morning - or at least that's what the priest told parents.

According to the complaint filed against the Archdiocese of Agana and the Boy Scouts of America Aloha Council, M.M. was subject to fondling, masturbation, and oral sex in the Church and rectory. The abuse wasn't limited to church grounds as M.M. alleges on Boy Scout outings, he was subject to having his genitals fondled in order to earn merit badges, such as swimming and water rescue.

EX-CHURCH OFFICIAL DUE IN COURT AS LAWYERS PLAN FOR RETRIAL

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- A longtime Philadelphia church official is due back in court as lawyers debate how many church abuse victims should testify at his retrial.

Monsignor William Lynn is being retried after serving nearly three years of a three- to six-year sentence in a child endangerment case.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court threw out the conviction over weeks of testimony from priest abuse victims not directly tied to his case.

The new trial judge will ask prosecutors Tuesday to call fewer than a dozen victims, down from 23 at the first trial.

Lynn is accused of endangering an altar boy who says he was assaulted by a priest in 1998.

2 sex-abuse cases filed, one victim's name kept confidential

GUAM
The Guam Daily Post

By Mindy Aguon | For the Guam Daily Post

Victims of sexual abuse can file civil action and protect their identity, according to attorney Kevin Fowler.

The attorney filed two lawsuits in the Superior Court today against the Archdiocese of Agana, the Boy Scouts of America and Father Louis Brouillard. One lawsuit was filed by an individual with the initials “M.M.”.

Fowler said it is the first suit that protects the identity of sexual abuse survivors. He said it is common for courts to protect the identity of sexual assault victims, including survivors of childhood sexual abuse, at least until trial. “People who survived abuse should not think they have to make their names publicly known in order to seek justice,” Fowler said.

The lawsuit filed by “M.M.” alleges that Brouillard, a former priest at San Isidro Parish in Malojloj and a Boy Scout Master on Guam, sexually abused him for approximately five years during overnight stays beginning when he was 9 years old.

2 more clergy abuse suits filed

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Haidee V Eugenio , heugenio@guampdn.com March 28, 2017

Two former altar boys allege former Catholic priest Louis Brouillard sexually abused them multiple times on parish grounds and during Boy Scouts of America activities starting when they were only about 9 years old.

Lawsuits filed by “M.M.”, now 56, and John Cruz, now 55, bring to 35 the Guam clergy sexual abuse cases filed thus far in local and federal court.

The first complaint identifies the plaintiff only as “M.M.," this is the first Guam clergy sex abuse lawsuit that protects a plaintiff’s identity. M.M. lives in Washington state. Cruz lives in Agat.

The men filed their lawsuits in the Superior Court of Guam against the Archdiocese of Agana and the Boy Scouts of America Tuesday morning.

March 27, 2017

Assignment Record– Msgr. Wallace A. Harris

NEW YORK
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Wallace A. Harris was ordained for the Archdiocese of New York in 1972. He assisted at St. Joseph of the Holy Family for more than a decade and, from the late 1970s through the 1980s, was on the faculty of Cathedral Preparatory Seminary. In 1990 Harris was named pastor of St. Charles Borromeo Parish in Harlem, where he remained for nearly twenty years. In addition, he was administrator for several years of two other parishes in the 2000s - St. Peter's, and Resurrection in Harlem.

Through the years, Harris rose to prominence in the archdiocese. He held the position of Spiritual Advisor for the Society of St. Vincent De Paul, served on the Archdiocesan Priests Council, and was an Archdiocesan Consultor. In 2009 he was elevated to Monsignor. He was selected in 2002 to testify before the USCCB's National Review Board; Harris told the board that clergy sex abuse was a problem, but that too many innocent priests were being accused. In March 2008 Msgr. Harris gave the invocation for the new governor's inauguration and the following month he organized Pope Benedict XVI's mass at Yankee Stadium.

In June 2008 a man alleged that, when he was a 13- or 14-year-old Cathedral Prep student, Harris sexually abused him. The D.A. investigated and discovered another former Cathedral Prep student with allegations against Harris. Harris was suspended in late July. Soon thereafter a third man came forward, saying Harris sexually abused him when he was 13 to 16 years-old. This accuser said he was Harris' godson, and had been his student at St. Joseph's parish and Cathedral Prep. By September 2010 seven additional men had come forward. Harris denied the allegations. He was not criminally charged due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.

In 2012 Harris was sentenced by the Vatican to "a life of prayer and penance." Per the archdiocese, he was living under "very, very close supervision" in a Catholic facility.

Ordained: 1972

Senator Lynn Beyak says she has 'suffered' with residential school survivors

CANADA
CBC News

By John Paul Tasker, CBC News Posted: Mar 27, 2017

Senator Lynn Beyak says she doesn't need any more education about the horrors of the residential school system because she "suffered" alongside Indigenous people who were sent to the institutions.

The Conservative senator from northwestern Ontario reiterated her defence of the schools in an interview with CBC News on Monday.

"I made my statements, and I stand by them," she said. "I think, if you go across Canada, there are shining examples from sea to sea of people who owe their lives to the schools," she said, while acknowledging that the bad parts of the schools were "horrific."

"I've suffered with them up there. I appreciate their suffering more than they'll ever know," she said. "The best way to heal is to move forward together. Not to blame, not to point fingers, not to live in the past."

Respond to clerical abuse victims, Vatican told

ROME
The Times (UK)

Ellen Coyne
March 28 2017
The Times

The Catholic church’s commission on child safety has called on the Vatican to react “directly and compassionately” to letters from victims of clerical sex abuse after concerns were raised by Marie Collins.

Ms Collins, who was abused by a Dublin hospital chaplain when she was 13, was one of two victims on the 16-person Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. She resigned because a separate Vatican body was not responding to letters from victims and had refused to co-operate with the establishment of a tribunal into alleged abuse, which was announced by the Pope and promised significant resources in 2015. The tribunal has since been scrapped.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a Vatican body that oversees the theology of the church, had claimed that letters from victims were being deferred to local pastors and that the tribunal had only ever been a “blueprint”.

Last weekend the child safety commission held its first meeting since Ms Collins resigned. In a statement issued yesterday it emphasised the importance of writing back to victims. “The commission discussed the importance of responding directly and compassionately to victims/survivors when they write to offices of the Holy See. Members agreed that acknowledging correspondence and giving a timely and personal response is one part of furthering transparency and healing.”

Missouri civil trial to begin in clergy abuse case

MISSOURI
LMT Online

TROY, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson is accused in a lawsuit of mishandling the case of a priest once charged with molesting a teenager.

The lawsuit filed in 2013 alleges that Carlson knew the Rev. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang was a danger to children before Jiang was charged with sexual misconduct involving the then-16-year-old girl in 2012. Jiang was added as a defendant in the lawsuit in 2015. Jury selection began Monday.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Elizabeth Westhoff said in an email Monday that the archdiocese "has steadfastly denied these allegations since they were first raised and intends to defend itself in court."

According to the lawsuit, the girl told police that Jiang, then an associate pastor at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, had molested her at her home in Old Monroe, Missouri, about 40 miles northwest of St. Louis. The suit also alleged that a witness saw Jiang kissing the girl on the mouth and touching her inappropriately "in the parking lot of the church rectory."

Pope’s sex abuse panel to carry on its work without victims — for now

ROME
Religion News Service

By Josephine McKenna

ROME (RNS) Pope Francis’ sex abuse panel has pledged to continue its work minus the two sex abuse victims who were appointed to help overhaul the Catholic Church’s response to the scandal.

Irish abuse survivor — a term many prefer to be known by — Marie Collins recently resigned from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. British abuse survivor Peter Saunders stepped down from the commission a year ago and has called for more urgent action to tackle perpetrators of these “vile crimes.”

But a commission statement vowed that victims of clerical abuse should have a voice in the future.

“Commission members have unanimously agreed to find new ways to ensure its work is shaped and informed with and by victims/survivors,” read a statement released after concluding a meeting in Rome on Sunday (March 26).

Complaint against priest for misbehaving with girl in Kerala

INDIA
The New Indian Express

KALPETTA: At a time when the Church is struggling to get out of a sticky situation after a sexual abuse complaint surfaced against a priest in Kottiyoor, Kannur, comes the allegation from a girl saying a priest misbehaved with her at the Chundakkara church in Wayanad.

The police have launched a detailed probe based on the girl’s complaint.

She revealed the details to the child protection unit.

“We have received a complaint against the priest identified as Jino Mekkat. Our team is probing the matter,” confirmed Wayanad SP Rajpal Meena.

Panel tells Vatican to react 'directly and compassionately' to sex abuse victims

VATICAN CITY
The Local

AFP

27 March 2017

A panel advising Pope Francis on child protection has called on the Vatican to react "directly and compassionately" to letters from victims of clerical sex abuse, reviving an issue that unleashed a storm just weeks ago.

The Pontifical Commission on the Protection of Minors made the recommendation after a weekend meeting.

It was the panel's first meeting since Marie Collins, an Irish survivor of abuse, angrily quit after a similar request was turned down.

"The Commission discussed the importance of responding directly and compassionately to victims/survivors when they write to offices of the Holy See," the panel said in a statement issued on Monday.

"Members agreed that acknowledging correspondence and giving a timely and personal response is one part of furthering transparency and healing."

Child protection commission seeks new ways to be informed by victims

VATICAN CITY
Catholic News Service

By Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service
3.27.2017

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Following the resignation of a prominent member and abuse survivor, a pontifical commission charged with addressing issues related to clergy sex abuse vowed to continue to seek input from victims and survivors.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors said the resignation of Marie Collins was a "central topic" of its March 24-26 plenary assembly, and it "expressed strong support for her continuing work" to promote healing for abuse victims and ensuring best practices for prevention.

"Commission members have unanimously agreed to find new ways to ensure its work is shaped and informed with and by victims/survivors. Several ideas that have been successfully implemented elsewhere are being carefully considered for recommendation to the Holy Father," the commission said in a March 26 statement published by the Vatican.

Among the main concerns addressed by the commission was outreach out to victims, an issue first raised by Collins shortly after she resigned from her position.

Court rules victims of Brendan Smyth entitled to full hearing for damages

IRELAND
RTE News

The Supreme Court has ruled that three victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth are entitled to a full hearing of their claim for damages in the High Court.

The three had appealed a previous ruling that they were bound by the settlement of cases they had taken in Northern Ireland.

The man, his sister and their cousin - were sexually abused as children by Smyth between 1969 and 1988.

In the late 1990s, they settled actions in the Belfast High Court for £25,000 each for the man and the cousin and £16,000 for the sister.

They say they learned from newspapers in 2012, that the Catholic Church authorities had been informed of Smyth's abuse as far back as 1975, by another boy. The same boy had also said the man in this case had been away on a holiday with Smyth where abuse occurred.

Republic's highest court rules in favour of Brendan Smyth victims in damages case

IRELAND
The Irish News

A court in the Republic has said three victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth are entitled to a full hearing of a claim for damages.

The Supreme Court ruling came after the victims appealed a decision that they were bound by settlements of cases taken in the north.

The appeal was brought by a brother and sister and their cousin who were abused between 1969 and 1988.

In the late 1990s, the three settled actions at the High Court in Belfast.

They say they later learned through the media that the Catholic Church was aware of Smyth’s abuse in 1975 and launched fresh proceedings against Bishop Leo O'Reilly and Cardinal Sean Brady.

Victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth to get new court hearing

IRELAND
Irish Times

Three victims of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth are entitled to a full hearing of their claim for damages in the High Court despite previous rulings that they were bound by settlements of cases taken by them in Northern Ireland, the Supreme Court has ruled.

The three — a man and his sister and their cousin — were sexually abused as children by the since deceased Smyth between 1969 and 1988.

In the late 1990s, they settled actions in the Belfast High Court for £25,000 each for the man and the cousin and £16,000 for the sister.

They say in 2012, they learned from newspapers that as far back as 1975 the Catholic Church authorities had been informed of Smyth’s abuse by another boy who had also named the man in this case as having been away on holiday with Smyth where abuse occurred.

As a result, they brought new proceedings in the Republic here claiming, among other things, that they had suffered a recurrence of trauma as a result of the publication of that information.

French TV inquiry accuses 25 bishops of abuse cover-ups

FRANCE
National Catholic Reporter

[Pédophilie dans l'Eglise : le poids du silence - Cash Investigation (Intégrale) - YouTube]

Tom Heneghan | Mar. 27, 2017

PARIS A hard-hitting French television investigation has accused 25 Catholic bishops of protecting 32 accused clerical sex abusers in France over the past half century and often transferring them to other parishes or even other countries when they were singled out for sexual abuse of minors.

The French bishops' conference declined an invitation to participate in the France 2 television program aired March 21. A conference spokesman accused journalists of trying to blackmail the church, an allegation the program's editor vigorously refuted.

Mediapart, an online journal that cooperated in the investigation, called the resulting report "a French Spotlight," a reference to The Boston Globe team that in 2002 reported on sexual abuse in the Boston Archdiocese. The yearlong French inquiry was also published March 22 as a book titled Church: The Mechanism of Silence.

The controversy over the program, titled "Pedophilia in the Church: The Burden of Silence," came as the bishops' conference struggles to demonstrate its concern for abuse victims while details of past negligence keep emerging.

IRELAND’S “HOMES” RECONSIDERED

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue

We have become so accustomed to boilerplate accounts of Ireland’s Mother and Baby Homes that even the most absurd accusations leave us numb. This is wrong. Indeed, it is dangerous. It is also born of blind hatred of all things Catholic.

Those who are making wild-eyed accusations consider themselves tolerant and open-minded, yet they are anything but. Like all hard-core ideologues, their minds have been made up: they are both judge and jury, and their sentence has been delivered.

Some of us, however, are still persuaded by evidence, data, logic, and reason, and do not allow emotion to dictate our thinking. This surely includes many who have contacted me from Ireland. One of them recently sent a very sober and well-researched article written by an anonymous orphan from Galway. It debunks many myths about Irish nuns, and recounts some harsh realities.

Bnei Brak, Israel - Dozens Of Orthodox Men Arrested For Sex Crimes In Jerusalem, Bet Shemesh

ISRAEL
Voz Iz Neias (US)

[with video]

Jerusalem - Twenty two ultra-Orthodox (haredi) Jews were arrested Monday and charged with sexually assaulting minors and women. The individuals, who were not named, are all between the ages of 20-60 and are residents of Jerusalem, Beitar Illit, Beit Shemesh and Bnei Brak.

Police spokespeople said the arrests were made as part of an ongoing investigation into widespread sex crimes in haredi communities, and that the individuals arrested are suspected of committing crimes over a period of two years.

The police posted below video depicting the arrests on social media.

Israel Police Arrest 22 ultra-Orthodox Jews for Sex Crimes Against Minors and Women

ISRAEL
Haaretz

Nir Hasson and Yair Ettinger Mar 27, 2017

The police arrested 22 Haredim in Jerusalem and three other Israeli cities on Monday morning, on suspicion of sexually molesting minors and women over the last two years.

In some cases, ultra-Orthodox residents in the four cities – Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Betar Ilit and Bnei Brak – attacked the police, throwing stones and other items, and tried to block the arrests. In Jerusalem, the windows of two police cars were shattered by rocks.

The investigation by the police’s Jerusalem District began after they received information that ultra-Orthodox elements were concealing information on sex crimes in their community.

These Haredim allegedly received their rabbis’ blessing to seek and collect information on sexual predators in the community, without involving the police. They did so, even maintaining written records of attacks and the people involved. At the end of the process, the perpetrators were forced to agree to undergo therapy within the ultra-Orthodox world.

During their investigation, the police seized the notebooks in which the records were kept. Tens of alleged attackers were documented, some of whom had committed serial offenses, including against children, the police said.

Based on this information, the police arrested 22 suspects, ages 20 to 60. Each is alleged to have committed several attacks over the last two years.

Following the arrests, the police said that the ultra-Orthodox community had been handling the matter internally, collecting information and conducting some form of internal procedure, culminating in a sort of punishment.

The upshot, the statement said, was that the suspects could continue to live their lives without paying a penalty, and dozens of victims were left without help. The police added they will make sure that those arrested are brought to trial.

The records on the alleged sexual predators were kept by a single person – known in ultra-Orthodox circles as a “fixer.” This person operates under the imprimatur of a Jerusalem-based body known as the “purification commission” of the community, which operates in different Haredi communities (including the Hasidic and “Lithuanian” sects).

The fixer himself is not a suspect in the case and is not under arrest. He has been in contact with the police for years and testified in many sexual-offense cases, helping the police to achieve convictions. However, it has only become apparent now that he was maintaining a network that would field and investigate complaints about sexual offenses, using old-world methods accepted in the Haredi world.

Usually, offenders “tried” within Haredi circles are forced to undergo therapy, possibly with a psychologist, or might be “exiled” to another city.

The present affair arrives with the Haredi community in the midst of a changing attitude toward sex crimes. This is expressed chiefly by extensive collaboration with the police – even by the more extreme sects.

Another change is the intensive media coverage such cases receive on ultra-Orthodox news sites – though still not in the printed press – and in online forums.

Eli Schlesinger, a reporter for the Behadrey Haredim website, which is notable for its coverage of matters that were once silenced, noted that the purification commission is very helpful to the police and provided officers with information about alleged sexual offenses in Modi’in Ilit last year.

Cooperation with the police is based on the rabbis having faith in the process, Schlesinger said – a faith that might be damaged by the present investigation.

Orthodox Jews need protection

UNITED STATES
The JC

Jennifer Lipman
February 17, 2017

Last week’s JC reported that the Orthodox schools establishment had responded positively to the call to place relationships teaching on the curriculum. Judith Nemeth, executive director of the National Association of Orthox Jewish Schools was quoted as saying that compulsory relationships education was “good news for all”.

But how far will this go within Strictly Orthodox circles? Entrenched attitudes and beliefs — among parents as well as teachers — cannot be merely swept aside. And there is no area in which attitudes are more entrenched than that of sex education.

In Deborah Feldman’s memoir of her life as a Satmar Chasid, Unorthodox, one scene is not for the squeamish. A friend tells Deborah how her new husband managed to rupture her colon in a painful attempt to consummate the marriage. As an example of what happens without adequate sex education, it couldn’t be bleaker.

Even if that’s an extreme case, it’s not an exaggeration to suggest that some strictly Orthodox Jews are being brought up without full understanding of the complexities of sexuality and modern relationships or, at best, an understanding only within narrow religious parameters.

Israeli police arrest 22 Charedi men suspected of sexual abuse

ISRAEL
Jewish News

Officers pelted with projectiles and their vehicle windows are smashed, as they detain residents of Orthodox neighbourhoods

March 27, 2017

Israeli police were pelted with rocks with strictly Orthodox Jews across four cities in the early hours of Monday morning as they arrested 22 Charedi men suspected of sex crimes against women and children.

The men, who were being sheltered by their various religious communities, were arrested in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Betar Illit and Bnei Brak, as residents seeking to prevent the arrests turned on police, hurling projectiles at officers and smashing the windscreens of police vehicles.

The 22 arrested men are aged 20-60 year and in some cases were identified two years ago, but Israel’s tight-knit Orthodox communities have sheltered them from the law. Police say they believe Charedi leaders have also helped conceal their crimes.

According to reports in Israeli media, the police investigation revealed that the Charedi communities were dealing with the alleged sex crimes internally, with religious leaders ordering the perpetrators to get therapy within the community.

22 ultra-Orthodox men arrested for sex assaults on women, minors

ISRAEL
Times of Israel

BY STUART WINER March 27, 2017

Police on Monday arrested 22 suspects from ultra-Orthodox communities on suspicion they carried out dozens of sex crimes against women and minors over the past two years, but were sheltered from the law by community figures who preferred to deal with the matter in their own way.

Investigators believe that various senior ultra-Orthodox leaders were aware of the suspects’ alleged crimes but did not report them to police or welfare workers, police said.

The early-morning arrests of men aged 20-60 were made in Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Beitar Illit, and Bnei Brak, cities with large ultra-Orthodox communities.

As police closed in on the suspects, ultra-Orthodox protesters tried to prevent the arrests by attacking officers and throwing stones at police vehicles, some of which were damaged.

Police suspect that the alleged crimes were not reported at the behest of so-called “modesty guards,” vigilante groups that act to enforce the ultra-Orthodox community’s strict lifestyle regulations of modesty and social behavior without the involvement of law officials or welfare authorities.

Family sues Archdiocese for failure to remove accused priest

MISSOURI
Fox 2

[with video]

TROY, MO (KTVI)- Jury selection is set today in a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Louis. According to our partners at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the family of a teenage girl claims Archbishop Robert Carlson failed to discipline Father Joseph Jiang, who was charged at the time with molesting the girl in 2012.

Prosecutors later dropped the case.

Missouri Civil Trial to Begin in Clergy Abuse Case

MISSOURI
U.S. News

TROY, Mo. (AP) — A trial is set to get underway near St. Louis over allegations by a young woman and her family that St. Louis' archbishop mishandled the case of a priest once charged with molesting her as a teenager.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/2o0nyta ) reports that jury selection was scheduled for Monday in Lincoln County. The 2013 lawsuit alleges Archbishop Robert Carlson knew the Rev. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang was a danger to children before Jiang was charged with sexual misconduct involving the young woman in 2012, when she was 16.

Jiang was added as a defendant in the lawsuit in 2015.

Civil trial alleging St. Louis archbishop knew priest was dangerous to begin in Lincoln County

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Joel Currier St. Louis Post-Dispatch

TROY, MO. • Jury selection is set for Monday in a civil trial in which a Lincoln County teenager and her family have accused St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson of knowing a priest was a danger to children before the cleric was charged with molesting the teen in 2012.

Jurors will be selected Monday from a pool of about 110 Lincoln County residents, with opening statements set to follow in the trial presided over by St. Louis Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer.

The lawsuit was filed in 2013 by the girl’s parents against Carlson and the Archdiocese of St. Louis after she told police the Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang, then an associate pastor at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica in the Central West End, had molested her at her home in Old Monroe. Jiang was added as a defendant in the lawsuit in 2015.

The alleged victim was 16 at the time of the alleged abuse. Jiang was in his late 20s. Charges of child endangerment and witness tampering that accused Jiang of leaving a $20,000 check and an apology on a family’s car as hush money were dismissed in 2013.

Criticisms of the Vatican’s sexual abuse commission need to be taken seriously, not written off as clichés

UNITED STATES
America

The Editors

The presence of Marie Collins on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors seemed to guarantee both the commission’s seriousness and its effectiveness. Many believed that Ms. Collins, an outspoken survivor of clergy sexual abuse, would not allow the Vatican to ignore the urgent need to combat sex abuse and provide adequate protection for minors. That is why her resignation from the commission on March 1 was such a blow. In a letter published in The National Catholic Reporter on March 14, Ms. Collins said that “lack of resources, inadequate structures around support staff, slowness of forward movement and cultural resistance” made the commission’s work nearly impossible. In a later interview with America, she pointed to the resistance from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to adhere to Pope Francis’ instruction that Vatican departments should acknowledge every letter received from victims of abuse.

That prompted a response by Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the C.D.F., dismissing Ms. Collins’s concern as fostering a “cliché” that pitted the Roman Curia against Pope Francis, and saying that “local shepherds” are better suited to respond to letters from abuse victims. That, in turn, led to an extraordinary statement from Ms. Collins rebutting his account and even correcting the cardinal’s statement that he had never met her. Overall, she said, “I would ask that instead of falling back into the church's default position of denial and obfuscation, when a criticism like mine is raised the people of the church deserve to be given a proper explanation. We are entitled to transparency, honesty and clarity.” Especially in the area of sexual abuse, where the church ignored and minimized reports for decades, the need for transparency must be evaluated from the perspective of the victims of abuse.

Child abusers ‘mainly clergy,’ victims ‘boys aged 10 — 14’

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

March 27, 2017

DAN BOX
Crime reporterSydney
@DanBox10

The perpetrators of institutional child abuse across Australia have been overwhelmingly adult men, most commonly members of the clergy and their victims most like to be boys aged between 10-14, a royal commission has heard.

The opening morning of the 57th and final public hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has heard over a third of child victims reported abuse that went on for over a year.

Thirty six per cent of the more than 6500 victims who have given evidence in private to the commissioners said they had been abused by multiple perpetrators, the commission heard.

“The majority of perpetrators were adult males, that is nearly 94 of child abuse victims reported abuse by a male perpetrator,” counsel assisting the commission, Gail Furness SC said.

“The positions held by adult perpetrators within institutions most commonly reported were members of the clergy — that is 32 per cent, teachers — that is 21 per cent and residential care works — that is 13 per cent,” she said.

Royal commission into sexual abuse: Issue of redress must be a priority, commissioner says

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Nicole Chettle

Victims have waited too long for a response to their suffering and protection of children should be a top priority in Australia, says the chair of the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

After three-and-a-half years with sessions in every capital city, the final public hearing has begun in Sydney.

Chair of the commission, Justice Peter McClellan, said it was remarkable there were failures at more than 4,000 institutions identified in abuse allegations.

He said more than 1,200 witnesses gave evidence about abuse that occurred at "public and private schools, detention centres, out-of-home care, churches, orphanages and government bodies".

"We have also inquired into defence establishments, sporting clubs, after-school care, dance and performing arts academies, institutions providing services for children with disability, scouts, healthcare providers and a yoga ashram."

'Survivors have waited too long': 4000 institutions named in sex abuse royal commission

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Rachel Browne

Thousands of institutions have been implicated in allegations of child sexual abuse, according to new data released by a royal commission.

As the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse commences its final public hearing, chairman Justice Peter McClellan has urged child protection reform and proper redress for victims.

The $500 million inquiry is Australia's longest royal commission, starting in 2013 and due to finish with a final report to the federal government in December.

In his opening remarks to the hearing, Justice McClellan said governments and institutions needed to focus on redress and regulatory changes, "designed to ensure that so far as possible no child is abused in an institutional context in the future".

Magdalene Laundries: Dodging liability is still the name of the game

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Monday, March 27, 2017

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

Despite the many pronouncements on the Magdalene Laundries, the State is hugely concerned at the payout it may have to make, writes Conall Ó Fátharta.

FEW people will forget the apology offered by Taoiseach Enda Kenny in February of 2013 on behalf of the State to the women who suffered in the Magdalene Laundries.

He spoke of a “nation’s shame” and of women taking the country’s terrible secret and making it their own.

“But from this moment on you need carry it no more. Because today we take it back. Today we acknowledge the role of the State in your ordeal,” he said.

However, less than two years earlier in June 2011, many members of his Cabinet were determined to distance the State as far as possible from any liability.

A series of cabinet observations on a Department of Justice memorandum for Government seeking permission for the establishment of what eventually became the McAleese Committee reveal a Cabinet concerned about three things — not conceding on the issue of that State liability, calls for further inquiries into issues like Mother and Baby Homes and foster care settings and avoiding a redress bill.

Ministers raised fears of Magdalene redress cost in 2011

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Monday, March 27, 2017

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

Concerns were expressed at Cabinet in 2011 that, if there was an inquiry into Magdalene laundries, it could lead to calls for inquiries into abuses in mother and baby homes, psychiatric institutions, and foster care settings.

The concerns are in a memorandum for Government seeking permission to establish what became the McAleese committee.

Some six years later, Ireland’s mother and baby home system and the treatment of more than 40 vulnerable adults in a foster care setting are now the subject of State inquiries.

The document from June 2011, obtained by the Irish Examiner, reveals that a key issue for government and the attorney general was that the move could lead to pressure for further inquiries and for redress.

It is also repeatedly stressed that the State was not liable for any women who suffered in Magdalene laundries.

The observations of the then Minister for Education and Skills Ruairí Quinn state that, although he is supportive of the approach outlined in the memorandum, “there may be demands for enquiries [sic] into other situations”.

Life in a Magdalene laundry: Haunting images show children raised in cruel orphanages around the world 'as punishment for their mothers' sins'

IRELAND
Daily Mail (UK)

By Kelly Mclaughlin For Mailonline

Eerie photos from Magdalene Laundries around the world show children eating dinner as nuns watch over them and young women working on heavy equipment.

The images give an insight into life inside the laundries, which were places for women branded 'undesirable' by the church and orphaned children, where untold horrors are said to have taken place.

The establishments were set-up to house 'fallen women', a term that was used to imply female sexual promiscuity, when in reality they were women who had children out of wedlock.

These institutions, also known as Magdalene asylums, have sparked great controversy, only this month a mass septic tank containing the skeletons of 800 babies was found in County Galway, Ireland.

POPE'S SEX ABUSE BOARD VOWS TO GO ON WITHOUT SURVIVOR MEMBER

VATICAN CITY
Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Members of Pope Francis' sex abuse advisory board vowed Sunday to press ahead with their work even without abuse survivors on the panel following the resignation of a respected child advocate.

The commission wrapped up a plenary Sunday saying it would "find new ways" to ensure people who were abused by clergy shape and inform its work. But no specifics were announced, and it wasn't clear if survivors would be named as members down the line.

Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins, a founding member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, resigned on March 1, citing what she called "unacceptable" resistance to the commission's proposals from the Vatican's doctrine office, which is responsible for processing cases against abusive priests.

Collins mentioned in particular the alleged refusal by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to implement proposals approved by the pope and to collaborate with the commission.

PCPM meets for Plenary Assembly

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors [PCPM] met for its eighth Plenary Assembly from March 24-26, 2017. The resignation of founding member Marie Collins was a key topic on the agenda. The Commission expressed its gratitude to her and supported her continuing work to promote healing for victims of abuse and the prevention of all abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. During the Plenary the Commision also discussed the importance of responding directly and compassionately to victims/survivors when they write to offices of the Holy See. The Plenary Assembly followed the Education Day on March 23, at the Gregorian University, co-sponsored in partnership with the Centre for Child Protection and the Congregation for Catholic Education.

Please find below the Concluding Statement

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors [PCPM] met for its eighth Plenary Assembly from March 24-26, 2017.

A central topic in this Plenary Assembly was the resignation of founding member Marie Collins. The Commission members expressed strong support for her and her continuing work to promote healing for victims of abuse and the prevention of all abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. They also expressed their particular gratitude that Marie Collins has agreed to continue working with the Commission’s educational programs for new bishops and the offices of the Roman Curia.

Commission members have unanimously agreed to find new ways to ensure its work is shaped and informed with and by victims/survivors. Several ideas that have been successfully implemented elsewhere are being carefully considered for recommendation to the Holy Father.

Pontifical commission for abuse expresses ‘strong support’ for Marie Collins

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Mar. 27, 2017

VATICAN CITY Pope Francis’ commission on clergy sexual abuse has expressed its “strong support” for a former member of the group who resigned earlier this month due to frustration with Vatican officials' reluctance to cooperate with its work to protect children.

The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors said in a statement late Sunday that the resignation of abuse survivor Marie Collins had been “a central topic” of their discussions during their plenary assembly, held in Rome March 24-26.

“Commission members expressed strong support for her and her continuing work to promote healing for victims of abuse and the prevention of all abuse of minors and vulnerable adults,” said the statement.

Collins, who had been the last active member of the commission who is an abuse survivor, resigned March 1.

Who is running Ireland – the Government or the Church?

IRELAND
National Secular Society (UK)

Posted: Mon, 27 Mar 2017

by Keith Porteous Wood

The reach and power of the Catholic Church has waned considerably in recent years in Ireland. But there are troubling signs that its undue influence over the country is returning, writes Keith Porteous Wood.

It is difficult to envisage now, but when the UK was formed at the beginning of the nineteenth century, Dublin was regarded as the "Second City of the British Empire". Ireland's role in British political life was no less than that of England, Scotland and Wales from then until the progressive separations from Britain that started during the First World War.

The Catholic Church that had been suppressed by the Imperial power was quick to help fill the vacuum left by the British departure. The 1937 constitution was based on Papal encyclicals and presented on two occasions to the Vatican (a foreign state) for review and comment, and unsurprisingly accorded the Roman Catholic Church a "special position", a position it certainly occupied in education at least. This formal status was repealed only in 1972, but was not of course matched by any reduction in the Church's role in education.

The Church's power came from its pervasive and anti-secular influence in the Government and Parliament, where the pious may well have been faced with conflicts of interest, and not only on sensitive matters of social policy such as divorce and abortion, but crucially on financial matters.

Sex Scandal: Stephanie Otobo’s mom, sister beg Apostle Suleman on live TV

NIGERIA
Premium Times

March 27, 2017
Jayne Augoye

The mother of Stephanie Otobo, the Nigerian woman who accused a cleric, Johnson Suleiman, of infidelity and abuse, visited the Omega Fire Ministry headquarters in Auchi, Edo State, on Sunday to plead on her daughter’s behalf.

Ms. Otobo’s sister accompanied their mum who is popularly called Mama Tope to the church. Their statements and apologies were beamed live on the church’s website on Sunday morning.

But in a swift video reaction on Instagram on Sunday, Ms. Otobo, who said she has since returned to Canada, claimed that her mother was threatened to apologise to the embattled pastor.

The budding singer also debunked her apology to Mr. Suleman, popularly called Apostle Suleman, saying she was threatened.

O’Malley says Vatican is committed to accountability on zero tolerance

ROME
Crux

Inés San Martín March 27, 2017
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

ROME - Pope Francis’ point man in the fight against sexual abuse insists that the Vatican remains committed to holding bishops accountable for enforcing zero tolerance, but conceded that “time will be the test” in terms of how, and whether, new procedures for imposing accountability actually work.

“I think Madre Amorevole [a document issued by Pope Francis in June 2016] has put the spotlight on the problem, and has publicly committed the Church to a course of action,” said Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley in a Crux interview on Monday.

“Time will be the test of it, but I think it’s the first time there’s been that kind of a public commitment and a realization of the need for accountability,” he said.

“You need a clear process, from the point of view of the bishops, too,” he said. “Unfortunately, oftentimes in the past the way things were done is that if there was a lot of publicity around it, then the bishop just resigned. He never really had the chance to make his case. And if he were a bad actor and there wasn’t a lot of publicity, maybe nothing would happen.”

“That’s not the way to run a railroad!” he said.

Asked if the Vatican now has such clear procedures, O’Malley said, “I hope we do, but we need to see how it’s going to work.”

8 things Dr. Larry Nassar told MSU investigator in sex-abuse case

MICHIGAN
MLive

By Julie Mack | jmack1@mlive.com
on March 24, 2017

Dr. Larry Nassar, a former Michigan State University sports medicine doctor, has been in the news since September 2016 when former patients first began accusing him of sexual abuse.

Neither Nassar, nor his attorney, have commented on the allegations. But a document released this week sheds some light what Nassar may have told investigators.

That document is a 28-page report from Michigan State University's Office of Institutional Equity, and summarizes a Title IX investigation into a complaint filed by Rachael Denhollander, the first woman to go public with allegations against Nassar.

The report, which says a "preponderance of evidence" supports Denhollander's accusations, includes a lengthy summary of the investigator's Sept. 8 interview with Nassar, who was fired two week after the interview.

Nassar is currently in federal custody on child-pornography charges, and also has been charged with 25 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving 10 women, nine of whom are former patients.

Local church avoids addressing Nassar ties despite evidence

MICHIGAN
State News

By Brigid Kennedy
March 26, 2017

Former MSU employee Larry Nassar was a catechist for St. Thomas Aquinas Church’s seventh grade class, though the parish is not eager to claim him.

Nassar also served as a Eucharistic minister at St. John Church and Student Center, also part of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, according to the spring 2000 edition of Communiqué, the magazine of the College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Nassar is accused of sexually abusing his patients and other young women with whom he had contact.

Nassar was arrested in December 2016 on charges of possessing “at least 37,000” images of child pornography.

Indigenous students sue Archdiocese of St. Boniface, province for sexual abuse at Catholic day school

CANADA
Yahoo! News

CBC
March 27, 2017

In a case with striking similarities to testimony made by residential school survivors, two Indigenous adult women say they were repeatedly sexually abused by clergy at a Catholic day school in Manitoba they were forced to attend as children.

And now they've launched a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Boniface, the two now-deceased men they say were responsible, the province and other defendants.

Both women — one now 67 and Status Indian, the other a 63-year-old Mé​tis woman — attended the same elementary school in Bloodvein, Man., about 200 kilometres north of Winnipeg, from about 1956 until the mid-1960s.

The two women say the same two men, now dead, fondled and raped them as children beginning at ages seven and six, respectively.