Abuse Tracker
A Blog by Kathy Shaw

BishopAccountability.org – Documenting the Abuse Crisis

April 25, 2019

CUA exhibit reveals abuse survivors' experience of renewal in the church

Catholic News Service

April 23, 2019

By Dennis Sadowski

Eight survivors of clergy sexual abuse are sharing their experiences with The Catholic University of America community in a weeklong exhibit.

The survivors were paired with students, who developed a series of panels that highlight each individual's story to bring to light the impact of abuse.

Karna Lozoya, executive director of university communications, said the exhibit emerged from the school's Catholic Project, which was formed in 2018 to examine the clergy sexual abuse scandal after it erupted again last summer.

"The amazing thing is the involvement of the students and how powerful that experience was for them. It was difficult for the students to hear the stories," Lozoya told Catholic News Service.

The exhibit features 10 panels, each 24 inches wide and 36 inches long. Each panel briefly narrates a survivor's experience. A panel of introduction and a closing prayer bookend the display.

Retired priest who flashed teen asks to be freed from jail to live life in peace


April 25, 2019

By Haley BeMiller

A retired Catholic priest who exposed himself to a teenager is asking to be released from jail after being sent there for a probation violation.

Richard Thomas, 81, was sentenced in February to eight months of conditional jail time after he sought out minors at Bay Motel and Family Restaurant. He asked them personal questions, touched a boy on the shoulder and told a girl he would date her if he were her age.

The incidents violated the three years of probation Thomas received after pleading no contest in 2016 to two felony counts of exposing his genitals to a child. Brown County Judge Timothy Hinkfuss also sentenced him to four months in jail.

After his release from jail, Thomas also had a documented violation for having in-person contact with a minor and accompanying her to Tundra Lodge Resort and Waterpark, court documents show. It's unclear when that occurred.

In a letter to Hinkfuss this month, Thomas said the jail time is exacerbating a digestive system condition that causes him pain. According to Thomas, the jail's doctor is aware of his issues and authorized to send him to a hospital.

Thomas volunteered to discuss the matter further in court, saying he would agree to any conditions required of him. He claimed he can "do what is right and good and not be in any trouble."

Penn State ex-president asks court to overturn conviction related to Jerry Sandusky complaint

Associated Press

April 25, 2019

By Mark Scolforo

Former Penn State President Graham Spanier asked a federal magistrate judge Thursday to overturn his child endangerment conviction with less than a week left before he is scheduled to start serving a two-month sentence.

Spanier's lawyers argued his conviction under a 2007 law for mishandling a complaint about former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky showering with a boy in 2001 violated the U.S. Constitution. They also assert that the statute of limitations was not properly applied.

The state attorney general's office wants U.S. Magistrate Judge Karoline Mehalchick in Scranton, Pennsylvania, to do what state courts have done and uphold Spanier's misdemeanor conviction for a single count of child endangerment.

Mehalchick did not indicate when she will rule, and it was unclear whether she might order a new trial or take some other action.

Fr. Robert DeLand Sentenced, SNAP Responds

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

April 25, 2019

SNAP is grateful that Fr. Robert DeLand has been sentenced to jail. We applaud this outcome and are thankful to the police and prosecutors who helped his victims find justice.

We hope that the sentence handed down to Fr. DeLand will bring some solace to those he hurt. We also hope that this case inspires other victims who may be suffering in silence and encourages them to come forward and make a report to police.

Sadly, finding justice through the criminal system can often be elusive for victims of sexual violence. Archaic statutes of limitations (SOL) prevent many complaints from being prosecuted. Michigan has no statute of limitations for first degree sexual misconduct and charges can be filed at any time in cases where there is DNA evidence. However, it still has among the harshest SOLs in the country for second and third degree child sex crimes, despite small reforms that followed in the wake of the Larry Nassar case.

Legislators in Michigan should work to reform these laws, and also to change the civil SOLs and open a civil window. A look back provision would allow survivors whose claims are beyond the criminal SOL to expose these “hidden predators,” as well as those who enable them. This is the only way to get information about these abusers into the hands of the public, information that will help protect children and prevent future cases of abuse.

Bishop Donald Hying Promoted to Lead Diocese of Madison, WI

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

April 25, 2019

The Diocese of Madison, WI will soon have a new bishop in place. We hope Bishop Donald J. Hying will take up Pope Francis’ charge from February to wage an “all-out battle” against clergy abuse.

Bishop Hying’s predecessor, Bishop Robert Morlino, blamed the clergy abuse crisis on homosexuality, a position that flies in the face of facts about sexual abuse. We hope that Bishop Hying will take immediate steps to keep children in Madison safe instead of washing his hands of responsibility by blaming scapegoats. We also hope that he will demonstrate the transparency and openness that Church leaders have promised since 2002.

In his previous position as the Bishop of Gary, IN, SNAP repeatedly asked Bishop Hying to add the names of publicly accused Gary priests to his inadequate and inaccurate list of 'credibly accused' clerics. He ignored those requests. We believe that continued secrecy about those who have committed abuse endangers both children and vulnerable adults.

Sexual misconduct allegation levied against Fresno Catholic Diocese priest

Merced Sun Star

April 25, 2019

By Yesnia Amaro

A 59-year-old priest with the Diocese of Fresno is on leave after being accused of sexual misconduct in Firebaugh.

Rev. Monsignor Craig Francis Harrison is being investigated after the allegation was made this month by an adult male, who was a minor when the alleged offense happened, according to a statement from the diocese.

Harrison currently serves at St. Francis Parish in Bakersfield. “I can confirm that there was a report taken, Monday April 15,” said Raquel Tabares, Firebaugh police records supervisor and lead dispatcher. “Right now, (the investigation) is still in the fact-finding stage.”

In a Firebaugh police’s news release issued mid-day Thursday, police say the alleged victim was allegedly inappropriately touched when he was 14 to 16 years old.

The diocese in its statement said the allegation was reported to its staff on April 12. The diocese reported it to the Firebaugh police three days later.

A Firebaugh police officer contacted the person who made the complaint, according to the statement.

The diocese is conducting its own internal investigation, and has notified all the parishes where Harrison has previously served. That includes Our Lady of Mercy and St. Patrick’s in Merced, St. Francis in Mojave, and St. Joseph in Firebaugh.

David G. Clohessy, with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests local chapter in Missouri, called out the diocese for taking three days to make a report to police.

“Three days may not sound like a long time,” he said. “But child sex abuse reports are supposed to be made immediately to police.”

Clohessy said he calls on law enforcement to not only investigate Harrison, “but to also look long and hard at church staff who may have broken the law by their delay or by ignoring or hiding other reports or warnings or ‘red flags’ about Fr. Harrison’s alleged wrongdoing.”

“We call on Fresno Catholic officials, including incoming Bishop Joseph Brennan, to explain this self-serving delay,” he said in an email.

Four other priests in the diocese are currently on administrative leave, pending ongoing investigations.

Late last year, the diocese acknowledged it was investigating three of its priests after complaints submitted to the diocese.

Earlier this year, the diocese said it was also investigating a fourth priest. Plus, last year a Los Banos priest was sentenced to four years in state prison after pleading no contest to possessing child pornography.

Mass. Victims' Attorney Expects Wave Of Child Sex Abuse Allegations Against Boy Scouts Of America


April 24, 2019

By Marilyn Schairer

The Boy Scouts of America is coming under increased scrutiny after mounting allegations have surfaced that potentially thousands of scout leaders allegedly sexually abused children in scouting organizations across the country, including in Massachusetts.

Boston Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who successfully sued the Catholic Church on behalf of clergy abuse victims, is representing more than 25 Massachusetts residents who say they were molested as Boy Scouts.

Garabedian said the pattern of alleged abuse at the Boy Scouts follows a familiar script as the clergy abuse.

“You have the sexual abuse of innocent children by a trusted authority figure, and the related secrecy of the abuse and of the perpetrator, and you have supervisors turning their backs on innocent children,” Garabedian said.

Child predator sting: Westchester, Rockland residents accused of trying to lure children for sex

North Jersey Record

April 24, 2019

By Anthony Zurita

A minister and a Ridgewood police officer are among the 16 people accused of luring children for sex.

Five Rockland men and one Westchester man are among 16 people who were arrested in a New Jersey sting operation and accused of trying to lure children for sex.

A teacher, a police officer, and a minister are among the men who were arrested between April 11 and 15 in an undercover operation in which law enforcement officers posed as boys and girls on social media, the New Jersey Attorney General said in a statement Wednesday.

The undercover officers used platforms such as Kik, Skout, Grindr, Tinder, MeetMe and Adam4Adam to pose as children and communicate with the men who were arrested, officials said.

Diputados aprueban proyecto que obliga a autoridades eclesiásticas a denunciar abusos

EFE/The Clinic

April 23, 2019

[Deputies approve project that obliges ecclesiastical authorities to denounce abuses]

Obispos, pastores, ministros de culto, diáconos, sacerdotes, religiosas u otras personas que conforme a las reglas de cada denominación religiosa detenten algún grado de autoridad sobre una congregación o grupo de personas en razón de la práctica de alguna creencia, estarán obligados a renunciar.

La Cámara de Diputados de Chile aprobó un proyecto de ley que obliga a los clérigos a denunciar abusos


April 24, 2019

[The Chamber of Deputies of Chile approved a bill that obliges clerics to denounce abuses]

La determinación de la Cámara Baja tendrá que ser ahora ratificada en el Senado en el segundo trámite legislativo antes de que sea mandado al Ejecutivo para su promulgación como ley

La Cámara de Diputados de Chile aprobó este martes un proyecto de ley que establece la obligación de todas las autoridades eclesiásticas de denunciar ante la Justicia civil cualquier ilícito contra menores o adultos vulnerables, tras los casos de abusos sexuales ocultados en el seno de la Iglesia Católica.

The female Google employees who staged the sexual misconduct protest say they're now being punished by their bosses

Hello Giggles

April 23, 2019

By Olivia Harvey

The female Google employees who staged the sexual misconduct protest say they're now being punished by their bosses
Hello Giggles
Olivia Harvey
Hello GigglesApril 23, 2019
The female Google employees who staged the sexual misconduct protest say they're now being punished by their bosses
Two Google employees who helped organize the 2018 Google Walkout say they're now facing retaliation within the company. Here's what they plan to do about it.
In November 2018, over 20,000 Google employees participated in the Google Walkout, a peaceful protest to draw attention to the company’s mishandling of sexual misconduct reports and to demand change going forward. However, although the seven (all-female) organizers of the walkout were initially supported by their coworkers and company higher-ups, they are now reportedly facing retaliation. According to a letter written by Claire Stapleton and Meredith Whittaker, two of the main organizers, the company is punishing them for their act of protest.

In the letter, published in Wired, Whittaker, who leads Google’s Open Research, stated that she was informed her role would be “changed dramatically” after Google disbanded its AI ethics council on April 4th. In order to stay at the company, Whittaker was told she must “abandon” her AI ethics work and step down from her position at NYU’s AI Now Institute, a research center she cofounded.

Celestino Aós, administrador apostólico de Santiago: “Yo no soy el salvador de nadie”

La Tercera

April 21, 2019

By María José Navarrete y Sergio Rodríguez

[Celestino Aós, apostolic administrator of Santiago: "I am not the savior of anyone"]

Son, tal vez, los primeros 29 días más ajetreados que ha tenido un obispo a cargo de la Iglesia capitalina. No ha parado. Hay elogios a su gestión exprés. Y una que otra crítica. Aquí repasa su mes debut. La labor de su antecesor, el cardenal Ricardo Ezzati. La influencia del sacerdote Jordi Bertomeu en la arquidiócesis. Su rotundo “no” al supuesto de que se hayan encubierto abusos y su venia para crear una comisión de verdad por los delitos ocurridos.


Diocese of Fresno

April 25, 2019

An allegation of sexual misconduct against Rev. Msgr. Craig Harrison was reported to
diocesan personnel on Friday, April 12, 2019, by an adult male who was a minor at the time
of the alleged abuse. On Monday, April 15, 2019, diocesan personnel reported the allegation
in person to the Firebaugh Police Department. Later that day, the officer who initially
received the report was able to contact and interview the complainant. The Diocese of Fresno
must defer to law enforcement regarding any additional information about the police
department’s investigation.
Concurrent with the investigation being pursued by law enforcement, the Diocese of Fresno
is conducting an internal investigation. This includes notification to all faith communities
where Msgr. Harrison has served, including:
Our Lady of Mercy, St. Patrick’s and Sacred Heart, Merced
St. Francis, Bakersfield
St. Francis, Mojave
St. Joseph, Firebaugh

‘Clergy privilege’ study shapes proposed law on protecting abused children

University of Buffalo

April 25, 2019

By Charles Anzalone

Research studying “clergy privilege” by UB School of Law Associate Professor Christine Pedigo Bartholomew heavily influenced legislation proposed by Assembly Member Monica Piga Wallace to add clergy to the list of people in jobs required to report suspicions of child abuse.

Bartholomew studied clergy privilege — the legal rule shielding confidential communications of priests and clergy — and found priests often wanted to divulge information concerning sensitive encounters about people confessing crimes, helping law enforcement find justice for crimes.

But when it came to accusations of sexual abuse against members of their fellow clergy, these priests often tried to find a way to withhold this information from law enforcement officials, citing their clergy privilege, according to Bartholomew’s study.

Bartholomew’s extensive research reviewed every opinion on clergy privilege from the early 1800s to 2016, the first time a legal scholar examined and recorded every opinion on clergy privilege.'

Robert DeLand receives 2 to 15 years in prison for sexual assault case


April 25, 2019

The suspended Saginaw County Catholic priest known as "Father Bob" will spend two to 15 years in prison.

The Rev. Robert DeLand is accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with males ages 17 and 21. The incidents allegedly took place in Tittabawassee Township and at his condominium on Mallard Cove in Saginaw Township.

He pleaded no contest last month to three charges: second-degree criminal sexual conduct, providing an imitation controlled substance and gross indecency between males. A no contest plea is not an admission of guilt, but the court treats it as one at sentencing.

He made the plea days after a Saginaw County jury found him not guilty in two other cases. One of the cases involved the 17-year-old in today's sentencing, the other case involved a second 17-year-old male.

The most serious charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.

There should be no limit on reporting sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church

Baltimore Sun

April 25, 2019

The latest listing of sexually abusive priests testifies to the long history of sexual misconduct by Catholic clergy (“Archdiocese of Baltimore discloses the names of 23 deceased clergy accused of child sexual abuse,” April 24). Some of the abuse cases date to the 1940s. In several cases, there is a significant gap between the time the abuse occurred and when the victim(s) reported the abuse to the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

To me, this is proof of the need to expand the window of time for bringing perpetrators to justice. I have been asked why I did not report the sexual abuse I experienced by a teacher when I was 10 years old. As a child in the late 1970s, I had no words to explain it. It takes a lot of time to process abuse and more time to come forward to authorities. There is no magic timeline.

In my case, the teacher was ultimately found guilty of raping a student at a Baltimore Catholic school. He is serving four consecutive life sentences for his crimes. I hope everybody who has ever committed sexual abuse is rooted out and appropriately charged. Sexual abusers, whether dead or alive, should not be shielded by artificial timelines. Maryland’s current law limits victims’ reporting to the age of 38-years-old. This must change so justice prevails.

Nancy Fenton, Baltimore

After list of SC Catholic priests accused of abuse, no simple path to healing

Post and Courier

April 25, 2019

By Gregory Yee and Rickey Dennis

For victims of abuse by Catholic priests in South Carolina, the past month has opened old wounds but also fostered new hope.

Since the 1990s, reports have surfaced implicating priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston in the abuse of minors dating back to at least the 1950s — cases that for years were treated in isolation.

As in other dioceses across the country, most of these incidents were handled internally by church leadership. Priests quietly resigned or were shipped off to other jurisdictions. Many victims did not wish for the publicity of a criminal investigation or trial.

On March 29, Charleston Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone released four lists with the names of 42 priests that a South Carolina church panel decided had credible accusations of child sexual misconduct made against them.

Many heralded the move as a long-overdue step in the healing process, a public acknowledgement by diocesan leadership of years of pain and betrayal felt by victims, and a chance for the church and its flock to begin moving forward.

In the weeks since the lists’ release, however, attorneys, victims’ advocates and others have been left pondering whether church leaders have done enough and what should come next.

Guglielmone and other local church leaders have taken and will continue to take steps toward helping victims heal, said Maria Aselage, a spokeswoman for the diocese. The bishop has held seven town hall meetings with parishioners across the state since November.

“During those meetings, he answered questions about the sexual abuse crisis within the Diocese of Charleston and the universal Church,” she said. “Moreover, he attentively listened to the pain that victims suffered and the heartache Catholics felt because of child sexual abuse within the Church.”

Parishioners have told church leaders that those meetings were an important step in the healing process, Aselage said.

The feedback on the list itself has been mixed, she said.

“Several callers were supportive of the bishop and his decision to release the names,” Aselage said. “Other communications were from people surprised and hurt to learn certain priests were on the list.”

An arduous road
In March, as he made the names of accused priests public, Guglielmone said he hoped the move would help bring healing to the victims and their families who have been “grievously harmed by the betrayal of priests and church leadership.”

Ruth Krall, "In a Roman Catholic Voice: Clergy and Religious Leader Sexual Abuse of the Laity — A Study Bibliography of Resources"

Bilgrimage blog

April 25, 219

By William Lindsay

Ruth Krall, "In a Roman Catholic Voice: Clergy and Religious Leader Sexual Abuse of the Laity — A Study Bibliography of Resources"

All of us seeking to understand and deal with the abuse of vulnerable people within religious communities owe a deep debt of gratitude to Ruth Krall. In one powerful essay after another, she has unpacked years of her research in this field, making insights and titles available to a wider community. Over the course of several years, Ruth has been producing extensive annotated bibliographies reflecting her years of study in this field. What follows is Ruth's latest contribution to the documentation of abuse in religious communities, of studies of this abuse and its roots, and of resources for combating such abuse. The essay below is Ruth's preface to the study bibliography of resources she is providing with this new document.

Father Craig Harrison placed on leave amid allegations of sexual abuse of a minor

Bakersfield Californian

April 25, 2019

By Stacey Shepard

Msgr. Craig Harrison, the pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church since July 1999, has been put on paid leave for investigation of sexual misconduct with a minor, according to The Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno.

In a media release, the diocese said it had received an allegation on April 12 of sexual misconduct by an adult male who was a minor at the time of the alleged abuse. The diocese said it reported the matter to the Firebaugh Police Department on April 15.

Harrison previously served as pastor of St. Joseph in Firebaugh, according to the St. Francis of Assisi website. The diocese said he also served at Our Lady of Mercy, St. Patrick's and Sacred Heart in Merced, as well as at St. Francis in Mojave.

The diocese is also conducting an internal investigation.

Harrison answered the door at his downtown home just before 9 a.m. Thursday, before the Catholic Diocese confirmed he was on leave. Harrison was on his cell phone and looked shaken. He told a reporter he hadn't heard anything about being placed on leave and was trying to find out more information.

This is the second recent allegation to rock the local Catholic community.

The Rev. Miguel Flores of east Bakersfield's St. Joseph Catholic Church was placed on administrative leave after senior church officials decided to take another look at 17-year-old sexual misconduct allegations involving him and a then-16-year-old girl.


Associated Press

April 24, 2019

By David Crary

The lawyers' ads on the internet aggressively seeking clients to file sexual abuse lawsuits give a taste of what lies ahead this year for the Boy Scouts of America: potentially the most fateful chapter in its 109-year history.

Sexual abuse settlements have already strained the Boy Scouts' finances to the point where the organization is exploring "all available options," including Chapter 11 bankruptcy. But now the financial threats have intensified.

The reason: States have been moving in recent months to adjust their statute-of-limitations laws so that victims of long-ago sexual abuse can sue for damages. New York state has passed a law that will allow such lawsuits starting in August. A similar bill in New Jersey has reached the governor's desk. Bills also are pending in Pennsylvania and California.

In New York and elsewhere, lawyers are hard at work recruiting clients to sue the Boy Scouts, alleging they were molested as youths by scoutmasters or other volunteers.

Plaintiffs' lawyers "recognize that this is a very unique and lucrative opportunity," said attorney Karen Bitar, who formerly handled sex-crime cases as a prosecutor in Brooklyn before going into private practice.

Attorney Tim Kosnoff, a veteran of major sexual abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church, said Tuesday that he and his team have signed up 186 clients from dozens of states in just the past few weeks who want to be part of litigation against the Boy Scouts. Kosnoff said 166 of them identified alleged abusers who have not been named in any of the Boy Scout files made public in past years.

Boy Scouts spokeswoman Effie Delimarkos said the organization continues to evaluate its financial situation, and she defended its current abuse-prevention policies. The organization serves more than 2.2 million youths.

A bankruptcy by the Boy Scouts could be unprecedented in its complexity, potentially involving plaintiffs in virtually every state, according to several lawyers. It would be national in scope, unlike the various Catholic Church bankruptcy cases in the U.S., which have unfolded diocese by diocese.

"A Boy Scout bankruptcy would be bigger in scale than any other sex abuse bankruptcy," said Seattle-based attorney Mike Pfau, whose firm is representing more than 300 victims in New York state.

Peruvian archbishop drops criminal complaint against second journalist


April 25, 2019

By Elise Harris

After yesterday’s decision to withdraw his legal complaint against Peruvian journalist Pedro Salinas, Archbishop Jose Antonio Eguren Anselmi of Piura has decided to retract a second complaint against journalist Paola Ugaz on grounds that both cases disrupted the unity of the local church.

“Given that the renunciation of my right to defend my honor cannot make distinctions, I inform public opinion that I will proceed to withdraw the complaint for aggravated defamation imposed against Ms. Paola Margot Ugaz Cruz,” read an April 25 statement from the Archdiocese of Piura.

The announcement follows Eguren Anselmi’s decision a day prior to drop the case against Salinas, even though he had already been convicted and sentenced with a suspended jail term and a hefty fine.

Ugaz co-authored the book Half Monks, Half Soldiers, with Salinas in 2015, detailing years of sexual, psychological and physical abuse inside the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae (SCV), a controversial Catholic organization that originated in Peru. Its founder, layman Luis Fernando Figari, has been accused of physical, psychological and sexual abuses and was prohibited by the Vatican in 2017 of having further contact with members of the group.

Eguren Anselmi issued a criminal defamation complaint against Ugaz last summer for her role in a documentary series by Al-Jazeera she helped to produce which named Eguren Anselmi as part of a land trafficking scandal in Piura.

She was also charged for her coverage of Salinas’s case and for a series of tweets that she sent ahead of Pope Francis’s January 2018 visit to Peru in which she described Eguren Anselmi’s history with the SCV, saying he knew of the founder’s abuses and did nothing.

Ugaz recently won an appeal to have her case transferred from Piura to Lima, where she lives. Salinas had also sought to move his case to Lima on grounds that the trial would be more objective, but his appeal was rejected.

After announcing the withdrawal of the complaint against Salinas, Eguren Anselmi’s lawyer, Percy Garcia Cavero, told Crux that the sentence Salinas received no longer applies since the legal basis for it has been withdrawn.

Former priest could face jail after admitting having child porn images

Nottingham Post

April 25, 2019

By Rod Malcolm

A former priest was ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register when he appeared in court and admitted having child porn at a city presbytery.

Philip McBrien, 58, faced two magistrates who sent him to Nottingham Crown Court to be sentenced on May 16. They ordered probation officers to compile reports on him.

Dan Church, prosecuting, told the court nine of the images were in Category A, the most serious. He said: "The Crown say it should be committed for sentence.

"Category A includes possession of indecent images of sexual activity involving children.

"On the guidelines, there is a starting point of 12 months imprisonment."

McBrien's title was given as Father on the court list with an address of the Holy Cross Presbytery, Watnall Road, Hucknall. However, when he appeared before the magistrates, he was referred to as Mr McBrien and gave his address as Ruby's Walk, Newark.

WATCH: Shattered Faith: Investigations Ongoing, Reform Sought Following Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal

Erie News Now

April 24, 2019

By Paul Wagner

In the second part of his special report, "Shattered Faith," Erie News Now Senior Reporter Paul Wagner looks at how the investigations into the clergy sex abuse scandal are continuing, along with efforts to reform the statute of limitations.

"We have received 1,600 tips to our clergy abuse hotline," said State Attorney General Josh Shapiro during an interview at his Harrisburg office. "Sixteen hundred tips that we have followed up on or passed on to other law enforcement. I think you are going to see action on some of those in the coming months."

Action could come from Washington, D.C., as well as Harrisburg, because the federal government is also investigating.

"While I am not at liberty to speak about any of the details, I can tell you I believe they are taking this very seriously," said Shapiro.

Meantime, efforts at statute of limitation reform continue.

"I am hoping that all the leaders can come together this time and let us get this moving forward," said State Rep. Mark Rozzi, a clergy sex abuse survivor.

Erie Catholic Bishop Lawrence Persico, like other bishops around the state, has opposed reforms. He wants a level playing field.

"That means it covers all churches, all institutions and the government, and that there is not anyone who escapes," said Bishop Persico.

While the political battles and criminal investigations continue, parishes in Erie and elsewhere have to cope with the fallout from the scandal.

Buffalo bishop, lay reform group agree on proposals to address abuse

National Catholic Reporter

April 25, 2019

By Peter Feuerherd

The Movement to Restore Trust, a church reform group with its roots at Canisius College, a Jesuit institution, has come to an agreement with Bishop Richard Malone of Buffalo, New York, on recommendations to address the ongoing sex abuse crisis.

It is the latest development in a series of jarring events that has enveloped the diocese, including calls for Malone to resign, as it attempts to recover from disclosures over the past year.

As the result of a meeting between Malone and the Movement to Restore Trust April 11, the bishop agreed to hold a series of diocesanwide listening sessions to hear directly from sexual abuse victims and others. He promised more meetings with Movement to Restore Trust leaders to discuss how the diocese handles information about abusers, and agreed to expand the diocesan finance council to include more laypeople, particularly women.

Malone also agreed to expand the diocese's ethics reporting service, until now focused on financial issues, to also include accepting reports of sexual abuse or harassment.

The agreement was a response to a series of events in 2018 when Buffalo Catholics learned about a retired priest who admitted to dozens of cases of abusing children previously unreported and when the diocese released the names of 42 priest abusers, a list that later grew to 176.

Via a report on CBS' "60 Minutes," Buffalo Catholics also heard from Malone's former administrative assistant that the diocese was not forthcoming on all it knew about sex abuse cases.

It was, said John Hurley, Canisius College president, a case of "wave after wave of bad stories," which "didn't square with people's understanding and what we had been told by previous bishops."

The goal of the April 11 meeting, according to Maureen Hurley, a leader of the Movement to Restore Trust, was to come to an agreement on less-controversial recommendations that emerged from a series of meetings held earlier this year at Canisius soliciting input from Buffalo Catholics about the crisis in the church.

"We called them easy wins," she said.

Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro says clergy abuse shadows Catholics’ Notre Dame response

Tribune Review

April 25, 2019

By Deb Erdley

Pennsylvania Attorney General Joshua Shapiro was impressed with the response of the Catholic Church and Catholics around the world when Notre Dame went up in flames last week.

But he’s disappointed in what he sees as the church’s lackluster response to protecting clergy abuse victims. In an op-ed in the Washington Post Wednesday, Shapiro took the Church to task for spending millions to influence lawmakers to block his recommendation that they open a window of opportunity for abuse survivors with old claims to sue the church.

Under the headline “Repairing Notre Dame is important. Protecting clergy abuse victims is more important,” Shapiro wrote of the Church’s response to a Pennsylvania grand jury report that detailed allegations of child sexual abuse against 301 priests.

Clergy abuse bill makes progress at committee

Biddeford Courier

April 25, 2019

By Abigail Worthing

A bill that criminally condemns clergy sexual abuse has been unanimously approved by the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee to move forward for votes in both the Maine Senate and House.

The bill, LD 913 “An Act To Protect the Public from Clergy Sexual Abuse,” makes it illegal for licensed pastoral counselors from engaging in sexual activity with those they are counseling.

Sen. Susan Deschambault (D-Biddeford) sponsored the bill on behalf of a constituent, and introduced the bill during a public hearing on March 29 at the statehouse before the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee, of which she is cochairman.

“This bill protects the rights of patients who seek counseling from licensed pastoral counselors in the same way we treat patient rights with other licensed behavior counselors,” said Deschambault in an April 22 press release.

The bill was proposed in 2015 with slightly different language, but was indefinitely postponed. Thirteen other states, as well as Washington, D.C., have passed bills banning clergy sexual abuse among adults.

Also on the committee are Rep. Charlotte Warren (D-Hallowell), Sen. Michael Carpenter (D-Houlton), Sen. Kimberly Rosen (D-Bucksport Rep. Pinny Beebe- Center (D-Rockland), Rep. Janice Cooper (D-Yarmouth), Rep. Patrick Corey (R-Windham), Rep. Danny Costain (R-Plymouth), Rep. Chris Johanson (R-Monticello), Rep. Victoria Morales (D-South Portland), Rep. Richard Picket (R-Dixfield), Rep. Lois Reckitt (D-South Portland) and Rep. Braden Sharpe (D-Durham). Reckitt also spoke in favor of the bill.

The bill now faces votes in both the Maine Senate and House. If approved, Gov. Janet Mills will have 10 days to either veto the bill, sign it, or allow it to become law without bearing her signature. Non-emergency laws passed during this legislative session will come into effect within 90 days after the adjournment of legislative session.

Bishop called to testify in sex abuse trial of Sicilian ‘Archangel’


April 25, 2019

By Claire Giangravè

Despite efforts by the local diocese to distance itself from a lay Catholic association in Sicily whose leader is charged with sexually abusing underage girls, last week the defense lawyer called the bishop to testify in court in May.

By calling local Bishop Antonino Raspanti to testify about “the behavior of the church of Acireale” toward the Catholic Culture and Environment Association (ACCA), defense lawyer Mario Brancato hopes to rehabilitate the reputation of the lay group, he told local reporters April 18.

The group’s lay leader, Piero Alfio Capuana, 75, was arrested in August 2017 for allegedly sexually abusing seven girls who were minors at the time of the incidents. ACCA was founded in 1974 by a well-known Sicilian priest, Father Stefano Cavalli, who considered himself a “spiritual son” of the famed mystic Capuchin friar Padre Pio.

“At the death of Father Cavalli, a founder of the community along with Capuana, the archbishop and other priests were present, and they praised the figure of Father Cavalli, who was also a favorite disciple of Padre Pio with whom he communicated constantly,” Brancato said.

The Diocese of Acireale released a statement shortly after Capuana’s arrest saying that because the group is a “civil association” it had no official ties to the Catholic Church and therefore the diocese was not called to exercise any type of oversight, despite the fact that the group met in a Catholic parish and advertised its activities in the official diocesan paper.

Members of the group believed Capuana to be the reincarnation of the Archangel Michael and that he spoke to the Virgin Mary in his “locutions.”

Diocese puts 2 priests on abusers list

Port Arthur News

April 25, 2019

Two deceased priests who worked in the Diocese of Beaumont have been added to the previous list of those credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors, Most Rev. Curtis Guillory, SVD, bishop of Beaumont, said Wednesday.

They are Raymond Woodka, SSJ, of the Josephites order, and Rocco Perone, Perone, CSP, a Paulist priest.

Woodka was assigned to Sacred Heart in Port Arthur in the 1970s and at Our Mother of Mercy, where he was pastor from 1978 to 1987.

Perone was not assigned to the Beaumont diocese, but did visit periodically to work weekends at local parishes.

The bishop said the diocese was not informed about allegations against either man until after the Jan. 31 disclosure that 13 priests here had been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors since Pope Paul VI established the Diocese of Beaumont in 1966.

The two additional names have been added to that list on the diocese’s website. The names appear as an addendum to the Jan. 31 list of clergy with credible allegations. They can be found on the same link (Letter to the Faithful and Names of Clergy…) as a second page of the original list.

Paprocki and pedophiles

Illinois Times

April 25, 2019

By Bruce Rushton

Images of Bishop Thomas John Paprocki for this article are by Jonah Harjer, a Springfield artist who was born in Chicago and grew up in the 1980s in Miami, where he was influenced by the local skate and street culture. He was drawn to painting graffiti,Illustrations by Jonah Harjer
A quarter-century ago, the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago was in crisis.

A priest had been indicted for sexually abusing a child. Lawsuits were pending. Priests were removed from parishes after the church appointed a commission – two laypeople, plus the auxiliary bishop – to investigate sexual misconduct cases and recommend improvements. After the commission issued its report, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin in 1992 turned to Thomas John Paprocki, then chancellor for the Chicago archdiocese and, since 2010, bishop for the Diocese of Springfield.

For a decade, Paprocki was an insider in Chicago as the archdiocese first won praise for policies and practices that ultimately were discredited. Pedophile priests remained in parishes, despite promises, and zero tolerance was adopted only after outside pressure from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Last year, the Catholic church in Springfield and elsewhere fell under scrutiny from the Illinois attorney general’s office, which accused the church of hiding sexual abuse cases. Attorney General Kwame Raoul, who took office in January, has promised to continue his predecessor’s investigation into whether the church has properly handled cases involving sexual abuse of kids by priests.

Meanwhile, Paprocki complains about the Vatican.

Last summer, the bishop criticized Pope Francis for botching the case of Theodore McCarrick, a former cardinal defrocked in February for sexual misconduct involving minors and adults that had been reported years earlier. Paprocki says Rome still hasn’t been transparent, although the pope in October ordered an investigation to determine how McCarrick had risen to power despite evidence of sexual misconduct. “Here we are in April,” Paprocki says. “(W)e’re still waiting for that release of information from the review of documents that the pope ordered in October.”

Last fall, Paprocki was strident when the pope ordered American bishops to not enact reforms aimed at finding and punishing sexual misconduct between priests and kids. “We are not branch managers of the Vatican,” Paprocki told the press. “Our people are crying out for some action.”

Churchgoers in Chicago also cried for action years ago while Paprocki shepherded sexual misconduct cases.
“If this man has value to the archdiocese, then he should be placed in a situation where he can push papers,” wrote a parishioner in a 2002 letter to her priest after discovering an associate pastor had been sent to her parish despite groping a preteen girl. “We always considered ourselves fortunate to be part of a parish that cared so much about its members. I guess I loved the cocoon in which we obviously lived, and I guess that’s why I feel so deeply betrayed.”

The Chicago way
With Paprocki in the inner circle, the Chicago archdiocese initially won accolades for its handling of sexual misconduct cases involving priests and kids, particularly by establishing a review board consisting mostly of laypeople that considered allegations, determined credibility and recommended what should be done.

Paprocki was the cardinal’s delegate to the board as well as a member of a second committee tasked with deciding where child molesters should work. As chancellor, he kept the church’s records. As a lawyer, he was trained in both canon and civil law.

April 24, 2019

Second victim accuses former Conroe priest of sexual misconduct: officials report


April 25, 2019

By Deborah Wrigley

A second allegation of sexual misconduct has been made against a Houston area priest. The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston had already removed Father Jesus Suarez from active ministry last month, when a similar allegation was made.

Both women said they were abused by Suarez when he served as a priest in Colombia in the 1980s. He transferred to the Archdiocese in 2001, serving as a priest at a Conroe parish and more recently, at a parish in east Harris County.

Michael Norris, a leader in SNAP, or Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said he has been in contact with both women. The first, he said, accused Suarez of abusing her at the age of 11 into her teenage years, and fathering a daughter.

The second woman, Norris said, had a similar allegation, but does not know is she was underage at the time.

"Her coming forward takes a lot of courage and bravery, because it's not easy talking about something that's so traumatic, that happened to you years ago to come forward. I think she's a very brave woman," Norris said.

He believes there are more allegations pending. Because both complainants are in Colombia, he believes the FBI should be involved with the investigation.

The Archdiocese stated that it only became aware of the most recent accusation on Wednesday, and has forwarded the information to the Houston Police Department.

'It's their word against his': Priest accused of sexually abusing boys goes to court

York Daily Record

April 24, 2019

By Candy Woodall

A compilation what's happened since a sweeping grand jury report on decades of abuse by priests in Pennsylvania. Paul Kuehnel and Brandie Kessler and Mike Argento, York Daily Record

Their stories are strikingly similar, recorded three months apart by a Dauphin County detective.

They have names, but they're known now as Victim 1 and Victim 2. Both men say John G. Allen sexually abused them from 1997 to 2002 while they were altar boys at St. Margaret Mary's Alacoque Church in Harrisburg.

Allen, a 75-year-old defrocked priest who lives in York County, molested them in the rectory and the area where altar boys and priests put on their robes for mass, according to Detective John O'Connor.

As he faced the four counts of indecent assault and two counts of corruption of minors against him, Allen was unrecognizable as a priest in district court on Wednesday. He wasn't wearing a white collar or black robe, and hasn't since the Diocese of Harrisburg removed him from ministry in 2002.

During his preliminary hearing before District Judge Joseph S. Lindsey in Lower Paxton Township, Allen was wearing khaki pants, a short-sleeve blue checkered shirt and a smile as he walked from a private conference room to a seat next to his defense attorney, Brian Perry.

Allegations of abuse

By 2002, the diocese had received multiple allegations of abuse about Allen. None of them were punishable according to Pennsylvania's statute of limitations on child sex abuse. None of the criminal allegations were reported by the diocese.

Allen was one of 301 "predator priests" identified by a Pennsylvania grand jury report and 71 named by the diocese in August. State laws ensured he was immune to punishment until October and February when two victims called Childline and reported abuse that fell within the statute of limitations.

Attorney: Catholic Church, Boy Scouts ‘Playing The Same Game’


April 23, 2019

By Ken MacLeod

It was a shocking revelation. More than 7,000 former Boy Scout leaders have been accused of more than 12,000 sexual assaults on boys since the 1940’s.

Attorneys for sex assault victims in New York say the information was contained in the organizations so-called “Perversion Files”, which were recently scoured by a woman hired by the Boy Scouts of America.

“And when I saw that today,” says Boston sex abuse survivor Robert Costello, “my stomach just flipped.”

Costello’s time as a Boston Boy Scout back in the 1970’s should be a wonderful memory – but it’s not.

“He would creep into my tent like at 3 a.m. on camping trips,” says Costello, “and then reach into my sleeping bag and fondle me."

He says it was an assistant scoutmaster who molested him – on camping trips and at troop meetings – leaving lifelong emotional scars.

On Tuesday, attorneys in New York went public with 180 names gleaned from their legal research – names of former scout leaders and volunteers tossed from scouting amid allegations of sexual abuse against the boys they were supposed to be helping.

The lawyers argued the public posting was needed to warn others that a child molester might be in their midst.

The Boy Scouts of America had declined to release names.

“They weren’t transparent and they weren’t honest,” says Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian. “They were more concerned about themselves – their group’s reputation and fundraising – than they were about the safety of children.”

Letter: Church leaders must stop blaming others for its woes

Buffalo News

April 22, 2019

It is hard to fathom that at this late stage of the catastrophic damage done to the Catholic Church by pedophile parading as priests, the church hierarchy decides to play the blame game.

Recently, Bishop Richard Malone, when exposed for hiding the names of at least 27 more pedophiles, responded by blame the media. Apparently, he felt that only one complaint against a pedophile priest was not sufficient evidence to add that priest to the list already published.

Hence his illogical conclusion, the media is the root cause of this continuing problem in the church.

This opinion was backed up by the recent letter from retired Pope Benedict. His contention was the blame for this upheaval of epic proportions in the church finds it root causes in the 60s sexual revolution, birth control, liberation theology, liberal theological outlooks and not church leaders turning a blind eye to the problem.

Can these church leaders seriously believe in 2019 that anyone would believe this outrageously condescending explanation for its own inability or unconcern in rooting out and eliminate scores of pedophiles in its own ranks?

The problem is not the media, the 60s, birth control or anything other than the church leaders themselves. Their decadeslong cover up, which continues to this day is the root cause for the mess they created.

Gary Rog


Nearly 8,000 Alleged Child Abusers Identified In Boy Scouts’ Files, Review Finds

The Huffington Post

April 24, 2019

By Nina Golgowski

The BSA also reported 12,254 alleged victims within its organization dating back to 1944.

An expert hired by the Boy Scouts of America to review allegations of child sexual abuse within the organization identified 7,819 alleged abusers among its leaders and volunteers dating back to 1944, according to a newly released court document.

Of the files examined over five years, 12,254 alleged victims were identified, Dr. Janet Warren, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences at the University of Virginia’s medical school, testified in late January.

“They’re called ineligible volunteer files and these are files that [the BSA] created. Individuals who have had their registration with the Boy Scouts revoked because of reasonable allegations of child sexual abuse,” Warren told the court.

Un cura se declaró culpable por abuso sexual a tres catequistas en un juicio abreviado en San Isidro

Agencia Telam

April 17, 2019

[A priest pleaded guilty for sexual abuse to three catechists in an abbreviated trial in San Isidro]

- El cura Mario Koessler (63) fue condenado a tres años de prisión en suspenso.
- Abusó de tres mujeres catequistas de 75, 63 y 40 años.
- Los hechos ocurrieron entre 2014 y 2015 en la Parroquia San José, en San Isidro.

El cura Mario Koessler, de 63 años, imputado por abuso sexual agravado a tres mujeres catequistas de 75, 63 y 40 años por hechos ocurridos entre 2014 y 2015 en la Parroquia San José, del municipio bonaerense de San Isidro, se declaró culpable en un juicio abreviado que le fijó una pena de tres años en suspenso.

Repairing Notre Dame is important. Protecting clergy abuse victims is even more important.

Washington Post

April 24, 2019

By Josh Shapiro, the attorney general of Pennsylvania.

The images were heart-rending. Flames roaring through Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, its Gothic spire collapsing into the inferno. A gash into the heart of Catholicism, one observer wrote.

As breathtaking as the fire was the response, from Catholics in France, Rome and around the world, united by their resolve to take swift action. French business leaders pledged hundreds of millions of dollars for repairs. President Emmanuel Macron vowed that Notre Dame will be rebuilt within five years. Other countries promised financial aid. Pope Francis himself reached out to Macron to express his “solidarity with the French people.”

The rapid response is appropriate and affirming, as the followers and leaders of one of the world’s great religions come together, united by their humanity to save a monumental symbol of their faith.

But where is the unity and common purpose to protect the human embodiment of that great faith? Where is the sense of urgency and acceptance of responsibility to support the victims and survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy?

In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where I am attorney general, a statewide grand jury working with my office led the way last year when it published a groundbreaking report that identified 301 predator priests, more than a thousand victims of sexual abuse and an institutional coverup that stretched all the way to the Vatican.

And yet, after the grand jury released its report, along with a set of recommendations to protect victims and ensure this kind of abuse and coverup never happens again, the response from the church and its leaders was far less affirming and swift than the response to the Notre Dame fire.

Iglesia pide perdón por abuso sexual de cura

La Prensa Grafica

April 15, 2019

By Stanley Luna

[Church asks forgiveness for sexual abuse of cure]

El sábado fue capturado un sacerdote, a quien acusan de agredir a una niña de seis años.

"Desde ya, en nombre de la Iglesia, pido perdón a la víctima y su familia", dijo ayer el arzobispo de San Salvador, José Luis Escobar, al referirse a la detención del sacerdote guatemalteco José Venancio Boror Uz, acusado de agredir sexualmente a una niña de seis años de edad.

El sacerdote, de 62 años, fue detenido el sábado pasado afuera de la parroquia Nuestra Señora de Lourdes, en el barrio Lourdes, San Salvador.

Frédéric Martel: “Una gran mayoría silenciosa de la Iglesia es homosexual”

La Capital

April 23, 2019

[Frédéric Martel: "A large silent majority of the Church is homosexual"]

Es el autor de "Sodoma: poder y escándalo en el Vaticano". Se trata de una investigación periodística que echa luz sobre uno de los secretos más grandes del Vaticano: la doble vida de cardenales, obispos, monseñores, nuncios apostólicos y seminaristas. El rol del papa Francisco, el sexismo, el encubrimiento de los abusos sexuales en el interior de la Iglesia y el fracaso del celibato.

Con un hilo narrativo atrapante, que lleva a lectoras y lectores de las narices, “Sodoma” es el libro de Frédéric Martel que corre el velo sobre uno de los secretos más profundos de la Iglesia Católica actual: la homosexualidad de “la mayoría” de los clérigos integrantes del Vaticano, según confirma el autor francés, quien es oriundo de Avignon.

Fiscalía de Chile acumula 164 causas por abusos en la iglesia

Prensa Latina

April 18, 2019

[Chilean prosecutor's office accumulates 164 cases of abuses in the church]

Un total de 220 sacerdotes involucrados en abusos sexuales son investigados hoy por la Fiscalía de Chile en 164 causas por acusaciones presentadas por 246 víctimas.

Este es el balance más reciente según lo informado por el fiscal nacional Jorge Abbott, en la cuenta pública del trabajo de esa entidad, durante la cual señaló que el deber de la Fiscalía es favorecer que las víctimas hagan las denuncias para que ejerzan su derecho de ser escuchadas por la justicia.

Anselm Grün: “la sociedad debe hablar abiertamente sobre el abuso sexual”

Vida Nueva Digital

April 24, 2019

By Fredy Pena

[Anselm Grün: "society should talk openly about sexual abuse"]

“Sin renovación, sin deplorar lo ocurrido y sin que los victimarios rindan cuenta, no hay paz en la Iglesia y en la sociedad… ”.

La última vez que el sacerdote benedictino, Anselm Grün, estuvo en Chile (octubre 2018) nos deleitó, en aquel ciclo de “Pensamiento Propio” realizado en el Centro de Extensión de la Universidad Católica donde nos habló acerca de la “fragilidad interior”. Recuerdo que hacía hincapié a la necesidad que tiene el hombre moderno de conectarse consigo mismo: “Estar en contacto con el ser interior es estar en contacto con Dios”. Y reparaba en que “No existe aquello que no se puede cambiar… Ni ninguna muerte que no se pueda transformar en vida…”.

Former Harrisburg priest ordered to trial for molesting 2 boys


April 24, 2019

By Myles Snyder

A former priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg is headed to trial on charges he molested two children.

John G. Allen, 75, of York, was ordered held for court after a preliminary hearing on Wednesday. A formal arraignment is scheduled for June 7.

Allen was arrested last month on four counts of indecent assault and two counts of corruption of minors. Dauphin County prosecutors say he abused the victims between 1997 and 2002 while they served as altar boys for St. Margaret Mary’s Alacoque Church in Harrisburg.

Allen is accused of grabbing one boy's buttocks on multiple occasions between 1999 and 2002 when the child was 10 years to 13 years old. The other victim says Allen fondled him on multiple occasions between 1997 and 1999 when he was between 12 and 14 years old.

Allen was removed as pastor of St. Margaret Mary’s Church in 2002 after a man reported to the diocese that Allen abused him as a boy. Pope Benedict XVI formally removed him from the priesthood in 2006.

According to a lawsuit against Allen, he was relocated to St. Margaret Mary's after he spent time in a treatment facility for sex offender priests.

Allen was named as an abuser by a statewide grand jury that investigated clergy in six Pennsylvania dioceses. He also was among 37 priests identified as abusers by the Harrisburg diocese last year.

Priest with “Substantiated Allegations” Found Working for School in Tucson

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

April 24, 2019

An accused Philadelphia priest found to be “unsuitable for ministry” went on to get a job at an Arizona school until vigilant watchdogs blew the whistle.

Fr. John F. Meyers was just found working at a Tucson charter school despite being ousted by Pennsylvania Catholic officials in January for “substantiated” claims of sexual abuse. We are grateful to Carolyn Fortney and the other survivors and advocates who uncovered this information and alerted the public. Thanks to them, we believe that children in Tucson are safer today.

However, we cannot help but wonder why the duty of tracking down Catholic clergymen with “substantiated allegations” and keeping them from working around children has fallen on the shoulders of survivors and advocates. Should it not be the responsibility of Church officials who recruited, educated, ordained, trained, hired, and transferred these priests to keep them away from children and vulnerable adults?

Dioceses are powerful institutions with vast resources and manpower. They have the ability to do more than just post the names of clerics with “substantiated allegations” online. Church officials need to find ways to inform communities when these men relocate. Dioceses should at the very least report these movements to the public, especially to local schools, community centers and other groups that serve children.

SNAP Stands in Solidarity with Abuse Survivors from the Boy Scouts

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

April 24, 2019

In the past several weeks, hundreds of survivors of abuse at the hands of Boy Scout leaders have come forward . SNAP stands with these brave survivors as they share what happened to them and to seek to prevent future children from being abused.

Like other victims of institutional abuse, the BSA survivors have shared stories of being intimidated into silence, feelings of shame and guilt, and worries that no one would ever believe them. Just like other institutions that have had massive abuse scandals, the BSA has been accused of concealing cases of abuse and working to keep allegations quiet.

We hope that, as these survivors continue to come forward and share what happened to them, their experiences will lead to meaningful change within the structure of the BSA to ensure that no other children are victimized by someone who is supposed to care for them. If abuse does occur, we hope that it will never again be swept under the rug in order to preserve the reputation of an institution over the safety of children.

SNAP Philadelphia Encouraged by Reform Bills in PA Legislature

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

April 24, 2019

This month, Pennsylvania has continued the fight to reform child sex crime laws as House lawmakers approved two key reform measures and freshman Senators in the other house introduced a third counter bill aimed at similar purposes.

The House overwhelmingly approved two bills that respectively call for the elimination of the criminal statute of limitations involving child sex crimes, and call for a constitutional amendment that would lead to a revival of expired statute of limitations. House Bill 962, sponsored by Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, would also remove sovereign immunity in civil claims, meaning that if an institution has known about child sex crimes, it would be held responsible.

On the Senate side, S.B. 540 would lift the statute of limitations for adults who were sexually abused at any age. The Senate bill calls for the abolishment of the criminal statute of limitations and a two-year revival window of expired statute of limitations. The proposal also calls for a six-month delay to allow for the completion of compensation funds already being processed.

"It is important that survivors and advocates keep informed of all measures that are moving this issue forward,” said Mike McDonnell, SNAP Philadelphia Leader. “The only remedy to exposing predators and the institutions who enable them is through retroactivity, a ‘window to justice.’ It is also vital the survivors remain unified, keeping the conversation alive and in front of key legislators. We can never take our eye from the one institution that stands to lose the most in this fight and that is the Catholic Diocese of Pennsylvania. The lobbying arm of the Pennsylvania Catholic conference is present daily in the halls of the capital, so must our voices."

NJ child predator sting: Cop, priest among 16 arrested for trying to lure children for sex

North Jersey Record

April 24, 2019

By Anthony Zurita

A priest and a Ridgewood police officer are among the 16 people accused of luring children for sex.

Through a three-state sting operation, 16 people accused of being sexual predators, including a cop and a priest, were arrested for allegedly trying to lure children for sex through chat apps, announced the state's Attorney General.

In a press conference Wednesday morning, Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced that "Operation Home Alone" had nabbed the alleged child predators from across the region. Half the men accused are from New Jersey, seven are from New York and one from Pennsylvania.

The sting operation spannedone week and was executed by a multi-agency task force that included the Bergen County Prosecutor's Office, the state police, Homeland Security Investigations and the FBI, along with others.

The arrests were made over a five-day period, where one accused man drove over 100 miles to meet a person he thought was a child. Despite the high number of arrests, Grewal acknowledged that many more child sex offenders remain in the area.

"If we extended the investigation, we could catch 16 people a week," Grewal said.

The alleged predators came from three different states and all walks of life, including from positions of power and trust with families and children. Peter Tuchol Jr., a Ridgewood police officer who was arrested last week was among the accused.

"Our focus was on the protection of our most vulnerable." said acting Bergen County Prosecutor Dennis Calo. "[The accused] had a desire to exploit children."

Roger Arroyo, 37, a traveling minister from Philadelphia was arrested for attempted criminal sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl. Kevin Roth, 26, a high school teacher from Nanuet, N.Y. was charged with second-degree luring for trying to get in contact with a 14-year-old boy.

Those abused by priests need justice, more protection from the Catholic Church, advocates say


April 24, 2019

By Justin Hoffmann and Michelle Simpson Tuegel

Recently, the New Jersey Legislature passed a bill that would give survivors of sexual abuse in New Jersey more opportunity to seek justice for the crimes committed against them. This is an important step in addressing the decades of clergy abuse, but for countless survivors in New Jersey, it is too little, too late.

For decades, the Catholic Church has turned a blind eye to the child predators in its ranks and refused to be held accountable for the thousands of lives it ruined. In fact, they have worked hard to keep the abuse quiet, knowingly rotating sexual predators around to different communities, offering often meaningless reforms that fail to address the cycle of abuse, and sometimes providing or attempting to provide minimal compensation to survivors behind closed doors.

Take, for example, the recent Vatican conference on sexual abuse of minors that was portrayed by many as a positive step forward by the Catholic church. Unfortunately, the conference failed to establish any real solutions or tangible outcomes for survivors of clergy abuse. Despite a contrite tone, Pope Francis proposed no concrete solutions to deal with the scourge of clergy abuse and failed to promise a zero-tolerance approach from the Church.

Hundreds of former Boy Scouts reveal new sexual abuse claims, exposing 150 alleged pedophiles


April 24, 2019

By Cara Kelly

More than 200 individuals have come forward with new allegations of sexual abuse by members of the Boy Scouts of America in recent weeks as a trio of law firms seek to uncover unidentified child abusers.

A few of the victims are young, still underage or in their 20s, but many have held their secrets close for decades.

"Nobody would have listened to me," said James Kretschmer, 56, who says a leader groped him at a Boy Scouts camp when he was in middle school. "The problem is, then you think, ‘Is it something I did? What was I doing, was it my fault? If I hadn’t done whatever, he wouldn’t have done that.’ It took me years and years to realize it wasn’t that little child’s fault. It was the adult who had control."

Samuel, 17, said he was fondled by a leader a decade ago, who told him, "Don’t say anything.

Boy Scout leaders accused of molesting boys for decades

Boston Herald

April 23, 2019

By Rick Sobey

Massachusetts cases said among thousands nationwide

Shocking testimony revealing more than 7,000 alleged child sex abusers in the Boy Scouts has sparked questions about the magnitude of the troubling conduct across Massachusetts, with some comparing it to the Catholic Church priest scandal.

On Tuesday, lawyers in New York and New Jersey released the names of nearly 200 Boy Scout leaders who have been accused of molesting boys for decades.

The attorneys said they plan to file lawsuits against the nonprofit Boy Scouts of America. The lawyers said the 130 scout leaders from New York and the 50 from New Jersey are among 7,000 Boy Scout leaders across the country named in the Boy Scouts of America “Perversion Files.”

“It’s a systematic problem,” said Jeff Anderson, whose New York law firm specializes in child sexual abuse cases. “These are perversion files and secrets held by the Boy Scouts of America.”

He called it a system of denial and cover-ups.

Catholics shouldn't remain silent on predator priests

Manhattan Mercury

April 24, 2019

Am I the only Catholic that feels like my religion has been hijacked by spineless cowards? The weak response to predator priests in the church has been the most dismal and embarrassing response I could possibly imagine.

As reported by USA Today, many parishioners are leaving the church for this very reason. I think the wrong people are leaving the church. Our church leaders need to go.

I am tired of trying to justify the church’s lack of meaningful action in my head. Remaining silent on the issue as a Catholic follower only implies that you are complicit with the church’s response to these problems.

Aaron Keck
2525 Bellerive Drive, Apt. 37
Manhattan KS

Clergy sex abuse survivor finds accused Philly priest online, working for Arizona school

Philadelphia Inquirer

April 24, 2019

By Jeremy Roebuck

When Arizona charter-school operator Rose Management Group offered John F. Meyers a contract position this year, the company either failed to discover or disregarded one important aspect about his past:

His prior job — a 35-year stint as a Roman Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia — ended abruptly after he was accused of sexually abusing a minor.

It took a group of internet sleuths, one a victim of clergy sex abuse herself, to uncover that record last week. The charter operator then ended its relationship with Meyers.

“This is a prime example of survivors working together to take the law into our own hands,” said Carolyn Fortney, the Harrisburg woman who uncovered Meyers’ new life in Tucson. “We’ll do what we have to do to protect children.”

The community that prompted Fortney’s investigation, the Philadelphia-based online group Catholics4Change, is one of a plethora of internet vigilantes and regional watchdog websites that have sprung up across the United States as the clergy sex abuse crisis continues to roil the church.

As recently as the early 2000s — the start of the scandal for the American church — ousted priests often were able to slip into relative anonymity. But now, groups like Catholics4Change and the Baltimore-based “The Keepers Official Facebook Group” — the inspiration for the eponymous 2017 Netflix documentary series — have harnessed the power of social media and extensive internet archives to organize, conduct research, create repositories of information on abusers, and hold church leaders to account.

Kathy Kane, co-administrator of the Catholics4Change group, said the circumstances behind Meyers’ January removal from ministry stood out.

Archdiocesan officials said little at the time about the accusation that led to Meyers’ ouster except that it stemmed from an abuse allegation dating to the 1980s.

Archdiocese of Baltimore discloses the names of 23 deceased clergy accused of child sexual abuse

Baltimore Sun

April 24, 2019

By Jonathan M. Pitts

The Archdiocese of Baltimore has added the names of 23 deceased priests and religious brothers to its online database of clergy members accused of child sexual abuse, signaling a revision in policy on dealing with cases that come to the diocese’s attention only after an accused individual has died.

The change is part of an ongoing effort by the diocese to enhance openness when it comes to the issue of child sexual abuse in the church, said Archbishop William E. Lori, leader of the area’s half-million Catholics.

“It’s part of an overall effort to be more transparent,” Lori said. “In doing this, we hope we’re giving more people who have in fact been abused the courage to come forward.”

The additions bring to 126 the number of clergy considered credibly accused of sexual abuse, with incidents dating as far as 80 years.

The move is “a great step,” said David Lorenz, state director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

“Even if the allegations date back to the 1950s, I guarantee there are victims of these predators who have never told anyone and who will get some sense of relief and justice,” Lorenz said. “I truly appreciate that.”

April 23, 2019

Two Popes. Zero Solutions. Where's the Hope?


By Anne Barrett Doyle

April 20, 2019

As Catholics celebrate Easter, the institutional church stands more exposed than at any point in its history.

Prosecutors and lawmakers around the world are ending the impunity of Catholic church leaders who enable abuse or commit abuse themselves.

*In the United States, attorneys general in more than 15 states have launched investigations or reviews of their local dioceses.

*In two of the most populous Catholic states, New York and New Jersey, thousands of older church victims may soon be able to file lawsuits, thanks to new changes in the states' statutes of limitations.

*Outside the U.S., in just the last six weeks: Police in India have charged a bishop for raping a nun; a French court convicted the cardinal-archbishop of Lyon for violating the nation's mandatory reporting law; and the Pope's former finance czar, Cardinal George Pell of Australia, was sentenced to six years in prison for sexually abusing two choirboys.

Ex-Columbia serial predator priest to stay in jail; Victims applaud new ruling

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

April 23, 2019

An admitted serial predator priest who worked in Columbia lost his bid for a bond reduction yesterday and will remain jailed in St. Louis County facing more child sex abuse charges.

We are grateful to the two brave Missouri men who are working with prosecutors to keep Fr. Fred Lenczycki away from kids, and to the judge who refused to reduce this admitted predator's bond today.

We hope this news will prod others who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. Lenczycki's crimes to come forward. We firmly believe others he hurt are still suffering in shame, silence and self-blame.

The state of Illinois deemed Lenczycki a sexually violent predator, so we hope Missouri officials will continue to do all they can to keep him locked up. And we hope Catholic officials in California will aggressively reach out to anyone he hurt there.

Regresa a Salta el monje Anselm Grn

El Tribuno

April 23, 2019

By Felipe Medina

[Return to Salta the monk Anselm Grn]

Anselm Grn, sacerdote católico de la Orden de San Benito, con 74 años de edad, regresa a nuestra ciudad esta semana. Abordará uno de los temas más controversiales en los últimos meses para la Iglesia católica, los abusos desde las víctimas y los victimarios.

Con agudeza psicológica y fina sensibilidad evangélica, describe e interpreta las áreas de la sociedad, de la Iglesia y de las relaciones personales y familiares en la que hay personas que han sido víctimas de toda tipo de abusos. A estas últimas se dirige con especial cuidado, ya que sin deplorar lo ocurrido y sin acciones concretas de reparación no es posible lograr la paz. Pero también se ocupa de los victimarios, preguntándose por qué se convirtieron en tales y como puede desmontarse su lógica perversa.

Ex arzobispo Francisco Javier Errázuriz en interrogatorio por encubrimiento de delitos sexuales ante la Fiscalía : “Es mejor que en la Iglesia no haya sacerdotes homosexuales”

La Tercera

April 21, 2019

By Leslie Ayala C.

[Former Archbishop Francisco Javier Errázuriz in interrogation for the cover-up of sexual crimes before the Office of the Prosecutor: "It is better that in the Church there are no homosexual priests"]

1 “El caso más horrible fue el de Karadima”
Lo primero que hizo el fiscal de Alta Complejidad Jorge Escobar cuando el cardenal Francisco Javier Errázuriz (85) junto a su abogado, Juan Domingo Acosta, se sentaron frente a él fue leer al exobispo sus derechos como imputado: debía saber en forma específica los cargos por supuesto encubrimiento de delitos sexuales cometidos por sacerdotes que se le atribuyen y por los que la fiscalía, eventualmente, lo formalizará ante la justicia.

Emiliano Arias: En la Fiscalía hay crisis y descontrol, antes no pasaban estas cosas


April 21, 2019

[Emiliano Arias: In the Prosecutor's Office there is crisis and lack of control, before these things did not happen]

"Ésta no es la misma institución que creó Guillermo Piedrabuena y consolidó Sabas Chahuán", dijo el persecutor regional de O'Higgins.

Reconoció que, en el plano personal, ya no tiene deseos de continuar, pero afirmó que lo ata "el compromiso con las víctimas".

Resaltó que la denuncia de Sergio Moya se da ad portas de decisiones en casos relevantes, como el encubrimiento de abusos por los obispos católicos.

Presentan mapa del abuso sexual eclesiástico en Chile


April 7, 2019

[Map of ecclesiastical sexual abuse in Chile presented]

-La Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Sexual Eclesiástico incluye más de 260 casos registrados a lo largo del país.

- La organización afirma que el 12 por ciento del total del clero chileno está involucrado en casos de abusos a menores.

La Red de Sobrevivientes de Abuso Sexual Eclesiástico lanzó un mapa chileno de los delitos de abuso sexual y de conciencia cometidos en entornos eclesiásticos.

La herramienta interactiva, que fue lanzada este sábado en el Museo de la Memoria y los Derechos Humanos, "contiene las denuncias públicas contra religiosos y laicos" de este tipo de delitos, con el nombre de los victimarios de Arica a Puerto Natales y dónde ocurrieron los hechos.

Francisco Javier Errázuriz: Resumen de las crudas declaraciones que el imputado dio en 12 horas de interrogatorio


April 21, 2019

[Francisco Javier Errázuriz: Summary of the crude statements that the accused gave in 12 hours of interrogation]

El ex arzobispo respondió 35 veces "no recuerdo" y ante dos preguntas guardó silencio, por recomendación de su abogado. Declaró no haberle creído a James Hamilton ante las acusaciones de abuso sexual y detalló el artículo del Derecho Canónico que lo exime de la obligación de investigar.

El ex arzobispo de Santiago Francisco Javier Errázuriz, declaró en calidad de imputado ante el fiscal de alta complejidad, Jorge Escobar. El interrogatorio duró en total de 12 horas y Errázuriz debió responder a 12 preguntas; en dos de ellas guardó silencio por recomendación de sus abogados.

El monasterio del horror: crudo relato del joven abusado por dos curas en el Cristo Orante

Los Andes

April 10, 2019

[The monastery of horror: crude story of the young man abused by two priests in the Christ Orante]

Nicolás Bustos recapituló las pesadillas que vivió durante más de 5 años en el monasterio de Tupungato. "Que no se repita más", implora.

A priori, Nicolás Bustos (27) podría se descripto como una persona introvertida. Tranquilo para hablar, con un tono bajo; pero con una claridad absoluta en sus palabras. Lleva toda una procesión por dentro; aunque en los últimos meses dicha procesión reclamó casi a los gritos ser exteriorizada. Y es lo que el joven hizo, primero con una denuncia verbal en el Arzobispado -en 2015- y luego con una denuncia penal -en octubre de 2018-. El joven denunció haber sido abusado sexualmente en reiteradas oportunidades por dos monjes del Monasterio del Cristo Orante (Tupungato) -los curas Oscar Portillo y Diego Roqué, hoy detenidos e imputados- mientras estuvo internado. Según destaca, los abusos habrían ocurrido entre 2009 y 2015.

Aseguran que el Arzobispado de Mendoza intentó ocultar una denuncia de abuso sexual

Diario UNO

April 9, 2019

[They claim that the Archdiocese of Mendoza tried to hide a complaint of sexual abuse]

Un nuevo escándalo se suma a la Iglesia en Mendoza luego de conocerse una carta enviada por el Arzobispado hacia el Vaticano para ocultar abusos sexuales que dos monjes habrían cometido en el Monasterio Cristo Orante, del Valle de Uco.

El arzobispo de Mendoza, Marcelo Colombo, envió una carta a la Santa Sede en agosto de 2018, donde le pedía al papa Francisco trasladar la investigación a San Juan y prorrogar el juicio canónico contra los monjes mendocinos Diego Roqué y Oscar Portillo, quienes hoy están con prisión domiciliaria, aseguró el diario La Nación.

SCOTUS Declines to Hear Case Against the Diocese of Palm Beach, SNAP Reacts

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

April 23, 2019

We are disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Fr. John Gallagher’s defamation case against the Diocese of Palm Beach.

When clergy whistle blowers find the strength and courage to help speak out on behalf of children, they should be rewarded, not retaliated against by their superiors. Our hearts ache for Fr. Gallagher and the trials and tribulations he has been through.

Church officials at the Diocese of Palm Beach should have been grateful to Fr. Gallagher for helping law enforcement prosecute a priest who showed child pornography to a teenager. Instead, Fr. Gallagher asserts, he was denied a promotion because of his actions. When the priest told the media, the Diocese publicly denounced him as "blatantly lying" and "in need of professional assistance." We are concerned that the SCOTUS decision may set the stage for other dioceses to retaliate against clergy whistle blowers with impunity.

Protecting children requires constant vigilance. We are disheartened to see that vigilance in this case apparently not only went unrewarded, but was also punished. In addition, we are discouraged that the courts chose to see this as an issue of a religious freedom, rather than one of child protection.

Judge denies lower bond for former Hinsdale priest

Associated Press

April 22, 2019

By Jim Salter

A St. Louis County judge on Monday refused to lower bail for a former Hinsdale priest who was previously imprisoned and labeled sexually violent.

Fred Lenczycki, 74, formerly of Glen Ellyn and most recently from Berkeley, was charged in February with two counts of sodomy for allegedly abusing two boys in the early 1990s at a north St. Louis County parish. He is jailed on $500,000 cash-only bond but was seeking an unspecified reduction.

Lenczycki has admitted abusing up to 30 boys in Illinois, Missouri and California over 25 years, according to court and church files. He was removed from the ministry in 2002, when he was charged with sexually abusing three boys at St. Isaac Jogues Catholic Church Hinsdale in the 1980s.

The victims told authorities that "Father Fred" repeatedly molested them, often using the pretense of swaddling them in "Baby Jesus" costumes for pageants that never took place.

He pleaded guilty in 2004 and was sentenced to five years in prison. In 2008, a year before his release from prison, he became the first U.S. priest to be labeled sexually violent when he was committed under Illinois' Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act.

St. Louis County Circuit Judge Gloria Clark Reno was expected to hear testimony from the two Missouri accusers, Chris Gensler III, now 37, and Ron Kanady, 38, at a hearing Monday. But prior to the hearing, officials with the Illinois agency that monitors Lenczycki and others classified as sexually violent said it would not be responsible for transporting him to court from his home.

Assistant prosecutor Melissa Price Smith said that if Lenczycki had to take public transportation to St. Louis without supervision, he could be in contact with children.

Based largely on the logistical concern, Reno denied the bond reduction.

Defense attorney Matthew Radefeld said Lenczycki is seeking a re-evaluation to clear himself from the Illinois sexually violent person listing.

Former Pope Benedict ignores institutional reasons for sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, instead blames the 1960s

The Highlander

April 22, 2019

By Som Chaturvedi

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI is looking to the 1960s sexual revolution in search of a scapegoat for the sexual abuse prevalent amongst the Catholic clergy. In a recent letter, Benedict cited the 1960s sexual revolution as the reason for the recent history of sexual abuse in the Church, suggesting that the solution to the issue is “obedience and love for our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Unfortunately, Benedict’s letter fails to touch on any tangible issue. The question is not whether the Church is being secularized by the lascivious happenings of the outside world. Instead, the Church needs to examine options at the institutional level to ensure that this abuse isn’t allowed to continue. The letter fails to suggest any such option. There is no acknowledgment of the accusations of cover-ups that have been flooding the Church since the 1980s, and Benedict’s insistence that the Church resolves to be more obedient is not actionable enough. Trying to pin the blame on the rest of society serves only as an exercise in pointless moral relativism, and it distracts the Church from addressing the causes for the abuse.

Some supporters of the Church may argue that the prevalence of porn and other examples of sexual liberation during the 1960s brought about an overall degradation of society’s values as a whole, so it stands to reason that the Church was also impacted. One need only consider, however, the fact that the Catholic Church is one of the groups most often cited as having sexual abuse problems. Other similar religious groups do not face the same scandals. The Catholic Church has been facing accusations since as early as the 1950s, a decade prior to the cited sexual revolution, before the scandals achieved media attention in the 1980s with the accusations leveled against Gilbert Gauthe. This suggests that the sexual abuse scandals are not brought on by the degradation of religious morals, but instead by a failure on an institutional level to properly address instances of abuse.

Pope Francis, Benedict’s successor, holds a drastically different view on the causes for the scandal, and he seems interested in addressing the institutional corruption that supported the predators amongst the clergy. The Vatican held a summit of bishops around the world last February that focused on the topic of sexual abuse in the Church. This is significant, as it is a public admission that the Church not only has an ongoing issue with sexual abuse of children within its walls but that it has been actively trying to cover up those crimes.

Fintan O’Toole: Enough shame about the past. What we need is guilt

Irish Tiimes

April 22, 2019

By Fintan O'Toole

What use is shame? In the Dáil last Wednesday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar described the mother-and-baby home report as “gruesome reading” and said that “as a society we inherit a deep shame for what was done back then and we must now endeavour to learn, to atone and to put things right”. But what has this inherited shame done for us? Nothing much. It is ocean-deep: the shame of the torture and rape of children in industrial schools, of the kidnapping and enslavement of women in Magdalene laundries, of the dumping of dead babies in anonymous holes, of the claiming of the corpses of poor children by our most respectable medical schools.

But what have we done except wallow in it? It has become part of our gross national product – we produce more shame than we can consume locally and we export some of it for consumption by the international media.

So enough of shame – what we need is guilt. Shame and guilt are not at all the same thing. The first is about how you feel; the second is about what you’ve done. Shame, as the Oxford English Dictionary has it, is “The painful emotion arising from the consciousness of something dishonouring, ridiculous or indecorous in one’s own conduct or circumstances”. Guilt is “a failure of duty, delinquency; offence, crime, sin … Responsibility for an action or event.” One is about how we perceive ourselves, the other about what we have done, or failed to do, to other people. Though we tend to use the words interchangeably, it is quite possible to have one without the other.

We learn (yet again) from the latest report of the Ombudsman for Children that homeless children are tormented by a sense of shame – even though they are guilty of nothing. We know, conversely, that people who were guilty of wrecking the country in the banking crisis of 2008 felt (and feel) no shame.

Pope proposes radical shakeup of the Roman Curia

The Tablet

April 22, 2019

By Christopher Lamb

Pope Francis’ reforms of the Roman Curia will see the creation of a new “super ministry” dedicated to evangelisation that will take precedence over the once-powerful Vatican doctrinal body.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, formerly the Holy Office of the Inquisition, is the oldest institution in the Curia and known as “La Suprema.” For years, it policed theologians, set out the red lines of Catholic doctrine and gave its rubber stamp to all major Vatican documents.

But according to Vida Nueva, the respected Spanish Catholic publication, the congregation will no longer hold the number one spot in the curia. Under Francis the CDF has already lost significant influence, and the new constitution formally sets out that it now comes under the new mission statement of spreading the Gospel.