Abuse Tracker
A Blog by Kathy Shaw
 
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April 18, 2014

Another Memo to Pope Francis

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Alice Carey

Ah, Pope Francis you've struck another bad cord with me. It was condescending enough of you to say that atheists can go to heaven -- myself included. But now, as it's Holy Week, you're doing your Jesus bit by donning a crown of thorns and taking the rap for your employees -- priests who abused children. Dead ones as well, I presume.

In my last missive to you, "A Memo To Pope Francis," I called you Frank, which I'll continue to do because of Bob. Father Bob, precisely, my uncle the priest, long dead, and I presume in Heaven, with his other child-abusing cohorts.

What you need is a cue in from one who knows. What Father Bob (that's what I called him, never Uncle Bob) did to me happened long ago. I don't talk about it much. What's done is done. What's the use of hanging on to something you can't do anything about.

What isn't done is this construct called "the healing process." Get on with it. I did. I do. One does. What's not healed, nor never will ever be, is the PTS of being abused by a priest, let alone a relative, and have no one, no one at all to tell it to back then.

Bill Gothard Denies 'Sexual Intent' ...

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

Bill Gothard Denies 'Sexual Intent' in Hugs, Foot Contact With Young Ladies in Statement Following Resignation

BY NICOLA MENZIE , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
April 18, 2014

Bill Gothard, an influential conservative Christian leader in the homeschooling movement, has released a statement denying allegations that he sexually harassed women and teen girls. He insists in the statement that his behavior toward those whom he favored, such as holding hands or touching the feet or hair of young ladies, was never carried out "immorally or with sexual intent."

In his statement publicized via his Twitter account Thursday night, Gothard addressed ways in which he believes he failed in his leadership of the Institute in Basic Life Principles, which he quit last month more than 50 years after founding the nonprofit organization.

"For many years I have been building the Institute but losing my first love for the Lord," Gothard, 79, writes in the statement, which appears in full at the end of this report.

"I was finding value and affirmation from the accomplishments of the ministry and those involved in it instead of filling this void in my life with God and His love. I have repented in deep sorrow. However, over the years many people have been offended in different ways because of my lack of genuine love."

Gothard goes on to suggest that putting the Institute in Basic Life Principles' goals ahead of people's needs harmed relationships and led to unhealthy standards and expectations.

St. Louis priest accused of sexual contact with a minor for second time

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Susan Weich sweich@post-dispatch.com 636-493-96742

ST. LOUIS • A Catholic priest who was previously accused of having improper contact with a teenage girl from Lincoln County has been arrested on new sex-related allegations in St. Louis.

The Rev. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang, 30, was booked Thursday into the St. Louis Jail for statutory sodomy involving a child younger than 14. No criminal charges have been filed yet and little is known about the case.

The charges in the Lincoln County case were dismissed in November.

The accuser in that case and her family attended the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, where Jiang was associate pastor. The charges of child endangerment and witness tampering — Jiang had been accused of leaving a $20,000 check for the family as hush money — were dismissed without comment from Prosecutor Leah Askey.

Jiang has been closely tied to St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson since Jiang came to the United States as a young seminarian from China in 2006. As part of the criminal case, Carlson was questioned in a deposition.

St. Louis Priest Arrested for Sexual Misconduct with Minor

ST. LOUIS (MO)
CBS St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Father Joseph Jiang, an associate priest at the Cathedral Basilica who was previously accused of sexual misconduct, was arrested again Thursday night.

Police are seeking five counts of having sex with a minor.

According to a statement posted on the website for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, the allegation against Jiang “was reported through the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline by a family who over the past year has been pursuing a claim against the archdiocese related to their child being bullied by other students.” Until this week, the statement notes, the family had never claimed their child was abused by a priest.

Jiang voluntarily surrendered yesterday, and his canonical privileges have been suspended while the police decide whether to bring charges against him.

In 2012, Jiang was accused of molesting a teenage girl and witness tampering, when authorities alleged he wrote a $20,000 check to the family as hush money. In 2013, charges were then dropped.

Statement Regarding New Allegation

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis

April 18, 2014
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For more information contact:
Katie Pesha
Executive Director of Communications and Planning
Phone: 314.792.7172

The Archdiocese of St. Louis was made aware of a new allegation of misconduct with a minor against Fr. Joseph Jiang. The allegation was reported through the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline by a family who over the past year has been pursuing a claim against the archdiocese related to their child being bullied by other students. The family had never claimed that their child was abused by a priest until this week. Fr. Jiang voluntarily surrendered yesterday at the request of police pending a decision whether charges are going to be brought.

Per the protocol of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, Fr. Jiang’s canonical privileges have been fully revoked while this allegation is being considered. The Archdiocese of St. Louis will cooperate fully with law enforcement during their investigation of this matter. Prayers are requested for everyone involved.

Criminal charges against Fr. Jiang involving a separate allegation of inappropriate contact with a high school aged minor were dismissed in November 2013. In the dismissal order the Court noted that the evidence established Fr. Jiang had never been alone with the child.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis encourages all persons with reports of misconduct with a minor involving a member of the clergy or other church personnel to contact Deacon Phil Hengen, Director of Child and Youth Protection, at 314.792.7704, the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 800.392.3738, or law enforcement officials.

Abuse charges could be brought against a St. Louis priest

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Fox 2

April 18, 2014, by Vera Culley

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - A St. Louis priest has turned himself into police after new allegations of abuse surfaced. The Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline received new allegations of misconduct with a minor against Father Joseph Jiang.

Now the St. Louis police are applying for warrants.

Jiang voluntarily surrendered on Thursday pending a decision on whether charges will be brought against him.

Back in November, a judge thew out the child endangerment charges against Father Jiang in a separate case in which he was accused of molesting a teenage girl from Franklin County.

In a statement posted to the St. Louis Archdiocese website, the Archdiocese says Jiang’s canonical privileges have been revoked while police investigate the allegations. That is standard protocol for the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Corvallis priest arrested on child porn charges

OREGON
Fox 12

ALBANY, OR (KPTV) -
A priest known as Father Isidore who was associated with the St. Anne Orthodox Church in Corvallis has been arrested on child pornography charges.

Albany police said Stanley Brittain, aka Father Isidore, is being held in jail on charges of encouraging child sex abuse.

Police detectives raided a home in the 2400 block of Southeast Eighth Avenue on Thursday morning, and they said they found evidence supporting the child porn charges. A police spokesman didn't elaborate on the evidence.

The investigation began when the Oregon Department of Justice Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force passed along a tip to Albany police regarding Brittain.

Orthodox church priest arrested on child porn charges

OREGON
Corvallis Gazette-Times

A priest with the St. Anne Orthodox Church in Corvallis was arrested Thursday on child pornography charges.

Stanley Brittain, known to his parishioners as Father Isodore, was arrested around 11:30 a.m. after Albany police detectives, with help from the Oregon Department of Justice, executed a search warrant at his Albany residence on the 2400 block of Eighth Avenue Southeast.

He was booked in the Linn County Jail on 25 counts each of first-degree encouraging child sex abuse and second-degree encouraging child sex abuse.

The investigation began after the Oregon Department of Justice Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force tipped off the Albany Police Department.

Albany priest accused of child sex abuse

OREGON
KGW

by KGW Staff

Posted on April 18, 2014

ALBANY -- An Albany priest has been arrested on accusations of child sex abuse.

Stanley Brittain, 39, was taken into custody by Albany police after a tip from the Oregon Department of Justice Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

He surrendered without incident at an Albany home. He is known as Father Isidore and until last week, was affiliated with the St. Anne Orthodox Church in Corvallis, police said.

Assignment Record – Rev. Harold Francis Quigg

WASHINGTON
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Harold Francis Quigg was ordained a priest of the Seattle archdiocese in 1960. Over much of four decades he ministered in parishes - as an assistant, then pastor - until his 2002 retirement. The Official Catholic Directory shows him during 1987-1988 to have been on 'Special Assignment' and 'Medical Leave'. In a June 2003 report the archdiocesan Review Board stated that there was sufficient evidence to support an allegation that Quigg sexually abused a 17-year-old, but that the church's age of consent at the time of the abuse was 16. The Board determined that Quigg's "actions were egregious so as to make him unsuitable for the priesthood."

Ordained: 1960
Retired: 2002

MO--Fr. Jiang arrested for second time

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, April 18

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

Fr. Joseph Jiang has been arrested for a second time on child sex charges against a second victim. Our hearts ache for this family and for every family that has been hurt by this cunning predator and by his Catholic supervisors – especially Archbishop Robert Carlson – who repeatedly refuse to take simple steps to protect innocent children from child molesting clerics.

[KMOV]

We say it often and we'll say it again: Now is not the time for complacency. Anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by Fr. Jiang must call the police. Jiang escaped prosecution last time because his lawyer shrewdly exploited a legal technicality. If could happen again. But if most people who share their knowledge of and suspicions about Fr. Jiang find the courage to speak up, the chances that he'll be convicted and kept away from kids will increase dramatically.

We desperately hope that the child in this case hasn't been sexually assaulted by Fr. Jiang during the past two years since the first accusation against him surfaced. Time and time again, we begged Carlson to put Jiang in a remote, secure, independently run treatment center so that kids would be safe. Carlson ignored our plea. So if this victim was hurt during that period, the blame lies squarely with Carlson.

We hope this case will serve to remind Catholics that the overwhelming majority of child sex abuse reports against priests, nuns, bishops, and seminarians turn out to be true. We hope that in the future, parishioners will be more reluctant to immediately and hurtfully express public support for an accused predator priest. We hope they will avoid rushing to judgment and show their concern for alleged child molesters privately, not publicly.

Irish Times to explain why controversial cartoon was removed from website

IRELAND
The Journal

THE IRISH TIMES is to publish an explanation in tomorrow’s edition of the newspaper as to why a Martyn Turner cartoon was removed from its website.

The cartoon, which was published on Wednesday, was accessible at this link, but is no longer available.

It is also gone from the archive of Martyn Turner cartoons on the Irish Times website.

The cartoon showed three priests standing next to each other; the priest in the centre was holding a paper with ‘Children’s First Bill’ and ‘mandatory reporting’ written on it.

LETTER: Take a closer look at the makeup of Faithful America

PENNSYLVANIA
The Express-Times

JAMES GOODNESS
Director of Communicaions
Archdiocese of Newark
Newark

I’m responding to The Express-Times editorial about the archbishop of Newark’s retirement home (“Bishops’ homes are over the top,” April 16).

In the days since the Faithful America petition was delivered, we have reviewed it thoroughly. From a claimed 22,500 signatures (their number/statement):

* Only 483 names claim residency in the archdiocese. However, none of these provided evidence or corroboration of affiliation as donors, parishioners, or members of the Catholic faith. (Of the 483, only 13 are actual signatures.)

* There are numerous duplicate entries/listing of names.

* 100 pages (two-sided) in the document are totally blank.

* 50 pages of blogging appear (as if lifted from newspaper sources).

* 98 percent of the document is a typed listing of names/towns from states other than New Jersey — primarily the Midwest and West Coast (including Alaska and Hawaii), with no apparent evidence or corroboration of the individuals’ affiliation with the Catholic Church.

An extensive number of names in this document clearly indicates the petitioner is a member of the clergy of a Protestant or other denomination, given designations as Reverend and Mrs., Reverend and Mr., Pastor Jill, etc.

Police to seek sex charges against local priest Friday

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOV

[with video]

Posted on April 17, 2014

(KMOV.com) – Police said they will seek charges Friday against a local priest who was previously accused of sexual misconduct.

News 4 has learned Father Joseph Jiang was arrested Thursday night. Police said they will push to have Jiang charged with five counts of having sex with a minor. Jiang was an associate priest at the Cathedral Basilica in St. Louis.

Jiang was previously charged with sexually abusing a minor, and witness tampering after he was accused of molesting a teenage girl in Old Monroe, Mo. in 2013. Authorities alleged he tried to pay the victim’s family $20,000 in hush money. Those charges were dropped in November.

Words and Deeds From the Pope

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
APRIL 18, 2014

Each time Pope Francis speaks out, he seems to be evolving in his view of how well the Roman Catholic Church has been dealing with the grave historical legacy created by priests who raped and abused children. Last month he was decidedly defensive about a United Nations report that criticized the church. Francis insisted “no one else has done more” than the church to address the scandal, “yet the church is the only one to have been attacked.”

This month, on the other hand, the pope took a different tone in stepping forward to stress his own responsibility as a leader “compelled to personally take on all the evil” that some priests — “quite a few in number” — committed against children.

Without being specific, Francis promised the imposition of sanctions, presumably against those who committed or covered up the abuses. He offered no concrete measures, though he did venture a step beyond his Vatican predecessors in personally taking responsibility for confronting the problem.

“It is personal moral damage carried out by men of the church, and we will not take one step backward regarding how we will deal with this problem,” the pope promised in impromptu remarks at the Vatican to a French children’s welfare organization. “On the contrary, we have to be even stronger, because you cannot interfere with children.”

As welcome as the pope’s words were, advocates for abused victims properly asked whether and when they will see deeds to go with the talk. “Until he takes some actions, it’s hard to believe that his request for forgiveness is serious,” said Barbara Dorris of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

New Paisley bishop chooses parish over bishop’s house

SCOTLAND
Scottish Catholic Observer

The new Bishop of Paisley has opted not to move into the diocesan bishop’s house, instead choosing to live in a parish house in a less affluent part of the diocese.

Bishop John Keenan of Paisley said he wanted to ‘be close to the people of our times.’

In an interview with the Herald newspaper, Bishop Keenan echoed Pope Francis’ concerns that the poor have been ‘abandoned by society and the Church,’ and said he wanted to reflect ‘a Church out on the street, not one that’s comfortable in the chapel.’

“I’ve just come from living in a university chaplaincy with a dozen students so I’ve been living surrounded with the buzz of life and fun,” Bishop Keenan said. “When I was thinking about becoming a bishop I was keen to take as much of that into my new life, finding people who could form a family with me and support me. Priests in Paisley found me a place in St Laurence’s, Greenock.”

Irish cartoon of priests "I'd do anything for children (But I won't do that)"

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Updated Arpil 17, 2014

The cartoon by Martyn Turner published in the Irish Times yesterday, April 16, showed three priests standing next to each other singing, "I'd do anything for children (But I won't do that)" meaning break the seal of confession and report pedophiles (who went to them in Confession) to authorities . The priest in the centre held a paper that has “Children’s First Bill” and “mandatory reporting” written on it referring to Ireland’s Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald who has said that the Children First Bill will make it mandatory for certain professions (including priests in the Sacrament of Confession _and post-holders to report incidents of harm and the risk of harm to the Child and Family Agency. Some Irish priests have been vocal that they will never break the Seal of Confession and wrote to the Irish Times "I wish to object, in the strongest terms possible, to your publication of Martyn Turner’s bigoted, nasty and downright disgraceful cartoon" and "I am registering my absolute disgust and abhorrence at the cartoon..." .

Ruben Rosario: Archdiocese task force on clergy child abuse designed to fall short

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Ruben Rosario
rrosario@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 04/17/2014

Many well-intentioned reports urging change are only as good as their implementation.

Which gives me an opening here to address the findings released this week by the seven-member Safe Environment and Ministerial Standards task force. The panel was assigned to look into how the local archdiocese mishandled clergy child abuse and misconduct cases in recent years and to recommend changes.

Not surprisingly, the task force found "serious shortcomings" in the way the archdiocese handled the cases of one priest found with adult pornography in his possession and another priest arrested, convicted and serving time for abusing minors while a pastor in a parish on St. Paul's East Side.

Conducting criminal background checks on priests every six years, creating an anonymous abuse complaint hotline, making the Delegate for a Safe Environment a mandated reporter and having all misconduct allegations reviewed by the archdiocese's Clergy Review Board were among its recommendations.

But what the task force did not do has drawn criticism for the report. A clergy victims group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said the report failed to name names or to assign blame to those who "ignored, hid, minimized or enabled heinous crimes against children."

Jesus Christ's resurrection relevant to all Australians, Sydney Archbishop says in Easter message

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

ABC

The leader of Australia's largest Anglican Diocese says the resurrection of Jesus Christ is relevant to all Australians.

In his Easter message, Sydney Archbishop Dr Glenn Davies says the theme can be found in popular culture, including references to sporting and political "comebacks".

He gave the example of former prime minister John Howard's description of himself as "Lazarus with a triple bypass".

"Even a triple bypass would not have saved Lazarus from dying yet again - only Jesus can perform the heart operation that brings eternal life, for only he has conquered death on the cross," he said.

Meanwhile, a western Sydney Bishop says the Catholic Church has been shamed by the ongoing Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Bishop of Parramatta, the Most Reverend Anthony Fisher, says the Church was brought to its knees in shame by the commission, which has heard allegations of child sex abuse by priests.

Behind the red shield

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

ANNETTE BLACKWELL
April 18, 2014

The appeal of the red shield will have lost its aura of quaint goodness after the second public hearing into how the Salvation Army treated victims of abuse.

It was not only the stories of stomach-churning child abuse that happened years ago that stopped Australia in its tracks this time.

What the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse laid bare over the past three weeks is a 19th century Christian charity struggling to realise it has to come into the 20th, never mind the 21st century.

"They just don't get it," said Leonie Sheedy, co-founder of Care Leavers Australia Network.

Sheedy and the members of her organisation have been at the Sydney hearings to support the men and women who had sad, sad childhoods in Salvation Army homes.

Former Connecticut priest allegedly made teen remove clothes to get his paycheck

CONNECTICUT
Middletown Press

By The Associated Press
POSTED: 04/17/14

ENFIELD, Conn. >> Authorities say a former East Windsor priest sexually assaulted a teenage parishioner, making the boy remove his clothes for his paychecks and causing him to seek hospital treatment for the abuse.

The Journal Inquirer reports that according to an arrest warrant unsealed in Enfield Superior Court on Tuesday, the Rev. Paul Gotta was charged on March 31 with two counts of second-degree sexual assault and five counts of fourth-degree sexual assault. Police say the incidents occurred between January 2012 and February 2013.

His lawyer did not immediately return a call Thursday morning seeking comment.

Polygamist Warren Jeffs' Texas ranch being seized by state officials

TEXAS
CNN

By Michael Martinez and AnneClaire Stapleton, CNN

(CNN) -- Texas authorities initiated the seizure of the 1,600-acre ranch where prosecutors say polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs and others sexually abused children, officials said Thursday.

The Texas Department of Public Safety and the Schleicher County Sheriff's Office met Wednesday afternoon with two residents of the Yearning for Zion Ranch near Eldorado, Texas, and those occupants said eight adults live there, a DPS spokesman said Thursday.

Authorities provided the residents with copies of court orders directing the state to take possession of the forfeited ranch, state officials said.

"Law enforcement personnel are working with the occupants of the ranch to take all reasonable actions to assist with their departure of the property, to preserve the property, and to successfully execute the court order," the state agency said.

The state obtained the final judgment of forfeiture on January 6, authorities said. The Attorney General's Office filed for the seizure of the property in 2012.

'Sex object' allegations denied by former church leader

TEXAS
KSAT

[with video]

Author: Paul Venema, Reporter, pvenema@ksat.com
Published On: Apr 17 2014

SAN ANTONIO -
A woman who once worked for Douglas Phillips, a former elder in a Boerne church and president of Vision Forum Inc. a Christian home-schooling organization, has sued Phillips claiming he kept her as “his personal sex object."

Phillips has admitted having an extra-marital affair with the woman, Lourdes Torres-Manteufel, and has since stepped down from his role in the church and reduced his involvement with the home-schooling organization.

“The evidence, I’m sure, is going to exonerate Mr. Phillips,” his lawyer Jason Jakob said.

Jakob suggested that the lawsuit is simply about money.

“You’ve got somebody asking for $10 to $20 million dollars and who thinks that if nothing else they can ride this to a personal gain and be able to write books or whatever,” Jakob said.

The woman’s attorney, David Gibbs, insisted that money was not his client’s consideration.

Archdiocesan bankruptcy case moves one more step forward

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By Annysa Johnson of the Journal Sentinel

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee won a victory in its bankruptcy Thursday when U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley agreed to move forward with a key document that, once approved, would put the local church one step closer to exiting its 3-year old Chapter 11 proceedings.

Kelley stressed Thursday that she was not taking up the archdiocese's reorganization plan, only its accompanying disclosure statement, which is intended to give creditors enough information to vote on the plan.

Attorneys for the creditors committee, which includes sex abuse survivors, had asked Kelley to delay acting on the statement. They argued the judge should first decide a separate point of contention: whether the archdiocese had the right to include in the reorganization plan that a pending lawsuit over $60 million in archdiocesan cemetery funds would be settled.

Kelley denied those requests, saying she was determined to move the case forward.

"I am very sensitive to finishing this case," the judge told a packed courtroom and more than 15 attorneys.

Doblin: Archbishop Myers should kneel more often

NEW JERSEY
The Record

APRIL 17, 2014
BY ALFRED DOBLIN
THE RECORD

Alfred P. Doblin is the editorial page editor of The Record. Contact him at doblin@northjersey.com. Follow AlfredPDoblin on Twitter.

LAST YEAR, Pope Francis made headlines for washing the feet of inmates at a juvenile detention center. Not only did the pope break with the Holy Thursday tradition of the pope only washing the feet of 12 priests, Francis included women and Muslims.

This Holy Thursday, the pope traveled to a home for seniors and the disabled. Again he broke with tradition. The washing of feet is symbolic of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. While it is common in parish churches for priests to wash the feet of men and women, that was not the case in Rome until Francis.

If Pope John XXIII opened the windows of the Church, Pope Francis is smashing them. And back here in New Jersey, Newark Archbishop John Myers is installing double-pained glass ones in the 3,000-square-foot extension to his 4,500-square-foot weekend house in anticipation of his retirement.

I had an opportunity to read what appeared to be a form letter to a former contributor to the archdiocese. Myers wrote that he hoped this former donor would reconsider his decision not to contribute because of the negative press Myers was receiving about his retirement home.

Having spent a decade in and about the chanceries of three Catholic dioceses, I know a crisis when I see it and I know crisis management. Such a letter is not generated for one complaint. And while Myers may hope this particular crisis fades, that is not likely. You cannot hide a 7,500-square-foot mansion.

Archbishop excommunicates former priest

IRELAND
Irish Independent

SARAH MACDONALD – PUBLISHED 18 APRIL 2014

An Irish priest who was expelled from the priesthood in 2004 by Pope John Paul II for abusing children in the US has been excommunicated by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin.

The Archbishop imposed the church's most serious sanction on Clive Lynn in February when it emerged that the former priest was refusing to abide by the terms of his dismissal, which prevented him presenting himself as a priest.

It is the first excommunication imposed by the Archbishop in his 10 years as leader of the largest diocese in Ireland.

A spokeswoman for the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin told the Irish Independent that no live sexual abuse complaint against Lynn exists in Dublin, otherwise the matter would have been referred to gardai. "He never served as a priest in Ireland," the spokeswoman added.

A series of allegations have been made in the US parishes in which he served in the 1970s and 1980s.

Martin hits media for 'tarnishing good priests with actions of some'

IRELAND
Irish Independent

SARAH MAC DONALD – PUBLISHED 18 APRIL 2014 02:30 AM

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin has strongly backed fellow clergy as he hit out at unfair media "unjustly" tarnishing all priests.

The senior clergyman said many priests and lay people had been left hurt by a cartoon based on the current controversy over the sanctity of the confessional.

"I am a strong believer in freedom of speech and of the vital role of satire in social criticism, but I object to anything that would unjustly tarnish all good priests with the unpardonable actions of some," the Archbishop said in his homily for the Chrism Mass in Dublin's Pro Cathedral.

In an affirmation of his clergy, Dr Martin stated that there are "great priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin."

April 17, 2014

Víctima de Karadima y organizaciones civiles protestan ...

CHILE
La Tercera

Víctima de Karadima y organizaciones civiles protestan por falta de apoyo de la Iglesia en temas de abuso sexual

[Summary: A group of people led by Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of abuse by priest Fernando Karadima, protested outside the Santiago cathedral against Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati. They believe the church and Ezzati have not been supportive of the victims and the church has not done enough to ensure protection of children.]

En las afueras de la Catedral de Santiago, un grupo encabezado por Juan Carlos Cruz -una de las víctimas del sacerdote Fernando Karadima- desarrolla una protesta en contra del arzobispo metropolitano, Ricardo Ezzati, quien realiza su primera misa tras ser nombrado cardenal por parte del Vaticano.

"Sabemos que hay religiosos que son buenos, pero con gente como (el ex arzobispo) Errázuriz y (el actual arzobispo de Santiago) Ricardo Ezzati no vamos a salir adelante nunca", dijo Cruz, refiriéndose a la falta de diálogo que la Iglesia ha mostrado en nuestro país, respecto de los abusos que miembros de la Iglesia han cometido en contra de niños durante los últimos años.

Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy case to be put to a vote

MILWAUKEE (WI)
CBS 58

[with video]

After years in the courts, the bankruptcy of the Milwaukee Archdiocese case was set before a federal judge Thursday.

Attorneys must explain to their creditors several different issues in their bankruptcy reorganization plan.

First, they must explain why the sexual abuse victims are being split up into categories with the intention of only paying some of the victims. They must also prove why they aren't borrowing more money from their cemetery funds.

New law on reporting abuse ...

IRELAND
The Irish Times

New law on reporting abuse should recognise seal of confession can aid child safety

Fr Chris Hayden

In Catholic practice, the “client privilege” associated with the sacrament of confession is guaranteed by what is known as the “seal” of the sacrament. This term refers to the fact that what the penitent
discloses to the priest remains sealed. Under no circumstances can a priest pass on to a third party what he has learned about a person in confession. In principle, a penitent could subsequently authorise a priest to pass on, or act upon, information first disclosed in the sacrament, but this would not prejudice the sacramental seal.

Here are two scenarios that relate to the controversy sparked by the recently published Children First Bill on mandatory reporting of child abuse.

First, the sacramental seal is perceived no longer to apply where child abuse is concerned. In this scenario, the likelihood that priests will hear anything that might be of assistance to the Health Service Executive or the Garda Síochána is virtually zero. The insistence that mandatory reporting applies to the confessional will, in practice, make it inapplicable to the confessional. This is a circle that no legislation can square.

The second scenario is the one that obtains at present, where the sacramental seal is understood to be inviolable. Guaranteed confidentiality makes it likely (and the likelihood is far from zero) that priests may, from time to time, be in a position of encouraging people to take a step towards healing, or to contact the authorities.

Jesus is exploited by Pope Francis in TV spectacle of Stations of the Cross in Roman Colosseum (akin to Gladiators spectacles)

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Updated April 17, 2014 Holy Thursday

Whatever theatrics Pope Francis – as the pretender and impostor of Jesus - will play this Holy Week especially the washing and kissing of feet are all Opus Dei PR Deceits Team + Hollywood strategies that “lie for a living” and the chrism oil which Pope Francis blessed are all panacea and cover-up for his ‘hidden heist in the Holy See’, read more here http://pope-francis-con-christ.blogspot.ca/2014/02/hidden-heist-in-holy-see-biggest-heist.html.

The Roman Colosseum is once again the site of ancient Roman bloody spectacle come alive except that this time it is poor Jesus and his bloody Stations of the Cross which are re-enacted in Vatican hypocritical feel-good theatrics of Pope Francis - as the great pretender and impostor of Jesus - holding a not-heavy cross and jawing a lot of hollow holy words – to cover-up his own worst crime - the biggest heist in mankind’s history, read here http://pope-francis-con-christ.blogspot.ca/2014/02/hidden-heist-in-holy-see-biggest-heist.html. The crime of Pope Francis is worse than King Herod’s and Pontius Pilate’s crimes combined! The 1.2 billion Catholics better wake up to this current Pope Francis crime before it is too late to make him and the Vatican accountable. SNAP and victims of pedophile priests are there - alive to tell their stories – decades later - to challenge and sue dioceses and the Vatican in the secular courts of law including the UN.

Milwaukee archdiocese bankruptcy plan to be put to vote

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Green Bay Press-Gazette

Associated Press

MILWAUKEE — The Archdiocese of Milwaukee must explain in documents being sent to its creditors why its bankruptcy reorganization plan classifies sexual abuse victims into categories, with plans to pay one group and not others, a federal bankruptcy judge ordered Thursday.

The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in 2011, saying it would not have the money to pay if lawsuits filed by clergy sexual abuse victims went against it. The reorganization plan filed in February would provide about $4 million to pay nearly 130 victims, but it would exclude hundreds of others from compensation.

The archdiocese has maintained that it is liable only for abuse committed by its priests, and people who were abused by religious order priests or lay people working in schools or parishes should seek compensation from those organizations. Victims believe the archdiocese has responsibility for all priests and lay people working within its boundaries.

Bankruptcy Judge Susan Kelley told the archdiocese’s lawyers to explain in documents going to creditors why the plan divided victims into groups to be paid or not paid instead of turning the money over to them and letting them decide how to divide it up, which is how other church bankruptcies have been handled.

Church bankruptcy plan to be put to vote

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Channel 3000

MILWAUKEE -
Lawyers for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and victims of clergy sexual abuse are arguing over what creditors will be told before they vote on the archdiocese's bankruptcy reorganization plan.

The plan the archdiocese filed in February would provide about $4 million to compensate nearly 130 victims, but it would exclude hundreds of others.

Bankruptcy Judge Susan Kelley told the archdiocese's lawyers during a Thursday hearing to explain why the plan would give money to one group of victims and not others instead of letting the victims decide among themselves how the money would be divided.

That information will be included in documents sent to creditors who will vote on the plan. Kelley will consider the votes in deciding whether to approve the plan.

Priest James Schook gets 15 years in sodomy case

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

Claire Galofaro, The Courier-Journal; 6:21 p.m. EDT April 17, 2014

A dying Catholic priest was sentenced to spend 15 years in prison Thursday for molesting a boy four decades ago, despite his plea that the jury consider his age and his illness, then be merciful.

James Schook, 66, was convicted of three counts sodomy and one count indecent or immoral practice for molesting a teenage altar boy for years in the 1970s, beginning when he was 13. The jury could have chosen a minimum sentence of two years, or a maximum of 25.

Schook's sentencing ends a sordid chapter in the local Catholic sex abuse crisis. The Archdiocese of Louisville, like others across the nation, has for years been accused of protecting pedophile priests and the church's reputation — at the expense of children.

Schook, a Roman Catholic priest with end-stage melanoma, was tried this week for abusing two boys. The jury convicted him in only one of the cases.

"I'm sad that it had to come to this," said Colleen Powell, a member of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, who joined Schook's victims at the trial. "These two guys went through all this turmoil, it took this long. They are heroes, absolute heroes for coming forward and holding Mr. Schook's feet to the fire."

New Prague priest, on leave for sex misconduct, returns to parish

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 04/17/2014

A priest who took a voluntary leave of absence in November for past sexual misconduct not involving children has returned to his New Prague churches.

A written statement on the website of the New Prague Area Catholic Community said the Rev. David Barrett returned to public ministry over the weekend.

Barrett, 49, did not immediately return a call and an email seeking comment Thursday.

The website statement quoted him as saying his past behaviors included "angry outbursts, inappropriate staring at women, and inappropriate sexual misconduct with non-parishioner adult females, which was over a decade ago.

Former priest sentenced to15 years for sexual abuse

KENTUCKY
WAVE

By Janelle MacDonald

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A pedophile priest convicted of crimes committed decades ago was sentenced to 15 years Thursday, but Father James Schook is still not behind bars.

Like so many things in this case, the reason for that all goes back to Father Schook's health. It was a major issue in the delays getting him to trial, it came up as his attorneys argued for leniency during the sentencing phase Thursday and it will allow him to remain out of jail for the next six weeks even though he's been convicted.

Schook, now convicted of molesting a boy back in the 1970s, walked into court Thursday not with sheriff's deputies in handcuffs, but in street clothes, using the walker that helps him get around.

His attorney argued jurors should take the former priest's health into account when handing down their sentence.

"Here's the prescription list and here are the doctor appointments," said David Lambertus.

Lambertus said Schook has terminal skin cancer, coronary artery disease and COPD.

Can God Forgive Jorge Mario Bergoglio?

UNITED STATES
Counterpunch

by NANCY SCHEPER-HUGHES
Dedicated to Jack Kernaghan, SJ.

There are sins and there are mortal sins. There are crimes and there are heinous crimes. Finally, there are abominations, sins so violent and godless that they cried out to heaven for vengeance–or so I was taught in catechism class in Brooklyn in the 1950s.

Today some of those abominations would fall under the secular judicial category of war crimes and crimes against humanity. But, we were told, all human transgressions, even the most heinous and abominable, can be forgiven by God. This is the solid bedrock of Roman Catholic doctrine on the question of sin, confession and forgiveness. It would be vainglorious and prideful to assume that any human act, no matter how egregious, could trump or surpass the absolute and limitless Divine Mercy of God. But there are conditions to be met. First, the penitent must make a full, detailed, and complete confession. No dirty little secrets can be held back in the confessional.

(“Bless me father for I have sinned”). This includes an admission of personal guilt and responsibility (“Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa” — it was my fault, my most grievous fault). The confession must be followed by a sincere act of contrition. (“I am sorry for these sins because they offend Thee, my God, and Your infinite goodness”). Lastly, absolution and forgiveness requires the expression of firm resolve to sin no more and to resist the temptations to do evil.

Thus, even the most heinous crimes against humanity committed by the generals and their henchmen during the Argentine Dirty War (1973-1982) could technically be forgiven and erased. The Proceso de Reorganización (the military dictatorship’s name for the war) turned ordinary people into enemies of the state and waged a war through the process of limpieza, a political cleansing of dangerous and dirty elements, subversives, beginning with leftist guerrillas, those suspected of supporting the left, union leaders, university students, artists, writers, journalists, psychoanalysts, nuns and priests who lived and worked with the poor, and then going after the politically neutral, the unaligned, until finally the crazy generals went after the merely ‘indifferent’.

Are Memories of Childhood Sex Abuse Reliable?

CALIFORNIA
Voice from the Desert

Joey Piscitelli

I am going to be speaking on a public panel on behalf of childhood victims of sexual abuse at the San Francisco Justice Summit on April 23, 1014. The panel is debating the fairness of convicting an accused perpetrator based on the mere recollection of the incident by an alleged victim. The panel will be discussing the issue of the reliability of “memories of childhood sexual abuse”. I am opposing the memory experts and defense attorneys who claim that memories of being raped, or sexually abused as a child are not credible. Many of the defense attorneys, memory experts, and support groups for accused sex offenders are stating that alleged victims of rape and sex abuse, especially children, are not able to accurately recall their past – especially a supposed traumatic incident.

Some neurological scientists who study brain activity and memory, claim that the recollection of a repressed memory is totally undependable. They further state that even normal recalled memories of childhood sex abuse, which were not blocked out and repressed, aren’t valid memories either. These experts who defend accused perpetrators state that any memories of childhood experiences are tainted, exaggerated, embellished and imagined, and cannot be relied upon at all to convict an accused offender. They go on to explain that in a case where there is a claim for PTSD, the condition itself will render the memory invalid, because the victim has a damaged brain by virtue of having a traumatic disorder.The memory experts for the defense also state that many alleged victims actually believe their tainted memories, and theses memories are called “false memories”.

I was asked to speak at the conference because I had previously sued the Roman Catholic Church and a priest for child sex abuse in a jury trial in the S. F. Bay Area. The defense for the cleric in that case claimed that my memory was a “false memory”. They stated that my memory was fabricated, and I may have actually believed that my false memories of the sex abuse were real - or I was lying. In the past several years, many highly publicized cases of childhood sex abuse have been brought to the forefront in the media. This has sparked a lot of public debate over the validity of childhood memories, no matter if the memories were constant, recalled, or repressed.

HI- Victims want 2 investigation re Hawaii/Florida predator

HAWAII
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, April 17, 2014

For more info: Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, CA, SNAP Western Regional Director (949) 322-7434, jcasteix@gmail.com, Barb Dorris of St. Louis, MO, SNAP Outreach Director, (314) 503-0003, snapdorris@gmail.com

Victims seek two investigations
Long time Hawaii predator abused several foster kids
SNAP: "Catholic Charities and state agency should take action”
They gave him "unfettered access to vulnerable boys," group says
One key individual won promotions & is now a supervisor at state bureaucracy

A support group for sex abuse victims is urging Catholic Charities and Hawaii state officials and to investigate how a predator was able to foster children.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are urging the two organizations to answer questions about how so many boys were placed in the care of Jay Ram. And investigate Roselyn Viernes, who is the head of East Hawaii Child Welfare Services in Hilo, and was the social worker responsible for placing the children in foster homes.

Ram, who is also known as Gary Winnick, is accused of sexually abusing boys that he fostered and adopted in California and Hawaii. He is believed to be the Tampa Florida area. A recent documentary chronicles Ram’s abuse. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2sFheAc1rQ

LEADER OF CATHOLIC DIOCESE IN SAN DIEGO RECOVERING FROM STROKE

CALIFORNIA
San Diego 6

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The leader of the Catholic Diocese in San Diego was recovering Thursday from a stroke.

According to a statement from Monsignor Steven Callahan, Bishop Cirilo Flores was stricken Wednesday in his office and taken to a hospital by paramedics. He was "alert and in good spirits" Thursday, and will remain hospitalized for a few more days, Callahan said.

Flores became the fifth Catholic bishop of San Diego last September when he succeeded Robert Brom. The 65-year-old native of Corona was named a coadjutor bishop in 2012.

A Holy Week Reflection on Church and State and Pope Francis

UNITED STATES
The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody

Posted on April 17, 2014 by Betty Clermont

The Gospels tell us that the religious leaders were the only people Jesus reprimanded and chastised. They were hypocrites and didn’t set a good example. In turn, they paid Judas 30 pieces of silver to help them arrest Jesus. Their court handed Jesus over to the civil government to have him tortured and executed.

Early Christians were mostly a persecuted minority until Constantine made Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire in the fourth century. By law, no other religion would be tolerated. So Christian leaders supported the state. Constantine used Christianity, in part, to unify his empire. Church leaders used the Roman Empire as their organizational model even though Jesus had told his followers, “My kingdom is not of this world.”

From then on, the Roman Catholic Church was allied with European emperors and monarchs. In return for the legitimacy bestowed on them by prelates and popes, the civil governments made the religious leaders wealthy and powerful. The emperors and monarchs also enslaved their populace, executed the innocent, conquered indigenous populations and waged war in the mutual interests of church and state.

When Pope Pius IX lost his last feudal territories in the unification of Italy in 1870, other aristocrats who had also lost their hereditary lands advised him how to use money instead of land to produce income and wealth. When the Austro-Hungarian Empire – the last Catholic monarchy – was defeated in the First World War, Vatican officials sought alliances with new states.

Popes opposed democracy as a dangerous influence on their own absolute sovereignty. Socialism was unacceptable to the new capitalists. Communism, which prohibited both religion and private property, became the Vatican’s chief enemy. But fascism was both totalitarian and capitalist.

Former minister denies allegations that he kept woman as a 'sex object'

TEXAS
KHOU

by Joe Conger / KENS 5
khou.com
Posted on April 17, 2014

SAN ANTONIO --Douglas Phillips, whose career in Christian ministry included making Christian movies, finds himself in his own docu-drama: Lourdes Torres-Manteufel is a former family friend who claims Phillips kept her around as a personal sex object.

She filed a lawsuit this week, seeking damages.

The 29-pages give graphic details of groping and fondling of the then-21-year old's body, but stops short of alleging the two had sexual intercourse.

"As a public figure, I let people down," said Phillips. "She has alleged certain things that are absolutely false. They are made up."

Phillips, with his wife Beall at his side, spoke exclusively with KENS 5.

In 2013, Phillips voluntarily resigned from his leadership position at the family's Baptist Church in Boerne, Texas.

Morrison Heights Baptist Church's sex abuse awareness conference irony

MISSISSIPPI
Watch Keep

Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Mississippi is hosting a Sexual Abuse Awareness Training Conference on April 29, 2014.

Today we are partnering with the Christian Action Commission of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board and Morrison Heights Baptist Church to provide Sexual Abuse Awareness Training for pastors, church staff and lay leaders. Our goal is to equip church leaders with the skills and resources they need to keep children safe.

However, with just 12 days away from this conference that Morrison Heights is hosting at their church as a conference partner, there is no mention on their church website anywhere about this conference. Why?

Washington Times story on this upcoming conference: Program for all churches to avert child sex abuse

CLINTON, Miss. (AP) - A church where a former music minister admitted sexual abuse will host a program for all denominations to learn how to keep their ministries free of child molestation.

Holy Thursday Christians

UNITED STATES
Catholic Moral Theology

Posted by Julie Rubio on Apr 17, 2014

Christians see themselves as people of compassion, but often others see us as something else. Today, Holy Thursday, many of us will gather to recall and enact the story of the foot washing recounted in the Gospel of John. Near the end of that story, Jesus says:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for another.” (John 13: 34-35)

And yet Christians are not known for their love.

In a recent op-ed piece in the New York Times, Thomas Edsall claims that when he consulted a disparate group of academics to help explain the endurance of the pro-life movement, they were unanimous. “All see the anti-abortion movement as driven in part by the determined effort to control the reproductive rights of women.” Concern for the lives of unborn children does not merit a mention. Instead, Edsall worries that new restrictions on abortion will be enacted, because despite change sexual mores, “there are still a sizeable number of Americans who want to put the women’s rights genie back in the bottle.”

The sexual abuse scandal is another case in point. The pope impressed some by appointing a survivor of sexual abuse, along with other experts, to a commission to advise him on how to protect children and counsel those victimized by priests. He made news last week be becoming the first pope to take “personal responsibility for the harm done by priests who sexually abused children.” Yet, victims advocates like Barbara Dorris of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, are not convinced:

“It’s talk,” said Barbara Dorris of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP. “When it comes to finances, or how bishops should live and set an example, he acts. But when it’s about the rape of children, he talks.”

The severed link between faith and compassion is driving people away from religion. Young adults do not identify as religious because they believe in compassion, but they do not see it in churches. In their book American Grace: How Religion Unites and Divides Us, Robert Putnam and David Campbell report that “nones” are on the rise “because they think of religious people as hypocritical, judgmental or insincere.” Putnam and Campbell raise questions about this perception, presenting data showing that frequent church goers are more likely to: volunteer, give money to charity, give money to a homeless person, donate blood, and help a stranger. But this is not what people see.

Ram case gets national notice

HAWAII
Tribune-Herald

By TOM CALLIS
Tribune-Herald staff writer

A former Big Island man accused of sexually abusing boys he fostered and adopted is shown fleeing a film crew in an online documentary published Monday.

The nearly 30-minute film by Vice News, an online news channel, shows interviews with men who claim abuse at the hands of Jay Ram while spending their youth on his farm north of Umauma in the late 1980s and ’90s. It also includes extensive footage on the Big Island and another communal farm in California where abuse is also alleged to have occurred.

The interviews, at times powerful and emotional, depict the man as a “hippie guru” who abused numerous boys placed in his care while creating a “Lord of the Flies” environment. ...

The men are allowed to file the lawsuit because of a two-year window the state granted victims of abuse for cases outside the statute of limitations. The window doesn’t apply to criminal charges.

Foster parent implicated in Big Island sex abuse scandal

HAWAII
Hawaii News Now

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
A man once praised for adopting troubled youth on the Big Island is now being called a "monster" by his own boys.

Jay Ram fled the Big Island years ago, leaving a trail of accusations that he molested boys that he adopted. A New York news site recently caught up with the man in Florida, where he now lives.

According to Vice News, the allegations stretch back to the 1970s when the young hippie started a commune near Davis, Calif. where he allegedly forced his sons to perform sex acts. He later moved to a farm in Hakalau on the Big Island. ...

The lawsuits were made possible by a two-year "window" that allows sex abuse victims to seek justice ... even though the statute of limitations may have run out. That window closes next week.

Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar slated to speak at ATI conferences despite sexual abuse scandal

UNITED STATES
Starcasm

Despite being some of the most devout Christians in popular culture, 19 Kids and Counting‘s Duggar family avoids publicly labeling their faith as anything more than “Christian.” But, among smaller circles, they are among the best-known advocates for Bill Gothard’s ATI homeschooling curriculum and Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP) program.

Earlier this year, both of those programs were swept up in controversy as religious leader Bill Gothard was accused of sexually harassing more than 30 young IBLP secretaries throughout the past 40 years. Gothard, who’s helmed IBLP since its creation in 1961, reluctantly resigned from the board in early March so that he could focus on listening to those who “ought against” him.

Unfortunately, as many IBLP harassment survivors have noted on Recovering Grace, Gothard wasn’t the only corrupt person in power: Back in the early 1980s, his brother was forced to resign after several of his sexual relationships with IBLP secretaries were revealed. Today, another Recovering Grace moderator wrote about the widespread coverups of questionable incidents.

“Harassment was allowed in other departments and not dealt with correctly,” said the anonymous writer, who worked at the IBLP headquarters as a young woman. “Anything negative was kept quiet.”

KY- Ex-priest sentenced for abuse, SNAP responds

KENTUCKY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, April 17, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

We are grateful that Schook has been sentenced to 15 years. We hope he'll soon be locked up for a long time because that's the best way to safeguard kids.

[WDRB]

No one would be fooled by his appearance or age. Child molesters are dangerous - whether young or old, healthy or sick. Let's keep in mind that Schook claimed, for months, to be too ill to attend his trial.
And let's remember that child molesters often exaggerate their illnesses to win sympathy from jurors. So he may well be more healthy and mobile than he claims.

Sexually violating a child takes no real physical strength or speed. So a predator with thick glasses, stooped shoulders and a balding head is still a threat.

In fact, elderly predators are often particularly dangerous. Over decades, they often hone their skills and can more readily pick out a kids who won't tell, won't be believed, and a family that's less apt to call police. And their appearance falsely leads some parents to trust them: "He's harmless as a fly. He looks just like Grandpa!"

Pine County Abuse Charges Have Other Survivors Speaking Out

MINNESOTA
WDIO

[with video]

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests said neighbors in Pine County could have done more to help victims of sexual assault.

Victor Barnard, the former leader of a Finlayson religious group, is charged with almost 60 crimes. He allegedly abused girls who were in what he called a "maidens group."

Verne Wagner, with the survivor's group, said he thinks the community knew something was going on.
"Communities are really good at keeping secrets," Wagner said. "They are afraid to get involved. They don't want to make accusations. They don't want to cause trouble for the neighbors, but something like this was going on under everyone's nose and nothing was done about it."

Jury recommends 15 years for Schook

KENTUCKY
WDRB

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The jury that convicted Rev. James Schook of sexual abuse has recommended he serve 15 years in prison.

On Wednesday, Rev. James Schook was convicted of three counts of sodomy and one count of engaging in an indecent or immoral practice with another. The case dates back to the 1970s, when Schook engaged in a sexual relationship with Richard Whitfield, who was then 13.

The jury's recommendation was: two years each for three counts of sodomy and nine years for indecent and immoral behavior.

In his closing argument this morning, Schook's attorney told the jury that, considering the fact that Schook has terminal cancer, the sentence becomes more than just numbers.

"If we're talking about timing somebody's life, I think it's fair to say what life is left there," said David Lambertus, Schook's attorney. "I mean, at some point, a small amount is actually a large amount."

Who wants to muzzle Bill Donahue?

UNITED STATES
Spiritual Politics

Mark Silk | Apr 17, 2014

A couple of days ago Bill Donohue of the Catholic League emailed to ask if I’d heard Tom Doyle‘s speech at the Voice of the Faithful conference I wrote about last week. “Anxious to know your thoughts on what he said about me,” wrote Bill. Jeez, I thought, now I am sorry I skipped the afternoon workshop run by the Dominican priest who’s been fighting clergy sexual abuse in the Catholic church for the past 30 years. However, a quick online search turned up an outline of Doyle’s remarks, in which “failing to muzzle Bill Donohue” is listed as evidence that the U.S. bishops “continue to treat victims with disdain at the very least.” I told Bill I didn’t know anything more than what I’d found on the internet, to which he responded:

Does it bother you that one of the heroes on the Catholic left, and a priest at that, is recommending that the bishops silence a Catholic layman? I thought the Catholic left was aghast at bishops who “silence” dissident theologians when they are asked to explain why they teach something other than Catholicism in courses on Catholicism. I will deal with this publicly. This is not the first time someone has demanded that the bishops muzzle me, but when someone like Doyle makes it public at a conference, with no apparent push back, it breaks new ground. I would assume you would not agree with Doyle. Am I right?

I will deal with this publicly. I am, for the record, opposed to the U.S. bishops muzzling Bill Donohue. Yet inasmuch as he uses his bully pulpit to defend the likes of Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City and Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark and Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul, the U.S. bishops might consider removing themselves from the choir. Finn is the one and only American hierarch ever to be convicted of failing to report a priest sex offender. Here’s what the federal prosecutor had to say last week in giving an award to the detective who investigated the case.

When it becomes clear at the outset of the investigation that the entire hierarchy of a centuries-old religious denomination does not seem willing to recognize that the children depicted in the images are, in fact, victims of child exploitation, nor seem very willing to help establish the identity of the children depicted, and instead are spending millions of dollars on legal counsel in an ill-advised effort to avoid having the priest and bishop accept legal responsibility for their crimes, then you know, as an investigator, that your work is cut out for you.

Archbishop Martin warns against cynicism and criticises cartoon

IRELAND
The Irish Times

Patsy McGarry

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin warned against the corrosive effects of cynicism and criticised a cartoon in this newspaper yesterday.

He was speaking at the Holy Thursday Chrism Mass in the Dublin’s Pro Cathedral this morning. At the ceremony, oils are blessed for use during the coming year in the administration of the Church’s sacraments.

“Holy Thursday and this Chrism Mass are special moments when we renew our commitment to ministry,” the Archbishop said. “Renewal can be painful and means moving out of the comfort zones that each of us create for ourselves or allow ourselves to slip into. Cynicism or scepticism are never the responses of the genuinely committed. Cynicism is not smart. Cynicism is not noble. Cynicism robs creative energy. The challenges we face within this diocese requires new energy and new enthusiasm and new realism,” he said.

Referring to the cartoon in yesterday’s edition of this newspaper, which dealt with the conflict between mandatory reporting of child abuse and respect for the seal of the confessional, he said:“I know that many priests and people feel hurt by a cartoon in yesterday’s Irish Times. I am a strong believer in freedom of speech and of the vital role of satire in social criticism, but I object to anything that would unjustly tarnish all good priests with the unpardonable actions of some. We have great priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin. ”

Arzobispo pide a malos sacerdotes dejar el ministerio

MEXICO
Pulso

[Summary: The archbishop of San Luis Potosi said yesterday before the Chrism Mass that priests who have abused minors had better leave the church or those who wish to harm children should not enter seminary.]

Rubén Pacheco / Pulso

Previo a la Misa Crismal oficiada al mediodía de ayer, el arzobispo de San Luis Potosí, Jesús Carlos Cabrero Romero se dijo triste, por los recientes señalamientos de sacerdotes de la iglesia potosina por presunto abuso sexual en contra de menores y mandó un mensaje a los párrocos de la Diócesis: “Quien se sienta que no puede, mejor que deje el ministerio o que no entre al seminario”.

Los dos casos más recientes que implican a clérigos son: el párroco soledense Noé Trujillo, acusado de cometer estupro y el ex apoderado legal de Arquidiócesis potosina, Eduardo Córdova Bautista, a quien el ex sacerdote Alberto Athié Gallo, le imputa 100 casos de abuso sexual en agravio de menores de edad.

MANHUNT: Fugitive Cult Leader Allegedly Said Sex With Kids Normal 'Because It Was In God's Word'

WASHINGTON/MINNESOTA
Huffington Post

The Huffington Post | by David Lohr

Posted: 04/16/2014

State and federal authorities are searching two states Wednesday for Victor Arden Barnard, the leader of a cult-like religious sect who is accused of sexually abusing at least two girls.

According to court documents provided to The Huffington Post, Barnard, 52, is facing 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct related to two young women who claim he abused them for nearly a decade at the church he led.

The two victims, the criminal complaint alleges, were among several girls who lived at the River Road Fellowship compound in Finlayson, Minn., which is located about 90 miles north of Minneapolis.

According to police, the congregation is an offshoot of The Way International, a nondenominational Christian group.

WSP asking for tips to capture accused cultist, sex offender

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman-Review

The Washington State Patrol is asking for the public’s help locating a Minnesota cultist accused of sexual crimes who is thought to be in the Spokane area.

Victor Arden Barnard, 52, faces 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct with underage girls during his time in charge of the River Road Fellowship in Pine County, Minnesota. Barnard allegedly picked several young girls to be his “maidens” at a camp about 90 miles north of Minneapolis, where he engaged in sexual contact claiming to be “a man of God” and saying that the girls would remain virgins because of that.

Pine County authorities issued an arrest warrant for Barnard on Friday. Investigators believe he fled Minnesota and settled with his congregation somewhere near Spokane. Those with information about Barnard’s whereabouts are asked to contact Washington State Patrol detective Ryan Spangler at (509) 227-6644 or the Pine County Sheriff’s Office tip line at (320) 629-8342.

Search for fugitive Minnesota camp leader again turns to Spokane

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman-Review

Kip Hill The Spokesman-Review

Minnesota investigators left Spokane empty-handed in 2012 after hoping to nab a self-proclaimed minister accused of sexually assaulting girls and young women at a secluded camp north of Minneapolis.

Their attention has returned to the Inland Northwest after 59 criminal charges were filed last week against Victor A. Barnard, the 52-year-old reputed leader of the River Road Fellowship. A nationwide warrant has been issued for Barnard’s arrest, and the latest information places him in the Spokane area, where members of his group resettled.

Steven Blackwell, chief deputy for the Pine County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota, said Wednesday there’s no evidence Barnard has established a similar camp in the Spokane area. But court documents indicate known associates who relocated to the area have not been forthcoming with information about Barnard’s whereabouts.

The Washington State Patrol is asking the public to share any leads.

“The more we dig, the more we find,” Blackwell said.

Former archdiocese deputy answers questions under oath about handling of sex abuse cases

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Apr 16, 2014

A former top deputy of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis answered questions under oath today about his handling of clergy sexual abuse cases as part of a lawsuit brought by an alleged victim.

The Rev. Kevin McDonough, who served as vicar general for Archbishops John Roach and Harry Flynn and led the archdiocese's child safety programs until September, declined to comment.

Attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents the alleged victim of the Rev. Thomas Adamson, said McDonough answered most questions. However, McDonough refused to respond to questions about his decision not to participate in a St. Paul police investigation into clergy abuse cases, Anderson said. St. Paul Police Chief Thomas Smith has previously said that McDonough has declined to talk to police.

Anderson said he plans to release the deposition to the public after he reviews it.

McDonough coordinated the archdiocese's response to dozens of cases of clergy sexual abuse over the past three decades, including the case of the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, a St. Paul priest now in prison for sexually abusing two boys and possessing child pornography. Prior to the discovery of Wehmeyer's abuse, McDonough had advised Archbishop John Nienstedt that parish employees did not need to know about Wehmeyer's sexual addiction. The mother of the victims was a parish employee. She told MPR News in February that she would have never let her children spend time with Wehmeyer if she had known he was a sex addict.

Prosecutor waited two years to file 'maidens' sex-abuse charges

MINNESOTA
MinnPost

By Brian Lambert

Two … years. Pam Louwagie, Jennifer Brooks and Jenna Ross of the Strib continue reporting on the River Road Fellowship “maidens” story. “Even after two young women stepped forward to say their minister had molested them as children and the Sheriff’s Office built its case, it took two years for the Pine County attorney’s office to bring charges. … When the county attorney’s office brought charges two years later, there was little substantial change beyond the evidence investigators submitted in 2012, Cole said.”

In the same vein … . Madeleine Baran at MPR says, “A former top deputy of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis answered questions under oath today about his handling of clergy sexual abuse cases as part of a lawsuit brought by an alleged victim. The Rev. Kevin McDonough, who served as vicar general for Archbishops John Roach and Harry Flynn and led the archdiocese's child safety programs until September, declined to comment. Attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents the alleged victim of the Rev. Thomas Adamson, said McDonough answered most questions. However, McDonough refused to respond to questions about his decision not to participate in a St. Paul police investigation into clergy abuse cases … .”

Diarmuid Martin says priests feel hurt over yesterday’s Irish Times cartoon

IRELAND
The Journal

THE ARCHBISHOP OF Dublin Diarmuid Martin has said that many priests feel hurt about a cartoon that appeared in the Irish Times yesterday.

The cartoon by Martyn Turner shows three priests standing next to each other.

The priest in the centre is holding a paper that has “Children’s First Bill” written on it as well “mandatory reporting”.

Earlier this week, the Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald said the Children First Bill will make it mandatory for certain professions and post-holders to report incidents of harm and the risk of harm to the Child and Family Agency.

Speaking on Holy Thursday in the Pro Cathedral in Dublin today, Martin said:

I know that many priests and people feel hurt by a cartoon in yesterday’s Irish Times.

I am a strong believer in freedom of speech and of the vital role of satire in social criticism, but I object to anything that would unjustly tarnish all good priests with the unpardonable actions of some.

We have great priests in the Archdiocese of Dublin.

We can’t waste this teachable moment...

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

We can’t waste this teachable moment: How the teaching of one commandment silenced generations of sex abuse victims and what we can do to change it

Posted by Joelle Casteix on April 16, 2014

Part One: Young Children and the Sixth Commandment

It’s the juicy one: Thou shall not commit adultery.

How do you teach the term adultery to young children? There are two ways:

There is a guilt and sin-laden method that shames child victims of abuse into a lifetime of silence and self-loathing. It also silences witnesses and whistleblowers and fosters continued sex abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church and other faiths, or

There is an empowering method that can protect our children from abuse.

The Problem

My son is a 7-year-old second grader at a Lutheran school. This week, he came home with this quiz. As you can imagine, I flipped.

Sexually Pure? What seven-year-old truly understands?

Young children do NOT understand what it means to be “sexually pure.” And what about the child who has been sexually abused. According to this worksheet, is that child not pure? Is he dirty or has she sinned in the eyes of God?

NOTE: Fortunately, my child’s teacher (who is required to teach this worksheet as a part of Luther’s Cathechism) is a smart, wonderful woman who has been around the block . She completely understands the serious problems with this definition. She teaches her classes that boys and girls are made differently and that we respect those differences. The end. But the worksheet is still there. And we need to fix it.

Clergy sexual assault victims to respond to developments ...

MILWAUKEE (WI)
SNAP Wisconsin

Clergy sexual assault victims to respond to developments in Milwaukee Archdiocese bankruptcy after court hearing

Who/What: Survivors of childhood sexual assault by Milwaukee clergy will respond to developments in the Milwaukee Archdiocese bankruptcy after a 10:00 a.m. hearingin Federal Court. The Archdiocese, after three years of litigation, has filed a controversial plan for reorganization which, among other things, will attempt to eliminate and bar from restitution nearly 80 percent of cases filed by almost 600 victims of rape, sexual assault or abuse.

Where: Federal Courthouse, 517 E Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee

When: Thursday, April 17, victim/survivors will make remarks on courthouse steps following the hearing which is scheduled to begin at 10:00 a.m.

CONTACT:
Monica Barrett, 414.704.6074
Michael Sneesby, 414.915.4374
John Pilmaier, 414.336.8575
Peter Isely, 414.429.7259

After discussing the Vatican's finances, C8 cardinals move onto Curia reform

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

From 28 to 30 April Francis’ eight cardinal advisors will be discussing the reform of the dicasteries

ANDREA TORNIELLI
VATICAN CITY

They are expected in the Vatican at the end of next week, before the ceremony for the canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II, set for Sunday 27 April. Straight after this, on Monday 28, Francis’ team of eight cardinal advisors will reopen the dossier on Curia reform and will begin examining each of the Pontifical Councils, weighing up all the various proposals for mergers and changes.

The issue of Curia reform was put on hold in the past few months because last February, the eight-member group of cardinal advisors (the C8) was looking into the Vatican’s finances and economy. It implemented the proposal put forward by one of the referring commissions, involving the establishment of a Secretariat for the Economy, essentially a centralized “ministry of finance” in charge of staff and spending. The Pope chose Australian cardinal George Pell as head of this new structure and Mgr. Alfred Xuereb – who up until a few days ago was Francis’ personal secretary – as number two man.

That same month (February), the C8 also dealt with IOR reform, responding to the report issued by the commission for reference headed by Cardinal Raffaele Farina.

Now the three-day meeting at the end of April and the four-day meeting this coming July will focus on the proposals regarding the Congregations and Pontifical Councils. These proposals range from the creation of a new figure, the “moderator Curiae” who would coordinate the work of the various dicasteries, to the establishment of a Congregation for the Laity, which would incorporate some of the Pontifical Councils.

Cult Leader Victor Arden Barnard Charged With Child Sex Abuse

WASHINGTON
NBC News

BY M. ALEX JOHNSON

Washington authorities put out a statewide alert Wednesday for a cult leader facing dozens of charges in the alleged sexual abuse of young girls in Minnesota.

After a two-year investigation, Victor Arden Barnard, 52, was charged last week with 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct during his time as leader of the River Road Fellowship near Finlayson, Minn. Each of the counts carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $40,000 fine.

Barnard is believed to have been living most recently in the Spokane, Wash., area, Lt. Shane Nelson of the Washington State Patrol said Wednesday.

According to a criminal complaint obtained Wednesday by NBC News, Barnard left the church and moved to Washington sometime around 2012 when the fellowship splintered over allegations that he was having affairs with married women.

Trial set for ex-minister

ILLINOIS
Saukvalley.com

BY CHRIS JOHNSON cjohnson @shawmedia.com

OREGON – A jury trial has been scheduled for a former minister who is charged with sexually molesting an 11-year-old.

Charles Babler, 65, Mount Morris, appeared in court Monday with his attorney, David Tess.

Babler, formerly the campus pastor at Crossroads Community Church in Polo, was arrested last June 21 on a charge of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, a Class 2 felony.

The arrest stemmed from an investigation into a single incident that took place in early 2011.

“We have come to an impasse to negotiations,” Tess said. “We have talked.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Joshua Versluys told Ogle County Judge Robert Hanson that the trial should take 2 days.

Prominent Local Pastor Resonds to Sex Allegations

TEXAS
WOAI

Posted Thursday, April 17th 2014

Long time home schooling leader and former Boerne church official Doug Phillips is fighting back today against allegations raised by his former nanny that he 'groomed her to be his sex object.'

"This more seems like an attempt to kill a Christian movement than it does just as an attack against Doug Phillips," Jason Jakob, who is Phillips' attorney, tells 1200 WOAI's Michael Board.

The plaintiff, Lourdes Torres, claims in her lawsuit that Phillips forced her into a relationship which featured frequent sexual assault, imprisonment, and participation in deviant sexual activity. As part of the lawsuit, Torres claims that Phillips told her he had a right to abuse her because his Christian movement, called the 'Patriarchal' or 'Quiverfull' movement, given men 'as agents of God,' complete dominion over women.

The Quiverfull movement is best known through the reality TV show '19 Kids and Counting,' and the Duggar family of Arkansas, who are leaders in the fringe Christian sect, are held up as examples of the success of patriarchal beliefs.

But Jakob says the demand for $20 million from Phillips sounds like more to him than just a request for a redress of grievances. And he says the idea that Phillips held Torres hostage and engaged in constant sexual abuse against her doesn't jell with the facts.

Psychiatrist: Priest’s alleged fetishes rare, hard to detect

PENNSYLVANIA
Go Lackawanna

April 15. 2014

SCRANTON — According to a search warrant affidavit, the Rev. Philip Altavilla admitted to police he has “struggled with a pantyhose, feet, strangulation and chloroform fetish.”

What prompts such disorders? And could it have been detected through psychological screening?

Solid answers remain largely unknown, Geisinger Medical Center Danville Psychiatrist Robert Gerstman said. And because such conditions are comparatively uncommon, there isn’t much incentive to find the answers.

“It’s rare,” Gerstman said. “As far as to why it occurs, they looked into proportions of hormones” — the ratio of testosterone, estrogen and others — “but hormone therapy helps only a few people.”

“There is a low percentage of people who have it,” he said. “Unfortunately, it draws a lot of attention when it does occur.”

Clergy abuse deposition held in St. Paul

MINNESOTA
KARE

[with video]

ST. PAUL - The former Vicar General for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis testified Wednesday about church sexual abuse cases.

The deposition was in downtown St. Paul in the Law offices of the Attorneys of the Archdiocese

Kevin McDonough answered questions under oath regarding how top church leaders handled child abuse allegations.

The deposition lasted over six hours.

Jeff Anderson, the attorney for the alleged sex abuse victims, says McDonough did not answer the final question in the deposition.

In a written news release from Jeff Anderson's law firm, Anderson says he asked "Father McDonough if he, Jeff Anderson, had exaggerated the risk posed to the public by the practices employed by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. McDonough replied there has been some exaggeration in some cases. When asked what instances those were, McDonough refused to answer the question and was instructed by his attorneys that the deposition had concluded and time had expired."

Statement: Deposition of Fr. Kevin McDonough

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Date:Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Source: Jim Accurso

In today’s deposition, Father Kevin McDonough responded to questions about his involvement with the archdiocese’s handling of matters involving allegations of clergy sexual abuse while he served as Vicar General between 1991 and 2008, and Delegate for Safe Environment from 2008 to 2013. When needed, he clarified misstatements and mischaracterizations of the incidents that occurred while he held these positions.

Fr. McDonough cooperated throughout the session which met the court-ordered eight-hour requirement.
Father McDonough emphasized that he always had the best interests of children and the vulnerable in mind when doing his work. He also acknowledged that the harm cause by sexual abuse is serious and grave.

Fr. Kevin McDonough’s Deposition Taken Today

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

April 16, 2014

(St. Paul, MN) – Today, the deposition of the Archdiocese’s former Vicar General, Father Kevin McDonough, was taken in a civil lawsuit as ordered by Ramsey County Judge John Van de North.

The testimony today concluded with attorney Jeff Anderson asking Father McDonough if he, Jeff Anderson, had exaggerated the risk posed to the public by the practices employed by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. McDonough replied there has been some exaggeration in some cases. When asked what instances those were, McDonough refused to answer the question and was instructed by his attorneys that the deposition had concluded and time had expired.

“Our position is that we were given eight hours of testimony for this deposition,” said Anderson, “and their position was that we had six and half hours of testimony. We hope to release the deposition as soon as possible.” Anderson expects the Court will allow additional time to continue the deposition as the Archdiocese failed to supply all the materials prior to the deposition, as ordered by the Court.
The Doe 1 complaint and other documents can be found on our website at www.andersonadvocates.com.

Contact Jeff Anderson: Cell/612.817.8665 Contact Mike Finnegan: Cell/612.205.5531

Victim Attorney: Fr. McDonough Refused to Answer Final Question in Deposition

MINNESOTA
KSTP

[with video]

By: Beth McDonough

A second top official with the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis testified about sexual abuse cases in the church Wednesday.

Former Vicar General Kevin McDonough gave a court-ordered deposition in downtown St. Paul in the Law offices of the Attorneys of the Archdiocese, which lasted about 6 1/2 hours, according to Jeff Anderson, the attorney of the alleged sex abuse victims.

Attorney Anderson said Fr. McDonough did not answer the final question in the deposition.

He says he asked Fr. McDonough, "Have I exaggerated the danger posed by the practices of the archdiocese?" He says Fr. McDonough replied, "In some cases." Anderson asked which cases. He says Father McDonough refused to answer, and his attorneys abruptly ended the deposition, cutting it short.

“Our position is that we were given eight hours of testimony for this deposition,” said Anderson, “and their position was that we had six and half hours of testimony. We hope to release the deposition as soon as possible,” said Attorney Anderson in a statement.

Former vicar general deposed in clergy sex abuse case

MINNESOTA
BringMeTheNews

April 16, 2014 By Melanie Sommer

A second top official with the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis testified under oath Wednesday about his handling of clergy sexual abuse allegations in the St. Paul and Minneapolis archdiocese, in a deposition conducted by an attorney for a sex abuse victim.

Former Vicar General Kevin McDonough was questioned by attorney Jeff Anderson in a downtown St. Paul law office, KSTP reports. The deposition lasted about six and a half hours, and ended around 6 p.m., according to a statement released by Anderson Wednesday evening.

The lawsuit was filed by a man who claims he was sexually abused by a priest, the Rev. Thomas Adamson, in the 1970s when he was assigned to St. Thomas Aquinas Church in St. Paul Park.

Anderson deposed Archbishop John Nienstedt earlier this month in connection with the same lawsuit. It’s the first time either church official has testified under oath about the archdiocese’s handling of clergy sexual abuse cases dating back several years.

Former Twin Cities vicar general deposed in priest sex abuse cases

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 04/16/2014

Attorneys for plaintiffs alleging sexual abuse by Catholic priests said Wednesday that the Rev. Kevin McDonough cut short his deposition and refused to answer a vital question.

Jeff Anderson deposed McDonough at the downtown St. Paul office of archdiocese attorney Daniel Haws.

Anderson said late Wednesday that, though a judge had ordered an eight-hour deposition, McDonough and his attorneys argued that it was to be just 6 1/2 hours.

Anderson asked McDonough after several hours, "Do you believe, Father, that I have publicly exaggerated the risk posed to the public by the practices of the archdiocese pertaining to sexual abuse?"

"In some cases," McDonough answered, according to Anderson.

"What cases?" Anderson continued.

At that point, Haws and McDonough's own attorney, Andrew Birrell, said the deposition was over, according to Anderson. They instructed McDonough not to answer the question, Anderson said.

Victim frustrated

CANADA
The Telegram

Barb Sweet
Published on April 16, 2014

An Ontario woman whose son claims he was sexually abused by priest Jim Hickey says the civil cases against the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s have dragged out too long.

“Please God, I hope there’s a hell and he’s there,” the woman said of Hickey.

“Nobody knows how this has torn us.”

Her son, who now also lives in Ontario, claims his life was ruined and mired in crime, drugs and alcohol in the aftermath of abuse by Hickey while he was a student in

St. John’s. He got involved in civil action about a decade ago and never told his mother about the abuse until later in life.

April 16, 2014

More sexual assault claims against paedophile priest Terrence Pidoto

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

PADRAIC MURPHY AND SHANNON DEERY HERALD SUN APRIL 17, 2014

NOTORIOUS paedophile priest Terrence Pidoto will be interviewed behind bars after a string of new alleged victims came forward accusing him of appalling new crimes.

A magistrate yesterday granted detectives from Taskforce Sano access to the convicted paedophile for four hours to be interviewed over the allegations.

Taskforce Sano was set up to investigate historical and new allegations that have emanated from the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse.

Sen-Det David Rae told magistrate Catherine Lamble eight male victims had come forward and given statements to police.

Former Vicar General Kevin McDonough deposed in clergy sex abuse

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

by Shelby Capacio

On Wednesday, another top official from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis was in the hot seat, testifying in a court-ordered deposition about clergy sex abuse.

Former Vicar General Kevin McDonough was questioned by attorney Jeff Anderson and his Team in downtown St. Paul as they continue to determine how the church handled allegations of abuse against priests.

For years, McDonough was the person who handled all of those claims. Earlier this week, a court-ordered task force released a report that said too much power was concentrated with one or two individuals that had little oversight.

Earlier this month, Archbishop John Nienstedt had his own four-hour deposition as part of the Ramsey County court case brought forward bi a victim named only as "John Doe."

In that case, the victim claims he was abused by former priest Tom Adamson during the mid 1970s, and the suit alleges that the abuse occurred after the church already knew Adamson was facing other accusations of sexual misconduct.

Prosecutor Requests Cleveland Priest be Denied Alternative Sentencing for Sex Crimes

OHIO
The Leader

Attorney Anne Eisenhower, the chief prosecutor for the Cleveland Metroparks, has asked that Rev. James McGonegal be denied entry into an alternative sentencing program on charges of soliciting sex from an undercover park ranger at Edgewater Park in October 2013.

Eisenhower revealed that the Metroparks' investigation revealed that McGonegal "regularly engaged in the activity that is the subject of these charges". While a search of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas court docket does not turn up any prior criminal arrests, his case file for the 2013 incident references a document listing a May 15, 1986 arrest by Cleveland police in which he was charged with promoting prostitution and soliciting prostitution, however there are no additional details. The record shows that he was given an alternative sentence which allowed him to be released on the promoting prostitution charge. The soliciting charge was dropped. It looks as though McGonegal had his record expunged in 2004. In a letter sent to prosecutors last month, Eisenhower said that this should make him ineligible for a plea bargain that would include division.

Judge Stuart Friedman, who is hearing the case, says that Eisenhower does not have any legal standing in his courtroom. Defense attorney Henry Hillow was perplexed by Eisenhower's attempted involvement in McGonegal's case, stating that she should have no say in the priest's punishment.

Ex-priest Schook convicted in sodomy case

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

Associated Press, @ap 6:11 p.m. EDT April 16, 2014

A jury in Louisville has convicted a former Catholic priest of three counts of sodomy in a case stemming from the 1970s.

The Jefferson County Circuit Court jury also convicted 66-year-old James Schook on Wednesday of one count of indecent or immoral practice with another.

The jury is to return Thursday for sentencing.

Schook did not testify in the trial that began on Monday.

Richard Whitfield, now in his 50s, testified that he and Schook carried on a years-long sexual relationship that began when he was 13. The other alleged victim, Michael Stansbury, said he had one sexual encounter with Schook.

Schook's attorney challenged the witness accounts, saying they may not be able to accurately recall their ages and the dates of the alleged abuses.

Missbrauchsorgien: Der Papst bittet um Vergebung

VATIKAN
Glaronia

Der aus dem südamerikanischen Argentinien her entstammende aktuelle Papst Franziskus (Jorge Mario Bergoglio) der römisch-katholischen Kirche, bittet Opfer von Missbrauchshandlungen um “Vergebung”. Er traf sich Medienberichten nach kürzlich mit Kinderschützern im Vatikan, wo er von einem persönlichen und moralischen Schaden sprach, und von bösen Dingen, die Priester getan haben. Im Dezember vergangenen Jahres hatte man seitens des Vatikans eine Kommission zum Schutz für Kinder eingerichtet gehabt und davon gesprochen, entschiedener gegen die “Problematik” vorgehen zu wollen. Durch die UN hatte man Anfang des Jahres das Verhalten des Vatikans noch kritisiert, weil angeblich abgelehnt worden sei, dem Ausschuss für Kinderrechte auf diverse Fragen zu antworten, berichtete die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Im etwa gleichen Zeitraum schrieb “Die Zeit”, dass der ehemalige deutsche Papst Benedikt in den Jahren 2011 und 2012 mehr als 400 Priester wegen Kindesmissbrauchs ihres Amtes enthoben habe.

Christophorus-Gemeinde: Neuer Missbrauchsvorwurf

DEUTSCHLAND
RP

Emmerich. Gerade erst hat die Kripo ihre Ermittlungen in der Christophorus-Gemeinde eingestellt. Jetzt gibt es wieder eine Anzeige. In einer Ferienfreizeit soll es zu einem Vorfall gekommen sein. Und noch ein Verdacht macht die Runde. Von Christian Hagemann

Der Kriminalpolizei in Emmerich liegt eine Anzeige wegen eines angeblichen sexuellen Missbrauchs eines Mädchens aus der katholischen Kirchengemeinde St. Christophorus vor. Das hat die Polizei bestätigt.

Bistum Münster: Erneut Vertuschung durch die katholische Kirche? (Teil 4)

DEUTSCHLAND
MissBiT

[Summary: Questions have arisen about possible cover-ups of sexual abuse in the Munster diocese.]

Auf facebook entwickelt sich ein heftiger Disput: Es geht um die einfache Frage, ob das Bistum Münster ausschließen kann, dass der mutmaßliche Täter heute im Umfeld der katholischen Kirche tätig ist.

Aber eine einfache Antwort seitens des Bistums sollte hier m.E. ausreichen, daher wiederhole ich meine Frage gerne: Es handelt sich bei den o.a. erhobenen Vorwürfen also nicht um einen Angestellten der Katholischen Kirche ?

Kronenburg erbittet sich nähere Informationen, da er angeblich nicht weiß, worum es geht. Er bezeichnet die Frage als "völlig haltlose Unterstellung " und verbittet sich eine erneute Fragestellung mit den Worten: "ich setze die Diskussion hier mit Ihnen zu dieser Frage nicht fort.".

Bistum Münster: Erneut Vertuschung durch die katholische Kirche? (Teil 1)

DEUTSCHLAND
MissBit

28.02.2014 - 6 Wochen später:

Stephan Kronenburg behauptet öffentlich, dass die NRZ die Frage aufgeworfen habe, ob es "im Bereich der katholischen Kirchengemeinden Emmerichs" einen Missbrauchsfall gab. - Stephan Kronenburg bleibt auch sechs Wochen später bei seiner Aussage: Die Kommission habe bislang keinerlei Kenntnis "von irgendeinem Fall sexuellen Missbrauchs Minderjähriger durch Geistliche in Emmerich."

Zu der Vermutung, dass Pfarrer W. zu einem Fall hätte Aufklärungsarbeit leisten wollen, und er deswegen Emmerich verlasse, gibt Kronenburg an:

OH- Victims applaud Cuyahoga prosecutors

OHIO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 16 2014

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

A Cleveland prosecutor is asking that a priest, Fr. James McGonegal, be denied entry into an alternate sentence program. We applaud this move. Citizens are safest when predators are locked up.

[The Plain Dealer]

It seems to us that Catholic officials – both those who commit and those who conceal sex crimes – often ask for and receive special treatment, favors or considerations from many secular officials. That diminishes the faith that many have in our justice system and discourages them from reporting more crimes. That, in turn, makes vulnerable adults and innocent children more apt to be sexually violated in the future.

We also oppose expunging this cleric's record once his sentence is over. People can protect themselves and their loved ones when they have more information, not less, about sex offenders.

Finally, we're skeptical of the claim by the priest's defense lawyer that “We’re working with the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office and we’re hoping to resolve it.” Lawyers defending child molesting clerics and complicit Catholic bishops almost always make this claim, and usually, it's deceptive. They often do the absolute bare minimum, just to avoid contempt of court or other formal charges. They rarely take real steps to help police and prosecutors investigate and convict abusive priests, nuns, seminarians, or bishops.

Spared jail: Pastor who nibbled 13-year-old girl's ear - leaving her so traumatised she self-harmed

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By LIZZIE PARRY

A church pastor who 'sexually' nibbled a young girl's ear leaving her so traumatised she started to self-harm.

Christopher Rose, 45, bit the 13-year-old's ear in a sexual manner after befriending her family and gaining their trust.

The evangelical church pastor has been banned from going out at night, after a judge spared him a prison sentence.

At Aylesbury Crown Court Rose was ordered to do 60 hours of unpaid work by Judge Francis Sheridan.

Sentencing him, Judge Sheridan said the young girl's family had 'utter faith' in Rose, adding that he had been in a position of total trust.

'He was trusted in the family setting and then misused that position in relation to the daughter,' said the judge.

'I'm not going to stop him working as a pastor but I think my duty is to protect other young girls of that age from over-familiar treatment.'

Church Pastor Who Sexually Abused 13-Year-Old Girl Is Spared Jail

UNITED KINGDOM
Inquisitr

A pastor who sexually abused a 13-year-old congregant from his church has been spared from jail following his court case at the Aylesbury Crown Court in the UK.

The pastor, 45-year-old Christopher Rose, is accused of biting the young girl’s ear in a sexual manner after he befriended her family, gaining their trust. The abuse was apparently so traumatic for the girl that she self-harmed on more than one occasion.

In sentencing the pastor to a mere 60 hours of community service, a small fine and a night curfew, Judge Sheridan said:

He was trusted in the family setting and then misused that position in relation to the daughter. I’m not going to stop him working as a pastor but I think my duty is to protect other young girls of that age from over-familiar treatment.

Former Pastor Accepts Plea Deal to Sex Abuse Charges

KENTUCKY
WTVQ

A former Wayne County pastor who had been indicted on 13 counts of rape in 2011 accepted a plea deal Tuesday.

Gerald Dishman's charges of rape were reduced to sexual abuse when he pleaded guilty to all counts.

In doing so, his original sentence of ten years was also reduced to five years probation.

Between May 17 and May 19, 2011, Dishman was indicted for rape, apprehended, and freed on bond from charges stemming from alleged encounters he repeatedly had with minors from 1985 until 1994.

If he breaks his new probation, he will face his original ten-year sentence.

Former Wayne County Pastor Pleads Guilty To Sexual Abuse

KENTUCKY
Lex 18

A Wayne County pastor entered a guilty plea to more than a dozen charges of sexual abuse, but he is not going to jail.

Gerald Dishman admitted in court Tuesday to sexually abusing two sisters when they were very young back in the 1980's and early 90's.

Dishman was originally indicted on 13 first degree rape charges back in 2011, but the charges were lessened so the case wouldn't have to go to trial.

LEX 18 News talked to one of the victims of this sexual abuse last year.

Becky, who asked us at the time not to use her last name, said she just wanted to see justice done. But circumstances of the case made it clear that with only so much evidence, accepting a lesser guilty plea might be safer than letting the case go to trial.

Victims criticize neighbors regarding a cult leader

MINNESOTA
Northlands News Center

Pine County, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- A former Pine County man is facing 59 felony counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct involving two young females.

52–year–old Victor Barnard ministered to a religious group in Northern Pine County. The Director the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), Barbara Dorris, expressed concern about neighbors who knew something was going on but said nothing.

"We are very upset at those in Pine County, MN, who suspected wrongdoing at Victor A. Barnard's compound but kept silent about it. We call on each and every one of them who saw or heard or experienced unusual behavior there to contact law enforcement officials immediately," Dorris said.

The Pine County Attorney's Office issued a criminal complaint for Barnard explaining all the charges which were a result of a multi–year investigation.

Former priest found guilty on 3 counts of sodomy

KENTUCKY
WAVE

By Sarah Eisenmenger

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A jury found a former priest accused of sexual abuse in the 1970s guilty of three charges of sodomy Wednesday.

The jury found James Schook, 66, guilty of three counts of sodomy and one count of indecent and immoral conduct. They also found him not guilty on three additional counts of sodomy he was facing.

In closing statements, Schook's attorney said the first three counts should come back as not guilty because of the judge's order to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Jury finds fmr. Catholic priest guilty in sex abuse case

KENTUCKY
WHAS

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A jury found a former Catholic priest, James Schook, guilty of three counts of sodomy and one count of indecent and immoral practices.

The jury heard closing arguments in the James Schook trial on Wednesday, April 16 and started deliberating the case at about 2:00 p.m.

Schook faced charges involving the sexual abuse of teenage boys back in the 1970s.

Jury convicts ex-priest in sodomy case

KENTUCKY
Enquirer-Herald

The Associated Press
April 16, 2014

LOUISVILLE, KY. — A jury in Louisville has convicted a former Catholic priest of three counts of sodomy in a case stemming from the 1970s.

The Jefferson County Circuit Court jury also convicted 66-year-old James Schook on Wednesday of one count of indecent or immoral practice with another.

The jury is to return Thursday for sentencing.

Schook did not testify in the trial that began on Monday.

Richard Whitfield, now in his 50s, testified that he and Schook carried on a years-long sexual relationship that began when he was 13. The other alleged victim, Michael Stansbury, said he had one sexual encounter with Schook.

KY--Louisville priest found guilty of abusing at least two boys

KENTUCKY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: 4/16

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 SNAPclohessy@aol.com)

We are grateful that James Schook, a former priest, has been found guilty of sexually abusing at least two boys. However, we are worried that he may receive a light sentence.

We are especially grateful to the brave victims and their families. Their courage to speak up and their wisdom to seek justice have been heroic and will protect more kids. Because of their compassion and determination, this dangerous predator will always be publicly known as a child molester.

We hope Schook will be spending a long time behind bars away from innocent children.

Schook was removed in 2009 following allegations that he abused a minor. The following year he was permanently removed after the church found the allegations credible. He was formally charged by police in 2011.

[BishopAccountability.org]

It’s crucial that the justice system has accurate information about Schook and his crimes so that he can be appropriately sentenced. So it’s important that every single person who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes must come forward to prosecutors. It is not too late.

Church officials should reach out to any other possible victims or witnesses. We have a simple message to every current and former Catholic church employee and member: It’s never too late to share what you know or suspect with law enforcement officials. It’s up to us to pass on information. And it’s up to police and prosecutors to determine what will help them further prosecute or imprison this criminal or other criminals.

Minnesota minister told girls that ‘God’s word’ made raping them normal

MINNESOTA
The Raw Story

By David Edwards
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Authorities in Minnesota have launched a manhunt for a minister who is facing 59 counts of first-degree sexual assault in cases against girls — called “Maidens” — as young as 13.

The Star Tribune reported that authorities announced on Tuesday that the two women who had come forward with allegations against 59-year-old Victor Barnard, the former minister of a cult-like faith community in central Minnesota, were not the only girls raped by the religious leader.

In a phone interview with the paper, one of the women, Lindsay Tornambe, confirmed the details of charges that were filed in court documents by prosecutors.

Tornambe, now 27, said that she met Barnard at the age of 9 as a part of her parents’ home schooling. At age 11, her family joined the “Shepherd’s Camp.” And then, Barnard chose her to be “sacrificed to God” by raping her at age 13 in 2000.

Finn flayed.

KANSAS CITY (MO)
dotCommonweal

Grant Gallicho April 16, 2014

Last week, Kansas City Detective Maggie McGuire was honored for her work on the troubling case of Shawn Ratigan, a now-laicized priest serving a fifty-year sentence for possessing and creating child pornography. Recall that in 2012 Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph was found guilty of failing to report suspected child abuse--after diocesan personnel informed him that they had found pornographic photographs of minors on Ratigan's laptop and the bishop failed to notify police. Obviously Deputy U.S. Attorney Gene Porter hasn't forgotten the details of that case, because when he presented the Crystal Kipper & Ali Kemp Memorial Award to McGuire, he delivered a stinging rebuke to Finn and his diocese:

When it becomes clear at the outset of the investigation that the entire hierarchy of a centuries-old religious denomination does not seem willing to recognize that the children depicted in the images are, in fact, victims of child exploitation, nor seem very willing to help establish the identity of the children depicted, and instead are spending millions of dollars on legal counsel in an ill-advised effort to avoid having the priest and bishop accept legal responsibility for their crimes, then you know, as an investigator, that your work is cut out for you.

He continued:

But for [McGuire's] work, multiple victims might not have been identified, a predatory priest might not have been removed and sentenced to the functional equivalent of life in prison, and Robert Finn never would have become the first cleric of his rank in the United States to sustain…a criminal conviction for failure to report suspected child abuse.

Schook case goes to the jury

KENTUCKY
WAVE

By Charles Gazaway

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – A jury is now deciding the fate of a former priest accused of sexual abuse in the 1970s.

Attorneys for James Schook, 66, who is charged with seven counts of sodomy, called no witnesses in his defense.

In closing statements, Schook's attorney said the first three counts should come back as not guilty because of the judge's order to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense said the account of one victim that abuses by Schook against him happened before April 1972 didn't add up. That's because Schook didn't start at St. Rita until the summer of that year.

The Commonwealth told jurors the evidence is simple, they had heard two eyewitnesses and that is the end of the case.

Cleveland priest should not receive alternative sentence for sex charges: Metroparks prosecutor

OHIO
The Plain Dealer

By James F. McCarty, The Plain Dealer
on April 16, 2014

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The chief prosecutor for the Cleveland Metroparks has asked that the Rev. James McGonegal be denied entry into an alternative sentencing program on charges of soliciting sex from an undercover ranger at Edgewater Park last October.

Attorney Anne Eisenhower said the Metroparks’ investigation determined that McGonegal, 69, “regularly engaged in the activity that is the subject of these charges.” That should make the priest ineligible for a plea bargain that would include diversion, she said in a letter sent to prosecutors last month.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court’s electronic data base contains no record of a prior criminal arrest record for McGonegal. The priest’s 2013 criminal case file, however, contains a law enforcement document that lists a May 15, 1986, arrest of McGonegal by Cleveland police charging him with promoting prostitution and soliciting prostitution. There are no further details.

The court record indicates that McGonegal was given an alternative sentence that allowed him to be released on the promoting prostitution charge, and the soliciting charge to be dropped. In 2004, it appears McGonegal had his arrest record expunged, according to the document.

Two-year wait for charges in River Road Fellowship case is over

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jenna Ross, Jennifer Brooks and Pam Louwagie

Even after two young women stepped forward to say their minister had molested them as children and the sheriff’s office built its case, it took two years for the Pine County Attorney’s Office to bring charges.
The search is underway for Victor A. Barnard, the charismatic leader of the River Road Fellowship who convinced parents in his isolated flock to send their young daughters to live together near him as his “maidens.” Barnard, 52, faces 59 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with two of the girls, who told law enforcement that they were just 12 and 13 years old when the abuse began.

“We are frustrated in the length that it has taken,” said Pine County Sheriff Robin Cole, who sent investigators as far as Washington State to investigate Barnard, before turning the case over to Pine County Attorney John K. Carlson in 2012. And then he waited.

When the county attorney’s office brought charges, two years later, there was little substantial change beyond the evidence investigators submitted in late 2012, Cole said.

“The police investigate, we gather information and we forward it to the prosecutor. What the prosecutor does with that information is up to the prosecutor,” Cole said.

Search for religious cult leader focuses on Spokane

WASHINGTON
My Northwest

BY TIM HAECK on April 16, 2014

A nationwide arrest warrant has been issued for 52-year-old Victor Barnard. (DOL) | Zoom
The suspected leader of a religious cult, charged with sexually abusing girls, might be hiding out in the Spokane area.

After an investigation that lasted more than three years, authorities in Pine County, Minnesota have charged Victor Barnard with 59 counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct involving two girls.

"My parents never even had the talk with me, I had just gotten my period months before," Jess Schweiss told Fox9.com in Minneapolis.

The charges result from evidence provided by two women who left the River Road Fellowship in the last several years, according to Pine County Sheriff's chief deputy Steve Blackwell, including one woman who recorded dates of the sexual abuse.

Sect leader set up own camp for virgins, Minnesota charges say

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Tom Olsen
Forum News Service

PINE CITY, Minn. -- A minister who led a cult-like religious sect in northern Pine County sexually abused numerous girls and young women who lived apart from their families in a "Maidens Group," according to recent criminal charges.

Victor Arden Barnard, 52, was charged last week in Pine County District Court with 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct. The charges pertain to two young women who reported being abused during a period of several years while living on the congregation's compound in Finlayson. But authorities said there probably are more victims.

Barnard, who likened himself to Jesus, was last known to be living in Spokane, Wash., and remains at large. A nationwide warrant has been issued for his arrest.

The charges are the result of a more-than-two-year investigation by the Pine County sheriff's office. Chief Deputy Steven Blackwell said Tuesday that his office has compiled boxfuls of evidence and logged countless hours trying to put the pieces together.

"The really difficult element about going in and trying to investigate this is that they're a very tight religious sect," Blackwell said. "It's very difficult to get answers and information from that kind of community."

Man accused of abusing 2 girls in ‘Maidens Group’

MINNESOTA
Washington Post

By Associated Press, Published: April 15

MINNEAPOLIS — Authorities were searching Tuesday for a self-professed minister accused of sexually abusing at least two girls in a “Maidens Group” at his religious fellowship in rural Minnesota, where he told one victim she would remain a virgin because he was a “man of God,” according to a criminal complaint.

Victor Arden Barnard is facing 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct related to two young women who said they were abused for nearly a decade at his secluded River Road Fellowship. The 52-year-old was last known to be in the Spokane, Wash., area where the fellowship resettled soon after the investigation began in Minnesota, Pine County Chief Deputy Steven Blackwell said Tuesday.

Washington state’s fugitive task force and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security also are searching for him. People associated with the group in Washington have been uncooperative, Blackwell said.

According to the criminal complaint, the two woman were among about 10 girls and young women who lived apart from their families in a camp Barnard set up near Finlayson, about 90 miles north of Minneapolis. One woman alleged Barnard sexually abused her from the ages of 13 to 22, while the other said it occurred when she was 12 to 20.

Jury could begin deliberations in Schook trial this afternoon

KENTUCKY
WDRB

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Closing arguments are expected in a sexual abuse case involving a Louisville priest.

The defense didn't call a single witness to the stand in the case against Reverend James Schook, hoping the jury will simply take into account that the witnesses against Schook waited several decades to come forward with abuse allegations, and that at least one may be in it for the money.

LMPD detective Rebecca Sanders was the first and only witness to take the stand today.

On Tuesday, we heard from the two accusers who painted a picture of years of abuse at the hands of Rev. Schook.

They say the abuse took place at multiple churches in Louisville, and spanned several years.

Closing arguments to begin in former priest’s sex abuse trial

KENTUCKY
WLKY

[with video]

LOUISVILLE, KY. —Closing arguments are expected to begin shortly in the sex abuse trial of a former priest.

Final testimony was heard Wednesday as prosecution called on the Crimes Against Children detective who worked on the case.

The detective testified to interviewing victims and members of the church.

She found that it was not uncommon for children to be alone with Schook at the rectory.

She testified the details of the case on behalf of the alleged victims.

“He said Schook would grab his leg like he was playing around and he -- Schook -- would engage Stansberry in guy and sex talk, and then he would grab his area,” said Detective Rebecca Sanders.

ANOTHER PRIEST CLEARED OF MISCONDUCT

CHICAGO (IL)
Catholic League

Bill Donohue comments on the disposition of a case against Fr. Michael O’Connell, a Chicago-area priest who was accused of abusing a minor:

Someday an authoritative book will be written about all the priests who have been falsely accused, dragged through the mud, and had their reputations smeared by hate-filled accusers and vindictive lawyers. But I am not sure the author will find a prominent publisher.

Fr. Michael O’Connell stepped down last December after allegations that he abused a minor (male, of course) 20 years earlier. At the time, the priest said he never even met the accuser. Yesterday, the priest was cleared: a police investigation could not substantiate the accusation, and Fr. O’Connell has been reinstated.

Now that both the Cook County sheriff’s police, and the Archdiocese of Chicago’s independent review board, concluded that the charge against Fr. O’Connell was unfounded, and the parish where he was pastor is delighted with the news, one might expect that everyone would be happy. Alas, not everyone is.

Predictably, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) blasted the reinstatement of Fr. O’Connell yesterday. “We have met this victim and find him very credible.” Well, the cops and lawyers met the alleged victim, too, and were not impressed. Barbara Blaine, founder and president of SNAP, discredited herself once again when she had the gall to say, “It leaves children at risk” to have Fr. O’Connell back in ministry.

More proof that Jerry Brown got it all wrong: Love Serve Surrender

UNITED STATES
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on April 16, 2014

When California Governor Jerry Brown vetoed SB 131 —an extension to California’s 2003 civil window that would have allowed victims of child sex abuse to come forward, no matter when they were abused—he cited an age-old (and VERY STALE) argument that we hear often from Catholic bishops: “window laws are unfair.”

Tell that to the brave sons of Jay Ram. I believe they will disagree.

When Hawaii passed a civil window in 2012, dozens of children in local Catholic schools and parishes started to come forward. But so did other victims: child victims from the prestigious Kamehameha school who were abused by a school psychiatrist and, most notably, the fostered and adopted sons of Jay Ram.

Vice News follows the story of Jay Ram in their 29-minute documentary LOVE SERVE SURRENDER. In the film, they follow Jay from his time as a hippy guru in Northern California, to a farmer on the Big Island, to a man on the run in Saipan and Florida. Through it all, he fostered and adopted boys and sexually abused them.

Now, those boys are coming forward for justice. And in the process, they are shining a light on a very broken and corrupt system where state social workers and other groups (like Catholic Charities Hawaii) knew there were complaints against Ram, but continued to place boys in his care.

OMG I did not see it the first time

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

Kay Ebeling

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014

I looked at the photos at bottom of this post and said, Oh my God, I didn't see it before. That is the room, that is the window, covered over with bricks, that is the room.


In early 1955 I was taken to the Cardinal's Mansion near downtown Chicago so that the bishop could get it through my head, “Stop babbling about Father Horne." Because for the past two years I would not stop talking about the molestation. At five-seven years old, I didn't see it as molestation, I saw it as this wonderful thing that made me feel wonderful and I wanted to tell everyone about it.

In that year or so period I had been a sexual predator myself, at six years old. On one occasion, I took my two male cousins under the covers in a bedroom during a family party, another time it was several kids in a Bartlett neighborhood in a tree house. I was showing them the wonderful thing Father Horne had showed me, just pull down your pants and put your finger there, see?

I was already a scandal at age six.

Apparently my parents turned to the Catholic Church for help.

Paris : une école catholique soupçonnée de dérives intégristes

FRANCE
RTL

Le groupe scolaire privé Gerson, à Paris, aurait permis à des bénévoles d'une association anti-avortement de tenir des propos très virulents devant les élèves.

Des bénévoles de l'association anti-avortement Alliance Vita, proche de la Manif pour tous, ont défendu leur point de vue lors d'un cours dans l'établissement catholique privé Gerson, à Paris. Des élèves et enseignants ont dénoncé des dérives intégristes, les intervenants ayant qualifié de "semi-meurtrières" les jeunes filles ayant recours à la pilule du lendemain.

"En revanche, une fille qui avorte commet un homicide volontaire", a rapporté au micro d'Europe 1 une élève qui a assisté au cours. "L'Opus Dei est au sein de notre établissement aujourd'hui, c'est incontestable (...) Nous ne sommes plus dans l'offre d'une spiritualité mais dans l'imposition d'une vision des plus obscurantistes de notre société", a déclaré de son côté une enseignante de l'établissement.

Paris : accusations de dérives intégristes dans un lycée catholique

FRANCE
Le Parisien

Des élèves et enseignants ont dénoncé des dérives intégristes du lycée de Gerson, un établissement catholique parisien (XVIe) sous contrat avec l'Etat, signalant notamment les propos inappropriés qu'auraient tenus des bénévoles d'une association anti-avortement lors d'un cours de catéchèse, a déploré la direction diocésaine de l'enseignement catholique de Paris ce lundi, confirmant des informations d'Europe 1.

Très inquiets, élèves et enseignants ont demandé «à la hiérarchie de l'Enseignement catholique d'intervenir, notamment en faisant remplacer l'encadrement», ajoutent les journalistes d'Europe 1.

Paris school faces investigation over Opus Dei links

FRANCE
Telegraph (UK)

By David Chazan, Paris3:27PM BST 16 Apr 2014

A private school in Paris is to be investigated after complaints from parents and teachers that it has fallen under the “fundamentalist” influence of the conservative Roman Catholic group Opus Dei.

Benoit Hamon, the education minister, has ordered an inspection of the Gerson school in the 16th arrondissement, saying there is evidence that pupils are being subjected to “an ideological war from another era”.

Members of a group called Alliance Vita or “Life Alliance”, which is close to Opus Dei, allegedly told sixth formers that women who used birth control were “semi-murderers” and abortion was “tantamount to murder”, according to a parent quoted in Le Parisien newspaper.

Alliance Vita said its members had been invited by the school to address pupils about topics including in-vitro fertilisation and surrogacy. “Some want the subject of abortion to remain taboo but abortion is a genuine issue in society that should be discussed with young people,” the group said in a statement.

Victim of paedophile former priest William Dowel offers full forgiveness

AUSTRALIA
The Age

April 17, 2014

Steve Butcher

A childhood victim of an elderly pedophile former Anglican priest has faced his tormentor in a Melbourne courtroom and offered him "my complete forgiveness" for sexual abuse committed almost 40 years ago.

"I want to be free of this burden," the man said of making his pardon in a victim impact statement he read to the County Court, which also spoke of not knowing "what love is".

"I will never be who I was meant to be," he said of the "torment" that led to prostitution and drugs and the past that "lurked in the back of my mind".

It was not the only act of mercy bestowed on William Richard Dowel, 88, as a judge also spared him a prison cell because his age and ill-health would probably cause his death behind bars.

Dowel was the reverend at St Philip's West Heidelberg when he assaulted three boys aged 12 to 16 between 1973 and 1977 at the vicarage, his residence.

The Potential Liability Rule Inapplicable in a Priest Molestation Case

UNITED STATES
Claims Journal

By Steven Plitt | April 16, 2014

Some courts have adopted the so-called “potential liability standard” in determining whether an insurance company is obligated to indemnify the insured for a settled claim. As an example, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in Luria Bros. & Co. v. Alliance Assur. Co., 780 F.2d 1082, 1091 (2nd Cir. 1986) explained the potential liability standard as follows:

In order to recover the amount of the settlement from the insurer, the insured need not establish actual liability to the party with whom it has “settled so long as … a potential liability on the facts known to the [insured is] shown to exist, culminating in a settlement in an amount reasonable in view of the size of possible recovery and degree of probability of claimants success against the [insured].”

Under the potential liability standard, “[i]f an insured settles an underlying claim prior to verdict, it must show that it settled an otherwise covered loss in ‘reasonable anticipation of liability.’” Federal Ins. Co. v. Binney & Smith, Inc., 393 Ill.App.3d 277, 332 Ill.Dec. 448, 913 N.E.2d 43, 48 (2009); Hyatt Corp. v. Occidental Fire & Cas. Co. of North Carolina, 801 S.W.2d 382, 388 (Mo. App. W.D. 1990).

Without finding that Missouri jurisprudence adopted the potential liability standard for settlement indemnification, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, recently used that analysis to reject an insured’s claim for indemnification. In Chicago Ins. Co. v. Archdiocese of St. Louis, 740 F.3d 1197 (8th Cir. 2014), a secondary excess liability insurer brought a declaratory judgment action against the St. Louis Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church, seeking a judicial declaration that its policy did not cover a settlement paid to a family of an alleged victim of sexual abuse perpetrated by one of the Diocese’s priests. The District Court had granted the insurer’s motion for summary judgment against the Arch Diocese, which was affirmed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Child protection ‘paramount’

IRELAND
Longford Leader

The launch of the diocese of Ardagh & Clonmacnois’s Safeguarding Children Policies and Procedures 2014 took place last week.

Bishop Francis Duffy launched the revised policy for the diocese in St Mel’s College, Longford.

Bishop Duffy commented, “We recognise that the welfare of children is paramount and endeavour to ensure that children are respected and safe in the course of their participation in all church activities.”

The launch was attended by Maria Larkin (Midlands Area Manager of the Child & Family Agency, Tusla), Sr Colette Stevenson (National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church) and Sergeant Jim Gould (National Garda Vetting Office, Thurles).

They were joined by diocesan designated liasion persons, diocesan safeguarding committee, safeguarding trainers, local safeguarding representatives, diocesan clergy, representatives of pastoral councils and youth workers.

MN- Victims blast neighbors of cult leader

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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

We are very upset at those in Pine County Minnesota who suspected wrongdoing at Victor A. Barnard's compound but kept silent about it. We call on each and every one of them who saw or heard or experienced unusual behavior there to contact law enforcement officials immediately.

Barnard has been charged with dozens of counts of sexually assaulting young woman and girls. We commend the brave victims who have come forward and to law enforcement for tirelessly working to find this dangerous predator.

[Star Tribune]

News accounts quote several neighbors who said things like

“I didn’t expect it to be anything good that was going on down there"

“It’s been the buzz around here [with regard to the sexual abuse allegations]”

We are appalled that these individuals - and who knows how many more - kept quiet about this.

When will people finally realize that they should trust their instincts and call the police when anything unusual seems to be happening to or with children? When will people finally start erring on the side of acting responsibly instead of acting timidly? When will people finally understand that where there's smoke, there very often is indeed fire?

We hope anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Barnard will immediately call police. It is never too late to report the truth and help protect other children and vulnerable adults.

2nd Top Official with Archdiocese to Give Court-Ordered Deposition

MINNESOTA
KSTP

Created: 04/16/2014

By: Jennie Olson

A second top official with the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis will testify about sexual abuse cases in the church.

Former Vicar General Kevin McDonough is expected to give a court-ordered deposition on Wednesday, but they’re keeping the location and time private.

Earlier this month, Archbishop John Nienstedt answered questions under oath for the first time. Documents from his testimony have not yet been released, but in a statement the archdiocese says the Archbishop expressed regret for mistakes that were made in the past and assumed responsibility for mistakes that have been made since he became Archbishop of the archdiocese in 2008.

Catholic Church acknowledgment of abuse by Dutch bishop seen as too little too late

NETHERLANDS
Irish Times

Peter Cluskey

It was probably the worst-kept secret behind the closed doors of the Dutch Catholic Church: that the late Johannes Gijsen, the conservative bishop chosen to roll back the reforms of the 1960s, was a child molester – as he is now finally being described.

It is precisely because it was such a badly kept secret that last weekend’s brief and grudging admission by the church authorities that allegations against Gijsen were “well-founded” has caused as much anger as relief among victims of clerical sex abuse in the Netherlands.

As recently as 2011, Gijsen, formerly bishop of Roermond in the Catholic south of the country, not only denied one of the main accusations against him – that he had forced a young boy under his control to perform oral sex – but denied ever having met his victim.

There were many who undoubtedly knew he was lying. But his accusers say that, even in retirement, he wielded such a malign power that no one in the church was willing to stand up to him – right up until the day he died last year aged 80.

Rooting out ‘evil’

Supporters of Pope Francis may claim that the path to this belated “outing” was paved by the pontiff’s admission last Friday that the church must do more to root out “all the evil” done by criminal clergy. But the victims’ retort is blunt: Gijsen went to his grave unpunished, unashamed and utterly unrepentant.

Pine Co. Minister Faces 59 Counts Of Sex Abuse, Nationwide Warrant Issued

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

[with video]

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Authorities have issued a nationwide warrant for a 52-year-old man accused of having sex with two underage girls while ministering to a religious group in Northern Pine County.

Victor Arden Barnard, originally of Finlayson, Minn., faces 59 felony counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection to the alleged abuse that occurred from 2000 until 2009.

The Pine County Sheriff’s Office says the charges are a result of a multi-year investigation into Barnard’s behavior while being the leader and minister of the River Road Fellowship, which had a camp in Finlayson.

Along a dead-end road west of Finlayson, Barnard built the religious camp. Neighbor Dale Reed says the group was self-sufficient, butchering their own meat, growing food — and kept largely to themselves.

Alleged cult leader Victor Barnard charged with molesting 'Maidens'

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

[with video]

by Tom Lyden

PINE CITY, Minn. (KMSP) -
Prosecutors in Pine County, Minnesota have charged an alleged cult leader, Victor Barnard, with 59 counts of sexual misconduct involving two of his underage followers after a FOX 9 investigation.

LAST SEEN IN SPOKANE

Police say Barnard is currently a fugitive, with a nationwide warrant issued on April 11 that specifically states that his followers treat him "like a rock star."

Barnard was last known to be in the Spokane, Wash., area and may know police are after him. The borders and airports are being monitored, but detectives believe Barnard's followers may be shuffling him from home to home, like an elaborate sort of shell game.

The Pine County Sheriff's Office told Fox 9 News they missed Barnard at one house by just one week, but they are still is working with the state of Washington and Homeland Security to apprehend Barnard. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 320-629-8342.

Nationwide warrant out for man with about 60 sexual conduct charges

MINNESOTA
Northlands News Center

Pine County, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Pine County Sheriff's Office says 52–year–old Victor Barnard, originally of Pine County, has been formally charged with 59 felony counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct involving two young females.

The sheriff's office says the investigation took place while Barnard was ministering to a religious group in Northern Pine County. On Friday the Pine County Attorney's Office issued a criminal complaint for Barnard explaining all the charges which were a result of a multi–year investigation.

A nationwide warrant for the arrest of Barnard was put into effect on Friday. Barnard's last known location is believed to be in the Spokane, WA, area.

Nationwide Manhunt for Pine Co. Minister Charged with 59 Sex Crimes

MINNESOTA
KAAL

By: Megan Stewart

Authorities are conducting a nationwide manhunt for a Pine County minister who has been charged with 59 felony counts of criminal sexual conduct involving two young girls.

Authorities say they have been investigating 52-year-old Victor Arden Barnard while he was ministering to a religious group in northern Pine County.

Authorities issued a warrant on April 11 for Barnard, who was last known to be near Spokane in Washington state.

Anyone with information on Barnard is asked to call the Pine County Sheriff's Office Tip Line at 320-629-8342 or Chief Deputy Blackwell at 320-629-8380.

According to the criminal complaint, Barnard was the leader and minister of the River Road Fellowship, an offshoot of The Way International. In 2000, Barnard set up a group of young girls in a camp.

Man accused of abusing girls in 'Maidens Group'

MINNESOTA
Journal

April 15, 2014
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A self-professed minister accused of sexually abusing girls who lived in his Minnesota group's camp as part of a "Maidens Group" is facing 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct.

Pine County authorities said Tuesday that an arrest warrant has been issued but they're still looking for 52-year-old Victor Arden Barnard. The sheriff's office says he was last known to be in the Spokane, Wash., area.

The criminal complaint says the two victims were among several girls and young women who lived apart from their families in a camp that Barnard set up near the town of Finlayson, about 90 miles north of Minneapolis.

Nationwide warrant issued for MN preacher accused of assault

MINNESOTA
KARE

[with video]

Jay Olstad, KARE

PINE CITY, Minn. – Authorities have issued a nationwide warrant for the arrest of a preacher charged with sexually assaulting at least two girls in Pine County.

Victor Barnard, 52, is accused of leading a cult in Finlayson several years ago and sexually assaulted young girls as late as 2009, according to the charges.

"He's able to keep them isolated and become the authority figure," said Pine County Chief Deputy Steve Blackwell.

Chief Deputy Blackwell said it is that isolation Barnard used to manipulate and threaten girls as young as 12 and 13 to have sex with him.

According to the complaint, he assaulted at least two girls who were raised to believe they had to do what he wanted, telling them he was the "Christ in the flesh."

Minnesota cult leader may be in Spokane

MINNESOTA
Spokesman-Review

Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS – Authorities were searching Tuesday for a self-professed minister accused of sexually abusing at least two girls in a “Maidens Group” at his religious fellowship in rural Minnesota.

Victor Arden Barnard, 52, was last known to be in Spokane, where his River Road Fellowship resettled soon after an investigation began in Minnesota, according to Pine County, Minn., Chief Deputy Steven Blackwell said Tuesday.

Barnard faces 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct related to two young women who said they were abused for nearly a decade in seclusion.

Washington state’s fugitive task force and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security also are searching for him. People associated with the group in Washington have been uncooperative, Blackwell said.

Authorities charge minister with abusing 2 girls

WASHINGTON
KXLY

SPOKANE, Wash. -
A minister has been charged with 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct involving two members of a "Maidens Group" within a Minnesota-based church he led called the River Road Fellowship.

Pine County authorities announced Tuesday an arrest warrant has been issued for 52-year-old Victor Arden Barnard. The sheriff's office says he was last known to be in the Spokane, Wash., area.

According to the criminal complaint, the two victims were among several girls and young women who lived apart from their families in a camp Barnard set up near the town of Finlayson, about 90 miles north of Minneapolis in east-central Minnesota. One victim alleges Barnard sexually abused her from the ages of 13 to 22. The other alleges he abused her for several years starting when she was 12.

Charges: Minister sexually abused young 'Maidens' in Minnesota camp for years

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

PAM LOUWAGIE, JENNA ROSS and PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune Updated: April 15, 2014

FINLAYSON, Minn. - Lindsay Tornambe was just 13 years old when she was chosen to be “sacrificed to God,” she remembers.

That announcement in July 2000 came from a minister who led an insular faith community that included her family in central Minnesota. As Tornambe sat in the congregation with her parents, she remembers the minister calling out a list of 10 girls for a position of honor. He would later call them “maidens.”

Soon, her parents dutifully dropped her off at his isolated camp, where what she now calls a nightmare of sexual abuse went on for about nine years.

Pine County authorities announced Tuesday that the minister, 52-year-old Victor A. Barnard, is now facing 59 counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving his chosen maidens.

Barnard ruled “like a rock star” over the camp and sexually exploited girls and young women at his whim while they lived apart from their families, according to court papers, which spell out the alleged abuses against two unnamed teens.

Barnard had not been apprehended Tuesday evening but was believed to be in Washington state, where authorities have begun a manhunt for him. He is the subject of a nationwide warrant.

Extend the Royal Commission to the end of 2017 (Or: Sign the Petition to George Brandis)

AUSTRALIA
lewisblayse.net

Posted on April 16, 2014 by lewisblayse

The author has recently become aware of a call by Justice Peter McClellan for an extension of time for the Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

At present, the Commission is to due be wrapped up by the end of 2015, with an interim report due in the middle of this year.

Justice McClellan has called on Australian Attorney-General, George Brandis, to give the Commission another two years to complete its work.

Justice McClellan, noting some of the ‘victories’ already achieved by the Royal Commission, has warned that as many as 2,000 people may miss out on providing their stories to the Royal Commission. That number is almost certainly an underestimate, but even if we take this as the number of people who are yet to speak to the Commission, it certainly underscores the need for the Commission to be provided with the extension it requests.

Editorial: Bloggers not above the law

CANADA
Times Colonist

Bloggers and others exercising their freedom of expression should not forget that freedom involves responsibilities, and that the wide-open reaches of the Internet are not beyond the reach of the law.

A Victoria man was found guilty this week of breaching a publication ban on evidence presented at a preliminary hearing of a priest who was later convicted of sexually touching a young person.

He had twice posted information containing specific allegations to a website that covers sex-abuse scandals and betrayals of trust in the Roman Catholic Church.

The final disposition of the blogger’s case depends on the outcome of a challenge to the constitutionality of the section of the Criminal Code dealing with publication bans.

Regardless, the judge has found that the blogger was aware of the ban and published the evidence intentionally.

Vatican Faces Second UN Hearing On Sex Abuse Policies; Compliance To Convention Against Torture

VATICAN CITY
Huffington Post

Religion News Service | by Josephine McKenna
Posted: 04/16/2014

VATICAN CITY (RNS) The Vatican next month will face yet another crucial United Nations hearing that will scrutinize the Catholic Church’s response to clerical sex abuse.

The U.N. committee responsible for monitoring implementation of the Convention Against Torture treaty will hear from Vatican officials on May 5-6 during three weeks of hearings to be held in Geneva, starting on April 28.

At issue is whether the church’s handling of the sexual abuse scandal violates international norms against subjecting minors to torture, something that the Vatican’s chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, skirted on Tuesday (April 15).

“The Holy See continues to carry out its obligations undertaken on behalf of the Vatican city state and present periodic reports, according to procedures under the convention,” he said.

Dying abuse victim celebrates giving bedside testimony to Royal Commission

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

[with audio]

By Alyssa Allen

Barry Wilson waited fifty years to tell his horrific story of child sexual abuse. It was years of abuse while in the care of the Christian Brothers at St Augustine's Orphanage in Highton, Geelong that saw Barry's life spiral out of control. Barry found out six weeks ago that he had liver cancer and only had a few days to live. Amazingly, he found the courage to tell his story of child sexual abuse to the Royal Commission last Tuesday.

Barry died on Sunday but his brother Peter Wilson could not be more proud of him.

Peter says members of the SANO Task Force (Victoria Police sex-crimes squad) took a recorded statement from Barry's bedside in Kerang hospital in Northern Victoria.

"The detectives were very gentle with Barry, allowing him time to have breaks, so he could get his breath, that took probably an hour or a half or so, they were passionate."

Peter, also a victim of child sexual abuse at the hands of the Christian Brothers, was asked by his brother stay in the room for his statement.

But Peter says he didn't stay due to his own ongoing investigation with the Royal Commission.

Survivors of child abuse left out of Royal Commission roundtable

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

By Angela Lavoipierre

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is facing criticism for failing to include survivors of abuse in a roundtable on out-of-home care.

The roundtable follows the recent inquiry into the Salvation Army's response to the abuse of children in its care.

Stakeholders including government representatives, academics and care providers gathered in Sydney to discuss preventing sexual abuse where children are being cared for outside their family home or with foster families.

Leonie Sheedy from the advocacy group Care Leavers Australia Network (CLAN) says she is very concerned that no survivors of abuse were invited to take part.

Our view: Shouldering a heavy burden

UNITED STATES
Roanoke Times

Posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Roanoke Times Editorial Board

To his great credit, Pope Francis went beyond his predecessor's apology and accepted personal responsibility last week for the Roman Catholic Church's complicity in the sexual abuse of children by priests.

Francis also spoke of "the sanctions that must be imposed," giving rise to speculation about what he might be prepared to do about it.

The pope's unscripted remarks to a French Catholic children's rights organization raise the question and hope that the church, at last, might have a leader who will not flinch from the extirpation of its institutional sin.

To do so requires calling to account those bishops and "princes of the church," its cardinals, who protected pedophile priests - and, not incidentally, the church's wealth - by keeping their crimes against children secret, sometimes justifying their silence as an effort to protect victims' privacy.

Vatican willingly appearing before UN committee, spokesman says

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Herald (UK)

By CINDY WOODEN on Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The Vatican’s scheduled May appearance before a United Nations committee monitoring adherence to an anti-torture treaty is being done willingly and not because Church officials were ordered to appear for questioning, a Vatican spokesman has said.

Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi told reporters yesterday that as a signatory of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the Vatican promised to file periodic reports about its laws and efforts to fight torture.

Along with representatives of seven other states, Vatican representatives are scheduled to review the periodic report with committee members from May 5-6 in Geneva.

“This is part of the ordinary procedures to which all state parties to the convention adhere,” Fr Lombardi said. “It is not that the Holy See was convoked in a way outside the normal procedures.”

In addition, he said, the treaty was signed in 2002 “in the name of Vatican City State – not for the universal Church – because the convention has juridical characteristics” that apply to a geographical nation-state.

Mother of sexually abused teen sues minister, church, DHS

OKLAHOMA
Tulsa World

By AMANDA BLAND World Staff Writer

The mother of a Tulsa teenager who court filings say was impregnated by a minister has sued the minister, his church, the Department of Human Services and several DHS employees for damages exceeding $1 million, records show.

Gregory Ivan Hawkins, 55, a former pastor of Zion Fellowship Ministries, was arrested June 24 on allegations that he had recurring sexual contact with a female relative since March or April 2012, when the girl was 14.

The girl became pregnant and gave birth to a child that blood tests showed was fathered by Hawkins, according to the lawsuit.

Tulsa County prosecutors charged Hawkins with seven counts of child sexual abuse.

He faces five counts of lewd molestation and four counts of second-degree rape in Osage County, where he lives.

Pope to remember abused, violated in Station of the Cross

VATICAN CITY
Catholic Register

Written by Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 15:33

VATICAN CITY - The often silent plight of sexually abused children, victims of domestic violence, prisoners, the abandoned elderly, the unemployed and immigrants facing hostility will be given a powerful voice during the Stations of the Cross at Rome's Colosseum.

Thousands of pilgrims and millions of television viewers will be asked to reflect April 18 on the wounds afflicting the world today: political stalemate, economic insecurity, substance abuse, torture, selfishness, fear and the despair of failure.

God is on the side of the hurting and the abused, allowing himself be exposed on the cross "to redeem every abuse wrongly concealed," said one of the Way of the Cross meditations. Several days before the pope's Good Friday commemoration, the Vatican released the text, along with the commentary and prayers for the 14 Stations of the Cross.

EDITORIAL: Archbishop's home in Hunterdon County is over the top

NEW JERSEY
Express-Times

By Express-Times opinion staff
on April 16, 2014

Simple living. Sacrifice. Service to the poor.

Pope Francis’ emphasis on everyday people and his rejection of the material trappings of the papacy have registered with Catholics and non-Catholics alike. His leadership by example is speaking loudly to both clergy and parishioners.

But it’s not registering as forcefully as many church members in the Diocese of Newark would like. More than 22,000 have signed a petition asking why Archbishop John J. Myers needs $500,000 in diocese money for an addition to his $700,000 home in Franklin Township, Hunterdon County, which he uses on weekends and which will become his retirement in a few years.

At a time when church members are struggling to pay mortgages, dealing with the closing of Catholic schools, reacting to sex-abuse scandals — and in many parts of the world, confronting issues of daily survival — they’re objecting to the bishop's quest for such a large, luxurious home. The expansion at the Hunterdon property includes an elevator, hot tub, an indoor exercise pool and a library, bringing the residence to 7,500 square feet.

Vicar arrested over alleged rape

UNITED KINGDOM
Macclesfield Express

Apr 16, 2014 10:31 By Paul Britton

A vicar has been arrested on suspicion of raping a teenage girl.

Anglican priest the Rev Simon Marsh, 54, was arrested and interviewed by detectives investigating allegations of sexual abuse between 2011 and last year.

It is understood that the alleged victim gave a statement to specially trained police officers last week.

The Rev Marsh served as Vicar of St Paul’s in Macclesfield from 1990 until 1996, and then as Vicar of St John the Baptist in Bollington from September 2001 until 2006.

He left his post in Bollington for his current role as vicar in Bramhall in Stockport, based at St Michael and All Angels CofE Church.

April 15, 2014

Deadline set for sex abuse claims against Diocese

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, NM, April 14, 2014

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independent correspondent
religion@gallupindependent.com

ALBUQUERQUE — Individuals who were sexually abused by Catholic clergy or others associated with the Diocese of Gallup have 120 days to file abuse claims against the diocese.

In an order signed Friday, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge David T. Thuma set the claims bar date as Aug. 11. All claim forms must be either mailed or hand delivered by 5 p.m. Aug. 11 to the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Albuquerque. The claims will be kept by court personnel in a confidential and sealed file.

Claims filed after the bar date deadline will be disallowed.

The Diocese of Gallup filed for Chapter 11 reorganization Nov. 12 because of mounting clergy sex abuse lawsuits and out-of-court claims. When Bishop James S. Wall announced his decision to file for bankruptcy, the Gallup Diocese was facing the deposition of current and former diocesan officials in connection with 13 clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed in Arizona’s Coconino County Superior Court. The first of those lawsuits was scheduled to go to trial in February. With the filing of the Chapter 11 petition, court proceedings for those depositions and lawsuits were stayed.

The Diocese of Gallup includes parishes in six counties in western New Mexico and three counties in northern Arizona. Prior to the formation of the Diocese of Phoenix in December 1969, the Gallup Diocese included many more Arizona communities such as Sedona, Flagstaff, Kingman, Prescott and Lake Havasu City.

To date, 24 clergymen associated with the Diocese of Gallup have been publicly accused of the sexual abuse of minors in police reports, court documents, news stories or through the admission of church authorities.

Public notice campaign

According to statements submitted to bankruptcy court by diocesan officials, 121 individuals have come forward in the past with allegations of sexual abuse by clergy or others associated with the Diocese of Gallup. Susan G. Boswell, the lead bankruptcy attorney for the diocese, has said that more abuse claims are expected to be filed before the bar date.

On Wednesday, during a final hearing about the bar date, Boswell told Thuma that the diocese was planning to spend approximately $35,000-$40,000 on a “comprehensive campaign,” which would cast “a wide net” to notify the public about the sex abuse claims deadline.

“We want to be able to reach out as much as possible to anybody who might have a claim against these debtors and seek to inform them of manner in which they can file a claim,” Boswell said.

The diocese’s public notice campaign, which was approved by Thuma, will include media news releases, paid advertisements with newspapers and radio stations, announcements submitted to Catholic dioceses and parishes across the Southwest, and notices posted at Native American cultural centers, Navajo chapter houses, post offices and other government facilities.

Attorney James I. Stang, legal counsel for the Committee of Unsecured Creditors, which represents the interests of clergy abuse survivors with claims against the diocese, said his committee approved the diocese’s public notice campaign.

“The debtor really is ultimately motivated to give adequate notice of the bar date because it wants an effective discharge,” Stang told Thuma.

Court approval of the Diocese of Gallup’s Chapter 11 plan of reorganization could be jeopardized if the diocese cannot document it provided the public with adequate notice of the clergy sex abuse claim process and bar date.

Claims assistance

Survivors of clergy sex abuse can download the Confidential Proof of Claim form, as well as the notice and instructions for filing the form, from the Diocese of Gallup’s website. The original form, plus one copy, must be mailed or hand delivered to the Clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Albuquerque. The court will not accept claims that are faxed or emailed.

One potentially confusing feature of the claim form is a section that asks claimants to check if they are submitting a claim against the “Roman Catholic Church Of The Diocese Of Gallup, a New Mexico corporation sole” or against the “Bishop Of The Roman Catholic Church Of the Diocese Of Gallup, an Arizona corporation sole.” Claimants are advised that failure to check one of the two boxes, or checking both boxes “will not alone be grounds for objection to or disallowance” of their claim, but further clarification is not provided on the claim form.

Abuse survivors can also obtain information about the claims process by calling a toll free number that will be maintained by Stang’s law firm. That toll free number will include assistance for Spanish and Navajo speakers. Assistance for other Native languages, such as Apache, Hopi, Keresan and Zuni is not available, according to court documents submitted by the diocese.

An abuse survivor who has already filed a claim against the Gallup Diocese and has been paid in full should not file a claim, according to court documents.

In addition, under federal law, anyone submitting a fraudulent claim could be subject to a fine of $500,000 and/or imprisonment for up to five years.

Online Claim Forms: www.dioceseofgallup.org
Toll free Information Line: 1-888-570-6269

Priest pleads 'not guilty' to sex assault charges

CONNECTICUT
WFSB

By Rob Polansky

ENFIELD, CT (WFSB) -
A priest in East Windsor who police connected to a teenager's school threat faced a judge Monday for sexual assault charges and pleaded not guilty.

Father Paul Gotta, 55, was charged with several counts of fourth-degree sexual assault. Court documents said the assaults started in January 2012 and took place in South Windsor with a minor.

The documents said it happened over the course of a year.

Gotta was placed on leave after the allegations surfaced. Officials previously said Gotta would be on leave "until the matter is resolved through the legal system."

Investigators said Gotta was connected to 18-year-old Kyle Bass, who allegedly made threats against the Metropolitan Learning Center in Bloomfield.

Court documents released last summer said Bass referenced the Boston Marathon bombing and the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in threats to the Bloomfield school.

Warrant Alleges Pattern Of Sexual Abuse By East Windsor Priest

CONNECTICUT
The Hartford Courant

By KELLY GLISTA, Kglista@courant.com
The Hartford Courant
7:08 p.m. EDT, April 15, 2014

ENFIELD — An East Windsor priest who came to the attention of law enforcement when he reported feeling threatened by a local teenager had exploited his relationship with the teen in order to gain sexual contact, according to an arrest warrant unsealed on Tuesday.

The Rev. Paul Gotta, 55, is facing several sexual assault charges after he was arrested in March in connection with the alleged abuse. Gotta was indicted last year on federal firearms charges for allegedly helping the teen acquire weapons. Gotta reported the guns to authorities after their relationship soured, the warrant says.

According to the warrant, Gotta spent years developing a relationship with the teen, whose family attended one of the parishes in East Windsor where Gotta served as priest. Gotta employed the 16-year-old to do odd jobs for the church in 2012, then allegedly used the employment as an excuse to be alone with him. The teen often would take the bus to the church rectory immediately after school, the warrant says.

The teen told police that, at first, Gotta would grope him or ask him to reach into Gotta's front pocket to retrieve keys when Gotta had his hands full, the warrant says. Gotta had the teen do personal chores in addition to work for the church, including doing Gotta's laundry, and the teen told police Gotta watched him as he folded the priest's underwear, the warrant says.

Priest Reinstated After Sexual Abuse Claim Refuted

CHICAGO (IL)
NBC Chicago

[with video]

The pastor of a Roman Catholic church in the North Side Lake View neighborhood has been reinstated after an investigation found an allegation of sexual contact with a child nearly 20 years ago unfounded.
The Rev. Michael W. O’Connell will resume his role as pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish on Thursday, according to a statement from Archdiocese of Chicago spokeswoman Susan Burritt.

"I knew the truth and I knew the Lord ... stood with me," O'Connell said at a Tuesday news conference.

But the decision to reinstate O’Connell drew heated criticism from the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

“We are disappointed and surprised that Cardinal Francis George is putting Fr. Michael W. O’Connell back on the job despite an accusation that he sexually assaulted a boy in 1990,” a statement from SNAP read.

Iowa pastor charged with sexually abusing 5-year-old pleads not guilty

IOWA
World-Herald

By Andrew J. Nelson / World-Herald staff writer

A southwest Iowa pastor charged with sexually abusing a 5-year-old girl has pleaded not guilty.

Roger C. Kissel, 66, of Sidney, Iowa, is charged with second-degree sexual abuse, lascivious acts and indecent exposure, according to court records.

Kissel was pastor of the nondenominational Sidney Cowboy Church when police arrested him in February. Sidney Police Chief Austin Richardson said the alleged acts, which are believed to have occurred over several months in 2013, are not connected to the church.

Southwest Iowa pastor pleads not guilty to charge of sexually abusing child

IOWA
The Republic

SIDNEY, Iowa — A southwest Iowa pastor has pleaded not guilty to charges he sexually abused a 5-year-old girl.

The Omaha World-Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1m9GThj ) that 66-year-old Roger C. Kissel of Sidney pleaded not guilty to second-degree sexual abuse, lascivious acts and indecent exposure.

When he was arrested in February, Kissel was a pastor at the nondenominational Sidney Cowboy Church. Sidney Police Chief Austin Richardson says the allegations aren't connected with the church.

The crimes are alleged to have occurred over several months in 2013.

Sex-abuse survivor, Avenel resident awarded for victims' advocacy

NEW JERSEY
NJ.com

By Brian Amaral/NJ.com
on April 14, 2014

Mark Crawford, a resident of Avenel, was honored last week by the state attorney general for his work advocating for victims of sexual abuse.

Crawford, the state director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, was selected for the first-ever Ronald W. Reagan award by acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman.

"Because of Mark's efforts, many individuals, after living in years of silence and shame, learned of the predators' crimes and came forward themselves, finally getting help and holding their offender accountable," state Sen. Joseph Vitale, who represents Woodbridge and nominated Crawford for the award, said in a news release today.

When he was a child, Crawford was abused by his parish priest. Since 1987, he's been advocating for victims of sex abuse, helping reform the state's charitable immunity laws and visiting the White House in 2010 to discuss sexual violence, according to Vitale.

No evidence to support Salvation Army officer's claim ...

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

No evidence to support Salvation Army officer's claim he confessed act of child sex abuse to police, royal commission told

April 15, 2014

Paul Bibby
Court Reporter

A senior Salvation Army officer who says he went to police to confess the sexual abuse he inflicted on a young girl but was told nothing could be done, has had serious doubt cast on his claims.

An investigator hired by the Salvos told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse on Monday that Lieutenant-Colonel Colin Haggar allegedly assaulted the girl three times, not once as the officer had claimed, and that there was no direct documentary evidence that the police confession ever took place.

The revelations came from a former detective, John Greville, who joined the Salvation Army's professional standards office in January, and was charged with investigating Colonel Haggar, who had admitted to sexually abusing an eight-year-old girl on one occasion in the state's central west in 1989.

Mr Greville told the commission on Monday that, upon taking up the job, he discovered that files in relation to Colonel Haggar were in chaos, and that it appeared the matter had never been investigated.

Salvos major sought mercy for abuser

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

DAN BOX THE AUSTRALIAN APRIL 16, 2014

THE Salvation Army officer leading its response to the child abuse royal commission personally recommended another officer be reinstated by the church despite him having confessed to sexually abusing a young girl.

Major Peter Farthing told the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse yesterday that he counselled the officer, Colin Haggar, for 18 months after he had admitted assaulting the eight-year-old.

In 1992, two years after Haggar was stood down by the Salvation Army, Mr Farthing wrote to the then-commissioner, saying “he has worked very hard to rectify his problems and has made excellent progress”. “Therefore I personally believe it would be appropriate for him to be re-accepted for ­officership,” the letter said.

Mr Farthing, the Salvation Army’s former secretary for personnel, who has handled dozens of other cases of child abuse, told the commission yesterday “at that stage there was still, I think, often an assumption that forgiveness was almost like an obligation”.

Priest accused of sexual misconduct cleared, resumes role at church

CHICAGO (IL)
WGN

A Chicago priest accused of sexual misconduct will be reinstated this week after an investigation cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Father Michael W. O’Connell will resume his role as Pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish in Chicago on Thursday, Archdiocese of Chicago said in a statement.

Fr. O’Connell step aside in December after an allegation he engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor while assigned to Our Lady of the Woods Parish in Orland Park 20 years ago.

The Archdiocese, working with the Cook County Sheriff, conducted an investigation “and concluded that the allegation was unfounded,” the statement said.

Reinstalan a sacerdote tras investigación de abuso sexual

CHICAGO (IL)
Vivelo Hoy

Por Leticia Espinosa, 4/15/2014

A meses de que la Arquidiócesis Católica de Chicago revelará archivos secretos en los que consta cómo durante años desprotegió a niños del abuso sexual de sacerdotes; en un comunicado la institución destacó que reinstalará a uno de sus sacerdotes, tras una acusación de mala conducta sexual “infundada”.

La tercera arquidiócesis más grande del país, que durante años transfirió silenciosamente de parroquia en parroquia a los sacerdotes acusados, sin notificar las denuncias de abuso a niños a las autoridades; anunció el martes que el reverendo Michael W. O’Connell fue reintegrado a su parroquia, una vez que concluyó una investigación por alegatos de mala conducta sexual con un menor de edad, que supuestamente ocurrió a finales de 1990.

Cancer-stricken ex-priest on trial for sex abuse

KENTUCKY
Courier-Journal

DYLAN LOVAN, Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – As testimony began in a long-delayed trial against former Catholic priest James Schook, a witness said Tuesday that he had numerous sexual encounters with Schook, beginning at age 13, at a Louisville church in the 1970s.

Schook was indicted on seven sodomy charges in 2011, but he sought several delays of the court proceedings as he battled terminal skin cancer.

The witness, Richard Whitfield, said Tuesday that he had an ongoing sexual relationship with Schook that began when he was 13 and lasted through high school.

Whitfield, 56, told the jury that he began having sexual encounters with Schook in the summer of 1971.

“I had this feeling we were probably doing something wrong,” Whitfield testified to the Jefferson Circuit Court jury, which was selected on Monday. He said most of the alleged abused occurred in Schook’s room in the rectory at St. Rita Catholic Church in Louisville.

“The doors were closed and we were just very quiet,” Whitfield said.

Mark of the Vatican Mammon Beast a.k.a. Opus Dei Beast...

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Updated April 16, 2014

In the Book of Revelation 13:16-18, the Mark of the Beast is 666, but for the Vatican Mammon Beast a.k.a. the Mark of the Opus Dei Beast is “holiness, saints, supernatural” especially the eerie paranormal words of Pope Francis. All Vatican Pied Pipers’ articles contain this OD mark. This was evident in the articles about Pope Francis’s apology last April 11. (See compilation below). Did anyone notice that The Republican in Massachusetts entitled its article: “Editorial: Pope's admission and personal responsibility will go far toward creating holiness in the Catholic Church”.

Exorzist missbraucht Frauen bei Ritualen

FRANKREICH
20 Minuten

[Summary: A priest in France has been charged with raping a woman during exorcism.]

Ein katholischer Priester der Bruderschaft St. Pius X, die den Glauben des Traditionalisten Marcel Lefebvre folgen, wurde in Paris verhaftet. Der 40-jährige Mann soll im Zuge von Teufelsaustreibungen in einer Schule am Stadtrand der französischen Hauptstadt drei Frauen gefoltert und vergewaltigt haben.

Wie die Zeitung «Le Parisien» schreibt, leitet der Geistliche die private Schule Notre Dame de la Sablonnière in Goussonville. Im Herbst 2010 soll der nicht namentlich genannte Priester drei Lehrerinnen der Schule missbraucht haben. Die Frauen seien durch die Ereignisse so traumatisiert gewesen, dass sie erst jetzt den Fall der Justiz meldeten.

Klärt die Kirche Missbrauchsfälle auf?

DEUTSCHLAND
Publik-Forum

Die katholischen Bischöfe in Deutschland haben eine umfangreiche Studie in Auftrag gegeben: Sie soll das Ausmaß sexueller Gewalt gegen Kinder und Jugendliche in der Kirche klären. Geplant ist, Fallzahlen aus allen Bistümern zu erheben, den Einfluss der Kirche auf Täter und Opfer zu analysieren. Kann das gelingen? Ein Pro- und Contra – und Thema unserer aktuellen Umfrage. Machen Sie mit!

Wunibald Müller: »Ja! Viele Menschen wollen Licht ins Dunkel bringen« »Die Kirche muss sich einer kritischen Durchleuchtung ihres Verhaltens stellen. Meint sie es ernst mit ihrer Ankündigung, aus den Missbrauchsfällen der vergangenen Jahrzehnte zu lernen? Viele Verantwortliche in der Kirche wollen das inzwischen, weil sie wissen: Nur so können verloren gegangenes Vertrauen und die so sehr in Mitleidenschaft gezogene Glaubwürdigkeit der Kirche zurückgewonnen werden. Sie wollen Licht ins Dunkel bringen, um besser verstehen zu können, wie es dazu kommen konnte, dass in einem so erschreckend hohen Ausmaß sexueller Missbrauch im kirchlichen Kontext möglich war.

Hiding in plain sight in France: the priests accused in Rwandan genocide

FRANCE
The Guardian (UK)

Chris McGreal in Gisors, Normandy

It's hard to find anyone in Gisors with a bad word to say about Father Wenceslas Munyeshyaka.

Other priests at the small French town's imposing medieval Catholic church, an hour's drive north-west of Paris into the rich Normandy countryside, speak with admiration of his popularity with congregants. It's his ability to engage with people, they say. Worshippers love his sermons, feel his sincerity. He brings something from Africa.

Even those rarely found in Gisors' church know of Father Wenceslas and insist he is a good man. A bartender at a café next to the church says he's seen the priest about and that he is well respected.
No one believes what's said, he adds. It's just too unbelievable that a priest would do such a thing. ...

In 2005, the UN's International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), then in the process of convicting many of the political and military leaders who oversaw the genocide, issued charges against Father Wenceslas. The indictment was a catalogue of horror. The priest, it said, conspired with leaders of the extremist Hutu militia spearheading the killing of Tutsis. It alleges that he helped draw up lists of men to die, stood by as Tutsis were taken away and killed, allowed the militia to roam his church hunting for victims, and that he raped young women.

The same year as the ICTR indictment, a military court in Rwanda convicted the priest in absentia and sentenced him to life in prison for genocide.

The protestors – some of them genocide survivors, others French people married to Rwandans – called on the Roman Catholic church to distance itself from Father Wenceslas by stripping him of his position.

TX- Lawsuit reveals popular pastor used nanny as sex object, SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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

A Texas pastor has been accused of grooming and sexually assaulting a young woman. We are grateful to this young woman for having the courage to speak up and press charges.

[WND]

Doug Phillips is a popular pastor and leading activist for “biblical patriarchy”. His attorneys refer to the abuse as a “consensual relationship”, but that is a dangerous and manipulative discourse that obscures the true nature of what happened. There can be no true consent when the authority between the individuals is so great.

We hope that Vision Forum Ministries and Boerne Christian Assembly officials will aggressively reach out to anyone else who may have been hurt by Phillips. We also urge them to review their sexual abuse policies and implement more effective measure to ensure no one, child or adult, becomes a victim of sexual assault.

A Papal Request for Forgiveness Begs Clarification

UNITED STATES
Off My Knees: A Blog by Michael Baumann

“The beginning of wisdom is the definition of terms.”
Socrates

An article on the Vatican Radio’s Website reported on a request from Pope Francis for forgiveness for the priests who committed sexual crimes against children. During his prepared remarks to members of BICE [International Catholic Child Bureau] whom he received on 11 April 2014 in an in audience at the Vatican, he deviated from the prepared text. That deviation for his text was captured in the English translation of the Pontiff’s prepared statement provided by Vatican Radio:

…. I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests, quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests, to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children. The Church is aware of this damage, it is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the Church, and we will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem, and the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, we have to be even stronger. Because you cannot interfere with children…

Before I start this conversation I am being mindful of my fellow survivors and their families, some are no longer here because of the damage caused by predator priests. We have been subjected to endless promises of reform and lies about accountability. This is important to me as survivor of rape by a priest of the Roman Catholic Church. At the risk of appearing to be hopeful enough that these questions will somehow come to the attention of Pope Francis, I will address my questions to him directly.

Your Holiness, I have some questions I must ask so that I can understand the meaning and intent in your words. Holy Father, from who are you asking forgiveness? An honest question, I promise you. I am convinced of your sincerity when you say you “feel the compelled to personally take on all the evil”. If you do so, why do you qualify your statement by saying that the number of predator priests are “quite a few” in number but not when compared to the total number of priests? YourHoliness, you start off by marginalizing the depth of the crisis. Why should I trust what you go on to say next?

Vatican issues preemptive statement, SNAP responds

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 15, 2014

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

In response to our formal filing at the United Nations, charging that the Vatican is violating the UN treaty against torture, top Catholic officials are claiming that the treaty only has jurisdiction over the tiny Vatican city state. We hope UN committee officials will see through this desperate attempt to hide from responsibility. And we hope that before the May 5 hearing, Pope Francis will step in and stop his staff from making this cynical claim.

[TBO]

For decades, when confronted with abuse and cover up reports, top Catholic officials often responded with self-serving hair-splitting - claiming that priests are "independent contractors," and similar absurd legalistic arguments designed to deny responsibility for the crimes of church employees, high and low.

These kind of irresponsible dodges show just hard the Catholic hierarchy works to shuck responsibility.

How can the Pope be the head of a worldwide organization, but also only be responsible for a tiny city-state of 1000 people? Does the Pope not pick and promote bishops and other church officials across the planet? Catholic church officials cannot have it every way - some days being a global monarchy, other days being a tiny city state, and other days being a religious, not political entity.

Vancouver Island blogger found guilty of violating judge's publication ban

CANADA
Vancouver Sun

BY LOUISE DICKSON, TIMES COLONIST APRIL 15, 2014

VICTORIA -- A Victoria man learned Monday that people writing on blog websites can't get away with posting information that breaks a court-ordered publication ban.

Blogger Gregory Hartnell was found guilty of breaching a publication ban on evidence at the preliminary inquiry of a Roman Catholic priest, later convicted of sexually touching a young person.

Victoria provincial court Judge Wayne Smith found Hartnell failed to comply with a judge's order prohibiting publication of evidence at Father Phil Jacobs' preliminary hearing in November 2011.

At the start of the inquiry, Judge Evan Blake made an order under section 539. (1) of the Criminal Code directing that the evidence heard not be published, or broadcast or transmitted in any way until the accused is either discharged or, if ordered to stand trial, the trial has ended.

Smith found Hartnell, who attended the first day of Jacobs' hearing, transmitted two postings containing explicit allegations to Sylvia's Site on Nov. 8 and Nov. 9, 2011.

The public website, run by Sylvia McEachern, covers sex-abuse scandals and betrayals of trust in the Roman Catholic Church in Canada.

Doug Phillips Accuses Former Employees of Conspiracy to Destroy Family, Vision Forum Ministries

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

BY MORGAN LEE , CHRISTIAN POST REPORTER
March 27, 2014

Former Vision Forum Ministries president Doug Phillips, who resigned from his position after admitting an inappropriate relationship, has accused three of his close friends of trying to tear down his reputation and organization.

On March 13, Phillips' attorney sent a letter to two of his client's personal assistants, Bob Renaud and Peter Bradrick, and a former Vision Forum employee, Jordan Muela, alleging that "the three of you have conspired together, and with others, in an attempt to destroy Doug Phillips, his family and Vision Forum Inc," reported WORLD magazine and Jen's Gems, a watchdog blog for the organization.

Phillips' threat of litigation follows four months after the nonprofit organization that he helped found, Vision Forum Ministries, was shut down by its board of directors after its married leader revealed that he had had an inappropriate relationship. While Phillips retained control of the for-profit Vision Forum, the company cleared out its inventory in November and was shutdown in December.

The former leader is not the only party thinking of filing a lawsuit. The attorney of the woman with whom Phillips was allegedly "inappropriately romantic and affectionate" also suggested that she might sue.

Religious Right Leader Sued For Sexual Battery, Treating Young Follower Like A 'Personal Sex Object'

UNITED STATES
Right Wing Watch

SUBMITTED BY Brian Tashman on Tuesday, 4/15/2014

Warning: this post includes sexually graphic language.

In a bombshell lawsuit that exposes the shocking ways women are treated in the Quiverfull movement — the patriarchal program popularized by the Duggar family and its TLC reality show 19 Kids and Counting — attorneys representing Lourdes Torres have revealed details of the abuse she received from Doug Phillips of Vision Forum.

The lawsuit [PDF], which includes counts of sexual battery and assault, details the “inappropriate, unwanted, and immoral sexual acts committed by Douglas Phillips against Ms. Torres,” noting that Phillips “methodically groomed Ms. Torres” since she was 15 years old “so that she would eventually participate in illicit sexual rendezvous with him promising that she could one day marry him” and “repeatedly told Torres that this was possible because his wife, Beall Phillips, was going to die soon.”

Phillips, one of the most prominent leaders of the Quiverfull movement, last year admitted to having “a lengthy, inappropriate relationship with a woman.” Phillips is extremely close to the Duggar family. In 2010, Torres was featured at the end of a video message at Phillips’ “Baby Conference” thanking Michelle Duggar, to whom Phillips had presented a “Mother of the Year” award.

Girl praised for reaction in priest luring case

WASHINGTON
KGW

VANCOUVER -- Court documents obtained by KGW tell the story of a courageous teenaged girl who kept her head and did the right thing when police said she was pursued by a man in a car.

The Vancouver teen did not panic as a stranger stalked and beckoned her last week, according to court documents. She ran into a day care to call her mother,

The suspect in the case, Father Michael Patrick of St. Wenceslaus Church in Scappoose, remained in a Los Angeles jail Tuesday awaiting extradition to Washington.

The girl was walking down Northeast 28th Street on March 10, near a strip mall, when a man drove up beside her. Several times, the man asked her to get in and each time, she refused, according to an arrest affidavit by Vancouver police Det. Jason Hafer.

She walked faster, turning onto Northeast 132nd Avenue. The man continued to stalk her, at one point telling her, "Come on, cutie." That's when she walked into a day care to call her mom.

First witness takes stand in trial of former priest charged with sex abuse

KENTUCKY
WLKY

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —The first witness took the stand Tuesday morning in the trial of a former priest charged with sexually abusing two boys in the 1970s.

James Schook is charged with sodomy.

The abuse allegedly took place while he worked for the Archdiocese of Louisville.

The witness testified that while Schook was a trusted mentor, he often had sex with him both in and outside the church, even at the boy’s home.

Priest Michael O'Connell to return to St. Alphonsus Parish

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

April 15, 2014 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- The Rev. Michael O'Connell was reinstated to his role as pastor at St. Alphonsus Parish in Chicago after the Chicago Archdiocese determined allegations of abuse were unfounded.

Father O'Connell agreed to step down in December 2013 when a formal allegation of misconduct was made. The allegation of misconduct was from 20 years earlier when he was assigned to Our Lady of the Woods Parish in Orland Park.

According to the Chicago Archdiocese, the allegation was investigated by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and Cook County State's Attorney, as well as the Cook County Sheriff's department. They concluded it was unfounded.

The Archdiocesan Independent Review Board recommended Fr. O'Connell return to active ministry. He will return to Alphonsus on April 17, 2014.

IL- Archdiocese puts accused priest back on the job, SNAP responds

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Statement by Barbara Blaine of Chicago, Founder and President of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 312-399-4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com )

We are disappointed and surprised that Cardinal Francis George is putting Fr. Michael W. O’Connell back on the job despite an accusation that he sexually assaulted a boy in 1990.

[Chicago Sun-Times]

We have met this victim and find him very credible. And we've seen dozens of cases across the country in which Catholic officials have reinstated an accused child molesting cleric only to later oust him permanently.

It takes a great deal of courage and strength for child sex abuse victims to speak up. They often suffer in silence and self blame for decades. Accusations are rarely made lightly. We hope that others will not be discouraged by O’Connell’s reinstatement and that Catholic officials and parishioners will remain vigilant in reporting known or suspected crimes to secular authorities, not church figures.

Fr. O’Connell has worked in Lakeview, Orland Park and Lake Forest.

We beg anyone who saw, suspected, or suffered crimes by O’Connell or any church employee to come forward and report to police. It is never too late to speak up.

Jury hears details of alleged sexual relationship in trial of Rev. James Schook

KENTUCKY
WDRB

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The details of a Louisville priest's alleged sexual relationship with two teenage boys in the 1970s were heard by a jury Tuesday morning.

It's the first day of testimony in the trial of Rev. James Schook, which began after being delayed or postponed several times for multiple reasons including Schook's poor health.

The first witness took the stand Tuesday morning, detailing his sexual alleged relationship with Schook, which he says got very intimate and intense starting when he was of the age of 13, when Schook was 23 and a seminary student.

"We kind of grew into a relationship, but he would always tell me, 'There's no future in this -- I'm just using you," the witness said.

Former Orland Park priest reinstated after sexual abuse allegation refuted

ILLINOIS
Southtown Star

The pastor of a Roman Catholic church in Chicago has been reinstated after an investigation refuted an allegation of sexual contact with a child nearly 20 years ago when he was assigned in Orland Park.

The Rev. Michael W. O’Connell will resume his role as pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish on Thursday, according to a statement from Archdiocese of Chicago spokeswoman Susan Burritt.

O’Connell agreed to step aside in early December at Cardinal Francis George’s request after a formal allegation was presented to archdiocesan officials that he engaged in sexual contact with a minor while working at Our Lady of the Woods Parish in Orland Park in the late 1990s, according to the statement.

O’Connell worked at the Orland Park parish between 1997 and 2012, and has held various posts within the archdiocese since his ordination in 1983, Burritt said.

Vatican responds to next round of UN abuse inquiry

VATICAN CITY
TBO

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican has responded to the latest round of U.N. sex abuse inquiries by suggesting it is only responsible for implementing a U.N. treaty against torture within the confines of the tiny Vatican City State.

The Vatican issued a statement Tuesday ahead of a May 5-6 hearing that will likely delve into the Vatican's failures to stop clergy sex abuse around the globe. Another U.N. committee interrogated the Holy See about abuse in January.

In an indication that it will seek to limit its responsibility, the Vatican said it signed the torture treaty in 2002 "exclusively in the name of and on behalf of" the 44-hectare (110-acre) Vatican City State, where fewer than 1,000 people live. The Vatican said it will "undertake its obligations on behalf of that state."