Abuse Tracker
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BishopAccountability.org – Documenting the Abuse Crisis

January 29, 2015

Rhinebeck priest suspended after allegation of sexual abuse

NEW YORK
Oneida Dispatch

By Diane Pineiro-Zucker, dpzucker@freemanonline.com DianeAtFreeman on Twitter
POSTED: 01/29/15

RHINEBECK >> A “credible” sexual abuse allegation dating back 30 years has led to the suspension of the parish priest at Good Shepherd and St. Joseph churches in Northern Dutchess, according to the New York Archdiocese.

Rev. Peter Kihm, 59, was removed by church officials, according to archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling, who said the alleged victim was male and “certainly a minor.”

Kihm, who could not be reached for comment, has denied the allegation, according to the archdiocese.

Zwilling said the archdiocese’s concerns “go back a couple of months” and were being discussed with the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office, but it was “only in the past couple of weeks that a person came forward, that we were able to take action.”

Dutchess County District Attorney William Grady said he has been assisting state police in investigating the allegation for “a number of months.”

Kihm taught at the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School in Poughkeepsie from 1987 to 1992, but “the incidents alleged did not occur at Our Lady of Lourdes,” Zwilling said. He said, though, that the school has notified its graduates of the allegation.

Ireland: A Priest Predator, A US Med Student & an Archbishop

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Dr. Rosemary McHugh, a US family physician, has just bravely described her own experience as a victim of an Irish priest predator and the hurt it has caused her. She describes his outrageous and unexpected misconduct when she sought spiritual guidance from him, while she was a Dublin medical student following her Jesuit Loyola University (Chicago) undergraduate education. She also describes the help she received from present Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin. Aiming to help curtail priest abuse, Dr. McHugh has generously made available to me for posting here a chapter she prepared on a pro bono basis for an upcoming book on restorative justice. Dr. McHugh’s chapter, set forth below in full, offers much hope and wisdom to abuse survivors and the entire Church community, as they continue to try to come to grips with this terrible and ongoing scandal in the Catholic Church.

********************************************************

CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE PERSPECTIVE OF A FAMILY PHYSICIAN WHO IS ALSO A VICTIM/SURVIVOR OF CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE

BY: Dr. Rosemary Eileen McHugh, M.D., M.B.A., M.Spir.

Introduction In the past, I had always been a great defender of the Roman Catholic Church, and believed the Church when it claimed that it was being victimized by others. If I had not been sexually assaulted by a Carmelite priest myself, I would find it hard to believe that any priest, religious brother, nun, bishop, cardinal, or pope would even think of sexually abusing an innocent child or a vulnerable adult. It took my own personal experience to help me to understand that sexual abuse by clergy and nuns in the Roman Catholic Church is not only possible but it is worldwide, with no need for accountability to civil, criminal, or international law. I believe that there are still many good clergy and nuns in the Catholic Church. I am sad that most of the leaders of the Church have chosen to ignore the command of Jesus to protect the innocence of children and to make the sexual predators accountable to civil, criminal, and international law, like other sexual predators are subject to, thereby putting more children at risk of being sexually abused by clergy in the Roman Catholic Church.

My Background I grew up in a very Catholic family in Chicago. My parents, Thomas McHugh and Rose Ann Moore, were immigrants from County Mayo, Ireland. They met at the Irish dances in Chicago, married, and raised three children. I was the middle child.

My parents had deep faith and every night we were all on our knees to say the family rosary. Every morning my mother and I were at Mass with my brother Tom, who was older and an altar boy. Tom went through the seminary system and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago in 1967. In his first parish assignment, Tom fell in love with one of the lay teachers in the parish school. He became laicized and left the priesthood to marry. My brother and his lovely wife are happily married and have raised five wonderful children, who are now all married and having their own families. Tom received an M.B.A. from Loyola University Chicago and worked in business for years. Now Tom is the Director of Religious Education in the parish where he and his wife live, and where they raised their family in South Carolina. My sister married and became a legal secretary. There are several nuns and priests in my family.

Educational Background I went to Catholic schools. In grammar school, I was taught by the Franciscan nuns from kindergarten through grade five, then by the Dominican nuns from grade six through grade eight. I was taught by the Benedictine nuns at an all-girls high school, St. Scholastica Academy. I was taught by the Jesuits at Loyola University Chicago and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Biology, in the Honors Pre-Medical Program in 1966, and later with a Masters Degree in Spirituality in Spiritual Direction in 2013.

After receiving my Medical Degree from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland in 1972, I did my internship and some residency training in Dublin. While working in a hospital Casualty Department/Emergency Room, I came down with severe pneumonia in both lungs and was a ward patient for a month in St Kevin’s Hospital in Dublin(now a Trinity teaching hospital called St James’ Hospital). When I returned to health, I was blessed with the opportunity to train six months in obstetrics at the Rotunda Maternity Hospital in Dublin.

Endgültige Strafe für Ex-Pater

OSTERREICH
OOE@ord

[The Linz Court will decide on Thursday on the sentence for the former director of Kremsmünster. The now 81-year-old priest was sentenced to 12 years in prison during the summer of 2013 for violent and sexual assaults on pupils at the school.]

Das Oberlandesgericht Linz entscheidet am Donnerstag über das Strafmaß für den ehemaligen Konviktsdirektor des Stiftes Kremsmünster. Der heute 81-Jährige war im Sommer 2013 wegen gewalttätiger und sexueller Übergriffe auf Zöglinge zu zwölf Jahren Haft verurteilt worden.

Der Oberste Gerichtshof hat den Schuldspruch bereits bestätigt. Nun wird das Berufungsgericht klären, ob es bei der ursprünglichen Strafhöhe bleibt. Zudem entscheidet es darüber, ob der mittlerweile in den Laienstand zurückversetzte Pater den Privatbeteiligten Schadenersatz bezahlen muss. Sie waren in der ersten Instanz auf den Zivilrechtsweg verwiesen worden.

Abusive priest list must be released

MINNESOTA
Mankato Free Press

Posted: Wednesday, January 28, 2015
.
By Dan Nienaber dnienaber@mankatofreepress.com

NEW ULM — A Ramsey County judge has ordered the Diocese of New Ulm to release all the records it has pertaining to reports of sexual abuse by any of its priests prior to 1978.

That order includes a New Ulm Diocese list of priests who were credibly accused of molesting children. It is the only Catholic diocese that hasn't made its list public, either voluntarily or through a court order. The lists were created during an investigation into abusive priests throughout the country that was started by the Catholic Church.

District Court Judge John H. Guthmann made the order through a lawsuit that has been filed by a man who is claiming he was molested by the late Rev. J. Vincent Fitzgerald while he was a 13-year-old altar boy at St. Thomas More Church in Lake Lillian. The man, identified as Doe 30 in court documents, reported the assaults took place at another church in Squaw Lake, which is a town northeast of Bemidji, while he was traveling with Fitzgerald.

Another man, identified as Doe 19, has filed a lawsuit claiming he was molested by Fitzgerald at another northern Minnesota church. Guthmann's order requires the Diocese of New Ulm to release the list and other information about Fitzgerald and at least 11 other priests identified through the church investigation. That information and previously unreleased information from the Diocese of New Ulm must be turned over by Feb. 17, said Jeff Anderson, the St. Paul attorney representing Doe 30.

A War of Words?

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

01/28/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

Thank you to the many of you who have emailed me or commented publicly about the bulletin column written by Father Patrick Kennedy. As I said in an earlier post, I think Father Kennedy gets some things right. However, where it comes to me and my situation, his errors extend beyond his misspelling of my name.

For instance, I too was surprised to see his statement that I had 'ruined' the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Yet, what I really took issue with was his assertion that what I am engaged in is 'a war of words'. When I think of a war of words, I think of a protracted argument or dispute over a debatable topic- the sort of back and forth politicians might engage in. I have no interest in engaging in a prolonged dispute with the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, or our Archbishop. My interests are and always have been to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults in our parishes and schools, and to see that we act with justice towards those who have been harmed. Regrettably, I am not yet convinced that these interests are shared by those working in the Chancery. And so, until I am convinced otherwise, I will continue to point out those areas in which this Archdiocese is still deficient.

My post on the Stolzman file from earlier this week should be an indication of why I remain concerned, but I wouldn't expect the parishioners of Father Kennedy's parish to need such a reminder. Surely they would recall the Archbishop's statements from October and November of 2013 pledging 'zero tolerance' and ensuring the faithful 'there are no offending priests in active ministry in our archdiocese.' The same parishioners would just as likely recall that less than two months later it was 'discovered' that an offending priest was still in ministry, and at their parish! And, the parish of Saint Olaf did not just play host to one offending priest, Reverend Kenneth LaVan. In my affidavit for the Doe 1 case I referred to a situation where a 'pimp' was contacting the Chancery to try and get payment for services provided by one of his prostitutes to a priest of the Archdiocese. Prior to contacting the Chancery, the 'pimp' had tried to get payment from the priest himself- as he was leaving Saint Olaf after having celebrated daily Mass (Affidavit, pp. 52-53).

Maryland diocese asks bishop accused of killing cyclist to resign

MARYLAND
Reuters

(Reuters) - The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland has asked a bishop who is accused of killing a cyclist while driving drunk to resign her position, saying she was no longer able to function effectively.

Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook, the diocese's first female bishop and second highest official, is charged with manslaughter in the Dec. 27 hit-and-run death of cyclist Tom Palermo in Baltimore.

In a letter to Cook dated Monday, the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland said it had unanimously agreed to ask for her resignation.

Her attorney, David Irwin, said he received the letter on Wednesday and discussed it with his client but did not yet have a public comment.

Cook, 58, who is free on bail, is attending an in-patient alcohol treatment facility, her lawyer has said.

Episcopal diocese asks bishop in biker-death case to step down

MARYLAND
Washington Post

By Michelle Boorstein January 28

Episcopal officials in Maryland have asked a bishop charged with killing a bicyclist to resign, but her lawyer Wednesday said she had no immediate comment.

Bishop Heather Cook is facing charges of vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence, and texting while driving, among other charges, in the Dec. 27 death of Thomas Palermo, a father who was popular in Baltimore’s bicyclist scene.

Cook has made no statement since Palermo’s death, and has been since late December in a residential treatment center.

On Wednesday the Diocese of Maryland, which last year made Cook their first female bishop, released the letter in which leaders asked Cook to step down from her position as second-in-charge.

Effort to Change Statute of Limitations Law for Childhood Sexual Abuse Cases

NEW YORK
TWC News

[with video]

By Kaitlyn Lionti
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Tuesday, we introduced you to Vanessa DeRosa and Tino Flores, who as adults, are still affected by sexual abuse in their childhood.

"I'm on psychotic and anti-depression medicines because of this. I'm still seeing a psychologist and a psychiatrist," said Flores.

"I actually am just getting out of a domestic violence relationship with my soon-to-be ex-husband so, after something like that happens, it just kind of leads you from one bad thing into another," said DeRosa.

Their lawyers say legal action isn't an option for them, because the statute of limitations for New York state has expired. That's something they're hoping to change.

"So that victims of this abuse need not continue to hear that the law protects, rather than punishes, their abusers," said Diane Tiveron, managing partner at Hogan Willig.

Vermont Welcomes New Bishop

VERMONT
MyChamplainValley

[with video]

Alex Rose

Burlington, Vt.- "It is with great joy that we welcome you, Bishop Coyne, to the Diocese of Burlington," were the words Bishop Christopher Coyne heard after symbolically knocking three times on the door of the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception.

Catholics, non-religious and members of the community packed into the cathedral to welcome the new type of religious leader.

"He's a joyful presence," said Diocese member Betty Wyhownanek.

"I've heard even from my non-catholic friends how they're watching him on the blog and stuff and he's just this wonderful personality," said Burlington Deacon Tim Gibbo. ...

But leading Vermont's catholic clergy comes with history. A national group, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, cites Vermont has 15 public accounts of accused, sued, and in one case convicted members of the state's clergy for varying accounts of sexual abuse.

Bishop Coyne says his reach doesn't have to be digital for those who need it most.

"As far as the present victims of the past abuse by priests, all I can say is, I'm willing to sit down, I'm willing to listen to you, I'm willing to hear what you have to say to me," Bishop Coyne said. "I was not someone who was a perpetrator, but I want to be someone who perhaps can help them gain a little piece of mind and maybe a little restoration of the faith that they lost."

Dad Conquers Addiction, wants Custody of Children Abused by Pastor Fox

NEW YORK
Genesee Sun

29 Jan, 2015 - CONRAD BAKER

LIVINGSTON COUNTY – In a long, complicated, and painful legal battle involving drug addiction, divorce, and sexual abuse of his young daughter at the hands of hand-picked foster parent Pastor Alan Fox, a father is now seeking custody of his five children, including the girl who was abused.

In November 2011, the dad, James, moved to York with his now ex-wife and their five children, at the time ranging in age from early teens to toddlers. By April 2012, all five were removed from the home by Child Protective Services, and shortly afterwards placed in foster care.

“In April of 2012, there was a raging pill addiction in our house,” said James, 41. “My ex-wife was addicted to Methadone and I was doing Vicodin. The kids weren’t getting to school, the house was a mess, it was an awful environment.”

James says his wife is in a good drug treatment program, is now clean, and is gaining custody of her three infant children from a different father, but has a no-contact order of protection against her five children with James and is not allowed to care for, visit, or talk to them on the phone. James has two children of his own from another mother, one of whom lives on their own and the other lives with a relative out of state.

Archdiocese should set example

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Daily

By Jared Rogers-Martin
January 29, 2015

Last year was arguably a year of bad news, the kind that made you cringe and feel sad. Unfortunately, 2015 is starting off much the same way.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Archdiocese has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because it needs to handle several lawsuits related to clergy abuse victims.

Filing bankruptcy is the right move in this situation. However, this bankruptcy shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

You may have come to know and love Pope Francis. Loved by many, he is certainly a great face for the Roman Catholic Church. But even Pope Francis and his arguably nontraditional views can’t erase years of scandal.

The Catholic Church needs to look to leaders like Pope Francis to prevent child abuse by priests and bishops from happening in the first place. For men who are as close to God as you can get, these acts sure aren’t evidence of piety.

The church should also implement counseling services for its leaders. This needs to be done for all churches and not just on a case-by-case basis. A quick Google search reveals that the options for counseling available now are limited.

Yeshivah police target declares it OK to kill Jews who report abuse

AUSTRALIA
The Age

January 29, 2015

Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie

The man's extreme views were posted online in a discussion about Mesirah, the Jewish law that forbids a Jew from informing on another.

A Melbourne man wanted by police for questioning over an alleged sex offence at St Kilda's Yeshivah centre wrote on an internet blog that it is acceptable to kill a Jew who reports another to secular authorities.

The man, who Fairfax Media has chosen to not to name, made his comments on an internet blog allegedly associated with prominent figures from Melbourne's Orthodox Jewish community.

Fairfax Media has confirmed the man, who is a member of one of the St Kilda Yeshivah centre's leading families and is presently overseas, is wanted for questioning by police in connection to an alleged sexual assault in the 1990s.

The man's extreme views were posted in 2011 and were made as part of a discussion on an ancient Jewish rule known as Mesirah, under which a Jew is forbidden from informing on a fellow Jew. ...

Outspoken Melbourne victims' rights campaigner Manny Waks said on Thursday that the Royal Commission hearings would expose the extent of intimidation of several victims. He also hoped they would be a catalyst for a change in attitudes within the Orthodox Jewish community.

"It's critical that the public and the Jewish community are fully informed of the victim intimidation that has gone on in recent years. Sadly it seems to be the norm within the Orthodox segment of our community, both in Australia and globally. I believe that a combination of pressure from both external and internal forces will be the catalyst for change," Mr Waks said.

"The reality is, there are many other victims out there, and no doubt some of them have been intimidated into silence by virtue of what they have observed is happening within our community. Rabbis and other leaders are sending mixed messages. In some cases it is due to ignorance and in others it's to protect Jewish institutions and the reputation of our community."

Rabbi accused of child molestation being held in Maryland on $5m bond

OHIO
Fox 8

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Maryland– New developments tonight in the case of a well-known Cleveland-area rabbi, facing child molestation charges in Maryland.

The Fox Eight I-Team, which first broke news of the arrest of Rabbi Frederick Karp at JFK Airport in New York, has learned that Karp has been extradited from New York to Maryland.

He is currently being held on $5 million bond.

Karp, who is a rabbi at the Menorah Park Center for Senior Living in Beachwood, is being held tonight at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Authorities in Maryland say Rabbi Karp is facing charges that include the sex abuse of a minor as a continuing course of conduct.

Rabbi Back In Maryland To Face Child Sex Charges

MARYLAND
WBAL

An Ohio rabbi accused of abusing a girl is being held on $5,000,000 bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Frederick Karp of Beachwood, Ohio has been brought back to Maryland to face charges, including sexual abuse of a minor and perverted practice.

Police believe he sexually abused the young victim several times in 2014 in Baltimore County. Police don't believe any of the incidents occurred at any Jewish facility in this region. The victim lives in Baltimore County.

Detectives say 50-year-old Karp was nowhere to be found when they went to his Ohio home to arrest him. They had previously interviewed him in Cleveland.

Police later picked him up at JFK airport in New York.

Ohio rabbi accused of child abuse in Baltimore County hit with $5 million bail

MARYLAND
ABC 2

An Ohio area rabbi who was charged with sexually violating a child in Baltimore County was slapped Wednesday with a $5 million bail.

Frederick Martin Karp was extradited to Baltimore County Wednesday for his bail hearing.

Karp was charged with committing sexual offenses against a minor “over a period of time,” according to the initial release on Jan. 22 .

Karp was residing at his home Beachwood, Ohio when investigators issued a warrant for his arrest.

“When police went back to Karp’s home, he was not there. Karp was later located by police at Kennedy Airport in New York and taken into custody,” the release said.

Rabbi extradited to Md. to face sexual abuse charges

MARYLAND
The Baltimore Sun

By Colin Campbell
The Baltimore Sun

A rabbi from Ohio charged with sexually abusing a girl in Baltimore County was extradited to Maryland for an initial court appearance Wednesday, Baltimore County police said.

Frederick Martin Karp, 50, of the Cleveland suburb of Beachwood was arrested last week at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Police, who received information on Dec. 31 that Karp had abused the girl, went to Cleveland and obtained an arrest warrant charging him with second- and third-degree sex offense, perverted practice and sexual abuse of a minor.

When they came back to Karp's home, he was gone; he was arrested Jan. 15 at JFK.

Ohio Rabbi Extradited For Alleged Sexual Abuse Of Md. Girl

MARYLAND
CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A 50-year-old rabbi from Ohio accused of sexually abusing a Baltimore County girl is behind bars in Maryland now.

Rabbi Frederick Karp is being held on $5 million bond at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

He was extradited back to Maryland Wednesday to face charges, including sexual abuse of a minor.

‘Deeply wrong’: Labour TD abstains from vote on mother and baby homes inquiry

IRELAND
The Journal

Updated 9.15am

THE MOTHER AND BABY homes inquiry will exclude thousands of unmarried women and girls who were victims of human rights violations, according to the Adoption Rights Alliance.

The Government has selected 14 individual institutions for the commission to investigate and the alliance claims an estimated two-thirds of victims will be potentially excluded from the scope of the investigation.

It says the true number of forced and illegal adoptions will be hidden. It also claims the role the state played will be concealed as well as the role of professional elites.

During the second Dáil debate on the terms of reference for the inquiry last night many TDs called for the experience of all unmarried women and their children to be included in the terms of reference.

Ex-youth pastor pleads guilty to sexual battery

OREGON
Independent-Enterprise

A former youth pastor has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to sexual battery.

Forest Rueben Gibson, 34, was a youth pastor in Canyon County when a teenage girl there made allegations against him. While investigating her claims, Canyon County Sheriff’s Detective Shawn Becker heard from a second victim in Payette County.

Gibson met the second girl at church camp, according to information from Barbara “Bobbi” Richart, chief deputy prosecuting attorney in Payette County. Gibson pleaded guilty to sexual battery against that girl — who, because she is a minor, is not being named — in District Court Jan. 9.

The battery took place on or about Feb. 23 through April 8, 2014, according to court documents. Gibson was arrested April 28.

Diocese of Duluth ordered to turn over sex abuse documents

MINNESOTA
Grand Forks Herald

By Tom Olsen on Jan 28, 2015

The Diocese of Duluth has been ordered for the first time to turn over a broader range of internal documents detailing child sexual abuse cases to plaintiffs in an ongoing lawsuit.

Ramsey County District Judge John Guthmann on Tuesday ordered the diocese to disclose all documents detailing abuse that is alleged to have occurred prior to 1978.

The order was issued in an ongoing suit filed by "Doe 30," an unidentified man who said he was abused by Father James Vincent Fitzgerald at St. Catherine's Church in Squaw Lake in the 1970s. The case is one of three pending suits against the diocese.

The diocese will have until Feb. 17 to produce the documents, which will remain under court seal.

"It's a very important order," said Mike Finnegan, an attorney representing the abuse victim. "It allows us to see how the diocese was handling abuse overall."

Doubt, a play: did the catholic priest do it or not?

MASSACHUSETTS
catholic church abuse: criminal nuns and priests

There is a theater company in Berlin, MA – that wants us to think. They say that “too many risky and complex theatrical productions are kept from the public”. They want audiences to analyze, question, and discuss the messages and meanings of their plays. The Flyleaf Theater Company chose the play “Doubt, A Parable”, by John Patrick Shanley. The play won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play and became the 2008 film “Doubt” starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep.

This production of the play, directed by Mariagrazia LaFauci, takes a hard look at the complex, dark, and troubling moral dilemmas faced by the people of the fictional St. Nicholas Elementary School in the Bronx in 1964. Sister Aloysius, the school principal, suspects the parish priest, Father Flynn of sexually molesting the school’s only African-American student, Donald Muller. Is the priest guilty without a doubt? The play makes us think and examine our own beliefs about the conduct of clergy who are trusted with the lives of children.

What makes this Flyleaf production unique is that they invited members of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), including me, and other survivors who were sexually abused by priests to come and talk to the actors. They wanted to understand the reality of how it feels to be abused by those who vowed to protect us. They helped us by caring and we believe the insight they gained will make their production of Doubt a better play.

The theater was filled and the play was a success. There were people of all ages and the play made a lot of people think about the issue of pedophile priests who can get access to our children. The director, Mariagrazia LaFauci put together a group of good actors, eye catching sets and lighting and an obvious awareness of the reality of the issue to create an image that will stay with the audience. The play was better than the movie and I think that is because the movie director didn’t talk to real survivors. It was so great when the Executive Director of Flyleaf, J. Parker Eldridge, announced that part of the proceeds from the play will be donated to The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). Considering that Flyleaf is a non-profit organization what they have done is even more extraordinary. They are a great group of professional, dedicated and caring people – thank you all.

Court orders New Ulm, Duluth dioceses to release sex abuse documents

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Riham Feshir · Jan 28, 2015

A Ramsey County judge has ordered Catholic officials in New Ulm and Duluth and the religious order Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate to release all documents pertaining to alleged clergy sex abuse dating as far back as 1949.

Ramsey County Judge John Guthmann issued the order after hearing arguments in the case of a man who accuses the Rev. James Vincent Fitzgerald of sexually abusing him when he was boy in 1976.

Guthmann ordered the two dioceses and Oblates of Mary Immaculate to provide all documents regarding alleged abuse by any priest employed by the churches or was present at any of their facilities since 1949.

"These are documents that have been held and divulged to the Diocese of New Ulm and the Diocese of Duluth and for the eyes of the bishops only and their top officials," said attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents the man who has accused Fitzgerald of abuse. "Now we get to have them for our eyes. And we think it's an important development in this case."

Judge orders release of records in Doe 30 case that involves Diocese of New Ulm

MINNESOTA
The Journal

ST. PAUL - A Ramsey County District Court judge ordered Tuesday that the defendants in the Doe 30 lawsuit to produce all records pertaining to sexual abuse reported to have been committed by any priest before 1978.

The documents will be produced to Doe 30 under seal as a result of a protective order previously obtained by the defendants - the Diocese of New Ulm, the Diocese of Duluth and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.

Judge John H. Guthmann's order requires the New Ulm and Duluth dioceses to produce the documents by Feb. 17, 2015, and the Oblates to produce their documents by March 27, 2015.

January 28, 2015

Episcopal Diocese asks bishop for resignation following fatal bike crash

MARYLAND
Baltimore Sun

By Kevin Rector
The Baltimore Sun

Episcopal leaders have asked the bishop accused in a fatal collision with a bicyclist in Baltimore last month to resign her position in the church.

The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland made the request Monday in a letter to Bishop Suffragan Heather Cook.

The eight-member panel told Cook it had "agreed unanimously that you are no longer able to function effectively in the position of Bishop Suffragan given recent events.

"Therefore, we respectfully call for your immediate resignation from the position."

Cook, 58, the second-ranking bishop in the diocese, was arrested this month and charged with manslaughter, driving under the influence of alcohol, texting while driving and other offenses in the death Dec. 27 of Thomas Palermo in North Roland Park.

Palermo, 41, was a software engineer at Johns Hopkins Hospital and built and maintained bicycles on the side. His death has galvanized the local cycling community, which has long called for safety improvements on city streets.

Episcopal Diocese Of Maryland Asks Bishop Heather Cook To Resign After Fatal DUI Accident

MARYLAND
International Business Times

By Zoe Mintz

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland has called for the resignation of Bishop Suffragan Heather Elizabeth Cook who was involved in a fatal car accident on Dec. 27. The diocese sent a letter to Cook’s lawyer on Tuesday explaining the standing committee has unanimously agreed she is “no longer able to function effectively” in her position.

Cook, who became Maryland’s first female Episcopal bishop when she was ordained in September, did not immediately respond publicly to the call for her resignation.

The 58-year-old New York state native was accused of hitting 41-year-old bicyclist Thomas Palermo with her car on Dec. 27 while driving in Baltimore. Authorities charged Cook with vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence and texting while driving, among other charges.

She initially left the scene but returned about 30 minutes later. Authorities said she blew a .22 blood-alcohol level – nearly three times the legal limit.

This isn’t Cook’s first run-in with the law. In 2010, Cook was pulled over after police found the front passenger tires of her car were shredding and had fallen off the rim. Her blood-alcohol level at the time registered 0.27. She was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana and drug paraphernalia possession, reckless driving, negligent driving, among other charges. Cook was arrested and later released on her own recognizance. The charges were dropped in 2012.

Diocese Seeks Resignation Of Bishop Cook

MARYLAND
WBAL

Officials of the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland have announced that they have sent a letter to Bishop Heather Cook asking her to resign.

Cook is facing charges including vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence, and texting while driving, in connection with the December 27, hit and run accident that killed cyclist Thomas Palermo in North Baltimore.

The Diocese confirms the standing committee sent the letter to Cook's lawyer on Monday.

The letter says it is in the best interest for Cook to resign.

"It was clear that our lay and clergy leaders on the Standing Committee felt that the best interests of the diocese would be served were Heather to resign. Since this does not impede the Episcopal Church's investigation into the matter, it is my hope Heather will see the wisdom in this recommendation," said the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, Bishop of Maryland.

Md. Episcopal Diocese Asking For Bishop To Resign After Fatal Hit-And-Run

MARYLAND
WJZ

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland is calling for the resignation of Bishop Heather Cook.

An eight member leadership committee says she is no longer able to function effectively in her position.

“It was clear that our lay and clergy leaders on the Standing Committee felt that the best interests of the diocese would be served were Heather to resign. Since this does not impede the Episcopal Church’s investigation into the matter, it is my hope Heather will see the wisdom in this recommendation,” said the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, bishop of Maryland.

Cook, 58, is facing charges for striking and killing cyclist Tom Palermo. It happened while he was riding in Roland Park in late December.

Md. diocese calls for bishop who killed cyclist to resign

MARYLAND
WTOP

BALTIMORE (AP) — An Episcopal Diocese of Maryland panel is calling for the resignation of a bishop charged with killing a cyclist in Baltimore while driving drunk.

The diocese said in a statement Wednesday that its standing committee, which provides counsel to Diocesan Bishop Eugene Sutton, asked Heather Cook to resign.

As suffragan bishop, Cook is the second-highest bishop in the diocese. The church is investigating her for possible discipline, and she cannot resign her title of bishop during that process. But the standing committee says she should resign from employment with the diocese.

Cook is charged with manslaughter, drunken driving and texting while driving. Cook fatally struck Thomas Palermo with her car on Dec. 27.

Heather Cook asked to resign by Maryland diocese

MARYLAND
The Baltimore Brew

The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland formally called on Heather Cook to resign as an employee of the diocese for “the best interests of the church and its people.”

While Cook cannot resign as Bishop Suffragan until after the conclusion of the church’s Title IV disciplinary investigation, her superior, the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, called on her to step down from her $120,000-plus-a-year job.

The request was made in a short one-page letter to Cook by the diocese’s Standing Committee and seconded in a separate statement by Bishop Sutton.

The letter was sent to her criminal attorney, David B. Irwin of Towson. Bishop Cook was charged with manslaughter, drunk driving and leaving the scene of a fatal accident with bicyclist Tom Palermo on December 27.

Bishop Heather Cook (Diocese of Maryland)Bishop Heather Cook (Diocese of Maryland)
She is now staying at Father Martin’s Ashley, an alcohol and drug addiction center near Havre de Grace, after former Episcopal priest Mark Hansen posted $2.5 million bail for her release from city jail.

Labour TD Ferris will not lose whip for abstaining on vote

IRELAND
Irish Times

Harry McGee

Wed, Jan 28, 2015

The Labour Party has said no disciplinary action will be taken against Wicklow TD Anne Ferris after she abstained in a Dáil vote on the establishment of a Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes.

Ms Ferris, who has spoken about her own personal experience of mother and baby homes, had let her party know for some time that she had problems with the plan for the commission being brought forward by Minister for Children James Reilly.

In particular, Ms Ferris had issues with the commission’s terms referring solely to single mothers, when separated mothers and widowed mothers were also residents of such homes. She also expressed concerns that not all the institutions of this nature were covered in the terms of reference.

Anne Ferris: she had spoke about how she had just met her sister last summer after the two had been placed for adoption when they were childrenJames Reilly changes inquiry scope after TD’s case excluded

Government backbencher abstains from mother-and-baby vote

IRELAND
RTE News

A Government backbencher has abstained on votes on the draft terms of reference of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes and Related Matters.

Tánaiste Joan Burton described Labour TD Anne Ferris' differences with the Government over its draft order as a "slight" one.

Ms Ferris, who spent her first days in a mother-and-baby home, criticised the lack of objectivity in the Government's selection of the 14 individual institutions the commission is to investigate.

"This inquiry requires great sensitivity, an open door and a listening ear for all the witnesses to this dark corner of Ireland's past, regardless of the title above the door of the institution where they once lived".

Inquiry set to exclude ‘thousands of victims’

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Conall Ó Fátharta
Irish Examiner Reporter

Tens of thousands of unmarried women and girls whose children are victims of serious human rights violations will be excluded from the upcoming mother and baby homes inquiry, it has been claimed.

The second Dáil debate on the terms of reference for the inquiry heard from both opposition and Government TDs, who called for the experience of all unmarried women and their children to be included in the terms of reference, rather than just those linked to the 14 named institutions.

Labour’s Anne Ferris became emotional when recounting her own experience as both an adopted person and a natural mother who had “her little girl taken from me”.

Ms Ferris said she could not vote in favour of the terms of reference as proposed by the Government, citing its prioritising certain institutions over others.

Rabbi Karp faces extradition to Maryland after hearing

OHIO/MARYLAND/NEW YORK
Cleveland Jewish News

ED WITTENBERG | STAFF REPORTER
ewittenberg@cjn.org

A court appearance for Rabbi Ephraim Karp was scheduled for Jan. 28 in Queens Criminal Court in New York, a spokesperson for the Queens district attorney’s office said.

After Karp’s hearing, it was expected that authorities in Maryland would pick him up and transport him there to face charges in that state, the spokesperson said.

Karp, director of spiritual living at Menorah Park Center for Senior Living in Beachwood, was arrested Jan. 15 in New York on an active felony warrant issued by the District Court of Maryland, Baltimore County. The Baltimore County Police Department has obtained the arrest warrant, according to a Jan. 22 press release from the department.

The press release stated Karp has been identified as a suspect in connection with the sexual abuse of a minor in Baltimore County. On Dec. 31, Baltimore County police received information that a juvenile female living in Baltimore County had been sexually abused over a period of time by the suspect, listed as Frederick Martin Karp in the press release.

Onetime Lansdale priest admits to indecent assault at local YMCA

PENNSYLVANIA
The Mercury

By Carl Hessler Jr., The Mercury
POSTED: 01/28/15, 5:00 PM EST

Norristown >> A onetime Lansdale priest will be under court supervision after he admitted to having indecent contact with a man in a local YMCA locker area.

John H. Roebuck, 65, of the first block of Lansdale Avenue, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to two years’ probation after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of indecent assault without consent in connection with the December 2013 incident that occurred at the YMCA on East Main Street in Lansdale.

“Basically, he admitted to inappropriately touching another patron outside the locker room area at the Lansdale YMCA. He violated another person right out in the open. It really shocked the victim,” Assistant District Attorney Jordan Friter, who leads the district attorney’s sex crimes prosecution division, said on Wednesday.

More Minnesota church officials ordered to provide documents about alleged clergy abuse

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune Updated: January 28, 2015

The documents will be produced under seal.

A judge has ordered church officials to turn over documents about alleged clergy sex abuse in a lawsuit filed against two dioceses and a Catholic order.

The move is especially meaningful to attorneys suing the Diocese of New Ulm, Diocese of Duluth and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate because the two dioceses have refused to disclose some information that others have shared. The Diocese of New Ulm is the only Minnesota diocese that hasn’t released a list of credibly accused priests. The Diocese of Duluth has released the names of credibly accused priests, but hasn’t released documents related to those accusations.

An order issued Tuesday by Ramsey County District Court Judge John Guthmann compels the dioceses and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate to produce information about alleged abuse, reports, priests’ names and “any document referencing clergy abuse” committed before 1978.

Guthmann wrote that during this discovery stage of the lawsuit, “any and all” information about alleged priest abuse is “directly relevant to what defendants knew or should have known prior to the abuse experienced by plaintiff.”

In the suit, Doe 30, a former altar boy, alleges that the Rev. James Vincent Fitzgerald sexually abused him in the 1970s when he was 13. Fitzgerald, who is dead, was employed by the three defendants named in the suit.

Rhinebeck priest suspended after allegation of sexual abuse

NEW YORK
Daily Freeman

By Diane Pineiro-Zucker, Daily Freeman
POSTED: 01/28/15

RHINEBECK >> A “credible” sexual abuse allegation dating back 30 years has led to the suspension of the parish priest at Good Shepherd and St. Joseph churches in Northern Dutchess, according to the New York Archdiocese.

Rev. Peter Kihm, 59, was removed by church officials, according to archdiocese spokesman Joseph Zwilling, who said the alleged victim was male and “certainly a minor.”

Kihm, who could not be reached for comment, has denied the allegation, according to the archdiocese.

Zwilling said the archdiocese’s concerns “go back a couple of months” and were being discussed with the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office, but it was “only in the past couple of weeks that a person came forward, that we were able to take action.”

Dutchess County District Attorney William Grady said he has been assisting state police in investigating the allegation for “a number of months.”

Kihm taught at the Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic High School in Poughkeepsie from 1987 to 1992, but “the incidents alleged did not occur at Our Lady of Lourdes,” Zwilling said. He said, though, that the school has notified its graduates of the allegation.

Hundreds of UK child sex offenders spared jail, let off with cautions

UNITED KINGDOM
RT

Hundreds of sex offenders are being given lenient punishments by British judges despite committing “abhorrent” crimes against children.

According to official figures from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), hundreds of sex offenders have been let off with cautions, despite the law saying they should face jail sentences of up to 14 years.

According to the MoJ, there were 7,057 cautions handed to sex offenders in the UK since 2009.

The figures come as authorities investigate allegations of historic child abuse during the 1970s and 1980s, including a suspected elite pedophile ring consisting of serving British politicians.

Philip Davies, the Tory MP who disclosed the figures, said sex offenders were not “feeling the full force of the law” adding, “It is completely unacceptable to give cautions for sexual activity with children under the age of 13.”

Tánaiste welcomes establishment of inquiry into Mother and Baby homes

IRELAND
Newstalk

The Tánaiste has welcomed the establishment of an investigation into Mother and Baby homes.

Joan Burton was speaking in the Dáil tonight on a motion on the Draft Order for the Commission of investigation.

She said today is another step in a process of blowing away the locked doors to Hidden Ireland.

Magdalene women to get special medical card

IRELAND
RTE News

The Government is to give effect to Judge John Quirke's recommendation that the special medical card be awarded to survivors of Magdalene Laundries and similar institutions.

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said that under legislation before the House, the Magdalene women would receive medical services equivalent to those provided to the holders of the unique Health Amendment Act Card for victims of Hepatitis C contracted from blood products.

The minister was speaking on the second stage of the Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill 2014.

Fianna Fáil Justice Spokesman Niall Collins said the proposals as outlined did not fully reflect those recommended under the Quirke scheme, which included full pension rights and an enhanced medical card.

He said this was a shame and a lost opportunity, given the indefinite incarceration and grave breach of the human rights of the women involved.

In their own words....

AUSTRALIA
Manny Waks

In their own words....

27/1/2015

The following are statements that have been attributed to some key figures within the Jewish community (or about them) - both within Australia and globally.

Rabbi Manis Friedman
· Senior Chabad official
· World-renowned author, lecturer and philosopher; and co-founder of Bais Chana Institute of Jewish Studies in Minnesota
· Served as simultaneous translator for the live televised talks by the late Lubavitcher Rebbe

"Do I have to tell that I was molested? Do you have to tell that you once had diarrhoea? It's embarrassing, but nobody's business."
1 February 2013

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
· Prominent rabbi, author, TV personality

In responding to allegations of child sexual abuse directed at his friend Alan Dershowitz:

‘Rather my purpose is to ask, Where are the Jewish leaders to rise to Mr. Dershowitz’s defense?

Here is a man of sterling character who has been a champion of the Jewish people and Israel his entire life. He is America’s best-known defender of Israel.’
5 January 2015

Case Study 22, February 2015, Melbourne

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Royal Commission will hold a public hearing in Melbourne from Monday 2 February 2015. The hearing will examine the response of Yeshivah Melbourne and Yeshiva Bondi to allegations of child sexual abuse.

Live streaming times
The public hearing will be streamed live via this website between 10am and 4pm (AEDT), with the following break: 12:00pm – 12:30pm.

Join us on Twitter and Facebook for regular updates.

Please be aware that the content of the public hearings can be distressing for viewers. Visit support services to find services near you, or for immediate support call the Royal Commission on 1800 099 340 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

Location
The hearing will be held at: County Court of Victoria, 250 William Street, Melbourne 3000.

The scope and purpose of the public hearing is to inquire into:
1. The response of the Yeshivah Centre and the Yeshivah College in Melbourne to allegations of child sexual abuse made against David Cyprys, David Kramer and Aaron Kestecher.
2. The response of the Yeshiva Centre and the Yeshiva College Bondi to allegations of child sexual abuse made against Daniel Hayman.
3. The systems, policies, practices and procedures for the reporting of and responding to allegations of child sexual abuse of:
a. Yeshivah Centre,
b. Yeshivah-Beth Rivkah Colleges,
c. The Yeshiva Centre - Chabad NSW, and
d. Yeshiva College Bondi.
4. Any other related matters.

Assignment Record – Rev. William Andrew Christensen, s.m.

UNITED STATES/BANGLADESH
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: William Andrew Christensen was ordained a priest of the Society of Mary (Marianists) in 1973. He taught for a few years at Chaminade Prep in Creve Coeur MO. At some point in the late 1970s Christensen left the US, doing economic development work in Nepal and India before settling in Bangladesh in 1986. In a 2002 lawsuit Christensen was accused of sexually abusing a male Chaminade student from 1973 to 1975. The former student died of cancer in 2008, before the suit could be resolved. His family later received a settlement. More accusations surfaced in 2007, this time by a human rights activist in Bangladesh who said Christensen sexually abused at least 30 boys there, ages 12 to 18. Christensen denied the accusations and sued the activist. In October 2010 he was informed by the Vatican that he had been laicized. Christensen appealed the laicization, and the Marianists allowed him to remain in the order pending the appeal. In January 2015 he appears to remain a Marianist priest.

Ordained: 1973

NY--Cardinal Dolan again acts secretively with predator priest

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 28

Statement by Mary Caplan of New York City, SNAP Leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 917 439 4187, mcaplan682@aol.com )

Once again, Cardinal Tim Dolan refuses to tell the public about a credibly accused predator priest. Shame on him. And shame on the rest of the US Catholic hierarchy for refusing to blast him for breaking church abuse policy.

[Poughkeepsie Journal]

We know about the credible child sex allegations against Fr. Peter Kihm only because one Catholic shared a letter he got from church officials about those serious accusations. All Catholic bishops have pledged to be “open and transparent” about pedophile priest cases. Most bishops send out news releases when accused priests are suspended. But Dolan rarely does. He’s among the most secretive bishops in the US when it comes to kids’ safety and abuse charges.

Kihm was removed as priest at the Good Shepherd Church in Rhinebeck on Jan. 19. He also worked at a high school.

Fr. Kihm’s ouster bringing the total of publicly accused archdiocesan clerics to 69, according to BishopAccountability.org). If Dolan won’t be transparent, the least he can do is do real outreach. So we call on Dolan to break with his long-standing pattern of doing the bare minimum in these cases. Starting this Sunday, he should personally visit each church where the alleged child molesting cleric worked, begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police immediately.

And we urge anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in the archdiocese – by Fr. Kihm or others – to protect kids and expose predators by calling law enforcement officials, not church officials.

[SNAP]

Dioceses of New Ulm, Duluth Ordered to Turn Over Documents

MINNESOTA
KAAL

By: Jennie Olson

The Diocese of New Ulm, the Diocese of Duluth, and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate were ordered to produce all records regarding reported sexual abuse committed by any priest before 1978.

It’s the first time the documents will be turned over. A Ramsey County judge made the ruling as part of a lawsuit filed by “Doe 30,” who claimed to be sexually abused by the Rev. J. Vincent Fitzgerald, an Oblate priest.

The victim says he met Fitzgerald at St. Thomas More Church in the Diocese of New Ulm. The victim says Fitzgerald brought him to St. Catherine’s Church in the Diocese of Duluth and molested him.

Lawyer Jeff Anderson says the documents will offer “a clearer picture of the defendants’ practices regarding abusive priests.”

VT--Victims want VT bishop to do "aggressive outreach"

VERMONT
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 28

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

We call on Vermont’s new Catholic bishop – holding his first public event in Vermont tonight - to use his widely-touted social media skills and his vast diocesan resources to seek out adults who were sexually abused as kids by clergy.

Coyne “plans to ask each pastor to check old parish census records and lists of current community members to see if some of the elderly dropped out due to an inability to get to church,” reports the Free Press.

[Burlington Free Press]

Why do Catholic officials never do this kind of outreach to find and help clergy sex abuse victims, most of whom never reveal their suffering and remain trapped, for life, in shame, silence, confusion and self–blame?

There are at least 15 publicly accused child molesting Vermont Catholic clerics (see BishopAccountability.org). History, psychology, common sense and our experience all strongly suggest that this fact mean there are dozens or even hundreds of boys and girls who were sexually assaulted in Vermont. We also strongly suspect that only a minority of these wounded individuals have gotten or are getting professional help. In the 25 years our group has been around, we’ve seen and heard from thousands of adult victims who are agoraphobic or in prison or homeless, who self-medicate with drugs, sex, liquor, or work, or who can’t imagine sharing their burdens with spouses or friends.

We’ve also seen hundreds of them finally break their silence when prodded to do so by an authority figure – secular or religious – or by friends and family.

We challenge Bishop Christophe Coyne to launch an aggressive outreach campaign like this and show that he takes the church’s on-going clergy sex abuse and cover up crisis – and Jesus’ parable of the lost sheep - seriously.

Has Ex-Pope Benedict “Lost It”, Some Ask – What’s Up, Doc?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

While Pope Francis seems very concerned about “breeding rabbits”, a new controversy has me thinking of Bugs Bunny’s famous question, “What’s Up, Doc?”. Specifically, what is the interrelationship between elderly popes’ mental health and papal infallibility ?

Informed Catholic readers are stirring up a controversy over ex-Pope Benedict’s current mental capacity in comments to an unrelated National Catholic Reporter (NCR) article about a new ban on altar girls here

[National Catholic Reporter]

These NCR comments were triggered by the ex-Pope’s latest re-writing of history, his own on the subject of remarried Catholics and communion, as described in my remarks here Pope Francis vs. Shadow, Pope Benedict — Who is Infallible and at [Commonweal]. This controversy also raises sharply Fr. Hans Kung’s recent warning to Pope Francis here [Huffington Post] about having a Shadow Pope living at the Vatican, with his ambitious personal “convent mate”, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, also serving as head of the papal household under Francis.

The single most pernicious ideological obstacle a billion Catholics face, in my view, is modern popes’ unrelenting drive to protect their self interested myth of personal infallibility. This myth overwhelms all contrary historical and scientific evidence and even human decency on so many issues and unnecessarily harms millions of women, children, couples, gay folks, divorced and remarried, et al..

*********************************************

A sample of these NCR comments follow in italics:

I came to NCR this evening very angry over a story in Commonweal about B16, and I ran it this altar girl insanity! My anger has become visceral rage. Apologizing in advance, I am going to step totally off topic (although “outrage” is a common factor), and rant about B16.

If not dementia, then it’s FEAR of something.

When you will no longer allow your younger self to be your younger self, you have taken censorship to an inhuman degree.

I would consider this a form of intellectual self-harm, and say the best thing we can do is pray for his recovery. The sad thing is that he thinks it makes sense to censor Truth for the good of the Church- what kind of ecclesiology is that?

Spanish Judge Charges Ten Catholic Priests With Child Sex Abuse

SPAIN
VICE News

By Donato Paolo Mancini

January 28, 2015

A judge in the southern Spanish city of Granada has charged ten Roman Catholic priests and two laypeople with alleged sexual offences involving four underage boys, in a case which has drawn the personal intervention of Pope Francis.

Antonio Moreno Marín, investigating magistrate at the Fourth Court of Granada, released a five-page statement alleging that, from 2004 to 2007, an altar boy suffered unwanted sexual acts at the hands of a priest named as Roman M. V. C, the purported ringleader, in which the other accused also participated. The Spanish daily El Pais named the alleged leader as Román Martínez, one of four people who were arrested in November and released on bail.

The investigation began after the now 24-year old wrote a letter to Pope Francis detailing the alleged abuse, prompting the pontiff to personally phone him and order action by the Archdiocese of Granada. The group of twelve, labeled "the Clan of the Romanones" by the Spanish press, have also been charged with offences against a second boy, while two other victims have provided witness testimony. All of them were underage at the time of the alleged crimes, which were said to have taken place at two houses used by the priests.

After the Pope's phone call to the former alter boy, the Archbishop of Granada, Francisco Javier Martinez, prostrated himself along with other priests in front of the altar of the city's cathedral to ask forgiveness for sexual abuse by Catholic clergy. All of the accused priests have been removed from their duties.

MN--Victims applaud judge's ruling on New Ulm abuse

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 28

Statement by Frank Meuers of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 952-334-5180, frankameuers@gmail.com )

We call on New Ulm’s Catholic bishop to promptly and thoroughly comply with a new court order to turn over records about pedophile priests.

We are grateful to the brave victim who is using the civil justice system to get names of dangerous child molesters made public. If kids are to be safer, police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners and the public must know who is committing and concealing heinous crimes against kids.

This disclosure will protect kids now and in the future, by deterring cover ups of child sex crimes. We are glad this judge ruled in favor of kids and safety and against corrupt adults and their reputations.

Beyond that, we call on New Ulm church officials to use their vast diocesan resources to seek out adults who were sexually abused as kids by clergy

Decades from now, we predict that our society will look back aghast at how much secrecy surrounding clergy sex crimes that we tolerate.

We hope this legal victory for kids and victims will prod others who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to call police, expose wrongdoers, protect others, and start healing.

Judge Orders Diocese of New Ulm, Diocese of Duluth and Oblates ...

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Judge Orders Diocese of New Ulm, Diocese of Duluth and Oblates to Produce All Records on All Reported Clergy Sexual Abuse from before 1978

First time Diocese of New Ulm, Diocese of Duluth and Oblates’ Secret Documents Will Be Turned Over

(St. Paul, MN) – Ramsey County District Court Judge John H. Guthmann Tuesday ordered the Defendants in the Doe 30 lawsuit to produce all records pertaining to sexual abuse reported to have been committed by any priest before 1978. The secret documents will be produced to Doe 30 under seal as a result of a protective order previously obtained by the Defendants.

The documents will provide a clearer picture of the Defendants’ practices regarding abusive priests. The Defendants – the Diocese of New Ulm, the Diocese of Duluth and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate – have refused to provide these documents to Doe 30. The Diocese of New Ulm is the only Minnesota diocese that has refused to release a list of credibly accused priests. The Diocese of Duluth has released a list but has refused to publicly release related documents.

“Defendants finally have to disclose to Plaintiff what they knew about abusive priests, when they knew it and how they responded,” said Jeff Anderson, attorney for Doe 30. “We again urge them to publicly disclose this information. Only through full, public disclosure will there be transparency, justice and healing for survivors.”

Doe 30 was sexually abused by Father J. Vincent Fitzgerald, an Oblate priest he met as a young parishioner at St. Thomas More Church, in the Diocese of New Ulm. Fitzgerald brought Doe 30 to St. Catherine’s Church in Squaw Lake, Minn., in the Diocese of Duluth, where he molested Doe 30. Doe 19, another man molested by Fitzgerald as a child, has filed suit against the Diocese of Crookston and the Oblates in Manhomen County District Court. Fitzgerald sexually abused Doe 19 at St. Ann’s Parish in Naytawaush, Minn. on the White Earth Indian Reservation.

Judge Guthmann’s Order requires the New Ulm and Duluth Dioceses to produce the documents by February 17, 2015, and the Oblates to produce their documents by March 27, 2015.

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Office/651.318.2650 Cell/612.817.8665
Mike Finnegan: Office/651.318.2650 Cell/612.205.5531

NY--Bishop is 'coldhearted bureaucrat'

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Jan. 28

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

Another credibly accused predator priest has been exposed.

Shame on Bishop Robert Malone for keeping secret about the allegations against Fr. Linus Hennessy. Buffalo parishioners, parents, police and prosecutors should be asking “How many other proven, admitted or credibly accused pedophile priests is Malone covering up for now?”

(There are now 17 publicly accused child molesting Buffalo Catholic clerics. See BishopAccountability.org)

And because of his response to two brave child sex abuse victims, Malone should change his title to “the Buffalo diocese cold-hearted CEO” or “the Buffalo Catholic diocesan top bureaucrat.”

[Buffalo News]

His words and actions reveal Malone to be anything but pastoral. He claims him and his church colleagues complied with church abuse guidelines. Even if that’s true, it’s irrelevant.

The issue here is “What actions would be just and compassionate?” not “What actions does one powerful prelate unilaterally deem ‘in compliance’ with vague, self-serving church policies written by complicit church officials who have concealed - and are still concealing – heinous crimes against children.”

Listen to his what Malone said yesterday: ““These cases were handled in accordance with the policies and procedures enacted by our diocese and consistent with the Charter for The Protection of Children and Young People.”

Can you imagine Jesus, or for that matter Pope Francis, using this kind of bureaucrat-speak? At the very least, Malone should have admitted that the allegations against Fr. Hennessy are credible and begged anyone hurt by any church employee to call police. Instead, he ducked and dodged like a politician who had been well-rehearsed by public relations professionals. Shame on him.

Roughly 30 US bishops have posted on their websites the names of predator priests. It’s the quickest, best and cheapest way to protect kids: by letting the public know who these potentially dangerous pedophiles are.

[BishopAccountability.org]

But Malone refuses to do this. Six of his brother bishops in New York refuse as well. Only the Rochester diocese has taken this “bare minimum” step towards greater safety.

[BishopAccountability.org]

Our hearts go out to Vanessa DeRosa and Antonio Flores. Their bravery, compassion and persistence stand in stark contrast to Malone’s cowardice, callousness and selfishness.

We hope the courage of Vanessa and Antonio will prod others who were hurt by Buffalo Catholic employees to step up, speak out, expose predators, protect kids, deter cover ups and start healing.

Spain--The clergy sex abuse scandal plaguing Granada

SPAIN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Pope must immediately fire archbishop.

Statement by Miguel Hurtado of London (UK), Spokesperson of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

( +44 (0)7 787 63 82 45 Michael.uk.1982@gmail.com )

Ten priests have been charged for either child abuse or covering up the crime in the biggest clergy sex abuse case in Spain’s history. So far four courageous victims have come forward. We fear that the number could be significantly higher.

[BBC News]

The response by Granada’s Archbishop, Francisco Javier Martínez has been deeply concerning. He has only suspended the three priests directly accused of child abuse. His refusal to suspend the seven priests charged for covering up the crime sends the appalling message that enabling, tolerating, cooperating and covering up child rape is acceptable behavior that should not be punished.

Pope Francis has been praised for significant reforms in Church finances and governance. Unfortunately no such progress has been made in holding accountable Church officials who enable child rape. Fairly or not, his lack of action gives the impression that the Vatican is more concerned about its financial well being than children’s welfare.

The judge in the case has made it clear that covering up child rape is a despicable crime. Pope Francis should send the message that this behavior is not going to be tolerated in his Church by immediately firing Granada’s Archbishop. After all, Christ’s Church should bring lightness to the world and not darkness. As long as men like Martinez continue to hold powerful posts, clergy sex rape will continue to flourish in the Church.

Dutchess priest suspended in decades-old sexual abuse allegation

NEW YORK
Poughkeepsie Journal

[with copy of a letter from the Vicar for Clergy]

Nina Schutzman, Poughkeepsie Journal January 28, 2015

A longtime Dutchess County priest has been suspended by the Archdiocese of New York because of 30-year-old sexual abuse allegations recently brought to authorities, confirmed Joseph Zwilling, the Archdiocese director of communications. But the Rev. Peter Kihm denies the accusations.

Kihm was removed as priest at the Good Shepherd Church in Rhinebeck on Jan. 19, Zwilling said, saying the suspension falls under archdiocese policy after such accusations.

Kihm, who could not be reached for comment, denied the allegations, according to a statement from the archdiocese Rev. Gerald Walsh.

Notice was sent to all of the parishes with which "Kihm was associated," including Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Poughkeepsie, where Kihm served on the faculty from 1987 to 1992, Zwilling said.

"The archdiocese has received a credible allegation that, approximately 30 years ago, Father Peter Kihm committed acts of sexual abuse against a minor," according to Walsh's statement, which Walsh sent to Lourdes.

Bail Revoked for Pastor Convicted of Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK
TWC News

ALBION, N.Y. -- A former Orleans County pastor is now in jail after his bail was revoked. The Orleans County Jail confirms 71-year-old Roy Harringer, who was convicted on two counts of sexual conduct against a child Monday, is back in custody.

Harriger was found guilty of sexually abusing two children under the age of ten between 2001 and 2002.

He was serving as a pastor at Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville at the time

Bail revoked for pastor convicted of child sex abuse

NEW YORK
Buffalo News

ALBION – The Rev. Roy D. Harriger Sr., 71, was taken into custody at the Orleans County Jail here Tuesday afternoon after his $250,000 pre-sentencing bail was revoked.

Harriger, who was convicted Monday by an Orleans County Court jury of two counts of first-degree course of sexual conduct (sodomy) for molesting a girl and a boy between 2000 and 2002 faces up to 50 years in jail when he is sentenced by Orleans County Judge James P. Punch April 6.

Harriger, currently pastor of Community Fellowship Church in Middleport, had been allowed to remain free by the judge Monday. Neither the judge nor Orleans County District Attorney Joseph V. Cardone would be reached to comment on the bail revocation Tuesday evening, but spokesmen at the county jail confirmed that Harriger arrived at the jail Tuesday afternoon and will remain jailed without bail pending sentencing. He was convicted of molesting the two children while he was pastor of the Ashwood Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville. He was indicted last year on three charges of sexual conduct against a child, three counts of incest and three misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child.

Conspiracy of silence that shields...

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Conspiracy of silence that shields Tory Kincora paedophile a symptom of State's sordid double deals

28 January 2015

Will we ever get to know the identity of the Tory MP who, during the 1970s, was a frequent visitor to the Kincora Boys' Home in Belfast?

With only a few days left before the deadline expires on confidential documents and other material relating to the Kincora scandal reaching the Northern Ireland Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry, there is increasing doubt that we will ever find out the name of this alleged Conservative child-sex tourist.

Liam Clarke's exclusive - reported in the Belfast Telegraph last week and based on the testimony of two police officers who investigated Kincora - contained a number of intriguing and disturbing elements.

He revealed the deadline of January 31 as the cut-off point for all the files arriving on the desk of the inquiry's chairman, Sir Anthony Hart.

Rabbis respond to Fairfax quotes

AUSTRALIA
J-Wire

January 28, 2015 by J-Wire Staff

The Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia (ORA) is deeply concerned about comments attributed to criminal lawyer Alex Lewenberg which have appeared in The Age and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers.

(“Jewish sex abuse victims pressured” 28/01/15).

The Fairfax Media reports that a legally made recording of a telephone conversation between Lewenberg and Melbourne convicted sex offender David Cyprys is told that he should not have co-operated with police.

“Victims of abuse are to be encouraged and supported to disclose and assist the police with investigations into Child Sexual Abuse,” said ORA President, Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant.

Ex-priest stole millions for sex parties

NORWAY
The Sun Daily

Posted on 28 January 2015

OSLO: A former Norwegian priest admitted to embezzling about 15 million kroner (RM6.8 million) from a welfare foundation to spend on lavish parties with prostitutes in Spain.

"It was totally out of control, the size of the sum shows that," Are Blomhoff told the district court in Drammen, Norway.

Blomhoff said there was nothing left of the money he embezzled over a seven-year period when asked by the judge, the online edition of Bergens Tidende reported.

The case came to light in 2013.

La cara oculta del padre Donoso

ESPANA
El Pais

[The hidden face of Father Donoso]

JOAQUÍN GIL

Cuando el exseminarista Francisco J. se enteró de que el cura José Donoso Fernández oficiaba misas en Mengabril (Badajoz), marcó el teléfono de su minúsculo Ayuntamiento: “Tened cuidado. A mí me puso la mano en la entrepierna. Y, cuando se la retiré, comenzó a maltratarme”, advirtió el confidente con la voz rota.

El concejal de Asuntos Sociales, Jesús Gordillo, recibió esta llamada de una hora y media de duración en septiembre de 2011. “Nos alertó sobre todo lo que podía pasar”, reconoce por primera vez este edil del PP. Hoy, se siente impotente por no haber podido acumular pruebas contra el clérigo investigado por presuntos abusos sexuales a un niño de 12 años. El cura está en libertad desde la pasada semana, pero tiene una orden de alejamiento del menor de 100 metros.

Katholische Kirche: Spanische Priester wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs angeklagt

SPANIEN
Spiegel

Granada - Zehn spanische Priester sind in der südspanischen Stadt Granada wegen sexuellen Missbrauchs angeklagt worden. Sie sollen sich vor zehn Jahren mehrfach an einem minderjährigen Messdiener vergangen haben. Der Fall war vor Monaten bekannt geworden, als das heute 24 Jahre alte Opfer einen fünf Seiten lang Brief an Papst Franziskus schrieb, in dem es sich offenbarte. Franziskus soll den Erzbischof von Granada anschließend angehalten haben, dem Fall nachzugehen. Seit vergangenem November laufen die Ermittlungen.

Die Übergriffe sollen sich vor etwa zehn Jahren in der Kirchengemeinde Juan María de Vianneimeno in Granada ereignet haben. Laut der spanischen Tageszeitung "El País" habe alles damit begonnen, dass ein Pfarrer den damals 14-Jährigen und einen Freund zu sich nach Hause eingeladen habe. Darüber habe sich das Opfer nicht gewundert, da es seit der Kindheit als Messdiener in der katholischen Kirche mitgewirkt hatte und den Geistlichen vertraute.

Falls native asking pope to investigate diocese sex abuse complaints

NEW YORK
Nigara Gazette

By Philip Gambini philip.gambini@niagara-gazette.com

AMHERST — A Niagara Falls native and a Buffalo resident who allege their abuse claims were mishandled by the Buffalo Diocese have appealed to Pope Francis to begin a papal investigation.

In a Tuesday press conference delivered from the law offices of HoganWillig, attorney Diane Tiveron sat between Niagara Falls resident Vanessa DeRosa and Antonio “Tino” Flores of Buffalo and called for Pope Francis to investigate the diocese’s handling of their complaints and others in the region.

DeRosa and Flores have also dispatched a letter to the Vatican and asked to meet with Francis during his September visit to the United States.

“Our stories of abuse and neglect by the Church are different yet similar, and we have united in our desire for closure and peace,” the two wrote in the jointly signed letter.

Extending an Olive Branch?

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

01/27/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

Throughout the day today several people have contacted me regarding the most recent bulletin of Saint Olaf's parish in Minneapolis, and in particular the pastor's column. If you have not read it, you can access the bulletin by clicking here.

Father Patrick Kennedy, the author, has a unique perspective on the situation in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. First, his parish shares a skyway with the law firm of Greene Espel, which was the firm originally selected to complete the investigation into the conduct of Archbishop Nienstedt (it appears that the Archdiocese subsequently removed Greene Espel from this assignment). Second, his father, Alois Daniel Kennedy, was a founding partner of the law firm of Meier, Kennedy, & Quinn, which until recently represented the Archdiocese in every lawsuit involving allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. Finally, he is recently returned from a sojourn assignment in the Diocese of Tucson, a diocese that went through a very successful Chapter 11 process under the leadership of Bishop Gerald Kicanas.

Materials from the 'reorganization meetings'

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

[with documents]

01/27/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

For all of you who were not invited to attend the bankruptcy meetings that are being held this week in three locations around the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, I am attaching the handouts below. From the looks of it, you didn't miss much.

A spiritual leader’s fall from grace

MARYLAND
Baltimore Brew

Fern Shen and Mark Reutter January 27, 2015

They are not totally silent, the people who knew Heather Cook before December 27 – the terrible day when, texting and severely intoxicated, the Episcopal bishop plowed into a bicyclist pedaling along a Baltimore bike lane and killed him.

Online and in conversations with The Brew, they wrestle with how Cook’s actions that day – in particular, fleeing from the scene of the crash – square with the warm, empathetic, down-to-earth person they knew her to be.

“She’s good people,” said Rev. John Morris, in an online forum, recalling Cook from her days as the rector in charge of a suburban parish in York, Pa.

She was funny and smart, said a woman who knew Cook during her tenure at a Bedford, N.Y., parish in the early 1990s. Looking at her arrest photo posted on the Internet, this person said she wasn’t able to reconcile that image with the Heather Cook she knew.

But these friends, colleagues and members of her family are reluctant to speak out publicly. Morris declined to respond to a reporter’s phone messages. So did a former classmate at St. Paul’s School in Baltimore County, where Cook and her five siblings went to school.

James Reilly changes inquiry scope after TD’s case excluded

IRELAND
Irish Times

Fiach Kelly

Minister for Children Dr James Reilly has made a last-minute change to the terms of reference of the mother and baby homes inquiry after it was discovered a TD who had highlighted the issue would be excluded from its remit.

The terms of reference were discussed by Ministers at their weekly meeting.

Amendments were made afterwards in the commission of investigation’s definition of single women. The definition now includes widows and married women living separately from their husbands.

It is understood Labour Ministers made their concerns known because a case involving one of their backbench TDs would have been excluded.

Wicklow TD Anne Ferris made an emotional contribution to the Dáil on the issue last summer, and also spoke about her case in the media.

Buffalo Bishop says procedures were followed in sex abuse cases

NEW YORK
WIVB

By Rich Newberg, News 4 Senior Correspondent
Published: January 27, 2015

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone says he was “deeply saddened” to hear of newly released reports of sexual abuse in the Buffalo Catholic Diocese.

While the two alleged victims went public with their complaints on Tuesday, the incidents they reported dated back to 1973 and 2002, before Malone’s tenure in Buffalo.

“These cases were handled in accordance with the policies and procedures enacted by our diocese and consistent with the Charter for The Protection of Children and Young People,” Malone said after reviewing the cases.

However, Vanessa DeRosa and Antonio “Tino” Flores don’t agree with that assessment. They want Pope Francis to investigate the way the Diocese handled their cases. If the pope agrees, their attorneys say it would be the first U.S. cases of such abuse investigated by the Vatican. They are hoping to meet with the pope when he visits the U.S. in September.

New York laws require people who allege they were abused as minors to come forward by age 23, so the statute of limitations for reparations has expired,

January 27, 2015

Pope Francis vs. Shadow Pope Benedict — Who is Infallible ?

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Hans Kung, who has known ex-Pope Benedict well for over a half century, warned Pope Francis about Pope Benedict’s remaining in his Vatican convent, noting that “Pope Benedict Will Be A ‘Shadow Pope’ “, see here,

[Huffington Post]

Archbishop George Gänswein, the ex-Pope’s personal “convent mate”, as reported recently by Crux, publicly expressed regret over specific cases in which Vatican spokesmen have had to issue clarifications about things his boss, Pope Francis, has said or done.

Now comes the “bomb”. In a new and significant Commonweal article by William McDonough, a theology professor, entitled “Right the First Time — Benedict XVI on Communion for the Remarried“, see here,

[Commonweal]

it is being reported that a very important moral issue for Pope Francis (and his theological adviser, Cardinal Walter Kasper, who was a longtime intellectual rival of the ex-Pope’s and former assistant to Fr. Kung) has been put in play by the ex-Pope. The matter is communion for divorced and remarried Catholics.

This is also a “big money” issue for top German Cardinal Reinhard Marx and other German bishops, who stand to lose at least some of their annual $6 billion governmental subsidy over an unsatisfactory resolution of this issue.

Both popes are already looking quite “fallible” over their mishandling of the contraception ban and the priest child abuse scandal, among other missteps, as discussed in my “Pope Francis Is Still Failing Too Many Abused & Abandoned Children, No?‏”.

Now this. Which pope is infallible here? Did Pope Benedict, a long time theology professor, lose his “infallible power” when he walked across the Vatican campus to his well renovated convent? Did non-theologian Francis receive a “cranial infallibility” implant when the papal crown was put on his head? Who is the real Papal Wizard now? Are they both serious about preserving the myth of papal infallibility? Will they now both infallibly declare the “principle of contradiction” to be false?

Ex-housemaster guilty of sexually abusing boys at Westminster Cathedral Choir School

UNITED KINGDOM
London Evening Standard

A former housemaster at a prestigious Catholic private school in London has been found guilty of sexually abusing pupils there in the 1970s and 1980s.

David Lowe, 61, abused the children as they slept in their dormitory beds at Westminster Cathedral Choir School.

He also targeted his ten victims - who cannot be named for legal reasons - during singing lessons.

Southwark Crown Court heard he left sweets and treats in the lockers of those who were part of his "special group".

A jury found Lowe guilty of 15 counts of indecent assault on a boy aged under 14 years old today after about nine hours of deliberations.

School master guilty of child abuse and told he'll be jailed

UNITED KINGDOM
Gazette & Herald

A SCHOOL master who molested ten boys, including at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire, has been found guilty and is facing jail.

David Lowe, 61, put pupils through years of sexual abuse while teaching at two of the country's most prestigious boarding schools.

Married Lowe carried out the attacks as boys slept in their dormitories, during piano lessons and even in a sick bay.

Lowe, of Charlotte Street South in Bristol, sexually assaulted six boys at Westminster Cathedral Choir School and four at Ampleforth College in Ryedale - between 1978 and 1984.

Judge David Beddoe bailed Lowe ahead of sentence on February 5 and warned him: 'It is inevitable that you will receive immediate sentences of imprisonment for the offences that you now stand convicted of."

Housemaster at Westminster Cathedral Choir School ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

Housemaster at Westminster Cathedral Choir School guilty of molesting ten boys including chorister who sang at his wedding

A former housemaster at a leading Catholic public school has been found guilty of a string of historic sex assaults on young boys, including a chorister who sang at his wedding.

David Lowe, 61, who taught English and music, was today convicted of abusing six boys aged under 14 while teaching at Westminster Cathedral Choir School in London in the 1970s and 1980s.

The married teacher, who now lives in Bristol, was also found guilty of indecently assaulting four boys while working at Ampleforth College in North Yorkshire – one of the country's leading Catholic public schools where boarding fees are currently more than £31,000 a year.

A jury of seven men and five women at Southwark Crown Court took around nine-and-a-half hours to convict the Cambridge English graduate of 15 counts of indecent assault against 10 young boys between 1978 and 1984.

Housemaster at Westminster Cathedral Choir school found guilty of sex assaults on ten boys

UNITED KINGDOM
International Business Times

By Fiona Keating
January 27, 2015

David Lowe, an ex-teacher at a Catholic public school was found guilty of historic sexual assaults on young boys in his care, including a choir boy who sang at his wedding.

English and music teacher at Westminster Cathedral Choir School, was convicted on Monday of abusing six boys under the age of 14 during the 1970s and 1980s.

The 61-year-old was also found guilty of indecently assaulting four boys during his time at Ampleforth College in Yorkshire.

A jury at Southwark Crown Court took nine-and-a-half hours to reach a guilty verdict of Lowe on 15 counts of indecent assault against 10 boys during 1978 – 1984.

The court heard evidence of how Lowe indecently assaulted some of the young boys in Westminster as they lay sleeping in communal dormitories.

2 ask pope to investigate their diocese sex abuse complaints

NEW YORK
The Jakarta Post

Carolyn Thompson, The Associated Press, Amherst, New York | World | Wed, January 28 2015

A woman who says she was groped by a teacher when she was a Catholic school cheerleader and a man who says a priest abused him beginning when he was 10 are asking Pope Francis to investigate the way a diocese handled their sexual-abuse complaints.

They also are seeking a meeting with the pope when he visits the United States in September and a change in state law to suspend or lift the statute of limitations that's preventing them from taking civil action against the Diocese of Buffalo or its former employees.

"These were horrible cases, and there's nowhere to go," the accusers' attorney, Diane Tiveron, said during a news conference with them on Tuesday.

Vanessa DeRosa said she was repeatedly chased and groped by a teacher in 2002-03, when she was about 12 or 13.

But school officials did not believe her story, she said, and never reported the abuse to police.

Priest, Catholic Church hid dark secret, victims group says

FLORIDA
Tampa Tribune

By Elaine Silvestrini | Tribune Staff
Published: January 27, 2015

TAMPA — The Rev. Innocente Clementi died in 1999 at the age of 78.

While many remembered him for his love of music, others say he took a dark secret to the grave.

On Tuesday, an organization dedicated to exposing sexual abuse by priests sought to shed light on what organizers said were Clementi’s victims at Mary Help of Christians School in East Lake. The school closed in 2006, 74 years after it opened its doors as a boarding school for troubled boys. By the time the school closed, it was a coeducational day school.

The Eastern U.S. Province of the Salesian Society, the religious order that operated the school, faced several lawsuits alleging abuse. At least one suit settled in 2008.

On Tuesday, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said Catholic officials quietly settled another claim by a former child victim of Clementi. And another man, a retired police officer, says he was abused by Clementi and has contacted SNAP, the organization says.

Spain charges priests with child sex abuse

SPAIN
Business Standard

IANS | Madrid January 28, 2015

A judge in the southern Spanish city of Granada has charged 10 Roman Catholic priests and two Catholic lay workers with child sex abuse.

The 12 are suspected of abusing four teenage boys between 2004 and 2007, the most serious offences occurring in a house used by the priests, BBC reported.

Pope Francis telephoned one of the alleged victims, now 24, in November to offer his apologies.

He acted after the man wrote him a letter about the alleged abuse.

The pontiff, who has pledged zero tolerance of child sex abuse, then ordered a Church investigation.

Several arrests were made in November but the suspects are now free on bail.

Right the First Time

UNITED STATES
Commonweal

William McDonough

In recent years Pope Benedict XVI has been overseeing the publication of his opera omnia, or collected works. Assisted by the current prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Benedict is republishing, under the name Joseph Ratzinger, all his theological writings, nine volumes of which have been issued so far (in German, by Verlag Herder). The most recent volume contains a 1972 essay, on the indissolubility of marriage, whose conclusion Benedict has seen fit to rewrite. The original essay, written when Ratzinger was a forty-five-year-old professor of theology at Regensburg, had proposed that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics be allowed to return to Communion in some circumstances. In an important change, that proposal is conspicuously missing from the newly rewritten conclusion.

The original conclusion acknowledged both that the church is “of the New Covenant” and that it remains “in a world in which there continues to exist unchanged ‘the hardness of heart’ (Matthew 19:8)” of prior times. And so church practice “must begin in the concrete”—taking into account the damage done, even by the church itself, through such “hardness of heart.” Specifically, with regard to Scripture’s clear teaching on the indissolubility of marriage, Ratzinger in 1972 concluded that, in some second marriages, it would be “immoral” to demand separation as a condition for allowing the spouses to return to Communion. “When the second marriage produces moral obligations with regard to the children, the family, and even the wife and there are no analogous obligations stemming from the first marriage,” Ratzinger wrote, “openness to eucharistic Communion, after a trial period, certainly seems to be just and fully in line with the tradition of the church.”

Judge in Spain charges 10 priests with child sex abuse

SPAIN
BBC News

A judge in the southern Spanish city of Granada has charged 10 Roman Catholic priests and two Catholic lay workers with child sex abuse.

The 12 are suspected of abusing four teenage boys between 2004 and 2007, the most serious offences occurring in a house used by the priests.

Pope Francis telephoned one of the alleged victims, now 24, in November to offer his apologies.

The pontiff, who has pledged zero tolerance of child sex abuse, then ordered a Church investigation.

Several arrests were made in November but the suspects are now free on bail.

Abuse survivors and former offenders work together to shape research

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Catholic News

Posted: Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Survivors of clerical sexual abuse and former clergy offenders have worked together for the first time at a ground-breaking meeting in Durham, held last week (21 - 23 January) at Ushaw College.

Alongside psychologists and lawyers, seminary rectors and theologians from Europe, North America and Australia, they attended a conference organised by Durham University's Centre for Catholic Studies (CCS) and its Project for Spirituality, Theology and Health with the support of the UK Jesuits and Heythrop College, the English Benedictine Congregation, and the Marist Brothers, together with St Patrick's College Maynooth.

Entitled 'Boundary Breaking: The Consequences and Implications of the Sex Abuse Crisis in the Catholic Church', the consultation looked beyond immediate responses to consider how research into both the roots and the effects of the crisis could contribute to creating not only a safer church but also a renewed church.

The approach adopted is multi-disciplinary, asking if there are aspects of Catholic culture that enabled and protected abusers and if some teachings of the Church became distorted in ways that contributed to the problem. Among the areas considered were priestly formation and ongoing support, spirituality and psychology, the dynamics of leadership and organisations.

Among those participating were four members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, recently formed by Pope Francis, which will have its first full meeting in Rome next month. These were Marie Collins, who is a survivor, together with Fr Hans Zollner SJ and Baroness Sheila Hollins, three founding members of the Commission as well as Peter Saunders, founder and CEO of The National Association for People Abused in Childhood, recently appointed to the Commission.

Two victims call for papal investigation into sexual abuse

NEW YORK
WIVB

By Mark Belcher, News 4 Digital Producer
Published: January 27, 2015

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) – Two people who are now adults say they were abused as children are calling for a papal investigation into the handling of their case.

Vanessa DeRosa and Antonio Flores say they’re two New Yorkers who were motivated by Pope Francis’ call to action. Recently Pope Francis called for the church to make reparations to victims of sexual abuse.

Although the two victims have passed their respective statue of limitations, they say in a release through their lawyers, Hogan Willig, that they’re just looking for closure, and to help others.

DeRosa says she was abused as a middle school student in 2002. She was a student of St. Dominic Savio Middle School in Niagara Falls. She says a teacher exposed her to pornography and sexually abused her. The law office says that teacher has since admitted to his guilt in court.

Flores says he was abused when he was just 10-years-old, while living with his family in Buffalo. He said because his mom was a single mom, she asked the Catholic Church for help when she needed help with her sons. He said when a priest became closely involved, he began a five-year string of sexual abuse. Flores said the abuse went from once per week to once per day.

FL--Another Salesian Florida predator priest is outed

FLORIDA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 27

Statement by Dave O’Regan, leader of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (434 446 6769)

We’re here today to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.

For the protection of the vulnerable, we call on Catholic officials in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area to release the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of every proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priest who lives or works or has lived or worked in this area, be be they living or deceased, diocesan or religious order, priest, nun, brother, seminarian or other church worker.

For the healing of the wounded, we call on Catholic officials to both disclose predators’ names and use their vast church resources to aggressively seek out anyone who may have been hurt by these clerics. This includes using pulpit announcements, church bulletins and parish websites.

This morning, we learned that Fr. [Innocente] Clementi is deceased. We’re glad he can’t hurt other kids. But his passing does not relieve Catholic officials of their duty to

---reach out to others he has hurt
---reach out to others hurt by other child molesting clerics, and
---disclose names of other child molesting clerics, especially those who may be living or working among unsuspecting neighbors, friends, relatives and colleagues.

A brave victim told us he’d been sexually abused by Fr. Clementi. He told Salesian Catholic officials about his abuse too. Those Salesian Catholic officials settled a case last year involving Fr. Clementi and a different victim. A local Tampa attorney says he’s heard from other Fr. Clementi victims.

Yet Catholic officials, as they have done for decades, apparently told no one about these credible allegations against Fr. Clementi. The self-serving secrecy that caused the church’s global abuse and cover up crisis remains in force. Despite repeated pledges, over years, to “reform,” Catholic officials continue to put their comfort and reputations above the safety of kids and the healing of victims.

Why is are these action steps we’re proposing important?

Because this is what Catholic officials have repeatedly pledged to do: be “open” about clergy sex cases.

Because parents can better protect their kids if they know who and where the predators are.

Because police and prosecutors can better do their jobs if they have this information.

Because many victims are still suffering in shame, silence and self-blame, and will only find the courage to speak up, expose predators, protect kids and start healing IF they’re prodded to do so by authority figures.

Because even if victims stay silent, their pain is often relieved when their predators are exposed.

Because this is what will make the church, and our society, safer: when the identities and whereabouts of dangerous and potentially dangerous predators are revealed.

We applaud the brave victim who settled a case involving Fr. Clementi last year. We applaud the brave victim who told us about Fr. Clementi recently and who is issuing a statement today. We applaud every single person who takes action to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded.

And we beg every single person who has seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area to speak up now, get independent help, publicly expose predators, help deter cover ups and begin to heal.

NY--Group praises Buffalo victims & blast bishop and lawmakers

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

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

Buffalo Catholic officials should end their secrecy surrounding clergy sex abuse. They should explain why it takes them more than a year to conclude a purported “church investigation” into child sex crimes. And they should “come clean” and disclose the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of every single child molesting cleric who lives or works – or lived or worked – in the diocese, whether alive or deceased, diocesan or religious order, whether priests, nun or seminarian, and whether they are proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesters.

[Buffalo News]

We applaud the courage of Antonio “Tino” Flores and Vanessa DeRosa, the two Buffalo survivors who are speaking up and working for healing prevention and justice. We fear that Catholic officials will continue to cause them pain. We suspect that Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone and his aides will continue putting their own comfort and careers ahead of the safety of kids and the healing of victims. Still, Flores and DeRosa should be praised for their courage and compassion.

When abuse victims stay silent, nothing changes. When we find the strength to speak, at least there’s a chance one child will be spare the horror that we’ve endured.

Finally, we urge New York lawmakers to reform the archaic, arbitrary, predator-friendly statute of limitations that protects those who commit and conceal child sex crimes and re-victimizes those who have suffered such crimes.

Ten priests charged with child abuse in Spain

SPAIN
RTE News

Ten Spanish priests have been charged with child sexual abuse in a case which court documents show was brought after Pope Francis telephoned the victim to offer the church's apology.

The victim, now 24, wrote to the pope to say he had been molested when he was an altar boy.

In November, Spanish news site Religion Digital reported that the pope called the man last August to apologise, and Francis himself later confirmed this.

Francis also said in November that he had ordered an internal church investigation.

Archbishop of Granada Francisco Javier Martinez removed several priests linked to the case from their duties.

The Granada court said the victim claims the abuse began when he was 14 and lasted until he turned 17.

Spain: 10 priests indicted in abuse case of interest to pope

SPAIN
CBS 12

January 27, 2015

MADRID (AP) -- A judge in the southern Spanish city of Granada has indicted 10 priests and two Catholic lay workers in a sex abuse case that prompted Pope Francis to call one of the alleged victims.

According to the indictment filed Tuesday, the 12 are suspected of abusing four teenage boys in a priest's parochial home between 2004 and 2007. They are free on bail pending trial.

Francis in November told reporters he received a letter documenting the abuse from one of the alleged victims and then called him, telling him to report it in person at the Granada diocese.

Two ask Pope Francis to investigate how Buffalo diocese handled sex abuse claims

NEW YORK
Buffalo News

By James Staas | News Staff Reporter
on January 27, 2015

A Buffalo man who says he was sexually abused by a priest 40 years ago when he was a boy and a Niagara Falls woman who says a male lay teacher abused her 12 years ago when she was a student at a Catholic middle school have asked Pope Francis to investigate how the Diocese of Buffalo handles such complaints.

Attorneys for Antonio “Tino” Flores and Vanessa DeRosa said the Vatican on Monday received their request for an investigation into their cases and others.

They also are seeking to meet with the pope during his September visit to the United States.

“We’re hopeful this action will assist both Vanessa and Tino to receive some emotional closure in their troubled lives,” Diane Tiveron, one of their attorneys, said at a news conference Tuesday at the HoganWillig law offices in Amherst.

Flores, 50, and DeRosa, 24, are seeking a papal investigation because the statute of limitations has expired, meaning they cannot sue the diocese, according to their attorneys.

El juez detalla los abusos sexuales a un menor de 10 curas de Granada

ESPANA
El Pais

JORGE A. RODRÍGUEZ / VALME CORTÉS Madrid / Granada 27 ENE 2015

El juez Antonio Moreno Marín, que investiga un clan de presuntos curas pederastas de Granada, ha sintetizado, en apenas cinco folios, la cruda y descarnada escalada de abusos sexuales que sufrió un joven monaguillo, cuyo caso llegó a oídos del Papa. El auto de levantamiento del secreto del sumario sobre el llamado caso Romanones incluye un relato de hechos probados que repasa tres años de abusos, que empezaron de manera inocente y acabaron en orgías y vejaciones, supuestamente perpetradas por el sacerdote Román Martínez, supuesto cabecilla del grupo, y supuestamente secundadas o consentidas por otros nueve sacerdotes y dos laicos.

El joven denunciante, que ahora tiene 24 años y se declara supernumerario del Opus Dei, cuenta cómo todo comenzó inocentemente en 2004, cuando tenía 14 años. Él y un amigo habían sido monaguillos de la iglesia de San Juan de Vianney (Granada) desde los siete años. Por ello no les extrañó que el párroco, Román Martínez, les invitara a la casa parroquial ni tampoco que los llevara al chalé de la urbanización Los Pinillos de Cenes de la Vega donde se reunía el clan. El entonces chaval se quedaba a "dormir y a ver alguna película", porque los curas veían en él "una gran vocación para el sacerdocio" y creían que tenía que aprender y compartir su "modo de vida".

Spanish judge charges 10 Catholic priests with child sexual abuse

SPAIN
Reuters

(Reuters) - Ten Spanish priests were charged with child sexual abuse on Tuesday, in a case brought after Pope Francis telephoned the victim to offer the Church's apology, court documents showed.

The victim, now 24, wrote to the pope to say he had been molested when he was an altar boy. The pope called the man in August to apologize, Spanish news site Religion Digital reported in November, a report later confirmed by the pope himself.

The pope said in November that he had ordered a church investigation. The Archbishop of Granada, Francisco Javier Martinez, removed several priests linked to the case from their duties.

The victim said the abuse had happened over a period of years from when he was 14 to the age of 17 in a house rented by the abusers in a suburb of Granada, the court said.

Pope Francis has promised a policy of zero tolerance for sexual abuse of children by clerics after church scandals in several countries over many years. Groups representing victims say he has still not done enough.

Enda Kenny in danger of breaking his promise to the women of the Magdalene Laundries

IRELAND
Newstalk

Sue Murphy

“Another Magdalene Survivor passes away without compensation, medical card, seeing national monument and saddest of all the son she gave up” - those are the words of Magdalene Survivors Together founder Steven O’Riordain via twitter this morning.

Her death comes as the Dail is due to debate the Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill 2014.

‘Justice for Magdalenes Research’ have criticised the health care provisions in the bill for not matching up to what was promised in 2013.

Here’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s apology in the Dail to the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries in February 2013:

Jewish sex abuse victims pressured not to assist police, secret tapes and emails reveal

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

[with video]

January 28, 2015

Richard Baker and Nick McKenzie

Members of Australia's Orthodox Jewish community who assist police investigate alleged child sexual abuse have been pressured to stay silent, secret tape recordings and emails obtained by Fairfax Media reveal.

The details of the pressure being exerted on victims have emerged as the Royal Commission into child sex abuse prepares to hold public hearings next week to examine the responses of Melbourne and Sydney's yeshivah centres to alleged offences dating back to the 1980s.

In one secret, legally recorded 2011 telephone conversation, prominent Melbourne criminal barrister Alex Lewenberg tells a victim of St Kilda Yeshivah centre sex offender David Cyprys he should not have co-operated with police.

"I am not exactly delighted that another Yid [Jew] would assist police against an accused no matter whatever he is accused of and that is the reason why I was very disappointed," Mr Lewenberg, who was defending Cyprys at the time of the conversation, told the victim.

"Because there is a tradition, if not a religious requirement that you do not assist against Abraham and I was concerned about that … moserprinciple. Moseris well known."

IA--Group blasts IA bishop for helping predator but ignoring victims

IOWA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Jan. 27

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

Des Moines’ Catholic bishop is urging victims of a predator priest to call church officials. That’s wrong. And it’s disturbing to see how well the bishop cares for the needs of the offender while largely ignoring his victims.

[Des Moines Register]

Anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups should call secular authorities, not church figures. Bishop Robert Pates knows this. By urging victims to call his staff, Pates is continuing the incredibly hurtful and selfish patterns Catholic officials have engaged in for decades, patterns that endanger kids, deceive parishioners, protect predators and enable them to hurt more kids.

We give no credence to Pates’ claim that Fitzgerald's counselor purportedly says “he is no threat to broader society.” We challenge Pates to make that therapist’s report public. And we’ve seen hundreds of cases in which church-hired counselors turn out to be wrong and ousted priests molest again.

What matters most is the safety of kids, not the opinion of one shrink. Kids are safe when predators like Fitzgerald are jailed. And that will more likely happen when Pates stops trying to mollify and minimize, and starts using his vast church resources to prod victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call 911.

Pates’ first obligation is to safeguard kids, not to reassure adults. He should use church bulletins, parish websites, and pulpit announcements to beg anyone with information or suspicions about Fitzgerald to call law enforcement immediately.

Finally, when we consider how church officials often shun victims, it’s galling to read about how considerate and helpful Pates is being toward a credibly accused child molester. Pates says that Fitzgerald “will be granted three months separation compensation and will have the opportunity to work at a secular job until retirement,” get “Social Security and retirement benefits of the diocese” and his mail forwarded. (“Anyone wishing to contact Mr. Fitzgerald should do so through the Catholic Pastoral Center and the communication will be forwarded to him.”) Pates seems to be showing far more concern and compassion for the offender and little real concern or compassion for his victims.

WNYers want Pope to investigate sex abuse claims

NEW YORK
WGRZ

BUFFALO, NY-- Two Western New Yorkers are calling on Pope Francis to investigate allegations of sexual abuse in the Buffalo Diocese.

Vanessa DeRosa says she was a teenager at a WNY catholic school when she was sexually abused and harassed by a male teacher. She says when she reported it to school officials, nothing was done.

Antonio (Tino) Flores says his abuse began in 1973, when he was 10 years old. He says a priest from the Catholic Church sexually abuse him for several years, leading him to deal with depression, illness and panic disorders.

Attorneys representing DeRosa and Flores say both instances, the alleged abusers worked for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.

This past November, the Pope began an investigation of the Catholic Diocese in Spain for similar reasons.

Un juez imputa a 10 sacerdotes y dos laicos por abusos a menores en Granada

SPAIN
Investing

[MADRID (Reuters) - A judge on Tuesday charged Granada 10 priests and two laymen alleged sexual abuse of a minor, in a case that came to light in November after the Pope Francisco ordered an investigation.]

MADRID (Reuters) - Un juez de Granada imputó el martes a 10 sacerdotes y dos laicos por presuntos abusos sexuales a un menor, en un caso que salió a la luz en noviembre después de que el papa Francisco ordenara una investigación.

El titular del juzgado de Instrucción número 4 de Granada, Antonio Moreno Marín, levantó el secreto del sumario y expuso en su auto que los hechos investigados "tienen una gran trascendencia y gravedad" al implicar además a representantes de confesión religiosa.

"Los indicados hechos son susceptibles de constituir infracciones penales por comisión de delitos contra la libertad e indemnidad sexuales, en sus formas de agresiones sexuales (...), abusos sexuales (...) (y) exhibicionismo", dijo el juez en el auto.

DuPont Executive Speaks Out About Sexual Abuse

UNITED STATES/CHILE
Delaware Today

SUZANNE SCZUBELEK HEREL

Juan Carlos Cruz was a young seminarian in Santiago, Chile, when he decided he had to die. “I thought of jumping off a building. I was thinking of what would be the best way and the fastest, so it wouldn’t hurt so much,” recalls Cruz. “Thank God, I came to my senses and recovered.” At the time, Cruz was suffering through his sixth year of sexual abuse at the hands of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, a powerful, charismatic ally of former dictator Augusto Pinochet. The emotional scars of his ordeal may never heal. So he’s decided to embrace them in a crusade to hold the Catholic Church accountable for ignoring abuse claims. Now based in Delaware as the global head of communications for DuPont’s crop-protection division, Cruz wants to protect potential victims.

Along with two other men victimized by Karadima in the upscale El Bosque (The Forest) neighborhood, Cruz is a plaintiff in a civil lawsuit pending against the Santiago diocese. He’s joined by two others: Jose Murillo reported his abuse in 2003 to Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, who initially took no action; Chilean physician James Hamilton’s nightmare stretched over 20 years—even after he’d married and started a family. Cruz, who now makes his home in Philadelphia, recounts his experience in a Spanish language memoir, “El Fin de la Inocencia” (“The End of Innocence”), published in June by Random House. The book swiftly shot to best-seller status in his home country and was on its third printing in as many months. A movie (“El Bosque”) is in the works about Cruz’s life, and his book is ready to be translated into English and sold in the United States.

Meanwhile, the Catholic Church’s stronghold in Chile hasn’t fared well. “The opinion of experts is that, mainly because of this case, the approval rating of the church has declined strongly from five years ago,” says Juan Pablo Hermosilla, the lawyer handling the suit. “It’s among the most criticized institutions in Chile. This was a turning point.” The civil suit is the latest iteration of a court battle involving Karadima, now 84. After years of silence from church officials, the men filed a criminal complaint against Karadima in 2010. (A fourth plaintiff was dropped when the abuse was deemed to have occurred when he was an 18-year-old adult.) After seven months, the complaint was dismissed by the court on the grounds there wasn’t enough evidence. But Cruz and his fellow accusers had opened the floodgates.

FL--Abuse victims "out" new Tampa predator priest

FLORIDA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Abuse victims “out” new predator priest
Church officials have settled at least one case against him
Now, a second accuser, a retired cop, is stepping forward
Crimes happened at now-closed a Catholic school in Tampa
At least four other credibly accused clerics worked there
SNAP: “Other victims, witnesses & whistleblowers should speak up”

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, two clergy sex abuse victims will

--expose, for the first time ever, a priest who has been accused of molesting kids,
--disclose that Catholic officials have settled with at least one of his victims,
--give copies of a legal document, dated last year, about the predator priest,
--read a short, anonymous statement by a second accuser, and
--beg anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups in the Tampa/St. Pete area to “come forward, call police, protect kids, expose predators, and start healing.

WHEN
Tuesday, Jan. 27 at 2:15 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the now-closed Mary Help of Christians parish/school, 6400 East Chelsea Street (813 626 7588) in Tampa FL

WHO
Two-four abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)

VISUALS
Copies of a 2014 abuse settlement will be released along with a photo of one of the victims as a child.

WHY
Last year, Catholic officials quietly paid a settlement to a man who was sexually abused as a child by a priest at a Tampa school. The priest has never before been publicly accused before. But now, a second alleged victim of his is stepping forward.

For years, Fr. Innocenti Clementi worked at Mary Help of Christians School in Tampa. (It’s now closed but was run by a New Rochelle NY-based Catholic religious order called the Salesians). Fr. Clementi was removed from the school in 1974 and was then sent to the Salesian Boys & Girls Club in Boston.

SNAP just learned of the settlement and believes Catholic officials are “acting selfishly, recklessly and callously” by keeping it secret. The US Conference of Catholic Bishops have pledged to be “open and transparent” in clergy sex cases. In 2002, they adopted a formal nationwide policy that allegedly mandates such “openness.”

“But Catholic officials are still making secret settlements and hiding the identity and whereabouts of proven, admitted and credibly accused predator priests,” said Barbara Dorris, SNAP’s outreach director. “We can’t help but wonder how many other child molesting clerics have worked and lived – and perhaps STILL work and live – in the Tampa/St. Pete area and whose crimes and identities are being shielded by the church hierarchy.”

“We call on the Salesians and other Catholic officials to publicly release the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of each abusive priest, nun, brother, seminarian and church employee who has hurt kids in this area or has spent time in this area,” said David Clohessy, SNAP’s executive director. “Wounded victims should not have to bear the burden of warning police, prosecutors, parents and parishioners about sex offender priests.”

The second alleged Fr. Clementi victim now lives out of state, came from a lower-income, single-parent home and is now in 71 years old. He has not taken legal action but shares SNAP’s goal of reaching out “to anyone who was sexually assaulted and now suffers in shame, silence and self-blame.”

Fr. Clementi’s alleged crimes took place in the 1950s and 1960s.

Information from the Official Catholic Directory shows that Fr. Clementi was ordained in 1951. His whereabouts are unknown. SNAP believes (though isn’t sure) that Fr. Clementi may have worked at St. Anthony's Church in Paterson NJ (in the Paterson diocese) and at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in New Brunswick NJ (in the Metuchen diocese).

Other proven, admitted or credibly accused predator priests who worked at the school include Fr. Jorge Acosta (sued by two men in 2005, admitted crimes against three kids in 2007), Fr. Terence O’Donnell (who was sued in 2003 for molesting boys in the 1990s), Fr. Kevin O’Brien (a former principal of the school who was sued in 2005) and Brother William Burke (who faced at least two allegations and may have moved to Virginia in 2005).

Assignment Record – Rev. Joseph B. Di Peri

NEW JERSEY/CALIFORNIA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Joseph B. Di Peri was a priest of the Newark NJ archdiocese, ordained in 1956. He worked in a number of archdiocesan parishes and schools, and was a hospital and youth detention center chaplain. He then spent more than a decade as an instructor at Oratory School in Summit NJ. In 1977 Di Peri was sent to Canoga Park CA for "health" reasons, where he worked at Marianist-run Chaminade Preparatory High School. He appears to have returned to NJ after a year, where he again taught at Oratory, and then at a high school in Englewood NJ. His whereabouts after 1986 are unclear. In September 2002 Los Angeles police received a report that Di Peri molested a male Chaminade student during 1977-1978. The Newark archdiocese removed his privileges in 2003. By 2005 Di Peri was on the archdiocese's "permanent monitoring system" and was living in a Trenton diocese retirement home. He died in 2007.

Ordained: 1956
Died: 2007

Former Gravesend children's home resident says: Church was like 'Dr Frankenstein'

UNITED KINGDOM
News Shopper

by Heloise Wood, reporter

A woman who said she was abused in a church-run Gravesend children’s home has hit back at the handling of a recently launched inquiry, dubbing the church "Doctor Frankenstein".

Teresa Cooper joined Kendall House in Pelham Road in 1981 shortly after her 14th birthday and allegedly experienced years of being sexual abused and force-fed drugs.

She received damages from the Church of England in 2010 as part of an out-of-court settlement but it did not accept responsibility for her claims.

Earlier this month (Jan 5) the Bishop of Rochester announced he was heading up an inquiry into the home, which closed in 1986.

However, Ms Cooper is furious at how the matter is being handled and believes the investigation is a conflict of interest.

Diocese: Iowa pastor asked to be released from priesthood

IOWA
Des Moines Register

Katherine Klingseis, kklingseis@dmreg.com January 26, 2015

The Iowa pastor accused in a “decades-old case of sexual abuse” asked Pope Francis to release him from priesthood, the Diocese of Des Moines said Monday.

Pope Francis removed Howard Fitzgerald from priesthood Jan. 19 after the Vatican received findings from a diocese review committee. The committee found credible evidence last year that Fitzgerald sexually abused a minor in a “decades-old incident.”

Fitzgerald voluntarily asked Pope Francis to “release him from the priesthood and sacred celibacy,” the Diocese of Des Moines said in a news release Monday.

Fitzgerald worked at churches in central and western Iowa for 35 years. He was placed on indefinite leave in June from his most recent positions at St. Thomas Aquinas Church and Simpson College in Indianola and at Immaculate Conception in nearby St. Marys.

2 ask pope to investigate Buffalo diocese sex abuse

NEW YORK
Newsday

AMHERST, N.Y. - (AP) -- Two people who say they were sexually abused as teenagers are asking Pope Francis to investigate the way the Diocese of Buffalo handled their complaints.

The alleged victims are expected to detail their request during a press conference at their attorney's office Tuesday morning.

The law office of HoganWillig points out that Pope Francis in November wrote to a Spanish bishop after hearing from a victim, urging an investigation into abuse that took place 10 years earlier.

Christian day camp in Somerset County sued over sexual assault

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

By Adam Brandolph
Monday, Jan. 26, 2015

Officials at a Christian-themed day camp in Somerset County allowed a counselor with a history of sexual abuse to continue his criminal conduct, a victim claimed more than a decade later in a civil lawsuit filed by her lawyers.

The woman, identified as “Jane Doe” in court documents, claims that officials at Summer's Best Two Weeks in Boswell knew that camp counselor Eric DeVries “openly exhibited the common behaviors of a sexual predator” because of at least one formal complaint in 2001, but still allowed him to work there until police arrested him in 2005.

DeVries could not be reached for comment.

According to the lawsuit filed Friday in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court, DeVriesbegan “to psychologically and spiritually manipulate and groom” the girl after he took a job as director of student ministries at Vienna Presbyterian Church in Virginia, where authorities charged him with sexually assaulting other underage girls.

Leon Brittan sex abuse allegations: Two claim abuse by former UK Home Secretary

UNITED KINGDOM
Irish Independent

Cahal Millmo
PUBLISHED 26/01/2015

Leon Brittan was today accused of “multiple child rape” as detailed accusations of sex abuse were levelled against the late former Home Secretary for the first time.

Labour MP Tom Watson said he had spoken to two people who claimed they were abused by the Conservative peer, including a witness known as Nick who alleged he had been attacked more than a dozen times as a boy and seen the politician assault others.

Lord Brittan died last week from cancer, aged 75. He had always categorically denied any allegation of sexual wrongdoing or cover-up. Friends and former Cabinet colleagues paying tribute to him said his final months had been unjustly clouded by a “smear campaign” and “innuendo”.

Orleans County pastor found guilty of sexually abusing children

NEW YORK
WBFO

By WBFO NEWSROOM

A former Orleans County minister was convicted Monday in Orleans County Court of sexually abusing two children over a decade ago while he was a minister of the Ashwood Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville.

Rev. Roy Harriger, 71, was found guilty on two counts of first-degree sexual conduct against a child, one a girl and the other a boy. The children were between the ages of 5 and 9 at the time of the abuse, which took place between 2000 and 2002.

Additional charges of endangering the welfare of a child and incest were dismissed by Orleans County Judge James Punch. A third charge of sexual abuse against a third child was also dismissed. Earlier charges of incest were also dismissed.

Pastor guilty of molesting his grandchildren

NEW YORK
WKBW

[with video]

ALBION, N.Y. (WKBW) - After a major delay on Monday, a jury returned a verdict in the case against 70-year-old Roy Harriger, convicting the pastor of two of three counts of coercive criminal sexual conduct against a child.

Jurors began deliberating Harriger’s fate on Friday but were sent home after not reaching a decision by the time court closed for the day. They were set to continue Monday and re-listen to three witnesses’ testimony, but there was a major problem.

The court recorder had a pipe burst in her office over the weekend, drenching her laptop that contained all of the testimony. At first, she was unable to retrieve the data, which could have resulted in a mistrial.

But after a delay, the testimony was recovered. Jurors listened to the witnesses again and then continued deliberations.

As the verdict was read on Monday, there were gasps, deep breaths, tears and even a cheer inside Orleans County Court. Harriger had no comment as he walked out of the courtroom.

Pastor convicted for molesting grandchildren

NEW YORK
WIVB

[with video]

By Mark Belcher, News 4 Digital Producer
Published: January 26, 2015

ALBION, N.Y. (WIVB) – An Orleans County pastor charged with sex abuse was found guilty in court Monday.

It was the moment some family members had waited forty years for. An Orleans County jury found 71 year old Reverend Roy Harriger guilty of two counts of Course of Sexual conduct for molesting two of his grand children. In fact at least 15 people, mostly relatives, signed affidavits stating that he had molested them as children. They each thought they were the only ones.

“Through all of this, it has made all of us stronger, my cousins, all of us. We’re a lot stronger than what we were”) said Ashley, one of the pastor’s nieces.

The pastor’s daughter-in-law, Teresa Harriger said her son who is in the Army can enjoy life now.”because he knows that his Grandpa got guilty. His sister just called him and said ‘Just so you know Grandpa’s guilty and Robby started crying, he said ‘Thank God”.

Reverend Roy Harriger Found Guilty on Two Counts of Sex Abuse

NEW YORK
TWC News

[with video]

By Rose Eiklor
Monday, January 26, 2015

ALBION, N.Y. -- The trial for a former Niagara County pastor charged with sexual abuse ended Monday with a pair of guilty verdicts.

"For him to do this to my kids killed me, because I couldn't believe that was supposed to be a man of God. How could he do this to anybody?" asked one of the victim's mothers.

After a week-long trial, jury members found Roy Harriger guilty of two counts of course sexual conduct against a child. Harriger was a pastor at Ashwood Wesleyan Church in Lyndonville and at Community Fellowship Church in the Town of Hartland in Niagara County.

It’s a case described by Orleans County District Attorney Joe Cardone as a multi-generational wave of destruction.

Rector of two village churches suspended ...

UNITED KINGDOM
London Evening Standard

Rector of two village churches suspended as police investigate 'historic sexual assault' in Islington

BEN MITCHELL
Published: 26 January 2015 \

The rector of two village churches has been suspended while police investigate allegations of a historic sexual assault in London.

Rev Simon Sayers is alleged to have indecently assaulted his victim in Islington during the early 1990s.

He has been suspended from his position as the rector of two churches in Hampshire - St James Church, Emsworth, and St Thomas a Becket, Warblington - while detectives probe the claims.

Parishioners were informed about the investigation by the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster, before services yesterday morning.

January 26, 2015

TDs asked to ensure Magdalene women get healthcare card

IRELAND
Irish Times

Oireachtas members have been called on to ensure that the Government amends a redress Bill to give Magdalene survivors a healthcare package.

The provision of a Health Amendment Act (HAA) 1996 Card was recommended by Mr Justice John Quirke, who prepared a compensation scheme for the women.

The card, previously provided to people infected with Hepatitis C as a result of the administration of contaminated blood, gives holders access on a statutory basis to a wide range of primary care and hospital based services.

In a letter sent to all TDs and Senators in advance of Thursday’s Dáil debate on the Redress for Women Resident in Certain Institutions Bill 2014, Justice for Magdalenes Research said “these women believed the Taoiseach’s apology in 2013”.

Bankruptcy judge rejects archdiocese's broad request for secrecy

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

[with court document]

Posted by: James Eli Shiffer Updated: January 26, 2015

As part of its bankruptcy filing, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis sought wide discretion to withhold details on settlements with victims of sexually abusive priests. The Star Tribune challenged that motion in court last week, agreeing that names and identifying information of victims should be kept private but arguing that the archdiocese's request was "overly broad."

"A policy of openness promotes actual fairness and the appearance of fairness, and enables the press to perform its watchdog function" in the bankruptcy process, wrote Star Tribune attorneys John Borger and Leita Walker.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel said from the bench that the Archdiocese's request was "too vague." On Wednesday, Kressel issued the following order that allows the redaction of names and other identifying information about abuse victims, but otherwise limits what the Archdiocese can withhold from public scrutiny.

El Vaticano considera que faltas del sacerdote Gerardo Joannon “no configuran delito canónico”

CHILE
El Mostrador

El Vaticano determinó que el sacerdote Gerardo Joannon no cometió faltas que configuren un delito canónico, conclusión a la que llegó luego de examinar los antecedentes que le envió en agosto de 2014 la congregación de los Sagrados Corazones (SS.CC.), después de una investigación en la que concluyó que el ex párroco de la iglesia La Anunciación de Providencia había participado en al menos dos adopciones irregulares de recién nacidos y que había mantenido una relación “impropia” con una de las madres afectadas.

La información, informó la página Iglesia.cl, la dio a conocer la propia congregación religiosa luego de recibir el informe elaborado para este caso por parte de la Congregación para los institutos de Vida Consagrada y sociedades de vida apostólica (Civcsva), con sede en Roma.

Vatican won't charge Chilean priest over illegal adoptions

CHILE
Rappler

AFP

The Vatican will not bring charges against a Chilean priest after investigating his role in illegal adoptions of newborns who were declared stillborn but given to new families in the 1980s

SANTIAGO, Chile – The Vatican said it will not bring charges against a Chilean priest after investigating his role in illegal adoptions of newborns who were declared stillborn but given to new families in the 1980s.

The case was uncovered in April by journalists, who revealed two babies had been put up for adoption after their young parents were told the newborns had died.

In addition to finding that Gerardo Joannon participated in the adoptions, the Church investigation determined that he had an "inappropriate" relationship with one of the mothers.

But, the Vatican body that oversees religious orders, "after examining the documentation, has concluded that the faults committed do not amount to a crime under canon law," a church statement said.

Posted Sunday, January 25, on the website of the Catholic Church's Episcopal Conference of Chile, the statement said that any further action would fall to Church authorities in Chile.

...DOLAN DISSES NEW YORK TIMES

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

CARDINAL TIMOTHY DOLAN WAXES POETIC about reportedly loving the Big Apple. But he’s been caught dissing both NYC and its signature newspaper, The New York Times, during a talk yesterday in West Virginia. Complimenting the mountainous state as “almost heaven,” Dolan then called NYC “almost purgatory.” He also urged Catholics to not let “outside distractions such as polls, rap music, and newspaper editorial pages, especially The New York Times” to influence their decisions.

Five Challengers Pope Francis Now Faces

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

Five groups listed below, and likely others, are now confronting Pope Francis with immediate and serious challenges. He must meet them all or he will fail to save the leadership of the Catholic Church. He evidently has made protecting Catholic bishops his top priority.

Pope Francis, now in his 79th year, is running out of time. The pope has made insufficient progress in almost two years, despite considerable efforts. He, however, is confronting 21st Century challenges with a 19th Century strategy. For my fuller analysis of Pope Francis’ currently misguided strategies, please see my “Pope Francis Is Still Failing Too Many Abused & Abandoned Children, No?‏”

The five top challengers Pope Francis faces are: (1) Truth Tellers Using 24/7 Media & the Internet, (2) Modern Women, (3) Defenseless Children, (4) Democratic Politicians, and (5) Religious Competitors.

Truth Tellers Using 24/7 Media & the Internet: If on any day one just “googles” Pope Francis’ name, the stories challenging the Vatican’s Opus Dei influenced and well funded spin efforts are numerous and increasing. For example, see recently “Be Fruitful, Not Bananas: Pope Francis, Birth Control and American Catholics“, here:

[The New York Times]

and “Pope Francis Is A U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Public Relations Creation” here,

[Politics USA]

and “Beware of the two faces of Pope Francis: he ain’t no liberal” here,

[Telegraph]

Vatican foiled over bid to hide Swiss bank data

GENEVA
The Local

A top Swiss court on Monday rejected an appeal by the Vatican's bank to keep secret information from one of its Swiss bank accounts suspected of being used for fraud.

Judges at Switzerland's federal criminal court allowed the transfer of most information sought by prosecutors in Italy from the account held by the Vatican bank, officially known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), the daily Le Temps reported.

Italian prosecutors suspect the account was used in 2007 and 2008 by third parties to launder as a donation funds from the sale of a company.

The IOR had invoked the Vatican's sovereign immunity, but the judges found that the transactions in question did not relate to functions covered by that immunity.

However, Swiss judges ruled that information not pertinent to the investigation would not be transferred.

Under pressure from its international partners, in particular the United States, Switzerland has been gradually dismantling its decades-old tradition of banking secrecy.

Assignment Record – Rev. Henry M. Lutgen

MINNESOTA
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Henry M. Lutgen was ordained a priest of the St. Cloud MN diocese in 1947. Through most of the 1950s into the early 1960s, Lutgen was superintendent of the St. Cloud Children's Home and director of Catholic Charities. He also served on the diocese's Marriage Tribunal. In 1961 he went on to pastor a parish in St. Wendel MN for a year, moving the following year to Melrose MN, where was an assistant and then pastor of a parish, as well as chaplain of hospital and nursing facility. He is not indexed in the Official Catholic Directories after 1969. Lutgen is deceased. Public records show a Rev. Henry Michael Lutgen who was born in Minnesota in 1992 and died in in California in 1980. He left a wife, and a son born in 1969.

Lutgen's name was included on the St. Cloud diocese's list released in January 2014 of clergy who were "likely involved in the sexual abuse of minors."

Ordained: 1947

Bill would extend statute of limitations for child sex abuse claims

GEORGIA
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Victims of childhood sexual abuse would have additional time to seek damages from their abusers under legislation introduced in the Georgia House on Monday.

House bill 17, by Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, would extend the statute of limitations for civil suits from five years to 35 years for anyone who is sexual abused before the age of 18.

The bill, which has bipartisan support, also provides a two-year window for past victims to seek damages if they have not yet come forward.

The bill would apply to victims of rape, sodomy, child molestation, pandering, incest and sexual battery.

Supporters defend Benavente

GUAM
Pacific Daily News

Written by
Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno
Pacific Daily News

Joseph Rivera, a former member of the Archdiocesan Finance Council, said he's hurt by the continued attempt by the Archdiocese of Agana to publicly accuse Monsignor James Benavente of mismanaging church funds.

Rivera said he asked the archdiocese to meet privately with Benavente for an opportunity to respond to the allegations. Instead, the archdiocese publicly released more allegations, he said.

Archbishop Anthony Apuron last year fired Benavente as head of the Catholic Cemeteries of Guam and removed him from his post as rector of the Dolce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica, alleging financial mismanagement by Benavente.

Last weekend, the archdiocese publicly released a report which states "grave irregularities were discovered involving the administration of the entities which were formerly administered by Monsignor James Benavente."

Among other things, the report states there were $7 million in loans to fund projects for the Cathedral-Basilica and Catholic Cemeteries of Guam under Benavente's watch. It states Benavente gave $380,000 in free cemetery plots to a close friend and family.

Child abuse inquiry counsel questioned by MPs: Politics Live blog

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Andrew Sparrow
Monday 26 January 2015

Afternoon summary

Ben Emmerson QC, counsel to the child abuse inquiry, has told MPs that the panel conducting the inquiry needs to be disbanded. Giving evidence to the Commons home affairs committee, he said:

I am as counsel to the inquiry in a position to express an opinion on whether the current arrangements continue to be tenable, and I don’t think they do.

And he suggested that he strongly expects Theresa May, the home secretary, to disband the panel and to announce a new inquiry, with statutory powers. All members of the panel, apart from one, would make suitable candidates to serve on the new panel, he said. But Sharon Evans should be dropped, he suggested.

Emmerson said that Evans had caused “a great deal of damage” to the inquiry by leaking information and by speaking to the media without approval. She was in breach of her duty of confidentiality, he said, and had made misleading statements that had an impact on the work of the inquiry. He even said that, in some areas, Evans could not tell the difference between truth and error. And he claimed she had “done no service to the survivor community”.

It may be that in some areas Mrs Evans finds it difficult to distinguish between an accurate statement and an inaccurate one ...

Her conduct has been a massive distraction and has caused a great deal of damage in the final stages of this interim inquiry ...

My professional assessment is that the conduct of Mrs Evans in releasing this information has effectively rendered it impossible for the panel to have full confidential discussions with one another, and has therefore brought about a situation where it’s simply not possible for it to operate in full.

And I would say this; in doing so, while I understand that she is herself a survivor, she has done no service to the survivor community.

An internal Home Office report has been released showing the Home Office did decide that Evans had breached confidentiality. The home affairs committee published it on its website. In it Mary Calam, a Home Office director general, told Evans:

Such breaches of confidentiality are extremely serious. They must inevitably undermine the trust of Panel members in each other and therefore the ability of the Panel to operate effectively. They also undermine the confidence of survivors and others who engage with the Panel on the basis that information they provide and discussions they have with Panel members will remain confidential.

Calam also said that Emmerons had not bullied Evans, although Calam said he accepted Evans found his conduct “very distressing”.

Hampshire rector suspended by diocese over 'serious allegations'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A rector from Hampshire has been suspended by the Bishop of Portsmouth while police investigate "serious allegations" against him.

The Rev Simon Sayers, from the Church of England's Warblington with Emsworth parish, has been suspended by the Right Rev Christopher Foster.

The Diocese of Portsmouth said it was "aware" of the investigation.

A spokesman said their "prayers are with all of those involved in this difficult situation".

The St James CoE Church in Emsworth and St Thomas à Becket Church in Warblington will get "alternative arrangements for ministry", a diocesan spokesman said.

Rector suspended amid police investigation

UNITED KINGDOM
Portsmouth News

by Ruth Scammell
ruth.scammell@thenews.co.uk
Updated on the 26 January 2015

PARISHIONERS were shocked when they were told the rector of their parish had been suspended due to a police investigation.

The Diocese of Portsmouth has confirmed that the Reverend Simon Sayers, Rector of the Warblington with Emsworth parish, has been suspended.

They would not give any details about what the police investigation relates to.

Parishioners at both St James CoE Church in Emsworth and St Thomas the Beckett Church in Warblington were informed by the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster before services yesterday morning. A spokesperson for the Diocese of Portsmouth said: ‘We are aware of an ongoing police investigation into a serious allegation made against the Rev Simon Sayers.

‘Because the investigation is ongoing, we can make no further comment at the moment.

Simon Sayers: Priest arrested on suspicion of indecent assault suspended from duties at two village churches

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

Jan 26, 2015 By Ben Mitchell

Rev Simon Sayers had been suspended from his position as cops investigate an allegation dating back to the early 90s

A Church of England priest has been suspended from his duties at churches in two sleepy villages after being arrested on suspicion of indecent assault.

Rector, Rev Simon Sayers had been suspended from his position as cops investigate an allegation dating back to the early 90s.

Parishioners at St James CoE Church in Emsworth, Hampshire, and St Thomas a Beckett Church in Warblington were informed of the decision by the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt Rev Christopher Foster before services yesterday morning.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said that the alleged offence took place in the Islington area of London.

Jersey Church abuse report: Victim against release

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The findings of an inquiry into the handling of an allegation of abuse should not be made public, the victim has said.

In 2008, the woman known as HG, made a formal complaint about abuse by a Jersey church warden.

In an email to the Bishop of Winchester, the Right Reverend Tim Dakin, HG threatened legal action if the report was released.

It follows calls for the report to be published by leading Anglicans.

In the email, HG said the inquiry was a whitewash, lacked independence and its publication could cause her serious harm.

A spokesman representing the bishop, said: "We don't yet have a date for publication, as the Steel Report is currently continuing to be reviewed by legal and safeguarding experts."

The inquiry, led by Dame Heather Steel into the incident, was commissioned alongside a wider review into safeguarding policies being undertaken by Bishop John Gladwin.

Damaged computer proposes problem in sex abuse trial

NEW YORK
WGRZ

ALBION, NY-- Jurors in Orleans County are back to deliberating the fate of a pastor accused of molesting children.

The jury was charged on Friday and deliberated for 4-1/2 hours Friday without reaching a verdict.

Roy Harriger, 71, most recently the pastor of a Niagara county church, is accused of molesting three of his grandchildren when they were little kids. THis happened more than 12 years ago when he was a pastor of a church in Lyndonville in Orleans County.

All three of those grandkids testified at the trial.

Jurors had asked to have read back to them the testimony of three witnesses that include one of those grandkids, as well as Harriger's daughter Joy who is the only one of Harriger's five grown children to still stand by him while the other four are among the ranks of his accusers.

A problem occurred on Monday morning when jurors asked for some testimony to be read back. It was discovered that the laptop belonging to the court reporter was damaged over the weekend when a pipe in the courthouse burst. Officials consulted an IT professional to see if the data can be recovered. Efforts are being made to print out trial testimony.

Clergy Misconduct among Priests in the Philippines: Key Cases

PHILIPPINES
BishopAccountability.org

This special report profiles a dozen key cases of priests in the Philippines accused of child sexual abuse. All are believed to be living in the Philippines as of January 2015. At least seven are still in active ministry, according to online church directories and news sources; the other five were in active ministry as of a few years ago, but their current status is unclear. None is known to have been laicized.

This report launches our Philippines research project – an effort to document comprehensively the clergy sexual abuse crisis in the world’s third largest Catholic country. We have identified and researched to date more than 70 priests, brothers, and bishops in the Philippines who have been accused of child sexual abuse and sexual misconduct with adults. A report on our complete findings will be posted later in 2015.

We present this page in the meantime because these cases raise particularly urgent concerns about child safety (see also our letter). They include:

* Rev. Apolinario “Jing” Mejorada, O.S.A., an active parish priest in Laguna province who admitted to sexually assaulting boys in Cebu City in the late 1990s.
* Rev. Joseph Skelton, Jr., still in active ministry with young people in the Philippines, although the bishop of Tagbilaran and the Philippine bishops' conference were made aware that Skelton had been convicted of sexual misconduct with a 15-year-old boy in the Detroit MI archdiocese in 1988.
* Rev. Raul Cabonce, who was quickly transferred to his bishop’s residence in 2011 after a 17-year-old girl filed rape charges against him.
* Rev. Manuel Perez “Benilda” Maramba, O.S.B., currently listed as a faculty member of San Beda College and performer with the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music, both in Manila. He is named by at least three victims from his former assignments in Las Cruces, New Mexico, U.S.

These cases are important too because they reveal an enduring resistance by Filipino bishops to punishing and exposing offending priests. This attitude is evident even in Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the popular Manila archbishop considered a possible successor to Pope Francis. In a 2012 interview with journalist John Allen, he said that zero tolerance was a subject of debate in the Philippines: "We’ve had cases in the past ... in which some priests who had offended were given a second chance and turned out to be very good priests." And in a little-noticed 2012 video interview with UCANews, he observed of the Asian church's response to clergy sexual misconduct, “I think for us ... exposing persons, both victims and abusers, to the public, either through media or legal action, that adds to the pain.”

Civil action by victims, investigations of the church by prosecutors, and governmental inquiries – factors that have forced bishops and religious superiors in other countries to adopt more effective child protection measures – have occurred little or not at all in the Philippines. Even its criminal justice system seems skewed against victims: our research so far has found no convictions of clerics for child sexual abuse. In July 2002, the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines addressed clergy sexual abuse for the first time, issuing an apology. The group's president, Cotabato archbishop Orlando Quevado, estimated that in the 20 years previous, 200 of 7,000 priests nationwide may have committed sexual abuse or sexual misconduct. But church officials since then have released virtually no information – no documents and no names – of specific offenders.

Residential schools class-action may be settled in June

CANADA
CBC News

A class-action lawsuit against the federal government and operators of residential schools in this province is heading to mediation in five months.

The lawsuit — involving more than 1,000 people who say they were neglected and abused at residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador — was slated to go to trial on Nov. 18.

However, the case was delayed at the defence lawyers' request.

According to lawyer Ches Crosbie, all groups will head to mediation on June 9 and 10.

"The decision to engage in settlement talks came about in discussion with the case management judge before lawyers for residential school survivors put forward a formal application for mediation," Crosbie said.

Court rejects Vatican appeal to keep Swiss bank account secret

GENEVA
Dunya News

GENEVA (AFP) - A Swiss court rejected Monday an appeal by the Vatican s bank to keep secret information from one of its Swiss bank accounts suspected of being used for fraud.

Judges at Switzerland s federal criminal court allowed the transfer of most information sought by prosecutors in Italy from the account held by the Vatican bank, officially known as the Institute for Religious Works (IOR), the daily Le Temps reported.

Italian prosecutors suspect the account was used in 2007 and 2008 by third parties to launder as a donation funds from the sale of a company.

The IOR had invoked the Vatican s sovereign immunity, but the judges found that the transactions in question did not relate to functions covered by that immunity.

However, Swiss judges ruled that information not pertinent to the investigation would not be transferred.

N.L. residential schools class action moves to mediation

CANADA
CTV

The Canadian Press
Published Monday, January 26, 2015

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- Lawyers who filed a class-action lawsuit on behalf of former students of residential schools in Newfoundland and Labrador say they will try to resolve the dispute through mediation.

Ches Crosbie, a lawyer representing some of the 1,000 members of the suit, said Monday that the talks are set to begin June 9. He said the decision to join in settlement negotiations came after discussions with the case management judge.

He said if the parties agree to a settlement in June, it could take months to gain court approval and disperse payments. If it fails, the case will go to trial next September. Crosbie said the trial was scheduled to start last November, but was adjourned after the defence requested delays.

The class of mostly Inuit members is suing the federal government for abuse and neglect members allege they suffered at the residential schools in the province.

Pope Francis Is A U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Public Relations Creation

UNITED STATES
Politics USA

Over the past week there were hints and suppositions that Republicans were quaking in their boots at the thought of Pope Francis addressing a joint session of Congress due to his advocacy for the poor and message on climate change. However, it was Speaker of the House John Boehner who invited the “Vicar of Christ” because Pope Francis is not, in any universe, the shining progressive many Americans believe he is. In fact, Francis is closely aligned with conservative Republican ideology; particularly in his position on addressing poverty and social issues such as homosexuality, same-sex marriage, birth control, and women’s rights.

There is a gross misconception that Pope Francis is exceedingly more progressive on social issues than his predecessors. That is just not true and it is a mistake to believe otherwise. However, where he is most insincere is speaking like an advocate for the poor. As leader of the extremely wealthy Catholic Church, he is not remotely leading according to, or following, Jesus Christ’s example or teachings.

In fact, as a few who are not mesmerized by his Jesus-like messages have noted, there is a monumental disconnect between what the pope says, and his strict adherence to the same archaic Vatican policies he perpetuates; particularly about wealth. What Pope Francis represents is a finely-honed, friendlier, and more progressive public relations image that belies longstanding archaic Vatican policies; not unlike the much-touted new and friendlier Republican Party was supposed to be. ...

Even before Pope Francis was elected, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) were planning a PR campaign to soften the Church’s image and attract the younger generation. The Vatican hired a former Fox News correspondent, Greg Burke, as a senior communications adviser reporting directly to the Vatican. The New York Times noted that Burke met with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, and “confirmed that being known by the Fox-favorite cardinal helped him get hired.” Burke is a celibate, traditionalist, and member of the conservative Catholic alliance Opus-Dei. The Vatican also hired the consulting firm of McKinsey & Company to “study the Holy See’s communications, with an eye to creating a more effective media operation.” The ultimate goal in hiring a phalanx of public relations firms was simply to reverse the “declining view of the Church” caused by public relations miscues (accurate reporting).

Apparently, because of the high level of funding from America, the American Cardinals wield a great deal of influence over the Vatican’s public relation policies; especially when it concerns halting declining member donations due to church policy. One recurring comment in several surveys of American Catholics was that the church is harsh and out of touch. One oft-stated sentiment from American Catholics surveyed was that “I would like them not to be so quick to condemn people because of their sexual preference or because of abortion, or to refuse priests the right to get married or women to be priests. I don’t think the church should ever get involved in whether or not people use birth control.” According to polling, that sentiment typified the responses of American Catholics, and it was crucially important to improve Americans’ image of the Church to keep American dollars rolling in.

Dick McBrien, free at last

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Eugene Cullen Kennedy | Jan. 26, 2015 Bulletins from the Human Side

When word came of the death of the distinguished theologian Richard McBrien, the famous phase of oppression finally lifted, and deserved freedom won rang like a Sunday carillon in my head. Few people I know, or know of, have been asked to bear a series of serious illnesses as long as Dick did. Now he is indeed free at last of time's unforgiving grip and at home in the eternal with which he was so familiar from a lifetime of meditation on, and experience of, every day in his work. He spent a lot of time in the eternal precincts, and his papers were in order as he was waved through, no inspection needed, free at last and home for good.

It would take a lot to misunderstand Dick and his columns and books. Yet mysteriously, the word was out that he was a dangerous dissident, and his excellent column was banned in many diocesan newspapers. Curious, I called up the editors of about a dozen Catholic papers, all of whom gave the same answer to my question about why they did not use his column: "I am under orders from the bishop not to use it."

His columns, which continued over 30 years, were perfectly orthodox, the product of a master teacher who knew how to make complex issues clear.

I did not understand how much he was feared, however, until I stopped in the bookstore of a grand Midwestern cathedral. I was told by a man who obviously felt that his fate, temporal and eternal, depended on his answer, "We don't carry any of his books here."

My mistake was in telling him that they should, especially Catholicism, his masterly work on church teaching.

"I'm calling security," he responded, reaching for his telephone. I left before security arrived but with a new impression of the terrible irony of those in the official church who were afraid of Dick or the plain truths about faith that he taught. Maybe both. Those officials who trembled at Dick's work resembled the man who buried his gifts in the ground in the Gospel and explained his behavior, as these officials would to their superiors, "I knew that you were a hard man, and I was afraid."

Dolan: ‘God Expects More Of Americans’

WEST VIRGINIA
The Intelligencer/Wheeling News-Register

January 25, 2015

By HEATHER ZIEGLER - Associate City Editor , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - Cardinal Timothy Dolan, in Wheeling on Saturday evening, told a crowd of lawmakers, judges, attorneys and other public servants that "God expects more of us Americans."

As principal celebrant and homilist, Dolan, archbishop of New York, celebrated the annual Red Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph. Members of "the Bench and Bar" participated in the Mass where they were asked to pray to the Holy Spirit to assist them in their service to the truth of justice. Dolan was asked to celebrate the Mass at the invitation of his personal friend, the Most Rev. Michael J. Bransfield, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.

The Rev. Jeffrey M. Montforton, bishop of the Diocese of Steubenville, and a host of diocesan priests and deacons, joined Dolan and Bransfield on the altar as an overflow crowd packed the church.

During his homily, Dolan urged the legal community to pray for wisdom and prudence and "not allow outside distractions such as polls, newspaper editorial pages, especially the New York Times, and rap music" to influence their decisions.

"God has blessed us (Americans) in extraordinary ways. ... Look at the convictions our parents and grandparents were willing to die for. Our homes here are built only on sand if our laws are not grounded in family values."

NYC's Cardinal Dolan disses NYC & NYT

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, Jan. 26

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

New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan is urging Catholics to not let “outside distractions” likes “polls, rap music, and newspaper editorial pages, especially the New York Times" to influence their decisions.

[BishopAccountability.org]

This is disturbing and reckless.

Dolan’s remarks were made on Saturday night and reported yesterday by The Wheeling News-Register. He spoke as the guest of “his personal friend” Bishop Michael Bransfield who was accused in 2012 of molesting a child.

[BishopAccountability.org]

(Dolan, who repeatedly says he loves New York, told the same crowd that while West Virginia is “almost heaven,” New York City is “almost purgatory.”)

For decades, secular news outlets have repeatedly make kids safer by exposing Catholic officials who commit and conceal heinous child sex crimes. Bishops should praise, not denounce, reputable journalists. He should be encouraging, not discouraging, his flock to read independent news sources. Predators will be better off and parents will be worse off if Catholics heed Dolan’s advice to ignore independent journalism.

Polls consistently show that Catholics are still justifiably concerned about the continuing cover up of child sex crimes by Catholic officials. Is that why Dolan wants his flock to disregard polls?

While Pope Francis talks kindness and inclusiveness, it’s sad to see Dolan spewing divisiveness and advocating ignorance.

Inquiry hears witness left suicidal after alleged care home abuse

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Times

Gerry Moriarty

Mon, Jan 26, 2015

A man who was put into a Belfast care home when he was six has alleged at the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry that he suffered physical abuse from “sadistic nuns” which ultimately left him in a suicidal and enraged state.

The man was taken from his parents who were both alcoholics and put into the care of the Sisters of Nazareth in 1982 with his older brother at Nazareth Lodge in Belfast in 1982, the inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down was told on Monday. A younger brother and sister who were also taken into care were fostered, the inquiry heard.

The man claimed that he suffered various forms of cruelty at the home. The nuns have apologised to all who suffered abuse in their care but have denied specific allegations that the witness made to the inquiry.

The inquiry, which was set up in 2013 to investigate alleged child abuse in residential institutions in Northern Ireland over a 73-year period up to 1995, is currently examining abuse claims at Narareth House and Nazareth Lodge in Belfast. In all 13 institutions are being investigated.

The witness said he was at Nazareth Lodge from the age of six up to when he was nearly 10. He said he was “force fed” by the nuns and that once when he got sick he was forced to clean up the mess.
He said on one occasion a nun told him, “You will never see your mother and father again”, which caused him extreme distress.