Abuse Tracker
A Blog by Kathy Shaw
 
BishopAccountability.org

BishopAccountability.org – Documenting the Abuse Crisis

April 23, 2018

Willow Creek Elders Admit Failure in Holding Bill Hybels 'Accountable,' Will Examine New Allegations

ILLINOIS
Christian Post

By Leonardo Blair, Christian Post Reporter

Apr 23, 2018

The elder board of the storied Willow Creek Community Church in suburban Chicago asked for grace this past weekend as they admitted to failing to hold the church's founder, Bill Hybels, "accountable to specific boundaries" as more women alleged he behaved improperly around them.

Responding to newer allegations that were not previously investigated, the elder board revealed that they have engaged in deep introspection and now realized how they could have responded better as the claims were first made against Hybels.

"Over the last several weeks, we have been in a process of deep learning, seeking clarity, and building a path toward reconciliation. Even though Bill is no longer in his role, our work to resolve any shadow of doubt in the trustworthiness of Willow Creek Community Church and its Elders is not done," the elders said in a letter to the Willow Creek church community Saturday. "As a board, we unanimously agree there are several areas where we could have served you better."

Previewing state Senate special elections in the Bronx, Westchester

NEW YORK
NY1

By Zack Fink

April 23, 2018

After Tuesday, the new makeup of the New York state Senate could pave the way for a Democratic takeover.

But the party needs two races to go its way.

Democrat Shelley Mayer is running for an open seat in Westchester County, and Luis Sepulveda is the Democrat running for the open seat in the Bronx.

"Well, I mean, never too confident. Remember what happened with Hillary Clinton and other electeds? We've worked like we are behind in the polls," Sepulveda said. "We've worked this community for a long time, so it's been a great ride. I love community service."

"It's important to me that a lot of issues have been unresolved since the budget passed, things like the Child Victims Act — which is important to me — things like criminal justice reform," Sepulveda said.

End Doesn’t Justify the Means

PENNSYLVANIA
Catholic4Change

APRIL 23, 2018

by Susan Matthews

Abused by a priest as a kid, Thomas (not his real name) spent much of his adulthood embroiled in a grand jury investigation. The grueling emotional process cut fresh wounds into his already scarred psyche. Suicide attempts and subsequent hospitalization made it clear that self preservation meant stepping away from it all. It was the right decision for him and his family. Thomas is working, married and surviving.

But now, his hard-won and tenuous stability is threatened. Lawyers prosecuting a civil case against the Philadelphia archdiocese on behalf of another victim asked him to testify. Thomas explained why he couldn’t – how it might cost him his life. They responded with a subpoena.

Cornered and forced to do something horrific as child, Thomas is once again cornered and being forced to do something terrifying as an adult. The subpoena compels him to appear in court or he’ll be held in contempt and fined. Yet, the price he’ll pay for testifying is far worse.

Civil and criminal cases have been the best means of gaining public awareness, preventing abuse and offering an opportunity for justice. But the end does not justify the means when a survivor is re-victimized.

'Protect Our Children: Sexual Abuse, The Law & Justice'

NEW YORK
ABC 7

[videos]

Monday, April 23, 2018 0

NEW YORK -- "PROTECT OUR CHILDREN: SEXUAL ABUSE, THE LAW, & JUSTICE" is hosted by Eyewitness News Anchor Diana Williams and addresses child sexual abuse and alarming statistics that reveal the fact that in this country, one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of eighteen. It is a scourge that is propped up by denial and deficient laws.

Watch our special here:

Part 1:

Kiwi’s three years on Pope’s commission

NEW ZEALAND
NZCatholic

Michael Otto

April 24, 2018

Bill Kilgallon is looking back on his three years as a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors with sense of achievement, alongside a certain sense of frustration.

Mr Kilgallon’s three years term on the commission came to an end last year, and he was not reappointed to a second term, an outcome he had anticipated.

When asked to point to the achievements by the commission in its first term, he pointed first to the establishment of the body itself, which involved the bringing together of people from different professional backgrounds from all around the world to work as a team.

The commission did its work by way of working groups and Mr Kilgallon chaired the group dealing with guidelines — starting with those for the prevention of and response to sexual abuse in the Church.

He described the completion of templates for guidelines to assist bishops’ conferences around the world to use as “a very significant piece of work”.

MEDIA RELEASE – APRIL 23, 2018

MASSACHUSETTS
Road to Recovery

Road to Recovery, Inc. – P.O. Box 279, Livingston, New Jersey 07039 – 862-368-2800

BOSTON COLLEGE HIGH SCHOOL AND THE JESUIT PRIESTS AND BROTHERS OF THE NORTHEAST PROVINCE CONTINUE TO IGNORE A CHILDHOOD CLERGY SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIM AND REFUSE TO HELP HIM HEAL, THUS CAUSING HIM TO BE RE-VICTIMIZED

A Jesuit priest, Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, stationed at Boston College High School from approximately 1951-1967, repeatedly sexually abused a minor child, Ronald Edward Casey, from approximately 1956 through 1957 when Ronald Edward Casey was approximately 11 to 13 years of age

Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, was not only a Jesuit priest and teacher at Boston College High School, but Fr. Pollard held himself out as a Boy Scout chaplain and took Ronald Edward Casey on Boy Scout trips to Camp Loon Pond in Lakeville, MA, where Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, repeatedly sexually abused minor child Ronald Edward Casey from approximately 1956 through 1957

The Jesuit priests and brothers of the Northeast Province of the Society of Jesus, which includes Boston College High School, continue to re-victimize childhood sexual abuse victim Ronald Edward Casey by not reasonably and fairly settling the claim of sexual abuse of a minor child by Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ

What
A press conference by Ronald Edward Casey, a 73 year-old San Francisco resident and childhood sexual abuse victim of a Jesuit priest from Boston College High School, Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ. Ronald Edward Casey continues to suffer from the effects of sexual abuse by Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ

When
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 11:30 am

Where
On the public sidewalk outside Boston College High School, 150 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125

Who
Ronald Edward Casey, childhood sexual abuse victim of Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ; and Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., co-founder and President of Road to Recovery, Inc., a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual abuse and their families

Why
Ronald Edward Casey was born in 1944 and grew up in a large family in South Boston, MA. His older brother, Bill Casey, was being counseled by Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, who was assigned to Boston College High School, and endeared himself to the Casey family which he visited frequently. Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, endeared himself in particular to Ronald Edward Casey who was approximately 11 years of age in 1956-1957. Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, took Ronald Edward Casey to Boy Scout Camp Loon Pond in Lakeville, MA, where he was forced to sleep in the same cabin as Fr. Leo Pollard, SJ, and was sexually abused repeatedly between approximately 1956 and 1957. Ronald Edward Casey will describe the sexual abuse he experienced as a child and call on Boston College High School and the Jesuits of the Northeast Province to do the right thing and reasonably and fairly settle his claim

Contacts
Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., Road to Recovery, Inc. – 862-368-2800 – roberthoatson@gmail.com
Attorney Mitchell Garabedian, Boston, MA - 617-523-6250 – mgarabedian@garabedianlaw.com
(portrayed in the 2016 Academy Award-winning Best Picture, “Spotlight”)

Ignored, humiliated: How Japan is accused of failing survivors of sexual abuse

JAPAN
CNN

By Anna Stewart, Euan McKirdy and Junko Ogura, CNN

n April 22, 2018

Tokyo (CNN)At first, it had seemed to Shiori Ito like a dream opportunity.

As an aspiring young reporter, she says a prominent journalist had taken an interest in her career, and invited her out to dinner.

The invitation was made while they were both in the US, but it wasn't until they had both returned to Tokyo that the meeting took place. According to Ito, they went for sushi, and at some point in the evening she went to the bathroom. It would be the last thing she remembered from the restaurant.

"The last thing I remember is being in the bathroom. I woke up with this intense pain and he was on top of me," she recounted to CNN.

"I had no memory how I got there, why, and I (had) never lost my memory like before.
"So, yeah, he was raping me."

Bill Cosby won’t take the stand

PENNSYLVANIA
Page Six

NORRISTOWN, Pa. — Bill Cosby will not be taking the stand in his own defense, he told the judge overseeing his sex assault retrial Monday before his lawyers rested their case.

Cosby, 80, faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault for the alleged drugging and molestation of former Temple University staffer Andrea Constand in his suburban Philadelphia home in January 2004.

The aged entertainer, wearing a tweed suit, remained seated as he confirmed to Judge Steven O’Neill that he had no intention of testifying, before his lawyers rested their defense.

“Yes, your honor,” he boomed as O’Neill reminded him of his right to either take or avoid the stand.

Bill Cosby retrial, Day 11: Defense rests; closing arguments to begin Tuesday

PENNSYLVANIA
CBS 19

Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY

April 23, 2018

The defense in Bill Cosby's sexual-assault retrial rested its case Monday. With the two sides set to give closing arguments Tuesday morning, it's possible the jury could be deliberating by lunchtime.

As was the case in the first trial, the comedian opted not to take the stand in his own defense; that trial, ended in a mistrial after the jury failed to reach a verdict after five days of deliberation after just over a week of testimony. The retrial, which is in its 11th day, has already outlasted the original.

Cosby, 80, is charged with drugging and molesting Andrea Constand, a former staffer with the women's basketball team at Temple University, at his house near Philadelphia in 2004. He says it was consensual.

The Latest: Prosecutors downplay Cosby travel records

PENNSYLVANIA
New York Daily News

April 23, 2018

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

Prosecutors are highlighting gaps in Bill Cosby's travel records.

Defense lawyers say the travel records prove he wasn't at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in January 2004 — the month his chief accuser alleges he drugged and molested her there.

But prosecutors say there are multiple stretches of time that month when the comedian wasn't aboard his private jet or performing around the country. And District Attorney Kevin Steele noted in court Monday that the records reflect only jet travel, not other modes of transportation.

Roslyn Yarbrough, a former secretary for Cosby's agent, says Cosby spent most of his time at his Massachusetts estate and New York City townhouse, and was "very rarely" at the suburban Philadelphia mansion.

NDP to force debate Thursday on Papal apology for residential schools

CANADA
iPolitics

By Rachel Gilmore.

Apr 23, 2018

This Thursday, MPs will debate and vote on an NDP motion calling on Parliament to, among other things, request a long-awaited Papal apology for the Catholic Church’s role in the residential school system.

“This is saying we need to do the right thing here. This is a moral call about moral leadership,” said NDP MP Charlie Angus.

“We’re calling to the church to say it’s time to fess up, to close this chapter and be part of the true process of reconciliation.”

The New Democrats have dedicated their opposition day to the motion, which invites the Pope to issue a formal apology for the Catholic Church’s role in residential schools. It also asks the church to pay monies owed to residential school survivors — to the tune of roughly $23 million, according to Angus — and to turn over any relevant documents or historical records dealing with residential schools.

A Pope Given to Apologies Has Nothing for Indigenous Canada

CANADA
New York Times

By IAN AUSTEN and JASON HOROWITZ

APRIL 23, 2018

OTTAWA — The past three popes have invested deeply in the forgiveness-begging business, offering official apologies for the church’s sins against Jews during World War II and Indigenous people in Bolivia, among others.

But Canada’s Roman Catholic bishops said late last month that Pope Francis would not apologize in the foreseeable future for the boarding schools where, for more than a century and a half, more than 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend in an effort to obliterate their cultures and languages.

About 70 percent of children went to schools operated by the church.

Now, the Canadian House of Commons is poised to consider a motion to ask those bishops to return to Rome to seek a papal apology, fulfilling a specific recommendation for healing the rift between Canada and its Indigenous people by a national Truth and Reconciliation Commission that documented the abuses at the schools.

2 priests placed on leave by Bishop Malone amid investigation

NEW YORK
WIVB

[with video]

By: Evan Anstey

: Apr 23, 2018

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - On Monday morning, the Diocese of Buffalo announced that Bishop Malone placed two priests on administrative leave.

Father Arthur S. Smith, of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Depew and Father Samuel J. Venne, a retired priest serving at St. Stephen's Parish on Grand Island, were the men named by the diocese.

Smith was placed on leave due to an investigation, and Venne was placed on leave following a complaint of abuse.

Child Sexual Abuse in U.S. Costs Up to $1.5 Million Per Child Death

UNITED STATES
Georgia State University

MARCH 28, 2018

ATLANTA—Child sexual abuse in the United States is costly, with an average lifetime cost of $1.1 million per death of female victims and $1.5 million per death of male victims, according to a new study.

Researchers measured the economic costs of child sexual abuse by calculating health care costs, productivity losses, child welfare costs, violence/crime costs, special education costs and suicide death costs.

They estimated the total lifetime economic burden of child sexual abuse in the United States to be $9.3 billion, based on child sexual abuse data from 2015. For nonfatal cases of child sexual abuse, the estimated lifetime cost is $282,734 per female victim. There was insufficient information on productivity losses for male victims, which contributed to a lower estimated lifetime cost of $74,691. The findings are published in the journal Child Abuse & Neglect.

“This study reveals that the economic burden of child sexual abuse is substantial and signifies recognition that reducing children’s vulnerability will positively and directly impact the nation’s economic and social well-being and development,” said Dr. Xiangming Fang, associate professor of health management and policy in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University. “We hope our research will bring attention to the need for increased prevention efforts for child sexual abuse.”

Two priests suspended amid probe of sexual abuse allegations

NEW YORK
Buffalo News

By Jay Tokasz

April 23, 2018

Two Buffalo-area priests were put on leave this past weekend as the Diocese of Buffalo investigates complaints of childhood sexual abuse.

Bishop Richard J. Malone suspended the Rev. Samuel J. Venne and the Rev. Arthur S. Smith from ministry due to allegations that the priests behaved inappropriately with minors.

Venne, who is retired, regularly celebrated Masses at St. Stephen Church on Grand Island. His administrative leave was announced to parishioners at Masses this past weekend.

Smith was working at Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta parish in Depew. Parishioners there also were informed at Masses this past weekend in a letter from the bishop that was read to them.

Diocesan spokesman George Richert confirmed the leaves Monday. Richert did not say when the diocese learned of the allegations. He also wouldn't specify when the alleged incidents involving the priests happened, other than to say they were not recent.

Pope meets his advisory commission on child protection

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

April 23, 2018

by Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service

ATICAN CITY — In its efforts to help advise the pope, the Roman Curia, bishops' conferences and local churches on protecting minors from abuse, a Vatican commission listened to abuse survivors from Great Britain and discussed the results of Australia's public inquiry into its country's institutional responses to abuse.

The plenary assembly of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM) April 20-22 was the first gathering with a group of new members appointed in February.

Pope Francis met with the commission members in a private audience April 21 and had met the day before with Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, who is president of the 17-member commission. The commission secretary is U.S. Msgr. Robert Oliver, a Boston priest, canon lawyer and former promotor of justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The pope said he wanted to confirm the commission's statutes, which were issued April 21, 2015, "ad experimentum" for a period of three years, according to a press statement by the commission April 22.

During their meeting, according to the statement, members "heard presentations on 'The outcome of the Australian Royal Commission,' on 'The U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child,' and on 'The role of faith communities in overcoming abuse trauma.' "

Arrested ex-deacon in Pittsburgh has Steubenville roots

OHIO
WTOV

April 20, 2018

by David Singer

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio —
A deacon with the Pittsburgh Diocese who has been arrested on underage sex charges has a connection to Steubenville.

73-year-old Rosendo Dacal was arrested for exchanging sexually explicit messages and photos with a police detective posing as a young boy.

In Friday’s edition of the Diocese's Steubenville Register, NEWS9 learned Deacon Dacal taught at Steubenville Catholic Central High School in the 1960s and 70s.

Now, the Diocese wants anyone who may have been a victim or anyone potentially harmed by the former Spanish teacher to come forward.

Editorial: Evidence of honorable intent

NEW YORK
Buffalo News

April 19, 2018

It’s anyone’s guess whether it will be enough, but no one can say Bishop Richard J. Malone isn’t putting his money where his mouth is: With the announcement that the Diocese of Buffalo is putting the bishop’s mansion up for sale, it seems clear that the local Catholic Church is serious about securing the money in needs to settle claims of sexual abuse by priests.

Malone announced the plan this week after hinting at it weeks ago when, as new accusations of abuse were being made public, the church announced creation of a fund to compensate victims. No properties would be off limits, he pledged – even the bishop’s stately mansion on Oakland Place in Buffalo. Plainly, he meant it.

It’s an encouraging step in what has previously been a disastrous policy in dealing with self-created crisis that ruined thousands of lives around the world and created a grave threat for the church. That threat will continue for as long as abusive priests go unidentified and their victims suffer what can be lifelong consequences of having put their innocent trust in a priest.

What the church can do now is to get right with the victims of its abusive priests and the policies that enabled them. That includes both acknowledging the fullness of its guilt and compensating, as best as possible, those whose lives were contaminated by those priests and the church’s attempts to shield them. Malone’s announcement is a welcome step in that direction.

'Death penalty will only silence victims of child sexual abuse'

INDIA
The Week

Namita Kohli

April 23, 2018

“How many times must a three-and-a-half-year-old recount the trauma she went through? Our system is such that a child who barely knows what she ate yesterday is asked what she went through six months ago... after all those months, defense lawyers ask her 'where did the uncle touch', 'where did it hurt',” an emotional father, a daily wager in Delhi, said, while recounting his ordeal in getting justice for his minor daughter, a victim of child sexual abuse.

“Death penalty is not a solution. That would be too easy an end,” the father said at a presser organised by civil society members who are opposing the ordinance allowing death penalty for those convicted of raping children under 12 years of age.

The ordinance has come in the backdrop of the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua.

In cases of child sexual abuse, the victim's father implored, convicts must be given “life imprisonment, and made to suffer”.

POSCO Act: Parents of minor rape victims are against death penalty, urge government to strengthen judiciary

INDIA
Free Express Journal

Apr 23, 2018

New Delhi: Not just child right activists, even parents of minor victims today came out against the Union government’s ordinance providing the death penalty to child rapists, saying it could lead to victims being killed by perpetrators. At a programme in New Delhi, three parents, whose children were raped, urged the central government to instead strengthen the judicial mechanism to support the children, who have to deal with the crimes and struggle in their aftermath.

“My child was 3.5 years old when she was raped in her playschool days after the 2012 Nirbhaya gangrape case. She was still breast-feeding,” a father, whose testimonial moved those present at the programme to tears, said. “We sat in the police station with her from 9am to 9:30pm to register an FIR and she was asked where she was touched and how much pain she experienced. She was made to repeat her statement again and again for months. I want to ask everyone if I was wrong to ask for justice for my daughter,” he said.

The Union Cabinet, two days ago, cleared the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2018, which proposes stringent punishments, ranging from a minimum of 20 years to life term or death, for raping girls below the age of 12. President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the ordinance. The ordinance was brought after a nationwide outrage over cases of sexual assault and killing of minors in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir, in Gujarat’s Surat, and the rape of a girl in Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.

Child rights groups reiterated that the real deterrent in such cases is the implementation of the laws and the certainty of punishment, rather than the death penalty. They said the ordinance was “reactionary, impractical in terms of procedural changes brought in and disproportionate with regards to sentencing.”

I-TEAM: Two more Diocese of Buffalo priests suspended amid abuse allegations

NEW YORK
WKBW

Charlie Specht

Apr 23, 2018

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Two more active priests in the Diocese of Buffalo have been suspended for allegations of child sexual abuse, the 7 Eyewitness News I-Team has learned.

Fr. Samuel Venne of St. Stephen Roman Catholic Church on Grand Island and Fr. Art Smith of Blessed Mother of Calcutta Catholic Church in Depew have been put on administrative leave, diocesan spokesman George Richert confirmed.

"After receiving an abuse complaint against Rev. Samuel J. Venne, Bishop Richard J. Malone has placed Father Venne on administrative leave as an investigation continues," according to a written statement released by the diocese. "Please note that this administrative leave is for the purpose of investigation and does not imply any determination as to the truth or falsity of the complaint."

The diocese released an identical statement regarding Father Smith.

Father Venne is listed on the St. Stephen website as "priest in residence," a term often used for retired priests who help staff weekend Masses. He previously served at St. Martin of Tours in South Buffalo.

Father Smith is also listed as a priest in residence at Blessed Mother of Calcutta. He previously served at parishes in South Buffalo and Hamburg.

Father Smith and Father Venne placed on administrative leave

NEW YORK
Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo

Mon, Apr 23rd 2018

After receiving an abuse complaint against Father Arthur S. Smith, of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Depew, Bishop Richard J. Malone has placed Father Smith on administrative leave as an investigation continues. Bishop Malone has also placed Father Samuel J. Venne on administrative leave after receiving an abuse complaint. Father Venne is a retired priest serving at St. Stephen's Parsih on Grand Island.

In both cases, please note that this administrative leave is for the purpose of investigation and does not imply any determination as to the truth or falsity of the complaint.

Buffalo Catholic Diocese places 2 priests on administrative leave

NEW YORK
WGRZ

April 23, 2018

BUFFALO, NY-- The Catholic Diocese of Buffalo has confirmed to 2 On Your Side they have placed two priests on administrative leave following accusations of abuse.

Father Samuel Venne, a retired priest from St. Stephen's Roman Catholic Church on Grand Island, has been placed on administrative leave after an accusation of past abuse.

Father Art Smith has also been placed on administrative leave. Father Smith is a priest at Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta Parish in Depew.

The Diocese says placing the priests on administrative leave is part of the investigation. It does not indicate if the claim is true or false at this time.

While acknowledging that these are challenging times for the Diocese, Bishop Malone said last month the recent release of names of priests allegedly involved in abuse cases, “brings to light what has been in darkness for too long.” Bishop Malone says releasing the names was the right thing to do and encourages more victims that may be out there to come forward.

Cosby Defense Blocked From Using Deposition

PENNSYLVANIA
Associated Press

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — The Latest on Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial (all times local):

9:15 a.m.

The judge in Bill Cosby’s sexual assault retrial won’t allow his lawyers to introduce testimony they say would shed light on the possible motivation of the comedian’s chief accuser.

The defense wanted jurors to hear deposition testimony from Andrea Constand’s friend, Sheri Williams. Cosby’s lawyers said Williams hasn’t responded to subpoenas. They wanted Williams’ testimony to rebut Constand’s claims that she was unaware Cosby was romantically interested in her. They said Williams would show Constand “could not have been the unwitting victim” prosecutors have portrayed.

Judge Steven O’Neill rejected the defense request Monday as the trial entered its third week.

Priest in India arrested over alleged lewd text to teen

INDIA
UCA News

Saji Thomas, Bhopal

India April 23, 2018

A Catholic priest in India has been arrested and remanded to judicial custody for allegedly sending an obscene text message to a female student who attends a church-run school where he is the vice-principal.

Father Georgeish Britto was arrested at his St. Anselm's Senior Secondary School in Alwar town in the western state of Rajasthan. Father Britto has been remanded to custody while investigations take place until May 5, said his vicar general Father Edward Oliveira of Jaipur.

The priest's arrest followed a complaint being made by the parents of a grade nine student who accused the priest of sending her an obscene message. The parents also accuse the priest of harassing their daughter and for attempting to convert her to Christianity.

"Church officials said the complaint and arrest are part of an attempt to tarnish the image of the church-run institution in the state," said Father Oliveira.

St William's School abuse campaigner 'angry' over payout delays

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

April 23, 2018

Delays in compensation payouts to victims of abuse at a Catholic school have left campaigners "angry and frustrated".

More than 240 men have made claims over abuse at St William's residential school in Market Weighton, East Yorkshire in the 1970s and 80s.

The De La Salle Order, which ran the school, put aside £7.7m for compensation, in 2015.

Church bosses say ongoing legal action out of its control is causing delays.

More on this and other East Yorkshire stories

"The strategy and management of the St Williams claims has been entirely in the control of the Diocese of Middlesbrough's insurers and the insurer's solicitors," the De La Salle Order said.

Jury in Cosby sexual assault retrial to hear final arguments

PENNSYLVANIA
Reuters

April 23. 2018

David DeKok

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (Reuters) - Prosecutors and comedian Bill Cosby’s defense team were each set to deliver closing arguments in his sexual assault retrial on Monday, taking a final shot at convincing a jury he is innocent or guilty of charges he drugged and sexually assaulted a former friend.

The defense could call two final witnesses to testify before the arguments begin, wrapping up testimony that began on April 9 at Montgomery County Courthouse outside Philadelphia.Cosby, 80, a stand-up comedian who went on to star in a number of hit television series including “The Cosby Show” in the 1980s, faces three counts of aggravated indecent assault of Andrea Constand, 45, in December 2004.

He stood trial on the same charges last year, when the deadlocked jury was unable to reach a verdict, leading prosecutors to try him again.

But this time the jury heard evidence that Judge Steven O’Neill barred from the first trial.

The prosecution called to the witness stand five other women who accused Cosby of similar sexual attacks, whereas only one such witness was allow to testify in the first trial, to show that the 2004 incident fit a pattern of criminal behavior.

Altoona woman attempts to revive sexual abuse lawsuit against diocese

PENNSYLVANIA
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PAULA REED WARD
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

APR 23, 2018

An Altoona, Pa., woman who says the Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown covered up years of abuse by a known pedophile has asked the state Superior Court to reinstate her lawsuit.

Renee A. Rice, 50, filed a complaint in Blair County Common Pleas Court in June 2016 and amended it months later. She named as defendants the Rev. Charles F. Bodziak, who she said abused her, as well as the diocese; retired Bishop Joseph Adamec; and Monsignor Michael E. Servinsky, who is the executor of the estate of the late Bishop James Hogan.

Her complaint includes claims for fraud, constructive fraud and conspiracy. She is seeking punitive damages.

However, her lawsuit was dismissed in December by Blair County Judge Jolene Grubb Kopriva, who found that, based on controlling case law, Ms. Rice’s claims are barred by the statute of limitations.

“At times, we reach that point in the law, owing either to binding precedent or statutory authority, where a wrong may regrettably have no redress,” the judge wrote. “The appellate courts or legislature retain the power to alter that situation if they so choose beyond the [precedential] dictates of the trial court.”

Priest held for sexually abusing four-year-old girl inside temple in Chennai

INDIA
New Indian Express

CHENNAI: A temple priest was arrested on Saturday on the charge of sexually abusing a four-year-old girl inside a temple at Choolaimedu.

Police said the child, who had come to a relative's house near the temple, used to play in the streets when V Udhayakumar (40) was reported to have taken her inside the temple and misbehaved with her.

The parents of the child were shocked when she told them how Udhayakumar used to touch her inappropriately.

"The family members were just playing with the child when she casually said the temple priest has often done certain things to her. When they spoke to the child further, they sensed that the priest had touched the girl inappropriately," said a police officer investigating the case.

Scottsdale pastor placed on leave after sex-abuse allegations

ARIZONA
AZCentral

Bree Burkitt and Ryan Santistevan, The Republic

April 22, 2018

A Scottsdale pastor has been placed on leave following allegations that he sexually abused teenage girls under his supervision at a California church decades ago.

The allegations surfaced Saturday after multiple women told the Modesto Bee that Les Hughey — who founded Highlands Community Church in north Scottsdale — victimized them while he was working as a youth pastor at a Modesto, California church in the 1970s.

In response to the report, Hughey issued a statement saying he had "sinned" during his time at First Baptist Church. But he said he had only had "consensual relations with fellow college-aged staff."

"Because the allegations are from more than 40 years ago, it will take some time to get a clear picture," Doug Milligan, a Highlands Community Church official, said in a statement Sunday. "We are concerned about the well-being of all people affected by these events."

Diocese postpones another healing service for abuse survivors

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., March 16, 2018

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

GALLUP – Once again officials with the Diocese of Gallup are postponing a healing service for survivors of clergy sex abuse, and once again it is because church officials failed to notify the public at least 30 days before the service.

The 30-day requirement was mandated in the nonmonetary provisions of the Diocese of Gallup’s Chapter 11 plan of reorganization.

The postponed healing service was supposed to be held Saturday at Our Lady of the Snows Parish in Snowflake, Arizona. The new date is now Sunday, April 29.

“In the wake of Fr. Bob Mathieu’s passing, we were not able to verify that all the notices were posted or sent out locally, so to make sure that we are fulfilling our obligations to survivors and to the Chapter 11 terms, we have rescheduled the service,” Suzanne Hammons, the diocese’s communication director, said in an email Wednesday.

The Rev.Robert E. Mathieu had been the pastor at the Snowflake parish until his death in an auto accident in Albuquerque Feb. 16. Because the healing service was scheduled a month later on March 17, officials with the Gallup Diocese were responsible for notifying the public.

This is the second time the healing service in Snowflake has been postponed. The service was originally scheduled for July 22, 2017, but Bishop James S. Wall postponed the service so he could attend the annual Tekakwitha Conference in South Dakota. Wall ended up canceling his appearance at the conference because of ill health.

Here is the most current schedule of healing services, all featuring new dates and times:

Tuesday, April 3, 5 p.m: Our Lady of the Assumption in Overgaard, Arizona.
Tuesday, April 10, 5 p.m: Our Lady of Fatima, Chinle, Arizona.
Tuesday, April 24, 5 p.m: St. Francis of Assisi in Lumberton.
Sunday, April 29, noon: Our Lady of the Snows, Snowflake, Arizona.

Diné judge to rule on sex abuse cases

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., April 10, 2018

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Independentcorrespondent
religion@gallupindependent.com

WINDOW ROCK – A Navajo Nation judge will decide the fate of a motion seeking to dismiss five childhood sex abuse lawsuits filed against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

After listening to oral arguments during a motion hearing Monday, Window Rock District Judge Carol Perry is slated to rule if the abuse lawsuits can proceed in the Navajo Nation courts as the Navajo plaintiffs are requesting or whether the cases will be dismissed as attorneys for the Mormon Church are arguing.

The lawsuits were filed in the tribal courts as personal injury complaints alleging the sexual abuse of Native children enrolled in the LDS Church’s now defunct Indian Student Placement Program. However, jurisdictional issues have plagued the cases as they have bounced back between the tribal court and a Utah federal court.

In the words of Gallup attorney William R. Keeler to Perry on Monday, a key phrase in the litigation might be described as, “Location, location, location.”

Jurisdictional dispute

The first law suit was filed in March 2016, on behalf of two adult siblings, a brother and sister identified only as RJ and MM, who claimed they had been sexually molested as students in the church placement program. Over the next 18 months, five more Navajo plaintiffs filed similar lawsuits.

RJ, MM and at least one other plaintiff attended Monday’s hearing. RJ’s case is still pending; however, MM and another plaintiff agreed to a settlement with the LDS Church in 2017 after mediation discussions. According to Keeler, an additional abuse survivor agreed to a settlement, without filing a lawsuit. The remaining civil complaints were consolidated.

In comments before Perry, attorneys for both sides agreed the alleged sexual abuse of the Navajo plaintiffs took place in off-reservation communities, either in Utah or Arizona.

A point of disagreement, however, concerns whether the conduct of LDS Indian Student Placement Program officials who worked on the Navajo Nation provides the Navajo Nation courts the necessary legal jurisdiction over the cases.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs, Craig Vernon of Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, and Keeler, argue the conduct of those placement program officials place the jurisdiction under the Navajo courts. Attorneys for the Mormon Church, David J. Jordan of Salt Lake City, and Lynn Isaacson of Gallup, argue the conduct – and sometimes the“non-conduct” – of those placement program officials place the cases outside of jurisdiction of the Navajo courts.

Legal arguments

During Monday’s court hearing, attorneys for both sides faced off in Perry’s small courtroom,while awkwardly sitting shoulder to shoulder at a shared table. Two additional church attorneys had to sit in the courtroom gallery because of lack of space at the table.

Legal arguments during the nearly two-hour hearing dissected provisions of the Navajo Nation’s Treaty of 1868, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Montana v. United States, and the Navajo Nation’s Supreme Court’s ruling in the John Doe BF v.Diocese of Gallup clergy sex abuse case.

Jordan,whose arguments dominated the majority of the nearly two-hour hearing,repeatedly advised Perry that Navajo courts lack subject-matter jurisdiction because the alleged “tortious conduct,” or wrongful conduct, occurred off the Navajo Reservation. Jordan pointed to the John Doe BF court decision as providing a good explanation of how subject-matter jurisdiction works on the Navajo Nation.

Jordan also argued that LDS Church placement program officials on the Navajo Reservation who did not disclose reports of sexual abuse were not guilty of tortious conduct.

“Non-conduct is not conduct,” Jordan said. “Failing to do something is not conduct.”

In response, Keeler pointed back to the decision of U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby who rejected LDS Church jurisdictional arguments in November 2016. Instead, Shelby ruled the church “must first exhaust their remedies” in the Navajo Nation courts before seeking redress in the federal courts.

“What the judge was saying was you have to look to Montana to figure this out,” Keeler said, referring to the Montana v. United States decision.

Keeler and Vernon argued their clients’ cases meet the exceptions outlined in the Montana case and requested Perry allow the cases to move forward.

Vernon disputed Jordan’s assertion that placement decisions regarding Native students occurred off-reservation, explaining placement decisions were made on the reservation, particularly at an LDS office in Chinle, Arizona. Vernon told Perry that some student disclosures of abuse happened on the Navajo Reservation, and some negligent conduct of placement program officials also took place on the reservation.

Frustration and anger

After the hearing concluded, two plaintiffs expressed frustration and anger toward LDS church officials and their attorneys. Keeler allowed them to make brief remarks in his presence.

RJ, the plaintiff who filed the first lawsuit, had responded with visible anger during the court hearing, particularly when Jordan made a number of assertions,including one about RJ’s complaint.

“The Mormon Church did actually do this to me,” RJ said, adding he was willing to swear “on a stack of Bibles” or his mother’s grave.

“I have my witnesses as well,” he said, explaining he was not afraid to testify on the witness stand. In his lawsuit, RJ stated he had disclosed his abuse to a number of LDS officials, who are listed by name in the complaint.

“What is a child’s innocence worth to people?” he asked. “Not all the money in the world will replace my innocence.”

The second person, a woman identified as plaintiff BN, explained she is still a member of the LDS Church. She said Mormon officials teach church members the importance of loving and understanding one another, believing in Christ, praying, fasting and looking to the Holy Spirit for guidance. However, BN said, she doesn’t believe LDS Church officials have demonstrated these same faith actions in their response to the Navajo plaintiffs in these abuse cases.

“When have they done this?” she said.

Instead,BN said, the LDS Church sends “pit bull” attorneys from Utah to “eke away at Navajo Nation sovereignty” and attack Navajo victims “as if we are the ones who are liars.”

BN expressed frustration with the focus on legal jurisdiction during the hearing rather than on the “rape and molestation” the plaintiffs endured.

“God does not care about location. God knows it happened,” BN said. “It’s pitiful. It’s a tragedy.”

BN said she has a question for the LDS Church’s president and 12 Apostles. “Have you fasted and prayed about my case?” she said.

Editorial: Diocese’s healing services reflect a slipshod bishop

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., April 20, 2018

The Diocese of Gallup’s series of healing services for survivors of clergy sex abuse is coming to an end this month. The series, which began 18 months ago, has been held at nearly 40 Catholic parishes across the diocese in Arizona and New Mexico – wherever a church sex abuser molested an innocent child or wherever he had a “ministry”assignment.

This month also marks the 9th anniversary of Bishop James S. Wall’s tenure in the Gallup Diocese. In many ways, the healing services are a reflection of ongoing problems created by Bishop Wall’s slipshod leadership skills and lack of transparency and accountability.

The healing services were a result of the Diocese of Gallup filing for bankruptcy protection. As part of the Chapter 11 reorganization, the diocese had to agree to 17 non-monetary provisions in an effort to make amends to the untold numbers of victims of clergy sexual abuse. Provision No. 8 required Bishop Wall to visit each operating Catholic parish or school and “provide a forum/discussion during his visit to address questions and comments.” That did not happen. Instead, the bishop offered religious services, followed by private meetings with interested abuse survivors.

Before we offer further criticism,let us be clear: The healing services were helpful for some survivors of clergy sex abuse. Those individuals have said they found the scriptural readings and the bishop’s words to be healing. They have appreciated speaking with the bishop after the service, and they found him to act responsive and caring.

However, the services have only provided healing for a small number of abuse survivors. The bishop and his staff have failed many other abuse survivors, the Catholic laity and the general public through their lack of courage, shortage of empathy and pervasive incompetence. Many abuse survivors never attended a healing service because they can’t emotionally bring themselves to step through the doors of a Catholic Church. Others refused to attend because they are still angry over the many years the diocese fought abuse survivors with hardball legal tactics. Most of the Catholic laity and the general public never attended because they realized no real answers about clergy sex abuse would be forthcoming.

First, it is a sad state of affairs when a U.S. bankruptcy court has to order a Catholic bishop to visit his own parishes and offer an apology for the sexual abuse of children.

Secondly, Bishop Wall should have had the moral courage to offer a “forum/discussion” at each parish and school as described in the non-monetary provisions. Would church members and the general public ask difficult questions? Yes, of course. Would there have been anger, tears and emotional outbursts from abuse survivors and their families?Yes, but that is a necessary step to healing trauma. Santa Fe Archbishop John C. Wester had the courage to offer five such public panel discussions and they did include difficult questions, anger, tears and emotional outbursts.Unfortunately, Bishop Wall doesn’t have that kind of moral courage.

Thirdly, the manner in which many of the healing services were postponed – some of them were postponed twice – is an example of the lack of competence and empathy of the bishop and his staff. They postponed one service because they had scheduled it the same day as the bishop’s all important Mardi Gras fundraiser celebration. Doesn’t the chancery keep a calendar of the bishop’s schedule? And what should be more important to a supposed representative of Jesus Christ – ministering to abuse survivors or raising money for church coffers? Bishop Wall gave us his predictable answer:Money.

Other healing services were postponed so the bishop could travel. Still, others were postponed on such short notice that abuse survivors were left uninformed. One survivor drove to the isolated church in Lumberton, New Mexico, only to learn the diocese had postponed the service without adequate public notice. Abuse survivors and their family members deserve better treatment.

And what about truthful information and honest answers? That has been in short supply since Wall became bishop. For example, in 2009, the Gallup Independent reported the Rev. Diego Mazon, O.F.M.had been removed from ministry because of a clergy sex abuse lawsuit and a credible allegation of abuse. Yet, it took the Diocese of Gallup eight more years of foot dragging to admit to this fact. Through the years, the Independent has reported on other accused Gallup clergy, yet the Gallup Diocese continues to drag its feet and fail to provide answers.

The Catholic laity and the general public also deserve better than this. Unfortunately, with Bishop Wall at the helm, foot dragging and stonewalling of information and answers is all we’ll probably get.

In this space only does the opinion of the Gallup Independent Editorial Board appear.

The silent lives of childhood sexual abuse survivors in America’s South Asian diaspora

UNITED STATES
The Lily

Samira Sadeque

December 19, 2017

Editor’s note: This story contains sensitive stories about childhood sexual abuse. Some of the women who came forward in this story could face negative repercussions within their communities for sharing their experiences. The Lily has chosen to protect their identities by not using their real or full names.

Bina really believed Samiha was going to come home that night.

It was a cold Wednesday evening in November 2016. Bina* had just gotten off the phone with her 23-year-old cousin, Samiha Khan, who assured her that she was on her way home.

“I told her what I always tell her when she’s upset,” Bina said. “You live in a house full of people who love you, and we’re waiting for you. So, come home.”

She was still suspicious. She had offered to call Samiha an Uber, but Samiha insisted she would take the subway.

Instead, she threw herself in front of one.

Four Gallup clerics included in sex claim

NEW MEXICO
Gallup Independent

Published in the Gallup Independent, Gallup, N.M., April 9, 2018

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

ALBUQUERQUE – A new clergy sex abuse lawsuit, filed against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe Thursday, alleges the archdiocese failed to include more than 40 credibly accused sex abusers on its list of abusers, including four Catholic clerics who worked in the Diocese of Gallup.

Levi A. Monagle, an attorney with the Law Offices of Brad D. Hall in Albuquerque, filed the lawsuit Thursday in New Mexico’s Second Judicial District Court on behalf of “John Doe 80,” a man who alleges he was sexually abused as a child by the Rev. Robert Galli at St. Anne’s Parish in southwest Albuquerque.

The law firm released the names of 43 clerics in both the lawsuit and a news release issued Friday. The firm alleges the 43 names were omitted from the list of 74 credibly accused sex abusers that Archbishop John C. Wester publicly released in September 2017, “despite being credibly accused of abuse and spending significant time in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe – often at Servants of the Paraclete treatment facilities in Jemez Springs and Albuquerque.” The law firm also claims a number of the men had ministry assignments in the archdiocese.

“The Archdiocese continues to present the people of New Mexico with half-truths masquerading as transparency, particularly with respect to the vast number of abusive priests brought into the state by the Servants of the Paraclete,” Monagle said in the news release. Although the law firm stated it did not include the names of accused clerics primarily affiliated with the Diocese of Las Cruces or the Diocese of Gallup, its list does include the names of the following four men who had ministry assignments in the Gallup Diocese, including one Franciscan friar not on Gallup’s list of credibly accused abusers.

-William G. Allison: Originally from the Diocese of Alexandria, Louisiana, Allison was accused of abuse while working in Flagstaff, Arizona, which was once part of the Diocese of Gallup. Allison received treatment at the Servants of the Paraclete facility in Jemez Springs. The Gallup Diocese includes Allison on its list of credibly accused abusers.

-Crispin Butz: This Franciscan friar was named as an accused abuser by a claimant in the Diocese of Gallup’s bankruptcy case. However, Butz and four other clerics named as alleged abusers in the bankruptcy case have yet to be added to the Diocese of Gallup’s abuser list. According to the new lawsuit, Butz received treatment at the Servants of the Paraclete facility.

-Mark Schornack: According to records released in a recent clergy sex abuse lawsuit in Flagstaff, Arizona, this Franciscan brother was admitted to the Franciscan order while he was a patient of the Servants of the Paraclete. Although he spent much of his life working at Catholic missions on the Navajo Nation, Schornack had at least one ministry assignment in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, at Jemez Pueblo. The Gallup Diocese includes Schornack on its list of credibly accused abusers.

-John Thomas Sullivan: Originally from the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, this notorious serial abuser worked in several Arizona parishes in the Diocese of Gallup. Sullivan received treatment at the Servants of the Paraclete facility in Jemez Springs.

An internet search of the 43 names indicates that all have been accused of sex abuse and many have been named as credibly accused abusers by other Catholic dioceses or religious orders. Some were even arrested and imprisoned. Added to Wester’s earlier list of 74 credibly accused abusers, the new names would total 117 abusers associated with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

Names of 43 accused clerics

Andrew Christian Anderson
William G. Allison
Thomas Behnke
Gustavo Benson
Robert Brouillette, aka Robert Sullivan
Crispin Butz
Joseph L. Clauss
Daniel Calabrese
John H. Dawson
Louis E. Douglas
John F. Fitzpatrick
Ronald L. Fontenot, aka Jean Paul Fontenot
James A. Forsythe
John J. Fallon
Peter E. Garcia
Charles J. Gormley
Richard Galdon
John F. Harrold
Mel W. Hermanns
Stanley D. Idziak
Rudy Kos
David J. Kelley
James Walter Lent
Gale Leifeld
Joseph P. Lessard
Lawrence Joseph Lovell
Gordon MacRae
Francis Xavier Markey
Tom McConnell
John B. Modica
Peter B. Murphy
Robert Daniel Nikliborc
John G. Pisarcik
Franz Robier
David Roll
John R. Russell
Mark Schornack, aka Mark Schomack
Carmen Sita, aka Gerald Howard
John Slown
Michael John Stevens
John Thomas Sullivan
Joseph Theisen
Michael Trainor

Church elders renew probe of founder’s alleged misconduct

ILLINOIS
Associated Press

April 22, 2918

SOUTH BARRINGTON, Ill. (AP) — Leaders of a Chicago-area evangelical church that became one of the largest in the nation say they will renew their examination of the church’s former pastor.

The Rev. Bill Hybels retired from Willow Creek Community Church earlier this month after allegations he touched and made lewd comments to female congregants. The elders say they are acting after new accusations against Hybels surfaced.

The new allegations were published Saturday in Christianity Today. Hybels couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The elders and an outside investigator cleared Hybels of any wrongdoing in a previous inquiry.

Temple priest held for sexual abuse of child

INDIA
Times of India

Apr 23, 2018

CHENNAI: The city police on Saturday arrested a priest at a temple in Choolaimedu, for sexually abusing a three-year-old girl on temple premises.

According to the police, the victim had accompanied her grandmother to the temple. Udayakumar, 40, an assistant to a priest, took the child to an isolated place after convincing her grandmother that he would take care of the child until she is done with her prayers.

On returning home, the child told her relatives and friends about the incident. An angry mob immediately gathered at the temple, dragged Udayakumar out and filed a complaint against him at the Choolaimedu police station, said the police.

The case was later transferred to the Thousand Lights all-women police station.

An investigating officer said that preliminary interrogation had been completed and they had booked Udayakumar under Section 8 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act.

Pope Francis appoints new members to Commission for Protection of Minors

VATICAN CITY
Vatican News

17 February 2018

By Christopher Wells

Pope Francis has renewed the membership of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM), confirming Cardinal Seán O’Malley as President of the Commission, and adding nine new members to the advisory body. Seven more nominees are returning to the Commission after their terms had expired in December.

During his recent trip to South America, Pope Francis addressed concerns about the expiry of the Commission’s mandate, saying the time taken to nominate members to the body was normal. “Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has given much prayerful consideration in nominating these members,” Cardinal O’Malley said in a press release. “The newly appointed members will add to the Commission’s global perspective in the protection of minors and vulnerable adults. The Holy Father has ensured continuity in the work of our Commission, which is to assist local churches throughout the world in their efforts to safeguard all children, young people, and vulnerable adults from harm.”

Among the new members are several experts from English-speaking countries: the Hon. Neville Owen from Australia; Sr Jane Bertelsen, FMDM, from the UK; and Ms. Teresa Kettelkamp from the United States.

The Commission’s press release noted that the eight men and eight women who form the membership of the Commission were chosen “from a multi-disciplinary field of international experts in safeguarding children and vulnerable adults from the crime of sexual abuse.” The members come from several different countries, “reflecting the global reach of the Church and the challenge of creating safeguarding structures in diverse cultural contexts.”

According to the press release, several of the members of the Commission are themselves victims of clerical sexual abuse. However, it is the practice of the PCPM to respect the privacy of abuse victims, and those named today have chosen not speak publicly about their experiences.

Commission for Protection of Minors holds Plenary Assembly

VATICAN CITY
Vatican News

22 April 2018

By Christopher Wells

Pope Francis received members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM) in a private audience on Saturday. A press release from the Commission said that at the meeting, the Holy Father “stated his intention to definitively confirm the Commission’s statutes.”

The Commission was meeting in Rome for its Plenary Assembly, the first since Pope Francis appointed new members to the body in February.

At the Audience with the Pope, the members of the Commission explained their priorities, which they said, “are reflected in the following Working Groups: working with survivors; education and formation; and safeguarding guidelines and norms.”

Earlier in the week, at the beginning of their Plenary Assembly, the Commission heard from members of the Survivor Advisory Panel of the National Safeguarding Commission from England and Wales. “The gathering was part of the PCPM’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that the thoughts and contributions of people who have been abused inform all aspects of the Commission’s work,” according to the press release.

'Dateline' airs exclusive interview with Karolyis

INDIANA
WTHR

APR 23RD, 2018

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — In an exclusive interview that aired Sunday night on NBC's Dateline, famed gymnastics coaches Bela and Martha Karolyi deny knowing disgraced national team doctor, Larry Nassar was sexually abusing the girls were training at their camps.

"No way," said Martha. "Everybody said Larry Nassar is a good doctor, Larry Nassar is a good guy."

The Karolyis also denied verbally abusing the girls and creating a culture of fear, as well as denying accounts of creating a culture where Nassar was able to prey on young girls, saying is just not true.

"I feel extremely bad," said Martha. "I don't feel responsible, but I feel extremely hurt that this can happen, and it happened everywhere, but it happened here also."

The Karolyis instead pointed the finger at Indianapolis-based USA Gymnastics.

Tasmania leads the way on redress

AUSTRALIA
Eternity

JOHN SANDEMAN | APRIL 23RD, 2018

Redress for survivors of sexual abuse by church leaders, not the sale of nearly half their church property is the story Tasmanian Anglican leaders want Australians to hear.

“An estimated liability of around $8 million in new and additional payments to survivors, it will require decisive action and significant sacrifice for everyone across our Diocese (region),” Richard Condie, the Bishop of Tasmania announced on the weekend.

The Tasmanian statement was headlined “Anglican Church in Tasmania sacrifices to fund redress.” The ABC report was headed “Tasmanian Anglican churches could be sold to fund abuse survivors redress”, a subtle shift of emphasis.

Eternity understands that some 55 Tasmanian survivors have already received payments from an existing local redress fund and these may need to be increased. In addition the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has identified more claimants. A national average payment of $78,000 with a cap of $150,000 is expected.

Tasmanian Bishop - please buy our churches

AUSTRALIA
ABC - On Mornings

April 23, 2018

[audio]

On Mornings with Leon Compton

Tasmania's Anglican Bishop Richard Condie says he hopes local communities will pitch in to buy the more than 120 properties, including churches, halls and houses, up for sale to pay redress for survivors of child sexual abuse. The Bishop tells Leon Compton the Church needs to sell just under half of its Tasmanian properties to cover an estimated $8 million of liability in additional payments to survivors.

Police drop the sex abuse inquiry into an ex-bishop who was allegedly smeared by Justin Welby

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By MILES DILWORTH FOR THE DAILY MAIL

22 April 2018

Police have dropped a controversial inquiry into an ex-bishop allegedly smeared by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Sussex Police said it is no longer investigating an allegation of child sex abuse against the late George Bell, former bishop of Chichester, referred to them earlier this year.

A spokesman said the investigation had been completed last month.

Claims against Dr Bell – who was widely respected for speaking out against Nazi atrocities and saving Jews from persecution – surfaced in 2012, but were dismissed over a lack of evidence.

Justin Welby was heavily criticised for trashing the reputation of Dr Bell – who died in 1958 – after he ‘rushed’ to accept claims the bishop was a paedophile. An independent review by Lord Carlile last year said the Church of England had ‘hung him out to dry’ on the say-so of a woman who alleged more than 50 years after he died that Dr Bell abused her as a child.

April 22, 2018

6 News wins variety of journalism awards

MICHIGAN
WLNS

[Nassar coverage]

Apr 22, 2018

6 News won nine awards from the Associated Press on Sunday, including awards for the station's coverage of the Larry Nassar scandal and for weather.

The station was also recognized with an "Outstanding News Operation" award.

WLNS-TV won four first place awards, including:

* Best Investigative Coverage, Alexandra Ilitch, "The Larry Nassar Saga"

* Best Continuing Coverage, Alexandra Ilitch, "The Larry Nassar Scandal"

Police to stop taking victims' word for it: Dramatic plan could mean officers do not automatically believe claims of crimes due to flawed inquiries based on false allegations

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Martin Beckford for The Mail on Sunday

22 April 2018

Police are to drop their controversial policy of automatically believing anyone who reports a crime, it can be revealed.

A top-level report obtained by The Mail on Sunday says official guidance should be changed to tell detectives they must listen to victims and take them seriously – but not automatically assume they are telling the truth.

The dramatic move follows a series of flawed inquiries based on false allegations that left dozens of innocent people's lives and reputations destroyed, including high-profile figures such as pop legend Sir Cliff Richard and DJ Paul Gambaccini.

In the most notorious case, Scotland Yard wrongly described as 'credible and true' a fantasist's lurid claims of a VIP sex abuse ring in Westminster involving former Home Secretary Lord Brittan, war hero Lord Bramall and ex-Tory MP Harvey Proctor.

The U-turn has been drawn up by the College of Policing, which sets national standards, and after being considered by chief constables last week it will be sent to Home Office Ministers to become official policy.

The causes of paedophilia and child sexual abuse are more complex than the public believes

AUSTRALIA
The Conversation

April 22, 2018

Kelly Richards
Senior lecturer, Queensland University of Technology

The public often feels intense loathing and anger towards paedophiles and those who sexually abuse children. A raft of sex offender policies such as Western Australia’s publicly accessible register of “dangerous and high risk offenders” has been introduced globally to appease an increasingly hostile, punitive and vocal community.

What the public thinks about the causes of child sexual abuse is important, because what people think causes a problem informs what they believe should be done.

My recent research examined what the public think causes paedophilia and child sexual abuse. I found there were four common causal explanations, and while each had some truth to them, they ultimately missed the complexity of the actual causes.

‘Born that way’ or cycle of abuse?

I analysed nearly 800 comments posted by members of the public to four online forums created following the announcement of a new program for reintegrating sex offenders in South Australia.

The forums are a rich source of data on public views about causality, particularly since people’s comments are “off the cuff” rather than telling the researcher what they want to hear.

People posting on the forum put forward four causal explanations for paedophilia and child sexual abuse.

McKayla Maroney says she tried to raise sex abuse alarm in 2011

UNITED STATES
NBC News

by Sarah Fitzpatrick and Tracy Connor

Apr.22.2018

Larry Nassar had done "the treatment" on gymnast McKayla Maroney before, but nothing prepared her for what happened in a Tokyo hotel room in October 2011.

"That was the scariest night," Maroney told NBC News in her first-ever interview about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Nassar, the former Olympic doctor now at the center of an ever-widening scandal.

"He went, like, overboard that night."

Maroney is one of more than 265 girls and women — including a half-dozen Olympians — who say Nassar molested them under the guise of medical procedures.

She told her story as part of a months-long Dateline investigation, airing Sunday night at 7 p.m. ET, into allegations that USA Gymnastics could have stopped Nassar earlier and tried to silence his victims when they finally spoke up — accusations the organization denies.

A letter from the Elders

ILLINOIS
Willow Creek Community Church

April 21, 2018

Dear Willow Family,

We have been diligently praying and processing how to best respond to recent events. Last night, we had another productive and encouraging Elder Meeting. We are unified and seeking God’s direction on next steps, and we felt it was important to communicate with you.

This has been such a difficult time. Our church has been facing one of the most challenging seasons in our history. In the midst of this time, you have been responding with love, grace, and an openness to engage in dialogue. We are so proud of you. You are living the Gospel. We are also especially proud of the staff. Not only have you gracefully demonstrated strength, you have also joyfully assumed additional responsibilities due to an accelerated transition of leadership.

Over the last several weeks, we have been in a process of deep learning, seeking clarity, and building a path toward reconciliation. Even though Bill is no longer in his role, our work to resolve any shadow of doubt in the trustworthiness of Willow Creek Community Church and its Elders is not done.

With the benefit of hindsight, we see several aspects of our past work that we would have handled differently, and we have identified several areas of learning. Moving forward, we have a renewed commitment to engaging well, listening deeply, and further developing a culture of transparency and accountability.

Church elders renew probe of founder’s alleged misconduct

ILLINOIS
Associated Press

SOUTH BARRINGTON, Ill. (AP) — Leaders of a Chicago-area evangelical church that became one of the largest in the nation say they will renew their examination of the church’s former pastor.

The Rev. Bill Hybels retired from Willow Creek Community Church earlier this month after allegations he touched and made lewd comments to female congregants. The elders say they are acting after new accusations against Hybels surfaced.

The new allegations were published Saturday in Christianity Today. Hybels couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The elders and an outside investigator cleared Hybels of any wrongdoing in a previous inquiry.

Catholic priests take a vow of celibacy when they’re ordained. But when they break that vow, their children are left to live a lie

CANADA
Toronto Star

By MARY ORMSBY Feature Writer
SANDRO CONTENTA Feature Writer

Tues., April 17, 2018

On a winter afternoon in 2016, Michelle Raftis’s long search brought her to the steps of St. Michael’s Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto. She was nervous, and had carefully prepared what she would say to Cardinal Tom Collins.

She was done with secrets and lies.

Raftis is the daughter of a Catholic priest, a truth the 55-year-old had to hide most of her life. She wanted to know why the church she was raised in allowed a priest to abandon his child.

“I wanted a written apology from the church,” Raftis says.

In Canada and around the world, children of priests have emerged from the shadows to press the Vatican — and their local dioceses — to recognize they exist.

The Vatican appears to have no data on the number of clergy who break their vows of celibacy and father children. But with more than 400,000 Roman Catholic priests ministering to 1.1 billion Catholics, offspring are likely to be found across the globe, says Bill Kilgallon, who recently finished a three-year term as a leading member of Pope Francis’s Commission for the Protection of Minors.

In Canada alone, about 20 sons and daughters of priests have personally contacted Coping International, a recently formed online support group out of Ireland that is pushing the Roman Catholic Church and its priests to acknowledge parental responsibilities.

Dioceses won’t name sex offenders

WEST VIRGINIA
Weirton Daily Times

WHEELING — The Roman Catholic dioceses of Wheeling-Charleston and Steubenville don’t plan to issue any lists of alleged sexual offenders as dioceses in neighboring states have done in recent weeks.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, New York, released lists of clergy and laity identified as being sexual abusers. The lists contained the names of living and deceased subjects.

But that won’t happen here, church officials have said.

“The diocese does not currently have any plan to do what the Diocese of Erie is doing,” said Tim Bishop, a spokesman for the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.

Dino Orsatti, director of communications for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Steubenville, also said that diocese isn’t planning to issue a list of alleged sexual offenders. Still, it won’t hide any allegations.

Bishop George Bell investigation dropped by Sussex Police

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

Olivia Rudgard, religious affairs correspondent

22 APRIL 2018

A police investigation into former bishop of Chichester George Bell has been dropped amid criticism of the Archbishop of Canterbury for smearing his name.

Sussex Police told the Daily Telegraph that they were no longer investigating a new allegation which was referred to them earlier this year.

A spokesman said the the investigation "was completed in March 2018" and added "of course further police investigation or action is not possible as Bishop Bell died 60 years ago".

An independent review released last year by Lord Carlile found that Bishop Bell had been besmirched by the church in 2015 when officials released a statement formally apologising over allegations of abuse made by a woman who is now in her seventies.

It also paid out £16,800 to the woman, known as Carol, for the alleged sexual abuse over a period of four years, beginning when she was five years old.

Telford sex scandal shock as social services chief is one of THREE councillors exposed as paedophiles

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

ByGeraldine McKelvie
Nick Sommerlad

22 APR 2018

Three politicians are today exposed as convicted child sex offenders in “mind-blowing and disgraceful” revelations that will further rock Telford.

Relatives of murdered abuse victim Lucy Lowe, 16, were left reeling after learning one of the politicians had been jailed and two others had admitted their guilt.

Anglican vicar the Rev Michael Keen, 78, who sat on a Police Authority board, got 15 months for two assaults on a boy aged 15.

The same lad was assaulted by former councillor Graham Bould, 60, chair of Shropshire County Council’s social services from 1993 -1998 – when Telford’s child grooming epidemic began to spiral.

The Sunday Mirror revealed last month how up to 1,000 girls are feared to have been groomed and abused by mainly Asian paedophile gangs.

Social services chief is one of three politicians exposed as paedophiles as Telford child sex grooming scandal grows

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By Phoebe Southworth For Mailonline

22 April 2018

A social services chief is among three politicians exposed as paedophiles as the Telford grooming scandal continues to spiral.

The shocking revelation comes just a week after authorities in the Shropshire town voted to commission an independent inquiry into child abuse after years of inaction.

Up to 1,000 children are feared to have been groomed and abused by predominantly Asian paedophile gangs.

Victim Lucy Lowe, 16, was murdered by her abuser who set fire to her house in 2000. The blaze also killed her sister and mother.

She had been made pregnant by the same man when she was 14.

Now it has emerged that former county councillor Graham Bould groomed a 15-year-old boy in the early 1980s after meeting him at a church group.

Child abuse investigation to look into claims at former Aberdeen children’s home

SCOTLAND
Evening Express

19/04/2018

A national child abuse investigation will turn its focus on events at a former Aberdeen children’s home from next week.

Former residents and other witnesses connected to Nazareth House on the city’s Claremont Street, are expected to give evidence to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry.

The facility was founded by six women from the Sisters of Nazareth in London in 1862 and it was once home to more than 300 children, but the home was dogged by allegations of historical abuse by the nuns for over two decades, with more than 40 complaints being made by former residents during a police investigation in 1997.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry was launched in October 2015 and is one of the most wide-ranging public inquiries ever held in Scotland.

Lawyer rapped over child abuse evidence

SCOTLAND
Press and Journal

by Jon Hebditch

April 19, 2018

A lawyer representing a group of nuns under investigation by a national child abuse probe has been rapped by one of Scotland’s top judges for attempting to prevent the sisters from giving evidence.

The Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry will next week look at establishments run by the Sisters of Nazareth order in Aberdeen, Cardonald, Kilmarnock and Lasswade following hearings regarding facilities run by the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul in January.

The Aberdeen facility Nazareth House, on Aberdeen’s Claremont Street, was founded by six women from the order in 1862 and was once home to more than 300 children.

However, the nuns from the children’s home have been dogged by allegations of historical abuse.

During a police investigation in 1997, more than 40 complaints were made by former residents – one woman claimed she had been beaten so hard she lost her hearing, and another said he had been submerged in near-boiling water by the sisters.

Phase 2 Hearings - Sisters of Nazareth

SCOTLAND
Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry

24 April 2018

During Phase 2 the Inquiry will continue to examine evidence it has ingathered, researched and analysed relating to residential child care establishments run by Catholic Orders. This phase will resume with a case study about residential child care establishments run by the Sisters of Nazareth. Hearings are expected to begin on 24 April 2018 and continue into early Summer.

Witnesses:

Representatives of the Sisters of Nazareth.

Individuals who were resident in Nazareth House in Aberdeen, Cardonald, Kilmarnock and Lasswade.

Please note that the names in brackets is a pseudonym of the witness who has chosen to give evidence anonymously.

Tuesday 24 April

Opening submissions

Witness LCO – (Rose)

Jim Buckley

*Witness LBO – (Elizabeth) - the statement of this witness will be read in, in whole or part.

*Witness LCK – (Lucy) - the statement of this witness will be read in, in whole or part.

Wednesday 25 April

Witness LBK - (Christopher)

Witness LBL – (John)

*Witness LCI – (Michael) - the statement of this witness will be read in, in whole or part.

*Witness LCM – (Terence) - the statement of this witness will be read in, in whole or part.

Thursday 26 April

Witness LCN – (John)

Joseph Currie

*Witness LBZ – (Jack) - the statement of this witness will be read in, in whole or part.

Friday 27 April

Witness LBA - (Alan)

Witness LBR – (Jill)

*Witness LCP – (Margaret) - the statement of this witness will be read in, in whole or part.

Context:

The case study into residential child care establishments run by Catholic Orders will resume with a case study on establishments run by the Sisters of Nazareth, with a particular focus on:

Nazareth House in Aberdeen
Nazareth House in Cardonald
Nazareth House in Kilmarnock
Nazareth House in Lasswade

Sisters of Nazareth: Nuns held to account for decades of CHILD ABUSE

SCOTLAND
Express

By BEN BORLAND

Apr 22, 2018

A CATHOLIC order has been accused of lacking compassion after complaining of a “difficult year” as they are finally held to account for decades of child abuse.

The second phase of the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry will begin examining the shameful history of the Sisters of Nazareth on Tuesday, with hearings expected to continue until the early summer.

Hundreds of survivors have come forward to give evidence about beatings, cruelty and sexual assaults at the order’s four Scottish orphanages in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Kilmarnock.

The scandal was first exposed more than 20 years ago but legal red tape and a lack of political will led to an extraordinary delay in bringing the abuse to a public hearing. While the Sisters of Nazareth have consistently refused to apologise or pay compensation, many of the victims have died or suffered ongoing hardships over this period.

Child Victims Act left behind in state’s budget, kept alive by survivors

NEW YORK
Altamont Enterprise

Thursday, April 19, 2018

by Elizabeth Floyd Mair

ALBANY COUNTY — The state budget left out the Child Victims Act — a bill supported by the governor and the State Assembly — that would have extended the statute of limitations for child victims of sexual assault, but adult survivors are not giving up.

The bill never made it to the State Senate floor, so the GOP majority leader is the focus of upcoming efforts.

Meanwhile, a group called Lawyers Helping Survivors of Child Sex Abuse released a document entitled “Hidden Disgrace III” on March 29, listing all of the priests who have worked for the Albany Diocese and have been accused of sexual abuse, what they are alleged to have done, and all the places they have worked.

Attorney Jerry Kristal of Lawyers Helping Survivors of Child Sex Abuse told The Enterprise that the statute of limitations in these cases should be extended by passing the Child Victims Act, and that the Albany Diocese should create an independent reconciliation compensation program that would allow people alleging sexual abuse to get some “recognition that this really happened and some measure of the church taking responsibility.”

Tas Anglicans to sell property for redress

AUSTRALIA
news.com.au

April 22, 2018

Kaitlyn Offer

Tasmania's Anglican Diocese will sell off scores of churches and other properties to find $8 million to redress survivors of child sexual abuse.

Bishop Richard Condie announced the sale of churches, halls, houses and land on Sunday, saying the diocese hopes to be a part of a national scheme.

"With an estimated liability of around $8 million in new and additional payments to survivors, it will require decisive action and significant sacrifice for everyone across our diocese," he said in a statement.

"We intend to raise these funds from a proportion of Parish and Diocesan investments, through selling Parish properties, and by direct Parish contributions."

Every parish in the state will be affected and at the June meeting of all parish representatives, it will be suggested more than 120 properties be sold - nearly half of all of the church's real estate.

Tasmanian Anglican churches could be sold to fund abuse survivors redress

AUSTRALIA
ABC News

April 22, 2018

By Emily Street

Tasmania's Anglican Diocese is proposing to sell more than 120 properties, including churches, halls, houses and vacant land, to fund redress for survivors of child sexual abuse.

The church said it would need to sell just under half of its Tasmanian properties to cover an estimated $8 million of liability in additional payments to survivors.

It has been lobbying for the State Government to sign up to the National Redress Scheme for survivors, due to start on July 1 as a result of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

The Tasmanian Diocese also agreed to increase the payment cap for its own Pastoral Support and Assistance Scheme from $75,000 to $150,000 per claim.

Previous claimants will be entitled to have their claims reassessed, which may result in extra payments.

Male abuse victims seek place

UNITED STATES
Journal-Gazette

April 22, 2018

DAVID CRARY | Associated Press

For some male victims of sexual assault and abuse, #MeToo can feel more like #WhatAboutMe?

They admire the women speaking out about traumatic experiences as assault and harassment victims, while wondering whether men with similar scars will ever receive a comparable level of public empathy and understanding.

Chris Brown, a University of Minnesota music professor, was among several men who in December accused renowned conductor James Levine of abusing them as teens several decades ago, leading to Levine's recent firing by the Metropolitan Opera Company.

“Men are historically considered the bad guys,” suggested Brown . “If some men abuse women, then we all are abusers ourselves ... so therefore when it comes to our being abused, we deserve it.”

Brown's sense of distance from the #MeToo movement is shared by other abused men – some of whom have been using a #MenToo hashtag on Twitter.

Willow Creek Promises Investigation Amid New Allegations Against Bill Hybels

ILLINOIS
Christianity Today

BOB SMIETANA

APRIL 21, 2018

Last night, Willow Creek Community Church made a promise to its members following the early departure of its founder and senior pastor, Bill Hybels.

“Even though Bill is no longer in his role, our work to resolve any shadow of doubt in the trustworthiness of [Willow] is not done,” the church’s board of elders told members in a Friday evening letter. “With the benefit of hindsight, we see several aspects of our past work that we would have handled differently, and we have identified several areas of learning.”

Last week, Hybels retired six months early after 40 years as leader of Willow Creek, calling recent allegations against him a distraction for the megachurch and its ministries. Hybels denied any wrongdoing. He did admit regretting that he first responded to the allegations with anger.

Yesterday, the elders similarly expressed regret in the way the church handled the allegations.

Back rubs with teen girls evolved into sex; another former Modesto pastor accused

CALIFORNIA
Modesto Bee

BY GARTH STAPLEY
gstapley@modbee.com

April 21, 2018

The founder of a popular megachurch in Arizona admits having sex with girls in his charge when he was a married youth pastor at a prominent Modesto church four decades ago.

"I sinned and harmed the most important relationships in my life," Les Hughey said in a statement issued after being contacted by The Modesto Bee. "Unfortunately, it's impossible to undo what happened, so I instead accept and live with the consequences."

His victims came forward soon after The Bee's February report on Brad Tebbutt, who like Hughey was a youth pastor at Modesto's First Baptist Church.

DA Controversy Causes Sentencing Delay in Love-Triangle Homicide Involving Hindu Priest

CALIFORNIA
Fox 40

APRIL 21, 2018

BY SONSEEAHRAY TONSALL

SACRAMENTO -- Three convictions for first degree murder, one for manslaughter -- that's the curious reduction in an eventual conviction of one Sacramento murder defendant that may change the outcome of a hotly-contested District Attorney's race in the county.

Sentencing was supposed to happen in connection with the death of Ashok Kumar Friday, instead there are pleads for a new trial.

It's been scandalous from the beginning with Kumar robbed, beaten and strangled in the doorway of his own Sacramento home.

Then, a Hindu priest who assisted at Kumar's funeral - convicted of killing him along with Kumar's wife, the woman that priest Raghua Sharma had been having an affair with.

Birthright Israel and #MeToo

ISRAEL
Jewish Currents

April 18, 2018

Sarah Seltzer

Jewish Currents spoke with more than 50 Birthright Israel participants and staffers about their experiences with the often-fraught sexual and gender dynamics on the famous free trip to Israel. Here is what we found.

This article was reported in partnership with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute, with support from the Puffin Foundation.

If you have information that you would like to share, on this topic or any other, please email tips@jewishcurrents.org

1.

The day after Julia Peck says she was sexually assaulted by an Israeli soldier on her trip with Birthright Israel, she had thoughts of jumping in front of a bus. Wracked by pain and guilt as she arrived at the Western Wall, she says she slipped a note between the stones. The note read, “I’m Sorry.”

Peck, then a sophomore, arrived back at Columbia University during a heated campus discussion of consent, alcohol and coercion. She steeled herself and filed a report about her incident. Her fresh trauma and distress didn’t stop her from being scrupulous; she gathered two comprehensive witness accounts from her Birthright roommates, and even included the screenshot of an apology text from the alleged perpetrator. Encouraged by campus Hillel staff, the central location for Jewish life on many campuses that also ran and organized her Birthright trip, she filed a report.

April 21, 2018

An abuse of trust

WAYNESVILLE (NC)
The Mountaineer

By Kyle Perrotti

April 18, 2018

White hid behind his charm

Howard White is now seen by some as a wolf in sheep's clothing, the devil in a white robe.

But between 1984 and 2006, many in Haywood County only saw the former Episcopal priest as the beloved rector of Waynesville's Grace Church in the Mountains.

Since then, much has changed for White, 76, who has been convicted of child sexual abuse in New England, and now faces abuse charges in Haywood County dating back to 1985.

White, who preferred the affectionate, disarming nickname "Howdy," has been indicted by a Haywood County Grand Jury on charges that he abused one boy and one girl during his time in Haywood.

He is facing one count of first-degree forcible rape, one count of second-degree forcible rape, one count of first-degree forcible sex offense, four counts of second-degree forcible sex offense, and two counts of indecent liberties with a child.

Before White can be arraigned in North Carolina, he must be moved from Boston, where he is serving an 18-month sentence in a county correctional facility after pleading guilty to five counts of assault and battery.

Officials: Child abuse allegations swamping state investigators

PENNSYLVANIA
Sharon Herald

By JOHN FINNERTY CNHI State Reporter

Apr 20, 2018

HARRISBURG — Advocates and county officials await a promised action plan from Auditor General Eugene DePasquale for fixing the state’s struggling child protection system.

Susan Woods, a spokesperson for the auditor general, said those recommendations are expected in mid-May.

The system is challenged by the state’s push to make sure abuse doesn’t get ignored in the wake of the molestation scandal that put former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky in prison.

That push has left county caseworkers swamped with tips, said Brian Bornman, executive director of the Pennsylvania Children and Youth Administrators.

While the number of cases of suspected child abuse has spiked in the wake of law changes intended to help better protect kids, the number of cases of actual abuse verified by investigators hasn’t increased nearly as much, Bornman said.

Elkhart child abuse cases decline while state rates rise

INDIANA
WNDU

By Travis Robinson

Apr 20, 2018

Children at Elkhart's Beardsley Elementary left an assembly today with an important message...That people care about them.

"The percentage of children entering the system in Elkhart County is lower than it is throughout the rest of the state and throughout much of the country," Elkhart County Juvenile court Magistrate Deborah Domine told a crowded gym of students.

Impressive statements were met with blank stares from the audience. To be fair, that information was probably a little more suited for adults.

"Do you think they really got the point?" Our reporter asked.

"Probably not." Domine answered.

How prevalent is child abuse in Arizona?

ARIZONA
12 News

Author: Takira Jackson

April 19, 2018

Children are suffering from a hidden epidemic of child abuse, and we are responsible for protecting them. You may be a child’s only advocate at the time you report. Many Arizona residents are not aware of just how prevalent child abuse and neglect are within our state.

According to Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Arizona and the Arizona Child Fatality Review (CFR) Program:

* More than 24,000 calls received by the Arizona Child Abuse Hotline between April and September 2016 met the statutory criteria to prompt a DCS report.

* Approximately 18,000 children were being cared for by the foster care system between April to September 2016 due to some child abuse and neglect.

* In 2015, 87 children died as a result of abuse or neglect, accounting for more than 10 percent of all child fatalities in the state of Arizona.

* In cases of child death due to maltreatment, the perpetrator was the child’s mother or father 79 percent of the time.

* Alcohol, drug, or substance use contributed to more than 60 percent of child maltreatment fatalities in 2015.

Arizona child abuse laws criminalize physical, emotional, or sexual abuse of minors and also require certain third parties with knowledge of the abuse to report it to the authorities.

Alaska Man's Revelation Shine A Light On Sex Abuse In The State

ALASKA
NPR

[audio]

April 21, 20187:

Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday

Alaska has a sexual assault rate 3 times the national average and a child sex assault rate 6 times. NPR's Scott Simon discusses that with Alexander Hirsch of the University of Alaska at Fairbanks.

Lawyers descend on Buffalo for clergy sex abuse cases

NEW YORK
Buffalo News

By Phil Fairbanks

April 21, 2018

In the Oscar-winning movie "Spotlight," Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian talks openly about the priest who abused his clients and the power of the Catholic Church to keep the scandal a secret.

"I'm not crazy. I'm not paranoid. I'm experienced," Garabedian, played by actor Stanley Tucci, says of the church. "You'll see. They control everything. Everything."

That scene was from 17 years ago, but Garabedian's anger with the Catholic Church is still front and center, an important part of his message as he brings his high profile to Buffalo in search of sexual abuse clients here.

Garabedian is one part, a big part, of the out-of-town legal presence that arrived here when the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo announced a compensation fund for victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Leaked church minutes over defrocked priest linked to succession game, says bishop

CYPRUS
Cyprus Mail

APRIL 21ST, 2018

EVIE ANDREOU

The minutes of a 2015 meeting of the Holy Synod on whether a priest who had served a prison sentence for the sexual assault of a girl he had fostered should be defrocked were leaked because of power games within the church over who the next archbishop will be, said one of the bishops at the centre of the row.

Elena Frantzi, 34, was found dead in her home last month after her foster father – Father Stylianos, a priest in Ergates village in the Nicosia district – had been reinstated as a priest after serving 18 months for sexually harassing her.

Bishop Nikiforos of Kykkos and Tylliria, Nikiforos said that the way the leaked minutes had been reported by the media made him look like he was defending Sylianos when that was not the case.

At the meeting of the Holy Synod on Wednesday where the decision to defrock Stylianos was taken in the wake of the uproar surrounding Frantzi’s death, Nikiforos gave the rest of the bishops a letter complaining about the leakage and calling for a probe into who was behind it.

In wake of abuse scandal, bishops of Chile talk resignation

VATICAN CITY
Crux

Inés San Martín
VATICAN CORRESPONDENT

Apr 21, 2018

ROME - As the date for their upcoming meeting with Pope Francis approaches, several of the 32 Chilean bishops who will be in Rome to meet the pontiff May 14-17 are speaking up, some ready to resign, and others ready to demand the resignation of a bishop accused of covering up clerical sexual abuse.

Bishop Juan Barros, accused by three victims of a Chilean pedophile priest of having covered up for his mentor, Father Fernando Karadima, should “without a doubt,” take “a step to the side,” according to Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati of Santiago.

“I’m not a judge” to say if Barros in fact covered up or not, Ezzati said during a press conference on Thursday, but “the good of the people of God asks for his availability,” just as he himself “should be available to it” if the people of God were to ask the cardinal for his resignation.

Ezzati is 76 years old, so he technically presented his resignation to Francis last year, as is mandatory for bishops to do when they turn 75. However, it’s up to the pope to decide if he accepts the resignation, and so far, no announcement has been made.

Her brothers were molested by a priest as kids. Now she’s trying to reconcile with the Catholic Church

CALIFORNIA
Press-Enterprise

By DEEPA BHARATH | dbharath@scng.com | Orange County Register

April 20, 2018

For Jennifer Wortham, the process of reconciliation with the Roman Catholic Church began with a six-page letter to Pope Francis.

Wortham’s two younger brothers were molested by their parish priest more than three decades ago.

In December 2016, the Rancho Mirage resident and healthcare executive faxed the letter to Francis talking about how his acknowledgement of the church’s transgressions touched her deeply.

“I recently came to terms with what happened to my family so many years ago, and I have forgiven those in the Church who were involved in perpetuating and covering up these devastating events,” Wortham wrote.

“If we do not open our hearts and forgive all of those who have transgressed against us, we will never experience the joy of grace.”