Abuse Tracker
A Blog by Kathy Shaw

BishopAccountability.org – Documenting the Abuse Crisis

September 23, 2018

Radiografía a dos décadas de denuncias por abusos sexuales en la Iglesia Católica

[An in-depth look at two decades of clergy sex abuse accusations in Chile's Catholic Church]

La Tercera

September 22, 2018

By Leslie Ayala, Carla Pía Ruiz, and Francisco Artaza

Un inédito listado realizado por la Fiscalía Nacional revela el detalle de los casos penales que afectan a la Iglesia Católica chilena. Desde el 2000 a la fecha, 221 sacerdotes y ocho obispos están en la mira de una histórica causa penal que, además, imputa supuestos encubrimientos de estos delitos en las más altas autoridades del clero chileno.

Acababa de terminar el consejo extraordinario de fiscales regionales del país, el jueves 20, cuando se divisó al jefe metropolitano sur, Raúl Guzmán, ingresando a la oficina emplazada en el piso 10, ala este, del edificio institucional del Ministerio Público. ¿El destino? El despacho del fiscal nacional, Jorge Abbott.

Denunciante de Precht responde a Fouillioux: "Está repitiendo lo que otros criminales han dicho para el encubrimiento"

[Precht whistleblower responds to Fouillioux: "He is repeating what other criminals have said for a cover-up"]


September 23, 2018

By Consuelo Ferrer

Jaime Concha se refirió a los dichos del abogado del ex sacerdote, quien aseguró esta mañana que la sociedad pretende "aplicarle todas las cargas históricas que tiene la Iglesia en estas materias".

¿Por qué Precht va a tener que responder por todo lo que ha hecho o no la Iglesia, por Karadima, Barros, Cox y otros?". Fueron las palabras emitidas por el abogado defensor del ex sacerdote Cristián Precht, Luciano Fouillioux, quien aseguró a El Mercurio que el caso Maristas busca "aplicarle todas las cargas históricas que tiene la Iglesia en estas materias".

Abogado de Precht acusa que el Vaticano lo expulsó como "chivo expiatorio" y apunta a Karadima, Barros y Cox

[Precht's lawyer says the Vatican expelled him as a "scapegoat" and points to Karadima, Barros, and Cox]


September 23, 2018

Luciano Fouillioux será el encargado de defender al ex sacerdote de las acusaciones de abusos sexuales a menores de edad en el "caso Maristas", las que indica que son "total y completamente falsas”. Debido a lo anterior, acusa que el Vaticano oculta algo tras la expulsión de su cliente, asegurando que Precht no tiene por qué responder "por todo lo que ha hecho o no la iglesia".

Luciano Fouillioux será el encargado de defender al ex sacerdote de las acusaciones de abusos sexuales a menores de edad en el "caso Maristas", las que indica que son "total y completamente falsas”. Debido a lo anterior, acusa que el Vaticano oculta algo tras la expulsión de su cliente, asegurando que Precht no tiene por qué responder "por todo lo que ha hecho o no la iglesia".

'Painful' healing from clergy sex abuse of children will take time for Catholic Church, its members, experts say


September 23, 2018

By Becky Jacobs

Daniel Lowery sees the Catholic clergy sex abuse scandal as a grieving process.

There’s denial, anger, bargaining and depression, he said, but the final stage of acceptance is going to be tough for people. Many are not ready for acceptance yet, he said.

“It’s a matter of choice, individually,” Lowery, theology professor at Calumet College of St. Joseph, said.

In light of lists released in recent weeks in northern Indiana of priests “credibly” accused of sexually abusing children, Lowery, Bishop Donald Hying of the Diocese of Gary, and other theology experts spoke of their views about how the church and its members can grapple with this information and work to move forward.

The Rev. Dale Melczek, who preceded Hying as bishop, did not respond to multiple requests from the Post-Tribune for an interview.

Last month, the Diocese of Gary published a list of 10 former priests found guilty of “credible actions of sexual molestation of minors.”

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend issued a similar list earlier this month of 17 former priests and one former deacon who were also credibly accused of sexually abusing minors. One of the priests, the Rev. William Gieranowski, served at parishes in East Chicago and Munster in the 1940s and 1950s, according to the diocese.

Bridgeport diocese hit with abuse lawsuits against 3 priests

The Connecticut Post

September 22, 2018

By Daniel Tepfer

Five men claim in lawsuits filed Friday that they were sexually abused as children by priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport.

The lawsuits, filed in state Superior Court in Bridgeport, claim the abuse occurred from the late 1980s to the early 2000s and was perpetrated by three priests — the Rev. Walter Coleman, the Rev. Robert Morrissey and the Rev. Larry Jensen, in Bridgeport, Brookfield, Danbury and Ridgefield.

The suits are filed at a time when the Roman Catholic Church is reeling in the wake of reports of years of abuse of children being covered up in Pennsylvania and around the world. Last week, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano ordered parishes in the diocese to hold special masses of reparation for the abuse.

“Once again, we see the lives of people forever damaged by the sexual abuse by their parish priest,” said Cindy Robinson, whose Bridgeport law firm, Tremont Sheldon Robinson and Mahoney, represents the five men. “It is heartbreaking to hear about these stories, which are so similar to what we all read about in the Pennsylvania grand jury report several weeks ago.”

Connecticut has a five-year statute of limitations on criminal charges, but in 2002 the state extended the limit on filing lawsuits until the alleged victims reach the age of 48. The legislatures of New York and Pennsylvania are debating similar laws, but are facing stiff opposition from the church.

Fugitive New Mexico Priest Facing Federal Sex Abuse Charges Pleads Not Guilty

The Associated Press

September 22, 2018

A fugitive priest who fled the U.S. decades ago amid allegations of child sex abuse has been returned to New Mexico to face charges after being arrested in Morocco last year, federal officials said Friday.

Arthur J. Perrault, 80, a former Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and a former Air Force chaplain, has been charged in a federal indictment with seven counts of aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact between 1991 and 1992 at Kirtland Air Force Base and Santa Fe National Cemetery.

Perrault, a one-time pastor at St. Bernadette parish in Albuquerque, is one of many priests who were sent to New Mexico in the 1960s from around the country for treatment involving pedophilia.

Victims, lawyers and church documents show the priests were later assigned to parishes and schools across New Mexico — especially in small Native American and Hispanic communities.

Alyssa Milano: I was sexually assaulted as a teen. Here’s why I didn’t report.


September 23, 2018

By Alyssa Milano

It took me 30 years to tell anyone. And I’m far from alone.

The courage of survivors will always be stronger than Donald Trump’s hate. The lives of survivors will always be more important than Brett Kavanaugh’s career.

When I was sexually assaulted, I wasn’t that much older than Christine Blasey Ford — now a PhD in psychology — was when she was allegedly assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh (Kavanaugh denies the incident occurred). I’ve watched, horrified as politicians and pundits refused to believe or take seriously these allegations.

Then, on Friday morning, President Trump tweeted that if Ford’s words were true, she would have filed a report with local law enforcement years ago. This statement chilled me to my core.

Far too many of us know that what President Trump said is simply not true. Victims of sexual assault often don’t report what happened because they know all too well that our stories are rarely taken seriously or believed — and that when it comes to sexual misconduct, our justice system is broken. Now, we are seeing our worst nightmares realized when we see the disbelief, pushback, hate, and death threats Ford is receiving just because she had the courage to speak up.

It took me years after my assault to voice the experience to my closest friends. It took me three decades to tell my parents that the assault had even happened. I never filed a police report. I never told officials. I never tried to find justice for my pain because justice was never an option.

Clergy sex abuse victims approve reorganization plan

MPR News

September 21, 2018

By Martin Moylan

Survivors of clergy sexual abuse have almost unanimously approved a bankruptcy reorganization plan for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The vote was 398 to 2. Now, there'll now be a court hearing Tuesday at which a federal judge will consider confirming the plan. Approval is expected.

The plan provides $210 million for victims. But that is before legal fees for the church and victims' attorneys are deducted. Victims' attorneys typically get a third of such settlements.

Bishops consider identifying clergy accused of sex abuse

The Advocate

September 22, 2018

By John Simerman

When Louisiana’s five Catholic bishops met earlier this month in Lafayette for their regular quarterly meeting, there was no need to consult an agenda.

Since their last meeting, news had spread of the New Orleans archdiocese settling several claims of abuse involving a defrocked Metairie deacon, George Brignac, without the church following its own guidelines for publicly reporting it.

Then came the late July bombshell from a Pennsylvania grand jury, identifying what it said were credible allegations of abuse against more than 300 “predator priests” and involving more than 1,000 child victims across six of that state’s eight dioceses.

Bishops across the country have been scrambling to respond, with some deciding to release lists of clergy and other church officials who had been implicated in similar abuses over the years.

“It was the first thing on our minds: How can we respond to the questions coming at us from all directions? And rightfully so,” Bishop Michael Duca of the Diocese of Baton Rouge said Friday.

Duca echoed what New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond said Friday in an interview with The Advocate: that Louisiana’s bishops are now weighing if, when and how to release a similar list of names of clergy and others who have been the subjects of credible allegations of abuse.

Abuse victim angry over priest list

The Journal Gazette

September 23, 2018

By Rosa Salter Rodriguez

Wonders where the guilty ones go after dismissal

When Brian Cook was 11, he says, his divorced mother, having recently moved back to Fort Wayne, encouraged him to develop a friendship with their parish priest, thinking it would be good for him to have a male role model.

Cook says it was good – in the beginning. The priest asked him to sit on his lap while they talked and gave him a hug and a kiss. He didn't think anything of it because his family had friendships with priests before.

But during a subsequent meeting, the priest told him he looked tense and said he'd give him a massage if he'd lie down on the bed in the next room of the man's rectory living quarters. At a later meeting, the priest told him he should take off his clothes for a better massage.

By that time, Cook said, he was uncomfortable. He felt what was happening was wrong, and “I was getting the heck out of there,” he said.

But it was not until he reported what happened to a diocesan official in 2017 that he learned of any sexual abuse allegations against the priest.

Last week, Cook found the priest's name among 18 priests and deacons “credibly accused” of sexual abuse of minors on a list released by the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend. The list placed the number of allegations against the priest at six.

And Cook, who said he was told there were other victims of the same priest when he reported, is angry.

“I know if I had heard something, I would have come forward (sooner),” said the man, who no longer lives in Fort Wayne. “If (church officials) don't disclose, no one knows.”

The list has revealed the scope of alleged clerical abuse within the diocese – and mixed messages over the years.

Hardly a parish in Fort Wayne was not staffed at one time by a priest on the list of accused abusers. Sixteen separate parishes, some of which have closed, were named as having been an assignment of an accused priest – although the list does not specify when or where any of the alleged abuse took place.

Angry parishioners blast San Jose Diocese, Catholic Church over sexual abuse allegations

Bay Area News Group

September 22, 2018

By Tatiana Sanchez

Angry and hurt over national reports of clergy abuse that have again rocked the Catholic Church to its core, dozens of residents confronted Bishop Patrick McGrath Saturday to demand transparency as the Diocese of San Jose prepares to launch its own investigation.

About 70 people — including alleged victims of abuse — gathered at Our Lady of the Rosary for a listening session hosted by the diocese to allow people to ask questions, express concerns and, in some cases, outrage over recent revelations of the sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania and beyond.

Calling on the bishop to launch a criminal investigation into any local allegations of abuse, many criticized the Catholic Church for waiting so long to take action and said it’s caused them to lose hope in church leaders. Some said they’re abandoning Catholicism altogether.

John Hesler, a parishioner at Holy Family Parish in San Jose who was the first to speak Saturday, said he was molested by a priest as a boy in the 1970s in Albany, New York, where he grew up.

Church Abuse Victims Approve Plan For Compensation

The Associated Press

September 22, 2018

Hundreds of victims of clergy sexual abuse have overwhelmingly voted in favor of a reorganization plan for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis that will compensate them for the abuse.

Court documents show that 398 out of 400 voters supported the plan.

The tentative settlement reached in May provides about $210 million to compensate abuse victims. All victims would receive at least $50,000, with greater compensation depending on the nature, duration and effects of the abuse suffered.

Leading German Jesuit says abuse crisis calls for major Church reform

La Croix International

September 19, 2018

By Christa Pongratz-Lippit

Current structures actually prevent critical investigation and verification of clerical sexual abuse and its cover-up

A Jesuit priest who was one of the key people to reveal what Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schönborn once described as the "tsunami" of clerical sex abuse cases in the German-speaking world has now called for in-depth structural changes to the Catholic Church.

Father Klaus Mertes SJ, a well-known writer and educator, said the latest wave of revelations concerning abuse and its cover-up in various parts of the world indicates that the phenomenon is not just a local matter, but a global problem that can be solved only through major Church reform.

In an opinion piece for the German Catholic Church’s official website katholisch.de and in a long interview with the website Kathpress on Sept. 13, the 64-year-old Jesuit said the latest reports from the United States, Ireland, Australia, the United States and other places show that not nearly enough attention has been paid to the problem of abuse cover-up.

He said it is now absolutely essential for the Church to tackle the question of its checks-and-balances (separation of powers), as well as the issues related to male-dominated structures (old boys’ networks). And he insisted that both were closely connected to the problem of institutional cover-up.

Slovak Priest Defies Celibacy Rules As Sex Abuse Scandals Roil The Catholic Church

The Associated Press

September 21, 2018

By Karel Janicek

A priest in the conservative Roman Catholic stronghold of Slovakia has challenged the church’s celibacy rules, voicing his dissent at a time when clerical celibacy is once again a topic of debate amid ongoing sex abuse scandals.

The Rev. Michal Lajcha has written a book in two versions — one for theologians, the other for the laity — that asserts the church would benefit greatly if married men were allowed to be ordained and celibacy were made voluntary.

In “The Tragedy of Celibacy — The Death of the Wife,” Lajcha called celibacy a “festering wound” in the church and said that making it voluntary could also help prevent sex scandals.

Child sexual abuse and the church: Impact on children & youth

Baptist Standard

September 19, 2018

By Scott Floyd

Part 1 of this series considered the extent of child sexual abuse—how often does sexual abuse of children take place? The vast majority of experts on the matter agree sexual abuse of children is more extensive than most people realize, and, for a variety of reasons, a great deal of child abuse goes unreported.

Sexual abuse is damaging not only to the individual and his or her family but to society at large. While there is no way to calculate the exact cost of sexual abuse, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates a newly substantiated case of nonfatal child maltreatment costs society about $210,000 across the child’s lifetime.

But what are the other costs? How does sexual abuse effect those who are victimized? How is the impact experienced when one is a child, a teenager and then an adult?

Governor: No reports of church abuse to Louisiana police, but reports would prompt probe

The Advocate

September 20, 2018

By Elizabeth Crisp

Gov. John Bel Edwards said he does not know of any recent reports to state law enforcement regarding sex abuse in the Catholic church in Louisiana.

If such a complaint were to be lodged, "the state will do whatever it always does when it receives credible information that a crime has taken place -- it will be investigated," Edwards told reporters during a news conference Thursday.

A bombshell grand jury report that detailed the widespread abuse of more than 1,000 children over several decades in Pennsylvania has prompted other states to launch investigations into misconduct.

About one in four Louisiana residents is Catholic. The Advocate reported this week on abuse at Jesuit High School, where settlements were paid to abuse victims but were not publicly reported to the community. Earlier this month, The Advocate detailed abuse claims at another New Orleans school.

Edwards, a Democrat who is Catholic, holds authority over the Louisiana State Police, the statewide law enforcement arm.

When it comes to abuse, church isn't above the law, Chilean archbishop says

Catholic News Service

September 19, 2018

By Junno Arocho Esteves

As revelations of the sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by clergy continue in Chile, an archbishop said that the church can no longer ignore the suffering of victims.

In a pastoral letter published Sept. 10, Archbishop Fernando Chomali of Concepcion said the Catholic Church in Chile must cooperate with authorities to uncover the truth, and it can no longer succumb to the temptation "of looking the other way and saying, 'its other people (who are the problem), not me.'"

"We must obey the law because we are not above the norms that govern the country," Chomali said.

The 20-page pastoral letter, titled "Living the Gospel in Times of Crisis," was published several days before Chilean prosecutors conducted a raid of offices in four dioceses, including Concepcion.

Chomali said the aftermath of decades of abuse committed by members of the clergy in the country have turned a once vibrant church that "was a voice for the voiceless" into a social pariah.

"Today we are -- for a growing percentage of the population -- a cause of scandal, of profound questioning, of much distrust and little credibility," he said.

China comes out ahead in Vatican deal: analysts


September 22, 2018

By Dan Martin

The landmark deal between China and the Vatican is a win for Beijing, giving official recognition to bishops appointed by the government despite a crackdown on religion, and potentially softening the ground for full diplomatic relations after 67 years of estrangement, analysts said.

The two sides signed a provisional agreement on Saturday on who gets to name senior churchmen, an issue that has bedevilled ties for decades, and China quickly said it hoped for an improvement in relations.

That is bound to mean consequences for self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing considers a renegade province, and which has watched helplessly in recent years as its giant neighbour has picked off its few remaining diplomatic partners.

With its outsized international influence, the Vatican is the most important of Taiwan's 17 remaining friends, and its only European partner.

The agreement on bishops makes no mention of diplomatic relations, but some see the writing on the wall.

Chilean archbishop seeks dismissal of sex abuse cover-up charges


September 21, 2018

Reporting by Antonio de la Jara in Santiago; Writing by Dave Sherwood; Editing by Matthew Lewis

Attorneys for Chile's most senior cleric said on Friday they will ask a judge to drop charges he covered up sexual abuse amid a scandal that has rocked the Chilean Roman Catholic Church and prompted a major civil investigation.

The ongoing church sex abuse scandal in the Andean nation has prompted Pope Francis to open an investigation that has led to the resignations of several bishops and priests.

Lawyers for Ricardo Ezzati, the archbishop of Santiago, have requested more time to prepare their case after Ezzati was originally due to be questioned by a civil prosecutor last month.

Ezzati's defense team, which includes lawyer Hugo Rivera, has determined that the archbishop's case does not qualify as a "cover-up," Rivera told reporters on Friday.

The silent Popes: Why Francis and Benedict won't answer the accusations dividing their church


September 23, 2018

By Daniel Burke

One rarely leaves his monastery high on a hill in Vatican City. The other speaks freely -- too freely, critics say -- but has vowed silence on this matter, for now.

Two men, both clad in white, both called Holy Father, and now, both facing questions about a crucial facet of the Catholic Church's sexual abuse crisis: What did they know, and when?

Amid the onslaught of news about the scandal, it can be easy to overlook the historical novelty and high drama of this moment in the life of the church: For the first time in 600 years, there are two living popes, one retired and one active, whose fates may be intertwined, even as many of their followers are at odds.

It has been nearly a month since a former papal diplomat published a dramatic letter asserting a "homosexual networks" and widespread cover-ups within the highest levels of the Catholic Church.

Duterte assails Catholic Church’s refusal to investigate child abuse cases

Manila Bulletin

September 23, 2018

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has assailed the local Catholic Church for its refusal to investigate allegations of child sexual abuse committed by some priests.

The President said church leaders knew of cases of abusive priests but still pretended to be righteous because they were also “a bunch of sh*t.”

One of the cases ignored by the church, Duterte claimed, was the abuse he and other Ateneo students endured from a Jesuit priest years ago.

“The Catholic Church of the Philippines, never bothered to investigate them,” Duterte said during a health forum in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu last Friday.

“And all the things that they did, asking cars from government, getting it free when they know very well that there is a separation of church and state, that no money of the government shall be spent for the benefit of the religious or religion,” he said.

Duterte recalled that he and other high school students were molested by Jesuit priest Mark Falvey while studying at the Ateneo de Davao University. He claimed that the school and church turned a blind eye to such abuse scandal.

“Fight from the inside”: Young Catholics in Colorado try to keep faith amid latest sexual abuse allegations

The Denver Post

September 20, 2018

By Elizabeth Hernandez

Denver Archdiocese stresses that Catholic Church has come a long way since abuses of past decades

Katie Lacz ruminates over her Catholic faith, wondering if she’s finally hit a breaking point strong enough to tear her from the religion she’s wrapped herself in her entire life.

“I know how much is wrong with the church, and yet I love it because of its tradition and history,” said the 34-year-old Lacz, who lives in Louisville. “I am in this institution that I know is really, really sick and sinful, but, at the same time, I feel like it’s so important to stay and fight for what I think is good about it.”

As another round of sexual abuse and coverup allegations cloud the church, young Catholics in Colorado like Lacz are grappling with whether they can stay devout within an institution that continually defies their faith and its own foundations.

A grand jury report released in mid-August found that hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in Pennsylvania molested more than 1,000 children, possibly more, since the 1950s, with senior church officials covering up the abuse. Less than two weeks later, a former top Vatican diplomat claimed in a letter that Pope Francis helped cover up the clerical sexual abuse scandals. The letter called for the pope’s resignation.

And this week, four men who suffered repeated sexual abuse as children by a religion teacher at a Roman Catholic church reached a $27.5 million settlement from the Diocese of Brooklyn and an after-school program, according to The New York Times. The settlement is one of the largest ever awarded to victims of abuse within the church.

September 22, 2018

Former priest, Cheverus teacher due to go on trial on sex assault charges

Portland Press Herald

September 22, 2018

By Megan Doyle

James Talbot is accused of sexually abusing a 9-year-old boy while he was a visiting priest at a Freeport church in the late 1990s.

Michael Doherty remembers the moment he finally saw James Talbot in handcuffs.

Talbot has a history of alleged sexual abuse of children dating to the 1970s at Boston College High School in Massachusetts, then at Cheverus High School in Portland. The former Jesuit priest and teacher has settled lawsuits with more than a dozen victims, including Doherty, who is from Freeport.

But Talbot has been convicted only once. He was never prosecuted in Doherty’s case and many others because the statute of limitations at the time had lapsed. Then, in October 2005, Talbot pleaded guilty to raping and sexually assaulting two students decades before in Boston. When Talbot was taken into custody 13 years ago, Doherty made sure he was in the courtroom.

“It was an important moment,” Doherty said. “There’s a different level of satisfaction than there is in the civil litigation. When I had the ability to see him taken into custody in Boston, it was powerful.”

Priest accused of child sex abuse in Gary decades ago may have continued working for years outside U.S.


September 21, 2018

By Meredith Colias-Pete

A priest accused of sexually abusing children while working in the Gary Diocese during the 1970s and ‘80s may have continued to work for years in ministries and schools outside the United States, a Post-Tribune review has found.

Last month, the Gary Diocese said the Rev. George Kavungal had six “credible” accusations of child molestation after an internal review. He was a visiting priest from India from 1978 to 1985, church records show.

Of 10 accused priests, only Ambrose McGinnity had as many allegations. McGinnity died in 2000.

Kavungal and two others are still alive, church leaders said. Officials only said he was believed to be in India. No laicization date was given for him.

Diocese releases names of 18 priests and deacons ‘credibly’ accused of sexually abusing minors


September 18, 2018

By Kevin Leininger

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend has released the names of 18 priests and deacons it believes have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. The announcement fulfills a promise made last month by Bishop Kevin Rhoades, who told reporters he hoped that “by releasing these names, the innocent victims of these horrific and heartbreaking crimes can finally begin the process of healing.”

According to the diocese, the list was developed with the assistance of the Diocesan Review Board, which was established to assist the bishop in complying with the requirements of The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and The Essential Norms. The Diocesan Review Board is comprised of mostly lay people and its members assess all allegations of sexual abuse of minors by priests and deacons presented in this diocese.

The priests and deacons who have served in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and have been credibly accused of at least one act of sexual abuse of a minor include:

James Blume, who was ordained in 1980, removed from public ministry in 1989 and dismissed from the clerical state in 2007 and was the target of five credible allegations. While in Fort Wayne he served at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception and St. Andrew/St. Hyacinth parishes;

Admitted abuser removed from university post in Canada

National Catholic Reporter

September 21, 2018

By Heidi Schlumpf

St. Paul University confirms John Huels no longer teaching there

A liturgical canonist and teacher who had admitted abusing a minor while serving as an associate pastor in the United States is no longer teaching at the Canadian pontifical university where he had been a full professor.

St. Paul University confirmed that John Huels is no longer teaching at the university, after Huels' victim contacted Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast and NCR ran a story about the abuse.

In the article that NCR published Sept. 12, survivor Michael Bland wondered if he would find justice amid the renewed attention to clergy sexual abuse, telling NCR that he had hope but little trust. "I think I have found healing, but I have not found accountability," he said.

Now, it seems he has found accountability, too.

Prendergast responded within four days to a Sept. 18 email from Bland, a psychotherapist in private practice in Chicago who served on the U.S. bishops' National Review Board. The archbishop informed him that Huels is no longer teaching at St. Paul University.

"I can assure you that we are striving to do justice for those who have been harmed by abuse and to bring about healing," Prendergast wrote to Bland. "Be assured of my prayers for you and all who have been victimized by clergy."

Indian Bishop Franco Mulakkal arrested for alleged rape of nun

Global Sisters Report

September 21, 2018

By Jose Kavi

Editor's note: This story was updated Sept. 21 at 3:30 p.m. CDT with new information throughout, including details about the investigation, interrogation and medical examination of Bishop Franco Mulakkal, and comments from Cardinal Oswald Gracias.

Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jalandhar was arrested by Kerala police Friday, accused of raping a nun multiple times between 2014 and 2016. He is the first Catholic bishop to be arrested in a sexual abuse case against a nun in India.

The case emerged on June 28 when a member of the Missionaries of Jesus, a diocesan congregation under the Jalandhar Diocese, accused the prelate of subjecting her to rape and unnatural sex on 13 occasions over a two-year period at her convent in Kuravilangad, south of Kochi.

During the police interrogation, Mulakkal denied the charges, calling them "concocted." He said the nun was upset with him for advising the congregation's leaders to act on a married woman's complaint that the nun had had an affair with her husband.

Saliente obispo de San Felipe: "Me voy con la tranquilidad de que yo no he abusado"

[Outgoing Bishop of San Felipe: "I'm leaving with the peace of mind that I have not abused"]

El Mostrador

September 22, 2018

Carlos Contreras se suma a la expulsión de Cristián Precht y Carlos Pellegrin.

Tras la bullada expulsión de Cristián Precht, el Papa Francisco aceptó la renuncia de dos párrocos más: el ahora exobispo de San Felipe, Cristián Contreras Molina, y el de Chillán, Carlos Pellegrin.

Trial Date Set for Suspended Priest Accused of Groping Seminary Student


September 21, 2018

Juan Garcia Castillo, 35, had served as an associate pastor at St. Patrick's Parish in Carlsbad

A trial date has been set for a San Diego-area priest accused of forcibly groping and making sexual advances towards an adult seminary student.

Juan Garcia Castillo, 35, is accused of unlawfully touching an intimate part of another person on February 4, according to a complaint filed against him.

Castillo, who is a naturalized United States citizen originally from Honduras, had served as an associate pastor at St. Patrick's Parish in Carlsbad since 2011.

He was removed from the parish in March and criminally charged with one count of misdemeanor sexual battery in May.

Carlsbad priest accused of groping seminarian

San Diego Union-Tribune

September 21, 2018

By Teri Figueroa

A Catholic priest has been suspended from his duties at a Carlsbad church as he awaits trial over an accusation that he groped an adult seminary student earlier this year.

The Rev. Juan Garcia Castillo, 35, has pleaded not guilty to one misdemeanor count alleging sexual battery of the victim. The accuser, a man around Castillo’s age, quickly reported the alleged incident, which happened in early February.

Castillo’s attorney said Friday that his client “absolutely denies the allegations” made against him.”

News of the criminal case against Castillo surfaced this week as the Roman Catholic church grapples with a new wave of reported sexual abuse by clergy members, and accusations that church officials covered it up.

The local case also creeps into headlines a week after Bishop Robert McElroy, who leads the Diocese of San Diego, announced a town hall tour at local parishes to address the sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the church for years.

Raúl Hasbún, defensor canónico de Precht, distingue entre la "apelación y la nulidad" del debido proceso

[Raúl Hasbún, canonical defender of Precht, distinguishes between "appeal and nullity" of due process]


September 22, 2018

By José Manuel Vilches

Para el presbítero, la nulificación juratorial "permite revertir toda sentencia manifiestamente nula por denegación del derecho de la defensa".

A cuatro días de anunciar las acciones que tomará en la defensa del ex vicario de la solidaridad Cristián Precht, el presbítero Raúl Hasbún fue enfático en distinguir entre las acciones de "apelación y nulidad" en el ámbito legal. "La Iglesia Católica declara, miles de veces al año, la nulidad de matrimonios celebrados bajo su competencia y liturgia", inició Hasbún en una carta enviada a la edición sabatina del diario "El Mercurio". Y agregó: "El contrato y sacramento de matrimonio, válidamente celebrado, es para la Iglesia Católica indisoluble por explícito mandato de Cristo, su Fundador".

Priest abuse lawsuits in Massachusetts name Catholic order in Bellevue

Omaha World-Herald

September 20, 2018

By Paul Hammel

A Catholic order based in Bellevue is now a defendant in two lawsuits in Massachusetts that allege sexual abuse of two children by a priest in the 1970s.

The lawsuits say officials with the Columban Fathers of Bellevue, as well as those with the Archdiocese of Boston, knew that a now-deceased priest, the Rev. Brian Gallagher, was an abuser, yet assigned him to serve a parish and nursing home in Dorchester, Massachusetts, granting him “unchecked power to sexually abuse Catholic boys.”

The attorney who represents the two now-grown men named in the lawsuits said Gallagher, a native of Ireland, was transferred from missionary work in Japan, first briefly to Ireland, then to the U.S., where he spent only four years.

Tribal members settle abuse cases against Mormon church

The Associated Press

September 22, 2018

By Felicia Fonseca

Four Native Americans who claimed they were sexually abused while enrolled in a now-defunct Mormon church foster program decades ago filed paperwork to dismiss their cases after reaching financial settlements, a lawyer said.

Allegations have been made against the church by more than a dozen tribal members from the Navajo Nation and Crow Tribe of Montana.

Four cases recently were settled, three were settled last year and others reached agreements out of court. One case remains in Washington state.

The terms of the latest agreements are confidential and include no admission of wrongdoing, said Craig Vernon, an attorney who represented the tribal members.

The cases were filed in Window Rock District Court on the Navajo Nation.

Vernon said he believed his clients would have prevailed in tribal courts, but federal courts were risky. He said his clients had mixed feelings about settling.

Viaje de Chomalí a Roma: La lectura detrás de la reunión del Papa con el arzobispo de Concepción

[Chomalí's tip to Rome: Reading between the lines after the Archbishop's meeting with the Pope]


September 22, 2018

By Tomás Molina J.

Los entendidos ven al sacerdote como una fuente confiable de Francisco en Chile. Pese a ello, consideran poco probable que sea un candidato para reemplazar, eventualmente, a Ezzati en Santiago.

Hace "más de tres meses", el arzobispo de Concepción, Fernando Chomalí, solicitó una reunión con el Papa Francisco en Roma con el fin, según dijo, de abordar la crisis al interior de la Iglesia chilena producto de los abusos sexuales y de poder ejecutados por clérigos. La cita finalmente se concretó ayer, el mismo día en que el Sumo Pontífice aceptó las renuncias de los obispos de Chillán, Carlos Pellegrín, y de San Felipe, Cristián Contreras. Chomalí, a través de un comunicado, señaló que no solo mantuvo un encuentro con la máxima autoridad de la Iglesia católica, sino que también con el oficial de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, Jordi Bertomeu -con quien almorzó- y con el embajador de Chile en el Vaticano, Octavio Errázuriz.

Baton Rouge Bishop: Catholic Church working on making local abuse records public


September 22, 2018

Bishop Michael Duca vowed transparency in an unprecedented, five-minute phone conversation with WBRZ Friday related to allegations of sexual abuse within the Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge and a plan to make records public.

“I don’t have a timetable right now. We are moving fairly quickly,” he said, “to come up with an idea of what [information will be released and how].” Duca said the diocese is working with the archbishop of New Orleans to make a list of priests accused of sexual misconduct. That list will eventually be revealed to the faithful and the rest of the public.

“Once we do… The rest will move fairly quickly,” Duca said.

Duca called WBRZ from Texas when he was told the WBRZ Investigative Unit and Chris Nakamoto were looking into long-secret church records related to lawsuit settlements over sexual abuse by priests.

“We don't want to hurt anyone in this process,” Duca said. “We are also making sure we aren't going to release information that will be abused or cause concern for any victims.”

Papa ya ha dado de baja a cuatro obispos indagados por casos de abusos

[Pope has already dismissed four bishops investigated for abuse]

La Tercera

September 21, 2018

By L. Zapata, B. Veláquez, and N. Ojeda

Los prelados Carlos Pellegrin y Cristián Contreras Molina, a quienes el Pontífice aceptó su renuncia, formaban parte del grupo investigado por la fiscalía.

Siete son los obispos que actualmente están siendo investigados por el Ministerio Público, dentro de los 167 casos de abusos sexuales que involucran a miembros de la Iglesia Católica.

Víctima de Karadima y salida de obispos: Es una alegría ver que se le gana a la injusticia

[Victim of Karadima reacts to the departure of two bishops]


September 21, 2018

By María José Villarroel

El papa Francisco dio a conocer que aceptó la renuncia de otros dos obispos chilenos. En esta instancia, aceptó la dimisión de Carlos Pellegrín Barrera, quien estaba encargado de la diócesis de Chillán y Cristián Contreras Molina, obispo de la diócesis de San Felipe. Tras este anuncio, también se dio a conocer quiénes serán los encargados de reemplazarlos. Para Chillán se determinó que Sergio Pérez de Arce Arriagada, asumirá como administrador apostólico y para San Felipe será Jaime Ortiz de Lazcano Piquer.

Exobispos de San Felipe y Chillán se defienden ante remoción por delitos de connotación sexual

[Ex-bishops of San Felipe and Chillán defend themselves against sex abuse allegations]


September 21, 2018

By Ariela Muñoz and Nicole Martínez

El Papa sumó a dos obispos más a la lista de siete removidos de sus diócesis. Se trata del ahora exobispo de San Felipe, Cristián Contreras Molina, y el de Chillán, Carlos Pellegrin, quienes se defendieron de las acusaciones que están en manos de la Fiscalía por delitos de connotación sexual.

Fiscalía solicitará el decreto de expulsión de Cristián Precht

[Prosecutor will request church records on Cristián Precht's expulsion]

La Tercera

September 21, 2018

By L. Zapata

Ministerio Público quiere analizar los antecedentes que Iglesia consideró para desvincular al presbítero del clero.

La Fiscalía Metropolitana Sur, que indaga al exsacerdote Cristián Precht por dos denuncias de eventuales abusos sexuales, interpuestas por Eneas Espinoza y Jaime Concha, por hechos que habrían ocurrido en el Instituto Alonso de Ercilla (de la Congregación Marista), solicitará a la Iglesia de Santiago copia del decreto Vaticano que determinó la dimisión del estado clerical del religioso.

A protest in Chicago unlike any other

American Thinker

September 21, 2018

By Monica Showalter

What is it about Chicago and out-there priests?

First, we heard all about crazy radical leftist Fr. Michael Pfleger during the Obama years, probably the biggest social justice warrior the Church has in its ranks, a guy who consorts with Louis Farrakhan. Now we learn of a priest who must be about as far away from that end of the spectrum as possible: Fr. Paul Kalchik.

Kalchik made headlines by burning a rainbow gay banner in a ceremonial church fire pit, in defiance of his own archdiocese, which forbade him from doing it. His aim was to protest the Church pedophilia and pederasty scandals, whose victims were overwhelmingly male, bringing up the taboo of homosexuality in the clerical ranks, which he argues is at the heart of it, and the archdiocese is not addressing. According to the Sun-Times:

Another Priest arrested for sexual abuse, was on ‘house arrest’ after ‘internal inquiry’ by Polish ‘religious authority’


September 21, 2018

A Priest, who is also a principal in a reputed English medium convent school in Pune, has been arrested from Mumbai for allegedly sexually abusing a student, according to Times of India. According to the reports, the police has booked the priest under the stringent Pocso Act for allegedly showing an adult video clip to a 14-year-old student twice and touching him inappropriately.

Interestingly, the police have said that priest had claimed that he had already been awarded punishment by a ‘religious authority’ in Poland. The police said that the religious authorities had asked the priest to be under ‘house arrest’ for three years.

According to the Indian Express, the police demanded the priest’s custody and submitted his statements before the court, where he claimed that an ‘internal inquiry’ had been conducted by a bishop from a school in Solapur, following which the punishment was awarded to him. The police said that there are still verifying about the religious authority and the punishment that the priest was claiming to. The police also said that the investigation has revealed that two more boys had been similarly abused by the priest.

Fugitive Catholic Priest Accused Of Abuse Arrested After Decades On The Run

The Huffington Post

September 21, 2018

By Carol Kuruvilla

Arthur J. Perrault, who spent 26 years as a fugitive, now faces child sex abuse charges in New Mexico.

A Roman Catholic priest who vanished in 1992 amid allegations of child abuse was extradited to the U.S. from Morocco this week to face federal charges.

Arthur J. Perrault, 80, was arrested Thursday in New York on seven counts of aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact with a minor, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Mexico.

The alleged abuse of an unnamed victim happened between 1991 and 1992 at the Santa Fe National Cemetery and Kirtland Air Force Base ― where Perrault was a chaplain, The Associated Press reports.

If convicted of the aggravated sexual abuse charges, Perrault could face lifetime imprisonment.

The former priest served in New Mexico under the Archdiocese of Santa Fe from 1973 to 1992. He disappeared just days before a lawyer filed two lawsuits claiming that Perrault had sexually assaulted seven children at a local parish.

Before he worked in the Santa Fe archdiocese, Perrault spent time at a treatment center for pedophile priests in Jemez Springs, New Mexico. He was sent to the center in 1965, after allegedly abusing young men while working in the Archdiocese of Hartford in Connecticut.

Maryland attorney general seeking reports of child sex abuse at churches, schools

The Baltimore Sun

September 21, 2018

By Michael Dresser

A notice on the webpage of Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh suggests that state authorities are conducting an investigation similar to one in Pennsylvania that found decades of child sex abuse by Roman Catholic clergy and cover-ups by church leaders.

Following standard practice, the attorney general’s office declined to confirm or deny that an investigation is under way. But a spokeswoman said the notice inviting victims to report offenses “associated with a school or place of worship” has been on the website for about a month.

That means Frosh’s office posted it shortly after Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro released an explosive grand jury report on Aug. 14 that said more than 300 "predator priests" in that state had been credibly accused of sexually abusing more than 1,000 children.

The report concluded that for decades church officials, including the leaders of archdioceses, covered up crimes such as the rapes of children.

Pa. priest exploited teen's confession of 'sin' to groom her for sexual abuse

York Daily Record

September 19, 2018

By Brandie Kessler

Mary McHale was in her senior year of high school at Reading Central Catholic when the rumors started to spread.

Her classmates were saying she was gay.

McHale, a standout athlete who was one of four children, knew the rumors were true but she didn't know how to reconcile that with what she had been taught. It was 1989 and almost impossible for teenagers to come out as gay. Being gay was "taboo, a mortal sin," she said.

Raised Catholic, McHale believed each of the paths before her would lead to the same place: She could be gay and go to hell; live a lie and go to hell; or take her own life and go to hell.

Overwhelmed by her secret, she did what she had been taught her whole life and went to confession to confide in her priest.

‘I Don’t Want to Die Without Telling This Story: Reports of Alleged Abuse by Catholic Priests Rise Sharply

The Wall Street Journal

September 21, 2018

By Ian Lovett

More than 900 people have called a hotline set up by the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office following its report on sexual abuse

Growing up in Scranton, Pa., John Patchcoski would often play kickball at the church down the street from his house. One of the priests took an interest in him and would sometimes join the kickball games and give John gifts, like an eight-track tape player.

Eventually, Father Michael J. Pulicare invited John to go on a fishing trip. On that trip, he says, the priest sexually assaulted him. It was the mid-1970s, and John was around 12 years old.

Priest abuse allegations should be taken seriously, but let's not jump to conclusions

The Morning Call

September 20, 2018

By Paul Muschick

Sexual abuse of children by priests finally is being taken seriously in Pennsylvania, and hopefully elsewhere, since last month’s grand jury report exposed the enormity of the problem and the extent of the cover-up.

The change in attitude is long overdue. But let’s be careful not to overdo it.

As new investigations are launched based on the flood of complaints made after the grand jury report, let’s not forget that accused clergy are entitled to due process. They shouldn’t be presumed guilty by association.

Last week, two priests who had been accused were cleared.

The Berks County district attorney cleared the Rev. David C. Gillis, an Allentown diocesan priest serving in Cocoa Beach, Fla. He had been suspended after a complaint to the state’s child abuse hotline by the father of a woman who said she had been sexually abused as a child. The woman told investigators she wasn’t abused by Gillis. The church lifted his suspension last week and allowed him to return to church duties.

Bono Questions Pope Francis About Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Crisis

The Huffington Post

September 20, 2018

By Carol Kuruvilla

“You can see the pain in his face, and I felt he was sincere,” Bono said of the pope during a meeting at the Vatican.

U2 musician Bono said he had a hard conversation with Pope Francis about the sexual abuse scandal that has been roiling the Irish singer’s homeland.

Francis was “aghast” about sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, Bono told reporters after a private meeting with the pontiff at the Vatican on Wednesday.

“I explained to him how it looks to some people that the abusers are being more protected than the victims,” Bono said, according to Reuters.

The singer said Francis appeared deeply troubled by this.

A letter to church that I love

The Presbyterian Outlook

September 14, 2018

Guest commentary by Kris Schondelmeyer

Dear church that I love:

On August 14, a grand jury report detailing the sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church and underlying cover-up was released here in the state of Pennsylvania where I serve as a pastor. The “40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury Report”starts out:

“We, the members of this grand jury, need you to hear this. We know some of you have heard some of it before. There have been other reports about child sex abuse within the Catholic Church. But never on this scale. For many of us, those earlier stories happened someplace else, someplace away. Now we know the truth: it happened everywhere.”

This report has triggered emotions that for me are all too personal. I’ve read numerous Facebook posts from Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) colleagues who’ve decried that the Catholic Church must change, and that Catholic leaders must tell the truth now. Some of these colleagues have even expressed a sense of gratitude that the PC(USA) does not engage in this sort of malicious behavior. But I know an experience in the PC(USA) that is all too similar to that of our brothers and sisters in the Catholic Church.

Embattled D.C. cardinal to ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation


September 12, 2018

By Janet DiGiacomo and Daniel Burke

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the embattled archbishop of Washington, will travel to the Vatican "in the very near future" to ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation, a spokesman said.

In a letter to priests in the diocese, Wuerl said he will meet with Francis about the resignation he presented nearly three years ago at age 75, the mandatory age for Catholic bishops to submit their retirement to the Pope. He said a decision about his future "is an essential aspect so that this archdiocesan church we all love can move forward."

"Our discernment here, I believe, has indicated the way forward to bring healing and a new beginning at the service of this church," Wuerl said.

Ed McFadden, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Washington, said on Wednesday that Wuerl will ask Pope Francis to accept his resignation. McFadden said he did not know when the meeting would occur. A contingent of American bishops is meeting on Thursday with the Pope in Rome, but Wuerl is not among them, according to the Vatican.

Catholic teacher Mathew Reale jailed over child porn ring involving A Current Affair reporter Ben McCormack

ABC News

September 21, 2018

By Joanna Menagh

A former teacher at a Catholic primary school in Perth has been jailed for his involvement in a paedophile chat ring that included former A Current Affair journalist Ben McCormack.

But with time already served he could walk free within six months.

Mathew Paul Reale, 30, was working at a school in suburban Perth when he repeatedly made contact via the internet with several other men, including McCormack, and discussed abusing boys, some as young as babies and toddlers.

The WA District Court was told Reale also sent some of the men videos and images of children being abused.

Priests who served locally and the abuses

Times News

August 17, 2018

By Kathy Kunkel

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court released the findings of an 18-month-long grand jury investigation into sex abuse in the Catholic Church on Tuesday. The report contains the names of 301 people the grand jury deemed to be predators. Of those, 26 served locally within the Times News coverage area, 22 assigned to the Allentown diocese and four with the Diocese of Scranton. In addition to naming names, the report provides details of the accusations against each of the accused predators. The Allentown Diocese also listed additional names of accused priests.

Only a handful of offenders were ever criminally prosecuted, with most just reassigned or allowed to retire. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro subpoenaed internal documents from each of Pennsylvania’s Catholic dioceses for the grand jury investigation, uncovering a conspiracy of silence.

Priests with ties to the area are listed:

Donald Wuerl, the Church’s Most Oblivious Cleric

National Review

August 31, 2018

By Alexandra Desanctis

The cardinal’s repeated denials of knowledge and responsibility for sexual-abuse cover-ups defy all credibility.
The Catholic Church’s nightmare of a summer began with Theodore McCarrick. After news broke in June about his past sexual misconduct, including the abuse of minors, he resigned from the College of Cardinals and was exiled to a life of prayer and penance, out of the public eye. But the Archdiocese of Washington, which McCarrick once oversaw, remains very much in the eye of the storm.

There, McCarrick’s direct successor, the embattled cardinal Donald Wuerl, clings to his leadership role, even after weeks of criticism and calls for his resignation. He has done little to silence them and much to bring further censure upon himself.

In Something More Pastoral, a 2015 book about Wuerl’s life and work, the authors hail him as a public figure “known for his professional transparency.” This summer has indicated precisely the opposite.

Incredibly, Wuerl has insisted for two months that he had never heard anything of McCarrick’s predatory behavior — despite two legal settlements that were made to victims from McCarrick’s time in New Jersey, and despite testaments that the former cardinal’s coercive sexual overtures toward seminarians were common knowledge among the clergy.

Church abuse attorney questions new measures


September 21, 2018

By Rob Masson

An attorney currently representing more than a dozen people who claim sex abuse at the hands of a deacon says many Catholic schools aren’t going far enough to prevent abuse.

The reaction comes just hours after Jesuit’s headmaster outlined measures designed to prevent abuse in response to recent reports of alleged crimes dating back to the 1970s.

Jesuit President Fr. Chris Fronk met with students Friday and with parents last night, putting out a statement saying, “It is important that you know the steps we take to ensure the safety of your sons.”

Every employee goes through two independent criminal background checks - state and federal.

But an attorney who has handled dozens of abuse victims in Louisiana says anti-abuse measures often don’t go far enough.

“I would want the auditors to have an intense interview with every single member of the faculty and staff,” said Roger Stetter.

That’s because Stetter says victims rarely come forward, or often do so when it’s too late to take action.

Clergy sex abuse survivors put statute of limitations reform in the spotlight in new video

York Daily Record

September 21, 2018

By Brandie Kessler

In a new video, Catholic clergy sex abuse survivors demand lawmakers act to reform the state's statute of limitations with a retroactive window.

"We don't need your apologies," survivor Todd Frey says to the camera.

"We don't need your prayers," survivor Shaun Dougherty says.

"We need justice," survivor Mary McHale says, emphasizing each word.

The three joined other abuse survivors in the video released on YouTube this week. Judy Deaven, mother of Joey Behe, who died in 2015 from an accidental drug overdose from pain medication he was prescribed for injuries he suffered when he was raped by a priest, also appears in the video, urging justice for "all victims."

The video was produced by CHILD USA, a nonprofit think tank dedicated to protecting kids and preventing abuse, according to its website.

Pa. clergy abuse case underscores need for change in statutes of limitations

The Boston Globe

August 27, 2018

In the wake of the tsunami from the Pennsylvania grand jury report, there have been numerous suggestions on proper remedies and responses, including allowing priests to marry and women to be ordained, help from the laity (a request made by Cardinal Sean O’Malley), and more statewide grand jury investigations.

Change must come from the state. The single most effective method of addressing sexual abuse of children is statutes of limitations reform and so-called window legislation. Almost all of the victims identified in the Pennsylvania grand jury report are barred from suing their abusers and the institutions that knowingly covered up the abuse. Arbitrary time limits lock the doors of the courthouse, denying victims justice and, therefore, healing.

It’s true that notions of due process support the necessity of most statutes of limitations; however, there are reasonable exceptions adopted by legislators that promote justice and fairness. It takes victims well into their adulthood to speak of their trauma; justice demands that victims are given more time, or a window, to revive barred claims.

Evansville Diocese to list names of priests accused of abuse

Courier & Press

September 21, 2018

By Abbey Doyle

Evansville Bishop Joseph M. Siegel announced Thursday the Evansville Diocese will collect and release the names of priests in the diocese who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors over the years.

Siegel declined to give any kind of timeline for the release of names.

“We are doing this in the hope that the listing of these priests and their current statuses will help in the process of healing for those who have been affected by clergy sexual abuse," Siegel told The Message, the diocese newspaper. "We also hope it may encourage others who have experienced sexual abuse by clergy or other church ministers to come forward.”

This announcement comes about two weeks after an Evansville Diocese priest was put on administrative leave after the diocese received a report of sexual misconduct.

Father David Fleck denies the claim of sexual misconduct that reportedly happened decades ago, according to the statement from the diocese.

Bishop Morneau requests withdrawal from public ministry

The Compass (Newspaper of the Diocese of Green Bay)

September 21, 2018

By Sam Lucero

Allouez - Bishop Robert Morneau, retired auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay, has requested and has been granted a withdrawal from all public ministry. In a letter dated Sept. 14 and addressed to Bishop David Ricken, Bishop Morneau stated that he failed to report to authorities an incident of priest sexual abuse of a minor in 1979.

“As a result,” wrote Bishop Morneau, “this priest was able to abuse again several years later. … I intend to spend my time in prayer for all victims and survivors of sexual abuse and I will do corporal works of mercy in reparation for what I failed to do.”

In a separate letter, Bishop Ricken acknowledged the request.

Letter by Bishop Robert Morneau

Letter by Bishop David Ricken

Retired Bishop Morneau admits to not reporting priest's sex abuse, withdraws from ministry

Green Bay Press Gazette

September 21, 2018

By Shelby Le Duc


A retired bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay has withdrawn from public ministry, acknowledging his failure to report a priest's sexual abuse of a minor 40 years ago that allowed the priest to assault other youths.

Bishop Robert Morneau asked to withdraw from public ministry in a Sept. 14 letter to the diocese. Bishop David Ricken approved that request three days later.

In the letter, Morneau admits to failing to report to the police a 1979 incident of a priest sexually abusing a child.

"As a result, this priest was able to abuse again several years later," he wrote.

The priest, David Boyea, pleaded guilty in 1985 to first-degree sexual assault of another child and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He also was permanently removed from the priesthood.

Pa. priest abuse hotline receives more than 1,130 calls as reports spike

York Daily Record

September 21, 2018

By Candy Woodall

The number of people who say they were sexually abused by Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania has more than doubled since a grand jury report released early last month identified 301 predator priests.

That report estimated about 1,000 victims throughout six dioceses in Pennsylvania who were silenced by a cover-up that dated back to the 1930s.

A little more than a month later, the number of people to come forward continues to grow.

As of Thursday, the clergy abuse hotline set up by state Attorney General Josh Shapiro had received calls from 1,130 people.

Agents in the Office of the Attorney General "return every call, log every fact, and contribute to further investigations where appropriate," Shapiro said in a Twitter statement.

"If you've been victimized, it's time to come out of the shadows. #SpeakUp, & we'll be there to help," he said on Twitter.

September 21, 2018

En la hora del adiós: obispo de Chillán se va pidiendo perdón y advirtiendo con “acciones legales”

[In the hour of goodbye, Bishop of Chillán asks for forgiveness and warns of "legal action"]

El Mostrador

September 21, 2018

El renunciado Carlos Pellegrín pidió “perdón por todas las veces que no estuve a la altura”, pero al mismo tiempo no descartó tomar acciones legales contra aquellos que lo han "injuriado”. Además, anunció que “me reservo el derecho a apelar a la justicia también porque soy un ciudadano más de Chile”.

"Perdón por todas las veces que no estuve a la altura de lo que requiere mi responsabilidad”. Con estas palabras Carlos Pellegrín se refirió a su salida como obispo de Chillán luego que el Papa Francisco decidiera aceptar su renuncia junto a la del obispo de San Felipe Cristián Contreras.

Murillo por reemplazantes de obispos de San Felipe y Chillán: la Iglesia católica va "en la dirección correcta"

[Murillo on replacements of bishops of San Felipe and Chillán: the Church is going "in the right direction"]

El Mostrador

September 21, 2018

El denunciante de Fernando Karadima acusó que existe un "lobby importante de los obispos tratando de mantenerse en sus puestos", esto debido a que las expulsiones se han dado en momentos muy diversos, a pesar que todos los religiosos presentaron su renuncia al mismo tiempo.

Uno de los denunciantes de Karadima, José Andrés Murillo, se refirió a la aceptación de la renuncia por parte del Papa Francisco de los obispos de Chillán y San Felipe, Carlos Pellegrín y Cristián Contreras, respectivamente. "No puede ser que obispos que tienen un rol religioso, ético, moral (...) estén siendo investigado por abuso sexual infantil, que es el delito más inaceptable que se comete en la sociedad contemporánea", sostuvo Murillo.

Víctima de abusos respira profundo: “Pensé que el poder del obispo de San Felipe era interminable”

[Clergy abuse victim: "I thought the power of the Bishop of San Felipe was endless"]

El Mostrador

September 21, 2018

En conversación con El Mostrador, el ex seminarista Mauricio Pulgar, víctima de abuso sexual por parte del presbítero Humberto Enríquez, explicó sus expectativas tras la salida del obispo de San Felipe aceptada este vienes por el Papa Francisco junto a la renuncia del obispo de Chillán. “Escucharon nuestras súplicas”, dijo por su parte la vocera de los laicos de Chillán, Mirena Romero.

Tras la determinación del Papa Francisco de aceptar las renuncias de otros dos obispos chilenos (los jefes de la iglesia de Chillán, Carlos Pellegrín, y de San Felipe, Cristián Contreras), el ex seminarista Mauricio Pulgar, una de las víctimas de abuso sexual por parte de miembros del clero, expresó que es hora de que la Iglesia “cambie la actitud hacia las víctimas y que se inicie un diálogo”.

Jaime Concha, denunciante marista: “Precht era un depredador sexual”

[Jaime Concha, Marist whistleblower: "Precht was a sexual predator"]

La Tercera

September 21, 2018

By Sergio Rodríguez G.

“Yo sabía que si contaba que el Vicario de la Solidaridad me atacaba sexualmente, Pinochet lo habría usado a él y a mí, Precht habría terminado fusilado, preso, se habría acabado la Vicaría. Nosotros sentíamos el peso de todo eso", dice Jaime Concha.

“Yo no me siento feliz por lo que le ha pasado a Cristián Precht, creo que es una enorme tragedia, pero se tiene que conocer la verdad, la gente tiene que saber quién era él realmente”, dice Jaime Concha, con tono enérgico. El denunciante del caso Marista alude al reciente decreto de dimisión del estado clerical que emanó desde el Vaticano, a través del cual la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, a instancias de una decisión papal, expulsó de por vida a Precht del sacerdocio.

Papa Francisco acepta renuncia de cuestionados obispos de Chillán y San Felipe

[Pope Francisco accepts resignation of accused bishops of Chillán and San Felipe]


September 21, 2018

By Gabriela Varas and Tomás Molina

La salida de Carlos Pellegrín Barrera y Cristián Contreras Molina se da dentro del marco de las investigaciones en su contra por sus supuestas vinculaciones en casos de abusos dentro de la Iglesia Católica.

El Papa Francisco aceptó la renuncia de los cuestionados obispos de Chillán, Carlos Pellegrín Barrera, y San Felipe, Cristián Contreras Molina. El sacerdote Pellegrín estaría siendo investigado penal y canónicamente por presunto abuso sexual y encubrimiento, mientras que Contreras es apuntado por el eventual delito de encubrimiento. Además, en ambas diócesis existen procesos penales y canónicos en curso contra clérigos.

Defensa de Ezzati pide su sobreseimiento como supuesto encubridor en investigación contra sacerdote Óscar Muñoz

[Ezzati's defense asks for his dismissal in Óscar Muñoz's cover-up investigation]


September 21, 2018

El ex canciller del Arzobispado de Santiago es indagado por delitos sexuales. Tribunal decidirá el próximo 5 de octubre.

La defensa del cardenal Ricardo Ezzati solicitó el pasado 14 de septiembre el sobreseimiento definitivo de éste en el marco de la investigación que lleva adelante la fiscalía de O'Higgins en contra del ex canciller de esa arquidiócesis, Óscar Muñoz (56). Según explicó la defensa del también arzobispo de Santiago, la solicitud -realizada ante el Tribunal de Garantía de Rancagua- está fundada en el artículo 150 del Código Procesal Penal y apunta a la falta de participación de Ezzati en los delitos imputados a Muñoz Toledo.

Ex canciller del arzobispado investigado por abusos sexuales abandona la cárcel de Rancagua

[Former chancellor of the archdiocese investigated for sexual abuse leaves Rancagua prison]


September 21, 2018

La Corte de Apelaciones de Rancagua revocó ayer la prisión preventiva contra Óscar Muñoz y ordenó arresto domiciliario nocturno.

El ex canciller del Arzobispado de Santiago, Óscar Muñoz Toledo, abandonó hoy la cárcel de Rancagua donde cumplía prisión preventiva desde el pasado 13 de julio tras ser formalizado por delitos sexuales contra varios menores. Ayer, la Corte de Apelaciones de Rancagua revocó la medida cautelar de prisión preventiva y decretó su arresto domiciliario nocturno, junto con el pago de una fianza de $5.000.000.

El mapa de los obispos en Chile tras las renuncias aceptadas por el Papa Francisco

[The map of the bishops in Chile after the resignations accepted by Pope Francis]


September 21, 2018

Por el momento, el Sumo Pontífice ha concretado la salida de siete de los líderes eclesiásticos chilenos que viajaron al Vaticano para reunirse con él.

La Iglesia en Chile está conformada por distintas jurisdicciones eclesiásticas. Existen cinco arquidiócesis correspondientes a las provincias eclesiásticas en las que se divide el país, que también está cubierto por 19 diócesis, una prelatura y un vicariato apostólico. El Papa Francisco recibió la renuncia de todos los obispos durante la cita que sostuvieron en el Vaticano y hasta el momento ha aceptado siete.

Laicos jóvenes esperan que Chomalí exponga casos de abusos sexuales a papa Francisco

[Young lay leaders expect Chomalí to discuss clergy sex abuse cases with Pope Francis]


September 20, 2018

By Manuel Cabrera and Óscar Valenzuela

El representante de los laicos jóvenes de Concepción espera que el eje central de la cita que tendrá Fernando Chomalí con el papa Francisco, gire en torno a los casos de abusos sexuales que se han conocido en la zona y en el país. Además, creen que ninguno de los obispos -que se encuentran en calidad de renunciados puede asumir la Arquidiócesis de Santiago, a cargo actualmente de Ricardo Ezzati.

Arzobispo Chomalí tras ver al Papa: "Presenté nuevamente mi renuncia, la que no fue aceptada"

[Archbishop Chomalí after seeing the Pope: "I submitted my resignation again, which was not accepted"]


September 21, 2018

By Matías Vega

Tras sus reuniones en el Vaticano con el papa Francisco y el oficial de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, Jordi Bertomeu -quien estuvo de visita en Chile como enviado papal a mediados de junio-, el arzobispo de Concepción, Fernando Chomalí, aseguró haber presentado nuevamente su renuncia al sumo pontífice, pero que no fue aceptada.

After Catholic boys school writes off sex abuse as “history”, new and more shocking details emerge


September 21, 2018

By Graham Gremore

An elite boys school in New Orleans is currently fielding a PR nightmare and it doesn’t look like it’ll be ending any time soon.

On Wednesday, news broke that Jesuit High School in New Orleans quietly paid a former student $450,000 after he was repeatedly raped by priests and staff members.

Ricky Windmann was sexually assaulted over the course of several years while he was a student at the Catholic boys school in the 1970s. He detailed the horrific abuse in an article published by the New Orleans Advocate.

After that story broke, the school went into crisis mode.

Rev. Christopher Fronk, the president of Jesuit High School, immediately sent out a letter to the Jesuit community saying he was “horrified” by the sexual abuse that took place at the school and calling it a “disgusting time in our history”.

“What happened then is very different from what happens now,” Fronk said. “Jesuit High School of the ’70s and ’80s is not the Jesuit High School of today.”

Pope accepts resignation of two Chilean bishops accused of abuse or cover up


September 21, 2018

By Inés San Martín

FORT WORTH, Texas - Four months after the Chilean bishops presented their resignations en mass due to a massive clerical sexual abuse crisis, Pope Francis has accepted two more on Friday, bringing the total to seven.

Though the Vatican gave no reason for the pontiff’s decision, both prelates replaced on Friday are accused of sexually abusing minors.

Both prelates are currently being investigated by civil prosecutors, as is Cardinal Ricardo Ezzati, the Archbishop of Santiago, who continues in his role despite allegations that he covered up clerical sexual abuse.

Bishop Cristian Contreras of San Felipe is one of the two whose resignation Pope Francis accepted on Friday. He’s being investigated for cover-up, but also for allegedly abusing a minor in the bishop’s house decades ago. He’s already been investigated in 2013 by the Vatican, which sent two priests to look into alleged sexual abuses, but no sanctions were imposed.

Contreras will be temporarily replaced by the head of the ecclesial tribunal of Santiago, Jaime Ortiz de Lezcano, who will serve as apostolic administrator. He was the man tasked with investigating former priest Cristian Precht, who was removed from the priesthood last week by Pope Francis without the possibility of appealing the sentence.

Notorious fugitive NM priest in custody, facing child sex abuse charges

Albuquerque Journal

September 21, 2018

By Colleen Heild

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — One of the most notorious of the Roman Catholic priests accused of child sexual abuse in New Mexico, the Rev. Arthur Perrault, is in federal custody today under indictment for repeatedly molesting a boy at Kirtland Air Force Base and at the Santa Fe National Cemetery in the early 1990s.

This afternoon, after 26 years on the lam, the disgraced priest is set to face a U.S. magistrate in Albuquerque on a newly unsealed federal indictment charging him with criminal aggravated sexual abuse and abusive sexual contact between 1991 and 1992. Perrault had served as a military chaplain at the time.

His initial appearance set for 3 p.m. today.

At a news conference this morning, U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson and FBI Special Agent in Charge James C. Langenberg said Perrault’s arrest is the culmination of a yearlong, FBI-led investigation that involved authorities in Morocco, who took Perrault into custody last year after he was indicted by a federal grand jury in Albuquerque on seven federal charges.

“This man was widely perceived as mentor to young people and a respected figure in the community,” Anderson said. “Although the indictment alleges that Perrault committed these acts many years ago, this indictment should make clear that the U.S. Attorney’s Office will pursue justice for victims despite the passage of time or the many years that this defendant sought to put between him and these alleged offenses.”

Christine Blasey Ford Isn’t “Mixed Up.” But the Way We Talk About Sexual Assault Still Is


September 18, 2018

By Michelle Ruiz

It’s a story as old as Adam and Eve: When something bad happens, blame the woman. Nearly 30 years ago, an all-male Senate Judiciary Committee attempted to undermine Anita Hill—some openly questioning her credibility and motivations—before ultimately confirming her alleged sexual harasser, Supreme Court justice Clarence Thomas. This week, the very same narrative is playing out again with Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the clinical psychology professor who has come forward to accuse President Trump’s latest SCOTUS pick, Brett Kavanaugh, of pinning her down and groping her at a party when they were both high school students around 1982. Both Ford and Kavanaugh are set to testify publicly about her allegation—which he denies—on Monday; the fate of Kavanaugh’s confirmation now hangs in the balance. And so the well-oiled white male protector machine has been launched into overdrive.

Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch told reporters that Ford must be “mixed up” about the alleged assault, though, according to Ford, the nominee was “stumbling drunk” at the party, so it may be more likely that he’d be the one with a cloudy memory. (A culture of heavy drinking seems to be confirmed by Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s friend at the time, who later wrote a memoir about his various youthful indiscretions featuring a thinly veiled “Bart O’Kavanaugh.”) Former independent counsel Ken Starr (why are we still hearing from Ken Starr again?) similarly mused on CNN that Ford’s account of her assault must be a simple case of “mistaken identification,” as “false identification . . . happens every day.” Except, um, it actually does not.

False sexual assault accusations make for splashy media sensations and prime Dateline episodes—see: the UVA/Rolling Stone article; the Duke lacrosse case—but statistically speaking, they are extremely rare; 2 to 10 percent of sexual assault reports are false, and as Quartz recently noted, it is equally (if not more) rare that false accounts lead to criminal convictions. According to the National Registry of Exonerations, “since records began in 1989, in the U.S. there are only 52 cases where men convicted of sexual assault were exonerated because it turned out they were falsely accused.” It’s a number that pales in comparison to the estimated 1 in 6 American women who will experience rape or attempted rape in their lifetime, or the 1 in 4 college women alone who experience unwanted sexual contact.

Michigan AG Schuette opens Catholic priest sex abuse investigation

Detroit Free Press

September 21, 2018

By Niraj Warikoo

The Michigan Attorney General's Office announced today it has launched a statewide investigation into sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.

The office posted on its website today that it now has an open investigation into whether clergy in the Catholic Church in Michigan committed acts of abuse against children.

"The Michigan Department of Attorney General has determined that a full and complete investigation of what happened within the Catholic Church is required," it reads on the Attorney General's website. "This investigation is and will continue to be independent, thorough, transparent, and prompt. My department and this investigation will find out who knew what, and when."

The investigation was first reported by Wood TV, which had filed a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requesting documents related to several cases of abuse.

A spokesperson for Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette confirmed to the Free Press the investigation was launched in August and announced today.

The office of Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced Sept. 21, 2018, it has launched an investigation into the Catholic Church in Michigan for possible abuse of children.

No more delays, Louisiana bishops must release names of pedophile priests


September 21, 2018

By The Times-Picayune Editorial Board

After decades of secrecy, Louisiana's Catholic bishops are considering releasing the names of priests with credible accusations of abuse against them.

New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond, in an interview with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune Thursday (Sept. 20), said a decision should come soon.

The right decision should be obvious: The priests ought to be identified. There should be no exceptions for priests who are deceased or who have left the church. And the disclosure should include the names of any lay abusers who preyed on victims under the cover of the church.

Devout Catholics regard the sacrament of reconciliation as a pillar of their faith. They are taught from early childhood that fully confessing one's misdeeds is the first step toward forgiveness and spiritual healing.

The bishops should now practice what they preach. For the good of the community, the church, and most importantly the victims, they must release the names of the accused and cooperate fully in the civil and criminal proceedings that are sure to follow.

These priests harmed children and inflicted unimaginable pain on them and their families, pain that continues decades later. The Catholic Church for years has shielded most of these priests and other abusers who worked in and for the church. The secrecy allowed some of them to move on to other ministries, where they could abuse more children.

Archbishop Aymond said in the interview that he believes transparency is essential. But he also said the possibility of releasing the names is "riddled with problems," particularly in cases where the abusive priest has died.

Those problems are of the church's making. If the church's hierarchy had decided sooner to be transparent and to confront abuse, the scandal might not have festered.

Whether a priest is living or dead should make no difference now, if there are credible accusations against him. What is important is publicly recognizing the harm done to victims by these predators. There can be no healing without openness by the church.

An August grand jury report in Pennsylvania shows the depth of the scandal. The grand jury, using internal documents from six Catholic dioceses, identified more than 300 priests believed to have sexually abused more than 1,000 children. Since the grand jury report, about 40 of almost 200 dioceses across the United States have released the names of priests accused of abusing children in the past.

In Louisiana, the church hierarchy has been silent up to now.

Presentation principal accused of mishandling reported sex abuse to resign

Bay Area News Group/Mercury News

September 5, 2018

By John Woolfolk

Presentation High School President and former Principal Mary Miller announced Wednesday she will resign after coming under a cloud of allegations that she mishandled student sex-abuse allegations against staff over 25 years leading San Jose’s prestigious Catholic girls’ school.

“I have come to the realization my resignation is what is best for Pres,” Miller said in a resignation letter to the school’s board of directors. “The allegations of past sexual abuse continue to be a distraction for the school and bring negative attention towards Presentation. It is my sincere hope that my absence will bring some peace and allow the staff and new administration to focus on the success and well being of our students — which is our common goal.”

Presentation’s board said it will immediately begin a search to replace her.

Robert Allard, the lawyer who represented the former students, called it a key step toward housecleaning at the school administration, where he said Miller “enabled numerous predators to sexually abuse countless young girls.”

Pope Francis Has a Blind Spot on Sexual Misconduct—and It Begins With His Own Advisory Council

Mother Jones Magazine

September 21, 2018

By Dan Spinelli

When Pope Francis said last week that he would summon leading Catholic bishops to Rome for an unprecedented summit on the clergy sex abuse scandal, the Vatican included a superficially innocuous detail in the announcement. His decision came “after hearing the Council of Cardinals” and heeding their advice. This group of nine individually selected cardinals, known informally as the “C9,” has only met with Francis 26 times since his election in 2013. But their infrequent gatherings belie the weight Francis has given their counsel on important Church-related issues.

“At the end of the day, the buck stops with Pope Francis,” John Gehring, the author of The Francis Effect: A Radical Pope’s Challenge to the American Catholic Church, said in a direct Twitter message to Mother Jones. “The cardinals he surrounds himself with to help navigate through this crisis are clearly important, but it’s the pope’s responsibility to move from tough rhetoric to real structural reform.”

It is the C9’s influence in guiding the Vatican response to the sex abuse scandal that has raised concerns among abuse survivors and other Church observers, not because of any specific advice they have given but, rather, because two members of the Council have their own connections to the crisis. Last year, 77-year-old Australian Cardinal George Pell was charged with sexual misconduct after allegations emerged that he abused minors decades ago. (Few details are known about the charges because Australian law limits what can be reported about criminal defendants before a verdict is reached.) Another C9 member, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa of Chile reportedly hid evidence of abuse committed by Fernando Karadima—a priest so notorious that the Vatican made the rare decision of publicly proclaiming his guilt after an internal investigation.

India: Bishop accused of raping nun summoned by police

Al Jazeera

September 12, 2018

By Zeenat Saberin

The decision to question Franco Mulakkal came following days of protests in Kerala by women's groups.

Police in the southern Indian state of Kerala have summoned a bishop accused of raping a Catholic nun for questioning, following days of protests by a collective of nuns, women's groups and activists.

The Indian media on Wednesday reported that Franco Mulakkal, head of the Jalandhar diocese in northern Punjab state, has finally been summoned and is likely to be questioned on September 19.

The decision to question Mulakkal came on the fifth day of a sit-in protest in Kerala, demanding action against the bishop accused of sexually assaulting the 46-year-old Catholic nun from the Catholic congregation Missionaries of Jesus.

The nun has alleged that Mulakkal raped her repeatedly between 2014-2016 at a convent in Kerala.

Three months in, more newsrooms need to get serious about Catholic sex abuse coverage


September 21, 2018

By Julia Duin

As of today, we’re moving into the fourth month of Cardinal-gate or whatever one wants to call the flood of revelations, regrets, resignations and just plain revulsion over the re-awakened sex abuse crisis.

Reporting on the first phase of this crescendo of bad news started kind of slowly in June as news of then-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s penchant for finding sex partners among his seminarians started leaking out. During that first month, only the New York Times and the Washington Post did much of anything on it and then mostly by their religion and-or Vatican reporters.

Fast forward to this recent Post piece, by an investigative team designated to look into the actions of Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl. Yes, there should have been a team put on the case way before this, but better late than never. You can tell that news executives are taking a story seriously when they start throwing staff at it.

A dozen years before he became a top leader in the Catholic Church, Donald Wuerl was weighing a fateful decision. It was 1994, and Wuerl, then a bishop, had removed a priest accused of child sex abuse from a Pittsburgh-area parish. But the priest refused to get psychiatric treatment, and instead asked Wuerl for time off…

The case, one of hundreds mentioned in a groundbreaking Pennsylvania grand jury report released last month, sheds light on how Wuerl handled sex abuse claims in the Pittsburgh Diocese from 1988 to 2006 — a period that now threatens to rewrite his legacy and hasten the end of his career. Wuerl, 77, announced recently that he would go to the Vatican to discuss his possible resignation with Pope Francis, and although it is not clear when that meeting will take place, Wuerl is scheduled to be in Rome this weekend.

Red billboard calling on the Bishop to release the names of priests accused of abuse


September 19, 2018

By Caroline Marcello

Bishop Deshotel 'considering' release of accused priests' names

On the corner of Ambassador Caffery and Johnston Street in Lafayette there’s a digital billboard calling out the bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette to release the names of priests accused of abuse.

The two advertisements are bright red and the messages are short. They read “How many more?” and “Release the names” with the web address bishop-accountability.org.

I reached out to that organization, and they say they don’t know who’s paying for the billboard.

“Whoever did this, is really onto something,” says Terry McKiernan with the nonprofit out of Massachusetts. He says, “We are a library and an internet archive of the Catholic abuse crisis. We maintain a database of accused priests."

Letters: Doubts about the Vatican Meeting on Sexual Abuse

The New York Times

September 19, 2018

Readers question how much can actually be accomplished.

To the Editor:

Re “In a First, the Pope Calls Bishops to a Global Meeting on Sexual Abuse” (news article, Sept. 13):

After nearly 30 years of observing how Catholic authorities deal with abuse cases, I was disappointed to read that in response to the latest revelations and outcries, yet another meeting of prelates has been scheduled. But I was heartbroken when you reported that bishops “will be taught to listen to victims” at the gathering in February.

What kind of men are these princes of the church if their Vatican supervisors admit that they must learn how to hear the most wounded in their flock?

David G. Clohessy
St. Louis

The writer is the former director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Cardinal hires judge to review church sex abuse policies

Associated Press

September 20, 2018

By Karen Matthews

Hoping to restore the faith of those disillusioned by how the church has handled sexual abuse allegations, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York appointed a former federal judge Thursday to review its procedures and protocols.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan announced the appointment of Barbara Jones, saying many Catholics had told him they were feeling let down by the church’s hierarchy after a “summer of hell.” The string of bad news has included a Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing widespread sexual abuse and systematic cover-up by church officials in that state, and revelations about sexual abuse allegations against a former archbishop, Theodore McCarrick.

The move also comes two weeks after New York’s attorney general announced a comprehensive investigation of how the church and its leaders handled abuse allegations across the state. Attorney General Barbara Underwood issued subpoenas to all eight of the state’s Roman Catholic dioceses for documents containing information on abuse allegations and how they were investigated and handled.

San Diego Diocese holds back on abusive priests, public list tops 103

The Worthy Adversary

September 13, 2018

By Joelle Casteix

Today the Diocese of San Diego released a list of eight credibly accused priests who have worked in the diocese.

The names are:

Fr. Jose Chavarin
Fr. Raymond Etienne SVD
Fr. James P. Foley
Fr. Michael French
Fr. Richard Houck
Fr. George Lally O.A.R.
Fr. Mark Medaer
Fr. Paolino Montagna

This list is dangerously incomplete. Even a cursory search of publicly available data found 105 names of priests who have worked in San Diego—including Bishop Emeritus Robert Brom—who have been accused of sexually assaulting minors or vulnerable adults.

TEXAS VIEW: The Catholic Church needs to make protecting children its top priority

Dallas Morning News

September 5, 2018

The Catholic Church’s most recent — and perhaps most depraved — sexual-abuse scandal is stunning and has hit our community and our state hard. According to the most recent U.S. Religion Census, at least 56 percent of Texans are adherents to a religion; of those, nearly 20 percent are Catholics.

But one need not be a Catholic nor an adherent to any faith to be sickened by the Pennsylvania grand jury report that identified 301 “predator priests” throughout the state who abused more than 1,000 children — some as young as 2 years old — over seven decades.

The details are well-known and too heinous to repeat. But what’s lesser-known is that the roughly 900-page report said the strategies deployed by the Catholic Church — deacons, priests and bishops — to respond to allegations amounted to “a playbook for concealing the truth.”

Those strategies included using fellow clergy to investigate allegations of abuse, refusal to explain why abusive priests were removed or transferred to a different diocese, use of euphemisms like “boundary issues” in cases that were clearly rape, and, lastly, not reporting accused priests to law enforcement.

This Week In Mormonland

The Salt Lake Tribune

September 20, 2018

By David Noyce

This week in Mormon Land: Nelson’s game plan for life, where women stand, a high-profile excommunication and Salt Lake’s School of the Prophets

Sam Young is out, but the fight is still on.

Latter-day Saint leaders in Houston have excommunicated the former bishop, but he is continuing his campaign against one-on-one interviews of youths by lay clergy and the sexually explicit questions that sometimes are asked.

“For our children’s sake,” an emotional Young said, “this whistleblower is not going to stop roaring.”

The 65-year-old Young read the verdict letter of his disciplinary council before hundreds of supporters outside the faith’s landmark temple in downtown Salt Lake City.

Officially, he got the boot for “conduct contrary to the laws and order of the church” and his “persistent, aggressive effort to persuade others to [his] point of view by repeatedly and deliberately attacking and publicly opposing the church and its leaders.”

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, commonly called SNAP, condemned the action.

“SNAP is appalled that a man who is only speaking up to protect children would be banned from his community,” the group’s Utah leader, Judy Larson, wrote in a news release. “The Mormon church should instead be thanking him for his care and concern for LDS children.”

Cardinal Dolan picks Barbara Jones, special master in Michael Cohen case, to review handling of clergy sex-abuse cases

New York Daily News

September 20, 2018

By Stephen Rex Brown and Larry McShane

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, hoping to extinguish some of the lingering flames from the Catholic church’s “summer of hell,” hired a respected ex-judge to review its sex abuse protocols.

Barbara Jones was brought in to conduct a “comprehensive and exhaustive study” of how the Archdiocese of New York responds to a young person’s abuse allegations against any clergy member.

“From my people, my clergy and the wider community … I hear that they want accountability, transparency and action,” Dolan said Thursday in a move to restore the faith of his disillusioned flock.

“If I lose the trust of my people and this community, I don’t have a lot left.”

In New Orleans, more quietly settled, decades-old Catholic Church sex abuse cases surface

The Advocate

September 21, 2018

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

Other cases have surfaced involving quietly settled, decades-old sexual abuse claims against the Catholic Church in New Orleans, naming a pair of diocesan priests as well as an educator.

In the wake of a sexual abuse scandal that’s rocked the Catholic Church around the world, including horrifying incidents in Louisiana, church …

Three separate, unnamed plaintiffs pursued claims against Malcolm Strassel, once a priest at Our Lady of Lourdes; Michael Fraser, once a priest at St. Raphael the Archangel Catholic Church; and Nolan Delatte, once an educator at St. Pius X School, according to documents filed in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

Records show the disputes were resolved in 2009, and the attorney representing the plaintiffs — Felecia Peavy — said Thursday that all of the claims resulted in undisclosed monetary settlements for her clients.

However, despite past pledges to be open and transparent following the 2002 sexual abuse scandal that devastated the Catholic Church, the Archdiocese of New Orleans did not notify its flock of the claims against Strassel or Delatte, which date back decades but which Peavy said were deemed credible.

Archdiocese attorney Wendy Vitter on Thursday said the administration, led at the time by Archbishop Alfred Hughes, did not notify the public of the claims against Strassel and Delatte because both had died by then and the allegations dated back to the 60s and 70s.

SNAP claims some Pennsylvania priests tied to molestation cases came to St. Louis

Fox 2 News

September 20, 2018

By Vic Faust

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says several priests came to St. Louis from Pennsylvania after being investigated for molesting kids and nobody was ever told.

SNAP says nine priests who were first publicly identified by name last month in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, spent time in St. Louis at some point after being investigated in other states.

However, the Archdiocese of St. Louis says they never worked here.

SNAP is urging Attorney General Josh Hawley to delay and expand his clergy sex abuse inquiry in St. Louis since the grand jury report named nine priests sent there over the last 25 years. All of these priests lived at church-run facilities for troubled priests.

“They are among hundreds of predators who were sent to St. Louis with no warning to parents and parishioners,” said David Clohessy, survivor and SNAP director in St. Louis.

Anti-abuse activists pan US Catholic bishops’ new proposals

Associated Press

September 20, 2018

By David Crary

Lawyers and advocates for victims of clergy sex-abuse are assailing as inadequate some new steps announced by U.S. Catholic bishops to curtail the abuse scandals that have deeply shaken the church this year.

The initiatives, announced Wednesday, include developing a code of conduct for bishops regarding sexual abuse and harassment, and establishing a confidential hotline — to be run by a third party — to receive complaints of sexual misconduct by bishops, and relay such complaints to appropriate church and civil authorities.

Critics called on the bishops to go further by allowing outside investigators full access to church sex-abuse records and by supporting changes to statute-of-limitation laws so that more cases of long-ago sex abuse could be addressed in court.

"Until they allow professional investigators inside the secret archives, there will be no real transparency," said Jeff Anderson, a Minnesota lawyer who has handled many sex-abuse lawsuits. "They are incapable of handling this internally."

Marci Hamilton, a University of Pennsylvania professor who has studied sex abuse statute of limitations, depicted the bishop's statement as "little more than words ... while they lobby against justice for the victims."

Until the bishops support major statute of limitations reforms, she said Thursday, "they are enemies of the victims and the public seeking to know the actual risk posed by their policies."

Americans’ approval of Pope Francis drops to 53% amid more church sex abuse revelations

Vox Media

September 19, 2018

By Tara Isabella Burton

Pope Francis’s favorability rating among Americans has plummeted sharply in the aftermath of this summer’s deluge of revelations in the Catholic clerical sex abuse crisis, according to a poll conducted by Gallup this week. Francis’s approval rating among Americans is down to 53 percent, according to the poll conducted from September 4 to 12.

In September 2015, according to Gallup, about 70 percent of Americans felt favorably about the pope. That number declined only slightly to 66 percent by early August.

But then a Pennsylvania grand jury report implicated hundreds of priests in the alleged sexual abuse of more than 1,000 minors, mostly during the 1970s and ’80s, prompting a new wave of abuse investigations across the United States. The fallout has rocked the Catholic Church — and Americans’ trust in the pope.

Even shortly before the massive report was released, retired DC archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCarrick left the ministry after numerous allegations emerged of sexual abuse against both adult seminarians and minors. Weeks later, former Vatican official Carlo Maria Viganò wrote an open letter accusing Francis of overturning sanctions against McCarrick instituted by Francis’s predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, despite being aware of McCarrick’s abuse of seminarians. The letter does not allege that Francis knew about any abuse of minors.

Jesuit High sex abuse settlements kept quiet; 1 victim speaks out for first time

The Advocate

September 20, 2018

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

Ricky Windmann wasn’t nervous when he accompanied janitor Peter Modica to his ground-floor maintenance office at Jesuit High School on an otherwise unremarkable day in the late 1970s.

After all, Modica – a former semipro baseball player – had let the skinny, light-haired boy play basketball on the school’s grounds several times, even though he wasn’t a student. He also bought Windmann a bike and stopped by the boy’s house, which was a couple blocks from the school’s Mid-City campus, to meet Windmann’s mother.

But any feeling of safety was replaced by paralyzing fear when Modica suddenly pulled Windmann’s pants down and forcibly performed oral sex on him. Windmann doesn’t recall his exact age at the time, but he said he believes he was in his early teens.

The janitor would go on to sexually abuse the adolescent several more times in the ensuing years – once in concert with a Jesuit priest and teacher, Neil Carr – only stopping when Windmann grew big enough to protect himself.

Our Views: Unified, churchwide standard to make credible abuse claims public a must for Catholic Church Advocate editorial

The Advocate

September 20, 2018

In the wake of a sexual abuse scandal that’s rocked the Catholic Church around the world, including horrifying incidents in Louisiana, church leaders have promised to champion reforms to help prevent such abuses in the future.

One obvious change for the better would be a unified, churchwide standard for making credible claims of abuse public. As an Advocate story on court settlements involving sexual abuse incidents at Jesuit High in New Orleans makes clear, confusing lines of authority within the church bureaucracy haven’t served the cause of transparency and justice.

The abuse cases from Jesuit’s campus dating back to at least the 1970s are a case study in evil. One victim, Randy Windmann, was granted a $450,000 settlement after he reported repeated sexual assaults by then-campus janitor Peter Modica starting in the 1970s. Windmann said he was also abused by the Rev. Neil Carr, then a Jesuit priest and teacher.

An especially troubling revelation from such abuse cases is that reporting standards among various church institutions can differ. Jesuit’s guidelines for reporting such cases seems to differ from that of the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Jesuit’s rules don’t appear to require that parents and other members of the Catholic community be informed when such abuse allegations develop. It’s unclear which set of standards are supposed to prevail — those of the Jesuit order, or those of the diocese.

Aymond, other Louisiana bishops may release names of pedophile priests: exclusive interview


September 20, 2018

By Kim Chatelain

Against the backdrop of a raging national clergy abuse scandal rooted in south Louisiana, New Orleans Archbishop Gregory Aymond said Thursday (Sept. 20) he and other state bishops are in discussions over whether to release the names of clergy members against whom credible accusations of abuse have been made.

In an exclusive interview with NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune, Aymond said while he believes transparency is key to helping the church through the crises, releasing the names of clergy members who were accused of abuse decades ago is "riddled with problems" and "messy," particularly in cases where the abuser is deceased. But he said those issues are being discussed among the state's bishops and a decision is expected soon.

"This has been heart-wrenching, painful," Aymond said. He characterized the last several weeks as the most difficult in his nine years at the helm of the archdiocese, as he hears stories of victims and the damage abusive clergy members have done to them and their families.

"I go to bed thinking about it. I wake up thinking about it," he said.

For Francis, February bishops' meeting will be a defining moment

National Catholic Reporter

September 20, 2018

by Dennis Coday

Could this be the moment for which Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was called from "the ends of the earth" to be pope?

Let's not forget how when Bergoglio was introduced to us as Pope Francis — the name of not a previous pope or apostle, but of a reforming saint — he captured the world's imagination with his humble request for all those gathered in St. Peter's Square to pray for him, and he bowed before them.

Let's not forget that he was elected by a conclave of cardinals who knew they wanted a freshness brought to the papacy and reform to the church. That was his mandate.

He first led by example: renouncing the papal apartments, taking a room in Casa Santa Marta and eating meals in the cafeteria. He forsook titles and called himself the bishop of Rome. He rides in simple cars, not bulletproof limousines.

Let's not forget how from his earliest days as pope he spoke for a ministry of mercy and denounced in the most strident terms the disease of clericalism. In November 2013, speaking to a gathering of religious superiors, he called clericalism "one of the worst evils," and warned the religious leaders with seminarians, "We must form their hearts. Otherwise, we are creating little monsters. And then these little monsters mold the people of God. This really gives me goose bumps."

Annual Title IX Training, AKA, Where Bible College Failed

Cassidy's Commentary (blog)

September 20, 2018

I work for a University. It’s not hard to figure out which one; I draw very little attention to where I work, because, DUH, public forum. I like where I work. It’s a very different world from where I grew up, and how I grew up; it’s a very different way of functioning from what I’m used to, and I’m very grateful that I have the opportunity to be here. It’s time for our Annual Title IX Training, and I have a few things to get out of my system…

I grew up in a small town (no stoplights!), and I graduated from a small, private school (in a class of 6 people, I was the valedictorian!). When I went to college, I went to my third- or fourth-string pick of a Bible college in Florissant, Missouri, not too far from where I’m currently employed.

I still don’t know why I wound up there. Honestly, it was down to the wire to make a college decision, and my choice of a school in Tennessee was firmly shot down, as was my choice of a school in Webster Groves, so here I was, in this tiny, little Bible college at 17, feeling out of place and completely on my own.

She accused a Mishawaka priest of sexual abuse. She got Bishop Rhoades' attention

South Bend Tribune

August 22, 2018

By Caleb Bauer

When Bishop Kevin Rhoades announced his plan to release names of priests in the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese accused of abuse, he said the revelations of rampant abuse in Pennsylvania weren’t the only factor in his decision.

He also credited a woman who had reported sexual abuse to the diocese — and had urged him to release the name of her abuser.

“I was so conflicted,” Rhoades said at a news conference Friday. “She was asking me to release the name. So to be honest, this whole issue of releasing names is something that even before the Pennsylvania grand jury report I’ve been considering.”

Carolyn Andrzejewski-Wilson watched the live broadcast of the news conference on her computer at her North Carolina home. She knew Rhoades was talking about her.

Almost two years ago, the former Mishawaka resident met with Rhoades to relay her story about abuse at the hands of the Rev. Elden Miller, a former priest at St. Joseph Church and Queen of Peace Church in Mishawaka.

Priest arrested in diocese of US cardinal leading pope visit

The Associated Press

September 12, 2018

By Nomaan Merchant

HOUSTON (AP) – As U.S. Catholic leaders head to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis about a growing church abuse crisis, the cardinal leading the delegation has been accused by two people of not doing enough to stop a priest who was arrested this week on sexual abuse charges.

The two people told The Associated Press that they reported the priest and met with Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. One of them says she was promised in a meeting with DiNardo that the priest would be removed from any contact with children, only to discover that the priest remained in active ministry at another parish 70 miles away.

The priest, Manuel LaRosa-Lopez, was arrested Tuesday by police in Conroe, Texas. Both people who spoke to the AP are cooperating with police.

Survivors network still skeptical as Hawley's office forges ahead with investigation of Catholic Church

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Jack Suntrup and Nassim Benchaabane

September 20, 2018

As part of an investigation into potential clergy abuse within the Roman Catholic Church, inspectors in the Missouri attorney general’s office have identified at least 100 boxes of records that officials said will be subject to review.

The office told the Post-Dispatch each box generally can hold at least 2,000 documents. The state’s four Catholic dioceses possess the records in question.

The attorney general’s office has been contacted approximately 50 times by survivors and potential witnesses of abuse through an online portal, and the office said it has assigned “several” attorneys to handle its investigation.

The update on Attorney General Josh Hawley’s investigation comes as skepticism continues to swirl around the probe, which the dioceses are complying with voluntarily. Victim advocates have panned the investigation for its lack of subpoena power, which they say would lend credibility to the examination of church records.

Parents outraged after learning priests accused of sex abuse were sent to Missouri


September 20, 2018

By Christina Coleman

A Florissant couple is outraged after learning that pedophile priests from Pennsylvania were sent to Missouri.

The couple said their son lost his life to suicide after a priest abused him for several years. They reached a wrongful death settlement with the St. Louis Archdiocese, but new information has them demanding change.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) learned about nine Pennsylvania priests, who have been accused or have admitted to sexual abuse allegations, that were transferred to Missouri.

SNAP doesn't know how many of the nine priests are still in the area, or are even alive, but they say they were sent here after Bishops in Pennsylvania suspended them.

The Harkins said the news brings back painful memories. They want priests to be prosecuted if they engage in sex abuse.

Benedict XVI defends resignation in leaked letter

The Tablet Catholic Weekly

September 20, 2018

By Christopher Lamb

Benedict XVI has reprimanded a German cardinal for criticising his decision to step down, arguing that “anger” about his resignation has devalued his papacy, and is being “melted into the sorrow” about the Church’s problems.

The Pope Emeritus made the remarks in recent letters to Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the “dubia” cardinals who has publicly challenged Pope Francis over his family life teaching.

At one level, the letters can be read as a rebuke to Pope Francis’ critics, many of whom felt betrayed and angered by Benedict XVI’s decision to resign and have seen the Pope Emeritus as a rallying point for Francis resistance.

On the other hand, critics of this Pope are likely to seize on Benedict XVI's use of the word “sorrow” about the Church’s situation as a sign that Francis’ pontificate is going in the wrong direction.

The overriding concern from Benedict appears to be that his papacy is being devalued by those using it as a political weapon to undermine Francis.

Group wants Missouri AG investigation into Catholic Church to go beyond priests


September 20, 2018

By Russell Kinsaul

An advocacy group for victims of sexual abuse by priests says it wants an investigation into the St. Louis Archdiocese by Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley to be expanded.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) says it wants an investigation to go beyond priests and include religious orders, deacons and brothers, and said people need to be required to testify under oath.

When Hawley announced an investigation into clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church in Missouri, Archbishop Robert Carlson promised unfettered access to church records.

“There needs to be subpoena power, there needs to be compelling testimony under oath. Anything else is less than an investigation and I would say it’s a sham and a whitewash,” said Tim Lennon with SNAP.

The group also claimed priests identified as predators by a Pennsylvania grand jury were sent to Missouri.