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BishopAccountability.org – Documenting the Abuse Crisis

October 31, 2014

Heroes in our midst: Chris Anderson & MaleSurvivor (Part II)

UNITED STATES
Relgion News Service - Rhymes with Religion

Boz Tchividjian | Oct 31, 2014

MaleSurvivor is an organization that is doing some amazing work in serving male survivors of sexual trauma. Last week was the first of my two part interview with it’s executive director, Chris Anderson who shared about the many challenges faced by male sexual abuse survivors. In part two of his interview, Chris and I discuss the unique struggles faced by male survivors who are members of faith communities. Chris also provides us with some extremely insightful and helpful ideas on how faith communities can actually become places where male survivors find peace, comfort, and healing.

My prayer is that the faith communities are listening and ready to become that place.

Boz: What are some of the unique struggles faced by male sexual abuse survivors? What about those who are a part of a faith community?

Chris: To a large extent I think the fact that male survivors have largely been invisible and unheard has made it very difficult for us to feel safe enough to come forward with our stories. On average, male survivors delay disclosure of abuse for 20 years. That means when a survivor finally does come forward there may be little evidence to support their claims – at first. However when investigations into institutions that employed and empowered abusers are undertaken, they will come up with substantial evidence. But far too often those investigations are never undertaken, or are forestalled by restrictive statutes of limitations. And far too often survivors who do have the courage to finally break their silence are met with suspicion, disbelief, and even anger.

Also, there are a lot of mistaken presumptions about male victims out there. To take one example, many people presume men are hardwired to want sex all the time, and that – by extension – it is impossible for a male to perform sexually if they are unwilling or fearful. Both of these statements are untrue, as is the fear that a boy who is sexually abused is far more likely to become an abuser himself.

Kerkjurist over benoeming 'pedopastoor': "Bisschop is medeplichtig"

BELGIE
De Morgen

BJORN MAECKELBERGH
31-10-14

"Wat moet er meer zijn om een pastoor na misbruik van een minderjarige weg te houden uit een parochie?", vraagt professor kerkelijk recht Kurt Martens zich af. Hij snapt niet dat het bisdom Brugge de ontslagen pastoor Tom F. (40) een nieuwe kans geeft nadat hij bekende een minderjarige te hebben aangerand. "Leren ze het dan nooit?"

Dat Tom F. vanaf morgen officieel benoemd wordt tot pastoor van de federatie Middelkerke is eerst en vooral daar hard aangekomen. "Die man is gezien zijn verleden niet welkom in onze jeugdige en levendige gemeente", zegt burgemeester Janna Rommel-Opstaele (Open Vld). Ongeruste burgers klampen haar aan of bellen haar in paniek. "Als de pastoor wordt benoemd, dreigen sommigen hun kinderen weg te halen. Die man kan hier nooit nog gezag uitoefenen. Hij moet weg. Ik zal alles wat in mijn macht ligt, gebruiken om hem uit Middelkerke weg te houden."

Anglican bishop quits over sexual abuse cover-up

UNITED KINGDOM
The Australian

NOVEMBER 01, 2014

Michael McKenna
Reporter
Brisbane

ONE of the world’s most revered Anglican bishops has quit the ministry following scathing criticism of his handling of allegations of the horrific sexual abuse of children in Australia and Britain by a pedophile clergyman.

Lord David Hope of Thornes, the former Archbishop of York, yesterday announced he was resigning from the ministry after 50 years in the wake of the findings of a church-ordered inquiry into his handling of allegations against ­another senior cleric, Robert Waddington.

The shock resignation of Sir David, who was knighted by the Queen for services to the sovereign, came after the inquiry found him guilty of 18 breaches of the Church of England child-protect­ion policies that were drafted under his leadership.

“After much prayerful and considered thought, I wrote at the beginning of the week to the ­Bishop of Leeds and in the light of the Cahill inquiry report I have submitted my resignation as Honorary Assistant Bishop of Bradford, now West Yorkshire and the Dales, with immediate ­effect,’’ he said.

Judge denies request to seal depositions of Catholic priests

MINNESOTA
KTTC

By Krista Corrigan

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC)-- On Thursday afternoon, an Olmsted County District Court judge denied a request to seal the depositions of three Catholic priests. These priests potentially had knowledge of a former Rochester Boy Scout Leader sexually abusing children.

This all relates to a lawsuit brought by attorney Jeff Anderson on behalf of two former scouts.

Anderson is seeking the depositions of three priests who served at St. Pius Church during the 1970s.

These priests supervised Richard Hokanson while he served as a Scout Leader there. Hokanson pleaded guilty in 1982 to molesting three Scouts in a troop sponsored by the church. These priests are Father Joseph Fogal, currently at Pax Christi in Rochester, Father Joseph Pete currently at St. Mary of the Lake in Lake City, and Father James McCauley, who is retired.

"If the defendants who have engaged in dangerous institutions are allowed to keep those practices secret, they are more likely to continue those practices. When those practices become known to us in depositions and we are allowed to make it known to the public, we believe the public is safer because of it," said Anderson.

The deposition of defrocked priest, Thomas Adamson, who admitted abuse across communities in southeastern Minnesota, was released by Anderson's law firm in June.

Middelkerke asks diocese to think again

BELGIUM
Expatica

31st October 2014

The municipal cabinet in the West Flemish resort of Middelkerke has written to the Bishop of Bruges Jozef De Kesel asking him to revoke the appointment to the position of parish Priest of a man convicted of sexually assaulting a 16 year-old boy.

The letter was sent to Bishop De Kesel via electronic mail on Friday morning, just ahead of the weekly meeting of the curates of the Bruges Diocese.

The man in question was to have started his duties as a priest in Middlekerke on Saturday 1 November.

The Mayor of Middelkerke Janna Rommel-Opstaele expressed her shock at the appointment of the priest.

"The municipal cabinet would like to stress that it doesn’t want to put this person on trial, but the character of the new priest does not meet up to our expectations for someone that is meant to set an example”, the letter reads.

It is not clear whether the issue will be discussed at the weekly curates’ meeting. The curates will meet with representatives of the Middelkerke municipal authorities later on Friday.

IL--Cardinal Francis George to release secret sex abuse files

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Friday, Oct. 31

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

“Cardinal Francis George will soon disclose more priest sex abuse files that have been secret for years.”

[NBC Chicago]

We urge him to do so soon, but not on a day on which the disclosures will be "buried" in other news (such as on Halloween, election day or the eve of election day or any Friday). When forced to reveal information about predator priests, Catholic officials typically do this self-serving kind of public relations maneuver. And it's wrong. It undermines their claim to care about "transparency."

We also call on George to

--release as much information as possible,
--do it in a “user-friendly” way,
--provide photos of the offenders,
--include religious order clerics (like Jesuits and Franciscans) and
--post it on parish websites (not just the archdiocesan website).

Finally, we urge him to not “over-redact,” and disingenuously exploit alleged concern for victims' privacy by hiding more information than is needed.

It goes without saying that all names and identifying information about victims should be withheld. But often, in these cases, Catholic officials go way overboard with the Magic Markers and cross out far more information than they should. Then, they claim they’re safeguarding victim’s privacy, when in fact they’re really safeguarding their own reputations.

We urge George to act with real transparency, not self-serving partial transparency.

Grand jury reports on clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Philadelphia, for example, struck a very good balance between protecting the safety of vulnerable children and the privacy of wounded adults. It kept track of the victims which made the exposure of the truth more complete.

For the well-being of children, adult victims should have some identifying information. If there’s no identifying information, not even phrases like “Jane Doe 1” or “John Doe 2,” then the truth in the documents still remains hidden. Of course, an important part of the truth is that church officials were usually warned by Doe 1 or Doe 2’s mom long before the predator began assaulting Doe 3.

Finally, we urge Chicago Catholics and citizens to take three steps.

First, read the records carefully and focus on what’s missing, especially two things. Often, the names and roles of “enablers” are withheld– current and former Catholic employees who knew of or suspected child sex crimes and ignored or hid them. These individuals should be named and punished. And often, details are withheld that show just how many years Catholic officials kept kids in harm’s way by concealing these crimes.

As Archdiocese Reorganizes, New York Catholics Await News About Their Parishes

NEW YORK
New York Times

By SHARON OTTERMAN
OCT. 30, 2014

An East Harlem church that was among the first in New York to welcome newcomers from Puerto Rico. An Upper East Side parish founded with $50 donations from working-class Italians in the 1920s. A 150-year-old Midtown church that is the only one in the city to offer a daily Latin Mass.

Each of these parishes is set to hear this weekend whether it will be eliminated as part of the largest reorganization in the 164-year history of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.

Church officials say more than 50 parishes will be “consolidated” next year, the culmination of a planning process that began in 2010. And while the list of churches will not be released until Sunday, it is already clear that no corner of the archdiocese will be untouched.

Protests have already begun at some endangered parishes, and more are expected across the archdiocese, whose territory includes 368 parishes in the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island and seven counties north of the city. In 2007, Cardinal Edward M. Egan closed 21 parishes, then the largest set of New York closings. The battles that ensued were public and wrenching, and in some cases, are still going on.

'Pedopriester' mag weer aan de slag

BELGIE
De Morgen

[Tom Flamez, 40, the West-Flemish priest who was dismissed in 2008 after being accused to assaulting a minor is again welcome in the church although he was convicted. The Bruges bishop has nominated him as a pastor at Middlekerke.]

Tom Flamez (40), de West-Vlaamse priester die ontslagen was nadat hij in 2008 een minderjarige had aangerand, is weer welkom in de kerk. De bisschop van Brugge benoemde hem tot pastoor in Middelkerke.

Zes jaar na de zedenfeiten is de gevallen pastoor door het bisdom van Brugge in ere hersteld. De man is met ingang van 1 november benoemd tot pastoor in de federatie Middelkerke, waar hij in drie kerken als pastoor aan de slag gaat en ook met minderjarigen zal werken. Opmerkelijk, omdat de man in 2008 door het gerecht nog schuldig bevonden werd nadat hij een 17-jarige jongen had aangerand.

Advocaat ‘veroordeelde priester’: ‘Hij rondde zijn straf af, maar moet nu opnieuw boeten’

BELGIE
De Standaard

door Annelies Roose

Jan De Winter, advocaat van de pastoor die werd veroordeeld voor aanranding van een minderjarige maar in ere werd hersteld en in november weer zijn functie kan opnemen in Middelkerke, vindt de vele kritiek op die beslissing ongepast. ‘Met alle respect voor de slachtoffers, maar iedereen verdient een tweede kans’, zo zei hij donderdagavond in Terzake.

De 40-jarige priester, Tom Flamez, werd in 2008 ontslagen nadat hij een 17-jarige jongen had aangerand. Hij had de jongen dronken gevoerd en betast, en werd na bekentenissen door de rechter schuldig bevonden aan aanranding. In januari 2009 kreeg hij echter opschorting van straf, waardoor zijn strafblad leeg bleef. Hij moest zich wel aan enkele voorwaarden houden, zoals het vermijden van situaties waarin hij een gezagsrelatie met minderjarigen heeft.

Chile's 'Children of Silence' seek truth

CHILE
CNN

[with video]

By Rafael Romo, CNN

CNN's Rafael Romo's documentary "The Children of Silence" will air on CNNi at 11:30 a.m. ET on Friday.

Santiago, Chile (CNN) -- Nearly four decades have passed, but Cecilia Rojas cries for her son as if she had lost him yesterday.

Rojas, a 58-year-old resident of the Chilean capital of Santiago, said her baby was taken shortly after she gave birth.

He was born two months early, but doctors and nurses assured Rojas that he was healthy and would soon be sent home with her.

"The nurse put the baby on my chest while she finished the paperwork," Rojas recalled in an emotional interview with CNN. "Then she told me they were going to take him to an incubator because he was a little small."

She would never see him again. The next morning, a nurse told Rojas the infant had died. Her requests to view his body were denied, Rojas said. She was never given a death certificate.

The stolen children: Chile parents allege theft of newborns

CHILE
National Catholic Reporter

Melinda Henneberger | Oct. 31, 2014

OLIVAR, CHILE Officials in Santiago, Chile, are investigating a series of cases in which newborn babies were purportedly stolen from the poor and given to the rich over many years' time, mostly in the 1970s through the '90s.

These weren't political kidnappings, few of which happened in Chile during the bloody, 17-year dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, in large measure thanks to the opposition of the Catholic church. Yet at least half a dozen Catholic sisters and one of the country's most popular priests have been implicated in these long-hidden crimes.

The following article is the first in a three-part series that looks at how this appropriation of children happened, and how it stayed secret for so long.

Maria "Rosa" Rojas and her husband, Hernán Enrique Cavieres Díaz, met as kids in this apple-, cherry- and grape-growing region south of Santiago. "We were neighbors, gracias a Dios," said Hernán, and Rosa pulled out an old snapshot of them wearing blazers and dazed expressions on their wedding day, Oct. 14, 1983, when she was 16 and he was 19.

They've been blessed in the three decades since, 51-year-old Hernán said in an interview in their tin-roofed home near the fields where he's a farm hand and she's a seasonal worker, picking fruit as it comes in.

"God gave me a beautiful wife, and God gave me this beautiful house," he said, ticking off his reasons for gratitude as he placed a plate of cookies and saltines on the table and Rosa made Nescafé.

The only thing more that he and Rosa could possibly ever want, and pray for every day, is to meet the newborn twin sons they believe were stolen from them -- with the complicity of a nun, no less -- in the Santiago maternity hospital where the boys were born on July 27, 1984.

Re-drafted letter brings new questions for abuse inquiry chief

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Letters from the new head of the child abuse inquiry show her appointment was "chaotic" and raise more questions, a senior MP has said.

A letter from Fiona Woolf to Theresa May was re-written seven times.

Home Affairs Committee chairman Keith Vaz said they gave "a sense of greater detachment" between Mrs Woolf and former Home Secretary Leon Brittan.

Lord Brittan was home secretary in 1984 when ministers were handed a dossier on alleged high-profile paedophiles.

'Not close'

The inquiry, announced in July, will look at whether public bodies and other institutions did enough to protect children from sexual abuse, from 1970 to the present day.

One chairman has already stepped down amid questions about her impartiality, while Mrs Woolf has also faced questions about her links with Lord Brittan, who has faced questions about how he handled the dossier of allegations when he was home secretary in the 1980s.

Home Office helped rewrite child abuse probe boss's letter 7 times over links to Brittan

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

By JOHN STEVENS, DAILY MAIL POLITICAL REPORTER

The head of the Government’s child abuse inquiry re-wrote a letter to the Home Secretary seven times in order to play down her links to Leon Brittan, it was claimed yesterday.

Fiona Woolf is already under pressure to resign because of her personal relationship to the Tory peer, who is at the centre of allegations of an Establishment cover-up of sex abuse claims in the 1980s.

It has now emerged that she made several changes to a formal letter she sent to Theresa May about possible conflicts of interest.

With assistance from the Home Office, she made more than half a dozen alterations to the document to remove language that alluded to her closeness to the Conservative grandee.

The different versions of the letter emerged yesterday two days after a Labour MP used parliamentary privilege to link Lord Brittan to ‘improper conduct with children’.

Victims described the latest revelations as ‘extraordinary’ and renewed their calls on City lawyer Mrs Woolf to step down.

To name or not to name

MALTA
Malta Independent

[Another view: Editor's blog: Abuse priest: to name or not to name - Times of Malta]

Stephen Calleja

The M alta Independent has chosen to publish all details, including the name of a priest who has been accused by various women of improper sexual behaviour. Most of these women were vulnerable persons who sought refuge in someone who they thought would help them. They were looking for consolation, but all they got, they are saying, was someone who abused them at a time when they were in a fragile state of mind.

The Times chose otherwise, hiding the name of the priest from the public, giving him protection and, by so doing, inflicting a heavy cloud of suspicion on every other priest in this country.

Since their story was published, other priests called our newsroom to protest that they had all been put in the same basket. They were ashamed that one of their colleagues - Fr Charles Fenech - had once again thrown bad light on the institution they represented, and they wanted to clear the name of the Church because the faults of one individual, if any, should not be allowed to tarnish the reputation of a group. Just as much as the judiciary is an institution, so is the Church.

If anything, people holding positions of authority or respect should be named more than others, simply because their position imposes that they behave themselves better than others.

It has been standard practice that names of people accused of sexual crimes are published unless they are relatives of their victims. This is done to protect the victim, not the accused.

The question that arises is: why not this time too?

We have been investigating these allegations, on and off, for several years. Three years ago, at the height of the campaign for the introduction of divorce, we had gathered some details but refrained from going public because the police were not well equipped with enough evidence to press charges. Now they are and we intend to fulfil our role as journalists.

Choosing to name the priest in question was not an easy task. We had a lengthy discussion about it and finally reached the conclusion that we would be doing a disservice to our readers - and to the rest of the priests - if we kept the name to ourselves. We know that anyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty, and we made it clear that what these women are saying are allegations. Those who are now lecturing the rest of the media, us in particular, on ethical standards, did not wait for the proceedings to start before splashing the story. They sought the spoils of a sensational opportunity but in doing so they cast a shadow on every priest in his fifties. Because we knew the details of the story we decided not to stand aside but stood up to be counted.

Charles Fenech stopped from administering sacraments...

MALTA
Malta Independent

Charles Fenech stopped from administering sacraments, removed from Kerygma Movement director

Rachel Attard & Stephen Calleja

Fr Charles Fenech, who has been accused of sexually abusing a number of women, has been stopped from administering his duties as a priest, The Malta Independent has learnt.

Fr Frans Micallef, Dominican Provincial, in reply to questions by The Malta Independent, said that Fr Fenech has also been removed from the post of director of the Kerygma Movement.

Asked about Fr Fenech's role as director of Radju Marija, the provincial said that although the radio station forms part of the Dominican Convent, the appointment of a director does not fall under its remit.

The provincial has however directed Father Charles to hand in his resignation to the international directors of Radju Marija.

The Dominican Province has warned Father Fenech several times in the past and took several steps against him. It pointed out that there were several times when accusations were levelled against him and later withdrawn.

The province said that in this way it is not passing judgment on Father Charles, but it is considering all eventualities.

Sinclair issues challenge to help heal pain of schools

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Ashley Prest
Posted: 10/30/2014

Justice Murray Sinclair, the head of a commission investigating the excesses of Indian Residential Schools, said on Thursday that a fundamental change in attitudes and recognition of the past were vital to heal the harm and alienation inflicted by more than a century of mistreatment.

Sinclair chairs the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, due to report next June on the effects of the 142 government-run schools on the more than 150,000 aboriginal children taken from their homes and uprooted from their culture starting in the 1870s. The last such institution closed in 1996.

In an address to several hundred spectators at the University of Manitoba’s Engineering and Technology Complex entitled "If You Think Truth is Hard, Reconciliation is Harder," he challenged everyone to help make the necessary change.

Sinclair said the key to moving on from the suffering and shame will hinge on recognition of what took place.

"Things are going to change and if they’re going to change, we need to set the terms of what those future changes are going to result in." he said. "Reconciliation is a hard road."

Fiona Woolf letter: how it changed over seven re-writes

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

By David Barrett, Home Affairs Correspondent
30 Oct 2014

A sequence of seven letters were published by the Commons’ home affairs select committee after being disclosed to the MPs by Fiona Woolf.

Through the initial drafts, a picture of her contact with Lord Brittan and his wife over a number of years was slowly built up and then, in the final version, detail was cut out and relationships appeared to be​ more oblique.

By setting out that there were “no other guests who attended” the dinners at the Brittans’ home in November 2009 and February 2012, Mrs Woolf conveyed an image of an intimate soiree with friends.

It may be that Mrs Woolf simply mis-remembered the nature of those dinners.

But by saying in the final version of the letter that there were “at least four other guests”, the meals sound more formal and perhaps hint at the atmosphere of a business event.

ChildLine refuses four times to back Fiona Woolf as head of sex abuse inquiry

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

By Georgia Graham, Political Correspondent
31 Oct 2014

Fiona Woolf is under increased pressure to resign as the head of the inquiry into child sex abuse, as ChildLine refuses to back her leadership and representatives of victims say she has "no qualifications whatsoever" to lead the investigation.

Theresa May, the Home Secretary, is preparing for the first meeting of officials, Mrs Woolf and representatives of victims of child abuse to discuss the terms of the inquiry.

Peter Saunders, the chief executive of the National Association of People Abused in Childhood, who will be attending the meeting said that he was yet to meet a single survivor of child sex abuse who has "any confidence" in the leadership of Mrs Woolf.

Mrs Woolf is under pressure over her personal links to Leon Brittan, the former Home Secretary, who is likely to be called to give evidence to the inquiry over his handling of allegations of abuse during his time in office.

RCA responds to scandal

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey Jewish Standard

Joanne Palmer
Published: 31 October 2014

Shmuel Goldin, the senior rabbi at Congregation Ahavath Torah in Englewood, has agreed to chair a new committee the Rabbinical Council of America is convening to review its conversion process.

Rabbi Goldin also is the RCA’s immediate past president.

The committee includes 11 members; six are RCA-member rabbis and five are women. Two of the women are converts, one is a yoetzet halacha — an advisor in Jewish law — and one is a psychotherapist.

The committee has been established in response to the arrest of one of the RCA’s members, Rabbi Dr. Barry Freundel of Kesher Israel: The Georgetown Synagogue, in Washington, D.C. (Rabbi Freundel’s RCA membership has been suspended in response to the arrest, and he has been suspended from his job, without pay.) The shul arguably is the most prestigious Orthodox synagogue in the nation’s capital, and Rabbi Freundel’s arrest, for videoing some of his conversion candidates with a camera hidden inside a clock radio as they stripped for the mikvah, has been profoundly disturbing, both within the Kesher community and outside it.

Lawyer for former archbishop making case to Manitoba Court of Appeal Friday

CANADA
CTV

The Canadian Press
Published Friday, October 31, 2014

WINNIPEG - A former archbishop convicted of sexually assaulting an altar boy in the 1980s is appealing his case to Manitoba's highest court Friday.

Seraphim Storheim was convicted early this year of sexually assaulting a boy who had come to visit him in Winnipeg in 1985.

His lawyer, Jeff Gindin, is asking new evidence be heard relating to the victim's visit with Storheim and his relationship with one of the defence witnesses.

Gindin is also arguing Storheim's denial of abuse was credible and should not have been dismissed by the judge.

Fiona Woolf re-wrote letter playing down links to Lord Brittan

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Patrick Wintour
Friday 31 October 2014

The head of the government’s inquiry into historic child sexual abuse allegations repeatedly re-wrote a letter to Theresa May, the home secretary, to play down her links with former home secretary Lord Brittan, it has emerged.

Fiona Woolf has faced calls to resign over her close personal relationship with Brittan, who was in charge of the Home Office in the 1980s when it is alleged there was a coverup at the department of sexual abuse.

The home affairs select committee revealed that a formal letter between Woolf and May was re-written seven times, with Home Office assistance.

Keith Vaz MP, the chairman of the Commons committee, said the re-writes “gave a sense of greater detachment between Lord and Lady Brittan and Mrs Woolf”.

He added that it was extraordinary that the letter had needed to be rewritten seven times.

Even facts about Woolf’s contact with Lord and Lady Brittan appeared to have been amended, he said.

“Mrs Woolf’s letter to the committee raises more questions than it answers about an appointment process that has been chaotic, and a series of exchanges with the Home Office and others, where words, and sometimes even facts, have been amended.

Sex Abuse Inquiry Head Under Pressure To Quit

UNITED KINGDOM
Sky News

By Anushka Asthana, Political Correspondent

A lawyer representing 50 victims of child abuse has said the Home Office must "start again" if it wants its inquiry into historical allegations to win public confidence.

Alison Millar, a partner at Leigh Day solicitors, has told Sky News she will make the argument at a meeting with officials in Westminster later this morning.

It comes after Fiona Woolf, the second chair appointed to lead the investigation, was engulfed in controversy about her social links to Lord and Lady Brittan.

Leon Brittan was Home Secretary in the 1980s and was handed evidence about sex abuse cases, which victims accuse him of failing to act upon.

Child abuse victims unite to demand inquiry chair Fiona Woolf resigns ...

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Mail

Child abuse victims unite to demand inquiry chair Fiona Woolf resigns over links to Tory peer Lord Brittan

By TOM MCTAGUE, DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR FOR MAILONLINE

The head of the Government's child abuse inquiry was facing mounting pressure to resign this morning after victims groups said no-one backed her appointment ahead of a crunch Home Office meeting.

Fiona Woolf was already facing mounting calls to quit because of her personal relationship to the Tory peer Leon Brittan, who is at the centre of allegations of an Establishment cover-up of sex abuse claims in the 1980s.

But it emerged last night that she re-wrote a letter to the Home Secretary seven times in order to play down her links to Lord Brittan.

With help from the Home Office, she made more than half a dozen alterations to the document to remove language that alluded to her closeness to the Conservative grandee.

The different versions of the letter emerged yesterday two days after a Labour MP used parliamentary privilege to link Lord Brittan to 'improper conduct with children'.

Victims described the latest revelations as 'extraordinary' and renewed their calls on City lawyer Mrs Woolf to step down.

Representatives of alleged child abuse victims will meet officials from the inquiry for the first time today and are expected to call for Mrs Woolf's resignation. Mrs Woolf is not expected to attend.

Abuse inquiry: Fiona Woolf faces fresh pressure to quit

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

Victims' groups are meeting officials from a child sex abuse inquiry and are expected to reiterate calls for the inquiry's head to resign.

Some victims have already said Fiona Woolf should step down because of her social links to ex-Home Secretary Lord Brittan, whose handling of abuse claims in the 1980s has been questioned.

A victims' representative said he had "zero confidence" in the inquiry.

The government said it still had confidence in Mrs Woolf.

The inquiry will look at whether public bodies and other institutions did enough to protect children from sexual abuse, from 1970 to the present day.

The first person appointed to lead it - Baroness Butler-Sloss - stepped down in July after concerns were raised about her family links.

Child Abuse Inquiry Controversy At-A-Glance

UNITED KINGDOM
Sky News

The appointment of Fiona Woolf to lead the investigation has been branded "chaotic" as calls for her to quit intensify.

The head of the historic child sex abuse inquiry is under mounting pressure to resign - just months after her predecessor was forced to step down amid allegations of conflicts of interest.

Here is an at-a-glance background to the controversy.

:: City lawyer Fiona Woolf was appointed in September to chair the panel inquiring into UK institutions' handling of historic child sex abuse allegations.

:: The original nominee Lady Butler-Sloss stepped down because her late brother, Lord Havers, was attorney general during much of the period in question.

:: But there has been criticism of Mrs Woolf's appointment because of her social links with former home secretary Lord Brittan and his wife.

Fiona Woolf is urged to quit child abuse inquiry as victims meet Theresa May

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Rowena Mason, political correspondent
Friday 31 October 2014

Survivors of child abuse are calling on Fiona Woolf to stand down as the second head of the government’s inquiry at a crucial meeting on Friday.

Woolf is under pressure over her personal links to Lord Brittan, the former home secretary, who is likely to be called to give evidence to the inquiry over a dossier allegedly detailing Westminster paedophile activity that vanished from his department in the 1980s.

It has emerged that the Home Office helped Woolf to redraft seven times a letter detailing her contact with Brittan, in a way that downplayed their meetings.

Calls for Woolf to stand down come not long after Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss resigned the role because her brother was attorney-general at the time of the scandal.

Amid fears that the inquiry is losing credibility, May will meet victims groups on Friday to hear their concerns about the appointment. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Lord Macdonald, a former director of public prosecutions, said Woolf was in a “difficult position” but pointed out that the scope of the inquiry will be difficult for someone willing to take on the role as a replacement to manage.

Guatemalan Minister Convicted of Child Molestation

SOUTH CAROLINA
GWDToday

8th Circuit Solicitor David Stumbo announced this afternoon that a 42 year-old former minister has been convicted by a Newberry County jury of sexually abusing a 12 year-old girl. Mario Valerio Gonzalez Hernandez was found guilty of criminal sexual conduct with a minor in the second degree on Thursday afternoon after a weeklong trial. Circuit Court Judge Eugene Griffith sentenced Hernandez to 16 years in state prison following the verdict.

On June 29, 2013 the Newberry Police Department responded to a report from the child’s mother after she walked into her daughter’s bedroom and found Hernandez on top of the girl on the floor beside the bed. The victim disclosed to the investigators that Hernandez had performed sex acts on her numerous times since he had moved into her family’s home. When questioned by the investigators, Hernandez denied assaulting the child but told them that he was a man and “had urges.” Hernandez threatened the child not to tell anyone of the abuse, and that no one would believe her over him. The victim and her family attended the church that Hernandez pastored at the time of the abuse.

Deputy Solicitor Dale Scott and Assistant Solicitor Taylor Daniel prosecuted the case for the State, with Scott calling Hernandez a real life “wolf in sheep’s clothing” in his closing argument to the jury. Judge Griffith sentenced Hernandez to 16 years incarceration, out of maximum possible sentence of 20 years. Hernandez must serve at least 85% of this sentence before he is eligible for parole, and will be deported to Guatemala immediately following his release from State custody.

Sex-abuse survivors lambast Bob Beauprez

COLORADO
Durango Herald

By Peter Marcus
Herald Denver Bureau

ENVER – Survivors of alleged sexual abuse by priests have come forward to criticize Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez for fighting legislation that would have made it easier for them to file civil lawsuits against churches.

The state measures, from 2006 and 2008, would have allowed a window for alleged victims to sue for older cases.

A devout Catholic, Beauprez said at the time that the bills served as an “attack on the church.”

He is competing against incumbent Democrat John Hickenlooper in a tight race.

“We need to support candidates who are going to do all we can to protect kids, and this Beauprez thing just angers me,” said Jeb Barrett, the 75-year-old leader of Denver’s Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

“I’m a survivor of childhood sexual assault, and I didn’t have the courage to talk about it until I was 62, 63 years old. It’s a very, very shaming thing to ever be raped,” he said.

After-school care assistant arrested for child porn

ARIZONA
AZFamily

by Amanda Goodman

Posted on October 29, 2014

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- An after-school care assistant was arrested Monday after deputies say several hundred images of child pornography were found on his home computer.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says Lawrence Amaral is facing 10 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

Amaral worked as an after-school care assistant at St. Louis the King Catholic School.

The sheriff's office says it was an undercover investigation that eventually led to his arrest.

According to police paperwork, Amaral admitted to downloading and viewing child pornography for the last three years. The images depicted children ages 3 to 14. ...

The Diocese released a statement saying in part that they have no knowledge of any physical or sexual abuse of any minor at the after-school program.

They also held meetings for parents so they could address the allegations and answer what questions they could about the situation.

A spokesperson for the Diocese told 3TV that they do perform background checks on their employees, including fingerprinting. Amaral cleared those checks.

Judge to be investigated

AUSTRALIA
ABC - Lateline

Transcript

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: A high-profile prosecutor in New South Wales has stood aside while the Independent Commission Against Corruption investigates claims she and her son tried to pervert the course of justice.

The commission is investigating whether Margaret Cunneen SC counselled her son's girlfriend, Sophia Tilley, to pretend to have chest pains to thwart police officers.

It's alleged Sophia Tilley was trying to prevent police from obtaining evidence of her blood alcohol level at the scene of a car accident earlier this year.

Ms Cunneen rejects the allegations as the result of a malicious complaint.

BRAD HAZZARD, NSW ATTORNEY-GENERAL: Ms Cunneen was agreed to - with the DPP to step aside and not take part in any current prosecutions or future prosecutions and that's appropriate. And beyond that, she, like every other citizen of NSW, has the presumption of innocence until we see the resolution of those ICAC matters.

TONY JONES: Margaret Cunneen was most recently the commissioner presiding over the special commission into child sexual abuse and alleged cover-up in the Maitland-Newcastle Catholic Diocese. Ms Cunneen also appeared as a witness at the Royal commission into child sexual abuse expressing regret for the distress caused by her advice that swimming coach Scott Volkers should not be recharged for indecency.

Radju Marija received several anonymous letters on Fr Charles Fenech's improper beh

MALTA
Malta Independent

Rachel Attard & Stephen Calleja

Sources have told The Malta Independent that the Radju Marija board received a number of anonymous letters alleging improper behaviour by Fr Charles Fenech. Radju Marija employees had also informed the parent company in Rome about the accusations levelled against Fr Fenech.

The board is understood to have known about the allegations about Fr Fenech for a number of years, but the friar was allowed to continue leading the station and present a radio programme every day. He was still presenting such programmes until a few days ago.

Fr Charles Fenech, who has been accused of sexually abusing a number of women, has been stopped from administering his duties as a priest, The Malta Independent has learnt.

Fr Frans Micallef, Dominican Provincial, in reply to questions by The Malta Independent, said that Fr Fenech has also been removed from the post of director of the Kerygma Movement.

The decision means that Fr Fenech cannot celebrate Mass in public, give Holy Communion, cannot hear confession and give last rites.

Patriarchy must be defrocked

SOUTH AFRICA
Mail & Guardian

31 OCT 2014 MBUYISELO BOTHA

A few weeks ago, Mary Ryan became the second South African woman to be ordained as a Catholic priest. The Catholic Church does not, of course, acknowledge this ordination.

In fact, in 2007, the Vatican declared that even attempting to ordain women would lead to excommunication, the harshest punishment the church leadership can mete out.

But Ryan and her colleagues bravely persisted.

Patricia Fresen, a veteran of the anti-apartheid struggle and the first South African woman to become a Catholic priest, oversaw Ryan’s ordination ceremony, during which she said: “In South Africa in particular we know that the only way to change an unjust law is to break it. And that is what we are doing today.”

Roman Catholic Womenpriests is a growing movement that began in Austria and Germany in 2002 and now includes more than 180 female priests in 10 countries. These efforts should be applauded.

REBUTTAL to John Allen ‘Phase 2 of Pope Francis era: The honeymoon is over’ and Archbishop Chaput blame “confusion is of the Devil”

UNITED STATES
PopeCrimes& Vatican Evils.

Paris Arrow

John Allen’s title may sound a little bit sour “Phase 2 of the Pope Francis era: The honeymoon is over” – but actually it’s sweet-and-sour (like a popular food flavor) because he is actually defending Pope Francis and the recent Synod of Bishop – via Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput – who will be hosting the World Synod of Bishop next year in Philadelphia and Pope Francis’ 2015 visit to the USA. John Allen’s articles are to prepare and brainwash idiot American Catholics to book their plane tickets and hotels to go and attend the Eucharist sorcery of Pope Francis in Philadelphia and in the east coast and donate millions of dollars to the Vatican Mammon Beast (aka Opus Dei Beast).

October 30, 2014

Canada--New claim by convicted archbishop

CANADA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Oct. 30

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

A convicted child molesting cleric – once Canada’s top Orthodox church official – now claims he has new evidence that might have exonerated. We’re highly skeptical of this claim by Archbishop Seraphim Storheim.


[Global News]

Most child predators profess their innocence over and over, especially when, like Storheim, someone else is paying their legal bills.

[SNAP]

In this case, it’s devout Orthodox families. And that’s a shame and an injustice.

We call on Orthodox officials to stop using the generous donations of church members to fund Storheim’s desperate legal maneuvers. And we call on anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in the Orthodox faith – in Canada or elsewhere – to speak up, protect kids, expose wrongdoers and start healing. The best way to do this is to contact secular aurhotiries, not church figures, with any knowledge or suspicions about child sex crimes.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)

Leading Rabbi Steps Down Citing 'Agenda of Feminists'

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Week

10/30/14
Hannah Dreyfus
Staff Writer

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, former vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America and dayyan (judge) on the RCA-supervised Beth Din of America, is stepping down from his position on the Beit Din of Bergen County after the Rabbinical Council of America announced yesterday that it is convening a new conversion committee with five female members.

The new conversion committee, composed of six male rabbis and five women of differing professions (including a litigation attorney, educator, psychotherapist and Yoetzet Halacha), was created in response to the arrest of Rabbi Barry Freundel of Congregation Kesher Israel on charges of voyeurism on Oct. 14.

The committee will review the current Geirus Protocol and Standards (GPS) conversion process (used by the Beit Din of America) and suggest safeguards against possible future abuses.
In a statement posted on his personal blog, Pruzansky accused the RCA of bending to media pressure and promoting "the agenda of feminists."

"The committee consists of six men and five women, bolstering the trend on the Orthodox left to create quasi-rabbinical functions for women," he writes. "What role can they [women] play in 'review[ing]' the GPS conversion process?" He concludes the paragraph by calling the conversion process a "purely rabbinical role."

Honorary Assistant Bishop of Bradford resigns over child abuse row

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph and Argus

by Will Kilner

The Honorary Assistant Bishop of Bradford has resigned from his position after a report into allegations of child abuse by a former cathedral dean found "systemic failures" by the Church of England.

Last week's report by Judge Sally Cahill QC said Lord Hope of Thornes failed to follow policy and take advice after he was informed of complaints against Robert Waddington relating to boys in Manchester and Australia.

The judge outlined failures by the Church to respond properly to allegations of sex abuse against the late Robert Waddington, who was Dean of Manchester between 1984 and 1993.

She said Lord Hope's actions meant "opportunities were missed" to start an investigation which may have led to a prosecution before Waddington's death seven years ago.

Lord Hope stepped down as Archbishop of York in 2005 when he returned to being a parish priest in the Bradford district. At that stage known as Dr David Hope, he spent several years in charge at St Margaret's Church on Queen's Road, Ilkley.

In a statement today, Lord Hope said: "After much prayerful and considered thought I wrote at the beginning of the week to the Bishop of Leeds and in the light of the Cahill Inquiry Report I have submitted my resignation as Honorary Assistant Bishop of Bradford, now West Yorkshire and the Dales, with immediate effect.

Ex-Archbishop of York quits church role over abuse report

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A former Archbishop of York has resigned from his church role after a report criticised his handling of child abuse allegations.

A report by Judge Sally Cahill QC said Lord Hope of Thornes failed to follow policy and take advice after he was informed of complaints against a cathedral dean.

Lord Hope stepped down as Archbishop of York in 2005.

He became parish priest in Ilkley and was made a honorary assistant bishop.

The report published last week outlined failures by the Church of England to respond properly to allegations of sex abuse against the late Robert Waddington, who was Dean of Manchester between 1984 and 1993.

Judge Cahill said Lord Hope's actions meant "opportunities were missed" to start an investigation which might have led to a prosecution.

FL--Victims group blasts FL Muslim school

FLORIDA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

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

It’s heartbreaking that officials at a Muslim school kept silent for months about credible child sex abuse allegations. And now, with the accused predator a fugitive from justice, it’s outrageous that school officials are apparently making little or no effort to protect other kids, help law enforcement and adequately inform parents about the alleged sex offender. We urge parents to unite and pressure school officials to do more to protect kids.

[New Times]

Here’s why this secrecy is so hurtful: it enables child molesters to destroy evidence, intimidate victims, threaten witnesses, discredit whistleblowers, fabricate alibis and flee elsewhere. It makes the job of police and prosecutors much more difficult. And it keeps kids in harm’s way much longer. Shame on every single employee or volunteer at Nur-Ul-Islam Academy who knew of or suspected wrongdoing by Tariq Ahmed and kept quiet about it.

We applaud attorneys for the two alleged victims who have set up websites and Facebook pages in an effort to learn more about Ahmed. But why does it fall to advocates for the wounded to do what paid school staff should be doing?

We join them in urging anyone who might have seen, suspected or suffered sex crimes or cover ups at the school to come forward, get help and protect kids and contact law enforcement officials, rather than school officials.

And we agree with those attorneys who say that Nur-Ul-Islam Academy officials should send letters to families of current and former students, explain the charges, and solicit their help in catching Ahmed.

Remember this is more than a “he said, she said” situation. There are two alleged victims. There’s a civil lawsuit (filed last Friday). There are formal criminal charges, levied by the Broward State Attorney’s office against Ahmed - six felony counts of sexually abusing and raping middle school students.

The girls’ attorneys allege that they have found proof that school officials learned about Ahmed’s wrongdoing years ago - between 2005 and 2008 - but refused to call police. We hope this isn’t true but strongly suspect that it is. And if so, we hope police and prosecutors pursue criminal cases against any teacher or administrator who opted to protect a colleague instead of protecting a child.

Pastor Accused of Keeping Boys as 'Sex Slaves'

FLORIDA
Courthouse News Service

By ALEX PICKETT

(CN) - A Broward County, Fla. man sued five religious and charitable organizations alleging a former youth pastor they supervised treated him and other young boys as sex slaves.

Demetrius Jones claims in his lawsuit that the organizations negligently hired and failed to supervise Jeffery London, 51, who acted as a resident adult and mentor for underprivileged boys.

For more than a decade, London regularly made Jones and other boys perform sex acts on him, Jones says.

The suit names the Bible Church of God of Boynton Beach, BJ's Foundation, New Vision Children's Foundation, Teched-Ventures Inc. and Lauderdale Lakes Academy. Also named is the estate of Elizabeth H. Buntrock, a well-known Broward County philanthropist who created or helped fund the charities. Buntrock died earlier this year.

Jones says the organizations aided London's access to dozens of young boys, and alleges that the youth minister took advantage of the situation "for the purpose of grooming, manipulating, and coercing them into becoming his sex slaves."

Priest 'was warned' over abuse claims

MALTA
Times of Malta

A priest has been stopped from exercising his duties and removed from his posts following sexual abuse allegations.

In a statement about alleged abuses committed by the priest, the Dominican Order said it had warned him several times and it took (unspecified) measures about him. But it also pointed out that claims against him were withdrawn several times.

The province said that through its actions it was not judging the priest but taking action against any eventuality.

Former archbishop’s lawyer cites new evidence in sex assault case

CANADA
Global News

WINNIPEG – A lawyer for a former archbishop convicted of sexually assaulting an altar boy in the 1980s says he has fresh evidence that could have exonerated his client.

Jeff Gindin, who represents Seraphim Storheim, filed a notice of motion saying the new evidence should be heard when the case appears before Manitoba’s Court of Appeal on Friday.

In court documents, Gindin says the evidence relates to the victim’s visit with Storheim and Storheim’s relationship with one of the defence witnesses.

Gindin says the evidence — had it been known — could have affected the outcome of Storheim’s trial.

Ex-Archbishop of York quits Church over sex abuse failings

UNITED KINGDOM
Yorkshire Post

by Rob Parsons
rob.parsons@ypn.co.uk
Published on the 30 October 2014

THE ex-Archbishop of York, Lord Hope of Thornes, has resigned from the Church of England days after a report accused him of failing to act on information he received about alleged child sex abuse by a former cathedral dean.

Lord Hope said in a statement today that he had resigned as Honorary Assistant Bishop of Bradford, now West Yorkshire and the Dales, “after much prayerful and considered thought”.

He said: “This ends my nearly 50 years of formal ministry in the Church of England, which I have always sought to serve with dedication. I will certainly continue to pray for the important ongoing work with survivors.”

It comes after a report published last week into the handling of allegations of sex abuse against the late Robert Waddington, formerly Dean of Manchester, which found there were “systemic failures” by the Church.

The report, by Judge Sally Cahill QC, found that: “Our conclusion, having heard his (Lord Hope’s) evidence is that his concern for the welfare of Robert Waddington seems to have been paramount in his response to these allegations.”

Archdiocese To Announce Closures, Mergers In Lower Hudson Valley

NEW YORK
CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Parishioners are going to have to find new places to worship with the word of dozens of Catholic churches closing.

The New York Archdiocese on said it will soon announce which parishes in the Lower Hudson Valley will merge or close.

A decision is expected next week as part of a restructuring plan, officials told CBS2.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan told the Catholic New York Newspaper Wednesday night that 14 percent, or as many as 50 churches, could be impacted.

Dolan said this really comes down to the numbers, CBS 2’s Janelle Burrell reported. Right now, New York State has 368 parishes.

Leading Modern Orthodox Conversion Judge Steps Down

UNITED STATES
The Jewish Week

10/30/14
Hannah Dreyfus
Staff Writer

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky, former vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America and dayyan (judge) on the RCA-supervised Beth Din of America, is stepping down from his position on the Beit Din after yesterday’s announcement that the RCA is convening a new conversion committee with five female members.

The new conversion committee, comprised of six male rabbis and five women of differing professions (including a litigation attorney, educator, psychotherapist and Yoetzet Halacha), was created in response to the arrest of Rabbi Barry Freundel of Congregation Kesher Israel on charges of voyeurism on Oct. 14.

The committee will review the current Geirus Protocol and Standards (GPS) conversion process (used by the Beit Din of America) and suggest safeguards against possible future abuses.

“With changes to GPS [Gerus Protocol and Standards] protocols contemplated, it is an appropriate time for new leadership,” Pruzansky wrote on his personal blog. He stressed that he is “not resigning because of any scandal” but because the “the GPS system that has worked so well for us is about to change.”

Panel addresses psychological evaluations in seminary admissions

VIRGINIA
Catholic Sentinel

Catholic News Service

ARLINGTON, Va. -- At a panel discussion on seminary admissions, Father Shawn McKnight told a group of Catholic psychotherapists that "we have to be careful not to hold our standards so high that nobody can get in.

"It's not about finding the perfect guy. It's about who's called. If God is calling a man, we have an obligation to heed that call and to nourish that man," said the priest, who is executive director of the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington.

Father McKnight was moderator of the Oct. 24 panel discussion, titled "The Use of Psychology in Seminary Admissions: A Need for Guidance," held during the Catholic Psychotherapy Association's annual conference Oct. 23-25.

The panel addressed those involved in seminary assessment, counseling or teaching on the matter of conducting psychological evaluations for admissions purposes.

Nur-Ul-Islam Academy in Cooper City Rocked by Child Sex Abuse Claims

FLORIDA
Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fisto and Lehrman

Tariq Ahmad, a veteran teacher at Nur-Ul-Islam Academy, a private school in Cooper City, Florida is now the subject of a multi-victim child sexual abuse investigation by law enforcement officials.

Ahmad, a 35 year old male, stands accused of forcing three teenage girls, ages 14 and 15 at the time, to have sexual intercourse with him while they were students at the Academy between 2006 and 2008. Tariq Ahmad started working at Nur-Ul Islam Academy in August 2006 according to his LinkedIn page. It is alleged the Nur-Ul-Islam Academy allowed Ahmad to remain a teacher even after receiving a complaint accusing Ahman of sexually abusing a child.

Tariq Ahmad previously worked in the Broward County public school district from 2001 to 2005 as a substitute teacher and teacher assistant. Ahmad's employment has been terminated by Nur-Ul Islam Academy. According to its website, Nur-Ul-Islam Academy is a K-through-12-grade college prep school with over 300 students.

Ahmad would allegedly use text messages, social media and even code on the chalk boards in the classroom to set up meetings with the girls. The criminal investigation is being led by the Pembroke Pines Police Department who became involved after a concerned parent notified them that one of the girls was on the telephone late at night with her Tariq Islam. The parent claims to have brought the information to school officials, but received no response. The case has recently been turned over to the Broward County State Attorney's office and an arrest warrant has been issued. Ahmad's current location is unknown.

According to attorney Adam Horowitz: "Parents should be able to expect that their children will be safe while entrusted to the care of school officials. A school should never employ a teacher with a history of sexual abuse. The employment of a teacher with a history of sexual abuse complaints places children in grave danger."

WA--Spokane bishop quietly suspends accused priest

WASHINGTON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Oct. 30

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

Weeks ago, Spokane’s top Catholic official quietly suspended a credibly accused predator priest. But Bishop Blasé Cupich notified only his flock, not the public. He refused to disclose when the allegations surfaced. He urged other victims to call church officials, not secular authorities. And he made no mention of possible criminal prosecution or of the need for Catholics and citizens to share what they know about the priest with law enforcement. This is disturbing and reckless.

[Spokane diocese]

Though Fr. Daniel Wetzler’s suspension took effect on Oct. 1, no word of it was circulated, apparently, until Oct. 16 when a notice was printed on page eight of the Spokane diocesan newspaper, the Inland Register. Nothing was said about helping police and prosecutors build a criminal case against Fr. Wetzler.

As best we can tell, Cupich did not hold a news conference or issue a news release about the accusations. He didn’t say when the victim reported the abuse, which is an important fact. (Did it take months or years for Cupich to act?)

Only yesterday did the public learn about the credible child sex accusations through a small article in the Spokesman-Review, a secular daily newspaper.

Editorial: Amendment 2 offers special help for child abuse victims

MISSOURI
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Law enforcement authorities say they need more tools to fight child sexual abuse and help put sexual predators behind bars.

Amendment 2, which will be on Missouri election ballot Nov. 4, gives prosecutors and law enforcement officers the help they need.

The proposal would amend the state constitution to give judges the discretion to allow previous acts of sexual violence against minors to be disclosed in court. The federal government and nearly all other states allow juries to learn whether a defendant in a child sexual abuse case may have been accused of similar crimes in the past.

The only reason Missouri doesn’t is because the state Supreme Court struck down a law in 2007 that allowed evidence of past sexual crimes to be used against people facing sex-related charges involving victims younger than 14.

“Evidence of a defendant’s prior criminal acts, when admitted purely to demonstrate the defendant’s criminal propensity, violates one of the constitutional protections vital to the integrity of our criminal justice system,” the court ruled.

MO--Child sex abuse victims back Amendment 2

MISSOURI
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, Oct. 29

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

On Tuesday, we urge Missouri voters to pass Amendment 2 which will help protect kids by enabling law enforcement to catch and convict more child molesters at little or no cost whatsoever to taxpayers. It’s rare when a relatively small rule change can dramatically improve kids’ safety, but this is one instance in which that’s possible.

[St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

Judges should have the option to let jurors know about an accused predator’s earlier acts of sexual violence against youngsters. Those who sexually assault kids should not be able to hide their previous crimes.

Keep in mind that one in four girls and one in eight boys is sexually violated during childhood. So the legal status quo causes immeasurable, life-long harm to thousands and thousands of Missouri boys and girls every year. This must change. And the change must start with closing some of the legal loopholes that shrewd predators exploit to evade justice and keep molesting.

The Post-Dispatch reports that the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the Missouri Police Chiefs Association and the Missouri Sheriffs Association support the amendment.

And the Post editorializes “Even if just one part of this problem was improved by allowing the admissibility of such evidence — that young children could be spared the trauma of having to relive their abuse in a courtroom — it would be reason enough to recommend supporting Amendment 2.”

Theresa May vows co-operation with Kincora inquiry

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

BY REBECCA BLACK – 30 OCTOBER 2014

Home Secretary Theresa May has vowed the Security Service will co-operate fully with an investigation into a paedophile ring at the Kincora Boys' Home in east Belfast.

Ms May added she will be monitoring the case and will bring it into a powerful UK-wide inquiry with additional powers if necessary.

Scores of young boys were abused during their time at the children's home in the early 1970s.

There was disappointment last week when it was announced Kincora will not be included in a UK-wide Government investigation of historical child abuse.

In a letter to First Minister Peter Robinson, Ms May said she was "determined that everything possible is done to uncover the truth about what happened and that appropriate action is taken".

Domincan Order stops priest from exercising his duties after abuse allegations

MALTA
Times of Malta

A priest has been stopped from exercising his duties and removed from his posts following sexual abuse allegations.

In a statement about alleged abuses committed by the priest, the Dominican Order said it had warned him several times and it took (unspecified) actions about him. But it also pointed out that claims against him were withdrawn several times.

The province said that through its actions it was not judging the priest but taking action against any eventuality.

KY--Convicted pedophile priest wants out of prison

KENTUCKY
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Oct. 29

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

We're worried, but not surprised, that Fr. Shook, a convicted child molester, wants to be released from prison. We hope he fails in this premature effort.

[WDRB]

We hope that Kentucky officials will keep Fr. Shook behind bars for as long as possible.

Only the most reckless or foolish would believe that six months in prison would magically cure a pedophile of his compulsion to sexually assault kids.

Letting Fr. Shook out so quickly would rub salt into the already deep and still fresh wounds of those he molested. It would also likely deter other victims from reporting predators to police, because they'll surely feel "What's the use? These pedophiles always get breaks and special treatment and light sentences."

This move by Fr. Shook should prod others who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes to call law enforcement right away. We can’t be complacent. It’s our civic and moral duty to share what we know or suspect about child sex crimes or cover ups with police and prosecutors. It’s possible that Fr. Shook could be charged with and convicted of more child sex crimes. And that would keep him locked up longer, which would make kids safer.

Former Catholic school teacher John Skehan sentenced ...

AUSTRALIA
The Age

October 30, 2014

Tammy Mills
Crime reporter for The Age

A former Catholic school teacher in country Victoria avoided jail on Thursday for a historical sex assault on a student in 1970.

John Skehan, 75, was given an eight-month sentence suspended for two years and was placed on the sex offenders register after he pleaded guilty to the indecent assault of his 13-year-old student at a boys school in Shepparton.

That student was Greg Barclay, now aged 58 and a vice-president with the Australian Education Union.

In his decision not to send John Skehan, 75, to jail for an historic sex offence, Magistrate Ian Watkins took into account Skehan's age, his ill health and that he was unlikely to reoffend. However,his victim, Greg Barclay, says he is ''gutted'' by the sentence.

Mr Barclay said outside court on Thursday that he was "gutted" with the sentence. Skehan had already been convicted and placed on a suspended sentence in 2010 for the indecent assault of a young child in Broken Hill in the 1970s.

In his sentencing on Thursday, Magistrate Ian Watkins took into account Skehan's age, his ill health and that he was unlikely to reoffend.

Pretoria priest held for alleged kidnap, rape

SOUTH AFRICA
The South Africa

Posted By: Jeanine Singh
Posted date: October 30, 2014

A priest has been arrested for allegedly kidnapping and raping a 15-year-old girl in Itireleng informal settlement near Laudium, Pretoria police said.

The 25-year-old man was arrested on Wednesday around 1am after allegedly kidnapping the girl at the weekend and repeatedly raping her, Sergeant Ann Poortman said.

The teenager’s sister sent her to a tuck shop around 11.30am on Saturday. While she was there she saw the priest who told her to go to a certain shack in the area.

The girl’s family attended the man’s church and he was believed to be close friends with the girl’s father, Poortman said.

Retired priest permanently removed from ministry

WASHINGTON
Inland Register - Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane

(From the October 16, 2014 edition of the Inland Register)

Effective Oct. 1, 2014, Daniel Wetzler (pictured, left), a retired priest of the Spokane Diocese, has been permanently removed from active ministry by Archbishop Blase Cupich.

Earlier this year, Wetzler was put on administrative leave after the diocese received an accusation by an individual who claimed he was abused as a minor. This matter was referred to the Diocesan Review Board, which scrutinizes cases of alleged sexual abuse, and to civil authorities, in accord with diocesan procedures. After an investigation, the Board unanimously recommended that Daniel Wetzler be permanently removed from active ministry and submit himself to a monitoring program. Archbishop Cupich accepted these recommendations.

Another accusation was made against Wetzler in 2002. The results of that civil investigation were inconclusive; insufficient evidence existed to verify the accusation. Wetzler denied that accusation.

Following the recommendations of the Diocesan Review Board, Archbishop Cupich ordered that parishes and institutions, especially those where Wetzler served, be notified of the sanctions against the priest. The archbishop is urging anyone abused by Wetzler to come forward for healing either directly to himself or to the Diocesan Victims Assistance Coordinator, Roberta Smith (509-353-0442; email rvsmith@dioceseofspokane.org).

Wetzler was ordained to the priesthood on May 25, 1963, and served at a variety of parishes and institutions: St. Anthony/Holy Ghost Parish, Spokane, 1963-64; Bishop White (High School) Seminary, 1963; St. Ann Parish, Spokane, 1964; Mater Cleri Seminary, 1965 and 1975-76; St. Thomas More Parish, Spokane, 1966-69; Catholic Youth Organization, 1967; Marycliff High School, Spokane, 1969-75; Sacred Heart Parish, Tekoa, 1976-1982; Charismatic Renewal, 1976-2013; Sacred Heart Parish, Othello, 1982-92; St. Vincent Parish, Connell, and St. Paul the Apostle Parish, Eltopia, 1991-1992; St. Paschal Parish, Spokane, 1992-2002.

In brief: Archbishop Blase Cupich removes retired Catholic priest Dan Wetzler from ministry

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman-Review

Archbishop Blase Cupich has removed a retired Spokane Catholic priest from ministry following accusations that he sexually abused a child decades ago.

It is the second time in 12 years that the Rev. Dan Wetzler has fallen under scrutiny and been removed.

The decision last month by Cupich was published by the Inland Register, the newspaper of the Spokane Catholic Diocese. Wetzler last served at St. Paschal Parish in Spokane from 1992 to 2002.

The first time allegations surfaced he declared his innocence and the church investigated. He was publicly exonerated.

Another allegation from a different person who claimed he was abused as a minor has since been made and the Diocesan Review Board found the complaint to be credible. Cupich then acted on the finding.

SA Supreme Court told ...

AUSTRALIA
Daily Telegraph

SA Supreme Court told Catholic Church dismissed teen sex allegations against Father John Fleming as a priest “just being inappropriate”

CHIEF COURT REPORTER SEAN FEWSTER THE ADVERTISER OCTOBER 30, 2014

A WOMAN who claims Father John Fleming used her, as a teenager, for sex has told a court the Catholic Church dismissed her complaint as the priest “just being inappropriate”.

The woman, known as “Jane”, today told the Supreme Court she was shocked by a Catholic Church worker’s reaction when she raised a complaint against Fr Fleming in 2001-2002.

She said she told the woman that, following a 1970s ménage-a-trois, when she was a teenager, Fr Fleming had used her to service his sexual needs.

Father Fleming denies the allegations.

“After I had told her, (the worker) said ‘wasn’t he just being inappropriate?’,” Jane said.

“This person was essentially telling me essentially that what I had just told her was inappropriate — it was not inappropriate, it was wrong.”

Fr Fleming, 71, is suing over Sunday Mail articles reporting allegations he was inappropriately sexually involved Jane, another woman known as “Jenny” and a man known as “Richard”.

Convicted priest making bid for prison release

KENTUCKY
Crux

By Associated Press
October 29, 2014

A priest convicted earlier this year of sexually abusing a teenage boy in the 1970s is making a bid to be released from prison after serving six months of his 15-year sentence.

An attorney for the Rev. James Schook notified a judge he will ask that Schook be released on shock probation because he realizes the importance of conforming to the community’s rules.

In April, a jury convicted Schook of three counts of sodomy and one count of indecent and immoral behavior with an individual.

Schook suffers from terminal cancer. Shock probation allows inmates to be released after serving one to six months of their sentence.

Liturgical items top agenda at bishops’ general meeting in Baltimore

UNITED STATES
Catholic San Francisco

By Mark Pattison

WASHINGTON – Liturgical matters will take center stage on the agenda of action items at the fall general meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to be held Nov. 10-13 in Baltimore.

There will be five liturgical items up for consideration. All are subject to amendments from bishops. All but one require approval of two-thirds of the bishops, followed by final approval from the Vatican.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, who is president of the USCCB, will deliver his first presidential address. He was elected to a three-year term last November. As is customary, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States, also will address the assembly.

During the meeting, the bishops will choose a new secretary-elect for the USCCB, and vote for the chairmen-elect of five committees.

Sex abuse allegations arise against former Fairfield U chaplain

CONNECTICUT
Fairfield Mirror

By Enxhi Myslymi, Managing Editor, and Shauna Mitchell, Editor-in-Chief

Former Fairfield University chaplain Rev. Paul Carrier, S.J. has been accused in a civil lawsuit of sexually abusing a teenage boy at Project Pierre Toussaint in Haiti. Fairfield University has been named a defendant in the case on claims of negligent supervision, which is defined as a breach of duty to employees, children or adults.

Carrier was working at Fairfield as the director of campus ministry during the time period under investigation (1999-2005). Douglas Perlitz ‘92, the charity school’s founder, has also been cited as a perpetrator, in addition to the 2010 sentence where he pleaded guilty for one count of traveling with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct to Haiti.

According to the 26-year-old plaintiff’s attorney, Mitchell Garabedian of Law Offices of Mitchell Garabedian, “The evidence has now shown that Fr. Carrier allegedly sexually abused a child, or children, and therefore we are proceeding in the civil court.”

The lawsuit stated the plaintiff’s name, but The Mirror generally does not reveal a victim’s identity.

Pekin man indicted for child porn

ILLINOIS
Pekin Daily Times

A Pekin man already facing charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a young child was indicted this week on child pornography charges.

Nicholas A. Lawrence, 26, 200 Matilda St., faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of the charge, which was handed down by a Peoria County grand jury Tuesday.

Details in the indictment were sparse except to say that in May, Lawrence caused a person younger than 13 to appear in a sexually explicit photo.

A $150,000 warrant was issued for his arrest and he is scheduled to appear in court Friday to be arraigned on the charges. ...

According to Journal Star archives, Lawrence was a youth pastor with the Pekin Church of God for about 20 months before he was dismissed from the position on June 30.

Italian diocese laments suicide of priest who admitted abuse

ITALY
DFW Catholic

Trieste, Italy, Oct 30, 2014 / 12:03 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Diocese of Trieste has announced “with a spirit full of sorrow and dismay” that one of its priests, who had recently admitted to sexual abuse of a minor female, committed suicide on Tuesday.

Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi of Trieste learned Oct. 23 “of a grave matter many years ago that involved a 13 year old girl” and Fr. Maks Suard, according to an Oct. 28 statement from the diocese.

Fr. Suard, 48, was a priest of the Slovenian community of the Trieste diocese, and was parish priest of the small church of Santa Croce, in the territory of the Carso Triestino. He had served as a parish priest in several parishes of the San Dorligo area since his ordination in 1995; he was involved in the Boy Scout movement, and also worked as a teacher of religion in local schools.

On Oct. 25, Archbishop Crepaldi met with Fr. Suard, and on that occasion “the priest had admitted his responsibilities” and consented to the canonical procedure which would have to be taken.

In accord with St. John Paul II's 2001 motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela, abuse cases – which are among the “delicta graviora”, or “more grave crimes” – must be forwarded to and investigated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The policy sped up and made more effective the Vatican's handling of such cases, which had been previously been handled by the Congregation for Clergy.

New Albany pastor on trial for sex abuse

INDIANA
The Courier-Journal

Matthew Glowicki, The Courier-Journal October 30, 2014

A teenage boy testified Wednesday that he waited two years to tell anyone that his pastor, Isrom Johnson, had sodomized him because he was worried about damaging his family's relationship with the pastor and church community.

Three sexual encounters allegedly occurred between the now 18-year-old alleged victim and Johnson, 35, who at the time of the alleged abuse was pastor at Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church in New Albany, Indiana.

Johnson is charged with three counts of second-degree sodomy.

The teen was actively involved in the church community and had a good relationship with his pastor of eight years at the time of the alleged incidents. His mom was a deaconess, a sister sang in choir and his grandma ushered at the church.

Priest sexual abuse case: One victim offered six-figure sum to keep her mouth shut

MALTA
Malta Independent

Rachel Attard

Thursday, 30 October 2014

One of the victims of alleged sexual abuse by Fr Charles Fenech was offered a six-figure sum to remain silent by a member of the Dominican Order, to which Fr Fenech belongs, The Malta Independent has learnt.

The victim turned down the offer immediately, and instead went with this information to the police.

The case regarding sexual abuse on vulnerable women by the Dominican priest has been before the Curia Response Team for at least eight years.

The case before the church tribunal is separate to the court case instituted by the police against Fr Fenech.

The Malta Independent yesterday revealed that Fr Fenech, known for his organisation of volleyball marathons in aid of Dar Tal-Providenza, is facing charges of sexual abuse against at least five women. He was summoned to court on three occasions but did not turn up, citing illness.

The Malta Independent made a conscious and responsible decision to publish the name of the priest in full respect towards ethical standards. People who are not priests who are accused of similar crimes have always been named unless the victims were relatives and could be identified. In this case, the alleged victims are not relatives of Fr Fenech. The Malta Independent will not protect members of the clergy if they are accused of such crimes.

‘Sex at Rabat’ and Bishop Cremona

MALTA
Malta Independent

Simon Mercieca

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Is there a connection between this case of an alleged sexual abuse by a "priest" from Rabat, Fr Charles Fenech, and the resignation of Archbishop Cremona? I am sure that the true motives that brought and hastened Cremona's resignation were not related to politics and pressure from so-called Nationalist priests (as pontificated by a number of media pundits of the left) but are related to his kind-heartedness and the resulting inability to take action, where action was most needed, starting from his own Dominican Order.

The news about criminal proceedings for these alleged sexual harassments, which have allegedly taken place in some convent but not necessarily at Rabat, was made public after Cremona is no more at the helm of the Church. Now, it is up to the civil authorities, the court of criminal justice to decide on these accusations. I will continue to consider the accused "priest" innocent until proven guilty. It is expedient to point out that Fr Fenech is not a priest but a friar of the Dominican Order.

The Church is not a court of justice. Its measuring gauge is different to that of the Secular State. I am sure that it is here where Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna can contribute a new approach towards the Catholic Church in Malta. Definitely, Bishop Scicluna is not a person to shy off from taking action and assume responsibility. He has a strong will and determination to take action, where action is most needed.

This story should be taken as a blessing in disguise for the Catholic Church. The new bishop can start with a clean slate though the new incumbent will still inherit the burdens and mistakes of his predecessors. But only once he has cleared up the mess and brought the situation under control can he really start a new leaf. Nevertheless, as proceedings in this case are already under way, the new bishop is less likely to be haunted, as unfortunately happened to Cremona, with skeletons in the cupboard. On a different note, this story has obliterated all the chances for the new bishop of Malta to be from one of our Religious Orders. All that is left for at least one of these Orders is embarrassment. Now the Dominican Order needs to start thinking again how to express new charitable feelings to redeem itself.

Parents unhappy at lack of information relating to Father Paul Morton investigation

SCOTLAND
Daily Record

Oct 30, 2014

By Douglas Dickie

An online blog has accused South Lanarkshire Council and the Catholic Church of keeping parents in the dark about the investigation surrounding Father Paul Morton.

The blog, from a parent at St Charles’ Primary - where Father Morton acts as chaplain - claims the parents have received no information from the school.

Father Morton was suspended from his post at St Bride’s earlier this month after police launched an investigation into allegations of historic sexual abuse.

Parishioners at St Bride’s were not initially told the reason for his absence on Sunday, October 5, with Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Toal, telling the flock to pray for the absent priest.

But writing under the name of “daftmamma”, the St Charles’ parent says parents had a right to know what is going on.

Archbishop of York apologises to York man for ‘abuse and hurt’ caused by Reverend Dennis Franks

UNITED KINGDOM
York Press

by Mike Laycock

THE Archbishop of York has apologised to a York man for ‘abuse and hurt’ caused by an Anglican priest, The Press can reveal.

Dr John Sentamu also revealed that poor management by the York diocese of abuse allegations in 1990 against the priest, the late Reverend Dennis Franks, could have left other young people at risk.

The York man, now 36, contacted The Press to tell his story after an independent investigation last week criticised the way the Church of England investigated abuse allegations against a former Dean of Manchester Cathedral, Robert Waddington.

He claimed of the handling of allegations against Mr Franks: "Had the Church followed up the allegations of abuse in 1990, I would not have been abused again in the 1990s."

Italy GAYS Priests confirm hypocrisy of Synod of Bishops. Pervert priests posed nude in GAYS webs, run prostitute ring for under-aged boys

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

October 29, 2014

The gay earthquake in the Synod of Bishops was all empty talk charade because the real GAYS-PRIESTS-in-action has been happening in Italy all along in the diocese of Albenga-Imperia where priests posted naked photos of themselves on gay websites, raided church coffers and sexually harassed parishioners – no wonder Jesus wants to be set free from golden tabernacles -- JOIN the JESUS REVOLUTION – set Christ free from Eucharist Satanic Mass. Set all nations free from Vatican Concordats. End Vatican as “country”. End VA Vatican Autocracy Swiss Banks secrecy

October 29, 2014

Caso Ior, manca fascicolo: rinviato processo a Roma

ROMA
ASCA

Sotto accusa l'ex direttore generale Paolo Cipriani (ASCA) - Roma, 29 ott 2014 - "Registrata l'assenza del fascicolo si manda il verbale alla cancelleria per attivare la ricerca dello stesso". Cosi' il giudice monocratico del tribunale di Roma, Luca Ghedini Ferri, ha spiegato i motivi del rinvio al prossimo 2 dicembre del processo a carico dell'ex direttore generale dello Ior Paolo Cipriani e del suo ex vice Massimo Tulli. Il fascicolo del dibattimento - e' stato spiegato - risulta esser stato formato dal Tiap, il sistema di registrazione digitale dopo la scannerizzazione dei documenti.

Ior, sparisce momentaneamente il fascicolo: processo rinviato

ROMA
Il Messaggero

È stato rinviato al 2 dicembre prossimo il processo che vede imputati davanti al giudice monocratico l'ex direttore generale dello Ior Paolo Cipriani e l'ex direttore Massimo Tulli, finiti sotto processo a conclusione dell'inchiesta che nel 2010 determinò il sequestro di 23 milioni di euro depositati presso l'Istituto delle opere di religione. L'accusa per i due ex dirigenti è quella di violazione delle norme antiriciclaggio, indagine avviata dal procuratore aggiunto Nello Rossi e dai pubblici ministeri Rocco Fava e Stefano Pesci. A determinare il rinvio è stata l'impossibilità momentanea di rintracciare un fascicolo che risulta regolarmente formato ma che stamane è stato impossibile recuperare. Il fascicolo comunque, come è stato precisato, «risulta formato attraverso il sistema di registrazione digitale».

IOR money-laundering trial adjourned over missing case file

ROME
Gazzetta del Sud

Rome, October 29 - The first hearing in the money laundering trial of two former Vatican Bank executives was adjourned Wednesday because the case file was lost. The former general manager of the bank whose official name is Institute for Religious Works (IOR), Paolo Cipriani, and his ex deputy Massimo Tulli must answer charges related to a probe that in 2010 led to the freezing of 23 million euros over two cash transfers involving the Vatican Bank that were deemed suspicious. The judge adjourned the hearing to December 2 pending a search for the missing file, while prosecutors tried to minimize the incident. "Nothing has been lost," they said. "These things happen. We already filed copies of the case file". The trial is a fresh blow to the image of the bank after a series of scandals over the years. Italian banks effectively stopped dealing with the IOR in 2010 after the Bank of Italy ordered them to enforce strict anti-money-laundering criteria to continue working with it.

N.S. to eliminate time limits for lawsuits over sex, domestic abuse

CANADA
CTV

Keith Doucette, THE CANADIAN PRESS
Published Wednesday, October 29, 2014

HALIFAX -- People in Nova Scotia who want to file lawsuits over sexual and domestic assault would no longer have to do so within prescribed time limits under legislation introduced Wednesday.

Justice Minister Lena Metlege Diab said the Limitations of Actions Act would remove the one-year deadline faced by victims of sexual and domestic abuse who want to sue.

Metlege Diab said the act would better protect abuse victims while also respecting the rights of all parties involved in legal actions.

Jackie Stevens, executive director of the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, said the legislation would help victims who often hesitate to come forward and often don't meet the one-year deadline to launch a lawsuit.

"This demonstrates a recognition of the tremendous impact historical and systemic violence can have on a person to act in a timely way," said Stevens.

Rev. James Schook asking to be released six months into 15-year prison sentence

KENTUCKY
WDRB

By Jason Riley

LOUISVILLE, Ky., (WDRB) -- A Louisville priest convicted earlier this year of sexually abusing a teenage boy in the 1970s is asking to be released from prison just six months into his 15-year sentence.

An attorney for the Rev. James Schook has given notice that he will ask a judge Monday to release Schook on shock probation, saying he “now realizes the importance of obeying and conforming to the community's rules.”

In April, a jury convicted Schook of three counts of sodomy and one count of indecent and immoral behavior with an individual and recommended the 15-year sentence, which the judge upheld.

David Lambertus, Schook's attorney, wrote that he has the support of family members and friends who have offered to care for him and “make sure he abides by the rules of shock probation.”

Schook suffers from terminal cancer. Shock probation allows inmates to be released after serving one to six months of their sentence, under the belief they have been so "shocked" by their experience that they would be deterred from future crimes.

Theology student pleads not guilty to soliciting sex from child

ILLINOIS
Daily Herald

Lee Filas

A theology student from Ohio training at a Serbian Orthodox school near Libertyville pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges he solicited sex from someone he believed was a 14-year-old boy.

Dario Spasic, 22, with a current address in the 32300 block of Milwaukee Avenue, is facing up to five years in prison if found guilty on two counts of indecent solicitation of a child under 17, said Cynthia Vargas, spokeswoman with the Lake County State's Attorneys Office.

Spasic is free while awaiting trial after posting the required 10 percent of his $100,000 bail. Vargas said Spasic has returned to his parents' home in Ohio while the case is pending.

At the time of his arrest, Spasic was a student at the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox School of Theology and the Metropolitan Center of the Serbian Orthodox Church near Libertyville, authorities confirmed.

According to its website, the mission of the Serbian Orthodox School of Theology is to train candidates for priesthood in the Serbian Orthodox Church.

Was St. Paul sex-sting suspect entrapped? Jury to decide

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 10/29/2014

Who was calling the shots when Stephen J. Schulz corresponded online with an undercover cop?

Was it Schulz himself, who posted the original Craigslist ad, as the prosecution argued Wednesday? Or was it was the police sergeant who posed as a 15-year-old boy looking for sex, as the defense insisted?

"The only person who had absolute control at every step of the way was this defendant," Ramsey County prosecutor Yasmin Mullings said Wednesday in her closing argument of Schulz's trial. The Golden Valley man faces one felony count of soliciting a minor online for sexual contact.

Mullings reminded the jury of the testimony of St. Paul police Sgt. Jeffrey Keller, assigned to the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Keller said that in a sting operation, once the other email correspondent backs off or stops writing, the communication is ended. That's done to avoid entrapment, he testified.

But entrapment is exactly what Keller did to Schulz, argued his attorney, Paul Engh.

"They deceived him. They lied to him," Schulz said of the police. "He would never have gone to St. Paul had they not lied to him." ...

Prete indagato per violenze sessuali E nel pomeriggio va a celebrare la messa

ITALY
Corriere del Mezzogiorno

[Searches are underway in the Church of Saint Lucia in Brindisi and at the home of Father Gampiero Peschiulli, a priest who is alleged to have abused children. Prosecutor Giuseppe De Nozza began the investigation after a television broadcast.]

BRINDISI - Sono in corso perquisizioni nella Chiesa di Santa Lucia di Brindisi e nella dimora di don Giampiero Peschiulli, il sacerdote èndagato per atti sessuali commessi su minori. Il pm Giuseppe De Nozza ha avviato le indagini dopo un blitz della trasmissione Mediaset Le iene. Lo scorso 15 settembre, infatti, una troupe della trasmissione tentó di intervistare il parroco che è da circa dieci anni nella parrocchia del centro storico mentre in precedenza era al quartiere la Rosa. Quando Giulio Golia provó ad intervistarlo, l’uomo si barricó in chiesa e chiese l’aiuto dei carabinieri.

Italy: Paedophile Catholic Priest Hangs Himself in Trieste Church

ITALY
International Business Times

By Umberto Bacchi
October 29, 2014

A Catholic priest killed himself in the vicarage of his north-eastern Italian church, minutes before he was to discuss with his boss accusations of child abuse made against him, church officials said.

Maks Suard, 48, the vicar of Santa Croce in the port town of Trieste off the Slovenian border, was found to have hanged himself by the local Archbishop, Giampaolo Crepaldi.

Suard was under police investigation for the alleged sexual abuse of a 13-year-old girl.

The diocese of Trieste said that days before committing suicide, the clergyman had admitted to the accusations during a phone confrontation with Crepaldi, and was about to be suspended from his pastoral office.

Suard asked the Archbishop for a few days before informing the Holy See, setting in motion criminal and canonical procedures.

Open letter to Rhode Island victims of priest and clergy

RHODE ISLAND
Turn to 10

[I-Team: Local priest under investigation by state police]

[Note: This is a corrected version of the letter that was posted on the Turn to 10 web site. The correction was made by the author, Ms. Hagan Webb.]

The Rhode Island State Police are conducting an investigation of cases of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and clergy and the diocese of Providence. If you were abused by a member of the clergy in RI, regardless of how long ago, I URGE you to report the abuse to the RI State Police.

I began publicly recommending this step in April, after I told the RI State Police my own story of abuse as a child by a priest who is now deceased. Since then, many other RI survivors have reported their abuse. As a result, the police are building a database that they previously didn't have. By telling your story, however horrific and painful, you will be giving law enforcement important evidence. With your help, the State Police will learn the names of sexual predators and how they were managed by the Providence diocese.

Please go to the State Police even if you already have reported your abuse to the diocese. I am not confident that all cases of abuse reported to the diocese have been passed on to the State Police. An investigative report last November by Channel 10 (http://www.wfla.com/story/24013402/i-team-letters-detail-alleged-sex-abuse-in-diocese) had the same concern.
Every survivor I know who has gone to the RI State Police has said it was a positive experience. The police officers (both male and female) understand how difficult it is for us to discuss our abuse. I found that the hardest part was walking through the door. Once I started making my statement, the police officers were very compassionate and sensitive. It was as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
The contacts at the RI State Police are:

Detective Heather Donahue-work # 401-444-1264
Detective Marc Alboum-work # 401-444-1216
Captain Joseph Philbin - work # 401-444-1011

I would be happy to talk with you about this, and offer any support I can.

Timing is CRITICAL to our efforts in this important investigation. Victims should provide a statement to the RI State Police SOON, if you feel you can. Let there be an official record of the crimes committed against you, and help protect children who may still be at risk.

Thank you,

Ann Hagan Webb, Ed.D.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP
Narragansett, RI 617-513-8442
annhaganwebb@gmail.com

Ann Hagan Webb is a survivor of childhood abuse by a priest, a member and spokesperson of SNAP, and a psychologist whose specialty is survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Shamed cleric Kieran Conry was 'loved and admired', says Bishop of Portsmouth

UNITED KINGDOM
Christian Today

Published 29 October 2014 | Mark Woods

Roman Catholics in Arundel and Brighton are devastated by the loss of their bishop who they "admired and loved" the Bishop of Portsmouth has said.

Writing to his diocese about Bishop Kieran Conry, who resigned as bishop of the adjacent diocese of Arundel and Brighton after admitting to sexual misconduct, Bishop Philip Egan said that chastity often involves a struggle but it is "a virtue to which every member of the Body of Christ is called".

In a message included in a weekly electronic bulletin and reported by The Catholic Herald, Bishop Egan said: "Whenever we find out, unexpectedly, that someone has fallen from grace, our first reaction should be to ask God to have mercy upon us too for our own sins. Indeed, having spoken with priests and people from Arundel and Brighton, devastated by the loss of a bishop they admired and loved, I can only suggest we pray earnestly for God's mercy and healing, and the renewal of Gospel hope."

He continued: "Chastity is a virtue to which every member of the Body of Christ is called. It often involves a struggle. This is why we need constantly to ask Jesus for his grace, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. In Confession, we should be absolutely honest about our sins and candid about our weaknesses."

NV--Child sex case vs. Fernley priest settles

NEVADA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014

For more information: David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP Executive Director 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP Outreach Director 314 503 0003

Child sex abuse and cover up case against Reno priest settles
Victims prod Catholic officials to alert the public & parishioners
Group to bishop: “Reach out to others who may have seen or suffered crimes”

A child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit involving a Fernley priest has settled. Now, a support group wants Reno Catholic officials to “warn parishioners, parents, police and the public” about the cleric and insist that he live “in a remote, secure, independent treatment center.”

In recent years, Fr. Thomas J. Cronin (tomcronin@prodigy.net) worked at three Reno area churches and a local hospital. But, according to the suit, he sexually assaulted a then-devout teenaged girl in the Kansas City diocese in the late 1970s.

Leaders of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which exposed that Calvo was keeping Fr. Cronin on the job after and despite the abuse lawsuit.

[BishopAccountability.org]

The group wants the bishop to insist that Fr. Cronin stop trying to start a shelter for homeless or abused women.

[BishopAccountability.org]

During much of the last decade, Cronin worked in four Nevada towns: Reno (St. Therese Church of the Little Flower and Washoe Medical Center), Fernley (St. Robert Bellarmine), Empire (St. Joseph the Worker) and Virginia City (St. Mary’s of the Mountain). Around 2007, Cronin supposedly retired. But in 2010, he headed St. Mary’s.

RCA Announces Committee To Review Conversion Process

UNITED STATES
Rabbinical Council of America

Committee Reflects Cross Section of Community, Including Women and Men, Converts, Mental Health Professionals, Rabbis and Other Professionals

Oct 29, 2014 -- The Rabbinical Council of America (RCA) today announced the members of a committee that will review its current Geirus Protocol and Standards (GPS) conversion process and suggest safeguards against possible abuses. The RCA committed to forming this committee following the recent arrest of Rabbi Barry Freundel, of Washington, DC, which brought to light the need for a thorough review of GPS to identify changes that will ensure a more effective and appropriate conversion process.

Rabbi Leonard Matanky, President of the RCA, named the following individuals to the committee:

• Mrs. Evelyn Fruchter, a convert to Judaism and an attorney specializing in litigation;
• Rabbi Shmuel Goldin (chair), Honorary President of the RCA and Rabbi of Ahavath Torah, Englewood, NJ;
• Mrs. Abby Lerner, educator and teacher of family purity laws;
• Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, Rabbi of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun, New York, NY;
• Mrs. Bethany Mandel, a convert to Judaism, former staff member at Commentary Magazine, and freelance writer who recently authored a column entitled, “A Convert’s Bill of Rights”;
• Rabbi Yona Reiss, Av Beit Din, Chicago Rabbinical Council; Dayan, Beth Din of America; and Chairman, GPS;
• Mrs. Bracha Rutner, Yoetzet Halacha (advisor in Jewish law) for the Riverdale, NY and Washington, DC communities;
• Mrs. Shana Yocheved Schacter, CSW, a psychotherapist in private practice;
• Rabbi Yaakov Shulman, Rabbi of Congregation Talmud Torah, Brooklyn, NY who is an experienced member of a rabbinic tribunal for conversions;
• Rabbi Adam Starr, Rabbi of Young Israel of Toco Hills, Atlanta, GA;
• Rabbi Kalman Topp, Rabbi of Beth Jacob Congregation, Beverley Hills, CA.

“Our hearts continue to go out to those victimized by the unconscionable actions of a Rabbi they trusted in the conversion process,” said Rabbi Matanky “The RCA recognizes the inherent sensitivities and vulnerabilities involved in the conversion process and will do all it can to ensure that such victimization will never be repeated. We believe the formation of this committee, reflecting a cross section of our community, is an important first step in this regard.”

Ridgeview pastor charged with sexually abusing young boy

WEST VIRGINIA
Coal Valley News

CHARLESTON — A Ridgeview pastor has been arrest and accused of sexually abusing a young boy.

James Robert Smith, 23, also known as “J.R” is the pastor at Morning Star House of Prayer in Ridgeview.

A warrant was issued by the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office for Smith on Monday. He was charged with first-degree sexual abuse and sexual abuse by a parent or guardian.

The alleged abuse dates back to 2009, when the boy was 10-years-old, according to the criminal complaint.

WCHS-TV in Charleston broke the story, reporting the boy, now 15-years-old, came reported the alleged crimes in May.

Fr Charles Fenech alleged sexual abuse case before Church Response Team for 8 years

MALTA
Malta Independent

Rachel Attard & Stephen Calleja

A case regarding sexual abuse on vulnerable women by Dominican priest Fr Charles Fenech has been before the Curia Response Team for at least eight years, The Malta Independent has learnt.

The case before the church tribunal is over and above the court case instituted by the police against Fr Fenech.

The Malta Independent this morning revealed that Fr Fenech, known for his organisation of volleyball marathons in aid of Dar Tal-Providenza, is facing charges of sexual abuse against at least five women. He was summoned to court on three occasions but did not turn up, citing illness.

The Malta Independent made a conscious and responsible decision to publish the name of the priest in full respect towards ethical standards. People who are not priests who are accused of similar crimes have always been named unless the victims were relatives and could be identified. In this case, the alleged victims are not relatives of Fr Fenech. The Malta Independent will not protect members of the clergy if they are accused of such crimes.

The case was brought before the Church Response team at the time that Mgr Joseph Mercieca was Archbishop of Malta. The Malta Independent has also learnt that when Mgr Paul Cremona was ordained Archbishop, some of the alleged victims approached him with their accusations against Fr Fenech.

Updated | Kerygma director accused of sexual abuse, Church Response Team investigating

MALTA
Malta Today

Five alleged victims of sexual abuse will be testifying against the director of the Kerygma Movement, Fr Charles Fenech, a prominent cleric well known as the organiser of an annual charity volleyball marathon.
TVM.com.mt featured a censored photo of the 54-year-old on Tuesday, as Fenech is being accused of holding a woman against her will.

He is due to appear in court on 17 December after several sittings were cancelled, when the defendant’s lawyer claimed he was unavailable for the hearing due to a medical condition.

The Church's Response Team is investigating the sexual abuse claims, a spokesman for the Curia has told The Times.

A victim who spoke to MaltaToday said the defendant’s delaying tactics were frustrating her need to seek justice in court.

Francis: When Christians become a source of scandal, people choose atheism

VATICAN CITY
Vatican Insider

Today’s General Audience was dedicated to the Church as a “visible reality”: We are all sinners and it is right that this should provoke displeasure in us, especially when we set a bad example. But the Church can represent Jesus. The Pope also sent out an appeal against the Ebola virus

IACOPO SCARAMUZZI
VATICAN CITY

We are all sinners and “we experience our fragility and our limitations, which rightly provoke profound displeasure, especially when we give bad example and become a source of scandal.” Francis concluded today’s General Audience in St. Peter’s Square appealing to the international community to increase efforts to combat the Ebola virus and talked about the visible dimension of the Church, which is different from its “spiritual reality”. If Christians become a source of scandal, some may say: ‘If this is a Christian, I prefer to be an atheist! Because people go by our witness.”

“When we refer to the Church, however, our thoughts turn immediately to our communities, our parishes, our diocese, to the structures in which we usually gather together and, of course, of the component and institutional figures which guide and govern it,” Francis pointed out. “This is the visible reality of the Church. We must ask, then: Are they two different things or the One Church? And, if it is the One Church, how can we understand the relationship between its visible and spiritual reality?” the Pope began today’s reflection by acking.

First, when we speak of the visible reality of the Church we said there are two - the visible reality which we see and the spiritual one - we must not think only of the Pope, Bishops, priests and consecrated persons. The visible reality of the Church is made ​​up of the many baptized brothers and sisters around the world who believe, hope and love. [Moving from the prepared text] “Often, we hear people say: the Church doesn’t do this …the Church doesn’t do that!’ ‘Tell me who is the Church? – ‘Well the Church is the priests, the bishops, the Pope …’ We are all the Church! All of us all of us Baptized! We are the Church, the Church of Jesus’.” “Of all those who follow the Lord Jesus and, in His name, are close to the poor and the suffering, trying to offer some relief, comfort and peace.” Francis then set his prepared text aside and spoke off the cuff: “All of those who do these things, which the Lord sent us to do are the Church”. Thus we understand that the visible reality of the Church cannot be measured, it cannot be known in all its fullness: how can one know of all the good that is done?”

Editor's blog: Abuse priest: to name or not to name

MALTA
Times of Malta

Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 16:01 by Steve Mallia

Three days ago The Sunday Times of Malta broke a story on its front page about a priest who is facing sexual abuse allegations. Today, the Malta Independent chose to run the same story as its own.

However, the point of this blog is more fundamental: we knew the identity of the priest and opted not to publish it. They found out his identity after we ran the story and decided to splash it with his photo on the front page of their newspaper. Aside from the obvious gap in timeliness, the burning question is: who got it right?

For anyone who sits in an editor’s chair, this is an immensely difficult call to make. Do you go with your natural journalistic instinct to publish all the facts because you want to come out with the full story before anyone else, or do you observe the principles that ought to guide your decision making? Sometimes the call is black and white, but more often than not it tends to be invaded by those very annoying shades of grey.

As we wrestled with a potentially hot and shocking story the day before publication last Saturday, the issue of whether to name or not to name was pinged back and forth. We decided against naming him. But to avoid a situation where suspicion could be cast on every priest in Malta, we opted to release certain details. We said he is 54, that he is based in Rabat and listed the charges against him.

Mullah jailed for rape of 10-year-old girl

AFGHANISTAN
The Freethinker (UK)

Lawyers defending Mohammad Amin, who raped the girl in a mosque in Afganistan, argued that this was a case of ‘adultery’, and that, under sharia law, he should only be lashed, then freed.

But according to this report, judge Judge Mohammad Suliman Rasuli contemptuously dismissed this defence, saying that the victim:

Cannot commit adultery; she is a child. This is rape.

The judge then sentenced Amin to 20 years in prison.

The attack took place inside a mosque in a remote Afghan village back in May of this year. Amin had asked three young girls to clean for him, then began behaving inappropriately. The girls made a run for it. One tripped and fell in a stream. Amin dragged her back inside the mosque, where she was raped and left with serious injuries.

According to sharia Law, which the mullah tried to rely on in court, rape is considered a form of adultery for which both parties are responsible. Amin’s defence lawyers argued that he should be sentenced to 100 lashes and then released – but that would have meant the girl also receiving the same punishment.

Police search for teacher suspected of sexual abuse

FLORIDA
Sun Sentinel

By Erika Pesantes,
Sun Sentinel

Police are searching for a teacher suspected of sexually abusing students who attended a private Cooper City school.

The investigation centers on accusations against Tariq Ahmad, 35, in Pembroke Pines, said Sgt. Carlos Corretjer on Friday.

"There is an investigation, it's still an open case," Corretjer said. "We're still trying to locate him."

Ahmad was a former teacher at Nur-Ul-Islam Academy in Cooper City, school officials said.

Ahmad faces several sex-crime related charges, Corretjer said, but would not elaborate further. He said the case has been turned over to the Broward State Attorney's Office, which would not comment on the case Friday.

The alleged sex acts did not occur on school grounds, said Yasir Billoo, an attorney representing Nur-Ul-Islam Academy, a pre-kindergarten through grade 12 Islamic school of more than 335 students.

School officials suspended Ahmad when police started investigating earlier this year, Billoo said, and terminated him in early October after an arrest warrant was issued.

Islamic School Teacher Accused of ‘Horrific’ Sexual Abuse ...

FLORIDA
The Blaze

Islamic School Teacher Accused of ‘Horrific’ Sexual Abuse Against Teen Girls — and School’s Alleged Response Has Sparked a Lawsuit

Oct. 28, 2014 9:20pm Jason Howerton

Police are currently searching for a Muslim man suspected of sexually abusing teen girls while working as a teacher at Nur-Ul-Islam Academy in Cooper City, Florida. The victims, now adults, have filed a civil lawsuit against the school over its alleged response to the reports of sexual abuse.

Sgt. Carlos Corretjer, of the Pembroke Pines Police Department, told the Sun Sentinel that an investigation is ongoing into the disturbing allegations against Tariq Ahmad, 35. So far, officers have been unable to locate him.

Ahmad is accused of forcing two teen girls, who were aged 14 and 15 at the time, into sexual relationships.

Police hunt former head teacher of Florida Islamic school...

FLORIDA
Daily Mail (UK)

Police hunt former head teacher of Florida Islamic school accused of raping students and leaving one needing 'surgical repair'

By JENNY AWFORD FOR MAILONLINE

Police are hunting the former head teacher of a private Islamic school accused of the sexual abuse and rape of two middle school female students.

Tariq Ahmad, 35, who worked at Nur-Ul-Islam Academy, Florida, has been charged with five first degree counts after the alleged abuse which left one student needing 'substantial surgical repair'.
The girls were aged 14 and 15 when Ahmad allegedly forced them into sexual relationships, according to a lawsuit.

Their attorneys said Ahmed would use text messages, social media and even code on the chalk boards in the classroom to set up meetings with the girls.

They also claim the Academy officials knew of Ahmed's illegal conduct for years and did nothing until now.

Pembroke Pines police said the alleged incidents occurred between 2006 and 2008, but the pupils only came forward after years of therapy.

Florida Islamic School Teacher Allegedly Abused Two Female Students...

FLORIDA
Opposing Views

[with video]

Florida Islamic School Teacher Allegedly Abused Two Female Students; One Girl Needed 'Substantial Surgical Repair' (Video)

By Khier Casino, Tue, October 28, 2014

The search is on for a former teacher wanted in connection with the sexual abuse and rape of two female students at a private Islamic school in Florida.

Tariq Ahmad, 35, who worked at Nur-UI-Islam Academy in Davie, Fla., since August 2006, has been charged with five first degree counts after the alleged abuse which left one student needing “substantial surgical repair,” according to the Daily Mail.

“There was significant sexual abuse, intercourse and other inappropriate behavior such that one of the students had to have substantial surgical repair of that (private) area. It's horrific,” attorney Scott Mager said.

The Daily Mail notes that Ahmad’s LinkedIn profile says he recently served as the “head of high school” at the academy.

Tariq Ahmad, Teacher Accused of Raping Students at Islamic Private School, Previously Worked

FLORIDA
New Times

By Kyle Swenson Wed., Oct. 29 2014

New details are shaking out over the alleged off-limits activities of one Broward private school teacher and his students. Last week, Pembroke Pines Police announced they were looking for Tariq Ahmad, a teacher and head of school at the Nur-Ul-Islam Academy in Cooper City. The 35-year-old is facing sex-crimes-related charges stemming from alleged abusive relationships with students in the late 2000s.

Reports of the police search were followed by news of a lawsuit claiming a cover-up at the school.
Right now, a manhunt is on for Ahmad. But what hasn't been reported until now is that before the teacher's tenure at Nur-Ul-Islam Academy, Ahmad worked for the Broward County Public School District.

Nur-Ul-Islam Academy is a kindergarten-through-12-grade college prep school with around 335 students. The facility boasts a "complete education that emphasizes excellence in academics and Islamic morals and values," according to its website.

On his own LinkedIn page, Ahmad (some news reports and court documents have spelled the name "Ahmed," although it's spelled "Ahmad" on the site) claims he's worked at the school since August 2006. He lists his current job title as "head of school." Before that, Ahmad says he worked for the Broward County Public Schools.

Italian Priest Commits Suicide after Pedophilia Accusation: Reports

ITALY
RIA Novosti

MOSCOW, October 29 (RIA Novosti) - A Roman Catholic priest from the northern Italian province of Trieste committed suicide after being accused of child abuse, local media reported Wednesday.

Maks Suard, a 48-year-old priest, reportedly hanged himself after being accused of carrying out sexual abuse against a 13-year-old girl some 17 years ago.

According to the Messaggero Veneto newspaper, the priest had admitted his guilt and asked the Bishop of Trieste Giampaolo Crepaldi for two days to prepare a letter asking for forgiveness from God, the Church and the victim.

Church investigating sex abuse claims against priest

MALTA
Times of Malta

The church is investigating sexual abuse claims made by a woman against a priest who is due to appear in court to face criminal proceedings over the allegations.

A spokesman for the church said the matter was being investigated by the Church's Response Team, which was set up to deal with such allegations.

The spokesman said the Curia was not going to comment further on the case so as not to interfere or in any way influence the proceedings, both before the Response Team and those in court.

Times of Malta, which broke the story last Sunday, decided not to name the priest involved – in line with what it believes is an accepted norm in ethical journalism, save for truly exceptional circumstances – because he has not yet been charged with the offences in court. This media organisation will not deviate from this position even though it has been aware of the priest’s identity all along.

The 54-year-old priest from Rabat is due in court to face charges of violent sexual abuse against a mentally unstable patient.

Texas pastor arrested for soliciting prostitute: Christ’s love allowed me to get caught

TEXAS
San Antonio Express-News

BY JOSHUA FECHTER : OCTOBER 27, 2014

A pastor at an Amarillo church could face up to six months in prison after getting caught with a prostitute in a Motel 6.

Texas Department of Public Safety officers arrested Cameron Tate Reeves, a 34-year-old pastor at Hillside Christian Church's Hillside Canyon campus since 2009, on Thursday at the hotel at 2032 Paramount Blvd. in Amarillo, Myhighplains.com reported.

Reeves resigned from his post after the arrest, the Amarillo Globe-News reported.

The pastor penned a letter to be read to the church's congregation on Sunday, according to the Globe-News. In it, Reeves admitted to knowingly booking an appointment for an "inappropriate sexual encounter."

More US Christians are becoming 'churchless'

UNITED STATES
Crux

By Cathy Lynn Grossman
Religion News Service October 28, 2014

If you’re dismayed that one in five Americans (20 percent) are “nones” — people who claim no particular religious identity — brace yourself.

How does 38 percent sound?

That’s what religion researcher David Kinnaman calculates when he adds “the unchurched, the never-churched, and the skeptics” to the nones.

He calls his new category “churchless,” the same title Kinnaman has given his new book. By his count, roughly four in 10 people living in the continental United States are actually “post-Christian” and “essentially secular in belief and practice.”

If asked, the “churchless” would likely check the “Christian” box on a survey, even though they may not have darkened the door of a church in years.

Schweiz in Strassburg verurteilt

SCHWEIZ
Luzerner Zeitung

[The human rights court at Strasbourg has ruled that the rights of a Catholic priest who was accused of sexual abuse were violated and Switzerland must pay 14,400 francs in damages.]

MENSCHENRECHTSGERICHTSHOF ⋅ Die Schweiz hat im Falle eines katholischen Priesters, der des sexuellen Missbrauchs von Abhängigen verdächtigt war, das Recht auf ein faires Verfahren nach Europäischer Menschenrechtskonvention verletzt. Sie muss dem Priester 14'400 Franken Schmerzensgeld zahlen.

Zudem muss die Schweiz einen Teil der Verfahrenskosten in Höhe von 18'000 Franken übernehmen. Dies hat der Menschenrechtsgerichtshof in Strassburg entschieden.

Der Priester war Anfang 2008 vom damaligen Offizial des Bistums Lausanne-Genf-Freiburg wegen Verdachts auf Pädophilie bei der Genfer Justiz angezeigt worden. Dabei ging es um Hinweise, wonach zwei Personen von einem Angehörigen der Kirche sexuell missbraucht worden waren.

Schweiz muss Pädo-Priester 14'400 Fr zahlen

SCHWEIZ
Blick

Die Schweiz hat im Falle eines katholischen Priesters, der des sexuellen Missbrauchs von Abhängigen verdächtigt war, das Recht auf ein faires Verfahren nach Europäischer Menschenrechtskonvention verletzt. Sie muss dem Priester 14'400 Franken Schmerzensgeld zahlen.

Zudem muss die Schweiz einen Teil der Verfahrenskosten in Höhe von 18'000 Franken übernehmen. Dies hat der Menschenrechtsgerichtshof in Strassburg entschieden.

Der Priester war Anfang 2008 vom damaligen Offizial des Bistums Lausanne-Genf-Freiburg wegen Verdachts auf Pädophilie bei der Genfer Justiz angezeigt worden. Dabei ging es um Hinweise, wonach zwei Personen von einem Angehörigen der Kirche sexuell missbraucht worden waren.

**TheMediaReport.com SPECIAL REPORT** Star Witness In Church Abuse Trial SLAMS Kansas City Star:...

KANSAS CITY (MO)
TheMediaReport

David Pierre

The Kansas City Star may not have been officially listed as a party in the recent high-profile clergy abuse trial in Kansas City, but the credibility of the Star was certainly on trial. And by all accounts, it lost.

A splashy, three-part series in 2011, entitled, "The altar boys' secret," by the Star's Judy L. Thomas, relayed the shocking charges of a man named Jon David Couzens, who claimed that an abusive priest, Msgr. Thomas O'Brien (who died in 2013), had forced Couzens and three other altar boys thirty years earlier to perform sex acts upon each other and upon him only minutes before Mass was to begin at the Catholic school where the boys attended.

And according to the Star, Couzens claims that this episode happened not just once, not twice, but on three separate occasions.

Vatican defrocks 3 Archdiocese of Cincinnati priests accused of harming children

OHIO
TheIndyChannel

[with video]

Maxim Alter

The Vatican permanently removed three priests in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Tuesday due to allegations of improper behavior involving minors.

The three priests – Thomas Kuhn, Thomas Feldhaus and Ronald Cooper – have each been on administrative leave for more than a decade. They were dismissed Tuesday from the clerical state by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) at the Vatican.

Kuhn, Feldhaus and Cooper were permanently removed from both the rights and the obligations of the priesthood after a canonical process. A panel of three judges made the decision, which was affirmed by the CDF.

The decision constitutes the Catholic Church’s “ultimate penalty” and is commonly referred to as being “defrocked,” Archbishop of Cincinnati Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr said.

Barbara Dorris, outreach director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said she is thankful the three priests were "ousted," but wishes more could be done.

She said the ultimate punishment is "excommunication," not defrocking. She said defrocking is less about safeguarding children and more about “damage control.”

Italian sex abuse priest hangs himself in sacristy

ITALY
The Sun Daily

Posted on 29 October 2014

ROME: An Italian priest who admitted to sexually abusing a young teenage girl hanged himself in the sacristy -- the cleric's changing room in his church -- the diocese of Santa Croce in northern Italy said Wednesday.

The priest, 48, who belonged to the Slovenian community in Trieste, had been accused of committing "grave acts" years earlier with a then 13-year-old girl.

He confessed to his bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi that the reports were true and asked for two days to prepare a letter asking for the forgiveness of God, the Church and the victim.

When Judges Screw Up And Prosecutors Cheat

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Big Trial

By Ralph Cipriano
for Bigtrial.net

When Assistant District Attorney Peter Carr stood to begin oral arguments today in Superior Court, Presiding Judge Anne E. Lazarus let him know before he said a word that he was facing an uphill climb.

"You've got your work cut out for you," she warned Carr.

During the hearing, allegations of judicial errors and prosecutorial misconduct were piling up as defense lawyers for Father Charles Engelhardt and former Catholic school teacher Bernard Shero argued that their clients deserved a new trial.

Carr attempted to blow off most of the accusations as a "harmless error" here, a "not consequential" error there, and, best of all, "certainly not a "reversible error."

But Judge Lazarus cut him off and said she agreed that when weighed individually the errors might indeed be minor. But her concern was that the "quantitative effect" of the errors might have fundamentally compromised the defendants' rights to a fair trial.

It was the most powerful moment of the hearing. A half-dozen blocks away, at the district attorney's office, you could almost hear Seth Williams screaming.

In the D.A.'s self-described "historic" prosecution of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Superior Court has already reversed the conviction of Msgr. William J. Lynn. In court today, defense lawyers were seeking reversals for two more defendants in that historic prosecution -- Father Charles Engelhardt and Bernard Shero. Would hitting the trifecta on reversals make appellate history?

Local Rabbis Sweep The Mikvah For Bugs

NEW YORK
The Jewish Week

10/28/14
Hannah Dreyfus
Staff Writer

Rabbi Yoel Schonfeld, spiritual leader of Young Israel of Kew Gardens Hills, received an urgent phone call this week from a young woman in his community.

“She told me her mikvah day had arrived, but she couldn’t go because she was ‘nauseous,’” said Rabbi Schonfeld, who spent significant time calming her fears. Her response was provoked by what happened in Washington D.C, he said.

Rabbi Schonfeld was referring to the arrest of Rabbi Barry Freundel of Congregation Kesher Israel on Oct. 14. He is facing six charges of voyeurism after allegedly planting recording devices in the local mikvah.

“Now, some of my congregants are terrified to go to mikvah,” said Rabbi Schonfeld. “They’re taking this scandal personally.”

RCA forms committee to review conversion process in wake of Freundel scandal

UNITED STATES
JTA

(JTA) – The Rabbinical Council of America has formed a committee to review its conversion process in the wake of the arrest on voyeurism charges of one of its leading conversion rabbis.

The RCA announced Wednesday the men and women appointed to a committee to review its current Geirus Protocol and Standards conversion process and suggest safeguards against possible abuses.

The RCA committed to forming the committee following the arrest two weeks ago of Rabbi Barry Freundel of Washington’s prominent Kesher Israel congregation. Freundel, who was arrested at his Washington home and charged with voyeurism after a witness allegedly saw him installing a clock radio with a hidden camera in the women’s showers of the congregation’s mikvah, not guilty to voyeurism District of Columbia Superior Court.

Freundel, who was suspended from his position at the synagogue, also was suspended by the RCA, which extended the ban to his activities with the Beth-Din of America, suspending his functions as one of the leading conversion rabbis in the United States.

“The RCA recognizes the inherent sensitivities and vulnerabilities involved in the conversion process and will do all it can to ensure that such victimization will never be repeated. We believe the formation of this committee, reflecting a cross section of our community, is an important first step in this regard,” RCA President Rabbi Leonard Matanky said in a statement announcing the committee.

Parroco suicida in canonica, trovato dal vescovo: «Aveva ammesso atti di pedofilia su una tredicenne»

ITALIA
Il Gazzettino

[A priest who was well-known throughout the Trieste province and in neighboring Slovenia, committed suicide today in Trieste. The priest, 48, hanged himself in the rectory of Holy Cross church. The diocese said the priest had admitted to sexually abusing a 13-year-old.]

di Elisabetta Batic

TRIESTE - Tragedia con clamorosi risvolti sul Carso triestino: un parroco molto noto in tutta la provincia e nella vicina Slovenia si è suicidato oggi a Trieste. Il sacerdote, che aveva 48 anni, si è impiccato in canonica di Santa Croce. Sulla vicenda indagini sono in corso da parte della questura di Trieste. La diocesi ha chiarito in serata che il parroco aveva fatto ammissioni su gravi fatti di pedofilia ai danni di una tredicenne. Stava per essere rimosso.

Minnesota man charged with luring boy ...

MINNESOTA
New York Daily News

Minnesota man charged with luring boy for sex through Craigslist, wanted to be his ‘mentor’: defense attorney

BY RACHELLE BLIDNER

A Minnesota man who is accused of trying to lure a minor for sex through Craigslist was trying to protect the boy from the same kind of abuse he suffered as a child, his attorney said Monday.

Stephen Joseph Schulz, 56, is on trial in Ramsey County District Court after allegedly arranging to meet up with someone he thought was a 15-year-old boy, but who was really an undercover St. Paul police officer.

Schulz was charged with sexual soliciting a child via the Internet in April 2013.

Defense attorney Paul Engh said Schulz "wanted to meet the child, mentor him and prevent another tragedy" after being molested by a priest as a child, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Engh said Schulz was sexually abused when he was about 13 or 14 by a Roman Catholic priest from his family's church in Milwaukee. The priest allegedly molested Schulz and a friend on a trip to Geneva, Wisc., and tried to have anal sex with Schulz at a later date.

Victim's advocate glad to see 3 Tri-State priests defrocked by Vatican

OHIO
WLWT

[with video]

CINCINNATI —Three Cincinnati priests were defrocked Tuesday and WLWT News 5 spoke with the man who took on the Catholic Church to protect a teenage boy.

The Vatican has permanently removed three Archdiocese of Cincinnati priests from the priesthood.

It was an unpopular choice for Mike Knellinger. It was one that came with a lot of criticism and backlash, but 12 years later, finally some justice.

A phone call from Knellinger’s son in 2002 sparked the investigation that brought down Father Thomas Kuhn, who was a former principal at Elder High School.

“The thought that was on my mind was that could have been my son,” said Knellinger.

One of Kuhn's victims confided in Knelliger’s son, which led to some of the public indecency charges that he was convicted of two years later.

Threatened with excommunication, Tony Flannery holds firm to his beliefs

UNITED STATES
Crux

Margery Eagan
On Spirituality columnist
@MargeryEagan

October 29, 2014

Tony Flannery has done what few of us could. He sacrificed his career and his passion for his principles. It’s been anything but easy.

All four of the Galway Flannerys joined religious orders. The three priests and one nun were the children of an ambitious Irish mother who well understood that an affordable religious education was her best hope of saving them from poverty.

“So I was third on the conveyor belt,” says Flannery, now 67, who grew up to love his Catholic faith, his Church, and his work as a Redemptorist preacher traveling from Irish parish to Irish parish holding revivals to renew that faith. He would have celebrated 50 years in religious life this year, save for this: For years now, he has very publicly spoken out against the Church’s stands on the origins of the priesthood, ordaining women to it, contraception, and gays – some of the same issues cardinals debated and commented on publicly at the synod in Rome.

But Francis was not yet pope when Flannery’s Vatican superiors began their investigation.

When they insisted he sign a paper renouncing those views, he refused. When they told him to keep silent, he refused again.

‘Peeping Rabbi’: What To Do — And Not Do — Next

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Jewish Week

10/28/14
Hannah Dreyfus
Staff Writer

This past Shabbat, members of Congregation Kesher Israel in Washington, D.C., filled the synagogue’s social hall for a synagogue-sponsored dinner.

The meal, according to longtime congregant Elliot Lowenstein, was an ad-hoc attempt to pull together a community rocked by the arrest of their spiritual leader, Rabbi Barry Freundel, less than two weeks ago.

Police led Freundel, 62, out of his Georgetown home in handcuffs on Oct. 14. He was charged with six counts of voyeurism after secret video cameras were found in the community mikvah disguised as clock radios.

Lowenstein described the Kesher community’s reaction to the allegations as “rallying around the flag.”
“It’s brought our community closer,” he said. “I feel like a part of something bigger.”

Amidst the media hubbub and growing list of accusations against Rabbi Freundel, the shul has sought to keep congregants informed and united. Over the holiday of Simchat Torah, just days after the arrest, informal discussion groups were held for women and specifically for female converts, giving potential victims a first chance to process their shock and dismay, congregants said.

Updated: Prominent priest who worked for years with young people ...

MALTA
Malta Independent

Updated: Prominent priest who worked for years with young people facing charges of sex abuse

Kerygma Movement director Father Charles Fenech, famous for his organisation of volleyball marathons in aid of the needy some years back and a prominent figure within the church as an active agent amongst youths, is the priest accused of sex abuse, The Malta Independent is informed.

Father Fenech, who is also accused of holding one of the women against her will, is next due to appear in court on 17 December.

At least five victims alleging sexual abuse are expected to be testifying in court during the proceedings, which are being held behind closed doors. Fr Fenech is reportedly denying the accusations.

So far, Fr Fenech has failed to make an appearance in the courtroom for the three times the case was due to be heard, citing illness. He was first charged on 22 May last year.

The priest was allegedly also a long-time partner of one of the victims, however things took a bad turn and the relationship stopped. At least one of the victims is known to have accompanied Fr Fenech in a visit to Lourdes. This newsroom is informed that a number of those testifying in court possess several affectionate phone messages allegedly sent by Fr. Fenech.

October 28, 2014

St. Paul sex-sting suspect says memory of priest's abuse caused him to contact 'boy'

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 10/28/2014

A Golden Valley man charged with soliciting someone he thought was a 15-year-old boy for sex broke down on the witness stand Tuesday as he described molestation he said he suffered at the hands of a priest.

Stephen Joseph Schulz, 56, testified at his trial that he drove to meet the boy -- who turned out to be an undercover St. Paul police sergeant -- to warn him away from the fate he had suffered.

He has been charged with felony online solicitation of a minor for sex. Testimony in the Ramsey County District Court trial began Monday.

Schulz was 13 when the Rev. Franklyn Becker became pastor at Holy Family Church in Whitefish Bay, Wis., where Schulz lived with his mother and two younger siblings.

His father "walked out" on the family when he was 7, Schulz testified. He mother, a devout Catholic, felt the new priest was the kind of father figure her children needed, he said.

So when Becker proposed an overnight trip to Lake Geneva, Wis., in the summer of 1972 for Schulz and another teenage boy, Schulz's mother readily consented.

New trial sought in sex abuse case at Catholic parish

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

MARIA PANARITIS, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
POSTED: Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Citing newly discovered evidence and errors made at trial, lawyers for a Catholic priest and an ex-parochial school teacher jailed for sexually abusing a 10-year-old altar boy made their case to an appellate panel Tuesday for overturning the men's convictions.

Attorneys Burton A. Rose, representing former St. Jerome teacher Bernard Shero, and Michael McGovern, representing the Rev. Charles Engelhardt, alleged prosecutorial misconduct and "abuse of discretion on the part of the trial judge" who sentenced the men to prison terms in June 2013 for abuse that occurred in the late 1990s.

The lawyers said the prosecutor repeatedly made a factual error during closing arguments, and that despite defense objections, Common Pleas Judge Ellen Ceisler refused to correct the record before sending the case to the jury.

In another instance, prosecutors questioned a pediatrician as though he were an expert on child sexual abuse, but without presenting him to the jury as such or allowing defense lawyers to question his credentials, Engelhardt's and Shero's attorneys said.

That doctor testified of a link between testicular pain, which the victim complained of after the assaults, and sexual abuse.

Pa. priest, ex-teacher appeal abuse verdicts

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Seattle PI

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Lawyers for a priest and former Catholic school teacher have argued to a Pennsylvania appeals court that their clients were wrongly convicted of child sexual assault.

The Philadelphia case is linked to that of Monsignor William Lynn, the first U.S. church official ever prosecuted over his handling of abuse complaints. Lynn has been granted bail while he appeals his child-endangerment conviction.

Now two of his co-defendants are appealing their convictions last year. They involve the same accuser.

Lawyer for the Rev. Charles Engelhard and former teacher Bernard Shero say they have new evidence about the accuser and a key witness who corroborated some of his story.

Alleged victim of Alto Pass pastor sex assault speaks out

ILLINOIS
KFVS

Allison Twaits

Last week, a former southern Illinois pastor accused of sexually abusing foster children will likely spend the rest of his life locked in mental hospital.

76-year-old Bill Vandergraph was indicted on several sex crimes back in 2010

He was later found mentally unfit to stand trial.

A woman, who claims she was a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of her foster father and former pastor, is speaking out.

She says she doesn't feel the punishment is harsh enough.

“I went through a lot more than what he is going through,” says she doesn't want her identity revealed.

Now 18, this woman claims she was sexually abused by Bill Vandergraph from the age three to 13.

“A lot of kids will talk about their childhood and my childhood is not a good childhood. My childhood is getting raped,” she says.

Diocese: Fairbanks Priest Held on Federal Child-pornography Charges was Screened

ALASKA
KUAC

[with copy of the indictment]

A Fairbanks Catholic priest accused of trying to produce child pornography underwent a two-stage screening process as part of his hiring and ordination.

57-year-old Clint Michael Landry was arrested Friday after a federal grand jury indicted him earlier last week on one count of attempted production of child pornography and one count of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor to participate in the production of the porn.

According to the indictment, the latter charge stems from Landry’s alleged attempt to get a youth to, quote, “engage in sexually explicit conduct” on May 18th and 19th. The indictment states that Landry planned to transmit a live depiction of that conduct.

Ronnie Rosenberg is director of human resources for the Catholic Diocese of Fairbanks, and she’s also its legal coordinator. Rosenberg says officials with the diocese responded immediately when they learned about the alleged incidents.

“As soon as we thought that there may be a problem with computer usage, the computers were secured and we called the Alaska State Troopers. They in turn turned it over to the FBI,” she said.

Church failed victims of child sex abuse, says outspken priest Father Kevin Dillon

AUSTRALIA
The Courier

By NICK PAYNE Oct. 29, 2014

OUTSPOKEN Catholic priest Father Kevin Dillon believes the church has dismally failed victims of child sex abuse.

During a visit to Ballarat on Tuesday, Father Dillon, of Geelong, spoke with members of the Moving Towards Justice group.

Father Dillon believes that the church actively avoided bringing victims together to support each another.

"There's nothing organised by the church why not?," he said.

More than 150 members and supporters turned up at the Ballarat Specialist School hall for a fund-raising morning tea.

Moving Towards Justice was formed in 2013 as a support group for victims of church sexual abuse.

Father Dillon praised the group for its efforts and called for the Catholic church to take greater responsibility.

Vatican defrocks 3 priests over sexual misconduct

OHIO
Cincinnati Enquirer

Dan Horn, dhorn@enquirer.com 3:46 p.m. EDT October 28, 2014

The Vatican defrocked three Greater Cincinnati priests Tuesday because of sexual misconduct with children that occurred more than a decade ago.

The decision permanently removes the men from the priesthood and is the final step in the Roman Catholic Church's slow, methodical process of evaluating abuse cases and handing out discipline.

All three priests -- Thomas Kuhn, Thomas Feldhaus and Ronald Cooper -- had been on administrative leave for years and had been barred from saying Mass and performing any priestly acts. The Vatican's move to dismiss them "from the clerical state" means they can never again present themselves as priests.

"I hope that this resolution will bring some measure of closure and healing to anyone harmed by these priests," said Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis Schnurr.

Schnurr said the decision Tuesday resolves the last of the clergy abuse cases from Greater Cincinnati pending before the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The cases came to light a decade ago after the clergy abuse scandal exploded nationwide.

Investigators Set Up Hotline For Potential Voyeurism Victims of Georgetown Rabbi

WASHINGTON (DC)
DCist

Authorities investigating Barry Freundel, the Rabbi at Georgetown's Kesher Israel synagogue, accused of voyeurism, have set up a hotline number and email for any potential victims to come forward.

The Post reports that Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier said today that "the investigation is expected to take a long time as forensic experts comb through computer storage devices seized in the case." Freundel was arrested on October 14 after it was discovered that he had set up hidden cameras in a room where people change and shower in preparation for a mikveh. The number that the U.S. Attorney's Office has set up is 202-252-7585, and an email address has also been set up.

Police found images of at least six members of Freundel's congregation and has been charged on six counts of voyeurism. Since then, the Rabbinical Council of America released reports of past allegations against Freundel, including conversion candidates who felt "coerced to perform clerical work for him in his home office (there is no office at the synagogue) and to contribute financially," as well as a trip Freundel took to Chicago in a sleeper train with a woman who was not his wife.

Two former local priests defrocked

OHIO
WDTN

By Jill Drury
Published: October 28, 2014

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Two former local priests are among three in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to be permanently removed of their clerical duties by the Vatican.

Thomas Kuhn was put on leave in 2002 after police seized his computer from St. Henry Parish where he was pastor.

He was convicted two years later of misdemeanor charges of public indecency and providing alcohol to minors. He served a 30 day jail sentence after violating his probation.

He also served Incarnation Church in Dayton from 1989 until 2001 before his tenure at St. Henry.

Thomas Feldhaus and Ronald Cooper were also defrocked. Both men were accused of inappropriately touching children. Cooper served as associate pastor at St. Albert the Great in Dayton from 1989-1990. Feldhaus mostly served in the Cincinnati area.

Three local priests defrocked

OHIO
WVXU

By BILL RINEHART

The Vatican has removed three priests in the Cincinnati Archdiocese over allegations of improper conduct involving minors.

Before Tuesday’s announcement, Thomas Kuhn had been on administrative leave since 2002. He was convicted of public indecency and providing alcohol to minors while serving as pastor of St. Henry’s Parish in Dayton. Kuhn served as the principal of Elder High School in the 80's.

Thomas Feldhaus was suspended in 2003 after he was accused twice of touching a child. At the time, he was serving as an associate pastor in Mount Airy.

Ronald Cooper had been on administrative leave since 2004, after a man said he had been molested by Cooper in Bridgetown between 1983 and 1984.

“I hope that this resolution will bring some measure of closure and healing to anyone harmed by these priests,” said Dennis Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati. “As Archbishop, I deeply regret that any representative of the local Church has ever harmed a child under our care.”

Vatican defrocks three Archdiocese of Cincinnati priests

OHIO
Fox 19

(FOX19) -
The Vatican permanently removed three priests in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Tuesday due to allegations of improper behavior involving minors.

Three priests- Thomas Kuhn, Thomas Feldhaus, and Ronald Cooper have been permanently removed from both the rights and the obligations of the priesthood after a canonical process. The decisions were made by a panel of three judges in another diocese and affirmed by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) at the Vatican.

The canonical process is described on the Archdiocese's website.

“I hope that this resolution will bring some measure of closure and healing to anyone harmed by these priests,” said the Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati, in a news release. “With this decision, all of the cases presented to the CDF have been dealt with and we have no more priests of the Archdiocese on administrative leave.

According to a release, Kuhn was put on administrative in 2002 after law enforcement officers seized the office computers at St. Henry Parish in Dayton, where he was pastor. In 2004, he was convicted of 11 misdemeanor charges of public indecency and providing alcohol to minors. He violated terms of his probation on those charges and served 30 days in jail.

Vatican defrocks 3 Archdiocese of Cincinnati priests accused of harming children

OHIO
WCPO

CINCINNATI – The Vatican permanently removed three priests in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Tuesday due to allegations of improper behavior involving minors.

The three priests – Thomas Kuhn, Thomas Feldhaus and Ronald Cooper – have each been on administrative leave for more than a decade. They were dismissed Tuesday from the clerical state by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) at the Vatican.

Kuhn, Feldhaus and Cooper have been permanently removed from both the rights and the obligations of the priesthood after a canonical process . A panel of three judges made the decision, which was affirmed by the CDF.

The decision constitutes the Catholic Church’s “ultimate penalty” and is commonly referred to as being “defrocked,” Archbishop of Cincinnati Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr said.

OH--Three predator priests are defrocked

OHIO
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Oct. 28

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

Decades too late, three Cincy area predator priests have been defrocked. This is a tiny, long-overdue step that is more about protecting church officials than innocent kids.

[WCPO]

Thomas A. Kuhn, Thomas F. Feldhaus and Ronald C. Cooper were suspended more than a decade ago (in 2002, 2003 and 2004, respectively). How can Catholic officials justify such irresponsible delays?

We suspect that two of these decisions were made months ago – perhaps even years ago – but were kept quiet by Cincy church officials so that all three could be announced at the same time. If so, that’s a cynical, irresponsible and self-serving public relations maneuver.

When church officials defrock predator priests it's less about safeguarding kids. It's more about church damage control. Still, we are grateful these priests are now, finally, ousted from the priesthood. Without that Roman collar and the respect that accompanies it, they will find it a bit harder to win the trust of parents, gain access to kids, and sexually assault them.

It's crucial to remember that basically no Catholic supervisors have been punished, worldwide, for enabling and hiding horrific clergy sex crimes. The Pope must start defrocking clerics who cover up sex crimes, not just clerics who commit them. Until that happens, little will change.

So why the alleged increase in defrocked pedophile priests in recent years? It's likely because more victims across the globe are gaining the strength and courage to come forward and are reporting to (and pressuring) church officials because archaic, predator-friendly secular laws prevent most victims from seeking justice in court. And it's likely because more bishops are convincing Vatican officials that defrocking predators is a smart public relations and legal defense strategy. Cutting all ties with the most egregious serial sex offender clerics helps convince Catholics that progress is being made.

Catholic officials pretend that once a child molesting cleric is defrocked, their duty is over. It's not. Bishops' duty to protect others from these dangerous men does not end when they are defrocked.

It's irresponsible for Catholic officials to recruit, educate, ordain, train, transfer and protect predator priests, then defrock them when they're caught (and the heat gets too intense) and stop there. Catholic officials should help make sure child molesting clerics are criminally prosecuted. If that can't happen, then Catholic officials should house them in remote, secure treatment centers. And Catholic officials should lobby for, not against, reforming outdated, secular laws that enable many who commit and conceal child sex crimes to escape punishment.

Levenslang door seksueel misbruik (2 en slot)

CURACAO
Caraibisch Uitzicht

door Mineke de Vries
Na de ervaringsverhalen van seksueel misbruik in de katholieke kerk op Curaçao (deel 1, zie hieronder) roept journalist Robert Chesal – die het misbruik grootschalig aan het licht bracht in 2010 – op tot de erkenning van de slachtoffers. Zelf slachtoffer van misbruik weet hij dat erover praten de enige mogelijkheid is tot herstel.

Kinderen die martelingen ondergingen terwijl een broeder naast ze een boek zat te lezen. Of kinderen die wekenlang in eenzame opsluiting in de kelders van een internaat doorbrachten. De intense eenzaamheid maakte dat ze bijna blij waren met het gezelschap van een geestelijke die ze ‘s nachts bezocht en liefkoosde, zo verlangend naar menselijke nabijheid in hun eenzame opsluiting. De onvoorstelbare verwarring, het schuldgevoel en het emotionele drama waaraan een kind wordt blootgesteld, betekent een levenslange lijdensweg.

Seksueel misbruik massaal door de vingers gezien (1)

CURACAO
Caraibisch Uitzicht

[When journalist Robert Chesal unveiled many reports of people who had been abused in the Catholic Church of the Netherlands, reports of abuse started coming in from Curacao.]

door Mineke de Vries
Toen journalist Robert Chesal het seksueel misbruik in de katholieke kerk op grote schaal onthulde in 2010, kwamen vele meldingen binnen van mensen die waren misbruikt in Nederland, maar per direct waren er ook meldingen uit Curaçao. Een golf van publiciteit was het gevolg. In Nederland welteverstaan, niét op Curaçao. In zijn recent verschenen boek Een verzwegen leven doet Chesal verslag van de gruwelijkheden, ook op Curaçao. Maar wie denkt dat het misbruik is gestopt, heeft het mis: met financiële vergoedingen en in die zin afhankelijkheid van de kerk worden momenteel veelal arme gezinnen het zwijgen opgelegd.

Schweiz muss Pädo-Priester 27'000 Franken zahlen

SCHWEIZ
Blick

[A Swiss priest accused to sexual abuse.]

Die Schweiz hat im Falle eines katholischen Priesters, der des sexuellen Missbrauchs von Abhängigen verdächtigt war, das Recht auf ein faires Verfahren nach Europäischer Menschenrechtskonvention verletzt. Sie muss dem Priester 14'400 Franken Schmerzensgeld zahlen.

Zudem muss die Schweiz einen Teil der Verfahrenskosten in Höhe von 18'000 Franken übernehmen. Dies hat der Menschenrechtsgerichtshof in Strassburg entschieden.
Der Priester war Anfang 2008 vom damaligen Offizial des Bistums Lausanne-Genf-Freiburg wegen Verdachts auf Pädophilie bei der Genfer Justiz angezeigt worden. Dabei ging es um Hinweise, wonach zwei Personen von einem Angehörigen der Kirche sexuell missbraucht worden waren.

Jewish group calls for safeguards against child abuse at ritual baths

AUSTRALIA
The Jerusalem Post

Stricter oversight is required at ritual baths, known in Hebrew as tmikvaot, in order to prevent child molestation, according to one Australian Jewish organization. Tzedek, which advocates for members of the Jewish community who have been sexually abused, issued a set of recommended guidelines on Tuesday which it hopes will find widespread acceptance and which would overhaul the manner in which such religious facilities are managed.

Tzedek and its founder Manny Waks, himself a former victim, have been embroiled in a number of high profile disputes with orthodox educational institutions accused of covering up past abuses and protecting the guilty parties.

In a PDF document available in both English and Hebrew, Tzedek recommended that youths attending the mikve should be accompanied by their fathers or a designated supervisor, that “alleged or convicted perpetrators” not be allowed within the facility while children are present and defining procedures for the admittance of children so that “their whereabouts are always known.”

At least two adult monitors should be present and within line of sight of children during their visit, there should be no “unrestricted hours” of operation and no “opportunity for concealment,” the document further recommended.

Authorities set up hotline...

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

Authorities set up hotline number for potential victims of rabbi in voyeurism case

By Peter Hermann October 28

Authorities investigating a Georgetown rabbi accused of secretly recording women in a ritual bath in Northwest Washington have set up a hotline number for people who think they might have been victimized.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier, in her first public comments on the arrest of Rabbi Barry Freundel, said Tuesday that the investigation is expected to take a long time as forensic experts comb through computer storage devices seized in the case.

“It’s really a tragic case and it is going to take some time for all the details to unfold,” Lanier told Bruce DePuyt on her monthly appearance on NewsChannel 8. “I think this case will be rolling out for some time.” She added, “For people who are potential victims, that is agonizing.”

The number at the U.S. attorney’s office is 202-252-7585. There is also an e-mail address — usadc.bernardfreundelcase@usdoj.gov and a web site with updated information: http://www.justice.gov/usao/dc/programs/vw/bernard_freundel.html.

Lanier said it is important that potential victims “who are part of this larger family can follow what is going on.”

Activists Warn Of Abuse Allegations Against Ex-Priest Who Lives In Yonkers

NEW YORK
Yonkers Daily Voice

by Dina Grace Zoe Sciortino

YONKERS, N.Y.-- The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) is demanding the Archdiocese of New York warn its parishioners about child molestation claims against Roger Vaughn, one of its former priests.

“We call on New York Catholic officials to tell parents, parishioners warn the public about him and beg anyone who may have been hurt by him to come forward and get help,” said David Clohessy, SNAP’s national director.

Vaughn, 66, is believed to have worked at a Westchester grammar school and college, as well as various assignments in New York for more than a decade. Vaughn lives in Yonkers, according to the Archdiocese of Saint Paul & Minneapolis.

SNAP, a self-help group with chapters across the country for those who’ve been sexually assaulted by clergy, wants church officials to use parish bulletins, press releases, websites and other announcements to advise the public of Vaughn’s past.

DANIEL O’CONNELL TRIAL POSTPONED

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Berger's Beat

October 28, 2014 9:18 am | Author: berger

Judge Phil Heagney has postponed the case against ex-SLU prez Daniel O’Connell set for trial next week. The Jesuit priest reportedly sexually violated a 20 year-old female student.

Prete frustava fedeli, legali vittime: "La Curia si costituisca parte civile"

ITALIA
TGCOM24

14:31 - I legali delle vittime si augurano che la Curia si costituisca parte civile nel processo contro il prete di Lanciano (Chieti) che frustava i fedeli con il rosario. Don André Luiz Facchini, 39 anni, finirà sul banco degli imputati il 19 maggio 2015 con le accuse di violenza privata, lesioni aggravate, ingiurie, minacce, violazioni di domicilio contro alcuni ex adepti dell'associazione religiosa da lui fondata.

Il rinvio a giudizio dell'ex parroco della chiesa di Sant'Agostino è stato deciso dal gup Marina Valente, su richiesta del pm Rosaria Vecchi. Don Andrea aveva avuto questi comportamenti nei confronti degli adepti della Legio Sacrorum Cordium, associazione religiosa: li picchiava e li frustava sulla schiena nuda con grandi corone del rosario.

Lanciano, “frustava col rosario e faceva leccare il pavimento”: prete a processo

ITALIA
Il Fatto Quotidiano

di Maurizio Di Fazio | 27 ottobre 2014

Rinviato a giudizio l’ex parroco della chiesa di Sant’Agostino di Lanciano don André Luiz Facchini. Il processo partirà il 19 maggio del 2015. Il sacerdote 39enne, di origine brasiliana, è accusato di violenza privata aggravata, lesioni, molestie, ingiurie e minacce ai danni di una decina di giovani facenti parte della Legio Sacrorum Cordium, un’associazione da lui stesso fondata in seno alla parrocchia lancianese. Alcuni ragazzi del gruppo hanno infatti raccontato, prima sul web, poi alla Procura, fatti tutt’altro che cristiani: secondo il loro racconto don Facchini li avrebbe, tra le altre cose, frustati col rosario, costretti a leccare i pavimenti della chiesa con la lingua, obbligati a estenuanti e morbosi sondaggi sulla loro vita sessuale. “Punizioni” servite a mo’ di penitenza “per liberare le anime dal purgatorio”. Ma parecchi ex adepti non si sono più ripresi da queste “cure spirituali” non prescritte in nessun Vangelo e son finiti sotto cura psichiatrica.

Le indagini, condotte dal pm Rosaria Vecchi con il coordinamento della polizia giudiziaria, hanno preso le mosse da un’inchiesta per violenza sessuale che il prete avrebbe commesso su un parrocchiano di 27 anni: l’indagine per questa accusa deve essere ancora chiusa. La presunta pressione di don André nei confronti del giovane sarebbe stato scoperta dai genitori del ragazzo, proprio fuori dalla loro abitazione; eppure, per niente contrito, li avrebbe anche minacciati: “Vi distruggo”. In precedenza c’erano state 26 telefonate rapide e mute al cellulare del ragazzo e al telefono fisso della sua famiglia. La violenza carnale si sarebbe invece consumata durante un viaggio all’estero. Il giovane, anche lui iscritto alla Legio Sacrorum Cordium, a quel punto si era allontanato dalla parrocchia ma don André avrebbe continuato l’assedio: per questo, al momento, dovrà rispondere al momento almeno di molestie telefoniche, ingiurie e minacce.