November 27, 2014
POLSKI KOŚCIÓŁ CHCE OTWORZYĆ PUNKTY KONTAKTOWE DLA OFIAR NADUŻYĆ SEKSUALNYCH. KOMENTARZ OCALONYCH / POLISH CHURCH WANTS TO OPEN CONTACT POINTS FOR VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE. A COMMENTARY FROM POLISH SURVIVORS
Ojciec Adam Żak, od 2013 roku koordynator episkopatu ds. ochrony dzieci i młodzieży, przedstawił plan finansowania przez Kościół w Polsce 4-5 punktów kontaktowych dla ofiar nadużyć seksualnych ze strony osób duchownych. Pierwsze z nich miałyby się pojawić „do końca wakacji 2015 roku”, jak podaje KAI. Sama decyzja o utworzeniu punktów kontaktowych pojawiła się już w Kościele w sierpniu 2014 roku.
/Father Adam Żak, since 2013 a coordinator of episcopate for children and youth protection, introduced the Church’s plan of financing of 4-5 contact points for the victims of clergy abuse . First points should be opened “until the end of summer 2015”, according to KAI (Catholic Information Agency). The decision about establishing contact points was made in August 2014.
Precedensowa sprawa z powództwa ofiary księdza pedofila – Marcina K. z Kołobrzegu – to nie tylko pierwsza w Polsce rozprawa o odszkodowanie od Kościoła, ale także pierwszy raz, kiedy sąd w Polsce wzywa hierarchów do tłumaczenia się ws. zaniedbań dotyczących ich podwładnego – księdza.
KOLEJNA ROZPRAWA: 28 listopada 2014 roku, godz. 11.00 SO w Koszalinie.
/The precedent case brought by Marcin K. – the victim of a pedophile priest, is not only the first compensation case against the Chuch, but also the first time when hierarchs will be asked to explain their negligence regarding their subordinate’s acts.
NEXT HEARING: November 28th, 2014 11 am, Regional Court in Koszalin
[Catholic priests have sexually abused children and adolescents and this scandal has shaken the entire church. A new prevention project aims to raise awareness in the worldwide church to the problem of child sexual abuse.]
München - Die katholische Kirche kämpft mit der Aufarbeitung der Missbrauchsfälle. Ein Präventionsprojekt soll verhindern, dass es künftig wieder solche Probleme gibt.
Der Skandal hatte die gesamte katholische Kirche erschüttert: Priester sollen Kinder und Jugendliche sexuell missbraucht haben. Jetzt gibt es ein Präventionsprojekt, das kirchliche Mitarbeiter weltweit für die Probleme des sexuellen Kindesmissbrauchs sensibilisieren soll.
Das Konzept wurde in einer dreijährigen Pilotphase bereits in München getestet und soll jetzt in Rom an der Päpstlichen Universität Gregoriana mehr Aufmerksamkeit erhalten. „Kinder und Jugendliche sollen in der Kirche einen geschützten Raum haben, um ihre Persönlichkeit zu entwickeln“, sagte Münchens Erzbischof Reinhard Marx am Mittwoch.
[The German Bishops' Conference has come up with guidelines for handling sexual abuse allegations.]
t 61 Jahren ist einem schon so Einiges untergekommen. Doch über 2010, als die deutsche Kirche über Monate von immer neuen Missbrauchsfällen erschüttert wurde, sagt der Münchner Kardinal Reinhard Marx noch heute: "Das war das schlimmste Jahr, das ich erlebt habe. Es war aber auch eine Wende."
In der Folge wurden Runde Tische eingerichtet, die Deutsche Bischofskonferenz einigte sich auf neue gemeinsame Richtlinien und das Erzbistum München-Freising hob 2012 in der bayerischen Landeshauptstadt das Zentrum für Kinderschutz aus der Taufe.
Dafür entwickelten das Institut für Psychologie der Päpstlichen Universität Gregoriana in Rom und die Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie/Psychotherapie Ulm ein weltweit einsetzbares E-Learning-Projekt "Prävention von sexuellem Kindesmissbrauch".
THURSDAY, 27 NOV 2014
JOHN Toves, who recently accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron of molesting his cousin in the 1980s, has called on the archbishop to step down.
In a letter to Apuron, Toves wrote: “Dear Archbishop, I now most respectfully, graciously, humbly and lovingly must beseech you to step down.”
Toves wrote about Apuron’s legacy and said Apuron has divided the church for too long. “You must stop and step down. If you continue, would you really want this to be your legacy? Archbishop (Felixberto Flores) would never have done this to his children,” Toves wrote. “I can no longer remain silent.”
Toves said his letter was signed and stamped received at the Chancery Office.
In another letter dated Nov. 21, Toves wrote to Deacon Larry Claros alleging that Apuron molested Toves’ cousin. Claros was appointed the sexual abuse response coordinator for the archdiocese effective Oct. 24, according to the archdiocesan website.
BY CLAIRE WILLIAMSON – 27 NOVEMBER 2014
A former teacher described as "full of demonic evil" at a children's care home has denied sexually assaulting a pupil in the shower.
He was giving evidence at the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry (HIA) in Banbridge, which is currently examining alleged ill-treatment and sex abuse at Rubane House, Co Down.
He was questioned about the discipline procedures in the school.
"There was a reward and debit system. If they behaved well they got points. That was the essence of it," he said.
The inquiry was set up in 2013 to investigate child abuse at 13 residential institutions over a 73-year period up until 1995.
When asked had he ever heard the boys discussing any sexual abuse allegations, he said he only heard them "slagging each other off about having different orientations".
By court reporter Jamelle Wells
A Christian Brother has been jailed for at least two years for indecently assaulting boys in New South Wales schools.
Desmond Richards, also known as brother Neil, was arrested after returning to Australia from the Vatican in 2013.
The 76-year-old previously taught at schools run by the Christian Brothers Catholic order across NSW.
District Court judge Peter Zahra sentenced him to at least two years' jail for indecently assaulting four boys aged between 11 and 13 in the 1970s and 1980s.
The court heard the offences were committed at schools in Albury, Wagga Wagga and Sydney and at a school camp near Sydney.
Richards unlikely to reoffend: court told
Judge Zahra said Richards took advantage of the power he could assert as a teacher, but is now a frail 76-year-old who is unlikely to reoffend.
The court heard the victims were vulnerable or problem students.
The judge said the parents of one victim did not believe him when he reported the abuse and another victim banged on a dormitory wall during a school camp in Sydney to warn other students Richards was approaching.
Sydney Morning Herald
November 27, 2014
A former Christian Brothers headmaster who abused his position to indecently assault students in the 1970s and '80s, but says he now has no memory of doing so, has been sentenced to at least two years' jail.
Desmond Eric Richards, 73, assaulted four boys aged between 11 and 13 while working at Christian Brothers schools in Albury, Wagga Wagga and Strathfield between 1971 and 1989.
The Downing Centre District Court heard on Thursday that Richards would use his authority as a headmaster or teacher to order the boys into his office or an empty classroom, and then molest them.
In 1976, one victim, "GB", was called into a classroom by Richards and told: "Mate, you have been in
He then kissed and molested the boy while holding him so he could not get away.
27 NOV 2014
Angry scenes erupted in a Sydney court after an ex-Christian Brother was sentenced to at least two years in jail for indecently assaulting boys at NSW schools more than 30 years ago.
Desmond Eric Richards, 76, pleaded guilty earlier this month to abusing four boys between 1972 and 1982 in Albury, Wagga Wagga and Strathfield in Sydney's inner west.
District Court Judge Peter Zahra on Thursday sentenced him to a non-parole period of two years after imposing a maximum sentence of three years and three months for the offences.
Shortly after the sentence was handed down and as Richards was escorted from the court, one of his victims shouted "you piece of f***g s**t, I'm going to drag you back in here and see you do 30 years."
Others vocalised their disappointment with the sentence while some could be heard to say "hear hear".
During each of the attacks in 1972, 1976 and 1982 Richards would isolate one of the boys and molest him, before subjecting his victim to weeks of physical punishment for minor transgressions.
The Journal Gazette
Rosa Salter Rodriguez | The Journal Gazette
A Roman Catholic priest sued in Allen County in 2007 by a man who claimed he’d been sexually abused as a child is at the center of two new lawsuits in Minnesota, where attorneys allege he has left a trail of abuse around the nation.
Gerald Funcheon, 76, was ordained in the Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese in 1965 and belonged to the Crosier Fathers & Brothers, a religious order headquartered in Phoenix. He left that order in 1987 and has not served as a priest since 1992, when he was determined “unassignable” and was removed from ministry by the Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana.
The Allen County suit, which was dismissed, involved alleged abuse at a Catholic Youth Organization camp at Lake Wawasee in 1965.
Funcheon has faced sexual abuse lawsuits in Minnesota, Hawaii and California beginning in 2003. He was named in 2009 in a $1.7 million settlement involving four Crosier priests with a total of nine victims, three of whom had accused Funcheon. In an $18 million settlement in 2013 against the Irish Christian Brothers, seven of that case’s 400 plaintiffs had accused Funcheon. The order is affiliated with schools where he taught.
Now, Funcheon stands accused of sexually abusing four boys, ages 11 to 14, from 1970 to 1974 while they attended St. Odilia Catholic Church and School in Shoreview, Minnesota; and of abusing a 14-year-old boy in 1984 on a camping trip while Funcheon served at Palma High School in Salinas, California, one site of abuse alleged in the Irish Christian Brothers suit.
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - - The state Court of Appeals has upheld the 2013 conviction of a Mississippi pastor for sexual battery of a child.
Larry Gene Singleton, now 72, was convicted in Tate County on two counts of fondling and one count of sexual battery. He is serving a 30-year sentence.
Singleton, the former pastor of Bay Springs Baptist Church in Abbeville, was arrested in December of 2013 after sheriff's investigators received a complaint from the victim, who accused Singleton of forcing him to have sex.
Authorities say the sexual abuse allegedly began when the victim was 11 years old and continued for several years.
The Appeals Court on Tuesday rejected Singleton's argument that he was coerced into confessing to the crimes. The court said Singleton waived his rights and agreed to the interrogation.
Rumours of sexual abuse at Hobart boys’ school Hutchins were so rife in the 1960s there was a commonly recounted verse around the city.
‘Get a woman, get a woman, get a woman if you can. If you can’t get a woman get a Hutchins man.’
It was a ditty that stuck in the mind of one former student, now aged 60, who has recounted to a royal commission his abuse at the hands of three Hutchins teachers.
Giving evidence under the pseudonym AOE, the man told how music teacher Ron Thomas touched and rubbed against him while the pair sat at a piano.
‘I would try to get up and run away but Thomas would catch me and hold me on the floor face down,’ AOE said.
It was just one of many stories told to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which heard five days of evidence in Hobart, closing on Tuesday.
Former Saint John city councillor and former youth pastor Donnie Snook has lost the appeal of his 18-year sentence on child sex abuse charges.
A cross-appeal by the Crown on Snook's credit for time served while awaiting trial and parole eligibility was also dismissed Wednesday by a three-judge New Brunswick Court of Appeal panel.
Snook, 42, had filed a notice of appeal with the Court of Appeal last November, calling his sentence "unreasonable and in excess of the appropriate range in all the circumstances."
Snook is in prison in Mission, B.C., and did not attend Wednesday's hearing, but his lawyer, James Matheson, argued on his behalf.
He said the trial judge had stated the range of sentence for similar crimes in Canada had been from nine to 18 years.
We're learning new disturbing details about a Livingston County pastor who admitted to inappropriately touching his five year old foster child. Alan Fox, 60, was originially charged with sexual abuse. Wednesday he pleaded guilty to a lesser charge to avoid a trial. Fox and his wife, Cathy, have been raising foster children for more than 30 years. Now Fox is forbidden to be near children and will have to register with New York State as a sex offender.
Fox is a Methodist pastor at a church in Dansville. He also plays and sings with a Christian music group known as "Band of Brothers." Livingston County prosecutors say Fox admitted he inappropriately touched the five year old girl in his backyard in Sparta more than a year ago.
"The wife left for a weekend. The defendant was out looking at the stars one night. Invited the child out there. And at that time he had the child touch his private parts. And then after he did that, he touched the victim's private parts," said Justin Hill, Livingston County Assistant District Attorney.
November 26, 2014
Newsburyport Daily News
BY JULIE MANGANIS STAFF WRITER
IPSWICH — A retired Roman Catholic priest who once headed the Salesian Society religious order in North America will spend the next eight to 10 years in state prison for repeatedly raping a boy attending an Ipswich summer camp more than 30 years ago, a judge ruled yesterday.
The Rev. Richard McCormick, 73, who at one time was the “provincial” of the order, a position equivalent to that of a bishop, was found guilty earlier this month of five counts of child rape, incidents that took place at a summer camp operated by the order on the grounds of the former Sacred Heart Retreat during the early 1980s.
McCormick “preyed on and exploited the vulnerability of a young boy who was in his care,” leaving him with lifelong scars, said Lawrence Superior Court Judge Mary Lou Rup,
[Judge Antonio Moreno on Wednesday ordered the release of three men - two priests and a religion teacher - and release on bail of Father Roman, considered to be the leader of the clan called "The Romanones." The judge imposed measures to restrain and prohibit communication with the two people who have reported being sexually abused by these men.]
El juez del Tribunal de Instrucción de Granada, Antonio Moreno, dispuso este miércoles la puesta en libertad con cargos de tres de los acusados por abuso sexual en España, dos sacerdotes y un profesor de religión, y la liberación bajo fianza del padre Román.Considerado cabecilla del denominado clan de "Los Romanones", acusado de abusos sexuales de al menos a un menor, el padre Román, obtuvo hoy la libertad tras el pago de una fianza de 10.000 euros, según informó EFE.A los tres sacerdotes y al laico, el juez les ha impuesto medidas de alejamiento y prohibición de comunicación respecto a las dos personas que han denunciado haber sufrido abusos sexuales.
La liberación sucedió en el mismo día en que un juzgado español recibió una segunda denuncia por los presuntos abusos sexuales a menores por parte de sacerdotes, informaron fuentes judiciales, en un caso en el que el Papa Francisco ha ordenado personalmente una investigación.
LIVINGSTON COUNTY — It’s the end of the line for Pastor Alan Fox, 60, who has delayed and ducked charges that he molested his foster child, now that he has finally admitted to his guilt in court.
Fox pled guilty in a special-term court appearance on Wednesday to touching his five-year-old foster daughter’s private parts in Sparta more than a year ago. The pastor, who also moonlights as a member of the Christian Music Group, Band of Brothers, is now looking at one and a half years in state prison after pleading guilty to Attempted Sex Abuse in the 1st degree, an E Felony. The sly Fox even continued his deception as he unsuccessfully tried to dodge reporters by slipping out the back door of the courthouse.
The case has been very quiet until now, with a lot of odd proceedings and hush-hush adjournments surrounding his court appearances. However, the prosecutor in this case, Justin Hill, brought many of the disturbing details of this case to light.
“Mr. Fox was a foster parent to the victim and her brother,” said Hill. “They (Fox and the child) were out for a weekend looking at the stars, and he asked if she would touch his private area, which she did. He also touched her private area. She was five years old at the time.”
Geneseo, N.Y. - 13 WHAM reporting that a Livingston County pastor has admitted to touching the private parts of his five year old foster daughter, then forcing her to do the same to him.
60 year old Alan Fox pleaded guilty to a charge of Attempted Sexual Abuse in the First Degree. Prosecutors say the incident occurred in the back yard of his Sparta home.
Fox was allowed to plea to a lesser charge to avoid a trial for the victim - who is now six. Fox will spend 1 1/2 years in prison and will have to register as a sex offender. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 29, 2015. .
The Macomb Daily
By Frank DeFrank, The Macomb Daily
A Macomb Township man with ties to a local Catholic high school and a church faces multiple felony charges for inappropriate communication with a child that police characterize as child sexual-abuse activity.
Joseph Peter Sturza, 47, was arraigned Wednesday on four counts, including child sexual abuse activity, a 20-year felony. He also is charged with two counts of communicating with another person to commit a crime and accosting children for immoral purposes.
During an arraignment via video link between the Macomb County Jail and Romeo’s 42-2 District Court, bond for Sturza was set at $50,000. He was ordered to return to court at 9 a.m. Dec. 9.
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.
November 27, 2014 Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers and friends
Last April, when Pope John Paul II was speedily canonized by Pope Francis (which was part of his Opus Dei Beast’s puppet contract), photos of nuns --who waved their flags and danced while holding banners of huge photos of the new pope saints – and who braved the rainy weather and even camped outside at St. Peter’s Square were shown all over the media. Believe it or not – Our Lord Jesus Christ and St. Michael the Archangel inspired us to write about these as “STUPID NUNS because they empower the Vatican only-male misogynists gays oligarchy that control the Vatican Mammon Beast”. But we refused to obey that small voice because those nuns are “holy” and “sacred” set apart “consecrated” women.
By Al Goodman, CNN
Madrid (CNN) -- In a case that Pope Francis says he's taken an interest in after speaking to one of the alleged victims, a Spanish judge on Wednesday filed preliminary charges of sexual abuse against three Catholic priests and a religious teacher.
Investigating magistrate Antonio Moreno, in the southern city of Granada, ordered the suspected ringleader, a priest, to post a $12,500 bond in order to leave jail, according to a court statement and spokeswoman. The suspect posted the bond, and Moreno released the others from custody without bond, the statement said.
The four must report regularly to authorities and can't have any contact or communication with two alleged male victims, the court statement said.
The judge's decision came two days after the four were arrested, and just a day after Pope Francis told reporters that he called an alleged victim in August and urged him to come forward to authorities in Spain.
Sarah Reese firstname.lastname@example.org, (219) 933-3351
A priest who allegedly sexually abused a boy from the Salesian Preparatory School in Cedar Lake in the 1970s was sentenced Wednesday to eight to 10 years in prison for raping a different boy in Massachusetts, officials said.
The Rev. Richard McCormick, 73, was convicted by a jury Nov. 12 of five counts alleging he sexually assaulted a boy attending a summer camp in 1981 and 1982 at the Salesian Brothers’ Sacred Heart retreat center in Ipswich, Mass., according to the Essex district attorney's office.
McCormick, who was once head of the Catholic order of priests and brothers, worked at the Massachusetts retreat at the time of the abuse. The victim, who is now 44, was between 10 and 12 years old at the time, prosecutors said.
In 1975, McCormick took a then 14-year-old boy from Cedar Lake on a trip to Rome, where McCormick sexually abused the victim, said attorney Mitchell Garabedian, who represents both victims.
Essex County District Attorney's Office
A New York priest will serve 8 to 10 years in state prison for raping a boy at an Ipswich summer camp over 30 years ago. Judge Mary-Lou Rup imposed the sentence on Rev. Richard McCormick, 73, today in Lawrence Superior Court and also ordered him to serve 10 years of probation upon release. A jury convicted McCormick of 5 counts of child rape on November 12th.
Essex Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall recommended 12 to 15 years due to the traumatic effect the crime had on the victim. “The defendant didn't just violate his body, he stole his faith and betrayed this young man, his family and all who believe,” ADA MacDougall said.
The jury found that Rev. McCormick raped a boy on multiple occasions between 1981 and 1982. The rapes occurred while the boy attended a summer camp at the Salesian Brothers’ Sacred Heart retreat center in Ipswich where Rev. McCormick worked. The victim, who is 44, was between age 10 and 12 years old the rapes took place.
McCormick is charged with another count of child rape in connection with allegations made by another male victim who attended the same summer camp during the same period. The trial date for this case has not been scheduled.
McCormick was represented by Attorney Steve Neyman.
Wed, Nov 26, 2014
A former lay teacher has described as a “fabrication” and “totally untrue” allegations that he physically assaulted a number of former residents of Rubane House in Kircubbin in Co Down.
He also denied an allegation that he sexually abused one of the boys who attended the care home. The teacher told the Historical Institutional Abuse (HIA) inquiry in Banbridge, Co Down, that he was involved in one “wrestling match” physical altercation with one of the boys in the residential home, but vehemently rejected other allegations including a claim that he broke the jaw and nose of a boy.
The witness, who has anonymity, was giving evidence at the inquiry which is investigating alleged child abuse at a total of 13 Northern Ireland institutions from 1922 to 1995.
This current module is investigating alleged abuse at Rubane House where just over 1,000 boys were placed in the care of the De La Salle brothers for varying periods of time between 1951 and 1985.
The teacher, who taught at the school for five years more than 30 years ago, denied the overall allegations, describing the claim that he sexually abused one boy as untrue and disgusting.
Northern Ireland's Institutional Abuse Inquiry has heard more claims of physical and sexual abuse at a residential home run by the De La Salle Brothers in Co Down.
Around 1,000 boys were placed in care at Rubane House in the Ards Peninsula between 1951 and 1985.
Some of the brothers and lay staff who worked at the home have been giving evidence to the inquiry, which is sitting in Banbridge courthouse.
One lay worker had convictions for sexual assault and a brother was convicted on three counts of assault for incidents at the home.
One resident claimed he had been raped by a lay staff member at the home, who threatened he would throw him off the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge if he spoke about the incident.
That allegation was denied this morning.
The Salt Lake Tribune
By DAVID GIBSON Religion News Service
When Benedict XVI stunned Catholics by announcing that he would become the first pope in six centuries to resign, it immediately raised concerns — which were dismissed just as quickly — that an ex-pope around could undermine the legitimacy of the new pontiff.
Now, nearly two years later, those fears are emerging again, fueled by the growing discontent of conservative Catholics with Benedict’s successor, Pope Francis, and by Benedict’s presence, if not quite as a player, in church debates Francis has sparked.
"Benedict is hanging back for now, but there’s no doubt that he could easily become a figurehead for traditionalists hearkening back to the good old days," Notre Dame New Testament professor Candida Moss and Joel Baden, Old Testament professor at Yale Divinity School, warned in a Daily Beast column earlier this month.
Hubert Wolf, a church historian at the University of Münster, echoed those thoughts in comments reported by a leading German newspaper last week, when he said there were worries that "around Francis and Benedict XVI, two competing power centers could come into being in the [Roman] Curia, with pope and anti-pope at the top of each."
What’s fueling these fears? They seem outlandish, almost medieval. But there are at least four factors at work:
1. "There is another pope still living."
New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, a Catholic who has become something of a spokesman for conservatives, made that point in a widely circulated column warning that Francis could provoke a schism on the right.
Wicked Local Ipswich
A New York priest will serve eight to 10 years in state prison for raping a boy at an Ipswich summer camp over 30 years ago.
Judge Mary-Lou Rup imposed the sentence on Rev. Richard McCormick, 73, today, Wednesday, Nov. 26, in Lawrence Superior Court and also ordered him to serve 10 years of probation upon release.
A jury convicted McCormick on five counts of child rape on Nov. 12.
The victim, who is 44, was between 10 and 12 when the rapes took place.
“A clear message has been sent to pedophiles, supervisors and institutions that sexual abuse victims, such as my client, are fighting back and criminal and civil laws will be used to create much needed social change with regard to sexual abuse,” said Mitchell Garabedian, attorney for the victim in this case.
Essex Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall recommended 12 to 15 years due to the traumatic effect the crime had on the victim.
“The defendant didn't just violate his body, he stole his faith and betrayed this young man, his family and all who believe,” MacDougall said.
Parents should consider carefully the following horrible scenario. Your find out that your child has been raped by a government employee in the course of his work activities. You call the employee’s boss, say, UK Prime Minister Cameron or USA President Obama and tell him this. He tells you he is unhappy to hear that and for you to report it to his senior staff. He does NOT tell you to report this alleged crime to, or to cooperate with, appropriate law enforcement who are trained to deal with such allegations, independently and transparently.
In modern constitutional democracies worldwide, for over a century now, even top leaders generally are subject to the rule of law. So this scenario is very unlikely to occur. Indeed, right now the UK’s Cameron faces a crisis over finding an independent and transparent investigator of government employees’ alleged sex abuse of children. And even President Obama is facing threats of public impeachment proceedings over some of his executive actions. The principal accountability exceptions among world leaders today include popes, who appear to purport to be above any constitutional legal oversight even though their powerful European imperial protectors have been gone for a century now.
A similar scenario, to the above hypothetical one, recently happened according to Pope Francis. He indicated with his Jesuit press agent, Fr. Lombardi, to a group of reporters on the papal plane on Tuesday (11/25) that Francis told an abuse survivor he had called in Grenada, Spain to tell his bishop about the alleged crimes against the survivor. Three alleged Grenada priest perpetrators had been arrested the day before by Spanish police, so a Spanish reporter asked him about this in the plane press conference. Apparently, Francis omitted telling the abuse victim to contact, and to cooperate with, Spanish police. Interestingly, Lombardi had less than 48 hours earlier tried to spin past other reporters’ troubling related questions about the Vatican’s new “top cop”, Jesuit Fr. Robert Geisinger.
Of course, the local Spanish bishop under the Vatican’s current procedures is, in effect, subject to two Francis’ staffers, Fr. Geisinger, and Fr. Robert Oliver, who had earlier been infamous Cardinal Law’s canon lawyer. These two Americans reportedly have questionable records on diligently assisting past, and protecting potential, priest abuse survivors, especially when the interests of protecting accused priest predators is also involved.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release Wednesday, November 26
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org )
A Ray Township teacher at Austin Catholic Academy faces allegations that he sent sexually graphic emails to a child. We call on Detroit Archbishop Allen Vigneron to personally visit the school where the alleged predator worked, begging victims, witnesses, employees, former employees, alumni, students, staff and whistleblowers to call law enforcement if they have any information or suspicions about the alleged crimes.
All too often, child molesters get expensive lawyers, exploit loopholes, and escape responsibility for their crimes. Even when they’re found guilty or plead guilty, they often rally their friends, pressure public officials and end up with little or no jail time. That’s irresponsible. That endangers kids.
The way to prevent this is simple: every person who has even a scintilla of information about Joseph Sturza’s crimes or misdeeds must call 911. This is no time to be complacent. Each one of us has a moral and civic duty to protect children by helping law enforcement catch and convict predators.
And all too often, Catholic officials passively sit back in criminal cases and do nothing. Vigneron has a moral and civic duty too: to use his vast resources (church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements) to reach out to others who may have been hurt by Sturza and prod them to get help.
We commend the parents who had the wisdom to work with law enforcement and not church officials. That is a brave and responsible course of action. And we beg anyone else who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Sturza or cover ups by church officials to step forward too.
A 47-year-old Macomb Township man has been arrested and charged in connection to the sexual abuse of a child.
Joseph Sturza was the director of admissions at the Austin Catholic Academy in Ray Township. He has been removed from that position while he faces accusations that he was sending sexually graphic emails to a child. The Macomb County Sheriff's Office says the emails were "indicative of child sexual-abuse activity."
The Sheriff's Computer-Crimes Team received copies of the emails which were intercepted by the child's parents. The parents had contacted the Austin Catholic Academy.
Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said the Archdiocese of Detroit immediately removed Sturza from his position upon learning of the allegations.
"They immediately took steps to remove the man from his position and they secured evidence," said Wickersham in a statement.
The Archdiocese released this statement, saying Sturza also worked as a youth minister at St. Isidore Church in Macomb Township:
"The Archdiocese of Detroit has been informed of the arrest of Mr. Joe Sturza, who was employed as director of admissions at Austin Catholic High School and as youth minister at St. Isidore Parish in Macomb Township. The Archdiocese was recently made aware of alleged inappropriate communications between Mr. Sturza and a minor. The information was immediately shared with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department. Mr. Sturza is no longer employed by the school or parish. The Archdiocese of Detroit is fully cooperating with law enforcement authorities. Due to the ongoing law enforcement and legal processes, we are unable to give further details about the matter at this time.
Families at Austin Catholic High School and St. Isidore are being informed of this situation. Mr. Sturza had been employed at the high school since October 2012 and part-time at the parish since this past summer. Also being informed are the communities of St. Francis of Assisi-St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in New Haven, where Mr. Sturza volunteered between 2006 and 2008, and worked as a youth minister from the fall of 2008 until the summer of 2014; and St. Mary Mystical Rose Parish in Armada, where Mr. Sturza worked as a youth minister from July 2011 until June 2014."
The Oakland Press
The director of admissions for Austin Catholic Academy in Ray Township was charged Wednesday with child sexual-abuse activity involving the use of a computer, authorities said.
Joseph Peter Sturza, 47, a resident of Macomb Township, is charged with:
• Child sexual-abuse activity, a 20-year felony;
• Two counts of using a computer to communicate with another to commit a crime, one a 15-year felony and the other a four-year felony;
• Accosting children for immoral purposes, a four-year felony.
Sturza was arraigned Wednesday via video link between the Macomb County Jail and 42-2 District Court in Romeo. Bond was set at $50,000. He is scheduled to return to court for a hearing Dec. 9.
Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said the Archdiocese of Detroit, which operates the Austin Academy, prompted the investigation when officials notified police as soon as they became aware of the allegations.
The Detroit News
Charles E. Ramirez, The Detroit News November 26, 2014
Ray Township — Authorities have charged a Catholic school official with child sex abuse, officials said Wednesday.
Joseph Peter Sturza, 47, of Macomb Township was arrested on several charges Wednesday, Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said in a statement.
Sturza has been charged with child sexual abuse activity, using a computer to communicate with another to commit a crime and accosting a child for immoral purposes. The sexual abuse activity charge is a 20-year felony. The computer charge carries a 15-year prison sentence.
He was formally arraigned in the 42nd District Court in Romeo. A judge set his bond at $50,000 and he is being held at the Macomb County Jail. He is next scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 9.
Wickersham said police started an investigation into Sturza on Nov. 19 after receiving copies of email intercepted by the parents of the child. The victim’s parents alerted the school, the Austin Catholic Academy in Ray Township, where Sturza is employed as admissions director.
Detroit Free Press
By Katrease Stafford, Detroit Free Press November 26, 2014
The admissions director at a Catholic preparatory high school in Macomb County was arrested today on charges of child sexual abuse, authorities said.
Joseph Peter Sturza, 47, of Macomb Township, was arraigned this morning on several felony charges that were authorized after parents of a student at the Austin Catholic Academy in Ray Township intercepted emails sent by Sturza to their child, the Macomb County Sheriff's Office said in a news release. The sheriff's office said the emails were sexually graphic and indicative of child sexual-abuse.
After finding the emails, the student's parents alerted the school and the Archdiocese of Detroit, which called in the sheriff's department. The investigation was launched Nov. 19 and an arrest warrant was authorized Tuesday by the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office.
At 7 a.m. this morning, detectives served the arrest warrant and searched Sturza's home.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priets
For immediate release Wednesday, November 26
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 503 0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org )
We are grateful that Freed-Hardmann University has canceled Bill Cosby’s appearance. Honoring credibly accused sex offenders hurts victims and deters reporting of sex crimes, thus endangering the public. We hope other venues where Cosby may appear also find the courage to do what is right and disinvite him.
We commend Memphis SNAP leader, David Brown, for speaking out and for his compassionate advocacy for crime victims.
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: November 26, 2014
LAWRENCE, Massachusetts — A former high-ranking member of a Roman Catholic religious order has been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for raping a boy at a Massachusetts summer camp in the 1980s.
The Rev. Richard McCormick, of New York, was also sentenced Wednesday in Lawrence Superior Court to 10 years of probation.
The 73-year-old former member Salesian Society of North America was convicted Nov. 12 of five counts of child rape that prosecutors said occurred between 1981 and 1982 at a youth camp in Ipswich run by the order.
The now 44-year-old victim testified that McCormick took him out of activities or woke him late at night to force him into sexual acts.
Luton on Sunday
LUTON vicar James Ogley, who was convicted of child sex offences in October, has been sacked by the Church of England.
Today, The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, finalised steps to remove James Ogley from office and prohibit him from exercising any ministry as a priest in the Church of England for the rest of his life
The Diocese of St Albans said it was the ‘maximum penalty’ that could be imposed.
Ogley is currently serving a two year prison sentence as a result of the conviction.
On his arrest in January 2013, Ogley was suspended from exercising any of the functions of a priest.
The penalty follows James Ogley’s conviction on 30 September for nine offences under the Obscene Publications Act 1959. James Ogley was jailed for 2 years for these offences. The Church’s disciplinary process begins automatically on conviction of a criminal offence involving a custodial sentence.
Matt Johnson email@example.com
A Madison Catholic bishop left a speaking engagement at public venue on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s campus, Wednesday, Nov. 19, because a reporter in the audience refused to leave.
Bishop Robert Morlino had been invited by students to speak at the university’s Doudna Hall.
Morlino may have been distracted before the speech because he was confronted by a group of protesters who are unhappy with changes the Madison diocese has made with a Platteville parish.
Although faced by protestors, the bishop was speaking in a public place. He had no reasonable expectation of privacy. In fact, Morlino’s request that no photos or recordings be taken during his speech was improper.
Reporters should have access to public spaces during public events. They should be allowed to cover these events for the public.
Minneapolis/ St. Paul Business Journal
Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is suing eight insurance companies that it says are improperly rejecting claims to cover the cost of the church's settlement with victims of clergy sex abuse.
Church leaders were counting on insurance to help pay victims of sex abuse, the Star Tribune reports, but the companies have told the Archdiocese that the incidents are not "accidents" and aren't covered.
The insurers named in the suit, filed on Monday in U.S. District Court, are Continental, Firemen's Fund, National Fire of Hartford, TIG, Continental Casualty, Hartford Accident and Indemnity, American Home Assurance and Aetna Casualty and Surety. They haven't responded to the lawsuit yet.
MACOMB TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - An employee at the Austin Catholic Academy in Ray Township has been arrested and charged in a child-sex abuse case.
Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham says 47-year-old Joseph Peter Sturza, a director of admissions at the school, was involved in child sex abuse activity.
According to the Sheriff, the computer-crimes unit started investigating on Nov. 19, after being contacted by the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Deputies received copies of e-mail that were found by a parents of a child. The e-mails were sexually graphic and indicated there was child sexual-abuse activity.
Wickersham says Sturza was arrested this morning and charged with four different counts counts.
IPSWICH — The Rev. Richard McCormick, a priest found guilty of five counts of child rape earlier this month, has been sentenced to serve eight to 10 years in prison followed by 10 years of probation.
Richard McCormick, 73, of New Rochelle, N.Y., a retired priest who ran a summer camp for disadvantaged Catholic youths in the early 1980s, was found guilty by a Lawrence Superior Court jury earlier this month.
"When he prays, he should not pray to his god, he should pray to a beautiful, innocent, charming little five-year-old boy," said the now-44-year-old victim, who was 11 and 12 when he was abused. That boy, the victim's own son, is "the only reason Richard McCormick still wakes up every morning."
Prosecutor Kate MacDougall asked for a 12- to 15-year prison sentence, saying McCormick stole the victim's faith and altered the entire course of his life.
McCormick's attorney, Stephen Neyman, called the retired priest a "broken man" and urged the judge to sentence him to no more than two years, potentially to be spent at the Missouri facility where McCormick lived before trial.
By Laura Crimaldi
GLOBE STAFF NOVEMBER 26, 2014
LAWRENCE — A Roman Catholic priest was sentenced Wednesday to eight to 10 years in prison for raping a boy multiple times between 1981 and 1982 in Ipswich.
The Rev. Richard J. McCormick, 73, learned his punishment after hearing from the 44-year-old victim, who was between 10 and 12 years old when he was raped at a summer camp at the Salesian Brothers’ Sacred Heart retreat center in Ipswich.
Speaking in Essex County Superior Court, the man said he lost his faith because of McCormick and that being in a church or seeing a priest provokes feelings of anxiety and rage.
“Does he even remember me?” the man asked. “I don’t have to ask that today because I know the answer as he sits there in his chair denying even being at the camp. … But I do remember him. I remember him every day of my life. Not a day goes by when there isn’t some sort of trigger that brings back all those memories.”
As he spoke, the man referenced a trophy displayed in front of him. He said McCormick gave him the trophy and that it is the only one he saved from childhood. At times, he said, he thought he wanted to use the trophy “to jam it in Mr. Richard McCormick’s chest.”
A second man has filed a complaint accusing a group of Catholic priests in Spain of sexual abuse in a case Pope Francis has said has caused him "great pain", a judicial source said Wednesday.
Police on Monday arrested three Catholic priests and a religion teacher in the southern city of Granada after a 24-year-old man accused them of molesting him and other children.
Pope Francis said Tuesday he had personally ordered an investigation into a case after the unidentified man sent a letter to the pope telling him of how he had been molested when he was an altar boy.
"I read it. I called the person and I told him, `Go to the bishop tomorrow,` and then I wrote to the bishop and told him to start an investigation," Francis said in response to a question by a Spanish reporter on his plane from Strasbourg, France, where he had addressed the European Parliament.
"How have I received this news? With great pain, very great pain, but the truth is the truth and we should not hide it."
A second man presented a formal complaint against the priests and religion teacher at a duty court in Granada on Monday, a judicial source told AFP.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Wednesday, November 26
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com , firstname.lastname@example.org )
A group of Missouri nuns is praising a convicted bishop. Unwittingly, they're making the church less safe and healthy, by contributing to a climate in which victims are reluctant to report child sex crimes.
All adults, but especially those in the Catholic Church, have two choices: They can make it harder or easier to expose predators. But when clearly complicit church officials are praised, more victims, witnesses and whistleblowers give up and stay silent, fearing that those who conceal abuse will often be believed and supported while those who disclose abuse will be disbelieved and vilified.
We urge these nuns to act more compassionately and responsibly in the future.
Boston Globe story on Vatican prosecutor's alleged failure to report abuse leaves unanswered questions
The Boston Globe ran a story over the weekend alleging that the Vatican's top prosecutor on sex-abuse cases failed to report an abusive priest to civil authorities when he was a high-ranking official in the Jesuits' Chicago Province.
Given the legwork that reporter Michael Rezendes put into culling the sources for the story, the piece is well worth your time, but it leaves some unanswered questions. There's a lot of smoke here, to be sure, but it leaves me with the feeling that the Globe could have gone to greater length to locate the source and extent of the fire.
Here's the lede, the wording of which suggests some delicate legal vetting:
A prominent American Jesuit recently named by Pope Francis to prosecute priests accused of sexually abusing minors under church law was himself one of several Catholic officials who allowed a notorious abusive priest to remain in ministry for years after learning of his long history of sexual abuses, legal documents show.
The Rev. Robert J. Geisinger, named in September as the Vatican’s “promoter of justice,’’ was the second-highest-ranking official among the Chicago Jesuits in the 1990s when leaders were facing multiple abuse complaints against the Rev. Donald J. McGuire, a globe-trotting priest with many influential supporters, including Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
A second former altar boy has filed a formal complaint against an alleged pedophile priest ring from Granada.
The man, who helped officiate Mass when he was aged between seven and 14, is the person mentioned in the letter sent to Pope Francis by another alleged abuse victim.
In the letter the first victim wrote: “Dear Holy Father: they also abused a friend of mine.” Now, the friend has apparently stepped forward to support the claim.
“They really insisted on telling me and teaching me that if I didn’t live with them and went where they told me to go, I would have to leave the group as I would no longer be following the doctrine of God,” says the second alleged victim of the Romanones group, whose name derives from its alleged ringleader, Román Martínez. “They would start telling me about sin.”
“All of this has been dramatic, it has marked my life,” he adds. “I would feel their erections touching me, and they would tell me not to be afraid. Sometimes I saw them kissing each other on the lips when they met, and I thought that this was not natural.”
ST. LOUIS (MO)
CHILD MOLESTER BACK IN TOWN
Former teacher David Kramer, who pled guilty to two counts of child molestation in St. Louis county in 2008 and was sentenced to a seven-year prison term, has been released and is now living on South Grand. He had taught in U. City and in Australia.
(MNN/Pine City, MN) — A self-proclaimed pastor on the run following allegations of sexual abuse is now on the U.S. Marshals Service’s 15 Most Wanted Fugitive List.
The agency says Victor Arden Barnard is wanted by the Pine County Sheriff’s Office on 59 felony counts of sexual assault.
He is accused of abusing young girls while he was acting as their pastor.
A reward of 25-thousand dollars is being offered for information that leads to his arrest. Barnard has been missing since he was charged in April.
The Associated Press
November 26, 2014
JACKSON, MISS. — The state Court of Appeals has upheld the 2013 conviction of a Mississippi pastor for sexual battery of a child.
Larry Gene Singleton, now 72, was convicted in Tate County on two counts of fondling and one count of sexual battery. He is serving a 30-year sentence.
Singleton, the former pastor of Bay Springs Baptist Church in Abbeville, was arrested in December of 2013 after sheriff's investigators received a complaint from the victim, who accused Singleton of forcing him to have sex.
Authorities say the sexual abuse allegedly began when the victim was 11 years old and continued for several years.
November 26, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
An American teacher who sexually abused children at a Melbourne Jewish school has been deported to the United States following his release from prison.
54-yr-old David Kramer was sentenced to 18 months in prison for sexually abusing four boys at Melbourne’s Yeshivah College. He pleaded guilty to the charges.
Manny Waks, the founder of Tzedek, an advocacy group for sexually abused children, said: “Now that Kramer has concluded his sentence and released into the broader community, it’s critical that we’re informed of his whereabouts so that we can ensure the safety of our children. Kramer has a shocking track-record of sexually abusing many children in more than one country. While he has sat in jail in both the US and Australia for crimes committed there, I’m aware of allegations that he has also abused children in Israel. It’s also widely known within the Yeshivah community that there are additional alleged victims. For various reasons victims do not come forward, and this is their choice which must be respected.
I have already notified some of my networks in both of these countries and will continue to work with them and others until we can ascertain that he does not pose a risk to children to the extent that this is possible.
WEDNESDAY, 26 NOV 2014
BY JASMINE STOLE | VARIETY NEWS STAFF
REV. Adrian Cristobal, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Agana, has denied that Archbishop Anthony Apuron met with Pope Francis last Friday at the Vatican about an accused pedophile.
The International Catholic Press Agency, based in Switzerland, reported that Apuron met with the pope and is “blamed for covering an accused pedophile.”
Cristobal said Apuron made the appointment to speak with the pope and was granted an audience with him. “The archbishop was very pleased with the meeting,” Adrian said, adding that Pope Francis was supportive and encouraging, and that the meeting was positive. “The archbishop was not summoned to the Vatican,” he stressed.
The content of the meeting has not yet been relayed to Cristobal, but it is expected that when Apuron returns to Guam, the archbishop will brief him about the meeting.
“The meeting of the pope and archbishop was not regarding the accused pedophile. That is totally inaccurate,” Cristobal said.
Earlier today, the National Catholic Reporter posted a series of amusing tweets about Archbishop Nienstedt's use of the word 'trouble' in his column introducing last week's disastrous financial report for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.
Specifically, NCR picked up on the Archbishop's unfortunate decision to place the word in quotation marks, a grammatical device generally used to indicate irony. This choice leaves the reader wondering if the Archbishop truly understands how serious the situation is, or if he instead views the present state of the Archdiocese as really no problem at all.
It would appear that at least one person on the staff of the NCR (reporter Brian Roewe) is both an astute reader and a fan of The Music Man, and he playfully suggested a tweet riffing on the song 'Ya Got Trouble' to introduce his article on the financial report: 'Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with B and that stands for...bankruptcy?'. You can read his article here: http://ncronline.org/news/accountability/finance-report-shows-trouble-twin-cities.
I am not sure how far the NCR intended to take the comparison between the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and the plot of The Music Man, or perhaps between the Archbishop and Harold Hill. Unlike the con artist Harold, who is the 'Music Man' of the book, play, and movie, Nienstedt does have a legitimate talent for music. However, some would argue, especially as we wait for the release of the investigation into his conduct by Green Espel, that Nienstedt is a man who entered town under false pretenses, as did Harold Hill. And, like Harold, Nienstedt also did his share of fear-mongering, attempting to sell a solution which the people of this Archdiocese, like the victims of Hill's scams, will never see materialize. Take it one step further and you can see the similarity between Nienstedt's refusal to resign and Harold's decision not to skip town.
Published in the Gallup Independent Nov. 17, 2014
Part two of a three-part series
By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
ZUNI — Not much is clear about the circumstances surrounding the sudden departure of the Rev. Ravi Kiran from St. Anthony’s Mission in the Pueblo of Zuni.
One thing, however, is very clear. Kiran left a mostly Native American congregation very deeply divided, with parishioners on both sides feeling hurt and upset.
For those parishioners who continue to attend Mass at St. Anthony’s, most are either supporters of Kiran or they are simply Catholics trying to stay neutral while they wait for answers from their church leaders.
For those who do not support Kiran, they have expressed their displeasure with their feet — about a dozen left the Zuni parish and now attend St. Patrick’s Catholic Mission in Vanderwagen, another church under the leadership of a priest from India. Most of those who left were not merely warming the pews each Sunday. They were active church volunteers who helped with religious education programs and served as Eucharistic ministers, lectors, and ushers.
And while many individuals on both sides have talked to the media about their concerns, few have been willing to be quoted publicly.
However, two members of one prominent Zuni family were willing to speak out in support of their former parish priest. Siblings Claire and Ken Seowtewa, children of the late Zuni muralist Alex Seowtewa, became friends with Kiran and believe he was a good parish priest.
During Mass at St. Anthony’s Nov. 2, Claire Seowtewa spoke up during the service and offered a prayer for Kiran’s return to St. Anthony’s.
In a telephone interview later that evening, Seowtewa said that during Kiran’s time in Zuni, he became a frequent visitor to her parents’ home, and he often ate dinner with her family. Kiran and her father became very good friends, she said.
“They got really close,” she said. “It was just a good relationship that had blossomed.”
Seowtewa said her family was happy with the renovations Kiran had made around St. Anthony’s Mission.
Although the murals Alex Seowtewa painted on the walls of the Old Zuni Mission brought him fame and brought countless visitors to the pueblo, Claire Seowtewa said her father did not have a good relationship with recent Franciscan Friars.
It was through her father’s friendship with Kiran, she said, that her father attended — for the first time in years — Midnight Mass last Christmas at St. Anthony’s.
Kiran went on to officiate at Alex Seowtewa’s funeral Mass at the Old Zuni Mission.
“I was so heartbroken to hear he had left,” Seowtewa said of Kiran’s sudden departure, adding she viewed Kiran as a part of her family.
Displeasure and frustration
A week after his sister’s interview, Ken Seowtewa and his wife attended Mass at St. Anthony’s.
At the end of the service, while the Rev. Kevin Finnegan, the diocesan chancellor, was still offering his promises to provide future answers to parishioners, the couple left the church.
Clearly frustrated, Seowtewa blamed Kiran’s problems at St. Anthony’s on the “small group” in the parish who had disagreements with Kiran. Seowtewa also expressed displeasure with the wording of the Diocese of Gallup’s announcement about Kiran’s departure and frustration that the announcement didn’t answer his questions.
“He’s not here to defend himself,” Seowtewa said of Kiran.
Naming off important family milestones of church baptisms and marriages, Seowtewa said his family has had a close association with the Catholic Church in the Pueblo of Zuni for five generations.
Seowtewa, also an artist, said he spent years working alongside his father on the murals in the Old Zuni Mission.
“Dad wouldn’t have agreed with this,” he said.
Seowtewa, quoting something that his father used to say frequently, said, “I don’t have anything against God, it’s just the messengers he sends.”
“I love the fact that Father Ravi appreciated our culture, our heritage,” Seowtewa said as he walked away. “I love Fr. Ravi.”
Tomorrow: More unanswered questions
Published in the Gallup Independent, Nov. 18, 2014
Part three of a three-part series
By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
ZUNI — In addition to allegations about the Rev. Ravi Kiran’s possible misuse of funds at St. Anthony’s Indian Mission, Kiran’s abrupt departure last month has raised a number of other unanswered questions.
They are questions that the Diocese of Gallup, the Pueblo of Zuni and Kiran have declined to answer.
Kiran, aka Ravi Kiran Dasari or Ravikiran Dasari, came from India to the Diocese of Gallup in the spring of 2009. In August 2012, Bishop James S. Wall assigned Kiran, his former superintendent of Catholic schools, to St. Anthony’s, a mission parish and school on the Pueblo of Zuni. Franciscan Friars had managed St. Anthony’s for nearly 90 years, before withdrawing from the mission in 2011.
Kiran’s renovation of the mission’s historical buildings has stirred controversy on the pueblo. During his two years at St. Anthony’s, Kiran oversaw numerous renovation projects to the buildings and mission grounds. Parishioners, almost all who have declined to speak publicly, are divided on Kiran’s actions.
Kiran’s supporters, who are pleased with the renovations, have said the upgrades were necessary because the mission was in disrepair. Kiran’s critics believe the renovations happened too quickly and were carried out with too little input from Zuni parishioners.
They also question how much the renovations cost.
One particularly divisive renovation project was the one on Kiran’s home. Kiran’s critics believe the rectory’s renovation was overdone to the point of excessive luxury, particularly since the mission is located on a Native American reservation with a high poverty rate.
Neither diocesan officials nor Kiran answered questions about the renovations.
And then there is the question of diocesan and tribal authorization. The diocese’s “Finance Directives and Finance Council Norms for Parishes and Organizations in the Diocese of Gallup” is a 2009 document that is posted on the Internet. According to that finance policy, “Any single expenditure, other than recurring monthly bills, that is greater than 10 percent of the annual Sunday collections must have written diocesan approval before the funds are committed.”
According to a financial report compiled after the end of fiscal year 2012, the annual Sunday collection amounts at St. Anthony’s were $16,346.55 for the fiscal year 2010, $15,239.47 for 2011, and $15,403.20 for 2012. Based on a small sampling of 14 church bulletins from 2007 to 2014, the weekly collection amounts under Kiran seemed to have declined in 2013 and 2014.
Therefore, using the highest figure of $16,346, Kiran would have needed approval from Gallup diocesan officials to spend more than $1,635 on any one parish project.
In addition, the diocese’s finance policy states the parish must have written approval from the bishop before any major repairs or new construction is begun, monthly reports must be sent to the diocese during the planning, fundraising, and implementation phases of the project, and all construction projects over $10,000 must include the “Catholic Mutual Addendum to Construction Contract” and must be forwarded to the diocese for review before signing.
It is unknown if Kiran followed these financial requirements and received the proper approval from the bishop because neither diocesan officials nor Kiran would answer any questions about the subject.
It is also unknown if Kiran received authorization from Pueblo of Zuni officials for the renovation projects – or if such tribal authorization was needed — because Zuni Gov. Arlen P. Quetawki Sr. also did not respond to media questions.
Finally, there are lingering questions about an allegation that was made against Kiran last year.
In the spring of 2013, an adolescent girl in Zuni reportedly made an allegation that Kiran touched her inappropriately. The Diocese of Gallup did not make that allegation public, but it did temporarily suspend Kiran for several months while a law enforcement investigation was conducted. However, during that time, Kiran was allowed to travel on fundraising mission appeals trips to Ohio and Pennsylvania.
A 2013 media inquiry to the FBI, U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Pueblo of Zuni was answered by the Zuni governor. In letter dated Nov. 7, 2013, Quetawki stated: “The Zuni Police Department received a complaint, conducted a thorough investigation, determined that there is no substance to the allegations, and closed the investigation. We were assisted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the FBI in conducting the investigation.”
Officials with the Diocese of Gallup and the Pueblo of Zuni were asked earlier this month if that allegation against Kiran was still considered to have no substance. Neither set of officials responded.
In a related issue, diocesan officials and Kiran also did not answer questions about reports that Kiran did not advertise information pertaining to the diocese’s bankruptcy case as he was required.
According to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court order of April 11, all Gallup parishes were required to advertise information about the diocese’s bar date deadline for confidential claims regarding allegations of clergy sex abuse. Kiran reportedly did not post or publish that court ordered information at St. Anthony Indian Mission.
In addition, the diocese also did not respond to questions about whether Kiran had ever submitted to a criminal background check in India or the United States before being allowed to work in the Gallup Diocese. A question about whether foreign priests are required to submit to criminal background checks before working in the Gallup Diocese also was not answered.
Published in the Gallup Independent Nov. 15, 2014
Part one of a two-part series*
By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
ZUNI — When the Rev. Ravi Kiran, a visiting Catholic priest from India, abruptly left his mission assignment in the Pueblo of Zuni on Oct. 9, he left behind a number of allegations and unanswered questions.
But thus far, officials with the Diocese of Gallup, the Zuni tribe and federal law enforcement officials have declined to answer any questions about their possible investigations into the sudden departure of Kiran, aka Ravi Kiran Dasari or Ravikiran Dasari. Some of the allegations against Kiran involve the possible misuse of money donated to St. Anthony’s Indian Mission for the benefit of tribal parishioners and mission students.
The Rev. Kevin Finnegan, the chancellor and vicar general for the Diocese of Gallup, told parishioners during a recent Mass at St. Anthony’s that the Gallup Diocese was conducting an investigation, and he promised answers in the future.
Gov. Arlen P. Quetawki Sr. of the Pueblo of Zuni has not responded to media questions, so it is unknown if the tribe is doing its own investigation.
And federal officials aren’t much more forthcoming.
“Under DOJ policy we (the U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI) can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation into the matters you raise,” Elizabeth M. Martinez, public affairs officer for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, said in an email Monday.
Kirin, who the diocese claims is back in India, was contacted through email and asked to explain his departure.
“I appreciate your reaching out to hear my side of the story,” Kiran said in an email Monday. “I am thankful to note that there are lot of people spoke in support of me. It personally pains me to see the division of the community where I served. Please forward the questions and I will see if I am able to respond.”
Kiran was sent an extensive list of questions, similar to the questions submitted to the diocese, but he did not respond with answers.
Allegations against Kiran, based on interviews with Kiran’s supporters and detractors, include the following financial issues. Both diocesan officials and Kiran were asked to address these issues, but neither did so.
■ St. Anthony’s Indian Mission reportedly has two primary sources of revenue, both of which were set up by the Franciscan Friars who oversaw the mission for nearly 90 years. The first is a financial investment portfolio, and the second is income generated from charitable donations through the mission’s development office. An old portfolio review, published for the St. Anthony Indian School for the third quarter of 2003 by UBS Financial Services, Inc., showed the portfolio had $1,018,785 in its stock account ($34,558 in cash and equivalents and $984,229 in equity) and $856,250 in its bond account. Assets of St. Anthony’s parish were not included in the report.
Questions about the current amount of money in mission accounts and amounts during recent years were not answered. Questions about whether a recent audit by the diocese revealed if Kiran had or had not used any mission funds for personal items, services or travel also were not answered.
■ Kiran’s supporters say he kept them informed about the mission’s finances. His detractors claim Kiran only released one financial report — when he first arrived at St. Anthony’s in 2012 — and that report was actually compiled by Sister Jean Glach, O.P. and the mission’s development office upon the departure of the Franciscan Friars in 2011. Throughout the summer of 2014, church bulletins state Kiran would be releasing a “Financial report for 2013-2014,” which he reportedly never released.
■ Weekly collections under Kiran may have dropped since the departure of the Franciscans.
Collection figures from 14 church bulletins, randomly obtained from 2007 to 2014, indicate a drop. Two bulletins from 2007 show $451 and $379 collected weekly, $488 in a 2010 bulletin, $508 in 2011, $199 and $410 in 2013, and eight bulletins in 2014 show a low of $146 to a high of $259 in weekly collections.
■ Kiran reportedly drove a Mercedes-Benz, a vehicle that he apparently took with him. It is unknown if a friend gave Kiran the vehicle as his supporters believe, if Kiran purchased the vehicle with his own money, or if the vehicle was purchased with mission funds.
Again, neither Kiran nor officials with the Diocese of Gallup responded to any of these issues.
Editor’s Note: In Monday’s Independent, members of one Zuni family express support of their former priest, and remaining questions surrounding Kiran are discussed.
*Correction: Part one of a three-part series
Published in the Gallup Independent Nov. 10, 2014
By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
ZUNI — The Diocese of Gallup has now provided parishioners at St. Anthony’s Mission with a copy of a letter about their former priest who diocesan officials say “abandoned his assignment” on the Pueblo of Zuni last month.
In addition, the diocesan chancellor is promising answers.
According to parishioners, the Rev. Ravi Kiran, aka Ravi Kiran Dasari or Ravikiran Dasari, a native of India, abruptly left the mission on Oct. 9. Since his departure, diocesan officials have audited the mission’s financial accounts amidst allegations that Kiran may have misused mission funds.
Bishop James S. Wall has refused to answer media questions about Kiran or the allegations. Instead, on Friday, Susan G. Boswell, his lead bankruptcy attorney, released a short announcement the bishop had sent to be read to parishioners in late October. That announcement was published Saturday.
The Rev. Kevin Finnegan, the chancellor for the diocese, initially read the letter to parishioners on Oct. 26. On Sunday, Finnegan returned to St. Anthony’s and distributed copies of the announcement, which stated Kiran returned to India without notifying the diocese or requesting permission for a leave of absence.
“His actions were found to be unprovoked and a surprise to everyone,” the statement said.
Finnegan told parishioners the Gallup Diocese was investigating Kiran’s departure and promised them eventual answers.
“But when I find out, you’ll find out,” Finnegan said.
Questions about Kiran’s tenure at St. Anthony’s Mission have been submitted to Zuni Gov. Arlen Quetawki Sr. Questions about the allegations have been submitted to the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office. Questions emailed to Kiran’s religious superior of the Missionary Society of Heralds of Good News in India have not been answered.
In addition, Kiran’s email address was obtained on Sunday, and he was invited to explain his abrupt departure.
Kiran does have many loyal supporters in his former parish at St. Anthony’s. However, during interviews after Mass on Sunday, only two supporters agreed to provide their names and speak on the record on his behalf. Their comments will be featured in an article later in the week.
— Individuals who would like to give their name and offer their comments on the record are invited to contact reporter Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola at 505-870-0745 or email@example.com.
[A second former altar boy has filed a complaint against the alleged religious pedophile clan in Granada.]
GRANADA.- Un segundo ex monaguillo ha presentado una denuncia contra el clan de supuestos religiosos pederastas de Granada. El hombre, que asistió a misa desde los 7 a los 14 años, era al que se refería el primer denunciante cuando decía que temía por otras posibles víctimas del grupo de Los Romanones. "Hacían mucho hincapié en decirme y darme lecciones de que si no hacía vida con ellos y no iba a los sitios que me decían tenía que dejar el grupo ya que no estaba con la doctrina de Dios", relata esta supuesta segunda víctima. Entonces "comenzaban a hablarme del pecado". "Todo esto ha sido dramático, me ha marcado la vida", añade. Sobre los abusos en sí, describe: "Sentía sus erecciones rozarme y me decían que no tuviera miedo. En contadas ocasiones les veía darse besos en la boca cuando se veían, y pensé que no era natural".
Este testimonio refuerza el caso, sobre todo ante la falta de otras pruebas. Los tres sacerdotes y el seglar (un profesor de Religión) detenidos el lunes en Granada por supuestos abusos sexuales a un menor estaban reunidos en un chalé de la localidad de Pinos Genil, propiedad del supuesto cabecilla del clan, Román Martínez, cuando llegaron los agentes. Estos tenían la orden de arrestarles, registrar la casa y conducirles primero a comisaría y después ante el juez, lo que previsiblemente se producirá hoy. Sabían que su detención era inminente y estaban acompañados de otras cuatro personas ajenas al caso. La policía registró la casa y, entre otros documentos, se llevó dos ordenadores, sábanas y libretas. Al abrir los pecés, los agentes descubrieron que habían sido borrados todos los datos. Los agentes se llevaron también el disco duro de ambas computadoras porque existen medios técnicos que permiten extraer toda su información aunque haya sido eliminada.
[One of the alleged victims of priests in Granada gave an exclusive interview to a Spanish television program.l
Barcelona. (Redacción).- "Esto comenzó como un niño normal que acude a la iglesia para prepararse la catequesis". Así comienza el relato Manuel, el joven víctima de los abusos sexuales cometidos por los sacerdotes de Granada que saltaron a la luz pública hace unos días. El programa de Cuatro, La otra red, ofreció ayer en exclusiva una entrevista con este joven que explicó en televisión la dureza de su experiencia.
El muchacho confesaba estar un poco alterado ante su intervención: "Estoy un poco nervioso e intranquilo por la situación que tenemos y la inseguridad que conlleva esta situación". Manuel aseguró que tiene miedo a posibles represalias por haberse atrevido a denunciar, pero que espera que se haga justicia y que los agresores "paguen por lo que han hecho".
El entrevistado fue víctima del cura Román y reconoce que era él quien "dirigía todo y obligaba a los demás a que hiciesen lo que él quería". Los abusos vinieron tras establecerse una estrecha relación de confianza con los sacerdotes, a quienes Manuel veía como parte de la familia. Aunque asegura que no le prohibían estar con sus amigos, el hombre reconoce que le influenciaron para que cada vez estuviera más cerca de su grupo de la iglesia.
A las 8,35 horas de este miércoles llegaban dos coches de la Policía Nacional al Juzgado de Instrucción nº 4 de Granada, con sede en el complejo administrativo de La Caleta. En uno de los vehículos, un furgón policial, iba el primero de los arrestados el lunes por su presunta relación con los abusos sexuales cometidos contra un menor durante una década –tres sacerdotes y un profesor de Religión-.
Se desconoce la identidad de este primer declarante que, como los otros tres detenidos, ha pasado su segunda noche en el calabozo de la Jefatura de Policía de Andalucía Oriental tras declarar en presencia de su respectivo abogado ante los agentes que dirigen la investigación de estos hechos.
Durante todo el día está prevista la declaración de los cuatro arrestados que a través de uno de los abogados que los asiste, Javier Muriel, ya han expuesto algunos argumentos de su defensa ante los hechos de los que se les acusa.
[MADRID (Reuters) - A Spanish court received a second complaint for alleged sexual abuse of minors by priests, judicial sources said on Wednesday. This is a case in which the Pope Francis has personally ordered an investigation.]
26 DE NOVIEMBRE DE 2014
MADRID (Reuters) - Un juzgado español recibió una segunda denuncia por presuntos abusos sexuales a menores por parte de sacerdotes, informaron el miércoles fuentes judiciales, en un caso en el que el Papa Francisco ha ordenado personalmente una investigación.
Esta denuncia se presenta después de que tres sacerdotes católicos y un seglar fueran arrestados el lunes en la ciudad española de Granada, dentro de un caso que se destapó luego que un joven escribiera una carta al Pontífice contándole cómo habían abusado de él cuando era un monaguillo menor de edad.
26 NOV 2014
The UN Committee against Torture is this week expected to address the powers of Australia's child abuse royal commission, with implications for Australian-Vatican relations.
The committee will discuss its review into Australia's adherence to the convention against torture in Geneva on Friday.
Abuse survivors campaigner Nicky Davis says she hopes the UN delivers a firm ultimatum.
"I hope the UN CAT very clearly puts the Australian government on notice that anything less than serious, widespread reform to ensure that in future these crimes are properly investigated, offenders are held responsible, re-offending is prevented, and survivors helped to recover, will be totally unacceptable," she said.
Ms Davis, the head of Survivors Network for People Abused by Priests (SNAP) says the issue being addressed by the UN is "a political and legal system, that values the impunity of powerful predators far above the recovery of survivors or the safety of children".
Lindsay says that at age 13, she was chosen by alleged cult leader Victor Barnard to be one of his 10 “maidens” and she was expected to perform wifely duties for him, which included cooking, cleaning and having sex with him. For the next 10 years, Lindsay claims she was sexually abused by Barnard, who is now a fugitive currently facing 59 felony charges including criminal sexual conduct — and she blames her father, Carmen, for turning her over to this man. Carmen says he had no idea what his daughter was going through, because Barnard had such a mental hold on him. Lindsay finally confronts her father on Dr. Phil’s stage.
“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t count the cost of realizing that I take my full accountability and responsibility for what had taken place,” Carmen says. “I did not give a blessing or an OK.”
"You didn’t do your job as a father,” Lindsay says. “You abandoned me. You left me there for years. You saw me humiliated and kicked out of meetings in front of the whole church. I don’t understand why you keep saying you didn’t know what happened.”
Dr. Phil doesn’t think Carmen is taking full responsibility for his actions. “You cannot tell me that you became so blind that you let someone distort the scripture so badly that it made sense to you to turn your 13-year-old child over to this creep,” he says.
The U.S. Marshals Service has added a self-professed minister accused of sexually abusing young girls in rural Minnesota to its 15 Most Wanted Fugitives list.
Fifty-three-year-old Victor Barnard is charged with 59 counts of criminal sexual conduct involving two members of a "Maidens Group" within a church he led called the River Road Fellowship.
The U.S. Marshals joined the search for Barnard after he was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
In 2000, Barnard set up what he called the "Shepherd's Camp" on land where girls and young women lived as part of his "Maidens Group."
By Ted McDermott
It sounds like a lot: $16.4 million. That's the amount the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena has now proposed to pay those who filed suit over childhood sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of clergy and lay workers in western Montana. For those who have been involved in the long process of trying to redress the diocese's wrongs and provide compensation for its victims, however, the planned payout isn't enough to provide justice.
According to Bryan Smith, a lawyer representing 95 of the 362 claimants involved in a class-action lawsuit against the diocese, "The monetary amount certainly is not what we had hoped for, but the reality is that this diocese did not have the assets that a lot of other dioceses throughout the nation have to be able to fund a settlement."
The diocese is so low on funds, in fact, that only $2 million of the settlement will come directly from its coffers. According to a bankruptcy reorganization plan the diocese filed on Nov. 17, various insurance carriers will provide the balance of the settlement money. The court will appoint a retired judge to decide how payments are broken down, based on the severity of the abuse and the effect of the abuse on victims' lives, among other factors. The plan guarantees a minimum payment of $2,500.
In addition to the financial settlement, the diocese will make a number of non-monetary commitments designed to offer apology and prevent future abuse. While those commitments haven't been finalized, Dan Fasy, another lawyer representing abuse survivors, anticipates they will be similar to those outlined in a 2011 settlement with Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus. The Jesuits agreed to publish the names of abusers online, send letters of apology to victims and adopt a "whistle blower policy" for reports of abuse, among other measures.
November 25, 2014
Psychologist, and Co-Founder and Co-Director of Emerge, an abuser education program and national training center on domestic violence
Bill Cosby is an endearing and brilliant American icon, and apparently a caring husband and father. Does that mean he is not capable of being an alleged predatory rapist? Perhaps the most widely held myth about sexual or domestic abusers is that they are easy to spot. Some are easily detectable because they exhibit leering, angry and boorish behavior toward friends, neighbors, co-workers. Those are the ones who get caught. But in my experience having worked with thousands of abusers, only about one quarter of abusive men fit this stereotype. But here lies the problem: 25 percent is a substantial subgroup, meaning there are plenty of those guys walking around. As a result, our preconceptions about what abusers look like and sound like keeps being reinforced.
The problem is that most abusers do not fit this profile. Most do not get in trouble for their angry or controlling behavior because no one besides their victims sees it. In fact, many abusers are more likable than their victims. This is because domestic violence impacts victims more than it does perpetrators. As a result, victims of abuse often seem less friendly, more distrusting of others, and more angry and malcontented than their abusers. In contrast, neighbors and co-workers of undetected abusers often describe them as friendly, helpful and charming. In my research of intimate partner homicides, I found that this disparity even extends to these cases. Often neighbors of the killer comment that "he didn't seem like that type of guy." They often cite his helpfulness around the neighborhood: he was the one who was mowing everyone's yard and coaching the children's soccer team. Meanwhile, the victim was often see as more distant and less friendly. One result of these misconceptions is that victims of abuse become more isolated over time and are less likely to turn to neighbors for help. As one victim put it, "Everyone thought the world of him. Nobody was going to believe me." The same misconceptions extend to workplaces where abusers are often popular with their co-workers and are viewed by their bosses as valuable and productive employees. Until his arrest for domestic violence, Ray Rice was certainly seen as a productive employee.
BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A former Greek Orthodox priest was indicted on additional charges Tuesday.
Fifty-two-year-old Adam Metropolous was indicted on four counts of sexual abuse of a minor, possession of sexually explicit material, and violation of privacy by a Penobscot County grand jury.
Deputy District Attorney Michael Roberts said the sexual abuse charges are based on one young boy. The violation of privacy goes back to the original charge after a young woman staying in the Metropolous home told police the priest was videotaping her in the shower. Police said the young woman took the camera and left Metropolous's home with her father. Her father went to police to report the incident.
Shortly after his initial arrest in September during an interview with Bangor detectives Metropolous admitted to inappropriately touching two boys and filming two women staying in his home.
Western Mass. Politics & Insight
SPRINGFIELD—Pulling into the parking lot of St Anthony’s Church and its connected Ceders Banquet hall, even in the dark of night, a ghastly void hangs in the background. The 2011 tornado that ripped through affluent East Forest Park neighborhood did not lay waste to any of the immediate vicinity. Yet, the once treed backdrop, something many of the city’s leafier neighborhoods have, is gone, a fitting reminder as allies of the nearby Cathedral High rallied to save and return the school to its home at Surrey Road last Thursday.
However, as some have observed it is not the tornado that truly posed the biggest existential threat to the city’s only Catholic high school. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield’s new bishop, Mitchell Rozanski, has put the brakes on rebuilding the school, prompting fears the Diocese will reverse its earlier promises. A coalition of alumni, parents of students past and present and stakeholders in the East Forest Park area, led in part by several of the city and region’s leading political figures.
Ron Chimelis rightly noted that declining enrollment has been a consistent problem at Cathedral and the tornado simply laid that bare. Both declining enrollment and the diocese’s inability or unwillingness to finance to school were a bigger threat to Cathedral than—ironically—any act of God.
That does not excuse the Diocese’s 180 on the subject. Rozanski may be unfamiliar with the Springfield Diocese’s perhaps less than ideal level of trust it enjoys with its flock, particularly as it pertains to non-religious matters. While Catholics everywhere may have fled or split with the church on issues, in the Springfield Diocese, a decided lack of communication and outreach on the secular and administrative matters have rankled Catholics here even more.
That lack of trust has in the past prompted action from political leaders, many with deep ties to Catholic education. When the Diocese closed Our Lady of Hope, the historical mother church of the city’s Irish population, and announced the same for Indian Orchard’s Immaculate Conception, supporters of the parishes turned to City Hall to erect historic preservation districts around the buildings.
[Two of the four men arrested for alleged sexual abuse of at least one child in Granada today maintained their innocence in statements made to the national police. They are Francisco Javier CM, and Sergi QM, a religion professor. The other detainees are Father Roman (RMVC) which gave his name to the group as "Los Romanones" and priest Manuel MM.]
Granada, 24 nov (EFE).- Dos de los cuatro detenidos por supuestos abusos sexuales cometidos contra al menos un menor en Granada han mantenido hoy su inocencia ante la Policía Nacional, que les ha tomado declaración en el marco de la investigación abierta, según han informado a Efe fuentes del caso.
Se trata de Francisco Javier C.M., uno de los tres curas arrestados, y de Sergio Q.M., el profesor de religión acusado junto a los sacerdotes en esta causa sobre presuntos abusos sexuales.
Los otros dos detenidos son el padre Román (R.M.V.C.), que daría nombre al conocido en ámbitos eclesiásticos como el grupo de "Los Romanones", y el también sacerdote Manuel M.M.
Leer más: Dos de los acusados de abusos sexuales mantienen su inocencia ante la Policía - elEconomista.es http://www.eleconomista.es/legislacion/noticias/6275362/11/14/Dos-de-los-acusados-de-abusos-sexuales-mantienen-su-inocencia-ante-la-Policia.html#Kku8KvBChw34mg2S
El Papa Francisco dijo el martes que ordenó personalmente una investigación sobre un caso de abuso sexual a un menor por sacerdotes en España porque sentía que la iglesia no debía ocultar la verdad.
Tres sacerdotes católicos y un laico fueron arrestados el Granada el lunes. El caso surgió cuando un hombre escribió al Papa diciéndole de cómo había sido abusado cuando era monaguillo.
"La leí (la carta). Llamé a la persona y le dije 've a ver al obispo mañana' y luego escribí al obispo y le dije que comenzara una investigación", dijo el Papa Francisco al responder una pregunta de un periodista español en su avión desde Estrasburgo, en Francia, donde se dirigía al Parlamento Europeo.
by Andy Birkey November 25, 2014
The political arm of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as well as the Minnesota Family Council and the Minnesota Child Protection League, have ramped up efforts to oppose a policy aimed at increasing inclusion for transgender high school students.
The policy, currently being drafted by the Minnesota State High School League, would create a framework for schools that have transgender students participating in high school sports and other extra-curricular activities. Conservative Christian groups oppose the policy which they view as an extension of LGBT rights, and because they don’t believe people can be transgender.
That’s a point the Minnesota Catholic Conference sought to make in an email alert to Catholics last week.
“The Policy will potentially cause more harm to the very students it purports to help because it enables a false understanding of gender that does not promote physical or psychological well-being,” the group wrote.
VATICAN CITY — Nov 25, 2014
By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press
The head of the Jesuits in the United States defended the Vatican's new sex crimes prosecutor Tuesday, saying he had virtually no role in the order's handling of a notorious pedophile now serving a 25-year prison sentence.
The Rev. Timothy Kesicki, president of the U.S. Jesuit Conference, spoke to The Associated Press after The Boston Globe reported that the prosecutor, the Rev. Robert Geisinger, failed to report the abuser to police when he was the second highest-ranking official in the Jesuits' Chicago province in the 1990s.
Kesicki said Geisinger only worked for the Chicago province for about 14 weeks, from late December 1994 through March 1995, and never again. He was brought in as a temporary executive assistant to the acting provincial while the regular provincial was in Rome for a big Jesuit meeting. Geisinger had no governing authority and was tasked mainly with maintaining correspondence for his boss, said Kesicki.
After his brief stint in the province, Geisinger worked for the Chicago archdiocese and in 2001 moved to Rome to become the top canon lawyer for the Jesuits worldwide.
Court documents show that while in Rome, in 2002, Geisinger advised the Chicago Jesuits about disciplining the priest, the Rev. Donald McGuire. But the province only moved to dismiss McGuire after he was convicted in criminal court in 2006. Geisinger processed the paperwork and McGuire was defrocked within two months, the Vatican said.
Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune Updated: November 25, 2014
The insurers say that the policies don't apply because the abuse incidents are not “accidents.”
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has hit a major roadblock in its pledge to pay damages to victims of clergy sex abuse: Its insurance companies are refusing to cover the costs.
Now the archdiocese is going to federal court to ask a judge to set standards for the eight insurance companies to start meeting the terms of the “substantial” amount of insurance it bought “to cover the type of injuries” suffered by the clergy abuse claimants.
The lawsuit Monday by the Roman Catholic archdiocese involves at least 20 victims’ suits against the archdiocese and other “notices of claim” that have been filed since Minnesota enacted the “Child Victims Act” last year, which allowed older child abuse cases to be heard in civil court. The act also gave victims three years to sue.
In letters to the archdiocese, insurers explain that the policies do not apply because the abuse incidents are not “accidents” and “occurrences” but acts that caused harm that were expected or intended. An archdiocese attorney added that monetary limits on how much a policy covers also were in dispute.
“So far, we have not been able to reach a global resolution with all the insurance companies,” Archbishop John Nienstedt said in a statement issued Tuesday. Nienstedt said he hopes the legal action “will encourage the insurance companies … to help us achieve an equitable settlement for victims/survivors of clergy sexual abuse.”
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said Tuesday it is suing some 20 insurance companies to try to force them to cover its liabilities for clergy sex abuse claims.
The complaint, filed Monday in federal court, says the carriers provided liability coverage to the archdiocese going back to the late 1940s through 1986, but have not agreed yet to contribute toward a broad settlement that it’s now trying to reach in over two dozen lawsuits and numerous other claims filed by people who say they were sexually abused by priests.
The suit asks the court to order the carriers to cover the claims and the archdiocese’s legal fees.
“So far, we have not been able to reach a global resolution with all the insurance companies,” Archbishop John Nienstedt said in a statement. “To that end, I approved the filing of a federal lawsuit in hopes the move will encourage the insurance companies to join with us in working together to help us achieve an equitable settlement for victims/survivors of clergy sexual abuse.”
Lauren Lonergan, an attorney for the archdiocese, said she would not go as far as saying the insurance companies are refusing to pay. But she said there are “a lot of complicated coverage issues” on which they haven’t agreed.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans know and love what would otherwise be an unknown band of traditional Benedictine nuns living in rural Missouri. Thanks to their glorious singing, which has topped the music charts time and time again, the contemplative Benedictines of Mary are famous. Their ‘Lent at Ephesus’ album spent 20 weeks at the top of the Classical Album chart this year.
These contemplative nuns are today speaking out in defense of their bishop, Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph, MO, currently the number one target of the liberal media in America and unwilling to be defended by brother clergy in the country.
“Our Bishop is a man who inspires faith, holiness, and a great zeal for the things of God,” said Mother Cecilia, the young vibrant prioress for the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews.com.
After praying that someone’s voice would be heard in his defense, Mother Cecilia embraced this unexpected opportunity to speak out on behalf of Bishop Finn, who has been singled out over several years for censuring in the Church’s sex abuse scandal, even leading to a Vatican investigation.
“It breaks my heart that so many people only know about him what they hear from the blaring voices of the media and news outlets which have carried a prejudice against him from the beginning,” Mother Cecilia said. “Our community was shown the tenderness of Holy Mother Church through Bishop Finn.”
ROME (AP) — Pope Francis says he personally called a Spaniard who said he was sexually abused by a priest and urged him to report it to the diocese.
Three priests and a layman were arrested Monday in connection with the case in the southern city of Granada.
Francis, speaking to reporters while returning home from Strasbourg on Tuesday, says he received a letter from the alleged victim and then phoned him, telling him to go to the Granada diocese in person to report the abuse that took place about 10 years ago. Francis says he wrote to the bishop and urged him to launch an investigation.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Tuesday, Nov. 25
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com , firstname.lastname@example.org )
A once-fired, twice-charged alleged child molester now gets to keep working for at least six more months around kids at a school, thanks to Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample.
And the principal who knew of the alleged molester’s past but warned no one about him gets to keep his job and suffer no consequences, thanks to Archbishop Sample.
This is stunningly irresponsible and callous behavior by Oregon’s highest-ranking Catholic official.
Archbishop Sample must step in and overrule Central Catholic’s board which is
--recklessly keeping Patrick Jay Wallace around kids for six or seven more months, and
--refusing to fire or even discipline the school’s president John Harrington who knew about the allegations against Wallace but apparently kept silent.
First, Wallace isn’t being hired again next year because of credible accusations that he molested at least one girl. So why keep him in a school around kids even one more day? Why take such risks? Whatever became of Semple’s pledge to protect kids and the US bishops’ allegedly binding national police of “zero tolerance?”
Second, Harrington fired Wallace once due to credible child sex abuse allegations, back in 1997. When he came aboard at Central Catholic, Harrington learned that Wallace was coaching there. Yet he evidently said and did nothing to make sure others knew about Wallace. What a dreadfully irresponsible thing to do.
Third, this is not a school matter. It’s an archdiocesan matter. According to church law, custom and practice, Sample is responsible for the safety and well-bring of every Catholic in the Portland archdiocese. And Central Catholic is a Portland archdiocesan school. Students and staff there have been put in harm’s way on Sample’s watch. And they’re continuing to be put in harm’s way with Sample’s approval. How can he be so callous and reckless? He should be ashamed and his flock should be outraged.
Posted Tuesday, November 25th, 2014
By Catherine Pegram
A Bangor priest accused of sex crimes involving children and possessing child pornography was indicted by a Penobscot County grand jury Wednesday.
52-year-old Adam Metropoulos is charged with four counts of sexual abuse of a minor, possession of sexually explicit materials and violation of privacy.
He was suspended from his duties at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bangor after his arrest in September.
Police say a woman staying at his home told them Metropoulous used a hidden camera to record her in the shower.
Bangor Daily News
Suspended Bangor Greek Orthodox priest indicted for sexually abusing minors, possession of child pornography
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted Nov. 25, 2014
BANGOR, Maine — The former priest at St. George Greek Orthodox Church was indicted Tuesday by the Penobscot County grand jury on four counts of sexual abuse of a minor, one count each of possession of sexually explicit materials and violation of privacy.
Adam Metropoulos, 52, of Bangor was arrested Sept. 15 for allegedly possessing child pornography and for surreptitiously photographing a woman taking a shower in his bathroom.
A subsequent investigation led the Penobscot County district attorney’s office to seek charges alleging the sexual abuse of minors.
Metropoulos is expected to be arraigned Dec. 3 at the Penobscot Judicial Center.
The number of victims was not available immediately after the grand jury handed up indictments.
The grand jury, which usually convenes on the fourth Wednesday of the month, met Tuesday due to the Thanksgiving holiday.
Metropoulos remained Tuesday at the Penobscot County Jail unable to post bail of $50,000 cash or $100,000 surety.
PABLO ORDAZ 25 NOV 2014
Pope Francis was not expected to take questions that were not related to his speech in Strasbourg on Tuesday, when he appeared before the European Parliament to talk about economic and social issues. But on the return flight to Rome, he accepted a question from journalists about an ongoing investigation in Granada, Spain involving an alleged ring of pedophile priests, who have been accused of sexual abuse.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio confirmed to reporters that he had personally received a letter from an alleged victim, now aged 24, in which the young man claimed to have been subjected to continuous abuse when he was a minor. The pope also said he had set the investigation into the allegations in motion.
“I received the letter,” the pope explained. “I read it, I called up the person, and I said to him, ‘Go and see the bishop tomorrow.’ I wrote to the bishop so that the job would get started, so that he would carry out an investigation.”
Bergoglio, who committed to putting an end to abuse in the Catholic Church as soon as he became pope, admitted that the subject was causing him a lot of concern. “How am I dealing with this? With great pain, huge pain,” he continued. “But the truth is the truth, and we mustn’t hide it.”
The Granada case took another step forward after an alleged witness to the sexual abuses against minors filed a new complaint in court on Monday. The investigating judge will have to decide whether to include this complaint in the overall case.
Sydney Morning Herald
November 26, 2014
Rabbi Meir Shlomo Kluwgant is a portly and genial man, whose wiry beard travels in several unexpected directions. A true Melburnian, he loves his coffee (short black) and is a staunch Carlton supporter.
For the past 25 years, his working life has revolved around the Jewish Care headquarters on St Kilda Road in Melbourne, where he has tended to the spiritual needs of palliative care patients comforted families and held religious services for residents and staff.
As president of the Organisation of Rabbis of Australasia, Kluwgant, 46, is currently Australia's most senior rabbi. Like all rabbis, his training revolved around learning halachah (Jewish law). When rabbis are ordained, they are essentially qualified as legal scholars – to decide and interpret the law for their community.
For those that take up congregational roles (there are about 70 congregations in Victoria), this training leaves them woefully under-prepared for dealing with sensitive issues such as family violence, family tensions over offspring marrying outside the faith and, most recently, explosive revelations of institutional child sexual abuse within Australian Jewish communities.
"Most modern communities look to their rabbi for pastoral support - counselling, advice, religious inspiration - and a range of social supports," says Kluwgant. Did his rabbinic studies prepare him for that? "Absolutely not."
Kluwgant is among 27 Victorian rabbis who, over the past three years, have completed four days training organised by the community-led Jewish Taskforce Against Family Violence.
Henri Rose Cimatu|
Monday, November 24 2014
For pastors who abuse children the day of reckoning can arrive even if they think they have got away with their crimes.
A pastor from New Albany, Ohio has been found guilty of sodomizing a 14-year old church member in 2010.
Isrom Johnson, pastor at Prince of Peace Missionary Baptist Church, faced three counts of third degree sodomy, each carrying a one to five year sentence.
The jury recommended Judge Audra Eckerle sentence Johnson to 15 years, The Courier-Journal reported on October 30 .
The victim, now 18, testified that he waited two years to tell anyone that his pastor abused him because of fear that doing so would jeopardize the relationship of his family with the church.
His mother was a deaconess, his sister was part of the worship team, and his grandmother was a church usher.
The first member of the De La Salle religious order to give evidence to the Historical Institutional Abuse inquiry has denied abusing boys in his care.
The brother, known at the inquiry as BR10, taught at Rubane House boys home, County Down, in the 1970s and 1980s.
Several former residents accused him of physically abusing them at the home.
Earlier, the inquiry took evidence from a lay worker at Rubane, who also denied abuse and claimed the boys pulled knives on each other in the home.
He said the incident happened after a De La Salle brother was removed amid sex abuse allegations.
The lay staff member worked at Rubane more than 30 years ago and has been accused of assaulting a number of boys, which he denies.
Former students at residential schools in Labrador and northern Newfoundland will have to wait until September for a class action trial to start.
Plaintiffs had wanted to launch the case last week, but it ran into procedural delays.
Justice Robert Stack, in a written decision, said he needed to accommodate both the wishes of plaintiffs to move forward with the case as well as third parties, who told the court they need at least six months to be ready for a trial.
"I order that the trial commence as expeditiously as possible," Stack wrote.
"The time [for preparation] can be lessened through co-operation among the parties coupled with forceful direction by me."
Stack has set a date of Sept. 28 for the start of the trial, and has asked lawyers to meet with him in the next two weeks to discuss how deadlines will be met.
ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Tuesday he had personally ordered an investigation into a case of sexual abuse of a minor by priests in Spain because he felt the church should not hide the truth.
Three Spanish Catholic priests and a lay person were arrested in Granada on Monday. The case emerged after a man wrote to the pope telling him of how he had been molested when he was an altar boy.
"I read it. I called the person and I told him 'go to the bishop tomorrow' and then I wrote to the bishop and told him to start an investigation," Francis said in response to a question by a Spanish reporter on his plane from Strasbourg, France, where he had addressed the European Parliament.
"I received this news with great pain, very great pain, but the truth is the truth and we should not hide it."
It was not clear when the man had written to the pope, who was elected in March 2013. Investigations into the case in the southern province of Granada started "some time ago", Interior Minister Jorge Fernandez Diaz told reporters, without giving further details.
DAVID O'REILLY, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
LAST UPDATED: Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Next year's World Meeting of Families here, capped by Pope Francis' visit to the city, could mean "a rebirth of the archdiocese," Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said Monday.
Chaput told a news conference that he could not shake off the gloom even when Pope Benedict XVI informed him last year that his battered archdiocese would host the 2015 World Meeting.
Dogged by clergy sex abuse scandals for more than a decade, the 1.4 million-member archdiocese has also been obliged to close dozens of parishes and schools in recent years because of financial stresses.
"We were in difficult situations in terms of morale and finances," he recalled, and as archbishop here for less than two years, the news from Benedict had made him "nervous" and "not very enthusiastic."
But his fears that the archdiocese could not muster the resources to host the World Meeting are gone, Chaput said. In fact, he is "really enthusiastic" about hosting the crowds and the pope himself.
Published 25 November 2014 | Carey Lodge
Despite allegations of rape and sexual assault, US actor Bill Cosby remains on the bill to speak at a Christian event next week.
He is to give an address at Freed-Hardeman University near Jackson, Tennessee on December 5. A Memphis advocacy group for victims of sexual assault is threatening to protest if it goes ahead.
Leader of the local chapter of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), David Brown, said: "If he does show up on December 5 to the auditorium, I'll be out there protesting, and I won't be alone."
Brown sent a letter to the university in which he insisted that if Cosby is kept as the keynote speaker at the annual benefit dinner, "your fine university will hurt so many, and you will never know the harm that you have done."
"I got a letter back saying, 'Oh, we are glad you got healed from your problem; however, we are still going to go forward,'" Brown told wreg.com.
Road to Recovery
Media Release - November 25, 2014
Salesian priest and former leader of the Salesian Fathers and Brothers, Richard McCormick, sexually abused many innocent minor children in the United States and one innocent minor child in Rome, Italy
Clergy sexual abuse victims from Massachusetts will speak after the sentencing of Fr. Richard McCormick to support the victims of Fr. McCormick and highlight the fact that clergy sexual abuse in Massachusetts and elsewhere is continuing
What: A press conference supporting the courageous victim of Fr. Richard McCormick whose pursuit of justice led to the guilty verdict on five counts of sexual abuse of a minor, and highlighting the cases of sexual abuse against other minor children by Catholic priests, deacons, nuns, and religious brothers.
When: Wednesday, November 26, 2014, immediately following the 9:00 a.m. sentencing of Fr. Richard M Cormick.
Where: On the public sidewalk outside the Essex County, MA Superior Courthouse at 43 Appleton Way, Lawrence, MA
Who: Bassam Haddad, a victim of clergy sexual abuse in Lawrence, MA; , Al Bruce, a victim of sexual abuse by a Carmelite brother who was based at the North Shore Mall in Peabody, MA; Dr. Robert M. Hoatson, co-founder and President, Road to Recovery, Inc. and advocate for victim/survivors throughout the world.
Why: It is welcome news for clergy sexual abuse victims of Fr. Richard Mc Cormick that he will most likely spend many years in a Massachusetts prison, and this case sheds light on so many other cases of clergy sexual abuse in Massachusetts and elsewhere. The sentencing of Fr. Richard McCormick will hopefully give many other clergy sexual abuse victims the courage to report their own abuse and begin the healing process. Two men from Massachusetts who were sexually abused by clergy will thank Fr. Richard McCormick’s sexual abuse victim for his courage and perseverance, and they will speak about their own attempts to hold their abusers accountable.
Bassam Haddad was a minor child at St. Joseph’s Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Lawrence, MA, when he was sexually abused by serial pedophile Fr. Ross S. Frey. Fr. Ross Frey was allowed to flee to Lebanon where he recently died. Bassam Haddad is attempting to heal from the effects of sexual abuse.
Al Bruce was a high school student and football player at a Carmelite Fathers and Brothers high school in California when he was sexually abused by serial pedophile Br. Damien Chong, O. Carm., who died recently after being assigned to the Carmelite priory in Peabody, MA near the Catholic Chapel and Shrine at the North Shore Mall in Peabody. Al Bruce is trying to heal from the effects of sexual abuse.
Contact: Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., 862-368-2800
November 24, 2014
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) - A Twin Cities Catholic priest is blaming the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for a drop in Sunday contributions.
Father Mike Sullivan of St. Joseph the Worker in Maple Grove recently sent a letter to his parishioners telling them the Archdiocese has repeatedly failed to protect children and vulnerable adults.
“We live on donations. Everybody is granted a one-time mistake, but you can’t keep repeating the same mistake over and over again,” said Sullivan.
And he isn’t just saying it; he’s putting pen to paper.
In a letter to church members, he pointed a finger at the Archdiocese over its handling of child abuse cases in the past.
“They have failed to act responsibly,” the letter reads. “I pray that you have done a much better job of protecting your children, because as an organization we have failed.”
Sullivan mailed the letter without consulting the Archdiocese.
By Billy Gates | email@example.com
on November 24, 2014
Central Catholic president John Harrington said that current freshman football coach Patrick Jay Wallace, who was fired from a David Douglas coaching job 17 years ago due to sexual misconduct allegations, will not coach next season or "in any subsequent years."
The full statement, dated Nov. 24 and issued by Harrington, reads:
"In light of the information that has come to the attention of Central Catholic High School regarding freshman football coach Jay Wallace, the school actively investigated the situation and has concluded that it is in the best interests of the school and its students not to offer Mr. Wallace a coaching position for the 2015 school year, or in subsequent years."
Harrington also said in an email to The Oregonian that Wallace, known as Jay Wallace, has never been on the teaching staff at Central Catholic, and only coaches at the freshman level.
He had coached high school football prior to coming to Central Catholic in 2006, and cleared a background check by the school before taking the position, Harrington said.
Ex-police commissioner tells inquiry Hutchins headmaster confessed to sex abuse offences
A 44-year mystery surrounding the sudden disappearance of a prominent private school headmaster has been solved during sensational evidence before a Royal Commission in Hobart.
Former Tasmania Police Commissioner Richard McCreadie told a hearing of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse he was about to charge Hutchins headmaster David Lawrence with child sex offences.
Mr McCreadie revealed Lawrence, and Hutchins music teacher Ronald Thomas both confessed to sexually abusing a student, but fled the country before they could be charged.
He said he was a young detective constable in the sexual crimes unit in 1970 when he spoke to a young man who came forward saying Lawrence had abused him and subsequently attempted to hand him off to another pedophile.
Mr McCreadie said he went to the school and spoke to Lawrence about the allegation.
NOVEMBER 25, 2014
TWO paedophile senior teachers at an elite Hobart boys’ school fled the country after being informed they would be arrested, a Royal Commission has heard.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse earlier today heard evidence from former Tasmanian police commissioner Richard McCreadie that in 1970 the headmaster and music teacher at Hutchins School both confessed to child abuse.
However, Mr Creadie said that when he returned to the school to arrange for the two to be arrested — a week or two after the confessions — he discovered they had both fled the country.
The retired police chief said no extraditions were sought and that many in the police force at the time believed dealing with “hardened criminals” was more important than pursuing pedophiles.
“We accepted that they had left the country,” he told the commission, which has heard evidence that up to eight teachers at the prestigious Anglican school during the 1960s were pedophiles.
Sydney Morning Herald
November 25, 2014
The Melbourne Orthodox Jewish school at the centre of a child sexual abuse scandal will become the focus of a royal commission hearing early next year.
Fairfax Media has learned that Yeshivah College's handling of the scandal, including an alleged cover-up, will be probed in a hearing scheduled for up to two-weeks in Melbourne in February.
Further painful revelations about the cases of historical abuse at Yeshivah are likely and senior members of the Jewish orthodox community will be called to give evidence, as will victims of sexual abuse.
In 2013, David Kramer, a former teacher at Yeshivah College, Melbourne, was jailed after pleading guilty to molesting four students between 1989 and 1992. Fairfax Media has also learned that Kramer was deported from Australia on September 29. Kramer holds both US and Israeli passports – it is not known which country he was deported to.
By Rose Bolger and Sam Ikin
The headmaster of a prestigious Hobart boys school said the school was '"misguided" for not taking an opportunity to apologise to a victim of sexual abuse, a royal commission has heard.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has been investigating how the Hutchins School and the Anglican Church dealt with sexual abuse claims dating back to the 1960s.
A former student, who was allegedly sexually assaulted by the school's headmaster David Lawrence in the 60s, had been requesting an apology from the school for 20 years.
The school's current headmaster, Warwick Dean, finally issued the apology to the former student last month.
Mr Dean told the hearings he now believed the claim made by the student, referred to as AOA, that he was sexually abused by former headmaster David Lawrence in the 1960s.
A teacher and headmaster admitted to sexually abusing a student at a Hobart boys' school but both left Australia before they were to be arrested, a royal commission has heard.
Former Tasmania police commissioner Richard McCreadie was a sex crime detective in Hobart in 1970 when a boy aged about 16 came to his police station to make a report against staff at The Hutchins School.
During a later interview, then-principal David Ralph Lawrence and music teacher Ronald Thomas admitted they had molested him, Mr McCreadie said.
Both men gave confessional statements and were to be arrested at a later time.
But when officers returned to the school to arrest them, Lawrence had left for the United Kingdom and Thomas for South Africa.
Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune Updated: November 24, 2014
Former altar boy sued dioceses, order over priest’s alleged abuse.
Some church documents disclosed in a lawsuit alleging clergy sex abuse will remain confidential, a judge says.
The decision by Ramsey County District Judge John Guthmann, filed Friday, isn’t unusual in civil cases. But it illustrates the challenges to attorneys representing clients who allege they were abused by clergy.
Guthmann’s decision applies to a suit filed by “Doe 30” against the New Ulm and Duluth dioceses and the Oblates of Mary Immaculate religious order.
Doe 30, a former altar boy, alleges that the Rev. James Vincent Fitzgerald sexually abused him in 1976 when he was 13. Fitzgerald, who is dead, was employed by the three defendants named in the suit.
“While this case is in litigation, the substantial interests of the parties must be balanced against and placed in context with the interests of the general public,” Guthmann wrote in his decision. “The court also has an obligation to limit or prevent case-specific pretrial publicity that serves no purpose other than to influence potential jurors.”
Attorneys representing the Oblates and the two dioceses argued at a hearing earlier this month that Doe 30’s attorneys shouldn’t be allowed to publish key church documents or provide them to the media.
November 24, 2014
Pacific News Center
Written by Janela Carrera
SNAP Western Regional Director Joelle Casteix issues apology to John Toves regarding her comment that sex abuse allegations were "only rumors."
Guam - In the latest development on the sex abuse allegations involving the Archbishop, SNAP has issued an apology to John Toves who accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron of molesting his relative. SNAP had initially called the allegations only rumors.
It’s the first time sex abuse allegations were ever made public against Archbishop Anthony Apuron and Toves says it’s a secret he’s held on to for nearly three decades. But Toves had had enough, which is why he’s decided that he’ll make the accusations on behalf of his relative instead.
Last week, Toves accused the Archbishop of molesting his relative back in the early 80s. At the time, he told PNC, Apuron was not yet an Archbishop, he was a rector. Toves says his relative was so traumatized by what happened that at one point he even attempted suicide.
Toves even says that while it’s the first time these allegations were made public, it’s no big secret. He says many seminarians will back his claim and that his relative even confided in another priest at the time.
But his allegations quickly unraveled as SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests seemed to counter Toves’ claims, calling allegations "only rumors." SNAP Western Regional Director Joelle Casteix did note in her interview with PNC last week that she considered them rumors but only because no alleged victim of the Archbishop has ever come forward.
Nevertheless, Casteix issued an apology to Toves saying she did not mean to suggest that Toves himself was spreading rumors.
On the fifth anniversary of publication of Murphy report – Archbishop Diarmuid Martin reflects
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
Tue, Nov 25, 2014
The fifth anniversary of the publication of the Murphy Report on the management, by both Church and State organisations, of allegations of the sexual abuse of children by priests working in the Archdiocese of Dublin, brings back to me the horror of the revelations that the report contains.
Inevitably, my first reaction is to remember and recognise the horrible abuse that children experienced, which has left them with wounds and hurts in their lives which still remain today. The second reaction is to note how their hurt was in many cases made worse by the inadequacies of the responses of Church leaders and of the HSE and Garda Síochána.
Looking back over these past five years, and over the years examined by the Murphy Commission, my thoughts have curiously been dominated in these days by one group, rarely mentioned, but who are real heroes of the abuse scandals: the mothers and fathers of children who had been abused who turned to the Church authorities, not with a reaction of hostility but simply with a passionate concern to ensure that no other child would have to endure what their child did.
They did not come with legal knowhow or with psychiatric expertise or with any intention to damage the Church. They simply wanted to tell what had happened to their child and tried to put into words how deep the wound was. In some cases the story they had to tell ended in the tragedy of someone taking their own life.
Their evidence made it abundantly clear that the effects of sexual abuse of children were truly devastating. These parents came forward with great courage, very often without any other support than that of their own hurt and their own conscience. Very often, at the time they came forward, abuse was still taking place. The simple language of these mothers and fathers ought to have been enough to touch hearts and change policy.
Diario de Navarra
Tres sacerdotes y un seglar fueron detenidos este lunes por la Policía en el marco de la investigación sobre supuestos abusos sexuales cometidos en Granada contra, al menos, un menor, dirigida por el Juzgado de Instrucción 4 de esta ciudad andaluza, que prevé tomarles declaración en las próximas horas.
Los tres curas arrestados son el padre Román (R.M.V.C.), que daría nombre al conocido en ámbitos eclesiásticos como el grupo de 'Los Romanones'; Francisco Javier C.M.; y Manuel M.M.; además del seglar Sergio Q.M., profesor de Religión muy cercano a los tres anteriores, según informaron fuentes de la investigación.
Los detenidos pasaron la mañana en los calabozos de la Jefatura Superior de Policía de Andalucía Oriental de Granada, situada en la calle Palmita, y por la tarde fueron trasladados para un registro policial en un domicilio de Pinos Genil, donde permanecieron durante cerca de dos horas.
[Sexual abuse in the Spanish Church at least ten cases in the last two years]
No hay estadística oficial. La detención en Granada de tres sacerdotes y un seglar por supuestos abusos sexuales a menores en la parroquia de San Juan María Vianney es un caso más en un recuento que nadie parece llevar. "Parece que la Conferencia Episcopal y los Defensores del Menor no tienen mucho interés en analizar y en hacer un seguimiento a un grave problema en el seno de la Iglesia: los casos de abusos que salpican a sus religiosos", señala Carlos Sánchez Mato, portavoz del colectivo Iglesia sin Abusos. Sánchez Mato señala que el caso de Granada es un caso excepcional: una víctima pidiendo ayuda al papa en el Vaticano ante la desidia y falta de interés que encontró en la jerarquía eclesiástica en España. "La Iglesia sigue intentando resolver estos problemas de manera interna en lugar de acudir a la Justicia", señala a 20minutos.
Carlos Sánchez, por ejemplo, denunció hace una década a un cura de Aluche, un barrio de Madrid. Rafael Sanz Nieto fue condenado en 2006 a dos años de cárcel por abusos sexuales a menores. Además, el Arzobispado de Madrid tuvo que pagar 30.000 euros como responsable civil subsidiario. Sánchez Mato era entonces catequista de la parroquia donde se produjeron los abusos, su denuncia provocó que fuera expulsado de la parroquia. Es cierto que los casos conocidos son, de momento, pocos. La única estadística fiable la lleva el obispo canadiense Charles J. Scicluna, que en octubre de 2012 fue nombrado Promotor de Justicia de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, una especie de fiscal que investiga todos los delitos sexuales que puedan cometer los 440.000 religiosos de todo el mundo.
ANA TERRADILLOS MADRID 24/11/2014
La Iglesia está colaborando con la policía y la justicia intentando localizar a testigos que puedan aportar detalles a la investigación sobre presuntos abusos sexuales cometidos por sacerdotes de la Archidiócesis de Granada. No está siendo fácil para la policía localizar a estos testigos y es la Iglesia la que está aportando nombres de personas que pudieron haber coincido con la presunta trama de sacerdotes implicados en los presuntos abusos sexuales a menores.
Se han investigado a alrededor de veinte testigos aunque según fuentes policiales cercanas a este caso solo la mitad han dado detalles sólidos y valiosos para seguir ampliando la investigación.
MAYKA NAVARRO / GRANADA
LUNES, 24 DE NOVIEMBRE DEL 2014
La Policía Nacional ha detenido esta mañana a tres sacerdotes y un seglar acusados de los presuntos abusos y agresiones sexuales sufridas por al menos dos adolescentes cuando hacía funciones de monaguillos en una parroquia del barrio de Zaidín de Granada. Los arrestos se han producido por orden del titular del juzgado número 4 de Granada, Antonio Moreno Marín.
Fuentes al corriente de la investigación han asegurado a EL PERIÓDICO DE CATALUNYA que los arrestados son el sacerdote Román Martínez, al que se considera responsable del grupo de curas investigados y que se conocían en círculos eclesiásticos como el clan de los Romanones. Los otros dos detenidos son Manuel Morales y Francisco Javier Montes. Además hay un seglar, profesor de Religión, que también ha sido detenido.
A former lay teacher at a Catholic boys' home has told an inquiry that he had no knowledge of any physical or sexual abuse at the home.
The HIA inquiry was set up in 2013 to investigate child abuse in residential institutions in Northern Ireland over a 73-year period, up to 1995.
The retired teacher had a key role at Rubane House in the Ards peninsula before it closed in the mid 1980s.
He said it would be unlikely widespread abuse would have gone unnoticed.
Los Angeles Times
By LAUREN FRAYER
Three Catholic priests and a teacher were arrested Monday in southern Spain's Granada region, suspected of child sex abuse in a scandal that has shaken this traditionally Catholic country.
The arrested priests were among 10 clergymen the Catholic Church suspended from duty last week, after learning of abuse allegations. All four men were taken to national police headquarters, where they were to be held for 72 hours, and face a judge, according to police and Spain's interior minister. No charges had yet been filed.
Monday's arrests were the latest development in a sex abuse scandal that in recent weeks has rocked Spain, which has seen far fewer priestly abuse allegations than in the United States.
It began when a 24-year-old teacher from Granada wrote a five-page letter to Pope Francis, describing how several local priests sexually abused him as a child, when he was an altar boy in the Granada parish of Juan Maria de Vianneimeno. The alleged victim, identified only as "Daniel," wrote that pedophile priests gradually persuaded him to leave his family and live in a parish rectory, where they repeatedly abused him.
He told Spanish media last week that he received a phone call in response to his letter from the pontiff, apologizing for the abuse and promising to investigate. The Vatican would neither confirm nor deny the phone call.
The Catholic Church then suspended 10 priests and two lay people who worked or volunteered in Granada dioceses.
National Catholic Reporter
Robert Mickens | Nov. 24, 2014 A Roman Observer
The blueprint for a major reorganization of the Roman Curia is ready. And Pope Francis on Monday called together all the current heads of the Vatican's major offices (the nine congregations, three tribunals, 12 pontifical councils and several other bureaus) to explain the plan, get their reactions and hear their suggestions.
But if reports on the reform scheme are correct, the pope has already decided that several of the councils established after the Second Vatican Council will be merged into major congregations. Specifically, these are the various offices dealing with the laity and others focusing on human development and social justice.
According to the Spanish news site Religión Digital, the pope wants to simplify and reduce the number of Vatican offices and establish a "council of ministers." An article over the weekend said this council would be made up of the heads of 12 congregations: nine that already exist and three more that will be newly created (laity, justice and communications).
But Francis does not want merely to streamline the Vatican's bureaucracy and make it more efficient; he also wants to instill a new mentality based on service, synodality, better collaboration and interoffice communication, and respect for local bishops. He's also hoping to drive a stake through the heart of careerism and eliminate what he's defined as the "cancer" of clericalism.
By Angelica Leicht Mon., Nov. 24 2014
The family of a child who was abused by an employee at Catholic Charities has filed a lawsuit claiming that the charity has a long, troubling history of covering up sexual assault cases.
The family of the victim filed the lawsuit last week, naming Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and Carlos Valera, a former program coordinator at the charity who is now serving a 7 year jail sentence for child sexual assault, as defendants.
The lawsuit claims the organization has shown "willful disregard for the well-being of others" and has covered up abuse at the charity for nearly a decade.
According to the family, Valera began abusing the 11-year-old boy in 2007, after they sought help from Catholic Charities following their immigration from Cuba.
During a November 2007 visit, Valera approached the young child in the lobby of the charity and offered him candy to lure him to his office. While in Valera's office, the man allegedly grabbed the child's wrists, forcing him to touch his genitals.
On a subsequent visit, Valera again offered the young boy candy to lure him to his office, where he forced the child to sit on his lap, and sexually assaulted him, according to the lawsuit. Valera allegedly told the boy his family would not receive assistance from Catholic Charities if he told them about the abuse.
On Nov. 19, WW reported that Patrick Jay Wallace, the freshman football coach at Central Catholic High School, had previously been fired from David Douglas High by John Harrington who was then the principal at David Douglas and is now president of Central Catholic.
Harrington fired Wallace from David Douglas after a 16-year-old girl who played on a softball team Wallace coached accused him of sexual assault during a 1997 tournament in Idaho. Charges were filed against Wallace but later dropped.
Late Friday, Central Catholic, issued the following statement to The Oregonian, in response to the daily's questions about WW's story.
Central Catholic High School Administration is actively investigating a disturbing report by Willamette Week newspaper, in its November 19, 2014 edition. The report describes sexual misconduct allegedly committed seventeen years ago by Central’s current freshman football coach while he formerly was employed by the David Douglas School District as a girls’ softball coach in 1997. The coach, identified in the Willamette Week article as Patrick Jay Wallace, is not currently, nor has he ever been, a member of the full time academic teaching staff at Central Catholic.
In 1997, then-David Douglas High School Principal, John Harrington, investigated the allegations of Mr. Wallace’s misconduct toward a minor female member of a softball team associated with David Douglas. Mr. Harrington concluded that the circumstances surrounding the allegations warranted Mr. Wallace’s termination as girls’ softball coach, and the David Douglas School District terminated Mr. Wallace’s employment. Mr. Harrington also referred the allegations to criminal law enforcement officials, and as the Willamette Week article notes, criminal charges were filed against Mr. Wallace but subsequently were dismissed.
In following years Mr. Wallace obtained other high school coaching positions. From 2006 through 2010, after Mr. Wallace passed an initial background check, he served as a volunteer assistant football coach at Central Catholic. Since 2011, he has served as a paid, part-time, assistant football coach at Central Catholic.
[Timeline: Sex-abuse cases involving Rhode Island priests]
Bill Donohue comments on the way priests are treated by some media outlets in Rhode Island:
In December 2012, the Diocese of Providence learned of accusations against Father Barry Meehan; he was accused of sexually molesting adolescents. The police were immediately contacted. In January 2013, he was suspended and removed from ministry; the diocese is awaiting a decision from the Vatican to permanently remove him. Last Friday, he was arrested and indicted. Had he been a clergy member of another religion, the media would have recorded the arrest and moved on. But Meehan is a priest, and that matters greatly to the Providence Journal and NBC 10.
The Providence Journal got so excited that it published a timeline of all sexual abuse cases involving Rhode Island priests since 1972. NBC 10 got so jacked up that it summoned its I-Team: it scoured public records looking for more dirt (it actually began its investigation last year).
We could find no evidence that the Providence Journal has ever provided its readers with a timeline of sexual abuse cases involving ministers, rabbis, or public school teachers. Nor do we know of an NBC 10 I-Team report on this subject. Yet they don’t lack for material.
National Catholic Reproter
Brian Roewe | Nov. 24, 2014
Financial records for the St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese released Thursday revealed a $9 million deficit in operating activities for the 2014 fiscal year in addition to uncertainty about how high the costs of its sexual abuse scandal will ultimately rise -- or where it might lead.
For its archbishop, the situation pared down to a single word: "trouble."
"Our local Church and our Chancery Corporation, in particular, have known significant 'trouble' during the past year," Archbishop John Nienstedt said in a column Thursday for the archdiocesan newspaper, one he began by quoting Jesus (Matthew 6:34), who reminds his followers to focus on today's troubles rather than to look ahead to tomorrow. "That 'trouble' continues today with the disheartening financial information published in this issue of The Catholic Spirit." ...
Charles Zech, director of the Center for the Study of Church Management at Villanova University, said of the financial picture, "The numbers speak for themselves."
"This is bleak," he told NCR. "There's nothing encouraging in the entire report. If I was a parishioner of St. Paul-Minneapolis, I'd find this very discouraging."
WBUR - Cognoscenti
In the age of DNA, why are there still statutes of limitations in sexual assault cases? In an era that venerates transparency, why are confidentiality agreements still allowed to shield perpetrators and silence their victims?
Those questions occur in response to recently revived allegations of serial rape against Bill Cosby, the comedic patriarch of the long-running television show that bears his name.
I do not know whether Cosby is guilty of the charges engulfing him. Neither do those who would convict him based on the number of accusers and the similarities in their accounts. Neither do those who, conflating the man with his TV persona, would reflexively exonerate Cliff Huxtable as incapable of such crimes.
There is a reason we have a criminal justice system, after all.
Police in Spain have arrested three priests and one layman on suspicion of child sex abuse, according to the country's interior minister.
Jorge Fernandez Diaz said the arrests took place in the southern city of Granada, but gave no further details.
The Archdiocese of Granada suspended several priests last week after a man wrote to Pope Francis saying he was abused when he was an altar boy.
The Catholic Church has been rocked by the scandal of sexual abuse by priests.
Media reports said the latest inquiry was personally ordered by the Pope, who also telephoned the man directly to apologise on behalf of the church.
The American Conservative
By ROD DREHER • November 24, 2014
Pope Francis this past September named an American Jesuit, Fr. Robert Geisinger, formerly the head of the Chicago Jesuits, to be the Vatican’s top prosecutor for serious crimes, including child sexual abuse. The Boston Globe reported this weekend that Fr. Geisinger had extensive knowledge for years about a serial sexual abuser within the Jesuit order, a Fr. Donald McGuire (who is now in prison), but went along with the Jesuits’ keeping the abuser in ministry. One of the chief critics of Geisinger is my friend Phil Lawler, editor emeritus of Catholic World Report, who, with his wife Leila, had a personal connection to the McGuire scandal. From the Globe:
Catholic author Lawler said Geisinger’s apparent failure to recommend stronger action in the McGuire case before the proceedings to expel him from the priesthood raises questions about his fitness to prosecute sexually abusive priests.
“What I want to see in this role is someone who will plow through the institutional resistance to prosecution,” he said. “Somebody could make the case that Geisinger was only being a loyal adviser to those in positions of greater responsibility, but the case that you cannot make is that he was aggressive.”
Lawler and his wife, Leila, housed one of McGuire’s victims during the 1999-2000 school year when the victim was an eighth-grader at the Trivium School, a small Catholic school in Lancaster. Both complained about McGuire’s behavior during his visits with the boy, but neither the school nor the Chicago Province took action to stop him.
“The boy was not abused while he was here but he was abused after he left us, after we had communicated our fears to [McGuire’s] Jesuit superiors,’’ Lawler said in a 2012 Globe interview. “That makes me livid.”
Years later, the Lawlers’ boarder notified law enforcement authorities about multiple incidents of abuse by McGuire during trips to other states and other countries, which led to federal charges of traveling in interstate and foreign commerce for the purpose of engaging in a sexual act with a person under 18 — and led to McGuire’s 2008 criminal conviction.
Got that? The fact that McGuire is in jail today is not because of anything the Jesuits — including Fr. Geisinger — did, but because one of the victims called the cops on him.