Abuse Tracker
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BishopAccountability.org – Documenting the Abuse Crisis

November 15, 2018

Ogdensburg diocese releases list of priests accused of sex abuse, joining national trend

OGDENSBURG (NY)
Syracuse.com

November 15, 2018

By Julie McMahon

The Diocese of Ogdensburg this week released the names of priests accused of child sex abuse, joining a trend nationwide.

The diocese named 28 priests, 16 of whom have died. Officials said all of the living priests had been removed or left ministry.

Those named were the subject of a finding "of reasonable grounds" that they had engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor or vulnerable adult, according to the diocese.

The Ogdensburg diocese joins 75 other dioceses across the country that have released the names of abusive priests, according to a count by the law firm Anderson & Associates, which represents victims nationwide.

A quick Google search shows that new dioceses every day are releasing names.

That leaves 120 dioceses or archdioceses in the U.S. that have refused to list the identities of sexually abusive priests.

With Ogdensburg's latest release, three dioceses in New York state continue to refuse to release the names.

In Syracuse, Bishop Robert Cunningham has said he will not release a list. Cunningham's policy is to confirm the names once a victim makes it public.

9&10 News Investigates Past Assignments of Accused Diocese of Gaylord Priests

GAYLORD (MI)
Channel 9 & 10

November 15, 2018

By David Lyden, Jeff Blakeman

We’re diving deeper into the clergy sex abuse investigation across the state by taking a look at where some of those priests used to work.

We were the first to report that the Diocese of Gaylord had released a list of all the priests credibly accused of sexual misconduct involving minors.

That list includes ten priests but does not include a record of where they spent time.

Father Ronald Gronowski was serving as pastor of parishes in Lake City and Manton when he was removed from the ministry back in 2002.

It came after a 1995 allegation surfaced accusing Gronowski of sexual misconduct back in the 1970’s.

We also know Gronowski spent time in Indian River.

Father Jim Holtz was pastor in Fife Lake and Kalkaska when he was removed from ministry in 2002.

He’s accused of sexually abusing a minor while drunk in the 1980’s.

Best practices? ‘What is best for victims,’ says California bishop

BALTIMORE (MD)
Catholic News Service

November 15, 2018

By Mark Pattison

As the U.S. bishops, individually and collectively, pursue “best practices” in their dioceses and for the country on how to deal with another clerical sexual abuse scandal in their midst, Bishop Oscar Cantu of San Jose, California, said best practices are simply “what is best for victims.”

And, despite listening to victims of abuse tell their stories, determining what’s best may not be so clear cut.

“When the victim sees the name of their abuser on the list publicly, that helps them,” Bishop Cantu told Catholic News Service in a Nov. 14 interview following that day’s general session of the U.S. bishops’ meeting in Baltimore.

Further, when an abuse victim still holding on privately to the memory of past abuse sees the name of the abuser published in a list, “it emboldens them to come forward,” Bishop Cantu said.

Now, however, a new strain of thought has emerged that seeing the list of names, including that of a victim’s own abuser, is “another wounding. They’re retraumatized by listening to this horrible reality of abuse over and over,” he added. “It’s one of the things we’ve been told by professionals — so I assume that it’s correct — every time that we released a new list of names people feel retraumatized.”

This was one of the issues California’s bishops were wrestling with when the met jointly a couple of weeks prior to the U.S. bishops’ Nov. 12-14 meeting in Baltimore. “Can we agree on one single day for the release of names? It’s hard to do,” Bishop Cantu said.

In San Jose, he has released the names of credibly accused clergy. And “the list is live,” he said, meaning if a priest or deacon not already on the list is credibly accused, his name will be added.

Española man tells story of healing old wounds of sexual abuse at Santa Fe seminary

TAOS (NM)
Taos News

November 15, 2018

by Cody Hooks

Donald Naranjo had gone back to the seminary campus in Santa Fe only once since he was a teenager, but driving through the city, he still knew where to turn: make a right at the midcentury house with a double garage, go east about a mile, turn left.

Naranjo, now 70, was a sophomore in high school when he convinced his parents to let him heed a calling. He started his studies to be a priest at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Seminary on the eastern edge of the city near the foothills. For a kid from the Española Valley, a devoutly Catholic and mostly Hispanic community about an hour north of the seminary, it was the kind of choice that makes a family proud.

“If you wanted to seek a vocation in the church, it was wonderful,” Naranjo said. “You’d be right there next to God.”

Naranjo’s mom, sitting behind the wheel of the family’s Ford Falcon, dropped her son off at the seminary in August 1963.

Illinois Catholic Church official rips handling of sex abuse cases

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS TV

November 14, 2018

By Chuck Goudie and Ross Weidner and Barb Markoff

A top official of a downstate diocese, who coordinates assistance to victims of priest sex abuse, on Wednesday castigated the Roman Catholic Church for the way misconduct cases are handled.

"At times it seems that protecting the institution is a higher goal than caring for victims" said Deacon Robert Sondag. "Bishops, you are ordained to lead the church. Years of prolonged mishandling of sexual abuse victims continues to plague the Catholic church. The checks and balances put in place in 2002 through the Dallas charter have been compromised" Deacon Sondag said.

Sondag, recently a diocesan chancellor as well, was speaking in Baltimore where the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrapped up its fall meeting.

"We are here today to call for a deeper reckoning and transparent reporting of the past and present mishandling of victims and their perpetrators" he said. "This can only be accomplished by the use of a truly independent auditor beholden to the good of the public, not to the Catholic Church as a client."

His call for independent, outside administration of the church crisis is unusual for two reasons: it comes from a current diocesan employee and it was unfurled at the announcement of a new lawsuit against the bishop's conference by six alleged victims of priest sexual abuse. The lawsuit alleges that church officials covered up the crimes of predator priests.

Survivors decry Vatican making US bishops wait on abuse vote

DUBLIN (IRELAND)
The Irish Catholic

November 15, 2018

Following Monday’s shock announcement that the Vatican has requested the US Catholic Bishops to delay voting on new standards for bishop accountability, survivors of sexual abuse and bishop accountability activists decried the move as “totally unacceptable”.

Terence McKiernan, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, called the move a “pre-emptive strike” by the Vatican against US bishops as they seek to respond to the current crisis of sexual abuse and its cover-up “in a modest way”.

Peter Isley, a survivor of clerical sexual abuse who now works with the organisation Ending Clergy Abuse, said the decision from the Vatican effectively means: “We care more about our organisation and our princely titles and positions” than enacting measures of accountability.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is gathered in Baltimore this week for its General Assembly, in which they were expected to enact new standards of conduct and accountability for bishops engaged in sexual abuse or its cover-up. At the start of Monday’s meeting, however, USCCB president Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, announced that he had received a request on Sunday afternoon to postpone the vote until after a global summit on the crisis at the Vatican in February.

Belleville bishop challenged on abuse

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

“Sexually violent predator” worked in diocese

Few knew of his time in southern IL until recently

Two more accused abusers missing from church site

Catholic officials should hire outside firm to look through its files

This recommendation just made by church’s top abuse lay leader

WHAT

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will disclose, for the first time, that a convicted child molesting cleric who was deemed “sexually violent” worked in Belleville.

They will also call on local Catholic officials to

--update the diocesan website and add names of all three publicly accused clerics who are missing, and

-- use lay church members and an outside firm to review all abuse records to see if there are old cases that should be revisited and/or other proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting clerics who are being hidden.

WHEN

Thursday, Nov. 15 at 2:00 p.m.

US DOJ and State AG’s must intensify their investigations of bishops

WASHINGTON (DC)
End Clergy Abuse

November 14, 2018

The US bishops came to Baltimore this week assuring Catholics and the public that they would act with “intense urgency” to implement comprehensive and tough reforms to hold themselves accountable for the decades long cover up of child sex crimes across the United States.

Not only are they leaving Baltimore without implementing one concrete change, this afternoon they even voted down a feeble amendment to send to Pope Francis a short message “suggesting” that he should release the documents concerning Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.

McCarrick, once a Cardinal, had abused seminarians for decades and at least two minors. His conduct was known about by several of his brother bishops and senior Vatican officials. It is the most egregious case of cover up yet revealed in the American church. The bishop’s response to the McCarrick case, the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, and other revelations that have been cascading down upon them already demonstrated their utter lack of credibility.

Now, they leave Baltimore telling us they cannot act on what they promised. That they have no actual authority over themselves or the actions they take in the United States.

Vatican, US bishops face class-action lawsuit from victims of clergy sex abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Agency/EWTN News

November 15, 2018

The U.S. bishops' conference and the Holy See face a class action lawsuit filed by six men who claim they were sexually abused by Catholic clergy during their childhoods. They are seeking financial damages as well as public contrition and reparation from the Church.

The 80-page suit filed Nov. 13 claims that the Vatican and the bishops knew about - and covered up for - the “endemic, systemic, rampant, and pervasive rape and sexual abuse” of the plaintiffs and others at the hands of active members of the clergy, religious orders, and other Church representatives.

The suit opens by invoking two passages of Scripture: “(B)ut people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed,” and: “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather, expose them.”

Rather than protect the plaintiffs, the lawsuit says Church leaders protected and - “incredibly” - promoted the offenders.

These kinds of “wrongful actions, inaction, omissions, cover-up, deception, and concealment” create a “conspiracy of silence to their financial and reputational benefit and to Plaintiffs’ and Class Members’ personal, mental, psychological, and financial detriment.” These actions are “ongoing and continuous” the lawsuit states.

The lawsuit was filed Tuesday at U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. by four attorneys representing six individuals who lived in six different states at the time the abuse occurred - Iowa, California, Mississippi, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. It does not specifically detail the cases of abuse reportedly suffered by the individuals.

Vatican shows for the umpteenth time it doesn’t take the clergy sex abuse scandal seriously

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Examiner

November 15, 2018

By Becket Adams

Pope Francis takes the cancer of clergy sexual abuse seriously, but not seriously enough to allow the U.S. bishops to move quickly to enact serious and much-needed reforms.

The American bishops appeared stunned this week after it was announced in Baltimore at the start of their annual meeting that the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops had ordered them to cancel a planned vote on measures to address the clerical sexual abuse scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church.

The Vatican has instructed the U.S. bishops instead to hold off until the Church’s sexual abuse summit in Rome, which doesn’t convene until February 2019. Because what’s the rush?

“We have accepted it with disappointment,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston, who heads the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. “We are not ourselves happy about this. We are working very well to move to action, and we’ll do it. We just have a bump in the road.”

"I remain hopeful that this additional consultation will ultimately improve our response to the crisis we face,” he added, trying his best to put some sort of positive spin on the decision.

New Lawsuits Accuse 11 Of Clergy Sex Abuse

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA-TV

November 15, 2018

A law firm announced the suits were filed in 12 complaints that named the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, Bishop David Zubik and Cardinal Donald Wuerl as defendants.

The complaints name eight priests who were already named in the grand jury report along with three new individuals named by victims who have since come forward for the first time.

The priests accused in the new lawsuits include:
John Hoehl, at Quigley High School
Francis Siler, accused by two alleged victims at St. Catherine Parish and St. Margaret parish
William O’Malley, accused by two alleged victims at St. Canice Parish and St. Francis de Sales parish
George Zirwas, at St. Michael Parish
George Leech, at St. Bartholomew Parish
Edward Huff, at the parish of North American Martyrs
Raymond R. Rhoden, at St. Francis of Assisi parish
Ernest Paone, at Madonna of Jerusalem parish
John Unger, at Sacred Heart Elementary School
Peter Pilarski, at Resurrection parish
Lawrence O’Connell, accused by two alleged victims at St. Gabriel parish
Leech, Pilarski and Unger’s names were not disclosed in the grand jury report.

Delay in addressing sexual abuse is another black eye for Catholic church

ALLENTOWN (PA)
Morning Call

November 15, 2018

By Paul Muschick

I may be inviting a plague of locusts on my house by saying this. But the Vatican needs to get its act together on how the Catholic church will respond to the sex abuse crisis, or get out of the way of lower church leaders who are trying to do something.

The church had a chance this week to show a new commitment to dealing with clergy sexual abuse of children. But it blew it. Again.

There’s no doubt this time who was to blame — this blunder is on the Vatican.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops met in Baltimore from Monday through Wednesday. Their agenda included highly anticipated votes, in the works since September, to address the problem by improving accountability for themselves.

Proposals included creating a commission, to include lay experts, that would review complaints against bishops; enacting a new code of conduct for bishops; and finalizing how to permanently remove bishops who are found to be abusers.

Vatican asks US bishops not to vote on their proposals to tackle sexual abuse
Monday morning, those votes suddenly were called off.

The president of the conference, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Houston, told the gathered bishops that the pope did not want them to act on bishops’ accountability until he convened a worldwide summit of church leaders in Februa

A new call for cooperative reform in the Catholic Church

MILFORD (MA)
Milford Daily News

November 14, 2018

By Frank Mazzaglia

Some 4,000 Roman Catholics from across the United States gathered in Boston vowing to transform a church they claimed betrayed them by failing to protect children from sexual abuse. The date was July 20, 2002. It was the first national convention of The Voice of the Faithful, a lay reform group which originated from a church basement in Wellesley only five months earlier.

In theory, Voice of the Faithful presented three goals: 1. To support victims of abuse; 2. To support “priests of integrity”; and 3. To support structural change in the church. The core of the problem, according to noted cardiologist Dr. James E. Muller was “centralized power, with no voice of the faithful.” The idea was to bring together reform-minded and traditional Catholics and demand that laypeople have a voice on key issues.

Seminaries partner with prisons to offer inmates new life as ministers

NASHVILLE (NC)
Religion News Service

November 14, 2018

By Yonat Shimron

Inside a squat cinderblock building on the grounds of Nash Correctional Institution, 24 inmates are hunched over white plastic tables listening to Professor James Dew explain how God is omnipotent and omniscient.

More than half of the men listening are serving life sentences for murder, armed robbery and other offenses. The rest have at least 12 years left to serve.

But Dew is not preaching to his audience as he paces the room posing questions about whether God can sin (No) or know people’s emotions (there’s disagreement, but most Christians say yes). He is teaching theology to prospective ministers.

The prisoners jotting notes, calling up documents on closed-circuit laptops or asking Dew questions of their own are earning four-year bachelor’s degrees in pastoral ministry from the College at Southeastern, the undergraduate school of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in nearby Wake Forest.

Dew’s class is part of a new niche in prison education: training inmates to become “field ministers” who serve as counselors for other inmates, lead prayers, assist prison chaplains and generally serve as a calming influence in prison yards.

The Catholic church is in crisis, and its leaders are making it worse

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Sun

November 15, 2018

Baltimore Sun Editorial Board

If any truth emerged from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting this week in Baltimore, it was surely Archbishop William E. Lori’s observation that the priest sex abuse scandal “ is going to be with us for a long, long time.” The church covered up the widespread abuse of children and adults by priests for a long, long time. It denied and deflected public outrage for a long, long time. And now, when a Pennsylvania grand jury report revealed the breadth of the abuse, and the fall of former Washington Archbishop Theodore McCarrick demonstrated that it extended to the top rungs of the Catholic hierarchy, the church is waiting longer to take even the most obvious of steps to restore its parishioners’ faith.

The crisis now facing the Catholic church is born not just of the abuse by priests but also of the willingness of the church’s leaders to step in to protect the clergy at the expense of the abused. Pope Francis’ call at the beginning of this meeting for the American bishops to delay any action until after a Vatican synod on the matter this winter thus looks not like a sign that the church is finally ready to address the matter at the highest level but that its old habits of deferring to clerical rather than civil or moral authority and papering over abuse remain intact. The church once moved abusive priests from parish to parish, now it is shuffling the fallout from meeting to meeting.

The bishops go back to their dioceses for a reckoning. They have faced pointed questions if not outright defections from the pews since the Pennsylvania and McCarrick scandals broke, and now they must own up to their impotence in addressing them. Before the meeting began, Archbishop Lori published an op-ed in The Sun in which he concluded that one of the factors that worsened the crisis was a “deep-seated culture of clericalism, which fostered unhealthy notions of entitlement and exclusivity, as well as the distorted view that the priestly state puts those who abused minors, as well as those who protected them, beyond reach of civil law and authority.” Yet when the opportunity came to demonstrate a break from that past, the bishops again folded in the face of clerical authority. They could not even muster a vote to encourage the Vatican to release documents related to the investigation of Mr. McCarrick.

Healey Mum On Laity Call For Renewed Church Investigation

BOSTON (MA)
WGBH TV

November 14, 2018

By Mike Deehan

Attorney General Maura Healey has failed to respond — at least to date — to a call from Catholic advocacy groups that her office investigate the personnel records of all Massachusetts archdioceses in order to ensure that there is no evidence of accused abusive priests being shuttled between or among parishes.

It should be noted that there have not been renewed allegations of priestly abuse in Massachusetts. The Roman Catholic Church, however, is embroiled in a heated, almost global debate about how to respond to such charges which have become almost commonplace.

The political group Catholic Democrats and church accountability organization Voice of the Faithful want an investigation of the Worcester, Springfield and Fall River Dioceses, as well as an update to a 2003 investigation of the Boston Archdiocese.

Leaders of the lay groups say knowing which priests were paid for work in what parishes, and if any additional payments or pensions were given out, can shed light on whether accused priests were relocated after accusations of abuse.

Survivors: Bishops Must Deliver on Final Day of Conference

BALTIMORE (MD)
End Clergy Abuse

November 14, 2018

President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, began the week by announcing that per the Vatican, no vote would be taken on measures to reform the process of the investigation of allegations of sexual misconduct against bishops or the bishops’ negligence in responding to allegations.

The bishops are expected today to present concrete working proposals that describe how they intend to repair their irrevocably damaged credibility, now considerably worsened by their inaction so far this week.

Furious dad hacks off priest’s penis after he was accused of sexually abusing his nine-year-old daughter

LONDON (UK)
The Sun

November 15, 2018

By Gerard du Cann

A FURIOUS father partially castrated a preacher he believed raped his nine-year-old daughter in South Africa, it is alleged.

Preacher Mase Malgas, 66, died after being attacked on September 30, a court was told.

Constable Lundi Nqwelo was called as a witness by the state prosecutors and testified that the defendant had been told by his ex-wife that their daughter had been raped by Malgas, The South African reported.

The father, ex-wife and a friend of the couple tracked down Malgas, who was based at St Philips Church in Gompo, and burst into his home intent on revenge, the court heard.

Nqwelo said the accused, who cannot be named as it would also reveal his daughter's identity, then severely beat Malgas and attempted to sever the preacher’s penis.

Fort Worth priest removed after being accused of groping man at park near his church

FORT WORTH (TX)
Ft. Worth Star Telegram

November 15, 2018

By Domingo Ramirez Jr.

A priest at All Saints Catholic Church has been removed after he was accused of grabbing a man’s genitals at a park in September, church officials and police said Thursday.

Father Genaro Mayorga Reyes told officers he did not touch the 43-year-old man at Marine Park on the morning of Sept. 25, according to police reports.

Bishop Michael F. Olson requested that Reyes be recalled to Mexico after learning of the incident, according to a statement released by the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth last week to members of All Saints. It was effective Nov. 5.

“Please pray for Father Genaro and please pray for members of the All Saints parish,” the statement said.

Michigan Catholic Diocese publishes list of priests accused of sexual abuse

MICHIGAN
Michigan.Live.com

November 15, 2018

By Justin P. Hicks

The Catholic Diocese of Gaylord has created an online list of priests and deacons who have been "credibly accused" of sexual abuse of a minor dating back to 1971.

As of Thursday, Nov. 15, the list featured 10 clergy. Eight of the priests are deceased. The two living priests -- Ronald Gronowski and James Holtz -- have been "permanently removed from public ministry."

The release of the list comes amid a state investigation of sexual abuse by priests being led by the Michigan attorney general's office. In August 2018, the state agency began investigating the handling of allegations dating back to 1950.

The diocese said it has previously released information about the allegations of sexual abuse of minors involving priests or deacons, but chose to publish and maintain the list because it "may be helpful to the healing process for victim-survivors," and to continue efforts for increased transparency.

A "credible and substantiated allegation," as used by the diocese, is an accusation that, after an investigation and review of available information, appears more likely true than not and has been accepted as credible by the bishop, according to the diocese.

The Sex-Abuse Crisis and Culture Change in the Church

National Catholic Register
November 12, 2018

By Father Raymond J. de Souza

The U.S. bishops began their annual plenary meeting in Baltimore with a day devoted to prayer and reflection, a departure from the customary practice prompted by the 2018 “summer of shame.”

But why should beginning the annual meeting with a period of prayer and recollection be a departure from the norm? Might the “Crisis of 2018” prompt a revisiting of clerical culture, at least as it touches upon how bishops exercise their governance in common?

Archbishop Bernard Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the preacher for the bishops’ Mass Nov. 12, will have material ready at hand, given the readings. St. Paul writes to Titus about the qualities required of a bishop, with a specified list of virtues:

For a bishop, as God’s steward, must be blameless, not arrogant, not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive, not greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy and self-controlled, holding fast to the true message as taught so that he will be able both to exhort with sound doctrine and to refute opponents (Titus 1:7-9).

Convicted in child porn case, rogue priest still preaches as he crafts his own narrative

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

November 15, 2018

By Brandie Kessler and Dylan Segelbaum

The Catholic church kicked him out. He is among 301 'predator priests' named by a grand jury. But he still leads a Catholic church in York County.

Harry Spencer realized that he was home.

He’d grown uncomfortable with the direction of the Catholic Church, particularly since Vatican II. The doctrines had changed. The Mass had changed. So had all the traditions and rituals.

Then, about seven years ago, Spencer started going to what would become St. Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church in Lower Windsor Township. It offers a traditional Latin Mass. The Rev. Virgil Tetherow, also known as Father Gabriel, leads the church.

“I have never met a priest that I’ve felt more comfortable with in his religiosity and his ability to teach the religion of the Roman Catholic faith,” Spencer said. “I love my religion. And Father Tetherow is a true Catholic priest.”

But that is not what the Catholic church says.

In fact, Tetherow “is not recognized as a priest, is prohibited from presenting himself as clergy and is not associated with the Diocese of Harrisburg,” said Mike Barley, a spokesman for the diocese, who encouraged the faithful to not attend Tetherow's services.

Clergy sex abuse: Why a national all-faiths inquiry is needed

WASHINGTON (DC)
Religion News Service

November 15, 2018

By Christa Brown and David Clohessy

Ten years ago, SNAP was the butt of the most outrageous criticism in its three decades of work on behalf of clergy sex abuse survivors.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, was founded with a focus on Catholic clergy abuse. But as we expanded our efforts to other faiths, the worst name-calling came not from any Catholic official but from a Baptist official. Paige Patterson, a former Southern Baptist Convention president who, at the time, was head of a prominent Baptist seminary, labeled SNAP as “evil-doers” and said we were “just as reprehensible as sex criminals.”

It may seem odd to note the anniversary of such an odious aspersion, but at a time when survivor advocates have much to cheer about, it’s important that we not lose sight of how much work remains to be done in changing institutions and attitudes to make kids safer.

Too many survivors still face hostility when they attempt to confront religious leaders about clergy child molesters. The U.S. Justice Department has now launched an investigation into the sexual abuse of children and the cover-up of those crimes in the Catholic dioceses of Pennsylvania. And because the Justice Department put every diocese in the country on notice that they should preserve all documents relating to sexual abuse allegations, there appears the possibility of a broader investigation into Catholic abuses and cover-ups.

Amateur hour at the bishops' conference

BALTIMORE (MD)
National Catholic Reporter

November 15, 2018

By Michael Sean Winters

I am always glad to attend the bishops' conference meeting in Baltimore every November. I get to witness up close the debates that determine the shape and direction of the church in this country, I can visit with friends and colleagues in the religious press, and the crab cakes are always delicious. This year, the crab was still delicious, and it was good to see friends and colleagues, but what I witnessed was amateur hour at the U.S. bishops' conference.

On Nov. 12, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the president of the conference, expressed his disappointment when he announced the Vatican's decision to delay any votes on concrete proposals to confront the clergy sex abuse crisis. At the coffee break, bishops were fuming, complaining that Rome had pulled the rug out from under them. Even those bishops who are most enthusiastic about Pope Francis were distressed, worried that he did not understand the media spotlight under which the bishops were laboring.

But, when the bishops began discussing the proposals on Nov. 13, it quickly became obvious that the proposals were ill-conceived and would have fallen apart on their own, without any help from Rome. Erecting a national oversight commission, at considerable expense and with additional bureaucracy, to monitor 200 bishops, very few of them likely to have broken their vows of celibacy, didn't seem very practical once they began discussing it. The proposed commission would report allegations to the nuncio but that happens now and no one had bothered to ask the nuncio if he wanted a commission to help him in his work. The Standards of Conduct seemed poorly framed and vague. The whole thing seemed amateurish.

Editorial: Vatican postponing reform measures is disappointing

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

November 14, 2018

By News Editorial Board

Victims of the child sex abuse scandals in the Catholic Church were hoping for some action on reforms this week when the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops met in Baltimore.

They got thoughts and prayers instead.

The Vatican directed the U.S. bishops to delay their votes on two reform measures until a special council of bishops worldwide convenes on Feb. 8. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston opened the conference on Monday with that announcement from Rome.

“We are not ourselves happy about this,” said DiNardo, adding he found the decision “quizzical.”

“We just have a bump in the road” on the way to reform, he said.

CAL THOMAS: The shame of the Catholic church

BARTLESVILE (OK)
Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise

November 15, 2018

One doesn’t have to be Roman Catholic or even Christian to recognize the great good the Catholic Church has done. America would be worse off were it not its pro-life stance and numerous acts of charity.

But good works are sometimes diluted or even overwhelmed by evil works, and it is the evil works of pedophile priests that threaten to sully the good the church has done.

But what should trouble not only Catholics but non-Catholics too is the latest statement from the Vatican regarding the sexual abuse scandal, a scandal that has prompted many Catholics to leave the church and the faith altogether.

In a letter to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Baltimore, the Vatican, as reported by U.S. News & World Report, requested that U.S. bishops “wait until after the Vatican-convened global meeting on sex abuse takes place in February” to take action on the sexual abuse issue plaguing the church. “The conference of bishops had expected to focus ... on measures to combat abuse, including establishing a new code of conduct.”

Is it just a question of timing, or yet another attempt to avoid dealing with the crisis?

The church has long been reluctant to go to law enforcement about cases of sexual abuse by priests, choosing instead to have its own officials handle the cases themselves, or as was most often the case, suppress them, moving suspected clergy from parish to parish, threatening the safety of children, and thereby continuing a pattern of depravity and neglect.

Cambria County man joins federal suit that says Catholic hierarchy covered up abuse

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

November 14, 2018

By Torsten Ove

A Cambria County man who says a Johnstown priest abused him when he was a child is among a group of plaintiffs who sued Catholic church leaders in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, claiming they covered up the actions of pedophile priests across the nation.

Shaun Dougherty, who lives in Westmont outside of Johnstown, is one of six men who brought the suit in federal court in the District of Columbia against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Holy See in Vatican City.

The suit, which is seeking class action status on behalf of some 5,000 potential plaintiffs across the United States, alleges that church leaders protected priests who sexually abused children and moved them around from church to church.

In addition to Mr. Dougherty, the plaintiffs are from Arizona, Mississippi, Illinois, California and New Jersey and all claim to have suffered at the hands of predator priests.

Chilean cardinal confirms exit from Pope Francis’s advisory body

ROME (ITALY)
Crux

November 15, 2018

By Inés San Martín

A Chilean cardinal who has been at the center of the country’s clerical sexual abuse crisis acknowledged on Wednesday that he’s no longer a member of the council of nine cardinals, referred to as the C9, that advises the pope. In addition, a local prosecutor announced he’ll be summoning him under charges of covering up abusive priests.

Speaking with Radio Cooperativa, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz said that having reached the five-year term he had been appointed to serve the pope in the C9, he had travelled to Rome to say goodbye to the pope and to “thank him for the job he entrusted us with.”

The Vatican’s press office didn’t answer Crux’s request for confirmation.

The C9 is a task force created by Pope Francis at the beginning of his pontificate to reform the government of the Church, known as the Roman Curia. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston is the lone American on the commission.

On the same day Errazuriz made his announcement, the prosecutors’ office in Chile announced that they will be summoning the cardinal to testify on the alleged cover up of the actions of Father Jorge Laplagne, who’s been accused of sexually abusing minors.

Bishops, anticipating action on abuse, settle for a metaphor

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

November 14, 2018

By Brian Roewe

After months of anticipation, Catholics hoping the U.S. bishops' annual meeting would yield actionable steps on the sexual abuse crisis will have to settle, for now, for "a springboard."

The three-day public portion of the fall general assembly concluded Wednesday with no final decisions or concrete steps, in part due to a Vatican request to delay any votes on proposals until after a February meeting in Rome among Pope Francis and the heads of bishops' conferences from around the globe.

The request, delivered as the bishops began their proceedings Monday, came as a disappointment to many bishops who arrived eager to demonstrate their seriousness on the abuse issue, not to speak of the wider Catholic community and public watching to see if the church leaders would deliver on promises to address the matter with more than words.

In his concluding remarks, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, shared in the sentiment, though left room for some hope.

"Brothers, I opened the meeting expressing some disappointment. I end it with hope," he said. "My hope is first of all grounded in Christ, who desires that the church be purified and that our efforts bear fruit."

Former State Opera chief executive Timothy Sexton pleads not guilty to child sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Australian Broadcasting Corporation

November 14, 2018

By Rebecca Opie

The former chief executive and artistic director of the State Opera of South Australia will stand trial accused of multiple child sex offences.

Timothy Sexton, 58, pleaded not guilty in the Adelaide Magistrates Court to four child sex charges including maintaining an unlawful sexual relationship with a minor and indecent assault.

Prosecutors allege the offences were committed between 1988 and 1991 in South Australia.

Mr Sexton was the artistic director and chief executive of the State Opera from 2011.

Erie’s Trautman criticizes media, attorney general report

ERIE (PA)
GoErie

November 15, 2018

By Ed Palattella

Retired bishop of Erie commented at meeting of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, in Baltimore. He also called “unjust” a proposed hotline for bishop misconduct.

The Catholic Diocese of Erie has become a case in point in the divide over how Roman Catholic bishops in the United States want to address the clergy sex-abuse crisis.

The differences within the diocese — specifically, the differences between its current bishop and retired bishop — have been on display this week in Baltimore, at the fall meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Many bishops at the conference, such as Erie Catholic Bishop Lawrence Persico, have embraced calls for change. Others, such as Persico’s predecessor as bishop, Donald W. Trautman, who retired in 2012, have criticized some of the conference’s proposals, including those designed to monitor the bishops and their handling of abuse allegations.

Trautman was outspoken in his remarks on Tuesday, the second day of the conference, which ended Wednesday.

At a session for debate, Trautman raised questions about the accuracy of “every attorney general report.” The Pennsylvania attorney general’s August grand jury report on clergy abuse statewide found that, among other things, Trautman failed “to aggressively pursue” removal of an abusive priest.

And Trautman on Tuesday questioned the accuracy of a joint investigation by the Boston Globe and Philadelphia Inquirer, published two weeks ago, that reported that “more than 130 U.S. bishops — or nearly one-third of those still living — have been accused during their careers of failing to adequately respond to sexual misconduct in their dioceses.” The report did not name Trautman, who led the 13-county Erie Catholic Diocese from 1990 to 2012.

Missbrauch im Stift Klosterneuburg: Kritik an Bericht

[Abuse in Stift Klosterneuburg: criticism of report]

GERMANY
religion.orf.at

November 2018

Der Expertenbericht zu einem Missbrauchsfall aus dem Jahr 1993 im Stift Klosterneuburg, der am Samstag vorgelegt worden war, ist von der Initiative gegen Gewalt und sexuellen Missbrauch an Kindern und Jugendlichen kritisiert worden.

In einer Aussendung vom Montag wurde etwa festgehalten, dass Sachverhalte und Zeugenaussagen nicht intensiv genug geprüft worden seien. Johannes Heibel, der Vorsitzende der Initiative mit Sitz in Deutschland, kritisierte auch, dass die Expertengruppe es nicht für notwendig erachtetet habe, „alle von der Initiative benannten Zeugen einzuladen und persönlich anzuhören“. Zudem habe die Gruppe weder über einen erfahrenen Ermittler noch über einen Kirchenrechtler verfügt. Auch die Unabhängigkeit der Expertenrunde zog Heibel in Zweifel.

Neue Missbrauchsvorwürfe gegen Ex-Bischof Janssen

[New abuse allegations against ex-Bishop Janssen]

GERMANY
NDR.de

November 13, 2018

Gegen den ehemaligen Hildesheimer Bischof Heinrich Maria Janssen (1907-1988) gibt es einen neuen Missbrauchsvorwurf. Dies teilte das Bistum Hildesheim mit. Der amtierende Hildesheimer Bischof Heiner Wilmer erklärte am Dienstag, dass sich jein heute 70-Jähriger bei ihm gemeldet habe. Der Mann habe angegeben, ab dem Jahr 1957 gleich von mehreren Kirchenmitarbeitern sexuell missbraucht worden zu sein, darunter auch dem damaligen Bischof Janssen. Es ist bereits der zweite Missbrauchsvorwurf gegen Janssen. Vor drei Jahren hatte ein früherer Messdiener von sexuellem Missbrauch durch Ex-Bischof Janssen berich

U.S. Catholic bishops to return to Baltimore after fall conference that failed to take action on abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Baltimore Sun

November 15, 2018

By Jonathan M. Pitts

The nation’s conference of Catholic bishops announced Wednesday that it will return to Baltimore in June for an assembly as leaders grapple with a sex abuse crisis that has engulfed the church in the United States.

The move represents a change in plans for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which was to have held its week-long summer gathering next year in Santa Barbara, Calif.

The bishops’ fall meeting — held for years in Baltimore — traditionally centers on business and agenda-setting for the approximately 300 leaders of the nation’s nearly 200 dioceses. The June assembly, which is held in different locations each year, typically includes elements of a retreat.

Speaking between sessions Wednesday on the final day of the 2018 meeting at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, Baltimore Archbishop William Lori said that with the clergy abuse crisis dominating church affairs, conference leaders decided to treat the June assembly as a business gathering as well, and Baltimore — site of the nation’s oldest diocese — has proved an excellent site for such meetings.

Msgr. J. Brian Bransfield, general secretary of the conference, told the bishops at the end of the day that the meeting will be June 11-19.

Neuer Vorwurf gegen Hildesheimer Altbischof

[New charge against Hildesheim's old bishop "The guy has to get out of the cathedral"]

GERMANY
Der Spiegel

November 14, 2018

By Peter Wensierski

"Der Kerl muss aus dem Dom raus"
Gegen den ehemaligen Hildesheimer Bischof Heinrich Maria Janssen sind neue Missbrauchsvorwürfe bekannt geworden. Ein früherer Ministrant sieht erschreckende Parallelen zu seinem eigenen Fall.

"Jetzt bricht alles wie ein Kartenhaus zusammen", sagt ein ehemaliger Ministrant, der sich vor drei Jahren im "SPIEGEL" zu Wort gemeldet hatte, weil er als Junge vom Hildesheimer Bischof Heinrich Maria Janssen missbraucht worden sei. Der Betroffene hatte angegeben, dass der Bischof ihn in den Fünfziger- und Sechzigerjahren regelmäßig durch Masturbation, Oral- und Analverkehr missbraucht habe.

How Long, Lord?

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Catholic Thing

November 14, 2018

By Robert Royal

I’ve been on the road and much occupied the past two days; my first glance at the news about the Vatican’s request that our American bishops not vote on steps to resolve the abuse crisis came as I was boarding a plane. It’s been almost twenty-four hours since then, as I’m writing – and trying, on the move, to catch up with this odd development. Second thoughts may follow, but for now, I find it hard to believe that it’s not just a bad dream.

The Vatican knew for months that the bishops would deal with abuse at their regular Fall gathering. The pope asked them to cancel it and hold a spiritual retreat instead until the heads of bishops’ conferences from around the world meet in February. It’s hard to say with any degree of precision what Pope Francis fears might happen at such a gathering.

We’re hearing vague claims that decisions by the American bishops might conflict with canon law. But when has this papacy ever been held up by law – or wanted bishops everywhere in the world to follow universal rules – when it really wanted to get something done?

Whatever the fear, to wait until the very day the meeting opened to request no voting take place is almost without precedent. For many Americans, sad to say, the pope has probably just confirmed what he was forced to admit in Chile: he’s part of the problem. That no one convinced him this move would be a public relations nightmare – and would cause more trouble than a frank discussion and voting (which he could always massage later anyway) – is a sign of where we are in the Church now.

Alleged abuse victims call for Nashville Diocese investigation

NASHVILLE (TN)
WZTV

November 9, 2018

By Harriet Wallace

Mike Coode is 79 years old. The trauma of what he says happened to him starting at age 12 still haunts him.

“After that I was pretty nuts. I did crazy things because I felt guilty, like I needed to be punished. It hurts so bad. As I said, I was devastated,” said Mike Coode.

Coode, who is no longer a practicing Catholic, went to Catholic school and church in Nashville and says a priest molested him for more than 10 years. He claims the Diocese protects guilty priests and continues to do so.

“All we’ve ever wanted was the truth, and they won’t give it to us,” said Coode.

What the Nashville Diocese is giving up are the names of 13 priests accused of molesting kids. Nine are dead, two are in prison and two are no longer acting priests. Diocese spokesman Rick Musacchio says the Diocese is being transparent and doing right by the victims.

November 14, 2018

Sexual abuse allegations are made against priest who retired in San Diego County

SAN DIEGO (CA)
The San Diego Union-Tribune

November 14, 2018

By Peter Rowe

The Rev. James Burson, a Catholic priest now living in San Diego County, has been accused of molesting a Buffalo, N.Y., high school student in the 1970s.

Burson recently was added to the Diocese of Buffalo’s list of priests credibly accused of sexual misconduct. The alleged molestation involved a boy at Cardinal Dougherty High School in Buffalo in 1979.

Moving from Buffalo to San Diego around 1996, Burson initially worked as a chaplain at Alvarado, Grossmont and Kaiser hospitals. He also served as a priest at San Diego’s Blessed Sacrament parish until his retirement on July 1, 2009.

Then he moved to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Carlsbad. As recently as Nov. 4, the parish bulletin listed him “in residence.” However, a Diocese of San Diego spokesman said that poor health caused him to enter a board and care facility last year.

At Cardinal Dougherty, “there were multiple incidents of abuse,” said Mike Reck, a lawyer in the Los Angeles office of Jeff Anderson & Associates. “There are probably survivors that need to know about this.”

The Diocese of San Diego has received no complaints about Burson, a diocesan spokesperson said.

New book throws light on Viganò and McCarrick

UNITED KINGDOM
The Tablet

November 14, 2018

By Christopher Lamb

The 288-page book, published last week, and so far only available in Italian, draws on sources who worked with Viganò

“The truth emerges,” Ben Bradlee, the former editor of the Washington Post once said.

It’s a phrase that might usefully be applied to the testimony of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal ambassador to the United States, who in August called on Pope Francis to resign for allegedly ignoring sexual misconduct allegations against ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. In an explosive 11-page dossier of accusations, he claimed that the Pope had not only ignored formal sanctions that had been placed on McCarrick but had elevated him to a role as trusted adviser; he also made assertions about the pernicious influence of “homosexual currents” in the Vatican.

Since then, Archbishop Viganò has pulled back from his call for the Pope to resign, and has admitted there weren’t formal sanctions on Archbishop McCarrick, only private restrictions.

A new book, “Il Giorno del Giudizio” (“The Day of Judgment”), by two experienced Vatican journalists, Andrea Tornielli (whose interviews with Pope Francis were published in 2016 as “The Name of God is Mercy”) and Gianni Valente, helps to untangle Archbishop Viganò’s claims further, placing them into context and going some way to separating fact from fiction.

The 288-page book, published last week, and so far only available in Italian, draws on sources who worked with Viganò and from inside the Vatican. Although many details of the McCarrick case remain mysterious, this is a forensic and sober analysis that sheds new light on the career of the 88-year-old McCarrick, who was removed from public ministry and the College of Cardinals by Francis when a credible allegation he had abused a minor emerged. What “Il Giorno del Giudizio” tries to demonstrate is that attempts to turn the McCarrick saga into a “J'accuse” against Francis involves twisting facts to suit an agenda. Viganò, Tornielli and Valente claim, built a castle of accusations on grains of truth.

A new claim made in the book is that McCarrick’s sexual misconduct – which included inviting seminarians to share his bed at a beach house – was reported to the Vatican in 1999, a few months before Pope John Paul II appointed McCarrick Archbishop of Washington. Cardinal John O’Connor, Archbishop of New York, according to the authors’ sources, "wrote a heartfelt letter” to Rome in which he referred to “homosexual harassment” by McCarrick. “He declared that McCarrick was charismatic, very good at raising funds,” the book explains. “O'Connor remembered that he had recommended him in the past but that now, in conscience, he felt that he should not be chosen [for Washington].”

Child sexual abuse and the church: The church’s responsibility to protect children

TEXAS
Baptist Standard

November 13, 2018

By Scott Floyd

Previous articles considered the rate of childhood sexual abuse and how abuse impacts children and adults. Now, we ask what is the church’s role in ensuring protection to children and their families? To answer this question, we will consider a brief theology of care of children and then will look at how the church can provide effective protection for the safety of children.

What does Scripture say about care for children?

The Bible gives a clear pattern for how the world should work. In God’s design, children are to grow up in a safe environment where they can learn about God. Big people, like parents and adults who work with children, are to be loving and caring and to help little people grow up to be healthy, responsible adults who follow God with all their hearts.

Passages like Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and Psalm 78:5-8 tell of the importance of parents passing their faith along to their children. These children grow up and, in turn, pass their faith along to their children.

Mark 10:13-16 relates a time when Jesus was in Judea, well into his ministry. Individuals were bringing their children to Jesus. The disciples believed it was not the best use of Jesus’ ministry for him to spend time with children. They actually rebuked parents for bothering Jesus with their little ones.

New lawsuit filed against Catholic Church in N.O. details alleged sexual abuse at orphanage

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WVUE

November 13, 2018

By Kimberly Curth

There are disturbing allegations in a new lawsuit against the Catholic Church in New Orleans. Four men have come forward claiming they endured sexual and physical abuse at the orphanage and youth home, Madonna Manor and Hope Haven, when they were boys in the late 1970s and 80s.

The men are only identified as John Roes. They’re suing the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Catholic Charities and the Salesian Society.

One alleged victim says when he was 9, he was selected to be an altar boy for Masses that were performed at the Madonna Manor Chapel. And, “during numerous different occasions at these masses, the priests took John Roe I to the chapel sacristy where he would be raped by certain visiting priests.”

He also says he was sexually assaulted on a field trip to St. Joseph’s Abbey in Covington by an unknown cleric.

In the face of sex abuse, the church should rethink the sacrament of reconciliation

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

November 13, 2018

By Pat Perriello

The NCR editorial staff did not mince words in its open letter to U.S. Catholic bishops. Its insistence that "it is over" is compelling.

Let me just highlight a few points that the editorial makes.

First, the editorial highlights the efforts church leaders made to hide the truth of the scandal from the faithful, the public and law enforcement.

The authors then go on to describe the pharisaical nature of our hierarchy. They have been "imbibing the excesses of power, authority and privilege that have accrued over centuries."

It is also important to note just how big a deal the present crisis is. NCR says there is no precedent in U.S. church history and perhaps in global church history for what is facing the church right now. This is not about a debatable religious or dogmatic issue. It is a "rot at the heart of the culture entrusted with leadership of the Catholic community."

While the editorial acknowledges that the church has done some good things that makes it a safer place today, it notes that these changes were essentially made only because the scandal became public. Thus, "you were moved to words of contrition because you were, once again, caught."

These are strong words from the editorial staff of NCR. The staff is still looking to the hierarchy for a true personal examination, sincere desire for forgiveness, and a resolve to change. It demands ceding authority and ridding the clerical state of privilege and power.

Birmingham Catholic church sex abuse victims treated as 'scourge'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

November 13, 2018

Child sexual abuse victims were treated like "third class citizens" and "a scourge" by a Roman Catholic Archdiocese, a survivor has claimed.

An inquiry is examining Birmingham Archdiocese' response to allegations made against four priests including Father John Tolkien, son of novelist JRR Tolkien, who died in 2003.

Fr Tolkien allegedly forced a boy to kneel and pray with his trousers down.

The survivor said he was told he was chosen "for a very special position".

Can you be a former Catholic? With new betrayal on child sex abuse, I'm about to find out

UNITED STATES
USA Today

November 14, 2018

By Melinda Henneberger

Catholic to her church: After a lifetime of stubborn adherence on my part and criminal behavior on yours, you have finally managed to drive me away.

For months, American Catholics had been asked to be patient just a little longer. We were promised that the church’s “summer of shame,” following only the latest revelations about the systemic cover-ups of clerical sex abuse, would finally be addressed this week in Baltimore at the biannual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

This wouldn’t be just one more round of forced apologies, either, but would involve action — and maybe even a vote on a new standard of conduct for bishops, and an outside commission to review violations of it.

Only, to the astonishment of no one past the age of reason, that’s not going to happen after all.

Instead, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the bishops conference, who has himself shielded at least one predator, opened the meeting by announcing that the Vatican had insisted on delaying any action until after a February Vatican summit on the scandal.

Former seminarian speaks out about Denver seminary abuse

DENVER (CO)
The Associated Press

November 13, 2018

A Catholic priest from Denver accused of sexually abusing an adult seminary student was temporarily placed in a parish after officials learned of the allegations over a decade ago but later removed.

The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported on the case Monday after former seminarian Stephen Szutenbach went public partly because he is upset Rev. Kent Drotar wasn't officially defrocked.

Anglican church welcomes broader abuse inquiry

AOTEAROA (NEW ZEALAND)
Maori Television

November 13, 2018

By Moana Makapelu Lee

The Anglican church is welcoming the government's announcement to include faith-based institutions in its inquiry into historical abuse of children in state care. Northland Bishop Te Kitohi Pikaahu says the inquiry must not be limited to the state sector and churches must also be held accountable.

The Anglican church says the inquiry will provide a pathway to healing for the victims of abuse.

Bishop Pikaahu says, "This is inquiry is about resolution for men and women in state and church care.”

He says many children were placed into church care from 1940-1980 and an investigation would unveil the extent of abuse.

“The government are now listening. Churches must also be held to account for any wrongdoing against those in their care.”

In a letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in March, the Anglican church requested that churches be included in the inquiry but were turned down.

“I believe it’s because they were afraid of how far the extent of the issue went, but nothing will go amiss in this inquiry.”

Bishops Weigh Anti-Abuse Strategy After Delay Set by Vatican

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Associated Press

November 13, 2018

By David McFadden and David Crary

A Roman Catholic bishop at a meeting of his U.S. colleagues has suggested a nonbinding vote to convey a sense of their aspirations regarding anti-abuse efforts.

Several Roman Catholic bishops on Tuesday urged colleagues at their national meeting to take some sort of action on the clergy sex abuse crisis despite a Vatican order to delay voting on key proposals.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, suggested a nonbinding vote to convey a sense of the bishops' aspirations regarding anti-abuse efforts.

"We are not branch managers of the Vatican," he said. "Our people are crying out for some action."

Bishop George Murry of Youngstown, Ohio, echoed Paprocki's call, saying parishioners and priests in his diocese are "very, very angry."

The three-day assembly opened Monday with a surprise announcement by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Vatican, he said, was ordering the bishops to delay votes on two anti-abuse proposals until after a Vatican-convened global meeting on sex abuse in February.

DiNardo indicated there were two principal reasons for the Vatican order: to ensure that steps taken by the U.S. bishops would be in harmony with steps decided at the February meeting, and to provide more time for vetting aspects of the U.S. proposals that might conflict with church law.

Diocese probes another claim of sexual abuse

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
The Vindicator

November 12, 2018

By Justin Dennis

A month before the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown named 34 clergymen associated with the diocese who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor, it received one new allegation that is now under investigation.

The diocese last week also amended that list of accused to include one more name: One of the former friar’s accusers, who traveled with him as an altar boy in the mid-1980s, said the man forced himself on him when he was a pre-teen in St. Aloysius Parish in East Liverpool.

Simultaneously, a former Youngstown diocese priest, John F. Warner of Louisville, said he has worked to clear his name after the diocese’s Oct. 30 release, which exposed another disgraced priest with the exact same name.

Intense Debate Over Handling of Abuse Scandal Ensues at USCCB Meeting

BALTIMORE (MD)
CNA/EWTN News

November 14, 2018

More than 20 bishops and cardinals offered passionate speeches during an open-floor discussion on the sex-abuse crisis at the U.S. bishops’ meeting in Baltimore on Tuesday afternoon.

More bishops wanted to speak, but due to time constraints, their comments were reserved for the next morning.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), opened the discussions with the announcement that he had created a “deliberately small” task force, comprised of himself and the former presidents of the USCCB.

The task force, which includes Cardinal DiNardo and Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz and Archbishop Wilton Gregory, will work closely with the committees of the conference to examine instances of abuse and mishandling of abuse cases, and their work will culminate in a report presented at the next bishops’ meeting in June, Cardinal DiNardo said.

Afterward, Cardinal DiNardo opened the floor to any comments on the task force or the issue of the sex-abuse crisis at large.

How Dove’s Nest trains churches to keep children safe

CHICAGO (IL)
The Christian Century

November 14, 2018

Elizabeth Palmer interviews Anna Groff

“Churches are places of high trust—and high risk.”

Anna Groff is the executive director of Dove’s Nest, an organization that equips faith communities to build safe environments for children and survivors. It trains teachers in the Circle of Grace curriculum, a tool for helping young people maintain physical boundaries and recognize inappropriate situations.

For those who don’t know the Circle of Grace curriculum, what’s the one point it makes that is most important to teach children?

Many children already receive sexuality and boundary education in school. Circle of Grace is distinct in communicating that people in the church care about all the parts of life, including our physical bodies and body safety. We want children to know that God cares and the church cares that they are safe and that their bodies are respected. Circle of Grace enables Christian educators to teach that no topic is off limits in church.

For example, a few days before Circle of Grace was being taught at a church in Grand Rapids, a first-grade student at a local Christian school texted a photo of his penis to another student. Since several of the church’s children attended that school, the text message came up in conversation during a Circle of Grace lesson. The teacher alerted the director of children’s ministries, who brought the parents into the discussion at dismissal time. “We can have those kind of conversations—about sexting, safety, our bodies—at church,” the director told me. “It is fair game.”

Claims process opens for victims of clergy sex abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
The Associated Press

November 14, 2018

Victims of child sexual abuse by clergy in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia can begin filing claims as part of a victim compensation fund.

Claims administrators said Tuesday they sent 342 packets to survivors who had previously reported credible allegations.

They say the archdiocese has committed to pay accepted claims, there is no appeal process and there is no cap on the fund or the amount individual victims can receive. Victims have to waive their rights to sue the archdiocese in the future to accept offers.

Cesareo fears for church future if more action not taken on abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
Catholic News Service

November 13, 2018

The U.S. bishops gave a standing ovation Nov. 13 to Francesco Cesareo, chairman of the National Review Board, for his report on the widening abuse crisis in the church and his calls for more action from them to address the abuse.

Cesareo, board chairman since 2013, called for broadening the scope of the “Charter on the Protection of Children and Young People” to include bishops. He also urged publishing complete lists of credibly accused clergy in all dioceses; improving the audit process; and enhancing accountability for bishops regarding cases of abuse.

He urged the bishops to take action and continue to move solutions to abuse forward. “Don’t stagnate it, or slow it down,” said Cesareo during a question-and-answer period following his report. “If that does not happen, I fear for the future of our church.”

Cesareo’s report came at the beginning of the second day of the annual fall assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. The day’s agenda included discussion of proposals for addressing the abuse crisis but items that a day earlier the Vatican asked they delay voting on.

“They lied”: Archdiocese of Denver removed priest after seminarian’s abuse allegations, but didn’t move to defrock him

DENVER (CO)
The Denver Post

November 12, 2018

By Elise Schmelzer

Former seminarian says he feels betrayed by the church, lied to by those he knows in its leadership
A Catholic priest in Denver accused of having sexually abused a young seminarian over the course of four years in the early 2000s was placed in a local church with a school after the Archdiocese of Denver learned of the allegations.

The clergyman, Kent Drotar, lost permission to work as a priest less than two months later and was removed from his post at Notre Dame Catholic Church in southwest Denver after a disciplinary team found the allegations against him credible, as first reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer on Monday and confirmed by The Denver Post.

Stephen Szutenbach, now 37, studied at St. John Vianney Theological Seminary in Denver from 2001 to 2004, and said Drotar — then the vice rector at the seminary — repeatedly made unwanted sexual contact with him. The abuse began in the summer of 2000 when Szutenbach was 18 and worked as a groundskeeper at the seminary after graduating from Conifer High School, Szutenbach told the Post in an interview Monday.

Jehovah's Witnesses Recount Stories of Abuse, Estrangement in Leah Remini-Hosted Special

UNITED STATES
Hollywood Reporter

November 13, 2018

By Katie Kilkenny

In a special preceding 'Scientology and the Aftermath's' third season, Remini gathered ex-members to discuss their experiences with the church on issues including blood transfusions, justice and women's rights.

Leah Remini kicked off the third season of her A&E series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath on Tuesday night with a deep-dive, two-hour special on the Christian denomination Jehovah's Witnesses.

On Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath: The Jehovah's Witnesses, Remini led a panel of ex-Jehovah's Witnesses as they explained some of the church's most controversial positions and practices: its belief in Armageddon, disavowal of blood transfusions, disfellowships and subjugation of women.

As Remini explained at the beginning, the special stemmed from letters and social-media messages the production received, asking it to look into the denomination. "I thought Jehovah's Witnesses were just nice people knocking on doors," Remini said. But "We have received many letters, [saying], 'Please look into the Jehovah's Witnesses'" and making the connection between Scientology and Jehovah's Witnesses, she noted.

Archbishop Etienne: Bishops need to address 'blind spot' of sex abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
National Catholic Reporter

November 14, 2018

By Heidi Schlumpf

Some bishops have been more concerned about the reputation of the church than about victims of sexual abuse, indicating "clear corruption" and "a blind spot" that must be addressed, said Archbishop Paul Etienne of Anchorage, Alaska.

Etienne suggested a study — similar to the 2011 John Jay College "causes and context" study of priests who abused minors — to help understand "the episcopal attitude that was able to handle the abuse situation in such an inept way over the decades."

He also criticized bishops "who have gotten too accustomed to listening to lawyers over victims" and said that he and his brother bishops must remain vigilant against "the three Ps" — pride and the desire for privilege and power.

"That's a corruption of our life as shepherds that has to be called out and say 'No more. It's not tolerable,' " Etienne told NCR in an interview after the Nov. 13 morning session of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meeting in Baltimore.

Later that day, Bishop Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City, Missouri, took to the floor and suggested a similar study of "the root causes of abuse of power" in the crisis.

Italian priest and pioneer in anti-pedophilia fight optimistic about Italian Church

ROME
Crux

November 14, 2018

By Claire Giangravè

An Italian priest on the front lines of the fight against sexual abuse, and a member of a commission that shortly will be producing the Italian bishops’ new guidelines for safeguarding children, said he’s optimistic about the handling of abuse cases on the peninsula.

The guidelines “will address formation, information and prevention, as well as everything necessary to ensure that the Church becomes a safe haven of care capable of handling these issues,” said Father Fortunato Di Noto, an internationally renowned figure respected for his work in the fight against pedophilia, in a phone interview with Crux.

The Italian bishops’ conference gathered Nov. 12-14 for an extraordinary assembly that is tackling, among other things, sexual abuse. Pope Francis requested that the bishops provide new guidelines, to be added to those already published in 2014, and to focus primarily on prevention.

After a year and a half of work, the commission will present the new guidelines to the assembly and the bishops will take them back to their dioceses for reflection until they are called to express their vote.

The date in which the guidelines will be voted upon and released has not been set.

Archbishop Lori Would ‘Support Vote’ To Deal With Church’s Sex Abuse Crisis, Despite Pope’s Request

BALTIMORE (MD)
WJZ

November 13, 2018

By Kimberly Eiten

Welcomed to Baltimore by protestors Tuesday on the waterfront, 300 of the nation’s bishops met inside the Marriott Hotel for the second day under the spotlight of the church’s sex abuse scandal.

Monday, the Pope asked that the bishops delay a formal vote on measures aimed at dealing with the church’s sex abuse crisis.

But Catholic leaders said even without a vote, the issue is still at the forefront this week.

A more full accounting of abuse in Catholic Church

LAS CRUCES (NM)
Las Cruces Sun-News

November 13, 2018

Sun-News Editorial Board

After years of rumors and allegations, we finally learned the full scope of sexual abuse that has taken place in the Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces in the past 35 years.

Or, as close to the full scope as we can get at this point.

Last week the diocese released the names of 28 members of the clergy who served in the diocese and were “credibly accused” of sexual misconduct with a minor. It is still possible the list of alleged abusers could grow as more people who were victimized long ago find the ability to step forward.

The exact number of victims will never be known. The diocese has put out a public request for anyone with knowledge of sexual abuse of a minor committed by a member of the clergy to contact the local police or sheriff’s department.

Church officials said they hope that releasing the list of alleged abusers will lead more victims to come forward. And, they have also established a victim’s assistance coordinator, Margarita Martinez, who can be contacted at 575-523-7577.

Many of the 28 alleged abusers are now dead. We are told by the diocese than none are still active in the ministry.

Survivors accuse Catholic church and police of 'covering up' decades of child sexual abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
ITV News

November 13, 2018

By Charlotte Cross

Harrowing details of violent and sexual abuse at the hands of Roman Catholic priests in the Midlands have been revealed today.

An inquiry panel has heard how for years, claims by victims and survivors were ignored, minimised and brushed under the carpet by senior figures in the Archdiocese of Birmingham - with suggestions the police may have been aware of what was going on.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is spending this week looking into the way the Archdiocese - the biggest such province in England and Wales - handled reports of abuse.

On the second day of hearings, the panel heard from a survivor known as A31, who was targeted by former priest James Robinson; as well as a man who says he was abused by Father John Tolkien, the son of Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien.

Alleged victim of Archbishop McCarrick speaks at rally outside USCCB meeting

BALTIMORE (MD)
CNA Daily News

November 13, 2018

James Grein, the man who came forward this summer alleging he was abused for 18 years by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, appeared in public Tuesday for the first time and revealed his full name. Previously, the New York Times had identified him only as “James.”

Grein appeared at the Nov. 13 “Silence Stops Now” counter-rally organized by several groups critical of the bishops’ approach to addressing the sexual abuse crisis. The rally was held near the location of the USCCB’s Fall General Assembly in Baltimore.

Grein was visibly nervous taking the stage, where he delivered a short speech about his experience coming forward with his story, and received an extended standing ovation when he finished.

In July Grein came forward with his story to the New York Times. He said McCarrick began abusing him when he was 11 years old. At that time, McCarrick was 39 years old, and a priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

This abuse continued for the next 18 years, he said, during which McCarrick was consecrated a bishop and served in the local Churches of New York, Metuchen, and Newark. In November 2000, he was appointed Archbishop of Washington, where he served the remainder of his career until his 2006 retirement. In 2001, McCarrick was elevated to the College of Cardinals. About a week after Grein’s allegation was published, McCarrick resigned from the College of Cardinals.

Pope Francis Just Pulled a Power Play on American Bishops at Crucial Conference

ROME
The Daily Beast

November 12, 2018

By Barbie Latza Nadeau

At a moment when optics matter most, Francis pulled the plug on U.S. bishops as they met to do something measurable on clerical sex abuse—and precisely as new allegations emerged.

There has perhaps never been a more critical moment in the history of the American Catholic Church to appear to be doing the right thing on clerical child sex abuse than this week as their leadership meets in Baltimore.

But in the hours before the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, or USCCB, representing some 196 dioceses, gathered Monday morning, word came down from Rome that Pope Francis didn’t want the Americans to vote on two important items on their agenda—essentially ordering them to halt their vital work on reforms.

Instead, he wants any vote by individual national churches to take place after a Feb. 21-24, 2019, summit in Rome, where the global leaders of the church will be focused on its worldwide response to abuse.

But it means that this U.S. meeting, which was supposed to herald a change of course, is now just another meeting in which nothing concrete is accomplished.

Anne Barrett Doyle, the co-director of Bishops Accountability, a website that lists all cases of misconduct and coverups by clergy, called the Vatican’s move “truly incredible.”

Vatican orders US bishops to postpone crucial vote on sexual abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY
The Independent

November 12, 2018

By Sarah Harvard

The Vatican has instructed US Catholic bishops to postpone plans to vote on proposed new steps to address the clergy sex abuse crisis embroiling the church.

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) was planning to vote on a referendum that would hold bishops responsible for failing to protect children from sexual abuse in the church.

In an announcement to his fellow Catholic clergymen, USCCB President Cardinal Daniel DiNardo said the Holy See requested the conference to hold off their vote until February when the Vatican will hold their global meeting on sexual abuse.

“We are not, ourselves, happy about this,” Mr DiNardo said – with much chagrin – at a press conference in Baltimore on Monday morning. “We have been working hard to get to the action stage, and we’ll do it, but we have to get past this bump in the road.”

Mr DiNardo said he was made aware of the decision on Sunday.

American Catholic Bishops Miss Their Big Chance to Implement Sex-Abuse Reforms

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Atlantic

November 14, 2018

By Olivia Paschal

In an unprecedented move, the Vatican intervened this week to scuttle a vote on proposed changes to bishop oversight.

This week’s fall assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops was supposed to be the first high-profile occasion for the Church’s top leaders to take steps toward rebuilding public trust after a series of revelations this summer in the ongoing sex-abuse crisis. The assembly was slated to vote this week on a series of reforms to address the crisis, but its plans were quickly upended by the Vatican, throwing the reforms’ future into doubt.

Had they passed, the proposed measures would have created a code of conduct for bishops and a special commission, including six lay members, tasked with working with the apostolic nuncio, the Pope’s diplomatic representative to the United States Church, to investigate allegations of bishop misconduct. These would have been small, but significant, moves toward making bishops more accountable when they fail to report abusive priests, or when they are accused of abuse themselves. But even these limited actions were delayed.

On Monday morning, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the conference’s president, announced that the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops had asked the bishops to delay a vote on the reforms. They would wait until a February meeting between Pope Francis and the heads of bishops’ conferences around the world. The Holy See’s request came as an unwelcome shock to many of the bishops, and may further strain the already tense relationship between American bishops and the papacy.

Yahoo News Explains: Is the Vatican doing enough to address sexual abuse in the church?

VATICAN CITY
Yahoo News Video

November 14, 2018

By Kayla Jardine

The Vatican halted a plan by U.S. bishops to address the age-old sexual abuse issues plaguing the Roman Catholic Church.

“At the insistence of the Holy See, we will not be voting on the two action items in our documentation regarding the abuse crisis,” said Cardinal Daniel DiNardo.

America’s Catholic leaders hoped to vote on the first code of conduct for bishops. This would make it easier to investigate misconduct and abuse in the Catholic Church.

The announcement was made at an annual meeting, and many were left disappointed and frustrated by the news from Rome.

“We can bring a lot in terms of what we’ve managed to accomplish over 16 years, in terms of cleaning up our act, making sure our churches are safe for children, our schools are safe for children,” said Bishop Christopher Coyne.

Leaders planned to hold bishops more responsible for reported cases of misconduct and abuse.

J.R.R. Tolkien’s priest son a focus of UK abuse inquiry in Birmingham archdiocese

LEICESTER (UNITED KINGDOM)
Crux

November 13, 2018

By Charles Collins

Allegations of abuse lodged against Father John Tolkien, son of Lord of the Rings creator J.R.R. Tolkien, were discussed on Monday and Tuesday by a British government inquiry into abuse into the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

The priest, who died in 2003, was accused of making a group of boys strip naked during a camping trip in the 1950s, as well as abusing a child seeking help with his reading skills.

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse is this week examining the Archdiocese of Birmingham’s response to historic allegations made against several priests, including Tolkien.

The inquiry was established by the British Home Office - which oversees similar areas as the U.S. Departments of Justice and Homeland Security - but is independent and does not answer to the government.

READ THE COMPLAINT: Class action 
abuse lawsuit 
names bishops 
and Vatican

JOHNSTOWN (PA)
The Tribune-Democrat

November 14, 2018

By Dave Sutor

A Westmont resident is one of six named plaintiffs in a federal class action civil suit filed Tuesday against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Holy See.

Shaun Dougherty, an alleged victim of childhood sexual abuse at the hands of a priest within the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, has joined the lawsuit that is about the alleged “endemic, systemic, rampant, and pervasive rape and sexual abuse of Plaintiffs and Class Members” perpetrated by cardinals, bishops, monsignors, priests, sisters, lay leaders and members of church orders, according to the document, obtained late Tuesday by The Tribune-Democrat.

Plaintiffs also argue that the alleged abuse and coverup constitutes a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act case, because multiple alleged violations involved the federal mail and wire fraud.

Our Opinion: Worrisome stoppage of bishops' conference

PITTSFIELD (MA)
The Berkshire Eagle

November 13, 2018

For the Roman Catholic Church in America, this week was to have been a time of self-realization, confrontation and admission of past sins, and the development of concrete action to resurrect an institution in crisis. As the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opened its meeting in Baltimore on Monday, attendees were determined to address the 16-year-old abuse scandal that had been re-energized over the summer by a Pennsylvania grand jury's allegations that at least 1,000 children had been abused by 301 priests over the past 70 years. The underlying sentiment was that only a thorough process wherein even bishops would be held accountable for sexual misconduct and/or covering up such acts within their dioceses would return disillusioned former faithful to the church's flock.

As the bishops learned to their shock and dismay at the conclave's opening, orders had arrived from Pope Francis to stand down until a worldwide meeting of senior clergy had an opportunity to meet next February. While the American church has a tradition of following its own procedural path within certain guidelines, the assembled bishops, whether they liked it or not, acknowledged that they owed their fealty first and foremost to the Pope, regardless of how expectant and hopeful victims and laity might greet the news.

In a speech in Estonia in September, Pope Francis acknowledged that the clergy abuse scandal was eroding the faith of Catholics and chasing many from the church. The speech, in which the Pope said the church must change, coincided with a stinging report on clergy abuse of children in Germany. Unfortunately, the Pope's request of the American bishops feeds cynicism that the church does not intend to go beyond words to action.

Bishops weigh anti-abuse strategy after delay set by Vatican

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Associated Press

November 14, 2018

Several Roman Catholic bishops on Tuesday urged colleagues at their national meeting to take some sort of action on the clergy sex abuse crisis despite a Vatican order to delay voting on key proposals.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, suggested a nonbinding vote to convey a sense of the bishops' aspirations regarding anti-abuse efforts.
"We are not branch managers of the Vatican," he said. "Our people are crying out for some action."

Bishop George Murry of Youngstown, Ohio, echoed Paprocki's call, saying parishioners and priests in his diocese are "very, very angry."

The three-day assembly opened Monday with a surprise announcement by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Vatican, he said, was ordering the bishops to delay votes on two anti-abuse proposals until after a Vatican-convened global meeting on sex abuse in February.

DiNardo indicated there were two principal reasons for the Vatican order: to ensure that steps taken by the U.S. bishops would be in harmony with steps decided at the February meeting, and to provide more time for vetting aspects of the U.S. proposals that might conflict with church law.

Even without the option of a formal vote this week, the U.S. bishops proceeded with discussion of the two key proposals. One would establish a new code of conduct of individual bishops; the other would create a nine-member special commission, including six lay experts and three members of the clergy, to review complaints against the bishops.

Diocese of Gaylord Releases List of Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse

GAYLORD (MI)
9and10 News

November 14, 2018

By David Lyden

The investigation into clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church is now reaching into Northern Michigan.

The Diocese of Gaylord has published the names of all priests accused of misconduct dating back to 1971.

That list includes 10 names and has been made public on the diocese’s website.

Some of the priests have passed away, but others are simply listed as removed from public ministry.

The list does not include what they were accused of or their assignment history.

We should also note the diocese did not make any formal announcement that the list had been published.

US bishops meeting to debate sex abuse crisis, accountability

UNITED STATES
La Croix International (with Catholic News Service)

November 12, 2018

They will also include some other agenda items, such as a statement on racism and election of chairmen for several committees

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will gather for the 2018 Fall General Assembly in Baltimore today when top of the agenda will be the sex abuse crisis and accountability for bishops.

The Nov. 12-14 meeting will also include some other agenda items, such as a statement on racism and election of chairmen for several committees.

Vienna priest placed on leave amidst allegation of misconduct; faced previous allegation

VIENNA TWP. (OH)
WFMJ

November 12, 2018

By Cristen Manion and J. Breen Mitchell

A Vienna pastor placed on administrative leave pending an allegation into inappropriate behavior with a minor has faced a similar allegation in the past.

According to the Youngstown Catholic Diocese, Reverend Denis G. Bouchard, F.S.S.P., is on administrative leave following allegations of "inappropriate behavior with a minor," which came to light in September.

The victim was between the ages of 9 and 11 at the time of the alleged abuse.

Bouchard is currently the pastor of Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish, Vienna, Ohio.

21 News has learned this is not the first time there has been an allegation of misconduct against Bouchard. Casey told 21 News a previous allegation had been made against him, but the alleged victim, in that case, was not cooperative with investigators at the time, so the allegation was never deemed to be credible. Casey said she has also reached out to that alleged victim but has also encountered the same reluctance to cooperate. Bouchard was not on a list of priests deemed to have been credibly accused of sexual abuse released last month by the Diocese.

The diocese says the Diocesan Review Board met and recommended to Bishop George V. Murry, S.J., further investigation to determine its credibility and substantiation.

The Diocese of Youngstown says their policy dictates that Father Bouchard be placed on administrative leave while a thorough investigation proceeds.

The Victim Assistance Coordinator for the Diocese, retired police Sergeant Delphine Baldwin-Casey, says the allegation is within the statute of limitations and they are conferring with the Trumbull County Prosecutor's Office about potential charges, but said it will likely be up to the victim whether they want to pursue charges, since they are of legal age now.

Women and men religious in France discuss 'change' in the Church

LOURDES (FRANCE)
La Croix International

November 12, 2018

By Bruno Bouvet

Religious appear to agree on the importance of a balanced community life to prevent abuse, including the correct use of speech and authority

French religious communities, whose leaders are meeting in Lourdes until Nov.13, have not been immune from the problems and abuses highlighted by Pope Francis in his Letter to the People of God. Many now view these difficulties as an opportunity for renewal, particularly in Church governance.

What did Father Jean-Pierre Longeat, a monk from Ligugé and former president of the Conference of Men and Women Religious in France (CORREF), mean when he spoke of “beneficial situations that are forcing us to take a stand”?

What will the Vatican do with China’s underground bishops?

CHINA
La Croix International

November 12, 2018

By Michael Sainsbury

Their fate was not included in the recent deal with Beijing and remains under discussion

On the face of it, one of the more curious issues about the recent "temporary" deal between the Vatican and Beijing on the appointment of bishops, as described in the official state-run Chinese media, was the lack of any resolution of the status of bishops appointed by the Vatican but not recognized by Communist Party-run Catholic groups.

It would seem to have been a logical quid pro quo — something granted or expected in return for something given — for the Vatican's forgiveness and recognition of seven bishops (including one recently deceased bishop) appointed by the Chinese Communist Party's twinset of Catholic apparatus. These are the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the Bishops' Conference of the Chinese Catholic Church (BCCCC). This meant their de facto excommunications were also revoked.

Gil Tamayo asume un “silencio cómplice” de la Iglesia con la pederastia pero lo extiende a toda la sociedad

[Episcopal Conference leader Gil Tamayo admits Church's "complicit silence" but extends it to the whole society]

MADRID (SPAIN)
El País

November 14, 2018

El secretario general de la Conferencia Episcopal Española pide al resto de la sociedad que no se calle y que asuma "su cuota de responsabilidad"

El secretario general y portavoz de la Conferencia Episcopal Española, José María Gil Tamayo, ha admitido que durante años la Iglesia ha guardado un "silencio cómplice" ante los casos de pederastia en el seno de esta institución, que ha enmarcado en un contexto de "inacción de toda la sociedad española" ante estos delitos.

French religious unite to combat sexual abuse

LOURDES (FRANCE)
La Croix International

November 13, 2018

By Bruno Bouvet

Work groups and dedicated study days being organized to help inform decisions; open new avenues of investigation and action

Following directly from measures outlined by the French bishops in the conclusion of their autumn plenary assembly in Lourdes, representatives of men and women religious have confirmed their engagement in the fight against sexual abuse.

Iglesia de Santiago: en qué se usó el dinero recibido en 2017

[Church of Santiago: how money received in 2017 was used]

CHILE
La Tercera

November 13, 2018

By M. Navarrete and S. Rodríguez

Arzobispado publicó el balance de su última gestión, con ingresos por $ 11 mil millones. El trabajo pastoral y social de sus vicarías se lleva más de la mitad de los recursos.

En estos días en que se desarrolla en Santiago la Asamblea Plenaria de la Conferencia Episcopal, donde, entre otros temas, se abordarán los casos de abusos por parte del clero, la Arquidiócesis de Santiago transparentó este martes sus ingresos y gastos de 2017, año en que se anunció la visita del Papa Francisco a Chile y que antecedió a la actual crisis eclesial.

Juan Barros tras declarar por caso de encubrimiento: “Espero que todo se vaya aclarando”

[Juan Barros after testifying in cover-up case: "I hope everything will be clarified for good"]

CHILE
La Tercera

November 14, 2018

By Claudia Soto

El obispo emérito de Osorno declaró como imputado ante el fiscal Sergio Moya, en el marco de las indagatorias por los presuntos delitos sexuales cometidos por el ex capellán de la Fach Pedro Quiroz.

Hasta la fiscalía de O’Higgins llegó esta mañana el obispo emérito de Osorno, Juan Barros, para declarar en calidad de imputado por el eventual encubrimiento de los presuntos delitos sexuales cometidos por el ex capellán de la Fach, Pedro Quiroz.

Cardenal Errázuriz se despide del Papa y cierra su participación en el C9

[Cardinal Errázuriz says goodbye to the Pope and ends his C9 participation]

CHILE
La Tercera

November 14, 2018

By Sergio Rodríguez and María José Navarrete

El encuentro con el Pontífice ocurrió el fin de semana reciente. “Fui a Roma a despedirme del Santo Padre y a agradecerle el fecundo trabajo que nos confió para reformar la Curia Romana”, ratificó el prelado chileno.

“No es un renuncia. Me despedí al término del período para el cual fui nombrado”, aclaró ayer a La Tercera PM el cardenal Francisco Javier Errázuriz, en relación al viaje que efectuó el fin de semana último al Vaticano, para cerrar su trabajo en el Consejo de Cardenales, también conocido como C9.

As Others See It: Vatican officials still don’t get it

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Post

November 14, 2018

AN EDITORIAL FROM THE WASHINGTON POST

The Catholic Church proves incapable of exorcising clergy sex abuse — again

It is evident that the Catholic Church is incapable on its own of exorcising the scourge of clergy sex abuse. The scandal raged unchecked for decades and, even after it was exposed in 2002 by the Boston Globe, has been met by the church hierarchy with denial, temporizing, stonewalling and half-measures.

Even as the bishops of America’s 196 Catholic dioceses and archdioceses gathered in Baltimore on Monday to grapple with the latest major revelations — a Pennsylvania grand jury’s report from August detailing decades of abuse involving more than 1,000 victims and at least 300 clergy members — they were stopped in their tracks by an abrupt message from the Vatican, which asked them to hold off. That intercession arrived along with a warning from Pope Francis’ ambassador in the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who seemed to scoff at the proposal, which the bishops had been set to vote on, to establish a lay commission that would assess bishops’ misconduct — “as if we were no longer capable of reforming or trusting ourselves,” as he put it.

That remark crystallized the arrogance that has often characterized the church’s stance even as countless exposes have laid bare the culpability of its leaders. From high and low, the church has broadcast its conviction that its own transgressions are no worse than that of other institutions; that state statutes of limitations that shield dioceses from lawsuits should be preserved; and that no foothold may be allowed for mechanisms to discipline bishops who have enabled abuse by transferring pedophile priests from parish to parish.

Seattle Archdiocese pays nearly $7 million to settle men’s claims that six priests abused them as boys

SEATTLE (WA)
The Seattle Times

November 13, 2018

By Lewis Kamb

Jim Hauer and the five other men each claim they were victimized as children decades ago by priests assigned to churches and schools throughout Western Washington. In addition to receiving settlements, several expressed a demand that the church reveal its infamous "secret files" that for years protected and enabled abusers.

He’d just finished the eighth grade and was pursuing a plan to devote his life to God when Jim Hauer met the priest who he says introduced him to evil.

Back then, in 1976, Hauer said he “didn’t understand” how Father Theodore Marmo — a supervisor of the Seattle Archdiocese’s seminary studies program at John F. Kennedy High School in Burien — allegedly groomed him for abuse.

“I was innocent of thought,” Hauer recalled this week.

But now, some four decades later, Hauer can plainly recognize the tactics his alleged rapist employed: How Marmo separated him from the other boys his age; how the priest took him skiing and to movies; how he hired Hauer for jobs that kept the boy at St. Edwards Hall, the live-in seminary, over weekends and otherwise “enabled him to take advantage of me.”

Decades later, memories of what Marmo did to him mostly remained buried deep in Hauer’s mind until two years ago. That’s when the then-53-year-old San Francisco-based technology sales executive and married father of two sons received an unexpected call. A legal investigator in Seattle was on the line, checking into another man’s abuse claims about the priest.

Lamenting Clergy Sex Abuse, Pa. Bishops Announce Victim-Compensation Funds

HARRISBURG (PA)
Catholic News Agency

November 13, 2018

Seven of the eight Roman Catholic dioceses of Pennsylvania will create compensation funds for victims of clergy sex abuse.

Seven of the eight Roman Catholic dioceses of Pennsylvania will create compensation funds for victims of clergy sex abuse, following a grand jury inquiry into abuse of minors by Catholic priests in the state.

“The damage done to innocent young people and their families by sexual abuse in the past is profound. It can’t be erased by apologies, no matter how sincere. And money can’t buy back a wounded person’s wholeness,” Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia said in a Nov. 8 column for CatholicPhilly.com.

“But what compensation can do is acknowledge the evil done and meaningfully assist survivors as they work to find greater peace in their lives,” he said.

The archdiocese-funded reparations effort will pay “the amounts that independent claims administrators deem appropriate,” he said.

4 more allege sexual abuse at Marrero youth homes in new church abuse lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
The New Orleans Advocate

November 13, 2018

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

Four more men have come forward with detailed claims of being abused both sexually and physically while living at two troubled Catholic-run youth homes in Marrero in the 1970s and ’80s, according to a new lawsuit filed Tuesday.

The 24-page suit appears to be the first aimed at the Archdiocese of New Orleans since, earlier this month, it revealed the names of 57 clergy members considered to have been credibly accused of sexually abusing children within the last 50 years.

That list included eight clergymen who worked at the two homes, Hope Haven and Madonna Manor, which have been the focus of earlier lawsuits settled by the archdiocese. The homes are largely vacant these days.

By design, the list of fallen priests and deacons released Nov. 2 did not include the names of any lay staff or religious brothers and nuns working at archdiocese facilities. Those omissions, the lawsuit claims, run counter to the archdiocese's stated aim of being completely transparent in the wake of the child sex abuse crisis that has dogged the Catholic Church for decades.

The lawsuit says that along with priests of the Salesian order, lay staffers and a religious brother were among the victims' tormentors. The victims don’t provide their names in the suit, which describes numerous acts of molestation.

Allentown Diocese, former bishop, former priest and treatment center sued

ALLENTOWN (PA)
The Morning Call

November 13, 2018

By Tim Darragh and Peter Hall

A 29-year-old man is suing Allentown Diocese Bishop Alfred Schlert, former Bishop Edward Cullen, a former diocesan priest and a treatment center for priests in a complaint alleging he was sexually molested between the ages of 10 and 12.

The lawsuit, filed Monday in Lehigh County Court, alleges that former priest Bruno Tucci groped the man, identified in the lawsuit as “John Doe,” when he was an altar boy at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Nesquehoning between 1999-2001.

Attorneys Gerald J. Williams of Philadelphia, Michelle Simpson Tuegel of Dallas and Muhammad S. Aziz of Houston, who represent John Doe, said during a news conference in Philadelphia the suit is the first seeking monetary damages that is based on information contained in the Pennsylvania grand jury report on clergy abuse released this summer.

New lawsuit filed against Catholic Church in N.O. details alleged sexual abuse at orphanage

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WVUE

November 13, 2018

By Kimberly Curth

There are disturbing allegations in a new lawsuit against the Catholic Church in New Orleans. Four men have come forward claiming they endured sexual and physical abuse at the orphanage and youth home, Madonna Manor and Hope Haven, when they were boys in the late 1970s and 80s.

The men are only identified as John Roes. They’re suing the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Catholic Charities and the Salesian Society.

One alleged victim says when he was 9, he was selected to be an altar boy for Masses that were performed at the Madonna Manor Chapel. And, “during numerous different occasions at these masses, the priests took John Roe I to the chapel sacristy where he would be raped by certain visiting priests.”

He also says he was sexually assaulted on a field trip to St. Joseph’s Abbey in Covington by an unknown cleric.

The lawsuit says the sexual and physical abuse continued until he was admitted to a mental institution where he stayed for more than two years because of a severe emotional collapse.

The DOJ is finally investigating Catholic Church sex crimes, and it could catalyze other lawsuits

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Jurist

November 13, 2018

By Professor SpearIt; Edited by Jessica Lasky

JURIST Guest Columnist Professor SpearIt of the Jesuit-affiliated Gonzaga University School of Law discusses critical questions and possible implications of the DOJ investigation into the Catholic Church...

The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently launched an investigation into the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania. The central focus of the inquiry seeks to determine whether there have been violations of federal child sex-crimes and related crimes among Church leaders. This investigation raises a number of critical issues, including the potential impacts on American law and society. For the Church, there are no certainties about what the investigation portends for clergy or congregation. In the best-case scenario for church leadership, the investigation could be concluded quickly and painlessly, with little or no legal consequence; more menacingly, the investigation could lead to indictments and trigger investigations far and wide.

The catalyst for the federal investigation was a report released by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in August 2018, detailing its own investigation into the Church. The twenty-three grand jurors who helped compile the report included practicing Catholics who based their reporting on internal documents surrendered by six Dioceses and on testimony from victims. The findings indicated that more than 300 priests in Pennsylvania had sexually abused children over seven decades, and the priests were protected by a hierarchy of church leadership. The findings stated:

OTHERS SAY: Catholic Church waves red flag

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Post

November 14, 2018

It is evident that the Catholic Church is incapable on its own of exorcising the scourge of clergy sex abuse. The scandal raged unchecked for decades and, even after it was exposed in 2002 by the Boston Globe, has been met by the church hierarchy with denial, temporizing, stonewalling and half-measures.

Even as the bishops of America's 196 Catholic dioceses and archdioceses gathered in Baltimore Monday to grapple with the latest major revelations - a Pennsylvania grand jury's report from August detailing decades of abuse involving more than 1,000 victims and at least 300 priests - they were stopped in their tracks by an abrupt message from the Vatican, which asked them to hold off. That intercession arrived along with a warning from Pope Francis' ambassador in the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who seemed to scoff at the proposal, which the bishops had been set to vote on, to establish a lay commission that would assess bishops' misconduct - "as if we were no longer capable of reforming or trusting ourselves," as he put it.

How Chicago Catholics are responding to the church sex abuse crisis

CHICAGO (IL)
FOX 32

November 13, 2018

In a FOX 32 special report: losing the faith.

After decades of clergy abuse allegations in the catholic church, new revelations are coming to life. But what keeps parishioners coming back week after week?

For John Prezzia, the Catholic church is where he was raised. It's part of his identity and where he continues to find solace.

“There's nowhere else to go for true joy, true peace, and true love,” Prezzia said.

“I grew up on the south side of Chicago. A cradle Catholic, very religious family,” said Therese Albrecht-Key.

But while some found true joy, others found pure hell. Therese Albrecht-Key says her priest began abusing her -- in the church -- when she was only 8 years old.

“The touching started, and then it escalated to rape and sodomy over a desk in the classroom,” Albrecht-Key said.

She said it lasted for years and when she finally got the courage to speak up, she was dismissed.

“What he did to me, killed my spirit, murdered my soul. I'm hanging on, by the skin of my teeth,” Albrecht-Key said.

Claims process begins for clergy abuse victims; nearly 350 submitted credible allegations

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
KYW Newsradio

November 13, 2018

By Steve Tawa

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia's independent compensation program for victims of clergy abuse has begun to provide support for survivors.

Members on the panel for the Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program (IRRP) will begin to hear claims, regardless of when victims were harmed.

The panel disclosed for the first time that its initial mailing of packets went to 342 known survivors within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia who submitted credible allegations. The work will be monitored by an Independent Oversight Committee, chaired by former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell.

"Sexual abuse of minors by members of the Catholic Church clergy is a tragedy," Mitchell said. "It seriously and adversely affected many innocent victims that mars the church's considerable contribution to the fabric of American life. Also of great concern, are the failures of many archdioceses to prevent these unspeakable acts from occurring."

Catholic priests at Hope Haven orphanage in Marrero accused of molestation in new lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

November 13, 2018

By Drew Broach

Pedophile priests accused of molesting children at the former Hope Haven and Madonna Manor orphanages are targets of a new lawsuit filed Tuesday (Nov. 13) against the Archdiocese of New Orleans and the Salesian order to which the priests belonged. Two lawyers filed the suit in Orleans Parish Civil District Court on behalf of four unnamed adults who as children lived at the Marrero orphanages in the 1970s and 1980s.

The suit comes 11 days after the archdiocese disclosed the names of 55 priests and two deacons whom it said had been “credibly accused” of sexually abusing children in its jurisdiction since 1917. Eight of those priests, six of them now dead, worked at Hope Haven.

Ogdensburg diocese releases names of priests implicated in abuse

OGDENSBURG (NY)
Watertown Daily Times

November 14, 2018

By Larry Robinson

The Diocese of Ogdensburg has released a statement and a list of priests implicated in the church’s sexual abuse scandal on the diocesan website.

The posting comes following a Sunday statement from Bishop Terry R. LaValley promising to make the names public.

“Diocesan Priests removed from ministry and those who were deceased or left ministry prior to a finding of reasonable grounds by the Diocesan Review Board and/or the Diocesan Bishop due to sexual misconduct with a minor or vulnerable adult,” the statement reads.

Eight of the 28 priests on the list, John Fallon, Theodore Gillette, John Hunt, Liam O’Doherty, Robert Shurtleff, Clark White, David Wisniewski and Paul Worczak were named by a Minnesota-based law firm representing victims of child abuse in March.

“The Diocese of Ogdensburg can be viewed as a microcosm of the national problem of priests sexually assaulting minors because the diocese fails to fully disclose its knowledge of sexually abusive priests,” the law firm’s report stated.

Alleged sex abuse survivors look to sue bishops for "knowingly concealing" accused priests

BALTIMORE (MD)
WKBW

November 14, 2018

Survivors of alleged sexual abuse at the hands of priests nationwide are set to announce a federal class-action lawsuit aimed at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

In the lawsuit, the group and their attorneys say the Conference "knowingly concealed" the identities and actions of known abusers. So they're calling for the bishops to release the names and files of every known accused priest in the country.

They're due to make the announcement at 1:00 Wednesday afternoon in Baltimore, where those bishops are for the final day of their annual meeting.

This pattern of abuse is preventable

HAMDEN (CT)
The Quinnipiac Chronicle

November 13, 2018

By Garret Reich

Waterbury priest sued for sexual abuse

“If it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to abuse one,” Mitchell Garabedian said in the 2015 movie “Spotlight.”

I watched this movie last week for the third time. Even then, I did not realize how relevant the issue of sexual abuse in the Catholic church still is today.

Nor did I think that it would hit so close to home.

Last Wednesday, it was revealed that a former Connecticut priest is being accused of sexual abuse toward Kevin Distasio, an altar boy at the Waterbury Blessed Sacrament Church in 1980.

The Waterbury Church is only half an hour away from Quinnipiac.

Now, 38 years later, 46-year-old Distasio is suing.

Sexual abuse victims file class action lawsuit against Vatican, Catholic bishops

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Washington Times

November 13, 2018

By Stephen Dinan

Six men filed a class action and racketeering lawsuit Tuesday against the Vatican and America’s Catholic bishops, arguing they were aware of but ignored evidence of rape and sexual abuse within the clergy.

The 80-page complaint, filed in federal district court in Washington, D.C., asks a judge to order a personal apology from the church hierarchy to abuse victims, to demand a full public accounting of all cases dating back to 1940, and to compensate victims and create a medical monitoring fund to help in recovery.

The plaintiffs all say they were abused when they were children attending churches from Mississippi to Iowa, and California to Pennsylvania.

November 13, 2018

“La Conferencia Episcopal Española debe dar justicia a las víctimas”

[Expert: "The Spanish Episcopal Conference must give justice to the victims"]

SPAIN
El País

November 13, 2018

By Daniel Verdú

Hans Zollner, miembro de la comisión para la prevención de abusos a menores del Vaticano y experto en la materia, cree que España puede hacer mucho más en esta cuestión

El jesuita Hans Zollner es uno de los principales expertos en prevención y tratamiento de casos de abusos a menores por parte del clero. Hombre de la máxima confianza del Papa en este asunto, psicólogo, presidente del Child Protection Center en la Universidad Gregoriana y miembro de la comisión que Francisco creó a su llegada para tratar una cuestión que se ha convertido en un asunto principal de este pontificado. Prueba de ello es la histórica reunión convocada en febrero en el Vaticano con todos los presidentes de las conferencias episcopales del mundo. Zollner, que recientemente ha liderado el proyecto de creación de un máster para la prevención de abusos, no pone paños calientes: algunos países han avanzado mucho y otros, como España, pueden hacer “mucho más”.

Laicos de Osorno destacan nuevo cargo de Scicluna y llaman a cambiar las leyes canónicas

[Osorno laity highlight Scicluna's new position and call for changes in canon law]

CHILE
BioBioChile

November 13, 2018

By Manuel Stuardo and Pedro Abarzúa

La Organización de Laicos de Osorno destacó el nombramiento de Charles Scicluna, como nuevo secretario adjunto de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe, pero aseguraron que hay que cambiar las leyes canónicas.

Corte de Apelaciones desecha posibilidad de revertir la expulsión de Precht del sacerdocio

[Court of Appeals dismisses possibility of reversing Precht's expulsion from the priesthood]

CHILE
BioBioChile

November 12, 2018

By Valentina González and Erik López

La Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago desechó la posibilidad de revertir la expulsión del sacerdocio del ex Vicario de la Solidaridad, Cristián Precht, investigado por presuntos abusos sexuales.

Arzobispo que investigó a Iglesia chilena asume cargo clave en el Vaticano

[Archbishop who investigated the Chilean Church assumes key Vatican position]

CHILE
La Tercera

November 14, 2018

By Juan Paulo Iglesias

El Papa nombró a Charles Scicluna, actual titular de la arquidiócesis de Malta, secretario adjunto de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe.

La primera señal fue a fines de enero pasado. Tras la polémica desatada por sus dichos sobre el obispo Juan Barros al concluir su viaje a Chile, el Papa designó al arzobispo Charles Scicluna enviado especial para recabar antecedentes sobre la situación del entonces obispo de Osorno. El llamado “007 del Vaticano”, como lo califican algunos medios italianos, volvía así a la primera línea de la lucha contra los abusos en la Iglesia. Sin embargo, hoy el regreso fue completo. El Papa lo nombró “secretario adjunto de la Congregación para la Doctrina de la Fe”, es decir número tres del organismo encargado de velar por la doctrina y llevar a cabo las investigaciones ante las denuncias de abusos contra religiosos.

Corte de Apelaciones rechaza recurso de protección de Precht contra Arzobispado de Santiago

[Appeals court rejects Precht's appeal against the Archbishop of Santiago]

CHILE
La Tercera

November 12, 2018

By Claudia Soto

El tribunal de alzada descartó un actuar arbitrario de parte de la institución religiosa al aplicar cautelares al exsacerdote en proceso de investigación previa, según la ley canónica.

En un fallo unánime, la Séptima Sala de la Corte de Apelaciones de Santiago rechazó el recurso de protección que el ex sacerdote Cristián Precht interpuso contra el Arzobispado de Santiago, tras descartar un actuar arbitrario de parte de la institución religiosa al aplicar cautelares al exsacerdote en proceso de investigación previa, según la ley canónica.

Bishops delay votes on combating church sex abuse crisis

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Associated Press

November 12, 2018

By David McFadden and David Crary

At the Vatican's insistence, U.S. Catholic bishops abruptly postponed plans Monday to vote on proposed new steps to address the clergy sex abuse crisis roiling the church.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said he was told on the eve of the bishop's national meeting to delay action until after a Vatican-convened global meeting on sex abuse in February.

"We are not ourselves happy about this," DiNardo told reporters in an unusual public display of frustration at a Vatican pronouncement.

"We are working very hard to move to action — and we'll do it," he said. "I think people in the church have a right to be skeptical. I think they also have a right to be hopeful."

Sexual abuse claim against deceased Metro Detroit priest credible, says Detroit Archdiocese

DETROIT (MI)
Click on Detroit

November 11, 2018

By Dane Sager Kelly

An allegation that a priest who died in 1994 sexually abused a child has been found to be credible, the Archdiocese of Detroit said.

The archdiocese said in a news release Sunday that the complaint against Monsignor Thaddeus Ozog was brought to a review board and shared with prosecutors.

Ozog served as pastor or associate pastor at parishes in Detroit, Birmingham, Wayne, Waterford, Flat Rock and Hamtramck.

It is unknown if the allegation against Ozog was found in documents turned over by Roman Catholic dioceses across Michigan in a state investigation of sexual abuse by priests.

The "Gold Standard" Returns – Amid Abuse Mess, Pope Restores Scicluna To CDF

VATICAN CITY
Whispers in the Loggia

November 13, 2018

By Rocco Palmo

Especially as yesterday's Vatican move to nix the US bishops' votes on several crisis-spurred reforms had the effect of detonating an ecclesial bomb of confusion and outrage, this Tuesday's latest salvo from Rome is all the more significant: six years since "The Most Dangerous Man in the Vatican" was quietly slipped out of town, Archbishop Charles Scicluna is coming home to the "Holy Office."

At Roman Noon, the Pope named the 59 year-old Maltese (above right) as adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – a second #3 official, joining the Bronx-born Archbishop Gus DiNoia OP, another Ratzinger favorite alongside whom Scicluna worked closely during his first CDF tour. In a unique arrangement not seen for the Curia in a half-century, however, the announcement added that Scicluna "will remain archbishop of Malta," where he was recently given an auxiliary to help balance his already increased Roman workload.

(Correcting an earlier part of this piece, while DiNoia reached the retirement age of 75 in July – and has already voiced a hope to return to the US upon its acceptance – earlier this year, Francis asked the Yale-trained theologian to remain in post for the time being. Considering CDF's vastly expanded role as the global church's clearinghouse of abuse cases – now including accusations against bishops – on top of its traditional role as guardian of doctrine, the provision of two additional top officers tracks with the rapid growth of the caseload and related issues.)

Philadelphia Archdiocese Lay Out Reparations Plan for Victims of Clergy Sex Abuse

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

November 13, 2018

By Dan Stamm

The creation of an independent commission to review church policies will be led by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell.

A week after the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said that it would pay financial reparations to victims of clergy sex abuse, even from years ago, the Church is revealing how it will carry out the compensation program.

The Independent Reconciliation and Reparations effort will be funded by the archdiocese, which said it was not sure how much money would be required but that the financial commitment was "significant."

Protests expected as church leaders gather to discuss sexual abuse crisis

BALTIMORE (MD)
ABC News

November 13, 2018

By Meghan Keneally and Pete Madden

Protests are slated to take place in Baltimore this week as church leaders gather at the annual General Assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to discuss the ongoing sexual abuse crisis.

Several prominent groups advocating for the rights of survivors of sexual abuse by clergy have planned demonstrations outside the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront as U.S. bishops contemplate their response to the widening scandal, described by one observer as "The Catholic Church's biggest crisis since the Reformation."

An event that was expected to culminate in steps toward increased transparency and accountability took a sudden turn on Monday morning when Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, announced in his opening remarks that a pair of votes on proposed policy changes to address the abuse crisis would be delayed "at the insistence" of the Vatican.

DiNardo, who told the assembled church leaders he was informed of the order late Sunday, said he was "disappointed" but remained "hopeful" progress could be made.

'Punished' for being sexually abused in York County: Jehovah's Witnesses' culture of cover-up

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

November 13, 2018

By Mike Argento

THE CHURCH ISOLATES ITS MEMBERS, SHAMES AND SHUNS VICTIMS WHO COME FORTH AND INSTRUCTS ELDERS TO KEEP REPORTS SECRET. AND CHILDREN ARE BEING ABUSED.

Sarah Brooks was 17, riding in her dad’s pickup, when she told him.

She had always been a daddy’s girl, she said. She was a tomboy growing up, playing with the boys, and later, when she could wield a wrench, working on cars with her dad. After some detours in life, she would work as a welder. She liked working with her hands, and she and her dad were close.

It was hard to tell her dad. She knew what had been happening to her was wrong. She knew that it needed to stop. She felt deep shame and deep guilt. She was the victim, but still, she felt that what had happened to her was her fault, that she was a horrible, dirty person. She knew there would be consequences. The people who did those things to her had warned her not to tell, they said that if she did, she would be ruining lives and that nobody would believe her and that she would be the one to suffer in the end.

Still, she needed to tell. It was wrong. Something had to be done. So, she told.

Sarah told her dad that Joshua and Jennifer had sexually abused her over a period of months, starting when she was 15. Joshua was Joshua Caldwell, a friend from church. Jennifer was Jennifer McVey, married to Sarah’s brother and having an affair with Caldwell. Caldwell was 12 years older than Sarah; McVey, six. Sarah had been working for the couple cleaning out houses that were in foreclosure.

She had met them through their church, the Yorkana Kingdom Hall of the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and thought that working for them would be safe and good, the church being a close and cloistered community.

Baton Rouge list of clergy members ‘credibly accused’ of abuse coming before end of January, diocese says

BATON ROUGE (LA)
NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

November 12, 2018

By Kim Chatelain

The diocese of Baton Rouge hopes to release the names of Roman Catholic clergy members under its auspices who have been “credibly accused” of abusing minors before the end of January, Bishop Michael G. Duca said.

In a letter Duca asked priests to read at weekend Masses, the bishop said last week researchers began an independent review of personnel files of priests and deacons who have served the diocese since it was carved out of the Archdiocese of New Orleans in 1961.

The Baton Rouge law firm Hebert, Spencer & Fry has been hired to perform the review. The lawyers have employed the accounting and consulting firm Postlethwaite & Netterville to assist. It will take a minimum of four to six weeks to complete the review, after which a comprehensive report will be turned over to the diocese, the letter said.

“Neither I nor any of my staff is involved in this review, and the auditors will have full access to clergy personnel files while they are on site,” Duca said in the letter. “From this information, I will compile a list of credibly and substantially accused clergy to be publish hopefully before the end of January.”

Michigan lay group releases clergy sex abuse reader for US bishops

LANSING (MI)
Religion News Service

November 12, 2018

“No More Victims,” a group of laypeople located in the diocese of Lansing, MI, has prepared a sweeping collection of accounts drawn from national and local headlines concerning the clergy sexual misconduct with respect to adults. The reader, titled “What We the Laity are Reading that has Shaken us to the Core,” is 32 pages long; it includes excerpts from some of the most shattering articles published on the subject in recent months and information about additional resources. The full reader is available here, and will be available online at nomorevictimsMI.org.

Copies of the reader have been sent to all U.S. Bishops in advance of their Fall Meeting, which begins today, Monday, Nov. 12. No More Victims hopes the bishops will regard the document as a vital resource and a tool in confronting the full problem of clergy sexual abuse in all its complexity and scope. It is not just Archbishop McCarrick who is the problem or clergy who abuse minors, but also clergy who engage in sexual misconduct with adults.

In the letter they wrote to the Bishops that accompanied the reader, No More Victims member Al Kresta writes, “As you deal with the scandal of McCarrick and abuse committed by bishops, we urge you to include in your concerns efforts to rid seminaries, dioceses and all Church institutions and structures of those who are involved in sexual misconduct with adults. We believe clergy sexual misconduct with adults is at the core of so many of the problems of the Church in the last many decades.”

Ex-priest in Pennsylvania was named, sued in sex abuse case, along with treatment center

YORK (PA)
York Daily Record

November 12, 2018

By Jasmine Vaughn-Hall

In a news conference on Monday, a man named Allentown Diocese Bishop Alfred Schlert and former Bishop Edward Cullen in a lawsuit suing a former priest and a treatment center for priests, according to The Morning Call.

The man, now 29, alleges he was sexually molested by former priest Bruno Tucci between the ages of 10 and 12.

Church to name Alabama, Mississippi clergy accused of abuse

MOBILE (AL)
The Associated Press

November 12, 2018

Roman Catholic church offices in Alabama and Mississippi will publicly release the names of clergy members accused of sexually abusing minors over decades, church leaders said.

A statement from Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile said each of the four Catholic dioceses in the two states will report the names of people who were removed from ministry after being accused of abuse.

Diocese offices are in Birmingham, Alabama, plus Jackson and Biloxi in Mississippi, and the archdiocese is in Mobile.

The Mobile office will release names involved in accusations dating back to 1950, Rodi said. He did not say when the list would be made public.

"It is a time-consuming effort to examine each clergy personnel file from the last almost seven decades. This effort is under way and will be completed as quickly as possible," Rodi said in the statement released Thursday.

The Biloxi diocese said it would forward any of its names to the office in Jackson should cases predate its 1977 founding.

Survivors of clergy child sex abuse tell U.S. bishops of rejection, pain

BALTIMORE (MD)
Catholic News Service

November 12, 2018

By Rhina Guidos

Luis A. Torres Jr. stood before a group of U.S. bishops during one of the most publicly watched of their fall annual meetings Nov. 12 in Baltimore and in doing so revealed to the world the reality that he has lived with since childhood: that he was abused by a priest.

"I'm not private anymore. Everyone knows," said Torres, a lawyer and member of the Lay Review Board of the Diocese of Brooklyn, New York, which examines policies for removing priests who have abused.

It was unclear but it seemed that the moment marked the first time he revealed the truth publicly. He also spoke of what he witnessed toward those who have come forward in the Catholic Church when they revealed what had happened to them at the hands of clergy.

"I witnessed a church that didn't understand or didn't seem to care, or worse, a church that was actively hostile to the children who had trusted and suffered under its care," he said. "A church that professed faith but acted shrewdly, a church that seemed to listen less to Christ's teachings and more to the advice of lawyers, a church that seemed less interested in those it had harmed."

He spoke of a church more concerned with the protection of assets than its people.

Ex-altar boy is first in Penn. to file lawsuit against Catholic Church since bombshell AG report

PENNSYLVANIA
NBC News

November 12, 2018

By Corky Siemaszko

The Allentown Diocese did not tell parishioners there was an admitted molesting priest in their flock

A former altar boy claimed in a lawsuit Monday that he was molested repeatedly by a Pennsylvania priest who had admitted sexually abusing another boy a decade earlier — and who had been cleared to work with kids by a New Mexico clinic for troubled clergy that was derided in Catholic circles as "Camp Ped."

Bruno Tucci, now 76, allegedly abused the altar boy — who is identified in court papers only as a 29-year-old "John Doe" — between 1999 and 2001 at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Nesquehoning, a small town 30 miles north of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

On one occasion, Tucci allegedly told the then pre-teen boy to "put his arms out like Jesus on the cross" while he fondled his exposed genitals, the lawsuit states.

"He is a broken young man," the accuser’s chief lawyer, Gerald Williams, said during a press conference in Philadelphia. "He veers from anger to despair to depression."

Bishop addresses clergy abuse in letter to Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge

BATON ROUGE (LA)
WBRZ

November 11, 2018

By Trey Couvillion

In a letter read in all Baton Rouge Catholic parish masses today, Bishop Michael Duca said the church has hired a legal firm to fully investigate all personnel files that could shed more light on diocesan abuses in recent decades.

"This week an independent review was begun of all the personnel files of the priests and deacons who have served in our diocese since we were created out of the Archdiocese of New Orleans over a half century ago. The outside law firm of Hebert, Spencer & Fry, L.L.P. has been engaged to do the work, and it has hired the highly-respected accounting and consulting firm of Postlethwaite & Netterville, APLC to assist in performing this independent review," the letter said in part.

LC Catholic Diocese releases list of priests accused of sexual misconduct with minors

LAS CRUCES (NM)
KVIA

November 8, 2018

By Kate Bieri

On Thursday, the Diocese of Las Cruces released the names of 28 priests and religious "credibly accused" of sexual misconduct with minors.

Of the 28 priests on the list, 12 of them have died, according to the Diocese. Four of the priests have been "laicized," meaning they have been dismissed from their clerical state.

Some of the accusations were before the Diocese of Las Cruces was established in 1982, however, "the individuals are included because they served in the Diocese of Las Cruces at some point," according to the Diocese.

“By publishing this list, the Diocese of Las Cruces is seeking to be transparent and accountable," Bishop Gerald Kicanas wrote in a news release. "We invite anyone who may have been abused by church personnel to come forward and report that abuse to the proper authorities."

Vatican tells U.S. bishops not to vote on proposals to address sex abuse

CHARLOTTE (NC)
WSOC TV

November 12, 2018

By Allison Latos

The Vatican is ordering bishops in the U.S. to delay guidance on how to address sexual abuse allegations, which means it could be even longer before we learn which local priests have been accused.

Eyewitness News anchor Allison Latos has been investigating allegations in local churches for years and has questioned the Charlotte Diocese about when parishioners and the public will get answers.

Our View: Compensation fund for clergy-abuse victims is easy way out

WILKES-BARRE (PA)
Times Leader

November 12, 2018

We found it welcome news when it was recently revealed that most of the Roman Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania — including Scranton — are now setting up victim compensation funds.

Those who suffered heinous crimes at the hands of priests deserve compensation for the trauma that not only destroyed the innocence of childhood but will be with them for the rest of their lives.

But we remain somewhat concerned the Catholic hierarchy is still intent on making a last-ditch effort to protect its own, a habit well-documented in this summer’s shocking grand jury report.

Some have suggested the funds could just be another device employed by church leaders to make problems go away without having to go through the pain of full transparency.

“The biggest drawback in a fund like this is that it does not force the institution to come clean with all the information that it has regarding the abuse,” lawyer Ben Andreozzi, who represents dozens of Pennsylvanians who claim abuse by priests, told the Associated Press.

It’s obvious what’s going on here.

Clergy recast ‘privilege’ for peers accused of sex abuse

BUFFALO (NY)
UBNow

November 8, 2018

By Charles Anzalone

When UB law professor Christine Pedigo Bartholomew studied “clergy privilege” — the legal rule shielding confidential communications of priests and clergy — she found priests often recast communications to make them fall outside this testimonial protection.

Clerics often wanted to divulge information concerning such sensitive encounters as people confessing to crimes, says Bartholomew. The clergy wanted to do the right thing, she says, and help the courts’ search for justice.

But something happened when it came to accusations of sexual abuse, according to Bartholomew’s extensive, comprehensive review of cases from the early 1800s to 2016 — the first time a legal scholar has reviewed and recorded every opinion on clergy privilege during that time.

Where otherwise forthcoming priests tried to find ways to divulge what they knew to law enforcement officials, they did the opposite — they “pushed for their clergy privilege” — when their fellow priests were targets of sexual abuse accusations, according to research Bartholomew published in October 2017 in the Virginia Law Review.

“It is as if clergy are saying, ‘We want to divulge and to help, except when clergy are accused of sexual misconduct,’” says Bartholomew, associate professor and director of law review. “When it comes to sexual accusations, clergy act to protect themselves.”

Clergy Abuse Survivor Says Names To Be Released "Step In The Right Direction"

OGDENSBURG (NY)
WWNYTV

November 11, 2018

"It's a step in the right direction."

As the Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg plans to release the names of the remaining clergy members accused of being involved in its sex abuse scandal, it's something Jim Cummings, a survivor of clergy abuse, has been waiting for.

"I've talked to quite a few of the survivors and that's what they wanted also," said Cummings. "It was very clear."

Eight clergy members from the Diocese of Ogdensburg have already been named over the years. There are still at least 15 more who have yet to be revealed.

In a letter read at masses over the weekend, Bishop Terry LaValley writes that 'recent controversies in the Church make it necessary to release the rest of the names.

Greensburg, Pittsburgh Catholic dioceses to launch compensation fund for clergy abuse victims

PENNSYLVANIA
Trib Live

November 8, 2018

By Deb Erdley

In an apparent move to counter calls for new legislation to permit victims of clergy child sexual abuse to sue the Catholic church outside statute of limitations, diocesan officials across Pennsylvania announced they will create accounts to pay victims.

One by one, church leaders from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia on Thursday said each would establish its own victims’ compensation fund to be underwritten by resources of that diocese or archdiocese.

The announcements come in the wake of a bitter fight in the Pennsylvania General Assembly over legislation that would create a two-year window for adults who were sexually abused as children and can no longer seek recourse in the courts to file suit against their abusers and those involved in covering up such acts. The law is among four recommendations from a statewide grand jurythat found rampant clergy sexual abuse and cover-ups by church officials in dioceses across Pennsylvania over the last seven decades.

This fall, the state House approved the bill by a wide margin. But it stalled in the state Senate, where President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson County, proposed victims compensation funds as an alternative plan. The alternative, supported by the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and the insurance industry, would operate outside of the courts.

Diocese of Allentown and Bishops Sued by Victim Alleging Sexual Abuse by Former Priest

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
NBC 10

November 12, 2018

By Dan Stamm

A 29-year-old man is suing a former priest and the Diocese of Allentown, alleging the priest abused him as a child, according to a Philadelphia law firm that filed the lawsuit.

The alleged victim, who is not named, claims Bruno Tucci, a former priest, sexually assaulted him when he was an altar boy at Mount Carmel Church in Nesquehoning in the late 1990s and early 2000s, according to the lawsuit, a copy of which was provided to NBC10.

As bishops meet on sex abuse, Vienna priest placed on leave

VIENNA
Tribune Chronicle

November 13, 2018

By Bob Coupland

Diocese investigates new allegation of inappropriate behavior with a minor

A priest who serves a parish in Vienna has been placed on administrative leave while an investigation takes place on an allegation of inappropriate behavior with a minor.

The Rev. John Jerek, vicar for clergy with the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown, said in a news release Monday the Diocese received an allegation against the Rev. Denis G. Bouchard, pastor of Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish.

Jerek said the Diocesan Review Board recommended to Youngstown Bishop George V. Murry that further investigation be done to determine its credibility and substantiation. The board includes a psychologist, representatives of the Trumbull and Mahoning County Children Services Board, attorneys, medical doctors, the dean of the college of health and human services at Youngstown State University, a Lutheran pastor, a Catholic priest and a parent.

Jerek said it is diocesan policy to place Bouchard on leave while the investigation takes place. The Rev. Carlos Casavantes has been appointed administrator of Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish.

Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish is staffed by the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, which celebrates the liturgy in the “Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite used before the reforms of the Second Vatican Council,” according to its website. The Vienna location also has a school, St. Joseph the Protector Learning Center.

Jerek said because this is an ongoing investigation, additional comments cannot be made at this time.

New allegations emerge against DC priest charged with abusing teen girl in 2015

WASHINGTON (DC)
WTOP

November 10, 2018

By Liz Anderson

A D.C. priest who was arrested and charged with sexually abusing a teenage girl in May of 2015 is also being accused of inappropriately touching two other girls during the same month and year, court documents say.

Urbano Vasquez, 46, was arrested on Wednesday on charges of second degree child sexual abuse.

According to court documents, a girl who is now 17 accused Vasquez of inappropriately touching her chest area after she and her family helped sell food and snow cones at a cookout at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. She was 13 at the time.

The second victim, who was 16 at the time of the alleged abuse, said Vasquez kissed her on the mouth while they were in the rectory dining area. The girl’s mother had left the room to prepare food, but walked back into the dining room as it happened. The mom confronted him, and Vasquez apologized, saying he didn’t know what came over him.

Ignore the Vatican: Bishops can forge ahead on stopping abuse, cover-up

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

November 13, 2018

By David Clohessy

Speculation can be fun. But it's not helpful, at least not in the short run. And few would dispute that the U.S. church can't afford the luxury of "taking the long view" when it come to the safety of kids right about now.

So let's stop guessing why Vatican officials nixed the nearly meaningless measures U.S. bishops had planned to discuss this week in Baltimore.

Instead, let's get practical and ask: What should U.S. bishops do now to protect kids, expose wrongdoers and heal the wounded?

The answer is actually fairly straightforward. Bishops must use their already vast powers to help stop more abuse and cover-up.

Let's start with two steps that are already being done across many U.S. dioceses sporadically but should be expanded, steps that do not require Vatican approval or new U.S. church policies:

President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Delivers Opening Address at Start of 2018 General Assembly in Baltimore, Nov. 12-14

BALTIMORE (MD)
USCCB

November 12, 2018

Baltimore—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops addressed the body of bishops at the opening sessions today in Baltimore for the General Assembly taking place in Baltimore.

Cardinal DiNardo’s full address follows:

“Saint Augustine wrote, ‘In order that weakness might become strong, strength became weak.’ My dear brothers, in light of this morning’s news, the nature of my address changes. We remain committed to the specific program of greater episcopal accountability that we will discuss these days. Consultations will take place. Votes will not this week. But we will prepare ourselves to move forward.

Allow me to now address the survivors of abuse directly.

Where I have not been watchful or alert to your needs, wherever I have failed, I am deeply sorry. The command of our Lord and Savior was clear. ‘What I say to you, I say to all: watch!’ In our weakness, we fell asleep. Now, we must humbly beg God’s strength for the vigil ahead.

About Those ‘Gay Clergy Networks’

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Register

November 12, 2018

By Jennifer Roback Morse

COMMENTARY: Church leadership won’t solve this current crisis unless it confronts homosexual practice among the clergy and especially the networks of homosexually oriented clergy operating to protect each other.

I hesitate to wade into areas in which I have no direct information. But I feel compelled to point out the illogic of continuing to claim that the current clergy sex abuse and cover-up scandal is unrelated to homosexual activity among Catholic priests.

At this late date, too much circumstantial evidence has emerged to ignore: This crisis would not exist, but for homosexual practice among the clergy and especially the networks of homosexually oriented clergy operating to protect each other.

The most recent denial of the obvious comes to us from longtime Vaticanista and editor of La Stampa, Andrea Tornielli. In an underreported article from Sept. 14, he asks: “Is the root, the origin of the problem of abuse really to be found in the homosexuality of priests?” He replies:

No priest abuse in Shreveport Diocese since '86, administrator says

SHREVEPORT (LA)
The Shreveport Times

November 9, 2018

The top administrator for the Catholic Diocese of Shreveport announced late Friday that the diocese had received no reports of clerical abuse of children since at least 1986.

The Rev. Peter B. Mangum, diocesan administrator, made the announcement in a prepared statement just before 5 p.m.

Mangum said the announcement was based on a review of the files of all priests, living and dead, who served the diocese since its creation in 1986. Before then, the diocese was constituted differently as the Diocese of Alexandria-Shreveport.

Mangum said the review included priests in the diocese and those in religious orders, whether native or foreign born. The review included priests, bishops and deacons, he said.

Mangum was named diocesan administrator in August following the departure of Bishop Michael Duca for the Diocese of Baton Rouge. A new bishop has not been appointed.

Syracuse priest named as child sex abuser by Buffalo diocese

SYRACUSE (NY)
syracuse.com

November 12, 2018

By Julie McMahon

A Syracuse priest has been named by the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo as a clergyman with substantiated allegations of child sex abuse against him.

The Rev. James Smyka, 74, was in residence at Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary Church on Syracuse's North Side until recently.

He was listed on the Diocese of Syracuse website as a member of the clergy until today. He was also listed as a chaplain at St. Joseph's Hospital. A spokesman for St. Joe's said Smyka had not worked at the hospital since Oct. 8.

The Buffalo diocese identified Smyka one week ago as a priest with "substantiated claims of sexual abuse of a minor."

Buffalo woman's alleged abuser's name added to Diocese list of clergy sex abuse

BUFFALO (NY)
WIVB

November 8, 2018

By Marissa Perlman

We shared with you Evelyn Safe's story in May.

She claimed Buffalo Priest, Father Robert D. Moss sexually abused her more than 25 years ago

She was an adult at the time, and never expected to see his name on that clergy sex abuse list, because the Buffalo Diocese was only revealing cases involving minors.

But all that changed on Monday. "Seeing him smoking outside the Church, he would kiss everybody on the lips."

Evelyn Safe says something seemed off about Father Robert Moss, or "Father Bob."

She first met him at age 12 at Queen of Heaven Church in West Seneca. He became friends with her family.

Albany measure would compel clergy members to report child abuse

ALBANY (NY)
CNHI

November 8, 2018

By Joe Mahoney

ALBANY: Measure would compel clergy members to report child abuse.

With New York's Catholic bishops grappling with a clergy sexual abuse crisis, an influential GOP state senator from Western New York is calling on fellow lawmakers to repeal the statute of limitations for offenses involving the sexual attack of children and offer whisteblower protections to those who report molestations.

“This legislation will ensure that those in positions of authority are held accountable and will give victims the ability to seek prosecution of their abuser," Sen. Patrick Gallivan, R-Elma, said in a statement.

Gallivan said his bill would extend the statute of limitation under the civil practice law to recover damages for physical and psychological injuries caused by child molesters.

The bill, filed while lawmakers are scheduled to remain on recess until January, would also add clergy members to the list of those who are mandated to report suspected child abuse to law enforcement.

But Gallivan's legislation is expected to face a hurdle, erected by the outcome of this week's elections that concluded with Democrats winning enough Senate seats to take control of Albany's upper chamber in less than eight weeks.

Priest on EWTN: Church won’t link sex abuse crisis to homosexuality over fear of gay lobby

WASHINGTON (DC)
LifeSiteNews

November 12, 2018

By Lisa Bourne

The Catholic Church’s sex abuse crisis is about the culture of homosexuality in the priesthood, Mgsr. Charles Pope told EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo on the World Over program Thursday night (Nov. 8).

It’s also about the bishops’ failure to impart the Church’s moral teaching, he said, and is not rooted in clericalism.

“We have to be clear, I think, that this is about homosexuality,” Pope stated, adding that that is “a big culture of that in the priesthood.”

“It’s also about not preaching and teaching moral teachings of the Church, not insisting upon them, allowing for dissent to go unchecked,” Pope said. “I think again it comes back to teaching, governing and sanctifying.”

The blogger and priest of the Archdiocese of Washington had broached these three duties conferred upon bishops and priests in his recent National Catholic Register column in which he implored the bishops of the U.S. to restore order in the Church. Arroyo brought Pope on to the program to discuss the content of the column and to discuss the abuse crisis as the U.S. Bishops’ meeting approaches November 12-14.

Pope taps sex abuse reformer for key Vatican role

DENVER (CO)
Crux

November 13, 2018

By Inés San Martín

Amidst a growing global concern over the Church’s handling of abuse cases and cover-up, Pope Francis has appointed the Vatican’s former top prosecutor on cases of clerical sexual abuse, Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna, back in his former office, though the prelate will continue heading the Church in Malta.

The decision to name Scicluna adjunct secretary, meaning the third most important official, of the Vatican’s Congregation of the Faith (CDF) was announced on Tuesday, and it follows a year in which the prelate was tapped by Francis to lead a thorough investigation of the situation of the Church in Chile.

Among other things, the CDF handles accusations of abuse against clergy, and Scicluna also serves as president of a board of review for abuse cases in the office. He had been a full-time member of the CDF until 2014, when Pope Benedict XVI appointed him to Malta.

At the CDF Scicluna worked under then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, and the two are credited with the sentencing of thousands of abuser priests, including the late Mexican Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, in 2006.

Vatican cancels U.S. bishops’ vote on sex abuse reform measures

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Associated Press

November 12, 2018

At the Vatican's insistence, U.S. Catholic bishops abruptly postponed plans Monday to vote on proposed new steps to address the clergy sex abuse crisis roiling the church.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said he was told on the eve of the bishop's national meeting to delay action until after a Vatican-convened global meeting on sex abuse in February.

"We are not ourselves happy about this," DiNardo told reporters in an unusual public display of frustration at a Vatican pronouncement.

"We are working very hard to move to action — and we'll do it," he said. "I think people in the church have a right to be skeptical. I think they also have a right to be hopeful."

The bishops are meeting through Wednesday in Baltimore and had been expected to consider several steps to combat abuse, including a new code of conduct for themselves and the creation of a special commission, including lay experts, to review complaints against the bishops.

WDSU Editorial: The Archdiocese of New Orleans clergy sex abuse list released, more must be done

NEW ORLEANS (LA)
WDSU

November 10, 2018

WDSU President and General Manager Joel Vilmenay issues an editorial after the release of the Archdiocese of New Orleans clergy sex abuse list.

Pittsburgh diocese announces another priest accused of sex abuse

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Trib Live

November 12, 2018

By Chuck Biedka

Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh announced Monday that another priest accused of sex abuse was placed on administrative leave in September.

Bishop David Zubik said the Rev. Richard M. Lelonis, 73, was placed on leave pending further investigation into two allegations of sexual abuse of minors.

Diocesan officials said they “spoke with two individuals in early September. One alleged abuse by Father Lelonis in the early 1970’s. The second individual alleged that Father Lelonis attempted abuse around 1980,” according to a statement from diocese spokesman the Rev. Ronald Lengwin.

Following that meeting, the diocese immediately reported the allegations to the District Attorney of Allegheny County.

At the same time, Lelonis was removed from his assignment in the diocesan tribunal, where he had served full-time since 1995. According to the statement, Lelonis denied both allegations.

Pope gives Vatican's sex abuse expert new role amid crisis

VATICAN CITY
The Associated Press

November 13, 2018

By Nicole Winfield

Pope Francis is giving a prominent new role to the Vatican's most trusted sex crimes investigator as he seeks to improve the Holy See's response to abuse at a time when the church and papacy are facing a credibility crisis.

Francis on Tuesday named Archbishop Charles Scicluna as a deputy, or adjunct secretary, at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican office that processes sex abuse cases globally.

Scicluna had been the congregation's chief prosecutor for a decade and was credited with pushing through measures making it easier to defrock pedophiles. But Pope Benedict XVI sent him to his native Malta in 2012 as bishop after Scicluna's tough line ruffled too many feathers in the Vatican.

Scicluna's new appointment is symbolically significant and will also give him greater say in the day-to-day running of the congregation, even though he technically retains his post in Malta.

On Vatican order, U.S. bishops halt plans to vote on reforms in wake of sex abuse scandal

BALTIMORE (MD)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

November 12, 2018

By Peter Smith

A much-anticipated gathering of Roman Catholic bishops began with a sudden, anticlimactic announcement that they would not be voting on proposals responding to the crisis of sexual abuse in the church.

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said Monday morning that the Vatican Congregation for Bishops insisted the bishops wait until after Pope Francis convenes a February Vatican summit of top bishops on the worldwide crisis before adopting any policies. Cardinal DiNardo said he did not know what role Pope Francis had personally in the directive.

"At the insistence of the Holy See, we will not be voting on the two action items in our docket regarding the abuse crisis," said Cardinal DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston. One was a set of "standards of accountability for bishops," the other the establishment of a special commission for handling complaints against bishops.

"The Holy See has asked that we delay voting on these so that our deliberations can inform and be informed by the global meeting," said Cardinal DiNardo.

Cardinal DiNardo apologized for the late announcement, saying the Vatican conveyed its message only late Sunday.

At Vatican's behest, bishops postpone votes on clergy abuse measures

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Buffalo News

November 12, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

U.S. bishops meeting here this week were directed by the Vatican not to vote on two measures aimed at disciplining themselves in sexual misconduct cases.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston said Monday that he received word from the Vatican telling the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to delay their votes until the measures could be considered by all bishops worldwide at a special council planned for February.

“Consultations will take place; votes will not take place this week,” said DiNardo, president of the USCCB, in his opening address to more than 250 colleague bishops.

DiNardo said at a news conference later that the bishops were disappointed about the Vatican directive. But he called it a bump in the road to reforms, as the bishops seek to address a sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Buffalo Diocese and many others across the country.

"We have not lessened any of our resolve for actions," he said.

The 2018 Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis brings new energy — and anti-gay activists — into the survivors' movement

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Washington Post

November 13, 2018

By Michelle Boorstein

For nearly two decades, to be an advocate for survivors of Catholic clergy sex abuse was often to be a lonely protester, frequently ignored or sometimes even maligned as disrespectful by some Catholics and clergy.

That has changed dramatically since June, when clergy abuse scandals surfaced again in the American church. Enormous energy has been pumped into the movement, with parishes around the country holding crowded listening sessions on the topic, bishops making abuse the focus of their annual fall meeting this week and legislators finding new support for measures to expand statutes of limitation for child sexual abuse.

But the victims’ advocacy movement is also being transformed by bitter ideological divides among Catholics. That chasm is on display at the meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore.

Monday’s two public events were dominated by the older groups — research site BishopAccountability and SNAP — whose leaders focus on oversight and justice and participate less in the controversial debates over the perceived roles of celibacy and homosexuality in the crisis. Tuesday promised the first mainstream prominent appearance of Church Militant, a right-wing advocacy group and news site that routinely blames the scandals on homosexual priests and, since the crisis blew up this summer, has hammered Pope Francis and more liberal bishops, accusing them of being part of an elaborate coverup to shield gay clergy.

“I feel like they’re using victims for a political agenda and I’m concerned about that. They’re using this to kind of get to where they want to be,” SNAP’s regional director, Becky Ianni, said of Church Militant. “And I hate when someone uses victims. Victims aren’t conservative or liberal. We’re victims. And that’s what people need to focus on.”

Erie’s Persico ‘disappointed’ with delay on abuse votes

ERIE (PA)
GoErie.com

November 13, 2018

By Ed Palattella

Bishop is at national meeting of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, which planned to vote on new measures until the Vatican said to wait.

Erie Catholic Bishop Lawrence Persico said he was ready to act on the clergy abuse crisis when he met with his colleagues at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ national meeting in Baltimore this week.

On Monday, those efforts slowed — the result of action from the Vatican rather than from Persico and his American counterparts.

“I was disappointed when we were told this morning that we are not to vote on several items we had on our agenda,” Persico said in a statement that the Catholic Diocese of Erie released.

The Vatican Prevents US Bishops from Voting on Measures Designed to Prevent Clergy Abuse

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

November 12 2018

Today, the US Conference of Catholic Bishops met to discuss, among other things, their response to the clergy sex abuse crisis. Instead, the Vatican kicked the can down the road.

The measures that Cardinal Daniel DiNardo had put on the agenda for the American bishops to discuss and vote on were, at best, half-measures. Yet they still were steps forward and were especially symbolic in representing that the USCCB was taking seriously the issue of bishop accountability. Given the waves of recent reports of bishops hiding files, protecting serially abusive priests, and releasing incomplete lists, how could they not?

We are disappointed that the Vatican has forced the USCCB to delay their vote. We hope that this means that, at the meeting between the pope and presidents of bishops’ conferences in February, concrete steps will be taken to ensure accountability for bishops who cover-up abuse. It is clear that a real response is needed in order to prevent future abuse, deter more cover-ups, and ensure accountability for bishops who fail to protect children and vulnerable adults. Today’s action by the Vatican makes us wary that such a real response will be taken.

Catholic Diocese of Savannah releases names of priests involved in sexual abuse cases

SAVANNAH (GA)
WTOC

November 13, 2018

By Sean Evans

The Catholic Diocese of Savannah is releasing a list of priests who the church says have been “credibly accused” of abusing minors.

It’s an action catholic churches across the country have taken.

Bishop Gregory Hartmayer released the list late last week. He says it’s in a spirit of transparency and the hope of continued healing for the survivors of abuse.

Out of the 16 priests on the list, 10 have died, one’s whereabouts are not known, three are no longer priests, and two are serving time in prison.

Former Savannah Priest Wayland Brown is on that list of 16. Brown pleaded guilty to sexual assault charges just last month in South Carolina and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

According to a Diocese representative, priests on the list were investigated internally in cooperation with civil authorities. When credible evidence was found, it was presented to a Lay review board which affirmed the credibility.

The Bishop then made the final determination.

An abuse victim advocate we spoke to says while this is a step in the right direction, she believes the Church could do even more.

U.S. bishops delay action on sex abuse at Vatican request

WASHINGTON (DC)
Think Progress

November 12, 2018

By Joshua Eaton

The Vatican has delayed a vote by U.S. Catholic bishops this week that would have held church leaders accountable for clergy sex abuse.

At a meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, on Monday, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, told the heads of all 196 U.S. dioceses and archdioceses that Pope Francis wanted them to hold off on a vote until after a meeting of worldwide church leaders in Rome in February.

The bishops had planned to vote Wednesday on a code of conduct for bishops and a lay commission to investigate violations.

“At the insistence of the Holy See, we will not be voting on the two action items,” DiNardo, who is archbishop of Galveston-Houston, in Texas, told his fellow bishops, according to The Washington Post.

Advocates for survivors of clergy sexual abuse, who have long accused the church of being unwilling to hold senior leaders accountable, were quick to criticize the move.

“We’re dealing with the crisis, right here, right now,” Becky Ianni, D.C. regional head of the victims’ group SNAP, told The Washington Post. “Yes, it’s a global problem, and they need to discuss it there [in Rome], but the U.S. needs to come up with something right now.”

Malone among several U.S. bishops under fire for abuse complaints

BALTIMORE (MD)
Buffalo News

November 13, 2018

By Jay Tokasz

Buffalo Bishop Richard J. Malone is among several Catholic bishops gathered here this week who are under fire in their home dioceses or former dioceses over how they handled sexual misconduct complaints.

That list even includes Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, the current president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop William E. Lori, the head of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, which is hosting the USCCB’s fall assembly.

“The evidence is abundant. Some of the men at this meeting this week, themselves, while speaking about transparency have failed to be transparent, have failed to rescue victims,” said Anne Barrett Doyle, co-founder of BishopAccountability.org, an advocacy group that since 2002 has chronicled cases of clergy sex abuse around the world.

Doyle specifically named Malone, who has resisted calls to resign by prominent Western New York Catholics.

The Buffalo Diocese has been roiling since late February with revelations of alleged sex abuse and cover-up that escalated in August with the leak of internal diocesan documents to a television station and again in October, when “60 Minutes” aired an episode that was highly critical of Malone’s handling of abuse claims.

But Doyle also said Malone has plenty of company among his brother bishops, and it’s one of the reasons bishops are reticent to criticize each other on their records of handling abuse cases.

She mentioned current Syracuse Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, who served as chancellor and vicar general in the Buffalo Diocese prior to being appointed as a bishop in Ogdensburg.

“In Buffalo, he controlled the management of accused clergy for many, many years. He was the point man for former Bishop Henry Mansell, and he did nothing to take those abusers out of ministry, as we now know,” said Doyle.

Cunningham continues to refuse to identify the names of accused Syracuse Diocese priests, she said.

'Geographic solution' for predators? Hide bad priests in parishes with lots of immigrants


GET RELIGION

November 12, 2018

By Terry Mattingly

Back in my Denver days in the late 1980s, I started work on a large project that, at first, was viewed with great favor by my editors at The Rocky Mountain News (RIP).

The starting point: The city included several growing Protestant churches, evangelical and Pentecostal, that were attracting many, many Hispanic believers. As you would expect, it didn’t take long to realize that most of them were former Roman Catholics or were the children of former Roman Catholics.

The goal was to report (a) why this was happening and (b) how this affected life inside large, extended families of Hispanics who now worshipped in radically different sanctuaries.

After a week or two of work, we dropped that first goal — because one of the most common answers was raising lots of questions that made editors uncomfortable.

Yes, many people were leaving the Catholic church for predictable reasons, from their point of view. They thought the preaching in evangelical/Pentecostal churches was stronger and “more biblical.” They liked the thriving Sunday schools for their children and youth programs for teens. They liked the contemporary church music, blending folk, pop and Latino themes.

National Catholic Reporter is simply right

NEW YORK (NY)
Patheos

November 13, 2018

By Mark Shea

So when the Right Wing Noise Machine (Catholic edition) has been so wrong about so much so many times for so long that only a fool would continue to unquestioningly trust their judgment, it is prudent to consider the possibility that the people who saw and reported accurately on the problem of priestly abuse nearly 30 year ago might, despite the denunciations of the Lie Machine, have something to say worth listening to. The National Catholic Reporter is exactly such a paper and, despite the reflexive booing and hissing from the Francis-hating, Trump adoring Cult of Wrong about Everything, I believe in prudence. Here is their recent, devastating, and spot on editorial to the bishops:

Dear brothers in Christ, shepherds, fellow pilgrims,

We address you as you approach this year’s national meeting in Baltimore because we know there is nowhere left to hide.

It’s over.

All the manipulations and contortions of the past 33 years, all the attempts to deflect and equivocate — all of it has brought the church, but especially you, to this moment.

It’s over.

Even the feds are now on the trail. They’ve ordered that you not destroy any documents. The Department of Justice is conducting a national criminal investigation of how you’ve handled the clergy sex abuse scandal. It is a point in our history without precedent. We want you to know that you aren’t alone in this moment, you’ve not been abandoned. But this time it must be different. This time it won’t be easy.

Charlotte diocese to delay releasing names of priests accused of sexual abuse

CHARLOTTE (NC)
WCNC TV

November 12, 2018

The Diocese of Charlotte is now expected to wait several more months before deciding whether to release the names of priests accused of past sex abuse.

The delay comes as Pope Francis intervened during a meeting of the most powerful Catholics in the country.

The nation's Catholic bishops started a week-long conference today in Baltimore with plans of voting on two sex abuse response proposals, but at the urging of the pope, the bishops postponed those votes.

Diocese of Charlotte Communications Director David Hains said the impact will be felt here as the diocese considers whether to publish the names of accused priests.

"We're waiting for input from the bishops as to the best way to go about this," Hains said. "It's a little disappointing. We had hoped to get that input this week and get to work making that decision."

Pope Francis' requested last-minute delay means the nation's bishops will hold off on any decisions until he and the world's bishops hold a special meeting to discuss clergy abuse in February.

"The American bishops will probably meet in March to act on whatever is decided at the February meeting," Hains said. "We will be using input from the March meeting on our decision on posting the list...So, it looks like it is going to take a bit longer but I have no doubt that the end result will be a policy that complements the steps we have already put in place to protect children."

Boston Archdiocese, Clerical Sex Abuse Advocates React To U.S. Bishops' Policy Change Delay

BOSTON (MA)
WBUR Radio

November 12, 2018

The Archdiocese of Boston said in a statement today that Cardinal Sean O'Malley will keep advocating for new steps to hold bishops accountable, and greater transparency when it comes to clerical sex abuse.

That reaction came after the Pope requested today that U.S. Bishops delay any votes on policy changes in the church until a global meeting of church leaders in February. Bishops including O'Malley are meeting this week in Maryland and had planned to consider a series of measures including a new code of conduct for bishops.

The Archdiocese says the delay was "unexpected."

"Cardinal O’Malley will continue to vigorously advocate for revising the Dallas Charter to hold bishops accountable, greater transparency including the release of names of clergy accused of abuse and increased lay involvement and leadership," it said in the statement.

But advocates for sexual abuse victims say the delay by the Pope shows a lack of concern on behalf of the Catholic Church, including Boston-based attorney for clergy sex abuse victims Mitchell Garabedian.

Catholic bishops’ missed opportunity on clergy sex abuse scandal

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

November 12, 2018

By John L. Allen Jr.

Heading into this week’s fall meeting of the Catholic bishops of the United States in Baltimore, the forecast was for dramatic action on the clerical sexual abuse scandals that have rocked the Church for the last six months, during what some dubbed its “summer of shame.”

All that changed on Monday, when the president of the conference, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, announced that late Sunday the bishops were asked to stand down by the Vatican, awaiting a three-day summit in February in Rome convened by Pope Francis for the presidents of all the bishops’ conferences in the world to discuss the abuse crisis.

Some bishops are still pressing for non-binding votes on some of the action items, such as a new code of conduct subjecting themselves to the same “zero tolerance” policy as everyone else, as a way of sending a signal to Rome ahead of that February gathering. For right now, it remains to be seen what may result.

So, what gives? Could the Vatican actually be this tone-deaf, or is there some other explanation for the request for a delay?

The Catholic Church proves incapable of exorcising clergy sex abuse — again

WASHINGTON (DC)
]Washington Post

November 12, 2018

By Editorial Board

IT IS EVIDENT that the Catholic Church is incapable on its own of exorcising the scourge of clergy sex abuse. The scandal raged unchecked for decades and, even after it was exposed in 2002 by the Boston Globe , has been met by the church hierarchy with denial, temporizing, stone walling and half-measures.

Even as the bishops of America’s 196 Catholic dioceses and archdioceses gathered in Baltimore Monday to grapple with the latest major revelations — a Pennsylvania grand jury’s report from August detailing decades of abuse involving more than 1,000 victims and at least 300 priests — they were stopped in their tracks by an abrupt message from the Vatican, which asked them to hold off. That intercession arrived along with a warning from Pope Francis’s ambassador in the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, who seemed to scoff at the proposal, which the bishops had been set to vote on, to establish a lay commission that would assess bishops’ misconduct — “as if we were no longer capable of reforming or trusting ourselves,” as he put it.

That remark crystallized the arrogance that has often characterized the church’s stance even as countless exposés have laid bare the culpability of its leaders. From high and low, the church has broadcast its conviction that its own transgressions are no worse than that of other institutions; that state statutes of limitations that shield dioceses from lawsuits should be preserved; that no foothold may be allowed for mechanisms to discipline bishops who have enabled abuse by transferring pedophile priests from parish to parish.

Voices of moral clarity have been heard from within the church, urging genuine change. “Brother bishops, to exempt ourselves from this high standard of accountability is unacceptable and cannot stand,” Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said in a speech to the gathered bishops Monday following that of Mr. Pierre. “Whether we will be regarded as guardians of the abused or the abuser will be determined by our actions.”

Yet, more often than not, those voices have been ignored.

The pontiff has summoned bishops from around the world to the Vatican for a meeting to address the scandal in February; this summit, we are urged to believe, will once and for all set the church on a path toward surmounting the blight of abuse. The fact of that pending event was the proffered pretext for the church’s request that the U.S. bishops put off two items on their agenda this week in Baltimore: establishing the lay commission to review complaints against bishops, and adopting a code of conduct for themselves — the first such codified ethical guidelines.

The agenda was modest, and Rome’s intervention is telling. Again and again, the Vatican pays lip service to the suffering of victims. Again and again, it undercuts its own assertions of contrition.

Advocacy groups blast Vatican delay of U.S. Catholic bishops' vote on sexual abuse scandal

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune Review

November 12, 2018

By Stephen Huba

Catholics who were hoping for a substantive response from the U.S. bishops this week to the clergy sexual abuse crisis will have to wait a little longer.

The bishops, meeting in the 2018 General Assembly in Baltimore, learned Monday the Vatican had asked them to postpone a vote on a series of proposals addressing their part in the crisis. Pope Francis first wants to hold a summit on the scandal in February.

The two measures that were on the agenda were a code of conduct for bishops and the creation of a lay commission to review violations of the code.

Advocacy groups reacted angrily to the Vatican’s delay of the vote.

Survivors Call Vatican Telling US Bishops To Wait On Abuse ‘Totally Unacceptable’

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Tablet

November 12, 2018

By Christopher White

Following Monday’s shock announcement that the Vatican has requested the U.S. Catholic Bishops to delay voting on new standards for bishop accountability, survivors of sexual abuse and bishop accountability activists decried the move as a “totally unacceptable.”

Terence McKiernan, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, called the move a “preemptive strike” by the Vatican against U.S. bishops as they seek to respond to the current crisis of sexual abuse and its cover-up “in a modest way.”

Peter Isley, a survivor of clerical sexual abuse who now works with the organization Ending Clergy Abuse, said the decision from the Vatican effectively means, “We care more about our organization and our princely titles and positions” than enacting measures of accountability.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is gathered in Baltimore this week for its General Assembly, in which they were expected to enact new standards of conduct and accountability for bishops engaged in sexual abuse or its cover-up. At the start on Monday’s meeting, however, USCCB president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, announced that he had received a request on Sunday afternoon to postpone the vote until after a global summit on the crisis at the Vatican in February.

According to DiNardo, the request came from Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops.

Diocese probes another claim of sexual abuse

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
The Vindicator

November 12, 2018

By Justin Dennis

A month before the Catholic Diocese of Youngstown named 34 clergymen associated with the diocese who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor, it received one new allegation that is now under investigation.

The diocese last week also amended that list of accused to include one more name: One of the former friar’s accusers, who traveled with him as an altar boy in the mid-1980s, said the man forced himself on him when he was a pre-teen in St. Aloysius Parish in East Liverpool.

Simultaneously, a former Youngstown diocese priest, John F. Warner of Louisville, said he has worked to clear his name after the diocese’s Oct. 30 release, which exposed another disgraced priest with the exact same name.

The diocese announced Monday it placed the Rev. Denis G. Bouchard, pastor of Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish in Vienna, on administrative leave while it investigates a sex-abuse allegation made against the priest.

Vatican tells U.S. bishops to delay votes on new sex abuse protocols

NEW YORK (NY)
America Magazine

November 12, 2018

By Michael J. O’Loughlin

Catholic bishops from the United States gathered in Baltimore this week for their annual fall meeting had planned to discuss and vote on new protocols aimed at holding bishops accountable for sexual abuse. But in a surprise announcement at the start of the meeting, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo told bishops that the Vatican has asked them to delay the vote until after a February meeting in Rome with the heads of bishops conferences from around the world to discuss sexual abuse.

“Although I am disappointed that we will not be taking these actions tomorrow,” said Cardinal DiNardo, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, “I remain hopeful this additional consultation will ultimately improve our response to the crisis we face.”

Bishops had been scheduled to vote on three “action items” related to abuse: approving new “Standards of Episcopal Conduct” for bishops, the creation of a new commission to handle allegations of abuse against bishops, and new protocols for bishops who are removed or who resign from office due to sexual misconduct with adults or minors.

Pittsburgh diocese places another priest on leave following abuse accusations

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

November 12, 2018

By Kevin Flowers

Bishop David Zubik placed a 73-year-old priest on administrative leave Sept. 12 pending investigation of two allegations of sexual abuse of minors, the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh said Monday.

The diocese said in a news release that two people had spoken to diocesan officials in early September about alleged incidents involving the Rev. Richard M. Lelonis. One incident allegedly occurred in the early 1970s, and the second is alleged to have occurred about 1980.

The allegations subsequently were reported to the Allegheny County District Attorney's office, the diocese said. Father Lelonis, who has denied the allegations, according to the diocese, was removed from the diocesan tribunal, which he had served full time since 1995.

His suspension is at least the fifth the diocese has announced since the release in August of a statewide grand jury report on accusations of sexual abuse by priests over several decades.

Making sense of Vatican’s no-fly order to US bishops on abuse crisis

DENVER (CO)
Crux

November 13, 2018

By John L. Allen Jr.

In the run-up to the U.S. bishop’s fall meeting this week in Baltimore, the expectation - to be clear, the expectation of the bishops themselves - was that they’d be making some important decisions on the clerical sexual abuse crisis that’s rocked the Church for the last six months.

Instead, what unfolded Monday morning basically sucked all the oxygen out of the room, when Cardinal Daniel Dinardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the conference, announced that the Vatican has asked the bishops to delay doing anything until February, when Pope Francis plans to convene a summit of presidents of bishops’ conferences around the world to discuss child protection.

It’s worth noting that the action communicated to the U.S. bishops late Sunday came after Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, and French Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Vatican’s ambassador to the U.S., met Pope Francis in Rome on Saturday.

Priest Still Not Listed As Abuser Despite Old & New Allegations

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA TV

November 12, 2018

By Andy Sheehan

Since the release of the grand jury report on clergy sex abuse, Bishop David Zubik has been steadfast that he has never protected predator priests or covered for their actions.

“I think I’ve done an awful lot of good and I can say honestly, absolutely I did not do anything that would be part of a cover-up,” Zubik said in August.

But KDKA-TV News has learned that more than two months ago, two people reported that they had been sexually abused by Fr. Richard Lelonis and that as of Monday, Lelonis was still not listed on the diocesan website as having a credible allegation against him.

A man who did not wish to be identified confirmed to KDKA-TV’s Andy Sheehan that both his uncle and cousin reported to the diocesan clergy abuse line that Lelonis abused them while a pastor at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in the late 1990s, but despite its own policies, the diocese has taken no action.

Sheehan: “The diocese says now when they have a credible allegation, they report it to the District Attorney, they remove the priest from ministry and they make that name public. Have those things happened?”
Victim’s relative: “They have to make it known publicly and then also treat the victims or the accusers pastorally as well and reach out to them and neither of those things have been done.”

KDKA has also learned that Lelonis is one of several dozen priests accused in the past of sexually abusing a minor but who have successfully had their names redacted from the grand jury report.