Abuse Tracker
A Blog by Kathy Shaw

BishopAccountability.org – Documenting the Abuse Crisis

July 4, 2020

Lawmaker muted victims of childhood sex abuse

Colorado Politics

July 3, 2020

By Kathryn Robb

If something doesn’t feel right, it likely isn’t. Kids know this. In the name of justice children raise their voices, often kicking and screaming. In fact, most will complain even when the imbalance is in their favor.

Cognitive scientists report that children have a sharp sense of fairness; the pleas from their internal scales of justice, balancing right and wrong, fair and unfair, are active at an early age. Every parent has heard he thunderous protest “that’s not fair!”

Unless the child is silenced.

As I was for years, every time my abuser slithered out my childhood bedroom in the dark of the night. Even at age 10, my sense of justice knew this was terribly, horribly — wrong. As it is for so many survivors, my fear and shame sucked the oxygen out of the room and swallowed my voice. As the walls closed in on me, the clamp tightened on the secret. Suffocating, that little girl folded inward, again and again, until she became so small that the only sound that could be heard was the silence of shame.

Ohio priest indicted on federal child pornography charges

Associated Press

July 2, 2020

An Ohio Roman Catholic priest has been accused in a federal indictment of posing online as a female to persuade boys to send him sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves and threatening to tell their parents if they did not send more images, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland alleged Thursday.

Robert McWilliams, 40, followed through on his threats and sent some mothers images of their sons, prosecutors alleged. Some boys McWilliams targeted belonged to parishes where he served, prosecutors said.

McWilliams was indicted Wednesday on two counts of sex trafficking of a minor, three counts of sexual exploitation of children, one count of transportation of child pornography, one count of receiving and distributing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and one count of possession of child pornography.

Priest accused of sending mothers explicit sex abuse pictures of children he had blackmailed online

Independent (U.K.)

July 4, 2020

By James Crump

US attorney’s office said that Robert D McWilliams knew some of his alleged victims through his work

An Ohio priest has been indicted on child pornography and juvenile sex trafficking charges for allegedly enticing young boys to send explicit images of themselves.

Reverend Robert D McWilliams, from Strongsville, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, was initially arrested in December 2019 for possession of child pornography, but was indicted by a Federal Grand Jury on Thursday on several different charges.

The 40-year-old is now facing two counts of sex trafficking of a minor, three counts of sexual exploitation of children and three counts of pornography offences involving children.

Journalist's book explores her mixed feelings on faith

The Independent

July 4, 2020

By Allison Bray

In her debut work of non-fiction, Irish Independent journalist Ellen Coyne (29) explores these issues in 'Are You There God? It’s Me, Ellen'

Is it ok to be an à la carte Catholic?

That is the central theme in a new book by a young Irish Catholic journalist who explores her own misgivings about wanting to retain her faith amid darker aspects of the Church that have emerged over the years, including child-sex abuse within clergy and how it was handled by the Church, as well as its controversial stances on abortion and homosexuality.

In her debut work of non-fiction, Irish Independent journalist Ellen Coyne (29) explores these issues in 'Are You There God? It's Me, Ellen'.

Documents reveal church stayed quiet on sexual misconduct allegations against Broome Bishop for almost a year

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

July 4, 2020

By Erin Parke

Key points:
- Documents show the Catholic Church was told of sexual misconduct allegations against Broome Bishop Christopher Saunders as early as April 2019
- The Bishop voluntarily stood aside in March this year, with separate investigations by WA Police and the Vatican still ongoing
- The Bishop's continued presence in the Kimberley has sparked a further complaint to Church authorities

The Catholic Church was told of sexual misconduct allegations against a Western Australian bishop nearly a year before it took action, according to new documents obtained by the ABC.

Bishop Christopher Saunders, who has overseen the vast Diocese of Broome for 25 years, remains voluntarily stood aside amidst an ongoing WA Police investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.

No charges have been laid and Bishop Saunders has previously denied all accusations of inappropriate behaviour.

Buffalo Diocese, parishes granted two-month pause on already-filed CVA lawsuits

Buffalo News

July 4, 2020

By Jay Tokasz

Afederal bankruptcy judge is giving the Buffalo Diocese two months to sort out a tangled web of historical insurance coverage and determine how those policies might be affected by Child Victims Act lawsuits against the diocese and parishes, schools and other Catholic entities.

A Chapter 11 filing in February immediately stopped lawsuits in state courts against the diocese from advancing as it goes through a reorganization. That same protection does not apply to parishes, which are separately incorporated and not part of the bankruptcy.

But the diocese in May asked Chief Judge Carl Bucki of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Western District to shield parishes, schools and other entities that also have been named as defendants in Child Victims Act cases.

Award-winning author accuses priest of abuse, detained after vandalizing parish property

The Jakarta Post

July 4, 2020

By Hengky Ola Sura

Award winning author, Felix K. Nesi, was detained by the Insana Police in Timor Tengah Utara regency, East Nusa Tenggara, on Friday night after allegedly vandalizing a Catholic parish clergy house.

He admitted to The Jakarta Post on Saturday that he had damaged the property, claiming to have done so because he was angry that the parish had let a priest, whom he accused of “mistreating a woman”, to remain at the church.

Felix, who won a literary award from the Jakarta Arts Council in 2018, said on the phone that he had been released from detention on Saturday. He wrote in a public Facebook post that he had used his motorcycle helmet to damage the windows of the SMK Bitauni vocational school parish clergy house and had thrown chairs.

July 3, 2020

More child abuse claims leveled against long-ago Jesuit High School janitor duo


July 3, 2020

By Ramon Antonio Vargas

Another man has come forward and added to claims of child molestation decades ago by janitors at Jesuit High School’s Mid-City campus.

The plaintiff, under a pseudonym, filed a lawsuit Thursday at Civil District Court demanding damages from Jesuit and the religious order that runs the school over abuse that he claims to have suffered at the hands of Gary Sanchez and the late Peter Modica.

The case comes about five months after the school and the order reached financial settlements with two other plaintiffs, one who claimed abuse by Modica and the other who alleged that both Modica and Sanchez molested him.

Archdiocese of New Orleans asks court for deadline for those seeking compensation

WVUE-TV, Channel 8

July 3, 2020

Attorneys for the Archdiocese of New Orleans filed new documents in their bankruptcy proceedings.

They are asking Judge Meredith Grabill for a September 29 bar date which would require anyone seeking compensation for clergy abuse to come forward by that date.

The Archdiocese of New Orleans filed for bankruptcy two months ago in the face of what it described as mounting church abuse litigation.

Attorneys for alleged sex abuse victims are expected to ask that the bar date be set later to allow claimants more time to come forward.

Russian Orthodox Church defrocks rebel monk and raises questions about child abuse at monastery

The Telegraph

The court chairman says they have received reports of child abuse at the monastery that need to be investigated

July 3, 2020

By Nataliya Vasilyeva

A religious court in Russia has defrocked a controversial monk who has sabotaged coronavirus lockdown restrictions, with the chairman of the court also saying it had reports of child abuse at his monastery.

Father Sergei Romanov, abbot of the Sredneuralsk monastery outside the city of Yekaterinburg in the Urals mountains, has for years been running what many scholars described a religious cult worshiping the family of Russia’s last czar Nicholas II who were killed by the Bolsheviks in 1918.

As the coronavirus epidemic struck Russia, Father Sergei, previously known for hate speech, publicly cursed those closing down the churches in line with lockdown orders and urged believers to disobey the restrictions....

‘I thought God had presented this guy’: 20 years after reporting clergy abuse to the University, a Notre Dame survivor shares his story

The Observer

July 3, 3030

By Natalie Weber and Mary Steurer

Mark Fuller, class of 1977, came forward with his experience of priest abuse in 2002. Notre Dame offered little more than an apology.

[Editor’s note: This story includes descriptions of sexual abuse and violence. A list of sexual assault reporting options and on-campus resources can be found on the Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Holy Cross websites.]

The first two times Mark Fuller visited Fr. William Presley, then rector of St. Edward’s Hall, they just talked.

It was 1974, and Fuller vividly remembers sitting in an orange lounge chair in the front of Presley’s rectory while the priest asked him questions about his classes, his family and his personal life. Fuller remembers Presley offering him a soda.

Then, in their third or fourth meeting, Fuller said, things changed. Presley told Fuller to wait while he went into the bedroom. When Presley called him in, he was in bed under the covers. He told Fuller to disrobe.

Fuller said this was the first time Presley raped him.

Roman Catholic Church responds to rape allegations against former monk

Loop News

July 3, 2020

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Port of Spain says it has noted with grave concern, videos recently published on social media in which two young women made allegations against a monk formerly associated with the Mount Saint Benedict Monastery and St Bede's Vocational School.

In a statement, it said "the loss of innocence of any child through any form of abuse is a tragedy, a deep and lasting wound for the victim as well as a serious crime."

The Church said its prayers and support go out to the young women and Mount Saint Benedict community at this time.

It said the allegations raised in the videos are under review by the Trustees of Mount Saint Benedict and the brother in question left the monastic life some years ago and is no longer a member of the community of Mount St Benedict.

Media Statement: Missouri Priest Accused of Abuse Resigns After Allegation Deemed “Credible”

SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

July 1, 2020

A Catholic priest accused of abuse in the Diocese of Jefferson City has resigned his position following a determination that the allegation was “credible” but not able to be corroborated. We are disturbed that diocesan officials are speaking out of both sides of their mouth in this situation and hope that others who may have knowledge in this case will come forward to police and prosecutors.

There are rarely witnesses or video evidence for sex crimes, so we are not surprised that the allegation against Fr. Mark Porterfield was not corroborated. But the fact that the claim was determined to be “credible” by Catholic officials is enough to demand action and we are glad that Fr. Porterfield is no longer leading a parish.

Victims of sexual abuse have long been disbelieved and marginalized, especially by the institutions they have accused, and we are disappointed that diocesan officials are playing both sides in this situation. Rather than continue to cast doubt on allegations by referring to them as “not corroborated,” Bishop Shawn McKnight should be using every resource at his disposal to encourage other victims and witnesses to come forward and make a report to police.

First Nations day school students want new investigation of abuse claims, say RCMP probe marred by 'bias'

CBC News

July 2, 2020

By Jorge Barrera

The B.C. RCMP investigation into First Nations day school abuse allegations against John Furlong, the former 2010 Vancouver Olympics CEO, was tainted by "bias" and "discrimination," according to a recent filing with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

The filing by six members of the Lake Babine Nation itemized the failures of the RCMP investigation, ranging from limited questioning of alleged victims, to a failure to follow leads or to obtain additional information through production orders.

"The case demonstrates the inequality that Indigenous communities experience in accessing justice," said the Complainant's Statement of Particulars, submitted with the tribunal on Monday.

"It reveals the biased attitudes and systemic discrimination that exists in police investigative methods, and shows how Indigenous victims of abuse suffer adverse impacts, such as being disbelieved and/or dehumanized. Bias in favour of powerful non-Indigenous individuals, even if unconsciously held, results in harmful treatment to Indigenous complainants of abuse."

All six Lake Babine Nation members attended the Catholic-run Immaculata elementary school when Furlong taught physical education there in 1969. The institution was a day school in the First Nation, about 220 kilometres northwest of Prince George, B.C. The school closed in the 1980s.

Savio Rodrigues exposes sexual abuse cases and corruption in the Catholic Church of India in Jaipur Dialogues

Goa Chronicle

July 3, 2020


New Delhi: The Founder & Editor-in-Chief of GoaChronicle.com, Savio Rodrigues in a discussion with Sanjay Dixit on Jaipur Dialogues exposed the evil of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in India, highlighted corruption cases in Christian institutions and mooted a need for an Indian Church without Vatican interference.

Charlotte Priest Will Remain Away From Ministry


July 2, 2020

By Sarah Delia and Marshall Terry

The pastor of Charlotte’s St. Matthew Catholic Church will remain away from ministry following an investigation into a decades-old allegation of sexual abuse.

In a letter to St. Matthew parishioners this week, Bishop Peter Jugis, the head of the Charlotte Diocese, said he accepted the recommendation of the diocese’s independent Lay Review Board that Father Patrick Hoare remain away from active ministry at this time.

Hoare had been placed on administrative leave last December after someone told the diocese they'd been sexually abused by Hoare about 25 years ago in Pennsylvania.

Catholic priest from Strongsville indicted on federal charges of child pornography, exploitation


July 2, 2020

By John Caniglia, The Plain Dealer

A Catholic priest was indicted Thursday on federal charges involving child pornography and the exploitation of children.

A grand jury charged the Rev. Robert McWilliams, 40, with two counts of sex trafficking of a minor, three counts of sexual exploitation of children and three counts of pornography-related charges involving children.

McWilliams had served at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Pearl Road in Strongsville at the time of his arrest Dec. 5. He is being held without bond.

Alleged David Haas sexual assault victim speaks out

Catholic News Agency

July 2, 2020

By Jonah McKeown

In late May, allegations surfaced against contemporary Catholic musician and composer David Haas, which claimed that Haas had subjected multiple adult women to serial spiritual manipulation and sexual misconduct.

A former music and youth minister, who alleges that Haas aggressively kissed and groped her when she was 19, spoke to CNA this week about her experience. And one expert told CNA that the allegations against Haas point to the difficulties of ensuring that laity working in Church contexts are trustworthy, and beyond reproach.


Sidney*, a California native, told CNA that she has worked in close proximity to the Church for more than 15 years, primarily in religious education, as a youth minister, and as a music minister.

Altoona man who served at Lancaster County churches in the 1990s to 2003 charged with child sexual abuse

Lancaster County Online

July 3, 2020

By Dan Nephin

A western Pennsylvania man who served at three Lancaster County churches in the 1990s and early 2000s has been charged with repeatedly sexually abusing a teenage girl and exposing himself to two other children where he now lives.

William J. Stonebraker, 50, of Altoona, was charged June 22 in Blair County with two counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and 96 counts each of unlawful contact with a minor, aggravated indecent assault, child endangerment and corruption of minors — all felonies. He's also charged with 96 counts each of indecent exposure and indecent assault, which are misdemeanors.

Stonebraker's attorney, Thomas M. Dickey, said Thursday that Stonebraker has pleaded not guilty to all charges and they're awaiting details of the accusations.

Texarkana pastor sentenced to five life sentences plus 220 years for sexual abuse of girls


July 2, 2020

By Field Walsh

A Texarkana pastor was sentenced Thursday to five life sentences plus 220 years for 16 counts of child sexual abuse.

Logan Wesley III, 56, was found guilty by a jury in Bowie County of five counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and sentenced to life on each count. The jury also found Wesley guilty of nine counts of sexual assault of a child and two counts of indecency with a child by sexual contact and sentenced to the 20-year maximum on each count.

202nd District Judge John Tidwell ordered all of the sentences to run consecutively. The jury also ordered three $10,000 fines for a total of $30,000.

Is this the beginning of the end for Scientology? Danny Masterson’s rape charges could be first nail in the coffin


July 2, 2020

Danny Masterson, who is best known for ‘The 70s Show’ has been charged with rape of three women. The allegations against him were filed on Tuesday (June 16) by three women who claimed that the actor had forcibly raped them. The incidents reportedly took place between 2001 and 2003. Masterson was arrested shortly after the charges were made public.

If convicted, he could face up to 45 years in prison, as reported by Yahoo Entertainment. While the news about Masterson becomes nationwide news, many people pointed out how the actor, a Scientologist, was previously accused of the same a couple of years ago but it was gagged by Scientology.

In a shocking article that was published by The Daily Beast in 2019, the media outlet had detailed how the Church of Scientology might be helping Masterson bury the crimes under the rug. The outlet stated that the church had received two letters from one of the victims asking the church to speak up on the matter. However, they had remained mum on the matter.

July 2, 2020

New Orleans archdiocese seeks Sept. 29 deadline for abuse claims, survivors to fight for more time


By Ramon Antonio Vargas

July 2, 2020

The Archdiocese of New Orleans asked a federal judge late Wednesday to require anyone with clergy abuse claims against the local church to come forward by Sept. 29, almost certainly setting up the next legal dispute in the church’s two-month-old bankruptcy case.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Meredith Grabill did not immediately rule on whether to make Sept. 29 the so-called “bar date,” which is expected to prompt many more remaining claimants to file complaints of abuse and demands for compensation. That date would also stand as the deadline for other entities to claim debts from the church that predate its May 1 filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections, except for government agencies, for whom the church requested a couple of extra months.

In video, Cardinal Pell details his time in prison before being cleared in abuse case


July 2, 2020


Cardinal George Pell, the former Vatican treasurer who was recently cleared of historic sex abuse charges in his native country of Australia, spoke about his experience in prison, Pope Francis’ financial reform and the need to avoid corruption in a video released on Tuesday.

“In jail, of course, I was there as a Christian, inspired by the teachings of Christ,” Pell said, adding that his time in prison offered plenty of opportunity to pray every day. “And that I did,” he said.

The cardinal was sentenced to six years in prison by the County Court of Victoria, Australia, in late 2018 for the sexual abuse of minors when he was bishop in Melbourne between 1996 and 1997. Pell had vehemently denied all charges against him and, in April, the highest court in Australia dropped all charges for lack of sufficient proof.

The newly released video is the cardinal’s first public appearance since he was acquitted. In it he said that though prison was “an adventure I would not have chosen,” he had “survived it.”

Two new allegations added against Ascension priest once known as crusading priest-cop

The Advocate

July 1, 2020

By Jacqueline DeRobertis

A deceased Catholic priest formerly accused of abuse in Ascension Parish has two new credible allegations added in the latest Baton Rouge Diocese report.

The list now includes more information regarding The Rev. George Gensler, who is accused of abuse in the late 1970s and between 1984 and 1998, said Diocese of Baton Rouge Communications Secretary Dan Borné.

Reports of abuse were received in February 1994 and October 2018, but two new credible allegations were reported days apart in February 2020, he said.

Past abuse was reported at St. Anthony of Padua in Darrow, where Gensler served from 1979 to 1994; he was placed on administrative leave and permanently removed from ministry during his last year at the church.

Columbus Diocese hires counselor to speak with victims, priest reassigned

Columbus Dispatch

July 2, 2020

By Danae King

The Columbus Diocese was one of three in the country that had a priest working with survivors of clergy sexual abuse to take their reports. On July 2, 2020, the diocese announced it had hired a counselor to take the reports.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus has hired a licensed clinical counselor to work with victims of sexual abuse by priests, replacing the priest who has been in the position since 1997.

Laura Lewis, a local counselor, will begin work as the interim Victims’ Assistance Coordinator on July 15, replacing Monsignor Stephan Moloney, the diocese announced Thursday.

The change comes after The Dispatch reported in March 2019 that Moloney was one of three diocesan victims’ assistance coordinators in the country who were also priests. Victim advocates and survivors have said such an arrangement makes it harder for victims to come forward to report abuse, and can even retraumatize them.

Top Vatican investigator on sex abuse says church must empower victims

Religion News Service

July 2, 2020

By Claire Giangravé

It’s been more than a year since Pope Francis issued his historic document, “Vos Est Lux Mundi (You are the light of the world),” and ushered in a new wave of transparency and accountability for abuse cases in the Catholic Church.

But according to Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna, much more still needs to be done.

“We need to empower disclosure” of abuse cases by providing victims with avenues for safe communication, said Scicluna, adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican, during a webinar for “A Safer Church” on Tuesday (June 30).

Former Norfolk Catholic school teacher sentenced for abusing student


July 2, 2020

Daniel Wolfe pleaded guilty to abusing a 15-year-old when he taught at Norfolk Catholic High School in the late 1970s.

A former Catholic school teacher will spend three years behind bars for sexually abusing a student.

A judge sentenced 70-year-old Daniel Wolfe on Thursday to five years in prison, with two suspended.

Wolfe pleaded guilty last year to abusing a 15-year-old when he taught at Norfolk Catholic High School.

The abuse happened in the late 1970s, and Wolfe hasn't taught at the school since the 1980s.

The Catholic Diocese of Richmond maintains an updated list of clergy who have served there and have also had a proven allegation of sexual abuse involving a minor made against them.

Abuse allegations should be reported directly to local law enforcement, including Child Protective Services (CPS) at 1-800-552-7096 and by calling the Attorney General’s Clergy Abuse Hotline at 1-833-454-9064.

Claims emerge that founder of Schoenstatt was abuser

The Tablet

July 2, 2020

By Madoc Cairns

The founder of the Schoenstatt community, Fr Josef Kentenich, engaged in manipulative and abusive behaviour during his time leading the group, according to a German historian. The allegations against Kentenich, uncovered within the Vatican archives, include sexual abuse.

Alexandra von Teuffenbach, a theologian and church historian living in Germany, has claimed that recently opened sections of the Vatican archives include documents that portray Fr Kentenich as abusing his power within the community he founded. According to von Teuffenbach, after reports of abuse within the community were received by the Vatican in the early 1950s, an official visitation ensued. As a consequence, Kentenich was exiled to the United States for nearly 15 years, only returning to Germany in 1965, three years before his death.

York man sues Diocese of Allentown, Hellertown school over alleged sex abuse


July 2, 2020

A man is suing the Diocese of Allentown and a Hellertown school and church over allegations that he was sexually assaulted by his teacher several decades ago.

Mark Beaky, who now lives in York, says he was 13 when Lawrence Haftle, his teacher at St. Theresa of the Child of Jesus Catholic School, abused him. Beaky attended the school from 1971-1975, and says the abuse occurred in 1974, when Haftle was his homeroom teacher.

It started with "off-campus car rides" during lunch, in which Haftle, who died in 2010, would offer Beaky marijuana, according to the lawsuit filed in Lehigh County court.

Funeral planned Wednesday for retired pope’s elder brother

Associated Press

July 2, 2020

A funeral is to be held in Germany next week for the Rev. Georg Ratzinger, the older brother of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI who died Wednesday at the age of 96.

The Diocese of Regensburg said Thursday that Ratzinger will be laid to rest in the Bavarian city’s Catholic cemetery Wednesday afternoon following a service led by Bishop Rudolf Voderholzer.

The acclaimed boys’ choir Ratzinger headed for several decades will stage a farewell concert Sunday. The public is invited to attend prayers in Regensburg Cathedral on Monday evening and to sign a book of condolences Tuesday.

Archives reveal abuse allegations against founder of Schonstatt movement

Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

July 2, 2020

by Junno Arocho Esteves

Documents uncovered from the recently opened archives of the pontificate of Pope Pius XII revealed allegations of sexual abuse and abuse of power against the founder of the Schonstatt movement, Fr. Joseph Kentenich.

Reports of the apostolic visitation made in the early 1950s written by Dutch Jesuit Father Sebastiaan Tromp were made known by German scholar Alexandra von Teuffenbach July 2 after she wrote a letter regarding her discovery to German newspaper Die Tagespost and Italian journalist Sandro Magister.

Von Teuffenbach, a former professor of church history at Rome's Pontifical Regina Apostolorum University, said the testimonies, letters and conversations Tromp had with members of the Schonstatt Sisters of Mary, as well as Kentenich, revealed "a situation of complete subjugation of the nuns, concealed in a certain way by a sort of family structure applied to the work."

Book review: Book takes scholarly yet accessible look at clerical sex abuse crisis

Catholic News Service voa CatholicPhilly.com

July 2, 2020

By Deborah Gyapong

“Clerical Sexual Misconduct: An Interdisciplinary Analysis,” edited by Jane F. Adolphe and Ronald J. Rychlak. Cluny Media (Providence, Rhode Island, 2020). 480 pp., $29.95.

Two years ago, the world learned former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick faced credible accusations of sexually abusing underage boys.

The Diocese of Metuchen and the Archdiocese of Newark in New Jersey revealed secret settlements had been made in 2005 and 2007 with former seminarians that McCarrick had preyed upon while he was the bishop in those dioceses. Somehow, despite revelations that several individuals had made internal complaints about McCarrick as early as the 1990s, he rose to become archbishop of Washington and a cardinal.

Letter to Parishioners from Bishop Peter J. Jugis, Diocese of Charlotte

Diocese of Charlotte

July 1, 2020

Dear St. Matthew parishioners,

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am writing to let you know I have accepted the report and recommendation of the Diocese of Charlotte’s independent Lay Review Board that Father Patrick Hoare remain out of active ministry at this time. Father John Allen will continue as administrator of St. Matthew Parish.

As I shared with you previously, the diocese placed Father Hoare on administrative leave Dec. 9, 2019, after receiving an allegation against him of child sexual abuse that was said to have occurred in Pennsylvania more than 25 years ago, before Father Hoare entered ministry.

Diocese of Baton Rouge adds name to list of credibly accused clergy members


July 1, 2020

By Nick Gremillion

The Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge has added another name to its list of clergy members credibly accused of abuse.

The additions come one year after the diocese released the list.

Fr. George Gensler, has been added to the list of credibly accused of abuse, bringing the total number of accused clergy members to 45.

Gensler is accused of abuse during the late 1970s and from 1984 to 1998. The diocese says it received reports of abuse allegedly committed by Gensler in 1994, 2018, and 2020.

Paterson Diocese installs Brooklyn priest as new bishop


July 1, 2020

By Abbott Koloff and Deena Yellin


Bishop Kevin Sweeney emphasized a strong connection to the immigrant community and the importance of his family as he took over Wednesday as the leader of the Paterson Diocese in a ceremony held before a relatively small group of people amid the coronavirus pandemic.

His installation and ordination as bishop took place at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Paterson three months after his promotion was announced, postponed because of the spread of COVID-19. About 100 people attended the invitation-only event, most wearing masks and sitting far apart to practice social distancing.

Charlotte bishop bars St. Matthew pastor from active ministry after sex abuse claims

The Charlotte Observer via WBTV

July 1, 2020

By Joe Marusak

The pastor of Charlotte’s St. Matthew Catholic Church, one of the nation’s largest parishes, will remain out of active ministry after decades-old allegations of sexual abuse of a minor surfaced last year, Bishop Peter Jugis said Wednesday.

In a letter to St. Matthew parishioners, Jugis said he accepted the report and recommendation of the diocese’s independent Lay Review Board that Father Patrick Hoare “remain out of active ministry at this time.”

Father John Allen will continue as administrator of St. Matthew Parish, Jugis said.

After George Brignac’s death, what’s next for church sex abuse cases

WDSU-TV [includes video]

July 1, 2020

The death of former Deacon George Brignac halted the only ongoing criminal case involving a local member of the Catholic clergy. The 85-year-old was awaiting trial on a rape charge when he died Monday.

He was one of 15 living priests and deacons the Archdiocese of New Orleans has identified since November 2018 as being credibly accused of sexual abuse. So far, Brignac is the only one to face a criminal accusation, a first-degree rape charge dating back to his time at Our Lady of the Rosary in New Orleans in the 1970s. He taught math at the church school and was in charge of its altar boys at the time.

No criminal charges have been brought against the other living clergy, but their accusers fear the clock is ticking. Most are in their 70s and 80s.

“These men are aging, and we don’t want them to age out of being punished for sex crimes … against children,” said Kevin Bourgeois, with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Open letter calls on USA Swimming to end "culture of sexual abuse"

Inside the Games

July 1, 2020

By Neil Shefferd

An open letter, released on behalf of six victims, has called on USA Swimming to "dismantle" a culture of sexual abuse within the organisation.

The letter, delivered to USA Swimming chief executive Tim Hinchey yesterday, has called on the organisation to take action to what it describes as an "epidemic" of sexual abuse within the governing body.

The letter, written on behalf of six victims by their attorney Robert Allard, includes the names of eight individuals, who the victims say should be immediately removed from USA Swimming.

An extract from the letter reads: "Having been deeply involved in the handling of sex abuse claims against USA Swimming for more than a decade, it is clear to us that there remains a deeply embedded culture within your organisation which condones the criminal sexual behaviour of coaches towards its underage athletes.

"This culture is similar to that of the Catholic Church, where a long-standing unofficial code enabled rampant sexual abuse by punishing those who report and rewarding those who remain silent. This must end, and it must end now."

Last month six women filed lawsuits alleging that USA Swimming failed to protect them from sexual abuse from coaches Mitch Ivey, Everett Uchiyama and Andy King.

Lutheran Pastor Arrested In Godfrey, Charged With Distributing Child Pornography


July 1, 2020

EAST ST. LOUIS - The U.S. District Court - Southern District of Illinois - on Wednesday announced a federal criminal complaint was filed late on Friday, June 19, 2020, against a Madison County pastor, Steven P. Tibbetts, 61, for one count of knowingly distributing child pornography in December 2019. At the time the complaint was filed, Tibbetts was employed as the head pastor at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Godfrey.

Tibbets' attorney, Bill Lucco, told prosecutors this afternoon that on account of the charge pending against him, Tibbetts has been “released of all duties, pastoral or otherwise, at Resurrection Lutheran."

Australian Bishops Reject Criticism of Move to Single Safeguarding Office

The Catholic Universe

July 1, 2020

The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference has hit back at claims that a new national safeguarding office may be a step backward from the work of Catholic Professional Standards Ltd. over the past three years.

Catholic Professional Standards Ltd. was established by the bishops in response to the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse to conduct audits of Church entities’ compliance with child safe standards and to deliver safeguarding training.

It was set up as a not-for-profit company operating independently of the Church hierarchy and runs at a cost of around $1.8 million (approx. £1.4 million) a year. It is expected to be replaced early in 2021 by a national approach to streamline and co-ordinate the Church’s work to protect children and vulnerable adults.

UISG announces two initiatives during Safeguarding Webinar

The Herald - Malaysia Online

July 1, 2020

By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp

The International Union of Superiors General unveils two initiatives during a webinar on Tuesday on Victimology and the Relational Safety Model

The International Union of Superiors General hosted the third in a four-part Safeguarding webinar on Tuesday. Guest speaker Dr Gabriel Dy-Liacco treated the topic on Victomology and the Relational Safety Model.

Sr Pat Murray, Executive Secretary for the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) announced two initiatives prior to the webinar. She said that on 22 June the first meeting took place of the Joint Commission for Care of the UISG and its male counterpart, the Union of Superiors General (USG) . The Commission is comprised of five representatives from each organization. This joint commission, Sr Pat said, “will lead our efforts into the future to work with Congregations and others on the protection of minors and vulnerable adults.”

But that was not all. There are “two other developments”, Sr Pat continued. The UISG has established two offices: the Office for Care and Protection and Catholic Care for Children International. “Together”, Sr Pat explained, “they form a world-wide initiative to join with those who are focusing on moving children from institutional-based care to family-based care”.

National Redress Scheme: Jehovah’s Witnesses hold out over sex abuse

The Australian

July 2, 2020

By Greg Brown

The Jehovah’s Witnesses is openly defying the child sex abuse royal commission, refusing to implement its recommendations because they go against the religion’s “Bible-based beliefs” despite allegations that 1800 children had been abused since 1950.

The secretive religion of nearly 70,000 members is one of six institutions that were publicly shamed and stripped of taxpayer funding by Social Services Minister Anne Ruston who condemned the groups on Wednesday for failing to uphold their “moral obligation” to society by signing-up to the redress scheme.

She warned the refusal of the six institutions, including the Boys’ Brigade NSW, to participate was blocking the compensation claims of 55 abuse survivors.

The Australian can reveal the Jehovah’s Witnesses has failed to reform its structures in line with the directions issued by the royal commission in addition to its rejection of demands it sign-up to the government’s scheme aimed at compensating victims.

The decision means those with sex abuse allegations within the religion will still need to have their stories corroborated by at least two witnesses before church elders consider whether an alleged offender should be sanctioned by the organisation.

Two more women testify against local pastor in sex abuse trial

Texarkana Gazette

July 1, 2020

By Lynn LaRowe

Three women in their 30s testified Monday and Tuesday that they were sexually abused by a Texarkana pastor when they were children.

NEW BOSTON, Texas — Three women in their 30s testified Monday and Tuesday that they were sexually abused by a Texarkana pastor when they were children.

One of the women, now 38, testified Monday that Logan Wesley III, 56, is a close relative with whom she came to live at age 13. She claims Wesley sexually abused her for years, beat her when she confronted him as a teen and continued in his sexual assaults of her until she was 20, under questioning by Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards.

A recording of a phone conversation last year between the woman and Wesley was played for the jury Monday. In the recording, Wesley, when asked by the woman if he knew how many times he assaulted her, replied "one time was too many," and expressing that he could receive "life in prison" should the allegations reach law enforcement.

‘Time for a Reckoning’: Flood of Abuse Cases Against NY Archdiocese Filed Amid Deadline Uncertainty

The City

July 1, 2020

By Virginia Breen

Alleged victims of abuse decades ago have filed a flood of lawsuits — 95 in the last month alone — against the Archdiocese of New York amid confusion over the deadline for the look-back window provision of the Child Victims Act.

“We have dozens more in the works,” said attorney Jeffrey Anderson, who recently filed 59 cases against the Archdiocese, which serves 2.8 million Catholics in Manhattan, The Bronx, Staten Island and seven counties farther upstate. “The numbers demonstrate the magnitude of the problem never addressed in the archdiocese. Well, the courthouse doors are now open. It’s time for a reckoning.”

“We filed 100 cases against the Catholic Church across the state of New York in the last 60 days,” said attorney James Marsh.

Man sues Allentown Diocese, Hellertown school, says teacher molested him

Morning Call

July 2, 2020

By Laurie Mason Schroeder

A York County man who claims he was sexually assaulted by a Hellertown Catholic school teacher in the 1970s is suing the Allentown Diocese and others in the latest of a trickle of new lawsuits based on a potential legal loophole around the statute of limitations.

Mark Beaky, 59, says he was 13 when Lawrence Haftle, then a teacher at St. Theresa of The Child of Jesus Catholic School in Hellertown, sexually assaulted him.

Beaky claims that Haftle, who died in 2010, also gave him drugs and alcohol when he was a teen.

Named along the with diocese in the suit are the school and St. Theresa of The Child of Jesus Church in Hellertown. Beaky is demanding a jury trial and unspecified monetary damages.

Editorial: Rozanski’s actions in sex abuse case sets path for change in motion


July 2, 2020

The claim by a Berkshire County man that he had been repeatedly raped and molested as altar boy by one of the most revered figures in the history of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield presented the Most Rev. Mitchell T. Rozanski with a most unenviable task.

Rozanski did not turn away. Instead, he turned to a respected retired Superior Court judge, Peter A. Velis, who last week delivered a report bearing uncomfortable news for Rozanski and the entire diocese of Western Massachusetts, from the ranks of its clergy to its devoted parishioners. Rozanski asked for the truth, and he got it.

July 1, 2020

Lawsuit alleges sexual abuse by priest in 1990s

The Tribune-Review

July 1, 2020

By Tony LaRussa

The Diocese of Greensburg and Bishop Edward Malesic are being sued by a man who claims he was sexually abused by a priest who has since died.

The lawsuit, filed June 22, claims the Rev. Joseph L. Sredzinski began abusing the victim in 1991 when he was 11 years old and continued until the victim was 17.

Sredzinski served at the former St. Joseph Church in Everson, Fayette County, from 1989 to 1999. He died in 2015.

A diocese spokesman declined to comment because he said officials have not yet been served with the lawsuit.

Steubenville priest who impregnated teen is defrocked

The Times Leader

July 1, 2020

Henry Christopher Foxhoven, the Catholic priest who admitted impregnating a 17-year-old altar girl, has been defrocked.

Foxhoven, 46, is serving 12 years in jail after pleading guilty in Athens County, Ohio in November 2018 to three counts of sexual battery.

In March, Pope Francis decreed that Foxhoven be dismissed from the clerical state, or laicized. The Catholic World Report says a priest dismissed from the clerical state can’t celebrate Mass, hear confessions or administer the sacraments, among other things.

The pope’s decision was communicated to Diocese of Steubenville Bishop Jeffery Monforton on June 3, and to Foxhoven on June 19.

“We must remain vigilant in assisting victims of sexual abuse,” Monforton said. “We take every accusation very seriously and we will continue to do so.”

Monforton had revoked Foxhoven’s ministerial faculties and suspended him from priestly ministry on Oct. 27, 2018, when he learned Foxhoven had admitted to having sexual contact with a minor. At the same time, diocesan attorney Tom Wilson filed a report with the Athens County Sheriff’s Department, where Foxhoven said the abuse had occurred and the diocese “fully cooperated with authorities in their investigation,” a news release issued by the diocese Friday noted.

Bergen Priest, Formerly Of Hillsdale, Resigns Amid Abuse Allegations

Daily Voice

July 1, 2020

By Jerry DeMarco

The pastor of Cliffside Park’s Church of the Epiphany has resigned amid allegations that he abused a minor before he was ordained.

The Rev. Bruce Harger, 66, “has not been convicted of any civil or canonical crime” and has denied any wrongdoing, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Newark said.

He decided “after thorough and careful consideration” to step down until the matter is resolved, however, “out of concern for the people of the parish and for the benefit of the church,” the spokeswoman, Maria Margiotta, said in a statement.

Georg Ratzinger, priest and brother of Emeritus Pope Benedict, dies aged 96

Press Association

July 1, 2020

Father Georg Ratzinger, the older brother of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, who earned renown in his own right as a director of an acclaimed German boys’ choir, has died at 96.

The Regensburg diocese in Bavaria, where Fr Ratzinger lived, said in a statement on his website that he died on Tuesday.

His death came just over a week after Benedict made a four-day visit to Regensburg to be with his ailing brother.

St. Martins priest accused of misconduct resigns


July 1, 2020

By Matt Ragsdale

The Diocese of Jefferson City said a St. Martin Parish priest in St. Marins resigned after being placed on leave last year.

Diocese spokeswoman Helen Osman said in an email the priest, Mark Porterfield, resigned on Tuesday.

Retired pope's elder brother, Georg Ratzinger, dies at 96

Associated Press

July 1, 2020

By David Rising

The Rev. Georg Ratzinger, the older brother of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, who earned renown in his own right as a director of an acclaimed German boys' choir, has died at 96.

The Regensburg diocese in Bavaria, where Ratzinger lived, said in a statement on his website that he died Tuesday. His death came just over a week after Benedict made a four-day visit to Regensburg to be with his ailing brother.

Msgr. Ratzinger, retired pope's brother, dies at 96

Catholic News Service

July 1, 2020

Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, a musician and retired Pope Benedict XVI's elder brother, died July 1 at the age of 96.

According to Vatican News, Msgr. Ratzinger died in Regensburg, Germany, where he had been hospitalized. Pope Benedict, 93, flew to Regensburg June 18 to be with his ailing brother.

When the retired pope arrived in Germany, the Diocese of Regensburg issued a statement asking the public to respect his privacy and that of his brother.

"It may be the last time that the two brothers, Georg and Joseph Ratzinger, see each other in this world," the diocesan statement said.

Pope Francis praying for Polish Catholics seeking Vatican intervention on clerical abuse


July 1, 2020

Pope Francis is praying for a group of lay people who appealed to him to crack down on clerical abuse in Poland, the Vatican said Tuesday.

More than 600 people took out a full-page advertisement in the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica on Monday, June 29, urging the pope to intervene in the growing abuse crisis in the country.

Matteo Bruni, director of the Holy See Press Office, told journalists June 30: “The Holy Father is informed of the appeal. He is praying for those who sent it. The entire Church must do everything possible so that the canonical norms are applied, cases of abuse are brought to light and those guilty of these serious crimes are punished.”

Media Statement: New Lawsuit Filed Against the Diocese of Greensburg

SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

June 30, 2020

A new lawsuit has been filed against the Catholic Diocese of Greensburg. We applaud this brave survivor for coming forward and hope that this news will encourage others who may have been hurt in Pennsylvania to come forward and find help and healing.

The lawsuit alleges that Fr. Joseph Sredzinski abused a child for six years starting when the boy was 11 years old. Fr. Sredzinski was first identified as an abuser in the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury report where multiple incidents and allegations were recorded. Our hearts ache for his victims, especially since it seems clear that Catholic officials had knowledge about Fr. Sredzinski’s behavior and chose not to take any action. Their apparently deliberate inaction allowed other children to come to harm.

Laudato Si’ gets more attention in Church than child protection, expert says


July 1, 2020

By Elise Ann Allen

A leading expert says that the Catholic Church still has a long way to go in acknowledging and being aware of sexual abuse, pointing out that the pope’s environmental encyclical Laudato Si’ is often more visible in the Church than safeguarding.

Speaking during a June 30 webinar session on “Victimology and the relational safety model,” Dr. Gabriel Dy-Liacco noted that the Catholic Church’s response to abuse complaints has changed over time – from sending priests to treatment centers only to recycle them back into ministry somewhere else, to enforcing administrative leave when a complaint comes in, to a stricter adherence to restrictions on ministry when victims made allegations.

French cardinal reveals future plans after ‘ordeal’ of abuse trial

Catholic News Service via Crux

July 1, 2020

By Jonathan Luxmoore

Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, who retired from the Archdiocese of Lyon, has left his see to serve as a convent chaplain and envoy for the pope.

In a radio interview, he thanked Catholics for helping the church survive his conviction and acquittal on charges he ignored sexual abuse by a local priest.

“I’m contented and happy to be embarking on something new and joyful at this return to calm after the tempest,” Barbarin told the Lyon-based Radio Chretienne Francophone.

“As an archbishop, I had an incredible amount of administration, official business and financial affairs to deal with, as well as national and international meetings. But my true vocation is as a priest, and I’m now able to rebuild the foundations of my priestly life.”

On July 1, the cardinal was to take up residence with the Little Sisters of the Poor at Saint-Pern, in northwestern France, after celebrating a farewell Mass in Lyon’s St. John Baptist Cathedral.

Victims file 20 new child abuse suits against North Country priests

North County Public Radio

July 1, 2020

Victims of child sexual abuse have filed 20 more claims against Catholic priests in the Diocese of Ogdensburg, which covers the North Country. The suits were filed under New York’s Child Victims Act by two law firms on behalf of “numerous” people.

They name seven priests publicly for the first time, including clerics who served in Malone, Schroon Lake, Parishville, Potsdam, Dannemora, Lowville, Massena, and Crown Point. They also name three other priests who had been the subjects of previous lawsuits.

The alleged perpetrators worked during various periods between 1961 and 1989.

Lawsuit against Archdiocese of Philadelphia alleging priest abuse is transferred to PA federal court

Pennsylvania Record

July 1, 2020

By Nicholas Malfitano

An Arizona man pursuing legal action against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a priest when he was a boy growing up in Pennsylvania, has had his case transferred to a federal court here.

U.S. District Court Judge Freda L. Wolfson effectuated the transfer to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on June 22.

John Doe first filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on Dec. 2, 2019 versus the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The plaintiff, now 52, and his siblings grew up attending Catholic schools in Bucks County, within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He met Brzyski in 1977, who then became a “fixture” in his family’s home, routinely celebrating Mass there with the plaintiff and family.

Media Statement: These New Archbishops Have the Opportunity to Make an Immediate Impact

SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests)

June 30, 2020

Five Catholic archdioceses around the country have had a recent change in leadership with the installation of a new archbishop.

New Archbishop Mitchell Rozanski Has the Opportunity to Make an Immediate Impact
Five Catholic archdioceses around the country have had a recent change in leadership with the installation of a new archbishop, including Mitchell Rozanski in St. Louis.

With this promotion, Archbishop Rozanski now has more responsibility for the safety of children and the vulnerable than ever. It is crucial that within his first few official weeks in this new post that he takes tangible steps to prevent abuse.

First, the new archbishop should read every file of every person accused of abuse in his archdiocese and ensure sure that each case is being or was handled properly. He should also turn over every single one of those files to local police and prosecutors to let properly trained experts in law enforcement determine if there are any crimes that can be charged.

20 additional sex abuse lawsuits filed against Diocese of Ogdensburg

Watertown Times

June 30, 2020

The Diocese of Ogdensburg has been named in 20 additional child sexual abuse complaints under the New York Child Victims Act.

The law firms of Jeff Anderson & Associates and LaFave Wein & Frament announced the lawsuits Tuesday.

“I cannot comment on specific allegations or pending litigation. The Diocese of Ogdensburg takes all allegations of abuse seriously, and these new allegations will be investigated,” Darcy Fargo, director of communications for the Diocese, said in an email. “We hope and pray that victims of abuse are able to find healing and reconciliation, and that justice is served in these cases.”

A total of seven clergymen have been publicly identified for the first time, the law firm claims.

They include:

Catholic order names alleged child sexual abusers who worked at St. Louis area high schools

St. Louis Post Dispatch

June 25, 2020

By Nassim Benchaabane

A St. Louis-based Catholic order that staffs Catholic high schools across the country on Wednesday named former members who church officials say sexually abused children. The alleged abusers include 18 men who worked at several area schools.

The disclosure by the Marianist Province of the United States follows a review of more than 2,500 personnel files, including allegations dating as far back as 1950, Provincial Fr. Oscar Vasquez said.

The order also named a deceased Marianist, Harold J. Lootens, who it said worked at St. Louis schools and was credibly accused of charges relating to child pornography.

“Today, in a spirit of sorrow and accountability, and with a sincere desire for reconciliation and healing, we are confronting the darkness of these sins,” Vasquez said in a lengthy written statement published with the names of accused clergy on the order’s website.