Abuse Tracker
A Blog by Kathy Shaw
 
BishopAccountability.org

BishopAccountability.org – Documenting the Abuse Crisis

July 2, 2015

Fraudulent practices?

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

07/02/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

Frequent readers of this blog will note that I have commented before on the practice of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis of grossly exaggerating the number of Catholics in its territory. I have pointed out that doing so renders all efforts at strategic planning questionable, if not ridiculous, and can also cause us to have to pay larger than necessary subsidies to affiliated organizations such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Elsewhere, this practice is having even more serious consequences. As the UPI reported yesterday, the Catholic Diocese of Oslo, Norway, its bishop, and its CFO are accused of defrauding the Norwegian government of more than $5 million. The government, which subsidizes religious organizations based on the number of members, claims that the Diocese used fraudulent methods to register more than 65,000 new members during the period from 2010 to 2014.

Thankfully, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis does not receive this kind of federal assistance. Parishes with schools, on the other hand, do participate in USDA School Nutrition Programs such as the Free-and-Reduced Lunch Program. Can you imagine if, on top of all of our other troubles, it was determined that an Archdiocesan parish (with its corporate board of Archbishop, Vicar General, Pastor, and two lay trustees) was found to have been defrauding this government program by deliberately inflating its number of enrolled students who qualify for this benefits?

Priest who has served in New Haven, East Haven suspended ...

CONNECTICUT
New Haven Register

Priest who has served in New Haven, East Haven suspended over sex abuse claim at Waterbury school

By Ed Stannard, New Haven Register

POSTED: 07/02/15

A Waterbury priest who has served in New Haven and East Haven and once ran the St. Francis Home for Children has been suspended as a result of accusations that he sexually abused a minor at the school.

The Rev. Jeremiah N. Murasso has been pastor of two Waterbury parishes, Blessed Sacrament and the Shrine of St. Anne, since 2012.

He was director of the St. Francis Home, also known as Highland Heights, from 1992 to 1995. He also served at St. Joseph Church in New Haven from 1982 to 1985 and at St. Vincent de Paul Church in East Haven from 1985 to 1989.

“The Archdiocese of Hartford has learned that an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor has been made against the Rev. Jeremiah N. Murasso,” said the statement by the archdiocese. It said he had been placed “on administrative leave until this allegation is resolved.”

Let’s remember just how awful these crimes are

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

by David Clohessy

Two notorious serial predator priests have been back in the news recently. Both assaulted dozens of kids. Both were shielded, for decades, by complicit colleagues and supervisors. Their horrific crimes, though they took place years ago, should not go unnoticed.

1.One of Iowa’s most notorious child molesting clerics, Fr. James M. Janssen, has passed away. He reportedly abusing many boys, often along with other pedophile priests Fr. Francis Bass, Fr. Theodore Anthony Geerts, and Fr. James W. Murphy, and of pimping his victims to Bass, Murphy and Fr. William Wiebler.

[Quad-City Times]

Janssen allegedly used sacrilege and petty crime to groom his victims, and sometimes took them out of state to abuse them. Janssen's "stable of boys" ranged in ages from 5 to 18. He continued to abuse at least one into his twenties, and he kept in touch with several into their adulthood, according to multiple sources (see BishopAccountability.org)

Davenport Catholic officials were “warned about Janssen in 1948 before his first assignment, and he admitted abusing kids to a bishop in 1958. Yet he worked as a priest for 42 years in 14 parishes and was pastor at four of them for a total of 23 years. He was on the Priests' Personnel Board for 13 years and was a Boy Scout chaplain for a decade.

Despite repeated pledges to be “open and transparent” about clergy sex crimes, Janssen’s long-time colleagues and supervisors in the Davenport Catholic diocese apparently have told no one in the public or the parishes that he’s gone. We suspect they didn’t tell police or prosecutors either. Sadly, none of the dozens of current or former Davenport diocesan employees saw fit to spread the news either.

2. A priest who “abused hundreds of children over decades” should have never been ordained, a Northern Ireland government panel was told last month, is also deceased.

[RTE News]

[BBC News]

Fr. Brendan Smyth died in prison after being convicted of indecently assaulting 74 children in the Republic of Ireland and 43 others in Northern Ireland. He also worked in North Dakota and Rhode Island where at least three abuse and cover up lawsuits (in 2010 and 2008) have been filed in Rhode Island because of Fr. Smyth’s crimes. He also worked in North Dakota.

In 2007, Providence Catholic officials admitted that they had received eight abuse reports about Smyth. (East Greenwich Pendulum, October 25, 2007)

We call on Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin, Bismarck Bishop David Kagan, Fargo Bishop John Folda of Fargo and every single diocesan or parish employee in the two states to show some courage, break their silence, act with compassion and use every possible means to reach out to and help others who were sexually violated by Smyth or Janssen (or by Janssen’s complicit clerical colleagues). It’s not enough for a church official to say “We’re sorry for these crimes.” Church officials must use their vast resources – parish websites, pulpit announcements, new releases and church bulletins – to seek out and console those who have been suffering for decades because of this predator.

And let me address this question: “Why does it matter whether church officials disclose the death of a predator priest?”

Voodoo Priest Had Sex With Underage Girl: Sunrise Police

FLORIDA
NBC Miami

By Brian Hamacher

A Sunrise man used his position as a Voodoo priest to have sex with multiple women and an underage girl, telling them they were cursed or had "bad spirits" and needed to be cleansed, police said.

Brogenet Cinor, 48, was arrested June 19 on a charge of sexual battery of a child under 12, according to a Sunrise Police arrest report obtained Thursday.

Cinor was later released on bond and it was unknown if he's hired an attorney.

According to the report, the incident happened between 2009 and 2010, but wasn't reported until this past September.

Prominent rabbi under investigation for sexual abuse arrested at Ben Gurion

ISRAEL
The Jerusalem Post

A well known rabbi from the city of Safed suspected of sexual assault was arrested at Ben Gurion airport last night after trying to leave the country.

The rabbi, the leader of a congregation in Safed and the dean of a yeshiva, was asked to suspend himself from his duties last week after complaints were made about alleged sexual abuse which were being investigated by a panel of local rabbis in the city, since a formal complaint to the police had yet to be made.

Such a complaint was however filed to the police against the rabbi on Wednesday afternoon, the police stated. The allegations deal with an incident that is supposed to have taken place several years ago.

The Safed police opened an investigation into the incident but are also examining whether the statue of limitations had expired for the case in question.

A second complaint was filed later on Wednesday, Channel 2 reported.

The rabbi in question is a prominent figure in the national-religious world. Concerns over ongoing, allegedly systematic abuse by the rabbi was brought to the attention of senior rabbis in the city, including Safed chief rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu.

PSA: These 24 Pastors Were All Arrested for Sex Crimes Against Children and the Disabled In One Month! (Images)

UNITED STATES
American Against the Tea Partyi

If you think that Catholic priests are the only men of the cloth who molest children, think again. There is a streak of denial in Protestant churches as wide as the River Jordan. They think it can’t happen in their churches. But it does and with alarming regularity.

The good folks at Awkward Moments Children’s Bible keep an eye on local stories about pastors who molest children and the disabled. In May of 2014, they found 24 stories about pastors who committed the unforgivable sin of molesting a vulnerable member of their flock. These men are trusted by their congregations — they are leaders — which makes their betrayal of trust that much worse.

Unlike the Catholic Church, the myriad Protestant organizations have no real governing body, which means that a pastor can avoid trouble simply by moving away from the place where the crime occurred. These offenders are harder to spot, harder to accuse, harder to hold accountable. They are seen as respected community leaders and authority figures. To a child, these men are infallible and unquestioned. Which makes it easier for them to molest their victims.

Before I present the list from Awkward Moments Children’s Bible author Gilgamesh Horus, I want to quote him:

Obligatory disclaimer #1: Yes, of course – they are all innocent until proven guilty. I’m sure it was all just a misunderstanding.
Obligatory disclaimer #2: “They are obviously not real Christians!” Says who? Were they not trusted “real Christian leaders” the day before they got arrested? Wake up!

List of Pedophile Pastors.

Ex-church official housed at jail pope plans to visit; serving 3 years over abuse complaints

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Fox News

Published July 02, 2015

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA – The Philadelphia prison that Pope Francis plans to visit during his U.S. trip houses a former church official jailed for his handling of abuse complaints.

Monsignor William Lynn is serving a three-year prison term after being convicted of endangering children in the Philadelphia archdiocese.

The Philadelphia Inquirer first reported that Lynn is being housed at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Center while he appeals his 2012 conviction.

It's not clear if he will still be there for the pope's Sept. 27 visit or whether he would be among the inmates picked to meet with him.

Archbishop Fisher: Australian critics want Cardinal Pell ‘humiliated’

ROME
Crux

By John L. Allen Jr.
Associate editor July 2, 2015

ROME – A senior Vatican cardinal who’s become a target of a national inquiry in Australia regarding institutional child sexual abuse has drawn strong support from his successor in Sydney, who on Wednesday called scorching criticism of Cardinal George Pell’s record “tremendously unfair.”

“In reality, he was the first bishop in the country to move on [confronting abuse scandals],” Archbishop Anthony Fisher, appointed last September to succeed Pell in Sydney, told Crux in an exclusive interview.

Fisher, generally seen as a Pell protégé and confidante, suggested the cardinal’s critics today are after something more than justice.

“There’s a desire for a scalp, for a big name to go down,” he said. “They want to put [Pell] in the stocks and throw tomatoes at him … they want humiliation.”

Despite that, Fisher said he believes Pell has the backing of Pope Francis and predicted Pell will keep his Vatican job.

When the Pope goes to prison ...

PENNSYLVANIA
Philadelphia Inquirer

Joe Slobodzian
Posted: Thursday, July 2, 2015

Word that Pope Francis will visit Philadelphia’s Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility when he is in the city Sept. 26-27 for the World Meeting of Families must have held special significance for one of the 2,760 men in the city’s largest jail.

He’s No. 1102886, also known as Msgr. William J. Lynn, the 64-year-old former Secretary for Clergy of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Lynn was the first church official convicted for a supervisory role over priests accused of having sexually abused children. Lynn’s conviction was a landmark in the church’s clergy sex-abuse scandal and his appeal of his child endangerment conviction has been a legal roller coaster.

Found guilty by a Philadelphia jury in 2012, he was sentenced that July to 3 to 6 years in prison by Common Pleas Court Judge M. Teresa Sarmina and immediately incarcerated in a state prison.

RTÉ issues apology to Richard Burke, says no damages paid

IRELAND
Irish Times

Ciarán D'Arcy

Thu, Jul 2, 2015

Former archbishop Richard Burke will have “no exposure to costs” after his legal team settled a High Court defamation action against RTÉ for its ‘Mission to Prey’ documentary.

Speaking outside the Four Courts on Thursay, his solicitor John Dore insisted the ex-clergyman, who was accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a parishioner who was under the age of consent while ministering in Nigeria in the late 1980s, is a “truthful person”.

“My client, Richard Burke, has consistently and vehemently denied the accusations made against him by Dolores Atwood, as broadcast by RTÉ in the ‘Mission to Prey’ programme,” he said, flanked by Mr Burke and his sister Joanne.

“My client is a truthful person. This litigation has been compromised to my client’s satisfaction, and he has no exposure to costs,” he added.

RTE agree settlement with former Catholic Archbishop who alleged he was wrongly depicted as a paedophile

IRELAND
Irish Mirror

BY AODHAN O'FAOLAIN

A settlement has been reached in the action by a former Catholic Archbishop who alleged he was wrongly depicted as a paedophile in the RTE Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey programme.

On the eighth day of the case brought by Richard Burke alleging he was defamed in the May 23rd 2011 programme, the jury was told the case had settled.

Paul O'Higgins SC, for RTE, read a statement on behalf of the broadcaster which said RTE had said that in the programme it alleged Richard Burke had sexual relations with a girl, Dolores Atwood, who was under age.

"RTÉ accepts it incorrectly stated in the programme that Richard Burke had declined to be interviewed for the programme and for this RTÉ apologises.

"RTÉ acknowledges that Richard Burke has consistently and vehemently denied these allegations, and has done so throughout his evidence at this hearing.

Defamation case against RTÉ by former archbishop settled at High Court

IRELAND
RTE News

A case being taken against RTÉ by a former Catholic archbishop who had alleged that he was defamed by the broadcaster has been settled at the High Court.

Richard Burke, 66, a member of the Kiltegan Fathers, had alleged that he was defamed in the RTÉ Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey programme broadcast in May 2011.

Mr Burke claims that material used in the programme wrongly branded him as a paedophile.

He said he had not known he was to be featured in the documentary until it was broadcast, despite numerous emails having been sent by RTÉ to the Kiltegan Fathers.

Mr Burke said he had not been directly contacted by the station, or given an opportunity to respond to the allegations against him.

Yesterday, the court heard evidence from Dolores Atwood, who claimed she had been abused by Mr Burke in Nigeria when she was aged 13 or 14.

RTE insists no damages paid as defamation case by former Archbishop is settled

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor
PUBLISHED
02/07/2015

A SETTLEMENT has been reached between RTE and a Catholic Archbishop in a defamation case.

Archbishop Emeritus Richard Burke, (66), a native of Co Tipperary, sued RTE alleging he was defamed in the RTE Prime Time Investigates: A Mission to Prey programme broadcast on May 23rd 2011.

The former Archbishop of Benin, Nigeria - who resigned in 2010 over his failure to adhere to his vow of celibacy - claimed material in the programme wrongly meant he was a paedophile.
RTE had denied defamation.

It is understood no damages were received as part of the settlement. But in a statement issued outside court, Robert Dore, solicitor for Mr Burke, said his client had "no exposure to cost".

Also speaking outside the court, RTE's head of news and current affairs Kevin Backharst said no damages had been paid to Mr Burke, but confirmed there had been "a contribution" to costs.

Ex-archbishop settles case against RTÉ over Mission to Prey

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mary Carolan

Thu, Jul 2, 2015

A settlement has been reached in the action by a former Catholic Archbishop who alleged he was wrongly depicted as a paedophile in the RTÉ Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey programme.

On the eighth day of the case brought by Richard Burke alleging he was defamed in the May 23rd 2011 programme, the jury was told the case had settled.

Paul O’Higgins SC, for RTÉ, read a statement on behalf of the broadcaster which said RTÉ had said that in the programme it alleged Richard Burke had sexual relations with a girl, Dolores Atwood, who was under-age.

RTÉ accepted it had incorrectly stated in the programme that Mr Burke had declined to be interviewed for the programme and for that it apologises, the statement said.

It said RTÉ acknowledged Mr Burke has “consistently and vehemently” denied the allegations and has done so throughout his evidence at the hearing.

The statement said Dolores Atwood stands over her allegations and RTÉ considers her a sincere and honourable person. RTÉ and Mr burke agreed the matter is now closed, the statement added, and the case could be struck out with no order.

Pontifical university plans to offer diploma in child protection by 2016

ROME
DFW Catholic

Rome, Italy, Jul 2, 2015 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Beginning in the spring of 2016, Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University will begin offering an intensive one-semester diploma program on the safeguarding of minors and the prevention of sex abuse by clergy.

A new one semester diploma course in the protection of minors is being offered by the Center for Child Protection in Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, and is set to welcome its first round of applicants in February, 2016.

“There are not courses like this diploma in pontifical universities in Rome. Certainly programs in secular universities and in UK have them, but (this is a) first in pontifical and Catholic universities,” Fr. Hans Zollner, SJ said at the June 24 announcement of the course.

Fr. Zollner is the president of the Pontifical Gregorian University’s Center for Child Protection (CCP) and is a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, created by Pope Francis last autumn.

He was present alongside three other panelists for a press conference at the conclusion of the center’s June 21-24 annual Anglophone Conference, during which the diploma course was announced.

The diploma will be awarded at the close of a one-semester residential course on the safeguarding of minors. The program aims to form persons who will eventually become child protection officers for dioceses, religious congregations, and similar organizations, as well as advisors and trainers in the field of safeguarding.

Poles critical of Church's stance on paedophile priests

POLAND
The News

As many as 72 percent of Poles think the Church treats the problem of paedophilia among priests too leniently.

Only one in seven of those polled believes that the Vatican and bishops are actually intervening in solving a problem that has crippled the church in recent years, according to a survey conducted by the SW Research pollster for Newsweek Polska weekly.

Poles aged between 35 and 40 (i.e. people who could have school age children) tend to be most supportive of harsher sentences for paedophiles within the church.

Uganda: Priest Sues Arua Bishop Over Dismissal

UGANDA
allAfrica

The Monitor

By Clement Aluma

Arua — A Catholic priest in Arua Diocese has sued Bishop Sabino Ocan Odoki over what he termed as unlawful suspension from priestly duties and defamation.

Fr Nakarai Adiga is demanding compensation for what he claims are damages caused to him as a result of the bishop's actions.

Through his lawyer, Mr Samuel Ondoma of Alaka and Company advocated, Fr Adiga states that on July 4, 2012, Bishop Sabino made a false accusation against him and other priests: Fr Lino Buni, Fr Biajo Candini and Fr Valentino Matua, stating that they were threatening to kill him.

The case was investigated by both the police and secretary to the Papal Nuncio, Mr Edward Karani, but were found to be false.

Petition for judicial review of appointment of QC as child abuse inquiry chair refused

SCOTLAND
Scottish Legal News

A legal challenge over the appointment of Susan O’Brien QC to chair an inquiry into historic child abuse in Scotland has been refused by a judge in the Court of Session.

The Congregation of the Poor Sisters of Nazareth and The Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul sought judicial review of the decision of the Scottish Ministers to appoint Ms O’Brien – who had previously acted for alleged victims of abuse – as chair to the Historical Child Abuse Inquiry in terms of section 4(1) of the Inquiries Act 2005, relying on the common law principle of “apparent bias”.

However, Lord Woolman ruled that the “fair-minded and informed observer” would not conclude that there was a real possibility of bias.

The court heard that in 2007, two alleged victims of abuse had sought damages from the Poor Sisters of Nazareth, but their claims were held to be “time barred” and Ms O’Brien represented the two clients in an appeal before the House of Lords, which upheld the time bar plea.

Rabbi Charged With Sexual Abuse Arrested Fleeing Israel

ISRAEL
Arutz Sheva

By Oranit Etzer
First Publish: 7/2/2015

A rabbi from the north of Israel, who was distanced from his city due to sexual abuse complaints filed against him by several women, was arrested on Thursday morning as he was on his way to Ben-Gurion International Airport.

The rabbi, who was the dean of a yeshiva and whose identity has not been revealed, was taken in for investigation by the northern district police. A request to extend his detention will be heard on Thursday.

Women who arrived to consult with the rabbi have complained to police, with one claiming he sexually abused her several years ago and another charging him with rape.

A number of high-ranking rabbis had requested that the rabbi step down due to the complaints against him, and he recently gave in to the demands and stepped down as dean of the yeshiva that he founded, and likewise distanced himself from its associated institutions.

The rabbi also was a community rabbi, and distanced himself from his city until the accusations against him were resolved in response to the request of the rabbis.

'I never declined to be interviewed' - former Archbishop Burke

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Tim Healy
PUBLISHED
01/07/2015

A former Catholic Archbishop has said that he first learned about RTÉ's 'Mission To Prey' documentary 12 days before it was to be screened after he sent an email to his order with queries about it.

Tipperary native Richard Burke told the High Court yesterday that he was unaware RTÉ had been in contact with the Kiltegan Fathers on several occasions since March 2011.

He said he did not know in advance he would personally be featured on Prime Time Investigates programme and it was incorrect for RTÉ to say on the programme he had declined to be interviewed.

Dolores Atwood had made a formal complaint of child sexual abuse against former Archbishop of Benin, Nigeria, Richard Burke, to his order, the Kiltegan Fathers, in late 2008, the High Court heard.

She had also written to the Vatican in March 2008 and in 2005 she phoned Mr Burke's order anonymously alleging he was having relations with women.

Media Statement from the Archdiocese of Hartford ...

CONNECTICUT
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford

Media Statement from the Archdiocese of Hartford regarding Jacob Doe v. The Hartford Roman Catholic Diocesan Corporaton

The Archdiocese of Hartford remains firmly committed to both the spirit and letter of the U.S. Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People that was adopted and implemented in 2002 and to all of the policies, practices and educational programs arising out of the Charter that are designed to prevent childhood sexual abuse from occurring. In Pope Francis’ recent letter to bishops around the world, he urged them to reach out to victims of childhood sexual abuse by clergy and establish programs to assist victims who are in need of psychological and/or spiritual care as a result of such abuse. The Archdiocese of Hartford has had such a program in place since 2002 and has been reaching out to victims since then, including victims whose accused perpetrators are deceased. Sexual abuse of a minor is reprehensible conduct that cannot and will not be tolerated or condoned. The safety of our children and young people is the Archdiocese’s top priority.

The Jacob Doe case was not brought against the priest who was described as having committed the molestation. That priest died many years ago. Under our current policy and practice, any priest who has been credibly accused of sexual abuse involving a minor is removed from ministry. As Pope Francis has said, there is absolutely no place in ministry for those who abuse minors.

The appeal to the Connecticut Supreme Court involves a civil case against the Archdiocese of Hartford alone, and has to do with legal issues and matters of justice connected with such suits. The court’s decision addresses specific issues of law that apply generally in civil actions where one party sues another. It involves issues and questions of law and due process that do not apply to the Archdiocese of Hartford alone.

Waterbury priest is placed on administrative leave

CONNECTICUT
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford

20 June 2015

Statement by the Archdiocese of Hartford

“The Archdiocese of Hartford has learned that an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor has been made against the Rev. Jeremiah N. Murasso. The alleged abuse reportedly took place over twenty years ago, while Fr. Murasso was serving in New Haven at St. Francis Home for Children, also known as, Highland Heights. Pursuant to its established policy, the Archdiocese has placed Fr. Murasso, who most recently was serving at Blessed Sacrament and the Shrine of St. Anne in Waterbury, on administrative leave until this allegation is resolved.

The Archdiocese of Hartford condemns the type of misconduct that has been alleged. It encourages anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse as a minor by any personnel of the Archdiocese, to contact civil authorities (the State Department of Children and Families and/or the local police) and the Victims Assistance Coordinator of the Archdiocese at: 860-541-6475.”
– Archdiocese of Hartford.

Rev. Jeremiah Murasso Parish Assignments

Position, Location, Dates

Asst. Pastor, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Meriden, 7/16/1979 – 8/27/1982
Asst. Pastor, St. Joseph, New Haven, 8/27/1982 – 3/21/1985
Co-Pastor, St. Vincent de Paul, East Haven, 3/21/1985 – 3/1/1986
Administrator, St. Vincent de Paul, East Haven, 3/1/1986 – 9/14/1989
Pastor, St. Vincent Ferrer, Naugatuck, 9/14/1989 – 5/18/1992
Interim Dir., Highland Heights, New Haven, 5/18/1992 – 7/1/1992
Director, Highland Heights, New Haven, 7/1/1992 – 10/4/1995
Pastor, St. Vincent Ferrer, Naugatuck, 10/4/1995 – 9/15/2003
Pastor, St. Francis Assisi, South Windsor, 9/15/2003 – 3/5/2012
Pastor, Blessed Sacrament & Shrine of St. Anne, Wtby., 3/5/12 – Administrative Leave

Priest accused of abuse

CONNECTICUT
Republican-American

BY PAUL SINGLEY REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

WATERBURY — A Roman Catholic priest at Blessed Sacrament Church and the Shrine of St. Anne has been accused of sexually abusing a minor more than 20 years ago in New Haven.

The Archdiocese of Hartford says it has placed the Rev. Jeremiah Murasso, 62, on administrative leave from the Waterbury churches until the allegation is resolved.

Police investigating Blair County friar’s reported suicide

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

Wednesday, July 1 2015

By: Maria Miller

ALTOONA, Pa. -- Another friar at a monastery in Altoona has taken his own life following what appears to be an investigation by state officials.

The Blair County Coroner’s Office confirmed Wednesday that David Kaczmarek died by means of hanging. His death was ruled a suicide.

The 53-year-old was found Sunday morning at the St. Bernadine Monastery of the Immaculate Conception Province just two days after authorities reportedly took pictures outside and computers and documents from inside.

The monastery is part of the Franciscan Friars Third Order Regular, defining itself online as a home for retired members of the religious community, but it’s not clear how long Kaczmarek resided there or where he came from.

Searches online and through 6 News archives show no records of Kaczmarek locally, but his picture does appear on their website several times and lists addresses for him in Minnesota and Florida – both states where the friars have ministries.

Former youth pastor booked on sexual battery charge in New Orleans

ALABAMA
Vestavia Voice

by ERICA TECHO
July 1, 2015

Following a warrant for his arrest, former Vestavia Hills youth pastor Ryan Scott Rodgers, 36, turned himself into the New Orleans Police Department on June 26. Rodgers was on staff at Liberty Park Baptist Church from 2003-2009, according to Pastor Scott Guffin.

Guffin said the allegations against Rodgers first came to the church’s attention when the complaints were filed in New Orleans.

“We initially heard about it when the complaints were filed, and when he was here, there were no incidents or allegations,” Guffin said.

Rodgers is a youth pastor in the Orleans, Jefferson and Plaquemines Parishes in Louisiana.

Rodgers was booked on one count of simple battery, one count of sexual battery and seven counts of indecent behavior with juveniles. Bond was set at $100,000. He is out of jail and faces a status hearing with the Orleans Parish Magistrate Court on July 2.

Retired assistant priest spared jailed following sex attacks on teenage boys

SCOTLAND
Evening Times

A RETIRED assistant priest has been spared jail string of sex attacks on three teenage boys including one from Glasgow.

The then-father Colman McGrath abused two boys who were training to join the priesthood at Blairs College in Aberdeen.

McGrath, 76, then went on to indecently assault another school boy he was tutoring at his chapel in Langside, Glasgow’s South Side.

The abuse only came to light years later and in June 2014 McGrath - who retired in 2006 - was interviewed by police about his conduct.

July 1, 2015

Chief deputy coroner: Friar at Blair County monastery committed suicide

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Democrat

BY DAVE SUTOR
DSUTOR@TRIBDEM.COM

Posted on Jul 1, 2015

HOLLIDAYSBURG - A second friar associated with the Province of the Immaculate Conception of the Third Order Regular Franciscans has committed suicide.

Rev. David Kaczmarek, 53, hung himself on Saturday, probably around 6 p.m., according to Blair County Chief Deputy Coroner Paul Kerns. His body was discovered at St. Joseph Friary on Walnut Street in Hollidaysburg on Sunday.

Kaczmarek was reportedly the subject of a legal investigation, per Kerns.

“I don’t know what the deal is with that,” Kerns said.

In January 2014, Brother Stephen Baker is said to have died from a self-inflicted knife wound to the heart, while staying at the province’s St. Bernardine Monastery on Monastery Road in Newry. Baker was accused of sexually molesting possibly more than 100 male students at the former Bishop McCort High School.

Last October, 88 former students received a combined $8 million in compensation as part of a settlement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Province of the Immaculate Conception of the Third Order Regular Franciscans and what is now known as Bishop McCort Catholic High School. Other cases are still ongoing.

Aker in court for pretrial hearing in Lewis

KENTUCKY
The Ledger Independent

VANCEBURG | A former Vanceburg pastor, facing charges of sexual abuse, appeared in Lewis County Circuit Court Wednesday.

During the pretrial hearing for 63-year-old Duncan Aker, his defense attorney, Daniel Dickerson, told Circuit Judge Robert Conley that he would like more time in order to view the recorded interview with the alleged victim in the case.

Mike Frye, with Commonwealth's Attorney Mel Leonhart's office, said after the defense views the recording, his office will work with Dickerson's office to come to a resolution in the case.

"We'll go back to court in September and see if we can't come to a resolution," Frye said. "If we can't, then we'll proceed to trial."

The next pretrial hearing was set for Sept. 4 at 9:30 a.m.

Petition to replace Susan O’Brien QC on child abuse inquiry refused

SCOTLAND
STV

A petition for judicial review of the decision to appoint Susan O'Brien QC to chair an inquiry into historic child abuse in Scotland has been refused.

The Congregation of the Poor Sisters of Nazareth and the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent De Paul lodged a petition for judicial review at Edinburgh's Court of Session objecting to the Scottish Government's appointment of Susan O'Brien QC.

Their action centred on Ms O'Brien's involvement in a case brought against the Poor Sisters of Nazareth at the House of Lords by two former residents of Nazareth House children's home in Glasgow who alleged they were abused in the 1960s and 70s.

Ms O'Brien acted as counsel for the former residents in their 2008 appeal which unsuccessfully challenged an earlier court ruling that the claims were time barred, or made too late.

Judge dismisses legal bid by charities to overturn QC's appointment

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Wednesday 1 July 2015

A judge has dismissed a legal bid by two Catholic charities to overturn the appointment of a top QC as chairwoman of an inquiry into historic child abuse in Scotland.

Lord Woolman refused the challenge from The Congregation of the Poor Sisters of Nazareth and the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent De Paul to the Scottish Government's choice of Susan O'Brien to lead the probe.

Abuse inquiry challenge over Susan O'Brien QC dismissed

SCOTLAND
BBC News

A judge has dismissed a legal bid by two Catholic charities to overturn the appointment of a top QC as chairwoman into historic child abuse in Scotland.

Lord Woolman refused the challenge from The Congregation of the Poor Sisters of Nazareth and the Daughters of Charity of St Vincent De Paul.

The Scottish Government's appointed Susan O'Brien to lead the probe.

The charities had raised fears of "apparent bias" relating to her involvement in a previous case.
It had been brought against the Poor Sisters of Nazareth.

„Täterorganisationen neigen zur Vertuschung“

DEUTSCHLAND
Freitag

[The Bundestage on Thursday is scheduled to set up a national commission to explain sexual violence in the country. ]

Missbrauch Der Linken-Abgeordnete Norbert Müller findet die neue Aufarbeitungskommission gegen sexuelle Gewalt zu schwach. Wer aufarbeiten will, brauche echte Ermittlungsinstrumente

der Freitag: Herr Müller, der Bundestag will am Donnerstag eine nationale Kommission einsetzen, die sexuelle Gewalt aufklären soll. Seit 2010 wird doch überall aufgeklärt, reicht das nicht?

Norbert Müller: Nein, ein Schlussstrich bei der Aufarbeitung sexualisierter Gewalt wäre völlig falsch. Der droht aber meines Erachtens gerade dadurch, dass Berichte aus Institutionen wie der Kirche, den Reformschulen oder bei den Grünen vorliegen und das öffentliche Interesse langsam abnimmt.

Second Blair County friar commits suicide in province under sex abuse investigation

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

By Mike Wereschagin and Brad Bumsted
Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Blair County friar hanged himself two days after agents with the state Attorney General's Office raided another, nearby monastery connected to a sexual abuse scandal, the Blair County Coroner's office confirmed Wednesday.

The Rev. David Kaczmarek, 53, died around 6 p.m. Saturday at St. Joseph's Friary in Hollidaysburg, the coroner's office said. Another friar found him about 8 a.m. Sunday. The Immaculate Conception Province website, of which St. Joseph's is part, lists Kaczmarek as provincial secretary.

On Thursday and less than four miles away, state investigators raided St. Bernardine Monastery, where a friar accused of molesting children killed himself in 2013. Kaczmarek was not a target of the investigation, a source told the Tribune-Review.

Both the St. Bernardine Monastery and St. Joseph's Friary are part of the Immaculate Conception province of the Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular. St. Joseph's serves as the province's home for semi-retired friars, according to the province's website.

Man claims sadistic sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

[with video]

A former resident of a Christian Brothers boys’ home has launched a Supreme Court bid for damages over claims of sadistic sexual abuse by three brothers more than 40 years ago.

A writ filed this week outlines the Perth man’s claims of psychiatric and psychological harm from the abuse he alleges was inflicted at Castledare Boys Home by Brothers Verdon, Dick and Daly between 1971 and 1973.

The action comes after a royal commission last year scrutinised historic sexual and physical abuse in a case study of Castledare and three other WA Christian Brothers homes.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse heard from 11 former residents of the homes, who named 16 Brothers as abusers.

The writ, lodged against the Trustees of the Christian Brothers and the estates of seven late leaders and members of the congregation, claimed the man was owed a duty of care and the sexual and physical assaults on him were breaches of that duty.

Retired archdeacon appears at crown court over historic sex abuse allegations

UNITED KINGDOM
Durham Times

A FORMER senior clergyman has appeared at crown court for the first time in relation to historic sex allegations.

The Venerable George Granville Gibson, who previously served as Archdeacon of Auckland, one of the leading posts in the Durham diocese of the Church of England, faces a total of eight charges dating from the late 1970s and early 80s.

Following an initial hearing at South Durham Magistrates’ Court in Newton Aycliffe, last month (June 17), district judge Stephen Harmes sent the case involving the 79-year-old former church minister to Durham Crown Court.

During a short preliminary hearing at the crown court today (Wednesday July 1), the charges were not put to Mr Gibson, but arrangements were made for future proceedings in the case.

Youth minister accused of sexually abusing juveniles surrenders

LOUISIANA
The Times-Picayune

By Jonathan Bullington, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
on June 26, 2015

Ryan Scott Rodgers, a 36-year-old youth minister accused by New Orleans police of having "inappropriate sexual behavior" with two male teenagers, surrendered to authorities Friday (June 26), NOPD said in an email.

Police have accused Rodgers of sexually abusing the teenagers over the course of at least a year, starting sometime in 2014. Most of that abuse took place inside Rodgers' Central City apartment in the 1700 block of Baronne Street, police said, and involved inappropriately touching the teenagers as they slept. Police also said he purchased underwear for the teenagers and forced them to pose in front of him.

Former Vestavia Hills youth pastor arrested in New Orleans, accused of fondling teen boys

ALABAMA
AL.com

By Carol Robinson | crobinson@al.com
on July 01, 2015

A former Vestavia Hills youth pastor has been arrested in New Orleans, accused of repeatedly touching two teenage boys while they were sleeping and making them pose in underwear.

Ryan Scott Rodgers, 36, surrendered to New Orleans police on Friday, June 26, according to NOLA.com. Rodgers is charged with sexual battery and seven counts of indecent behavior with juveniles. He formerly served at Liberty Park Baptist Church as youth pastor for six years.

New Orleans police on June 25 announced the charges against Rodgers in a press release. He was not in custody at the time, and had moved out of his apartment and was believed to be staying in hotels to avoid arrest. He turned himself in two days later.

Authorities said most of the incidents are reported to have occurred at Rodgers' Central City apartment, and said the boys were awakened by Rodgers fondling them. The victims told New Orleans Police Department Special Victims Section Detective Stephanie Taillon that Rodgers sexually abused them for over a year.

If You See Something, Say Something

UNITED STATES
Christianity Today

Ted Olsen

MAY 8, 2015

I don’t usually get mad at news stories. Not anymore. After 20 years of working at CT, I’m used to reading about human sin. Part of my job used to include sifting through every religion news tidbit and highlighting the top stories for our online readers. The daily drumbeat of ministry leaders resigning or being fired for moral failure was so common that I rarely noted it. But it was demoralizing. During one period, I kept hoping for a break in the streak. After one unbroken month of moral failure stories, I sought out spiritual help. My crisis passed.

So I was surprised to find myself grieving this month amid another series of reports. Grieving, and mad.

There was Patrick Sookhdeo, one of the most prominent advocates for persecuted Christians, especially in Muslim-majority countries. A British court found him guilty of sexually touching a female employee and intimidating witnesses.

Around the same time, human rights activist Chai Ling was accusing apologist Yuan Zhiming of raping her in 1990, before they both became prominent Christians. (See “Matthew 18, 25 Years Later.”)

And these weren’t the only two such cases we investigated this month. But the Sookhdeo and Yuan cases illustrated the defensive response we tend to get from organizations when their leaders’ sins are made public.

Coroner confirms friar’s suicide

PENNSYLVANIA
Altoona Mirror

Rev. Kaczmarek was center of AG investigation last week

July 1, 2015

By Russ O’Reilly (roreilly@altoonamirror.com) , The Altoona Mirror

HOLLIDAYSBURG - Another friar of the Immaculate Conception Province has died by suicide, Blair County Coroner Patty Ross confirmed Tuesday.

Friar commits suicide at Blair County province

PENNSYLVANIA
WJAC

By: WJAC Web Staff

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. -- WJAC-TV is working to learn more on the details surrounding the death of another friar at the Immaculate Conception Province in Blair County.

The state Attorney General’s Office is investigating the death, which authorities said was a suicide.

The Blair County Coroner told the Altoona Mirror that Rev. David Kaczmarek died at the province’s friary Saturday evening. Kaczmarek was at the center of an investigation last week, but little details are being released on what the investigation was about.

DUGGAR INVESTIGATION: EMAILS REVEAL COPS WERE PAID TO GUARD THE VERY FAMILY THEY’RE INVESTIGATING

ARKANSAS
In Touch Weekly

In Touch magazine has exclusively learned that Tontitown, Arkansas, cops recently took off-duty paid jobs guarding the Duggars while the department has an open investigation into the family.

Emails obtained exclusively by In Touch through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that the interim police chief of Tontitown OKed the off-duty work.

Kate Gosselin’s longtime bodyguard Steve Neild — who’s now working for the Duggars — paid off-duty officers from the local force in Tontitown, Arkansas, $25 an hour to provide security at the Duggar family home on May 21, 2015, and Josh’s new home on May 20 and 21 when Josh returned home from Washington, D.C., after In Touch broke the story about his sexual molestation scandal and he resigned from the Family Research Council.

DUGGARS FACING LAWSUIT FROM NONFAMILY MOLESTATION VICTIM

UNITED STATES
In Touch Weekly

A non-Duggar family molestation victim is preparing to file a civil suit against Josh Duggar, sources tell In Touch magazine exclusively in the new issue on newsstands today.

The shocking development means that Josh and his parents Jim Bob and Michelle could be forced to give depositions and testify about Josh’s molestation scandal. The Duggars likely will have to answer every question as they will not be able to invoke their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination because the criminal statute of limitations has expired.

The family is once again under investigation the Department of Human Services and the fate of their reality show 19 Kids and Counting is still undecided. The impending lawsuit sets up a nightmare scenario for TLC: if the network brings back 19 Kids and Counting, the show could be on the air while the Duggars are fighting a lawsuit that exposes all of Josh’s secrets surrounding the molestations and how the family covered it up.

The Duggars will face questions about how many years it took them to get Josh and his victims counseling, what type of safeguards they put in place in 2002 after first being alerted to Josh molesting female minors. “All the church elders who knew about this will have to be named,” a source tells In Touch.

Blogging Truth to Power

UNITED STATES
Christianity Today

From Unquestioning Submission to Speaking Out

Michelle Van Loon

My husband and I once belonged to a congregation where leaders took their cues from the Shepherding Movement. Emphasizing allegiance and church unity, they expected members to submit to their authority in all matters. One of their favorite mantras came from 1 Corinthians, using the King James Version for extra emphasis: Touch not God’s anointed. I was taught that to question a leader was to defy God himself.

I was a naive sheep in this flock until I stumbled upon the elaborate efforts to keep hidden the pastor’s porn addiction and infidelity with a congregant. Anyone who got too close to this secret was branded a problem. I found myself drafted into the uncomfortable role of whistleblower. After my husband and I brought our concerns to church leadership, the elders made it clear that we were untrustworthy and troublemakers. After a number of failed attempts to resolve the situation, we left the church.

It took a while to heal from the manipulation and misuse of authority my husband and I experienced at the hands of these men. Over time, others experienced the same treatment, which, turns out, was a demonically effective way of deflecting attention from the real problem. Over a decade passed before the pastor’s marriage fell apart and the truth came out.

I’ve watched from afar as similar scenarios play out as whistleblowers decry leaders-gone-bad in organizations and congregations across the country: Doug Phillips, Bill Gothard, Mark Driscoll. Especially online, we hear from these voices long before the pastor finally makes a grudging public admission of his wrongdoing.

Catholic Priest Claims SNAP Defamed Him

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Courthouse News Service

By JOE HARRIS

ST. LOUIS (CN) - A Catholic priest accused of sexual misconduct with minors sued an accuser's parents and the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, claiming they targeted him for monetary gain because of his race.

The Rev. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang sued St. Louis, two city police officers, the parents A.M. and N.M., the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests and SNAP leaders David Clohessy and Barbara Dorris in Federal Court.

Jiang claims the officers failed to fully investigate the claims and that SNAP embarked on a smear campaign, damaging his reputation.

The charges against Jiang were dismissed by St. Louis City Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Joyce in June without explanation.

Cardinal Pell’s 40-year-old passport ...

AUSTRALIA
The Tablet (UK)

Cardinal Pell’s 40-year-old passport ‘disproves allegation that he knew about child's abuse by priest’

01 July 2015 by Mark Brolly

A Melbourne newspaper says passport details prove Cardinal George Pell was studying in Oxford 46 years ago at the time a survivor of child sexual abuse says the Australian prelate, then a young priest, heard him plead for help a few weeks after being raped by a Christian Brother in the Victorian city of Ballarat.

The Herald Sun reported on 27 June that the Prefect of the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy, a former Archbishop of Melbourne and later of Sydney, had given it access to a copy of his full passport, showing his travel in the 1960s and '70s.

"The passport makes it clear that Cardinal Pell was not in Australia in 1969," the paper said in a story headlined 'Pell's passport proves point'. The Herald Sun reported on Monday that Paul Lyons, 55, had challenged the cardinal to prove he was not in Ballarat at the time he told priests at St Alipius Presbytery of his rape.

Woman tells court she was abused in hospital aged 13

IRELAND
RTE News

A woman who alleges she was sexually abused by a catholic priest in Nigeria has told the High Court she was first abused while in hospital at the age of 13.

Dolores Atwood has begun giving evidence in a defamation case taken by former archbishop Richard Burke, who claims he was wrongly branded as a paedophile in an RTÉ television programme.

Ms Atwood said she first met Mr Burke when she was a schoolgirl and had gone to her local church to buy rosary beads.

She said she began meeting him after mass on Sundays and he began giving her hugs.

Ms Atwood said she found it very comforting as she had no emotional support at home. Her parents had divorced and she had problems with her stepmother.

Woman claims archbishop fondled her when she was a child

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mary Carolan

Wed, Jul 1, 2015

A woman has told the High Court a priest kissed her and touched her breast while she was being treated for typhoid fever in a hospital in Nigeria in 1983.

Dolores Atwood, who was born in August 1969, said she first met Richard Burke, a member of the Kiltegan Fathers order, after mass at a Catholic church in Nigeria in 1982 and had enjoyed conversations with him.

When she became ill in 1983, she was treated in hospital for typhoid fever and he came to visit her, she said. She was “surprised” and, while he was there, the light went off and he kissed her and touched her breast and was “touching me inappropriately”.

When the light came back on, he had gone back to the position where he was standing before the light went off, she said.

Ms Atwood has begun her evidence in the action by Mr Burke (66), a native of Co Tipperary, against RTÉ alleging he was defamed in the RTÉ Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey programme broadcast on May 23rd 2011. He claims material in the programme wrongly meant he was a paedophile. RTÉ denies defamation.

Priest abused teenage boys in 1970s and 80s at training college

SCOTLAND
STV

A priest who abused three teenage boys in the 1970s and 80s has avoided jail.

Colman McGrath, 76, abused two boys who were training to join the priesthood at Blairs College in Aberdeen and went on to indecently assault another school boy he was tutoring at his chapel in Langside, Glasgow.

But McGrath, who is now retired, was only interviewed by police in June 2014 after the abuse came to light decades later.

McGrath pleaded guilty to three charges of indecent assault between August 1972 and September 1982 at Glasgow Sheriff Court.

Welcome Mass for Archbishop Hebda

MINNESOTA
Canonical Consultation

06/30/2015

Jennifer Haselberger

Priests and parish staff have been asked to add the following announcement to this week's bulletins.

Come welcome Archbishop Bernard Hebda to the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Our new Apostolic Administrator will be celebrating the 10:00am Mass at The Cathedral of Saint Paul on Sunday, July 12th. All are encouraged to gather for the Eucharist and meet Archbishop Hebda following Mass. The Cathedral of Saint Paul is located 239 Selby Street in Saint Paul. For directions and other information about The Cathedral of Saint Paul, go to www.cathedralsaintpaul.org or call 651.228.1766.

If you have trouble finding the Cathedral, you can also navigate by the 'For Sale' signs that surround it.

Retired priest Colman McGrath sentenced over sex abuse

SCOTLAND
BBC News

A retired priest has been told to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work after admitting indecently assaulting three teenage boys in Aberdeen and Glasgow.

Colman McGrath, 76, abused two boys who were training to join the priesthood at Blairs College in Aberdeen and a boy at his parish in Langside, Glasgow.

The offences were committed between August 1972 and September 1982.

At Glasgow Sheriff Court, McGrath was put on the sex offenders' register and placed on supervision for three years.

Falsely Accused Priest Finally Fights Back! Missouri Cleric Files Federal Lawsuit Against False Accusers, SNAP, and St. Louis Police

ST. LOUIS (MO)
TheMediaReport

Finally! A falsely accused priest has had enough and is not going to take it any more.

After being twice accused and cleared on wild charges of sex abuse, Rev. Xiu Hui "Joseph" Jiang has filed a federal lawsuit against his accusers, the lawyer-funded, anti-Catholic group SNAP, and members of the St. Louis police department for publicly accusing him of being a child molester.

Something rotten in Denmark

[**CLICK to read Rev. Jiang's federal lawsuit**]

In both 2012 and 2014, Rev. Jiang was publicly accused of abuse charges which received wide media attention with SNAP breathlessly claiming that Jiang was a dangerous child molester on the prowl. Yet even at a glance the accusations against Jiang were clearly bogus.

St. Cloud Diocese to undergo unprecedented abuse investigation

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune JUNE 30, 2015

The St. Cloud Diocese faces the prospect of making unprecedented disclosures about priests accused of sexual misconduct, under a ruling filed Monday in Stearns County court that builds on a series of legal victories for Minnesotans claiming clergy abuse.

Judge Kris Davick-Halfen ruled that lawyers can proceed with a “public nuisance” claim against the diocese by an alleged victim of priest sex abuse — a move that allows attorneys to investigate the diocese’s records and documents on all priests who have been accused of misconduct over decades.

Four of Minnesota’s six dioceses now face similar court-ordered scrutiny. Judges have made similar rulings on the public nuisance claim in the dioceses of Ramsey, Winona and New Ulm. The motion is under advisement in a case against a priest from the Diocese of Duluth.

The St. Cloud Diocese declined to comment on the ruling. It serves 130,000 Catholics in 16 counties across central Minnesota.

“These nuisance suits put Minnesota at the forefront of a growing national movement to expose those who commit and conceal heinous crimes against children,” said David Clohessy, national director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests. “In no state have as many victims successfully used the nuisance argument to unearth more records of abuse and names of perpetrators.”

Magdalene Laundries services plan 'missing fundamental elements'

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

A range of health services will become available from today for women who worked in the Magdalene Laundries.

The move is part of the Government's redress scheme for women who were resident in certain institutions.

The services include GP, medical and surgical services, as well as home help, counselling and nursing services.

Ex-gratia payments ranging between €11,500 and €100,000 are also being paid out. About 86% of the applications received so far have been paid, at a cost of €18m.

Claire McGettrick of the Justice for Magdalenes Committee said the health scheme coming into effect today did not go far enough.

Sex-abuse prosecutor: Church volunteer 'handpicked these boys.' Defense: 'There's reasonable doubt'

CALIFORNIA
Daily Pilot

By Jeremiah Dobruck
June 30, 2015

Attorneys concluded their arguments Tuesday in the case of a Costa Mesa Sunday school volunteer accused of sexually abusing a half-dozen boys and trying to lure another.

Jurors will decide whether they believe testimony from witnesses who over the past few weeks accused 51-year-old Christopher McKenzie of fondling or raping the boys.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Heather Brown told jurors that McKenzie is a wolf in sheep's clothing, a man who hid behind a guise of religious piety that he cultivated at Rock Harbor church in Costa Mesa.

McKenzie met three of the boys at the church, where he helped in a fifth-grade classroom, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

"Mr. McKenzie handpicked these boys," Brown said.

Gerry O'Carroll: Church must never again place its own interests before the welfare of children

IRELAND
Herald

THE country has been convulsed with shock, disgust and anger since the full extent of clerical child sex abuse became known.

This sickening scandal rocked the Catholic Church to its very foundations and destroyed the trust and faith of many.

Even more shocking have been the extraordinary lengths the church has gone to cover things up.

The overriding imperative of the vast majority of the church hierarchy has been to protect the good name of that institution at all costs.

misery

Many a blind eye has been turned to the misery and suffering inflicted on innocent children by evil paedophile priests.

This was further highlighted dramatically last week when Cardinal Sean Brady, the retired head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, appeared before the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry in Co Down.

Former preacher wants second trial on sexual abuse charges moved from Rockbridge

VIRGINIA
Roanoke Times

By Laurence Hammack laurence.hammack@roanoke.com 981-3239

LEXINGTON — A former pastor charged with molesting a teenage boy from his church is asking that his upcoming trial be moved from Rockbridge County.

Larry McKinley Clark’s attorney argued Tuesday that extensive publicity about the case would make it all but impossible to seat an impartial jury. Complicating the problem for Clark, attorney Dirk Padgett said, that news media coverage includes that of an earlier trial in which Clark was convicted of sexually abusing a second young parishioner.

“I do think it raises it to a different level if [potential jurors] are aware of a conviction,” Padgett argued during a hearing in Rockbridge County Circuit Court.

Judge Michael Irvine took the motion for a change of venue under advisement, saying he will first try to seat a jury in Lexington as the law requires. Irvine also agreed to postpone Clark’s trial, which had been set for next week, until Sept. 14.

Archbishop's resignation could signal change for church

MINNESOTA
Al Jazeera

by Mary Turck @maryturck

On June 15 Minnesota Archbishop John Nienstedt and his deputy, Bishop Lee Piché, resigned from their positions days after the county attorney filed criminal charges against the archdiocese for failing to protect children from sexual abuse.

Nienstedt may personally be linked to the scandal: In 2014 he first ordered, and then blocked, an internal investigation of his private life. His resignation, which came after years of his insistence that he would not resign, was announced, but not explained. It highlights the bigger issues that are dogging the Catholic Church on every continent. Nienstedt’s resignation also underscores the struggle between progressives and conservatives over abuse of authority by bishops and the Vatican and, ultimately, over the direction the church will take under Pope Francis.

The fallout within the Minneapolis-St. Paul archdiocese is not surprising. Years of clergy sex abuse scandals have led to bankruptcy and the departure of many Catholics from the church. In fact, the abuses that led to Nienstedt's resignation were first reported more than 30 years ago. Public concern escalated in 2013 as Minnesota Public Radio published an investigative series based on new evidence disclosed by diocesan canon lawyer and whistleblower, Jennifer Haselberger. The MPR reports, which documented sexual abuse of children by priests and the failure of three archbishops to respond over 30 years time, catapulted the archdiocese into a national spotlight.

The new revelations outraged Catholics across the state and nation. They already knew about the sex abuse by priests, with reports starting at least in the 1970s, but the extent of abuse and cover-ups had never been disclosed. For example, archbishops failed to report crimes to police, transferred pedophile priests from parish to parish, and sometimes arranged early retirement and special payments to the accused priests.

Five abuse victims to take legal action against State

NORTHERN IRELAND/IRELAND
RTE News

A Belfast solicitor has said he is finalising preparations to begin civil actions on behalf of five clerical abuse victims who allege they were let down by Irish authorities.

Last week, Northern Ireland's Historical Abuse Inquiry heard claims of contacts between a Dublin hospital and gardaí in Finglas about paedophile priest Brendan Smyth.

The substance of the claims being prepared by solicitor Kevin Winters is that elements of the Irish healthcare system and gardaí knew about the activities of Smyth in 1973.

This was more than 20 years before he was brought before the courts for his crimes.

For two decades afterwards, the Co Cavan-based priest abused children in Ireland, north and south and elsewhere.

Former Archbishop requested that letter by alleged abuse victim be withdrawn

IRELAND
Irish Independent

PUBLISHED
01/07/2015

A FORMER Catholic Archbishop has told the High Court he wanted a woman to withdraw and seek the return of a letter, sent by her to Rome, which accused him of sexually abusing her when she was aged 13 and 14.

Richard Burke denies he sexually abused Dolores Atwood in Nigeria when she was aged 13 or 14. He and Ms Atwood had consensual sex for the first time when she was aged 20 and he was 40, he insists.

Mr Burke (66), a native of Co Tipperary, has completed his evidence in his action against RTE alleging he was defamed in the RTE Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey programme broadcast on May 23rd 2011. He claims material in the programme wrongly meant he was a paedophile. RTE denies defamation.

After Mr Burke’s re-examination concluded this morning, the seventh day of the case, Ms Justice Iseult O’Malley and the jury were told the evidence of behalf of Mr Burke had concluded.
The jury was then asked to go out while legal discussion began in their absence.

June 30, 2015

Judge: Nuisance claim against Diocese of St. Cloud can proceed

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Matt Sepic Jun 30, 2015

A ruling by a Stearns County judge could lead to the release of extensive files on sexual abuse by priests in the Diocese of St. Cloud.

District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen said a public nuisance lawsuit against the diocese may proceed. The unnamed plaintiff in the case claims that the Rev. James Thoennes sexually abused him in the early 1970s at a Catholic school in Foley, Minn.

Jeff Anderson, an attorney who represents victims of sexual abuse by priests, said the ruling will allow him to take depositions of top diocese officials about how they handled abuse cases.

"Given the magnitude and the importance of this effort and this ruling, we are going to move this forward aggressively," Anderson said.

A similar decision in 2013 led to the release of thousands of clergy files by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Frank Meuers, a Minnesota leader of Survivors of those Abused by Priests, said in a statement that the nuisance suits make the state a leader in a growing movement to expose those who commit crimes against children.

"In no other state have child sex abuse victims been as successful at disgorging secrets from corrupt institutions through the creative and aggressive use of this novel legal strategy," Meuers said.

Sacerdote de Jalisco abuso de una niña

MEXICO
El Debate

Ciudad de México.-Francisco Javier García Rodríguez, sacerdote en el municipio de Autlán, Jalisco, fue detenido por las autoridades presuntamente por violar a una niña de 11 años.

De acuerdo con un reporte de la Fiscalía General del estado, el clérigo de 60 años se aprovechó de la amistad y el hospedaje que la familia de la menor le brindó para abusar sexualmente de la pequeña, así lo informó el portal de Excelsior.com.

La familia de la pequeña consideraba al sacerdote como amigo y por eso le ofrecían frecuentemente hospedaje, por lo que el 4 de febrero pasado el cura se encontraba en la casa, como huésped en el cuarto de la niña, y durante dos noches la agredió sexualmente

Priest arrested for sexually abusing an 11 year old girl in Jalisco

MEXICO
The Yucatan Times

A 60-year-old Catholic priest is in custody after being accused of sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl in the Mexican state of Jalisco.

Catholic Priest Francisco Javier García Rodríguez was a friend to the girl’s family, residents of Punta Pérula in the municipality of La Huerta, and was a frequent overnight visitor to their home.

But after a visit in February during which the priest allegedly attacked her sexually on two nights, she told her mother in spite of threats of violence by García Rodríguez.

The accusation was made before authorities on April 23, who say that physical and psychological tests have revealed evidence of sexual violence. The priest was subsequently arrested in the community of El Chante, in Autlán, where he lived.

Assignment Record– Rev. Anthony Canu, T.O.R.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Anthony Canu was a priest of the Third Order Regular Franciscans, ordained in 1955. Canu's name was included on the St. Cloud diocese's January 3, 2014 list of 33 priests clergy against whom there had been “likely claims of sexual abuse of minors.” Canu worked in the diocese 1959-1962. In addition to St. Cloud, he was assigned to the dioceses of Altoona PA, Detroit MI and Richmond VA. His assignments included a high school seminary, a high school and home for boys, and several parishes. His whereabouts beyond 1974 are unknown.

Ordained: 1955

Court Rules That Survivors’ Public Nuisance Claims ...

MINNESOTA
The Legal Examiner

Court Rules That Survivors’ Public Nuisance Claims Against Diocese of St. Cloud May Proceed

Posted by Mike Bryant
June 30, 2015

(St. Cloud, MN) – Stearns County District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen has ruled that a clergy sexual abuse survivor’s public nuisance claim against the Diocese of St. Cloud can proceed. Judge Davick-Halfen’s June 22, 2015, order will help hold the Diocese of St. Cloud accountable for protecting pedophile priests in the past and will help keep children safe in the future.

In 2014 the Diocese of St. Cloud released a list of 33 priests who worked in the Diocese who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. The Diocese has not released files or documents pertaining to those priests or their patterns of grooming and abuse. Such information is necessary to educate the public about the threat and keep the public safe.

In January 2015, Plaintiff Doe 50 filed suit against the Diocese of St. Cloud, claiming that he was sexually abused as a child by Father James Thoennes (pronounced “Tennis”), a priest at St. John’s Parish and School in Foley, Minn., in the early 1970s. St. John’s is in the Diocese of St. Cloud.

“This ruling will allow us to bring this serious, ongoing problem in the Diocese of St. Cloud out into the light so that we can protect children in the future from going through the same harm that Doe 50 and many other kids like him had to endure as a result of the Diocese’s mishandling of abusive priests,” said Jeff Anderson, an attorney representing Doe 50.

Judge allows broad abuse claim to move forward in St. Cloud Diocese

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

By Jean Hopfensperger Star Tribune JUNE 30, 2015

A Stearns County judge has ruled that a public nuisance claim against the Diocese of St. Cloud by an alleged victim of priest sex abuse may proceed, a move that could pry open the Catholic diocese’s clergy abuse files on the priest sued and all others.

The order, filed Tuesday by Judge Kris Davick-Halfen, is similar to a 2013 decision in Ramsey County which resulted in an unprecedented release of names and documents of clergy sex offenders from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

The St. Cloud diocese lawsuit was filed by a man who says he was sexually abused in the early 1970s by Rev. James Thoennes in the city of Foley. It says the diocese was aware that Thoennes had abused at least one other child previously.

The diocese created a “public nuisance” by allowing Thoennes to remain in public ministry and by not informing the public about his past, the lawsuit claims.

“This ruling will allow us to bring this serious, ongoing problem in the Diocese of St. Cloud out into the light so that we can protect children in the future from going through the same harm that Doe 50 and many other kids like him had to endure …” said Jeff Anderson, the attorney for the alleged victim.

Stearns judge allows nuisance claim to proceed

MINNESOTA
LaCross Tribune

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) — A Stearns County judge is allowing a public nuisance claim to proceed against the Diocese of St. Cloud.

The claim is part of a lawsuit by a man who accuses former St. Cloud diocese priest James Thoennes of abusing him when he was a boy in Foley in the early 1970s.

The lawsuit claims the diocese knew of past abuse by Thoennes before it assigned him to St. John's parish in Foley. The St. Cloud Times reports (http://on.sctimes.com/1C5j7Pu ) that Thoennes admitted in a deposition in a separate lawsuit that he sexually abused at least five boys while working in the St. Cloud Diocese.

Former archbishop denies he paid Atwood to withdraw complaints

IRELAND
RTE News

A former Catholic Archbishop has denied that payments made to a woman with whom he had a sexual relationship were made in an effort to get her to withdraw complaints about him.

Richard Burke, 66, from Tipperary is continuing his cross-examination in his action for defamation against RTÉ in which he claims he was wrongly branded as a paedophile in the programme.

Mr Burke also denied that he made one of the payments after a trip to Rome during which it was allegedly suggested by his superiors that restitution be made to the woman who made abuse allegations against him.

Counsel for RTÉ Paul O' Higgins said Dolores Atwood will say she had never asked for €26,000 given to her in October 2007 and that €50,000 given to her on another date was part of a process of Richard Burke attempting to get her to withdraw her complaint against him.

Mr Burke said that was "not the tenor of the conversation. I was protesting my innocence and I am not guilty of the allegation and to withdraw the case and withdraw the allegation."

MN--Victims: Ruling means MN is in “forefront” of kids’ safety

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priestsr

For immediate release: Tuesday, June 30

Statement by Frank Meuers, Minnesota SNAP leader, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (952-334-5180, frankameuers@gmail.com)

Though many predator priests are now suspended from parishes, many church officials who shielded them have are now promoted. That’s why we applaud a new ruling in St. Cloud that lets a clergy sex abuse and cover up suit move forward. This decision will help police, prosecutors, parents, parishioners and the public learn about who has and who is endangering kids and protecting predators.

[Jeff Anderson & Associates]

These nuisance suits put Minnesota at the forefront of a growing national movement to expose those who commit and conceal heinous crimes against children. In no other state have child sex abuse victims been as successful at disgorging secrets from corrupt institutions through the creative and aggressive use of this novel legal strategy. We praise each victim who has done this for his or her courage.

We are grateful to this brave survivor for bringing this lawsuit and to Stearns County District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen for ruling on the side of children’s safety.

We urge St. Cloud diocesan officials, especially Bishop Donald Joseph Kettler, to “come clean” about both the predators and the enablers who are or have been on the Catholic church payroll in his diocese.

Court Rules That Survivor’s Public Nuisance Claim ...

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

6/30/2015

Order May Lead to the Disclosure of Additional Names of Perpetrators and the Release of Secret Abuse Documents

Doe 50 Public Nuisance Order

(St. Cloud, MN) – Stearns County District Court Judge Kris Davick-Halfen ruled that a clergy sexual abuse survivor’s public nuisance claim against the Diocese of St. Cloud can proceed. Judge Davick-Halfen’s June 22, 2015, order will help hold the Diocese of St. Cloud accountable for protecting pedophile priests in the past and will help keep children safe in the future. A similar decision in 2013 in Ramsey County allowed a public nuisance claim to proceed involving the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. This led to the disclosure and identification of dozens of perpetrators and for the first time, thousands of secret church documents were released.

In January 2015, Plaintiff Doe 50 filed suit against the Diocese of St. Cloud, claiming that he was sexually abused as a child by Father James Thoennes (pronounced “Tennis”), a priest at St. John’s Parish and School in Foley, Minn., in the early 1970s. St. John’s is in the Diocese of St. Cloud.

In 2014 the Diocese of St. Cloud released a list of 33 priests who worked in the Diocese who had been credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. The Diocese has not released files or documents pertaining to those priests or their patterns of grooming and abuse. Such information is necessary to educate the public about the threat and keep the public safe.

“This ruling will allow us to bring this serious, ongoing problem in the Diocese of St. Cloud out into the light so that we can protect children in the future from going through the same harm that Doe 50 and many other kids like him had to endure as a result of the Diocese’s mishandling of abusive priests,” said Jeff Anderson, an attorney representing Doe 50.

In a deposition in another case in September 2014, Father Thoennes testified that years before Doe 50’s abuse he reported to Monsignor Bernard Wildenborg that he had sexually abused a young boy at St. Anthony of Padua in St. Cloud. Civil authorities and the public were not informed of the abuse and the Diocese allowed Thoennes to continue in public ministry until 1997. Thoennes currently lives alone in an apartment owned by the Diocese of St. Cloud and is free to go where he wants at will anywhere in the St. Cloud area.

Pope's USA itinerary released

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

Here is the schedule for Pope Francis' September 2015 Apostolic Journey to the United States of America as released by the Vatican on June 30, 2015. All times listed are Eastern Daylight Time.

Tuesday, September 22 (Washington, DC)

4:00 p.m. Arrival from Cuba at Joint Base Andrews
Wednesday,September 23 (Washington, DC)
9:15 a.m. Meeting with President Obama at the White House
11:30 a.m. Midday Prayer with the bishops of the United States, St. Matthew's Cathedral
4:15 p.m. Mass of Canonization of Junipero Serra, Basilicia of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Thursday, September 24 (Washington, DC, New York City)

9:20 a.m. Address to Joint Session of the United States Congress
11:15 a.m. Visit to St. Patrick in the City and Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington
4:00 p.m. Depart from Joint Base Andrews
5:00 p.m. Arrival at John F. Kennedy International Airport
6:45 p.m. Evening Prayer (Vespers) at St. Patrick's Cathedral

Friday, September 25 (New York City)

8:30 a.m. Visit to the United Nations and Address to the United Nations General Assembly
11:30 a.m. Multi-religious service at 9/11 Memorial and Museum, World Trade Center
4:00 p.m. Visit to Our Lady Queen of Angels School, East Harlem
6:00 p.m. Mass at Madison Square Garden

Nuisance claim can proceed against diocese

MINNESOTA
St. Cloud Times

David Unze, dunze@stcloudtimes.com June 30, 2015

A Stearns County judge has dismissed parts of a clergy sex abuse lawsuit filed against the Diocese of St. Cloud, but left in place a key claim that has led to the release of numerous priest personnel files in other suits across the state.

The lawsuit was filed in January by a former student at a Foley elementary school. He accused former St. Cloud diocese priest James Thoennes of abusing him years after the diocese knew the priest had abused other children.

The lawsuit accuses Thoennes of abusing the boy in the early 1970s when Thoennes was assigned to St. John's parish in Foley. The suit says Thoennes abused the child at Thoennes' mother's home in Central Minnesota, a place where Thoennes invited several children to accompany him on overnight visits.

The lawsuit also named the diocese as a defendant and accused the diocese of knowing that Thoennes had abused children before it assigned him to Foley.

RTÉ claims 'Mission to Prey' did not say former archbishop was a paedophile

IRELAND
Newstalk

Richard Burke is suing the broadcaster for defamation, which is denied

A High Court jury has heard RTÉ denies its documentary 'Mission to Prey' alleged former Catholic archbishop Richard Burke is a paedophile.

The ex-cleric is suing the broadcaster for defamation, which is denied.

Mr Burke (66) has admitted having sex with several women while a cleric, including Nigerian woman Dolores Atwood.

However he claims he was aged 40 and she was aged 20 when they first slept together in 1989 - and not 14 as RTÉ alleged in its 2011 documentary 'Mission to Prey'.

He is suing the station for defamation because he claims the programme wrongly depicted him as a paedophile, an interpretation rejected by RTÉ's senior counsel Paul O'Higgins.

Ex-Archbishop had ‘no intention’ of leaving priesthood for woman

IRELAND
Irish Times

Mary Carolan

A former Catholic Archbishop has told the High Court he has no recollection of telling a Nigerian woman, when she got engaged in 1995, that he was “not pleased” and she had not “waited for him”.

Richard Burke, a priest of the Kiltegan Fathers since 1975 who also served as a Bishop and later Archbishop in Nigeria until he resigned in 2010, said there was “no intention on my part of leaving the priesthood” and he had no recollection of making those remarks to Dolores Atwood.

He is being cross-examined by Paul O’Higgins SC, for RTÉ, in his continuing action alleging he was defamed in the Prime Time Investigates: Mission to Prey programme broadcast on May 23rd, 2011. He claims the programme wrongly meant he was a paedophile.

Today, Mr O’Higgins said RTÉ denies the programme meant Mr Burke was a paedophile. RTÉ’s defence was the programme meant Mr Burke had sexually molested Ms Atwood when she was a 13-year-old girl and slept with her when she was aged 14, he said.

Under cross-examination, Mr Burke said he had decided in November 2007 to tape calls made to him from Ms Atwood in Canada, where she moved after she married a Canadian national, Chris Atwood in 1995.

He decided to tape the calls because of trauma he experienced after receiving a call on November 7th, 2007 from Ms Atwood during which for the first time, she accused him of being a “paedophile”, he said.

Cook County Judge retiring after 15 years on the bench

CHICAGO (IL)
Fox 32

By Larry Yellen, FOX 32 News Legal Analyst

CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -
Whether it was the Palatine Brown's Chicken Killers, James Degorski and Juan Luna, or a pedophile priest like Daniel McCormick - before heading to prison, they appeared in courtrooms at 26th and California.

The longtime presiding judge at the Criminal Courts Building is stepping down next week. But before the big day, Judge Paul Biebel Jr. sat down for a rare interview with FOX 32's Larry Yellen.

"It's a tough business we're in, standing in judgment of people's actions, and ultimately, where their lives are going," Judge Paul Biebel Jr. said.

For almost 15 years, Judge Paul Biebel Jr. has presided over the largest criminal courthouse in America. Next Monday, he retires, satisfied that a dream he had as an eighth grade debater has been fulfilled.

Methodist Church to make significant changes to safeguarding policies

UNITED KINGDOM
Ekklesia

The Methodist Conference yesterday (29 June) vowed to make significant changes to its policy and procedures in a move to make the Church a safer place for all. This follows the publication in May of an independent review of past safeguarding cases related to the Church from 1950 to 2014.

The Past Cases Review identified 1,885 past cases, which included physical, emotional, domestic and sexual abuse as well as cases of neglect. In approximately one quarter of these cases, church ministers or lay employees were identified as the perpetrators or alleged perpetrators.

The Conference discussed the findings of the Review and appointed an implementation group to take forward the report's 23 recommendations. Former Barnardo's Deputy Chief Executive Jane Stacey, who led the independent review, has been appointed as a member of the implementation group, which will be chaired by the Rev Gwyneth Owen.

"The Past Cases Review has undoubtedly been a wake-up call for the Church, and one we cannot ignore" said Rev Owen. "The recommendations of the report are many and wide-ranging but at the heart of it all lies the need to bring about significant cultural change. (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21748)

Toronto youth pastor charged in sex assault of teen girl over three years

CANADA
Daily Courier

TORONTO - A youth pastor working at a Toronto church is charged in the alleged sexual exploitation and sexual assault of a teen girl.

Police say the incidents took place between Jan. 1, 2012 and March 31 of this year.
The alleged victim is now 17.

Police say the accused worked at the Keys of the Kingdom Ministries Life in the Spirit Fellowship Church in the city's northwest.

June 29, 2015

Clergy abuse victims want court to force St. Paul archdiocese to show video at churches

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Elizabeth Mohr
emohr@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 06/29/2015

With the court-imposed deadline looming for victims of clergy sexual abuse to file claims against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, the bankruptcy court has been asked to compel church officials to show an informational video in every parish to help spread the word.

The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy protection in January, citing an operating deficit and concerns about more lawsuits for clergy sexual abuse.

In April, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Kressel approved a request by the archdiocese to set an Aug. 3 deadline for anyone wishing to file a claim related to clergy sexual abuse, despite a state law letting them file until May 25, 2016.

The church said it would make efforts to notify people of the court-imposed deadline via news organizations and Catholic publications.

The committee of unsecured creditors Monday asked the court to force the archdiocese to have the video shown in all 187 parishes during the weekend of July 11-12 and to have the video published or promoted on parish websites.

Former archbishop had sex with 'quite a lot of people', court told

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Tim Healy
PUBLISHED
30/06/2015

A former Catholic Archbishop had sexual experiences with "quite a lot" of people, the High Court has heard.

Tipperary-born Richard Burke (66) admitted to having relationships with women but is suing RTÉ arising out of its 'Prime Time' 'Mission to Prey' programme broadcast on May 23, 2011. Mr Burke claims the programme wrongly depicted him as a paedophile.

Yesterday, he denied the reason a woman was "deeply troubled" in her relationships was because he had sexually exploited her when she was "a vulnerable child".

He told the High Court he had not had any sexual encounter with Dolores Atwood until 1989 when she was aged 20 and he 40.

Under cross-examination on the fifth day of his action he said that when they first had sex, Ms Atwood was very sexually experienced and his interaction with her could not have warped her later relationships.

He agreed he had other sexual encounters while he was a cleric, including with a married Nigerian mother of eight. He also said he had "embraced" and "improperly touched", but had not had sex with, a sister of Ms Atwood.

Catholic Church 'tipped off' over child abuse priest

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A paedophile priest fled the country after a police officer tipped off the Catholic Church in Birmingham, a sex abuse victim has claimed.

The man said the officer passed on documents about 30 years ago which led to James Robinson being "spirited away" overseas. The priest was later jailed.

The Archdiocese of Birmingham has always denied knowingly covering up the activities of paedophile priests.

West Midlands Police said claims about the officer were being looked into.

Abuse victim "Donald" campaigned for Robinson to be extradited from the US
The anonymous victim, known as "Donald", was brought up in the Father Hudson Home for orphans in Coleshill, Warwickshire, where he was repeatedly abused by Father Eric Taylor, who was jailed in 1998.

BBC Midlands Today correspondent Peter Wilson said: "Robinson was Taylor's protégé, a Roman Catholic priest working across the West Midlands and Staffordshire. He was a serial child abuser.
"In 1985 he moved to America. Donald campaigned for his extradition."

Ex-archbishop denies sexually exploiting woman

IRELAND
irish Examiner

Tuesday, June 30, 2015by Ann O’Loughlin

A former Catholic archbishop has denied a suggestion by lawyers for RTÉ the reason a woman was deeply troubled and “skewed” in her relationships was because he had sexually exploited her when she was “a vulnerable child”.

Co Tipperary-born Richard Burke, aged 66, said in the High Court he had not had any sexual encounter with Dolores Atwood until 1989 when she was aged 20 years and he was 40.

When they first had sex, she was very sexually experienced and his interaction with her could not have warped her later relationships, he said.

When she was aged in her 30s, she told him uninvited and in detail about her sexual experience, he claimed.

Mr Burke agreed he had other sexual encounters while he was a cleric, including with a married Nigerian mother-of-eight. He also said he had “embraced” and “improperly touched”, but had not had sex with, a sister of Ms Atwood.

Mr Burke, a member of the Kiltegan Fathers who served as a priest, and later as bishop and archbishop in Nigeria after being ordained in 1975, remains under continuing cross-examination in his action against RTÉ.

OR--Victims blasts Catholic officials on hidden camera

OREGON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Monday, June 29

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

A priest kept quiet for a month and his archbishop kept quiet for another month about a hidden camera in a church restroom. Portland Archbishop Alexander Sample and Fr. Ysrael Bien both owe parents, parishioners and the public apologies and explanations. We hope that anyone who has information or suspicions about this crime will summon the strength to call law enforcement immediately.

[Oregon Live]

Fr. Bien should be harshly and publicly disciplined, not just suspended. Catholic officials routinely turn a blind eye to evidence of sexual misdeeds. When wrongdoers are caught, Catholic officials rarely punish them severely. And that’s why clergy sex crimes and misconduct continues – because those who ignore, hid or enable it are usually promoted, not punished.

Current or former church staff or members at St. Francis Church should do what’s right – call police or prosecutors immediately with any knowledge or suspicions they may have about sexual wrongdoing, no matter how old, small or insignificant it may seem.

Clergy Abuse Victims Call For Others To Come Forward

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Three victims of clergy abuse have made a video appeal for other victims to come forward.

An attorney for victims is asking a judge to order the video be played in all 216 Minnesota parishes on Sunday, July 12. Victims have only until August 3 to file a claim.

The original deadline was May of 2016. That was part of the law passed by the Minnesota legislature that temporarily waived the civil statute of limitations in child sex abuse cases. But because the archdiocese filed for bankruptcy, the deadline had to be rolled back to August 3.

The seven minute YouTube video features an appeal by three abuse victims who have filed claims against the archdiocese.

“I used to be a victim but now I am a survivor you can be one too,” Marie Mielke said in the video. “I know it’s scary, but you are not alone.”

Video urges church abuse victims to come forward

MINNESOTA
KIMT

[with video]

By Levi Ismail

KIMT News 3 – Attorneys representing victims of clergy abuse are producing a video they hope to be played in churches across Minnesota.

The video is produced by the official committee of unsecured creditors appointed in the bankruptcy case filed by the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minnesota.

In the video are three clergy sexual abuse victims who share their messages about why they stepped forward and spoke out. The idea is by playing the video in parishes in the state, other victims can come forward before the August 3 bankruptcy claim file deadline.

“We’ve got to reach the survivors to preserve their rights and to give them a chance to get a measure of justice they’ve never had before. The time however is short and the clock is ticking,” said attorney Jeff Anderson with Jeff Anderson and Associates PA.

Anderson is one attorney representing 103 total victims so far who have come forward to make claims against their abusers. That does not include any other victims who may seek other representation.

Court Upholds $1 Million Priest Abuse Verdict, Rejects Church Challenge to State Law

CONNECTICUT
The Connecticut Law Tribune

Christian Nolan, The Connecticut Law Tribune
June 29, 2015

The Connecticut Supreme Court has upheld a $1 million jury verdict in a priest sexual abuse case against the Archdiocese of Hartford. The 57-page majority ruling also shot down challenges from the diocese that the state's expanded statute of limitations for bringing sex abuse claims was unconstitutional.

"Given the unique psychological and social factors that often result in delayed reporting of childhood sexual abuse, which frustrated the ability of victims to bring an action under earlier revisions of the statute of limitations, we cannot say that the legislature acted unreasonably or irrationally in determining that the revival of child sexual abuse victims' previously time barred claims serves a legitimate public interest and accomplishes that purpose in a reasonable way," wrote Justice Richard Robinson.

Initially such lawsuits had to be filed two years after the victim reached the age of 18. Then in 1991, Connecticut lawmakers extended the statute of limitations to allow civil sexual abuse claims brought by victims until they reach the age of 35 years old. In 2002, during the Bridgeport Catholic Diocese scandal, lawmakers extended the age again, this time allowing plaintifs to file suit until they reach the age of 48.