November 23, 2014
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Archbishop Blase Cupich held his first Sunday mass at St. Agatha's in the city's West Side, a church formerly hurt by priest abuse scandal.
The new archbishop begins a new era for Chicago's catholic community, choosing to celebrate mass at a parish where some dark history took place.
"I'm going there - as I will tell the people - to be a witness to the new life that's possible in all of our lives and in all of our circumstances," Cupich said.
Cupich's celebration of mass later Sunday morning took place at the church where former Priest Daniel McCormack was convicted of sexually abusing at least five boys back in 2007.
As McCormack is serving a five-year prison sentence and the archdiocese pays millions in settlement costs to his victims, advocates are pleased with the message sent by the archbishop's appearance at St. Agatha's and want him to bring greater focus to rooting out the problem of priest sex abuse.
Legal documents show an American priest named by Pope Francis as the Vatican's sex crimes prosecutor was among church officials who failed to report an abusive priest to law enforcement before the now-jailed man committed other acts of sexual abuse.
The Rev. Robert Geisinger was a leader of the Chicago Jesuits in the 1990s. The Boston Globe reported in Sunday editions (http://bit.ly/1FfOFh7) that legal documents show he knew as early as 1995 about abuse complaints against the Rev. Donald McGuire.
Court documents show complaints against McGuire date back to the 1960s, but the Jesuits failed for years to tell police.
Geisinger referred questions to the Vatican press office. That office said Geisinger led the effort to get McGuire dismissed from ministry.
McGuire is serving a 25-year federal prison sentence.
(CBS) — Chicago’s new archbishop is making his first pastoral visit Sunday since taking office, and he walked into a West Side parish still reeling from the priest sex abuse scandal in the archdiocese.
CBS 2’s Chelsea Irving reports the brand new archbishop is diving right in to the priest sex abuse scandal visiting this church first. St. Agatha’s is one of many area churches that’s dealt with a priest accused of sexual abuse
St. Agatha’s is the church where former priest Daniel McCormack was accused of and later admitted to sexually abusing several boys
Cupich says his he is visiting St. Agatha’s to witness and support parishioners who have struggled and survived together.
“Well I’m going there as I will tell the people to be a witness to the new life that’s possible in all or our lives, all of our circumstances,” Cupich said.
SNAP, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, is planning a protest outside this morning’s service. Organizers say they will urge the archbishop to disclose records about priests accused of sexual abuse and encourage him to seek out other possible victims.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
For immediate release: Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com , firstname.lastname@example.org )
A Chicago priest who was just promoted by the Pope concealed clergy sex crimes, according to today’s Boston Globe. We urge Francis to rescind this promotion.
In September, the Vatican announced that Fr. Robert J. Geisinger will head up child sex abuse and cover up cases across the world. But today’s Boston Globe reveals that Fr. Geisinger, while head of the Chicago Jesuits, hid credible allegations of child sex crimes by a colleague, Fr. Donald McGuire who was close to Mother Teresa. McGuire is now in prison.
Why on earth would Francis pick a priest with a problematic track record on abuse in the US to deal with abuse worldwide? Any one of hundreds of thousands of priests could have been tapped for this key post. So why choose one who so clearly and repeatedly refused to call the law or tell the truth about a notorious, now-imprisoned serial predator?
According to the Globe, Fr. Geisinger “had detailed knowledge of the complaints against McGuire as early as 1995 and advised officials in Chicago on how to discipline McGuire as late as August of 2002, when they were still keeping the complaints secret” and “Fr. Geisinger played a significant role in the Jesuits’ long, unsuccessful effort to prevent McGuire from continuing to befriend and travel with young teenagers despite complaints dating to the 1960s.”
Fr, Geisinger had years and years to call police about Fr. McGuire. He never did so. He has no business being the Catholic church’s top abuse official.
When Fr. Geisinger’s promotion was announced, we publicly said that he “has some links to a notorious, serial convicted predator priest once close to Mother Teresa.” We publicly said”
“We're anxious to hear from Fr. Geisinger about his dealings with Fr. Donald McGuire, a once high profile but now-imprisoned Jesuit in Fr. Geisinger's own province who – despite multiple reports of abuse – was allowed to keep ministering until law enforcement officials finally arrested him.
In 2002, another Jesuit (Fr. Rick McGurn) sent Fr. Geisinger a detailed, three page, single-spaced letter about Fr. McGuire:
Notice the phrase: “long list” of Fr. McGuire's “inappropriate behaviors.”
Not until 2005 were criminal charges brought against Fr. McGuire. We see no evidence that Fr. Geisinger ever helped police or prosecutors investigate Fr. McGuire, or any child molesting cleric. We challenge him to produce such evidence if he has any.
UNITED STATES/VATICAN CITY
By Michael Rezendes
The Boston Globe
November 23, 2014
A prominent American Jesuit recently named by Pope Francis to prosecute priests accused of sexually abusing minors under Church law was himself one of several Catholic officials who allowed a notorious abusive priest to remain in ministry for years after learning of his long history of sexual abuses, legal documents show.
The Rev. Robert J. Geisinger, named in September as the Vatican’s “promoter of justice,’’ was the second-highest-ranking official among the Chicago Jesuits in the 1990s when leaders were facing multiple abuse complaints against the Rev. Donald J. McGuire, a globe-trotting priest with many influential supporters, including Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
But the Jesuits failed to notify police or take effective steps to prevent McGuire from continuing to molest minors.
Documents examined by the Globe, most of them Church records produced during lawsuits filed by McGuire’s victims, show Geisinger had detailed knowledge of the complaints against McGuire as early as 1995 and advised officials in Chicago on how to discipline McGuire as late as August 2002.
McGuire was finally convicted in 2006 by a Wisconsin jury of molesting two boys who had notified civil authorities. He was also convicted on federal charges in 2008 and is serving a 25-year-prison sentence.
By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 18 November 2014)
Broken Rites has helped to obtain justice for victims of a paedophile Catholic priest, Father John Sidney Denham.
* In Sydney on 2 July 2010, this priest was sentenced to a long jail term after getting away with his crimes for four decades.
* In 2013, Denham pleaded guilty to further crimes (on more victims), and he will receive even more time in jail for these crimes. He is due to be sentenced, for these additional crimes, in Sydney's Downing Centre district court in late November 2014 (case numbers 201100382572 and 201200211543).
This Broken Rites article gives the background to Denham's life of crime.
Denham committed his crimes under the noses of his superiors and colleagues, while these people looked the other way.
The church recruited Denham as a trainee priest in the late 1960s and, according to statements made in court, some of his child-sex crimes were committed during his period of training.
Denham's superiors were told in the 1970s about what he was doing to children but the complaints were ignored. He was allowed to continue as a priest and was merely transferred to new districts, thereby putting more children at risk. Twenty years later, in the 1990s, a victim prompted the police to charge Denham but, with the help of church resources, Denham managed to beat the charges.
By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 18 November 2014)
Helped by Broken Rites, some of the victims of Christian Brother Desmond Eric ("Neil") Richards have achieved justice. On 7 November 2014, a Sydney court ordered that Richards (aged 75) be taken into custody to await his sentence for indecently assaulting young boys in the 1970s and '80s. The sentence is due to be announced in court on 27 November 2014. The church had known for years about Richards' crimes but the crimes were concealed from the police (and from the public). And the Christian Brothers appointed him to be in charge of their worldwide website in Rome.
Brother "Neil" Richards has spent more than half a century as a Christian Brother, including as a headmaster, in Catholic schools in Sydney and regional New South Wales. When Desmond Eric Richards joined the order, a new Brother would normally adopt a new forename. Hence, he became Brother "Neil" Richards.
Originally, one victim contacted Broken Rites, which advised him to have a private interview with a Detectives Office of the NSW Police. Later, another victim from a different school came forward. Detectives then investigated and found two more of Brother Richards' victims.
These four victims were abused between 1972 and 1982. These four were not necessarily his only victims - they are merely four who finally found an opportunity to talk to the detectives. Other ex-students (outside that 20-year period) could possess relevant information which they can still give to the police.
By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated on 19 November 2014)
This Broken Rites article is an update about a former Catholic priest (from Armidale and Moree in northern New South Wales), who is facing 76 child-abuse charges. The priest, whose name (for legal reasons) cannot be published at this stage, has already pleaded "Guilty" to 45 of the 76 charges, and he will eventually be sentenced on those 45 charges. Meanwhile, he is contesting the additional charges and therefore on 18 November 2014 a magistrate ordered the ex-priest to face a trial in 2015 on some of these additional charges.
The magistrate, Karen Stafford, made this order in the Armidale Local Court after conducting a committal hearing (that is, a preliminary procedure) on three of the additional charges (these are three counts of sexual assault of a person under 16 years of age). The magistrate ruled that, on these three charges, there would be sufficient evidence for a jury to convict the ex-priest of an indictable offence. Magistrate Stafford committed the ex-priest to stand trial on these three charges, and the matter will return to the magistrate on 4 February 2015 for the ex-priest to confirm whether he wishes to exercise his right to have a jury trial on these three charges.
So far, each step in the process has been conducted by a magistrate in the Armidale Local Court but eventually the final steps will be completed by a judge in a higher court, the New South Wales District Court.
* The 45 charges to which the ex-priest has pleaded "Guilty" involved offences committed against five boys and three girls. For these charges, the District Court will merely need to conduct a sentencing.
* The 31 other charges, which the ex-priest is resisting, relate to five alleged victims. These contested charges are a more complex process. After the magistrate finishes all the Local Court procedures, any of these 31 contested charges can be passed on to the NSW District Court, where they would be handled by a judge (and, if necessary, a jury).
By a Broken Rites researcher (article updated 22 November 2014)
A Catholic priest in the Jesuit religious order, Father David Rankin, was jailed in 2014 after pleading guilty to acts of indecency committed against three young boys in Sydney. These offences occurred in the 1960s when Rankin was a school teacher before he was ordained as a priest. These three are not necessarily Rankin's only victims; they are merely three who took the opportunity to speak with a New South Wales Police detective. This shows that, even after 50 years, it is never too late to report a child-abuse crime to the child-protection police. Broken Rites has received information about Father David Rankin SJ, from elsewhere in Australia and also in Canada, while he has been in the priesthood.
During 2014, Father Rankin (full name Gregory David Rankin), aged 79, appeared in Sydney District Court for pre-sentence proceedings. He confirmed his guilty plea.
Later the court handed down its sentence. Rankin was given an 18 months jail sentence, with 12 months to be served behind bars before he becomes eligible to apply for parole for the final six months.
According to court documents, David Rankin was a lay teacher at Northbridge Primary School in northern Sydney when he committed 11 acts of indecency on three boys in the 1960s.
By Edward Malnick
23 Nov 2014
A married Church of England priest has lost his job and is being evicted from his home after having an affair with a parishioner.
The Rev Stephen Vincent, 40, said his family had been left “on the brink” after his removal from office as a result of a relationship with a woman he had been asked to mentor.
He and his wife Erin, 30, with whom he has three young children, have remained together. This weekend she told The Telegraph that she had “been taught to forgive” and believed “everyone deserves a second chance”.
Mr Vincent was introduced to the woman where he ministered at St Giles church in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs, because she had expressed an interest in joining the clergy.
The pair went on to exchange “innumerable” messages over a three-month period. At one point the messages numbered more than 80 per day and were “full of double entendres about underwear” and discussions of sexual acts.
The exchanges were reviewed by a specially convened church disciplinary panel after complaints lodged by the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, and Mr Vincent’s archdeacon.
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
Victims to leaflet archbishop’s mass
They want “prevention, not symbolism”
“Disclose records on notorious predator,” they urge
SNAP: “Catholic officials are still hiding important documents”
Cupich should also apologize to fired whistleblower, victims say
And they urge him to go next to a parish where an accused cleric still works
As Chicago’s new archbishop says mass at a notorious pedophile priest’s former parish, concerned Catholics and clergy sex abuse victims will hand fliers to church-goers urging them to
--push Archbishop Blasé Cupich to disclose records about the predator, and
--aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes.
The victims will also prod Cupich to
--apologize to a female school principal and whistleblower who was fired, and
--go next weekend to a parish where a twice–accused priest is still on the job.
Sunday, Nov. 23rd, 10:15 a.m.
Outside St. Agatha’s Catholic Church, 3151 W. Douglas Blvd., Chicago 60623 (the corner of W. Douglas Blvd & S. Kedzie Ave., 773-522-3050)
Four to five people who are members of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
A former priest at St. Agatha’s - Fr. Daniel McCormack - pleaded guilty to five counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and was sentenced in 2007 to five years in prison. Virtually every high ranking archdiocesan staffer who ignored or concealed suspicions or knowledge of McCormack's crimes has since been promoted.
The exception is the lone woman, Barbara Westrick, the former principal. She called police about allegations against McCormack. As a result, she says, she was fired.
SNAP wants Cupich to publicly apologize to Westrick.
The organization also wants him to personally visit St. Alphonsus parish next weekend (1429 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago 60657; 773-525-0709). That’s where Fr. Michael W. O’Connell remains on the job despite reports from two men that he molested them as boys.
Fr. O’Connell was temporarily removed from St. Alphonsus in December 2013 after the archdiocese received an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a boy at Our Lady of the Woods in Orland Park years earlier. In April of this year, then-Cardinal Francis George reinstated O’Connell even though the Cook County Sheriff’s Department never closed the criminal case.
Shortly thereafter, new allegations surfaced involving abuse of different boy in the 1990s and police continue to investigate. O'Connell, however, remains on the job. Catholic officials claim he will avoid the parish school and will not be alone with a child, a contention that SNAP calls “ludicrous and dangerous.”
By John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the former leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, helped to orchestrate a behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign which led to the election of Pope Francis, a new biography claims.
The choice of the largely unknown Argentine cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as head of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics came as a surprise to Vatican watchers and the faithful alike when the announcement was made in March last year.
The conclave to elect a successor to Benedict XVI, the first pope for more than 600 years to step down, was viewed as wide open, although most predicted that the Italian Cardinal Angelo Scola or Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec would be elected.
When 76-year-old Bergoglio emerged as Pope on only the second day of voting, it was largely explained as a unity candidacy to prevent deadlock between rival factions.
But a biography of Pope Francis, to be published next month, discloses that there had been a discreet, but highly organised, campaign by a small group of European cardinals in support of Cardinal Bergoglio.
Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: November 22, 2014
Several Twin Cities Catholic priests have taken the unusual step of hiring their own attorney to address potential liability from clergy abuse lawsuits and have invited all 200-some parishes in the archdiocese to consider doing the same.
“Since the interests of the individual parishes are distinct from those of the Archdiocese, we believe that it is prudent for the parishes to have their own representation,” said a letter sent to St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese parishes last week.
The letter was signed by the Rev. Kevin Finnegan of Our Lady of Grace Church in Edina and the Rev. David Hennen of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church of Hastings. Priests who previously served in both churches have been identified as child sex abusers.
Finnegan and Hennen invited all pastors, administrators and trustees to attend a December meeting with White Bear Lake bankruptcy attorney Mary Jo Jensen-Carter, whom they have retained.
“We are just looking at our options,” said Finnegan.
The move is the latest response to financial strains in the archdiocese, which is facing more than 20 child abuse lawsuits. Last week, the archdiocese announced a $9.1 million operating loss and said it was weighing whether to file bankruptcy.
Published on November 22, 2014
A statement of claim filed against a former minister and the United Church of Canada alleges he was a child sexual abuser years earlier than he admitted to when he was convicted in the 1980s.
The woman’s name and community is protected by a Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador order.
In the 1960s, Stephen James Collins was a practising United Church minister in this province.
The Jane Doe civil suit alleges that Collins’ sex abuse of her not only ruined her childhood, but led to a life of physical and mental pain, an impaired ability to gain an education and establish financial well-being, substance abuse, humiliation, anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and problems trusting other people and sustaining intimate relationships.
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.
John Allen wrote an article suggesting what Pope Francis could do to defend religious freedom -- “Just by reading the news, one has the impression that religious freedom is under threat today. From the carnage unleashed by the self-declared Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to church/state tensions across the West, the picture seems to grow murkier and grimmer by the day”. FYI -- There is total freedom of religion in New York yet look at the alarming rate of closure of Catholic churches which Cardinal Dolan announced last week that he is merging 115 parishes into 55 – and closing down 30 churches – all located in prime real estates to be eventually sold off.
UNITED STATES/VATICAN CITY
Top Vatican prosecutor failed to report abuser
By Michael Rezendes
GLOBE STAFF NOVEMBER 23, 2014
A prominent American Jesuit recently named by Pope Francis to prosecute priests accused of sexually abusing minors under Church law was himself one of several Catholic officials who failed to stop a notorious abusive priest now serving a 25-year prison sentence, legal documents show.
The Rev. Robert J. Geisinger, named in September as the pope’s “Promoter of Justice,” was the second highest ranking official among the Chicago Jesuits in the 1990s when leaders were facing multiple abuse complaints against the Rev. Donald J. McGuire, a globe-trotting priest who was close to Mother Teresa of Calcutta. But the Jesuits failed to notify police or prevent McGuire from continuing to molest minors.
Documents examined by the Globe, most of them Church records produced during lawsuits filed by McGuire’s victims, show that Geisinger had detailed knowledge of the complaints against McGuire as early as 1995 and advised officials in Chicago on how to discipline McGuire as late as August of 2002, when they were still keeping the complaints secret, and Geisinger had been promoted to a position in Rome.
McGuire was finally convicted in 2006 by a Wisconsin jury of molesting two boys who had notified civil authorities.
“It’s astonishing that, for such a high profile, sensitive position, the Vatican wouldn’t want someone whose background is unassailable, in the sense that there shouldn’t even be questions raised,” said Philip F. Lawler, a noted Catholic writer and the editor of Catholic World News, who has been critical of the church’s handling of the sex abuse crisis.
Geisinger, reached at his Rome office, declined to comment on the role he played as canon lawyer to McGuire’s supervisors, or on the contents of the court documents, insisting that he is bound by confidentiality rules that apply to canon lawyers, or lawyers who hold degrees in Church law. ...
Lawler and his wife, Leila, housed one of McGuire’s victims during the 1999-2000 school year when the victim was an eighth-grader at the Trivium School, a small Catholic school in Lancaster. Both complained about McGuire’s behavior during his visits with the boy, but neither the school nor the Chicago Province took action to stop him.
“The boy was not abused while he was here but he was abused after he left us, after we had communicated our fears to [McGuire’s] Jesuit superiors,’’ Lawler said in a 2012 Globe interview. “That makes me livid.” ...
Said Terence McKiernan, founder of the advocacy group bishopaccountability.org: “Do you really want to pick someone who is actually in the paper trail of one of the most egregious cases that the Jesuits have ever handled?”
November 22, 2014
By Mark Schieldrop (Patch Staff)
Updated November 21, 2014
The former priest of St. Mary Parish in Cranston and St. Augustine in Providence has been indicted by the Statewide Grand Jury and charged with five counts of first degree sexual assault.
Meehan was the pastor of St. Timothy Parish in Warwick when he was placed on administrative leave in January of 2013 after the allegations emerged. One of his alleged victims reported it to the Diocese of Providence, which then contacted the State Police.
Police identified a second victim during their investigation.
Meehan allegedly sexually assaulted a male over 14 while assigned to St. Mary Parish in Cranston between April 17 of 1986 and Jan. 25 of 1991. He also allegedly assaulted another male over 14 between Jan. 25 of 1991 and Aug. 31 of 1992 while assigned to St. Augustine in Providence.
Meehan was arraigned in Providence County Superior Court before Superior Court Magistrate Patricia Harwood and bail was set at $50,000 with surety.
The journalist Horacio Verbitsky is in an awkward spot following the discovery and removal of some highly critical notes he made about the current Pope, from the digital archive of “Pagina/12”, the newspaper that originally published them
ANDRÉS BELTRAMO ÁLVAREZ
He had been Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s biggest critic for years. Today he finds himself in the eye of the storm, so to speak. His books and articles drove home the theory about the Pope’s incriminating past, in other words his complicity in Argentina’s last military dictatorship. But the most renowned human rights activists gave him the cold shoulder. The disappearance of the most critical notes ever written about Bergoglio from the digital archive of Argentinian newspaper Página/12, has sparked a new debate regarding the credibility of Horacio Verbitsky.
The discovery came to light on the web earlier this week and quickly caught the press’s attention. At least eight articles Verbitsky wrote in 2005 and 2010 have vanished from the website of Argentina’s oldest left-wing newspaper. Some media speculated that it was done in the spirit of the new era of “reconciliation” between Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s government and the Argentinian Pope.
The journalist called this version of the facts “malicious nonsense” (in the 19/11/14 issue of Argentinian newspaper Clarín) and issued a statement in which he claimed that he himself had asked for access to the reports to be blocked because he didn’t want to give pre-chewed information to the cloud of European journalists that moved to Buenos Aires to prepare instant books on the figure.” He also stated that his investigations are still underway and that he does not like giving his work away for free.
The explanation does not say whether the request Página/12 presented to Google for the journalist’s reports to be blocked was made in the weeks following Bergoglio’s election as Pope or in recent months. But it is interesting, nevertheless, that the episode emerged just days after the President of Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo (Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo), Estela de Carlotto, publicly admitted she had made a mistake about the role Bergoglio had played during the days of the dictatorship (1976-1983).
Dominica News Online
A local Roman Catholic priest in Dominica has been “defrocked” by Rome almost two years after allegations of sexual misconduct surfaced against him. Msgr Reginald LaFleur, who has been a Roman Catholic priest for over 30 years, was issued the decree by Bishop of Roseau Gabriel Malzaire on November 6, 2014.
The 60-year-old priest was put on administrative leave almost two years after a woman alleged that he touched her inappropriately on her “bottom and breast” and made “sweet eyes” at her 19 years ago when she was a 12-year-old parishioner. The woman made the accusations against Lafleur in a series of letters to Bishop Gabriel Malzaire, the head of Dominica’s diocese.
Malzaire had sent the accuser to Trinidad & Tobago for counseling as a local church panel investigated her allegations.
In a statement, Bishop Malzaire stated, “You are aware of the allegations that were brought against Msgr Reginald LaFleur almost two years ago. After a Diocesan preliminary investigation, the case was forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which has exclusive competence in these matters. The Congregation having reviewed the case authorized the Diocesan Bishop to proceed with an Administrative Penal Process.”
He continued, “The accused cleric was duly informed of this process and invited to take part by leading a defense either personally or through his advocate. Two canonists from outside the Diocese were invited as assessors of the evidence gathered. Because the accused cleric had not answered to the invitation to participate in the process, and in an attempt to preserve the right of defense, another canonist from outside the Diocese was invited to lead a defense on behalf of the accused cleric.”
[This is a map of sexual abuse cases in the Catholic Church that have become known in recent years.]
El papa emérito, Benedicto XVI, expulsó a unos 400 sacerdotes durante su pontificado. Francisco ya ha relevado a tres obispos y a un sacerdote
Elaborar un mapa sobre la incidencia de los escándalos de pederastia en el seno de la Iglesia Católica no es una tarea sencilla. En los últimos años se han destapado muchos casos, sobre todo a partir de un cambio de actitud por parte del Vaticano, que ha pasado de mirar para otro lado a contribuir activamente a desenmascarar los abusos hacia menores cometidos por el clero. Pero muchos de estos delitos siguen sin salir a la luz, bien porque los afectados no los denuncian, o bien porque las denuncias no pueden ser probadas.
Minneapolis, 21.11.14 (Kipa) Das US-Erzbistum Saint Paul und Minneapolis erwägt einen Konkurs, um die Ansprüche von Missbrauchsopfern zu bedienen. Bei einer Reorganisation unter Insolvenzrecht würde das Kirchenvermögen an alle bekannten Opfer verteilt, nicht nur an jene, die ihre Forderungen als erste geltend gemacht hätten, erklärte das katholische Erzbistum am Donnerstagabend (20. November). Ein Beschluss sei aber noch nicht gefallen. Nach Anmeldung der Insolvenz würde ein Bundesrichter die Kontrolle über die vorhandenen Vermögenswerte übernehmen.
Erzbischof John Nienstedt betonte, leitend für die Entscheidung müsse «Fairness» gegenüber den Opfern sein. Bislang seien erst zwei Gerichtsverfahren zu sexuellem Missbrauch Minderjähriger durch Kleriker abgeschlossen; 20 weitere Verfahren stünden an. Es sei unabsehbar, wie viele Entschädigungsforderungen noch eingehen könnten. «Wir möchten nicht, dass unser ganzes Vermögen für Rechtsstreitigkeiten ausgegeben wird», erklärte Nienstedt. Es gelte sicherzustellen, dass alle Missbrauchsopfer «adäquat entschädigt» würden.
[A church in Austria contains a memorial where Archbishop Hans Hermann Groer once prayed for unborn children. Groer was accused to sexual abuse. The parish would not remove the memorial so an activist installed a millstone beneath it.]
Dem verstorbenen Wiener Erzbischof Hans Hermann Groër (1919–2003) ist ein Relief an der Fassade der Pfarrkirche von Hohenzell, Bezirk Ried (OÖ), gewidmet: In Stein gemeißelt ist das unvollständige Bibelzitat "Wer aber eines von diesen Kleinen ...". Auf einer Tafel wurde vermerkt, dass der Kardinal dort im Jahr 1989 für Ungeborene gebetet hat.
Weil sich Dorfpfarrer Josef Bauer weigert, der Groër-Verehrung in Hohenzell ein Ende zu setzen, hat Rothwangl am Montag das Denkmal auf eigene Faust umgestaltet: Mit einer Eisenkette befestigte er unterhalb des Reliefs einen massiven Mühlstein, aus dem der Kopf des Kardinals ragt. "Es soll an die Verbrechern Groërs erinnern, die von seinen Anhängern nach wie vor abgestritten werden", sagt der Aktivist.
[Warsaw investigators have a way to enable the Dominican Republic prosecutors participate in the prosecution of Father. Wojciech G., accused of pedophilia. They are going to court to use the solution, which allows, among others, prosecutors to indicate two people who will take part in the proceedings.]
Warszawscy śledczy mają już sposób na umożliwienie dominikańskim prokuratorom uczestnictwa w procesie ks. Wojciecha G., oskarżonego o pedofilię. Zamierzają przed sądem skorzystać z rozwiązania, które pozwala m.in. oskarżycielom wskazać dwie osoby, które będą brały udział w postępowaniu. Polscy śledczy wskażą więc swoich kolegów z Dominikany.
Wykorzystanie art. 361. par 1. Kodeksu postępowania karnego, bo o tym przepisie mowa, sugerował na początku listopada Prokurator Generalny Andrzej Seremet. Prokuratura Generalna szukała jednak także innych rozwiązań. Niestety polskie prawo nie przewiduje możliwości czynnego uczestnictwa w procesie śledczych z innych państw.
By Ralph Cipriano
An oblate of St. Francis de Sales takes priestly vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. He prays to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ.
Few who pray that prayer could have ever imagined the fate that befell Father Charles Engelhardt.
That was the message of the homily delivered today by Father Michael Connolly at the funeral of Father Engelhardt, his friend and fellow oblate of nearly 50 years.
An oblate wears a silver cross around his neck, Father Connolly said. He fished his own cross out of his priestly garments to show the crowd. It's a cross an oblate receives on the occasion of his first presentation of faith, the priest said. It's not a crucifix; there's no body on it.
"Charlie was the body on that cross in his life," Father Connolly said. Like Jesus, "Charlie endured his suffering" with patience and humility, the priest said. Like Jesus, Father Engelhardt was falsely accused, tried, and convicted. Like Jesus, Father Engelhardt was painfully humiliated before he died a prisoner.
(Vatican Radio) On Saturday Pope Francis met with the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, approving a slew of episcopal appointments for the Universal Church, including an Archbishop for Ireland and bishops for Ghana, Scotland and New Zealand.
Chief among them was the Pope’s appointment of a new Archbishop for one of Ireland’s four Metropolitan Archdiocese, Cashel and Emly. The Holy Father has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Dermot Clifford on having reached the age of retirement and has chosen Society of African Missionary Bishop Kieran O’ Reilly, to lead the estimated 80 thousand faithful and govern the ecclesiastical province of Cashel- southern Ireland.
Bishop Kieran O’Reilly was born in Cork in 1952. Educated at Presentation Brothers and Scoil Chríost Rí, he entered the Society of African Missions in Wilton, Cork in 1970. Ordained for the Society on the 17th June 1978 he served in Liberia for two years before studying for a licentiate in Sacred Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome.
From 1984 to 1989 Bishop Kieran was lecturing in Scripture at the major seminary in Ibadan, Nigeria. From 1990 to 2010 he served on the Irish and International Councils of the Society of African Missions. At the time of his appointment as Bishop of the diocese of Killaloe, Ireland, he was serving his second term as Superior General of the Society. He was ordained as Bishop of Killaloe on the 29th August 2010 in succession to Bishop Willie Walsh who had retired as bishop of the diocese on completing his 75th year.
19 November 2014
OUT of the many horrors Sam Adair says he faced at Rubane House – from being abused in a cold shower in the middle of the night, to the “death marches” of dreaded camping trips – one theme repeats.
The sheer brutal force of the physical abuse was something he stressed time and time again to the Historical Abuse Inquiry in Banbridge.
The Newcastle man made it clear that what he and many others experienced was no ordinary corporal punishment. Instead he said, the Brothers and other staff members used their fists and feet to devastating effect.
Entering the De La Salle-run home in 1977 at the age of 13, after time spent in Belfast’s Nazareth Lodge where he was abused by notorious paedophile Fr. Brendan Smyth, Mr. Adair described a system of autonomous chalets which ran almost as separate children’s homes.
He said the Brother in charge of his chalet was often absent and drinking in the main house, and would beat him often.
BY G. WAYNE MILLER
Journal Staff Writer
The Rev. Louis E. Gelineau is named bishop of Providence, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence.
The Rev. P. Henry Leech, an assistant pastor at St. Jude’s Parish in Lincoln, is arraigned on five counts of sexual assault on teenage boys.
The Rev. William C. O’Connell, pastor of Bristol’s St. Mary Church, is charged with sexual assault of a 13-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy. Six felony charges are eventually brought.
After pleading no contest, Father Leech is sentenced to three years at the Adult Correctional Institutions. He tells a Superior Court judge that therapy helped him recognize that he himself was a childhood victim of sexual assault. “Now I understand why this has happened and swear to you and to all here present that this action will never happen again,” he says.
After additional police investigation, Father O’Connell is sentenced to a year in an ACI work-release program after pleading no contest to 26 counts of sexual contact with three boys.
The Salinas Californian
Allison Gatlin, The Salinas Californian November 21, 2014
Palma High School officials shot back Thursday against accusations that the Roman Catholic institution had been named in a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by one of its former teachers.
In a letter to parents, President Patrick Dunne expressed sadness and anger over reports of sexual abuse of children by any adult, “particularly by religious men whom they trusted and revered.”
“There has never been an incident of abuse during my tenure of 28 years at Palma,” Dunne wrote.
Although Palma High School wasn’t named a defendant in the 23-page lawsuit, plaintiff Steven Cantrell asserts that’s where he attended school when a priest sexually abused him.
In 1984, Cantrell was a 14-year-old student at Palma High School when Father Gerald “Jerry” Funcheon, a teacher, sexually abused him during a camping trip, according to the complaint.
Press TV (Iran)
A veteran Dominican parish priest, who was accused of sexually abusing a young girl some 20 years ago, has been defrocked by the Catholic Church.
The east Caribbean island’s bishop, Gabriel Malzaire, issued a decree removing Msgr. Reginald LaFleur’s priesthood late on Thursday.
Malzaire described the defrocking as a painful decision for him and the diocese, adding, “I am sure that one will appreciate that this is one of the most difficult things that I have ever had to do in my life as a bishop and priest.”
LaFleur had been placed on administrative leave in 2013 following reports of inappropriately touching a 12-year-old girl in 1994.
November 21, 2014
Sex-abuse cases involving Rhode Island priests
Priest Barry Meehan charged with sexual assault in Cranston and Providence in the 1980s and ’90s
BY W. ZACHARY MALINOWSKI
Journal Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A priest was delivered to Superior Court in handcuffs on Friday and charged with five counts of first-degree sexual assault on two alleged victims in the 1980s and early 1990s.
The Rev. Barry Meehan, 65, of 767 Providence St., West Warwick, former pastor of St. Timothy Catholic Church, at 1799 Warwick Ave., in Warwick, pleaded not guilty to the charges through his
The indictment spelling out the charges was unsealed at 12:07 p.m., in the courtroom of Magistrate Patricia Harwood. A clerk declined to release a copy of the indictment to The Providence Journal.
Meehan, an ordinary-looking man with thinning white hair and gold-rimmed glasses, wore a wool coat over a tan cable sweater and gray slacks. Outside the judge’s chambers, he signed several documents with his hands bound in handcuffs.
The statewide grand jury handed up the indictment against Meehan on Wednesday, and it remained sealed until his appearance in Superior Court. According to the indictment, while Meehan was assigned to St. Mary Parish in Cranston between April 17, 1986 and Jan. 25, 1991, he sexually assaulted a boy older than 14 years old. It is further alleged that on or about Jan. 25, 1991 and Aug. 31, 1992, he sexually assaulted another boy older than 14 when he was assigned to St. Augustine Parish in Providence.
One of the alleged victims reported the abuse to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence in December 2012, and the church, in turn, contacted the state police. During the course of their investigation, the state police found a second alleged victim.
Reuters’ respected editor, John Lloyd, who is also a La Repubblica of Rome columnist and an Oxford journalism scholar, candidly observed about the Vatican’s recent Synod huddle: ” … these ageing men did — and still do — have a serious sex scandal within their ranks – one which they have, in the main, dealt with badly.” Fair enough, but are journalists now doing much better, “in the main”, in covering Pope Francis’ failure after 20 months to take decisive action to curtail the clerical sex abuse scandal? No, with only rare exceptions.
CNN is a prime example. It appears, in effect, still to be giving Pope Francis and UK clerics a continuing pass on Vatican controlled secretive investigations, while pressing for an independent and transparent UK investigation of sex abuse allegations involving UK political leaders and celebrities.
A double standard, no? Do UK politicians’ opposition parties have more media clout than Pope Francis’ disorganized opposition that evidently is too often overwhelmed by Pope Francis’ media machine and his seeming support from opportunistic multi-billionaire media magnates in the UK/Australia/USA/Latin America and elsewhere? It appears so.
Pope Francis is clearly running out of time, as he seemingly is only going through some public relations motions on curtailing priest sex abuse. He must now either act decisively and transparently or he can expect to face more governmental investigations that he will most likely be unable to control. He no longer enjoys the support of major international powers that have protected the Vatican for centuries.
I discuss in detail Pope Francis’ dire overall predicament in my recent analysis also included below under “The Crisis Pope Francis Faces” . My analysis relies heavily on my study of the work of Fr. Hans Kung. He is a leading world authority on Catholic theology, history and interreligious dialogue, a former mentor to Cardinal Walter Kasper (Pope Francis’ preferred theologian), and an occasional confidante to world leaders, including the former longtime UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair. Fr. Kung has over a five year period generously given me by constant example and occasional e-mail some encouragement, including with respect to my recent analysis. Of course, I am an international lawyer, not a professional scholar, and Fr. Kung is not responsible for my judgments.
Turn to 10
By Katie Davis, NBC 10 I-Team Reporter
The allegations are graphic.
Children raped and forced to perform sex acts by Rhode Island priests.
Some told no one would believe them if they came forward.
The cases were uncovered in state police files by the NBC 10 I-Team through public records requests over a six-month period.
Despite the disturbing details, investigators say the cases are tough to prosecute.
"Witnesses have died. We can't locate certain witnesses or victims. So it makes it very difficult, time period," Capt. Christopher Dicomitis
Dicomitis said the statute of limitations has run out in most cases, or the accused priest is dead.
But state police say the indictment of the Rev. Barry Meehan on Friday sends a strong message that priests who can be charged, will face justice.
"Absolutely," Dicomitis said. ...
Following our investigation last year, state police said at least 15 people came forward to file new reports.
Ann Hagen Webb was one of them.
"I found them very sensitive and understanding and encouraging," Hagen Webb said.
She says she was sexually abused by a West Warwick priest, starting at the age of 5. Although the priest is dead, she felt it was important to tell her story to detectives.
Hagen Webb said she reported the abuse to the diocese in 1994, but she said her case was never sent to state police.
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago
Chicago, IL (November 21, 2014) – Archbishop Blase J. Cupich announced today that Most Rev. Francis J. Kane, Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, who has been serving as Vicar General of the Archdiocese, has requested to return to his role as Episcopal Vicar of Vicariate II. As a result, Archbishop Cupich is appointing Rev. Ronald A. Hicks to serve as the new Vicar General. Fr. Hicks has served on the faculty of St. Joseph College Seminary and currently serves as the Formation Director for the University of St. Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary. His appointment as Vicar General will take effect January 1, 2015.
In addition, Archbishop Cupich announced that effective immediately, Rev. Kevin M. Birmingham, the Pastor of Maternity BVM Parish in Chicago, will become Administrative Secretary for the Archbishop, while Rev. George Schopp, Pastor of Our Lady of Grace Parish in Chicago, will serve as Administrator of Maternity BVM until a new pastor is named.
Rev. Daniel A. Flens will continue to assist Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop Emeritus of Chicago.
Archbishop Blasé Cupich announced new appointments Friday, just days after his installation in the city.
Cupich named Rev. Ronald Hicks as Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Chicago.
Rev. Francis Kane, who has been serving as Vicar General of the Archdiocese, requested to return to his role as Episcopal Vicar of Vicariate II, the Archdiocese of Chicago said in a release.
Hicks has served on the faculty of St. Joseph College Seminary and currently serves as the Formation Director of the University of St. Mary of the Lake/ Mundelein Seminary.He speaks fluent Spanish and spent five yearsw working in El Salvador.
Monterey County Now
by Sara Rubin
A former Palma High School teacher is facing two separate lawsuits filed Thursday in Minnesota, alleging he sexually abused students there decades ago.
Steven Cantrell was a 13-year-old student at Palma High School in 1984 when Father Gerald Funcheon was assigned there.
When he was 14, Cantrell joined Funcheon on a camping trip, where he was sexually abused, according to the lawsuit.
Cantrell is suing Funcheon for sexual battery, and the religious order that employed him—Canons Regular of the Order of the Holy Cross, also known as Crosier Fathers and Brothers Province, Inc.—for negligence and fraud.
Cantrell claims that by the time he went on that camping trip, the Crosiers already knew that Funcheon was dangerous to children, and had deliberately reassigned him.
"By the time the Crosiers assigned Fr. Funcheon to Palma, they knew that Fr. Funcheon had a history of molesting children," the lawsuit states. "The Crosiers breached their duty to protect [Cantrell] from foreseeable harm by failing to warn him or his parents that Fr. Funcheon posed a danger to children."
Yesterday, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis released audited financial reports showing a more than $9 million operating deficit for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014. In both the Archbishop's column accompanying the announcement and the report of the Chief Financial Officer, the precarious financial position of the Archdiocese is linked to the passage of the Child Victims Act, which opened a window for the introduction of 'old' civil cases involving acts of sexual abuse of minors. I disagree, and instead attribute the financial crisis to poor management and a fundamental failure of Archdiocesan leadership to govern the diocese in accord with its mission. Let me explain.
1. The Child Victims Act
The passage of the Child Victims Act did not create the financial distress that we learned of yesterday. All the Child Victims Act did was create a window during which victims of sexual abuse could present civil cases that otherwise would have been barred by the statute of limitations. Permitting someone to introduce a case is not the same as guaranteeing that person a positive verdict. The 'number of cases' the Archdiocese is facing is not the result of the Child Victims Act, it is the result of decades of abuse perpetrated by clergy, often under circumstances in which the Archdiocese knew of or could have reasonably assumed the likelihood of such abuse occurring. For proof of this statement, I need only refer you to the Archdiocese's own website and its growing list of 'Individuals with substantiated claims against them of sexual abuse of a minor within the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis'.
In addition, over the last two decades the Archdiocese further complicated its position by its aggressive and litigious response to claims for compensation by victims. Since at least the Kapoun trials in the early 1990's, the Archdiocese has aggressively defended itself against such liability claims, even in cases where it was evident that the abuse had occurred (http://caselaw.findlaw.com/mn-court-of-appeals/1112778.html). And, it employed a litigation strategy designed to make potential claimants fearful of pressing their claims. In other words, the Archdiocese taxed the victims with the costs of its legal fees. This strategy was first used in the Kapoun trial in the 1990s, but was used again as recently as 2010.
These actions were taken despite the Catholic Church's explicit support for for the rights and needs of victims found in documents like ‘Responsibility, Rehabilitation, and Restoration: A Catholic Perspective on Crime and Criminal Justice’, which is a policy statement issued on November 15, 2000, by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. The Archdiocese also often pursued ends in court that are contrary to Catholic teaching, such as forcing victims to undergo psychological testing and other procedures which the Church believes cannot be compelled because of the natural dignity of all persons.
In this context, the Child Victims Act, which the Archdiocese spent more than ten years and nearly a million dollars opposing, can be seen as merely leveling the playing field for a category of victims that had been denied justice by a powerful organization committed to winning in court using all means available- fair or foul. For, the Archdiocese had other options available to it besides litigation and lobbying. It could have avoided its present predicament by doing as other dioceses did and voluntarily agreeing to mediate or arbitrate cases that fell outside of the statute of limitations (see, for example, the Diocese of Springfield) prior to October 2014. This was, of course, the position advised by Mark Chopko and the USCCB, which encouraged dioceses to consider mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution as early as 2005.
Friday 21st November 2014
NOTORIOUS paedophile priest Oliver O’Grady, who molested 25 children, is seen here enjoying a leisurely stroll around his new bolthole in the south-east of Ireland.
O’Grady, who has been described as the Hannibal Lecter of the clerical world, was released from prison in Ireland last April having served a three-year sentence for possession of child porn images.
The evil priest was caged in January 2012 after he accidentally left his lap-top on an Aer Lingus flight, which gardai later found to contain explicit pictures of children, some as young as two.
O’Grady was exposed as a serial rapist in the early ’90s when, while living in the United States, he was caged for 14 years after admitting to abusing two young brothers. He was paroled after seven years before being deported home in 2000.
But this week there was nothing in the soft-spoken pensioner’s appearance to suggest he abused dozens of kids and collected a huge stash of child porn.
The Sunday World can reveal that O’Grady has been living anonymously in a Waterford city flat since leaving prison. But neighbours in the apartment block shared by families with young children have no idea of his sickening crimes.
Madrid, Nov 21 (Prensa Latina) The Spanish Synod apologized today to victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by priests of the Granada Diocese, which led to the intervention of Pope Francis and a criminal investigation.
Jose Maria Gil, secretary general of the Spanish Synod, said in a press conference that they must apologize and also that bishops knew of the case from the media and not from the Archbishop of Granada Francisco Javier Martinez.
The media, the website Religion Digital among various, reported the event and also two phone calls from the Pope to one of the victims.
However, Gil said that the Archbishop indicated that the procedure has been followed and expressed his sympathy for the victims.
The spokesperson said that the cases, both judicial and canonical, are under seal and also that they are confident of justice.
Reporter: John Garvey Chief Reporter
Contact: 01635 886628
A FORMER Thatcham vicar who counselled school-age children took a “wholly inappropriate” interest in their sex lives, Reading Crown Court has heard.
The Rev Peter Jarvis, now of Clares Green Road, Spencers Wood, denies 12 charges relating to four children – two girls and two boys – aged from 12 upwards.
Jonathan Seely, prosecuting, told jurors how, during his tenure in the parish of Thatcham, 50-year-old Mr Jarvis
o gave one child cannabis
o encouraged sexual activity between children and bought them condoms
o asked a boy to remove his trousers
o told one girl he could have sex with her
o asked for pictures of children in their underwear
o asked for a kiss during counselling sessions
When police interviewed him, Mr Jarvis gave a prepared statement denying all wrongdoing, then answered “no comment” to all questions, the jury was told.
Mr Seely, opening the trial on Monday, said: “In recent times there have been a number of high profile cases of child abuse in the media spotlight involving the most depraved and extreme sexual abuse of young children. This is not one of those cases at all, you will be relieved to hear.
“That is not to say these aren’t serious allegations. His conduct was, bearing in mind his position of responsibility, entirely inappropriate and a serious breach of trust. The defendant is a 50-year-old vicar and at the relevant time he was working in the parish of Thatcham.”
PORTLAND, Ore -- A sexual abuse support group lined the street outside Central Catholic High School Thursday, demanding they fire Patrick Jay Wallace - a former coach accused of sexually assaulting a teenager.
"We are here today to ask two simple questions. Why the secrecy? Why the risk?," said David Clohessy, the director Survivors Network Of Those Abused By Priests (or SNAP).
It's been 17 years since Bobi Blue says the then David Douglas High softball coach Patrick Jay Wallace sexually assaulted her sister, who is still too shaken up to talk about it.
Bobi agreed to speak on her sister's behalf.
"It was devastating. It still is. This is the reason I'm here being filmed instead of my sibling. It's traumatizing," Blue says.
Blue says her sister was playing for Wallace's summer club softball team when they went on the road to play a tournament in Idaho. She says Wallace sexually assaulted her sister on the trip.
BY W. ZACHARY MALINOWSKI
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A former priest was delivered to Superior Court in handcuffs on Friday and charged with five counts of first-degree sexual assault on two alleged victims in the 1980s and early 1990s.
The Rev. Barry Meehan, 65, former pastor of St. Timothy Catholic Church, at 1799 Warwick Ave., in Warwick, pleaded not guilty to the charges through his defense lawyer, Kevin J. Bristow, of Providence.
The indictment spelling out the charges was unsealed at 12:07 p.m. in the courtroom of Magistrate Judge Patricia Harwood. A clerk declined to release a copy of the indictment to The Providence Journal.
Assistant Attorney General Maureen Keough sought to have Meehan held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions, seeing that a conviction “carries with it a significant sentence.’’ She also asked Harwood to order Meehan to surrender his passport and have no contact with the victims and complaining witnesses.
Bristow countered that bail should be set because the sexual assault allegations had been swirling around the retired priest for 2 ½ years. He said that Meehan is a lifelong Rhode Island resident and has proven that he does not intend to flee. He said the alleged sexual assaults took place in 1986, 1991 and 1992.
Harwood set bail at $50,000 with surety, or $5,000 in cash
In January 2013, Roman Catholic Diocese Auxillary Bishop Robert C. Evans announced Meehan’s resignation from the church following “credible” allegations of sexual abuse. Reading a statement on behalf of Bishop Thomas J. Tobin, Evans said that Meehan “willingly offered his resignation to the diocese,” although he denied “any improper activity.”
Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence
The Diocese of Providence has learned that Father Barry Meehan has been arrested and charged with first degree sexual assault.
The Diocese of Providence removed Father Meehan from all priestly ministry in January 2013 after credible allegations of sexual misconduct with minors were received. The allegations were also forwarded to law enforcement officials at that time. The diocese has been fully cooperative with law enforcement officials and is confident that the legal process will come to a proper conclusion.
In accordance with Church law, the allegations against Father Meehan were reported to the Vatican. Bishop Tobin has asked that Father Meehan be permanently removed from the priesthood. Father Meehan’s canonical status is being examined and the final disposition of this case will be determined by the Vatican. His faculties, or permission to function as a priest, have already been removed in accordance with The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.
The Diocese of Providence takes very seriously all allegations of abuse and works closely with the Rhode Island State Police and other law enforcement agencies in accordance with the charter and diocesan policy when an allegation of abuse is reported.
Father Meehan was ordained to the priesthood on June 10, 1978 and served the following assignments: Saints Peter & Paul, West Warwick 1978-1980; St. Mary, Cranston 1980-1991; St. Augustine, Providence 1991-1996; St. John the Baptist 1996-2002 and also St. James, West Warwick 2000-2002. He was appointed pastor of St. Timothy in 2002.
The Diocese urges anyone who has been the victim of sexual abuse, or with credible knowledge of such abuse, by any member of the church to report the information to the Rhode Island State Police Major Crimes Unit 401-444-1000 or the diocesan Office of Education and Compliance at 401-941-0760.
By Sam Wroblewski
630wpro.com and the Associated Press
The Providence Diocese announced Friday a priest who had been removed from his post last year over sexual assault allegation has been arrested by police.
In a statement, the Diocese said Father Barry Meehan formerly of Saint Timothy’s in Warwick was arrested after an investigation into sexual misconduct. The Diocese had removed Meehan from his position in January 2013 after they received “credible allegations” of sexual assault.
The Associated Press reports Meehan pleaded not guilty during his hearing to five counts of first-degree sexual assault.
The Attorney General’s office says a statewide grand jury indicted Meehan for assaulting two males over 14 years of age on dates between 1986 and 1992 at St. Mary Parish in Cranston and St. Augustine in Providence.
The AG’s office also reports that one of the alleged victims reported the most recent assault to the Dicoese who in turn reported the incident to State Police. State Police have also said they have discovered another victim through the course of the investigation.
Bishop Tobin has already petitioned the Vatican to remove Meehan from the priesthood.
Johnston Sun Rise
A Roman Catholic priest formerly assigned to parishes in Cranston, Warwick and Providence has been indicted on five counts of first-degree sexual assault, according to the office of Attorney General Peter Kilmartin.
The Rev. Barry Meehan, 65, of 767 Providence St. in West Warwick, was arraigned in Providence County Superior Court on Friday morning and released on $50,000 bail. He was ordered to surrender his passport and have no contact with the alleged victims.
According to Kilmartin’s office, the secret indictment reported out by the Statewide Grand Jury alleges that Meehan sexually assaulted a male over the age of 14 between April 1986 and January 1991 while assigned to St. Mary Church in Cranston. He is also alleged to have sexually assaulted another male over 14 years of age between January 1991 and August 1992 while assigned to St. Augustine Church in Providence.
The attorney general’s office said one of the alleged victims came forward to the Diocese of Providence in December 2012 regarding the allegations, and Rhode Island State Police were contacted. Investigators subsequently identified a second alleged victim.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island Catholic priest has been indicted for allegedly sexually assaulting two people in the 1980s and 1990s at churches in Cranston and Providence.
Barry Meehan pleaded not guilty on Friday to five counts of first-degree sexual assault. His lawyer, Kevin Bristow, did not comment.
The 65-year-old priest resigned from St. Timothy's Church in Warwick and was placed on administrative leave last year by the Diocese of Providence.
The attorney general's office says a statewide grand jury indicted Meehan for assaulting two males over 14 years of age on dates between 1986 and 1992 at St. Mary Parish in Cranston and St. Augustine in Providence.
It says a victim brought allegations to the diocese in December 2012. During a State Police investigation, prosecutors say police discovered another victim.
ROSEAU, Dominica (AP) — The Roman Catholic bishop in the Caribbean island of Dominica says a priest has been defrocked over allegations of sexual misconduct that occurred 20 years ago.
Bishop of Roseau Gabriel Malzaire says Msgr. Reginald LaFleur was removed by the Vatican following an investigation into the allegations.
Malzaire placed the 60-year-old LaFleur on administrative leave in 2013 after a woman reported the priest had touched her inappropriately on her "bottom and breast" 20 years ago when she was a 12-year-old parishioner.
The bishop said late Thursday that the Congregation of the Faith in Rome directed LaFleur be dismissed and that he did so with "much pain."
Turn to 10
An indictment unsealed Friday charges a priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence with sexual assault.
The Rev. Barry Meehan pleaded not guilty in Superior Court to five counts of first-degree sexual assault. Prosecutors say the alleged abuse happened in 1991 and 1992.
Meehan resigned from St. Timothy's Parish in Warwick and was placed on administrative leave in January 2013. The diocese removed his permission to act as a priest.
Meehan was released on bail. He was ordered to surrender his passport and to stay away from witnesses in the case.
A pretrial hearing was scheduled for Dec. 11.
By Nancy Krause
Published: November 21, 2014
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Catholic priest Friday afternoon was released on bail after arraignment on five counts of first-degree sexual assault.
Eyewitness News has learned a grand jury recently handed up charges against Father Barry Meehan.
Meehan resigned from pastor of St. Timothy’s Church in Warwick in January 2013 and placed on administrative leave. At that time, the Catholic Diocese of Providence said it was the result of a credible allegation of sexual misconduct that allegedly took place more than 25 years ago.
National Catholic Reporter
Mick Forgey | Nov. 21, 2014
MEMPHIS, TENN. About 1,000 progressive Catholics gathered here to discuss Catholic church reform at Call to Action's 2014 national conference, and a popular speaker was Irish Redemptorist Fr. Tony Flannery.
Flannery drew such a large crowd for his Nov. 8 morning presentation that it had to be moved to a bigger space. CTA's conference, which ran Nov. 7-9, was the 11th spot on Flannery's 18-stop U.S. tour, sponsored by 12 Catholic reform movements.
In 2012, the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith ordered Flannery to publish a statement saying he accepted both that there will never be women priests in the church, and that he accepted all Catholic moral teachings, including those against contraception and homosexuality. Flannery refused, and was forbidden to practice as a priest.
"I'm getting an extraordinarily broad picture of the church in the United States, and of the sort of issues that are relevant here, and the reform movements and how they operate," Flannery said in an interview with NCR Nov. 7. Flannery said his experience would be useful in Ireland, where Catholics are also dealing with parish closings and decline in priestly numbers.
KANSAS CITY (MO)
Kansas City Business Journal
Kansas City Business Journal
Several days after his "60 Minutes" broadcast, the head of the Vatican's commission to fight clerical abuse backed off comments about accountability for bishops accused of covering up sexual abuse, The Associated Press reports.
Cardinal Sean O'Malley said "protocols" are needed to avoid "crowd-based condemnations," the AP reports. Bishops "also deserve due process" that will result in a fair hearing.
Bishop Robert Finn, who leads the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, was convicted of a misdemeanor failure to report suspicions of child abuse. He failed to report a priest who later pleaded guilty to producing child pornography.
The Olive Press
THE priests being investigated in Granada for paedophilia after a victim wrote to Pope Francis had a modus operandi akin to that of a sect.
Investigations are focused on a parish in the city’s Zaidin neighbourhood where the priests reportedly led brainwashing sessions to convince young boys that sex with them would not be a sin according to sources referred to by El Pais.
Youngsters were first lured in as altar boys or assistants and later on taken to luxury apartments or a house in Granada owned by the group where they were subjected to brutal abuse.
The 10 priest and two laypeople being investigated supposedly also engaged in sexual activities with each other several times a week.
The priests are known as Los Romanones, according to religious news website Religion Digital, as a reference to their supposed leader who is said to be one of the three priests suspended this week.
The group’s activities came under scrutiny thanks to a 24-year-old teacher, known as Daniel, who wrote to the Pope after his story was shunned by Granada’s Archdiocese and the pontiff’s April announcement of a zero tolerance policy towards paedophilia.
[Father Jose Maria Gil Tamayo, general secretary of the Spanish Bishops' Conference, said Friday the Spanish bishops have reacted with pain and sorrow to the alleged sexual abuse by a group of priests. "The alleged crimes are an offense against the victim, harm to God and the Church, the Christian community and the entire society,'' he said.]
El secretario general y portavoz de la Conferencia Episcopal Española, el sacerdote José María Gil Tamayo, manifestó este viernes "el dolor y pesar" de los obispos españoles ante el caso de abuso sexual por parte de un grupo de sacerdotes a un joven cuando era menor de edad en la diócesis de Granada.
"Los delitos denunciados es una ofensa a la víctima, a Dios y un daño a la Iglesia, a la comunidad cristiana y a toda la sociedad", aseguró el portavoz de la CEE, quien también expresó "la cercanía y solidaridad" de los prelados "con las posibles víctimas de este delito que está bajo un proceso de judicial canónico y civil".
Gazzetta di Parma
(ANSA) - AREZZO, 20 NOV - Padre Gratien Alabi, il religioso indagato per la scomparsa di Guerrina Piscaglia da Ca Raffaello, nell'Aretino, il primo maggio (la foto è tratta da Chi l'ha visto?), aveva nel suo pc foto porno di suore "senza veli". Il particolare, ininfluente per l'inchiesta della Procura di Arezzo, è emerso dalle analisi dei Ris di Roma sul pc del sacerdote congolese. Le foto di monache nude dalla cintola in giù sarebbero di religiose con le quali il sacerdote aveva rapporti di amicizia, come da lui ammesso fin da subito.
Si arricchisce di particolari sconcertanti il caso di Guerrina Piscaglia scomparsa da Ca Raffaello, in provincia di Arezzo lo scorso primo maggio. Nel pc di Padre Gratien Alabi, il religioso indagato per favoreggiamento per i reati di sequestro di persona o omicidio, nell'ambito delle indagini sulla scomparsa della Piscaglia, secondo le risultanze delle indagini dei Ris, erano presenti foto "hot" di alcune suore con le quali era solito intrattenere relazioni in chat. Le foto ritraggono le monache nude dalla cintola in giù sarebbero arrivate direttamente sul computer del religioso.
Si tratta di donne conosciute dal sacerdote di persona e con le quali esisterebbero legami di amicizia. Attualmente Padre Gratien e' in attesa del pronunciamento del Riesame sul ricorso presentato dal suo legale Luca Fanfani circa il divieto di espatrio a Saint Cloud in Francia dove è atteso dalla diocesi locale.
International Business Times
By Umberto Bacchi
November 21, 2014
Italian police said they found photos depicting several nuns in lewd poses on the computer of a priest under investigation for the disappearance of a Tuscan housewife.
Father Gratien Alabi, 45, told detectives the half-naked women in the pictures were nuns with whom he entertained friendly relations, Ansa news agency reported.
He said he met the religious women in real life, before starting an online correspondence with them.
The clergyman is a suspect in the disappearance of Guerrina Piscaglia, a 50-year-old woman who vanished from her village of Cà Raffaello, near Arezzo in May.
The married mother-of-one was a parishioner at the church ran by Alabi and another priest.
Police, however, suspect there was more to their relationship and said the two had exchanged a high volume of text messages and phone calls, including on the day of her disappearance, Italian media reported.
Priests in the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis were informed this morning that the Central Corporation reported an operating deficit of $9.1 million and a net loss of $8.9 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2014. I have several comments to make about the deficit and the reasons given for it, which I will present in a later post. In the meantime, here is the announcement that pastors and parochial administrators received shortly before the information was posted on the archdiocesan website.
Subject: FY 2014 Chancery Corporation Financial Report Released Today
Dear Pastors and Parochial Administrators,
Today, the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis is releasing the full audited financial report for the Chancery Corporation for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2014. We will post the financial statements, footnotes to the statements, and the independent auditors’ report as one document on archspm.org at 10 a.m. today. You will find it on the Administration and Finance page of the website: http://www.archspm.org/departments/administration-finance/index.php.
Attached to this email you will find a PDF of the articles which will appear in today’s issue of The Catholic Spirit and be posted on http://thecatholicspirit.com/ at 10:00 a.m. today. I am sending this email to you now so that you are aware that this information will be posted later today. The Archdiocesan Update with links to all the online content will be sent at 10:00 a.m. to all clergy, parish business administrators, parish trustees, Catholic school principals and presidents, and other parish and school leaders who have signed up for the Archdiocesan Update enewsletter.
A few important points for you to know that may be helpful if you get questions from parishioners or others regarding the financial report release:
* The Chancery Corporation financials cover the activities of the archdiocesan Chancery Corporation. Parishes and other Catholic entities are independently incorporated and report their own financial information.
* The net assets of the archdiocesan Chancery Corporation were $32.5 million at June 30, 2014, the end of the last fiscal year. That is $8.9 million less than a year earlier.
The Archdiocese of Detroit has banned a support group for Catholic families with gay members from using a Detroit parish for a Saturday meeting because the scheduled speaker represents a pro-gay rights ministry censured by the Vatican, Patricia Montemurri reports in the Free Press.
She notes the ban comes a month after Catholic bishops publicly feuded at a Vatican meeting over Pope Francis' more welcoming words and outreach to gay Catholics and their families.
"I feel bad for the message that it sends to Catholics that there can't be discussion of an issue of great importance to them and their families — how to stay in better communication with their church and their gay and lesbian children," said Francis DeBernardo, executive director of Maryland-based New Ways Ministry, an advocacy group for Catholics who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), but which is not sanctioned by the Catholic church.
(Vatican Radio) People will forgive a weak priest or pastoral minister, but they will not forgive a greedy one or one who mistreats people, said Pope Francis at Mass Friday morning as he marked the feast of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a prayer that she help us keep the Lord's Temple clean.
Basing his homily on the Gospel of the Day in which Jesus drives the merchants from the Temple because they had turned the house of prayer into a den of thieves, Pope Francis said in doing so Jesus was purifying the Temple of God because it had been profaned and with it the People of God. The Temple had been defiled with the gravest of sins: scandal.
"People are good – continued Pope Francis- people went to the Temple and did not look at these things, they sought God and prayed ... but they had to change their money into coins to make offers". The people of God did not go to the Temple for these people, for those who were selling things, they went because it was the Temple of God" and "there was corruption that scandalized the people". Pope Francis recalled the biblical story of Anna, a humble woman, mother of Samuel, who goes to the temple to ask for the grace of a child: "she whispered her prayers silently" while the priest and his two sons were corrupt, they exploited the pilgrims, they scandalized the people. “I think of how our attitude can scandalize people - said Pope Francis – with unpriestly habits in the Temple: the scandal of doing business, the scandal of worldliness ... How often when we enter a church do we see – even today – do we see a price list hanging there "for baptism, blessings, Mass intentions". And people are scandalized".
[The opening of a judicial investigation about sexual abuse allegedly committed by priests against minors has focused on the performance of Granada Archbishop Francisco Javier Martinez.]
La apertura de una investigación judicial en Granada acerca de unos abusos sexuales presuntamente cometidos por sacerdotes contra menores de edad que tenían a su cuidado, ha hecho emerger la figura del arzobispo de dicha diócesis -Francisco Javier Martínez- y su peculiar actuación.
Sabemos que el arzobispo tuvo noticia de tales hechos porque así se lo hizo saber el papa Francisco el pasado mes de agosto. El Papa le trasladó una documentación que contenía una misiva recibida un mes antes y escrita por un joven en la que denunciaba abusos sexuales que se remontaban a varios años atrás, siendo menor de edad. En dicha documentación se instaba a abrir una investigación eclesiástica, lo que los paganos llamaríamos investigación interna.
What They Knew
With the Pope settling in, we eagerly await his next round of appointments in the Vatican and further commissions to study the rape of children. Oddly enough, the two men at the nexus of the Vatican’s plan to stop these crimes have a complicated history with the issue, one from Boston and the other, a Jesuit from Chicago. Maybe we need to tell their story somewhere else?
Neither city seems to be the place where one would look for a solution to the problem. We wonder if Pope Francis knew about Bob Geisinger SJ and the constant problem that is Donald McGuire?… They all know one another. Or that he was a judge and canonist at the Archdiocese of Chicago?
The Bolton News
by Jeremy Culley, reporter
A TEACHER under arrest for inciting sexual activity with a child has been rebailed.
The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was due to answer police bail on November 20.
He has not yet been charged, having been arrested for the first time in June, and he will answer bail again on January 8.
Canon Slade suspended the teacher following the arrest, and said it related to “inappropriate communications with a pupil”.
The arrest marked the third police investigation into the sexual behaviour of teachers at the Church of England school in the past three years.
Times of India
JAIPUR: The head of the orphanage situated at Tara Nagar locality in Jhotwara here was not only involved in sexual abuse and rape of three minor girls, but also used to thrash the girls whenever they asked for food. Such was the scenario that girls used to be dependent on the mid-day meal of the government school where they were studying. This was stated in the chargesheet filed against pastor Johnson Chacko in a district court on Thursday.
The police said that they have not only recorded the statements of the two girls aged under 10 and 14-year-old, they have also spoken to nearly 19 other girls staying at the orphanage.
"The girls told us that many a times they were not given dinner and even lunch was not available. When some little girls aged between 6 to 8 years used to ask for the lunch and dinner, the pastor used to thrashed them with iron rod," said Kailash Bishnoi, deputy commissioner of police (west).
A PRIEST who described Mass-going paedophile Patrick Barry as a "spiritual man" said his court testimonial was "not a defence" of the convicted man.
Canon Bob Hanna confirmed last night that his Church of Ireland "at top and local levels" have queried why he gave a testimonial on behalf of the convicted paedophile in court earlier this month. Canon Hanna released the statement after one of Barry's 11 victims said after his sentencing that she was "disturbed" by the priest's testimonial.
On Wednesday at Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Gerald Keyes sentenced the remorseless Barry to 11 years in jail with the final five suspended, stating that the former school principal had stolen the youth and robbed the childhood of the girls that he abused.
The girls were aged between nine and 13 when the abuse took place at Moyasta National School, Co Clare, over a 21-year period between 1964 and 1985. One of the victims described Barry as a vicious wolf lying in wait for her every day and who "terrorised and abused me for daily for years".
By JEREMY BLACKMAN
Thursday, November 20, 2014
(Published in print: Friday, November 21, 2014)
A former Concord man with ties to Trinity Baptist Church was found guilty yesterday of molesting his stepdaughter decades ago – but his conviction has been put on hold following a last-minute request to amend the charges.
Daniel Leaf, 55, of Tilton had been indicted in Merrimack County Superior Court on two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault. His stepdaughter, Tina Anderson, claimed he began abusing her in 1990, when she was 9 years old.
On Wednesday, just before jurors went into deliberation, defense attorneys asked Judge Larry Smukler to dismiss the case, alleging that prosecutors had incorrectly charged Leaf with Class A felonies. The state responded by moving to amend the charges.
Smukler allowed jurors to go forward with deliberations, but has given Leaf’s attorneys until Dec. 15 to respond in writing to the county’s request. A hearing on it has been set for Jan. 12.
Australian Associated Press
Friday 21 November 2014
The headmaster of a Hobart boys school charged with investigating a report of historic sexual abuse insists he did not try to cover up the truth.
John Bednall was principal at the Hutchins School for nine years from 1987. During this time he received a complaint from a man, AOA, claiming to have been sexually abused while a student in 1964 by the then headmaster David Ralph Lawrence.
In evidence to the royal commission into institutional responses to child sexual abuse in Hobart on Friday, Bednall said it was a complex matter and he was unable to determine the veracity of AOA’s claim.
“I never doubted the man was in a traumatic state,” Bednall said of AOA. “What I was trying to identify was how could the whole circumstance be best understood for the school to provide a proper response.”
By John R. Ellement
GLOBE STAFF NOVEMBER 20, 2014
A self-described pastor has received a sentence of up to 12 years in prison for raping a child under 14 years old in his Dorchester apartment, Suffolk County prosecutors said.
Before Epiphane Lazarre was sentenced Wednesday in a Boston courtroom, the girl he repeatedly sexually assaulted spoke to Suffolk Superior Court Judge Christopher Muse and delivered a powerful message to other victims, Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley’s office said.
“Know that you are not alone,” said the girl, who is now in her mid-teens, according to Conley’s office.
“Don’t let people take advantage of you. No matter what, if you do not agree with it, and if they threaten you any type of way, don’t let that scare you. Show them you’re really stronger than them and that you aren’t scared of nobody.”
Jurors convicted Lazarre after a five-day trial earlier this month in which they heard he used a connection to the victim’s parents to ingratiate himself with the girl.
When a church leader was accused of a serious crime, Simon Bass was the man on the police speed dial.
Ordinarily, the softly-spoken Bass is robust in talking about the successes of himself and his devoted colleagues, who work for a charity that helps safeguard children in religious institutions that are sometimes slow to act to protect them. But this time he has to be careful.
Thanks in part to his success as a mediator, there is a court case imminent. Bass hints it is a "very insular" church that is wary of outsiders. A woman has accused one of the church's senior members of abuse. A detective and a Local Authority Delegated Officer (Lado) met with other church leaders seeking more information, fearing there could have been more victims, but made no progress.
"They were concerned there were other victims out there but concerned they weren't going to get anywhere, because it's very much a closed shop, and felt frustrated," Bass says.
He was invited to attend a second meeting to see if he could be of any help. "I spent time with two of the other leaders. They didn't want to talk to me about what we were there to discuss. They wanted to know about my churchmanship. What church did I go to? What did I believe? What's my understanding of what they believe? We engaged in that conversation. They then felt confident in that meeting - this is where that bridge is - to defer to me, to ask questions.
The former assistant bishop admits he may have failed to persuade Hutchins school in Hobart to apologise over sexual abuse
By Rosemary Bolger
November 21, 2014
The former assistant bishop of the Anglican diocese of Tasmania, Ronald Stone, has told a royal commission he could have done more to persuade a Hobart school to apologise over sexual abuse by teaching staff.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is sitting in Hobart to investigate how the prestigious private boys school Hutchins and the Anglican church dealt with complaints made by former students.
The former pupils were sexually abused in the 1960s by Hutchins staff, including former headmaster David Lawrence.
A former pupil, known to the inquiry as AOA, had contacted Bishop Stone in 1995 after having his appeal for an apology rejected by the school board.
THE Hutchins School was told there was little chance a sex abuse victim would take legal action, but there was a danger he might use an apology to “go public”.
Correspondence between the school and its lawyers has been released by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Between 1993 and last month, the school steadfastly refused to apologise to a victim of sexual abuse at the school during the 1960s, given the pseudonym AOA by the Commission.
In a 2002 letter to the school, Hobart lawyers Dobson, Mitchell and Allport said the legal risks were low, but an apology might pose public relations problems.
“These has never been much of a risk that AOA will commence legal proceedings against the school,” the letter said.
A priest who described daily Mass-going paedophile, Patrick Barry as a “spiritual man” said yesterday his court testimonial “was not a defence of” the convicted man.
Canon Bob Hanna confirmed last night that his Church of Ireland “at top and local levels” have queried why he gave a testimonial on behalf of the former school principal in court earlier this month.
Canon Hanna released the statement after one of Barry’s 11 victims said after his sentencing that she was ‘disturbed’ by the priest’s testimonial.
On Wednesday at Ennis Circuit Court, Judge Gerald Keyes sentenced Barry, aged 80, to 11 years in jail with the final five suspended.
21 NOV 2014
A love letter written by a man claiming to be a victim of child sexual abuse to his alleged abuser made it difficult to later verify if the crime had taken place, a royal commission has been told.
John Bednall was principal at The Hutchins School in Hobart for nine years from 1987.
During his leadership the school received a complaint from a man, known only as AOA for legal reasons, claiming to have been sexually abused while a student in 1964 by then headmaster, David Ralph Lawrence.
AOA sought acknowledgment that the abuse occurred and an apology from the school.
Charged by the Hutchins board with examining the veracity of AOA's claim, Dr Bednall was unable to reach a conclusion in what he titled a complex affair.
He denies he was trying to cover up the report to protect the school's reputation or its exposure to litigation, and instead says there was a lack of information allowing him to make a finding.
Lafayette Journal & Courier
Ron Wilkins, email@example.com November 20, 2014
A civil lawsuit filed Thursday seeks to get to the bottom of a long history of alleged sexual molestation by nearly two dozen Catholic priests of the Crosier order — including one from Lafayette who worked in various communities in Greater Lafayette.
Gerald Funcheon, 76, has confessed to sexually preying on children during more than 20 years as a Catholic priest. The civil lawsuit filed in Minneapolis on behalf of his victims seeks to find out how far and wide his wrongdoing stretched.
Various civil case settlements over the years have forced the Crosiers to release the names of 19 priests — some still alive, some now dead — who were "credibly accused" of molestation.
The lawsuit asks for them to release all accusations, whether internally deemed credible or not and put them up for judicial review. The court system would then decide which cases to make public.
Leading the charge on behalf of victims is the Anderson & Associates firm in Minneapolis. The firm used a Minnesota provision listing the claim as a "public nuisance," which holds defendants liable not just in the state but anywhere in the country, explained Patrick Wall, a former priest now working for the firm.
Pacific News Center
Written by Janela Carrera
SNAP says no victims have come forward with sex allegations against Archbishop Anthony Apuron.
Guam - SNAP or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says claims that Archbishop Anthony Apuron molested boys are just rumors. Western Regional Director Joelle Casteix says she’s heard these rumors herself when she visited Guam, but no alleged victim has ever come forward.
"All that SNAP knew was that there were rumors," says Casteix.
Casteix visited Guam in 2010. While here, she heard from many sexual abuse victims. Many of them accused priests on Guam of molesting them. But none of those victims ever accused Archbishop Anthony Apuron of any form of sexual abuse.
"We have never been able to speak to an alleged victim of the Archbishop," Casteix says.
Casteix is responding to inquiries made by PNC after allegations surfaced against the Archbishop. Specifically, John Toves came forward claiming his relative was molested by Archbishop Apuron in the 1980s. Toves says his relative has never come forward because he fell into a reclusive state and at one point attempted suicide. While Toves’ allegations on behalf of his relative may or may not be true, Casteix says SNAP does not act on rumors. But, she points out, that neither confirms nor denies the validity of the claims.
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis reported a $9.1 million operating deficit for fiscal year 2014 and reiterated Thursday that it's considering filing for bankruptcy because of the potential for more lawsuits by victims of clergy sexual abuse.
The archdiocese released its financial information in its newspaper, the Catholic Spirit, more than a week after it said it was cutting its central office budget by 20 percent, including 11 jobs. Archbishop John Nienstedt called the situation "disheartening" but wrote that the chancery's finances won't directly affect parishes, schools or other Catholic institutions.
"I am determined to see that the ministries and essential services provided by the Chancery Corporation will continue," he wrote.
The archdiocese said its operating deficit can be partly attributed to $4.1 million spent to address allegations of clergy sexual abuse since May 2013, when a three-year window opened for abuse victims to file claims that were otherwise barred under the statute of limitations.
By Amy Forliti
A lawsuit filed Thursday by four men who say they were molested by a priest in the 1970s claims a Catholic order created a public nuisance when it failed to warn families that the priest could pose a risk.
It was one of two lawsuits filed Thursday in Minnesota against the Crosier Fathers and Brothers and the retired Rev. Gerald Funcheon, who worked in suburban Minneapolis, among other places, and has admitted to abusing minors. The lawsuit alleges the Crosiers are putting the public in danger by concealing the histories of accused priests, and it seeks the full disclosure of accused priests' files.
A similar public-nuisance claim against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has led to the unprecedented disclosure of tens of thousands of church documents and the names of dozens of accused priests. That lawsuit recently was settled in an agreement that outlines protocols to keep children safe.
Mike Finnegan, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said the Crosiers have shown some willingness to disclose information on their own and as part of a settlement in 2009. The hope, he said, is that they will decide to release the files voluntarily.
In a statement Thursday, the Crosiers said they take the claims seriously.
By Rosemary Bolger
The former assistant bishop of the Anglican diocese of Tasmania, Ronald Stone, has told a royal commission he could have done more to persuade a Hobart school to apologise over sexual abuse by teaching staff.
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is sitting in Hobart to investigate how the prestigious private boys school Hutchins and the Anglican church dealt with complaints made by former students.
The former pupils were sexually abused in the 1960s by Hutchins staff, including former headmaster David Lawrence.
A former pupil, known to the inquiry as AOA, had contacted Bishop Stone in 1995 after having his appeal for an apology rejected by the school board.
November 20, 2014
Fri, Nov 21, 2014
The archbishop of the southern Spanish city of Granada has been summoned to the Vatican this weekend to explain why he failed to take firmer action against a group of priests in his city who are being investigated for organising a longstanding child abuse ring.
The case came to the Vatican’s attention this spring, when a young man who claimed to have suffered brutal sexual abuse at the hands of several priests wrote to Pope Francis, appealing for help.
The alleged victim, who is 24 and whose name has not been revealed, claims that three priests and a layperson repeatedly raped him from the age of 13 until he was 17.
‘Extremely serious sin'
The pope responded to the letter, telephoning the alleged victim in person in August and asking him to “forgive this extremely serious sin”, according to the newspaper Religión Digital. Pope Francis also told him that “people are already working so that all of this can be resolved.”
The Vatican then contacted the archbishop of Granada, Francisco Martínez, requesting that he investigate and take necessary action.
Minnesota Public Radio
Molly Bloom, Meg Martin, Madeleine Baran
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said it is considering bankruptcy after releasing financial reports showing a roughly $9.1 million operating deficit for fiscal year 2014. The archdiocese blamed its uncertain financial situation on the costs of clergy sex abuse litigation and the growing potential for more lawsuits by victims.
Archbishop John Nienstedt called the situation "disheartening," but assured parishioners that the finances won't directly affect parishes or other Catholic institutions.
Since the bulk of the money that sustains the archdiocese and its programs is housed in legally separate entities, it can attempt to protect its assets and fundraising.
How common is it for dioceses to file for bankruptcy?
At least 11 dioceses in the U.S. have filed for bankruptcy in the past ten years. It's becoming more common, especially as dioceses are hit with a large number of clergy sex abuse lawsuits at once.
Not every bankruptcy is the same, however. In Milwaukee, for instance, the process has been slow, and victims haven't seen any compensation. The process in Portland, Ore., lasted 33 months. But in other places, such as San Diego, the process has been much faster.
Article by: NICOLE WINFIELD , Associated Press Updated: November 20, 2014
VATICAN CITY — The head of Pope Francis' commission to fight clerical sex abuse is tempering his remarks about accountability for bishops accused of covering up for abusive priests, saying they deserve a fair hearing, too.
Cardinal Sean O'Malley, archbishop of Boston, told "60 Minutes" news program last week that the Vatican must "urgently" address the situation of Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn, the highest-ranking church official in the U.S. to be convicted of failing to take action in response to abuse allegations.
In a comment posted Wednesday on thebostonpilot.com, the website of the archdiocesan newspaper of Boston, O'Malley said that while bishops must be held accountable, they must be spared "crowd-based condemnations."
"We need clear protocols that will replace the improvisation and inertia that has often been the response in these matters," he wrote. "Bishops also deserve due process that allows them to have an opportunity for a fair hearing."
His remarks reflected some concerns expressed by clerics that the Vatican in recent years has gone too far in ousting accused pedophile priests, and may go down the same path as it turns its attention to holding their bishops and superiors accountable.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The case of a Marion County priest indicted on sex abuse charges will go to trial next year.
Father Joseph Hemmerle had nothing to say when leaving the courtroom.
A man made the claims this past May, saying it happened in the 1970s.
Hemmerle was a priest at St. Francis and Holy Cross Parishes in Marion County, and a teacher and coach at Trinity High School in Louisville. However, the alleged abuse took place in Meade County.
In September, Father Hemmerle was indicted on three counts of sexual abuse and six counts of sodomy involving a child under 12 years old.
He left the courtroom today without saying anything, but his three-day trial was set for next September.
Orphans sent to a County Down home were exposed to abuse by boys who "came through the justice or welfare systems", a former resident told the Historical Institutional Abuse Inquiry.
He described a "toxic mix" of "orphaned boys and streetwise boys".
He said sexual activity at Rubane House was "very common" among boys.
But the man, now in his 50s, said his general experience at the Ards peninsula boys home had been "very, very good".
The witness was at Rubane in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
He told the enquiry he had been sexually abused by other boys.
By Joanne Fox
For three and a half years, members of several U.S. bishops’ committees have been trying to pinpoint what Catholics in the pew are thinking and why they accept or reject church teachings.
To this end, they have conducted multiple surveys and interviews of various groups of Catholics: fervent believers, Latinos, singles, parents, priests and church leaders. Although responses have varied, Bishop Walker Nickless was astonished to learn the faithful are still not satisfied that priestly misconduct among children has been addressed adequately.
“That really surprised me,” he said. “I thought we were doing a good job in our Safe Environment practices, but apparently, that is not the case.”
Bishop Nickless is one of only 26 U.S. bishops who have authorized auditors from StoneBridge Business Partners – the business firm the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has chosen to perform safe environment audits – to visit Sioux City diocesan parishes and schools and insure compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People (Dallas Charter). The auditors were in the Diocese of Sioux City Oct. 28-30.
on November 20, 2014
By Robert Weiner and Florian Prommer
Pope Francis has just announced he will be coming to the U.S. next year for a conference on families. The new Pope is widely popular, but he and the Church must take stronger actions than ones to date on the victims and perpetrators of clerical child abuse. The Bishops’ two-week conference on family issues in the Vatican October 5-19, at which the Pope called for “candor”, discussed gay communion, divorce, and abortion – but not responsibility for priests’ child abuse.
According to a statement by Pope Francis reported by Reuters, “about two percent” of Catholic priests are “pedophiles.” He called the findings “very grave.” Yet they still preach all over the world, and the number could be an undercount.
In Springfield 59 individuals were determined to be abused before 2008, causing the resignation of Bishop Thomas Dupre, leader of the Diocese of Springfield, in 2004 even before the depth of the scandal came out largely by outstanding investigative reporting by The Springfield Republican. Unfortunately, the scandal and coverup continue in the U.S. and world.
Annual surveys commissioned by the United States Conference of Bishops state that between 1950 and 2013, 17,259 children were sexually abused. 6427 priests were accused but only 3,973 names have been made public. These numbers only cover the United States.
In July, the Pope met with abused victims to express “regret and concern” as have Popes Paul and Benedict. He conceded that priests and bishops “violated their priestly vocation” and committed “sins of omission”. The apology still leaves Vatican inaction to punish abusers.
According to his 2013 book, “On Heaven and Earth”, Pope Francis argued as archbishop of Buenos Aires to “take away the priest's faculties” and “not permit him to exercise his priestly ministry again” when a priest gets convicted.
By Adam Shaw
Published November 20, 2014
Pope Francis is drawing rock star raves for softening the Vatican's image on such issues as homosexuality, capitalism and divorce, but his celebrated tolerance doesn't seem to extend to dissenters within the church, whose conservative revolt came to a halt when the pontiff exiled their de facto leader to obscurity.
A recent meeting of bishops unleashed what one Vatican watcher called “a tsunami of conservative backlash" against the pope when it followed an agenda that sought to revisit long-held doctrine on controversial social issues. The most vocal critic was American Cardinal Raymond Burke, who described the Church under Francis as like “a ship without a rudder.” But as conservative bishops and lower-level clergy in the U.S. began to signal their agreement, Burke quickly found himself demoted from his powerful Vatican post to a purely ceremonial role.
The move sent a chill through the ranks of American conservative bishops, nearly two dozen of whom declined comment when contacted by FoxNews.com, despite many having previously expressed strong doubts about the church's leftward swerve under Francis, who assumed the papacy in 2013. The Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, a leading conservative American blogger and an influential voice in the U.S. church, acknowledged that the bishops had been put back in line.
Friday, 21 November 2014
A former assistant bishop of the Anglican church in Tasmania will give evidence today at a sex abuse royal commission in Hobart.
Ronald Francis Stone was contacted in 1995 by a former student of Hobart's prestigious boys' school Hutchins, claiming he had been sexually abused by a headmaster in the 1960s.
The church has links to the Hutchins board, but Bishop Stone is reported to have told the complainant it had no legal authority in the running of the school.
ST. LOUIS (MO)
. .Five alleged clergy abuse victims are filing suit today against Fr. Gerald Funcheon who’s accused of molesting kids in Indiana, Minnesota and Hawaii. He’s now at St. John Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer.
Matt Aufdenspring, Web Managing Editor
A former Channelview youth minister has been arrested in New York City on sexual assault of a child charges in Harris County, and investigators believe there may be more victims.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office said Jude Drayton Ramdial, a former youth minister at the Woodforest Worship Center Church of God, is accused of sexually assaulting a girl in the youth group in 2005. Deputies said the girl is now an adult and reported the assault to authorities recently.
Court documents state the girl alleges Ramdial kissed her on several occasions and sexually assaulted her while he drove her home after babysitting for him.
Ramdial is also accused of inappropriate touching by two other former youth members in 2005 and 2006, deputies said.
Deer Park Broadcaster
A former Channelview youth minister has been arrested in New York City for the sexual assault of a child in Harris County. Investigators believe there may be more victims and if so, are asking them to please come forward.
Jude Ramdial, 33, was a former youth minister at the Woodforest Worship Center Church of God in Channelview. He's accused of sexually assaulting a female member of the youth group. The victim is now an adult and recently reported the assault to the authorities. Ramdial is also accused by two other former youth members of indecency with a child.
Due to the alone time Ramdial had with members of the youth group, HCSO investigators believe there may be more victims who have yet come forward.
Ramdial moved to New York after his ministerial credentials were revoked by the church. There he and family members established the HopeNYC church where he served as 'pastor' until his arrest this week.
[The Tijuana archbishop said the Vatican has exonerated Father Benigno P. Medrano of abuse allegations that led to his suspension last May. He is restored to ministry. inconsistencies were found in the complaint, the archbishop said.]
MÉXICO D.F., 20 Nov. 14 / 10:37 am (ACI/EWTN Noticias).- El Arzobispo de Tijuana (México), Mons. Rafael Romo Muñoz, informó que la Santa Sede exoneró al P. Benigno Medrano de las acusaciones de abusos sexuales que provocaron su suspensión en mayo pasado, siendo ya restituido en su cargo pastoral.
“Se encontraron inconsistencias totales en la denuncia, con la respuesta liberadora de la supuesta víctima que dijo ‘yo no soy víctima, el P. Benigno y yo somos grandes amigos. Yo no tengo nada que achacarle ni sucedió lo que dicen que sucedió’”, indicó el Prelado a la prensa local.
By Mitch Keegan, Anchor, KEYC News
The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is reporting a $9.1 million operating deficit for fiscal year 2014 and says it's considering filing for bankruptcy.
The archdiocese says the deficit can be partly attributed to $4.1 million spent to address allegations of clergy sexual abuse.
The archdiocese's CFO say the archdiocese's financial condition has become more uncertain due to potential liability from lawsuits. It's unknown how many more may be filed before the three-year window to pursue abuse claims expires.