Abuse Tracker
A Blog by Kathy Shaw
 
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BishopAccountability.org – Documenting the Abuse Crisis

November 28, 2020

Sins of the fathers: Ireland’s sex abuse survivors

LYON (FRANCE)
EuroNews

November 28, 2020

[Includes 20-minute interview with interviews of survivors.]

Revelations of sexual abuse inside the Catholic church shook Ireland to its core. Unreported Europe speaks to those who survived the paedophile priests and examines if the church has truly taken responsibility for the scandal.

Our lives are not as normal as other people who haven’t been abused. The abuse has just changed our attitude to life, changed our attitude to people. - Martin Gallagher, Survivor

Ireland has one of the largest Catholic communities in Europe. The Church is rooted into the culture of the country, but when Pope Francis visited Dublin in 2018 his words divided the nation.

Since 2002, multiple reports and investigations have shed light on nearly 15,000 cases of sexual abuse committed in Ireland between 1970 and 1990.

The pontiff had come to apologise for those crimes carried out by members of the Church’s clergy. For many survivors, the visit and remorse that came with it was far too late.

You know, you only have to do a few Google searches to see loads of examples of popes and bishops saying ‘We didn’t know’. Like the rest of society, we didn’t understand such things were possible. They did. They lied. - Colm O’Gorman, Survivor

Ampleforth College: £36k-per-year Catholic boarding school banned from taking new pupils after 'serious' failings

ISLEWORTH (MIDDLESEX, ENGLAND)
Sky News

November 27, 2020

By Tim Bake

The school was previously criticised by an independent inquiry into child sexual abuse in 2018.

https://news.sky.com/story/ampleforth-college-36k-per-year-catholic-boarding-school-banned-from-taking-new-pupils-after-failings-12144433

A £36,000-a-year Catholic boarding school has been banned from admitting new students following "serious" failings on safeguarding and leadership standards.

Ampleforth College, which was previously criticised by an independent inquiry into child sexual abuse in 2018, was found to have "prioritised the monks and their own reputation over the protection of children".

The Department for Education (DfE) sent a letter to the North Yorkshire school's proprietor on Friday as part of an enforcement action.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson told the school to stop accepting new pupils to "safeguard the education and well-being of children".

The letter raised concerns from multiple inspection reports dating from 2016 onwards, and said the institution had failed to meet safeguarding and leadership standards.

Indian priest laicized for gross abuse of power

HONG KONG
Union of Catholic Asian News

November 27, 2020

Pope Francis dismisses Bhopal priest who once accused his archbishop and two priests of trying to poison him

Pope Francis has laicized an Indian Catholic priest for gross abuse of ecclesiastical power and office.

Announcing the Vatican decision, Archbishop Leo Cornelio of Bhopal said in a statement that “now, with regret and pain, I wish to formally communicate to everyone that by an official decree from our Supreme Pontiff Pope Francis, on Oct. 22, 2020, Anand Muttungal (Joseph M.T.) of the Archdiocese of Bhopal has been dismissed in poenam (as a penalty) from the clerical state and dispensed from all his clerical obligations, including that of celibacy.”

However, Muttungal, the former public relations officer of Bhopal Archdiocese, said he was unaware of his dismissal.

“I must say that to date I have had no communication from the Vatican,” he said, adding he was not aware of the offense attributed to him that led to his dismissal.

Referring to a criminal case he had filed against Archbishop Cornelio and two other priests from the archdiocese, he said that “… authorities have been trying to get me to withdraw the criminal cases going on against them.”

Clergy sex abuse advocate welcomes AG's lawsuit against Catholic Diocese

BUFFALO (NY)
WBFO NPR

November 24, 2020

By Michael Mroziak

An advocate for clergy sex abuse victims who had actively called for the removal of Bishop Richard Malone is praising the New York State Attorney General for her lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo and its former top leadership.

Robert Hoatson, co-founder and president of Road to Recovery, appeared Tuesday in his usual chosen place for his Buffalo appearances, on the sidewalk across the street from the Catholic Center on Main Street. His podium displayed a sign declaring "Free At Last," a commentary on behalf of victims.

"We're free at last, we victims, we advocates, we are free at last because government officials have stepped in and have investigated and concluded that what occurred here was absolutely outrageous in this Diocese of Buffalo," he said. "Not just with Bishop Malone or Bishop Grosz, or even Bishop Scharfenberger, but for decades and decades and decades before that."

EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo Interviews Archbishop Viganò About McCarrick Report

IRONDALE (AL)
National Catholic Register

November 13, 2020

By Raymond Arroyo Interviewing Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò

The archbishop, whose explosive letter in August 2018 helped trigger the Vatican investigation into McCarrick’s misconduct, explains why he believes the report is gravely flawed.

More than any other person except for Theodore McCarrick himself, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò is responsible for triggering the 449-page Vatican report released this week that details what other Church leaders knew about the disgraced ex-cardinal’s decades-long pattern of sexual misconduct, and the actions they took or failed to take with respect to what they had learned.

As the report itself documents, the archbishop was the first senior Vatican figure to call concretely for action to be undertaken against McCarrick, at a time when Archbishop Viganò was serving as a senior official in the Secretariat of State. Then, after the archbishop was subsequently posted to Washington as the U.S. nuncio from 2011 to 2016, he was again involved with the Vatican’s handling of the McCarrick file.

And in August 2018, Archbishop Viganò released his initial 11-page “testimony” regarding McCarrick, in which he accused numerous Church leaders of turning a blind eye to McCarrick’s misconduct — including the explosive claim that he personally told Pope Francis about the transgressions following the Holy Father’s election in 2013, and that the Pope ignored this information and tapped McCarrick to carry out duties on the behalf of the Vatican. The firestorm sparked by Archbishop Viganò’s document resulted in the Holy Father’s formal authorization of an investigation of all relevant documentation related to the allegations against McCarrick, and how they were handled.

Former Seminary Investigator: McCarrick Was ‘Epicenter’ of Problems

IRONDALE (AL)
National Catholic Register

November 25, 2020

By Edward Pentin Interviewing Fr. John Lavers

Father John Lavers, who led a 2012 investigation into allegations of homosexual activity among seminarians at Holy Apostles Seminary, assesses the findings of the McCarrick Report

Vatican City - What are the strengths and weaknesses of the McCarrick Report, and what can be learned from it that could be applied to similar cases in the future?

Father John Lavers, a Canadian priest of the Diocese of Portsmouth in England, currently serves as the director of chaplaincy with Stella Maris (Apostleship of the Sea) in the United Kingdom. He led a 2012 investigation into allegations of homosexual behavior and activity at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Connecticut that led to the removal of 13 seminarians, primarily from the Archdiocese of Hartford and Diocese of Paterson, New Jersey.

Father Lavers’ investigation also indicated that a homosexual “pipeline” had been created that funneled vulnerable Latin American candidates into some U.S. seminaries where they were sexually exploited, and subsequently ordained as actively homosexual priests in some American dioceses.

And on the basis of the evidence collected for the Holy Apostles investigation, Father Lavers concluded that it was Theodore McCarrick himself who was at the “epicenter” of this powerful influential network that has preyed on seminarians, and has advanced homosexually active clergy within the U.S. Church.

Prior to becoming a priest, Father Lavers served in Canadian law enforcement and national security work. In this interview with the Register, he explains the nature of the report, how it falls short, and what he believes the next steps should be.

Father Lavers, what has been your initial reaction to the McCarrick Report?

I think the expectation of the report may have been overstated, even over-expected by people. It’s a report that would not be classified as investigative, but more of a gathering of data and analysis — almost like how you would approach an academic function: looking at the documents that the Vatican archives would have, as well as other information that they would have pulled from the various dioceses of the United States. But it’s not an investigative report.

And when I use the term “investigative report,” I use it from the perspective of how professional law enforcement, and/or intelligence services, would do, say, an investigation into this and in following all the leads as well as following the evidence. This report does not do that.

November 27, 2020

Study leads to benchmarks for sexual misconduct policies at US seminaries

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic News Service via Union of Catholic Asian News

November 27, 2020

By William Cone

Seminarians were surveyed anonymously about incidents of sexual misconduct at their schools of formation

Policy benchmarks developed from a study of sexual harassment and misconduct at seminaries and religious houses of formation in the United States are being promoted as a way to stem the abuses that came to light recently about former cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

The study was conducted in spring 2019 by the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, and the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University in Washington.

Seminarians were surveyed anonymously about incidents of sexual misconduct at their schools of formation. The study found that, even though sexual misconduct is uncommon, there is low awareness among students of protocols for reporting such infractions.

Following the study's completion, a group of bishops, seminary rectors, faculty and lay consultants was formed to develop proactive policy guidelines. The policy benchmarks came from that McGrath Seminary Study Group.

"All of these people are very well respected in the field of seminary education and are regarded as reformers, I would say," said John Cavadini, Notre Dame theology professor and director of the McGrath Institute for Church Life, who convened the study group earlier this year. Two of the group members are presidents of national associations of seminary rectors.

Editorial: Blame to share

TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
Catholic Register

November 26, 2020

In the weeks since the Vatican released its report regarding disgraced former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the blame game has been in full swing.

How is it possible, both critics and friends ask, that such a man as McCarrick could ever rise to the highest levels of the Church? It’s a good question, with not a lot of good answers.

The 460-page report does not lay blame on any one person or group. Instead, it has carefully followed the trail of facts and communiques inside and outside the Vatican regarding who knew what and when and how about the allegations of sexual misconduct against McCarrick. The issue of guilt isn’t addressed in the report; that had been decided by an investigation two years ago that found “credible” evidence against him. He was subsequently removed from the priesthood.

At the heart of the report compiled over two years is the Vatican’s response to the rumours and allegations that had been circulating about McCarrick for years. It’s clear the Vatican was guilty of turning a blind eye, ignoring warning signs and siding with the accused. The good news is that it has chosen not to keep its missteps hidden from public view.

Three popes are central to this story of course, because that’s where the buck stops. John Paul II fares the worst. He heard reports of McCarrick’s behaviour, ordered an investigation, but ultimately chose to believe his denials of wrongdoing, perhaps swayed by his own history in Poland of seeing people unjustly accused. Pope Benedict put restrictions on McCarrick that were largely ignored. Pope Francis was more proactive, ordering further investigation after more claims of abuse surfaced in 2018 and laicizing him last year. McCarrick is now 90 years old, whereabouts not publicly known, and there are no criminal charges filed against him.

Vatican's McCarrick Report Casts A Dark Cloud Over Pope John Paul II's Legacy

WASHINGTON (DC)
NPR

November 25, 2020

By Sylvia Poggioli

When St. John Paul II died in 2005 after nearly 27 years on the papal throne, his funeral drew millions to St. Peter's Square. The crowd soon broke out into spontaneous chants of "Santo subito" — "make him a saint immediately."

Days later, John Paul was put on the fast track, becoming a saint a record nine years after his death.

Now, many Catholics wonder whether that was too hasty. A recent report issued by the Vatican is casting a dark cloud over John Paul.

The report is the result of an investigation into Catholic leaders' failings in allowing now-disgraced former American Cardinal Theodore McCarrick to rise up the church hierarchy. Its explosive revelations have started to tarnish the legacy of the Polish-born pope and globetrotting media star who is credited with triggering the fall of communism in Europe.

McCarrick report is one small step to dismantling clerical culture

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

November 20, 2020

By Tom Roberts

It has long been understood by those who take a measured and thoughtful assessment of his papacy that the story of St. Pope John Paul II was sent off to the printer long before it was ready.

The narrative had not had time to mature, to incorporate the layers of complexity that marks us as truly human, to account for contradictions and flaws. The McCarrick report is the most persuasive evidence to date that the appellation "The Great" was applied too soon. In that regard, the report also serves as warning not to rush to conclusions about the abuse crisis itself.

John Paul II, confronted with the most damaging scandal the church faced in centuries, ignored the disturbing warnings from victims and from bishops entrusted with the care of the flock and instead embraced the adulation and counsel of serial predators. In doing so, he became not a figure of the courage that he persistently demanded of others, but the highest profile example of a corrupt hierarchical culture responsible for perpetuation of the abuse disgrace.

The editors of this publication do a great service to the church, and to sexual abuse victims, by asking the U.S. bishops to put the brakes on the John Paul II cult. It is, indeed, time to rein in the cult that has grown up around a garish superhero version of a pope.

The greatest value of the recent report, however, is not in establishing the weight of blame for the McCarrick debacle, though that is significant. Its greatest value is establishing that for all of his legendary achievements on the international front, at home John Paul II was a rather pedestrian member of a culture that has deep underlying maladies that became manifest in the abuse crisis. What he did, which warrants condemnation today, was not extraordinary at the time. He did what was expected of one deeply invested in and rewarded by the culture. He protected it at all costs, ignoring credible and impassioned warnings about McCarrick and another of his favorites, Marciel Maciel Degollado, founder of the corrupt Legionaries of Christ. The costs have been globally destructive of the church's credibility and authority.

Setting the record straight on NCR and McCarrick coverage

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

November 20, 2020

By Heidi Schlumpf

The McCarrick report, released Nov. 10, attempts to describe how former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick rose through the ranks of leadership in the church despite his abuse of children and vulnerable adults, mostly seminarians. The shorthand for its charge: "Who knew what, and when?"

Although primarily focused on popes, bishops and other church leaders, the report also briefly considers the role of journalists in exposing — or, in this case, not exposing — this particular story.

For those who did not read all 461 pages — and all 1,410 footnotes — I can tell you that the National Catholic Reporter is mentioned in four footnotes, referencing articles we have published about sexual abuse, including an interview with McCarrick, in Rome, by current Vatican correspondent Joshua McElwee in 2014.

Three of those footnoted articles were by NCR's former Vatican correspondent John Allen, who is now editor of Crux, the now-independent Catholic news website initially launched as a project of The Boston Globe.

Priest's Aboriginal victims sue Pope Francis over church's failures

SYDNEY (NEW SOUTH WALES, AUSTRALIA)
Sydney Morning Herald

November 27, 2020

By Chip Le Grand

Pope Francis has been named as a defendant in a Victorian Supreme Court damages claim by three Aboriginal men who were sexually assaulted as young boys by paedophile priest Michael Glennon after the Vatican knew of his crimes against children but did not defrock him.

It is the first known case in Australia in which victims of clerical sexual abuse have sought to hold the world’s most senior Catholic personally responsible for his church’s failure to take decisive action against predators in its ranks.

The three plaintiffs, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, all claim to have experienced significant, ongoing impacts from their childhood abuse including drug addiction, homelessness and unemployment.

They are seeking compensation and exemplary or punitive damages against Pope Francis, the Archdiocese of Melbourne and Melbourne Archbishop Peter Comensoli for the inaction of their predecessors.

If successful it would represent the first time an Australian court has punished the church – as distinct from compensating victims of abuse – for its failure to protect children from paedophile priests.

Catholics angered, saddened by Montreal Church's mishandling of abusive priest

TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
CBC News

November 26, 2020

By Leah Hendry and Steve Rukavina

'The sheep are not following the church blindly anymore,' one former parishioner says

People who tried to warn Montreal's Catholic Archdiocese about a pedophile priest say they're sad, angry and overwhelmed by an explosive report outlining the church's repeated failures to heed their warnings.

The Montreal archdiocese asked retired Quebec Superior Court justice Pepita Capriolo to investigate the church's handling of allegations against former priest Brian Boucher, who was convicted in January 2019 of sexually abusing two young boys.

Capriolo's report, released Wednesday, outlines the failures of top officials in the Montreal diocese to take action after repeated red flags about Boucher were raised.

"I have to tell you I'm overwhelmed by what Justice Capriolo has put together," Kurt Reckziegel, a parishioner at Our Lady of the Annunciation Church in the Town of Mount Royal, said Thursday.

This archbishop is about to become the first African American cardinal in Catholic history

ATLANTA (GA)
CNN

November 27, 2020

By Daniel Burke and Delia Gallagher

Rome - For the past week, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, DC, has been holed up in a Vatican guesthouse, receiving meals at his door.

On Saturday afternoon, if all goes as planned, Gregory will step out of his quarters and into history. During an installation ceremony planned for 4pm in Rome, Gregory will become the first African American cardinal in Catholic history.

Gregory will be one of 13 men -- and the only American -- elevated to the College of Cardinal during Saturday's ceremony. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, two bishops will not be in Rome, another first in church history, according to Vatican News.

In keeping with the Pope's concerns for Catholics who have been historically marginalized, the other soon-to-be cardinals include men from Rwanda, Brunei, Chile and the Philippines.

Gregory, 72, already the highest-ranking African-American Catholic in US history, told CNN this week that he has been praying, writing homilies and letters to well-wishers, and reflecting on his new role.

Bishop Barron praises Mary MacKillop’s efforts to renounce clerical abuse

BRISBANE (QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA)
Catholic Leader - Archdiocese of Brisbane

November 27, 2020

By Joe Higgins

In light of the McCarrick Report, detailing the abuse of disgraced ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Los Angeles auxiliary Bishop Robert Barron appeared on his Word on Fire podcast and praised a name familiar to Australians.

Host Brandon Vogt asked Bishop Barron about how to understand the abuse crisis from a historic lens and how saints had responded to similar crises in the past.

Bishop Barron mentioned the great reformers like St Francis of Assisi and St Ignatius Loyola, and said Australian St Mary MacKillop came to his mind “very powerfully”.

“She (St Mary MacKillop) brought this issue to light and she suffered enormously for it,” he said.

“(She was) facing a Church that was in many ways problematic and dysfunctional, but she brought this issue forward.”

Bishop Barron lamented how many Catholics fell into resentment with the Church over the abuse scandals and other scandals too.

November 26, 2020

Report on the investigation regarding Brian Boucher’s career in the Catholic Church

MONTREAL (QUEBEC, CANADA)
Archdiocese of Montreal

November 25, 2020

By Justice Pepita G. Capriolo

The author of this report was mandated by Archbishop Christian Lépine to investigate “who knew what when” in regard to Brian Boucher’s actions during his career within the Catholic Church and to formulate recommendations to the Archdiocese, with the view that such behaviours not be repeated.

To do so, the author searched for and analyzed in detail hundreds of documents and interviewed more than 60 witnesses. She received the assistance and support of Bishop Thomas Dowd, appointed by Archbishop Lépine as her liaison with the clergy, but she was not in any way directed or censored in her work. Indeed, the author had complete autonomous access to all documents, including those contained in the Secret Archives, which even Bishop Dowd could not consult. Furthermore, she was able to interview anyone whose testimony she judged useful.

The involvement of Brian Boucher in the Catholic Church covers a long period: from his time as a catechist in the mid-1980s to 2019, when he was convicted and sentenced on two counts of sexual assault of a minor. Throughout these years, his suitability as a seminarian and later as a priest was often questioned, but it was only in December of 2015 that a serious investigation began, leading to Boucher’s canonical and criminal trials. Brian Boucher is no longer a priest and is currently serving an eight-year sentence.

Until 2016, no one had come forward and claimed having been Boucher’s victim of sexual abuse while still a minor. No parent had ever brought such a charge against Boucher to the attention of his superiors. But this is no cause for premature exoneration of the Church authorities. Many people had complained about Boucher’s unacceptable behaviour over the years: he was rude, authoritarian, overly intense, intransigent, homophobic, racist, misogynist and verbally, and sometimes even physically, aggressive. These complaints were repeatedly reported to his superiors. Rumours about his untoward interest in young boys had been circulating since the 1980s and communicated to those in charge of the Grand Séminaire de Montréal as well as to the Archdiocese. These rumours later became more concrete: Boucher was observed having a very close and worrisome relationship with a young boy at the end of the 1990s. No concrete evidence of sex abuse was brought forth- but how often is this behaviour caught on camera? Despite the concerns raised over this relationship and brought to the attention of the authorities in ever-increasing detail, no investigation was undertaken at the time.

A contemporary unwanted sexual advance directed at an 18-year-old was dismissed and erased from the collective written memory of the Church. A later, heartbreaking abusive relationship with a 19-year-old student under Boucher’s tutelage when he was Chaplain of the Newman Centre became the tipping point … to send Boucher for psychological treatment!

The overly vague psychological evaluation of Boucher done by the Southdown Institute in 2003 had the disastrous effect of appearing to shield him from any suspicion of being a child molester, until Bishop Dowd began his investigation in December 2015, twelve years later. The reports containing the conclusions based on Southdown’s therapeutic approach also gave the impression that Boucher’s aggressive and inappropriate behaviour had been “fixed.”

Despite Southdown psychological reassurance, rumours persisted and another complaint about inappropriate behaviour with a minor was sent to the diocesan authorities and quickly dismissed in 2006. In 2011, a senior official of the Church wrote a lengthy, detailed summary of Boucher’s ongoing failings in order to stop his reappointment as pastor of a parish. The official left on extended sick leave and Boucher was reappointed.

Boucher was finally caught in his own lies: he claimed that, during his sabbatical studies in Washington, he had been the victim of sexual abuse by a much younger man, a fellow priest. Bishop Dowd investigated this claim and quickly realized, given the evidence he found, that Boucher had been the perpetrator and not the victim. Once a broader investigation was started, Bishop Dowd discovered the existence of at least two child victims.

Boucher’s deplorable story is told in detail over 150 pages of the report.

Archdiocese of Montreal releases independent report on complaints against former priest Brian Boucher

MONTREAL (QUEBEC, CANADA)
Archdiocese of Montreal

November 25, 2020

https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/archdiocese-of-montreal-releases-independent-report-on-complaints-against-former-priest-brian-boucher-853098934.html

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Montreal has released the report of an independent investigation into its handling of complaints against former diocesan priest Brian Boucher. The 276-page report, authored by the Honourable Pepita G. Capriolo, retired Québec Superior Court Justice, was made public at a press conference today by Archbishop Christian Lépine with Justice Capriolo.

The Archbishop commissioned Justice Capriolo in November 2019 to investigate "who knew what when" regarding complaints made against Mr. Boucher, from his seminary days until 2019. The Archdiocese had initiated a canonical investigation into his behaviour four years earlier, in 2015.

"I had the support of the Archbishop. At no point did he or any other member of the diocese attempt to limit or restrict my investigations,'' the retired justice said during the press conference. The author of the report was given independent access to hundreds of documents and interviewed everyone whose testimony she deemed relevant, which was more than 60 witnesses. The report concludes with 31 recommendations designed to ensure responsibility, transparency and accountability within the organization of the Archdiocese and thus mitigate a recurrence of similar abuses.

The report reveals that, in the course of Brian Boucher's involvement with the Archdiocese, his suitability both as a seminarian and a priest were the subject of repeated complaints. It was only in 2015 that the diocese undertook a comprehensive investigation into his behaviour.

Catholic Church wilfully blind again, leaders of victims groups say

MONTREAL (QUEBEC, CANADA)
Montreal Gazette via Strathroy Age Dispatch

November 25, 2020

By Paul Cherry

The culture of silence has ruled supreme within the Catholic Church for years, a former abuse victim says.

The disturbing details that emerged from Justice Pepita Capriolo’s report on how the Catholic Church ignored warning signs and adopted a culture of secrecy as Brian Boucher, now a convicted pedophile, made his way toward being ordained a priest sounded all too familiar to people who represent other victims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests in Quebec.

Boucher, now 58, was convicted last year of sexually assaulting two boys: one while working at Our Lady of the Annunciation Church in Town of Mount Royal, the other at St. John Brébeuf Parish in LaSalle.

Capriolo was asked to do an audit of the time Boucher spent in the Catholic Church and found warning signs were ignored before he was ordained.

“I think we can certainly talk about wilful blindness which was for the longest time the modus operandi of the Roman Catholic Church in Quebec and elsewhere in cases of abuse of children,” said Carlo Tarini, director of communication for the Comité des victimes des prêtres. The group has supported victims of abuse who have filed class-action suits against Catholic orders in the past.

“Certainly, the prevailing method of dealing with pedophile priests was to tell them they should pray to redeem their sins. Unfortunately, prayers have nothing to do with preventing pedophiles from abusing children, which is something the Church should have certainly known,” Tarini said.

Review slams Montreal church’s handling of pedophile priest

TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
The Globe and Mail from Canadian Press

November 25, 2020

By Sidhartha Banerjee

Montreal’s archdiocese did little to address complaints against a pedophile priest and seemed more interested in protecting his reputation than his victims, according to an independent review released Wednesday.

Former Quebec Superior Court justice Pepita G. Capriolo’s report highlighted numerous deficiencies in the church’s response to complaints against Brian Boucher. The priest was sentenced in March, 2019, to eight years in prison for abusing two boys.

“Secrecy is everywhere in this file,” Ms. Capriolo wrote in her report. “Secret archives, secret hiding places for sensitive documents and documents so secret they have been eliminated completely.”

Ms. Capriolo told a news conference Wednesday the church improperly handled complaints against Mr. Boucher from the 1980s to the end of 2015. “Yet Boucher’s inexcusable behaviour had been the subject of a slew of complaints from the very start of his career in the church.”

Report blames top Montreal Church officials for ignoring complaints about priest who preyed on young boys

TORONTO (ONTARIO, CANADA)
CBC News

November 25, 2020

By Benjamin Shingler

Catholic Church officials protected Brian Boucher's reputation for years before he was arrested, report says

Montreal - A Montreal priest was able to sexually abuse two young boys and terrorize several others over a 20-year span because top officials in the Catholic Church ignored complaints about his behaviour and, in some cases, tried to keep serious allegations secret, according to a damning new report.

The priest, Brian Boucher, worked at 10 churches in Montreal during his career, which began in the early 1980s. He was sentenced to eight years in prison in 2019 after being found guilty in one case and pleading guilty in another.

After Boucher was sentenced, the church commissioned former Quebec Superior Court justice Pepita Capriolo to investigate how the crimes could have gone undetected for so long.

As she released her report on Wednesday, Capriolo placed blame on the upper echelons of Montreal's Catholic Church. She said officials preferred to turn a blind eye rather than investigate mounting complaints about Boucher.

Temple priest arrested in Bengaluru for allegedly sexually assaulting 10-yr-old girl

BANGALORE (INDIA)
TheNewsMinute

November 26, 2020

The incident occurred on Tuesday in Devanahalli and the accused, Venkataramanappa, has been arrested.

A 62-year-old temple priest was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly raping a 10-year-old girl in Devanahalli, located in the northeast Bengaluru. The priest allegedly sexually assaulted the 10-year-old girl at his daughter’s residence. The incident was first reported by Deccan Herald. The accused has been identified as 62-year-old Venkataramanappa. According to the police, on Tuesday, he had gone to visit his daughter at around 4 pm in Devanahalli, when he saw the 10-year-old girl playing outside.

Deputy Commissioner of North East Bengaluru, CK Baba, said that at around 4.30 pm, Venkataramanappa allegedly lured the girl inside, into his daughter’s home, and is said to have sexually assaulted her. DCP Baba said that the girl and her family live in the neighbourhood and so she often plays in the area.

When the girl did not return home after a long time, her parents began looking for her. They went to the temple, located near the accused’s daughter’s home, and asked street vendors whether they had seen their daughter. A flower vendor allegedly informed the girl’s father that she had gone into the accused’s daughter’s house.

'He will be away from children': Houston-area priest pleads guilty to child indecency charges

NEW YORK (NY)
NBC News / Telemundo

November 25, 2020

By Belisa Morillo and Luis Antonio Hernández

One accuser said Manuel La Rosa-Lopez' upcoming sentence gives him a sense of justice, as well as hope that the Catholic Church "will change the way it does things."

A Houston-area priest has pleaded guilty to child indecency charges in a case that has put a focus on the archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and its failures over the handling of sexual abuse cases.

The Rev. Manuel La Rosa-Lopez, 62, pleaded guilty to two out of five charges of indecency with a child Nov. 17, as part of an agreement with the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. He faces 10 years in prison in the case which deals with allegations that he molested two teens more than 20 years ago after gaining the trust of their families; his sentencing is Dec. 16.

La Rosa-Lopez avoided a possible 20-year sentence with the guilty plea.

"We offered him to plead guilty on two of the greater charges, which were second-degree felonies, indecency with a child," Montgomery County chief prosecutor Nancy Hebert told Noticias Telemundo Investiga. "In exchange for that plea, we're dismissing the other three charges."

Priest jailed for theft blames Catholic doctrine, also facing sex abuse charges

DENVER (CO)
Catholic News Agency

November 25, 2020

By JD Flynn

A South Dakota priest has been sentenced to almost eight years in federal prison, after he was convicted of 65 felonies related to stealing donations from Catholic parishes. Ordered to pay more than $300,000 in restitution, the priest said he stole in part because he disagrees with Catholic doctrine on homosexuality.

The priest is also facing federal criminal charges related to child sexual abuse and possession of child pornography.

Fr. Marcin Garbacz, 42, was convicted in March of wire fraud, money laundering, and tax fraud — crimes he committed while serving as a chaplain and Catholic school teacher in the Diocese of Rapid City, between 2012 and 2018. Garbacz was ordained a priest in 2004.

Prosecutors said the priest stole more than $250,000 from parishes, spending some money on artwork, a piano, a Cadillac, liturgical items, and a $10,000 diamond ring.

Target 11 receives more complaints about Pittsburgh Diocese Compensation Fund

PITTSBURGH (PA)
WPXI

November 25, 2020

By Rick Earle

After a Target 11 Investigation into the independent compensation fund established by the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese to pay victims of clergy sex abuse, Investigator Rick Earle received more complaints about the diocese.

Several victims of clergy sex abuse reached out to Target 11 and expressed concern about a lack of response by the diocese. Three victims said they reached out to the diocese after the grand jury report on clergy sex abuse was released and they said they never got any response. The men, all of whom are in their 50′s and 60′s now, said there were abused by the same priest at a church in Lawrenceville. All three said they left their contact information with the diocese but never got a response.

Two of the victims did not want their names used, but both expressed frustration and concern with the process. A third victim decided to speak publicly about the alleged abuse and his efforts to contact the diocese.

Child abuse in the Catholic Church — a scandalous approach to scandal

BONN (GERMANY)
Deutsche Welle

November 25, 2020

By Melina Grundmann

Karl Haucke was sexually abused by a priest for years. He and other survivors were promised an investigation. But the Catholic Church has decided not to publish the findings. To Haucke, this is a repeat of the abuse.

Standing on the banks of the Rhine river, practically in the shadows of Cologne's cathedral, Karl Haucke says he has lost faith in the Catholic Church. His story begins in the early 1960s, when he was sent to boarding school in the West German capital at the time, Bonn. From the age of eleven, he was regularly abused by a priest for four years — at least once a week.

But the abuse was not just of a physical, sexual nature. The priest made him relate the stories during the weekly confession. "Confession includes penance. Depending on the abuser’s mood, he might say 'I’ll come around to your bed tonight or tomorrow.' Then it would start all over again."

Back then, Haucke had no one to talk to about it and no way of figuring out what was being done to him. He was unaware that the same thing was happening to many of his fellow pupils. "We had no words to describe what was being done to us. Nor did we know what it meant. And it did not stop at physical pain. We had a clear sense of humiliation and being used," says Karl Haucke.

As an adult, he had no concrete memory of the abuse. He turned into a workaholic, toiling for as many as fourteen hours a day without even knowing why. A racing heart and other symptoms of trauma had long since become familiar companions.

Then, Haucke suddenly realized what was going on. It was in 2010 when the news of the biggest sexual abuse scandal in the history of the Catholic Church broke in Germany and thousands of abuse cases in church institutions were gradually revealed.

November 25, 2020

Confessions of a Vatican source: Jason Berry on the McCarrick report

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

November 25, 2020

by Jason Berry

When Pope John Paul II made Theodore McCarrick a cardinal in 2001, the archbishop of Washington, D.C., was a silk-between-the-fingers fundraiser. A year later, when the pope summoned the U.S. cardinals to Rome to confront the abuse crisis, McCarrick took the lead at press conferences — a bold move, given his revelation to The Washington Post and CNN that accusations against him had been investigated and found false.

In the ensuing years, McCarrick traveled the globe as an unofficial church diplomat, and rumors spread that he had slept with seminarians while a bishop in Metuchen and Newark, New Jersey, using a beach house on the Jersey Shore. Rumors no journalist could pin down.

As the genial, glad-handing cardinal gained a high media profile, he seemed to be almost everywhere, even leading graveside prayers on TV at the funeral for Sen. Edward Kennedy.

And yet, as we now know from the 449-page Vatican report on McCarrick, two New Jersey dioceses had quietly paid settlements to victims by 2007. In 2018, after more lawsuits and survivors spoke out, a Vatican tribunal at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found him guilty of moral crimes. Pope Francis approved McCarrick's laicization, stripping him of priestly status, and ordered an investigation on how McCarrick had avoided detection for so long.

Priests' defamation suits are the latest wrinkle in sex-abuse fallout

KANSAS CITY (MO)
National Catholic Reporter

November 25, 2020

By Mark Nacinovich

As U.S. dioceses continue to pay out big settlements for lawsuits, the church is facing another nettlesome problem stemming from the abuse scandal: Priests who say they were falsely accused are suing for defamation.

In August 2018, shortly after a Pennsylvania grand jury report listed more than 300 priests in six dioceses in the state who had been credibly accused of abusing more than 1,000 minors since 1947, Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson asked the three dioceses in his state to turn over files on church personnel credibly accused of sexual abuse since 1978.

Archbishop George Lucas of Omaha complied with that request, and in November 2018, the Omaha Archdiocese published a list of the names of 38 priests and deacons who had faced "substantiated claims" of abuse in the archdiocese.

The fallout from that list reverberates today. One of the priests whose name was on it — Fr. Andrew Syring — is suing the Omaha Archdiocese for defamation, counted among those priests who say they have been unfairly swept up in the church's effort to repair its reputation and put the crisis behind it.

Lyle Koenig, Syring's lawyer, said his client's defamation suit is one of 20 to 25 similar cases in the country. By comparison, 7,002 priests were "credibly" or "not implausibly" accused of abuse in the U.S. between 1950 and June 30, 2018, according to BishopAccountability.org, which cited published information from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.