Abuse Tracker
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BishopAccountability.org – Documenting the Abuse Crisis

April 24, 2014

FR. KEVIN MCDONOUGH DEPOSITION TRANSCRIPT 4-16-2014

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

[deposition video clips]

Deposition of FATHER KEVIN MCDONOUGH, taken pursuant to Notice of Taking Deposition, and taken before Gary W. Hermes, a Notary Public in and for the County of Ramsey, State of Minnesota, on the 16th day of April, 2014, at 30 East 7th Street, St. Paul, Minnesota, commencing at approximately 9:06 o'clock a.m.

Former top church official disputes archbishop's clergy abuse testimony

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Apr 24, 2014

In a deposition earlier this month, a longtime official for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis disputed Archbishop John Nienstedt's sworn testimony on the clergy abuse scandal.

Nienstedt had testified April 2 that the Rev. Kevin McDonough told him not to write down sensitive information about abusive priests because the information could become public in a lawsuit.

Nienstedt also said McDonough provided vague information on past cases and led him to believe that the archdiocese was safe for children.

Two weeks later, in a nearly seven-hour deposition, McDonough denied telling Nienstedt not to write down sensitive information. He said the description of the conversation wasn't plausible. "He and I would have never been in a position for much casual conversation," McDonough said. "Archbishop Nienstedt managed largely by memo."

Transcript: Rev. Kevin McDonough's April 16 deposition

McDonough served as vicar general for Archbishops John Roach and Harry Flynn and carried out their orders on clergy sexual abuse cases for 17 years. Under Nienstedt, McDonough oversaw the archdiocese's abuse prevention programs until September 2013. For nearly three decades, he assured parishioners in dozens of interviews and personal conversations that the archdiocese was a national leader in fighting abuse.

However, an MPR News investigation last year found that McDonough helped both archbishops cover up clergy sexual abuse and failed to report some alleged sex crimes to police. It found McDonough advised against notifying parish employees of sexual misconduct by the Rev. Curtis Wehmeyer, a priest now in prison for sexually abusing two boys and possessing child pornography. He also advised against reporting possible child pornography found on another priest's computer, arguing that the images of children were not sexually explicit.

Final arguments in Eric Dejaeger case to begin May 26

CANADA
CBC News

A Nunavut court judge has ruled that final arguments in the trial of Eric Dejaeger will be heard as scheduled the week of May 26, and will not be delayed by a ‘similar fact’ application made by the Crown prosecutor in the case.

Dejaeger, a 66-year-old former Oblate priest, is facing dozens of charges alleging sexual abuse against children in Igloolik.

In March, the Crown made an application for the court to consider the evidence of each complainant to be in support of the evidence of other witnesses.

Prosecutor Barry Nordin said in court there were similarities in what was presented by the complainants.

Dejaeger's lawyer argued against the application, saying witnesses may have colluded against Dejaeger prior to the trial.

IL- Priest who studied in Chicago is arrested, victims respond

NEW YORK/ILLINOIS
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Thursday, April 24, 2014

Statement by Kate Bochte of Geneva, SNAP member (630 768 1860, keight@sbcglobal.net)

This week, a Catholic priest who studied at University of St. Mary of the Lake was arrested for child sex crimes in Albany, New York.

[Albany Times Union]

We doubt this is the first time that Fr. James Michael Taylor has hurt a child.

We hope that anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes or cover ups - whether by Fr. Taylor or other priests, nuns, seminarians, brothers or bishops, and whether in Chicago or Albany - will speak up, call police, protect others and start healing.

Suit: Oregon church at fault for underwear-clad priest who chased boy fleeing molestation

OREGON
The Raw Story

By Travis Gettys
Thursday, April 24, 2014

A lawsuit claims church officials were sufficiently aware of sexual abuse by clergymen to have prevented an Oregon priest from molesting a boy and chasing him down the street in his underwear.

Father Angel Armando Perez pleaded guilty April 1, 2013 to drunken driving, providing alcohol to the boy, and sexually abusing him the year before.

The priest was sentenced to six years as part of his plea agreement.

A lawsuit filed by the victim’s guardian claims the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland and Saint Luke Catholic Church of Woodburn, Ore., were negligent and contributed to the sexual battery of a child.

“By the 1950s, and certainly by 2005 (after it had filed bankruptcy), the Archdiocese of Portland was aware of a systemic danger of child molestation by its priests,” the suit claims.

Testimony from Rev. McDonough released Thursday

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -
Former Vicar General Kevin McDonough’s testimony about how the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis handled sexual abuse allegations will be released Thursday.

Rev. McDonough -- who handled many of the clergy abuse claims -- gave a deposition last week after being questioned by St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, whose team is suing the church on behalf of an alleged victim.

Archbishop John Nienstedt’s deposition was made public on Tuesday. He said he doesn’t believe the church mishandled any abuse allegations, and noted Rev. Kevin McDonough was responsible for problem priest notifications.

Täterschützer wird Heilig gesprochen

DEUTSCHLAND
netzwerkB

[Summary: Norbert Denef, a victim of clergy abuse and spokesman for a network of people affected by sexual violence criticized efforts by the Vatican to canonize Pope John Paul II. He said he asked the pope for help in 2003 for help because the bishop of Magdeburg wanted to force him to accept 25,000 for his silance. The pope answered he would pray for him but there was no offer of help. Denef said he attempted suicide.]

Der Vatikan plant am 27. April 2014 die Heiligsprechung von Johannes Paul II.

Norbert Denef, Sprecher des Netzwerks Betroffener von sexualisierter Gewalt e.V., kurz netzwerkB, nimmt hierzu wie folgt Stellung:

Im Jahr 2003 bat ich Johannes Paul II. um Hilfe, weil der Bischof von Magdeburg mich mit 25.000 Euro zum Schweigen zwingen wollte. Am 27. April 2004 kam die Antwort:

“Papst Johannes Paul II. nimmt ihr Anlegen in sein Beten hinein und ermutig Sie, den Allmächtigen Gott um seinen starken Beistand für Ihre innere Heilung und um die Kraft der Vergebung zu bitten.”

Daraufhin versuchte ich mir das Leben zu nehmen.

Germania. Chiesa cattolica tedesca ha indennizzato 1.380 vittime pedofilia

GERMANIA
Rete L'abuso

[Summary: The Germany Catholic Church has compensated 1,380 victims of sexual abuse, according to Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier.]

Parigi 22 apr. (TMNews) – La Chiesa cattolica tedesca ha indennizzato 1.380 vittime di abusi sessuali: lo ha annunciato Stephan Ackermann, vescovo di Treviri, intervistato dal quotidiano francese La Croix.

“Si tratta di un’iniziativa unica in Germania, che non esiste in alcun gruppo sociale o istituzione” ha spiegato Ackermann, incaricato dalla Conferenza episcopale tedesca di fare luce sugli scandali di abusi sessuali da parte di sacerdoti.

Mgr Ackermann : « Appréhender le problème des abus sexuels dans toutes ses dimensions »

ALLEMAGNE
La Croix (France)

[Summary: Bishop Stephan Ackermann of the Trier diocese explained the philosophy of the bishops study of sexual abuse in the church. The first of three objectives is to collect data for an accurate assessment of pedophilia in the church, the second is to better understand the systemic influences that may have existed in the church and the third is to summarize the results and compare them with studies conducted in the United States, Ireland, the Netherlands and in Germany religious orders.]

Mgr Stephan Ackermann, évêque de Trèves, en détaille la philosophie, qui se veut interdisciplinaire et souhaite associer les victimes.

Pourquoi l’Église allemande a-t-elle lancé un projet de recherche sur les abus sexuels ?

Mgr Stephan Ackermann : Cette initiative poursuit trois objectifs. Il s’agit d’abord de rassembler les données pour établir un bilan précis des actes de pédophilie portés à notre connaissance, puis d’examiner le douloureux phénomène des abus sexuels au sein de l’Église de façon différenciée : de combien de cas de pédophilie, au sens strict du terme, parle-t-on ? Quelles autres formes de violence et d’abus sexuels ont eu lieu ?

Le deuxième objectif consiste à mieux comprendre les influences systémiques qui ont pu exister au sein de notre institution. Y a-t-il une « dynamique spécifique à l’Église » en matière d’abus sexuels ? Il s’agit d’étudier de façon approfondie les agissements des criminels et le comportement des responsables ecclésiastiques au cours des dernières décennies.

Join Us At the Global Women’s Rights Awards!

UNITED STATES
Feminist Majority Foundation

by MAVIS AND JAY LENO on Apr 23, 2014

We’d love for you to join us at the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Ninth Annual Global Women’s Rights Awards gala dinner and reception on the evening of Monday, May 5, 2014 at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. But time is running out!

We only have two weeks until the event. Get your tickets now!

Global Women's Rights Awards

The Awards honor a select few individuals who have contributed significantly – often against great odds and at great personal risk – to advance the rights of women and girls and to increase awareness of the injustices women face on account of their gender.

The 2014 Award Recipients include:

Philomena Lee and Jane Libberton, founders of The Philomena Project. Their story was recently told in the powerful Oscar-nominated film Philomena.

Rosario Dawson, actor, activist, and founder and chairwoman of Voto Latino, an organization empowering young Latinas and Latinos to claim a better future through voting.

Barbara Blaine and David Clohessy, founders of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a group doing extraordinary work to hold the Catholic hierarchy responsible for covering up priests’ rape and sexual abuse of children.

Time to hear from Nienstedt's clergy-abuse 'point person'

MINNESOTA
MinnPost

By Brian Lambert

Archbishop Nienstedt might be able to sell the idea he was legally clueless. But McDonough? Jean Hopfensperger and Chao Xiong of the Strib write, “The release of ... Nienstedt’s court deposition on clergy abuse Tuesday has aggravated his already difficult relationship with concerned Catholics but also reinforced his support among admirers. That divide could widen Thursday, when the deposition of the archdiocese’s point person on child sex abuse — the Rev. Kevin McDonough — will also be made public on video and text.”

St. Paul Press Conference Thursday

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Media Advisory
April 23, 2014

St. Paul Press Conference Thursday

Deposition of Father Kevin McDonough to be
Publicly Released Tomorrow

WHAT: At a news conference Thursday attorneys Mike Finnegan and Sarah Odegaard will:

• Release video clips and the deposition transcript of former Vicar General Fr. Kevin McDonough taken on April 14, 2014 as part of a civil lawsuit.

WHEN: Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 11:00 AM CDT

WHERE: Law Office of Jeff Anderson & Associates
366 Jackson Street Suite 100
St. Paul, MN 55101

Notes: All attendees will be provided with copies of the video testimony and deposition transcript. Clips of the testimony and the transcript will be posted tomorrow on our website www.andersonadvocates.com.

Contact: Mike Finnegan: Cell: 612.205.5531 Office: 651.964.3458
Sarah Odegaard: Cell: 612.616.4218 Office: 651.964.3458

Minn. church leader's deposition to be released

MINNESOTA
KARE

[with video]

Lindsey Seavert, KARE April 24, 2014

SAINT PAUL - The deposition of Father Kevin McDonough, the former Vicar General of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, will be publicly released Thursday.

Attorney Jeff Anderson and his associates are expected to release video and transcripts of the deposition as part of a civil lawsuit Thursday morning.

Father Kevin McDonough served 17 years as the Vicar General, a position declaring him the second most powerful man in the Archdiocese. Records show he has served as a priest at Peter Claver Church in St. Paul since 1990.

"He is warm hearted, affable, friendly, decent sort of fellow, that is the reputation he has. That's the way he comes off in public," said Dr. Charles Reid, a University of St. Thomas professor specializing in canon law.

The deposition will offer a glimpse of McDonough behind closed doors, just two days after Anderson's office released Nienstedt's deposition. Nienstedt testified McDonough was responsible for major judgment calls within the Archdiocese, and told attorneys McDonough advised him not to put certain situations in writing.

Priest in Underwear Chases Boy Down Street

OREGON
Courthouse News Service

PORTLAND, Ore. (CN) - A priest dressed in his underwear chased a boy down the street after getting him drunk and sexually abusing him, the boy's guardian claims in court.

Sam Friedenberg, guardian for J.T., sued the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Portland and his successors, and Saint Luke Catholic Church of Woodburn, Ore., in Multnomah County Court, alleging sexual battery of a child and negligence.

The boy was 11 and 12 years old when Fr. Angel Armando Perez sexually groomed him, gave him alcohol and molested him, Friedenberg claims in the lawsuit.

Perez is not named as a defendant. He pleaded guilty on April 1, 2013 to sexually abusing the boy and giving him alcohol, the complaint states. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison, according to Oregon press reports.

After he befriended the boy, and counseling him "emotionally and spiritually," the complaint states, "On the night of August 12-13, 2012, plaintiff was staying at Fr. Perez's residence at the rectory of Saint Luke's Church. Fr. Perez-through the grooming that was within the course and scope of his employment and agency, and using the authority and position of trust as a priest for defendants - engaged in various sexual activities with plaintiff.

Smart Talk: Meet Bishop Ronald Gainer

PENNSYLVANIA
WITF

What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, April 24, 2014:

There are almost 250,000 Catholics living in the 15 counties of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg.

Last month, they got a new leader when Bishop Ronald Gainer was installed as the 11th Bishop of the Diocese.

With Catholics representing more than one-tenth of the region's total population and considering the social fabric of the Church, Bishop Gainer will be a familiar face in Central Pennsylvania.

On Thursday's Smart Talk, we'll meet the Pottsville native, who most recently was the Bishop of a large diocese in Kentucky.

We'll ask Bishop Gainer to discuss his background, his vision for the Harrisburg Diocese, education, the future of the Church, and Pope Francis and what he means to Catholics around the world.

Bishop Gainer also speaks passionately about aiding the poor and those left behind, including those in prison.

Catholics and non-Catholics are always interested in what positions the Church takes on contemporary social issues like same-sex marriage, contraception, women's role in the Church, and clergy who have been accused of sexual abuse.

If you have a question or comment for Bishop Gainer, please comment below or call us at 1-800-729-7532 between 9 and 10 a.m.

Helias president responds to teacher resignation

MISSOURI
WBLX

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -
Days after community outrage over an art teacher's resignation, the president of Helias High School in Jefferson City asks for patience.

Father Stephen Jones said in a Facebook statement that he apologized for a lack of communication with parents over the issue.

"The resignation of Mr Friggle has caused a lot of pain, and for that I am sorry," he writes. "I also regret that there has not been more formal communication by the administration with the Helias community on this subject."

Art teacher Mark Friggle resigned Thursday, February 13. Sources told ABC 17 News it was over an inappropriate comment toward a student, though the two did not have any kind of inappropriate relationship.

Friggle is not facing any charges and the Dicoese would not comment on the issue, other than to say Friggle resigned citing "personal reasons."

An honor I am overwhelmed to receive …

CALIFORNIA
The Worthy Adversary

Posted by Joelle Casteix on April 23, 2014

I am so flattered and overwhelmed to be honored with the Susan Laufer Award for Outstanding Contribution to Support Group Awareness for “tireless work in spreading the word about support groups for those abused by priests.

” If you would like to come, PLEASE let me know. We want you there to join us. You can also RSVP at the link above.

It’s times like this that I humbly realize that I stand on the shoulders of giants. I will accept it on behalf of the heroes that came before me, stand beside me, and will follow me after I am long gone.

Priest Won't Be Alone With Kids During Re-Opened Child Sex Probe

CHICAGO (IL)
Patch

Posted by Lorraine Swanson (Editor) , April 23, 2014

A Chicago priest has agreed not to enter the school or be alone with children at his current parish until a second allegation of child sex abuse is sorted out.

Rev. Michael W. O’Connell was reinstated at St. Alphonsus Church at 1429 W. Wellington Ave. on April 17, when law enforcement authorities could not find evidence to support an earlier claim of sexual misconduct with a minor at a south suburban parish from 20 years ago.

O’Connell was removed from ministry at St. Alphonsus when the earlier allegation surfaced last December.

In recent weeks, a 33-year-old Nevada man, “John Doe #2,” contacted SNAP, the Survivor’s Network of those Abuse by Priests, stating that he witnessed O’Connell touching and fondling a younger male at an Orland Park fitness club around 1999 or 2000. John Doe #2 was 19 or 20 years old when he witnessed the alleged assault.

Archbishop Nienstedt's deposition draws mixed reviews: McDonough's deposition is next

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER and CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune staff writers Updated: April 24, 201

The release of Archbishop John Nienstedt’s court deposition on clergy abuse Tuesday has aggravated his already difficult relationship with concerned Catholics but also reinforced his support among admirers.

That divide could widen Thursday, when the deposition of the archdiocese’s point person on child sex abuse — the Rev. Kevin McDonough — will also be made public on video and text.

Even as Nienstedt’s testimony stoked new debate among 800,000 Catholics in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, there were pleas from all sides to reform how the church handles child abusers.

“I think the message to the faithful members of the archdiocese is this: If you have a question about whether a child is at risk, pick up the phone and call law enforcement,” said Suzanne Severson, a member of Spirit of St. Stephen’s Church in Minneapolis.

Like many Catholics, Severson, a member of a group called Voice of the Faithful, logged into her computer after work Tuesday to read and watch portions of Nienstedt’s deposition, ordered as part of one of more than two dozen abuse lawsuits filed against the archdiocese in the past year. She was particularly interested in Nienstedt’s testimony about the Rev. Jonathan Shelley, who had been a priest at her church, she said.

To hear Nienstedt say that he couldn’t determine whether the pornography on Shelley’s computer was of adolescents or older boys, and that he didn’t report it, was particularly disturbing, she said.

Hawaii may extend time to sue for child sex abuse

HAWAII
Star-Advertiser

Victims of child sexual abuse in Hawaii would have more time to file lawsuits against abusers if lawmakers pass one of two bills pending in the Legislature.

In a highly publicized law, victims had been given a two-year window to file suit in cases that have passed the statute of limitations, which led to the filing of many claims. That window is set to close Thursday.

In advance of the deadline, former child model Michael Egan III filed several lawsuits against Hollywood executives, claiming that "X-Men" director Bryan Singer and several others abused him as part of a Hollywood sex ring. Singer and others have denied the allegations. The director's attorney has called the claims defamatory.

Lawmakers plan to debate the proposals Wednesday afternoon.

Rep. Mele Carroll says it's important to empower victims of sexual assault no matter how much time has passed.

"Too often, by the time a victim is ready to admit the abuse they have suffered the statute of limitations is expired and the victims are left powerless and unable to receive the justice they deserve," Carroll said in a statement.

Teacher Accused of Sex Abuse Reinstated

ILLINOIS
CSN Chicago

A teacher accused of sexually abusing a teenage girl in the 1990s is back in the classroom in suburban Buffalo Grove after an internal investigation found no wrongdoing in the school.

Cheri Carlson had been on paid administrative leave since November when allegations -- unrelated to her work at the school -- were made in a lawsuit reported on NBC 5.

A woman whose identity we agreed to conceal said Carlson was her spiritual mentor at a religious camp and began abusing her in 1996 when she was 16.

"She said she was showing me God's love," the alleged victim said. "Eventually the physical demands became constant. Sometimes, maybe four times a week."

A Letter to the Catholic People from the Archbishop of Perth

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Perth

Dear sisters and brothers,

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will begin its public hearings in Perth on Monday, April 28th. The initial hearings are expected to last for two weeks.

Many people who have suffered terribly through the abuse inflicted on them as children and young people will relive their experience as they tell their stories to the Royal Commission. In doing so, they will demonstrate great courage and resilience. They deserve our admiration, our gratitude and our support. They also have a right to know that the Church really does recognise their suffering and genuinely apologises for the terrible things they have endured, both at the time of their abuse and through all the years they have carried these burdens with them.

As I did in November 2012 when the Royal Commission was announced, I again want to express my full support for the work of the Commission. I am hopeful that the public hearings in Perth, difficult though they will be for many, will provide an opportunity for people to finally have their voices heard. It is my hope too that when the Royal Commission finishes its work it will be able to put forward recommendations which will help all Australians, including the Catholic Church, to deal more justly, more compassionately and more effectively with this scourge of sexual abuse of children and young people.

A particular focus of the hearings in Perth will be the terrible experiences of abuse at institutions run by the Christian Brothers, especially at Castledare, Clontarf, Tardun and Bindoon. It was from these institutions that horrific stories of sexual abuse by Catholic religious brothers and others associated with the Church first emerged in our Australian context. We now know, to our shame, that this problem has been far more widespread. The curse of sexual abuse has infected the Catholic Church right around the country. Tragically, it is becoming ever clearer that it is a universal problem for the Church. We have some hard questions to answer.

ARCHBISHOP ADMITS: “WE HAVE FAILED TERRIBLY”

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Perth

Press Release

Thursday 24th April 2014

As members of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse arrive in Western Australia , Archbishop Timothy Costelloe of the Archdiocese of Perth has written to the entire Catholic community.

In his letter, the Archbishop admits to the past failures of Church leadership and assures Catholics and society at large of his determination to make church communities places of safety for all, especially minors.

The Archbishop’s letter begins by praising the “great courage and resilience” of survivors who will share their stories with the Royal Commission, stressing that “they deserve our admiration, our gratitude and our support”.

He states that the Church “recognises their suffering and genuinely apologises for the terrible things they have endured”.

The Archbishop expresses his “full support for the work of the Commission”, seeing this as “an opportunity for people to finally have their voices heard” especially as “the curse of sexual abuse has infected the Catholic Church right around the country” becoming “a universal problem for the Church”.
His letter goes on to state that “as a Church we have failed terribly” confessing that “Church leaders have at times failed to respond adequately… moving abusers from one place to another” thereby “putting other young people at risk”. Regarding the Church’s protocols, “mistakes have been made,” he says, “processes have not always been followed, and not everyone has been able to find the healing” they sought after.

The Archbishop points out that the Church’s first response “must be one of absolute support for those who have experienced this abuse” and that “every avenue [be explored] to make sure that the scourge of sexual abuse is eradicated from our Catholic community”.

A Letter from the Archbishop of Perth to the Catholic community across the Archdiocese of Perth - April 24th, 2013

AUSTRALIA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Perth

Archbishop Costelloe's FULL LETTER - click here (PDF - 548KB) to download.

MEDIA RELEASE relating to the full letter - click here (PDF - 372KB) to download.

Below is the EXECUTIVE SUMMARY of the Archbishop's letter containing the main points - click here (PDF - 513KB) to download.
____________________

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Perth, 24th April 2014

Dear sisters and brothers,

On Monday 28th April, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse begins two weeks of public hearings in Perth. Many who have suffered terribly as a result of their childhood abuse will relive their experience as they tell their stories to the Royal Commission, demonstrating great courage and resilience. They deserve our admiration, gratitude and support. The Church recognises their suffering and genuinely apologises for the terrible things they have endured, both at the time of their abuse, through to the present day and beyond.

As in November 2012, I again express my full support for the work of the Commission, hopeful that the difficult public hearings in Perth will provide an opportunity for people to finally have their voices heard. I hope that, when the Royal Commission finishes its work, its recommendations will help all Australians, including the Catholic Church, to deal justly, compassionately and effectively with the sexual abuse of minors.

The hearings in Perth will focus on truly horrendous abuse at institutions run by the Christian Brothers, especially at Castledare, Clontarf, Tardun and Bindoon. To our shame, we now know that sexual abuse has infected the Catholic Church nationwide and even universally. We have some hard questions to answer.

Knowing as we now do that sexual abuse of children is a pervasive problem throughout society does not, and must not, allow us to use this as some kind of perverse excuse. Christians hold up very high standards, ones that we also propose to those who do not share our faith. And yet, as a Church we have failed terribly. The perpetrators of sexual abuse have robbed so many of their childhoods and left deep scars. Church leaders have at times failed to respond adequately, even moving abusers from one place to another, thereby putting other young people at risk. Often children simply were not believed and left to grapple alone with a situation about which they were powerless to do anything.

Programmes such as our Towards Healing were put into place in part due to revelations made in the Media,. Even then victims were not and have not always been treated with the sensitivity and compassion they had a right to expect from the Church. Towards Healing has indeed helped many survivors of sexual abuse. Nevertheless, mistakes have been made, even by the generous and compassionate people undertaking a difficult and demanding role. Regrettably, not everyone has been able to find the healing they had hoped Towards Healing would offer.

As we hear some terrible and shocking stories over the next few weeks, of suffering inflicted on innocent and trusting young people our hearts will be torn. As Christians, our first response must be one of absolute support for those who were abused. We must help survivors with the heavy burden they carry, and find ways forward for them.

Catholic Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe apologises ...

AUSTRALIA
NEWS.com.au

Catholic Perth Archbishop Timothy Costelloe apologises for abuse in open letter

[the letter]

THE head of the Catholic Church in Perth has written to all members before next week's royal commission into child sexual abuse hearings, saying “we have failed terribly”.

In an open letter to the entire Catholic community, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe of the Archdiocese of Perth reiterated his full support for the work of the commission, which will hold hearings in the city from April 28 until May 9.

He expects a particular focus will be the abuse at institutions run by the Christian Brothers, especially at Castledare, Clontarf, Tardun and Bindoon.

“It was from these institutions that horrific stories of sexual abuse by Catholic religious brothers and others associated with the church first emerged in our Australian context,” the archbishop wrote.

“We now know, to our shame, that this problem has been far more widespread.

“The curse of sexual abuse has infected the Catholic church right around the country.

“Tragically, it is becoming ever clearer that it is a universal problem for the church.

“We have some hard questions to answer.”

Court told 'guilt' was the reason Pastor fled

AUSTRALIA
Queensland Times

Geoff Egan 23rd Apr 2014

AN IPSWICH pastor "had a guilty passion" for the best friend of his 12-year-old daughter an Ipswich jury has heard.

Crown prosecutor Sal Vasta yesterday told the court the 51-year-old man, who is standing trial for raping and maintaining a sexual relationship with his daughter and her best friend in 2004 and 2005, had an "unnatural sexual attraction" to the friend.

An Ipswich jury yesterday heard the closing arguments from Mr Vasta and defence lawyer Geoff Seaholme.

The man, who cannot be named so as to not identify the girls, has pleaded not guilty at the Ipswich District Court to a raft of child sex offences including rape and maintaining a sexual relationship.

Mr Vasta told the jury the evidence of the best friend had remained uncontradicted by sworn testimony throughout the trial.

Fugitive Cult Leader Accused of 59 Counts of Child Molestation

MINNESOTA
People Magazine

By STEVE HELLING
04/22/2014

Victor Barnard had always been known as a charismatic leader with an easy smile and pleasant demeanor. Moving to rural Minnesota in the early 1990s, the affable pastor started The River Road Fellowship, a tight-knit church on several acres of remote land. Within a few years, he had a small but dedicated following.

But the River Road Fellowship was no ordinary church, and Barnard was no ordinary minister. Authorities say that he had a dark side, ruling with intimidation and fear.

After a former church member contacted the Pine County Sheriff's Office in 2012 to report rampant sexual abuse, authorities opened a two-year investigation. On April 11, the county attorney charged Barnard with 59 felony counts of criminal sexual misconduct with two young girls while they were members of his church.

But Barnard is nowhere to be found, and authorities in several states have begun a nationwide manhunt to find the 52-year-old leader.

Ursuline Sisters Want Helena Diocese Back in State Court

MONTANA
Beartooth NBC

By Camilla Rambaldi

An order of nuns being sued for child sex abuse want to bring the roman catholic diocese of helena back in state court.

Attorneys for the Ursuline Sisters of the Western Providence say they may want the diocese to pay a portion of any judgment that could go against them.

The Ursuline sisters and the diocese are being sued by 362 alleged abuse victims from the 1940s to the 1970s.

Catholic priest sued over alleged assault of Kailua teen

HAWAII
Hawaii News Now

[with video]

By Tim Sakahara

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
There are more troubling accusations against the Roman Catholic Church of Hawaii. The main defendant is Father Marc Alexander who has already had a brush with controversy.

Marc Alexander is still technically a priest although the Diocese of Honolulu suspended all his priestly service in 2011. Now he and the church are named in a new lawsuit filed today.

"We are also very much aware we have a crisis in our midst," said Marc Alexander, back on March 3, 2011 when he was the State Homeless Coordinator.

Homeless crisis aside, Marc Alexander has a controversy of his own.

"This was an assault. It was not invited or permitted conduct," said Mark Gallagher, Plaintiff's Attorney.

The lawsuit specifically says there was "unpermitted, harmful and offensive sexual contact." It was 1984. The anonymous accuser says she was 16 years old and a member of St. John Vianney Church in Kailua. She claims Marc Alexander forced himself upon her.

Woman accuses former Honolulu diocese vicar of child sexual abuse

HAWAII
Star-Advertiser

A woman filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Marc Alexander, the former vicar general of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, accusing him of sexually abusing her when she was a minor, according to the mainland law firm representing her.

The plaintiff attended St. John Vianney in Kailua in the 1980s when the woman, who is now in her 40s, was allegedly sexually abused, according to her attorney.

The woman, identified only as Jane Roe 42, filed the lawsuit a day before a two-year deadline lapses that allows the filing of civil complaints by adults who were sexually abused as minors.

The lawsuit names Alexander, who stepped down as vicar general and became Gov. Neil Abercrombie's homeless coordinator, and the diocese, claiming the church was grossly negligent in allowing Alexander to work with children.

Catholic Church in PNG struggling with sex abuse

NEW GUINEA
Radio Australia

[with audio]

But the country's Archbishop admits it faces various challenges, including the 'wantok' system, that are preventing some perpertators from being brought to justice.

Catholic Archbishop John Ribat's comments come as the case of priest, Philip Kelera, has been in court in recent weeks.

Kelera's been charged with five counts of incdecent assault against five school boys aged between 11 and 15 in East New Britain.

What Pope John Paul II could have learned from Sinead O'Connor

UNITED STATES
The Week

[with video]

By Michael Brendan Dougherty

It was Oct. 3, 1992, when Sinead O'Connor sang a haunting a capella cover of Bob Marley's "War" on Saturday Night Live, in which she replaced the word "racism" with "child abuse" and tore up a picture of Pope John Paul II while singing about the victory of good over evil. She finished her performance by shouting, "Fight the real enemy." At the end of the clip you can practically feel the SNL audience lose its breath.

The freak-out was immediate and severe. O'Connor was pilloried tabloid to tabloid in perhaps the last collective utterance by ethnic outer-borough Catholic New York. The reaction was epitomized almost perfectly on the following week's show, when Joe Pesci held up a taped-together picture of the Pope and said he "would have gave her such a smack" to vigorous applause.

As John Paul II's canonization approaches, I can't stop thinking about this event, these two people, and their subsequent history.

For the rest of the 1990s, Pope John Paul II was increasingly considered a holy man, made more saintly by his daring embrace of the suffering brought on by Parkinson's disease. Devotion to him as "John Paul the Great" developed even as he lived.

Meanwhile, O'Connor's career diminished. She was commonly assumed to be a silly weirdo. In a kind of religious left-right mash-up, she was ordained a "priest" in a breakaway Catholic sect founded by Latin Mass devotees. Rather charmingly, she embraced a vow of celibacy only to give that up after three months. "I tried," she said, "No thanks."

It took more than a decade before people came around to the fact that O'Connor may have been on to something. She no longer seems to have anything to do with breakaway Traditionalists, but she still occasionally performs in a Roman collar, still rocks an unbelievably expressive voice for pop music, and has an album due out soon. In a recent formal debate, she took the position that the Scriptural prophets, the Gospels, and the Book of Revelation show that the story of God is one of a divine enemy fighting against organized religion.

April 23, 2014

Pope Francis, Canonizations, Infallibility & Children

UNITED STATES
Christian Catholicism

Jerry Slevin

With all the problems the Vatican now faces, why are more “papal saints” being declared now, and what is the rush on Pope John Paul II? With almost a hundred popes already declared “saints”, do Catholics need more papal saints to pray to? What is really going on? Is Pope Francis’ “infallible” declaration of sainthood, or canonization, for Popes John XXIII and John Paul II part of a larger undisclosed strategy? It seems so. Despite the usual cheerleading from conflicted and opportunistic papal apologists, neither pope deserves to be declared a saint, for the reasons specifically discussed below.

Francis’ “divinizing” these two popes now, thereby seeking to enhance selectively Francis’ ability to capitalize on their individual moral influence over various Catholic groups, appears aimed at consolidating Francis’ papal power base and at maximizing his influence over a divided world Catholicism.

Francis’ strategy appears directed at both so-called “conservative” Catholics, who often favor John Paul II’s more dogmatic approach in his rigid encyclicals and self-serving Catechism, and “liberal” Catholics, who often favor John XXIII’s seemingly more pastoral approach in initiating the Second Vatican Council reforms. Since the Catechism contains many positions that support a dominant papacy that depends on a rigid sexual morality, Francis’ rushed and unsurprising “elevation” of the Catechism’s papal proponent, John Paul II, is both symbolically, practically and perhaps ominously significant for many key “doctrines” that Francis is purported by some to be reconsidering, such as women priests, contraception, divorced and remarried Catholics’ readmission to sacraments, and marriage equality.

As to the seeming rush to sainthood, maximizing Francis’ power over a less theologically divided Catholicism appears to be especially important to the Vatican currently. The Vatican now faces its greatest external threat since the loss of its extensive Papal States’ territory almost a century and a half ago. The democratically driven threat for the Vatican is the increasing pressure, including potential criminal prosecutions of the hierarchy, from powerful democratic governments over the Vatican’s mismanagement, especially of its bishops’ poor child protection performance. The Vatican over a 1,500 year period has eliminated democratic pressure internally, but is now paradoxically facing democratic pressure externally.

The Media Report is one tentacle of Octopus Dei Beast spewing deceits and boundless hatred for SNAP & victims of JP2 Army

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Updated April 23, 2014

Today the Media report released a statement that made a big deal out of the crocodile tears apology of Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. It said: One essential element of the media's sex abuse narrative is the idea that the Catholic Church must repeatedly and perpetually apologize for past abuse committed by priests. Pope Benedict repeatedly apologized and even met with victims to hear their stories. So it was big news when Pope Francis recently asked for forgiveness for the past abuse committed by a small number of priests decades ago.

What is this “big news about Pope Francis apology”? He was an unknown cardinal from Argentina who has suddenly skyrocketed to instant fame at the Vatican – and the Opus Dei Beast is capitalising on his podgy ass – that looks different from the ugly Benedict XVI-RATzinger – all he does is his Jesuitical skill -- to papal fart at Catholics left and right – and his apology is supposed to “erase” or “salve” decades of Vatican crimes against children – that even the United Nations after careful investigations – condemned?

Ex-priest stole $300K and could face up to 20 years in prison

NEW HAMPSHIRE
CBS News

MANCHESTER, N.H. - A priest who was the former leader of one of America's top clergy treatment centers was sentenced Wednesday to serve at least four years in prison for stealing $300,000 from a hospital, a dead priest's estate, and the state's Roman Catholic bishop.

Monsignor Edward Arsenault held several senior positions in the New Hampshire diocese from 1999 to 2009, when he became president and CEO of Saint Luke Institute in Maryland. He resigned in May of 2009 after allegations arose involving an inappropriate adult relationship and misuse of church funds.

Details of the thefts revealed Wednesday show a priest who billed the church for lavish meals and travel for himself and often a male partner. He was convicted of writing checks from the dead priest's estate to himself and his brother and billing Catholic Medical Center $250 an hour for consulting work he never did.

"It's criminal behavior. It's disturbing behavior," Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young said. "These are thefts from a charitable institution by someone very high up."

Goliath-bully Bill Donohue attacks woman New York Times writer Maureen Dowd; distracts attention from Satanas John Paul II to Jimmy Savile

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Updated April 23, 2014

Vatican PR Stunt of the Day in the USA: Goliath-bully Bill attacks woman NYT writer for her article, A Saint, He Ain’t, and distracts American Catholics from JP2 Army – John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army to a British pedophile actor.

Anyone who has watched Hollywood war movies can see how wars were won when informants gave the wrong information of the whereabouts of the enemy or divert attention and split concentration of armies. Likewise, American Goliath-bully Bill Donohue is doing exactly that to American Catholics by diverting their attention from the 27 years cover-up of John Paul II on thousands of pedophile priests worldwide, more than 6,100 in USA alone, so that on his canonization, stupid American Catholic robots – especially those yes-women, will simply sing the Opus Dei Hitlerism chant “JP2, we love you”.

Nunavut judge wants to finish Dejeager trial on week of May 26

CANADA
Nunatsiaq Online

DAVID MURPHY

Justice Robert Kilpatrick is insisting that the trial of former Oblate missionary Eric Dejaeger be wrapped up, as scheduled, during the week of May 26.

The trial at the the Nunavut Court of Justice in Iqaluit is still in an adjournment — the third break in proceedings since it began five months ago on Nov. 18.

Proceedings were supposed to conclude at the end of the last sitting in March, but Crown prosecutors made three legal applications to the court that created delays and prevented lawyers from wrapping up their final arguments.

Kilpatrick threw out two of those applications in court and he’s now reserving his decision on the third application until after he hears final arguments.

The third application seeks to allow similar fact evidence for all the charges Dejaeger faces — effectively combining all evidence given by the complainants into one package.

Ch2: The Thud and a Nipple Dress

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

by Kay Ebeling

“There in a picture from 1981 are my parents, my sister, and her nipples, smiling at the camera in the family photo album.” (See cartoon below)

In his home in the Castro district, conversation with my cousin* finally came to why I'd come to San Francisco with my six year old daughter. I asked him, “Do you remember Father Horne?” and then blurted out a version of events from the past few months, where I’d recovered the memory of the priest sexualizing me at age five, and confirmed that he’d molested my sister Patricia too. I ended with “Now I know why I've been so screwed up my whole life,” excited, thinking my cousin would share my elation. Instead: The Thud.

When you're in a conversation and everything is going fine, then you mention you're a pedophile priest victim, there it is: The Thud. [BEAT] All talk comes to a complete stop, any ambiance of friendliness that had once been there evaporates, the room is silent, and all persons within hearing distance stiffen. Once The Thud happens, communication is never the same again.

Dismissed abuse lawsuit headed for appeal

MARYLAND
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

A lawsuit described as the biggest evangelical sex abuse scandal to date is headed for appeal, a year after being dismissed on a technicality, elders of the church involved informed members in a letter dated April 22.

Elders of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Md., said a lawsuit dismissed by a district judge in May 2013 due to statute of limitations will be heard by the Maryland Court of Special Appeals in early June.

The lawsuit originally filed in October 2012 and amended in 2013 alleges a decades-long conspiracy that led to numerous children being sexual abused on church and school property by employees and volunteers.

It accuses church leaders of colluding “to suppress the reporting of sexual abuse to civil authorities, to interfere with the prosecution of child abuse and to prevent other church members from learning of past reported child abuse.”

Justices Void $3.4 Million Award to Child Pornography Victim

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

By ADAM LIPTAK
APRIL 23, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside a $3.4 million award to a victim of child pornography who had sought restitution from a man convicted of viewing images of her. That figure was too much, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for a five-justice majority, returning the case to the lower courts to apply a new and vague legal standard to find a lower amount that was neither nominal nor too severe.

The victim in the case said the majority’s approach was confusing and meant that she might never be compensated for her losses.

The two dissents to the majority opinion would have taken more categorical approaches. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., joined by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, said that restitution was a worthy goal, but that the federal law at issue did not allow awards when many people had viewed the images.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor took the opposite view, saying that each viewer could be held liable for the full amount of the victims’ losses.

National- Victims blast Supreme Court porn ruling

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 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 )

In light of today's U.S. Supreme Court child porn ruling, we urge lawmakers to redouble their efforts to deter future child sex crimes and help those who suffer because of these heinous crimes.

[The New York Times]

Most child sex offenders are never caught, charged or convicted, so hundreds of thousands of boys and girls keep getting severely hurt.

So we challenge those who celebrate today's decision to come up with better ideas. For kids, the status quo stinks. So if you think this award isn't appropriate, what will you do instead to stop this horror and expose the perpetrators?

It's fine to say 'this is unreasonable.' So too, however, is the sexual exploitation of tens or hundreds of thousands of kids. It's not enough, then, for adults to say 'this amount of money is excessive." It's incumbent on critics to come up with a better plan.

To those who back this ruling, how much would someone have to pay you to sexually violate your child? What price should be put in this devastation?

We hope lawmakers will remedy this injustice as quickly as possible.

Priest and Parish Administrator Charged with Stealing from Troy Church

MICHIGAN
Mortgage Daily via United States Department of Justice for the Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

April 23, 2014

A Catholic priest and a parish administrator were indicted for stealing almost $700,000 from St. Thomas More Church in Troy during an eight-year period, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced today.

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Paul M. Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Detroit Division.

Charged were Edward Belczak, 69, of Troy, and Janice Verschuren, 67, of Bloomfield Hills.

The five-count indictment alleges that between 2004 and 2012, Belczak and Verschuren stole money and diverted funds from St. Thomas More Church and the Archdiocese of Detroit for their unjust enrichment and then concealed their criminal acts by creating or verifying false financial reports that were submitted to the Archdiocese. Charges in the indictment include mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy.

The indictment alleges that Belczak, assisted by Verschuren, used the proceeds of their illegal conduct in a number of ways, including:

* Diverting to their own use nearly $500,000 donated or bequeathed by parishioners to St. Thomas More Church

* Using almost $110,000 stolen from the church to pay closing costs on the sale of Verschuren's condominium in Palm Beach, Florida, to Belczak

* Diverting to their personal bank accounts more than $26,000 in commissions paid to St. Thomas More Travel Group

* Diverting to themselves more than $33,000 owed to St. Thomas More Church by Diocesan Publications

To conceal the theft and diversion of money, Belczak approved false financial reports that were submitted to the Archdiocese of Detroit. The reports underreported the amount of the parish's operating receipts.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Saratoga priest arrested for endangering the welfare of a child

NEW YORK
WGY

A 30 year old priest with the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese has been arrested in Saratoga County on misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child.

Saratoga County District Attorney Jim Murphy says James Michael Taylor has been involved in an "ongoing pattern" of conduct with a 15 year old Clifton Park girl that involved physical conduct, text messages, phone calls and photos.

Murphy credits the girl and the Sheriff's office with putting a stop to the cycle of abuse.

Taylor has been serving as the associate pastor of St. Kateri in Niskayuna.

Murphy says he met the girl while he was a deacon in Clifton Park.

Schenectady priest accused of inappropriate conduct with teenage girl

NEW YORK
WNYT

[with video]

By: WNYT Staff

A Schenectady priest is accused of ongoing inappropriate conduct with a 15-year-old girl from Clifton Park.

Rev. James Michael Taylor is a Roman Catholic priest at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish.

He was arrested in Saratoga County after the sheriff’s office says he had ongoing physical contact with the girl that included phone calls, text messages and photos.

Officials say the 30-year-old priest met the teenage girl while he was serving as Deacon and youth minister for the Corpus Christi Church in Round Lake.

The incidents allegedly took place between October 2013 and April 2014.

Ex-Manchester Diocese Official Sentenced To Prison, Must Pay Back $288K

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Public Radio

[with audio]

By MICHAEL BRINDLEY

A former top Manchester diocese official has been ordered to pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars to the church and other organizations in a plea deal reached this morning.

Msgr. Edward Arsenault will also serve at least four years in prison.

Appearing in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Manchester Wednesday morning, Arsenault pled guilty to three felony charges and apologized for his actions.

As part of the deal, Arsenault must pay restitution on the order of $184,000 the Diocese of Manchester and $104,000 to Catholic Medical Center.

Arsenault was chancellor at the Manchester Diocese from 1999 through 2009.

It was in May of last year when prosecutors first announced an investigation into allegations that Arsenault misused church funds and had an improper adult relationship.

BISHOPS LIBASCI AND MCCORMACK COMMENT ON SENTENCING OF REV. MSGR. EDWARD J. ARSENAULT

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester

On being advised that the Reverend Monsignor Edward J. Arsenault pleaded guilty to Misappropriating funds of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Manchester, Catholic Medical Center, and the Estate of Rev. Msgr. John Molan, the Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, made the following statement:

“This is indeed a sad day. Foremost on my mind are the more than 275,000 Catholic faithful in our state. Every week, parishioners freely give their funds to support the mission of the Church to worship, evangelize, and serve the poor and vulnerable. They place their trust and confidence in the Church that these contributions will be safeguarded and used for its good works.

“Msgr. Arsenault’s criminal actions profoundly betrayed this trust and confidence by diverting substantial amounts of diocesan funds for personal use. While the sentence imposed by the court today includes restitution, the loss of diocesan funds is not the full measure of the damage that has been done.

Many of the faithful and former co-workers inevitably will be left with a profound sense of betrayal and mistrust. They are very much the victims here.

“It is important to acknowledge another reason for feelings of sadness and betrayal. I know that many people benefitted from Msgr. Arsenault’s ministry over the years. As a pastor, he served his parishioners as a source of spiritual guidance and support. As a leader in the Diocesan dministration, he was dedicated and hard-working, managing the establishment and implementation of diocesan policies and procedures that provided for greater efficiency, accountability, and transparency. That Msgr. Arsenault would use his many skills and talents for improper purposes is tragic.

NARRATIVE REGARDING INVESTIGATION INVOLVING REV. MSGR. EDWARD J. ARSENAULT, III

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester

The following narrative sets forth information regarding the events that led to an investigation and the conviction of Msgr. Edward J. Arsenault for misappropriation of diocesan funds. Much of the information contained in this narrative is or will be publicly available. The information is provided to the faithful because Msgr. Arsenault has been a public figure in the local Church, and his conduct has had a significant impact on the Church. Msgr. Arsenault has rights under civil and canon law that constrain the Diocese from further comment.

Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arsenault, III

Edward J. Arsenault, III was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Manchester in 1991. He attended Mount Saint Mary Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland. He later received a Pontifical License in Sacred Theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, and a Master of Science degree in Finance from Bentley University. Father Arsenault began working in the Diocese of Manchester Administration offices after obtaining his degree in Finance.

In 2000, Most Reverend John B. McCormack, Bishop of Manchester, appointed Father Arsenault to serve as a member of the College of Consultors, Chancellor, and Delegate for Ministerial Conduct. In 2003, he was appointed Cabinet Secretary for Administration. In light of the facts that Father Arsenault had a degree in Finance and demonstrated that he possessed the knowledge, talents, and leadership and management skills necessary to oversee an effective and efficient administration, Bishop McCormack delegated to Father Arsenault oversight of the diocesan administration, including finances.

In 2004, Bishop McCormack appointed Father Arsenault to serve as Moderator of the Curia in addition to his duties as Cabinet Secretary for Administration and Delegate for Ministerial Conduct. As Moderator of the Curia, in addition to oversight of the diocesan administration, Bishop McCormack delegated to Father Arsenault the responsibility to oversee the work of all of the other Cabinet Secretaries. During his tenure as Moderator of the Curia, Father Arsenault was involved in establishing a Parish Finance Manual to institute financial controls in all parishes of the Diocese.

In addition to the aforementioned duties, Father Arsenault served as the Bishop’s Delegate for Healthcare on the Board of Directors for Catholic Medical Center (“CMC”). Father Arsenault also served as chair of the Board of Governors of CMC Healthcare System, the parent company of CMC.

Public Statements regarding the criminal conviction and sentencing of Reverend Monsignor Edward J. Arsenault, III

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester

On April 23, 2014, the Reverend Monsignor Edward J. Arsenault, III, a priest of the Diocese of Manchester, pleaded guilty to criminal charges of misappropriating funds of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Manchester, Catholic Medical Center, and the Estate of Rev. Msgr. John Molan. The Diocese of Manchester issued the following documents in connection with this matter:

Statement of Bishops Libasci and McCormack

Bishop Libasci’s Letter to the Faithful

Victim Impact Statement

Narrative Regarding Investigation

Frank LaFerriere: Support the victims not the victimizers

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Berlin Daily Sun

If you were to find out that the leadership of a group or organization you belonged to had appeared before commissions and grand juries and openly admitted to covering up the abuses of children, from rape to severe beatings, to even the death of a child, and that this involved tens of thousands of members own children, and that the cover ups are wide spread throughout the organization or group, you would think that the membership of the group would rise up in arms and make sure that the leadership is arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent the law allows. That they would stand up and defend and protect their children over the leadership of their group or organization. Yet there is one such organization...though there are others....that its leadership is totally immune from liability for crimes such as these by it's membership. This organization is known as the Roman Catholic Church.

While they have come far with this problem of child abuse, the Vatican announced that for 2011-2012 almost 400 priests had to be let go because of credible accusations of child abuse, including rape, there is still much to be done. While it is commendable that they caught and fired these priests, what about those whom participated in the cover ups of these crimes? Why are they not called to account for their crimes of the members own children? Why are the leadership of the church put above the law and those whom they have harmed? Why are they defended and even praised or made a saint?

There have been at least a half a dozen commission reports, like the Ryan Report, that detail the systematic sexual, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual abuse of children and teens, children of the Roman Catholic Church; and the cover ups of these abuses by the leaders and even their highest leaders, ones whom are supposed to be the Vicars of Jesus while on this earth and in their position. Yet even to this day, not one credibly accused leader has ever been arrested or prosecuted for their crimes save one, Bishop Robert Finn and that case is being retried. Matter of fact, one of these, John Paul II was given sainthood. There is overwhelming evidence he participated in the cover up of and through acts of omission, turned a blind eye to, the pederast Rev. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legion of Christ. Yet he is given sainthood? This is an insult to all those whom are survivors of these evil crimes against us.

There are some incredible priests and leaders of the Roman Catholic Church. I have met some of them. From Fr Tom Doyle, ret., whom has fought tirelessly for the victims of priest abuse, at the cost of his being a priest, to even our own local priest Fr Kyle Stanton whom has helped me immensely, to groups like Catholic Whistleblowers, and others, they have sort of restored my faith that this problem of priests and nuns abusing children and teens will stop. Yet to truly set things right the following must be done.

Troy priest, parish administrator indicted, accused of taking nearly $700K from church

MICHIGAN
Macomb Daily

By Dave Phillips, dave.phillips@oakpress.com
POSTED: 04/23/14

A priest and a parish administrator have been indicted on federal charges, accused of stealing nearly $700,000 from a Troy church.

Edward Belczak, 69, of Troy, and Janice Verschuren, 67, of Bloomfield Hills, were charged in a five-count indictment, U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced Wednesday.

Belczak and Verschuren are accused of stealing money and diverting funds from the church and the Archdiocese of Detroit “for their unjust enrichment, then (concealing) their criminal acts by creating or verifying false financial reports that were submitted to the Archdiocese,” McQuade’s office stated.

Authorities accused Belczak and Verschuren of diverting to their own use nearly $500,000 donated or bequeathed by parishioners to the church; using almost $11,000 stolen from the church to pay closing costs on Verschuren’s sale of her condominium in Palm Beach, Fla., to Belczak; diverting to themselves more than $26,000 in commissions paid to St. Thomas More Travel Group; and diverting to themselves more than $33,000 owed to St. Thomas More Church by Diocesan Publications.

NH- Bishop must "come clean" on Arsenault's alleged sexual misdeeds

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 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 )

We hope

---that Msgr. Edward Arsenault (he has not been defrocked) will serve all or most of his sentence, and

---that Manchester's Catholic bishop will tell citizens and Catholics whether he thinks Msgr. Arsenault is guilty of sexual misconduct.

Today, the bishop is meeting with his priests to discuss Msgr. Arsenault. But he owes it to his flock to disclose the status of the sexual misconduct allegations against Msgr. Arsenault.

We hope New Hampshire's bishop will “come clean” about allegations that Msgr. Arsenault has been involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with an adult. And we hope that anyone who has seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes in New Hampshire will report to secular officials, not church officials.

There can be no true sexual consent between a doctor and a patient, a therapist and a client, a clergyman and a congregant, and a general and a soldier. Period. The power differential is just too great.

Pope Francis Apologizes For Past Abuse, But Media Celebrates Anti-Catholic Bigots at SNAP Who Liken Pope to a ‘Deranged Gunman,’ a ‘Drunk Driver,’ and a Wife Beater

UNITED STATES
TheMediaReport

One essential element of the media's sex abuse narrative is the idea that the Catholic Church must repeatedly and perpetually apologize for past abuse committed by priests. Pope Benedict repeatedly apologized and even met with victims to hear their stories. So it was big news when Pope Francis recently asked for forgiveness for the past abuse committed by a small number of priests decades ago.

But acting on cue, the anti-Catholic group SNAP issued a nasty media statement which not only belittled the Pontiff's gesture but actually compared the pope to a "deranged gunman," a "drunk driver," and a "husband [who] keeps beating his wife."

Meanwhile, scores of mainstream media outlets – including The Boston Globe, the New York Times, and CNN – continue to trumpet the angry efforts of SNAP.

Police arrest Catholic priest, 30, who served at Round Lake church

NEW YORK
The Saratogian

By Caitlin Morris, The Saratogian
POSTED: 04/23/14

BALLSTON SPA >> A 30-year-old priest and youth pastor has been charged with endangering the welfare of a minor by county sheriff’s deputies following allegations involving a teen female.

James Michael Taylor, 30, who was ordained in 2012 and most recently served at Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Niskayuna, which also has an elementary school, was arrested Tuesday and, according to a statement from the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Albany, he was placed on administrative leave immediately following his arraignment.

Details of the arrest were released at a Wednesday morning press conference conducted by Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy and County Sheriff James Zurlo.

Sheriff’s investigators say the victim was a 15-year-old Clifton Park girl that Taylor met while serving as a deacon and leader of a youth ministry program at Corpus Christi Church in Round Lake. ...

Murphy said Taylor used his position in the church to gain trust and access to the victim and her family, and warned that more victims and more severe charges for Taylor are possibilities.

“We also want the media to help us to the degree that we suspect that there may be other victims out there. While his name is James Michael Taylor, he went by Father Michael, which is how the public may know of him,” Murphy said, adding that he wants potential other victims to know they will be protected if they come forward.

Murphy said the girl’s parents contacted authorities Monday, triggering the investigation.

This story, Murphy said, could be used by parents as a springboard to talk about what is and isn’t appropriate.

“Be vigilant. Be inquisitive. If your kid tells you something that’s unusual or out of the ordinary, ask questions,” Murphy advised.

A tale of two soon-to-be saints, John XXIII and John Paul II

UNITED STATES
GlobalPost

Jason Berry

On Sunday, Pope Francis will elevate two past popes to sainthood, John XXIII and John Paul II, each a figure of major historical weight, each a visionary, each bearing responsibility for the divergent trail of the church beyond their own lives.

Francis’s decision to canonize the two popes on Divine Mercy Sunday is a gesture of unity for a church battered by scandals in the public square by appealing to camps on the left and right who revere the two popes in different ways. It also provides a chance to look closely of the history of both popes.

John XXIII and John Paul II loom as polar figures in the church we know today. It represents the largest faith in the world, one thought for centuries to be changeless, yet a church that has changed constantly, if not utterly, since John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council from 1962-65.

Conservatives decry the council for opening the floodgates of Vatican II, unloosing too much change. They have a point. The church once described as “Here comes everybody” by the noted Irish agnostic James Joyce in Finnegan’s Wake is still a big tent, yet one divided into blue and red followers, like election-time TV maps. ...

After Pope Benedict beatified John Paul in 2011, putting him on a fast track for canonization, abuse survivors raised an outcry over John Paul’s unwavering support of the long-accused pedophile, Legion of Christ founder Father Marcial Maciel.

After 1998, when former seminarians filed detailed allegations seeking Maciel’s excommunication in Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s tribunal, John Paul continued praising Maciel. In late 2004, five months before the pope died, Ratzinger ordered an investigation of Maciel, and as Pope Benedict dismissed him from active ministry in 2006.

At a Vatican briefing on Tuesday, Msgr. Sławomir Oder, who worked on John Paul’s sainthood cause, told reporters: “Without getting into details, I can say that the investigation was carried out with the real desire to clear things up and confront all the problems as they came up.... An investigation was carried out, documents were studied, (documents) which are available, and the response was very clear. There is no sign of a personal involvement of the Holy Father in his matter.” Meaning to cover up.

But the details matter. Until the Vatican releases documents to explain why John Paul sheltered a notorious moral criminal, as the prosecution against Maciel stalled under the pope’s watch, his sainthood will be stalked with questions, a trailing credibility asterisk. Why not release the documents? Saints are people, people are sinners. “The Pope goes to confession like the rest of us,” wrote Flannery O’Connor. “The church is mighty realistic about human nature.”

Withholding information is what grubby politicians do. Whatever his flaws, John Paul, a saint come Sunday, deserves better than a continuing cover up.

So do People of God.

NY- Round Lake priest arrested, SNAP responds

NEW YORK
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 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 )

A Round Lake priest was arrested for inappropriate conduct with a minor. We are grateful this predator is being held accountable, but worried that he has been released. Even though there is an order of protection for the victim, there could be more victims who have not yet come forward.

[Troy Record]

We hope, although it is unlikely, that this was an isolated incidence. Predators rarely attack only once. Fr. James Michael Taylor was a deacon and youth minister for the Corpus Christi Church during the alleged abuse and is now an ordained priest at Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Schenectady.

Church officials should aggressively seek out any other people who may have been hurt. Bishop Edward Scharfenberger should personally go to each parish where Fr. Taylor worked and beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to speak up and call police.

We hope that anyone who saw suspected or suffered abuse will contact law enforcement.

Priest, administrator indicted, accused of $700K theft from Troy parish

MICHIGAN
The Detroit News

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — A Catholic priest and a parish administrator were indicted and accused of stealing almost $700,000 from St. Thomas More Church in Troy and blowing the cash on a condominium and other expenses.

The five-count indictment, announced Wednesday, charges the Rev. Edward Belczak, 69, of Troy and Janice Verschuren, 67, of Bloomfield Hills with stealing the money from the church and Archdiocese of Detroit between 2004 and 2012.

The stolen money allegedly included most of a $350,000 gift to the church from the family of a dead parishioner and cash donated by churchgoers during special Mother’s Day and Father’s Day collections, prosecutors alleged.

The duo tried to hide the alleged crime by creating false documents and submitting them to the Archdiocese, prosecutors allege. The documents under-reported the amount of the parish’s operating receipts.

Troy priest, parish manager indicted on stealing nearly $700K from church

MICHIGAN
Detroit Free Press

By Robert Allen
Detroit Free Press staff writer

A Catholic priest and his parish manager are accused of stealing nearly $700,000 from St. Thomas More Church in Troy, according to an indictment from U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade’s office.

Rev. Edward Belczak, 69, of Troy, and Janice Verschuren, 67, of Bloomfield Hills face charges of mail fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy in connection with the eight years of alleged thefts dating to 2012, the U.S. attorney announced Tuesday.

Among the allegations are that Belczak used $109,570.80 from a parish bank account to put a down payment on a swanky Palm Beach, Fla. condo he was purchasing from Verschuren, according to documents previously filed by the FBI to seize the property. Belczak, since suspended as pastor, had approved false financial reports that were submitted to the Archdiocese of Detroit in an effort to conceal thefts, according to a news release from McQuade’s office.

Belczak, assisted by Verschuren, is accused of stealing nearly $500,000 donated or bequeathed by church members, more than $26,000 in commissions paid to St. Thomas More Travel Group and more than $33,000 owed to St. Thomas More Church by Diocesan Publications in addition to the amount used for the Palm Beach property.

Bill Gothard responds to allegations

UNITED STATES
World Magazine

By WARREN COLE SMITH
Posted April 22, 2014

More than a month after stepping down as president of the ministry he founded, Bill Gothard released a statement that attempts to respond to allegations of sexual impropriety that ultimately led to his resignation from the Institute for Basic Life Principles (IBLP).

“God has brought me to a place of greater brokenness than at any other time in my life,” Gothard wrote in the statement released April 17. “It is a grief to realize how my pride and insensitivity have affected so many people. I have asked the Lord to reveal the underlying causes and He is doing this.”

But the statement denied some of the more serious charges leveled against Gothard by the group Recovering Grace, which earlier this year released statements from 34 women detailing incidents dating back to the 1970s. The statements accuse Gothard of sexual harassment and—in one case—sexual abuse that included fondling but not rape.

Ex-head of suburban religious organization denies sex harassment

UNITED STATES
Chicago Sun-Times

BY FRANCINE KNOWLES Religion Reporter April 22, 2014

The former head of a controversial Oak Brook-based religious and home-schooling organization, who resigned in March following allegations he sexually harassed teen girls, is denying any inappropriate sexual behavior.

Bill Gothard, who led the Institute in Basic Life Principles for decades — a conservative organization whose seminars have reached millions — said, “I have never kissed a girl nor have I touched a girl immorally or with sexual intent.”

But he confessed that his “actions of holding of hands, hugs and touching of feet or hair with young ladies crossed the boundaries of discretion and were wrong. They demonstrated a double-standard and violated a trust. . . . I have failed to live out some of the very things that I have taught. I am committed to learning from my failures by God’s grace and mercy, and do what I can to help bring about biblical reconciliation as Jesus commands.”

The statement, released on Gothard’s personal website, was labeled as “disingenuous” Tuesday by Recovering Grace, a website that has received reports from dozens of women, who’ve alleged they were sexually harassed by Gothard with unwanted touching, including bare foot games of footsie, years ago. The behavior Gothard described fits the standard legal definition of sexual harassment, Recovering Grace said in a statement on its website.

MAUREEN DOWD LACKS GUTS

UNITED STATES
Catholic League

Bill Donohue explains why Maureen Dowd is a phony:

If Maureen Dowd had guts, she would demand the resignation of her boss, Mark Thompson, president and CEO of the New York Times.

In her column today, Dowd rails against the canonization of Pope John Paul II, saying, “he presided over the Catholic Church during nearly three decades of a gruesome pedophilia scandal and grotesque cover-up.”

Dowd ought to get her facts straight: there was no pedophilia scandal—less than five percent of molesting priests were pedophiles—it was homosexuals who accounted for 81 percent of the sexual abuse cases. The facts are incontrovertible. So it’s time she stopped her cover-up.

More important, Thompson worked at the BBC for decades, and claimed to know nothing about the BBC’s biggest child molestation case in its history: Jimmy Savile was a true pedophile, raping hundreds of children. Both Savile and Thompson worked at the BBC for decades; Thompson was Director General from 2004-2012. And unlike John Paul II, we have proof that Thompson lied: after Savile died in October 2011, a “Newsnight” story exposing his conduct was spiked, and Thompson said he knew nothing about it. In fact, he was told about the cover-up at a Christmas party that year. On top of that, he told his BBC lawyers in September 2012 to write a letter to The Sunday Times threatening to sue if they ran a letter implicating him in the Savile matter. His only concern was to land a plum job at the New York Times (he was set to join the Times on November 12, but events forced him to wait).

Police arrest Catholic priest, 30, who served at Round Lake church

NEW YORK
Troy Record

By staff report

POSTED: 04/23/14

SARATOGA COUNTY >> A 30-year-old former Round Lake priest has been charged with endangering the welfare of a minor by county sheriff’s deputies following allegations of an offense involving a minor female.

James Michael Taylor, 30, last serving at St. Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Schenectady, was arrested Tuesday.

Details of the arrest were released at a Wednesday morning press conference conducted by Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy’ and county Sheriff James Zurlo.

Sheriff’s investigators say the victim was a 15-year-old Clifton Park female that Taylor met while leading a youth ministry program when stationed at Corpus Christi Church in Clifton Park.

It is alleged that between October 2013 and this month Taylor, who is now a Roman Catholic priest of the Albany Diocese, engaged in an ongoing course of inappropriate conduct with the girl. The charge is a misdemeanor.

Contact consisted of physical contact, telephone calls, text messaging and the sending of photos, authorities said. Taylor met the youth when he was serving as a deacon and youth minister for the Corpus Christi Church. ...

The investigation is ongoing. Given the nature of the case and Taylor’s positions in the various communities, the sheriff’s office is asking for anyone with relevant information to contact the sheriff’s office at 518-885-6761.

IL- Twice-accused priest will “self-restrict,” archdiocese claims

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314-503-0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

The Archdiocese of Chicago says a twice-accused predator priest will stay in a parish, but has supposedly agreed not to be alone with children.

This is ridiculous. It's like putting a drug addict to work in a pharmacy and claiming “he's agreed to never be alone with pills."

[Chicago Sun-Times]

This is precisely the claim that hundreds of bishops made for decades: that somehow, priests could still be in parishes and stay away from kids because their colleagues will supervise them 24/7.

This is precisely the claim that had led to thousands of children being molested by priests, nuns, brothers, seminarians and bishops.

This is precisely what bishops promised they would stop doing more than a decade ago, when, in Dallas in 2002, they committed to a much-ballyhooed but rarely enforced "zero tolerance" policy for child molesting clerics.

Fr. Michael W. O'Connell faces two accusers. The most recent one met with and is being taken seriously by law enforcement officials. A criminal investigation has been re-opened. Yet Cardinal Francis George and his staff insist on keeping Fr. O’Connell in a position where he will undoubtedly encounter children.

We challenge Chicago Catholic officials to explain in detail how they'll make sure Fr. O'Connell will keep himself away from kids.

Former New Hampshire priest, head of clergy treatment center, gets jail after plea to thefts

NEW HAMPSHIRE
The Republic

By LYNNE TUOHY Associated Press
April 23, 2014

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — A New Hampshire priest who was the former leader of one of the nation's top clergy treatment centers was sentenced Wednesday to up to 20 years in prison for stealing at least $104,000 from a hospital, a dead priest's estate and the state's Roman Catholic bishop.

Monsignor Edward Arsenault held several senior positions in the New Hampshire diocese from 1999 to 2009, when he became president and CEO of Saint Luke Institute in Maryland. He resigned in May after allegations arose involving an inappropriate adult relationship and misuse of church funds.

Arsenault pleaded guilty Wednesday to three felony theft charges, which included a theft of at least $104,000 from Catholic Medical Center in Manchester, where he had done some consulting. When his initial plea was announced in February, prosecutors would say only that he committed a felony in each case by stealing more than $1,500 from the hospital, the estate of a Manchester priest who died in 2010 and the bishop.

The plea agreement calls for Arsenault to serve 4 to 20 years in prison. He will go back to a judge after serving the minimum to determine if the sentence can be reduced.

Priest, 30, arrested for endangering the welfare of a child

NEW YORK
Fox 23

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. – Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo and Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy III say a Roman Catholic priest has been arrested.

Authorities say James Taylor, 30, has been charged with misdemeanor Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Taylor was arrested on Tuesday.

The Sheriff’s Office said that between October 2013 and April 2014, Taylor engaged in an ongoing course of inappropriate conduct with a 15-year-old Clifton Park female. Taylor, who is currently a priest for the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Schenectady, is accused of having physical contact, telephone calls, and text messages and photos with the teenager.

Taylor allegedly met the girl when he was serving as a Deacon and Youth Minister for the Corpus Christi Church in Clifton Park.

Taylor has been arraigned and released on his own recognizance to re-appear in the Town of Clifton Park Court at a later date.

Ex-NH Priest Pleads Guilty To Theft

NEW HAMPSHIRE
CBS Boston

CONCORD, N.H. (CBS/AP) — The former leader of one of the nation’s top clergy treatment centers pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing at least $4,500 from a hospital, a dead priest’s estate and the state’s Roman Catholic bishop.

Msgr. Edward Arsenault held several senior positions in the New Hampshire diocese from 1999 to 2009 before becoming president and CEO of Saint Luke Institute in Maryland in 2009. He resigned in May 2013 after allegations arose involving an inappropriate adult relationship and misuse of church funds.

The attorney general’s office said in February that Arsenault waived indictment and would plead guilty to three felony theft charges.

The agreement was heard Wednesday morning in superior court in New Hampshire. During the hearing, prosecutors said Arsenault was in a relationship and used the stolen money to pay for a vacation.

“I broke the law. I’m truly and sincerely sorry,” Arsenault told the judge.

Arsenault will serve four-years in state prison and was ordered to pay $300,000 in restitution to the church and affected parties.

UPDATE: Former Manchester diocese official ordered to repay $288,000

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Union Leader

By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader

MANCHESTER — The right-hand man to former Manchester Bishop John McCormack was in a Manchester courtroom this morning and sentenced for stealing thousands of dollars from the Catholic church diocese, Catholic Medical Center and the estate of a fellow priest.

His sentence calls for the Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arsenault III to pay restitution of $184,240 to the Diocese of Manchester and $104,000 to Catholic Medical Center.

The Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arsenault III has already signaled his intent to plead guilty to the three felonies, and his lawyer and prosecutors have agreed to ask Superior Court Judge Diane Nicolosi for a four-year prison sentence.

(The sentencing hearing is still ongoing, and more details will be reported as they become available.)

Last May, the Diocese of Manchester announced that it had suspended Arsenault from his priestly duties, citing both illegal financial transactions and an "inappropriate adult relationship."

Molestation claims grow against deceased Portland priest

OREGON
KOIN

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Another lawsuit has been filed against the Catholic Archdiocese of Portland by a man who says he was one of dozens of boys sexually abused by a priest in the 1960s and 1970s.

In the lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Portland, the 52-year-old man says he was molested by Maurice Grammond when the priest was assigned to a church in Seaside. The man was between 7 and 12 years old at the time.

The Oregonian reports (http://is.gd/ezD9Ui ) the complaint seeks $2 million.

The archdiocese said it “will work for a just resolution of the claim.”

TN- Victims seek apology from top Baptist official

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

For more info: David Clohessy, 314-566-9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com

Abuse victims seek apology
Top Baptist official attacked them
He called support group "opportunistic"
Group wants to speak at SBC annual meeting

A victims group is asking the head of the Southern Baptist Convention to apologize for his "very hurtful comment" about the organization and for a chance to speak at the annual SBC meeting in Baltimore this summer.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are writing Frank Page hoping to talk about preventing clergy sex crimes before thousands of Baptist who will gather in Baltimore this summer. And they want Page to publicly apologize for what they call his "hurtful comment” in 2007 when he wrote that their group was “nothing more than opportunistic persons motivated by personal gain.”

[Ethics Daily]

"Publicly castigating brave clergy sex abuse survivors effectively demonizes and hurts already wounded men and women who were traumatized as kids," said David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP. “We hope that, over the past few years, [Page will] have reflected on [his] words and realized the extraordinary harm he has caused," Clohessy added.

He also said that SNAP has “25 year of experience working with victims,” so the organization “can help SBC get their abuse policy and handling of victims where it needs to be.”

Among other reforms, SNAP urges church officials, including Southern Baptist officials, to establish review boards to hear molestation reports and instituting and enforcing a 'zero-tolerance' policy.

DA: Priest arrested for offense involving 'minor female'

NEW YORK
Albany Times Union

By Dennis Yusko
Updated 10:37 am, Wednesday, April 23, 2014

BALLSTON SPA - A priest in the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese has been arrested and the Saratoga County District Attorney's office says the charge involves an offense committed against a "minor female."

Officials identified him as James Michael Taylor, 30.

Authorities have not yet released charges he faces.

District Attorney James A. Murphy III and Sheriff Michael H. Zurlo will discuss the arrest at a 10:30 a.m. news conference.

Taylor was ordained in 2012. He was raised in a Protestant family in Georgia and began his conversion to Catholicism while a freshman in college. ...

Murphy called it important that the child's parents went to authorities rather than try to work out a secret agreement with the diocese, saying "a civil complaint would not have been appropriate remedy in this case."...
The diocese released a statement about the arrest late Wednesday morning, stating that the diocese "notified law enforcement authorities in Saratoga County Monday afternoon immediately after receiving a complaint concerning a Diocesan priest and his alleged contact with a minor."

The diocese said Scharfenberger placed the priest on administrative leave after his arraignment Tuesday and promised to "cooperate fully with the investigation."

NH- Priest sentenced for theft; SNAP responds

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 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 )

The long-time second-in-command of the New Hampshire Catholic diocese, Msgr. Edward Arsenault (he has not been defrocked), is being sentenced Wednesday, April 23 after pleading guilty to theft.

[Religion News Service]

[New Hampshire Union Leader]

Most recently, Msgr. Arsenault was paid $170,000 to head St. Luke's Institute in Maryland, which has housed hundreds of predator priests over many years.

We hope he gets the longest sentence possible. That would be justice for each of the three groups he stole from – a family, a hospital and the Catholic faithful of New Hampshire.

A long sentence would show New Hampshire citizens that no one is above the law and would deter thefts and abuse of power by other officials in the future.

A short sentence would show New Hampshire citizens that Catholic officials continue to use their power to protect themselves and their colleagues, and that there are different standards for regular people and for those who claim to be religious figures.

A long sentence would also be some measure of justice for the dozens of victims who were sexually violated by New Hampshire priests who were quietly protected by Msgr. Arsenault and his Catholic colleagues for decades while they deceived parishioners, destroyed evidence, transferred predators, misled police, stonewalled prosecutors, intimidated witnesses, and discredited whistleblowers so they could protect their assets, reputations and clerical careers.

Our hearts ache for New Hampshire clergy sex abuse victims and Catholics who have been betrayed, time and time again, by Msgr. Arsenault and his colleagues and supervisors in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases.

Msgr. Arsenault has repeatedly defended the indefensible by denying, minimizing, mischaracterizing devastating crimes against children. He is a self-serving charlatan.

A Saint, He Ain’t

UNITED STATES
The New York Times

Maureen Dowd

WASHINGTON — There were some disturbing elements to the Easter Mass I attended at Nativity, my childhood church.

The choral director sang “Amazing Grace” to the tune of “Danny Boy.” The pews were half-empty on the church’s most sacred day.

My sister reminisced about my christening, when the elderly Monsignor Coady turned away while he was dedicating me to the Blessed Virgin and I started rolling off the altar, propelling my gasping mother to rush up and catch me.

But it was most upsetting as a prelude to next Sunday. In an unprecedented double pontiff canonization, Pope John Paul II will be enshrined as a saint in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica.

The Vatican had a hard time drumming up the requisite two miracles when Pope Benedict XVI, known as John Paul’s Rasputin and enforcer of the orthodoxy, waived the traditional five-year waiting period and rushed to canonize his mentor. But the real miracle is that it will happen at all. John Paul was a charmer, and a great man in many ways. But given that he presided over the Catholic Church during nearly three decades of a gruesome pedophilia scandal and grotesque cover-up, he ain’t no saint. ...

One of John Paul’s great shames was giving Vatican sanctuary to Cardinal Bernard Francis Law, a horrendous enabler of child abuse who resigned in disgrace in 2002 as archbishop of Boston. Another unforgivable breach was the pope’s stubborn defense of the dastardly Mexican priest Marcial Maciel Degollado, a pedophile, womanizer, embezzler and drug addict.

As Jason Berry wrote last year in Newsweek, Father Maciel “was the greatest fund-raiser for the postwar Catholic Church and equally its greatest criminal.”

His order, the Legionaries of Christ, which he ran like a cult and ATM for himself and the Vatican for 65 years, denounced him posthumously in February for his “reprehensible and objectively immoral behavior.”

US allegation against accused brother Bernard Joseph Hartman

AUSTRALIA
Maribymong and Hobsons Bay Weekly

By Goya Dmytryshchak 22/04/2014

A Catholic brother charged with sexually abusing four children at Altona and Altona North is facing an allegation of abuse in the US, according to a US report.

Bernard Joseph Hartman, 74, has entered pleas of not guilty to 14 counts of indecent assault, two counts of gross indecency with a girl under 16, and two counts of assault.

Police allege the offences happened at St Paul’s College at Altona North and at Altona homes between 1976 and 1982.

According to the US report, an alleged victim contacted church officials after media coverage of the Australian case. Reverend Ronald Lengwin, of Pittsburgh, said the allegation had been turned over to the “appropriate legal authorities”.

Creditors to challenge archdiocese plan

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The judge in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's bankruptcy is scheduled to take up its reorganization plan in October. But lawyers for the creditors committee said Tuesday that they would file a motion aimed at throwing out the plan before then.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley on Tuesday scheduled a four-day hearing on the reorganization plan for Oct. 14 to Oct. 17, with the understanding that the lawyers for the creditors committee would file their motion.

They contend that Kelley has no authority to approve the plan — which includes the settlement of a lawsuit over $60 million in a cemetery trust created by the archdiocese — while that lawsuit is pending before the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Attorneys for the archdiocese accused the creditors committee of trying to delay the process.

The archdiocese sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2011 to deal with its mounting sexual abuse claims. Under the reorganization plan it proposed in February, it would set aside up to $4 million for abuse survivors and create a $500,000 therapy fund, among other provisions. The plan also would settle the pending litigation over the cemetery trust, which abuse survivors allege was created to shield the funds in the event of lawsuits.

Judge to hear plea deal for ex-NH priest, head of clergy treatment center, on theft charges

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Daily Journal

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: April 23, 2014

CONCORD, New Hampshire — A judge is set to rule on a deal that would send the former leader of one of the nation's top clergy treatment centers to prison for up to 16 years for stealing at least $4,500 from a hospital, a dead priest's estate and the state's Roman Catholic bishop.

Msgr. Edward Arsenault held several senior positions in the New Hampshire diocese from 1999 to 2009 before becoming president and CEO of Saint Luke Institute in Maryland in 2009. He resigned in May 2013 after allegations arose involving an inappropriate adult relationship and misuse of church funds.

The attorney general's office said in February that Arsenault waived indictment and will plead guilty to three felony theft charges.

Prosecutors to ask 4 years in prison for former Manchester diocese official

NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire Union Leader

By MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader

MANCHESTER — The right-hand man to former Manchester Bishop John McCormack is slated to appear in a Manchester courtroom this morning to be sentenced for stealing thousands of dollars from the Catholic church diocese, Catholic Medical Center and the estate of a fellow priest.

The Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arsenault III has already signaled his intent to plead guilty to the three felonies, and his lawyer and prosecutors have agreed to ask Superior Court Judge Diane Nicolosi for a four-year prison sentence.

Last May, the Diocese of Manchester announced that it had suspended Arsenault from his priestly duties, citing both illegal financial transactions and an "inappropriate adult relationship."

Some details of the investigation are expected to be disclosed this morning:

• Court records at this point only say that Arsenault stole more than $1,500 in each of the three thefts charges he faces. The amount is the legal benchmark that makes each theft a Class A felony; the exact sums are expected to come out in court today, said Jane Young, a prosecutor in the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office.

• Less will likely be revealed about the CMC investigation. Young said Arsenault's role in the CMC theft will be dealt with today. But the investigation is continuing, and that includes whether anyone else will be charged in the crime, she said.

• It's unclear how much information will come out about the adult relationship. While not a criminal matter for Arsenault, the relationship appears to be a violation of the pledge of celibacy that a priest takes.

Catholic priest Francis Moran still to learn whether he can return to Thornton Heath church after sexual assault allegations

UNITED KINGDOM
Croyden Advertiser

By Gareth_Davies | Posted: April 23, 2014

A CATHOLIC priest accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy is still waiting to learn whether he can return to work.

Francis Moran has been withdrawn from St Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church, in Brook Road, Thornton Heath, since being arrested in September 2012.

Canon Moran was questioned by police after a man in his 30s made allegations of abuse dating back to when he was in his early teens but, last July, the priest was told he would face no further action as there was insufficient evidence to arrest or caution him.

Since then the Archdiocese of Southwark, where Canon Moran worked as a safeguarding officer, has been conducting its own investigation before deciding whether he should return to church life.

The Dutch Supreme prohibits an association for pedophilia

NETHERLANDS
News Pakistan

The Dutch Supreme Court has banned the Martijn group, which promoted pedophilia in the name of freedom of expression and association, both enshrined in the Constitution. The judges have decided, however, that "physical and psychological integrity of the child just when you need protection and is far more important than dependent older people." The ruling also states that "this type of contact is contrary to the values of the Dutch society and can affect a child for life." The decision follows the advice of the State Attorney General and ends a long judicial process that had been dragging on since 2011. It further forces the dissolution of the group, whose president was in jail for possession of child pornography.

Although child abuse is against the Dutch law, it was not easy to get rid of Martijn. Founded in 1982, its members have always asserted "discussion forum for social acceptance of sex between adults and children (from 12 years) provided they are voluntary and sanctioned by the parents." In 2011, the Ministry of Justice decided to promote such an idea, even reprehensible, was part of the freedom of expression. A year later, however, the courts ruled that the ideology of pro pedophilia itself contradicted the norms of Dutch society, and ordered its dissolution. In 2013, that ruling was overturned, this time in the name of freedom of association. State Attorney General then appealed to the Supreme court and has now won the case.

Royal Commission calls for submissions on redress schemes

AUSTRALIA
Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

23 April, 2014

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse today released an issues paper on the effectiveness of redress schemes in relation to child sexual abuse in institutions.

Royal Commission CEO Janette Dines said Issues Paper 6 inquired into what institutions and governments should do to ensure justice for survivors of child sexual abuse in Australian institutions through the provision of redress.

“Redress schemes in Australia have taken various forms, including financial compensation, provision of services, recognition and apologies,” Ms Dines said.

“The Royal Commission is required under its terms of reference to consider the role of redress in addressing and alleviating the impact of child sexual abuse. This is a very important part of the Royal Commission’s inquiries.

“The Royal Commission is seeking submissions from interested individuals, government and non-government organisations on the matters raised in Issues Paper 6.

Niegan que Juan Pablo II hizo caso omiso a escándalo de abuso sexual

CIUDAD DEL VATICANO
Caracol (Colombia)

La Santa Sede rechazó las acusaciones de que el papa Juan Pablo II -quien será declarado santo el domingo- hizo caso omiso a uno de los escándalos de abuso sexual que más daño le ha hecho a la iglesia católica.

Un portavoz del Vaticano dijo que no hay evidencia que vincule personalmente a Juan Pablo II con el caso de un sacerdote mexicano fundador de la orden religiosa Legionarios de Cristo y quien terminó siendo expuesto como un abusador de adolescentes.

Durante muchos años el sacerdote Marcial Maciel, fundador de los Legionarios de Cristo, fue un visitante asiduo al Vaticano durante el papado de Juan Pablo II.

Residential-school records may not arrive in time ...

CANADA
Canada.com

Residential-school records may not arrive in time for aboriginal commission’s final report, director says

Mark Kennedy
Published: April 22, 2014

OTTAWA — The federal government, after months of delay, is hiring a firm to sort through millions of documents at Library and Archives Canada so they can be passed on to the commission probing the aboriginal residential school saga.

But concerns are already being raised from that group, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Its executive director, Kimberly Murray, said Tuesday she is worried the records will trickle in and arrive too late to be used for the commission’s report.

That multi-volume report is now being written and will be released by June 2015 but must be finished months before then so it can be translated and edited.

“They know we have to do all that,” a frustrated Murray said of the government. “They know it takes a year to do all that.”

Pile of records to reach Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s doorstep

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

STEVE RENNIE
OTTAWA — The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, Apr. 22 2014

After wrapping up nearly four years of public hearings, and with the clock ticking on a final report on the legacy of physical and sexual abuse at Indian residential schools, a pile of new documents is about to land on the doorstep of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

It has been more than a year since an Ontario court ordered the federal government to hand over reams of material to the commission.

The inquiry was supposed to end in July, but its mandate has been extended by a year.

Even with the extra time, researchers are still under the gun to sort through the latest additions to the millions of documents the government has already provided. Early estimates indicate tens of thousands of boxes are in storage at four different Library and Archives Canada locations. “Preliminary estimates identify up to 60,000 boxes of material … requiring review,” says a procurement notice. “A significant portion of these documents are not available in a digitized and searchable format, which is a requirement for the disclosure of documents to the TRC.”

The contract to put the documents into such a format is expected to run until July 2015, when the commission ends.

The commission’s executive director, Kimberly Murray, said she expects documents will still be coming in next summer.

One-third report abuse as a child

CANADA
Winnipeg Free Press

By: Danelle Cloutier
Posted: 04/23/2014

Almost one-third of adult Canadians were abused as a child and many of them struggle with mental-health issues, according to a study led by a University of Manitoba professor.

Study lead and U of M professor Tracie Afifi said her findings that 32 per cent of adult Canadians have experienced child abuse is consistent with the rate of child abuse in other countries.

"I think people often don't realize how prevalent child abuse is in Canada and that we really need to be investing in preventing child abuse from occurring," said Afifi, an associate professor in the departments of community health sciences and psychiatry.

Afifi's team of researchers from the University of Manitoba took data from more than 23,000 adults 18 and older from across Canada who participated in the 2012 Canadian Community Health Survey: Mental Health.

Details of the study were released Tuesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Archbishop claims he knew little about clergy abuse

MINNESOTA
KARE

[with video]

Jay Olstad, KARE

MINNEAPOLIS – In a newly released deposition Tuesday, Archbishop John Nienstedt claimed he was unaware of clergy sex abuse during his tenure.

CLICK HERE FOR TRANSCRIPTS OF THE DEPOSITION OF ARCHBISHOP JOHN NIENSTEDT

He also claimed that one of his top deputies advised him not to write down conversations they had about clergy misconduct, advice he said he followed.

A judge ordered the deposition, which is part of a lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. It took place April 2 and lasted four hours.

Attorney Jeff Anderson pressed Nienstedt on many topics, including why the archbishop did not inform parishioners they had priests working in their churches with allegations of child sexual misconduct

"I believe that we felt that we could monitor the situation without making a total disclosure to the people," said Nienstedt.

Nienstedt claimed church officials have always turned over information to police, but only if they first found evidence they deemed to be credible of illegal behavior.

"So is it your position and practice that you don't turn it over unless they ask?" asked Anderson. "That is correct," responded Nienstedt.

Nienstedt put a lot of the responsibility on Father Kevin McDonough, former Vicar General. In fact, he admitted that McDonough told him not to put some of their discussions in writing because it may end up in a lawsuit.

Priest in 2nd child abuse investigation won’t be alone with kids: archdiocese

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

BY FRANCINE KNOWLES Religion Reporter April 22, 2014

A Chicago Catholic priest, who became the subject of a second child abuse allegation on Monday, will remain in active ministry but will not be alone with children, the archdiocese of Chicago said Tuesday.

The Rev. Michael W. O’Connell was reinstated last week to active ministry as pastor of St. Alphonsus Catholic Parish on the North Side after a sexual abuse allegation lodged against him in December was deemed unfounded following investigations by the Cook County Sheriff’s office and the archdiocese.

“This morning, a person with information regarding alleged abuse of a minor that happened 15 years ago, met with officials from the Archdiocese of Chicago’s Office for the Protection of Children and Youth,” archdiocese spokeswoman Susan Burritt said in an emailed statement Tuesday.

“The Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review will review the limited information provided and discuss the matter with the Independent Review Board for its advice,” the statement said.

Sheriff reopens investigation of priest reinstated after inquiry finds abuse claim unfounded

CHICAGO (IL)
Daily Reporter

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
First Posted: April 22, 2014

CHICAGO — The Cook County Sheriff's office says it is reopening an investigation of sexual abuse allegations made against a Roman Catholic priest.

Father Michael W. O'Connell stepped down as pastor of St. Alphonsus Parish in Chicago in December 2013 after allegations he engaged in sexual misconduct while assigned to Our Lady of the Woods Parish in Orland Park. The Archdiocese of Chicago last week reactivated O'Connell after the sheriff's department concluded there's no evidence he abused a minor 20 years ago.

An unidentified man, speaking Monday at a Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests news conference, alleged he witnessed O'Connell behaving improperly at a gym years ago.

Supreme Court to rule on financial responsibility

CANADA
The Telegram

Mark Rendell Special to The Telegram
Published on April 22, 2014

The Supreme Court of Canada will announce Thursday whether Guardian Insurance Co. has to continue paying for the sins of the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of
St. John’s.

The decision is part of a 20-year dispute between Guardian and the administrative arm of the Catholic Church in

St. John’s over whether the insurance company has to pay indemnities to victims of sexual abuse by priests.

It goes back to 1989, when a minor filed a claim against the Episcopal Corp. related to allegations of sexual abuse by James Hickey, a priest in the St. John’s diocese, between 1982 and 1988.

Local Episcopal priest sentenced in child pornography case

PENNSYLVANIA
Tribune-Review

By Patrick Cloonan

Published: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

An Episcopal priest known in the Mon-Yough area for his work as a Pittsburgh oldies disc jockey was sentenced to five years in prison for downloading child pornography.

In Pittsburgh on Tuesday Chief U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti imposed the sentence as well as a 10-year probation to follow on the Rev. Charles W. Appel Jr., 72, of Ben Avon.

Appel pleaded guilty to receiving video depicting sexual exploitation of minor boys from a Canadian firm, Azov. He was indicted on Sept. 26, 2013, on charges of receiving such videos on 29 occasions.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Carolyn J. Bloch prosecuted the case, brought as part of the eight-year-old federal Project Safe Childhood initiative aimed at combatting child sexual exploitation and abuse.

Preliminary hearing scheduled in sexual assault, abuse case against ‘warlock’

WEST VIRGINIA
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

CHARLES OWENS
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — A Bluefield man who police say used a promise of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him remains incarcerated at the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver on multiple sexual assault and sexual abuse charges.

Police say James “Jim” Irvin, 57, of Bluefield, claims to be a “warlock” and used his wiccan religion to allegedly get close to the children and ultimately sexually abuse them. Irvin was arrested Monday and arraigned on five counts of sexual assault and 10 counts of sexual abuse involving juveniles. The victims in the case were 3, 9 and 13 years of age at the time of the alleged abuse, according to Detective K.L. Adams of the Bluefield Police Department.

Irvin remained incarcerated Tuesday in lieu of a $100,000 bond set by Mercer County Magistrate Susan Honaker. A preliminary hearing for Irvin has been set for April 30 before Magistrate Jim Dent.

Also Tuesday, David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest, issued a statement to the Daily Telegraph regarding the case.

No evidence that John Paul II linked to tainted order, priest says

VATICAN CITY
Denver Post

By The Associated Press
POSTED: 04/23/2014

VATICAN CITY — The Polish priest who has spearheaded the case to make Pope John Paul II a saint said Tuesday that no documentation exists linking the pontiff personally to the scandal of the Legion of Christ religious order.

John Paul and his closest advisers had held up the legion and its late founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, as a model for the faithful, even though the Vatican for decades had documentation with credible allegations that Maciel was a pedophile and drug addict with a questionable spiritual life.

Monsignor Slawomir Oder, the postulator for John Paul's sainthood case, didn't mention John Paul's closest advisers, who were among Maciel's staunchest supporters. These cardinals still were praising Maciel's work years after the Vatican in 2006 ordered him to observe a lifetime of penance and prayer for having sexually abused seminarians.

Vatican dismisses claim Pope turned blind eye

VATICAN CITY
Radio New Zealand

The Vatican has dismissed allegations that Pope John Paul II - who it will declare a saint on Sunday - turned a blind eye towards one of the Catholic Church's most damaging scandals.

John Paul is accused by a number of commentators of failing to come to grips with the sexual abuse crisis and highlighted by the Vatican's warm welcome to a priest who became known as a serial abuser.

More than 1 million people are expected to attend the ceremony at the Vatican, at which Pope John XXII, who reigned from 1958 to 1963, will also be made a saint.

John Paul is being fast-tracked to sainthood, only nine years after his death, and an all-time record, the BBC reports.

April 22, 2014

St. Paul archbishop said he tried to limit 'total disclosure' of suspected abusive priests, but has changed approach

MINNESOTA
Pioneer Press

By Emily Gurnon
egurnon@pioneerpress.com
POSTED: 04/22/2014

The top official in the Twin Cities archdiocese said in a sworn deposition that he learned early on about priests who had been accused of sexually abusing children but believed only "certain people in parishes" needed to know.

Archbishop John Nienstedt said he has since changed his mind about that.

Plaintiff's attorney Jeff Anderson and his co-counsel Michael Finnegan made public Tuesday morning the 200-page written transcript and selected video clips from Nienstedt's April 2 deposition, taken as part of a lawsuit by an alleged abuse victim.

As Anderson held his press conference, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis also released the written transcript via email to the media and posted it on its website.

The forces of leadership in today's world: Clergy abuse

UNITED STATES
Star Tribune

Article by: PAT FERGUSON HANSON Updated: April 22, 2014

How could this happen? A window into the culture that protected pedophile priests.

I have often referred positively to the parish of my youth as the village that helped to raise me. I have used the term “village” in the same way Hillary Rodham Clinton did in her book, the title of which was attributed to an African proverb: It takes a village to raise a child. It has shaken me to the core to learn that one of the priests assigned to the parish of my youth is on “the list” that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis recently submitted to civil authorities. This is the list of priests for whom the church has credible evidence of sexual abuse. My four siblings and I all attended our parish school; my brothers served as altar boys. I thank God we came out whole.

Long before I learned that our parish priest appeared on this list, I had to ask myself how this kind of abuse could happen over and over in the Catholic Church. What was it that kept sexual crimes against children from seeing the light of day? I used to say that if I could understand something, I could accept it. But that is not the case here. I can never accept the fact that grown men — guardians of the church — came to seriously harm the very people they took vows to help. But I can share with you how I think these things came to be.

I am no longer Catholic, but I was for more than 60 years. During that time, I came to learn a fair amount about the culture of the church, and my focus in graduate school was on cultural anthropology.

Everyone knows that Catholic priests are not allowed to marry and that they take vows of celibacy. What kind of man is attracted to the priesthood? Well, for one, men who believe they can spend a lifetime not having sex with women. Now, for some, this is not a sacrifice. They are gay. I have personally known a number of them. If you were a homosexual Catholic male growing up in a homophobic society and did not care to ever have sex with women, becoming a priest might be seen as an attractive option. In the priesthood you could escape discrimination for your sexual orientation and be surrounded by people who share your spiritual goals and beliefs. I have repeatedly read that gay men do not engage in pedophilia any more than straight men do. But those straight men who are not priests have traditionally had many legitimate outlets for expressing their sexual desires. This has not been the case for celibate priests. I believe that when suppressed, even healthy sexual desires can become twisted. And what can be more twisted than preying on the very children one is charged with protecting?

I-Team: Fr. Michael O'Connell case reopened

CHICAGO (IL)
WLS

[with video]

Chuck Goudie

April 22, 2014 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- A popular North Side Roman Catholic pastor, Father Michael O'Connell, is curbing contact with children until the latest sexual abuse allegation against him can be investigated, the ABC7 I-Team has learned.

O'Connell, pastor at St. Alphonsus Church in Lakeview, is once again under investigation by officials of the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Cook County Sheriff's Department, after just being reinstated a week ago. The latest controversy comes after a former south suburban resident claims to have witnessed lewd acts by Father O'Connell 16 years ago in the locker room of a local health club.

The alleged sexual misconduct is said to have occurred in the late 1990s when O'Connell was assigned to Our Lady of the Woods in Orland Park.

The former south suburban resident says he contacted the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP, after learning that O'Connell was being reinstated after an investigation of a sex abuse claim made last December. That first accusation prompted O'Connell to "voluntarily" step aside from ministry during the investigation.

Now in his 30's, the new accuser told police and church investigators on Tuesday that he saw Father O'Connell molest a teenage boy at a gym on S. Harlem Avenue.

"I saw Mike in the locker room with this young man who was sitting on the bench in the locker room and Mike had his, he was behind him and he had his hands down his pants in the frontal section," the man told the I-Team.

Nienstedt deposed.

MINNESOTA
dotCommonweal

[with video]

Grant Gallicho

On April 2, Archbishop John Nienstedt of St. Paul and Minneapolis was deposed by attorney Jeff Anderson as part of a lawsuit filed by a man who claims he was molested by a priest in the 1970s. The plaintiff alleges that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, along with the Diocese of Winona, created a public nuisance by failing to disclose information about clerics accused of sexual abuse. At a press conference this afternoon, Anderson released a slightly redacted transcript of the deposition. The archdiocese posted the transcript and full video to its website, noting that Anderson did not ask any questions about the abuse allegations that occasioned the deposition.

The wide-ranging and often contentious conversation reveals an archbishop who felt comfortable delegating authority to deal with the abuse crisis--even though he's "a hands-on person"--and who still believes that he and his delegates have done a good job handling the problem. According to Nienstedt's sworn testimony, one of those delegates recommended that conversations regarding accused priests shouldn't be put in writing because they could be discovered in litigation.

"You followed his advice, didn't you?" Anderson asked the archbishop.

"In terms of?"

"Not putting things into writing."

"Yes," Nienstedt replied.

The man who offered that advice, according to Nienstedt, is Fr. Kevin McDonough. He served as vicar general under the previous archbishop, Harry Flynn, and then as "delegate for safe environment" under Nienstedt. Last week, a task force created by Nienstedt to investigate diocesan abuse procedures sharply criticized McDonough for mishandling reports of clergy misdonfuct.

McDonough features in two troubling cases brought to light after Nienstedt's former top canon lawyer, Jennifer Haselberger, went to the police and the press with her concerns about how the archdiocese had handled them. In one case, McDonough objected to the archdiocesan review board's recommendation to warn a parish staff that their new pastor had a history of sexual misconduct (with adults), which included allegedly propositioning a nineteen and twenty-year-old at a bookstore, trying to pick up teenagers at gas station, driving drunk, and being spotted by a cop cruising for sex. That priest--and he is still a priest--is Fr. Curtis Wehmeyer. He's in jail for molesting children and possessing child pornography. Among his victims were the children of a parish employee.

Archbishop deposition on abuse made public

MINNESOTA
Mankato Free Press

AMY FORLITI Associated Press

ST. PAUL — Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt said in a recent sworn deposition that he hasn't reprimanded or disciplined anyone for the way church officials have handled allegations of clergy sexual abuse, and he doesn't think he should have, according to a recording of the deposition that was made public Tuesday.

During the interview, the head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis said he does not believe any priests or church leaders mishandled allegations of abuse. He also said his staff told him there was nobody in ministry who had credible accusations of child abuse made against them, and that he believed another church official was responsible for notifying parish officials about problem priests.

Attorneys for victims of alleged sexual abuse by priests said the deposition, recorded April 2, shows an ongoing practice of denial and deflecting responsibility. Attorney Jeff Anderson said Nienstedt lied during the deposition, but when asked what he believed was a lie, he said there has been a "longstanding pattern of deceit and deception."

In response to Anderson's comments, Jim Accurso, a spokesman for the archdiocese, told The Associated Press that Nienstedt "was under oath when he gave that deposition."

New lawsuit alleging abuse by notorious pedophilic priest filed against Archdiocese of Portland

OREGON
Oregonian

By Helen Jung | hjung@oregonian.com

A 52-year-old Oregon man is suing the Archdiocese of Portland, saying he was one of a dozens of boys that former pedophilic priest Maurice Grammond sexually abused in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Portland, alleges that while Grammond was assigned to Our Lady of Victory in Seaside, he molested the plaintiff, who was between 7 and 12 years old at the time. The plaintiff, who filed the complaint under the pseudonym Mark Roe, suppressed the memories of the sex abuse and did not realize its connection with his depression, anxiety and substance abuse until fall 2013, the lawsuit states.

The complaint seeks $2 million in pain and suffering and unspecified punitive damages from the archdiocese for sexual battery of a child, intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence. The archdiocese knew of several reports by families that Grammond had sexually abused boys but failed to take any action to protect children from Grammond, the complaint alleges.

In a statement, the archdiocese said, “The protection of children is vitally important to the Archdiocese of Portland. We continue to work to ensure a safe environment at all of our parishes and schools. We are saddened to hear of these allegations from 40 years ago in Seaside. We will consider this lawsuit carefully, and we will work for a just resolution of the claim.”

Holocaust loot appeal to Cardinal George Pell

VATICAN CITY
inSerbia

VATICAN CITY – An appeal by Holocaust survivors and their heirs from former Yugoslavia and Ukraine has been sent to Cardinal-Prefect George Pell.

Cardinal Pell was recently appointed by Pope Francis to head up the new Vatican Secretariat of the Economy with unprecedented power over secretive Vatican finances including the troublesome Vatican Bank.

Since 1999 the Holocaust survivors have been requesting the scandal plagued Vatican Bank audit accounts alleged to contain Holocaust era assets looted from the Balkans and Ukraine. About 30 current and former Vatican Bank accounts have been identified as suspect including accounts controlled by the Franciscan Order and various Dioceses.

The appeal also includes declassified documents from the US National Archives requested in 2000 but only produced 12 years later which establish both the British and Americans were certain the Vatican was harboring a major Nazi war criminal, Ante Pavelic, the brutal ruler of World War Two era Croatia.

Pavelic was the source of the Ustasha Treasury which consisted of funds looted from Serbs, Jews, Roma, and Ukrainians during the genocide of over 500,000 people in wartime Yugoslavia.

Nuns want Helena diocese to pay sex-abuse settlements

MONTANA
Missoulian

Associated Press

HELENA — An order of nuns being sued for child sex abuse wants to bring the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena back into state court.

Attorneys for the Ursuline Sisters of the Western Province say they may seek to have the diocese to pay for part of any judgment that goes against the order.

They want a judge to lift a stay in legal proceedings against the diocese granted when it filed for federal bankruptcy protection.

The Ursulines and the diocese are being sued by 362 alleged abuse victims from the 1940s to the 1970s.

The bankruptcy is part of a proposed settlement with the victims. The Ursulines are not part of the settlement

Breaking: Archbishop’s Damning Testimony On Child Sex Abuse Released (Video, Transcript)

MINNESOTA
The New Civil Rights Movement

by DAVID BADASH on APRIL 22, 2014

After much stonewalling, the archbishop of Minneapolis and St. Paul finally testified in a four-hour court deposition on April 2 about his role in managing child sex abuse cases, and his comments can only be described as damning.

Archbishop John Nienstedt claimed to have no knowledge that known child sexual abusers were working under his nose during his current six-year tenure, claimed to have delegated all duties surrounding allegations and follow-up of child sex abuse cases, admitted to actively hiding information of priests suspected of child abuse, and even admitted that his diocese had never handed over to law enforcement authorities a single complete case file.

One of the plaintiffs’ attorneys is accusing Nienstedt of lying under oath. “We have a serious pattern of deceit and deception by this archbishop and his predecessors,” Jeff Anderson says, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

Throughout the contentious questioning, Nienstedt portrayed himself as a leader who relied on others to handle the clergy sexual abuse crisis. He professed little knowledge of the scandal within his archdiocese and said he assumed it was safe for children. Nienstedt said it “didn’t occur” to him to ask for a list of abusive priests when he arrived in 2007 and that he didn’t review any clergy files. He said he did not know that one priest had pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a boy in the 1980s or that another was receiving secret disability payments for pedophilia. Several of his statements are contradicted by internal documents obtained by MPR News.

“Typically, I’m a hands-on person, but I have to delegate responsibilities,” Nienstedt testified.

And later:

“Do you think you’re doing a good job?” Anderson said.

“I believe I am, yes,” Nienstedt said.

“When Nienstedt became archbishop in 2008, he said he had a briefing with key archdiocese officials about clergy abuse,” the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports. “He testified he didn’t remember any names of abusive priests mentioned at the time, how many were being monitored, and even the names of the archdiocese officials present.”

Advocate says something missing at Baptist sex summit

UNITED STATES
Associated Baptist Press

By Bob Allen

A victims’ advocate says there is a glaring omission at this week’s summit for Southern Baptist pastors on sexual issues — any mention on the program about the church’s response to sexual abuse.

Amy Smith, a lifelong Southern Baptist who works with Catholics and people from other denominations in an advocacy organization called the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, found the subject “noticeably absent” among topics being covered in the April 21-23 “leadership summit” sponsored by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.

“How can a summit on ‘The Gospel and Human Sexuality’ not include a topic on the pervasive, devastating, destructive issue of sexual abuse?” Smith asked April 22. “Sexual abuse ravages the lives and souls of people that we hope that churches would be trying to minister to, yet the ERLC doesn’t devote a session, or even a breakout session or panel, to cover how pastors and churches should properly respond to abuse allegations to pursue justice, heal the wounded and protect kids in their midst.”

Leaders of SNAP, a support-and-advocacy group begun in response to the abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church a decade ago, have questioned the inclusion on the summit program of a Mississippi Baptist pastor whose church was at the center of controversy about its long-time music minister who pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of multiple boys committed decades earlier.

Greg Belser, pastor of Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton, Miss., agreed with other members of a panel at the ERLC summit discussing “The Gospel and Homosexuality” that the time has come for pastors to get rid of “redneck theology” — repeating clichés and claims about sexual orientation that aren’t backed up by the facts.

John Paul II reincarnates in Pope Francis making him a rock-star with his podgy ass wobbling lies concocted by Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits

UNITED STATES
POPE FRANCIS the CON-Christ.

Paris Arrow

Updated April 22, 2014

Since Pope Francis can reincarnate magically the real flesh-and-blood of Christ in the Eucharist daily, for sure John Paul II must have reincarnated himself in Pope Francis for he has become an instant rock star (from Argentina to the Vatican) with his polls ever rising as Archbishop Dolan boasted today (read news below). Most of all, John Paul II must have reincarnated his papal ruse to cover-up the worst crimes of the Vatican against children – which the UN condemned last February - because Pope Francis is likewise covering up the biggest heist in mankind’s history between the Vatican Bank and Switzerland, the other “little” country the pope owns. The greater the powers of the pope, the greater are his crimes, thanks to the cover-ups by the Opus Dei Beast PR Deceits Team.

Removed Bend pastor quits church, joins another

OREGON
KTVZ

BEND, Ore. -
More than six months after his removal as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Bend, a move that sparked controversy in the congregation and an unsuccessful appeal to the Vatican, Father James Radloff announced Tuesday he is resigning from the Roman Catholic Church and will start a new parish in Bend, affiliated with the Evangelical Catholic Diocese of the Northwest.

Here's the full statement issued by the Evangelical Catholic Diocese Tuesday morning:

"After a prolonged period of personal and spiritual discernment, Father James Radloff, in accordance with the Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church, has submitted his resignation from the order of the presbyterate of the Roman Catholic Church and his resignation as a member of the Roman Catholic Church to Bishop Liam Cary of the Diocese of Baker effective April 22, 2014.

"On May 16th, 2014, Father Radloff will make his Profession of Faith with the Evangelical Catholic Church and will petition the Evangelical Catholic Diocese of the Northwest to begin the process of Clerical Incardination.

"Father Radloff stresses, “Though I leave the Diocese of Baker as a priest in good standing, my decision to take this step may not be interpreted by Bishop Cary or his Chancery as a nolo contendere response to the meaningless direct, indirect, inferred or implied charges leveled against me. My response to all the issues Bishop Carey has inferred against me remains an unconditional not guilty.”

"Father Radloff, who was ordered by Bishop Cary to return to his family home in Orland Park Illinois on October 1st, 2013, plans to return to Bend Oregon in June after he has been granted transitional faculties to function as a priest of the Evangelical Catholic Diocese of the Northwest. Upon his return Father Radloff will begin responding to requests by the laity to establish a new mission parish of the ECC in Central Oregon.

"Bishop James Alan Wilkowski, Bishop for the Evangelical Catholic Diocese of the Northwest, is “pleased to welcome Father Radloff into our catholic community of faith and l look forward to sharing with him the directions we both shall be called upon by the Holy Spirit in providing sacramental and pastoral care to the People of God within the State of Oregon.”

Archdiocese of Chicago Response to SNAP Press Statements

CHICAGO (IL)
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago

April 21, 2014

The Archdiocese of Chicago is committed to the protection of children and youth and responds compassionately and thoroughly to all allegations received. The Archdiocese has continuously invited victims to come forward, regardless of how long ago the abuse took place.

We are disappointed that SNAP’s information today was presented to the media at a street-corner press conference directly outside the Archdiocese. We are further concerned that SNAP has been in communication with an individual “for several weeks,” and only now is making the information known to authorities and the Archdiocese. We look forward to meeting with the person and listening to his information. If SNAP has any additional information or other accusations, it is imperative that they bring it forward immediately.

Finally, in the comments Barbara Blaine made today, she claims that Cardinal George removed and reinstated three priests before removing them permanently. This is totally false. None of the priests mentioned by Blaine were withdrawn and reinstated by the Cardinal.

The abuse of any child is a crime and a sin. The Archdiocese encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious, lay employee or volunteer, to come forward. Complete information about reporting sexual abuse can be found on the Archdiocesan website under Protecting Children at www.archchicago.org or by calling the Office for Child Abuse Investigations and Review, 312-534-5205 or 1-800-994-6200, or the Office of Assistance Ministry, 312-534-8267 or toll-free at 866-517-4528.

Oregon priest leaves Catholic church, files legal demand for personnel files

OREGON
National Catholic Reporter

Dan Morris-Young | Apr. 22, 2014

Fr. James Radloff's status as a priest in good standing in the diocese of Baker, Ore., has come to an end as he announced in an open letter Tuesday that he is leaving the Roman Catholic Church to "continue my journey as a priest" with a breakaway denomination, the Evangelical Catholic Church.

In addition, Radloff told NCR he has sent a demand through his civil attorney to Baker Bishop Liam Cary to "turn over a complete copy of my personnel records, and everything he used to make his decision."

That decision was to implement a formal removal of Radloff as pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Bend, effective Oct. 1, 2013. At the time of the ouster, Cary praised Radloff's ministry at the diocese's largest and Bend's only parish. The bishop said Radloff remained a priest in good standing and had done nothing illegal. Cary refused to reveal the reasons for the termination, stating that he was "not at liberty to do so."

No change in Radloff's status with the diocese was announced even after the Vatican Congregation for Clergy rejected the pastor's appeal of Cary's action. Dated Jan. 31 and made public in Bend on Feb. 14, the ruling let Cary's removal of Radloff stand, allowed the bishop to keep the reasons private, and did not require lifting the ban on public ministry imposed on Radloff.

Attorneys for victims of clergy sex abuse victims say archbishop is deflecting responsibility

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: Associated Press Updated: April 22, 2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Attorneys for victims of alleged sexual abuse by priests say a deposition by Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt shows deceit continues in the church.

Nienstedt is head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. On April 2, he testified about the church's response to sexual abuse allegations.

Attorneys made the deposition public Tuesday. In the interview, Nienstedt said under oath that he hasn't reprimanded or disciplined anyone for how abuse cases were handled. In several instances, he says the responsibility for notifying people about problem priests fell on another church official, the Rev. Kevin McDonough.

Victims' attorney Jeff Anderson says the deposition shows Nienstedt continues to deny the problem and deflect responsibility.

MN- Nienstedt won't punish "enablers;" SNAP responds

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 22, 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 )

In our view, here's the most important admission in Archbishop John Nienstedt 's deposition.

Anderson: Have you at any time reprimanded, punished, demoted or taken any disciplinary action against any priest or official of the archdiocese for their mishandling of child sexual abuse allegations?

Nienstedt: I don't believe so, no.

Anderson: Do you believe you should have?

Nienstedt: No.

Look at a few undisputed facts:

There are 52 publicly accused Twin Cities child molesting clerics. (See BishopAccountability.org)

There are more who have not yet been publicly exposed.

Many have stayed hidden for years or even decades.

Many have molested more victims because Twin Cities Catholic staff have ignored or concealed their crimes.

Many have been “outed” only because of courageous victims, skilled police and smart journalists.

Some have been on the job or unsupervised until very recently.

Despite all of this, Nienstedt cannot bring himself to even slap the hand of one of his employees for helping predators, hurting victims, deceiving parishioners, stonewalling police, misleading prosecutors or endangering kids.

Not one.

Indian residential schools inquiry about to get reams of documents

CANADA
Global News

By Steve Rennie The Canadian Press

OTTAWA – After nearly four years of public hearings and with the clock ticking on a final report into the legacy of physical and sexual abuse at Indian residential schools, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission is about to get a pile of new documents.

The development comes more than a year after an Ontario court ordered the federal government to hand over reams of material to the commission.

The inquiry was supposed to end in July, but its mandate has been has been extended by a year.

Even with the extra time, researchers are still under the gun to sort through the latest additions to the millions of documents the government has already provided. Early estimates have tens of thousands of boxes sitting in storage at four different Library and Archives Canada locations.

“Preliminary estimates identify up to 60,000 boxes of material … requiring review,” says a procurement notice.

SNAP: Archdiocese is Targeting Victim in Child Sex Abuse Case

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOX

Maria Keena
April 22, 2014

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - It’s not the first allegation against Father Joseph Jiang.

The suspended 31-year-old priest is charged with first-degree statutory sodomy, and was previously accused of having improper contact with a teenage girl and giving the family $20,000 in hush money. Those charges were dismissed in November 2013.

But the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) want to know why he was able to live unsupervised, following the first allegation of abuse.

David Clohessy tells KMOX that Archbishop Carlson is deliberately trying to discourage others from coming forward about Father Jiang’s crime by going after the latest alleged victim’s family. He says that Archbishop Carlson claims that the family reported that their son had been bullied at school, and that he only recently made his abuse disclosure.

“Catholic parishes are tightly knit,” he says. “And they’re especially tightly knit when they have a school, like Cathedral has. So, for Archbishop Carlson to disclose information that lets other parishioners know who this family is, and who this victim is—he’s still a boy—that’s just unconscionable.”

Transcripts of Archbishop's deposition released

MINNESOTA
KARE

Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Attorneys for victims of alleged sexual abuse by Minnesota priests have released both transcripts and videotape of the deposition of Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt.

Nienstedt is head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. On April 2, he was questioned by attorney Jeff Anderson and testified about the church's response to sexual abuse allegations. It was the first time since Nienstedt became archbishop six years ago that he has addressed these questions under oath.

CLICK HERE FOR TRANSCRIPTS OF THE DEPOSITION OF ARCHBISHOP JOHN NIENSTEDT

The deposition was taken as part of a lawsuit filed by a man who claims a priest abused him in the 1970s.

Transcripts of Nienstedt's testimony reflect a line of questioning from Anderson that became increasingly testy, especially when it came to child pornography and sex abuse.

At the end of the deposition, Anderson indicates his desire to continue questioning the Archbishop. Attorneys for the Archdiocese tell Anderson that his time is up. "So we are done?" Anderson asks. "We're done. You're past your time," Nienstedt's attorney replies.

Church lawyers tried to block the deposition, claiming it wasn't relevant to the case because Nienstedt was not Archbishop at the time of the alleged abuse. But a Ramsey County judge and the Minnesota Court of Appeals disagreed.

DEPOSITION OF ARCHBISHOP JOHN NIENSTEDT

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

CLICK HERE FOR THE DEPOSITION TRANSCRIPT OF ARCHBISHOP JOHN NIENSTEDT

This site includes videos of the deposition.

Nienstedt admits archdiocese hid info on abusive priests

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

[with video]

Madeleine Baran St. Paul, Minn. Apr 22, 2014

Archbishop John Nienstedt acknowledged in sworn testimony that he took steps to hide information on abusive priests and never provided complete files to police, according to a transcript released today.

• Transcript: Read the text of Archbishop John Nienstedt's deposition (April 2, 2014)

Nienstedt made the remarks in a four-hour deposition taken April 2 as part of a lawsuit filed by a man who said he was sexually abused by the Rev. Thomas Adamson in the mid-1970s. The man alleges the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona created a public nuisance by keeping information on accused priests secret. The man's attorneys, Jeff Anderson and Mike Finnegan, argued that the deposition could provide evidence of a pattern of deception by the archdiocese.

Anderson and Finnegan released a partial transcript of the deposition at a news conference this morning. They said they redacted several pages that related to victims or sealed information.

"The archbishop and his predecessors have promised zero tolerance," Anderson said, but "there has been an ongoing tolerance of sexual predators" among the clergy on the Twin Cities archdiocese.

And, generally speaking, he said, "We're alarmed. We're sad, and we're scared, the more we learn, the more we see."

Anderson said he believes Nienstedt lied under oath. "We have a serious pattern of deceit and deception by this archbishop and his predecessors," Anderson said.

Throughout the contentious questioning, Nienstedt portrayed himself as a leader who relied on others to handle the clergy sexual abuse crisis. He professed little knowledge of the scandal within his archdiocese and said he assumed it was safe for children. Nienstedt said it "didn't occur" to him to ask for a list of abusive priests when he arrived in 2007 and that he didn't review any clergy files. He said he did not know that one priest had pleaded guilty to sexually abusing a boy in the 1980s or that another was receiving secret disability payments for pedophilia. Several of his statements are contradicted by internal documents obtained by MPR News.

Archbishop Deposition On Abuse Made Public

MINNESOTA
CBS Minnesota

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) – Attorneys for victims of alleged sexual abuse by priests have released the deposition of Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt to the public.

Nienstedt is head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. On April 2, he testified about the church’s response to sexual abuse allegations. It was the first time since Nienstedt became archbishop six years ago that he has had to answer these questions under oath.

The deposition was taken as part of a lawsuit filed by a man who claims a priest abused him in the 1970s.

Church lawyers tried to block the deposition, claiming it wasn’t relevant to the case. But a Ramsey County judge and the Minnesota Court of Appeals disagreed.

STATEMENT DEPOSITION OF ARCHBISHOP NIENSTEDT

MINNESOTA
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis via KSTP

In his deposition, Archbishop John Nienstedt repeatedly stated that the safety of children is the archdiocese’s highest priority. He responded to questions about the tragedy of sexual abuse by clergy, and how the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis handled this issue during his tenure.

He expressed regret for mistakes that were made in the past with how the archdiocese responded to allegations of sexual abuse against clergy. He assumed responsibility for mistakes that have been made since he became archbishop of the archdiocese in 2008. The archbishop was not asked any questions about the plaintiff, Doe 1, or Thomas Adamson, the offending former priest.

The archbishop noted recent changes that have been made by the archdiocese to address how any new reports of sexual abuse will be handled. He repeated his commitment to adopt upcoming recommendations, including those of an outside expert firm that is reviewing existing procedures and clergy files.

Archbishop Deposition on Alleged Abuse Released

MINNESOTA
KSTP

[with video]

By: Jennie Olson

Details on what Archbishop John Nienstedt said when he testified under oath earlier this month were released Tuesday, including a transcript and video.

It was the first time Nienstedt has had to answer questions under oath regarding the alleged sexual abuse of children by priests. Church lawyers tried for months to block the deposition on the grounds it is not relevant to a case that will go to trial in September, but a Ramsey County judge and the Minnesota Court of Appeals disagreed.

A statement from the Archdiocese released Wednesday, April 2, said the Archbishop expressed regret for mistakes that were made in the past and assumed responsibility for mistakes that have been made since he became Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in 2008, according to the statement. Read the full statement here.

Read the entire un-redacted transcript of the deposition of Archbishop Nienstedt that took place on April 2 in St. Paul.

Archbishop Nienstedt's testimony is made public

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER and CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune Staff Writers Updated: April 22, 2014

Attorney Jeff Anderson shows video of deposition of archbishop on clergy abuse cases. Archdiocese releases its own copy.

The sworn testimony of Archbishop John Nienstedt in a clergy sex abuse case was made public Tuesday morning by St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson, who said the Catholic Church continues to tolerate and hide predatory priests.

“The methods they have employed in the past are being employed in the present,” Anderson said during a news conference. “We’re alarmed, we’re sad and we’re scared.”

Nienstedt’s pledge that the church would protect children and the public are untrue and “have been broken,” Anderson added.

The archdiocese has not yet released a statement, but it released a copy of Nienstedt’s testimony about the time Anderson began his news conference. It has previously stated that children’s safety is its highest priority, and that Nienstedt had expressed regrets for “mistakes made in the past.”

On Tuesday, Anderson showed a short video clip of Nienstedt’s deposition, in which the archbishop said he recently learned about previous abuse committed by a priest, the Rev. Kenneth LaVan, even though LaVan’s abuse of two girls was known.

Bill Gothard Refutes Any Sexual Innuendos in Hugs, Foot Contact With Women

UNITED STATES
Charisma

4/22/2014 JENNIFER LECLAIRE

Bill Gothard made quite a name for himself in the home-schooling movement. Now his name is associated with something less honorable.

Gothard, 79, resigned from Basic Life Principles, the organization he founded, after allegations he was sexually harassing women. He has remained silent until now.

“I have withheld this statement in order to honor the request of the Board of Directors to wait until an initial review has taken place,” he wrote in a blog post. “As the review continues, I now want to make this statement.”

Here is Gothard’s statement:

"God has brought me to a place of greater brokenness than at any other time in my life. It is a grief to realize how my pride and insensitivity have affected so many people. I have asked the Lord to reveal the underlying causes and He is doing this.

MN- Group praises victim & litigation re Nienstedt deposition release

MINNESOTA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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

"It's just about money." That’s what many Catholic officials say when they're sued for committing and concealing child sex crimes. But today's release of Archbishop John Nienstedt's deposition is proof that civil lawsuits are a key tool in the struggle to safeguard children from predators.

Civil suits can help expose wrongdoers, protect kids, reveal truth and hopefully deter future cover ups. Sometimes, information gleaned from civil litigation helps police and prosecutors catch and convict child predators. Always, information from civil litigation educates us all on how cunning predators operate and how callous supervisors collude.

So we applaud this brave victim for seeking justice for himself, while also seeking to reveal the truth for others. He could have pushed hard for a quick and quiet settlement. Instead, he's pushing hard to expose those who commit and conceal horrific crimes against innocent boys and girls. Every Minnesota Catholic owes him – and dozens of other equally courageous Minnesota clergy sex abuse victims - a debt of gratitude.

For decades, bishops have tried to seal any court records about clergy sex crimes and cover ups. But for the last decade, bishops have pledged to be “open and transparent” about clergy sex cases. They continue, at virtually every opportunity, to keep trying to seal such records. We've seen absolutely no decline whatsoever in efforts by bishops to keep every single page of court documents about this crisis hidden from public view.

We hope other child sex abuse victims who were hurt in institutional settings take note of today's disclosure. We hope they find the strength and courage to call law enforcement and support groups and civil lawyers, so they too can protect children by exposing wrongdoers.

Abusers say they never existed...

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Abusers say they never existed: Congregation of Christian Brothers ‘never in Australia’

JANET FIFE-YOEMANS THE DAILY TELEGRAPH APRIL 23, 2014

THE child sex abuse royal commission is being urged to investigate why the Congregation of Christian Brothers has claimed it never existed in ­Australia, as it looks into shocking abuse at four of its orphanages.

The commission is expected to hear from child migrants who, as young boys, were raped and physically ­assaulted by Christian Brothers at the notorious homes when it starts its ­latest inquiry in Perth next week.

Sydney solicitor Adrian Joel is urging the commission to look into the Christian Brothers’ response to a test case for the thousands of former child migrants shipped to Australia as cheap labour in mass migration schemes of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.

Lawyers frustrated at the legal walls erected by the Christian Brothers in Australia launched the case in New York, under an old international law, arguing that it exists as an international order. A judge ruled against the case on a number of points including that they had sued the “wrong” Christian Brothers. Despite being a worldwide religious community within the Catholic Church, the Christian Brothers claims it is constituted differently in different countries and never existed in Australia as the Congregation of Christian Brothers.

Deposition of ARCHBISHOP JOHN NIENSTEDT

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

Deposition of ARCHBISHOP JOHN NIENSTEDT, taken pursuant to Notice of Taking Deposition, and taken before Gary W. Hermes, a Notary Public in and for the County of Ramsey, State of Minnesota, on the 2nd day of April, 2014, at 30 East 7th Street, St. Paul, Minnesota, commencing at approximately 9:05 o'clock a.m.

Archbishop Nienstedt deposition video, transcript released

MINNESOTA
Fox 9

by Mike Durkin

ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -
The transcript and video clips from the deposition of Archbishop John Nienstedt were released Tuesday by St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson.

PDF: Deposition of Archbishop John Nienstedt

In 4 hours of testimony on April 2, Nienstedt gave a statement and answered questions about how officials in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis handled allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

“It really reflects, in real time, the problem that exists at it is today,” Anderson said a news conference Tuesday. “This is not about what has been in the past. This captured a harsh reality that the promises and the pledges made by this archbishop and his predecessor were broken...We’re alarmed, we’re sad and we’re scared, the more we hear and the more we see.”

ABRUPT ENDING

Anderson said Nienstedt ended the deposition abruptly by walking out when asked the following question: "Why not just turn over these files that you know to be credibly accused to the professionals, to law enforcement?"

A spokesperson for the archdiocese explained that Nienstedt did not "walk out of the deposition," as Anderson claimed, but that the deposition had simply run past its 4-hour time budget.

Archbishop Deposition on Abuse to be Made Public

MINNESOTA
KAAL

[live stream of Jeff Anderson's press conference]

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Attorneys for victims of alleged sexual abuse by priests are releasing the deposition of Twin Cities Archbishop John Nienstedt.

Nienstedt is head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. On April 2, he testified about the church's response to sexual abuse allegations. It was the first time since Nienstedt became archbishop six years ago that he has had to answer these questions under oath.

Vatican denies 'personal involvement' of John Paul II in Maciel cases

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter

Joshua J. McElwee | Apr. 22, 2014

VATICAN CITY The priest who has guided the Vatican's sainthood process for Pope John Paul II responded vaguely Tuesday when questioned publicly about the late pope's response to clergy sexual abuse and his handling of Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the founder of the Legionaries of Christ and a serial sexual abuser.

When Msgr. Sławomir Oder was asked whether those investigating the saintliness of John Paul II considered if the late pope had sufficiently handled Maciel, who by the late 1990s was the subject of substantial investigative reporting, Oder said the investigations were carried out "with the real desire to clear things up and confront all the problems."

"Even concerning the specific question that you mention, an investigation was carried out, documents were studied, [documents] which are available, and the response was very clear," Oder said. "There is no sign of a personal involvement of the Holy Father in this matter."

Oder, a Polish native who serves as a vicar in the Rome diocese, is the postulator of the cause of sainthood for John Paul II and was responsible for organizing the official investigations into the late pontiff's sanctity and virtues for the official Vatican process to have John Paul II declared a saint.

Unsteady Halo: The Canonization of Pope John Paul II

UNITED STATES
Huffington Post

Charles J. Reid, Jr.

Santo subito! -- "Sainthood now!" That was the urgent plea of the crowds gathered in St. Peter's Square in April, 2005, as Pope John Paul II lay dying. If the crowd had had its way, he would have been proclaimed a saint the very moment he died. And in truth, the canonization process has been extremely brisk. John Paul II has been dead only nine years and the Church stands ready to canonize him on April 27.

The passage of years, however, has allowed for a more sober assessment of his pontificate. For sure, John Paul II did things that make him worthy of canonization. There is no question that he was a deeply prayerful man who authored profound reflections on the meaning of Jesus and his mission. He provided a great witness to courage, first when he was shot in May, 1981, and then, two decades later, as an elderly victim of Parkinson's. He rallied Poland and Eastern Europe in the Cold War. Where others might have been intemperate, his messages always encouraged resolute, peaceful, non-violent resistance.

Still, the perspective of time allows us to realize that his pontificate had the effect not of strengthening but rather of weakening the Church in a number of crucial respects. And we would be a friend to history -- and to the Church -- if we acknowledged these flaws, for they are not insignificant.

First, there was the priestly pedophilia crisis. It was in the middle 1980s when the public first began to get a sense of its enormity. In 1983, the national media highlighted the serial abuse committed by a priest of the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, Fr. Gilbert Gauthe. And two years later, in a report to the American Bishops' Conference, Fr. Thomas Doyle detailed the depth of the problem and predicted that the pedophilia crisis might be the largest disaster to confront the Church "in centuries."

Pope John Paul II Canonization Marred By Link To Sex Abuse Scandal: 4 Fast Facts About Involvement With Marcial Maciel

VATICAN CITY
Latin Times

By Susmita Baral | Apr 22 2014

Pope John Paul II (né Karol Józef Wojtyła) and Pope John XXIII (né Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli) are scheduled to be declared saints by the Roman Catholic Church on Sunday, Apr. 27, 2014 in Rome. The canonization process will be led by the current pontiff, Pope Francis, at the Catholic capital, which is estimated to receive 3 million visitors to celebrate the occasion.

Many have said that Pope John Paul II--the Polish pontiff led the Catholic Church from 1978 until his death in 2005--was the obvious choice for sainthood but there is more to being declared a saint than winning a popularity contest. According to the church, a pontiff must have two church-verified miracles attributed to him in order to be considered for sainthood.

For Pope John Paul II, the two miracles attributed were a French nun claiming to be cured from Parkinson's and a Costa Rican woman being cured from a fatal brain aneurysm. Even Pope Francis gave testimony, in 2005, to support the sainthood of Pope John Paul II. “John Paul II taught us, by hiding nothing from others, to suffer and to die, and that, in my opinion, is heroic,” said Pope Francis, then Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires.

Pope John Paul II's legacy is not all miracles and words of praise from Pope Francis, as his involvement with Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, a Mexican-born Roman Catholic priest and the founder of Christ's Legionaries, has proven to be controversial, to say the least. The allegations against Pope John Paul II is that he, and his papacy, ignored the credible claims that late Maciel was a pedophile, drug addict, con artist, and religious fraud.

Prelate exonerates John Paul of turning blind eye to abuse case

VATICAN CITY
Yahoo! News

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - The Catholic prelate who led the campaign to make the late Pope John Paul a saint exonerated the pontiff on Tuesday against accusations he turned a blind eye to one of the Church's biggest sexual abuse scandals.

Victims of sexual abuse quickly criticized the prelate's defense of John Paul, who died in 2005 and will be made a saint at a ceremony this weekend along with Pope John XXII, who reigned from 1958 to 1963.

While the late Polish pope is almost universally hailed for his role in helping bring about the fall of communism, his critics say he was slow to grasp the seriousness of the sexual abuse crisis that emerged towards the end of his pontificate.

Specifically, critics have been pressing the Vatican over what the pope knew about sexual abuse by Father Marcial Maciel, the Mexican founder of a disgraced Catholic religious order, the Legionaries of Christ.

WV- 'warlock' arrested for sexually assaulting children, SNAP responds

WEST VIRGINIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 22, 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 )

A Bluefield man, who claims to be a “warlock,” was arrested for sexually assaulting children. Our heart aches for the innocent kids who were hurt and their families.

[Bluefield Daily Telegraph]

James Irvin allegedly used his spiritual beliefs to lure the children to him. He claimed that in order for their mother to be healed, they needed to be sexually assaulted by him. It is always appalling when children are abused, but even more so when spiritual beliefs are used as an excuse.

We are grateful for the detective on this case for reaching out to potential victims in Texas, where Irvin lived before moving to West Virginia.

We hope anyone who saw, suspected or suffered abuse by Irvin will immediately call law enforcement and start healing.

Rome- Victims blast Polish priest who defends JPII on Maciel

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests ( 314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com )

Canonizing Pope John Paul II is an extraordinarily hurtful move. Now, the pain is being made worse by Monsignor Slawomir Oder, who insists that the now-deceased pope had “no personal involvement” in the horrific, decades-long Fr. Marcial Maciel scandal.

[The Republic]

First, a leader of an institution is responsible for what happens in that institution. This is especially true in an ancient, rigid monarchy like the Catholic Church. So popes can't wield massive power yet evade responsibility for massive wrongdoing just because his aides may have carefully shielded him from the gory details.

Second, the Maciel case is just one case out of many in which John Paul II ignored or helped conceal horrific sexual violence against kids. In the rare instances where the pontiff took action, it was hurtful, not helpful (like his decision to water down an already weak US bishops sex abuse policy).

Oder got what he wanted: his idol is being idolized. Has he no decency? Can't he stop here, and resist the temptation to revise history and exacerbate wounds?

NE- Former youth pastor faces 40 years in prison, victims respond

NEBRASKA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 22, 2014

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

A former youth pastor from Kearney was sentenced to 17-40 years in prison for sexually assaulting 3 boys. We are grateful to the brave victims who spoke up and to the judge for a strict sentence.

[Kearney Hub]

It is always extremely troublesome and disappointing when some entrusted by the community to guide children exploits this trust and abuses children. We hope that church officials where Thomas A. Jones worked will aggressively reach out to anyone who may have seen, suspected, or suffered child sexual abuse and encourage them to call police.

Police arrest ‘warlock’: Bluefield man charged with sexual assault, abuse of 3 juveniles

WEST VIRGINIA
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

By CHARLES OWENS

BLUEFIELD — Police say a Bluefield man claiming to be a “warlock” used a promise of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

James “Jim” Irvin, 57, of Bluefield, was arraigned Monday before Mercer County Magistrate Susan Honaker on five counts of sexual assault and 10 counts of sexual abuse involving juveniles. The victims in the case were 3, 9 and 13 years of age at the time of the alleged abuse, according to Detective K.L. Adams of the Bluefield Police Department.

Honaker set bond for Irvin at $100,000. Irvin told the court he had no money, and couldn’t afford an attorney. The man avoided eye contact with the news media as he was escorted in and out of the courtroom.

“I can’t come up with $100, not much less $100,000,” Irvin told Honaker.

The man was remanded to the custody of the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver following his arraignment on the charges. Honaker told Irvin that, if convicted, he faces a sentence of 15 to 35 years in prison on each of the sexual assault charges and five to 25 years in prison on each of the sexual abuse charges.

‘Magical warlock’ sexually abused girls as young as 3 years old: police

WEST VIRGINIA
New York Daily News

BY SASHA GOLDSTEIN
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Published: Monday, April 21, 2014

A sicko calling himself a “magical warlock” allegedly sexually abused several children, authorities in West Virginia said, using his Wiccan religion to trick the youngsters into sexual acts.

James Irvin, 57, of Bluefield, abused children as young as 3, 9 and 13, according to court documents, the Bluefield Daily Telegraph reported.

He was arraigned on five counts of sexual assault and 10 counts of sexual abuse.

The practicing Pagan/Wiccan pervert, police said, used his religion to get close to the children, two of whom lived in Irvin’s home with their parents in 2007 when the abuse occurred, WVVA-TV reported.

Archbishop Deposition on Alleged Abuse to be Released Tuesday

MINNESOTA
KSTP

By: Jennie Olson

Details on what Archbishop John Nienstedt said when he testified under oath earlier this month will be released Tuesday, including a transcript and video, Attorney Jeff Anderson announced Monday.

It was the first time Nienstedt has had to answer questions under oath regarding the alleged sexual abuse of children by priests. Church lawyers tried for months to block the deposition on the grounds it is not relevant to a case that will go to trial in September, but a Ramsey County judge and the Minnesota Court of Appeals disagreed.

A statement from the Archdiocese released April 2 said the Archbishop expressed regret for mistakes that were made in the past and assumed responsibility for mistakes that have been made since he became Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in 2008, according to the statement.

WA- Yakima Catholic bishop "splits hairs"

WASHINGTON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, April 22, 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 )

Yakima's Catholic bishop is desperately trying to evade responsibility for a child molesting cleric by stressing that the cleric's crimes happened during guitar lessons that weren't "church-sanctioned." That is disgusting hair-splitting. Deacon Aaron Ramirez would likely never have been trusted by this boy or his parents had Yakima's bishop not irresponsibly held Ramirez out to be a holy, celibate man when he clearly wasn't.

[Yakima Herald-Republic]

For decades, Catholic officials have said almost anything to avoid any accountability for their reckless, callous and deceptive wrongdoing in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases.

(In one notorious case, then-Archbishop William Levada of San Francisco argued in court filings that one of his priests shouldn't have to pay support for the child he fathered because the woman should have used birth control, which of course the Catholic hierarchy insists is immoral.)

Catholic bishops have shown a remarkable ability to sound pastoral in public, but fight viciously in court. We hope Yakima jurors won't reward more of this legalistic, self-serving hair-splitting.

John Paul's saint-maker says documents show no "personal involvement" in Legion scandal

VATICAN CITY
The Republic

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
April 22, 2014

VATICAN CITY — The Polish priest who has spearheaded the case to make Pope John Paul II a saint says there is no documentation that he had any "personal involvement" in the scandal of the Legion of Christ religious order.

John Paul and his closest advisers had held up the Legion and its late founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, as a model for the faithful, even though the Vatican for decades had documentation with credible allegations that Maciel was a pedophile and drug addict with a questionable spiritual life.

Monsignor Slawomir Oder said Tuesday that based on documentation available for the saint-making investigation, "There is no sign of personal involvement of the Holy Father in this case."

Oder didn't mention John Paul's closest advisers, who were among Maciel's staunchest supporters.

Archbishop Nienstedt's testimony in clergy abuse case to be released

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Public Radio

Archbishop John Nienstedt's sworn testimony about his handling of sexual abuse allegations in the Twin Cities Catholic church will be released Tuesday, according to a St. Paul victims' attorney.

The four-hour deposition took place April 2. It is part of a lawsuit brought by a man who says he was sexually abused by the Rev. Thomas Adamson in the mid-1970s. The lawsuit claims the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Winona created a public nuisance by refusing for decades to release information about abusive priests. It says that the actions of top church officials continue to put children at risk.

Attorney Jeff Anderson, who is representing the plaintiff in the case and conducted the four-hour deposition, said questioning ended heatedly when he asked the archbishop to turn over the files of offending priests to police. Anderson will release video of the questioning, along with a transcript, at a Tuesday morning news conference.

The deposition marked the first time Nienstedt has had to answer questions under oath about clergy sexual abuse in the Twin Cities since he was appointed to lead the archdiocese six years ago. In 2006, he testified under oath in a lawsuit involving the Diocese of New Ulm, where he served as bishop before coming to the Twin Cities.

Priest rapes minor on temple premises

INDIA
Times of India

KENDRAPADA: A priest of Madhukeshari Temple allegedly raped a 16-year-old girl on its premises at Chakoda village under Dharmasala police limits in Jajpur district on Monday.

The survivor's motherlodged an FIR, alleging that Rabindra Panda, 35, raped her minor daughter.

According to IIC of Dharmasala police station Sudrashan Dash, Panda raped the girl when she went to the temple to have prasad.

The girl was taken to community health centre at Dharmasala where doctors after medical examination told police that she was raped. Doctors said there were injury marks on her person and private parts. The girl was shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack after her condition deteriorated.

IL- 2nd man reports abuse by Fr. O'Connell

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

I knew Father Mike O’Connell, but I didn't know he was a priest because of all the steroids at a gym where I was a member.

I was a teenager and I knew then that Mike O’Connell was dangerous, especially to kids. I stepped in and helped another kid that he was abusing, which is why I’m speaking out now.

I want to help other kids that are in danger now as well as survivors that are still hiding in shame. I also want to support the brave victim that came forward and reported Father O’Connell.

Based on my interactions with Father O’Connell I’m not surprised at all that a survivor has stepped forward. I hope many more will. I hope that by speaking out now I can help survivors in the same way I was able to help the kid at the gym that was being abused.

Archbishop Dolan: Pope Francis is in Touch with Church’s Needs

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOX

Maria Keena
April 21, 2014

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Catholic Church has reason to celebrate findings of a CBS poll that shows more people than ever feel the Church is in touch with their needs.

Timothy Dolan, a St. Louis native and the Archbishop of New York, says that’s good news. He credits the Pope for being so genuine and sincere.

But there are still lingering questions about real reform in the Church regarding predator priests and sex abuse.

“Those 10 days before we actually sealed ourselves in the Sistine Chapel, the College of Cardinals met in confidence every day,” he says. “We spoke our mind, and Jorge Bergoglio [Pope Francis], who was there, listened intently. And now we know it for sure, because he’s doing a lot of the stuff.”
Pope Francis still has not met with victims, but Dolan believes that he will.

“I think he should and I think that he will, Pope Benedict did,” says Dolan. “We’ve got to give him some time, he knows that it’s a towering problem.”

Assignment Record – Rev. William J. "Bill" Spine, s.j.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: A Chicago Province Jesuit ordained in 1973, Fr. Bill Spine worked in Peru, Brooklyn NY, Moline IL, Chicago, and Lexington KY. He was a teacher, parish assistant and pastor, and associate director of a diocesan hispanic ministry office. Spine was removed from active ministry in February 2006, several months after the Jesuits received what they called a credible allegation that the priest sexually abused a teenage boy while assigned to Peru in the mid-1970s. The boy was Spine's student. The Official Catholic Directory shows that Spine lived in Rome from 2007 to at least 2010.

Ordained: 1973

Nuevas acusaciones contra sacerdote

CHICAGO (IL)
Telemundo Chicago

Después de haberse reincorporado la semana pasada como pastor de la "Parroquía San Alfonso", de Lakeview, ahora surgen nuevas acusaciones en contra del Reverendo Michael O'Connell.

Según reportes, el padre O'Connell aceptó renunciar en Diciembre del 2013, cuando presentaron una denuncia oficial por supuesta conducta inapropiada. En esta querella, se acusó al religioso de un presunto abuso sexual de un jovencito que ocurrió hace 20 años, cuando estaba a cargo de la "Parroquía Lady of Woods" de Orland Park.

De acuerdo a la Arquidiócesis de Chicago, las alegaciones fueron investigadas por el Dpto. de Servicios para Familias y Niños de Illinois, la fiscalía del Condado Cook y la oficina del alguacil del Condado Cook. Al parecer, se concluyó que las acusaciones no tenían fundamento.

Supporting abuse victims to tell their story

AUSTRALIA
Whyalla News

By KAYLEIGH BRUCE April 22, 2014

Local service providers were recently provided with information to aid people who may wish to tell their story to the Royal Commission into the Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse.

Currently the Royal Commission is hearing from people across Australia to look at how institutions have managed and responded to allegations and instances of child sexual abuse.

Any child sexual abuse survivors can share their story as part of the commission to show what happened in the past to help build child safe organisations in the future.

Victim Support Service facilitated the information session in conjunction with Know More - an independent legal service offering free legal assistance to people considering making a submission.

Victim Support Service Royal Commission Support Services counsellor Dianne Newton said the aim of the local session was to educate service providers to let community members know that the royal commission was interested in their story.

New sex abuse lawsuits filed as filing deadline nears

HAWAII
Hawaii News Now

[with video]

By Tim Sakahara

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
There are just three days left for Hawaii child sex abuse victims to seek justice against their attackers even if the statute of limitations has expired. The deadline is prompting a slew of last-minute lawsuits.

The state passed a law allowing child sex abuse victims to sue their perpetrator even if the crime happened decades ago. However it was a two year window. That window closes this Thursday which is why some lawyers are in for a busy week.

Mark Gallagher may be wearing a path in the courthouse floor. He has already filed 38 child sexual abuse cases and counting.

"I probably have about eight, nine maybe even ten more back at the office to be filed this week," said Mark Gallagher, Attorney.

Gallagher is one of the attorneys on various advertisements looking for more victims to step forward. There is a sense of urgency because this Thursday April 24 is the deadline, not just to call but to have an actual lawsuit filed with the clerk's office before it closes at 4:15.

"If you're going to act tomorrow there is enough time, Wednesday there is enough time, Thursday it's going to be a little bit tight," said Gallagher.

The defendants are against various churches, private school groups and individuals. There is a big case against Kamehameha Schools involving 28 alleged victims. There are about 30 different cases against the Catholic Church in Hawaii.

Man faces up to 40 years for sex assault of boys

NEBRASKA
Kearney Hub

KIM SCHMIDT Hub Staff Writer

KEARNEY — A former church youth leader has been sentenced to 17 to 40 years in prison for sexually assaulting three boys during a span of seven years.

Thomas A. Jones, 37, was sentenced Monday morning in Buffalo County District Court on two counts of felony sexual assault of a child, two counts of felony third-degree sexual assault of a child and one count of femoly attempted first-degree sexual assault of a child.

The incidents took place in Kearney between 1999 and 2006. In each case, Jones either exposed himself to the boys, touched their private parts or was involved in oral sex with them.

With good time, Jones could be eligible for parole in 8½ years. Judge John Icenogle gave him credit for 27 days already served in prison.

Former Kearney pastor sentenced for sexual assault

NEBRASKA
Press & Dakotan

Associated Press

KEARNEY, Neb. (AP) — A former Kearney church youth pastor faces up to 40 years in prison for sexually assaulting three boys.

The Kearney Hub reports (http://bit.ly/1rgAXU0 ) that 37-year-old Thomas A. Jones was sentenced Monday in Buffalo County District Court. Jones was convicted of two counts of felony sexual assault of child, two counts of felony third-degree sexual assault of a child and one count of attempted first-degree sexual assault of a child.

Prosecutors say the incidents took place in Kearney between 1999 and 2006. In each case, Jones exposed himself to the boys, touched their private parts or was involved in oral sex with them.

Reverend nixes plea deal in sex abuse case

NEW YORK
Niagara Gazette

By Howard Balaban
Niagara Gazette

ALBION — A local pastor accused of sex crimes against children declined a plea deal Monday in Orleans County Court.

Roy Harriger Sr., 70, of Middleport, faces three charges of course of sexual conduct against a child and three charges of incest, in connection with incidents that allegedly took place during 2000-2001 while he was the pastor of a Lyndonville church.

Harriger, now of Community Fellowship Church in Hartland, declined Monday to accept a plea deal involving three counts of first-degree course of sexual conduct, with sentences to run concurrently.

Instead, Harriger's attorney filed a motion relating to the language of the statute under which Harriger was indicted by a grand jury in early Febuary. The attorney also asked Orleans County Judge James Punch to lift an order of protection that directs Harriger to avoid any contact or communication with any child under the age of 18. Punch said no.

Attorneys present closing arguments in Yakima Diocese sex abuse trial

WASHINGTON
KIMA

[with video]

By Samina Engel Published: Apr 21, 2014

YAKIMA, Wash. -- Attorneys for both sides made their final pitch in a sex abuse case against the Yakima Diocese. The case is being heard in federal court.

The anonymous plaintiff says he was raped by a Yakima deacon almost 15 years ago. He's suing the diocese for more than $3 million in damages.

His attorneys say the Yakima Diocese should have protected the teenager and argued there was a "campaign of silence and secrets" to cover up the abuse.

A lawyer for the diocese questioned the plaintiff's credibility, highlighting inconsistencies in his testimony.

Lawyer in church rape case asks for bigger award for alleged victim

WASHINGTON
Yakima Herald-Republic

By Donald W. Meyers / Yakima Herald-Republic
dmeyers@yakimaherald.com

YAKIMA, Wash. — A man who alleges he was raped as a teen by a deacon with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Yakima deserves more than the $3.1 million originally sought, his attorney argued in federal court Monday.

Attorney Bryan Smith urged U.S. District Judge Edward Shea to use his discretion to award more, suggesting $8.6 million instead.

“How much is it worth to have your soul ripped from you, or think that it will never come back?” Smith asked during closing arguments in the abuse case.

But an attorney for the diocese argued the lawsuit should be thrown out, saying the man, known in court papers as John Doe, has not proven his case.

Suit: Man abused by convicted priest suing archdiocese

CHICAGO (IL)
Voices

By LeeAnn Shelton

A man filed a lawsuit Friday against the Archdiocese of Chicago, claiming he was sexually abused by convicted former Catholic priest Daniel McCormack at a West Side parish in 2005.

The plaintiff, listed in the lawsuit as John C. Doe, was 12 when McCormack began abusing him in the spring of 2005, he claims in the suit, which was filed Friday in Cook County Circuit Court.

The boy lived across the street from St. Agatha’s Parish, where McCormack was a pastor, teacher and coach, the suit said. McCormack would ask him to help with chores around the parish in exchange for the boy playing pick-up basketball games.

The plaintiff, who is now in his early 20s, alleges the sexual abuse continued through late fall of 2005, according to the suit.

Abuse Allegations Made Against Recently-Cleared Priest

CHICAGO (IL)
NBC Chicago

[with video]

By Rob Elgas | Monday, Apr 21, 2014

A witness has come forward with new allegations against a Chicago priest who was reinstated to his parish just last week.

Father Michael O'Connell, of St. Alphonsus Church, was cleared of any wrongdoing in a previous case, but now the Cook County Sheriff's Department have decided to reopen the case.

An Arizona man claims he saw O'Connell sexually abuse a young man 15 years ago. He says it happened in a Gold's Gym in the south suburbs when a man he only knew as "Mike," inappropriately touch the teenager.

"Now, I feel with this victim coming forward and people are starting to question him, then maybe my story is more believable," said the man, who know lives in Arizona and asked that his identity not be revealed for fear of retaliation.

Archives show Vatican closed eyes to fraud

VATICAN CITY
Portland Press Herald

By Nicole Winfield
The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — Pope John Paul II is rightly credited with having helped bring down communism, of inspiring a new generation of Catholics with a globe-trotting papacy and of explaining church teaching on a range of hot-button issues as Christianity entered its third millennium.

But the sexual abuse scandal that festered under his watch remains a stain on his legacy.

John Paul and his top advisers failed to grasp the severity of the abuse problem until very late in his 26-year papacy, even though U.S. bishops had been petitioning the Holy See since the late-1980s for a faster way to defrock pedophile priests.

The experience of John Paul in Poland under communist and Nazi rule, where innocent priests were often discredited by trumped-up accusations, is believed to have influenced his general defensiveness of the clergy. The exodus of clergy after the turbulent 1960s similarly made him want to hold onto the priests he still had.

Pope Francis has inherited John Paul’s most notorious failure on the sex abuse front – the Legion of Christ order, which John Paul and his top advisers held up as a model. Francis, who will canonize John Paul on Sunday, must decide whether to sign off on the Vatican’s three-year reform project, imposed after the Legion admitted that its late founder sexually abused his seminarians and fathered three children.

Cook County Sheriff reopens investigation of priest

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

[with video]

BY FRANCINE KNOWLES Religion Reporter April 21, 2014

The Cook County Sheriff’s office said Monday it has resumed investigating a Catholic priest just days after the Archdiocese of Chicago announced that a sexual abuse allegation against the priest was unfounded.

The Rev. Michael W. O’Connell was reinstated last week to active ministry as pastor of St. Alphonsus on the North Side.

The sheriff’s office declined to say what prompted the new investigation but it comes as a former Illinois resident appeared at a news conference Monday. The man, who refused to identify himself, alleged he witnessed O’Connell behaving improperly at a south suburban gym years ago.

The man said he reported the incident to authorities Monday but did not tell police or the archdiocese at the time.

FOCUS – Dissenters voice doubt over John Paul II sainthood – By Dario Thubuurn

VATICAN CITY
Sunday Times (Sri Lanka)

VATICAN CITY, April 22, 2014 (AFP) - A much-loved pope will be declared a saint on Sunday but not everyone in the Catholic Church agrees.

John Paul II also alienated many left-wing Catholics and has been blamed for hushing up child sex crimes.

“Not all the people of God agree about canonisation,” the International Movement We Are Church said in a statement ahead of the canonisation ceremony in St Peter’s for John Paul II and his Italian predecessor John XXIII.

The group accused the late pope of “spiritual authoritarianism” and of putting too much emphasis on “hierarchical control” — two traits it said left little room for victims and investigations of abuses.

“Pope John Paul II was a pope of great contradiction. His tragedy lies in the discrepancy between his commitment to reform and dialogue in the world and his return to authoritarianism,” it said.

The pontiff credited with helping to bring down Communism in Eastern Europe was accused of backing right-wing dictators in Latin America including Augusto Pinochet in Chile during the Cold War.

Archbishop Nienstedt's court deposition on clergy abuse to be released Tuesday

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune Updated: April 21, 2014

Archbishop’s statements in abuse case to be made public by an attorney for alleged victim.

The contentious deposition of Archbishop John Nienstedt in a child sexual abuse suit will be made public Tuesday, attorneys for the alleged abuse victim said.

A judge ordered the deposition over the objection of attorneys for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Nienstedt testified under oath for four hours April 2 about the way church officials have responded to allegations of sexual abuse by priests. The archdiocese was strongly criticized last week by a church-appointed panel investigating those issues.

“We’re releasing these now because we believe it is important for the public to be able to read the archbishops’s testimony,” said attorney Mike Finnegan. “We believe all information on child sex abuse in the archdiocese should be made public.”

The archdiocese released a statement immediately after the deposition, stating that Nienstedt had explained that children’s safety was the archdiocese’s highest priority. The statement said he “expressed regret for mistakes that were made in the past,” and that he would follow recommendations by the panel reviewing how the archdiocese handled abuse complaints.

However, attorneys for the alleged abuse victim said Nienstedt had ended his testimony abruptly and “heatedly” when asked to give police investigators more church files about credibly accused priests.

Archbishop deposition on abuse to be released

MINNESOTA
Faribault County Register

April 22, 2014
Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Attorneys for an alleged sexual abuse victim plan Tuesday to release St. Paul and Minneapolis Archbishop John Nienstedt's deposition.

Nienstedt testified under oath for four hours April 2 about the way church officials have responded to allegations of sexual abuse by priests.

Attorney Mike Finnegan, who represents a man who says he was sexually abused by a priest in the 1970s, tells the Star Tribune (http://strib.mn/1h8I4N4) it's important for the public to be able to read the archbishop's testimony.

Church lawyers tried for months to block the deposition on the grounds it is not relevant to the case. But a Ramsey County judge and the Minnesota Court of Appeals disagreed.

Witness to Alleged Priest Sex Abuse: 'Did I Help That Kid Enough'

CHICAGO (IL)
Patch

Posted by Lorraine Swanson (Editor) , April 22, 2014

Less than a week after he was reinstated to his position as pastor of a Chicago parish, another witness has stepped forward with a new allegation of child sex abuse against Rev. Michael W. O’Connell.

O’Connell returned to his post at St. Alphonsus Church on April 17, after taking a leave of absence from his current parish after he was accused in December 2013 of sexual misconduct with a minor while serving at Our Lady of the Woods in Orland Park, 20 years ago.

An investigation by the Cook County Sheriff's office, working with the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office, was unable to find enough evidence to support the charges, Barbara Blaine said, president of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Now, another former south suburban man has stepped forward, stating that he witnessed O’Connell abusing a young male teen at an Orland Park fitness center sometime in 1999 or 2000.

The witness, now 33 and living in Nevada, contacted SNAP in Chicago after learning that the Archdiocese had allowed O’Connell to return to ministry.

April 21, 2014

Deposition of Archbishop John Nienstedt to be Publicly Released Tomorrow

MINNESOTA
Jeff Anderson & Associates

What: At a news conference Tuesday attorneys Jeff Anderson and Mike Finnegan will:

• Release video clips and the deposition transcript of Archbishop John Nienstedt taken on April 2, 2014 as part of a civil lawsuit.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 11:00 AM CDT

WHERE: Law Office of Jeff Anderson & Associates
366 Jackson Street Suite 100
St. Paul, MN 55101

Notes: All attendees will be provided with copies of the video testimony and deposition transcripts. Clips of the testimony and the transcript will be posted tomorrow morning on our website www.andersonadvocates.com.

Contact: Jeff Anderson: Cell: 612.817.8665 Office: 651.318.2650
Mike Finnegan: Cell: 612.205.5531 Office: 651.318.2650

Police Investigating New Abuse Accusation Against Reinstated Priest

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS Chicago

(CBS) — Police are investigating a new allegation of sexual misconduct against a Chicago priest who was just re-instated at his north side parish.

Fr. Michael O’Connell returned to St. Alphonsus Church last week after a four-month investigation into an allegation that he sexually abused a minor in the 1990′s. Investigators couldn’t find enough evidence for criminal charges.

The new allegation also dates from the 1990′s, when O’Connell was pastor at Our Lady of the Woods in Orland Park. A witness says he saw Fr. O’Connell molest a teenager at a south suburban gym.

“He claims that he saw Fr. O’Connell bring a youngster to the gym and said he saw him touching him inappropriately and it caused him a great deal of concern,” said Barbara Blaine SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Cook County Sheriff’s police have interviewed the witness. They confirm they’ve re-opened their investigation into Fr. O’Connell.

Pope puts Catholic rebirth at risk: Column

UNITED STATES
USA Today

Brett M. Decker
April 21, 2014

This Sunday, one week after Easter, Pope Francis is scheduled to canonize two of his predecessors, John Paul II and John XXIII. Few moves could so quickly undo his popular efforts to make the Roman Catholic Church more sensitive to the values of modern churchgoers.

Francis has concentrated much of his 13-month papacy on making symbolic gestures. To great news media fanfare, he wears black boots with his clerical robes instead of more formal, traditional slippers, and he sleeps in a hotel built for cardinals rather than the papal apartment in the Vatican palace.

Church knew

The impact of the Argentine pontiff raising two popes to sainthood after their failures to address the globe-spanning clergy sex abuse scandal would be far more than symbolic. The scandal damaged thousands of innocent lives and cost the church billions of dollars in legal damages as well as its moral standing.

John XXIII, pope from 1958 to 1963, and John Paul II, pope from 1978 to 2005, both held their positions after the widespread abuse, stretching back deep into the 20th century, was known to the Vatican.

The strict hierarchical structure of the Roman church means accountability goes straight to the top. The buck stops at the pope's desk, for good or for ill.

Canonizing pontiffs from the era of abuse is not only tone deaf but also exposes a continuing, stubborn refusal to acknowledge the institutional coverup that occurred for decades and that those at the highest levels — including popes — didn't do enough to prevent the crimes, enabling the crisis to continue.

Note to bishops: It's time to ditch the luxury lifestyle

UNITED STATES
U.S. Catholic

By Scott Alessi

This story is starting to get almost comically repetitive: Yet another high ranking church official has caused a stir by opting for a lavish living arrangement instead of looking for more humble housing. This time it is Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the former Vatican secretary of state, who is moving in to a newly renovated 6,500-square-foot apartment, which was actually created for him by merging two smaller apartments. And Pope Francis, according to news reports, is not happy.

For those following the news, this has been a trend for bishops in recent months. Germany's Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst will now forever be known as the "Bishop of Bling" for the $43 million in renovations to his residence, which included a $300,000 fish tank, $2.38 million for bronze window frames, and a $20,000 bath tub. The news earned him a meeting with Pope Francis about his extravagant lifestyle and Tebartz-van Elst ended up being replaced as bishop of his diocese.

Here in the United States, Newark, New Jersey Archbishop John Myers came under fire recently for a half-million dollar, 3,000-square-foot addition to the house which will serve as his retirement home. Then it was Atlanta's Archbishop Wilton Gregory building himself a $2.2 million residence, although Gregory at least apologized after the fact and has decided not to live in the house after all. Meanwhile the pope is living in the simple Vatican guesthouse rather than the traditional--and more upscale--papal apartments.

I really don't see the argument for bishops living in luxury housing. I understand they may need space to house guests or to have meetings, or that certain accommodations may be necessary in their older age. But it is hard for people to see their bishop as an example of Christ when he's living a lifestyle that the vast majority of Catholics in his own diocese can't afford.

Week after being cleared, Chicago preist faces new sex abuse allegation

CHICAGO (IL)
WGN

by Sean Lewis
Anchor/Reporter

A Chicago priest, accused in December of sexual abuse, faces a new allegation today from a man who says he witnessed another incident of abuse 15 years ago.

Father Michael O’Connell stepped down as pastor at St Alphonsus Parish in Lakeview when the original allegations were made in December. And just last week, after an investigation, O’Connell was reinstated by the archdiocese when the Cook County Sheriff called the allegations unfounded.

But now the Cook County Sheriff’s Dept says it has now reopened their investigation.

Today new allegations came from a 33-year-old man who claims that he witnessed Father O’Connell sexually abuse a young teenage boy in the locker room of a south suburban gym in 1999. O’Connell, he says, had his hand down the front of the other boy’s pants.

At the time, O’Connell was priest at Our Lady of the Woods parish in Orland Park.

Priest accused of sexual misconduct cleared, resumes role at churchThe man now lives out of state but came forward because he say he believes Father O’Connell to be dangerous.

IL- Second man accuses priest

CHICAGO (IL)
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Second man accuses priest
Cleric was put back on the job just last week
Church officials didn't believe first allegation
SNAP: “Suspend alleged predator immediately”
“Don't keep endangering children,” support group says

WHAT
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose that

– a second accuser is reporting that he was assaulted by a just-reinstated priest, and
– he's meeting today with police and archdiocesan officials.

They will also urge Chicago's Cardinal Francis George to
– suspend the credibly accused child molesting cleric immediately,
– put him in a treatment center, and
– aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered the priests crimes or misdeeds and encourage them to call police or prosecutors, not Catholic officials.

WHEN
Monday, April 21 at 1:30 p.m.

WHERE
Outside the archdiocesan headquarters/chancery office, 835 N. Rush St (corner of Chestnut) Chicago, IL

WHO
Three-four victims of clergy sex crimes who belong to an international support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including the organization’s long time president

WHY
Last week, Chicago's Cardinal Francis George put an accused predator priest back on the job in a parish. Today, a second man who reports having been assaulted by Fr. Michael O'Connell will file a police report, meet with church officials and speak publicly about his experiences.

Last December, because of child sex abuse allegations, Fr. O’Connell stepped down from his post at St. Alphonsus Catholic parish (1429 W. Wellington Ave., 773 525 0709) in Lakeview. He was accused of molesting a boy when he worked at Our Lady of the Woods Parish (708 361 4754) in Orland Park (1997-2012).

But on April 15, archdiocesan officials announced that they consider the abuse allegations against Fr. O'Connell be “unfounded.”

Now a second man is reporting that he too was hurt by Fr. O'Connell, in a one-time incident in the 1990s at a gym. The man, who was an older teen at the time, has not disclosed this before to either secular or church authorities.

SNAP says in dozens of cases across the country, Catholic officials have reinstated an accused child molesting cleric only to later oust him permanently. Cardinal George has done that at least three times in the past few years regarding Fr Bennett, Fr McCormick and Fr. Klein.

Archbishop deposition transcript to be released Tuesday

MINNESOTA
Minnesota Lawyer

By: Elizabeth Ahlin April 21, 2014

Attorneys for a man suing the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis plan to release a deposition transcript and video clips from the deposition of Archbishop Nienstedt Tuesday at 11 a.m. The plaintiff in the suit has alleged abuse at the hands of a priest in the 1970s.

After the four-hour deposition earlier this month, attorney Jeff Anderson accused Nienstedt of leaving early and refusing to cooperate fully. A spokesman for the archdiocese disputed that allegation.

Bill would extend window for justice on abuse cases

NEW YORK
The Legislative Gazette

By Tiffany Brooks
Staff Writer

April 21, 2014

Assemblywoman Margaret Markey is renewing her push for legislation that would give sexual assault victims more time to file criminal and civil complaints against their abusers.

Markey's Child Victims Act (A.1771-a/ S.06367) would eliminate completely the statute of limitation on reporting criminal charges of sexual assault, erasing the current five year limitation on reporting an incident after a victim turns 18. The bill would also suspend the civil statute of limitations for one year in order to help expose older crimes and allow for possible identification of hidden abusers through the court discovery process.

"Research consistently shows that survivors of childhood sexual abuse do not come to terms with what happened to them until later in life, often not until middle age," said Markey, D-Maspeth. "Providing more time for them to come forward not only provides justice for those who have been victimized, but will also expose pedophiles who remain hidden because of current law."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 percent of men and 18 percent of women have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Thirty-five percent of female victims were assaulted as minors and 28 percent of male victims were assaulted under the age of 10.

Assignment Record – Rev. Edmund J. Robinson, s.j.

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Summary of Case: Edmund J. Robinson was ordained a priest of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus in 1955. He spent the bulk of his career working at Indian missions across the province in Montana, Washington state and Idaho. Robinson was accused in 2011 of raping a 5-year-old Native American girl in 1963 in Arlee, Montana. In 2012 his name was included in a lawsuit as a perpetrator of past child sexual abuse in Hays, Montana. Robinson was known in 2012 to have been residing since 1993 in a Jesuit community in Spokane.

Ordained: 1955

SNAP Leaders Honored

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Two weeks ago, New Jersey's attorney general honored our state director Mark Crawford for his tireless work and ceaseless compassion for sex abuse victims. Crawford received the Ronald W. Reagan Award, which is the first of its kind given by the attorney general’s office.

Earlier this month, the Harvard Divinity School honored our Midwest director Peter Isley for his never-ending work for clergy sex abuse victims. Isley received the Peter J. Gomes Memorial Honors, which was established last year to honor alumni whose “excellence in life, work and service pays homage to the mission and values of Harvard Divinity School.”

Next month our western regional director Joelle Castiex will receive the Susan Laufer Award for Outstanding Contribution to Support Group Awareness from SHARE! Joelle has contributed selflessly and tirelessly to help survivors of sexual abuse find help and healing.

We’re proud of our brave and dedicated leaders, who selflessly volunteer their time and energy to help victims all over the world. Without them we would not be able to do what we do. Countless victims have been helped and future abuses have been prevented because of what they do every day.

Cruz e informe de la ONU: En Chile...

CHILE
ADN radio

[Summary: Juan Carlos Cruz, who has said he was abused by priest Fernando Karadima, has complained to the United National Committee on Torture that Cardinals Francisco Javier Errazuriz and Ricardo Ezzati acted to cover-up abuse by Karadima.]

Juan Carlos Cruz, uno de los denunciantes de Fernando Karadima, se refirió en ADN al informe de la Comisión de Tortura de Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU), que critica la responsabilidad de los cardenales Francisco Javier Errázuriz y Ricardo Ezzati, por no actuar y encubrir los casos de abusos sexual por parte del exparróco de El Bosque.

“El vaticano tiene que comparecer, porque están cuestionando ciertas cosas, va a comparecer de nuevo en Ginebra en la Comisión Contra la Tortura. Lo más impresionante es que Chile está destacado, porque se nombra con nombre y apellido a Cardenales de la iglesia chilena y esto ha sido gracias a los medios de todo el mundo”, explicó.

Además destacó que en el primer informe que entregó la ONU, “no se alcanzó a incluir a Chile, y salió el informe que fue bastante duro contra el Vaticano, ahora ellos fueron llamados ante la Comisión de Tortura y se específica lo que ha pasado en otros países y ahí se nombra a los cardenales por la contradicción de que ocupen cargos importantes”.

MO- SNAP says Carlson violates privacy of Fr. Jiang's second victim

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

For immediate release: Monday, April 21, 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 )

We are members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). Our mission is to heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we help anyone who was hurt in any institutional setting.

We have two key concerns – what Archbishop Robert Carlson is saying about the Fr. Joseph Jiang case and what Archbishop Carlson is doing about the Fr. Jiang case.

What he's SAYING about the case is deceptive, self-serving and cruel.

There are 52 publicly accused St. Louis child molesting Catholic clerics. Archbishop Robert Carlson has been involved in clergy sex cases since 1984. And Carlson is a smart man, surrounded by plenty of smart lawyers and smart public relations people.

So Carlson knows how to respond when allegations of clergy sex crimes surface. But when his close pal Fr. Joseph Jiang was arrested Friday on a second set of criminal child sex charges, Carlson chose to publicly cast doubt on and violate the privacy of the second alleged victim's family. Shame on him and on every person on his staff who played a role in this callous, self-serving statement.

Carlson publicly cast doubt on this courageous family when, on Friday, he issued a statement claiming that the second victim's family supposedly didn't mention child sex abuse until this week.

[St. Louis archdiocese]

Everyone knows that the overwhelming majority of child sex abuse victims can't understand and disclose their trauma until decades later. So delays in reporting child sex crimes are not unusual or relevant at all.

But by mentioning the alleged delay, Carlson is deliberately casting doubt on the victim's family.

(What's ironic here is that in many cases, Carlson and other Catholic officials question and criticize victims who step forward decades after their abuse. Now, a victim reports promptly, while he is still a child, and Carlson attacks him too for his timing. When exactly does Carlson feel it's appropriate for those who are raped, sodomized or fondled by priests to speak up?)

YOUR OCCASIONAL POPE

UNITED STATES
Esquire

By Charles P. Pierce on April 21, 2014

Holy Mother Church is making saints again, and what a fine hash it is, too.

On April 27, Papa Francis is going to canonize both John Paul II and John XXIII. This is a very shrewd move, because there are a lot of people -- like me -- who consider JP The Deuce as a world-historical figure who deserves more credit for ending the Cold War than does, say, Ronald Reagan, but who also consider him a terrible pope -- a theological reactionary and bully who was tougher on theology professors than he ever was on clerical rapists. He got fast-tracked onto the calendar of saints so that Peggy Noonan would not cry bitter tears into her Grey Goose. And, of course, now, all kinds of embarrassing chickens are coming home to roost.

Letter from John Paul's personal secretary, Monsignor Stanislaw Dziwisz, to the prefect of the Congregation for Religious, with the pope's approval of the Legion's constitutions, despite Vatican reservations that they include too many rules.

The process of John Paul's canonization began before Francis's watch began. But it was the latter's decision to include John XXIII, good Pope John, in the festivities, thereby throwing bones -- Not literally. This isn't the Middle Ages -- to both wings of the Church. (Alas for all concerned, Maciel was quite the perv going back decades, including the brief papacy of John XXIII.) The politics of it are deft. The theology of it, less so,

Pope Francis decided to waive John XXIII's second miracle so he could canonize both popes together, which has caused speculation about just what Francis hopes to get out of the deal. "Pope Francis made a calculated political decision on canonizing the two popes, trying to bring some unity to a fractured church," says Jason Berry, author of Render Unto Rome, who has written extensively on the Catholic Church.

What I am already worrying about is that Good Pope John is going to get buried under an avalanche of rightist nostalgia for John Paul II, during which the sexual abuse scandal is likely not to be mentioned. John is a figure of ancient history now. John Paul was a media superstar. This is the kind of thing I'm already dreading.

More accusations against Brandon priest in sex abuse case

FLORIDA
Tampa Bay Times

Anna M. Phillips, Times Staff Writer
Monday, April 21, 2014

TAMPA — Another teenage girl has come forward to accuse Brandon pastor Francisco Rios of sexually abusing her, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office officials said Monday.

Already facing three charges of lewd and lascivious molestation for incidents involving a 15-year-old and a 12-year-old in his congregation, Rios will now be charged a fourth time, officials said, for inappropriately touching another 15-year-old. Arrested in early April, Rios is the pastor of the Spanish-language evangelical church Casa de Amor.

A spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office said detectives had known about and tried to contact the girl, but in the year since the alleged incident she had left Florida and couldn't be reached until recently.

At a court hearing Monday, sheriff's Detective Chris Seaton said the girls told similar stories of being alone with Rios in his office at the church on Windhorst Road. The 12-year-old said there had been multiple times when Rios slapped her behind, kissed her and touched her inappropriately, Seaton said. The first 15-year-old to come forward told the detective that Rios began touching her several years ago, but in 2013, his actions escalated.

Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against Patriarchal Christian Group

UNITED STATES
Religion Dispatches

Post by JULIE INGERSOLL

As I reported last Fall, Doug Phillips resigned from Vision Forum Ministries in what seemed like a sudden confession of a lengthy inappropriate relationship with a woman but with whom he denied having sex. As details trickled out it became clear the woman was the family’s nanny, a member of the church where Phillips was a leading elder (but had resigned months earlier when the church learned of his misconduct), and an employee of Vision Forum.

The details from a lawsuit filed last week against Phillips by Lourdes Torres-Manteufel only underscore the reality that this and the recent sex scandal at Bill Gothard’s Institute in Biblical Life Principles (IBLP) are more than isolated events—they shine a light on a darker side to Protestant fundamentalism that facilitates abuse.

While distinctly different, these two “ministries” share elements that facilitated the abuse, and a growing number of “alumni” are raising concerns.

Gothard has staffed the headquarters of his $95 million nonprofit with young home school volunteers, some of whom (now adults) recently started sharing stories of his behavior toward them when they were teens, away from home serving the ministry on the website Recovering Grace. A groundswell developed and Gothard was forced to resign; he’s now under investigation and on April 18th he released a statement admitting to many of the accusations but insisting they were not sexual.

Catholic cleric sued for £5m over pension fund shortfall

SCOTLAND
Herald Scotland

Gerry Braiden
Senior reporter

Monday 21 April 2014

A PROMINENT Catholic cleric is being sued by Scotland's largest local authority for almost £5 million after a church-run approved school closed with major pension liabilities.

Monsignor Peter Smith, currently a Vatican attache at the United Nations in New York, is being held personally responsible for the gaping hole left in the pension pot caused by the closure of Springboig St John's School in Glasgow almost four years ago.

How to get promoted in the Southern Baptist Convention

UNITED STATES
Watch Keep

Step 1: Cover for an admitted child sex offender.

Step 2: Refuse to speak with police and prosecutors about private meetings with said admitted child sex offender, claiming priest-penitent privilege, forcing prosecutors to issue subpoenas to obtain said information.

Step 3: Exert political influence and put pressure on the admitted sex offender to take the plea deal so you don't have to comply with the subpoena to testify at the trial about the information shared with you by said admitted child sex offender.

Step 4: Remain silent on sexual abuse.

Exhibit A: Greg Belser and Philip Gunn