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March 31, 2007

Women accuse priest of sexual abuse in '60s

MARYLAND
Catonsville Times

03/29/07
by mary robbins

A former Woodlawn priest has been removed from his current duties as the head of an Ellicott City parish following accusations by two women claiming he sexually abused them decades ago.

The Archdiocese of Baltimore learned of allegations of sexual abuse of a minor against Monsignor Richard Smith, 67, pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott City "in the past week," according to a written statement from the archdiocese. The alleged abuse occurred in the mid-to late 1960s, while Smith was a priest at the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Woodlawn, according to the archdiocese. That parish has been known as St. Gabriel since 1997.

One woman alleges she had a series of sexual encounters over a course of months in 1967 when she was approximately 15 or 16 years old, according to the Archdiocese. Another woman said that she and Smith had one inappropriate sexual interaction "sometime in 1966 or 1967 when she was about 15 years old," the statement reads.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Shaking the inquiry

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Front Page - Saturday, March 31, 2007 Updated @ 10:53:10 AM

The necessity of the Cornwall Public Inquiry has been debated for years, even before it was officially formed by the provincial government. The argument will certainly continue long after it comes to a conclusion as well.

The possibility for the re-victimization of abuse victims or the affect on those accused are cause for concern, while the spiralling costs are far beyond the range of what anyone could have predicted.

Still, the inquiry moved ahead with the belief that the abuse that had been covered up for decades would be revealed and the hope that a healing process would follow.

However, the inquiry suffered its first serious tremors this week as it was discovered that at least two affidavits contained incorrect information. This is a most disturbing development for all those involved, including the community at large.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Justice Normand Glaude announces three Phase 2 Research Projects

CANADA
SQLFusion

(Announcement made Thursday 29 March 2007 during hearings at the Cornwall Public Inquiry. The following is taken from the Cornwall Public Inquiry transcript )

Justice Normand Glaude:The challenge of creating an environment of hope for the future, striving for reconciliation, and rebuilding trust continues to be a priority with me.

Phase 2 activities are occurring at the same time as Phase 1 hearings. You will recall that of late I have made various progress announcements about our Phase 2 work, almost monthly, covering proposed research activities, endorsing party research and providing for extension of counselling support.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Columbia pastor accused of rape

COLUMBIA (SC)
WIS

(Columbia) March 29, 2007 - A Columbia pastor accused of raping a woman is out of jail on bond. His lawyer says the pastor denies the charge.

Anthony Dicks was at the funeral home he owns in Columbia on Thursday. He would not talk to WIS about the charge he faces.

Dicks has been the pastor at Friendship Baptist Church on House Street for 25 years. WIS interviewed him there for a story on violence last year. Rev. Anthony Dicks said, "You have to have the right security. We have to look out for each other."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

Sex charges filed against pastor, who resigns

HIGH POINT (NC)
Winston-Salem Journal

By Dan Galindo
JOURNAL REPORTER

A pastor at a High Point church has resigned and faces charg-es that he tried to get a 17-year-old boy in his congregation to engage in bondage and to make a video of sex acts.

Kernersville police arrested Todd Turner Brock, 42, on Thursday night at his home at 507 Old Mill Road in High Point.

Brock has been a pastor at Tabernacle Baptist Church for 17 years, according to Kernersville police.

He faces four charges: first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor; disseminating obscenity; promoting the prostitution of a minor; and solicitation of another to commit a felony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

Pastor faces 4 felony sex charges

KERNERSVILLE (NC)
News-Record

By Sonja Elmquist and Joe Killian
Staff Writers

KERNERSVILLE -- Todd Turner Brock, a High Point pastor arrested Thursday on four felony charges related to sexually exploiting a minor, resigned from his position at Tabernacle Baptist Church before he was arrested, according to a church deacon.

A search warrant released Friday revealed disturbing details about Brock's alleged relationship with a 17-year-old boy who came to him for spiritual guidance after a friend's death of cancer.

When the boy's mother learned that Brock had allegedly begun a sexual relationship with her son she went to the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:38 PM

Report: Archdiocese settles case over priest abuse allegations

HARTFORD (CT)
Boston.com

March 31, 2007

HARTFORD, Conn. --A man who accused a Roman Catholic priest of sexual abuse will receive $550,000 under terms of a settlement reached last week, The Hartford Courant reported Saturday.

The payment is the ninth settlement reached by the Archdiocese of Hartford in cases involving alleged abuse by the Rev. Stephen Foley, the newspaper reported. Two other cases are pending.

Foley was accused of using his position as chaplain for local fire departments and the Connecticut State Police to molest the plaintiffs when they were teenagers in the 1970s.

His accusers say Foley, who has not been charged with a crime, lured them by using a car similar to a police cruiser.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

Archmere grad gets $41 million in abuse suit

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

Posted Saturday, March 31, 2007

WILMINGTON -- A U.S. District Court jury Friday awarded $41 million in damages to an Archmere Academy graduate who testified he was sexually abused hundreds of times by a faculty priest at the prestigious Catholic school.

The jury award -- which includes $6 million in compensatory damages and $35 million in punitive damages -- is believed to be the first made to a victim of child sexual abuse by a Catholic priest in Delaware. The only defendant in the case was the Rev. Edward J. Smith; the school, the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and Smith's Norbertine order were dismissed from the suit months ago.

Navy Cmdr. Kenneth J. Whitwell, 39, of Stafford, Va., a 1986 graduate of Archmere, told jurors Thursday that he was orally and anally raped by Smith, a Norbertine priest, more than 230 times over the course of 33 months. The abuse started, Whitwell said, when he was a 14-year-old freshman at the school.

Smith, who now lives at the Norbertine priory in Middletown, was not present in court and offered no defense to the civil lawsuit. Neither he nor the superior of the Norbertine order, the Rev. James Bagnato, returned phone messages Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:01 PM

Diocese aided ousted worker's family

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Mike Tobin
Plain Dealer Reporter

Years after church deacon Jerry Bals was accused of molesting teenage girls, the Cleveland Catholic Diocese began sending money to his home.

The diocese said it paid $800 a month to Bals' wife to help raise her children.

But she was not alone. Bals lived in the Eastlake home at the time, according to court records.

The revelation outraged two of six women who sued the diocese and Bals in 1994. The lawsuit was resolved with a confidential settlement, said Mary Brigid, who told police Bals repeatedly groped her between 1972 and 1974.

"Jerry was in the home at the time, so it's like they were paying him, taking care of him," Brigid said.

"It's another example of how the church is taking care of the clergy but not taking care of the people.

"It's really disgusting."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:57 AM

Parishioner says porn priest 'got away with it'

UNITED KINGDOM
Leamington Spa Today

"Disgusting" was the word used to describe the sentence given to disgraced Leamington priest Fr Tony Jones this week after he admitted downloading child pornography.
Fr Tony, 57, who led St Peter's church in Dormer Place and attended governor meetings at St Patrick's Primary School, was given a two-month conditional discharge.
A former parishoner, who asked not to be named, vented her anger at the court's decision.
She said: "The sentencing is all wrong, it's disgusting. He had admitted it. Is it because he is a priest that he is getting away with it?"
Fr Tony, apologised for his actions through a statement from the Archbishop of Birmingham.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Oct. trial date set for Louisa priest

LOUISA (VA)
Richmond Times-Dispatch

BY CALVIN R. TRICE
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER Mar 31, 2007

LOUISA -- A Louisa County judge yesterday set an October trial date for the Catholic priest accused of stealing donations from two parishes he led.

The Rev. Rodney L. Rodis pleaded not guilty in Louisa Circuit Court to 13 embezzlement counts. He is accused of taking money from the churches from 1995 until last year.

However, it remained uncertain yesterday whether Rodis' case will ever be heard in court because his attorney said Rodis may change his pleas.

Rodis' lawyer, John R. Maus, said many of the financial records requested for the case against Rodis haven't arrived. Without a chance to review records from banks and wire transfer services, Maus said he isn't sure whether his client should contest the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Archbishop who suffered scandal and loss of trust dies at 78

WALES
ic Wales

Mar 31 2007

Abbie Wightwick, Western Mail

John Aloysius Ward's time as Archbishop of Cardiff was blighted by child sex scandals and dissension, reports Abbie Wightwick

IT WAS an end to his career he cannot have imagined in his worst dreams.

The achievements of John Aloysius Ward, below, Archbishop of Cardiff for 18 years until 2001, were overshadowed in the final years by scandal and controversy and being held in distrust by some of his clergy.

His problems began in 1998 when his former press secretary Father John Lloyd was jailed for eight years for sex crimes. Worse was to follow. The next year lurid rape allegations emerged when a woman claimed the Archbishop had assaulted her when he was a London parish priest in the 1960s.

Priest offers not-guilty plea

LOUISA (VA)
The Free Lance-Star

BY BILL FREEHLING

A former Catholic priest in Louisa County pleaded not guilty yesterday to 13 charges of embezzling funds from the two churches he served.

Rodney Lee Rodis, 50, was arraigned yesterday in Louisa Circuit Court. Judge Timothy K. Sanner read the indictments to Rodis; after each one the priest quietly said "not guilty."

Some members of St. Jude and Immaculate Conception Catholic churches, where Rodis was pastor for 13 years, whispered and murmured after the first few pleas.

State police have said Rodis may have stolen as much as $1 million from the two rural churches between 1995 and 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Diocese names 38 accused priests

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Sandi Dolbee and Mark Sauer
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS
March 31, 2007

In its most extensive accounting of priests accused of sexually molesting minors, the Catholic Diocese of San Diego released the names yesterday of 38 priests with “credible allegations” against them, along with their church service records dating to 1928.

None of the priests is now in ministry here, according to the lists posted on the diocese's Web site. More than half are deceased.

San Diego Bishop Robert Brom pledged to release the names last month, when the diocese filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in bankruptcy court. The diocese became the fifth in the country to seek such protection, filing its petition late on Feb. 27, hours before the first of roughly 150 lawsuits was set to begin trial. ...

Online: To access the names of accused priests and their church service records, go to www.diocese-sdiego.org and click on “Chapter 11 Reorganization.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Lawyers battling innuendo

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Terri Saunders
Front Page - Friday, March 30, 2007 Updated @ 9:33:56 AM

False statements in at least two affidavits filed at the Cornwall Public Inquiry are only helping fuel the conspiracy fire, a lawyer has argued.

"Affidavits like this only add to some of the rumours and innuendos that we're here trying to separate as fact from fiction," said Giuseppe Cipriano, an attorney representing Rev. Charles MacDonald at the inquiry.

On Wednesday, hearings centered around the fact some of the affidavits filed as part of the standing and funding application by The Victims Group contain factual errors. In one affidavit, a reference to the abuse resulting in a loss of faith in the Catholic church was determined to be false; in another, two individuals were named as alleged abusers despite the fact the complainant has never made allegations against either person.

On Thursday, the subject of the second affidavit took the stand at the inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Insulting

CALIFORNIA
California Catholic Daily

Are Catholics more likely to lie under oath? Yes, the March 26 Los Angeles Times seems to say.

Catholic clergy and religious, in particular, are a particularly cagey bunch, according to the Times, because they ascribe to the “doctrine” of mental reservation. Though admitting that mental reservation “is not sanctioned by canon law” and “is infrequently invoked,” “in litigation arising from clergy sex abuse cases in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, at least half a dozen lawyers representing victims report having encountered it,” the Times said.

Ira Zalkin, lawyer for alleged victims of clergy molestation, said he asked an elderly nun about mental reservation, and “she explained in her own way that it is ‘to protect the church from scandal.’” Because of mental reservation, Zalkin said, “you really don’t know” if a Catholic under oath is telling the truth. “It complicates that process when there is a doctrine that allows for a lie to avoid scandal to the church.”

But, quoting Father Thomas Doyle, a canon law expert consulted by clergy-abuse victims’ lawyers, the article asserts the doctrine has been used in modern times to "claim that it is morally justifiable to lie in order to protect the reputation of the institutional church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Theft accusations called ‘fantasy’

COLORADO
The Gazette

By CAROL McGRAW THE GAZETTE
March 31, 2007 - 1:25AM

In the latest volley in the battle for control of Grace Church and St. Stephen’s Parish, the Rev. Donald Armstrong wrote a blistering letter to his parishioners Friday calling theft accusations against him by the Colorado Episcopal Diocese and Bishop Robert O’Neill “a fantasy” and “spiritual attack.”

The two-page letter outlines Armstrong’s response to allegations after a months-long diocesan investigation. He is accused of theft and other financial improprieties. No decision has been made about pursuing criminal charges, diocesan spokeswoman Beckett Stokes said Friday.

Armstrong said in his letter that O’Neill’s “determination to destroy me” has made it impossible for anyone to grant him a fair hearing in the ecclesiastical system. He said he has not been allowed to dispute the accusations formally and has been treated as “guilty until proven innocent.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

City woman arrested in school theft

READING (PA)
The Republican & Herald

BY KIMM R. MONTONE
STAFF WRITER
kmontone@republicanherald.com

03/31/2007
READING — Reading police arrested a Pottsville woman on charges that she embezzled more than $46,000 from a Berks County high school.

While the Catholic school, Holy Name High School, is likely to be reimbursed through its insurance policy, the former school bookkeeper, Donna Lynn Botek, 56, of Pottsville, will be prosecuted for stealing $46,645.65. The school is under the purview of the Diocese of Allentown.

Botek is charged with possession of an instrument of a crime (a computer), unlawful use of a computer and other computer crimes, forgery, theft by deception and theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received.

Botek declined to comment Friday afternoon.

Reading Police Capt. Francis F. Drexler said between November 2005 and December 2006, Botek wrote electronic checks payable to herself and afterward deleted the checks from the computer. He said the payments were noted as payroll and bonus checks and that Botek forged the school principal’s, Keith Laser, name on them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

For the Record

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

March 31, 2007

Catholic church doctrine: An article in Monday's California section about the doctrine of "mental reservation" described how San Diego Bishop Robert H. Brom used a hypothetical situation to explain the centuries-old doctrine within the Catholic Church — not sanctioned by canon law — under which it is permissible to avoid telling the truth. The article did not make it clear that the account was based only on the recollections of Irwin Zalkin, a lawyer representing victims of clerical sexual abuse who questioned Brom at a deposition, and that according to Zalkin, the remarks were made when Brom was not under oath. Catholic Diocese of San Diego Chancellor Rodrigo Valdivia, given a copy of Zalkin's remarks in advance of Monday's article, declined to comment on behalf of the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Kenneth Whitwell v. Archmere Academy, Inc., et al

WILMINGTON (DE)
MoreLaw

Date: 3/31/2007

Case Style: Kenneth Whitwell v. Archmere Academy, Inc., et al.

Case Number: 1:05-cv-00796-SLR

Judge: Sue Robinson

Court: United States District Court for the District of Delaware(New Castle County)

Plaintiff's Attorney:

Steve Neuberger and Tom Neuberger of The Neuberger Firm, P.A.,

Defendant's Attorney:

Anthony G. Flynn of Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor, Wilmington, Delaware and Neilli M. Walsh of Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor, Wilmington, Delaware for the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington Inc. and Rev. Michael A. Saltarelli

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

List Published on Archdiocese's Website

SAN DIEGO (CA)
KNX

San Diego, CA. (CNS) -- The Catholic Diocese of San Diego has released a list of 38 priests ``against whom there are credible allegations'' of sexual abuse, but it says none of the clergy are active and more than half are dead.

The list, published Friday on the diocese's Web site, reveals the names of clergy and where they served, but does not say when the alleged abuse occurred or the nature of the abuse.

Twenty-six of the clergy were described as being in the San Diego or San Bernardino Diocese and 12 were described as being outside the diocese, but in the San Diego-San Bernardino area.

A few of the clergy were with the diocese as recently as the 1990s, but most left in the 1950s, '60s and '70s, and more than 20 are dead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Foley Abuse Case Settled For $550,000

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

March 31, 2007
By ELIZABETH HAMILTON And DAVE ALTIMARI, Courant Staff Writers

The Archdiocese of Hartford agreed this week to pay $550,000 to a man who accused the Rev. Stephen Foley of using his position as Hartford County fire chaplain to sodomize him when he was a 14-year-old parishioner in Windsor Locks.

Foley, who has been accused of abuse by at least 11 men since 1993 and was removed from public ministry in 2002, is still affiliated with the county fire organization he belonged to when the alleged assault occurred. He now holds the title of "chaplain emeritus" of the group, according to board members.

The organization, which now goes by the name of Hartford County Fire Emergency Plan, was formed in 1969 as the Hartford County Mutual Aid Association. Foley was its first chaplain, said one of the group's original presidents, Chester J. Haber. Part of the group's mission is to provide mutual aid for member fire departments.

The current president of the group is Windsor Locks Fire Chief Gary Ruggiero. Haber said Ruggiero sent an e-mail to the board of directors Friday criticizing the newspaper for publishing a story last Sunday that exposed Foley's continued use of a police-equipped Crown Victoria with flashing lights, sirens and scanners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

San Diego diocese releases names of accused priests

SAN DIEGO (CA)
The Orange County Register

The Associated Press
SAN DIEGO -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego on Friday released the names of 37 priests who have been accused of sexual abuse, following up on a pledge that it made when it filed for bankruptcy protection a month ago.

Diocese officials said the roster is an exhaustive list of priests facing "credible allegations," listing the dates and parishes in San Diego where each served and noting the current status of each.

At least 20 are dead, according to the documents. None remain in active ministry.

The list does not specify the nature or the extent of abuse claims against those named.

Bishop Robert Brom promised to release the names when he told parishioners in February that the diocese decided to file for bankruptcy protection in the face of more than 140 civil lawsuits filed by people claiming abuse by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

March 30, 2007

Names of accused San Diego priests

SAN DIEGO (CA)
The Lompoc Record

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego released the names of 38 priests who have been accused of sexual abuse, following up on a pledge that it made when it filed for bankruptcy protection a month ago. Here's a list in alphabetical order, with current status:

_Rev. Gustavo Benson (status unknown);

_James T. Booth (left priesthood, married);

_Monsignor Donald F. Doxie (deceased);

_Monsignor Rudolph Galindo (removed);

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:25 PM

Former Milwaukee area priest among those named

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Chippewa Herald

By ALLISON HOFFMAN

SAN DIEGO - The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego on Friday released the names of 38 priests who have been accused of sexual abuse, following up on a pledge that it made when it filed for bankruptcy protection a month ago.

Diocese officials said the roster is an exhaustive account of priests facing "credible allegations," listing the dates and parishes in San Diego where each served and noting the current status of each. Plaintiff attorneys said the list was incomplete.

At least 20 are dead, according to the documents. None remain in active ministry in San Diego, according to diocese counsel Micheal Webb.

The list does not specify the nature or the extent of abuse claims against those named.

Some have been accused of abuse in lawsuits filed against the diocese, but others have not, Webb said.

Those listed served in a variety of roles _ pastor, deacon, chaplain _ in parishes, schools, seminaries and hospitals throughout San Diego and San Bernardino, which was part of the San Diego diocese until 1978.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 PM

Former Priest Can No Longer Work As Counselor

PITTSBURGH (PA)
KDKA

Andy Sheehan
Reporting

(KDKA) PITTSBURGH He was a Catholic priest defrocked by the Diocese of Pittsburgh after allegations surfaced that he had molested school kids.

However, Jack Hoehl continued to work with young people as a counselor in West Virginia.

That didn't sit well with some who say he victimized them.

They're all grown men now but they say the psychological and emotional scars remain.

For six of Father Hoehl's former students, the situation has been untenable.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 PM

Ted Thompson: Restore the right of these victims to sue

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Ted Thompson
Published: March 31, 2007

A March 17 Star Tribune editorial endorsed the idea that the "discovery of childhood sexual abuse scars can take years" and therefore it is a good idea for the Legislature to "reinstate a special statute of limitations for delayed discovery of damages caused by the childhood sexual abuse."

While most legislators agree, there is one key legislator whose doesn't.

The bill in the House of Representatives to restore the right for victims of childhood sexual abuse to sue based on delayed discovery is sponsored by more than 25 legislators. Its chances of gaining approval by the whole body are considered excellent. However, because the chairman of the committee that the bill must go through so strongly opposes the bill, it appears very unlikely that it will ever get a chance to become law.

The chair, Rep. Joe Mullery, DFL-Minneapolis, has refused the request of chief author Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-St. Louis Park, to give the bill a hearing in his committee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 PM

$41 million award in priest abuse suit

WILMINGTON (DE)
New Orleans Times-Picayune

3/30/2007, 8:30 p.m. CDT
By RANDALL CHASE
The Associated Press

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — A jury awarded $41 million Friday to a Navy officer who said a Roman Catholic priest sexually abused him hundreds of times as a teen.

Jurors awarded Cmdr. Kenneth Whitwell $6 million in compensatory damages and $35 million in punitive damages.

Whitwell, 39, claimed the Rev. Edward J. Smith raped and sodomized him more than 230 times over several years at Archmere Academy, and that church officials did nothing to stop it. The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, Bishop Michael Saltarelli and the high school were dismissed from the lawsuit last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 PM

PRIESTS AGAINST WHOM THERE ARE CREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Diocese of San Diego

This is the link for the names of priests serving in the diocese who have been credibly accused of sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 PM

San Diego diocese releases names of accused priests

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Monterey Herald

ALLISON HOFFMAN
Associated Press
SAN DIEGO - The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego on Friday released the names of 38 priests who have been accused of sexual abuse, following up on a pledge that it made when it filed for bankruptcy protection a month ago.

Diocese officials said the roster is an exhaustive list of priests facing "credible allegations," listing the dates and parishes in San Diego where each served and noting the current status of each.

At least 20 are dead, according to the documents. None remain in active ministry.

The list does not specify the nature or the extent of abuse claims against those named.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 PM

Riverside pastor faces first-degree felony charge of raping child

OHIO
Dayton Daily News

By Lou Grieco
Staff Writer

Friday, March 30, 2007

DAYTON — A new indictment of Dennis Bowling, the Riverside pastor already charged with 76 sex-related counts, will take that number up to 84, including a first-degree felony.

In December, Bowling was charged with 11 counts of sexual battery. A January indictment added 65 counts, all but one a felony.

The new indictment, issued by a grand jury Thursday, will replace the January indictment, said Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Greg Flannagan.

The 73 counts in the new indictment corrects some dates in the January indictment, which is critical because Ohio law takes age of victim into consideration for some offenses and penalties, Flannagan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Child porn charge dismissed

OHIO
The Advocate

By KIMBERLY DICK
Advocate Reporter

COLUMBUS -- Federal child pornography charges against a former Newark minister's wife were dismissed Wednesday.

In U.S. District Court, Judge George C. Smith dismissed the case against Judy Waser, 54, of Newark.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Solove filed a motion Tuesday to dismiss the one felony count of attempted possession of child pornography Judy Waser faced.

"I can't really say why it was dismissed," Solove said. "We don't plan to go forward with it."
Her husband, David Waser, 57, a former minister at Newark's Second Church of Christ, is being detained after pleading guilty last week in federal court to receiving child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 PM

Local pastor charged with exploiting minor

KERNERSVILLE (NC)
News-Record

KERNERSVILLE -- A pastor at a High Point church faces numerous charges involving a 17-year-old boy, Kernersville police announced today.

Todd Turner Brock, 42, of 507 Old Mill Road in High Point, is charged with first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, promoting prostitution of a minor, disseminating obscenity and solicitation of another to commit a felony, according to Kernersville police.

Brock has been pastor for 17 years at Tabernacle Baptist Church in High Point, police stated in a news release.

The case began March 23 after a 17-year-old boy who lives in Kernersville came forward to his parents and a school counselor, said Detective Sammy Peddycord of the Kernersville Police Department.

The victim and Brock knew each other, Peddycord said. He declined to release specifics about the case, citing the continuing investigation in Kernersville and at least one other location.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Rodis pleads not guilty

LOUISA (VA)
The Free Lance-Star

Date published: 3/30/2007

A former Catholic priest in Louisa County pleaded not guilty today to 13 charges of embezzling funds from two Catholic churches he served as pastor.

A weeklong trial was scheduled for Oct. 1-5 for Rodney Lee Rodis, 50, on the charges he stole funds from his former parishes, St. Jude and Immaculate Conception Catholic churches. Police have said the thefts may have exceeded $1 million.

Rodis' bond was increased from $10,000 to $25,000 today and he was taken into custody while arrangements were made for his bond. His lawyer, Jack Maus, said he would be able to make his bond. Rodis was indicted on the first embezzlement charge Jan. 8. and 12 additional charges were added earlier this month. The initial indictment accused Rodis of stealing from the churches between September 2001 and October 2006. The new indictments charge him with stealing during 12 separate six-month periods between September 1995 and September 2001.

The former priest lives in the Sheraton Hills area of Spotsylvania County. He is a native of the Philippines and had to surrender his passport to get bond. He had been living with 44-year-old Joyce Sillador and three girls, but those four recently moved to New Mexico. Rodis remains to face the charges in Louisa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

New Indictment Issued Against Riverside Pastor

RIVERSIDE (OH)
WHIO

RIVERSIDE, Ohio -- A Riverside pastor is facing additional sex-related charges.

Pastor Dennis Bowling has now been charged with 84 counts after a new indictment was issued on Thursday. The new indictment includes a felony charge in the rape of a child under 13.

Bowling has been the pastor of Kingdom Harvest Church for 19 years. He was arrested after women from the church accused him of sexual assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 PM

Pastor Charged With Sex Offense After Sending E-Mail To Minor

NORTH CAROLINA
WFMY

Kernersville, NC -- A High Point pastor is under arrest, after police charged him with sexual exploitation of a minor.

Todd Turner Brock, has served as Pastor at Tabernacle Baptist Church in High Point for seventeen years.

He was arrested by Kernersville Police and charged with First Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, Promoting Prostitution of a Minor, Disseminating Obscenity and Solicitation of Another to Commit a Felony.

According to the arrest warrant Brock sent the minor a picture of his genitals via email. When the juvenile's parents saw it, they called police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 PM

Coach has Oct. trial date on statutory rape charge in Knoxville

TENNESSEE
WATE

March 30, 2007

By HANA KIM
Good Morning Tennessee Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- A Dyersburg youth pastor and track coach has an October trial date for his statutory rape charge in Knoxville.

Timothy Neal Byars, 44, is accused of raping a 14-year-old girl at Victor Ashe Park in November 2006. The girl was asleep in the back of his SUV before a track meet. Byars was her coach.

Byars was also arrested later on a second sexual battery charge for molesting the girl's sister. He's charged with rape, sexual battery, statutory rape and aggravated statutory rape.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

High Point Pastor Charged with Sexual Exploitation of a Minor

HIGH POINT (NC)
WGHP

By CARON MYERS
FOX8 News
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) -- A pastor at a church in High Point, N.C., faces numerous charges involving a 17-year-old boy.

On Friday, police in Kernersville arrested 42-year-old Todd Brock, the pastor at Tabernacle Baptist Church, and charged him with several sex crimes, including first-degree exploitation of a minor and promoting prostitution of a minor.

"Communication began over telephone and Internet with a minor that was 17 years of age," explained Kernersville Police Detective Sammy Peddycord.

Brock, a single man who has pastored the church for 18 years, is in the Forsyth County Detention Center under a $1 million bond. Deacons from Tabernacle Baptist said Brock submitted a letter of resignation before his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 PM

Pastor guilty of rape

LUMBERTON (NC)
The Robesonian

By Matt Elofson - Staff writer
LUMBERTON - A former Parkton pastor has been sentenced to 15 to 18 years in prison for raping a 12-year-old girl who had his baby.

The sentence came Tuesday after 42-year-old Ronald Lee Simpson pled guilty to having sex with the child from late 2003 to August 2004. He also pled guilty to molesting a 14-year-old girl at the Shannon church that he led.

Assistant District Attorney Joe Osman was confident of a conviction had the case gone to trial.

“One of the most important things in this case is the DNA evidence ... that would have proven he had sex with a minor child,” Osman said. “You couple that with the testimony of the second victim and her description of how this occurred at her church by her pastor ... we had a very strong case against this defendant.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 PM

Priest to stand trial Oct. 1

LOUISA (VA)
Richmond Times-Dispatch

BY CALVIN R. TRICE
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER Mar 30, 2007

The priest accused of stealing as much as $1 million from two Louisa County Catholic churches pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to stand trial Oct. 1.

The Rev. Rodney L. Rodis, 50, this morning entered not guilty pleas to 13 counts of embezzlement.

He is charged with stealing from St. Jude church in Mineral and Immaculate Conception church in Bumpass beginning in 1995, a year after he became pastor of the two parishes.

Authorities discovered the money missing in November.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

Man abused by priest wins $41 million jury award

WILMINGTON (DE)
Baltimore Sun

By Randall Chase
The Associated Press
Originally published March 30, 2007, 4:32 PM EDT
WILMINGTON, Del. // A federal jury today awarded $41 million to a Navy officer who as a teenager was repeatedly sexually abused by a priest.

The jury deliberated for just over two hours before deciding to award Navy Cmdr. Kenneth Whitwell, 39, $6 million in compensatory damages and $35 million in punitive damages.

Whitwell bowed his head and wiped his eyes with his hands as the verdict was read.

Whitwell won a default judgment against the Rev. Edward J. Smith in January after Smith failed to respond to a federal lawsuit.

The case marks the first time that a priest has been found liable in Delaware for child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:46 PM

Jurors in priest abuse case begin deliberations

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

Posted Friday, March 30, 2007 at 1:40 pm
WILMINGTON -- A U.S. District Court jury now is deliberating whether an alumnus of Archmere Academy is entitled to damages for the sexual abuse he says he suffered from a priest who was on the faculty at the prestigious Catholic school.

The Rev. Edward J. Smith, a Norbertine priest, offered no defense to the civil lawsuit, which allowed Naval Cmdr. Kenneth J. Whitwell, 39 of Stafford, Va., to bring the case to a federal jury, though the statute of limitations had expired.

Whitwell testified Thursday that he was orally and anally raped by the priest more than 200 times -- from the time he was a 14-year-old freshman at Archmere in 1982 until the summer of 1985.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:14 PM

Va. Priest Pleads Not Guilty To Embezzlement

LOUISA (VA)
NBC 4

LOUISA, Va. -- A Roman Catholic priest charged with embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from two rural churches pleaded not guilty on Friday.

The Rev. Rodney L. Rodis, 50, is charged with 13 counts of embezzlement. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison on each count.

Rodis stood quietly as Louisa County Circuit Judge Timothy Sanner read the first of 13 embezzlement charges against him. Sanner then asked the priest, "What is your plea?" After a long pause, Rodis finally answered, "Not guilty, your honor."

At that, several grim-faced former parishioners of Rodis bowed their heads, one letting out a heavy sigh.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 PM

Sexual Abuse Case Of 'Cool' Del. Priest Continues

WILMINGTON (DE)
KYW

(AP) WILMINGTON A psychiatrist is scheduled to testify Friday in the case of a Catholic priest found liable for the sexual abuse of teenager who is now a Navy officer.

Navy Commander Kenneth Whitwell said the priest, Edward Smith, abused him for three years while he was a student at Archmere Academy.

Whitwell said the abuse began when he was a freshman in 1982.

He said the priest was young and cool and had money and nice clothes. And he said the priest held him up in front of other students as someone who was special.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:07 PM

Church secretary arrested on suspicion of theft

HUTCHINSON (KS)
The Hutchinson News

A church secretary was arrested Wednesday for allegedly embezzling more than $5,000 from her employer.

Mary Jolelle Drush, 40, of 501 Monterey Place, was arrested on suspicion of felony theft and unlawful use of a financial card.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 AM

Grace cash may be frozen; diocese heading to court

COLORADO
The Gazette

By BRIAN NEWSOME
THE GAZETTE
March 30, 2007 - 12:35AM

The Episcopal Diocese of Colorado is trying to freeze Grace Church and St. Stephen’s Parish funds and is pursuing legal action against church leaders who voted to break away from the denomination.

Parishioners who want to remain Episcopalian learned about the developments in a meeting with Colorado Bishop Robert O’Neill and the diocese attorney Wednesday night at Colorado College.

Reporters were not allowed at the meeting, but numerous parishioners Thursday confirmed the announcements.

Alan Crippen, a parishioner and spokesman for the breakaway church, said church funds did not appear frozen as of Thursday afternoon.

The diocese declined comment Thursday.

The meeting with the bishop came hours after church members learned of diocesan accusations against the church’s longtime rector, the Rev. Donald Armstrong.

The Colorado diocese suspended Armstrong during a months-long investigation into what the diocese says is his theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars and other financial crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

PRIEST HAD SEX WITH ANGELIKA

SCOTLAND
The Daily Record

By Gordon Mcilwraith
A PRIEST claimed to have had sex with a Polish student whose body was later found under the floor of his church, a court heard yesterday.

Father Gerry Nugent told a Sunday newspaper he had a relationship with Angelika Kluk, 23, jurors heard.

But her sister, Aneta Kluk, branded the suggestion "outrageous and untrue" when she gave evidence at the High Court in Edinburgh.

The court heard earlier that Father Nugent, 66, the priest at Glasgow's St Patrick's Church, turned "cold" towards Angelika after learning she was having an affair with an older, married man.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Priest's affair and the body buried under his church

SCOTLAND
This is London

A student was murdered and buried under the floorboards of a church after having affairs with a priest and a married man, a court heard yesterday.

Angelika Kluk, a 23-year-old from Poland, came to Britain during her summer holidays to earn money but ended up in a relationship with the priest of the Catholic church where she was staying, it is claimed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Priest sex claims ‘are outrageous’

SCOTLAND
Glasgow Evening Times

A DRUNKEN priest's claims he had a sex with a Polish student whose body was found under his church were branded "outrageous and untrue" by the dead girl's sister.

A murder trial heard that 66-year-old Father Gerry Nugent spoke of his affair to police investigating the death of Angelika Kluk, 23.

But the girl's sister, Aneta, 28, branded the priest a liar and a "Jekyll and Hyde" character who drank too much.

The High Court in Edinburgh has heard Angelika was staying at St Patrick's Church in Anderston, Glasgow, cleaning and helping out in return for her board and lodging.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Priest: 'This never happened'

UNITED KINGDOM
Ealing Times

HE priest accused of molesting a former pupil at St Benedict's school 20 years ago, told a jury: "The incident never happened and I deny the allegation utterly".

Father Gerald Stanislaus Hobbs - known as Father Stan - said the victim, now a journalist, was making the claims because he couldn't get him for an incident that took place on an Italian holiday.

The priest has admitted that the incident took place on the school holiday when the boy came to him with constipation, but as he cannot be prosecuted for that in this country he said: "Because he could not get me in Italy - he would try to get me in England."

The father, who suffers from tremoring in his hands, told the court he was born into a GP's family in Ealing and had joined St Benedict's Abbey when he was 18.

He told the jury at Isleworth Crown Court yesterday that in his 60 years at the Abbey: "No-one has ever made an allegation of impropriety against me, or anything like that whatsoever".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Uganda: Kigezi Priest Denies Adultery Allegations

UGANDA
AllAfrica

The Monitor (Kampala)

Posted to the web March 30, 2007

A Priest who was arrested by police on March 23 has denied allegations of adultery against him.

Esau Abwomugisha, attached to Kigezi Diocese, is detained at Kagadi Police Station. The Rev. Abwomugisha on Monday told Daily Monitor that a person with high moral values like him cannot have a marital affair with a married woman.

Kibaale Officer in Charge of the Criminal Investigations Department Fred Mirondo said the Rev. Abwomugisha is suspected to have had an affair with a married woman Molly Abomugisa.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Ex-pastor gets six years in molestation case

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

By Gregory W. Griggs, Times Staff Writer
March 29, 2007

A former Thousand Oaks pastor who pleaded guilty to sexually molesting a young female student in the late 1980s was sentenced this week to more than six years in prison.

William Alan Malgren, 52, briefly fainted after hearing his sentence, handed down Tuesday afternoon by Ventura County Superior Court Judge Bruce Clark. Malgren was revived within minutes.

Prosecutor Maeve Fox said the ruling came after the judge reviewed a psychiatric report suggesting that Malgren was open to counseling and could benefit from it. It also followed the reading of a three-page letter from the victim, who is now a married mother in her 30s living in another state.

"This really messed up her life," Fox said of the woman who last summer notified authorities about the molestations. "The judge made a decision that he should be punished."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Church offers aid to accused molester

CARMEL (IN)
Indianapolis Star

By Robert Annis
robert.annis@indystar.com

CARMEL, Ind. -- A Carmel church wants its members to show love and forgiveness to a former elder accused of molesting a 3-year-old girl, causing the child's family and others to leave the congregation.

The girl's father said the family no longer feels welcome because of the support shown for the accused man.

"It's a disgrace that the church would embrace a criminal and turn its back on the victim, especially one that's a young child," the father said.

A counseling director, in defense of the church's position, described College Park Church as "a hospital for sinners."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

SNAP Speaks Out about New Idaho Law

BOISE (ID)
KTRV

Boise, Idaho -- Victims abused by clergy spoke out about a new Idaho law Thursday.

The group called SNAP, which stands for Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, gathered on the steps of the Statehouse -- informing residents about a bill Governor Otter recently signed.

It extends the civil statute of limitations on child sex crimes to five years from the time the child discovers the crime caused them harm.

Specifically, it allows those who were molested as kids to file lawsuits against anyone who employed their predator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

False affidavit statements: Inquiry's credibility may suffer: lawyers

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Terri Saunders
Front Page - Thursday, March 29, 2007 Updated @ 10:58:14 AM

False statements in at least two affidavits filed with the Cornwall Public Inquiry may lead to a lack of public confidence in the commission's work, lawyers argued Wednesday.

"This deals with the credibility of the process," said Peter Wardle, an attorney representing the Citizens for Community Renewal.

Earlier this month, a series of sworn affidavits signed by members of The Victims Group were removed from the inquiry's website. Commission counsel received information that some of the statements contained in at least two of the documents, prepared by and presented to the inquiry by attorneys from the London-based law firm Ledroit Beckett, were incorrect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Cornwall Public Inquiry: Silmser may get last word

CANADA
SQLFusion

Terri Saunders

Thursday, March 29, 2007 - 10:00

Local News - David Silmser might have left the Cornwall Public Inquiry before all the parties could ask him questions but it looks as if he might have the last word.

On the same day parties began sifting through the evidence Silmser gave during several days on the witness stand earlier this year, a letter he wrote to Comm. Normand Glaude was front and centre at the hearings.

Silmser has testified he was sexually abused by a city priest, a now-deceased probation officer and a teacher in the 1960s and 1970s when he was a teenager. Charges were never laid against the teacher, the probation officer committed suicide before charges could be laid against him and charges against the priest were stayed in 2002 when a judge determined it had taken too long to bring the matter to trial.

Over the course of several days, Silmser testified about the abuse, the effect it had on his life and the contact he had with a variety of public institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Reported jailhouse confession could multiply legal problems for Warren Jeffs

UTAH
ABC 4

Story by:
Brent Hunsaker
brent@abc4.com

Since his father Rulon Jeffs died in September 2002, Warren Jeffs has been the prophet of the FLDS polygamist group. Under that mantle, Jeffs has allegedly separated husbands from children and wives, kicked rivals to his rule out of the community and directed the building of a new compound and a temple near El Dorado, Texas.

People familiar with the FLDS leader says his reign has been one of the most tumultuous of any previous leader. But now Jeffs has reportedly denied having authority to do any of that.

The Deseret News reports that in a jailhouse conversation with his brother, Nephi Jeffs, Warren Jeffs confessed that God did not speak to him and that he is "the greatest sinner".

The newspaper says there's a recording of that conversation in the hands of the Washington County attorney, but it has not been made public. Neither the county attorney nor sheriff will even confirm its existence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Judge drops charge that pastor stole from needy

NORRISTOWN (PA)
Pottstown Mercury

Carl Hessler Jr., chessler@pottsmerc.com
03/30/2007

NORRISTOWN -- A judge ruled prosecutors do not have sufficient evidence to try a former Royersford pastor on allegations he stole money from a church fund for the needy.

Montgomery County Judge William R. Carpenter indicated in a one-page ruling that prosecutors failed to establish that a crime actually occurred in connection with William B. Shrout Jr.’s handling of $393 in a Sunshine Fund while he was pastor at the First United Church of Christ.

Carpenter made the decision after reviewing documents, including a church ledger pertaining to distributions from the Sunshine Fund, that prosecutors submitted as evidence against Shrout.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

More allegations surface against ousted monsignor

MARYLAND
The Examiner

Mar 30, 2007 3:00 AM (4 hrs ago)
by Ron Cassie, The Examiner

Howard County (Map, News) - Previous allegations of child sexual abuse by Monsignor Richard Smith, former pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott City, were made by an Anne Arundel County man in May, according to the victim’s mother.

Smith was recently removed from his duties after two women accused him of sexually abusing them as teens about 40 years ago.

The alleged incidents now coming to light took place when Smith served at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Church in Riviera Beach, from 1979 until 1983.

Archdiocese officials maintained Sunday in a meeting with parishioners, and Monday in a phone interview, that they were unaware of any previous allegations of sexual impropriety ever made against Smith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Deliver Us From Evil

IRELAND
RTE Entertainment

Director: Amy Berg

Duration: 101 minutes

The sexual abuse of children is often described as 'unspeakable', and perhaps this in part is why it is so difficult to combat. 'Deliver Us From Evil' takes a braver approach, choosing to transport us directly into the heart of darkness via the sickening career of the convicted Irish-born paedophile priest Oliver O'Grady. Controversially, O'Grady himself is one of the film's key interviewees. To her credit, the director Amy Berg subverts his evident wish to vindicate or downplay the reality of his crimes by counter-pointing his frequently self-serving testimony with the remarkably frank and moving interviews given to her by his victims and their parents.

Aside from these fundamentally opposite elements, 'Deliver Us From Evil' also includes legal depositions given by O'Grady and his superiors, Bishop (now Cardinal) Mahony and Monsignor Cain, prior to O'Grady's trial and conviction for sexual assault, and interviews with a number of American lawyers and theology experts. It has no narrator; instead utilising to good effect minimal textual and graphic links to supply a sense of time, place and movement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Church's bankruptcy plan nears approval

PORTLAND (OR)
The Register-Guard

By Bill Bishop
The Register-Guard
Published: Thursday, March 29, 2007

A federal judge on Wednesday set the stage for approval next month of a bankruptcy reorganization plan for the Archdiocese of Portland, which in 2004 became the first Roman Catholic diocese in the nation to file bankruptcy on the eve of trials in multimillion-dollar lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse by priests.

U.S. District Judge Robert Jones concluded that the one remaining unsettled claim against the archdiocese would cost $100,000 to settle - well below the $13.7 million set aside for unsettled claims under the proposed reorganization plan.

Jones had scheduled public "estimation hearings" for about 20 remaining child sexual abuse claims to determine whether the $13.7 million fund was adequate to cover the potential jury awards. However, after the estimation hearings that began March 13, all but one of those claims has been settled privately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Cornwall inquiry commissioner announces healing projects

CANADA
The Ottawa Citizen

Published: Thursday, March 29, 2007
The commissioner of the Cornwall Public Inquiry has announced a series of practical research projects aimed at fostering healing in Cornwall.

The projects are to operate in parallel with the inquiry into reports of systemic child sex abuse, which is expected to run until early 2008.

Judge Normand Glaude posted a proposed research agenda on the commission’s website and invited submissions. Proposals were reviewed by an advisory panel which made recommendations to the commissioner.

People want activities they see as practical and likely to make a difference in the future,” said Judge Glaude in a statement Thursday. “This is why you will see a focus on education and pragmatic activities and less on traditional academic research.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

The Rev. Foley Scandal

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

March 30, 2007
One point the story of Richard Foley makes abundantly clear is that the nation's Roman Catholic bishops struck a deal with the devil when they adopted the policy of allowing priests suspected of sexual abuse to remain in the priesthood and to financially support them.

On Tuesday, the Archdiocese of Hartford evicted the Rev. Foley from St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, where he had been living since 1993. Archbishop Henry Mansell also ordered the Rev. Foley to sell his 2002 Ford Crown Victoria - the official car of the state police, tricked out with emergency lights, scanners and antennae - a holdover from the priest's days as a fire and state police chaplain.

The decision followed an investigative article published Sunday in The Courant reporting that the Rev. Foley was among 14 priests accused of sexual molestation who were part of a $22 million settlement by the archdiocese in 2002. The Rev. Foley continued to live at the seminary, receiving free room and board, health insurance and a monthly stipend from the archdiocese. He also continued to drive a Crown Victoria, a car that figures prominently in the abuse claims against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Catholic leader doesn’t sugarcoat church’s sex abuses

FLORIDA
Naples Daily News

By Denise Zoldan
Friday, March 30, 2007

The head of a powerful panel of lay people chosen by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to oversee the protection of children in the church delivered some straight talk in Naples on Thursday.

Patricia O’Donnell Ewers detailed how far the church has come and how far it still needs to go since the child sex abuse scandal of five years ago.

“A lot of people express outrage but not a lot are willing to do the hard work — send letters, serve on a parish safe environment committee and go back to your own parish and ask questions,” O’Donnell Ewers told an audience of about 60 at St. John the Evangelist Church in North Naples.

“Until we have the parishioners auditing, we have no real security over the effectiveness of what we are doing.”

She is chairwoman of the 13-member USCCB’s National Review Board, which has undertaken massive efforts to ensure further abuse is stopped. The panel reports directly to a committee of 20 bishops, who O’Donnell Ewers says has been supportive of every recommendation the board has made.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

San Diego diocese offers settlement

SAN DIEGO (CA)
LA Daily News

BY ALLISON HOFFMAN, Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 03/29/2007 09:42:43 PM PDT

SAN DIEGO - The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego is offering $95 million to settle more than 140 claims of sexual abuse by priests.

According to documents filed Wednesday in the church's bankruptcy proceedings, the diocese would offer 83 victims who say they were forced to have sex as much as $800,000. Forty-four people who were only touched or forced to masturbate would receive between $176,000 and $575,000.

An additional 16 victims who say they were exposed to lesser types of abuse - being asked to pose for photographs or look at sexual material, for example - would receive between $10,000 and $175,000. Under the proposed bankruptcy reorganization plan, a $3 million fund would also be created to settle any additional abuse claims that have not yet been formally made.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 AM

Archmere grad tells of sex abuse by priest

WILMINGTON (DE)
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

Posted Friday, March 30, 2007

WILMINGTON -- Navy Cmdr. Kenneth J. Whitwell took the stand Thursday in U.S. District Court and told a panel of six jurors what no Delaware jury has heard before: He told them how he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest as a student at Archmere Academy.

Whitwell, 39, of Stafford, Va., described almost three years of sexual abuse -- hundreds of incidents including fondling, oral and anal rape -- by the Rev. Edward Smith, who was a religion teacher, an English teacher and campus minister at Archmere from 1982 to 1984. The abuse started, Whitwell said, when he was a 14-year-old freshman.

Smith never responded to Whitwell's civil lawsuit. When Smith failed to appear in court in January, Judge Sue L. Robinson ruled that he was in default, allowing the case to go directly to a jury to determine damages.

It is the first time a claim of sexual abuse by a priest has reached a Delaware courtroom because the state's statute of limitations -- the time in which a criminal charge or civil claim can be made -- has expired in so many other cases. That is why Robinson dismissed Archmere Academy, the Norbertine religious order Smith is part of, and the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington from this case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Diocese: Allegations not credible

JOLIET (IL)
Herald News

March 30, 2007
By JOE HOSEY Staff Writer
JOLIET -- The Diocese of Joliet determined allegations of sexual abuse against a prominent local priest are implausible, but still won't let him serve his parishioners.

The Rev. James Burnett has been on administrative leave since last year and will stay there despite a review committee finding allegations made by one man "not credible," said diocesan spokesman Doug Delaney. The board "has not been able to resolve the credibility" of an accusation leveled by a second man.

The first man, Dan Shanahan, said Burnett molested him repeatedly for four years beginning sometime around 1978, when Shanahan was 8. Some of the alleged incidents occurred in a confessional at St. Mary Church in Mokena, Shanahan said.

The second accuser, identified by Delaney as a "John Doe," also was a parishioner at St. Mary Parish in Mokena.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:02 AM

Abuse allegations 'not credible'

JOLIET (IL)
Daily Southtown

March 30, 2007
By Duaa Eldeib Staff writer
In a move that has an attorney labeling the Diocese of Joliet as possibly "one of the most dangerous diocese in the country," officials found that allegations of child sexual abuse against an Illinois priest are "not credible."

Daniel Shanahan alleges in his lawsuit that he was molested repeatedly by the Rev. James Burnett almost 30 years ago. He went public last year with his claim of sexual abuse that allegedly began in 1978 -- when he was 8 years old -- and continued through 1982.

"The review committee evaluated the information, and in their opinion, there wasn't enough evidence to find this credible," said Doug Delaney, executive assistant to Joliet's Bishop James Peter Sartain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Priest-abuse allegation called 'not credible'

JOLIET (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Hal Dardick
Tribune staff reporter
Published March 30, 2007
The Catholic Diocese of Joliet announced Thursday that its Review Committee found "not credible" one set of sexual abuse allegations against Rev. James Burnett, the former rector of its cathedral.

But in a second case, the details of which are not yet public, the committee "has not been able to resolve the credibility of that accusation," according to a diocesan statement.

In February 2006, Burnett, then rector of Cathedral of St. Raymond in Joliet, was put on administrative leave by the diocese. He remains "out of ministry" pending the outcome of a state's attorney's review and the resolution of civil lawsuits that have or are expected to be filed against him, the statement said.

The "not credible" finding "doesn't mean it is true or isn't true," said Doug Delaney, executive assistant to Bishop Peter Sartain. "It means they weren't able to substantiate it under their guidelines."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

March 29, 2007

New law gives abuse victims more time

IDAHO
CDA Press

By TOM GREENE
Staff writer

A victim advocates group is praising a bill signed into law by Gov. Butch Otter last week that would give sex abuse victims more time to file lawsuits.

But with some major organizations seemingly exempt from the new law, there is still much more work to do, said Mary Grant, Western regional director for Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

"I know it's going to be a safer place for kids," Grant said Wednesday. "It's a process of really starting to break down the denial, and that's because of the courage of the victims."

Victims of child sex abuse now must file civil claims in their cases within five years after turning 18.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 PM

Plan filed to settle sex abuse lawsuits

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer and Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS
March 29, 2007

In documents that foretell fierce legal battles to come, bankruptcy attorneys for the Diocese of San Diego last night filed their plan for settling about 150 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests.

Attorneys representing the alleged victims promptly labeled the filing “premature” and “meaningless” in the month-old Chapter 11 process, which could last years.

In hundreds of pages, the diocese's Reorganization Plan details how church officials aim to establish a $95 million pool. Payments would range from about $10,000 to $800,000 to victims settling lawsuits for abuse by clergy in incidents dating back decades.

That figure represents roughly half of what plaintiffs were expected to be seeking in four years of closed-door negotiations. Settlements and jury awards in such cases in California have ranged from about $1.1 million to $1.6 million, according to plaintiffs' attorneys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 PM

San Diego diocese offers $95 million for sex abuse claims

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Fresno Bee

By ALLISON HOFFMAN 03/29/07 14:50:33

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego is offering $95 million to settle more than 140 claims of sexual abuse by priests.

According to documents filed Wednesday in the church's bankruptcy proceedings, the diocese would offer 83 victims who say they were forced to have sex as much as $800,000. Forty-four people who were only touched or forced to masturbate would receive between $176,000 and $575,000.

An additional 16 victims who say they were exposed to lesser types of abuse - being asked to pose for photographs or look at sexual material, for example - would receive between $10,000 and $175,000.

Under the proposed bankruptcy reorganization plan, a $3 million fund would also be created to settle any additional abuse claims that have not yet been formally made.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

Fury at Angelika priest sex claim

SCOTLAND
BBC News

A priest's reported claims that he had sex with a student whose body was found at his church have been branded "outrageous" by the dead girl's sister.

The Angelika Kluk murder trial heard that Father Gerry Nugent spoke to police investigating the Polish woman's death about their relationship.

The High Court in Edinburgh also heard evidence from Martin Macaskill who was having an affair with Angelika, 23.

Peter Tobin, 60, a church handyman, denies raping and murdering her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 PM

Settlement reached in sex abuse case against Jesuit priest

FAIRBANKS (AK)
KTUU

by The Associated Press
Thursday, March 29, 2007

FAIRBANKS, Alaska -- A church official says two civil suits were settled against a former Jesuit priest who fathered at least two children and had sex with several women while serving in Alaska.

Two men and two women from Western Alaska will share in a nearly $2 million agreement, plus therapist's fees, in their suit against the Rev. James E. Jacobson.

The retired 83-year-old Jesuit priest served in Alaska from the early 1960s to 1976.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

Another Pontius Pilate on abuse responsibility

IRELAND
Southern Star

THE Government, it was announced last week, has insisted it is not responsible for teachers ‘who sexually abuse pupils’ and has warned victims that they will be ‘vigorously pursued for costs’ if they sue the State !

How outrageous, disgusting and anomalous and, particularly, when one recalls that, when it came to child abuse in residential institutions, the same State had no problem with landing the great bulk of the §1.2 billion cost, so far, on taxpayers while the actual perpetrators of the scandal, members of religious orders, got away with a token amount, supposed to be §128 millions but which, according to property valuation reports, could be watered down.

The so-called ‘logic’ used by former Education Minister Dr. Michael Woods, when making this ‘secret’ deal with CORI (the Conference of Religious in Ireland), back in 2001 and 2002, was that, since the State owned the residential institutions, the religious orders running them did not bear legal responsibility for abuse, or any other wrongdoing perpetrated by management and teachers and, thus, the State proceeded to burden innocent taxpayers with the financial repercussions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

Priest denies abusing boy

UNITED KINGDOM
Ealing Times

A KINDLY Catholic priest molested a schoolboy who came to confess in his office, a court heard.

Father Gerald Stanislaus Hobbs, known as Father Stan to pupils at St Benedict's public school in Ealing, is accused of forcing himself on the young boy, who was 12 or 13 at the time, more than 20 years ago.

The victim, who now works as a journalist, told a jury at Isleworth Crown Court on Monday: "I remember kneeling down in the room and I remember him lifting up his robes.

"He had his hand on my head and he forced it down. I have a strong memory and I have had flashbacks."

The court heard that after the boy was assaulted the priest gave him a medal that was hanging on the back of his door.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Retired Priest Facing New Charges

CANADA
CFRA

Josh Pringle
Thursday, March 29, 2007

A retired Pembroke-area priest is facing three more charges for alleged assaults in the 1960s and 1970s.

Ontario Provincial Police have charged 72-year-old Msgr. Bernard Prince with buggery, indecent assault and gross indecency.

The OPP says a 13th person has come forward alleging he was sexually assaulted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Catholic priest denies child sex charges

UNITED KINGDOM
This is Lancashire

By Staff Reporter

A CATHOLIC priest has denied he committed offences of child abuse against two schoolboys in Bury.

John McCollough (61) appeared at Bolton Crown Court on Monday to plead not guilty to 12 charges of indecent assault and gross indecency with two children, both aged under 16, between 1987 and 1993.

The offences are alleged to have taken place while McCollough was an Anglican rector at Christ the King with Holy Trinity Church in Spring Street, Bury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Clergy Sex Abuse-TAKE CORRECTIVE ACTION!

UNITED STATES
OpEd News

by Debby Bodkin

As a Catholic wife, mother and advocate for clergy sex abuse victims, it was during Lent last year when I gathered up enough courage to submit my first OPINION article to www.opednews.com, "Hidden Blessings." And, one year later, I am very thankful for the many opportunities offered by OpEdNews and other publications, especially those encouraging public participation in matters relating to public safety, justice and the politically-charged clergy sex abuse crisis. You are truly "Hidden Blessings" -- thank you for allowing our OPINIONS:

TO ALL ATTORNEYS REPRESENTING RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS:

In my OPINION, "Mental Reservation" Church Doctrine & Freedom of Religion have assisted your legal claims in courts of law for many years and you have personally experienced financial gain for these obvious judicial abuses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Former Pastor Charged With Sexual Assault

WISCONSIN
WEAU

Reporter: Mary Rinzel
Email Address: mary.rinzel@weau.com

A former Rice Lake pastor is charged with raping a 17-year-old boy 20 years ago.
Now, that victim is speaking out.

Doug Guillen says he struggled for years with drug and alcohol abuse before putting a gun to his head. He says before he could pull the trigger, he says he realized it's not his fault.

It was a child that saved Doug Guillen from himself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Minister charged with child sexual abuse

BREWTON (AL)
Press-Register

Thursday, March 29, 2007
By CONNIE BAGGETT
Staff Reporter
BREWTON -- A part-time Southern Baptist preacher who lives in Brewton and pastors a Florida Panhandle church has been charged with sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl, authorities said Wednesday.

The Rev. Stephen Lyle "Steve" Whittaker, 40, listed on an online church directory as the pastor of Beaver Creek Baptist Church in Baker, Fla., surrendered to Brewton police after the girl's mother reported her suspicions to authorities on March 12, Brewton Police Sgt. Eric Suarez said.

Whittaker remained free on $5,000 bond Wednesday, authorities said. He was charged with first-degree sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Priest charged with sex abuse

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

By JON WILLING

A new complainant has come forward with sexual abuse allegations against a Pembroke-area priest.

OPP yesterday arrested Msgr. Bernard Prince, 72, after investigating the male complainant's claims. Prince was charged with buggery, indecent assault on a male and gross indecency in connection with alleged incidents between 1967 and 1970 in Ottawa.

The charges are in addition to the pile of allegations Prince is currently facing.

Police began investigating Prince in May 2005 after receiving a complaint that he allegedly assaulted a young male while the boy visited Prince in Wilno, near Barry's Bay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Ex-priest charged in sex assault of family member

HELMETTA (NJ)
Ashbury Park Press

Posted by the Asbury Park Press on 03/29/07
BY GINA VERGEL
GANNETT NEW JERSEY

HELMETTA — A borough resident and former Catholic priest was arrested Wednesday on charges he sexually assaulted a girl 20 years ago from the time she was 3 until age 7, authorities said.

Ronald Becker, 62, a former priest with the Diocese of Trenton who also had ties to the Diocese of Metuchen, was picked up Wednesday at his Raintree Court residence by members of the Jamesburg Police Department and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit.

Becker, who is involved with several Jamesburg civic groups, is charged with sexual assault as a result of an investigation that began Feb. 23 involving a female family member who reported Becker fondled her on multiple occasions from the ages of 3 to 7, according to a prepared statement by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.

Many of these incidents occurred in a family residence in Jamesburg, the report said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Portland Archdiocese clears another bankruptcy hurdle

PORTLAND (OR)
KGW

03/29/2007

Associated Press

A federal judge said the one remaining claim against the Archdiocese of Portland would cost $100,000 to settle, well below the $13.7 million set aside for unsettled claims under a proposed bankruptcy reorganization plan.

The finding sets the stage for a bankruptcy judge to approve the reorganization plan next month.

U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones had to decide if a $13.7 million fund was sufficient to cover possible jury awards for about 20 unsettled claims against the archdiocese, most for child sex abuse by priests. The answer, which would be gathered from a series of mini-trials starting in mid-March, was pivotal for the church's plan to reorganize its finances without having to sell church properties to do it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Christian Brother jailed for sex abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

March 29, 2007 - 7:19PM

A former Christian Brothers teacher who sexually abused three young boys on camping trips in Western Australia has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Graeme James Down, 56, also a former Fire and Emergency Services Authority employee in Kununurra, was sentenced on Thursday in the WA District Court after pleading guilty to sexually assaulting three of his pupils at Perth's St Marks College between 1981 and 1983.

Prosecutor Caroline Brookes said Down first abused an 11-year-old boy in the winter of 1981 after the child injured himself playing hockey.

Luring the child into his manual arts block office, Down got the boy to strip so he could massage the 11-year-old's thigh, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Priest Routinely Renewed Permits

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

March 29, 2007
By DAVE ALTIMARI, And ELIZABETH HAMILTON Courant Staff Writers

In each of the four years after state police removed the Rev. Stephen Foley as chaplain because of suspected sexual abuse of young boys, the state of Connecticut approved a special permit that allowed Foley to drive a car equipped with sirens and red emergency lights, the same type of vehicle his accusers say he used to lure them.

The state also granted Foley's request for the law-enforcement-sounding vanity plate "HQ-10" in 1993, the same year allegations led the Catholic Church to remove Foley from active ministry, records obtained by The Courant show.

The Archdiocese of Hartford this week ordered Foley to leave St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield and to sell the police-equipped Crown Victoria he has been driving for years. The action follows stories in The Courant revealing that Foley, who was also a chaplain for a number of local fire departments, was still driving a car equipped with flashing lights, sirens and radios.

A 1994 summary from a state police investigation concluded that Foley's accusers "were fascinated with Foley's car because of the lights, siren and radio, and were thrilled to go to a scene." State police did not pursue charges because the statute of limitations had expired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Church settles abuse claims

ALASKA
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner

By Mary Beth Smetzer
Staff Writer
Published March 29, 2007

The head of the Society of Jesus, Oregon Province, said Wednesday that an out-of-court agreement has been reached in two civil suits filed against a retired 83-year-old Jesuit priest who served in Alaska from the early 1960s until 1976.

The Rev. John D. Whitney said four people from Western Alaska — two men and two women — will share in a $1.96 million agreement plus therapists fees once paperwork is completed in their suit against the Rev. James E. Jacobson.

Two men sued Jacobson for child support, and two women, one the mother of one of the men, accused him of rape.

Defendants in the cases include Jacobson, the Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska and the Society of Jesus in Oregon and Alaska, the latter two sharing in the settlement costs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Plan filed to settle sex abuse lawsuits

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer and Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS
March 29, 2007

In documents that foretell fierce legal battles to come, bankruptcy attorneys for the Diocese of San Diego last night filed their plan for settling about 150 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests.

Attorneys representing the alleged victims promptly labeled the filing “premature” and “meaningless” in the month-old Chapter 11 process, which could last years.

In hundreds of pages, the diocese's Reorganization Plan details how church officials aim to establish a $95 million pool. Payments would range from about $10,000 to $800,000 to victims settling lawsuits for abuse by clergy in incidents dating back decades.

That figure represents roughly half of what plaintiffs were expected to be seeking in four years of closed-door negotiations. Settlements and jury awards in such cases in California have ranged from about $1.1 million to $1.6 million, according to plaintiffs' attorneys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Change in Air Among Jeffs' Followers

UTAH
KSL

John Hollenhorst Reporting

Some former followers of Warren Jeffs were not surprised by reports that Jeffs now expresses doubts about being a true prophet. They say even some of his polygamist true believers are beginning to have doubts. So there's a change in the air.

Isaac Wyler, a former F.L.D.S. member said, "Things are changing drastically. People are way more open."

Isaac Wyler has his finger on the pulse of the Jeffs community because he's knocked on virtually every door. A former F.L.D.S. member, he now delivers delinquent property tax notices. Last year he could hear Jeffs' sermons on tape at nearly every door.

"At least 90 percent of the homes were listening to Warren Jeffs," he said.

But on his rounds this year? Wyler says, "I haven't heard one tape of Warren, not even one, which is really weird."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 AM

Former first-grade teacher sues diocese, principal in dismissal

CHARLESTON (WV)
The Charleston Gazette

By Andrew Clevenger
Staff writer

A former first-grade teacher at St. Anthony Catholic School in Charleston has sued the school for firing her, allegedly after she reported her suspicions that a student was the victim of sexual abuse.

In a lawsuit filed this month in Kanawha Circuit Court, Beverly Elaine Nichols of Putnam County alleges that a student gave her a sexually explicit drawing made by another first-grader. The drawing made Nichols suspect sexual abuse, and she told St. Anthony Principal John Fitzwater, the suit contends.

“Mr. Fitzwater told [her] that he would call the parents and talk to the student about the picture. However, Mr. Fitzwater subsequently threw the picture in the trash and never took any action to investigate the incident,” the suit reads.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:35 AM

Priest abuse victim feels stronger after settlement

WATERLOO (IA)
WCF Courier

By PAT KINNEY, Courier Business Editor

WATERLOO --- One of the nine victims who settled priest sex abuse claims with the Archdiocese of Dubuque Tuesday said the process was difficult, but she is glad she went through it.

"I do feel stronger having gone through this," said Rosalyn Zieser, 71, of Unity, Wis. "I just feel like someone has listened, finally, and I'm believed, and some restitution was made, and I'm valued now."

She spoke with the Courier after her attorneys and archdiocesan officials announced a $2.6 million settlement with the nine claimants. The archdiocese also agreed to pay for counseling. Dubuque Archbishop Jerome Hanus also will issue public and private apologies to the victims, as he did with a similar $5 million settlement with 20 claimants in February 2006.

Zieser, who has lived in Wisconsin since 1976 and is the mother or six grown children, said she was abused at age 10 by the Rev. Patrick McElliott in the late 1940s when he was at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Monti, in Buchanan County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 AM

Commissioner of Cornwall Public Inquiry to announce decision for Phase 2 research (Cornwall, ON)

CANADA
The Cornwall Public Inquiry

On Thursday, March 29, Justice G. Normand Glaude,Commissioner of the Cornwall Public Inquiry, will announce his decision in respect to selection of proposals for Phase 2 research. The announcement is set for 9:30 a.m.

Phase 2 of the Inquiry’s mandate focuses on creating an environment that will foster healing and reconciliation in Cornwall. Last month, Commissioner Glaude released his decision on the proposals he endorsed for funding for Phase 2 research done byparties to the Inquiry.

The announcement on Thursday is a further aspect of an action-oriented Phase 2agenda, recommended by the Inquiry’s Advisory Panel. These projects will provideadditional opportunities in the areas of research, education and building ofinfrastructure for future service and information resources for those affected bychildhood sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 AM

Public confidence in inquiry may be lacking: lawyers

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

By Terri Saunders
Standard-Freeholder

Cornwall

False statements in at least two affidavits filed with the Cornwall Public Inquiry may lead to a lack of public confidence in the commission’s work, lawyers argued today.

“This deals with the credibility of the process,” said Peter Wardle, an attorney representing the Citizens for Community Renewal.

Earlier this month, a series of sworn affidavits signed by members of The Victims Group were removed from the inquiry’s web site. Commission counsel received information that some of the statements contained in at least two of the documents, prepared by and presented to the inquiry by attorneys from the London-based law firm Ledroit Beckett, were incorrect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 AM

Bishop Says No to Registry of Accused

UNITED STATES
Voice in the Desert

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The following story from the March 30, 2007, issue of the National Catholic Reporter should remove any doubt that the bishops in the United States, by not publishing the names of clergy facing credible accusations of sexual abuse, are continuing the criminal cover up that has been ongoing for decades, if not centuries.

* * *
Bishop says no to registry of accused

Chair of clergy sex abuse committee takes stock of five years since charter

By JOE FEUERHERD
Washington

The chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People told a Georgetown University audience March 20 that he opposes establishing a searchable Internet-based registry containing the names of clergy facing credible accusations of sexual abuse.

“There is very little chance that such a list would be comprehensive or accurate,” said Bishop Gregory Aymond of Austin, Texas. Such a system would likely lead to a “miscarriage of justice,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 AM

Jehovah's Witness elder charged with sex assault of girl, 8

FLORIDA
News-Journal

By LYDA LONGA
Staff Writer

A Jehovah's Witness elder who investigators said raped a girl when she was 8 years old has been arrested, Volusia County sheriff's officials said Monday.

And now police are anxious to learn whether there are any others who may have been attacked by 40-year-old Henry William Hauch of Mims, who has been charged with sexual battery.

Investigators said Hauch, an elder with the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witness in Titusville, attacked the girl in 1999 when she was 8.

Information about the assault surfaced in June 2006 when the girl -- now 15 -- was discussing sex and boys with her older sister, according to the report. When the sister asked the accuser whether she had ever had sex, she said, "Yes, but it was wrong."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 AM

Experts Encourage Parents to Talk to Children About Sexual Abuse

UTAH
KSL

March 28th, 2007 @ 3:55pm
Amanda Butterfield Reporting

We told you yesterday that a former LDS bishop in Harrisville was arrested and charged with sexually abusing three young sisters in their home. The girls came forward because they saw another sexual abuse case reported on the news. Today, we dug a little deeper into how Timothy O'Sean McCleve was arrested and learned that children coming forward in this way is very rare.

It's not often the Department of Child and Family Services gets a call that a child had watched a news report about sexual abuse and then came forward as a victim in another case. That's what happened when three sisters were watching a story about a teacher arrest in Riverton, which lead to an arrest in Harrisville.

Carol Sisco and her employees at the Department of Child and Family Services cannot remember this ever happening. "That is really unusual," Sisco said. But if abuse did occur, she is glad one of the three girls came forward after watching a news story on Frank Laine Hall, a teacher in Riverton arrested and charged with sexual abuse against some of his students. "Anything that gives the little child the courage to say 'Someone hurt me' is really important," Sisco said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 AM

BREAKING NEWS: President of Jamesburg Historical Association charged with sex crime

NEW JERSEY
The Cranbury Press

Ronald Becker, a former Roman Catholic priest, was arrested at his home in Helmetta and charged with fondling a young girl in the early 1980s.

Ronald Becker, of Raintree Court, was arrested by members of the Jamesburg Police Department and the Middlesex County prosecutor's office Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit.

According to a press release issued by the prosecutor's office, a female family member reported that she had been fondled on her breast and vaginal areas on multiple occasions between the ages of 3 and 7 by Mr. Becker more than 20 years ago. Many of these incidents occurred in a family residence in Jamesburg, the release said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 AM

Warren Jeffs' followers left in the dark

UTAH
ABC 4

Story by:
Brent Hunsaker
brent@abc4.com

Court observers were shocked yesterday by the appearance of Warren Jeffs and by a report that Jeffs may have made a jailhouse confession denying he was ever a prophet.

You would think the people would be interested in what's going on with the man they think is a prophet. But there's one problem: the faithful are forbidden from reading the news paper or watching television.

Sam Brower, a private investigator said Jeffs looked "much worse for wear" and more gaunt.

After the trial, his followers weren't talking. Very few of the FLDS followers are aware of Jeffs' reported confession or his apparent fragile health.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 AM

Former Pastor Charged With Sexual Assault

WISCONSIN
WEAU

A former Rice Lake pastor is charged with raping a 17-year-old boy 20 years ago.
Now, that victim is speaking out.

Doug Guillen says he struggled for years with drug and alcohol abuse before putting a gun to his head. He says before he could pull the trigger, he says he realized it's not his fault.

It was a child that saved Doug Guillen from himself.

"I wanted to shoot myself but I cant, I have a little girl. I'll be damned if I'm going to shoot myself and he's still out there," Guillen says.

Guillen, who used to live in Rice Lake, now calls Fort Lauderdale, Florida home. He has a wife and 16-year-old daughter.

Guillen was just 17, when he says his pastor raped him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 AM

Church opposes law aimed at helping sex abuse victims

ILLINOIS
ABC 7

By Chuck Goudie
March 28, 2007 - In this I-Team report: the fight over a plan to let child sex abuse victims file claims against their accused molesters, regardless of how long ago they were abused.

Currently, in Illinois, you have five years to file a child sex abuse claim. It is known as the statute of limitations. But an Illinois Senate bill would suspend the statute of limitations to cover incidents that happened even 40 or 50 years ago. The Catholic Church is among the organizations trying to block the law.

"We are not going to close our eyes," said Illinois Senator Terry Link.

Lake Bluff Democrat Terry Link introduced a bill in the State Senate that would give child sexual abuse victims a two year period to file legal claims, regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred.

Senator Link was asked by the Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests to introduce the legislation in Springfield, which now has the backing of nearly two dozen senators and a powerful Roman Catholic lay organization.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 AM

To Forgive or to Shun

CALIFORNIA
LA Weekly

By JUSTIN CLARK
Wednesday, March 28, 2007 - 4:30 pm

Two Sundays ago, while having coffee with an Irvine woman he’d recently met on the Internet, Rabbi Juda Heschel made the inevitable disclosure. He recounted the felony that, seven years ago, destroyed his marriage, estranged his children, forced his synagogue to fire him and sent him to federal prison.

“I’m a registered sex offender,” he told his date, heart banging in his chest.

As an Orthodox Jew, Heschel wasn’t accustomed to going to confession. Seven years ago, he was a highly respected rabbi at Mount Freedom Jewish Center, an Orthodox synagogue in Randolph Township, New Jersey. But he was also a lifelong porn addict, and his addiction peaked after he was shown how to use the synagogue’s computer. Two weeks before the High Holy Days, the synagogue’s computer technician discovered two pictures of child pornography that Heschel had viewed on an adult Web site. By enlarging the images, Heschel had unwittingly downloaded them to his Web browser’s temporary-file cache.

“It was 2000,” Heschel says, explaining why the synagogue’s elders went directly to the FBI. “That was during the height of the lawsuits against the Catholic Church.”


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 AM

March 28, 2007

Pilla 'secret fund' really his savings, diocese says

CLEVELAND (OH)
Plain Dealer

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Mike Tobin
Plain Dealer Reporter

The Anthony M. Pilla Charitable account wasn't a secret fund but rather the former bishop's personal savings account, a lawyer for the Cleveland Catholic Diocese said.

The information emerged in a motion filed in U.S. District Court as part of the criminal case against Joseph Smith and Anton Zgoznik, two former employees accused of bilking the diocese out of $784,000.

Lawyers for the two men filed a motion last month in which they accused the diocese of maintaining hundreds of secret bank accounts used to funnel money to employees, including a $600,000 account controlled by Pilla.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 PM

New Catholic Web Site Empowers "Pewsitters" To Report The News

DANBORO (PA)
PRWeb

Danboro, PA (PRWEB) March 27, 2007 -- Pewsitter.com, a unique Catholic web site launched today, combines the concept of a news aggregator site, like DrudgeReport, with that of a user-generated content site, like Yahoo's You Witness News web site, to give the lay Catholic faithful a powerful, new voice within the Church. ...

For far too long, faithful Catholics have witnessed abuse after abuse within the Church and have been powerless to do anything about it. No more! By submitting newsworthy items to Pewsitter, the laity can help shape and influence the Church and be a powerful force for positive change.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

As Jury Trials Approach, Plaintiffs Compel Depositions and Documents, Church Fights for Pedophile Pederast Priest and Cardinals' Rights

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

Jury trials begin this summer in the L.A. Clergy Cases so I spent some time in Room 106 of Superior Court today to see what type of documents have been filed in the last few weeks.

There have been settlements. About 30 documents down from the top, “Motions of Good Faith Determinations” on the part of the Congregation of the Mission also known as “the Vincentians” and 10 plaintiffs. There are still other defendants in these cases, the RCC Archbishop "DOE 1" and St. John’s Seminary "DOE 2" but at least the Vincentians have dropped out of the lawsuit insanity.

Over and over again the LA Archdiocese refuses to turn over documents and exhibits while at the same time filing motions to strike and quash cases because the plaintiffs don’t have documents and exhibits.

Your eyes start to blur as you open one document after another.

It’s hard to tell which cases connect with which priests. For example on July 9 the jury trial is for “Hagenbach Cases”

But one Hagenbach case alone names 28 priests who were apparently part of an inner circle of pedophiles in Southern California.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Retired Vatican official faces additional sex charges

CANADA
CBC News

A retired Vatican official and priest faces new sex charges dating back to the late 1960s, with a 13th victim allegedly assaulted.

Monsignor Bernard Prince, 72, was charged Wednesday with buggery, indecent assault (male), and gross indecency for incidents that took place in Ottawa between 1967 and 1970, said an Ontario Provincial Police news release issued Wednesday afternoon.

Prince has been released from custody on conditions and is scheduled to make a court appearance in Pembroke on April 10.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

More sex allegations against priest

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

Wednesday, 5:30 p.m.

Another man has come forward with a sexual assault complaint against an Eastern Ontario priest, who's now facing 34 charges.

OPP detectives today arrested Monsignor Bernard Prince for incidents that allegedly occurred between 1967 and 1970 in Ottawa. He was charged with buggery, indecent assault and gross indecency.

Police began investigating Prince in May 2005 after a male complainant came forward with allegations against the priest. The complainant told police he was assaulted as a boy at Prince's home in Wilno.

There are now 13 alleged male victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 PM

UPDATE Diocese accuses Grace's Armstrong of theft, fraud

COLORADO
The Gazette

March 28, 2007 - 1:26PM

The Episcopal Diocese of Colorado accuses the Reverend Donald Armstrong of theft and fraud involving hundreds of thousands of dollars belonging to Grace Church and St. Stephen’s Parish in a letter to congregation members.

The letter from Bishop Robert O’Neill was sent Tuesday and outlined the charges of a presentment, the Episcopal equivalent of a court indictment. It came a day after the Colorado Springs church’s leadership voted to abandon the Episcopal Church and instead affiliate with an Africa-based Anglican church. O’Neill called that action invalid, saying that “while people can leave the Episcopal Church, parishes cannot.”

Armstrong denied any wrongdoing and accused the bishop of slander. “I believe their numbers are wrong, their assumptions are wrong and their conclusions are wrong,” he said about the diocese and the findings of its investigation. He said he will address his congregation about the accusations April 14 and added that an independent audit is being done to bolster his case to parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

Former USF dean sentenced for child porn

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Wednesday, March 28, 2007
(03-28) 09:42 PDT SAN FRANCISCO -- A former dean of education at the University of San Francisco was sentenced in federal court Tuesday to five years and three months in prison for possessing child pornography obtained on the Internet.

William Garner, 67, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker to pay $50,000 in restitution to a charity, the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center.

The sentence and restitution were agreed to by prosecution and defense when Garner pleaded guilty before Walker in San Francisco in December to one count of pornography possession.

Attorneys on both sides agreed in sentencing memoranda filed with Walker that Garner had collected 5,537 images of child pornography Garner told the judge Tuesday, "I deeply regret the shock and embarrassment I caused to my wife, my friends and my colleagues. I deeply regret what I've done to myself."

Garner taught at USF, a Jesuit Catholic University, from 1979 until he retired in July 2006 and was dean of the School of Education from 1983 to 1987. Walker said the crime was "fueled by defendant's drinking problem" and agreed to a defense request to recommend that Garner be assigned to a prison with a 500-hour alcohol rehabilitation program.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Fresno pastor ordered to trial on rape charges

FRESNO (CA)
Fresno Bee

03/28/07 09:00:37

A pastor was ordered to trial on child molestation and rape charges after two girls testified he had abused them for years, allegedly raping one after she became pregnant.

A Fresno County Superior Court Judge ruled Tuesday that there was enough evidence to try Pastor Charles Dickerson, 36, on several counts of rape and lewd and lascivious acts with a minor.

Dickerson, pastor of Pearly Grove Baptist Church in Fresno, was arrested last year. He has been a community leader who has spoken out against street violence and encouraged people to support black-owned businesses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:54 PM

Ex-Thousand Oaks Baptist pastor sentenced for molesting girl

THOUSAND OAKS (CA)
Mercury News

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 03/28/2007 10:51:27 AM PDT

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.- A former pastor who pleaded guilty to molesting a student at a church-run school in the 1980s has been sentenced to six years and four months in prison.

Shortly after being sentenced Tuesday, William Alan Malgren, 52, collapsed in a holding cell and had to be revived.

Malgren was arrested in March for sexually abusing the girl at church events and on church school grounds in 1988 and 1989.

At the time, Malgren was a pastor at the Thousand Oaks Baptist Church school and the girl was a student there. She is now a woman in her 30s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Cleared vicar goes back to work

UNITED KINGDOM
Oxford Mail

By Andrew Ffrench

Residents rallied around Oxford vicar Father Michael Wright as his suspension over unfounded child abuse allegations was lifted.

Father Wright, 69, vicar at St Barnabas Church, Jericho, arrived home at the vicarage on Tuesday after being acquitted at London's Blackfriars Crown Court of six counts of a serious sexual offence and six charges of indecent assault.

His congregation held prayers during the trial, and supporters travelled to the court to hear the verdict.

Father Wright said he would return to the pulpit before his forthcoming retirement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 PM

Former priest accused of molesting family member

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

Posted by The Star-Ledger March 28, 2007 4:27PM

Ronald Becker, a former priest and president of the Jamesburg Historical Association, was arrested today for sexually assaulting a female family member nearly 20 years ago, the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office said.

Becker, 62, was taken into custody at his Helmetta home after the alleged victim, now 26, called police on Feb. 23, authorities said.

The woman accused Becker of fondling her many times at a family home in Jamesburg from the time she was 3 until she was 7, authorities said.

Becker was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1973. The Diocese of Trenton received complaints that caused them to remove him from his priestly duties in 2002, but officials from the diocese refused to be more specific.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

Priest accused of sexual assault once served in Cumberland

CUMBERLAND (MD)
Cumberland Times-News

From Staff, Wire Reports

CUMBERLAND - A 67-year-old Ellicott City priest who also served at the St. Mary parish in Cumberland has been removed from the ministry after the Archdiocese of Baltimore learned of two accusations of sexual abuse that allegedly occurred in the 1960s.

Monsignor Richard E. Smith, pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott City, admitted to some of the allegations when he was confronted by officials within the past week, the archdiocese said Monday in a release.

Smith served at St. Mary's from 1968 to 1973. He was ordained in 1966.

Parishioners and staff were informed of the allegations Sunday, the archdiocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:33 PM

Slimser writes to Project Truth inquiry

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

Wed, March 28, 2007

By CANADIAN PRESS

CORNWALL — A man who walked out in the middle of cross-examination at an inquiry has written a letter to the judge heading the probe into the institutional response to allegations of systemic sexual abuse in the Cornwall area.

David Silmser’s letter, addressed to Commissioner Normand Glaude, was received at the commission’s office on Monday, Peter Engelmann, lead counsel for the inquiry, said Tuesday. Silmser testified earlier this year about the sexual abuse he says he suffered at the hands of a priest, a teacher and a probation officer when he was a teenager in the 1960s and 1970s.

The letter has been forwarded to counsel representing the various parties with standing at the inquiry, but has not been handed over to the commissioner.

Glaude said he must only review documents entered as part of evidence at the inquiry and until the letter is made a part of proceedings he will not read it.

Silmser left the inquiry in February after a doctor determined he was emotionally incapable of continuing testimony. This week, parties were expected to begin debating what to do with Silmser’s unfinished evidence, including whether or not cross-examination could be achieved without requiring Silmser to return to the witness stand.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

Jamesburg police arrest ex-priest on sex assault charge

JAMESBURG (NJ)
Home News Tribune

By GINA VERGEL
STAFF WRITER
gvergel@thnt.com
JAMESBURG: A Helmetta resident and former Catholic priest was arrested this afternoon on charges he sexually assaulted a young girl from the time she was 3 until was age 7, authorities said.

Ronald Becker, 62, a former priest with the Diocese of Trenton, was picked up on Wednesday at his Raintree Court residence by members of the Jamesburg Police and the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office Sex Crimes/Child Abuse Unit.

Becker is charged with sexual assault as a result of an investigation which began on Feb. 23 involving a female family member who reported that Becker fondled her on multiple occasions from the ages of 3 to 7, according to a release issued by the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.

Many of these incidents occurred in a family residence in Jamesburg, the report said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:28 PM

Catholics and the Telling of the Truth Under Oath

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Tidings

Statement of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles regarding the L.A. Times' story of March 26.

The March 26 Los Angeles Times story, "Catholic doctrine is cited in priest abuse cases," is insulting to all Catholics.

The Times' story gives attorneys suing the Church over sexual abuse unchecked reign to define Church teaching and to assert that all bishops, priests, nuns and church employees are predisposed to lie under oath in order to protect the Church.

The fact is, Catholics, like anyone else, are required to tell the truth under oath in a court of law. If the Times reporter had merely opened the "Catechism of the Catholic Church," he would have discovered paragraph #2476, which states: "When it is made publicly, a statement contrary to the truth takes on a particular gravity. In court it becomes false witness. When it is under oath, it is perjury."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:15 PM

Retired Alaska priest admits promiscuity

ANCHORAGE (AK)
KTUU

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- Father Jim Jacobson, who fathered two children and is accused of raping at least one of their mothers talked openly about his need for sex and using church dollars to pay prostitutes.

Jim Jacobson, 83, admitted his indiscretions in a deposition aired tonight on CNN. He also said the number of women he slept with was higher than the five he initially admitted.

"I'd say maybe seven," Jacobson said. "I would change it to seven."

When asked where he got money to pay prostitutes, Jacobson said he used church funds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Report: Archdiocese orders former priest from seminary

HARTFORD (CT)
News Times

HARTFORD (AP) - A Roman Catholic priest accused in lawsuits of child molestation may be looking for a new home.

The Hartford Courant reported that Archdiocese of Hartford on Tuesday ordered the Rev. Stephen Foley to leave St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield. Foley also was ordered by Archbishop Henry Mansell to sell the police-equipped Crown Victoria he's been driving for years even though he no longer serves as a police or fire chaplain.

Foley is accused by at least 11 men of using his position as chaplain for local fire departments and the state police to molest them when they were teenagers in the 1970s. His accusers say he lured them by using a car similar to a police cruiser.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Warren Jeffs may have confessed he's not a prophet

UTAH
ABC 4

According to a local paper report, Warren Jeffs, the prophet of the FLDS sect, made a confession that he's not actually a prophet, but the greatest of all sinners.

Jeffs reportedly made these comments to his brother, Nephi, in a jailhouse conversation they had in January. It is suspected that the alleged conversation was recorded, which could bring changes not only for the case, but for the FLDS community as well.

ABC 4 News caught up with Rowenna Erickson, the co-founder of Tapestry Against Polygamy, and a former polygamist member. Erickson spent decades and decades with that group and was finally excommunicated after she says she had a revelation and denied their beliefs. When she heard of Jeffs alleged confession, she immediately thought of the FLDS community. She says those members are going to have a tough time dealing with the fact that they may have been living a lie for generations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Former LDS bishop faces child molestation charges

HARRISVILLE (UT)
ABC 4

A former LDS bishop is under arrest for allegedly molesting young girls. Harrisville police arrested Timothy Osean Mccleve after three girls accused him of fondling them.

Late Monday afternoon, the District Attorney in Weber County filed three first degree felony charges of forcible sex abuse against McCleve.

Harrisville police Chief Max Jackson said McCleve served as the family bishop two years ago and befriended the family. According to a police affidavit, the victims even called him "Bishop Sean."

Police said McCleve would wait for his victims to come home from school. With the parents gone, he allegedly abused the girls in their own house. Police said McCleve's former position as a LDS bishop got him through the front door.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Police say LDS bishop used trust to molest sisters

HARRISVILLE (UT)
Salt Lake Tribune

By Nate Carlisle
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 03/28/2007 03:00:01 AM MDT

As the one-time bishop of the local LDS ward, many people in Harrisville know Timothy O'Sean McCleve.
Residents of the small Weber County community turned to him for guidance and counseling and advice. Police say he used that trust to gain access to three sisters he is accused of molesting.
McCleve was charged Monday - his 51st birthday - with three counts of forcible sex abuse.
The charges, filed in 2nd District Court in Ogden, carry a possible sentence of life in prison.
And more charges could follow. Harrisville Police Chief Max Jackson said Ogden police also have opened a case on McCleve.
Jackson said an Ogden investigator has e-mails between McCleve and a girl who was a teenager when McCleve was her bishop. The e-mails suggest the two had a relationship, Jackson said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Weber man accused of sex abuse

HARRISVILLE (UT)
Deseret Morning News

By Pat Reavy
Deseret Morning News
A former LDS bishop police say frequently visited the home of three young girls while their parents were away was charged Monday with three first-degree felonies stemming from allegations he sexually abused them.
Harrisville resident Timothy O'Sean McCleve, who turned 52 the day he was charged in Ogden's 2nd District Court, was arrested over the weekend by police.
The forcible sexual abuse charges were filed after an investigation that began about 10 days ago. Police, along with investigators from the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, are now looking into the possibility of other victims.
Police were first alerted after a girl heard the news about a Rosamond Elementary School first-grade teacher, Laine Hall, now charged with 14 counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child. The girl told her parents the same thing happened to her, said Harrisville Police Chief Max Jackson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Trial of Jeffs to stay in Dixie

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Deseret Morning News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret Morning News
ST. GEORGE — Looking skeletal and frail, Warren Jeffs stood and raised his hand.
Scott G. Winterton, Deseret Morning NewsPolygamist leader Warren Jeffs asks the judge Tuesday for permission to approach the bench. Plea was denied. "May I approach the bench?" the Fundamentalist LDS Church leader asked the judge at the end of a long day of hearings here in 5th District Court Tuesday. "I need to just take care of one matter."
Judge James Shumate refused to hear it, urging Jeffs to speak to his lawyers.
"Can I take care of it now?" Jeffs asked again.
Jeffs began bending over, trying to write something on a pad of paper. He feebly tore at the paper, appearing to have trouble even holding himself up. Washington County sheriff's deputies swarmed around him and ordered the courtroom to be cleared.
Jeffs' lawyers took the writing from him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Ex-pastor, 2 others suspected in theft

TUCSON (AZ)
Tucson Citizen

RYN GARGULINSKI,
Tucson Citizen

A Pima County pastor may be saying extra prayers after his arrest last week for allegedly ripping off the church he once served, according to a Pima County Sheriff's Department report released Tuesday.
Jose Galvan, 37, a pastor at Iglesia De Dios Sinal for about seven years, was arrested with his wife, Maria, 53, and the church's treasurer, Cristella Iguardo, 26, on Friday, the report said.
The report said Galvan had recently been suspended as pastor after "improprieties," which the Sheriff's Department would not list.
Instead of trying to reconcile, he announced he was severing all ties with the Church of God denomination, of which Iglesia De Dios Sinal is a part.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Pastor requests Bible theft charges be dropped

NORRISTOWN (PA)
Pottstown Mercury

Carl Hessler Jr., chessler@pottsmerc.com
03/28/2007

NORRISTOWN -- A judge has taken under advisement a former Royersford pastor’s request that all charges be dismissed against him in connection with allegations he stole antique Bible books and ripped off a church fund for the needy.

Montgomery County Judge William R. Carpenter indicated he’ll rule on William B. Shrout Jr.’s request after he reviews documents, including a church ledger pertaining to distributions from the so-called "Sunshine Fund" for the needy, that prosecutors submitted as evidence against Shrout.

Shrout, the former pastor of First United Church of Christ in Royersford, asked the county judge to review a district judge’s Feb. 1 decision ordering Shrout to stand trial on charges of theft by deception, receiving stolen property and conspiracy in connection with incidents that occurred while he was pastor of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Ex-student names fired math teacher

ELYRIA (OH)
Chronicle-Telegram

ELYRIA — A former Open Door Christian School junior high student is suing the school, the superintendent and her former math teacher because the teacher sexually abused her.
The girl, who attended the school run by the Church of the Open Door from 2001 through 2003, claims in the lawsuit, filed in county Common Pleas Court, that even though the abuse was reported to church officials as far back as 2001, nothing was done until the teacher was fired in May 2002. The only other sanction the teacher, Travis Mulanax, faced, according to the lawsuit, was being told he could not go on a school outing.
Mulanax — who had also served as the school’s junior high principal and athletic director — was convicted in March 2003 of sexual imposition and contributing to the delinquency of a minor in county Juvenile Court. He was sentenced to six months in jail and two years of probation, according to the lawsuit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Judge Says Pastor Dickerson Will Stand Trial

FRESNO (CA)
ABC 30

By Sontaya Rose
A well known southwest Fresno pastor will face a trial for charges of child molestation and rape. Pastor Charles Dickerson leads the Pearly Grove Baptist Church. A judge decided there is enough evidence to try him on several counts.

Charles Dickerson was disappointed, but according to his attorney, is looking forward to trial so he can get more of "his version" of things out. Many of the accusations are so graphic, they are inappropriate for television.

Charles Dickerson sat quietly, at times closing his eyes, as he listened to testimony from two teenage accusers. Action News is protecting their identity because of the nature of the crimes.

The girls both testified in graphic detail how Dickerson made sexual advances on numerous occasions. The teenagers told Judge Bruce Smith the abuse often began with Dickerson asking for a hug and that ended up to be much more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 AM

Six priests accused of sexual abuse

DUBUQUE (IA)
WHO

The nine latest claims of clergy sexual abuse against the Archdiocese of Dubuque involved six previously accused priests:

_ John Brickley, who died in 1998. Abuse claimed at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Nevada in the 1950s and 1960s. A lawsuit against him was settled earlier without a trial.

_ Timothy DeVenney, who lives in Washington, D.C. He served four years of a 10-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to fondling several boys at St. Columbkille Catholic Church in Dubuque in the mid-1990s. He is on probation, does not function as a priest and likely will never do so again, according to Dubuque Archbishop Jerome Hanus.

_ The Rev. Patrick McElliot, who died in 1987. Abuse claimed at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Ryan in the 1940s and after he was retired in the 1970s. He was named in previous abuse lawsuits.

_ Joseph Patnode, who died in 1977. Abuse claimed in the Anamosa area in the 1970s. In previous lawsuits, Patnode was accused of sexual abuse 30 years before that at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Key West.

_ Allen Schmitt, who lives in Dubuque. He works at the Archdiocesan Pastoral Center after being removed from parish duties in 2002. Abuse claimed at Sacred Heart Church in Waterloo in the early to mid-1970s. The Vatican is reviewing Schmitt's case and might render a final decision on his priestly status later this year.

_ William Schwartz, formally defrocked by the Vatican in 2005. Abuse claimed at Columbus High School in Waterloo in the 1970s. He also was named in previous lawsuits. Schwartz lives in Chandler, Ariz., and receives a pension from the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Bishop ready for challenges Catholic schools and the priesthood face hard times

YOUNGSTOWN (OH)
Vindicator

By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN — Bishop George V. Murry prefers music by Mozart, vintage sports cars and books of American history.

That's how he'll spend his spare time as he tackles the challenges facing the Diocese of Youngstown — challenges that haven't daunted him. ...

There are many reasons for the shortage of clergy, he said. Years ago, immigrant families with two sons expected one to get married and have children and the other to become a priest.

That trend lessened as those families have assimilated more into middle-class society.

Effects of scandal

Another factor is the clergy sexual abuse scandal, the bishop said.

"I've talked to many young men who say they are hesitant to enter the priesthood because they don't want to be associated with that," he said.

One has to look at the big picture: Although it was an unfortunate period when the behavior of some priests damaged the lives of young children, it was a small number of priests, the bishop said.

The majority of priests are men of faith, integrity and commitment, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Judge clears path for sexual-abuse lawsuits

DENVER (CO)
Rocky Mountain News

By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
March 28, 2007
Three clergy sex-abuse cases against the Archdiocese of Denver are free to go forward, and two new cases may lie ahead.

Denver District Judge John McMullen on Monday denied the church's motions to dismiss three lawsuits, accusing the archdiocese of "negligent supervision" of the alleged abuser, the late Rev. Harold Robert White.

McMullen's ruling said the cases could go forward even though they involved alleged incidents that happened more than 40 years ago, and therefore exceeded the statute of limitations.

The archdiocese called the ruling disappointing and said it would continue to "vigorously defend itself."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Catholic activist wants Bishop Finn removed

MISSOURI
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
March 28, 2007

The following article is from the latest newsletter (not yet available online) of Roman Catholic Faithful, headed by lay Catholic activist Stephen Brady. (Portions of the article have been slightly edited.)

Bishop Robert Finn, 53, a priest of the St. Louis archdiocese, is looked upon by some orthodox Catholics as a good bishop. This view exists in part because of his involvement in Opus Dei, as well as actions he took once installed (on May 24, 2005) as bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri. ...

While Finn's actions mentioned above are a good sign, they do not necessarily prove the bishop is orthodox. The last two popes have appointed so many faithless, pervert bishops in the past 30 years that any orthodox action taken by a bishop suddenly makes him a hero in the eyes of many starving Catholics. Praising a bishop for being pro-life or defending canon law is equivalent to praising a mother for feeding her newborn. Finn may be a wolf in sheep's clothing. Read on to find out why.

It was the summer of 2006 when I received my first phone call from a parishioner at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Nevada, Missouri. I was told of a situation involving the pastor, Fr. Anthony Pileggi, but was not given many details. The caller assured me that the 'good' bishop had promised to remove Pileggi and RCF was contacted for information only. This individual wanted to keep the scandal quiet. 'The bishop will take care of it.'

It was October 2006 when I received a second call from St. Mary's in Nevada. This time the parishioner wanted RCF's help. They felt betrayed by their bishop. Finn had removed Pileggi, only to appoint him pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Raytown, Missouri. The parish in Raytown has a school, K — 8th grade. Parishioners at both parishes were puzzled as to why their pastors were swapped. No one knew the secret and Finn apparently wanted it that way.

Later that month, Ron (an RCF member who works in our office) and I made the eight hour drive to Raytown to gather additional information before RCF took any action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:36 AM

'Nightmare is finally over'

UNITED KINGDOM
Oxford Mail

By Matt Wilkinson

A vicar cleared of sexually molesting a boy has spoken of his "incredible relief" after walking free from court.

Father Michael Wright, vicar at St Barnabas Church, in Jericho, Oxford, said yesterday his life had been turned into a nightmare after being accused of being a paedophile.

The 69-year-old arrived home at the vicarage last night after he was acquitted at London's Blackfriars Crown Court of six counts of serious sexual offences and six charges of indecent assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 AM

Diocese Tells Priest To Leave

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

March 28, 2007
By ELIZABETH HAMILTON, And DAVE ALTIMARI Courant Staff Writers

The Archdiocese of Hartford has ordered the Rev. Stephen Foley, suspected of being a child molester, to leave St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield and sell the police-equipped Crown Victoria he's been driving for years even though he no longer serves as a police or fire chaplain.

The decision was made by Archbishop Henry Mansell and communicated to Foley Tuesday afternoon in a phone call from the Rev. Gerard G. Schmitz, the vicar for priests, according to diocesan spokesman the Rev. John Gatzak.

"The bishop has taken immediate action," Gatzak said. "Stephen Foley is no longer welcome to reside at St. Thomas Seminary. He has been asked to make immediate plans to vacate and he's been told to get rid of the car."

Gatzak said he doesn't know what, if any, response Foley made to Schmitz.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Judge lets suits against archdiocese go forward

DENVER (CO)
Denver Post

By Howard Pankratz
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 03/28/2007 01:17:43 AM MDT

A Denver judge ruled Monday that lawsuits filed by three men against the Denver Roman Catholic Archdiocese may go to trial even though alleged abuse by now-deceased priest Harold Robert White occurred more than 30 years ago.

"This is an important ruling for all victims of sexual abuse in Colorado," Jeffrey Herman of Miami, the lawyer for the three, said of Denver District Judge John McMullen's ruling.

"It means even though victims were abused over 30 years ago, they can pursue their claims. We are extremely pleased with the ruling."

In contrast, the archdiocese issued a statement saying it was "disappointed to receive the Court's decision refusing to apply the Colorado statute of limitations in three cases where the alleged abuse occurred 41, 41 and 47 years ago."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Archdiocese settles cases for $2.6 million

DUBUQUE (IA)
Des Moines Register

ASSOCIATED PRESS

March 28, 2007

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque has paid $2.6 million to another nine people who claimed they were sexually abused by priests, attorneys for the individuals announced Tuesday.

The money will be distributed based on the nature and extent of the abuse, and the impact the abuse has had on the person's life, according to the settlement, which was the result of mediation between the victims and the archdiocese. No lawsuits were filed.

Although neither the lawyers nor church officials announced the names of the six priests at two separate news conferences Tuesday morning, the archdiocese did post the names in a report on its Web site, www.arch.pvt.k12.ia.us. The six priests - three who are living but have been removed or restricted from the priesthood and three who are deceased - are accused of abusing both boys and girls between the 1940s and the mid-1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

March 27, 2007

ARCHDIOCESE RECEIVES ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Catholic Review

Archdiocese of Baltimore

In the past week, the Archdiocese of Baltimore learned of two allegations of sexual abuse of a minor against Monsignor Richard E. Smith, 67, pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott City. The alleged abuse occurred in mid-late 1960s while Richard Smith was a priest at Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Woodlawn (known as St. Gabriel since 1997).

One woman alleges she had a series of sexual encounters over a course of months in 1967 when she was approximately 15-16 years old. Another woman has indicated that she and then-Father Smith had one inappropriate sexual interaction sometime in 1966 or 1967 when she was about 15 years old.

Richard Smith was informed of the allegations. He admitted to some of the allegations and couldn’t recall other details of his interactions with them.

These incidents were immediately reported to the appropriate civil authorities. Richard Smith has been removed from ministry and his faculties to function as a priest have been removed. The Archdiocese’s investigation continues. In accordance with Archdiocesan policy, counseling assistance has been and will be offered to those affected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 PM

Accused priest featured tonight on CNN

ALASKA
Anchorage Daily News

Published: March 27, 2007
Last Modified: March 27, 2007 at 06:01 PM

The story of a promiscuous priest who worked in Alaska decades ago will be featured tonight on CNN's 360 Degrees program.

The Anderson Cooper program starts at 6 p.m. and will show again at 9 p.m. The Rev. Jim Jacobson is being sued in Alaska for child support by two men who say he fathered them but never provided for them as children and by two women who say he sexually assaulted them.

A settlement of the lawsuit is in the works, but lawyers weren't ready Tuesday to release details.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 PM

Priest found guilty of sexual assault

AUSTRALIA
Blayney Chronicle

A CATHOLIC priest was yesterday found guilty of sexually assaulting two boys at Burnie's Marist College in the 1970s.

Gregory Laurence Ferguson, 70, was charged with maintaining a sexual relationship with a person under 17 and indecent assault.

The Launceston Supreme Court jury returned the guilty verdicts yesterday afternoon after several hours of deliberation.

Ferguson had denied all allegations against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 PM

Judge rejects Jeffs' challenge to Utah rape law

ST. GEORGE (UT)
KVOA

ST. GEORGE, Utah -- The jury pool for the trial of a polygamist sect leader accused of ordering a 14-year-old girl to submit to sexual relations in a 2001 spiritual union with a cousin has been so biased by news reports that Warren Jeffs can't get a fair trial in southern Utah's Washington County, his lawyers contend.

Judge James L. Shumate was to hear arguments Tuesday during which Jeff's lawyers were to introduce polling data in support of their motion to move the trial to Salt Lake City, 270 miles north.

Jeffs, 51, has pleaded not guilty to two first-degree felony charges of rape as an accomplice. Prosecutors contend they can prove two instances when Jeffs used his position of trust as a prophet to prevail upon the girl to have sex with a 19-year-old cousin she testified she always hated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

Jeffs will continue to stand trial on rape as an accomplice charge

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Deseret Morning News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret Morning News
ST. GEORGE — A judge here denied a pair of legal motions seeking to derail the criminal case against Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Warren Jeffs. Defense attorneys argued that Utah's rape as an accomplice law was unconstitutionally vague and that the order to bind Jeffs over for trial should be quashed.
"It is plain and simple arbitrary enforcement," Jeffs' lawyer Richard Wright said this morning, challenging the rape law. He argued the statute is too broad and anyone would be open to prosecution.
"Any words to encourage her to go against her will could be seen as enticement," 5th District Judge James Shumate said, denying the motion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

Preacher Arrested for Sexual Abuse

DOTHAN (AL)
WTVY

Reporter: Rayne McKenzie
Email Address: rayne@wtvynews4.com

Dothan Police have arrested a Dothan preacher on sexual abuse charges.

An investigation has been underway for several weeks and now, police have enough information to make a case.

Fifty-three-year-old Earl Holland has been accused of sexual abuse.

Holland is charged with four counts of first degree sexual abuse.

Police say he was taken into custody for abusing two eight-year-old girls who attend his church.

Police have not released the name of the church, but say it is a Baptist church in the city of Dothan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Prentice under fire for refusal to apologize for native school abuses

CANADA
Canada.com

Sue Bailey, Canadian Press
Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2007

OTTAWA (CP) - Opposition MPs assailed the Indian Affairs minister in the Commons on Tuesday, calling his refusal to apologize for widespread abuse in native residential schools an insulting betrayal.

Generations of people are still suffering the effects of church-run federal schools that First Nations children were once forced to attend, said Liberal MP Gary Merasty.

"The children confined to these schools ... were taken from their families, taken from their communities," said the member of the Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation in Northern Saskatchewan.

"And unspeakable acts were committed upon them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

Deacon to stand trial

PINEVILLE (MO)
Neosho Daily News

By John Ford / Daily News Associate Editor
Published: Tuesday, March 27, 2007 5:10 PM CDT

PINEVILLE - A McDonald County church deacon has been bound over for trial.

Paul S. Epling, 54, a deacon in the Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church near Powell, faces an unclassified felony charge of rape. He is accused of having sex with a 6-year-old girl in the summer of 1977.

He will be arraigned at 9 a.m. April 3 in McDonald County Circuit Court with Judge Timothy Perigo presiding.

In January, a now-35-year-old woman testified Epling had sex with her while she was staying the night at Grand Valley Farms, the present site of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 PM

Cleared of child sex charges

UNITED KINGDOM
Oxford Mail

By Matt Wilkinson

A priest walked free from court today (Tuesday) after a jury cleared him of sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy helper more than 30 years ago.

Father Michael Wright, 69, was accused of plying the schoolboy with drink and repeatedly molesting him at a church in Lewisham, se London, in the early 70s.

But Mr Wright, vicar of St Barnabas Church in Jericho, Oxford, since 1980, insisted the alleged abuse was a 'figment' of his accuser's imagination.

And the jury at Blackfriars Crown Court cleared him of 12 sex charges after he said: "I'm not a paedophile."

The complainant, now a 44-year-old man, claimed he was sexually assaulted and the victim of a 'group rape' incident involving Wright and a number of other men after a service.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Clergy Sex Abuse Lawsuit Goes Forward

DENVER (CO)
My Fox Colorado

DENVER --
A judge has refused to halt a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver filed by three men who allege they were sexually abused by a priest when they were children.

The archdiocese had asked for summary judgment in its favor on grounds the men had waited too long to sue.

In a ruling dated yesterday, Denver District Judge John McMullen disagreed. He says church attorneys had cited legal precedents that don't apply to this case.

The men who sued have been identified only as John Does Three, Five and Six.

They allege the archdiocese was negligent in the way it supervised the priest, Harold Robert White.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 PM

Church scandal makes searing drama

PAWTUCKET (RI)
Providence Journal

By Channing Gray
Journal Arts Writer

For a play lifted from court documents, Sin: A Cardinal Deposed is a pretty engaging evening of theater.

The show, now at the Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre in Pawtucket, focuses on the testimony of former Cardinal Bernard F. Law about the molestation scandal that rocked the Boston Catholic Church.

The deposition pits Law against fictitious attorney Orson Krieger, played by an unrelenting Scott Winters. Law has not been charged with molestation, but is being deposed on a charge of negligence in handling the sex-abuse scandal that led to his resignation.

And during his 90-minute deposition, Law, played by a devious and duplicitous Sam Babbitt, does not come off looking very good.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 PM

Girl testifies against pastor

FRESNO (CA)
The Fresno Bee

By Chris Collins / The Fresno Bee 03/27/07 03:31:35

Charles Dickerson, a pastor and black leader in southwest Fresno, molested two girls in his family for seven years -- and raped one of them after she became pregnant, one of the girls testified in court Monday.

In a quiet voice, the girl described the alleged abuse. Meanwhile, Dickerson, 36, sat silently with an elbow resting on a table and his face buried in his hand.

At the end of the preliminary hearing, which continues today, Fresno County Superior Court Judge Bruce Smith will decide whether a jury should determine whether Dickerson is guilty of the rape and child molestation charges he faces.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

Local Pastor Arrested, Accused Of Stealing

TUCSON (AZ)
KOLD

From the KOLD News 13 Newsroom

A Tucson pastor, his wife, and another woman have been arrested and accused of stealing more than a $100,000 dollars from a local church.

Jose Galvan was behind bars at the Pima County Jail on theft and fraudulent scheme charges.

His wife and their friend have been released.

Detectives started investigating Galvan in late February after he was suspended by the governing board of the Church of God denomination which runs Iglesia de Dios Sinai on Nogales highway.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:06 PM

Church pastor admits gambling away at least $30K in charity money

PORTLAND (OR)
KGW

09:23 AM PDT on Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Associated Press

The pastor of a downtown Portland church has acknowledged taking church money intended for charity and gambling with it.

The board of First Christian Church asked Rex Loy to resign after an audit determined that at least $30,000 was taken in 2006 from a fund designed to help struggling members with rent, bills and food.

"I am overwhelmed with shame and remorse for the damage caused by my illness," Loy said in an e-mail to the congregation last week. "I have lied to you, and I have stolen from you . . . which means I have lied to and stolen from God."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Child abuse is 'imagined'

UNITED KINGDOM
News Shopper

By Court Reporter

JURORS trying a gay priest accused of molesting an 11-year-old helper retired today to consider their verdict.

Father Edward Michael Wright, 69, is said to have repeatedly sexually assaulted and raped the schoolboy more than 30 years ago.

Wright, the vicar of the anglo-Catholic St Barnabas Church in Jericho, Oxford, since 1980, was also allegedly involved in a gang rape attack involving a number of men.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:58 PM

Las Vegas priest suspended for financial issues reinstated

LAS VEGAS (NV)
KESQ

LAS VEGAS A Roman Catholic priest who was suspended in February amid allegations that he improperly spent parishioners' money has been reinstated.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports the Reverend William Kenny returned to the pulpit Sunday at Christ the King Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Former Catholic archbishop dies

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The former Archbishop of Cardiff, John Aloysious Ward, has died suddenly at the age of 78, it has been announced.

He retired after 18 years in the post in 2001 because of ill health but after criticism for ignoring warnings about paedophile clergymen.

Archbishop Peter Smith said he was "deeply saddened" at his death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Sexual Abuse Settlement

IOWA
KWWL

The Archdiocese of Dubuque will pay $2.6 million in a settlement with nine sexual abuse victims involving their priests. Thomas Staack and Chad Swanson, the lawyers who are representing the victims announced the details of the settlement during a news conference this morning.

he settlement was reached through private mediation and will not go to trial. The nine victims in include seven males and two females.

The claims relate to sexual abuse involving six priests: Patrick McElliot who served at St. Patricks in Ryan; William Schwartz who served at Columbus High School in Waterloo; John Brickle of St. Patrick's in Nevada; Joseph Patnode of St. Patrick's in Nevada; Timothy Devenney, of St. Columkille's in Dubuque; and Allen Schmitt, who served in Sacred Heart in Waterloo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Dubuque Diocese Settles Sexual Abuse Claims

IOWA
WOI

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP)-- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque has settled claims with nine people who claimed they were sexually abused by priests, attorneys for the individuals announced Tuesday.

Attorneys for the accusers said the diocese agreed to pay $2.6 million in cash, to be distributed based on the nature and extent of the abuse, and the impact the abuse has had on the person's life.

The accusers named six priests, who were assigned to parishes in Ryan, Nevada and Dubuque and a parish and school in Waterloo. The alleged abuse occurred in separate incidents from the 1940s to the mid-1990s, the attorneys said.

The diocese agreed to post the names of the priests on its Web site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque settles nine more cases of abuse

DUBUQUE (IA)
Radio Iowa

Tuesday, March 27, 2007, 11:58 AM
by Elwin Huffman, KOEL, Oelwein
Details of another settlement are being announced today in nine more cases of alleged sex abuse involving the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque. Waterloo attorney Thomas Staack, who represents the latest accusers, says the Archdiocese has agreed to pay 2.6 million dollars to the nine victims.

Staack says: "All of these people are the courageous people here. They've had the nerve, they've had the courage, they've had the intestinal fortitude to come forward and to confront this issue head-on." He says the terms of the agreement were reached through private mediation, which occurred late last week in Dubuque.

Staack says the cases were settled without filing a lawsuit, and thus, no victims' names have been made public and they'll be kept confidential unless one of the victims decides to step forward. The claims settled relate to alleged sexual abuse involving six priests who were assigned to parishes in Dubuque, Nevada, Ryan and Waterloo, and a school in Waterloo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

Pedophilia claims rock local parish

ELLICOTT CITY (MD)
The Examiner

by Ron Cassie, The Examiner

Ellicott City (Map, News) - Shock and disbelief. That's what parishioners of a Howard County Catholic church are expressing over the ouster of a monsignor accused of being a pedophile.

At a meeting following Sunday masses, Archdiocese of Baltimore officials met with Our Lady of Perpetual Help parishioners and announced two creditable accusations of pedophile abuse had been made against Monsignor Richard Smith, 67.

In a news release Monday afternoon, the archdiocese said the alleged abuse occurred in mid to late 1960s while Richard Smith was a priest at Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Woodlawn. The church has been known as St. Gabriel since 1997).

“One woman alleges she had a series of sexual encounters over a course of months in 1967 when she was approximately 15-16 years old,” the archdiocese said in its written statement. “Another woman has indicated that she and then-Father Smith had one inappropriate sexual interaction sometime in 1966 or 1967 when she was about 15 years old.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

Colo. pastor faces charges of sexually assaulting children in wife's day-care

LAKEWOOD (CO)
Arizona Daily Star

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — A pastor faces charges of sexually assaulting two children in his wife's home day-care at least a dozen years ago, authorities said Monday.
Stephen J. Heese, 51, pastor of The Church in South Denver, is accused of assaulting a girl, now 17, and her brother, now 20, when they attended the day-care operation roughly between 1992 and 1994, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
He faces two counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and two counts of sexual assault on a child with a pattern of conduct. The charges were filed last month. Heese, who is free on $25,000 bond, is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Child porn priest deeply sorry

UNITED KINGDOM
ic Coventry

Mar 27 2007

By Marc Meneaud

A WARWICKSHIRE priest who admitted downloading child porn has apologised for the distress he caused.

Father Anthony Jones said in a statement issued through the diocese, he accepted responsibility and was deeply sorry.

As reported in the Telegraph on Saturday, Fr Jones walked free from Warwick Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty to three charges of making indecent images.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Parishioners await impact on church

FORT COLLINS (CO)
The Coloradoan

By MILES BLUMHARDT
MilesBlumhardt@coloradoan.com

Former St. Elizabeth Ann Seton priest Tim Evans' conviction on three counts of sexual assault has some parishioners at the Catholic Church wondering how to address the issue with their children and how it will affect the church.

Liz and Tim Osius, of Fort Collins, are members of the church, and one of their four children had his first communion performed by Evans. Now, they're struggling with how or if they should explain the wrongdoings of the former priest.

"We're torn, and it disturbs us greatly,'' Liz Osius said. "I felt a need to hide the newspaper from my oldest child last week during the trial because of the front page news. I don't know how we would explain it. I keep telling Tim at some point they will hear of it. How do you explain something like this to kids that are told by the person not to sin?"

Liz Osius is convinced about one thing.

"I feel he is guilty, that it wasn't an isolated incident,'' she said. "I'm sorry it took so long and feel bad for the families who went through this ordeal.''

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Former pastor facing charges

NEW ALEXANDRIA (PA)
Altoona Mirror

By David Hurst, dhurst@altoonamirror.com

The former pastor locked in a legal battle with his former congregation at the “Jesus Saves” church faces criminal charges.

Investigators say Randy L. Rugh of New Alexandria illegally cashed more than $25,000 of Chickaree Union Church’s savings between June 2005 and early 2006.

The two deposits consisted of offerings and fundraiser money the church collected to keep the Route 22 parish going, the congregation’s attorney says.

“He basically cleaned the church out,” Ebensburg attorney Timothy Burns said Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

A prophet no more? Jeffs called himself a 'sinner' in jailhouse conversation

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Deseret Morning News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret Morning News

ST. GEORGE — Warren Jeffs has reportedly renounced his title as "prophet" of the Fundamentalist LDS Church in a jailhouse conversation with one of his brothers.
"He said he is the greatest of all sinners and, in so many words, worked his way to be the leader and prophet when he knew he wasn't called of God to be a prophet," a law enforcement source familiar with the conversation told the Deseret Morning News.
Jeffs, 51, made the comments during a January conversation with his brother, Nephi Jeffs, who has visited him in the Purgatory Jail in Hurricane. The conversation was recorded by jail officials, who monitor most of the FLDS leader's phone calls and visits.
A tape is reportedly in the hands of the Washington County attorney, who is prosecuting Jeffs on charges of rape as an accomplice, a first-degree felony. He is accused of performing a marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her older cousin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Pastor Dickerson's Accuser Gives Graphic Testimony

FRESNO (CA)
ABC 30

By Liz Harrison
A Fresno pastor arrested on sexual abuse charges listened today as one of his accusers described the abuse to a judge. Pastor Charles Dickerson of the Pearly Grove Baptist Church in West Fresno is facing rape and child molestation charges involving two teenage girls.

The charges against the pastor surfaced last fall when two teenage girls told their mother they were sexually abused by Dickerson over a period of eight or nine years. (Action News will not be revealing the identities of the girls or their mother to protect their privacy.)

During Monday's preliminary hearing, the mother of the two girls told Superior Court Judge Bruce Smith her daughters reported to her individually that they had been sexually molested by Dickerson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Evans faces at least 10 years in prison

FORT COLLINS (CO)
The Coloradoan

By SARA REED
SaraReed@coloradoan.com

Parishioners at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton were saddened and hurt Monday after a former priest with the Catholic Church was convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage boy 10 years ago, but they also believe justice was served.

After less than three hours of deliberations Monday morning, the five-man, seven-woman jury found Timothy Evans guilty of three counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, including one charge of pattern of abuse.

"I am hurt but agree with the jury,'' said Lisa Stadele, 53, a longtime volunteer at the parish. "I won't judge all clergy because of the actions of a few. These actions by Father Tim or any other pastor of any other denomination is not indicative of clergy but an individual problem that a priest or pastor has.''

Stadele and Ray Sons, a parishioner at the church for the past 15 years, initially didn't want to believe that the former priest could commit such an act. But both said they now believe Evans committed the crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Abuse victims plead for year to file suits

JUNEAU (AK)
Anchorage Daily News

By STEVE QUINN
The Associated Press

Published: March 27, 2007

JUNEAU -- James Niksik sat with palms down on a table and eyes welling with tears as he talked to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday.

The 48-year-old man from St. Michael told lawmakers of a childhood he says was filled with sexual abuse at the hands of a deacon.

His hope, he told the legislators, is that they will approve a bill creating a one-year period for the now-adult victims of child sex crimes to file civil lawsuits against assailants currently protected by statutes of limitations.

"I couldn't do anything. I was a small boy; he was a big man," Niksik said, often interrupting his speech with long pauses to regroup.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Priest Removed From Post After Women Allege Sex Abuse

ELLICOTT CITY (MD)
Washington Post

By Raymond McCaffrey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, March 27, 2007; Page B04

A Catholic monsignor has been removed as pastor of an Ellicott City parish and banned from serving as a priest after two women alleged that he sexually abused them 40 years ago when they were about 15 or 16 years old, the Archdiocese of Baltimore said yesterday.

Monsignor Richard E. Smith, 67, the pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott City, was a newly ordained priest on his first assignment at Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Woodlawn when the alleged sexual abuse occurred, said Sean Caine, a spokesman for the archdiocese.

When confronted Friday by the archdiocese, Smith "admitted to aspects" of the allegations involving his old church, which was renamed St. Gabriel in 1997, Caine said. "Other aspects he could not recall," Caine said.

Staff and parishioners were informed of the development in meetings that followed a brief announcement at Sunday Masses, Caine said, and letters were sent yesterday to parents of children at the parish's elementary school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

Priest guilty of sexually assaulting youth

FORT COLLINS (CO)
Rocky Mountain News

By Chris Barge, Rocky Mountain News
March 27, 2007
A jury in Larimer County on Monday convicted former Catholic priest Timothy Evans of sexual assault on a child.

Evans, 44, is the first priest to be convicted in Colorado since sweeping allegations of abuse by the clergy surfaced nationwide in 2002, leading to broad reforms within the church.

The jury found Evans guilty of pinning a 17-year-old boy while wrestling with him on his bed in the church rectory then caressing him under his boxer shorts. They found him guilty on one other occasion of grabbing the boy's buttocks with both hands for 20 seconds while hugging him goodbye.

The jury was handed the case late Friday afternoon and recessed for the weekend. It reached its decision after about two hours and 20 minutes of deliberation Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Police Investigate Priest's Car Deal

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

March 27, 2007
By DAVE ALTIMARI, And ELIZABETH HAMILTON Courant Staff Writers

The state police have opened a criminal investigation into how the Rev. Stephen Foley obtained a Crown Victoria outfitted with emergency lights, police scanners and antennas.

At least 11 men have alleged that Foley used his position as chaplain for local fire departments and the state police - which included the use of a car outfitted with lights, sirens and scanners - to molest them when they were teenagers.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner John A. Danaher III said Monday that an investigation was initiated after a story in The Courant Sunday revealed that Foley is driving a car that looks much like a state police cruiser.

The Courant reported that he purchased the car through a New Hampshire car dealer under the guise of the New England Association of Fire Chiefs and then transferred it to himself three months later. Officials from the association of fire chiefs say they never authorized Foley to use their name.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

Catholic priest removed amid allegations of sexual abuse

BALTIMORE (MD)
Baltimore Sun

By Liz F. Kay
sun reporter
Originally published March 27, 2007

The Archdiocese Of Baltimore has removed the pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church in Ellicott City from ministry after he admitted to sexually abusing two girls nearly 40 years ago.

The incidents took place while Monsignor Richard E. Smith served as a priest at the former Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Woodlawn from 1966 to 1967, according to a news release. That parish is now known as St. Gabriel.

One woman called the archdiocese March 16 after seeing a photograph of Smith in The Catholic Review, said archdiocese spokesman Sean Caine. She said she and Smith had one sexual encounter in 1966 or 1967 when she was 15. The woman also referred the archdiocese to another possible victim, who said Smith abused her during several months in 1967 while she was 15 or 16 years old, Caine said.

Smith, 67, confirmed some but not all of the claims Friday and was removed that day, Caine said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Diocese issues payout plan

SPOKANE (WA)
Spokesman Review

John Stucke
Staff writer
March 27, 2007

A person raped by a priest as a child can receive a settlement of up to $1.5 million from the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Bankruptcy Court records show.

The diocese has released its payment plan, or matrix, that describes the legal process necessary to assign dollar amounts to specific acts of sexual abuse. The payments are part of a diocese plan to emerge from bankruptcy protection and settle claims of priest sex abuse dating back decades.

The matrix has four main categories that include a variety of sexual acts, such as intercourse, masturbation, touching a clothed child, phone sex and playing sexual games, such as strip poker.

Dozens of victims have already met with court-appointed claims reviewer Kate Pflaumer – a former U.S. attorney in Seattle – to give sworn statements and present evidence. Pflaumer will decide first whether a claim is credible, and if so, where the victim fits on the claims matrix. That action determines how much money the diocese will pay the victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Former priest guilty of assault

FORT COLLINS (CO)
Denver Post

By Monte Whaley
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 03/27/2007 01:15:31 AM MDT

Fort Collins - Jurors said Monday that they didn't buy the claims of a former Fort Collins priest that his manhandling and caressing of a 17-year-old boy was an innocent expression of his love.

Instead, the five-man, seven- woman panel convicted 43-year- old Timothy Joseph Evans of three counts of sexual assault of a child by a person in a position of trust. The third count also included a sentencing-enhancing charge of "pattern of abuse," which means Evans faces a mandatory prison sentence of 10 years.

Evans could be sentenced to a maximum of life in prison on May 30. He was the first Catholic priest in Colorado to face criminal charges since clergy- abuse allegations hit the national stage in 2002.

Colorado State University student Jamie Cohn, who served all last week on the jury, said Evans had little or no credibility with the panel. His tape-recorded statements that he was "obsessed" with his victim showed his guilt, Cohn said.

"Who says that to a boy, especially a priest?" Cohn said. "And he never denied it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Archdiocese of Dubuque settles 9 sex abuse cases

DUBUQUE (IA)
Des Moines Register

By SHIRLEY RAGSDALE
REGISTER RELIGION EDITOR

March 27, 2007

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque today will settle nine more cases of child sexual abuse allegedly committed by the clergy.

The formal announcement of the agreement will take place at 9 a.m. at the offices of Waterloo attorneys Thomas Staack and Chad Swanson. The archdiocese will hold its own news conference at 10 a.m. at the archdiocesan pastoral center, 1229 Mount Loretta Ave., said Monsignor James Barta, vicar general.

The settlement is the second round of settlements by the archdiocese. In February 2006, the archdiocese paid $5 million to 20 men and women who said they had been sexually abused by priests.

Today's announcement will settle the claims of nine people for a sum that has not yet been disclosed. None of the nine had filed lawsuits against the archdiocese, and the agreement was reached through private mediation, according to Swanson. All nine had come forward since the 2006 settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

March 26, 2007

Archbishop responds to Evans' conviction

COLORADO
The Coloradoan

Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput released the following statement today after a Larimer County jury convicted Timothy Evans, a former Fort Collins priest:

"Today, the Larimer County District Court convicted Timothy Evans, former pastor of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Ft. Collins, on sexual assault charges.

"I express my sorrow for anyone who has been harmed by Timothy Evans’ actions. On behalf of the Archdiocese of Denver, I offer my prayers for the victims and for Timothy Evans. We hope the conclusion of this trial begins a process of healing for all those affected by these sad events.

"Testimony at the trial confirmed that the Archdiocese of Denver promptly reported the matter to the attention of law enforcement authorities when it first received the allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. I immediately removed Timothy Evans from ministry in the Archdiocese of Denver. The Archdiocese of Denver does not tolerate (permit or allow) any priest in ministry in the archdiocese with a credible claim of sexual abuse of a minor against him. We remain committed to these policies."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 PM

State police defend decision to destroy Foley records

HARTFORD (CT)
The Advocate

Associated Press

Published March 26 2007

HARTFORD, Conn. -- The state police defended the department's decision to destroy records from a years-old criminal investigation into alleged child sex abuse by a former state police and fire chaplain, saying a review conducted Monday shows the records were properly handled.

"Everything was done within the boundaries of the law," said Lt. J Paul Vance, spokesman for the Connecticut State Police.

He said John A. Danaher III, the new public safety commissioner, and state police Col. Thomas Davoren, re-examined when records of a criminal probe into the activities of former Roman Catholic priest Stephen Foley were destroyed. Both officials, he said, determined the paperwork was properly retained for 10 years, according to state law, before being destroyed.

Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, who appeared at a news conference Monday with one of Foley's accusers, said he has questions about the timing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

Ferns abuse victims face pay-out delay

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

By Caroline O’Doherty
VICTIMS of clerical child sex abuse in the Diocese of Ferns could face delays in receiving compensation because of a dispute between the diocese and the Government over legal fees.

The diocese owes €2.7 million to lawyers for representation during two abuse inquiries, the initial Birmingham Investigation and the follow-up Ferns Inquiry, chaired by Judge Frank Murphy who concluded it should be reimbursed its legal costs. A year after submitting its bill to the Department of Health and Children, however, no money has been paid, and administrators have been trying to secure a meeting with the minister to seek an explanation for the delay.

In a tersely worded statement issued to the Irish Examiner, however, the department says no promises were ever made that legal costs would be paid.

“In co-operating with a non-statutory inquiry into a substantial number of allegations of child sexual abuse against clerics of the Catholic Diocese of Ferns, the diocese availed of legal representation and incurred legal costs,” the statement reads. “The Government has not given any commitment to the diocese in respect of assisting it with its legal costs.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 PM

Parishioners invited to discuss Archdiocese settlement plan

OREGON
The Oregonian

Posted by The Oregonian March 26, 2007 13:33PM

Catholic parishioners have been sent details of a proposed class action settlement with the Archdiocese of Portland, which declared bankruptcy following an avalanche of claims of sex-abuse by priests.

Each parish is invited to sent representatives to question-and-answer sessions with lawyers and class action representatives that are being held in Grants Pass and Eugene. A meeting took place in the Portland area last week.

In April, a bankruptcy judge is expected to approve a $75 million plan to bring the archdiocese out of bankruptcy.

Insurance companies will cover nearly $52 million of the plan, which will pay more than 150 people who claim they were abused by priests, nuns and other church officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Former priest faces 10 years to life for sexual abuse

FORT COLLINS (CO)
The Coloradoan

By Coloradoan staff

Former Fort Collins priest Timothy Evans was found guilty just before 11:30 a.m. on three counts of sexual assault on a child.

The verdict came less than three hours after jurors began deliberations this morning. The case went to the jury late Friday afternoon.

Evans sat emotionless in Larimer District Court as the verdict was read. He was taken to the Larimer County Detention Center, where he will await sentencing at 9 a.m. May 30.

Evans’ attorney, Andy Gavaldon of Fort Collins, declined comment as did family mem-bers of Evans’ victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:45 PM

Archdiocese Investigates Sexual Abuse Allegations

BALTIMORE (MD)
WJZ

(WJZ) BALTIMORE The Archdiocese of Baltimore is investigating two allegations of sexual abuse of a minor against Monsignor Richard E. Smith. Smith, 67, is pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott City.

The Archdiocese says the abuse occurred in the mid-late 1960s while Smith was a priest at Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Woodlawn. That parish has been known as St. Gabriel since 1997.

One woman alleges she had a series of sexual encounters over a course of months in 1967 when she was approximately 15-16 years old. Another woman has indicated that she and then-Father Smith had one inappropriate sexual interaction sometime in 1966 or 1967 when she was about 15.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

Baltimore archdiocese receives allegations of abuse

ELLICOTT CITY (MD)
WMDT

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) -

The archdiocese of Baltimore has removed a priest from ministry after receiving allegations of sexual abuse against girls in the 1960s.

The archdiocese says that when Monsignor Richard E- Smith was informed of the allegations, he admitted to some of them and couldn't recall other details of his interactions with the girls.

Smith was most recently pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott City. But the allegations date to his time as priest at the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Woodlawn -- now called Saint Gabriel parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Ex-priest guilty of sex abuse

FORT COLLINS (CO)
Denver Post

By Monte Whaley
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 03/26/2007 12:57:30 PM MDT

Former Catholic Priest Timothy Evans was convicted of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust on March 26, 2007. Fort Collins -- Former Catholic priest Timothy Evans was convicted this morning by a Larimer County jury of molesting a boy who was 17 at the time.

Evans was convicted of two counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, and one count of sexual assault on a child in a position of trust/pattern of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Ex-priest convicted of sexual assault on a child

FORT COLLINS (CO)
Rocky Mountain News

By Rocky Mountain News
March 26, 2007
A Larimer County District Court jury today found former Catholic priest Timothy Evans guilty of sexual assault on a child.

Evans, 44, is the first Colorado Catholic priest to be convicted since sweeping allegations of clergy abuse surfaced nationwide in 2002, leading to broad reforms within the church.

Prosecutors alleged that Evans pinned a 17-year-old boy while wrestling with him on his bed in the church rectory, then caressed him under his boxer shorts. They said that on one other occasion he grabbed the boy's buttocks with both hands for 20 seconds while hugging him goodbye.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Former priest convicted in sex assault case

FORT COLLINS (CO)
Post Independent

March 26, 2007

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — A former Roman Catholic priest was convicted Monday of charges of sexually assaulting a young parishioner.

Timothy Joseph Evans, 44, was convicted of two counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and one count of sexual assault on a child with a pattern of abuse.

He showed no emotion as the verdict was read. He could face up to life in prison at his sentencing, scheduled May 30.

Evans’ attorney, Andy Gavaldon, and victims’ family members declined to comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Former Waterbury man alleges priest abuse, writes book

CONNECTICUT
WTNH

Posted March 26, 2007
3:30 PM

(Hartford - WTNH) _ A 44-year-old former Waterbury man says he was abused by a priest who lured young men into his car at fire and police emergencies. He alleges it is the same priest that was the focus of a major investigation in Sunday's Hartford Courant.

Tony Lembo, author of the "The Hopeville Fire Department," sheds light on accusations made against Father Stephen Foley throughout the years and the deceptive practices he used over the years to harm young boys.

News Channel 8 first reported back in 2003 that a man then called "Anthony Doe" had filed a lawsuit against Foley, the former Chaplain of the Connecticut state police. It is reported that the Catholic church has paid millions in settlements because of the actions of this priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Ellicott City pastor admits to sexual abuse

ELLICOTT CITY (MD)
Baltimore Sun

By Liz F. Kay
Sun Reporter
Originally published March 26, 2007, 1:47 PM EDT
The pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Ellicott City has been removed from the ministry after admitting to some allegations of sexually abusing two girls nearly 40 years ago, according to the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Two women accused Monsignor Richard E. Smith, 67, of abusing them while he served as a priest at Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help from 1966 to 1967, the archdiocese stated in a written release. The Woodlawn church has been known as St. Gabriel since 1997.

Archdiocese spokesman Sean Caine said the allegations were reported to the Baltimore County state's attorney. Archdiocesan officials met with Our Lady of Perpetual Help's congregation yesterday to tell them about the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

Former Priest Found Guilty Of Sex Assault

FORT COLLINS (CO)
CBS 4

(CBS4) FORT COLLINS, Colo. A jury in Fort Collins returned a verdict of guilty against a former Catholic priest on Monday. Timothy Joseph Evans was found guilty on all counts of sexual assault and abuse.

The jury reached the verdict shortly after returning from a weekend off.

The prosecution completed its case against Evans last Friday.

A second man who says he was molested by Evans testified about the alleged abuse last Thursday. He was the final prosecution witness.

The first accuser testified last Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Dubuque diocese to settle 9 more abuse claims

DUBUQUE (IA)
Des Moines Register

SHIRLEY RAGSDALE
REGISTER RELIGION EDITOR

March 26, 2007

The Dubuque Roman Catholic Archdiocese on Tuesday will settle nine more cases of alleged child sexual abuse.

The formal announcement of the agreement will take place at 9 a.m. at the offices of Waterloo attorneys Thomas Staack and Chad Swanson. The archdiocese will hold its own press conference addressing the settlement at 10 a.m. at the archdiocesan pastoral center, 1229 Mt Loretta Ave., Dubuque, according to Monsignor James O. Barta, vicar general.

The settlement is the second round of settlements by the archdiocese. In February 2006, the archdiocese paid $5 million to 20 men and women who said they were sexually abused by priests.

Tuesday’s announcement will settle claims of nine abuse survivors for a yet undisclosed amount. None of the nine had filed lawsuits against the archdiocese and the agreement was reached through private mediation, according to Chad Swanson. All nine came forward since the February settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Moral duty to inform authorities over priest allegations: advocate

CANADA
CBC News

Last Updated: Monday, March 26, 2007 | 8:09 AM NT
CBC News
Officials with the Roman Catholic Church in Newfoundland and Labrador should have contacted authorities in 2001, when it heard allegations that one of its priests had had sex with a minor, says the former chair of child protection at Memorial University.

Kathleen Kufeldt does not agree with the church's decision not to inform authorities about a young woman who said she had had sex with Rev. Wayne Dohey when she was a teenager.

Dohey, 44, was charged earlier this month of sexual assault and sexual exploitation. He has been suspended from duties as priest in Placentia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

K of C honors priest, all men of the cloth

LONDONDERRY (NH)
The Union Leader

By JON CAMPISI
Union Leader Correspondent

LONDONDERRY – It's a good thing the Rev. Bob Couto can take a joke, because there were plenty made at his expense Saturday evening.

The spiritual leader of St. Jude's Parish for the past eight years, Couto was recognized during a dinner celebration at the Londonderry Senior Center this weekend as a priest with a healthy sense of humor and a warm heart.

The event, attended by parishioners and other community members, was organized to both honor Couto and bring attention to the philanthropic deeds of the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic men's organization celebrating its 125th anniversary this week.

But what it was really about was recognizing all men of the cloth, many of whom perform good deeds that go unnoticed, especially in a day and age when the Catholic Church's image has been tainted by child sexual abuse scandals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Priest in porn case walks free

UNITED KINGDOM
ic Coventry

Mar 26 2007

A WARWICKSHIRE priest who searched the internet for "homosexual fantasy stories about incest and child sex" has walked free from court.

Father Anthony Jones used a computer at St Peter the Apostle Church, in Dormer Place, Leamington, to view an image of an older person having sex with a boy aged about 14.

Jones was handed a conditional discharge at Warwick Crown Court yesterday after admitting three charges of making indecent images.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Lawyers grapple with Catholic doctrine

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

By John Spano, Times Staff Writer
March 26, 2007

An elderly nun, under questioning by a lawyer, recently said she could remember almost nothing about his client, a child who had been sexually molested by a Roman Catholic priest.

Lawyer Irwin Zalkin was puzzled because church records showed she had heard several complaints about the San Diego priest, and the file noted that she had reported them to higher authority.

Finally, Zalkin asked whether she was familiar with "mental reservation" — a 700-year-old doctrine by which clerics may avoid telling the truth to protect the Catholic Church.

"She explained in her own way that it is 'to protect the church from scandal.' She said she subscribed to the doctrine," Zalkin said. "What are you going to do?"

Mental reservation is not sanctioned in canon law, experts say, and is infrequently invoked. But in litigation arising from clergy sex abuse cases in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, at least half a dozen lawyers representing victims report having encountered it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Report: priest sued for molestation still drives police-style car

BLOOMFIELD (CT)
Sun Journal

Monday, March 26, 2007
BLOOMFIELD, Conn. (AP) - A priest accused in lawsuits of child molestation continues to drive a police-style car like the one his accusers say he used to lure young boys, the Hartford Courant reported Sunday.

Stephen Foley, a former fire and police chaplain, has a black Ford Crown Victoria with emergency lights in the grill and front and back windows as well as scanners and antennas, despite having no associations with any police or fire agencies, the newspaper reported.

Many of the men who have accused Foley of molesting them when they were boys in the 1970s say they were fascinated by his cruiser-like vehicle. But they say once they got into the car with him, he offered them alcohol and molested them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

From Priest Abuse to Legal Abuse

SAN DIEGO (CA)
TCS Daily

By Stephen Bainbridge

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego recently declared bankruptcy, becoming the fifth and largest American diocese to initiate a bankruptcy proceeding in the face of massive tort lawsuits arising out of priest sex abuse allegations.

No person of good will denies that true victims of priest sex abuse deserve compensation for any physical or mental injuries they may have suffered. Likewise, no person of good will denies that priests proven to have abused their position deserve to be punished to the fullest extent of the law, as do bishops who may have protected such priests from criminal or civil action.

Yet, the victims and their lawyers aren't going after just the priestly abusers and their enablers in the hierarchy. Instead, they're going after the deep pockets by suing the dioceses in which the priests served. Typically, the diocese is sued directly for negligent hiring or supervision of priests; more rarely, the plaintiff may seek to hold the diocese vicariously liable for a priest's sexual misconduct.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

March 25, 2007

Abusive Priest Still At The Wheel

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

March 25, 2007
By ELIZABETH HAMILTON And DAVE ALTIMARI, Courant Staff Writers

Stephen Foley was a priest first. But he was also a fire and police chaplain who sped to crime scenes and fires in a black sedan tricked out with all the bells and whistles of an official police cruiser - flashing lights, sirens, antennas, two-way radios, scanners.

Young teenage boys, understandably, were lured by Foley's car. Once they were in the front seat, however, it quickly became apparent that the car was a trap. According to the men who have since sued Foley, the priest plied the boys with alcohol and then molested them.

But despite the millions the Archdiocese of Hartford already paid to his accusers, and despite the fact that Foley is no longer associated with any fire or police agencies, the priest continues to drive a black Crown Victoria, The Courant has learned, with emergency lights in the grill and front and back windows, scanners, and antennas. The Crown Victoria is the official car of the state police.

It's not like the archdiocese shouldn't have noticed, either.

Foley parks his car at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, where he has lived for the past 14 years, performing no official duties as a priest but receiving free room and board, health insurance and a monthly stipend from the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Victim Was Not Told Of Reduced Charges

VIRGINIA
Washington Post

By Tom Jackman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 22, 2007; Page B02

The Fairfax County prosecutor who agreed last week to reduce charges against a minister accused of raping and beating a woman, paving the way for a 16-month sentence and no requirement to register as a sex offender, did not tell her bosses or the victim that she had done so.

The sentence handed to the Rev. Eugene A. Marriott Jr., a pastor at Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington, was surprisingly light compared with those of other sexual assault cases heard in Fairfax, many veteran lawyers said. But the deal offered to Marriott by Assistant Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Toni S. Fay is what has the courthouse buzzing.

Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said he "had no idea" that the charges had been reduced four months after Marriott's conviction and that the victim "absolutely" should have been consulted: "That's Rule One. You just don't go and change a plea that the victim had agreed to." He said he had spoken to Fay but declined to say why she reduced the charges or failed to tell either the victim or the detective. Fay did not respond to phone messages seeking comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Pastor guilty of assault with intent to rape

UNITED KINGDOM
ic Cheshire

Mar 23 2007

By Richard Fletcher, Chester Chronicle

A CHURCH leader who intended to rape a woman was 'like Borat', a jury was told.

Charlotte Worsley, defending African pastor Yves Aristide Nahangame, 31, said her client's mannerisms might remind them of the comedy character.

But a jury of 12 took just over an hour and a half to find Nahangame, from Burundi in Africa, guilty of assault with intent to commit rape.

Ms Worsley added: 'If this case was not so serious you may have found him like Sacha Baron Cohen's character Borat. He uses completely inappropriate language. Subtleties are lost with him.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Sex offender's request to join proves to be tempest for church

CALIFORNIA
Union-Tribune

By Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
March 25, 2007

In the world of faith, which speaks in the language of forgiveness and deals in the currency of hope, the request would seem simple enough: An ex-con introduces himself in church and asks to become a part of the congregation.

Except when the ex-con is a registered sex offender.

The request has plunged Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad into the center of a gathering storm, fueled by an explosion of information about sex offenders on Web sites, fear of recidivism, and the revulsion people feel toward child molesters and rapists.

As soon as Pilgrim's dilemma became public – after a mother at the church's preschool started a protest petition – response was swift. It has been the talk of San Diego, from radio and TV shows to Internet blogs, and has drawn national attention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

Stopping abuse before it starts

TRENTON (NJ)
The Times

Sunday, March 25, 2007
BY JEFF TRENTLY
TRENTON -- Paul Ashton knows the awful truth.

He knows about priests who lied, priests who abused children, priests who got away with it for years.

And he knows the new truth.

No more lies. No more looking the other way. No more fear.

"We were supposed to protect kids and we didn't," Ashton told a group of area Catholics last week who have made it their mission to change all that. "This is not going to happen again because of you."

Ashton is a psychologist who specializes in child sexual abuse prevention and healing. He spoke Friday to diocesan Catholics as part of "Protecting God's Children," a church-run workshop teaching adults to recognize the warning signs of child sex abuse and how to respond appropriately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 AM

It's not about the money -- for us: Survivors of Catholic Church sex abuse want justice

CALIFORNIA
North County Times

By: GABRIELLE AZZARO - Commentary

For the last four years Catholics have repeatedly been exposed to reports about sexual abuse by priests. Yet, the ordinary Catholic in the pew has virtually remained untouched by these heinous crimes, and that makes the news a two-edged sword.

The good news is that there are not more people who had to endure the lifelong effects of sexual molestation by a religious person. The bad news is that without understanding these deadening effects, it is too easy to pretend that this has not, and is not, happening in monumental proportions.

I believe if a victim were to be allowed to speak at all Masses in the dioceses, Catholics would have a much better understanding of their agony, and perhaps support the victims to make sure that this does not happen ever again. But even if that does not happen, we need to keep this news in the headlines to ensure that the authorities finally do whatever it takes to keep innocent children and vulnerable adults from being raped and sodomized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 AM

March 24, 2007

Jury Gets Church Sex Abuse Case, Takes Weekend Off

FORT COLLINS (CO)
CBS 4

(AP) FORT COLLINS, Colo. The Fort Collins jury in the sexual assault trial of a former Roman Catholic priest has been given the weekend off after getting the case.

The prosecution completed its case against Timothy Joseph Evans, who is accused of alleged sexual abuse of parishioners, on Friday.

A second man who says he was molested by Evans testified about the alleged abuse Thursday. He was the final prosecution witness.

The first accuser testified Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Monsignor Thomas Fryar, the priest in charge of the Catholic Church's Denver central offices, said he reported three incidents of alleged misconduct by Evans against minors between March 2003 and April 2004 to the Arvada, Lakewood and Fort Collins police departments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:49 PM

Area Catholics, church officials meet

TRENTON (NJ)
The Times of Trenton

Posted by The Times of Trenton March 24, 2007 3:16PM
TRENTON -- Prayers mixed equally with videos of child sex abusers talking about their methods at a meeting Friday night of church officials and area Catholics at the diocese's Pastoral Center.

Bishop John M. Smith was scheduled to speak to volunteers who run "Protecting God's Children," a church-run workshop teaching adults to recognize the warning signs of child sex abuse and how to respond appropriately, but sent his representative, Msgr. Gregory Vaughan, the vicar general, instead.

Vaughan is the diocesan response officer who hears any complaints about priest sex abuse and turns the information over to civil authorities.

Also speaking at the meeting was Paul Ashton, a psychologist who specializes in child sexual abuse prevention and healing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

State liability for school child abuse

IRELAND
RTE News

Video

Áine Lawlor reports on the abuse suffered by children in primary schools and the difficulties the victims faced when they pursued legal action against the Department of Education

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:16 AM

Redress for abuse victims may cost €1.16bn

IRELAND
One in Four

The Irish Times

Compensating the victims of child abuse in residential institutions could cost an estimated €1.16 billion, Minister for Education Mary Hanafin told the Dáil.

Ms Hanafin said, however, that the revised estimate, like earlier estimates, was tentative as the Residential Institutions Redress Board had some 7,250 outstanding applications to process at the end of last year, and the level of awards in those remaining cases could vary substantially. "The final cost of the scheme will not be known until the board has completed its work, which may take up to a further three years."

Ms Hanafin said that expenditure associated with the redress board, to the end of last year, was approximately €564 million. At that time, 7,290 applications, out of a total of 14,540 received, were processed by the board.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

State threat to sue abuse victims

IRELAND
One in Four

The Irish Times

An RTÉ television investigation has claimed that the Minister for Education, through the Chief State Solicitor's Office, wrote to victims of abuse in litigation with the department threatening them with legal action.

Last night's Prime Time revealed that the letters instructed victims to remove any reference to the department from civil proceedings or risk the department pursuing them for costs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Child abuse in schools: Government must accept responsibilty

IRELAND
One in Four

Irish Examiner

THE idea of a child being sexually abused by their teacher is every parent’s nightmare.

And while the risk may be minimal, for all that, judging by the evidence on last night’s Prime Time investigation, the possibility of a boy or girl being abused in the classroom is real.

In the aftermath of the programme, parents who serve on boards of management at the country’s 3,300 primary schools could be forgiven for reconsidering their positions.

From the evidence presented by Mary Raftery, who rocked the system in the States of Fear exposé of widespread abuse of children in State institutions, it is patently clear that boards of management could now end up being sued by the victims of predatory teachers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Fr. Nick Katinas — Time to come clean

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

March 23, 2007 |
Continuing editorials on the Fr. Nick Katinas charges, which are being “mismanaged so grossly that it … raises serious ethical questions” from a March 23rd article on The National Herald

Time to come clean

The case of Rev. Nicholas Katinas, the suspended former pastor of the Dallas community who is accused of sexual misconduct with minors, has shocked the community.

Instead of being resolved in a proper way, however, it is being mismanaged so grossly that it not only raises serious ethical questions, but also demonstrates a lack of understanding of such proportions about the potential implications – and the threats those implications pose to the financial welfare of the Archdiocese – it’s almost frightening.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Bishop Savas to Be Removed For Mishandling Sexual Misconduct Cases?

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

March 23, 2007 |
Bishop Savas is the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese chancellor in charge of sexual misconduct cases. Although Fr. Michael Kontogiorgis handles much of the day-to-day operations of sexual misconduct cases, Bishop Savas is ultimately responsible. Will he be removed? The March 23 issue of The National Herald has this headline:

BISHOP SAVAS TO BE REMOVED AS ARCHDIOCESE CHANCELLOR?

During the recent Synod, a heated argument arose with the Archdiocese Clergy Sexual Abuse Committee, chaired by Archdiocese Chancellor Bishop Savas of Troas, who was reportedly critical of the Synod to lay members of the Committee.

When members of the Synod suggested that the Synod must be more informed about, and more involved with, cases concerning clergy sex abuse, Savas is said to have reacted forcefully: “It can not be done because members of the Synod leak to the Press (the National Herald, ostensibly),” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Archbishop Refusing to Have Fr. Katinas Defrocked

BOSTON (MA)
Orthodox Reform

March 24, 2007 |

A revealing article from the March 23 issue of The National Herald:

BOSTON – Archbishop Demetrios of America is so far refusing to send Rev. Nicholas Katinas, former pastor of Holy Trinity Church in Dallas, to Spiritual Court for defrocking, effectively keeping him on suspended status indefinitely.

The Archbishop reportedly told members of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Church in America last week that Father Katinas wishes to avoid being defrocked because he wants to be buried as a priest, not as a layman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Jury receives priest's case

FORT COLLINS (CO)
The Coloradoan

By JP EICHMILLER
JPEichmiller@coloradoan.com

Witness testimony concluded and prosecution and defense lawyers provided closing arguments Friday in the trial of former Fort Collins priest Timothy Joseph Evans, accused of sexual misconduct against a minor.

A jury panel of five men and seven women was instructed by District Judge Jolene Blair to choose a foreman and determine a timetable of deliberation. The jurors, who met for about an hour after closing arguments before leaving at 5 p.m., must determine whether Evans committed sexual assault against a child by a person in a position of trust and if he displayed a pattern of abuse against the alleged victim, who claimed to be touched improperly on two occasions in 1998 and 1999 while 17 years old.

"He befriended them, he isolated them, he confused them and he used his position to assault them," said Deputy District Attorney Leah Bishop during closing arguments about Evans' alleged improper conduct toward four witnesses who testified during the four-day trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Priest urges Catholics to stand up for change

PORTLAND (ME)
Portland Press Herald

By KELLEY BOUCHARD, Staff Writer

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Roman Catholics should push for a stronger role in the church and seek greater accountability from the clergy, a noted theologian told an audience of 80 people in Portland Friday evening.
The Rev. Donald Cozzens, a Catholic priest, professor and author, said the denial and secrecy that pervaded the church's reaction to the priest sexual abuse scandal exposed its feudal structure, in which priests are viewed as lords of the manor and church members are expected to be docile serfs.
Cozzens said the church must abandon its feudal roots to survive and grow beyond the priest scandal and other challenges facing parishes around the world.
"These are not easy times for the church and these are not easy times for people who love the church," Cozzens said. "This is the laity's moment and we need good leadership."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Priest's fate rests with jurors as alleged abuse case wraps up

FORT COLLINS (CO)
Rocky Mountain News

By Chris Barge, Rocky Mountain News
March 24, 2007
FORT COLLINS - Was it sexual assault or just hugging and horseplay?
In their closing arguments, defense lawyers for former Catholic priest Timothy Evans tried to convince a Larimer County jury Friday that the "physically demonstrative" man did not fondle a 17-year- old boy, as alleged.

Prosecutors countered that Evans was "a manipulative, scheming, deceptive man" who abused his ultimate position of trust to use the boy for his own sexual gratification.

Evans is the first Colorado Catholic priest to be tried since sweeping allegations of clergy abuse surfaced nationwide in 2002, leading to broad reforms within the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Lawyer Claims Police Destroyed Documents

HARTFORD (CT)
Hartford Courant

0:42 PM EDT, March 23, 2007
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

HARTFORD -- An attorney representing four men who say they were sexually abused as boys decades ago by a former state police and fire chaplain said Friday that state police may have prematurely destroyed documents from a criminal investigation into the abuse claims.

Attorney Robert I. Reardon Jr. questioned the handling of a 1990s investigation of The Rev. Stephen C. Foley. Foley was never charged with a crime, but was named in 11 civil claims filed against the Archdiocese of Hartford, archdiocese spokesman Rev. John P. Gatzak said. Eight of the claims have been settled.

Foley could not be reached for comment Friday, but has previously denied the molestation claims. A call was left seeking comment with Foley's attorney.

State Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, co-chairman of the legislature's powerful Judiciary Committee, is expected to speak at a news conference Monday over the matter. Lawlor would not discuss the news conference Friday, but an advisory he provided reporters said participants would "reveal and discuss a possible cover-up by Connecticut law enforcement agencies and others over the sexual abuse of children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:37 AM

Ex-priest's abuse trial goes to jury on Monday

FORT COLLINS (CO)
Denver Post

By Monte Whaley
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 03/23/2007 10:49:23 PM MDT

Fort Collins - A former Fort Collins priest accused of molesting a 17-year-old parishioner was described Friday by prosecutors as a manipulative, sexual predator of young boys.

Timothy Joseph Evans, 43, faces two counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in position of trust. The counts stem from two incidents involving the youth while Evans was the priest at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Fort Collins.

Evans' week-long trial ended Friday afternoon with closing arguments from both sides. Jurors will begin deliberations on Monday.

Evans' attorney, Joseph Gavaldon, said the priest got involved in horseplay with boys. But he argued that as the "hysteria" surrounding other priest abuse cases grew, alleged victims turned that into a criminal act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 AM

N.J. priest pays price for theft

LAMBERTVILLE (NJ)
The Express-Times

Saturday, March 24, 2007
By ANDREA EILENBERGER
The Express-Times
A priest who stole more than $10,000 from his Lambertville parish must pay $4,000 in restitution and complete 50 hours of community service under the terms of an alternative sentencing program he entered this week.

If the Rev. Marian Drozd successfully completes the yearlong pretrial intervention program, the third-degree theft charge he faces will be dropped.

"He still feels horrible and very remorseful," his attorney, Stephen A. Caputo, said Friday. "He's still very embarrassed by the whole situation; he's a good guy and a good priest and I believe he'll turn this negative into a positive."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 AM

Uncovering The Truth

CHARLESTON (SC)
ABC News 4

Charleston, SC - A former local Catholic priest is defrocked. Father James Nyhan has been dismissed by the Vatican for past sexual abuse of children within the Church.

It's been nearly 30 years since 40-year-old Allen Sires says he was sexually abused by Father James Nyhan at Charleston's Church of the Nativity. And while his emotional wounds have never healed, Sires says learning of Nyhan's dismissal by the Vatican has made telling his story worthwhile.

"I am really happy about it. It brought some vindication to all the guys that came forward," says Sires.

But while Sires is happy for closure in that sense, Nyhan's dismissal hasn't solved everything.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 AM

Cardinal asked to resign

LOS ANGELES (CA)
North County Times

By: North County Times wire services -

LOS ANGELES --- Activists called on Cardinal Roger Mahony to resign in light of allegations he told his congregants a watered-down story about an alleged molestation, while telling Vatican officials a video provided proof of a crime.

Court records show that at least six months after Mahony told Vatican officials a video provided proof of a priest's crimes against high school boys, he publicly said the tape showed no sexual activity between the Rev. Lynn Caffoe and the youths, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"It should shock no one, but Cardinal Mahony tells his boss one thing and tells his flock something radically different," said Joelle Casteix, southwest regional director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "By most standards, that's deceit. By some standards, it's lying. By all standards, it's wrong. Cardinal Mahony should resign."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 AM

Msindo expelled by church he founded

ZIMBABWE
New Zimbabwe

By Lebo Nkatazo
Last updated: 03/22/2007 10:28:15
ONE of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's most vocal ecclesiastical supporters has been disowned by the church he founded following his arrest of rape charges.

Reverend Obadiah Msindo is no longer a member of the Destiny of Africa Network, the church’s directors said in a notice.

There was no mention of Msindo's crime in the notice, but church sources said it was likely that the dramatic action was in response to the rape allegations and further claims that he embezzled church funds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 AM

March 23, 2007

IN SATURDAY'S EXPRESS-TIMES...

NEW JERSEY
The Express-Times

A ROMAN CATHOLIC PRIEST TIED TO STEALING DONATIONS FROM HIS CHURCH ENTERS INTO A PRETRIAL PROGRAM in the NEW JERSEY section: A priest accused of stealing more than $10,000 from his Lambertsville parish mush pay $4,000 in restitution and complete 50 hours of community service under the terms of a pretrial program he entered into this week. If the Rev. Marian Drozd successfully completes the year-long program, the third-degree theft charge he faces will be dropped. Drozd was the parochial vicar of St. John the Evangelist Parish when he allegedly took cash from Masses between August and January.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 PM

Attorney alleges law enforcement cover-up in priest sex case

HARTFORD (CT)
Newsday

By SUSAN HAIGH and JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN
Associated Press Writers

March 23, 2007, 8:58 PM EDT

HARTFORD, Conn. -- An attorney representing four men who say they were sexually abused as boys in the 1970s by a former state police and fire chaplain is accusing the state police of prematurely destroying documents from a criminal investigation into the abuse claims.

The Rev. Stephen C. Foley was never charged with a crime, but was named in 11 civil claims filed against the Archdiocese of Hartford, archdiocese spokesman Rev. John P. Gatzak said. Eight of the claims have been settled.

Foley could not be reached for comment Friday, but has previously denied the molestation claims. A call was left seeking comment with Foley's attorney.

Attorney Robert I. Reardon Jr., who has three clients with pending civil lawsuits against the archdiocese, is expected to speak at a Monday news conference with state Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, co-chairman of the legislature's powerful Judiciary Committee, to discuss an alleged cover-up by the police and others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 PM

Jury begins deliberating in trial of former priest

FORT COLLINS (CO)
9News

written by: Jeffrey Wolf , Web Producer
and Adam Chodak , 9NEWS Northern Reporter created: 3/23/2007 4:10:29 PM
Last updated: 3/23/2007 6:28:33 PM

FORT COLLINS – A jury has begun deliberating in the trial of a former priest accused of sexual assault, but they were released for the weekend late Friday afternoon.

Timothy Evans, 44, is accused of sexually molesting a 17-year-old boy twice in 1999 when he was a priest at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Church in Fort Collins.

Specifically, Evans is accused of groping the young man's buttocks one occasion, and, another time, reaching below his waistline toward his groin.

During Friday's closing arguments, the prosecution argued that Evans was in a position of trust and used that position to take advantage of the accuser.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

Jury Considers Case Against Former Priest

FORT COLLINS (CO)
TheDenverChannel.com

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- A jury in Fort Collins has now been handed the case against a former Roman Catholic priest accused of alleged sexual abuse of parishioners.

A second man who said he was molested by Timothy Joseph Evans also testified about the alleged abuse during the trial.

Monsignor Thomas Fryar, the priest in charge of the Catholic Church's Denver central offices, said he reported three incidents of alleged misconduct by Evans against minors between March 2003 and April 2004 to police.

Evans' lawyer said the allegations are false and the result of anger.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

Accused priest sues for defamation

CHICAGO (IL)
Naperville Sun

March 23, 2007
sun-times news group
A Roman Catholic priest accused of molesting a young boy in the late 1980s filed suit Tuesday against the lawyers for the boy, as well as two organizations that work to advocate on behalf of survivors of abuse by priests and to seek greater accountability by bishops.

The priest, Rev. Chester J. Pryzbylo, now pastor of the Shrine of Christ the King in Winfield, was sued last year for alleged abuse of a 13-year-old Polish immigrant. The abuse allegedly happened while Pryzbylo served as a priest at Five Holy Martyrs parish on the southwest side of Chicago.

In a lawsuit filed in Cook County Circuit Court Tuesday, Pryzbylo said the lawyers who represented the boy who was allegedly molested, as well as Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and BishopAccountability.org have defamed him with the accusations.

The Shrine of Christ the King, which according to the suit is "a not-for-profit corporation (which works to) promote, preserve and extend the use of the Tridentine Latin Mass of the Roman Catholic Church," is not recognized by a Roman Catholic Archdiocese.

One of the lawyers in the suit against Pryzbylo "specializes in suing priests, clergy, the Catholic Church and other religious organizations and has generated well over $60 million in legal fees from having filed more than 600 such cases," Pryzbylo's suit claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

Closing arguments in Evans case begin this afternoon

FORT COLLINS (CO)
The Coloradoan

By JP EICHMILLER
JPEichmiller@coloradoan.com

The defense rested its case this morning in the trial of Timothy Evans, the former Fort Collins priest accused of sexual misconduct against minors.

Evans declined to take the stand in his own defense.

Before resting its case, defense attorney Joseph Gavaldon continued attempts to discredit the alleged victims who have claimed Evans improperly touched them.

Gavaldon has called a series of current and former employees of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton — the church where Evans formerly worked as head priest — who have questioned the character and honesty of two of the witnesses against Evans.

Combative and often argumentative, the Rev. Lawrence Christiansen, the current administrator at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and self-described, “best friend” of Evans appeared this morning on the behalf of the defense.

Upon cross-examination by Deputy District Attorney Leah Bishop, Christiansen admitted to spending every off day with Evans. The witness also testified that he and Evans cook and shop for each other and take frequent vacations together.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:52 PM

Abuse Trial For Former Priest Nears Conclusion

FORT COLLINS (CO)
CBS 4

(CBS4) FORT COLLINS, Colo. Closing arguments have started in the trial of former Roman Catholic priest Timothy Joseph Evans, who is accused of molesting a teenage boy in Fort Collins.

Evans was caught on tape saying he "screwed up." The tape was played during opening statements of the Timothy Evans trial in Larimer County district court.

A 25-year-old man says Evans abused him in the late 1990s.

Evans' attorney says the accuser is acting out of anger toward a priest who tried to help him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Two ex-North Shore priests defrocked

SALEM (MA)
Salem News

By Tom Dalton , Staff writer
Salem News

Two former North Shore priests, who lived a few years apart at the same Salem rectory, have been defrocked by the Vatican.

The Archdiocese of Boston announced yesterday Anthony Laurano, a former pastor of St. Mary's Italian Church in Salem, and W. James Nyhan, former chaplain at Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody, have been dismissed from the church. Both were accused of sexually abusing children,

"With these decisions by the Holy See, both men have ceased to receive any financial support from the archdiocese and may no longer function as priests, with the exception of offering absolution to the dying," the archdiocese said in a statement.

Laurano, 82, was arraigned in Brockton Superior Court in 2005 on two counts of child rape. He pleaded not guilty to raping a child on at least two different dates in 1991 while serving at St. Mary's Church in Plymouth. In 2006, new charges were brought against him by the Plymouth County district attorney, according to the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:33 AM

Vatican Dismisses Former Lowcountry Priest

SOUTH CAROLINA
WCBD

Friday, Mar 23, 2007 - 05:57 AM

Associated Press

The Vatican has dismissed a Boston priest who pleaded guilty last year to sexually assaulting a boy while working at a Lowcountry church.

W- James Nyhan pleaded guilty last spring in Charleston, South Carolina, to charges of molesting two boys there 25 years ago.

The Boston archdiocese suspended Nyhan in 2002 after a Quincy man said Nyhan molested him repeatedly in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 AM

Diocese doesn't sanction lay forum

TEXAS
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By TERRY LEE GOODRICH
STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER
DFW Lay Council, a year-old Catholic group, will conduct a forum Saturday in Arlington to encourage Catholics to get more involved in church issues, but the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth said it has not been consulted about the gathering and does not sanction it.

The 12-member council invited Lena Woltering, a leader in the emerging national Catholic lay movement, and Sister Kate Kuenstler, a canon lawyer, both from Belleville, Ill., to speak.

About 70 people have registered to attend and participate in small group discussions.

Topics will include women's roles in the church, the declining number of priests, the inclusion of gays and lesbians in parish life, and how laity and parishes can be more responsive to sexual abuse by the clergy.

While church law states that church members have a "right and duty" to make their opinions and concerns known to pastors and church leaders, this must be done while they "maintain communion" with the church, Fort Worth Bishop Kevin Vann said in a brief statement on the diocese's Web site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Journalist to talk on religious order

TEMPE (AZ)
The Arizona Republic

Michael Clancy
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 23, 2007 12:00 AM

The Legion of Christ, a religious order that recently took over administration of a parish in the Phoenix Diocese, is a dangerous movement in the church, according to one of the first journalists to report in depth on the clergy abuse crisis.

Jason Berry, co-author of the book Vows of Silence, will be in Tempe on Saturday to speak and present a documentary on the book, which details the story of the Rev. Marcial Maciel Degollado, the influential founder of the Legion who was suspended by the pope in 2006 and ordered to lead a life of prayer and penitence. Maciel was accused by nine men of sexually abusing them when they were young.

"I don't trust the religious order," Berry said. "Not that every member is untrustworthy. But it is bizarre, a money machine all based around the idea of sainthood for this man."

Several dioceses, including Minneapolis-St. Paul and Los Angeles, have banned the order. But Phoenix Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted welcomed the Legion to Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Queen Creek in September.

"Our experience with members of the Legion has been very positive," said Jim Dwyer, spokesman for the diocese. "The priests have been very well-received. We consider them well-trained, highly qualified, multilingual servants of the faith."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

€600m more now needed for child abuse awards

IRELAND
Irish Independent

THE compensation bill for victims of child abuse is set to cost taxpayers over €1bn.

Education Minister Mary Hanafin revealed last night that the Residential Institutions Redress Board will require a further €600m in addition to the €564m it had already received.

She said the total estimated cost had now reached €1.16bn but the final bill would not be known until the board completed its work in three years' time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Pilgrim Church not alone in struggling to deal with sex offender

CALIFORNIA
North County Times

By: GARY WARTH - Staff Writer

Area churches may find a cautionary lesson in the ongoing debate about whether a Carlsbad congregation should allow a registered sexually violent predator to join them in worship.

"I hope everyone goes to their church on Sunday and asks, 'Do we have a safe-church policy?' " said the Rev. Madison Shockley, pastor of Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad.

Shockley said he thought about such a policy only after being approached by Mark Pliska, who introduced himself as a twice-convicted registered sex offender who wanted to attend his church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Convictions/Bankruptcies Have a Silver Lining for Gays

UNITED STATES
American Chronicle

James Nimmo
March 21, 2007
Catholic Priest Child Abuse Convictions and Bankruptcies Have a Silver Lining for Gay People of the World

The Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Peter Pace (also a practicing Roman Catholic) is in the news for stating unequivocally that gay people are immoral.

On a tour of his homeland in the late summer of 2006, Pope Benedict XVI, Pace's titular chief of the Holy Spirit, said that the movement for gay equality is an ephemeral social trend. ...

The Massachusetts Justice system pursued child rapists, aka priests, employed by the Boston archdiocese and managed by Law. His Grace, Cardinal Law, is currently living incommunicado in a church in Vatican City, which is both a religious and legal hideout, answerable to no one other than the CEO, Benedict, aka Ratzinger, god's own Rottweiler.

Cardinal Law is enjoying, no doubt, the reclusive peace of his cosseted sanctuary, well away from financial and legal worldly cares as he prayerfully considers his close escape from a Massachusetts extradition order.

It was not only the Boston franchise that had its pedophilia ring exposed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Child abuse 'is imagined'

UNITED KINGDOM
Oxford Mail

By George Gaynor

A vicar accused of molesting an 11-year-old church helper admitted having a gay lover but branded the child abuse claims a figment of the boy's imagination.

Father Edward Michael Wright, 69, allegedly repeatedly sexually assaulted the schoolboy more than 30 years ago, jurors heard.

Wright, the vicar of St Barnabas Church, in Jericho, Oxford, since 1980, was also allegedly involved in a 'group rape' attack involving a number of men.

The Edinburgh-born clergyman denies a catalogue of sex crimes while at St Stephen's Church, in Lewisham, south-east London, in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Court deals legal setback for Springfield Diocese

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
WPRI

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. The state Appeals Court upholds a lower court ruling requiring the Catholic Diocese of Springfield to turn over thousands of pages of documents from sexual abuse claims to its insurance companies.

The judge rejected claims that most of the seven-thousand pages of documents were protected from public disclosure by state law.

The diocese is suing six insurance companies to get them to cover claims of people who say they were sexually abused by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Abuse victims help send bill for Senate vote

DOVER (DE)
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

Posted Thursday, March 22, 2007

DOVER -- Robert Quill drove two days from Marathon, Fla., to tell his horror story to a state Senate committee and urge lawmakers to change Delaware's civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse.

Quill said he was a victim of the Rev. Francis G. DeLuca -- the retired Delaware priest arrested in the fall in Syracuse, N.Y., and charged with sexually abusing a teen there.

"If I constructed a complete and accurate narrative of my adolescence, recounting in detail each of the hundreds of episodes of DeLuca's craven sexual abuse of a child, few could listen to the entire story without being physically sickened," Quill said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Church says sorry

AUSTRALIA
The Wimmera Mail-Times

By PAUL CARRACHER

THE Catholic Church will apologise to parishoners and the community for the `terrible legacy' of sexual abuse by former priests.

In a letter to parishoners, Bishop Peter Connors said he had personally met with many victims of past crimes.

Bishop Connors said he had asked his Ballarat Diocese, which includes the Wimmera, to celebrate Sunday's services as `Towards Healing' Sunday.

"It is my hope that this will provide an opportunity for us to acknowledge the suffering of victims and ask for God's grace and mercy as we commit ourselves to working for the healing of victims, their families and the wider community and to rebuild trust," he said in his letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Diocese suffers judicial setback

SPRINGFIELD (MA)
The Republican

Friday, March 23, 2007

By JACK FLYNNjflynn@repub.com
SPRINGFIELD - In a legal setback for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, the Massachusetts Appeals Court has upheld a lower court ruling requiring the diocese to turn over thousands of pages of documents from sexual abuse claims to its insurance companies.

In an 11-page ruling, Justice Fernande R.V. Duffly ordered church officials to turn over most of the 7,000 pages of documents at the center of a two-year legal skirmish.

The judge rejected claims that most of the documents were protected from public disclosure due to religious autonomy and spiritual guidance exemptions in state laws.

But Duffly sided with the diocese by ruling that some of the documents could remain sealed under lawyer-client privilege.

The ruling - which affects more than 35 cases involving alleged abuse by priests dating back to the 1960s - echoes the findings of Superior Court Associate Justice John A. Agostini in an 11-page decision handed down in December.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Ex-priest guilty of third-degree rape

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

By Jason Riley
jriley@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

For years, Janet Goodner blamed herself for the sexual relationship she had with former Roman Catholic priest Bruce Ewing in the 1970s, when Goodner was a teenager.

"I felt that I corrupted a Catholic priest," Goodner said in an interview.

But yesterday, a Jefferson Circuit Court jury put the blame on Ewing, finding him guilty of third-degree rape after deliberating for less than two hours. The jury -- made up of six men and six women -- acquitted Ewing on two charges of sodomy.

Ewing, 59, hung his head after the rape verdict was read. He remains free on $2,500 bond, pending his formal sentencing May 17 by Judge Martin McDonald. He did not comment as he left the courthouse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Vatican dismisses 2 Boston-area priests accused of sexual abuse

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

By Associated Press
Friday, March 23, 2007 - Updated: 06:00 AM EST

BOSTON - The Vatican has dismissed two former Boston archdiocese priests who have been convicted of or face charges of sexually abusing children.

Anthony J. Laurano, 82, of Hull, and W. James Nyhan, 61, of Billerica, were cut off Thursday from receiving any financial support from the archdiocese and may no longer function as priests except to offer absolution for dying persons, the archdiocese said in a prepared statement.

”For those who have been sexually abused by members of the clergy, I sincerely apologize for the suffering you and your families have endured,” Cardinal Sean O’Malley said in the statement. ”Sexual crimes perpetrated against children or vulnerable adults by priests are shameful and grievous.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

March 22, 2007

Archdiocese Dismisses Two Priests

BOSTON (MA)
TheBostonChannel.com

BOSTON -- The Archdiocese of Boston dismissed two priests Thursday after reports of sexual abuse of a minor.

Anthony J. Laurano and W. James Nyhan will no longer receive any financial support from the archdiocese and may no longer function as priests, with the exception of offering absolution to the dying, the archdiocese said in a statement.

Laurano, who retired in 1995, has been restricted from any public ministry since 2002 due to allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. He was indicted on two counts of child rape and was arraigned in Plymouth Superior Court in April 2005. In 2006, new charges were brought against him by the Plymouth district attorney.

Nyhan, who was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston in 1973, was placed on administrative leave in 2002 after the archdiocese received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. Last year, Nyhan was convicted of criminal charges involving the sexual abuse of children while he served in Charleston, S.C., more than 25 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 PM

New bishop for troubled Polish diocese?

POLAND
Catholic World News

Warsaw, Mar. 22, 2007 (CWNews.com) - The secretary of the Polish bishops’ conference, Bishop Piotr Liber, will soon be named to head the troubled Plock diocese, according to a report in the newspaper Rzeczpospolita.

Bishop Liber, who is currently serving as an auxiliary in the Katowice diocese, would replaced Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus, who led the Plock diocese for 7 years before he was selected by Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news) to become the Archbishop of Warsaw. Archbishop Wielgus was forced to resign from that new post in January, prior to his installation, because of charges that he had collaborated with the Communist secret police. Meanwhile the Plock diocese has been shaken by recent charges of sexual abuse at the seminary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 PM

Bail set at a million for Father George Chaanine

LAS VEGAS (NV)
KVBC

If he can come up with the money, Father George Chaanine will be able to get out of jail. A judge set his bail Thursday at $1 million.

Chaanine's lawyer says he doesn't think the priest will be able to make bail. Many times defense lawyers say their clients don't have the money to make bail but then those defendants are able to get it.

Chaanine has been held without bond since being brought back to Nevada in early February. He spent almost a week on the run after being charged with attempted murder, sexual assault, battery and kidnapping.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Jury finds ex-priest guilty of rape

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

By Jason Riley
jriley@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

After deliberating less than two hours, a Jefferson Circuit Court jury this afternoon found former Roman Catholic priest Bruce Ewing guilty of 3rd degree rape of a teenager in the 1970s.

However, the jury — six men and six women — acquitted Ewing on two counts of sodomy.

Ewing, who could face up to five years in prison on the rape conviction, hung his head after the verdict was read.

A previous trial in September 2004 ended in a mistrial when one juror refused to convict Ewing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:23 PM

Boston Globe cuts 24; Pulitzer winners take buyouts

BOSTON (MA)
Houston Chronicle

Associated Press

BOSTON — Two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists — including a reporter who helped break the clergy-sex abuse scandal — are among 24 people The Boston Globe is cutting from its newsroom staff through a buyout program aimed at avoiding layoffs.

The buyouts, which staffers had to apply for, were announced Wednesday. The departures will occur over the next few months.

"It is always difficult to say goodbye to co-workers and friends," Globe Editor Martin Baron wrote in a memo to staff. "Wonderful people who have dedicated themselves so fully to the success of the Globe will no longer be working with us side by side."

Columnist Eileen McNamara and investigative reporter Stephen Kurkjian are among the staff members to accept the buyouts.

McNamara, 54, won the 1997 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. She said she will teach journalism at Brandeis University.

Kurkjian, 63, was a founding member of the Globe's Spotlight Team investigative unit and shared in three Pulitzers. Two came for local investigative reporting: in 1972 for exposing political corruption in Somerville and in 1980 for documenting the high costs and poor service at the region's transportation agency. The third came in 2003 for public service for uncovering the Roman Catholic church's clergy sex abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:41 PM

Archdiocese Dismisses Two Priests

BOSTON (MA)
TheBostonChannel.com

BOSTON -- The Archdiocese of Boston dismissed two priests Thursday after reports of sexual abuse of a minor.

Anthony J. Laurano and W. James Nyhan will no longer receive any financial support from the archdiocese and may no longer function as priests, with the exception of offering absolution to the dying, the archdiocese said in a statement.

Laurano, who retired in 1995, has been restricted from any public ministry since 2002 due to allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. He was indicted on two counts of child rape and was arraigned in Plymouth Superior Court in April 2005. In 2006, new charges were brought against him by the Plymouth district attorney.

Nyhan, who was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston in 1973, was placed on administrative leave in 2002 after the archdiocese received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. Last year, Nyhan was convicted of criminal charges involving the sexual abuse of children while he served in Charleston, S.C., more than 25 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

Woman given 5 years in prison for stealing

WINSTON-SALEM (NC)
Journal

By Titan Barksdale
JOURNAL REPORTER

A judge sentenced a Winston-Salem woman to at least five years in prison yesterday for stealing about $300,000 in tithes and offerings from the church that employed her.

Karen Charlene Lunsford, 38, pleaded guilty to embezzlement in Forsyth Superior Court. Members of Oaklawn Baptist Church watched as Lunsford, who was at one time the church's financial secretary, admitted to spending the money on vacations, clothing and weekend getaways to gospel concerts.

“I'm here to accept responsibility, and I apologize,” she told Judge Ronald Spivey. “I just wanted to live a better lifestyle.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Ex-pastor pleads guilty to receiving child porn

NEWARK (OH)
Coshocton Tribune

COLUMBUS (AP) - A former pastor pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to receiving child pornography across state lines, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

David Waser, 57, former pastor of Newark's Second Church of Christ, faces five to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced in U.S. District Court.

Authorities said Waser ordered 11 child pornography videos in June 2006 by sending a $130 money order to an address listed on an Internet advertisement that had been posted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Officials said some of the videos involved children as young as 4.

A postal inspector who posed as a letter carrier delivered the videos to Waser's home in July and obtained a search warrant immediately afterward. The inspector found the package opened and one of the videos inserted into a VCR, the government said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Boston Globe issues buyouts to senior reporters, columnists

BOSTON (MA)
MarketWatch

By Val Brickates Kennedy
Last Update: 9:25 AM ET Mar 22, 2007

BOSTON (MarketWatch) -- As part of a previously-announced cost-cutting plan, the Boston Globe said on Thursday it was buying out the contracts of 24 of its editorial staff, including Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Eileen McNamara and investigative reporter Stephen Kurkjian, who spearheaded coverage of the Catholic priest sexual abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Bishop, victims have spirited talk about child sex abuse cover-ups

WASHINGTON (DC)
Florida Catholic

By Agostino Bono, Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In a spirited exchange with victims of child sex abuse, the head of the U.S. bishops' child protection committee said March 20 that bishops must work together to prevent cover-ups of clergy child sex abuse.

Cover-ups cannot be condoned and several bishops and priests have resigned over cover-ups, some after being told to do so by the Vatican, said Bishop Gregory M. Aymond of Austin, Texas.

"We can't hold each other responsible. We are responsible to the pope," he said of U.S. church leaders' efforts to prevent cover-ups.

Bishops rely on "fraternal correction" by which they try to influence a fellow bishop to alter his approach to sex abuse, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

Bill Would End Time Limits for Abuse Suits

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

By Nikita Stewart
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 21, 2007; B01

The D.C. Council would abolish the statute of limitations for filing criminal and civil cases that involve sexual abuse against children under a bill proposed yesterday by council member Marion Barry.

The legislation would allow the indictment of abusers in decades-old crimes and would give victims the ability to sue all parties involved in the abuse.

The proposed change in D.C. law is similar to legislation enacted in California that led to prominent cases involving abuse by Roman Catholic priests.

In the District, the measure would not only extend the time limits for criminal and civil cases but also "provide a two-year period for people whose claims were barred by a previous statute of limitations to bring those claims," according to the bill's text.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Globe cuts 24 jobs in newsroom via buyouts

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Robert Gavin, Globe Staff | March 22, 2007

The Boston Globe reduced its newsroom staff by 24 people, or 6 percent, through a buyout that included several of its most prominent and longtime journalists, including two Pulitzer Prize winners, columnist Eileen McNamara and investigative reporter Stephen Kurkjian.

The buyout program was an effort to cut costs but avoid layoffs in the face of some of the harshest conditions for newspapers and other mass media in years. Staffers seeking a buyout had to apply for it. Most were notified yesterday that their applications were accepted, and their departures will occur over the next few months. ...

Kurkjian, 63, a Boston native, joined the Globe in 1968. He was a founding member of the Globe's investigative unit, known as the Spotlight Team, and shared in three Pulitzer prizes. Two came for local investigative reporting, in 1972, for exposing political corruption in Somerville, and in 1980, for documenting the high costs and poor service at the MBTA. The third, in 2003, was awarded for public service for exposing the sexual abuse scandals of the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Waser pleads guilty to child porn charge

By KIMBERLY DICK
Advocate Reporter

NEWARK (OH)
The Advocate

NEWARK — A former Newark minister who authorities caught with videotapes depicting juvenile sex pleaded guilty Wednesday afternoon to receiving child pornography.

David Waser, who was a minister at Newark’s Second Church of Christ, is being detained while a pre-sentence investigation report is being completed. He will be sentenced at a later date.

As part of a plea agreement, Waser pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one of his two felony charges and agreed to forfeit the 11 videotapes and his computer.

His wife, Judy Waser, will face one count of attempted possession of child pornography at a trial set for April 16, also in front of Judge George C. Smith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Another Alleged Victim Of Beltran Comes Forward

SACRAMENTO (CA)
CBS 13

Sam Shane
Reporting

(CBS13) SACRAMENTO A CBS13 investigation of a fugitive priest has brought another victim forward.

Father Gerardo Beltran is accused of molesting two young girls in Sacramento then fleeing to avoid prosecution. CBS13 tracked Beltran to Igualita, Mexico. After seeing our stories, a third victim says he can remain silent no longer and says he wants to bring Gerardo Beltran to justice.

We first introduced you to Hector Rubio last month, only then we called him "John Doe". Today, in a press conference with the survivors network for those abused by priests, Hector came forward, telling the world that he too had been abused by Father Gerardo Beltran.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Deal discussed in priest abuse case

CHICAGO (IL)
Daily Herald

Associated Press
Posted Thursday, March 22, 2007

Prosecutors and defense attorneys discussed a possible plea agreement on Wednesday for a Chicago priest accused of sexually abusing children.

The possibility of such a deal arose during a hearing in Cook County court, where a judge agreed to a meeting with the Rev. Daniel McCormack’s attorneys and prosecutors.

They withdrew with Judge Thomas Sumner to his chambers, but no deal was announced when they emerged an hour later. Sumner then set May 1 as the next court date.

While the talks went on behind closed doors, McCormack waited in a hallway outside the courtroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Abuse victims help send bill for Senate vote

DOVER (DE)
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

Posted Thursday, March 22, 2007

DOVER -- Robert Quill drove two days from Marathon, Fla., to tell his horror story to a state Senate committee and urge lawmakers to change Delaware's civil statute of limitations for child sexual abuse.

Quill said he was a victim of the Rev. Francis G. DeLuca -- the retired Delaware priest arrested in the fall in Syracuse, N.Y., and charged with sexually abusing a teen there.

"If I constructed a complete and accurate narrative of my adolescence, recounting in detail each of the hundreds of episodes of DeLuca's craven sexual abuse of a child, few could listen to the entire story without being physically sickened," Quill said.

Kristine Geisler, 17, of Newark, wept as she recounted how someone in her neighborhood abused her from the time she was 6 until she was 9 years old. Jack Keating wore a photograph of himself as a little boy, around the age that his sexual abuse started. And Ed Burke told lawmakers he can remember every detail of the abuse he suffered as a boy 62 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Case against 80-year-old priest delayed 4 months

GATES (NY)
Democrat & Chronicle

Ernst Lamothe Jr.
Staff writer

(March 22, 2007) — GATES — The prosecution and defense in the case against the Rev. John J. Steger, 80, will have four months to come up with an out-of-court settlement. Steger, a priest at St. Jude the Apostle Church in Gates, faces four misdemeanor charges involving inappropriate touching of a 12-year-old girl.

His case has been postponed until July 25.

"I'm not pleased that the case is being adjourned out that long. Any time there is a lengthy adjournment, it affects other court cases," said Judge Peter Pupatelli. "I hope both parties expedite the process."

John Speranza, Steger's attorney, said both sides are working to come to an agreement, especially with Steger's medical condition, which includes problems with his legs and hands.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Pastor accused of molestations enters plea talks

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

March 22, 2007
Rev. Daniel McCormack entered plea negotiations Wednesday on charges he molested five boys while pastor of St. Agatha parish on the West Side.

McCormack, 38, is charged with multiple counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The alleged incidents happened as far back as 2001 and continued until at least 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

my lawyers ate my homework

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Catholic World News

Stung by the LA Times article calling attention to differences in the description of a videotape submitted to the Vatican (for one purpose) and to the general public (for another), the Archdiocese of Los Angeles issues a protest: The Cardinal didn't do it: his lawyers did!

The Tuesday, March 20th edition of the Los Angeles Times, and subsequent media reports, have wrongly claimed that Cardinal Roger Mahony himself recently wrote two different descriptions of a videotape discovered in 1992, more than a year after he removed Father Lynn Caffoe from ministry based on credible reports of misconduct with minors.
Catch the head-fake? "wrongly claimed that Cardinal Roger Mahony himself recently wrote ..."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

3 others accuse ex-priest during trial

FORT COLLINS (CO)
The Coloradoan

By JP EICHMILLER
JPEichmiller@coloradoan.com

Three male accusers testified against former Fort Collins priest Timothy Evans on Wednesday during the trial's second day.

Evans faces multiple felony counts in Larimer County for sexual assault on a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

One of the accusers who took the stand was 16 in 1996 when he said Evans molested him.

The accuser described a meeting he thought was intended to discuss self-esteem and religious issues with Evans at the priest's office at the Spirit of Christ Parish in Arvada. The prosecution witness described lying on Evan's office floor per the priest's instruction for what he thought was a therapy session.

He said Evans proceeded to caress his body, starting at the boy's chest, moving down to his legs and eventually moving his hands up and under the boy's shorts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

March 21, 2007

Man sues Catholic Diocese alleging abuse

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Sacramento Bee

By Jennifer Garza - Bee Staff Writer
Published 5:35 pm PDT Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Texas man filed suit today in Sacramento Superior Court against the Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, claiming he was sexually abused by a priest who has since fled to Mexico.

Hector Rubio, 33, a former altar boy, alleges that he was repeatedly molested by the Rev. Gerardo Beltran between 1983 and 1986 while the priest served at St. Dominic Parish in Orland in Glenn County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 PM

Defense, prosecutors discuss possible deal in priest abuse case

CHICAGO (IL)
Belleville News Democrat

Associated Press
CHICAGO - Prosecutors and defense attorneys discussed a possible plea agreement on Wednesday for a Chicago priest accused of sexually abusing children.

The possibility of such a deal arose during a hearing in Cook County court, where a judge agreed to a meeting with Rev. Daniel McCormack's attorneys and prosecutors.

They withdrew with Judge Thomas Sumner to his chambers, but no deal was announced when they emerged an hour later. Sumner then set May 1 as the next court date.

While the talks went on behind closed doors, McCormack waited in a hallway outside the courtroom.

He is charged with five counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse in the alleged fondling of five boys at Our Lady of the Westside School's two campuses and the nearby St. Agatha Catholic Church. He had earlier pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 PM

Mother takes the stand in trial of former priest

FORT COLLINS (CO)
9 News

written by: Adam Chodak , 9NEWS Northern Reporter

FORT COLLINS – The mother of the alleged victim in the sexual assault case involving a former priest testified on Wednesday.

The trial of Tim Evans, 44, started Monday. He's accused of sexually molesting a 17-year-old boy twice back in 1999 when he was a priest at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Roman Catholic Church in Fort Collins.

Specifically, Evans is accused of, one time, groping the young man's buttocks and, another time, reaching below his waistline and toward his groin.

On Wednesday, the alleged victim's mother said the accusations make her "sick physically and in my heart."

She said she was raised Catholic and taught priests were above the people and closer to God.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 PM

Testimony continues in priest trial

FORT COLLINS (CO)
The Coloradoan

By JP EICHMILLER
JPEichmiller@coloradoan.com

Prosecutors in the case against former Fort Collins priest Timothy Joseph Evans presented a second witness this morning who claimed to be a victim of sexual misconduct at the hands of the priest.

The accuser, who was 16 at the time of the 1996 incident, described a meeting he thought was intended to discuss self-esteem and religious issues with Evans at the priest’s office at Spirit of Christ Parish in Arvada. The prosecution witness described lying on Evan’s office floor per the priest’s instruction for what he thought was a therapy session.

Evans, the accuser described, proceeded to caress his body, starting at the boy’s chest, moving down to his legs and eventually moving his hands up and under the boy’s shorts.

“As he was coming back up my leg, he went under my shorts and actually touched my scrotum,” the accuser said during today’s second day of the trial. “He was where he shouldn’t have been.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

Diocese of Davenport Notice and Claims Bar Date

DAVENPORT (IA)
Business Wire

DAVENPORT, Iowa--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Diocese of Davenport filed a voluntary petition under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code on October 10, 2006. Pursuant to an Order of the United State Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa, all claims against the Diocese, including claims for sexual abuse arising prior to the bankruptcy filing, must be filed no later than July 16, 2007 at 4:00 Central time (the Claims Bar Date).

The Diocese has appointed a Claims Agent, AlixPartners, LLP, to receive and process all claims. All claims must be filed with the Claims Agent in order to be considered valid. All claims must be received on or before the Claims Bar Date in order to be considered valid. Late filed claims will not be allowed.

All sexual abuse claimants must file a Confidential Claim Form which can be obtained from the Claims Agent or from the Diocese website. All sexual abuse claims are confidential and the names of the sexual abuse claimants will not be disseminated to the public. All sexual abuse claimants will be assigned a confidential claim number by the Claims Agent as their claims are received.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Statement of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Regarding The Los Angeles Times' Coverage of the Lynn Caffoe Case

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Tidings

Issued March 21, 2007

The Tuesday, March 20th edition of the Los Angeles Times, and subsequent media reports, have wrongly claimed that Cardinal Roger Mahony himself recently wrote two different descriptions of a videotape discovered in 1992, more than a year after he removed Father Lynn Caffoe from ministry based on credible reports of misconduct with minors.

In fact, Cardinal Mahony did not write, edit or otherwise supervise the production of the "proffer" on Lynn Caffoe, as the Los Angeles Times has claimed. The Archdiocese's legal team wrote the proffer as part of a Court-ordered mediation process. The purpose of the proffers was to provide a chronological index of certain important documents in a priest's personnel file, without disclosing content. All the files and documents were entrusted to the Court and reviewed by judges to determine that they were both complete and accurate.

The lawyers who prepared the Caffoe proffer read a memo from Caffoe's personnel file describing a viewing of a videotape, the whereabouts of which had been unknown since 1992. The lawyers understood the description in the memo to involve no touching and they and the judges who reviewed the memo concluded that it therefore involved no sexual activity. And, although some of the boys on the tape were reported to have removed their shirts, none had removed their pants, or exposed themselves in any way, and they were thus described in the proffer as having been fully clothed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 PM

No Deal Reached In Priest Sex Abuse Trial

CHICAGO (IL)
WMAQ

CHICAGO -- A May 1 hearing has been scheduled for a Roman Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing several children in Chicago.

Daniel McCormack appeared in a Cook County courtroom on Wednesday. Judge Thomas Sumner agreed to a private meeting with his defense attorneys and prosecutors so they could discuss a possible plea agreement.

They met for about an hour in the judge's chambers. Afterward, Sumner scheduled the status hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Priest in 80s charged with touching 12-year-old

GATES (NY)
Democrat & Chronicle

Victoria E. Freile
Staff writer

(March 21, 2007) — The Rev. John J. Steger is slated to appear in Gates Town Court today, facing four misdemeanor charges involving a 12-year-old girl.

Steger, who is in his 80s, was a priest at St. Jude the Apostle Church in Gates. He was arrested in May and was accused of inappropriately touching the girl in late April and early May. Police reportedly learned of the allegations after the girl reported two incidents to her parents.

The parents apparently contacted the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester; the diocese contacted the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Priest stands trial over alleged 1970s abuse

AUSTRALIA
ABC

In the Launceston Criminal Court in Tasmania, two former students of the Marist College in Burnie have alleged they were sexually assaulted by a priest 35 years ago.

The pair gave evidence in the trial of 70-year-old Gregory Laurence Ferguson, who was a teacher at the college in the 1970s.

Ferguson is charged with committing sex crimes against two boys aged between 12 and 14 in 1970 and 1971.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 AM

Chicago priest to face abuse charges

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC 7

By Dan Ponce
March 21, 2007 - A Chicago priest accused of molesting boys is expected back in court today. Father Daniel McCormack is accused of assaulting five children over four years.

It has been more than a year since charges were first brought against McCormack. Up until now he has always maintained his innocence but today he could plead guilty in order to avoid going to trial.

The 38-year-old priest is accused of abusing five boys. McCormack was a pastor at St. Agatha Catholic Church on the city's West Side.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Hearing today on bill eliminating limits on child sex lawsuits

DOVER (DE)
WMDT

DOVER, Del. (AP) -

A state Senate committee is scheduled to hold a hearing today on legislation that would eliminate the statute of limitations for lawsuits resulting from child sexual abuse.

The bill would eliminate the two-year time limit for filing suit and allows cases in which the limit has already lapsed to be filed retroactively.

But it also provides reimbursement of attorney's fees to anyone falsely accused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Priest's accuser testifies

FORT COLLINS (CO)
The Coloradoan

By JP EICHMILLER
JPEichmiller@coloradoan.com

The alleged victim in the trial of former Fort Collins priest Timothy Joseph Evans took the stand Tuesday, describing two incidents when Evans allegedly fondled him at the priest's city rectory home.

The alleged victim, now 25, said the first incident allegedly occurred after he and Evans, now 43, watched a Denver Broncos playoff game together in 1999. The two had met a year earlier when the alleged victim's family invited Evans, who was new to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, to dinner.

"He moved his hands from my back to my buttocks, lifting me to my toes," the alleged victim told the prosecutor about the incident that occurred while the two were hugging before the alleged victim left the house.

The alleged victim, then 17, said the priest told him he brought the incident on himself by placing his knee in Evans' groin area during the embrace.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Scandals weighing on the scales of justice

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

Steve Lopez
Points West

March 21, 2007

The ongoing scandal involving the U.S. attorney general's office reminds me how often I hear from people who insist they can't get a fair shot at justice. Politics worked against them, or money, or the clout of someone as powerful as Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony.

Speaking of whom, after going all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court in a four-year battle to keep files sealed, we now see why Mahony might have been so zealous.

The first look at those documents, in a lawsuit against the church, reveals that His Eminence privately warned the current pope of a priest's criminal misconduct with "partially naked" high school boys. But prosecutors say Mahony did not report that crime. And to make matters worse, Mahony assured parishioners a few months later that the boys were "fully clothed" and that there had been no sexual activity.

I ask you, as I have many times before, to light the candles, get out the rosary beads and pray for the cardinal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:38 AM

Criminal Behavior Did Occur ... or Did It?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Has Cardinal Roger Mahony been less than forthcoming to the faithful about priests accused of molesting minors? The case of Lynn Caffoe, a defrocked priest so accused, indicates yes, say victims’ advocates.

Caffoe, 61, a former Los Angeles archdiocesan priest, has been accused of molesting several youths between 1975 and 1994. Four of his alleged victims have filed suit against the archdiocese, claiming it engaged in “oppression, fraud and malice” by disregarding abuse accusations against the priest.

As evidence, plaintiffs’ lawyers in a recent filing in Los Angeles County superior court cite a letter sent by Cardinal Mahony to Cardinal Josef Ratzinger in April 2005. (Reporting on the letter, the March 20 Los Angeles Times noted it was “not fully public” but was “quoted in a court filing.”) The letter is part of Caffoe’s personnel file, which the archdiocese by court order has recently turned over to prosecutors and plaintiffs. In the letter, Mahony refers to a videotape made by Caffoe in which appear “partially naked,” sexually aroused boys as "objective verification that criminal behavior did occur."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:36 AM

Jury told of priest's alleged groping

FORT COLLINS (CO)
By Monte Whaley
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 03/21/2007 01:12:11 AM MDT

Fort Collins - A Catholic priest used his stature in the church to become close friends to a 17-year-old parishioner whom he later groped on two occasions at the priest's home, the alleged victim said Tuesday.

The man, now 25, told jurors he was shaken by the actions of Timothy Joseph Evans but he was too intimidated by Evans' standing as a priest at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Fort Collins to tell his parents or authorities.

"He was the priest," the alleged victim told jurors in Larimer County District Court. "They were the ones you are taught that they know everything. They are like celebrities."

Evans, 43, faces charges including sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:32 AM

Source: Priest Accused Of Abuse May Plea Bargain

CHICAGO (IL)
CBS 2

(CBS) CHICAGO A Chicago priest accused of sexually abusing several West Side youngsters is apparently ready to at least talk about a guilty plea.

Father Daniel McCormack is due in court for a status hearing Wednesday. At that hearing, a source tells CBS 2, his attorney and prosecutors are expected to ask a judge to allow them to begin those talks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 AM

Toronto priest facing child porn charges

CANADA
London Free Press

Wed, March 21, 2007

By FREE PRESS NEWS SERVICES

TORONTO -- A lawyer for a Toronto priest accused of possessing child pornography says his client will plead not guilty to the charges.

Graham Zoppi said yesterday the case against his client, 65-year-old Frederick Dunleavy of Brockville, isn't quite as it has been made out to be in media reports. "I anticipate he'll be much less vilified than the public originally was expecting," Zoppi said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:04 AM

Hartselle ex-minister sentenced to 6 months

DECATUR (AL)
Decatur Daily

By Eric Fleischauer
eric@decaturdaily.com

Former Hartselle minister Gradson L. Tanner, 48, was sentenced Tuesday to six months in prison, three months less than the government recommended in a plea agreement.

The news came from a press release by the U.S. attorney four hours after the hearing. Tanner’s attorney, Jake Watson, said the timing of the statement was inappropriate.

“I thought we had a gentlemen’s agreement,” Watson said Tuesday evening. “That flies in the face of it.”

On Feb. 21, a federal jury in Decatur found Tanner guilty of indecent exposure, a misdemeanor, on Flint Creek Trail at the Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Morgan County.

Tanner also was charged with abusive sexual contact, a felony. There was a hung jury on that count. The government dismissed the felony charge at Tuesday’s sentencing hearing, meaning there will not be another trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 AM

March 20, 2007

Priest May Plead Guilty To Child Sex Abuse, Sources Say

CHICAGO (IL)
NBC5

CHICAGO -- NBC5 has learned that the Rev. Dan McCormack will appear in court Wednesday, where he is expected to begin the process to plead guilty.

It was last January when McCormack was first arrested, and since then he's been charged with abusing five young boys.

However, sources told NBC5 that there are more potential victims, Mary Ann Ahern reported. The priest is likely to plead guilty rather than face a trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 PM

Alleged victim testifies against former priest

FORT COLLINS (CO)
The Coloradoan

By Coloradoan staff

The alleged victim in a molestation case involving former Catholic priest Timo-thy Joseph Evans described to prosecutors the circumstances involving two inci-dences of inappropriate touch that allegedly occurred in 1999.

The alleged victim made the statements this afternoon during the first day of the trial. The Coloradoan does not identify the names of sexual assault victims.

The alleged victim described both incidents, which he said took place in the Fort Collins rectory where Evans lived. He alleges that during a wrestling match in Evans’ bedroom, that the priest pinned him down and fondled him, reaching under this shirt at one point and then to his genital region.

Prosecutors played a half-hour tape of a conversation between the alleged victim and Evans that took place in December 2004 in which Evans apologized for the incidents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

Two decades of abuse went unseen

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The children in the care of Eunice Spry face a lifetime of counselling, after suffering years of physical and mental abuse at her hands.

The abuse was not spotted by health professionals over a period of 20 years.

At her trial the court was told that Spry, 62, was always present at doctors' visits and perhaps more crucially, educated the children at home so no one would see their injuries.

She portrayed herself as a loving and caring mother and was described as a devout Jehovah's Witness.

When one of the victims finally spoke out about their experiences to a member of their church, the authorities were alerted and Spry was arrested.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 PM

Testimony starts in trial of priest

FORT COLLINS (CO)
Rocky Mountain News

By Chris Barge, Rocky Mountain News
March 20, 2007
FORT COLLINS — An articulate but nervous 25-year-old man took the witness stand this morning in Larimer County District Court and began his testimony against a former Catholic priest accused of sexually assaulting him when he was 17.

The man told the jury that Father Timothy Evans touched him inappropriately on two occasions in 1999. He said he did not try to stop him "because he was the priest and they’re the ones you’re taught know everything," he said. "And besides, they have your best interests at heart."

The witness testified following opening statements by both sides in a trial expected to take all week. Evans, now 43, is being tried on two counts of sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust, one count of sexual assault on a child in a pattern of abuse and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Pedophile Priest Attorney Can't Force Himself on Plaintiff Depositions in Civil Case Preparing for July 9 Jury Trial

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

03/20/2007 at 08:31 am in department 20 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012O
Motion for Protective Order ((PAPERS FILED ON 3/02)RE: BC307934)

BC307934 #6 on the sheet of paper taped outside the door of Judge Fromholz’ court this morning.

Each week the calendar grows shorter as attorneys usually work these motions out before the hearings but every once in a while something comes up that attorneys can’t resolve out of court.

BC307934 is part of the jury trial scheduled for July 9, 2007:
07/09/2007 at 09:30 am in department 20 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Jury Trial (HAGENBACH CASES)

Sitting to my right on the bench outside the courtroom this morning was a boisterous man, calling out to another attorney on a bench a good hundred feet away. “Yeah, I’ll be off to Oregon from here and then on to Sacramento. Big stuff happening in Sacramento.” the other attorney demurred an encouraging answer and Boisterous on my right went on to say, “Yup, and I was supposed to be retired.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Vicar accused of sex attacks

UNITED KINGDOM
Oxford Mail

A former church helper broke down in tears yesterday as he claimed he was molested by a vicar more than 30 years ago.

Father Edward Michael Wright, 69, invited the schoolboy back to his vicarage where he plied him with alcohol and performed serious sexual assaults on him, jurors heard.

Wright, the vicar of St Barnabas Church in Jericho, Oxford, since 1980, was also allegedly involved in a 'group rape' attack involving a number of men.

Now aged 44, the alleged victim broke down during his evidence as he told of a series of sexual assaults. He claimed that he received counselling for up to 10 years and his marriage suffered problems.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 PM

Homosexual Prelates Add An Extra Risk Factors in Catholic Diocesan Bankruptcy Cases

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Christian Newswire

PITTSBURGH, Mar. 20 /Christian Newswire/ -- The recent filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy by Bishop Robert H. Brom of the Diocese of San Diego is an excellent example of how homosexual prelates in the Catholic hierarchy place their dioceses at extra risk for clerical sexual abuse lawsuits, abuse cover-ups and potential bankruptcy, says Randy Engel, an expert on pederasty and clerical sex abuse and author of the controversial new book The Rite of Sodomy – Homosexuality and the Roman Catholic Church.

Engel, a pro-life activist and investigative reporter for over 30 years, noted that the Catholic laity of the San Diego Diocese, who will ultimately foot the bill for the bankruptcy filing of February 27, 2007 and subsequent settlements for victims of clerical sexual abuse in the diocese, have been forced to face some painful truths about their wayward shepherd. The first is that private vice has public consequences. The second is that cover-ups connected with the crime of clerical pederasty are closely connected to the rise of the Homosexual Collective both within and without the Church.

Bishop Brom is one of more than 25 Catholic bishops and cardinals whose homosexual history is documented in The Rite of Sodomy, released in July 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:22 PM

New lawsuit alleges child sexual abuse by priests in Montpelier

VERMONT
WCAX

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- A man who claims he was sexually assaulted by two priests while serving as an altar boy in Montpelier in the 1970s has filed a lawsuit.

The suit, on file in Chittenden County, accuses former priests Edward Paquette and Alfred Willis of molesting the boy when each served as assistant pastor at Saint Augustine's Catholic Church in Montpelier and says the Diocese of Burlington concealed information relevant to the claims to protect itself from liability.

Diocesan officials have denied the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:19 PM

Mahony Said Different Things To Vatican, Public?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CBS 2

(CBS) LOS ANGELES Court records show that at least six months after Cardinal Roger Mahony told the Vatican that a videotape provided proof of a priest's criminal misconduct with high school boys, he told the public the tape showed no sexual activity between Father Lynn Caffoe and the youths, it was reported Tuesday.

Newly filed documents in the Caffoe civil case provide the first glimpse into confidential priest files that Mahony sought for four years to keep sealed in the midst of a sexual abuse scandal that engulfed the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported. He eventually took the secrecy fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a letter to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he became pope in April 2005, Mahony said Caffoe had videotaped "partially naked" boys in a state of sexual arousal, according to The Times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Church didn't suggest police complaint: alleged abuse victim

CANADA
CBC News

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 20, 2007 | 2:51 PM NT
CBC News
A Newfoundland woman who says she was sexually abused by a priest for eight years is disputing the Roman Catholic Church's claim that she didn't want to go to the police when she came forward with the allegations in 2001.

The woman, who cannot be named because of a publication ban, told CBC News the church only offered her options within the church community, such as counselling with a nun and the opportunity to speak with a lawyer retained by the church.

"You know that in the back of their minds, the last thing that they want is for this to be public knowledge," she said. "Their number one priority is to protect themselves and the image of the church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Opening arguments in Evans trial expected by midmorning

FORT COLLINS (CO)
The Coloradoan

Coloradoan staff

Opening arguments in the Timothy Evans sexual abuse case are expected to begin about 10 a.m. today.

Jury selection is expected to wrap up this morning following by opening statements by Evans’ attorney and prosecutors.

Former priest Timothy Joseph Evans, 43, pleaded innocent in December to charges stemming from incidents alleged to have occurred with a teenager during his tenure at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, 5450 S. Lemay Ave., where he served from 1998 to 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Cardinal warned Vatican, assured parishioners about priest's home video

LOS ANGELES (CA)
USA Today

When it came time to describe a priest's homemade footage of "'partially naked' boys in a state of sexual arousal," the top Catholic cleric in Los Angeles told his parishioners one thing, and his superiors at the Vatican another, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The paper says Cardinal Roger Mahony sent a letter to Rome in April 2005 that described the contents of the tape and said it constituted "objective verification that criminal behavior did occur."

Six months later, "in what Mahony told parishioners was the "fullest possible disclosure" about the scandal, he reported that a videotape had been discovered in 1992 in Caffoe's bedroom, depicting 'improper behavior' with high school boys. But the cardinal said the boys were 'fully clothed' and there was no sexual activity."

A church lawyer said he didn't see any contradiction between the public statement and his letter to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who is now Pope Benedict XVI.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Report: Cardinal accounts of priest's role in sex scandal differ

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Union-Tribune

ASSOCIATED PRESS

5:54 a.m. March 20, 2007

LOS ANGELES – Cardinal Roger Mahony gave the Vatican a graver version of a priest's role in a sexual abuse scandal than he provided his parishioners, according to court documents filed by four people who are suing the Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles for allegedly failing to protect them from pedophile priests.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs argue that the documents filed last week show Mahony and other officials at the Los Angeles Archdiocese misrepresented the breadth and seriousness of the priest abuse reports they received in the years before they moved to fully address the molestation problem.

The papers quote a letter Mahony wrote to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before Ratzinger became pope in April 2005. In the letter, Mahony said Father Lynn Caffoe had videotaped “partially naked” boys in a state of arousal. He said the tape was “objective verification that criminal behavior did occur,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Church organist facing jail for theft

NORTHERN IRELAND
Irish Examiner

A former organist pleaded guilty today to swindling nearly £150,000 (€221,000) from her church and the bank where she worked.

Muriel Stewart (aged 55), wept as a judge warned her she could be jailed for the thefts.

Stewart, a member of the Women’s Association at Dunloy Presbyterian Church in Co Antrim stole £96,685 (€142,000) belonging to its treasurer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Former church secretary charged

GARY (IN)
NWI

Times Staff Report

CROWN POINT | Prosecutors have charged a former church secretary with stealing more than $106,000 from the Israel Metropolitan CME church in Gary.

Pamela Frizzelle, 44, of Gary, is charged with forgery, fraud on a financial institution and theft.

Court records allege that from Oct. 2, 2003, to Aug. 22, 2005, Frizzelle stole 94 church business checks and wrote them to herself on the church's two bank accounts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Jury selection nearly finished in Evans trial

FORT COLLINS (CO)
The Coloradoan

Coloradoan staff

Jury selection in the trial of a former Fort Collins priest accused of sexually molesting a minor is expected to finish up this morning with opening statements to take place later in the day.

Timothy Joseph Evans, 43, pleaded innocent in December to charges stemming from incidents alleged to have occurred with a teenager during his tenure at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, 5450 S. Lemay Ave., where he served from 1998 to 2002.

The remaining jury pool of 28 candidates is expected to be whittled to 12 by mid-morning before opening statements are made.

District Court Judge Jolene Blair expects the trial to take a week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Former priest makes another court appearance

CANADA
CKNW

Mar, 19 2007 - 10:10 PM

VANCOUVER/CKNW(AM980) - A former Priest at a downtown Vancouver church is making another Court appearance Tuesday involving accusations of sexual impropriety.

Edwin Budiman, who's real name is Tjeng Bei You was arrested last month after police received complaints from the families of two 14-year old boys.

The 64-year old, who once worked for the Guardian Angels Parish, is facing charges of invitation to sexual touching and touching a young person for a sexual purpose. The alleged offences date back to 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 AM

Two former priests accused of molesting Montpelier altar boy in 1970s.

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

Two former priests named in earlier child sexual abuse lawsuits that led to out-of-court financial settlements with their alleged victims are now accused of molesting the same Montpelier altar boy in the 1970s, a new lawsuit claims.

The case, on file at Chittenden Superior Court in Burlington, contends that former priests Edward Paquette and Alfred Willis molested the youth during the time each was an assistant pastor at St. Augustine's Catholic Church in Montpelier.

The lawsuit also alleges the diocese received information that Paquette and Willis allegedly engaged in sexual misconduct with other young boys before or during their time at the Montpelier church.

"Defendant diocese actively and fraudulently concealed information pertinent and relevant to claims relating to sexual abuse in this matter for the purpose of protecting itself from civil liability," the lawsuit claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 AM

Mixed ruling sends diocese sexual abuse case to trial

SCRANTON (PA)
The Times-Tribune

BY DAVE JANOSKI
STAFF WRITER
03/20/2007

A federal judge has dismissed some, but not all, of the counts in a suit against the Diocese of Scranton and three clergymen stemming from the sexual abuse of a teenage boy by a former diocesan priest.

A trial is scheduled for June.

The former priest, Albert M. Liberatore Jr., 42, pleaded guilty in 2005 in Luzerne County and New York to sexually abusing the boy from 1999 to 2002, beginning when the boy was 14. Mr. Liberatore, who was pastor at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Duryea when the abuse occurred, was sentenced to 10 years probation and subsequently defrocked.

The victim sued Mr. Liberatore, the diocese, Sacred Heart, retired Bishop James C. Timlin, the Rev. Joseph R. Kopacz, who was the diocesan vicar of priests when the abuse occurred, and Brother Antonio F. Antonucci. The suit claimed the diocese and the clergymen didn’t heed warnings from several sources that Mr. Liberatore was abusing the boy, identified as John Doe in the suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 AM

Mahony accounts of abuse case tape differ

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By John Spano, Times Staff Writer
March 20, 2007

At least six months after Cardinal Roger M. Mahony told his superiors at the Vatican that a videotape provided proof of a priest's criminal misconduct with high school boys, the head of the Los Angeles Archdiocese told the public that the tape showed no sexual activity between Father Lynn Caffoe and the boys, according to court records.

Documents newly filed in the Caffoe civil case provide the first glimpse into confidential priest files that Mahony sought for four years to keep sealed in the midst of a sexual abuse scandal that engulfed the archdiocese. He eventually took the secrecy fight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In a letter to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before Ratzinger became pope in April 2005, Mahony said Caffoe had videotaped "partially naked" boys in a state of sexual arousal. The tape was "objective verification that criminal behavior did occur," Mahony wrote, according to papers filed last week in Los Angeles County Superior Court in a lawsuit by four plaintiffs who allege that Caffoe abused them.

In October 2005, in what Mahony told parishioners was the "fullest possible disclosure" about the scandal, he reported that a videotape had been discovered in 1992 in Caffoe's bedroom, depicting "improper behavior" with high school boys. But the cardinal said the boys were "fully clothed" and there was no sexual activity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 AM

Harvard’s hubris skewered in new campus mag

CAMBRIDGE (MA)
Boston Herald

By Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa
Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Harvard University has given the world seven U.S. presidents, 75 Nobel Prize winners, Bill Gates and Matt Damon, (even though the last two never graduated).

But when you’ve been around for almost 400 years, there are bound to be a few skeletons in the old Crimson closet. And 02138, the new maggie targeting the Ivy League school’s influential grads, has come up with a hall of shame that’s sure to leave Harvard Crimson-faced.

The “Hubris Hall of Fame,” an annual list of “the most egregious cases of Harvard Hubris in recent memory” includes former Boston Cardinal Bernard Law, who was the pointman in the Archdiocese child-sex scandal, chick-lit plagiarist Kaavya Viswanathan, corrupt former Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari and former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling, now in the slammer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 AM

March 19, 2007

Trial begins for former priest

FORT COLLINS (CO)
9News

written by: Adam Chodak , 9NEWS Northern Reporter

FORT COLLINS – The trial is underway for former priest Timothy Evans, who is accused of sexually molesting a minor in 1999.

Jury selection began Monday and will continue into Tuesday.

Evans, 44, has pleaded not guilty to three felony sexual assault charges and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 PM

Judge rules in Liberatore lawsuit

SCRANTON (PA)
Times Leader

By TERRIE MORGAN-BESECKER tmorgan@timesleader.com
SCRANTON – A man who was sexually abused by a priest can seek punitive and other compensatory damages against the Diocese of Scranton, but he cannot recover under several other sections of a lawsuit he filed, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo on Monday dismissed several counts of a lawsuit filed against the Diocese and former priest Albert Liberatore. But he rejected a Diocese request to dismiss the suit in its entirety, allowing several key counts to remain that will keep the case in federal court.

The victim, identified only as John Doe, filed suit in 2004, alleging former Bishop James Timlin and several other Catholic Church officials were negligent for failing to protect him from Liberatore.

Liberatore was charged in May 2004 with indecent assault and corruption of a minor in connection with the repeated abuse of the boy over a several-year period. The former priest pleaded guilty in 2005 in Luzerne County Court and was sentenced to five years probation. He also pleaded guilty to sodomy and other sexual assault charges in connection with abuse of the boy that occurred in New York City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 PM

St. Anthony teacher says she was wrongly fired

CHARLESTON (WV)
The Record

Monday, March 19, 2007

By Cara Bailey - Kanawha Bureau

CHARLESTON - A Putnam County resident hired to teach at a private Catholic school in Charleston claims she was fired while trying to find out if a student was a victim of sexual abuse.

Beverly Nichols, through her counsel Richard Holtzapfel, filed a suit against the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, St. Anthony Catholic School and John Fitzwater, claiming the school did nothing after she reported one of her students may have been the victim of sexual assault.

The suit says that on Oct. 24, 2006, a first-grade student gave Nichols a "sexually explicit drawing which has been drawn by another first grade student."

Because of the nature of the drawing, Nichols became concerned the student may have been subjected to sexual abuse. So she took the drawing to Fitzwater, the school principal.

The suit says Fitzwater told Nichols he would call the parents and talk about the picture, but he subsequently threw the picture in the trash without taking any action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 PM

The Hypocritical Christian Right is being 'Left Behind'

UNITED STATES
Counterbias

March 19 2007
Counterbias.com
MEL SEESHOLTZ

Rev. Lonnie W. Latham was a fire and brimstone, Bible-thumping anti-gay Baptist pastor and member of the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention. While clutching the Bible and praising Jesus, he exhorted homosexuals to reject their “sinful, destructive lifestyle.” Then, on January 3, 2006, Rev. Latham was arrested for soliciting oral sex from an undercover male police officer. So much for sanctimonious Bible-thumping.

Latham’s legal defense is thumping as well. The reverend’s attorney said Thursday [February 22, 2007] the minister has a constitutional right to solicit sex from an undercover policeman.

[Latham’s] attorney, Mack Martin, filed a motion to have the misdemeanor lewdness charge thrown out, saying the Supreme Court ruled in the 2003 decision Lawrence v. Texas that it was not illegal for consenting adults to engage in private homosexual acts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

Former priest on trial in abuse case

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

The retrial of former Roman Catholic priest Bruce Ewing on rape and sodomy charges will begin with jury selection this afternoon in Jefferson Circuit Court.

A previous trial, in September 2004, ended in a mistrial when one juror refused to convict Ewing.

Ewing, who left the priesthood in 1977 and was later an aide to two Louisville government officials, has been out of jail on bond.

He is accused of abusing Janet Goodner between 1974 and 1976 while he was a priest at St. Vincent de Paul Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

Jury selection under way in trial of former Fort Collins priest

FORT COLLINS (CO)
The Coloradoan

Jury selection is under way today in the trial of a former Fort Collins priest accused of sexually molesting a minor.

Timothy Joseph Evans, 43, pleaded innocent in December to charges stemming from incidents alleged to have occurred with a teenager during his tenure at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, 5450 S. Lemay Ave., where he served from 1998 to 2002.

Evans is accused of having sexual contact with a boy in the parish who was between the age of 15 and 18 on separate incidents between September 1998 and 1999. He is accused of supplying the youth with alcohol on at least one occasion.

Charges against Evans include two counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, one count of sexual assault on a child - pattern abuse and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:04 PM

Lawsuit links accused priests

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Monday, March 19, 2007
By Sam Hemingway

Two former priests who were targets in child sexual abuse lawsuits that resulted in out-of-court settlements with the state’s Roman Catholic diocese are accused of molesting the same Montpelier altar boy in the mid-1970s, a new lawsuit filed in Chittenden County Superior Court alleges.

Edward Paquette and Alfred Willis allegedly molested the youth during their time as parish priests at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Montpelier. Paquette worked at the church between 1974 and 1976. Willis was there between 1976 and 1978.

Paquette, who now lives in Westfield, Mass., is named in 17 pending lawsuits claiming he molested boys while serving as a priest in Montpelier and Burlington. The diocese settled with an 18th alleged victim of his in 2006 for $965,000.

Willis, who now lives in Leesburg, Va., is named in two other pending lawsuits claiming he molested boys while serving as a priest in Burlington and Milton. The diocese settled with an alleged 3rd victim of his in 2004 for $170,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:01 PM

Holy Cross Kimball Film Series Spring 2007 Schedule

WORCESTER (MA)
College of the Holy Cross

The following films will be shown at Kimball Theatre at the College of the Holy Cross. All films are free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. For additional information, please call the Kimball Theatre Box Office at 508-793-2455. ...

Deliver Us From Evil - Not rated
Wed., March 21: Showings at 3 and 8 p.m. This scalding documentary tells us about Father Oliver O’Grady who raped dozens of children across central California for 20 years and was knowingly moved by his diocese from parish to parish. We hear from victims, theologians, child abuse experts and O’Grady himself, now living free in Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:57 PM

David France, Author of 'Our Fathers: The Secret Life of the Catholic Church in the Age of Scandal,' to Speak at Rutgers on Aftermath of Church Crisis

NEW JERSEY
Rutgers

New Brunswick, NJ - David France, author of “Our Fathers: The Secret Life of the Catholic Church in the Age of Scandal (Broadway Books, 2005),” will present “The People and the Church: Five Years Later” at the Rutgers Student Center, 126 College Ave., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Tuesday, March 20 at 8 p.m.

The free public program, an in-depth look at the fallout from the pedophilia scandal that rocked the Church in 2002, will be held in the Multipurpose Room. It will include a reception and book signing following the lecture.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Attorney general to release audit of diocese next month

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Concord Monitor

By PHILIP ELLIOTT
The Associated Press

March 19. 2007 8:00AM

The annual, independent audit of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester is complete, and the state's attorney general's office is preparing to release the results next month.

Under a 2002 agreement, the diocese agreed to annual checks in exchange for avoiding criminal prosecution. The 2006 report should be ready for public release in mid- to late-April, Senior Assistant Attorney General Will Delker said.

"We're in the process of finalizing it," Delker said, noting that the first audit was released last year and the current results are in draft format. He declined to discuss the audit's findings but said new abuse allegations were made against priests last year.

Diocesan leaders "continue to get new allegations, and some - if not most - involve priests who we already knew about," including some who have died, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Catholic women hear O'Malley's call

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By David Abel, Globe Staff | March 19, 2007

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley called on thousands of Catholic women in Boston yesterday to stand up for their values, particularly when men's voices do not carry as much currency.

"You have a credibility, just by being women, to speak about life, marriage, and family that oftentimes is not accorded to priests and bishops," he said. "The church is counting on our women to speak that word. I ask you to be courageous."

More than 4,000 women crowded into the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center for the second Boston Catholic Women's Conference, surpassing the number of men at a similar conference on Saturday. Local parishioners started the men's event three years ago in response to O'Malley's call for the faithful to help rebuild and strengthen the church, which had been mired in the clergy sexual abuse scandal and a severe financial crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Unnerving Touch

MARYLAND
Baltimore Jewish Times

Phil Jacobs
Executive Editor

MARCH 16, 2007

There was plenty of herring, whitefish salad, pastries and crackers to go around. There was coffee and for those that wanted, wine.

Blessings were said over food and drinks.

Collective "amens" responded.

About 10 men sat on chairs around two tables. They all seemed to be friends. They ranged in age from their 20s to 50s.

There was a D'var Torah given over the week's portion Ki Tissa. It was a chabura or gathering after shul in this Pikesville home.

Many of the men had something in common that made this group unique here. Several told about the sexual or physical abuse they had endured over the years as students at one of the area yeshivas. It wasn't a one-time get-together. Some of them have been friends since childhood. They know one another's stories almost by heart. Some tell their stories, because it feels good to know they weren't the only victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 AM

Loyalty of FLDS Towns' Police Questioned

ARIZONA
Forbes

By JENNIFER DOBNER 03.18.07, 10:05 PM ET

Police academy officials will meet here Monday to consider whether town marshals who patrol a polygamist enclave on the Arizona-Utah border should be stripped of their badges on accusations that they revere their religious leader more than the law.

Utah authorities say officers in tiny Colorado City, Ariz., are members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and are more loyal to its leader, Warren Jeffs, than to their badges and their oath of office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 AM

March 18, 2007

Healing the church

AUSTIN (TX)
American-Statesman

By Eileen E. Flynn
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Monday, March 19, 2007

Five years after revelations of widespread sex abuse and cover-up rocked the Catholic Church, Austin Bishop Gregory Aymond will report on the church's progress and challenges Tuesday at Georgetown University in Washington.

Aymond leads the Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and has become known for his progressive approach to weeding out problem priests, observers say.

"What we thought were safe environments were not always safe," Aymond said. "In the Catholic Church, it's not enough to have a safe environment; we have to have a faith environment where we really are like the arms of Jesus, who says to the children, 'Come unto me.' "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 PM

Gates priest back in court Wednesday

GATES (NY)
Democrat & Chronicle

Ernst Lamothe Jr.
Staff writer

(March 18, 2007) — GATES — The Rev. John J. Steger is to be back in Gates Town Court on Wednesday, facing four misdemeanor charges involving a 12-year-old girl.

Steger, a priest at St. Jude the Apostle Church in Gates, was arrested in May 2006 and was accused of inappropriately touching the girl in late April and early May. He has been on administrative leave since the arrest.

Police learned of the allegations after the girl reported two incidents to her parents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Sex abuse bills leave diocese fearing a cash crisis

IRELAND
Irish Independent

THE Diocese of Ferns is facing a cash crisis over the huge cost of meeting sexual abuse compensation claims.

The Government is still to settle a €2.7m legal bill and other costs.

Diocesan Finance Officer Eugene Doyle claims the situation is a major obstacle in the planned solution to paying outstanding settlements.

After the Ferns and Birmingham inquiries, Mr Justice Frank Murphy said the Diocese of Ferns should get its legal costs. The then Minister for Health asked for the diocese to submit the fees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

Kaavya on Harvard's embarrassing grads list

CAMBRIDGE (MA)
India eNews

From correspondents in New York, United States, 12:32 PM IST
The Harvard University is in the spotlight with the release of the annual list of its most embarrassing graduates and students, which includes Kaavya Viswanathan, a student of Indian origin.

Apart from Kaavya, who was caught for plagiarism, the list includes former Cardinal Bernard Law, accused of protecting child-molesting priests, said pagesix.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

A bad transfer deal that only got worse

IRELAND
Sunday Business Post

18 March 2007
Five years after the religious orders promised to transfer €80 million of property to the state, to help foot the bill for child abuse, the value of the properties transferred has fallen well short of the target, reports Political Correspondent Pat Leahy.

Five years after the religious orders promised to transfer €80 million of property to the state, to help foot the bill for child abuse, the value of the properties transferred has fallen well short of the target, reports Political Correspondent Pat Leahy.

When Taoiseach Bertie Ahern made his apology on behalf of the state to the victims of physical and sexual abuse in residential institutions in 1999, it was accepted in government that a compensation scheme would ultimately follow.

Since the foundation of the state, the authorities had effectively subcontracted the job of caring for some children - typically orphans, children whose parents could not care for them and those who had come to the attention of the law - to certain religious orders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Church lands fall short on state abuse bill

IRELAND
Sunday Business Post

18 March 2007

By Pat Leahy, Political Correspondent
Only a small number of properties handed over to the state by the Catholic Church to part-fund the bill for the victims of physical and sexual abuse in religious institutions have yielded any financial gain for the exchequer.

Only a small number of properties handed over to the state by the Catholic Church to part-fund the bill for the victims of physical and sexual abuse in religious institutions have yielded any financial gain for the exchequer.

The state agreed to accept properties worth €80 million five years ago to cover the compensation bill for abuse victims, but the list of properties obtained by The Sunday Business Post mostly comprises schools, playing fields, community resources and healthcare facilities.

Many of these were previously maintained by the state.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

MUSIC DIRECTOR Rehab goal: Reduce jail time

GREENWICH (CT)
Greenwich Times

By Martin B. Cassidy
Staff Writer

Published March 18 2007

As the former Christ Church music director receives treatment at a Minnesota facility for male sex offenders, his lawyer said he hoped that the organist's efforts will win him a lighter sentence for possession of child pornography.

This week a federal judge allowed Robert Tate, 65, to be transferred from a Philadelphia facility to a Minnesota-based hospital, Alpha Human Services, which treats sexually deviant behavior on a long-term basis.

"Mr. Tate has voluntarily entered into long-term in-patient treatment at Alpha Human Services," said Francis L. O'Reilly of the Bridgeport firm O'Reilly & Shaw. "It is our hope that the sentencing court will take Mr. Tate's extraordinary efforts at rehabilitating himself into consideration at the time of his sentencing."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

Abuse claim deadline set in Davenport diocese

DAVENPORT (IA)
Des Moines Register

March 18, 2007

A federal bankruptcy judge set a July 16 deadline for people to file claims of sexual abuse by priests against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport.

The diocese, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall, is selling some of its property to settle the claims.

As part of the bankruptcy case, Judge Lee Jackwig of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa on Wednesday also ordered the church to issue several public notices about the deadline and the process for filing a claim.

A previous date for filing claims was set in February and was extended at the request of the diocese and a creditors' committee to provide more time to find others who claim they were sexually abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

S.D. diocese follows lead of others in bankruptcy

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Bruce V. Bigelow
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
March 18, 2007

When the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego filed for bankruptcy last month, Bishop Robert H. Brom invoked the patrons San Diego and Our Lady of Refuge for guidance.

But the bishop and his lawyers won't exactly be walking through darkness and uncertainty during their journey through Chapter 11 reorganization.

The path has become well-worn over the past 25 years by scores of U.S. companies that determined Chapter 11 was the best way to consolidate and manage the potentially runaway costs posed by a host of related personal injury lawsuits.

Brom acknowledged as much in a statement he issued with the Feb. 28 bankruptcy filing, which came just hours before trial was scheduled to begin in the first of about 150 lawsuits alleging clerical sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Diocese: Bankruptcy does not derail plans for Catholic high school in North County

CALIFORNIA
North County Gazette

By: TERI FIGUEROA - Staff Writer

NORTH COUNTY ---- An attorney for the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego said last week that the diocese's recent bankruptcy filing will not scuttle longtime plans to build a Catholic high school in North County.

However, there are no solid plans in place for when the school, which is slated to be called Pax Christi, would break ground or even where it might be built.

Church officials have included Pax Christi in their plans for high school construction for a few years, but the recent bankruptcy filing by the diocese raised the question of whether it would affect plans for the North County campus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Battle with church not likely this year

DENVER (CO)
Denver Post

By Jeri Clausing
Denver Post Capitol Bureau Chief
Article Last Updated: 03/17/2007 11:29:50 PM MDT

Lawmakers have introduced several bills this year to crack down on sexual predators. Missing, however, are the controversial proposals that sparked last year's ugly showdown with the Catholic Church.

"It's pretty sad that we want to toughen up the laws on chaining up big trucks but we don't want to toughen the laws on child abuse," said Matt Cortez, a 46-year-old Denver man who says he was abused by a Pueblo priest when he was a boy.

Cortez is among the victims who last year publicly backed bills by Rep. Gwyn Green and Senate President Joan Fitz-Gerald that would have made it easier for adults who were molested as children to sue the institutions that harbored their abusers.

The Catholic church responded with an intense, expensive and successful lobbying campaign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Hunger for faith draws many to Boston event

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Sean P. Murphy and Charles A. Radin, Globe Staff | March 18, 2007

Braving the aftermath of the winter's first major snowstorm and a crisis that has chipped away at support for the Catholic Church, more than 3,000 Catholic men gathered yesterday in Boston hoping to deepen their faith through fellowship, music, prayer, and confession.

It was the Boston Catholic Men's Conference, an event created by parishioners three years ago in response to Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley's call for the faithful to help rebuild and strengthen a church reeling from the clergy sexual abuse scandal and a severe financial crisis. ...

"Five years ago, scandal erupted here in Boston. It was definitely the lowest point in the history of the church in our area," Scot Landry , chief development officer of the Archdiocese of Boston and a co founder of the conference, said in his address to the conference yesterday.

"In those dark days five years ago, many would not have thought that conferences like this were possible," Landry told a sea of men seated in the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, many of whom arrived at the all-day event after pre dawn snow shoveling.

"Yet, five years later, all of us are here," said Landry, who spoke in tandem with his identical twin brother, Roger , pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in New Bedford.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

UPDATE: Ex-Gonzaga Priest Removed From Ministry Faces 5 More Sexual Misconduct Complaints

MARYLAND
Washington Post

By Michelle Boorstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, March 18, 2007; Page C02

The Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus has received five new complaints about a Jesuit priest who was removed from the ministry last year because of sexual misconduct.

The new complaints have come since Jan. 29, when Jesuit officials sent hundreds of letters to people who had been around the Rev. H. Cornell Bradley -- a former administrator and teacher at Gonzaga College High School, province spokeswoman Kate Pipkin said. Former students, colleagues and parishioners are among those who received the letter.

Bradley was removed from the ministry in January 2006 after the province found "credible" evidence of sexual misconduct involving an adult male in the 1980s, according to the letter. But after receiving another complaint late last year of sexual misconduct involving a minor from 1973, the province put out the letter to elicit any unknown complaints about him. Bradley said he was "unable to deny the allegations" from 1973, according to the letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 AM

In Support of SB575

MARYLAND
Bishop Accountability

By David Lorenz
Testimony before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Subcommittee
Annapolis MD
March 1, 2007

I am a practicing Catholic who is very dedicated to my faith, my religious heritage, and my Church. I am deeply involved in the operation of my Church and volunteer countless hours in helping my Catholic Community of Faith. I am a father of four children and have been married to my wife, Judy, for nearly 25 years. I am also a survivor of child rape that was committed at the hands of a priest in Kentucky. I will use the word rape because that is what it was. It was not child abuse – that sounds so antiseptic. When you hear the words child abuse throughout the rest of the other victims’ testimony, I want you to understand it for what it was – rape.
When I was almost 11 years old and nearing the end of my 6th grade at a grade school in Northern Kentucky, I was recruited to attend a college prep school by a priest, Earl Bierman, who was one of the most charismatic and likable priests that I had ever met in my young life. He was respected by all of the kids and respected by all of the parents. Over the course of the next few years, this priest who was the guidance counselor at the school, became friend and confidant to almost every student in this all male school. It was not uncommon to go see this priest if you were having trouble with your relationships or with your grade. During some of these counseling sessions that I had with him, he would often turn the topic to one of my personal sexual development and under the guise of this discussion would grope and touch me inappropriately. It is only now, as an adult, that I can look back and see how he was probing and grooming me and, as I have learned in later years, many of my fellow students for his dark purposes that none of us nor our parents were aware of. As I got older, it was not uncommon for me and many of my friends to gather at his house. It was also not uncommon for several of us to spend the night. It was during one of these sleep overs, following his farewell party, because he was being transferred out of the area, that he all-out assaulted and abused me and a friend of mine. When it happened, I couldn’t resist, I couldn’t fight back – I was paralyzed. My mind went numb and it all just happened. In some ways it was like it was happening to someone else but it was also happening to me. I couldn’t resist because I was raised to respect adults and teachers and do as I was told. This was especially true if the person was a priest – a holy man of God. Unfortunately, I learned too late that this was no holy man and I had been set up by him and the bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 AM

SB 575: Civil Actions - Child Sexual Abuse - Statute of Limitations

MARYLAND
Bishop Accountability

By Vicki Polin
Executive Director of the Awareness Center
Testimony before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee
Annapolis, MD
March 1, 2007

http://jewishsurvivors.blogspot.com/2007/03/maryland-sb-575-civil-actions-child.html

Pedophilia has no religion. Those who perpetrate sexual offenses come in all shapes, sizes, colors, ages, sexes and religions -- as do the survivors of sex crimes.

We are here today because the current systems in our schools, institutions, organizations, churches, synagogues, mosques and temples do not work to protect our children. Instead our systems appear to be set up to protect the assets of the organizations and institutions, as well as the rights of those who offend; while ignoring the rights of those have been sexually victimized.

My goal today is to provide testimony on behalf the survivors who have contacted The Awareness Center, Inc., many of whom were too afraid to provide their own testimony in fear of retaliation. The Awareness Center is the International Jewish Coalition Against Sexual Abuse/Assault. Our world headquarters is located in Baltimore, MD.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 AM

Confrontation Leads to Discipline for Priest

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Bishop Accountability

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 6, 2007

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/
laworder/story/8AD2304A7786D38F8625727A0017F3B5?
OpenDocument&highlight=2%2C%22archdiocese%22

The St. Louis Archdiocese will discipline a visiting priest at St. Ambrose Church in connection with his confrontation Jan. 28 with a member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, an Archdiocese spokesperson said Monday.

St. Louis police issued a court summons accusing the Rev. Andrew Pinsent of peace disturbance for allegedly placing his hands on the shoulders of SNAP's Barb Dorris and taking fliers she had. Dorris had been distributing fliers in front of St. Ambrose to parishioners arriving for Mass, informing them of SNAP's concern about two priests who had served briefly there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 AM

March 17, 2007

Editorial: Abuse cases warrant special time limit

MINNESOTA
Star Tribune

Published: March 17, 2007

State Sen. Gary Kubly, DFL-Granite Falls, is also the Rev. Gary Kubly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In that latter role, he's been a pastoral counselor to two adults whose behavioral and psychological problems can be traced to sexual abuse they experienced as a child.

"This kind of abuse has a hugely traumatic effect," Kubly said. "It's fairly common that the victims don't come to grips with the damage it's done until much later in life, as much as 30 years later."

Minnesota statutes once acknowledged those two unique characteristics of childhood sexual abuse -- that it leaves deep scars on the developing human psyche, and that the source of those scars is often slow to be recognized by troubled adults. The law should again reflect that reality. This year, the Legislature should reinstate a special statute of limitations for delayed discovery of damages caused by childhood sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 PM

Carlsbad congregation to vote on safety policy

CALIFORNIA
Union-Tribune

By Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
March 17, 2007

Mark Pliska said he didn't want to go to church keeping secrets. It takes too much energy to hide the past. What he needed was support.

When he moved to San Diego County in December, he told the pastor of the church he wanted to attend that he was a convicted child molester and registered sex offender.

“My reason for doing that was to keep myself safe and the church safe,” Pliska said in an interview yesterday.

He also wanted the congregation at Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad to “know that I'm not this monster that the press keeps portraying sex offenders as. There are those of us who are trying to change and put our lives together and be acceptable members of society.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Action & acceptance

MISSOURI
Columbia Missourian

By MEGAN LOUISE ROWE

When Broadway Christian Church became aware that a member of its congregation was a convicted sex offender in 2000, it made a decision to implement a policy that would allow the church to welcome convicted sex offenders without endangering children and youth.

As part of the policy, Broadway Christian Church checks the names of its congregants and visitors against the Boone County Sex Offender Registration list.

Currently, two convicted sex offenders are members of the church. The church has provided information about the men to its members and visitors, along with photographs and a copy of the church’s youth-protection policy. None of the men’s crimes involved members of Broadway Christian Church, said associate minister Kim Ryan.

A growing number of churches are implementing policies designed to protect children from sexual abuse by clergy and adult congregants. Since the Catholic priest sex scandals, some insurance companies that underwrite coverage for churches are requiring such policies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Former girls coach jailed on underage sex charge

BOCA RATON (FL)
Palm Beach Post

By Stephanie Slater And Lona O'Connor
Palm Beach Post Staff Writers

Saturday, March 17, 2007

BOCA RATON — A former athletic director and girls basketball coach at Pope John Paul II High School was arrested early Friday, accused of performing a sexual act on one of his underage players in May 2003, authorities said.

Brian Taylor, 28, is alleged to have inappropriately touched the girl on her 16th birthday while they were in his parked car outside a restaurant west of Delray Beach.

Taylor, of Boca Raton, is charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor. He is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail pending a court appearance this morning.

After talking to two other former players, authorities said Taylor used remarkably similar techniques for escalating relationships. Text messages from Taylor to the girls went from casual to sexual. He met them in parking lots and had sexual encounters with two girls on separate occasions outside the same Boca Raton nursing home. He asked at least one girl to promise not to tell anyone because it would "ruin his career," she told authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Priest scandal: Hope of healing seems years off

UNITED STATES
The Pueblo Chieftain

Marvin Read

As the Roman Catholic Church - locally, nationally and globally - continues to struggle with the mess of the pedophilia scandal, most observers can do little more than shrug their shoulders, roll their eyes and ask, "Why, why . . . ”

Sexual abuse of children, the helpless and defenseless, is nothing new. It dates to humankind's beginning and will last to the planet's end. It is a part of human nature's black side, whether in matters sexual or otherwise, that the powerful will take advantage of the weak.

That the experience is common and ages old does not temper its evil or excuse its perpetrators, and there is something additionally perverse that men of the cloth, to whom has been entrusted much by parishioners and congregants, would surreptitiously and selfishly abuse innocent children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Book puts clergy abuse scandal in broader context

UNITED STATES
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
March 16, 2007

Paul Likoudis, news editor for the The Wanderer, is, in my opinion, one of the best Catholic journalists around.

In 2002, Likoudis published a book titled Amchurch Comes Out: The U.S. Bishops, Pedophile Scandals, and the Homosexual Agenda, and it is still timely.

Says Likoudis:

"The importance and uniqueness of this book is that it puts the clerical sex abuse crisis in (recent) historical perspective, but puts the physical sex abuse perpetrated on young boys and girls as just a part of a broader type of institutional abuse, such as perversion of the liturgy, naturalistic sex education, pro-homosexual propaganda in catechesis and Church ministries, and so on."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Real reform eludes American Catholics

TEMPE (AZ)
East Valley Tribune

Lawn Griffiths, Tribune
American Catholics who want the Vatican to adopt reforms won’t be effective until they find an ear in Rome, says an investigative writer whose books about clergy sexual abuse were a factor in Pope Benedict XVI’s removal last May of the founder of the Legion of Christ.

Bishops across the U.S. are working hard to ensure that procedures are in place to prevent abuse and catch abusers, said Jason Berry, co-author of “Vows of Silence: The Abuse of Power in the Papacy of John Paul II.”

“The greater problem is in Rome, and I think the greater challenge to the reform movement of Catholics in the United States is to establish dialogue with officials in Rome and get the right information to them so they will be forced to reckon with the flawed responses that they have made,” he said.

Berry will speak March 24 in Tempe to Catholics involved in Call to Action, the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, and Voice of the Faithful, all of which have criticized the Roman Catholic Church, at all levels, for ineffectively stemming sexual abuse of children, primarily by priests, going back decades. Some groups have pressed for an end to mandatory celibacy, a greater role of lay people in decision-making, permitting priests to marry and allowing women in the priesthood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Ex-priest denies sex abuse charge

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Contra Costa Times

ASSOCIATED PRESS
LOS ANGELES - A former Catholic priest already accused in a child molestation case pleaded not guilty Friday to separate charges of having sex with a 15-year-old boy.

Michael Stephen Baker, 59, was arraigned on an amended felony complaint that includes one count of oral copulation of a person under 18, one count of sexual penetration of an unconscious person with a foreign object and three counts of sodomy of a person under 18.

A gray-bearded Baker, who wore an orange, jail-issued jumpsuit, appeared in court but looked down for most of the hearing. He was being held on $800,000 bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

March 16, 2007

Church's pastor, wife and treasurer arrested on theft charges

TUCSON (AZ)
Arizona Daily Star

Tucson, Arizona | Published: 03.16.2007

The pastor of a church, his wife and the church treasurer were arrested on suspicion of theft last week after officials say they withdrew more than $100,000 from the church's bank account.

According to court documents filed Thursday, Jose C. Galvan, 37, served as pastor at the Iglesia De Dios Sinai since 2000 until he was told that he was being suspended from his position Feb. 22.

At that time Galvan decided to sever all ties with the Church of God denomination and told the governing board that he was entitled to all property acquired while he was pastor, the court documents state. He was told that he was not entitled to anything as he was nothing more than an employee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

Former priest pleads not guilty to child molestation charges

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Monterey Herald

Associated Press
LOS ANGELES - A former Catholic priest already accused in a child molestation case pleaded not guilty Friday to separate charges of having sex with a 15-year-old boy.

Michael Stephen Baker, 59, was arraigned on an amended felony complaint that includes one count of oral copulation of a person under 18, one count of sexual penetration of an unconscious person with a foreign object and three counts of sodomy of a person under 18.

A gray-bearded Baker, who wore an orange jail-issued jumpsuit, appeared in court but looked down for most of the hearing. He was being held on $800,000 bail.

Prosecutors alleged Baker had sex with a 15-year-old boy between March 1996 and September 1998 and accused the former priest of fondling the boy and sodomizing him after the youth fell asleep.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 PM

APD: Diocese Employee Embezzled $60,000

AUSTIN (TX)
KXAN

Austin Police Department detectives said they know who embezzled $60,000 from the needy within the Catholic Diocese of Austin.

Leo Anchondo was in charge of the diocese's Office of Immigrant Concerns from 2001 to 2005. It helped immigrants with paperwork and legal issues for about $25.

Over the years KXAN interviewed Anchondo about immigrant affairs, such as how often they were robbed of their money.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 PM

Catholic official charged with theft

AUSTIN (TX)
American-Statesman

By Eileen E. Flynn
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Friday, March 16, 2007

Austin police have issued an arrest warrant for Leo Anchondo, a former Austin Catholic leader who rose from his position helping immigrants in Central Texas to working for immigration reform on a national stage.

Anchondo, 34, is accused of stealing more than $60,000 from Immigrant Concerns, an office within the Catholic Charities of Central Texas, said Helen Osman, a spokeswoman for the diocese. He left his job as director of that office in 2005 to become national manager of the Justice for Immigrants campaign created by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

"The fact that someone could take advantage of their position, especially when working for the church, is upsetting," Osman said. "We intend to cooperate fully with the police in trying to understand what exactly happened."

Anchondo, identified in the warrant as Leopoldo Anchondo Cerros, could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

Former diocese employee charged with theft

AUSTIN (TX)
KVUE

05:44 PM CDT on Thursday, March 15, 2007

By JIM BERGAMO
KVUE News

A former employee of the Catholic Diocese of Austin has been charged with theft, after an audit revealed he had embezzled as much as $60,000.

Four and a half years ago, the diocese put Leopoldo Anchondo Cerros in charge of the Office of Immigrant Concerns (OIC).

The purpose was to assist recent immigrants in their pursuit of legal documents, citizenship and other things for a standard fee of about $25.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

PETALUMA: CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL DEAN DISMISSED FOR 'INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR'

PETALUMA (CA)
CBS 5

The dean of students at St. Vincent de Paul High School was dismissed Monday because of alleged inappropriate behavior with a student, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa confirmed today.

Diocese spokeswoman Deirdre Frontczak and the Catholic high school's principal John Walker said dean Jeff Dvorak was at the school two years.

Frontczak said the student was at least 18 years old and Petaluma police "determined whatever occurred was consensual.''

"It may have been inappropriate but it was not a crime,'' Frontczak said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 PM

Woman refutes extortion claim

PHILIPPINES
Sun.Star

By Jay Dooma Balnig

THE 25-year-old rape complainant against a priest on Thursday refuted the claim of the latter in his counter-affidavit, saying she never needed his money.

"Nening" claimed that she did not extort money Reverend Father Martin Alarcon, contrary to earlier accusations.

She said her father and brother are working abroad so her family is well-provided for and she would not ask anyone Alarcon for money.

Alarcon, in his counter-affidavit, asserted that the woman visited him and asked for P40,000 for her to emigrate to Korea, where her Korean student, allegedly her boyfriend, lives now.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

'My faith and my God has kept me strong,' Fr. Alarcon says as rape charge hangs

PHILIPPINES
The News Today

By Florence F. Hibionada

"Prayers have been my way of life yet more than ever, I have made it the center of my existence."

Such were the words of Fr. Martin Alarcon, a day after he came out in public to officially counter the rape charges filed by a self-confessed girlfriend. Stripped by the Jaro Archdiocese with his church duties as assistant parish priest of the Sta. Teresa de Avila in Carles, Iloilo, the 31 year-old Catholic priest denied all accusations particularly the romantic and sexual relations with the 25 year-old complainant.

In a two-paged affidavit released to The News Today (TNT), Fr. Alarcon began with a vehement and strong denial on the two counts of rape which was alleged to have occurred February 1 and February 6 of this year.

He then went on to disclose supposed persistence of the complainant to locate his whereabouts prior to the rape charge as backed by a separate affidavit of a male witness. And she wanted a loan of P40,000, Fr. Alarcon revealed, "according to her she would spend said amount in going to Korea to follow a Korean citizen that she tutored in the English language. I told her that I cannot give her such big amount and further told her not to bother me anymore."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Pastor with 'huge' exposure to prison rejects plea offer

HARTFORD (CT)
Journal Inquirer

By: Heather Nann Collins, Journal Inquirer
03/16/2007

Despite DNA testing that a prosecutor says proves to a near certainty that Hartford preacher Modesto Reyes fathered an 11-year-old girl's child, Reyes on Thursday refused a plea deal that would have sent him to prison for 15 years.

Instead, Reyes - who is charged with multiple counts of first- and second-degree sexual assault and risk of injury to a child - will take his chances with a jury.

It was a decision that Hartford Superior Court Judge Thomas P. Miano wanted Reyes, 52, to understand carries with it the possibility that he could be locked up for many, many years.

"Your exposure to prison is huge," Miano reminded Reyes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

A dramatic take on abuse and the Catholic Church

PAWTUCKET (RI)
Providence Journal

01:00 AM EDT on Sunday, March 18, 2007

By Channing Gray
Journal Arts Writer

When the play Sin: A Cardinal Deposed opened in the Boston area in the spring of 2004, it was announced that a talk-back session would take place after the performance.

No one left the theater. Sin, which deals with the molestation scandal that rocked the Catholic Church in Boston, had come home to roost.

Now it comes to Rhode Island, starting previews this week at Pawtucket’s Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre.

In the tradition of such docudramas as The Laramie Project and Anna Deavere Smith’s take on the Crown Heights riots, playwright Michael Murphy has boiled down 1,000 pages of testimony taken from depositions of former Boston Cardinal Bernard F. Law. The show also features letters from the mothers of abuse victims and other material taken from church files.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

The Defrocking of Fr. Timothy Blumentritt

NEW YORK
Orthodox Reform

March 16, 2007 |
Fr. Timothy Blumentritt, accused of sexual abuse in a lawsuit recently filed against OCA’s St. Vladimir’s Seminary, was suspended and deposed in 2005.

The Nov/Dec. 2005 edition of “The Orthodox Church” (an OCA publication) lists him as suspended in June:

SUSPENDED

BLUMENTRITT, The Rev. Timothy, who was attached to Three Hierarchs Chapel, St. Vladimir’s Seminary, Crestwood, NY, is suspended from all priestly duties / June 28, 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 AM

Pastor denies slapping woman to get sex

UNITED KINGDOM
ic Cheshire

Mar 16 2007

By Richard Fletcher, Chester Chronicle

A PASTOR who allegedly wanted sex with a 'petrified' woman is said to have repeatedly slapped her to try to make her submit.

Chester Crown Court was told yesterday that Yves Aristide Nahangame, 31, allegedly intended to rape the 26-year-old after she returned to his house in Ermine Road, Hoole.

Nahangame's housemate Thomas Henshaw said he heard a 'violent' argument and called police when he heard slapping and crying.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

Final claim date set for Davenport diocese bankruptcy

DAVENPORT (IA)
KWWL

DAVENPORT, Iowa A federal bankruptcy judge has set a July 16th deadline for people to file claims of sexual abuse by priests against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport.

The diocese, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall, is selling some of its property to settle the claims.

The deadline, originally set for last month, was extended at the request of both the diocese and a creditors' committee to provide more time to find others who claim they were sexually abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

More Tough Questions on Katinas Situation

DALLAS (TX)
Orthodox Reform

March 15, 2007 |
Further tough questions are being raised by the The National Herald regarding how the Katinas situation has been handled:

While it’s true that stories like these tarnish the Church’s image, a priest who is accused of committing such heinous crimes, and who might also have a history of doing so, should not be transferred from community to community, unsettling the lives of entire families and congregations, as was the case with some Catholic priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Civil suit filed against former priest

TULSA (OK)
KTEN

TULSA, Okla. The family of a Tulsa-area boy who says he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest when he was 9 filed a civil lawsuit in Illinois today against him and the Diocese of Tulsa.

The suit, which seeks damages more than 50-thousand-dollars, alleges that in 2001, the Reverend Kenneth Lewis abused the boy during a family trip to Chicago.

David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says that Lewis, who attended seminary in the area, traveled there with the family to show them the city.

Both the boy, now 14 or 15, and his parents still live in the Tulsa area and are not named in the suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Hartford pastor rejects plea deal in sexual assault case

HARTFORD (CT)
WTNH

Posted Mar. 16, 2007
6:15 AM

(Hartford-AP)_ The pastor of a Hartford church has rejected a plea deal on charges of sexual assault involving an eleven-year-old member of his congregation.

Fifty-two-year-old Modesto Reyes is charged with sexually assaulting and impregnating the girl. He has turned down an offer to plead guilty to sexual assault charges in exchange for a prison term of 15 years.

Reyes, who is charged with four counts of first-degree sexual assault, has repeatedly maintained his innocence. Reyes rejected the plea offer yesterday and the case has been placed on the trial list. No trial date has been set.

Reyes is pastor of Iglesia De Dios, Cristo Te Llama church on Broad Street. He was arrested in June of 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Archdiocesan warning on clergyman urged

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By MARIE ROHDE
mrohde@journalsentinel.com
Posted: March 15, 2007
A group of survivors of sexual abuse by clergy is calling on Archbishop Timothy Dolan to release the record of an excommunicated priest who is scheduled to be ordained as a bishop in a church he started near Dousman.

In July 2004, Dolan announced that S. Joseph Collova may not function as a Roman Catholic priest because he was one of 43 priests named by the church as having been implicated by credible evidence of abuse.

"We call on Archbishop Dolan to protect those who could be abused by this man and to alert the community to the danger he presents," said Peter Isely, regional director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. "Father Collova's story is emblematic of the problem in the state of Wisconsin."

Kathleen Hohl, a spokeswoman for the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese, said Collova was excommunicated by Dolan after publicity when Collova joined another denomination and formed a church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Sexual abuse victims backed

RALEIGH (NC)
News & Observer

By Martha Quillin, Staff Writer
A victims advocacy group says people shouldn't immediately rally around teachers and others accused of molesting children because it will discourage other victims of sexual abuse from coming forward.

The Raleigh chapter of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, held a news conference Thursday to discuss public response to the recent arrest of a teacher at Cardinal Gibbons High School. Justin David Scranton, 33, was arrested Feb. 28 on charges that he took indecent liberties with a female student.

About a dozen people, including family members, students and parents of students, attended Scranton's first court appearance March 1 in his support. Some said they did not believe the charges.

A search warrant in the case said Scranton told police he had acted inappropriately with the student, though it did not report how. Scranton has been suspended pending an investigation and is not allowed on campus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Trial set for wife of deacon

PINEVILLE (MO)
Neosho Daily News

By John Ford / Daily News Associate Editor
Published: Thursday, March 15, 2007 4:47 PM CDT

PINEVILLE - A jury trial has been set for the wife of a Powell church deacon who is facing a child sexual abuse charge.

Trial for Laura Epling has been set for Oct. 9 in the McDonald County Circuit Court with Fortieth Circuit Court Judge Timothy Perigo presiding.

A pre-trial conference has been set for 10 a.m. June 5, also in the McDonald County Circuit Court with Perigo presiding.

Epling's charges stem from allegations made by a young woman, now 19, who testified that when she was 16, the older woman walked in on her and Raymond Lambert, pastor of Grand Valley Independent Baptist Church near Powell, while she was performing oral sex on the pastor. She said the older woman showed her how to perform the act, then took over and later had sex with the pastor while the teen watched.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:23 AM

Okla. priest, bishop face sex abuse lawsuit here

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

March 16, 2007
BY RUMMANA HUSSAIN Staff Reporter
The parents of a 14-year-old Oklahoma boy filed a civil lawsuit here Thursday, accusing a Catholic priest of molesting their son at an Evanston hotel six years ago.

The Rev. Kenneth Lewis, who graduated from St. Mary of the Lake Mundelein Seminary, had been under fire for his alleged misconduct with other minors and had been ordered to undergo treatment by Tulsa Diocese Bishop Edward Slattery well before the 2001 incident, the lawsuit maintains.

Resigned in '02

But Slattery, also named as a defendant, still allowed Lewis to travel with the boy and his parents, who had flown to the Midwest to look at potential colleges for their daughter, according to Peter Isely, the Midwest director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:09 AM

Ferns Diocese facing cash crisis due to abuse payouts

IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Friday, March 16, 2007

The Diocese of Ferns is reportedly facing a cash crisis as a result of sexual abuse compensation claims.

Reports this morning say the diocese has already agreed settlements worth €4.7m with 30 victims and could eventually face a final bill of around €10m.

On top of this, the State has yet to pay a legal bill totalling €2.7m incurred by the diocese during official inquiries into sex abuse, despite being ordered to do so by the courts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 AM

March 15, 2007

Raleigh Bishop Meets With Victim Advocates

RALEIGH (NC)
NBC 17

Carolyn Costello
NBC17 Weekend Anchor, Reporter

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Victims of alleged priest sexual abuse gathered outside the Raleigh Diocese offices Thursday to show support for a Cardinal Gibbons High School student who says she was abused by her coach.

The press conference turned into a heated conversation with Diocese officials and ended in a meeting with the city's new bishop.

A Raleigh Diocese spokesman was put on the defensive when he came outside Thursday morning to invite victim advocates inside to sit down with Bishop Michael Burbidge.

The group says the Raleigh Diocese, which has reported more than a dozen cases of priest sexual abuse in the past, hasn't done enough to reach out to victims. And they don't believe the church officials have taken recent allegations against a teacher at Cardinal Gibbons High School seriously.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 PM

Bishop to meet with advocates for abuse victims

RALEIGH (NC)
News & Observer

By Martha Quillin, Staff Writer
RALEIGH - The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Raleigh today agreed to meet with a group that advocates for the victims of sexual abuse by church leaders.

Marigrace Labella, leader of the Raleigh chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, held a news conference this morning with several SNAP members outside the diocese office to complain that the church hasn’t taken seriously allegations of sexual abuse. Among other things, Labella said that Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, who took office in August, refused to meet with the group to discuss problems.

During the event, diocese spokesman Frank Morock came outside and told Labella that Burbridge would meet briefly with her and SNAP member David Barciz to try and arrange a longer meeting later.

“That’s a good first step,” Labella said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

Las Vegas priest pleads not guilty in attempted murder, sex case

LAS VEGAS (NV)
KESQ

LAS VEGAS A Roman Catholic priest pleaded not guilty today to charges he beat and sexually assaulted a female soloist at a southern Nevada parish office.

No bail was set for Father George Chaanine -- who's been jailed since his arrest February first near Phoenix after nearly a week on the run.

A court hearing master accepted Chaanine's plea and set a date next Thursday for a Clark County District Court judge to schedule trial and consider bail.

Chaanine faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted of seven felony charges including attempted murder, sexual assault, kidnapping and battery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

St. Vladimir’s Seminary Sued on Charges of Sexual Abuse

NEW YORK
Orthodox Reform

March 13, 2007 |

Eric Iliff, a former seminarian at the OCA’s St. Vladimir’s Seminary, is suing for damages exceeding $10 million. Iliff claims to have been sexually abused from 2003 to 2006 by Fr. Timothy Blumentritt, an Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology at the Seminary.

This lawsuit is a topic of discussion this week’s OCA Metropolitan Council meeting in Syosset, NY. ...

Download the complaint filed in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Has Greek Orthodox Church Learned any Lessons from Roman Catholic Church?

DALLAS (TX)
Orthodox Reform

A National Herald article by Theodore Kalmoukos calls on the Greek Orthodox Church to not make the painful mistakes that have cost the Roman Catholics so dearly:

In light of the upheaval within America’s very large Roman Catholic community, it would be a tragic mistake if the Greek Orthodox Church in America does not learn from the painful and extremely costly experiences of the Roman Catholic Church.

The recent accusations against Father Nicholas Katinas, 72, one of the most prominent priests of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, who enjoyed a successful ministry at the Holy Trinity Church in Dallas, should serve as a wakeup call for our Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 AM

That Orthodox scandal

DALLAS (TX)
Beliefnet

Rod Dreher

Remember when I said the other day that our newsroom was looking into an Orthodox scandal? It's on the DMN's front page today: the longtime pastor of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church here in Dallas has been suspended from ministry after church officials found, "There is no doubt that Father Nicholas engaged in serious moral transgressions." The alleged abuse of minors occurred decades ago in a parish elsewhere, according to national church officials, though there has been an accusation from a former altar boy at the Dallas parish who claims to have been abused by the priest in the 1980s.

Questions remain, among them:

1. Why did church officials allow Fr. Nicholas, who is 72, to retire last July, and then days later suspend him from ministry, without telling the Dallas congregation what had happened?

2. Are these two cases the only ones involving this priest?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:33 AM

8 men settle sex-abuse lawsuits

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Thursday, March 15, 2007

ASHBEL S. GREEN
Eight men who claim the Rev. Donald Durand molested them in the 1970s and 1980s reached confidential settlements with the Portland Archdiocese on Wednesday morning.

The surprise agreements came a day after three of the plaintiffs testified during a series of mini-trials in U.S. District Court in Portland.

One man testified that Durand sexually abused him in a cabin near Detroit Lake in the early 1980s. Two former students at St. Francis of Assisi School said Durand punished them by ordering them to wrestle naked in the rectory basement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Group moves to bring attention to abusive priests

PORTLAND (OR)
KATU

By KATU Web Staff
Video

PORTLAND, Ore. - Victims of abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy members are distributing leaflets that list accused abusers.

The members of SNAP, or the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, have listed 18 recently accused priests and nuns on the leaflets they say have received little or no media attention.

They claim the Catholic Church continues to cover up cases and protect abusive clergy members.

Group members say they will be distributing the leaflets at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Popular minister in limbo after launch of civil suit

CANADA
Saanich News

By Brennan Clarke
News staff
bclarke@vicnews.com
Mar 14 2007

In more than two decades of counselling street people trying to turn their lives around, Rev. Al Tysick has often used the phrase “try and take it one day at a time.”

These days, with a $1 million sexual abuse lawsuit hanging over his head, Tysick is trying to heed his own advice.

“I am always telling the people I counsel to take it one day at a time. Now I have to try and live by that,” he said. “It’s like your life’s on hold.”

Earlier this month, an Ontario woman filed a civil lawsuit accusing Tysick of sexually abusing her 17 years ago when he was a director at the Matilda Resource Centre, an outreach centre in eastern Ontario run by the United Church of Canada.

The plaintiff, Jean Perkins, now 45, alleges that Tysick offered her counselling after she admitted being sexually abused while growing up. The claim says the counselling sessions escalated to sexual touching that continued over a two-year period, ending when Tysick became engaged to another woman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Prosecutors say sex offender has violated terms of probation

EDWARDSVILLE (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Leah Thorsen
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
03/15/2007

EDWARDSVILLE — A former Metro-East Lutheran High School teacher convicted of sexually abusing a student disputed on Wednesday a prosecutor's claim that his probation should be revoked for not completing sex-offender counseling. A court hearing was scheduled for next week to decide the matter.

The offender, Michael Vonderohe, who taught art at the private school in Edwardsville, pleaded guilty in 2004 to abusing a 17-year-old girl and was sentenced to three years of probation. He was ordered to give up his teaching certificate and register as a sexual predator on the state's sex offender registry.

Vonderohe also was ordered to undergo sex-offender counseling, although court documents don't give details about what type of counseling he must take part in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

N.H. Catholic diocese issues annual audit on abuse prevention

CONCORD (NH)
Foster's Daily Democrat

By KATHARINE WEBSTER
Associated Press Writer

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) _ The Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester made ''significant progress'' to protect its young people from sexual abuse through better screening and training last year, according to an internal audit released Wednesday.

The Diocesan Review Board said the diocese continues to report abuse allegations to civil authorities, but a church official wouldn't say how many allegations were received or passed along.

''I can tell you that the policy works because we still receive reports of abuse, the vast majority from many years ago,'' said the Rev. Edward Arsenault. ''That's part of the problem of the abuse of minors _ it takes years before people are willing to report this.''

The diocese was criticized in the past for failing to tell authorities about reports of abuse that were not deemed credible or that occurred a long time ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Theological superstar hits town

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

By AEDAN HELMER, SPECIAL TO SUN MEDIA

Hans Kung might not be a household name but in the world of theology he has achieved superstar status.

The influential Christian thinker will bring his controversial brand of philosophy to Ottawa tonight, when he delivers a speech at Dominion-Chalmers United Church on Cooper St. at 7:30 p.m. ...

The symposium will continue through tomorrow, with notable speakers including Eugene Duffy, director of the Western Theological Institute in Galway, Ireland.

Duffy's lecture will centre around the sexual abuse scandals that continue to plague the Catholic church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

March 14, 2007

Fitzmaurice clarification

PHILLIPS (WI)
THE-BEE

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007 12:08:12 PM

In the article “Former Phillips priest named in federal lawsuit” from the Feb. 8 edition of THE-BEE, it was written that Phillip Aaron, an attorney for a man suing Fr. Terrance Fitzmaurice in the U.S. Federal Court of Northern Illinois, stated that there are possibly 15 additional sexual abuse victims of the priest in Wisconsin.

The statement came from a report filed by Lilia Chacon of WFLD-TV in Chicago, following a demonstration by Aaron and some of his clients in front of the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago on Jan. 29. Aaron also told THE-BEE in a telephone interview after the demonstration that he “heard there were 15 complaints in Wisconsin.”

Attorneys for the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and St. Procopius Benedictine Abbey in Lisle, Ill., along with Fr. Gerald Hagen of St. Therese of Liseaux in Phillips, have called upon THE-BEE to retract the statement concerning the alleged 15 Wisconsin victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:32 PM

OC authorities seek ex-vocal teacher who missed start of trial

SANTA ANA (CA)
Union-Tribune

ASSOCIATED PRESS

9:10 p.m. March 13, 2007

SANTA ANA – A $500,000 warrant has been issued for a former vocal teacher with the All-American Boys Chorus who failed to show up for the start of his trial on child molestation charges, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Roger Alan Giese, 31, of Irvine, was supposed to be in court Monday for his trial on six felony counts involving the alleged molestation of a boy he met in the chorus group. If convicted, Giese faces a maximum sentence of 23 years in prison. ...

He is the second person associated with the chorus to face such accusations. The Rev. Richard Coughlin, a former Catholic priest, was dismissed in 1992 after five men came forward alleging they were molested during the time they sang with the chorus in the 1970s and 1980s. Those lawsuits were settled.

The choir, which was started by a parish priest as a youth project, is no longer affiliated with any religious organization.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 PM

8 priest suits settle

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Posted by The Oregonian March 14, 2007 09:33AM

Eight men who claim Fr. Donald Durand molested them in the 1970s and 1980s reached confidential settlements with the Portland Archdiocese Wednesday morning.

The surprise agreements came a day after three of the plaintiffs testified during two mini-trials in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Durand, who is retired, denies molesting children. A videotape of his denial was played in court.

The settlements leave eight additional cases unresolved. Five of those involve plaintiffs who are representing themselves, and three of them are in prison. Those cases are scheduled to go to trial next week.

Two other sex abuse plaintiffs with attorneys are scheduled for trial on Monday and Tuesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Clarification yes, retraction no

PHILLIPS (WI)
THE-BEE

Sue Mergen
THE-BEE
Wednesday, March 14th, 2007 12:30:18 PM

I have had the fortune of getting to know some of the local Catholic community this week thanks to some misinformation they received in church last weekend. I say that not with sarcasm but truth. I was visited many times this week because the parishioners were looking for answers to many questions they had over the reports recently published in THE BEE. Our reports alleged that there may be an additional 15 victims of abuse by Fr. Terrance Fitzmaurice. The local priest feels as though we should retract that information and has taken it upon him to put together a flyer of his own denouncing the statement. He went so far as to hand it out at church services.

To be honest, that disturbs me quite a bit. One, the lawyer we supposedly misquoted does NOT want a retraction. Two, the Chicago FOX news reporter (25 year news veteran and 5 time Emmy winner) that we received the information from is standing by her report. You may read our clarification, not retraction, on page 3.

We have no desire to upset the Catholic community of Phillips. That would be a mistake in such a small town as ours. We have employees here that are members of that church, our children go to the same school with your children, and we see you everyday. We consider you our friends and loyal customers. All this made it a difficult decision to report on any of the information we have on Fr. Terrance Fitzmaurice. It was also difficult because what we read in the reports and what we printed were actually worlds apart. It was not something you would want to read about and I would not want to publish, it is disturbing to say the least. We did, however, share information we thought was important for the community of Phillips to be aware of. Why, you say, what good does it do? It would be a disservice if we didn’t, if we neglected to report what was going on in Chicago with a former Phillips priest. It would be keeping the people of Phillips in the dark.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

Jury reaches verdict in priest abuse suit against archdiocese

PORTLAND (OR)
The Register-Guard

By Bill Bishop
The Register-Guard
Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2007

PORTLAND - A jury returned a unanimous verdict in less than one hour Tuesday in a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Portland by a Hillsboro man who alleges that he was abused by a Catholic priest 22 years ago.

But the verdict will not be made public for several days. Even then, it will not settle the case.

Instead, it will serve only to help U.S. District Judge Robert Jones decide one question: Is $13.7 million enough money to cover possible jury verdicts in 22 claims against the archdiocese? His answer is pivotal for the church's plan to reorganize its finances, pay 146 sexual abuse claims settled so far, and cover the unsettled claims - without having to sell any church properties to do it.

"This is a very unique proceeding," Jones told the six-person jury, reminding them it is "of vast importance" that they afford the church no special treatment in deciding the facts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 PM

Mom turns in pastor accused of child's rape

SOUTH AFRICA
IOL

March 14 2007 at 08:13AM

A 47-year-old pastor was arrested for allegedly raping his 16-year-old daughter near Thohoyandou, Limpopo police said on Wednesday.

Superintendent Ailwei Mushavhanamadi said it was alleged that the pastor had repeatedly raped the teenager since 1999.

"Is it alleged that her mother had been informed about the abuse but she refused to report the matter."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

Pastor charged in alleged assault

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Sacramento Bee

A south Sacramento pastor was arraigned Tuesday on four felony counts stemming from an alleged sexual assault of a 13-year-old boy at a library last week, prompting a verbal attack from another inmate in the courtroom.

Frederick Deshawn Dew, 34, of Praise Tabernacle church, did not enter a plea to charges of forced oral copulation with a child under 14; two counts of committing lewd and lascivious acts with a child; and a count of attempting to commit lewd acts with a child.

But when Sacramento Superior Court Judge James I. Morris began reading the charges against Dew, another inmate waiting for an unrelated court appearance yelled out an expletive at Dew. When a guard escorted him and another inmate out, the man shouted: "That was little kids, man."

Dew continued to stand stoically in an orange jail jumpsuit and black shirt -- signifying protective custody -- and faced the judge during the minutes-long appearance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

Zimbabwe: Pastor Allegedly Rapes Daughter

ZIMBABWE
AllAfrica.com

The Herald (Harare)

March 14, 2007
Posted to the web March 14, 2007

Harare

A CHURCH of Christ pastor based at Sadza Growth Point in Chikomba District has left members of his local community and parishioners dumbfounded after he allegedly raped his 19-year-old daughter on the pretext of testing her virginity.

The pastor was arrested on February 17 this year after the rape was reported to the police.

Allegations are that the pastor accused his 19-year-old daughter of promiscuity and demanded to know whether she was still a virgin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 PM

Pastor Faces String of Charges in Alleged Molestation Case

SACRAMENTO (CA)
News 10

Frederick Dew, the Sacramento pastor accused of molesting a 13-year-old boy in a public library bathroom was arraigned Tuesday afternoon. Dew is the pastor of Praise Tabernacle, a small church in south Sacramento.

Dew is charged with aggravated sexual assault, oral copulation with a minor, lewd acts with a child, lewd acts with a child under 14 and attempted forcible lewd acts.

Sacramento police arrested Dew last Friday. Authorities believe he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old after following the boy into a restroom at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library on 24th Street in Sacramento on Thursday. The child managed to escape and pointed Dew out to a security guard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:00 PM

Lawyer Wants Evidence Declared "Protected" in Warren Jeffs Case

UTAH
KSL

March 14th, 2007 @ 7:44am
(KSL News) Lawyers for polygamous leader Warren Jeffs are trying to get evidence against him declared protected under the First Amendment.

When FBI agents arrested Jeffs, they found four laptop computers, 16 cell phones, 19 pre-paid debit cards, 13 religious books and many other items.

His lawyer argues, "The government's retention of these sacred materials offends the most basic principles of the FLDS religion and violates Mr. Jeffs's rights under the First Amendment and Religious Freedom Restoration Act."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

Bankrupties Allow Catholic Church to Hide Criminal Activity re Pedophile-Pederast Priests and its Aiding and Abetting

SAN DIEGO (CA)
City of Angels

Evidence of criminal aiding and abbeting in the handling of prolific pederast priest Edward Anthony Rodrigue could be buried by the bankruptcy of the San Diego archdiocese.

The Hearing on the calendar 3.13.07 would have been Motion to Compel Deposition forcing "the Catholic Bishop of San Diego to produce the persons most qualified at depositions” and “said person be required to submit to deposition matters specified in plaintiff’s deposition notice.”

Bankruptcy lets the archdiocese ignore orders from civil courts to produce documents and witnesses. Those witnesses, many of whom are eager to testify, would expose criminal activity in the rectories and resorts of the church nationwide, evidence that could lead to RICO, organized crime, national hearings and investigations of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

Kilkenny priest tells police of slush funds and rare coin collection

IRELAND
Kilkenny People

THE Johnstown native charged with embezzling millions of dollars from a Florida church, put money into Irish bank accounts and property and invested in a racehorse company called Shag.
Fr John Skehan admitted to Florida police that he took money from St Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach, Florida, according to files released last week by US police.
Fr Skehan and Fr Francis Guinan are accused of misappropriating $8.6 million of church money. They were arrested last autumn and have been released on bail.
Fr Skehan was pastor at St Vincent's from 1963 to 2003. He was succeeded by Fr Guinan, who was pastor until 2005.
Both are charged with stealing more than $100,000, a crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Both priests have pleaded not guilty.
Hundreds of documents released by police last week offer insight into the two priests' secret lives. The files include statements from church employees, police reports and accounting statements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Fraud charge priest feels that anything he took was owed to him

IRELAND
Kilkenny Advertiser

BY DECLAN VARLEY

A KILKENNY priest who is facing massive fraud charges in the US told investigators that anything he took, he had coming to him, it emerged this week as prosecution documents were released in Florida.

Rev John Skehan who was born in Johnstown and who still has close family there is facing the charges along with another priest, Rev Francis Guinan.

Skehan, 79, and Guinan, 64, were arrested last autumn on charges of grand theft over $100,000, a first-degree felony punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Both Irish-born priests have pleaded not guilty and are free on bail.

The documents also reveal that Skehan gave his opinion that he had never been properly paid by the diocese, that he was running a big business and getting nothing for it.

It also emerged that Skehan had a bedroom closet that was padlocked with documents allegedly dealing with past paedophiles within the church, according to the records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Sponsor of child abuse bill hopes for summer hearing

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

By Peter Smith
psmith@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

A bill supported by advocates for people abused by priests in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville failed to get a public hearing this legislative session, but its sponsor hopes for one this summer.

Some types of abuse of older children and failing to report abuse, which are misdemeanors, would have become felonies under House Bill 548. That means all statutes of limitations would have been removed, allowing for prosecutions decades after the alleged crimes.

"It was just so wild the last few days" of the session, said Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, D-Louisville, who filed the bill.

She hadn't expected passage during the short session, but she did hope at least for a hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Teacher dismissals weren't because of underage sex, diocese officials say

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

By Seema Mehta, Times Staff Writer
March 14, 2007

As parents at a South County Roman Catholic school have grown increasingly riled by the mysterious dismissals of two popular teachers, a church official said Tuesday that the allegations against the two men did not involve sexual conduct with a minor.

Maria Rullo Schinderle, general counsel for the Diocese of Orange, declined to comment further about the dismissals of Eric Hansen and Gregory Rhodes, teachers at Santa Margarita Catholic High School. Diocese officials repeatedly have refused to comment on the allegations since the controversy began in late January. Schinderle's statement was the first public comment by a church official on the nature of the allegations.

Parents, alumni and students at the Rancho Santa Margarita school have petitioned the diocese to reconsider the dismissals. Parents, who have met with diocese officials about the matter, have been gathering regularly to plot strategy and to plan a demonstration. Students protested by wearing black to Mass on Ash Wednesday, have set up an Internet blog to garner support for the teachers and have formed a group, Students for Authentic Education, to contest the dismissals.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Brothers Claiming Abuse by Priest Lose Appeal

UTAH
KSL

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Two brothers who claim they were sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest waited too long to sue the Diocese of Salt Lake City, the Utah Supreme Court said Tuesday in affirming other decisions against the men.

The four-year clock began ticking decades ago when the brothers turned 18, the court said in a 5-0 ruling.

While acknowledging the "troubling nature of child sexual abuse," the justices said the case triggered none of the exceptions that can be used to overcome time limits in civil lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Two former students say priest ordered boys to wrestle naked

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Posted by The Oregonian March 13, 2007 16:45PM

The second mini-trial involving accusations of child sexual abuse against the Rev. Donald Durand is under way this afternoon with two men alleging that the priest grabbed at their genitals while forcing them to wrestle naked with him in the early 1970s.

The two men, who were students at St. Francis of Assisi School in Portland at the time of the alleged abuse, said Durand ordered them to wrestle naked and in their underwear at various times for bad behavior. The men also said that one weekend Durand took them and two other boys to his mountain cabin near Detroit Lake, ordered them to remove their clothes, spend time in a sauna, jump into a creek, then come back into the cabin to wrestle naked.

In a recorded video deposition shown earlier in the morning, Durand said he often invited boys into the sauna, because it was a good, healthy experience.

"I saw nothing wrong with it or nothing sexual about it," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Good Question: Why Are Catholic Priests Celibate?

MINNESOTA
WCCO

(WCCO) Pope Benedict XVI released a 131 page “Apostolic Exhortation” Tuesday reaffirming church teaching on abortion, gay marriage, and divorce. He also said that Catholic priests will remain unmarried.

"Priestly celibacy lived with maturity, joy, and dedication is an immense blessing for the Church and society itself,” wrote the Pope.

"Celibacy is a great good,” said Father Andrew Cozzens who teaches at the St. Paul Seminary. ...

However, critics say the celibacy requirement has contributed to the abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church and is the reason for the shortage of priests. Cozzens says abuse is not a matter of celibacy.

"It’s the result of sin and you're going to find that whether priests are married or celibate. And is the value of celibacy great enough to hold on to even if we have less priests?” he asked. “The church is clearly saying yes."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

An irony of faith

MARYLAND
Diamondback

Stefanie Williams

I am an irony of faith. I grew up in a strict Irish-Catholic household, I attended Catholic grammar school for six years, yet I have all but completely disaffiliated myself with Catholicism. And as I sat watching a CNN program which revolved around the abuse of two young children, now men, in a Catholic parish only miles from the campus, I was shocked not only at the allegations, but at the way in which Maryland's legislature responded.

Thomas Roberts, a now well-known anchor on CNN, spent several years of his youth living a nightmare. When a priest both he and his family trusted and sought support from violated not only church laws but also state laws by molesting Roberts for more than three years, Roberts assumed there was no way out. A respected member of his community and of his parish, it would be difficult at best to convince anyone of the trauma the Rev. Jeff Toohey had inflicted on Roberts. For more than 20 years, he lived with the pain of a child abused and seemingly abandoned by those he trusted the most. In 2005, Roberts and another victim of Toohey's abuse came forward and sought legal charges against the priest for the years of damage he had caused.

However, despite the bravery of the two men, the Maryland court system did seemingly everything but stand up against the behavior that so badly damaged Roberts for years. Despite Toohey pleading guilty to one count of sexual abuse of a minor, he was sentenced to only five years in a Maryland detention center, which was then reduced to 18 months. He was released to home arrest after 10 months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Sexual-abuse lawsuit fails

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Pamela Manson
The Salt Lake Tribune

Article Last Updated: 03/14/2007 12:11:58 AM MDT

The Utah Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit by two brothers who claim they were sexually abused by a priest, ruling they had waited too long to investigate whether Catholic Church leaders had prior knowledge that their abuser was a pedophile.
Ralph and Charles Colosimo claim that officials with the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City and Judge Memorial Catholic High School knew of the Rev. James F. Rapp's sexual predation but failed to properly supervise him or stop him from molesting them.
The Colosimos, who filed their suit in 2003, say they were molested in the 1970s by Rapp, then a teacher at Judge Memorial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Three tell jurors priest hurt them

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

STEVE WOODWARD
More than seven years after an avalanche of priest sexual-abuse claims began to engulf the Archdiocese of Portland and more than 32 months after the church's bankruptcy froze all lawsuits, some accusers finally had their first day in court Tuesday.

In a long day filled with emotional testimony, three former parishioners of the Rev. Donald Durand took the stand in U.S. District Court in Portland and poured out accusations of child sexual abuse dating back to the 1970s and 1980s.

The so-called mini-trials, which will occur this week and next, will help U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones set estimated values for the dozen-plus abuse cases that have not been settled in the bankruptcy case. More than 140 priest accusers have agreed to settle their claims for about $40 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Brothers who claimed abuse by SLC priest lose appeal

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
Daily Herald

The Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY -- Two brothers who claim they were sexually abused by a Roman Catholic priest waited too long to sue the Diocese of Salt Lake City, the Utah Supreme Court said Tuesday in affirming other decisions against the men.

The four-year clock began ticking decades ago when the brothers turned 18, the court said in a 5-0 ruling.

While acknowledging the "troubling nature of child sexual abuse," the justices said the case triggered none of the exceptions that can be used to overcome time limits in civil lawsuits.

Ralph Colosimo, 53, and Charles Colosimo, 45, said they were sexually abused by the Rev. James Rapp, between 1970 and 1975.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Verdict in Oregon priest abuse suit against archdiocese

PORTLAND (OR)
OregonLive

3/14/2007, 12:40 a.m. PDT
The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A jury quickly returned a verdict in a lawsuit filed by a Hillsboro man against the Archdiocese of Portland.

But the public won't know for several days whether the jury agreed with the man's claim that he was abused by a priest more than two decades ago.

The mini-trial Tuesday was one of several scheduled for this week and next, with jurors determining whether accusations are likely true and, if so, what the emotional damage is worth.

The estimates from all the mini-trials will be used to determine whether the Archdiocese of Portland has set aside enough money to pay off settlements and judgments as part of its plan to emerge from bankruptcy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

March 13, 2007

Jury hears priest child-sexual abuse allegations for first time

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Posted by The Oregonian March 13, 2007 13:47PM

For the first time, a jury has heard child sexual-abuse allegations in the priest scandal that has consumed the Archdiocese of Portland for the past seven years and sent it into bankruptcy.

Matthew Clemens, a 38-year-old engineer, accused a retired archdiocesan priest, the Rev. Donald Durand, of sexual abuse during a trip to Durand's mountain cabin near Detroit Lake in the early 1980s.

Clemens is one of at least nine men who have filed claims against the archdiocese for sexual abuse allegedly committed by Durand, mostly in the 1960s and 1970s.

During the next two weeks, U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones is holding a series of mini-trials to estimate the dollar values of unresolved sex-abuse claims against the archdiocese. In the Clemens case, Jones instructed the jury to determine whether the alleged abuse probably happened and, if so, what the emotional damages are.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 PM

Justices uphold dismissal of brothers' sex abuse suit against church

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Pamela Manson
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 03/13/2007 12:31:06 PM MDT

The Utah Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit by two brothers who allege they were sexually abused by a priest, ruling they had waited too long to investigate whether Catholic Church leaders had prior knowledge that their abuser was a pedophile.
Ralph and Charles Colosimo claim that officials with the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City and Judge Memorial Catholic High School knew of Rev. James F. Rapp's sexual problems but failed to properly supervise him or stop him from molesting them.
In the unanimous decision, the high court justices said they recognized the "troubling nature of child sexual abuse," but precedent and policy considerations stopped them from extending the time to file suit for plaintiffs who fail to investigate potential claims arising from the molestation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Child porn's web of evil

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

Mark Buttler

March 14, 2007 12:00am

FIFTY people have been jailed and six have taken their own lives after Victoria's biggest child pornography swoop.

Operation Auxin, a nationwide crackdown on cyber perverts, identified more than 180 suspects who had hoarded up to 12,000 sickening images each, according to figures obtained for the first time by the Herald Sun.

All were men. Victoria had the highest number of suspects of any state during the inquiry.

Among them were a policeman, school principal, child-care centre director, youth worker, a prison guard and a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Third Suit Filed Against Trinity Baptist

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
First Coast News

By First Coast News Staff

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- A third civil suit has been filed against Trinity Baptist, a large church on Jacksonville's Westside.

The action concerns Bob Gray, the former pastor now charged with sexually molesting children years ago.

In the new suit, a woman called, "Jane Doe No. 3" says Dr. Gray fondled her under her dress and kissed her "all over her body" years ago as a little girl. Then, the suit says, Dr. Gray rewarded her with candy.

The civil action accuses Trinity of not protecting "Jane Doe No. 3." Now she lives in Mississippi.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

O.C. Catholic teacher is fired

CALIFORNIA
The Orange County Register

By Seema Mehta, Times Staff Writer
March 13, 2007

A popular South County Roman Catholic high school teacher has been fired after concerns were raised about student trips to Europe that he led.

Students and parents at Santa Margarita Catholic High School learned Monday by e-mail that Eric Hansen had been fired three days earlier by the Diocese of Orange.

Diocesan spokesman Ryan Lilyengren, who provided The Times a copy of the e-mail, said he could not discuss details of Hansen's departure.

Lilyengren said an investigation into the European tours was completed, but he declined to disclose the results. Hansen was placed on leave in late January.

Reached at his San Juan Capistrano home, Hansen, 59, declined to comment.

The firing comes at a time of upheaval at the Rancho Santa Margarita school. Brother Lawrence Monroe, the school's principal, who was briefly placed on leave for failing to disclose the allegations against Hansen to the diocese, announced last month that he would resign at the end of the school year. Also last month, the school said English teacher Greg Rhodes was no longer employed at the school but refused to say why or whether he had quit or had been fired.

Students and parents have speculated that Hansen's allowing students to drink alcohol during the European trips — with their parents' knowledge — may have been behind the dismissal. They also are seeking an explanation for Rhodes' departure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Priest facing 12 more counts

LOUISA (VA)
The Free Lance-Star

Date published: 3/13/2007

BY BILL FREEHLING

A former Catholic priest in Louisa County was indicted yesterday on 12 additional counts of embezzlement.

Rodney Lee Rodis, 50, now faces 13 counts of felony embezzlement. He's accused of stealing from his former parishes, St. Jude and Immaculate Conception Catholic churches. Police have said the thefts may have exceeded $1 million.

Rodis was indicted on the first embezzlement charge Jan. 8. An arraignment on that charge had been scheduled yesterday, and Louisa defense attorney Jack Maus had indicated that Rodis might plead guilty.

The arraignment was pushed back after the Louisa Circuit Court grand jury indicted the former priest on the 12 additional charges yesterday morning. The change frustrated several parishioners there to watch.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

For abuse victims, it's never too late

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

By Joel Engelhardt
Palm Beach Post Editorial Writer

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Five years ago last week, Anthony J. O'Connell resigned in disgrace as bishop of Palm Beach. He had sexually abused boys. It had happened so long ago that he no longer faced criminal charges. He would step down, however, from the Palm Beach Diocese, which he had been asked to heal after another bishop resigned under similar circumstances.

Three months later, the nation's Catholic bishops established a "zero-tolerance" policy for sex abuse by clergy. Even though the Vatican watered down their work, the bishops succeeded in clearly pronouncing their distaste for the sexual abuse scandals that had cost their institution millions in settlements and an immeasurable loss of faith from their followers.

Michael Dolce, a lawyer in Palm Beach Gardens, is a survivor of abuse. It happened a long time ago. He was 7. The "perpetrators," as he calls them, were two men in his Baltimore neighborhood, a father and his teenaged son. They threatened the 7-year-old boy with a gun if he told anyone anything about what they did to him. He didn't tell.

Mr. Dolce grew up with that. He was withdrawn, a loner. But he excelled in school. He graduated from high school early, went to college and earned a law degree in Florida. In his late 20s, he began therapy.

If Michael Dolce had been abused in Florida, it would have been too late by that time to do anything about his abuse. The perpetrators would have escaped legal consequences when the statute of limitations expired four years after his 18th birthday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Robinson's accuser appeals dismissal of her civil lawsuit

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

A Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge's ruling to dismiss the civil lawsuit filed against Gerald Robinson accusing him and others of repeatedly torturing and raping a young girl in ritual abuse ceremonies was appealed yesterday.

Mark Davis, the attorney representing the woman who filed the suit anonymously with her husband as Survivor Doe and Spouse Doe, filed an appeal in the Ohio 6th District Court of Appeals, saying that Judge Ruth Ann Franks erred when she dismissed the case Jan. 18.

Judge Franks dismissed the case because she claimed it was filed after the five-year statute of limitations.

Specifically, he said that the judge failed to consider that his client was not able to identify her alleged abusers at the time of the assaults, but was able to identify them years later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

2 area judges seeking seats on state's top courts

SOUTH CAROLINA
The Post and Courier

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

BY SCHUYLER KROPF

Two Charleston-area judges are on the list of those seeking to jump to the state's highest courts.

Circuit Judge Diane Goodstein of Summerville is one of eight candidates for a seat opening up on the state Supreme Court. And Circuit Judge Danny Pieper of Hanahan is one of six candidates for a seat on the state Court of Appeals.

The list of candidates was released Monday by the state's Judicial Merit Selection Commission.

Goodstein has been a 1st Circuit judge since 1998. Last week she refused to approve a sexual abuse settlement involving the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, saying further investigation is warranted.

She is seeking to fill the vacancy on the five-member court that will be created by the upcoming retirement of Justice E.C. Burnett.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Ex-WAVY anchor airs his account of priest's abuse

VIRGINIA
Virginian Pilot

By JILL VEJNOSKA / COX NEWS SERVICE,
March 13, 2007

The anchorman seemed uncharacteristically nervous.

Thomas Roberts' voice shook slightly as he addressed his audience. But he pressed on because in some ways it was the most important story he'd ever tell.

It's about him - and something no one else should have to endure.

"Over the past two years, I just started to realize how interrupted my life really was," said Roberts, 34, an anchor for CNN's Headline News, testifying last March before the Maryland House Judiciary Committee. "In certain respects, I've spent two-thirds of my life completely emotionally frozen."

The clip of Roberts' testimony is part of "Sins of the Father," a special report that aired at 10 p.m. Monday on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

March 12, 2007

Priest sex-abuse trials to begin Tuesday

OREGON
The Oregonian

Posted by The Oregonian March 12, 2007 17:53PM

A series of abbreviated priest sex-abuse trials will be held during the next 10 days in U.S. District Court in Oregon.

The advisory trials are part of the process of gaining approval for the Portland Archdiocese' $75 million plan to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

More than 140 priest accusers have agreed to settle their claims for about $40 million, but more than a dozen cases remain unresolved. The bankruptcy plan includes money for accusers who have not come forward and for unsettled claims. U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones will preside over the advisory trials before estimating the value of the claims. He will also determine whether punitive damages are warranted. His ruling will help determine whether enough money has been set aside for unsettled claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 PM

More charges for priest

LOUISA (VA)
The Free Lance-Star

Date published: 3/12/2007

A former Catholic priest in Louisa County was indicted today on 12 additional counts of embezzlement.

Rodney Lee Rodis, 50, now faces 13 counts of felony embezzlement. He’s accused of stealing from his former parishes, St. Jude and Immaculate Conception Catholic churches. Police have said the thefts may have exceeded $1 million.

Rodis was indicted on the first embezzlement charge Jan. 8. An arraignment on that charge had been scheduled today, and Louisa defense attorney Jack Maus had indicated that Rodis might plead guilty.

The arraignment was pushed back after the Louisa Circuit Court grand jury indicted the former priest on the 12 additional charges this morning. The change frustrated several parishioners there to watch.

“It’s going to go on for years,” said St. Jude parishioner Ellen McGough. “They keep delaying and delaying.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Priest indicted on 12 additional charges of embezzling from churches

LOUISA (VA)
WDBJ

LOUISA, Va. The arraignment for a Catholic priest accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from two Louisa County parishes was postponed today after a grand jury indicted him on twelve additional charges.

The Reverend Rodney Rodis (ROH'-diss) was indicted in January on one count of felony embezzlement. Defense attorney Jack Maus says the grand jury added twelve additional counts late Friday.

Maus said Rodis could be sentenced to up to 20 years on each count if convicted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Embezzlement charges mount against former Va. priest

LOUISA (CA)
WVEC

03/12/2007

By LARRY O'DELL / Associated Press

Members of two rural Roman Catholic parishes who came to hear their former priest enter his plea to an embezzlement charge left the Louisa County Courthouse frustrated Monday after additional charges prompted a postponement.

Circuit Judge Timothy Sanner rescheduled the arraignment for March 30 after a grand jury indicted the Rev. Rodney L. Rodis on 12 additional counts of embezzlement Friday. Rodis, 50, remains free on $10,000 bond.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond has said Rodis embezzled more than $600,000 from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Bumpass and St. Jude Church in Mineral. Rodis was pastor of the churches from 1993 until his retirement last May.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Your e-mails: 'Brave of Roberts to come forward'

ATLANTA (GA)
CNN

(CNN) -- It took CNN Headline News anchor Thomas Roberts nearly 20 years to publicly admit he was sexually abused as a teenager. CNN.com asked readers what they think of Roberts' admission and if it would affect his career.

Below is a selection of their responses, some of which have been edited for length and clarity:

Michele Bartlett of El Paso, Texas
Awesome! It takes incredible bravery to announce the abuse publicly. Roberts is putting himself on the line to help others who may be suffering from abuse. God Bless him for it.

Andrea Nix of Carrollton, Georgia
I think he is incredibly courageous. By coming out and sharing his story he will help others lift the veil of shame that molestation creates.

Greg Finnegan of Franklin Lakes, New Jersey
I have secrets in my past, too. I don't blab them all over the place. That's because they are "secrets."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:15 PM

Claims in Court Far Outnumber Church Listing

PORTLAND (OR)
Bishop Accountability

By Ashbel S. Green and Steve Woodward
The Oregonian
November 12, 2006

http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/
base/news/1163222716244720.xml&coll=7&thispage=1

[Note from BishopAccountability.org: Two "related documents" were posted along with this article: an informative Table of Claims listing accused clerics and describing their assignments and the claims against them, and a graph of the claims, which is included below. See also the original PDF of the graph.]

Far more people in Oregon say they were abused by priests, clergy and other Catholic workers in the past 70 years than has been publicly known, a review of the Portland Archdiocese bankruptcy files shows.

The archdiocese's decision to seek bankruptcy protection in 2004 gave it some control over a flood of priest abuse litigation. But the move also revealed allegations that have remained secret for decades. In some cases, documents and letters that the archdiocese possessed have been entered into the file. In other cases, people are making sex-abuse allegations for the first time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:13 PM

Portland Claims

PORTLAND (OR)
Bishop Accountability

Note from BishopAccountability.org: This table was provided as a "Related Document" with Claims in Court Far Outnumber Church Listing, by Ashbel S. Green and Steve Woodward, Oregonian (November 12, 2006). In order to make the table easier to use, we have scanned the original PDF and posted the table below as a web page. The linked list of names at the top was added by BishopAccountability.org. See also BA.org's collection of assignment records for accused priests of the Portland archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:11 PM

Diocese establishes child protection office

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Catholic

by: John Franko

The Diocese of Pittsburgh has been at the forefront of the American church in instituting programs and policies for the protection of children.

As part of its ongoing efforts, the diocese has appointed Ron Ragan as director of the new diocesan Office for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Ragan, who had served as director of the Gilmary Diocesan Center in Moon Township since 1986, officially began his duties March 1.

His office will be located at St. Paul Seminary in Crafton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:32 AM

An Open Letter to Sean Hannity

UNITED STATES
Fox News

By Father Jonathan Morris

Dear Sean,

As I watched a fellow Catholic priest spar with you on the March 9 edition of Hannity and Colmes, I hung my head in shame and sadness. My colleague in religion (whom I've never met) used the public airways and Internet to call you a heretic and hypocrite. Because he chose to do this in a public forum, I want you and your viewers to know, publicly, that as an analyst of this television network, I believe this good priest, who does great work, exercised, on this occasion, shockingly poor judgment. I consider his willingness to give his personal opinion about your status within the Church inappropriate and ill-considered, to say the least.

Regardless of the issue and arguments at hand, brandishing law without palpable love almost always repels. I must assume he just made an honest mistake.

The unfortunate event reminded me of the bigger question of the fast-eroding credibility among religious leaders in our nation and its causes.

I should start, or rather continue, at home with the Catholic Church, your church and mine. As you rightly stated in the same television segment, the systematic cover-up of sexual abuse within some sectors of Catholic Church leadership was a monstrous scandal and its affects will be long-lasting. Even those priests who were not involved in the mess, as I am sure is the case with the priest in question, can never forget that those of us who wear a clerical collar still conger up painful memories in many people's minds. The strange looks and rash judgments to which we are at times subjected is not the people's fault; it's ours, in as much as we are members of a very guilty family.

In this light, before we clergy members speak out publicly against public offenses, as sometimes we must do, we should ask ourselves and God why we are doing what we are doing, and what the best way to do it is, according to the circumstances, and always with palpable love. The question is not only if what we have to say is correct, but where, when, and how we should say it. I, for one, would have communicated my beliefs in a different way on more than one occasion if I had followed this advice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:28 AM

TV anchor: I was sexually abused by Catholic priest

ATLANTA (GA)
CNN

By Thomas Roberts
CNN

Editor's note: In our Behind the Scenes series, CNN correspondents share their experiences covering the news and analyze the stories behind the events. In this story, Thomas Roberts, who has been a Headline News anchor since 2001, discusses being abused by a Catholic priest as a teenager.

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- I became a victim of sexual abuse at the age of 14; the abuse lasted three years. It took me nearly 20 years to gather the strength to help put my abuser behind bars. Now, a year after "justice" was done, I am ready to tell my story publicly in ways I never have before.

My abuser was Father Jeff Toohey, a trusted man of God. He was the equivalent of a religious celebrity in my private all-boys Catholic school in Baltimore, Maryland. Father Jeff was every boy's friend and mentor. I considered him my mentor as well.

When my parents divorced, I was sent to Father Jeff to help me cope with all the changes. Divorce in the mid-1980s still seemed so foreign. Plus, I was just a kid, and I didn't know much about divorce. I just knew it sucked.

All I had at that time in my life was my family and school. Those were my constants. But as my family fell apart, so did my life at school. After the abuse began, high school became a prison of shame and lies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

Concerns raised over minister, donations

CALIFORNIA
The Desert Sun

Marcel Honoré
The Desert Sun
March 12, 2007

A group of worshippers has left New Community Church of the Valley amid concerns its minister, David Moore, is not using their donations as they were intended.

The worshippers donated to a fund to construct a permanent church building, but the fund is instead supporting church operations, sources in the congregation say.

Church treasurer Bob Bird said Wednesday the search for a new building is on hold.

Former members representing about $30,000 in building fund donations were dismayed at what they saw to be a lack of progress. They doubt a new church will ever be built.

One donor, La Quinta resident Byron Wells, gave $25,000. He filed a complaint with District Attorney Rod Pacheco in February after his requests that the church refund his donation went unanswered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Concerns raised over minister, donations

CALIFORNIA
The Desert Sun

Marcel Honoré
The Desert Sun
March 12, 2007

A group of worshippers has left New Community Church of the Valley amid concerns its minister, David Moore, is not using their donations as they were intended.

The worshippers donated to a fund to construct a permanent church building, but the fund is instead supporting church operations, sources in the congregation say.

Church treasurer Bob Bird said Wednesday the search for a new building is on hold.

Former members representing about $30,000 in building fund donations were dismayed at what they saw to be a lack of progress. They doubt a new church will ever be built.

One donor, La Quinta resident Byron Wells, gave $25,000. He filed a complaint with District Attorney Rod Pacheco in February after his requests that the church refund his donation went unanswered.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Forest Grove pastor charged in sex crime

FOREST GROVE (OR)
Hillsboro Argus

Friday, March 02, 2007
A Forest Grove pastor and volunteer police and fire chaplain was arrested Wednesday for the inappropriate sexual touching of a 23-year-old woman from his congregation.

Richard E. Sacks, 54, turned himself in to the Forest Grove Police Department, then was transported to the Washington County Jail for booking, said FGPD Capt. Aaron Ashbaugh.

Forest Grove Police Department detectives began an investigation after Sacks confessed his actions to Police Chief Glenn VanBlarcom in December 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

Chaplain charged with sexual harassment

FOREST GROVE (OR)
News-Times

By Gunnar Olson

The Forest Grove News-Times, Mar 7, 2007

Forest Grove police last week arrested their chaplain, Pastor Rick Sacks, on charges of sexual harassment.

The 54-year-old Forest Grove resident is accused of the “offensive physical touching” of a 23-year-old woman in early December.

Forest Grove police are withholding the name of the victim, who is reportedly a member of Sacks’ congregation at Calvary Christian Fellowship in Forest Grove.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

John Paul II the Great Deceiver and Bishop Brom of San Diego

John Paul II Millstone

The greatest Pope Deceiver is Pope John Paul II because he was able to cover-up the most heinous crime against thousands of children abused by his own Papal Pedophile-Priests Army within the Vatican and the Catholic Church for more than 26 years of his papacy... that's a quarter of a Century!

Well versed in the Bible and writer of countless encyclicals, homilies and speeches against communism and sins of all sorts, John Paul II was the CEO of his Bishops and together they were cohorts in the cover-up of the greatest crime against children in the history of the Catholic Church in the modern world.

When will Catholics ever learn? When will those "Ghetto Catholics" ever learn that true sainthood is not and cannot be declared by Pope Deceivers like Benedict XVI, John Paul II's papal clone, and therefore should NEVER call John Paul II a "saint" - not in American soil nor by American lips.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

This Time, Abusers Are Lawyers

CANADA
The Tyee

By Rafe Mair
Published: March 12, 2007

I read Jacqueline Windh's article Survivors Wait While Lawyers Squabble two weeks ago in The Tyee with many emotions.
I was ashamed at the way the natives in the legal process she reports on were treated by the lawyers and the process in general.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

March 11, 2007

Seeking closure

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
March 11, 2007

He was tall, physically fit, with dark hair and blue eyes, a real charmer with an Irish accent. The high school girls nicknamed him “Father Hot Stuff.”

This description of former Roman Catholic priest Patrick O'Keeffe emerged from interviews and from a court document filed a few days before the Diocese of San Diego declared bankruptcy last month.

The 40-page document was filed in Superior Court on behalf of Nicki Rister, who said she was a lonely 17-year-old senior in 1972 when O'Keeffe began a sexual liaison with her after she transferred from Arizona to a Catholic high school in California, where O'Keeffe was the church pastor.

The document provides a look at testimony from a variety of alleged victims that Rister's attorneys had planned to bring forward in the trial of her lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego. (The San Diego Union-Tribune does not identify victims in such cases without their consent.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Woman Accuses Priest After Decades of Silence

FLORIDA
WPBF

A West Palm Beach woman accuses a South Florida priest of wrong-doing after decades of silence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:11 AM

New calls for sculpture to mark Magdalen women

IRELAND
Irish Independent

FRESH calls have been made for a permanent sculpture to be put up in Galway city in memory of the women of the Magdalen Laundry.

The calls mark International Women's Day today.

The Magdalen Laundry in Galway was one of 10 in Ireland set up to chastise and correct women who bore a child outside marriage, or who left abusive husbands or home situations.

Galway City Cllr Billy Cameron wants to fasttrack the project to set up a memorial to the women held in the Magdalen Laundry from the 1800s to 1996.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Sacramento Pastor Accused Of Molesting Teen

SACRAMENTO (CA)
KCRA

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- A Sacramento church pastor was arrested Friday, accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy in a library bathroom.

Fredrick Drew, 34, of the Praise Tabernacle Church, was booked on charges of sexual assault on a child and false imprisonment.

Sacramento Police say a 13-year-old boy was assaulted on Thursday afternoon inside a bathroom at Martin Luther King Jr. Library on 24th Street.

A security guard at the library told KCRA 3 that the boy reported what happened right away.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Louisa church's funds climb after priest's departure

LOUISA (VA)
Times-Dispatch

BY CALVIN R. TRICE
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER Mar 11, 2007

Weekly collections have risen at a Louisa County Catholic church after the retirement of a priest who stands accused of stealing donations for years.

Ever since the Rev. Rodney L. Rodis left in May, St. Jude Catholic Church has recorded 18 percent more money from its two weekly Masses, said Ray DeCarli, chairman of the church's finance council.

Rodis, 50, is scheduled to enter a plea tomorrow in Louisa Circuit Court to a charge of felony embezzlement. Investigators believe he may have stolen as much as $1 million during his 14 years leading St. Jude in Mineral and Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in nearby Bumpass.

Immaculate Conception has not analyzed records of its collections. Rodis often counted and recorded donations there himself, said Phil Scoggin, chairman of the church's finance council.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

The Playwright and the Seeds of 'Doubt'

NEW YORK
Washington Post

By Nelson Pressley
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, March 11, 2007; Page N01

NEW YORK

John Patrick Shanley has won a lot of big writing prizes -- the Oscar, the Tony, the Pulitzer. But lately the acclaim is so universal that he's even getting impressive editorials.

"Shanley's play is short in duration but long on hard truths," gushed the Boston Globe last month.

The work in question was the widely lauded "Doubt," and by then the Globe was merely jumping on the bandwagon.

"Doubt" debuted off-Broadway at the Manhattan Theatre Club, rapidly moved to Broadway in 2005, then won the Pulitzer and four major Tony Awards, including best play.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

A Dangerous Closet

UNITED STATES
Boston Globe

By MARY GAIL FRAWLEY-O'DEA | March 11, 2007

The Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality eventually might take its place among the other aspects of Catholic sexual theology generally discounted by the laity and many priests. Nonetheless, the hypocrisy of a church condemning homosexuality while depending on a significantly gay priesthood to run it and to administer its sacraments is, among several other factors, directly implicated in the sexual abuse scandal. The unspoken known that the priesthood is more homosexual than the wider culture is countered by an edict to priests not to speak openly about their sexual orientation but rather to preach about the evil of enacted homosexuality. Mixed messages, sexual secrets, and denied realities abound in a clerical Wonderland in which the institutional church appears to play the Queen of Hearts. Secrecy about and coverup of the sexual abuse of minors becomes an almost inevitable component of such a crazy and crazy-making realm.

Contemporary researchers suggest that between 28 percent and 56 percent of the American priesthood is homosexual. Most psychologically healthy gay men are attracted to the priesthood for the same reasons that it attracts mature heterosexual men. They love God, desire to pursue a life of deepened spirituality, and are committed to living out gospel values within a community of faith. It is probable that gay men always have been attracted to the priesthood in numbers disproportionate to their presence in the wider society. Until very recently, and in some cases still, Catholic boys who recognized their homosexuality faced the scorn of family, friends, and church. Taught that acting on his sexual love and strivings is intrinsically evil and mortally sinful, the Catholic gay man faces painful conflicts between his identity and his attachment relationships. Entering the priesthood was a move that, until quite recently, evoked family pride, with the seminarian or priest being held in great esteem by his community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:03 AM

Journalist tells personal story in powerful show

MARYLAND
Baltimore Sun

By David Zurawik
Sun Television Critic
Originally published March 11, 2007

As a journalist for cable channel CNN, 34-year-old Thomas Roberts usually is the one making the inquiries.
But in Sins of the Father, a compelling documentary on the sexual abuse he suffered at the hands of a Catholic priest at Towson's Calvert Hall High School, he's the one answering questions.

His emotional testimony makes for a powerful re-telling of a notorious Baltimore case that will air tomorrow night in a special edition of CNN's Anderson Cooper 360.

The facts of the story have been reported in The Sun, but Sins of the Father is a different animal altogether -- a cable TV rendering of a shocking tale that includes graphic details and an unabashed attempt to elicit visceral responses from viewers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:01 AM

Priest belittled by Hannity criticizes renegade Greeley

CHICAGO (IL)
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
March 10, 2007

Father Andrew Greeley has another book out.

It's titled I Knew a Murdered Professor.

Oh, wait. I got that wrong. Sorry.

It's actually titled Jesus: A Meditation on His Stories and His Relationships with Women. ...

Readers might recall several past columns in which I wrote about the unsolved 1984 Chicago murder of Francis Pellegrini, a professor and choir director — and an acquaintance of Greeley — who reportedly was going to expose the activities of a clergy pederast ring known as The Boys' Club.

According to Catholic attorney Sheila Parkhill, Pellegrini was involved in the "adult" sexual activities of the ring, but when he found out that certain priests were targeting children from low-income, ethnic backgrounds, he wanted to stop them.

But Pellegrini was found stabbed to death the day before the meeting with an archdiocesan official was to take place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

March 10, 2007

Church council backs pastor in suit

MARYLAND
The Capital

RIDGELY - A priest and three other defendants being sued by a former church employee have the complete faith and support of their parish, a parish council official said in a letter to parishioners.

The letter, written in February by Parish Council Executive Officer Ed Centofante, says the parish is covered by an insurance policy for lawsuits such as the $12 million suit filed against the Rev. Norman Carroll, who leads the St. Benedict and St. Elizabeth parishes.

Jaynie Taylor, former parish director of religious education, seeks damages from the parishes and the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington. She alleges that she lost her job because she wouldn't ignore hiring policies for a convicted sex offender. She also alleges that the Rev. Carroll made her take responsibility for an adult youth minister who was reportedly in a relationship with an underage girl

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:23 PM

Catholic group challenges diocese over allegations at Greenwich church

CONNECTICUT
Greenwich Post

By Ken Borsuk, Staff Reporter

The recent allegations of financial mismanagement against Father Michael Moynihan at Saint Michael the Archangel Parish and Saint Timothy Chapel not only have led to his resignation but to a new front opening in an ongoing conflict between the Diocese of Bridgeport and a nationwide group of Catholics asking for more transparency and access.

At its annual meeting April 28 at Fairfield University, the Bridgeport diocese’s chapter of Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) will discuss financial accountability within the diocese and will specifically touch on the situation at Saint Michael. Father Moynihan resigned in January after 14 years at the North Street church after an independent auditor discovered two off-the-books accounts, the second of which came after Father Moynihan signed a written statement saying there was only one. No criminal charges have been filed and diocese officials said at the time they believed the money was used for legitimate church expenses and not fraud.

VOTF was created in Boston, Mass., in the aftermath of the sex abuse scandal and subsequent cover-up inside the city’s diocese. There are chapters nationwide, but the Bridgeport chapter is one of the few that has been banned from holding meetings on any property owned by the diocese. This has brought VOTF’s local members into sharp conflict with Bishop William Lori.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 AM

Three mark anniversary of bishop's resignation

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
News Tribune

By Jeff Haldiman
jhaldiman@newstribune.com

Thursday marked the five-year anniversary of a former priest from the Jefferson City Catholic Diocese resigning after admitting to molesting a teen-ager years earlier.

To mark the event, three people - members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, SNAP, along with a lay Catholic reform group known as Voice of The Faithful, VOTF - stood outside the Jefferson City Chancery offices on West Main Street in what they called an effort to “prod” Catholic officials to monitor and disclose information about admitted and allegedly abusive bishops.

“I have felt alienated, but I want to reclaim our church,” said Bob Swart, a member of SNAP from St. Louis and victim of abuse.

“This is not what the church is about,” said VOTF member Kim Dillion of Columbia. “We're upset with the cover-up problem.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Dallas has a new bishop-elect. So what?

DALLAS (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

11:41 PM CST on Friday, March 9, 2007
By JEFFREY WEISS / The Dallas Morning News
jweiss@dallasnews.com

Nobody knows exactly what the new man will do – not even Bishop Kevin Farrell, named to the position Tuesday by Pope Benedict XVI.

Bishop Farrell takes official control May 1 and faces a long wish list from local Catholics, and from non-Catholics who would like to add a bishop's support to their favorite cause.

But no matter what he decides to do, what influence does any bishop wield in 2007, when people seem more focused on Britney Spears' hair and the latest vote on American Idol than on any spiritual teachers?

Recent experience just to the west, in the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth, indicates how dramatic the difference can be between one bishop and the next. In July 2005, Bishop Kevin Vann succeeded Bishop Joseph Delaney, whose tenure was marred by revelations about several sexually abusive priests.

Seven months after taking over, Bishop Vann told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "The challenging thing for me is, all my life, I have always tried to respect my predecessor wherever I've been. But I can't defend the indefensible."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Judge urges resolution of Diocese dispute

KENTUCKY
The Cincinnati Post

By Paul A. Long
Post staff reporter

A Northern Kentucky judge on Friday told attorneys bickering over more than $18 million in fees from the settlement of a lawsuit against the Diocese of Covington to quit harping on side issues and get to the heart of the matter.

Special Judge Robert McGinnis said disputes over who is named in the lawsuit and details about legal procedure are sidestepping the main issue. He told them to quickly settle those disputes, and he set a trial date for May 8 to hear the case.

"Now you can push all this technical crap all you want, but I've had enough of it," he said during a hearing in Boone Circuit Court.

"Zero in on what's important: What's the agreement between these people? ... (If there is one), what's the value of her services?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Judge orders inquiry into diocese abuse case

ST. GEORGE (SC)
The Post and Courier

Saturday, March 10, 2007

BY ADAM PARKER

St. George - A circuit judge on Friday refused to approve an agreement to settle claims of sexual abuse against the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, instead ordering an investigation to determine whether there was a cover-up of additional abuse cases.

Dorchester County Judge Diane Goodstein expressed "grave concern" over two new court revelations: A 1962 Vatican document calling for secrecy on the part of church officials and "denouncers," and a suggestion made by Larry Richter, a lawyer representing victims of abuse, that "there is a difference between the number of priests who have engaged in sexual assault or abuse and the real number, and that the real number may be somewhere hidden or undisclosed or secret."

Richter referred to the diocese's "secret archives" which, he said, likely contain information on all cases of abuse.

James Geoly, an attorney for the Catholic Church, objected earlier in the hearing to the citation of the document, called an "Instruction on the Manner of Proceeding in Cases of Solicitation," saying it referred to the sacrament of confession, not sexual abuse, and that "it lacks authentication and is hearsay."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Defrocked Seattle priest accused of abuse in lawsuit

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By LEVI PULKKINEN
P-I REPORTER

A former parishioner is suing the Seattle Catholic Archdiocese for allegedly allowing a Maple Leaf-neighborhood priest to sexually abuse him.

In documents filed Friday in King County Superior Court, the alleged victim claimed that the Rev. James Knelleken molested him numerous times 50 years ago. The alleged victim was 13 at the time.

"I've lived with this for 50 years, and it's just killing me," said the alleged victim, identified in court documents only as J.P.

He declined to give his name during an interview with the Seattle P-I. His attorney, Mary Fleck, was present during the phone interview and confirmed his identity.

Knelleken was removed from the ministry in 1988 and later defrocked because of suspicions that he was sexually abusing children in the church, said archdiocese spokesman Greg Magnoni.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

'My position was to listen' Wester says of his role in addressing Catholic sex abuse scandal

SAN FRNCISCO (CA)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Peggy Fletcher Stack
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 03/09/2007 08:59:36 PM MST

SAN FRANCISCO Sexual abuse survivors were ready for a fight when they arrived unannounced at the offices of the Catholic Archdiocese here on May 31, 2002.
They intended to hold a news conference asking then-Archbishop William Levada to support an extension of statute of limitations for sex abuse crimes, mandatory clergy reporting laws in all 50 states and release of information regarding clergy abuse to district attorneys.
To their surprise, Auxiliary Bishop John Charles Wester, the church's point person on abuse, invited the protestors to come in and tell their stories, so they did.
For more than 90 minutes, Wester listened as they railed against the church, expressing feelings of anger and betrayal. In the end, Wester and some of the victims formed a group called "No More Secrets" that continues to meet monthly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Bishop Wester — He's described as a 'hands-on extrovert'

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
Deseret Morning News

By Carrie A. Moore
Deseret Morning News

SAN FRANCISCO — Used to living simply in one room with his bed and books inside an urban rectory, the idea of three bedrooms and two baths is almost more than Bishop John Wester can fathom.
After a tour of his new address on Salt Lake City's east side recently, he employed what friends say is his characteristic sense of humor, along with a wide smile: "Well, I'm not sure it's quite large enough."
Wester, 56, will be installed Wednesday as Utah's new Catholic bishop and knows he will soon find himself surrounded by more open space than he's ever known — both physically and emotionally, at least in the beginning. Coming from the only place he's ever lived, the bishop is leaving his heart in the frenetic pace of San Francisco. ...

And it won't take him long to do so, according to Barbara Elordi, who has worked with Wester in ministering to victims of clergy sexual abuse. "He'll be very, very present, and he will become hands-on in Salt Lake City. If you have a soup kitchen, he'll be there," and not as an observer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Vatican grants man’s priesthood removal request

PENNSYLVANIA
Delaware County Times

BY theTimes Staff
03/09/2007

Officials at the Vatican have granted the request for removal from the priesthood of a man who formerly served as assistant pastor at St. Joseph Church in Aston. James M. Iannarella, already removed from active ministry because of alleged sexual misconduct with a minor, served as a priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from May 1996 to October 1999. During that time he was assistant pastor at St. Joseph’s and ordinary confessor for the Sisters of St. Francis at their Assisi House retirement facility in Aston.

Archdiocesan officials said he was removed from active ministry "because of known sexual misconduct involving a minor." They said Iannarella sought removal from the clerical state and, with the Holy See’s ruling, can no longer function as a priest.

Iannarella was among 43 priests with Delaware County connections out of 63 mentioned in a September 2005 Philadelphia grand jury report on clerical sexual abuse. None could be prosecuted because the Pennsylvania statute of limitations had expired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

March 9, 2007

Investigation Into Possible Sex Crimes In Catholic Diocese of Charleston

SOUTH CAROLINA
ABC 4

Friday March 09, 2007 6:58pm Reporter: Sarah DeMarco Posted By: Matt Megrue

Watch the eVideo

Charleston, SC - Another investigation into possible sex crimes in the Catholic Diocese of Charleston. A Dorchester County judge says no for now to a proposed 12 million dollar settlement for victims of sexual abuse.

Judge Diane Goodstein has ordered the 1st Circuit solicitor to investigate allegations that a so called "secret church archive" contains information about more victims.

It may not be just the victims who've kept their childhood sexual abuse stories to themselves...The attorney representing the victims says he believes the Church is also keeping things quiet....pointing to a document describing so called "secret archives," with information on more cases of sexual abuse.

"I really hope there aren't anymore victims...I really hope there's no cover up," Lawrence Richter, counsel representing the class of victims. Diocese of Charleston representatives say they have nothing to hide. "This is something lawyers have used before, making allegations about secret archives. The Diocese like any organization has a place where they keep things confidential," says Peter Shahid, representing the Diocese of Charleston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 PM

S.C. Judge Orders Church Sex Abuse Probe

SOUTH CAROLINA
KTAR

March 9th, 2007 @ 4:18pm
ST. GEORGE, S.C. (AP) - A judge ordered an investigation Friday into whether there are unreported cases of sexual abuse involving the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston.

Circuit Judge Diane Schafer Goodstein said she would not approve a plan to set aside up to $12 million to settle abuse claims without the review.

Goodstein made her decision after an attorney for abuse victims claimed the church may have kept some cases secret.

Peter Shahid, a lawyer for the diocese, said an investigation had already been done, but the church would cooperate with any new inquiry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 PM

AP News Calendar

LOUISA (VA)
Fox News

MONDAY, MARCH 12

Louisa, Va. _ Hearing for the Rev. Rodney L. Rodis, priest accused of embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars from two rural Virginia parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 PM

Priest set for trial in sex abuse case

ST. ALBANS (VT)
St. Albans Messenger

Friday, 09 March 2007
ST. ALBANS CITY –– A Catholic priest from Richford accused of sexually abusing a 19-year-old male will go to trial in Vermont District Court this spring. The trial of Father Stephen Nichols, 46, was supposed to take place in February, but attorneys on both sides of the case indicated during a short hearing Thursday that they needed more preparation time.
Cindy Maguire, assistant attorney general, and Mark Kaplan, Nichols’ lawyer, yesterday told Judge Ben Joseph via telephone they would be ready to pick a jury on May 8.
The trial would begin immediately and last about three days. Maguire and Kaplan are still taking depositions from witnesses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:16 PM

Bankruptcy judge releases San Diego diocese funds for school

SAN DIEGO (CA)
San Luis Obispo Tribune

Associated Press
SAN DIEGO - A federal judge overseeing the bankruptcy of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego agreed to release funds on a temporary basis for construction of a new high school.

Judge Louise DeCarl Adler ruled Thursday that the diocese can withdraw approximately $2.7 million to cover construction costs until April 11, when another hearing is scheduled.

Attorneys representing more than 140 people claiming they were sexually abused by priests had challenged the school project, accusing the diocese of using it to shrink the amount of money available to compensate victims.

Terry Giles, one of the attorneys, said that a $50 million interest-free loan from a Utah charitable organization for construction of the new Mater Dei Catholic High School campus was really a grant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Bankruptcy And The Bishop

SAN DIEGO (CA)
One Republic

by J. F. Kelly, Jr. [writer] 3/10/07

Plaintive lawyers for alleged victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests are in a furious tizzy over Bishop Robert Brom’s decision to file for Chapter 11 protection on behalf of the Diocese of San Diego. Variously described as a cop-out, an outrage and a cowardly act, one unhappy attorney characterized the decision as a cynical attempt to keep the truth from coming out. Another said that if he were a Catholic in San Diego, he’d be embarrassed.

Here’s a contrarian view. I’m a Catholic in the Diocese of San Diego. I am not embarrassed about being a Catholic. Indeed, I am proud of my religion and I support the Bishop’s decision. Moreover, I resent some of the vicious criticism being uttered against it, mostly by lawyers who appear motivated mainly by greed. I believe, furthermore, that there is a certain amount of excess hysteria being generated by activist advocates of alleged victims.

But first, let’s be clear on one thing. I am not an apologist for priests who were pedophiles or for bishops who covered up their despicable acts and reassigned them to other ministerial duties. Nor do I question that abuse was committed. As far as I’m concerned, castration would be appropriate for those who sexually abuse children. As for their superiors found guilty of any cover-up, I favor exiling them to the north coast of Alaska for the rest of their lives. Do I state my feelings on the seriousness of sexual abuse against children clearly enough?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Claims sect using social groups to recruit members

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Ben Cubby
March 10, 2007

FRINGE religious sect, which has reportedly brainwashed young women for sex with a messianic South Korean leader, has been accused of recruiting potential members through a soccer team based at Sydney University.

The Global Association of Culture and Peace, a social group started by the controversial Providence church, has also run dancing and modelling activities to attract students in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and other cities.

Until recently it held secret ceremonies behind a nondescript Annandale shopfront, where attendees participated in choreographed cheerleading and watched videotaped sermons. The building was sold eight days ago, and the group is thought to be looking for new premises.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Burin Peninsula priest faces 2 sex-related charges

CANADA
CBC News

A Roman Catholic priest assigned to a parish in southern Newfoundland has been charged with sexual assault and sexual exploitation.

RCMP officers on the Burin Peninsula arrested Wayne Gerard Dohey, 44, in Placentia, and charged him with one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual exploitation.

Dohey was charged in provincial court in St. John's and then released on his own recognizance.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Victims of paedophile priests seeking justice

MEXICO
Radio Netherlands

by Marta Durán de Huerta in Mexico*

09-03-2007

Journalist Sanjuana Martínez has broken a taboo with revelations about sexual abuse in the Mexican Catholic Church. Her book Purple Cloak is about Nicolas Aguilar Rivera, a priest known to be responsible for 90 cases of child sexual abuse. It's also about the people who against their better judgement have always protected him.

Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City paid little attention to the flood of allegations by the victims of Father Nicolas Aguilar Rivera. He simply sent the priest to the United States. There Aguilar went on to abuse another 26 children.

Their families filed suits in US courts and in contrast to the usual practice in Mexico, this time the files did not get lost, the victims were taken seriously and they were not threatened. Justice was allowed to take its course.

Father Aguilar returned to Mexico, where he received protection from both church and government. But in the US, the case is continuing, and not just against Aguilar, but also against cardinals Norberto Rivera and Roger Mahony, who covered up his crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Court hearing begins in SC Roman Catholic sex abuse settlement

CHARLESTON (SC)
The Times and Democrat

By BRUCE SMITH
Friday, March 09, 2007

CHARLESTON, S.C. - Anyone disapproving of a settlement between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston and victims of sexual abuse by priests and church workers may testify during a court hearing Friday.

The diocese, which represents South Carolina's 158,000 Catholics, agreed to designate as much as $12 million to settle abuse claims. Since the amount of money was announced in January, almost 50 people, both alleged victims and family members, have come forward, said attorney David Haller, who worked on the settlement.

Circuit Judge Diane Schafer Goodstein held a hearing Friday to listen to any objections to the settlement, which would give abuse victims anywhere from $10,000 to $200,000. Spouses and parents would receive $20,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

Audit outraged accused priest

DELRAY BEACH (FL)
Sun-Sentinel

By Peter Franceschina and Missy Diaz
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted March 9 2007

The Rev. Francis Guinan was outraged in the fall of 2003, facing two parish audits by the Diocese of Palm Beach -- one at St. Patrick in Palm Beach Gardens, the other at St. Vincent Ferrer in Delray Beach.

He professed disbelief that his integrity would be questioned. He wrote to his bishop that priests pledge to live, if not a life of poverty, one of modesty rewarded by serving the faithful.

But diocese policy calls for a parish audit whenever there is a change in pastors, and Guinan had just left St. Patrick after 16 years to take over St. Vincent from his close friend, the Rev. John Skehan, who was retiring after 40 years.

Guinan called on Bishop Gerald Barbarito, new to his post, to abolish the diocese's audit policy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Church theft documents released

FLORIDA
Bradenton Herald

DELRAY BEACH - (AP) -- Authorities have released hundreds of documents related to two priests accused of misappropriating more than $8 million from a Delray Beach church.

The documents were released Thursday by Palm Beach County prosecutors and include items like one of the priests explaining why he did not want an audit and an audit that revealed problems with the way collection plate money was tracked at a parish he headed. They also include statements from church employees, police reports and accounting statements.

The Rev. John Skehan, 79, and the Rev. Francis Guinan, 64, who had both been priests at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church, were arrested last fall. They are charged with spending church money on gambling trips, rare coins and a girlfriend. Both men have pleaded not guilty and are free on bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Priest’s sentencing on sex charge applauded

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Bronislaus B. Kush TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
bkush@telegram.com

George “Skip” Shea said there was no closure after he agreed to an undisclosed out-of-court settlement years ago with the Worcester diocese over the allegation that he was abused by the Rev. Thomas H. Teczar at St. Mary’s Church in Uxbridge during the 1970s.

Yesterday, he said the emotional scars remain and will most likely never go away, even after a Texas judge late Wednesday afternoon sentenced Rev. Teczar to 25 years in prison for the aggravated sexual assault of an 11-year-old boy in that state during the early 1990s.

“It’s tough to say what I’m feeling (today),” said the Uxbridge man. “There is a feeling of some kind of relief but, … This whole business with him is a mess. In the whole course of his life, look how many lives he’s destroyed.”

Rev. Teczar, 65, was found guilty by Texas state District Judge Steven Herod of three counts of sexual assault and one count of indecency with a child.

The priest had waived his right to a jury trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

SNAP march in JC

JEFFERSON CITY (MO)
KRCG

Posted: Thursday, March 08, 2007 at 5:43 PM

JEFFERSON CITY -- It has been five years since the resignation of a controversial bishop who had ties to the Jefferson City Catholic Diocese. On Thursday, a small group marched outside the headquarters in Jefferson City to protest the scandal and cover-up of abusive priests within the Catholic Church.

In January of 2002, Bishop Anthony O'Connel, resigned after being publicly accused of sexual abuse. His resignation was part of a national scandal involving dozens of priests throughout the country. Before he resigned, he had been assigned to Hannibal, Missouri and in Tennessee.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Ex-priest appeals sexual assault conviction

EASTLAND (TX)
Abilene Reporter-News

By Kristi Hsu / hsuk@reporternews.com
March 9, 2007

The conviction of a former Ranger priest on sexual assault charges is being appealed.

Notice of the appeal was filed late Wednesday night, said Eastland County District Attorney Russ Thomason.

The Rev. Thomas Teczar was convicted Wednesday on three counts of aggravated sexual assault and one count of indecency by sexual conduct with a Ranger boy, according to Edwin J. Youngblood, Teczar's attorney.

The judge sentenced Teczar to 25 years in prison for the aggravated sexual assault and 15 years for indecency with a child. He will serve both sentences simultaneously, Youngblood said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Top attorneys square off in case of embattled priest

COLORADO
Rocky Mountain News

By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
March 9, 2007
A fight between the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado and one of its priests is shaping up into a battle of the mega-lawyers.

The diocese has hired the law firm of Hal Haddon - known for defending such high-profile figures as basketball star Kobe Bryant - to pursue an allegation of "misapplied funds" against the Rev. Don Armstrong, of Colorado Springs.

Meanwhile, Armstrong's first lawyer, prominent Denver criminal defense attorney Dan Sears, said Thursday he has withdrawn from the case because there aren't the financial resources to adequately fight the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Ex-teacher pleads guilty to child rape

HAMILTON (OH)
Roanoke Times

By Tonia Moxley
381-1676

HAMILTON, Ohio -- Retired Blacksburg teacher Jonathan Utin pleaded guilty Thursday to eight charges of child rape and eight charges of gross sexual imposition of an Ohio girl who was then younger than 10. He will serve 15 years in prison without parole.

Judge Noah Powers of the Butler County, Ohio, General Division Court accepted the plea agreement, which was "highly desired by the victim's family," assistant prosecutor Greg Stephens told the judge. After the proceeding, Stephens said the family agreed to the deal to avoid more trauma to their daughter, who is still a minor. ...

He also served for a short time as a Sunday school teacher at Christ Episcopal Church in Blacksburg and for years managed the Shawnee Swim Club pool, where court records say he sometimes took the Ohio victim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Attorney: 50 come forward in SC Roman Catholic sex abuse

CHARLESTON (SC)
Aiken Today

Fri, Mar 9, 2007

Associated Press

CHARLESTON — Nearly 50 people have come forward since the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston announced it would set aside as much as $12 million to settle claims of sexual abuse by priests and church workers, an attorney said Thursday.

The diocese has since 1950 settled about 50 sexual abuse claims for roughly $3 million.

About four dozen people have contacted attorneys since a class-action settlement was announced in January, said attorney David Haller, who worked on the agreement on behalf of abuse victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Some 50 people claim SC Roman Catholic sex abuse

CHARLESTON (SC)
WIS

(Charleston-AP) March 8, 2007 - An attorney says nearly 50 people have come forward since the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston announced it would set aside as much as $12 million to settle claims of sexual abuse by priests and church workers.

Attorney David Haller represents some of the alleged victims. He says about four dozen people have come forward since the pool of money was announced in January.

A spokesman for the statewide diocese of more than 150,000 Catholics would not comment on the figures.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

It’s Discrimination!

CALIFORNIA
California Catholic Daily

“Gay” and “Straight” molesters are not treated equally, says defrocked priest.

“Gay rights” became an issue in the priest molestation scandal when a defrocked priest facing molestation charges argued on March 7 that California law does not provide equal protection to “gay” and straight molesters.

Donald Steier, attorney for Michael Stephen Baker, 59, who awaits trial on allegations that he molested two boys between 1994 and 1998, argued in court Wednesday that state law does not apply statute of limitations provisions equally. Neither heterosexuals and homosexuals who force intercourse on minors can benefit from time limits for prosecution in California; but heterosexual consensual intercourse with a minor has a statute of limitations placed on it while homosexual consensual intercourse with a minor does not. "Had [Baker] been engaged in heterosexual intercourse with a female of the same age, he could not have been charged," said Steier, according to the March 8 Los Angeles Times. Baker’s lawyer claims that his client had consensual intercourse with the two boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Priest: Calif. Pedophilia Law Anti-gay

CALIFORNIA
Playfuls

A defrocked Roman Catholic priest charged with molesting teenagers says a California pedophilia law is unfair to gays.

The law removes the time limits for sexually assaulting a child. But it only applies to forcible heterosexual sex, while it applies to consensual homosexual sex, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Michael Stephen Baker's lawyer challenged the law at a hearing Wednesday.

Baker is charged with molesting two teenagers for four years during weekend trips. Lawyer Donald Steier argued that under California law Baker could not have been charged if the teens had been girls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

RC diocese delays releasing sex abuse policy

CANADA
London Free Press

Fri, March 9, 2007

By SUN MEDIA

The Catholic Diocese of London has delayed its release of highly-anticipated draft policy about sexual abuse.

The policy, written in the wake of the sex-abuse crimes of the late Charles Sylvestre, a longtime area priest, was to have been available for public comment yesterday.

On its website the diocese said the completion of the policy is "taking longer than anticipated."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Diocese: Money for school was loan

CHULA VISTA (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
March 9, 2007

CHULA VISTA – The San Diego Catholic diocese's petition for bankruptcy is only a week old – and already the wrangling has begun.

Among the questions: whether money to build the almost-completed Mater Dei Catholic High School in Chula Vista was a loan or a gift.

“It was a loan,” said Micheal Webb, the diocese's in-house counsel. “It definitely was a loan.”

Webb said the ALSAM Foundation, a charitable organization, gave the diocese a $50 million, interest-free loan to help build the school. In return, the diocese agreed to repay that amount within four years of completion, with a possible one-year extension, he said.

A 2005 year-end report from the ALSAM Foundation also describes it as an interest-free loan. So does a former foundation officer, who said in an interview that it was a loan from the beginning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

CNN to air Calvert Hall sex abuse story

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Examiner

Ron Cassie, The Examiner
Read more by Ron Cassie
Mar 9, 2007 3:00 AM (4 hrs ago)

BALTIMORE - To Pat Goles, it was divine intervention. His son Michael had faced the Baltimore Catholic community’s damnation after making sexual abuse charges in 1993 against popular Calvert Hall chaplain “Father Jeff” Toohey. Then, in 2004, his son, who remained troubled and unvindicated, got a phone call from a man only several blocks away in Atlanta. He had just come forth with similar allegations.

The second man, CNN Headline News anchor Thomas Roberts, was a previous Toohey victim. Roberts talks extensively on camera for the first time about the sexual abuse he suffered at Calvert Hall on “Anderson Cooper 360” Monday night.

In an hour-long segment, Roberts, 34, discusses the abuse — emotionally at times — which he said took place from 1987 to 1990. He reveals the struggle to overcome the psychological damage, including a suicide attempt, and the decision to ultimately come forward and press charges with Goles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

March 8, 2007

Perversion of Power

UNITED STATES
Boston Magazine

Clinical psychologist Frawley-O’Dea offers a detailed look at the church sex-abuse scandal.

By From a 1983 case in the Louisiana bayou to the Boston Archdiocese’s headline-fueled implosion in 2002, clinical psychologist Frawley-O’Dea offers a detailed look at the church sex-abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 PM

Records detail secret lives of 2 priests accused of misappropriating $8.7 million

FLORIDA
Orlando Sentinel

By Peter Franceschina and Missy Diaz | South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted March 8, 2007, 6:37 PM EST

Palm Beach County prosecutors released hundreds of documents today offering more details into the secret lives of two priests accused of misappropriating $8.7 million from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach.

Statements from church employees, police reports and accounting statements show that the church coffers overflowed after weekly offerings, but that the two priests felt that the money was theirs to do with what they wished, including spending lavishly on themselves and their girlfriends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 PM

Documents show diocese probe of accused priest

WEST PALM BEACH (FL)
Palm Beach Post

By Michael LaForgia
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Thursday, March 08, 2007

WEST PALM BEACH — Palm Beach Diocese officials were uncovering evidence of misappropriated money at a church run by one of two priests now accused of mishandling $8.6 million in offertory money - even as it put him in control of St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church, confidential church documents released Thursday show.

An internal diocesan audit dated Aug. 31, 2003, revealed problems with the way collection plate money was tracked at a Palm Beach Gardens parish headed by the Rev. Francis B. Guinan, who was arrested last year along with the Rev. John A. Skehan on grand theft charges.

Guinan and Skehan now are accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of offertory dollars in what has become one of the biggest financial scandals in the modern history of the U.S. Catholic church.

Rather than alert the police to the accounting problems at St. Patrick in 2003, the diocese permitted Guinan to take over at St. Vincent - where investigators now estimate he made off with more than $300,000 in less than two years - according to statements made by Denis Hamel, the diocese financial administrator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 PM

Priest sued for child support: Letter alleges serious charges

SPOKANE (WA)
KHQ

SPOKANE, Wash.--Last month we brought you the story of a Catholic priest, living in Spokane, being sued for child support.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 PM

Court Battle Underway In Catholic Diocese Bankruptcy

SAN DIEGO (CA)
KFMB

Last Updated:
03-08-07 at 11:32AM

A court battle is underway to determine how much money the Catholic Diocese of San Diego really has.

Its real estate assets took center stage yesterday at a court hearing downtown.

Outside the courthouse, those accusing priests of sexual abuse made sure they were not forgotten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

Judge rejects San Diego diocese request to seal abuse records

SAN DIEGO (CA)
San Luis Obispo Tribune

ALLISON HOFFMAN
Associated Press
SAN DIEGO - The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego lost a bid to seal any documents that would detail sex abuse allegations against priests, but the judge overseeing its bankruptcy reorganization ruled the accusers' names can be kept secret.

Judge Louise DeCarl Adler said that bankruptcy proceedings are inherently public.

The Associated Press and Copley Press Inc., publisher of The San Diego Union-Tribune, challenged the diocese's request to seal financial disclosures and "pleadings, reports and other documents" if they identified victims.

An attorney for the news organizations said the breadth of the diocese request could prevent abuse allegations from being made public.

"Secrecy tends to grow like Topsy, and we're trying to stop that," said attorney Susan Seager after Wednesday's ruling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:17 PM

Polish diocese briefs police on sex-abuse charges

POLAND
Catholic World News

Mar. 8, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Poland’s daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita is reporting that the Diocese of Plock has given police the names of three priests accused of sexually abusing minors. One of the priests is said to have fled the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:47 PM

Court hearing set for SC Roman Catholic sex abuse settlement

CHARLESTON (SC)
Myrtle Beach Sun News

BRUCE SMITH
Associated Press
CHARLESTON, S.C. - Victims sexually abused by priests and other employees of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston could receive thousands of dollars if a judge approves a settlement designating up to $12 million for damages.

Circuit Judge Diane Schafer Goodstein scheduled a hearing Friday to review the class-action settlement and listen to any objections. The agreement was reached last year by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston and attorneys representing victims.

Victims abused as children could get anywhere from $10,000 to $200,000 and spouses and parents would receive $20,000, under the settlement.

Since 1950, 50 abuse claims involving 28 clergy members or other diocesan employees have been settled for almost $3 million, church officials have said. Those claims are not part of the settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Polish archbishop, officials ignored child sex abuse, says newspaper

POLAND
Catholic Online

By Jonathan Luxmoore
3/8/2007
Catholic News Service

OXFORD, England (CNS) – A Polish newspaper has reported that diocesan officials and an archbishop ignored cases of pedophilia and sex abuse of minors by priests in the Diocese of Plock, Poland.

The Rzeczpospolita daily reported March 6 that Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus and other officials of the diocese had been kept informed for at least six years by pastors of victims' parishes about priest sex abuse of minors. Archbishop Wielgus was the head of the Plock Diocese from 1999 until he was appointed to head the Archdiocese of Warsaw in January. He quickly resigned after admitting he had collaborated with the communist secret police.

The newspaper said other priests had confirmed the claims and that it had received testimonies from several abuse victims since Rzeczpospolita published its first report March 3.

"Several priests exploited the trust of children in their care to get close to boys and have sexual contacts with them," the newspaper said. "The names of the same diocesan clergy recur in the accounts we've heard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:39 PM

WATERBURY: Mount Carmel parishioners stunned by priest's transfer

WATERBURY (CT)
Republican-American

Thursday, March 8, 2007

BY TARYN PLUMB
Republican-American

WATERBURY Parishioners of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church are bewildered and shocked by the removal of the Rev. David J. Borino and the accusation of financial irregularities at the church.

"The archdiocese did a disservice to this priest in the way that they handled the whole thing," said Rocco Orso, purchasing director for the city and an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist at Mount Carmel. "They treated pedophiles better than this priest."

He said the entire parish was caught off guard when it was announced that Borino had been transferred, and he described Borino as "devastated."

Borino was removed from the church earlier this week when the Archdiocese of Hartford received information about "financial irregularities," said the Rev. John Gatzak, director of communications at the Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Dominican Catholic Church in another scandal

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Dominican Today

SANTO DOMINGO. - After several months since of the controversial priest Christopher Harley left the Dominican Republic, the San Pedro diocese bishop Francisco Ozoria, revealed in a letter by the official Catholic Pastoral Family magazine, that the reason for removing the Spanish-born missionary from that diocese was because he committed serious acts which he described as "very disloyal and anti-eccleastical" and which were not in harmony with the Pastoral Plan. ...

The bishop’s revelation could become the second major scandal in the Dominican Catholic Church, after the case of alleged witchcraft and multiple rapes committed against minors in an orphanage run by the Higuey Diocese in San Rafael del Yuma rocked the country’s catholic faithful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

25-year sentence for priest

EASTLAND (TX)
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

EASTLAND, Texas— A priest from Central Massachusetts was sentenced yesterday to 25 years in prison after being convicted of the aggravated sexual assault of an 11-year-old boy in the early 1990s.

The Rev. Thomas Teczar, 65, was a priest in the Worcester Diocese before taking an assignment in the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese until his departure in 1993. He served in several parishes in Texas, including Ranger, where the victim was abused.

Rev. Teczar, who lives in Dudley, Mass., and who served as a priest in the Worcester Diocese until the mid-1980s, was convicted yesterday on three counts of sexual assault and one count of indecency with a child. He was sentenced to 25 years for each assault charge and 15 for the indecency charge; all sentences will run concurrently, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported in its online edition yesterday. ...

He was arrested in Dudley in December 2002 on a warrant alleging he was a fugitive from justice and was arrested again in March 2003 on a governor’s warrant. Rev. Teczar has denied he fled Texas to avoid prosecution, and he returned on his own to Texas for the arraignment. He has also denied that he abused the boy, who is identified as John Doe II.

“John Doe II” settled a civil suit against the Fort Worth, Texas, and Worcester dioceses several months ago for $2.75 million, although Worcester did not contribute to the settlement.

Rev. Teczar, who was ordained as a priest of the Worcester Diocese in 1967, was barred from ministry in the 1980s by the late Bishop Timothy J. Harrington, but he has not been defrocked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Sex suit shocks pastor

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

Thu, March 8, 2007

By SUN MEDIA

A lawsuit alleging sexual abuse has stunned a popular pastor who grew up in the Ottawa area.

Rev. Allen Tysick told the Victoria Times-Colonist yesterday that he was shocked by the news that a woman in the Ottawa area has brought a lawsuit against him.

"This is a complete surprise to me," Tysick said. "I'll pursue it. I've got to pursue it. I've got to call this lawyer or get a lawyer myself."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Victims shouldn't rest until Diocese pays

SAN DIEGO (CA)
The Daily Aztec

By: Ben Shore, Staff Columnist

Every once in a while, it becomes necessary to reminisce. Almost every day, there's a new story dominating the headlines, while others often fade from memory. And for some, that's just the way they prefer it.

Last week, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, halting the more than 140 pending lawsuits involving sexual abuse by priests mere hours before the trials were set to begin. While the church denies it filed for bankruptcy in an attempt to subvert justice, the bottom line remains clear: The church won't pay. The victims deserve compensation and the abusers deserve jail.

What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Roman Catholic Church? Certainly, many think of their faith - comforting, yet blinding, as it may be. Others, however, view it differently. What comes to mind is an ineffable breach of trust and an ensuing cowardice that shakes the very core of an institution that claims to be a direct link to God.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Priest is given 25 years for sex abuse

EASTLAND (TX)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By DARREN BARBEE
Star-Telegram staff writer
EASTLAND - Closing one of the most notorious chapters in the history of the Fort Worth Diocese, the Rev. Thomas Teczar was convicted Wednesday of sexual assault and indecency and was sentenced to 25 years in prison for molesting and raping an 11-year-old boy.

The Roman Catholic priest, 65, chose not to have a jury trial, so state District Judge Steven Herod decided the verdict and sentence.

Teczar's accuser, a Taylor County man now in his late 20s, said "Yes!" as the verdict was announced. The man said he is still angry about being abused in the early 1990s when Teczar was a priest at St. Rita's Catholic Church in Ranger.

"I can't find better counseling than watching him leave this courtroom in handcuffs," the man said. The Star-Telegram typically does not identify victims in sexual assault cases.

Teczar, who now lives in Massachusetts, is believed to be the only priest convicted of a crime that occurred while he was serving in the Fort Worth Diocese. Several other Fort Worth clerics have been accused in civil court suits of similar acts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Attorneys Question San Diego Diocese School Construction

SAN DIEGO (CA)
NBC Sandiego

SAN DIEGO -- Attorneys representing more than 140 people who say they were sexually abused by priests raised questions Wednesday about a $60 million high school under construction by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.

The lawyers are critical of the church for embarking on the expansion project in 2005 after settlement negotiations were already under way with the alleged abuse victims.

No settlement has been reached in any of the cases. The diocese filed for bankruptcy last week, hours before the first civil suit was set to begin.

The diocese said bankruptcy would help pay victims of sex abuse for their damages, but protestors claim the church's real motive was to avoid public trials and testimony by alleged victims.

In a court hearing on Wednesday, plaintiffs' attorneys asked Judge Louise DeCarl Adler not to release funds to the diocese for its new Mater Dei high school campus until more information is provided about how the project will affect the amount of money available to compensate abuse victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 AM

Priest gets 25 years in sex assault

EASTLAND (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

11:10 PM CST on Wednesday, March 7, 2007
By BROOKS EGERTON / The Dallas Morning News
begerton@dallasnews.com

A judge handed down a 25-year prison sentence Wednesday to a priest whose long history of sexual misconduct has already cost the Fort Worth Catholic Diocese more than $4 million in legal settlements.

The Rev. Thomas Teczar was convicted earlier in the day of aggravated sexual assault and indecency with an 11-year-old boy in Eastland County, about 120 miles west of Dallas.

Teczar Father Teczar fled Texas during a criminal investigation in the early 1990s after failing to report sexual abuse by two friends in Eastland County and urging one to destroy photographic evidence.

Eastland County authorities have accused the diocese of failing to cooperate in the investigation, which led to the conviction of the two friends. Diocese officials have denied wrongdoing.

Father Teczar returned to his home state of Massachusetts, where his misconduct with boys had led to his removal from the ministry in the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 AM

Names of county's clergy sex abuse victims to remain under wraps

SAN DIEGO (CA)
North County Times

By: TERI FIGUEROA - Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO -- The names of people suing the Catholic Diocese of San Diego over allegations of sex abuse will be kept secret in federal proceedings tied to the diocese's bankruptcy filing -- unless the victims want their names made public.

The decision to keep the names under wraps came during a hearing in a San Diego federal bankruptcy court Wednesday.

An attorney for some of the victims said he was pleased with the decision and was concerned that the church may have tried to seal documents containing not only the victims' names, but also the details of how the diocese allegedly covered up abuse and molestation by clergy.

"The only thing that will be held back now is the names (of the victims)," said Raymond Boucher, a Los Angeles area attorney representing about a third of the victims in the local cases. "That is exactly what we had hoped for."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 AM

Ex-priest says California law violates the rights of accused gay pedophiles

CALIFORNIA
Los Angeles Times

By John Spano, Times Staff Writer
6:34 PM PST, March 7, 2007

A former Roman Catholic priest said in court Wednesday that the rights of homosexuals have been violated by a state law that makes it easier to prosecute gay pedophiles than heterosexual child molesters.

It apparently was the first time that gay rights have been introduced into the ongoing prosecution of current and former Catholic priests alleged to have molested children.

The state law in question has no time limit for prosecuting homosexual offenders, but there are various limits for heterosexual offenders.

Defrocked priest Michael Stephen Baker, 59, said the provision denies equal protection of the law to gay people. He cited a central provision of the U.S. Constitution that has been used to advance racial equality and gender rights.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 AM

Former Texas Priest Convicted of Abuse

EASTLAND (TX)
Washington Post

The Associated Press
Thursday, March 8, 2007; 12:15 AM

EASTLAND, Texas -- A former priest was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in prison after being convicted of molesting an 11-year-old boy in the early 1990s.

The Rev. Thomas Teczar, 65, of Dudley, Mass., was a priest in the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese until his departure in 1993.

The victim, now in his late 20s, testified Wednesday that Teczar used threats, persuasion and the use of his Mercedes to entice him to have sex and keep it a secret when he was 11 years old. Teczar told him he could have him taken away from his mother, the man testified before a state district judge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 AM

Girl, parents sue Miami archdiocese

FLORIDA
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
March 7, 2007


The following is the text of a complaint filed March 7, 2007 on behalf of a girl who alleges sexual abuse by a Miami archdiocese youth minister.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:24 AM

March 7, 2007

Former priest convicted of abuse, sentenced to 25 years

EASTLAND (TX)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Associated Press
EASTLAND, Texas - A former priest was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in prison after being convicted of the aggravated sexual assault of an 11-year-old boy in the early 1990s.

The Rev. Thomas Teczar, 65, was a priest in the Fort Worth Roman Catholic Diocese until his departure in 1993. He served in several parishes, including Ranger, where the victim was abused.

Teczar was convicted on three counts of sexual assault and one count of indecency with a child. He was sentenced to 25 years for each assault charge and 15 for the indecency charge; all sentences will run concurrently, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported in its online edition Wednesday.

The victim, now in his late 20s, testified earlier Wednesday that Teczar used threats, persuasion and the use of his Mercedes to entice a then-11-year-old boy to have sex and keep it a secret.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 PM

Girl sues archdiocese in sex case

PINECREST (FL)
Bradenton Herald

BY JAY WEAVER
jweaver@MiamiHerald.com
A teenage girl says a youth minister at her Catholic church in Pinecrest sexually assaulted her during a Vermont field trip and other activities last year, according to a lawsuit filed today against the Archdiocese of Miami.

The negligence suit claims the pastor of St. Louis Catholic Church, the Rev. James Fetscher, was aware of sexual misconduct by the youth minister, Anthony B. Ricco, 19, as far back as 2004 but did not report it to authorities as required by law.

An archdiocese spokeswoman strongly denied the accusation, saying church officials first learned about the allegations against Ricco last April when Pinecrest police notified them about plans to arrest the youth minister at his home.

''Had it been brought to our attention before then, we would have immediately reported it to the police,'' spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta said, stressing that the archdiocese cooperated with authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Pinecrest Teen Sues Archdiocese Of Miami

PINECREST (FL)
NBC 6

PINECREST, Fla. -- The Archdiocese of Miami is once again facing accusations it covered up sex abuse from one of its local churches.

The latest claim centers on a youth minister who worked at a Catholic School in Pinecrest.

A 15-year-old, identified only as "Jane Doe," is suing the Archdiocese, claiming it did not do enough to stop a sexually abusive Youth Minister.

In the suit, the teen and her parents claim the Archdiocese received numerous complaints back in 2004 that Anthony Ricco, a Youth Minister at St. Louis Catholic Church, was sexually abusing young girls.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:21 PM

Victim's Group Rallies Against Catholic Diocese

SAN DIEGO (CA)
WFMB

Last Updated:
03-07-07 at 2:07PM

The Catholic Diocese of San Diego is due in court Wednesday, just a week after filing for bankruptcy protection against a string of lawsuits claiming abuse by priests.

It was just a week ago when Bishop Robert Brom announced he had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to put off going to trial in more than 140 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests.

Bishop Brom says the decision was made because any damages awarded early in a trial could deplete resources, leaving nothing for other victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 PM

On CNN, anchor to discuss being abused by priest

UNITED STATES
Orlando Sentinel

On CNN Monday, Headline News anchor Thomas Roberts will offer his story of being abused by a Roman Catholic priest.

Roberts will share his story in the first hour of "Anderson Cooper 360" at 10 p.m. Last year, the priest, Father Jerome F. Toohey Jr., pleaded guilty to charges of sexually abusing Roberts. Toohey, who is known as "Father Jeff," served 10 months of a five-year prison sentence. He then went into home detention.

CNN provided excerpts Wednesday of the Roberts interview.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:36 PM

Sins of the Father

SANTA FE (NM)
Santa Fe Reporter

By Emiliano Garcia-Sarnoff

Published: March 7, 2007

Deliver Us from Evil delivers, but is hard to accept.

Why is there pleasure in torturing ourselves with the horrors of the world—and why are the films (and other works of art) that do so effectively taken the most seriously?

For most of human history, to see pain and suffering was a call to action—our sphere of action as large as our sphere of knowledge. Now, all the world’s pain is piped in through newspapers, television, movies and the Internet, with very little we can do about it. The gulf between the horrors we know about and what

we can do about them is wider than it has ever been. This has serious psychological consequences, and many people simply turn away from painful knowledge because, “What’s the point of knowing and suffering if I can’t do anything about it?”

During Deliver Us From Evil I swung my fist at the air, gritted my teeth and clenched my eyes against the tears that burned. Absolutely infuriating, frustrating and penetrating, Amy Berg’s Oscar-nominated documentary chronicles the case of Father Oliver O’Grady, the most notorious pedophile in Catholic Church history, and the children, now grown, whose lives he devastated. It is the masterfully created study of a deviant and the callous, calculated actions of an institution that cared more about self-preservation than kids’ lives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Priest used threats to lure, accuser says

EASTLAND (TX)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By DARREN BARBEE
Star-Telegram Staff Writer
EASTLAND -- The Rev. Thomas Teczar used threats, persuasion and the use of his Mercedes to entice a then-11-year-old boy to have sex and keep it a secret, the priest's accuser testified Wednesday morning.

Teczar told him he could "have me taken away from my mother," the man testified before a state district judge.

Teczar, 65, has pleaded not guilty to charges that he abused the boy in the early 1990s in Ranger. He is a former Fort Worth diocese priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:30 PM

Abuse inquiry continues in Polish diocese once headed by Wielgus

POLAND
Catholic World News

Warsaw, Mar. 7, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Questions about clerical abuse continue to swirl around Poland’s Plock diocese, formerly headed by Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus.

Father Bogdan Czupryn, the rector of the diocesan seminary, has asked a local public prosecutor to investigate an accusation of assault lodged by a seminary student against two priests. The attack allegedly took place a few years ago, and not at the seminary itself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

Teen Claims Sex Abuse At Hands Of Youth Minister

FLORIDA
CBS 4

(CBS4) Pinecrest A Miami-Dade teen is suing the Archdiocese of Miami claiming it did not do enough to stop a sexually abusive Youth Minister.

In her suit, the teenager, identified only as ‘Jane Doe,’ claims the Archdiocese received numerous complaints in 2004 that Youth Minister Anthony Ricco at St. Louis Catholic Church in Pinecrest was sexually abusing young girls.

Among those alerted to his suspected behavior, the church’s Pastor, Father James Fetscher, and Senior Youth Minister Paul Herring. The woman claims Father Fetscher and Herring took no action to protect the children at St. Louis Catholic Church, even after receiving complaints.

In 2006, ‘Jane Doe’ said as a 15-year old, she was sexually abused by Ricco, who she claims also abused other girls in the New Life youth group, some as young as 13-years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

The Gamm presents RI premiere of Sin: A Cardinal Deposed

PAWTUCKET (RI)
Broadway World

Wednesday, March 7, 2007; Posted: 12:40 PM - by Randy Rice

The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre (Gamm) will present Sin: A Cardinal Deposed, an unflinching docu-drama by playwright Michael Murphy that melds together the words and characters of the Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis in Boston, MA.

The play had its world premiere in Chicago, IL in 2004 and has received both audience and critical acclaim.

The basis for the play are the testimonies surrounding Law, whose governance of his diocese was scrutinized when years of sexual abuse by priests under his authority were finally revealed. Murphy used both actual courtroom testimony by victims and accused child molesters, as well as internal Church documents in Sin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Overhaul church accounting

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

The archbishop grinned. His public relations aide was describing the whiz-bang accounting software that purportedly tracked 99 and 44/100 cents of every dollar collected by his parishes.

“Yes, of course, we make every effort to account for the money,” the archbishop told our correspondent. He chuckled the knowing laugh of someone about to let you in on a secret. “But it’s impossible to control everything -- we know a lot of the pastors still have their little kitties,” he said. (“That’s off-the-record,” interjected the aide.)

In fact, the archbishop was disclosing the worst kept secret in church financial circles. Even in the best-managed dioceses, parishes are far from the green-eyeshade scrutiny of the chancery’s number crunchers, assuming such oversight even exists. And the controls that do exist under canon law -- each parish is to have its own finance council and each diocese a similar body -- are hardly guarantees of good stewardship at either the local or diocesan level.

Here are some of the other “secrets,” known to those who track such events or participate in church governance:

Bishops take gifts, sometimes very expensive gifts, from those who seek business from the church.
Family members and friends of church officials can unduly benefit from their connections.
The vast majority of U.S. Catholics have no idea how their $6 billion in annual donations are spent (or misspent) because diocesan and parish financial reporting, if it exists at all, is generally designed to obscure, to confuse, and not to enlighten.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Jeffs' Attorneys Ask for Dismissal of Charges, Venue Change

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
KSL

March 6th, 2007 @ 9:56pm
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Attorneys for polygamist leader Warren Jeffs are seeking to have charges against him dismissed. If that doesn't hapen, they want to see his trial moved to Salt Lake County. That's according to motions his attorneys filed today.

Jeffs, 51, is president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a sect of almost 10,000 who practice polygamy in arranged marriages. Jeffs is facing an April trial on state felony charges of rape as an accomplice for arranging and performing a 2001 marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her adult cousin.

In the motion to dismiss the charges, Jeffs' attorneys say prosecutors failed to prove during a preliminary hearing last year that Jeffs was aware that the girl objected to having sex with her husband.

On Tuesday, Jeffs' attorneys also filed for a change of venue. Most members of the FLDS church live in the twin cities of Colorado City, Ariz., and Hildale, Utah. Hildale is in Washington County, where Jeffs is being jailed and the trial is scheduled. The motion cites "the nature of the community in Washington County" along with the seriousness of the offense as reasons Jeff's trial should be moved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Brom Pushes Bankruptcy To Prevent Release of Documents Re His Own "Sexual Misconduct" in Perv Priest Civil Hearings Against Catholic Archdioceses

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

It’s not just about the money.

Motion Compelling Deposition, Testimony, and production of documents by R. Brom et al, hearing scheduled for Feb 28 2007 canceled due to bankruptcy filing.

In deposition testimony last November Bishop Robert Brom admitted there had been an investigation into his own sexual misconduct. Documents about that investigation were about to emerge if the civil cases in San Diego had continued one more day. A motion to compel Bishop Brom to respond to questions about his specific sexual misconduct allegations was filed February 22, by John Manly, attorney for the plaintiffs, just hours before the San Diego Archdiocese announced it was filing for bankruptcy, thus putting the 140 cases regarding the San Diego archdiocese on hold.

On November 30, 2006 Bishop Robert Brom said under oath in deposition that he had been “investigated for allegations that I took part in a specific orgy at the seminary that was connected with the cardinal.” When Manly asked Brom if he could turn over documents about that investigation into the bishop's sexual misconduct, his attorney Bill Whalen jumped in and got the bishop to stop talking, claiming first amendment freedom of religion rights.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

'Hero' hit with abuse lawsuit"

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

Wed, March 7, 2007

By JON WILLING, SUN MEDIA

An Ottawa-born pastor hailed by Time magazine as one of Canada's heroes is at the centre of a $1-million lawsuit alleging sexual abuse.

Rev. Allen Tysick and the United Church of Canada are named in the lawsuit which accuses Tysick of sexually abusing a woman who, according to court documents filed in Ottawa, was being counselled by the pastor.

Rosemary Lambie, executive secretary for the Montreal-Ottawa Conference of the United Church of Canada, said the church hasn't been served with the lawsuit, so she couldn't comment on the allegations.

Lambie said to her knowledge, there have never been complaints made against Tysick, who hasn't lived in the Ottawa area for many years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Mistrial declared in sex abuse case

MARYLAND
Baltimore Sun

By Tyrone Richardson
Sun reporter
Originally published March 7, 2007
A Howard County judge declared a mistrial yesterday in the case of a Baltimore County pastor accused of engaging in sexual acts with a teenage male parishioner in Columbia hotels in 2004 and 2005.

The trial began yesterday morning and ended about 5 p.m. after the alleged victim, who is now 18 years old, gave testimony against Gerald Fitroy Griffith that included references to incidents in Baltimore County.

During a hearing yesterday before the jury was selected, Judge Diane O. Leasure upheld a motion by the defense to exclude mention of sex abuse charges that Griffith faces in Baltimore County. After the witness referred to Baltimore County, attorneys conferred privately with Leasure, and she then ruled the mistrial.

Griffith, pastor and founder of Redemption Christian Fellowship Church on Dogwood Road in Woodlawn, was indicted by a Howard County grand jury in August on three counts of sexual abuse of a minor. Griffith, 40, of Bowie, entered a plea of not guilty at yesterday's trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Fondling ex-pastor gets conditional sentence

CANADA
Edmonton Sun

By ELIZA BARLOW, SUN MEDIA

Ogling and fondling the breasts of two young members of a city church earned a former minister an eight-month conditional sentence yesterday.

Thomas Leslie Cook, 48, of Utopia, Ont., was sentenced by Judge Michael Allen after he pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault.

"Your respected position with the church and your association with the local pastor allowed your access to the victims ... You have fallen from grace a great deal," said Allen to the silver-haired, cowboy boot-clad Cook.

Cook will mostly be under house arrest, but he will be allowed to go to work - and to church.

According to agreed facts, Cook headed a ministry called TLC Ministries and was an associate of the pastor of Strathcona Community Christian Church in Edmonton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Pittsburgh may have to wait on filling bishop's post

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The pope named bishops for two U.S. dioceses yesterday, one of whom was a possible candidate for Pittsburgh.

Auxiliary Bishop Kevin Farrell, 59, of Washington, D.C., will lead the troubled Diocese of Dallas. It became open in July, when Bishop Charles Grahmann reached the retirement age of 75. ...

Dallas was a crisis case. It was the largest diocese without an auxiliary bishop, and had a bizarre recent history.

In 1997, a jury found the diocese "grossly negligent" in its handling of a serial pedophile priest, Rudy Kos. He is serving three life terms and the diocese paid 10 victims $31 million.

In 1999, the Vatican sent Bishop Joseph Galante as a coadjutor to replace Bishop Grahmann. But Bishop Grahmann refused to retire. The situation escalated as Bishop Galante publicly criticized Bishop Grahmann in 2002, prominent Dallas Catholics petitioned for Bishop Grahmann's removal in 2003 and in 2004 the Vatican gave up and gave Bishop Galante a diocese in New Jersey.

"There was a lot of mismanagement and lack of oversight," Mr. Palmo said.

"You have a polarized clergy, you have a diocesan staff that is weary, tired of having a divided diocese. Bishop Farrell has to come in and be a unifier. And that is something he has done well in Washington."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Diocese fights insurance firm over coverage

DENVER (CO)
The Pueblo Chieftain

By ROBERT BOCZKIEWICZ
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
DENVER - The Pueblo Catholic Diocese is fighting an insurance company's contention it has no obligation to provide coverage to the diocese for lawsuits of men who claim they were sexually abused by a Catholic school teacher.

The diocese wants a U.S. District Court judge to throw out North River Insurance company's lawsuit that makes the contention.

North River of Morris Township, N.J., made its no-obligation contention in a lawsuit filed in October against the diocese, the Marianists Catholic order and the men.

Twenty-one former students who claim they were sexually abused in the 1970s by Roncalli High School teacher William Mueller, a former Marianist brother, are suing the diocese and the Marianists in Pueblo District Court for alleged negligence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Grahmann's legacy: progress, setbacks

DALLAS (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

12:00 AM CST on Wednesday, March 7, 2007
By BRUCE TOMASO / The Dallas Morning News
btomaso@dallasnews.com

Now that he's retired, Charles Grahmann, the outgoing Catholic bishop of Dallas, is looking forward to going fishing.

Others would just as soon drive him to the lake this afternoon.

Bishop Grahmann, who introduced his successor Tuesday, leaves a legacy in Dallas marked both by spectacular growth and spectacularly embarrassing scandal. ...

At the same time, though, the Dallas diocese has been jolted by revelation after revelation of sexual abuse of children. Much of that abuse took place before Bishop Grahmann arrived, but much of it was concealed for years after he became bishop. Settlements with abuse victims exceed $45 million over the last decade, and lawsuits are pending.

"My opinion is that Bishop Grahmann just utterly failed to properly supervise and monitor these pedophiles," said Michael Pezzulli, a Dallas attorney who represented several victims of sexual abuse by lay day care workers at the Catholic Community of St. Pius X in East Dallas.

"He utterly failed to prohibit the abuse that occurred within the Catholic Diocese of Dallas. And I lay that failure directly at the feet of the bishop. When complaints were filed about priests and others conducting themselves inappropriately, nothing was done to them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

A down-to-earth leader with a higher calling

DALLAS (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

12:00 AM CST on Wednesday, March 7, 2007
By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News
samhodges@dallasnews.com / The Dallas Morning News
s Jeffrey Weiss, Bruce Tomaso and Brooks Egerton contributed to this report.

As a boy in Dublin, Ireland, Kevin Farrell blew the question posed to him during his confirmation service by a formidable archbishop.

"I got through six sacraments and couldn't remember the last one," he said Tuesday in an interview. "I was sent to the back of the line. The nuns just looked at me and told me I had disgraced the whole school in front of the archbishop of Dublin."

He has made few missteps since, gradually building a killer résumé that on Tuesday landed him a papal appointment as bishop of the Diocese of Dallas. ...

In 1966, he entered the novitiate of the Legionaries of Christ. That organization is controversial for its strict adherence to orthodoxy, its fundraising and organizational tactics (some former members describe it as cultlike) and lately for the sex-abuse accusations faced by its founder, Father Marcial Maciel.

But as a young man, Kevin Farrell found the Legionaries appealed to his sense of mission.

"When I first met them in Ireland, they had a very unique spirituality and presented the challenge to me – which I probably needed at the time, and wished to accept – to go save the world," he said. "Idealism is not a word that's unheard of in Ireland."