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April 30, 2007

Interview with Tahira Khan Merritt

DALLAS (TX)
Orthodox Reform

Orthodox Reform interviews Tahira Khan Merritt. She represents clients who claim Fr. Nicholas Nikolas, a Greek Orthodox priest, sexually abused them over a period of years while the clients were altar boys at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church.

Orthodox Reform: In a nutshell, tell us about this lawsuit.

Tahira Khan Merritt: The lawsuit involves the sexual abuse by Fr. Katinas of two former altar boys at Holy Trinity between 1983 and 1986.

Orthodox Reform: Why is this lawsuit necessary?

Tahira Khan Merritt: The officials who were in charge of Fr. Katinas as well as Fr. Katinas himself must be held accountable for their actions in civil court. Because the victims are now more than 28 years old, criminal charges are not possible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM

VOTF Group Says Diocese Worth $1 Billion

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
Voice from the Desert

On Saturday, April 28, 2007, the Voice of the Faithful affiliate in Bridgeport, Connecticut, held a financial accountability conference at Fairfield University. Among the interesting reports: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport has assets estimated at over $1 billion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 PM

Priest Pleads Guilty To Lewd Conduct

ST. ALBANS (VT)
WCAX

St. Albans, Vermont - April 30, 2007

Stephen Nichols, a priest from St. Elizabeth's Church in Lyndonville, plead guilty Monday to a misdemeanor charge of a prohibited act for lewd behavior.

As part of his plea deal, Nichols admitted that on 2 separate occasions in 2005, he brought an 18 year old parishioner to Canada. On one of those occasions, the teenager got drunk. When they returned to the priest's Richford home, Nichols tried to fondle him.

The victim in the case has never been made public, but an advocate read a letter to the court in his behalf.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 PM

“Trust your instincts”

FRESNO (CA)
California Catholic Daily

In the wake of the clergy molestation scandal, the Fresno diocese, like others, has put in place a religious education program to train students (Kindergarten-12th grade) to respond to abuse. But does this “safe environment program, called “Keeping the Promise,” keep the promise it makes?

According to Bishop John Steinbock’s foreword, the program’s “Parent Resource and Catechist Guide” was drawn up “to make a practical connection of Christian values to personal and interpersonal safety skill development that may reduce a child’s vulnerability without compromising their innocence.” Further, “it respects the parents’ discretion regarding how and when the more sensitive topics related to child abuse are introduced to their children in regards to individual readiness.”

Parents may opt their children out of safe environment sessions. Parents who participate receive a copy of the guide, which promises them, “Classroom presentations to young children will not teach the proper names of body parts, especially those areas that are often referred to as ‘private parts.’ Giving specific examples of what is ‘good touch vs. bad touch’ will not be included...”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:47 PM

Pastor's removal stuns flock

DURHAM (NC)
The News & Observer

Yonat Shimron, Staff Writer
DURHAM - The removal of the Rev. Stephen M. Garrity as pastor of Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church couldn't have come at a worse time.

Just Saturday, a concrete floor had been poured at the site of the new $2.8 million sanctuary two miles from the church's current location on the campus of N.C. Central University. The 67-year-old Garrity was the force behind the construction and fundraising.

When he didn't show up for Mass on Sunday morning, members were shocked to hear he had been "recalled" by his religious order, the Jesuits. According to the order, Garrity confessed to sexual relations with five adults 25 years ago. One of those people contacted the Maryland province of the order, which whisked Garrity away before he had a chance to say goodbye.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Third altar boy claims abuse by priest

Apr 30 2007

UNITED KINGDOM
ic Coventry

by Steve Chilton

ANOTHER former altar boy at one of Coventry's Roman Catholic churches is claiming he was sexually abused by disgraced priest Christopher Clonan.

Now aged 33 and living in Warwickshire, he is suing the archdiocese for up to £150,000 damages.

He maintains he was abused over a period of about five years from 1986.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Local Catholics worry about churches' finances

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

April 30, 2007
Collateral damage.

It's a phrase you expect to hear about Iraq or other wars past and present.

But some San Diego Roman Catholics are starting to use it about themselves.

“It's becoming real for parishes,” Carl Sarrazolla said.

Chris Heitman nods. “It's hitting home.”

On a chilly morning outside a bagel shop, these two men, along with fellow Catholic Dan Hughes, sat talking about how the diocese's bankruptcy case is beginning to worry them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 AM

Questions, hot debate mark legal process

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

Though they have never met, Jose Castro and Dan Hughes have certain things in common. Both were raised as Roman Catholics and both are keenly interested in the outcome of the Diocese of San Diego's ongoing scandal over allegations of child sexual abuse by priests and other clergy.

Castro, 55, is among approximately 150 men and women who have filed suit against the diocese. He said he was fondled and otherwise sexually abused repeatedly by the Rev. Rudolph Galindo when Castro was an altar boy in the early 1960s at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Otay.

When he reported the abuse to his mother, Castro said, she beat him; then she marched him down to Galindo. The priest, who now lives in a Texas retirement home and in recent years has admitted abusing children, also beat him, Castro said, and the sexual abuse continued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

April 29, 2007

The Silent Survivors

PORTLAND (OR)
The Register-Guard

By Kelly Clark
For The Register-Guard
Published: Sunday, April 29, 2007

Cases against the Catholic Church may end, but the struggles of the abuse victims go on.

Kelly Clark is a Portland trial attorney who has represented nearly 150 people abused as children. As a state legislator in 1989, he co-authored the law banning possession of child pornography in Oregon, as well as the law lifting the statute of limitations in cases of child abuse.Amidst the congratulations going around concerning the long-awaited resolution of the bankruptcy of the Catholic Archdiocese of Portland, I have noticed a particular tendency among nearly all involved to want to "move on" and "put the past behind us."

At one level, I wholeheartedly agree: It is time for this archdiocese to heal. As a lawyer who has represented more than 100 people with claims against the Catholic Church, including 41 in this bankruptcy case, I have pledged my assistance to the archbishop and to his lawyers in doing whatever I can do to facilitate that healing. The archdiocese needs it, the larger faith community needs it and our state needs it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:36 PM

16 church attorneys at one deposition, no questions answered. Hundreds of documents filed each week, most by church, 20 are notices of new counsel

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

Document diving last week I was stunned at the amount of pleadings, motions, and notices filed by church attorneys. Going down four screens, with about 30 documents per screen, there were motions to strike, motions to question jurisdiction, and in one stream 17 notices of Association of New Counsel. I was document diving in search of orders signed by the judge, and did find a couple, but they were from hearings at least two weeks back. In January a clerk showed me where paper copies of documents were placed and at that date five file cabinets overflowed into piles on a table in the room. By this week the entire room must be consumed by paper, as are likely the judge and plaintiffs’ attorneys. Where is the order from the judge re the April 12th conference that I’ve been looking for now for weeks?

Tony DeMarco says 16 attorneys showed up when they tried to depose Francis Weber and “Defense counsel completely frustrated plaintiffs’ discovery efforts by repeatedly instructing the witness not to answer.” As I document dive, a few motions on screen two are attempts by plaintiffs to get interrogatories from Weber and others.

And 17, count them, 17 notices of association of new counsel in one afternoon. The eyes blur as you try to read them. With hundreds of church attorneys already knocking out motions by the dozen stopping only to word process in different plaintiffs’ names, six church attorneys here a half dozen there flying around the country to depose plaintiffs, why do they need more attorneys?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

Cheating abuse victims

IRELAND
One in Four

The Irish Times

Ron McCartan broke down and cried in Court Number 4 at the Four Courts in Dublin last Tuesday as his family gathered around to comfort him. It had been a seven-year battle, but was a moment he had yearned for almost his entire life. It was also a moment which should have the most profound implications for the largest compensation scheme ever established in this country, writes Mary Raftery.

Ron is 61 years old. At the age of 10, he was sent to Artane Industrial School, where he was raped repeatedly by one Christian Brother and severely beaten by others. In this regard, as he says himself, he was not unusual.

"Many, many other boys suffered the same," he told me yesterday. "We've had to live our whole lives feeling humiliated and worthless because of what they did to us as children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

O'Grady claims he registered with gardai voluntarily

IRELAND
One in Four

Irish Examiner

ONE of Ireland’s most notorious paedophiles, Oliver O’Grady, jailed in the US in the 1990s, has claimed he is voluntarily registered with gardaí as a sex offender.

Disgraced former priest Oliver O’Grady, whose confessions about molesting up to 25 children in the US forms the basis of the Oscar-nominated documentary Deliver Us From Evil, has made contact with a Dublin residents’ group through his legal representation.

The priest is living in the Phibsboro area of Dublin and residents had expressed grave concerns that he poses risks to children in a primary school which is just yards from his residence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

Jesuits Recall Durham Priest Amid Accusations of Sexual Misconduct

DURHAM (NC)
WRAL

Posted: Apr. 28 9:49 p.m.
Updated: Today at 7:24 a.m.

Durham — A religious order recalled one of its priests from a Durham parish after it received information involving sexual misconduct 25 years ago.

Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of the Diocese of Raleigh announced Saturday that the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus asked the Rev. Stephen M. Garrity, pastor of Holy Cross Church, to return to the Provincial House in Baltimore.

The Jesuits acted in light of information alleging Garrity engaged in sexual misconduct with adults. The alleged acts did not take place in North Carolina, Burbridge said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 AM

Priest relieved from duty

DURHAM (NC)
News & Observer

John Murawski, Staff Writer
A priest at the Holy Cross Catholic Church in Durham was removed from duty last week after admitting to sexual encounters with five people a quarter-century ago, church officials announced Saturday.

The Rev. Stephen M. Garrity, 67, the pastor at Holy Cross, left North Carolina on Saturday for a weeklong evaluation at an undisclosed treatment center, said Kate Pipkin, a spokeswoman for Garrity's religious order, the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus. The Maryland Province recalled Garrity.

Garrity admitted to church officials last week to having inappropriate sexual contact with five adults about 25 to 30 years ago, Pipkin said. At the the time, the adults were ages 18 to 23, about half Garrity's age. He was assigned in Baltimore and Philadelphia, she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Hire sets in motion plan to reuse school

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Will Kilburn, Globe Correspondent | April 29, 2007

After nearly three years of operating as an all-volunteer organization, the Presentation School Foundation in Brighton took on its first full-time employee this month : executive director Steven Krueger , who will lead the group's efforts to turn the former Catholic elementary school into a community center.

Krueger is well known to followers of the ongoing fallout from the Boston Archdiocese's clergy sex abuse scandal. In 2002, he was the founding executive director of the Catholic lay group Voice of the Faithful . He later helped an effort to reform statutes of limitations on sex crimes against minors, and worked with a Newton parish whose pastor was fired after he criticized the archdiocese. But Krueger, whose position is funded largely by the latest in a series of grants from the Boston Foundation, stresses the point that the foundation has moved beyond its beginnings as an organization of parents who had once hoped to keep the school open.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:55 AM

Bonita aims to stem sex abuse

LA VERNE (CA)
San Gabriel Valley Tribune

By Frank C. Girardot Staff Writer

LA VERNE - Less than a decade has passed since the Bonita Unified School District agreed to set aside $100,000 for a program to prevent and identify sexual abuse in the district.

The fund, a condition of the district's excess liability insurance, grew out of a $2.1 million settlement the district paid in 1999 to a female student molested by David Dangleis, a teacher at San Dimas High School, according to school officials and court documents. ...

The anti-sexual abuse program was developed by the district and the Agos Group, a Boston-based human resources firm that has also consulted the Catholic Church on similar issues, according to Bob Brinegar, the district's assistant superintendent of human resources.

Brinegar said the company provides training materials including films that are designed to highlight the profiles of offenders and victims alike.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

More charges of abuse emerge against pastor

FORT WORTH (TX)
For Worth Star-Telegram

By MELODY McDONALD
Star-Telegram staff writer

FORT WORTH -- She says the paddlings began when she was in the sixth grade.

Her family's pastor, the Rev. Sherman Clifton Allen, would order her to grab her ankles, she said, and he paddled her until her bottom turned purple. The woman, now 41, says she was punished if Allen was told that her room was messy, that she had made a bad grade or that she had committed some other infraction.

In the beginning, the woman said, the pastor made her pull her dress tight. Later, he ordered her to drop her panties. Finally, she said he made her lie nude on the bed during the paddlings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Sex abuse victims turn focus to Baptists

UNITED STATES
Dickson Herald

By ANITA WADHWANI
Staff Writer

A half-decade after the Catholic Church's clergy sex abuse scandal broke open, Southern Baptist Convention leaders are now facing questions about offenders within their own ranks.

Abuse victim advocates who criticized the Catholic hierarchy for years are now confronting the nation's largest non-Catholic denomination, highlighting cases of preachers accused or convicted of child sex abuse, including four in Tennessee in the past five months.

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is accusing Baptists of not taking strong enough steps to protect children and has called on the Nashville-based denomination to create an independent review board to act on reports of child sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Why SNAP and Not SNAT?

SAN DIEGO (CA)
California Catholic Daily

By Christopher Zehnder

Notes from A Cultural Madhouse

Church records have caught Orange’s Bishop Tod Brown “in a lie -- or at least an inconsistency,” charged Gustavo Arellano in an April 24 Orange County Weekly “Breaking News” release. Brown, said Arellano, while promising complete disclosure of all sex abuse cases, kept one under wraps. His own.

In his 2004 “Covenant with the Faithful,” Brown promised, “We will be open, honest and forthright in our public statements to the media, and consistent and transparent in our communications with the Catholics of our Diocese.” A month later, according to Arellano, the bishop released a list of names of priests accused of molesting youth “in the form of a one-page press release,” with the names “bunched together in one paragraph,” and no other information. In Dec. 2004, the diocese reached a $100 million settlement with over 90 victims and promised to release the personnel files of priests and diocesan employees accused of molestation. ...

I admit the priestly molestation crisis has uncovered some rather ugly details of bishops hiding evidence of abuse and shuffling priests from parish to parish, where they could prey on more victims. I confess I myself do not have the highest confidence in the veracity of a good number of men who hold episcopal office. I will even say that many churchmen are getting what’s coming to them, in the lawsuits, the public shame, the growing distrust. Too many bishops have not been shepherds, but hirelings; they have not acted as fathers but as CEOs.

Our anger at the failings of men in the Church, however, must not blind us to justice. I am no fan of Bishop Tod Brown, but, given the evidence against him as detailed in Arellano’s article, I am not convinced Brown is guilty. One man’s claim that he was molested is not good evidence. It is no warrant to ruin another man’s reputation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 AM

Southtown wins 4 Lisagor Awards

CHICAGO (IL)
Daily Southtown

The Daily Southtown received four Peter Lisagor Awards for Exemplary Journalism on Friday night from the Chicago Headline Club -- for deadline news reporting, editorial writing, in-depth education reporting and column writing. ...

And columnist Tim Placher won the column-writing competition for his evocative first-person piece about sexual abuse at the hands of a Joliet Diocese priest and his attempts to involve Bishop Joseph Imesch in confronting the problem. "This is strong, honest and brave writing that will stay with readers for a long time," the judges wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Examining church sex abuse

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

BY JOHN JOHNSTON | JJOHNSTON@ENQUIRER.COM

David Hoehne still fights an emotional and spiritual battle 27 years after he was sexually abused by the priest of his Catholic parish.

Hoehne was 12 when it happened. He remembers that the headboard of the bed where the abuse occurred was against the western wall. The comforter on the bed was white. He remembers where he sat, where his molester stood, where the abuser's hand went.

"These memories never leave or fade away," the 39-year-old Akron man told about 150 people on Saturday at a sexual abuse conference at Xavier University's Cintas Center.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Bishop Daniel Jenky's first five years

PEORIA (IL)
Peoria Journal Star

April 19, 2002: Jenky announces changes in policies to handle clergy sex-abuse allegations and establishes a commission to review such allegations and make recommendations to the bishop.

May 30, 2002: The bishop asks seven priests to step down from public ministry after "credible allegations" of sexual misconduct are brought against them. Another priest is accused a week later.

Sept. 4, 2002: Edward Bush, one of the priests to be accused of sexual misconduct earlier in the year, sues the diocese, Jenky and Monsignor Steven Rohlfs, then vicar general, for defamation of character. "Either Edward Bush is not telling the truth or I am not telling the truth," Jenky said a week later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Salem priest to face accusers at trial

SALEM (OR)
Statesman Journal

ALAN GUSTAFSON
Statesman Journal

April 29, 2007

For almost four years, a dark cloud of suspicion has hovered over the Rev. Michael Sprauer.

The Salem priest, long respected by Catholic parishioners, has been branded a pedophile by his accusers. Since mid-2003, more than 15 men have sued Sprauer, alleging that he sexually abused them while he was chaplain at the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in the 1970s.

Starting Tuesday, Sprauer goes to court for trial of a civil lawsuit pitting him against three of his accusers: Robert Paul Jr., Randy Sloan and Norman Klettke Jr.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Over 10 years, cardinal lightens his touch

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Margaret Ramirez
Tribune religion reporter
Published April 29, 2007

When Cardinal Francis George stepped into his role as leader of the Chicago archdiocese in May 1997, his flock was still mourning the beloved Joseph Bernardin. The new archbishop realized he was facing a difficult transition and introduced himself humbly: "I am Francis, your neighbor." ...

In 10 years as archbishop, George has shepherded the archdiocese through painful school closings and shameful sexual abuse scandals. He denounced racism as a sin and marched for immigrant rights. More recently, he waged a battle with bladder cancer.

In guiding the church and tending to his own struggles, the cardinal was transformed in the eyes of many observers from obstinate outsider to faithful pastor of Chicago's church. Priests and others who initially viewed George as cold and excessively critical now say they see him as personable and compassionate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

April 28, 2007

Motion for Discovery Referee and to compel Roger Mahony to comply with discovery, both hearings May 16th as civil cases prepare for jury trials

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

(Calendar for next week listed below)

It takes a court order to get Roger Mahony to comply with discovery law. On May 16th Katherine Freberg asks Judge Haley Fromholz to compel the archbishop to answer interrogatory questions and produce documents needed for the July 9 Hagenbach cases jury trial. In addition plaintiffs request a Discovery Referee in a hearing May 16th as every time plaintiffs try to depose a witness, the church blocks them.

When Mahony did respond he gave this answer to almost every question: “Responding party responds that discovery is just commencing. Based on this, current lack of information responding party must respond that it denies this request.” (Responding party must respond that he does not respond?)

“Plaintiffs have filed numerous motions to compel due to Defense Counsel’s egregious conduct,” writes Tony DeMarco. “Repeatedly defendants have used the tactic of instructing witnesses not to answer appropriate questions designed to illicit information bearing on key elements of plaintiffs’ cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 PM

Delbarton alumnus hasn't felt welcome since abuse claims

NEW JERSEY
Daily Record

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Bob Sheridan used to be known as Mr. Green Wave, a member of the Delbarton School Hall of Honor, a former lacrosse star who gave back to his alma mater, the school he loved.

He planned class reunions, organized fundraisers, volunteered as an assistant lacrosse coach and gave up his Saturday nights a few months a year to coach indoor winter lacrosse. He felt so close to the Rev. Luke Travers, the headmaster, that he invited him to be his guest in 2001 when he was inducted into the New Jersey Lacrosse Foundation Hall of Fame.

Delbarton was in some ways Bob Sheridan's life -- until he publicly disclosed allegations five years ago that a former teacher who had been a monk and a deacon once tried to molest him. Since then, he has said over the years, he has not exactly felt welcome on campus.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Priest sexually assaulted teen

UNITED KINGDOM
NW Evening Mail

Published on 28/04/2007

A 60-YEAR-OLD priest from Dalton faces jail for sexually assaulting a teenage girl.

Father Edmund Cotter, who is currently under suspension from Our Lady of the Rosary Parish Church, which is part of the Diocese of Lancaster, pleaded guilty to three charges of indecent assault when he appeared at Preston Crown Court on Friday.

The offences involved a girl under 14 and took place between February 1981 and December 1984 when Cotter was based at St Gregory’s RC Church in Preston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Experts: Focus on quality of safe environment programs

UNITED STATES
The Tidings

By Nancy Frazier O'Brien

Now that nearly every U.S. diocese has a safe environment program to protect children against sexual abuse, attention needs to be focused on the programs' quality and effectiveness, which vary widely, a panel of experts told participants at the National Catholic Educational Association convention.

Two officials of the Boston Archdiocese, where the clergy sex abuse crisis first came to light, and a representative of a nonprofit group working to improve children's well-being addressed an April 12 workshop session at the NCEA convention in Baltimore.

Teresa Kettlekamp, executive director of the U.S. bishops' Office of Child and Youth Protection, also was scheduled to be at the workshop but was snowbound in Chicago. Her section of the workshop was presented by the other panelists.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

16 months for church embezzler

BURLINGAME (CA)
Daily Journal

By Michelle Durand, Daily Journal Staff
The Burlingame church volunteer accused of stealing $6,000 for a stay at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Half Moon Bay and drug store shopping spree was sentenced to 16 months in prison and ordered to repay a number of victims, including those for whom she was not convicted.

Jessica Corbyn Lack, 38, must serve at least half the sentence before being eligible for parole. She receives eight days credit toward her term and returns to court May 18 for a further restitution hearing. Amounts are still pending for a number of sources, including the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Planet Pooch, Office Depot and Wells Fargo Bank. Some of them reimbursed the church after Lack’s activities came to light.

Other reported victims, such as the owner of the Cycle Shack in South San Francisco, disputed the amount they were owed, leading to a delay in Lack’s sentence while the probation department prepared more restitution statements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

More mental testing for priest facing sex charges

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Gary V. Murray TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
gmurray@telegram.com

WORCESTER— A retired priest found mentally incompetent to stand trial on charges of sexually assaulting a child will undergo another psychiatric examination.

The Rev. John Szantyr, 76, of Waterbury Conn., is awaiting trial in Central District Court on charges of indecent assault and battery on a child under the age of 14. The allegations date back to the mid-1980s, when Rev. Szantyr was assigned to Our Lady of Czestochowa parish on Ward Street.

The assaults are alleged to have occurred from June 1, 1985, to Dec. 12, 1987. The alleged victim is now in his 20s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Spirit of trust

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

April 28, 2007 11:00 AM

It was once said that the Church of England could be likened to the proverbial fish that understood how desperately it needed water only when it landed in the bottom of a boat on the end of a hook. Many faithful and sincere Anglicans (and Roman Catholics before them) have only recently grasped just how much the Anglican community relies on trust - now that they have so little of it.

What the latest church-related sexual abuse scandal has done is to highlight an ongoing erosion of trust. Trust is a social practice. Humans are social beings who swim in an ocean of trust. What happens when this ocean begins to drain away - as is the case with many Christian churches - is that we become sceptical, often cynical and perhaps even a little paranoid. The case of the ex-choirmaster, Peter Halliday (jailed on Thursday for 30 months after admitting sex offences from the 1980s), yet again highlights the failure of church leaders to act. Some of the more disturbing aspects of the Halliday case were the attempts by the Anglican Church to control information, prevent public disclosure and silence dissent, even in this case, the anguished cries of abused children and their families. In fairness, cultures of this sort are not unknown. Tendencies toward centralisation of power and control of information exist in all institutions. The fact is that well-governed institutions ensure full disclosure of information, institutionalise checks and balances on the exercise of power and establish independent boards to advise and participate actively in choosing the chief executive officer. The church is no ordinary institution. For believers the church is guided by the Holy Spirit - a community in which God's saving work is accomplished and God's kingdom proclaimed. But the church is also a human institution, managed by humans with all their failings, including susceptibility to the corruptions of power and mistaken judgment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

April 27, 2007

Kluk case priest lied 'to his own God' on hidden church hatch, says parishioner

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

JOHN ROBERTSON
LAW CORRESPONDENT
THE priest at the centre of the Angelika Kluk murder trial was accused yesterday by a parishioner of lying to a jury and to "his own God".

Father Gerry Nugent, 63, had said in evidence that he did not know of a hatch in the floor of St Patrick's Church, Glasgow, down which the body of the murdered Polish student had been hidden.

However, Sarah Howie insisted that he had known about it, "without a shadow of a doubt". She also dismissed Fr Nugent's claim that there had been a sexual relationship between them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 PM

Priest victims hope for historic decision

WISCONSIN
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By TOM HEINEN
theinen@journalsentinel.com
Posted: April 27, 2007
Wautoma - In a case that could have broad impact, the Wisconsin Supreme Court heard arguments this week over whether four men who say they were sexually abused as minors should be able to sue the Archdiocese of Milwaukee decades later on allegations of fraudulent coverups and negligent supervision of two priests.

If the seven justices overturn the lower court dismissals of their lawsuits, the men would be able to seek some internal church documents and request trials in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

The Legislature changed state law in 2004 to make it easier for childhood victims to sue clergy and the religious institutions that supervise them for future acts of sexual abuse, but three decisions by the state Supreme Court in 1995 and 1997 have continued to make it virtually impossible for victims to sue for molestation that occurred many years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 PM

Priest sexually harassed me, woman tells murder trial

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Rachel Williams
Saturday April 28, 2007
The Guardian

A Roman Catholic priest who admitted having a sexual relationship with a Polish student whose body was later found under a chapel floor chased and harassed a church guitarist, a court heard yesterday.

Sarah Howie, 45, also alleged that Father Gerard Nugent knew years ago of a trapdoor above the hole where Angelika Kluk's remains were found in September, despite his insistence he was unaware of its existence.

The married mother of two denied the priest's claim that she also had a sexual relationship with him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 PM

Parishes prepare for safe environment audit

UNITED STATES
The Tidings

This summer the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops will begin its 2007 Safe Environment Parish Audit throughout the country.

Each parish/school site will have to demonstrate that they have implemented the list of requirements necessary in order to be in compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The Charter, which was approved by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops in June 2002, and revised in June 2005, is the guiding vision to help the faithful create a safe environment for children and young people, and to protect young people from child sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 PM

A crusade against abuse

PENNSYLVANIA
Intelligencer Journal

By Lori Van Ingen, Staff
Intelligencer Journal

Published: Apr 27, 2007 1:46 AM EST

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. - The "death of a soul" is how Pat and Lou Serrano describe what happened to their son, Mark, and to other children sexually abused by priests.

The Serranos, of Mendham, N.J., told their son's story to about 20 people Thursday night at Highland Presbyterian Church at a meeting of Parents Reaching Out to Parents of Sexually Exploited Children.

"He was a lovely, sweet, innocent boy," Pat said. "We lost him when he was 9. We never saw him again. We have a wonderful son now, but we never saw that happy-go-lucky boy again."

Many years later, the Serranos found out their son was violated repeatedly by their priest from the time he was 9 years old until he was 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 PM

Fr. Katinas Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Hits

DALLAS (TX)
Orthodox Reform

Two alleged victims of Fr. Katinas have today filed a lawsuit seeking reparations including punitive damages to deter future such abuses in the Greek Orthodox Church. A third alleged victim, not part of the suit but referred to as ‘DZ’, gives testimony to their nightmare of abuse.

The abuses described by one of the plaintiffs occurred numerous times on church property:

The abominations described herein involved hundreds of acts of sexual perversion over approximately three years, usually every Sunday before or after mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 PM

Ex-pastor admits to child sex charges in Smith County

MISSISSIPPI
WDAM

A former youth minister and pastor has pleaded guilty to one count of gratification of lust in Smith County Circuit Court, says District Attorney Eddie Bowen.

Ralph Hall was accused of sexually abusing his then 7-year-old grandson, Bowen said. Bowen said Hall entered the plea Thursday.

"It saves the family from having to go through the embarrassment and it prevents the kid from having to testify. That's always good because sometimes children don't know how to react to things like this," Bowen said Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 PM

Boy was 'centre of vicar's life'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A vicar accused of abusing young boys told a teenager he was the "centre of his life" in a series of emotional letters, Bristol Crown Court heard.

The Rev David Smith, 52, vicar for St John's, Clevedon, wrote to the boy when he ignored his calls, the jury heard.

"Obviously the centre of your world has moved from a middle-aged vicar to a 19-year-old nubile girl," one read.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

People in pews, church leaders, react to ruling

PORTLAND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

04/27/2007
An ordeal is over for victims of child sexual abuse and Catholics in the Archdiocese of Portland, says a Catholic military chaplain and leader in Oregon’s ecumenical movement.

“No one of us in the archdiocese is so presumptuous as to think that this settlement will bring an end to the suffering of those injured,” says Father Rick Sirianni, discussing last week’s court approval of a plan to end the Archdiocese of Portland’s 33-month bankruptcy. “It is more likely the case that the settlement is merely the first step in bringing some closure and healing to the pain they have experienced over many years.”

The pastor of St. Henry Parish in Gresham, Father Sirianni says he is grateful for the Catholic community itself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:02 PM

State law, prevailing opinion, exacerbated liability

PORTLAND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

04/27/2007 Ed Langlois
Lawyers defending the Archdiocese of Portland against allegations of child sexual abuse had to get through a thicket created by Oregon law and culture.

Few if any other states have such a combination of statutes and anti-establishment opinion making it so hard for employers with a worker accused of sexual misconduct.

Here are some of the factors:

• Employers can be held liable for acts of abuse by their employees more easily in Oregon than in any other state. A 1999 case in the Oregon Supreme Court, Fearing vs. Bucher, established automatic vicarious liability for Oregon employers. In most states, supervisors are liable only if they received prior notice that the worker had misbehaved in the past. It was no coincidence that sex abuse suits against the archdiocese began coming in shortly after that ruling. Between 2000 and 2004, the archdiocese settled 140 claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Lawsuit alleges sex abuse by priest

SPRINGFIELD (OR)
The Register-Guard

By Rebecca Nolan
The Register-Guard
Published: Friday, April 27, 2007

A Springfield man is suing the Archdiocese of Omaha, alleging that he suffered sexual abuse at the hands of a priest nearly 30 years ago.

Cary Claar, 41, asserts in a complaint filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Nebraska that the archdiocese knew of the priest's alleged abuse and that church officials, including some in Portland, worked to cover it up.

Reached at home Thursday, he declined to comment on the lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages for physical and emotional pain and suffering, loss of income, health care costs and attorney fees.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Bulgarian Priest Sentenced for Sexual Abuse of Underage Girl

BULGARIA
Sofia News Agency

27 April 2007, Friday

A Bulgarian clergyman was arrested Friday for the sexual abuse with an underage girl in the town of Parvomai, Darik News reported.

The 55-year-old man was the parish priest of three villages around the town. A complaint against him was lodged in the local court, which states he abused sexually a 13-year-odl girl.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Murder jury told Angelika priest ‘lied’

SCOTLAND
Glasgow Evening Times

THE priest who had sex with Angelika Kluk knew about a trapdoor in the church floor where her body was found, a murder trial heard today.

Father Gerry Nugent, 63, has told the High Court in Edinburgh he didn't know about the hole in the floor of his church where the 23-year-old Polish student's body was found.

But today parishioner Sarah Howie, 45, of Shawlands, Glasgow, told jurors the priest was wrong.

Mrs Howie claimed Father Gerry knew seven or eight years ago about the trapdoor in the then bare floor which, last September, became the entrance to Angelika's temporary tomb.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 PM

Latest: Angelika trial told priest was "liar and sex pest"

SCOTLAND
The Herald

The priest who claimed he had an affair with murder victim Angelika Kluk was a liar and a sex pest, a parishioner has claimed in court.

Father Gerry Nugent, 63, has told the High Court in Edinburgh he did not know about the hole in the floor of his church where the Polish student's body was found.

The former parish priest also claimed a sexual relationship with parishioner Sarah Howie - before back-tracking and telling the trial he meant only intimacy but not sexual intercourse.

On Friday mother-of-two Mrs Howie, 45, of Shawlands, Glasgow, told jurors that the priest was wrong on both counts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Judge slams affidavit errors

CANADA
Standard Freeholder

Terri Saunders
Local News - Friday, April 27, 2007 @ 08:00

A judge berated a lawyer representing victims at the Cornwall Public Inquiry Thursday for not ensuring affidavits filed with the commission were accurate.

Comm. Normand Glaude told Dallas Lee he wasn't interested in hearing excuses for why a number of victim-sworn affidavits contain errors. "We are dealing with a law firm that purports to act in the best interests of these people, and we have people that are swearing affidavits," said Glaude. "I want . . . to bring home to your clients and to your firm that this type of thing cannot happen again."

Last month, errors were identified in at least two affidavits filed with the inquiry on behalf of members of The Victims Group who are represented at the inquiry by lawyers from the London, Ont.-based law firm Ledroit Beckett. In one case, the affidavit incorrectly named a priest as a perpetrator of abuse when no allegation had been made against the priest by that particular individual, a witness identified at the inquiry as C-10.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 AM

Vermont priest to change plea in sex case

ST. ALBANS (VT)
Burlington Free Press

Published: Friday, April 27, 2007
ST. ALBANS — A priest whose sex case was to go to trial next month has requested a change-of-plea hearing.

The Rev. Stephen J. Nichols, 47, pleaded not guilty last September to allegations that he fondled a naked 18-year-old. He is charged with lewd and lascivious conduct, the only current Vermont priest facing a felony charge.

His trial was set for May 9. But a change-of-plea hearing has been scheduled for Monday in Vermont District Court in St. Albans.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Scandal erupts over Jesus seminar speaker

CANADA
Medicine Hat News

By ANGUS HENDERSON
Apr 27, 2007, 01:07

A storm of controversy erupted over the Jesus Seminar on the Road Thursday when two U.S. organizations objected to a retired American priest being one of two presenters, because of unproven allegations of sexual abuse.
Former priest Edward Beutner is scheduled to speak at the two-day seminar starting Friday at All Saints Anglican Church in Medicine Hat.
The seminar explores what has been learned about the historical Jesus over the years through the Bible and other historical documents.
An organization called Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) held two press conferences in Wisconsin in places where the former priest worked and decried the fact that his bishop hadn’t informed Medicine Hat and area residents of the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Diocese honored victim's wishes

DES MOINES (IA)
Des Moines Register

April 27, 2007

After working hard to make sure we provided accurate and clear information to the Register, I was dismayed to find a headline that not only was misleading, but could encourage people to refrain from coming forward with allegations of sexual abuse of a minor by priests.

"Diocese Withheld Details of Abuse, Critics Say," April 18, suggests that in some way the diocese was trying to protect itself. That suggestion would be completely inaccurate.

Yes, the diocese withheld information that would identify a victim at the victim's request. In fact, even the school president was quoted as saying he did not know details of the allegation. This is a testament to the extent to which the diocese honored the victim's request.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Project Truth inquiry judge unloads on lawyer

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

By CP

CORNWALL — A judge berated a lawyer representing victims at an inquiry probing the institutional response to allegations of systemic sexual abuse in the Cornwall area for not ensuring affidavits filed with the commission were accurate.

Commissioner Normand Glaude told Dallas Lee he wasn’t interested in hearing excuses for why a number of victim-sworn affidavits contain errors.

“We are dealing with a law firm that purports to act in the best interests of these people, and we have people that are swearing affidavits,” Glaude said Thursday. “I want ... to bring home to your clients and to your firm that this type of thing cannot happen again.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Priest accused of abusing boys pleads guilty to sex abuse

JOLIET (IL)
ABC 13

(4/27/07 - JOLIET, IL) - A Catholic priest previously convicted of child molestation has pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two teenage brothers in the 1990s.

Louis Rogge, 76, of Joliet pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Under a deal with prosecutors, he will likely serve 30 days in jail and four years of probation. He had faced a sentence of three to seven years in prison.

The Will County State's Attorney's office accused Rogge of abusing the first boy in 1996, when he was 15, and the second in 1999, when he also was 15.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

I’m sorry but an apology was what we all expected

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Mary Ann Sieghart: Thunderer
Turn on the Today programme, and most days you will hear some stonewalling corporate affairs sap, who has undergone “media training” and been told to stick to his script no matter what. It always makes me splutter into my coffee. Asked to defend the leaking of an oil pipeline, he will say: “The important thing is that best-practice policies are in place to ensure that clean-up procedures are strictly adhered to, and we at Polluting Petroleum want to assure you that we have the best interests of local people at heart.” Translation: they’re covered in oil and their crops are ruined, but I don’t suppose many of them have shares in PP or will make a fuss at the AGM. As long as we get through today, we’ll be OK.

You might expect such flannelling from business people and politicians. But from the Church of England? Surely not. Yet yesterday produced the worst splutterfest ever.

The hapless spokeswoman was the Rev Pearl Luxon. She had been put up by the Church to talk about its role in failing to prevent a paedophile choirmaster, Peter Halliday, from abusing children. As one of the victims said: “When your first sexual experience is of a 40-year-old man forcing himself on you, it’s pretty horrific.” But the Church told neither the police nor social services and simply asked Halliday to leave.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 AM

PERVERT PROTECTED BY CHURCH

UNITED KINGDOM
Mirror

By Richard Smith Richard.Smith@Mirror.Co.Uk 27/04/2007

A PERVERT choirmaster who abused three boys cheated justice for 17 years because cynical, self-serving Church bosses decided not to turn him in.

And Church of England spokesman Rev Mark Rudall cravenly tried to justify their actions yesterday, saying: "What was done was the way things happened in those days."

Paedophile Peter Halliday - described as a "revolting, fierce bully" - cruelly abused three boys aged nine to 14 between 1985 and 1990. Some were assaulted up to 30 times. And there may be scores more victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 AM

CHURCH BLAMED AS CHOIRMASTER PERVERT IS JAILED

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Express

Friday April 27,2007
By David Pilditch
THE Church of England was accused yesterday of cover­ing up child sex abuse.

The claim came after a paedophile choirmaster escaped justice for 17 years because officials refused to report him.

Peter Halliday, 61, admitted he had sexually abused young boys after one of his ­victims raised the alarm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 AM

Church 's 17yr paedo cover-up

UNITED KINGDOM
The Sun

By JAMIE PYATT
April 27, 2007

THE Church of England was blasted yesterday over a cover-up that protected a paedophile choirmaster from justice for 17 years.

The row came as depraved Peter Halliday, 61, was jailed for 2½ years for sexually assaulting at least three choirboys on dozens of occasions.

Attacks went on for five years. But the court heard that when a 13-year-old eventually told a vicar about his ordeal, the Church decided NOT to inform police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:31 AM

Local Diocese to make fundraising push

SPOKANE (WA)
KXLY

Erik Loney / KXLY4 Reporter
Last updated: Thursday, April 26th, 2007 08:19:54 PM

SPOKANE -- In an effort to pay off numerous expenses, the Catholic churches in the Spokane area will be relying on fundraising and church members to help out.

Starting in May, local catholic churches will take steps to raise more than $10 million to pay bankruptcy, attorney fees and victims of priest sexual abuse.

This fundraising campaign is being called, "From Justice to Healing and Renewal," and the church hopes that people will step forward to help out their institutions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 AM

Forgive, forget and forgo censorship

SAN DIEGO (CA)
North County Times

By: DAVE VAN HOOMISSEN - Commetary:

We gratefully congratulate the Hon. Robert H. Brom, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of San Diego, for his courageous public admission to our congregation Sunday of widespread sexual abuse among his clergy that has caused bewilderment in the consciences of those who trust our church to be a leader in truth. It is a shocker of a revelation. But the real shocker should be that it has all been so unnecessary. It never should have happened -- never would have happened -- except that it was born in a culture of secrecy and censorship that we now have hope will hereafter be exiled to the history of the Middle Ages, where it was born.

Let's look briefly at the roots of this cancer on the integrity of the Catholic Church as we proceed to excise it and move on to the great work that the Body of Christ is among us to unfold. It is the teaching of the church itself that the clergy are mere men -- just like ourselves -- and that they will be tempted to yield to the flesh just as we are all tempted -- and they will sometimes yield. This is where our complicity comes in.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:21 AM

Priest set to change plea in abuse case Monday

VERMONT
Rutland Herald

April 27, 2007

By KEVIN O'CONNOR Herald Staff

A Vermont priest placed on leave after saying he was not guilty of a felony charge of lewd and lascivious conduct is scheduled to appear in court Monday to change his plea.

The Rev. Stephen J. Nichols, 47, is set to appear in Franklin District Court in St. Albans in regard to allegations by the state attorney general's office that he fondled a naked 18-year-old man after taking him to Canada and buying him beer.

In a court hearing last September, Nichols pleaded innocent, saying in paperwork that his accuser — a St. Johnsbury man identified only by his initials — "was the sexual aggressor and afterwards asked for money to keep quiet."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:19 AM

Priest pleads guilty to sexual abuse

ILLINOIS
Daily Southtown

April 26, 2007
By Stewart Warren
An elderly Catholic priest pleaded guilty today to sexually abusing two boys in the 1990s.

Will County Judge Richard Schoenstedt seems inclined to send Louis P. Rogge, 76, a member of the Carmelite order, to jail. When the portly, gray-haired priest stood in his courtroom, the judge implied the state recommended a plea deal that didn’t include jail or prison time. Schoenstedt indicated that he didn’t agree.

"I believe that there are reasons ... that I should and would impose a jail sentence," Schoenstedt said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 AM

Baltimore Roiled by Abuse Charge Against Late Rabbi

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Jewish Daily Forward

Nathan Guttman | Fri. Apr 27, 2007
Baltimore - A series of exposés on sexual abuse at a well-known yeshiva is roiling the Baltimore Jewish community and inflaming the already strained relations between the local Jewish newspaper and the city’s sizable Orthodox population.

The controversy revolves around allegations in the Baltimore Jewish Times that the late principal of the Talmudical Academy, Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro, may have molested Jewish students at the school and other youngsters who came to him for bar mitzvah classes.

In the wake of the allegations, local Orthodox rabbis have delivered sermons on the need to speak out against abuse and do a better job of responding to allegations that do arise. At the same time, the articles have upset members of the city’s Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox population who feel that the paper crossed the line by identifying Shapiro — almost two decades after his death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 AM

Agudath Israel Opposes Regulation Of Faith-Based Nursery Schools; Health Department Would Require Criminal Background Checks

NEW YORK
FailedMessiah

The NY Sun reports:

Several religious groups are fighting a health department proposal that for the first time would require permits for some faith-based nursery schools. ...

Why the opposition from Agudah?

"The concept of permitting is offensive to us because the permit process encompasses many things that relate to what actually takes place in the religious classroom," an executive vice president of Agudath Israel, David Zweibel, said. "Who is fit to be a teacher? How many students can there be in the classroom? Things that go to the autonomy of the educational experience, which to us in the religious community is a matter of religious freedom."

Of course, it might just be that several haredi teachers would fail those background checks.

Even after Baltimore and the various Brooklyn scandals, including the Rabbi Yehuda Kolko travesty, Agudath Israel has still not learned its lesson. As I have written many times, the only way thugs like Zwiebel will learn is if they are hit hard in the pocketbook or jailed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 AM

Nursery School Permit Plan Draws Outcry

NEW YORK
The Sun

By ELIZABETH SOLOMONT
Special to the Sun
April 25, 2007

Several religious groups are fighting a health department proposal that for the first time would require permits for some faith-based nursery schools.

Representatives of the Catholic Archdiocese of New York and Agudath Israel of America, among others, voiced their concerns at a public hearing April 19 on the health department's proposed amendments to article 47 of the city's health code, which regulates child care services.

The measures, which officials said were designed to improve child safety, would require about 500 nursery programs to obtain city permits, meet certain education standards among teachers, and conduct criminal background checks on their employees for the first time. Currently, religious preschool programs that are attached to elementary schools are exempt from permit requirements, thanks to their longstanding "No Permit Required" status.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:07 AM

Divisions over Church abuse case

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The revelation the Church of England failed to tell police about a former choirmaster who sexually abused children in the 1980s has been met with mixed reactions.

The Church has defended its decision to let Peter Halliday leave the church "quietly" by saying this was the way things were done in the past.

But child protection experts say the situation was "seriously mishandled" and the police should have been called.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 AM

Statutes of limitations apply too soon for some victims

FLORIDA
Sun-Sentinel

Published April 22, 2007

Howard Goodman

Jeffrey Smith was just 10 years old when the abuse started, 13 when it ended.

But the impact only grew.

His mother first saw bad signs when her son was 17 and on an overnight trip with the Civil Air Patrol. Instead of sleeping outside, he locked himself in a car.

He was afraid to be out there with the other boys, even though the abuse had taken place years before, by a man who taught an after-school class he no longer attended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:02 AM

Helping abusers

FLORIDA
Sun-Sentinel

David Clohessy
National Director Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests St. Louis, MO.
Posted April 26 2007

Catholic officials have succeeded again in doing what they've done so well for so long in so many places -- blocking badly needed reforms in archaic, predator-friendly child sex abuse laws.

Thanks to columnist Howard Goodman for pointing this sad fact out ("Statutes of limitations apply too soon for some victims," Sunday).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 AM

April 26, 2007

Putnam man sentenced for sexual abuse of teen cousin

WINFIELD (WV)
The Charleston Gazette

Alison Knezevich
Staff writer

WINFIELD — A Putnam County man will spend up to five years in jail for forcing his teen cousin to strip naked last year so he could photograph and assault her in front of her 2-year-old nephew, a judge ruled Thursday.

Putnam Circuit Judge Ed Eagloski gave Paul E. Casto, 63, of Hometown, an indeterminate sentence of one to five years for first-degree sexual abuse. Casto, a taxidermist and former pastor, pleaded no contest to the charge in February.

At Casto’s sentencing, defense attorney Greg Campbell tried to make a case for home confinement instead of jail because Casto’s wife was recently diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

Pastor Sentenced on Sex Abuse Charges in Putnam County

WINFIELD (WV)
The State Journal

Story by Nicky Walters

WINFIELD -- A judge on Thursday sentenced a Putnam County pastor who pleaded no contest to sexually abusing his 17-year-old cousin.

Paul Casto, 63, was accused of taking sexual pictures of his cousin after forcing her to take her clothes off.

Casto said the victim isn't telling the whole truth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Ex-minister sued by sex-offense victims

NEWARK (OH)
The Columbus Dispatch

By Tom Sheehan
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH

NEWARK, Ohio -- A former Hebron minister, who is spending seven years in prison on sex-abuse convictions, is being sued by the two teenage sisters he victimized.

The lawsuit, filed last week in Licking County Common Pleas Court, seeks more than

$3 million in damages from Lonnie Aleshire Jr., the Licking Baptist Church, the American Baptist Churches of Ohio and its national church and various church officials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Boy 'prayed after vicar's abuse'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A boy told a jury he prayed for the "strength and courage" to expose the Somerset priest who had allegedly sexually abused him.

The 13-year-old told Bristol Crown Court the Rev David Smith had taken advantage of him after he joined the choir at St John's in Clevedon.

He said the vicar had kissed him and abused him after inviting him to the vicarage for roast dinners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 PM

Parents Upset Over Re-Hiring Of Former Priest

FORT LAUDERDALE (FL)
CBS 4

(CBS4) FT. LAUDERDALE Parents of students who attend a Fort Lauderdale Catholic high school are up in arms that a former priest, who retired from his job at the school as a guidance counselor amid questions about his alleged involvement in past sex-abuse incidents, has been hired back at the school.

Ernest Durante, 68, left St. Thomas Aquinas High School last December after it was discovered that his name was in a 2005 grand jury report on priest sex abuse in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

St. Thomas Aquinas High School parents were upset when they discovered that the school had re-hired Durante as a consultant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

Ore. man sues Archdiocese of Omaha

OMAHA (NE)
KGW

OMAHA, Neb. -- A former parishioner from Oregon filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Archdiocese of Omaha, alleging the archdiocese allowed him to be abused as a teenager by a priest and tried to conceal it.

The lawsuit, brought by 41-year-old Cary Claar of Springfield, alleges Father Duane Lucas sexually abused Claar for several years starting around 1978, when Claar was 12 or 13 years old.

The archdiocese knew or should have known Lucas was a pedophile, and "made no meaningful effort" to restrict his access to children or monitor his behavior, said attorneys Maren Lynn Chaloupka and Kelly Clark in the complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 PM

New archbishop is a great organizer and planner!

MINNESOTA
City Pages

When the best your coworkers can say is that you're "capable," you may not be right for the job. That "c"-word is the adjective current Archbishop Harry Flynn bestowed on comer John Nienstedt, currently the Catholic potentate of New Ulm. To be fair, in the Pi Press's revealing story, Flynn used the intensifier "such a"--as in "such a ninny," but with the words "capable bishop" used instead.

Reverend Philip M. Schotzko of St. Peter chimes in with exceptional enthusiasm that, "he considers him 'a good organizer and planner and administrator.'" ...

In case you missed the coverage, here are some things that Twin Cities Catholics can look forward to after Neinstedt gets his promotion: ...

The sexual abuse scandal in the clergy is often a problem of false accusations: "What is of immediate concern, I believe, is a social climate that presumes every unsubstantiated charge is necessarily true. I remember well the months after the late Cardinal Bernardin was publicly accused. Day after day, the press followed him wherever he went. The pressure must have been enormous. Then came the hour when his accuser confessed that he was mistaken. All's well that ends well, but what about the suffering needlessly endured in the meantime?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

Priest pleads guilty to molesting brothers

JOLIET (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Hal Dardick
Tribune staff reporter
Published April 26, 2007, 1:29 PM CDT
A 77-year-old Carmelite priest from Joliet pleaded guilty today to sexually molesting two brothers in the 1990s, when they were young teenagers under his spiritual guidance.

Under a deal worked out with the Will County state's attorney's office, Rev. Louis Rogge is expected to spend 30 days in jail and serve four years probation. The priest, who was convicted of child molestation in Georgia in the 1970s and has not been in ministry since 2002, will have to register as a sex offender.

After accepting Rogge's guilty plea to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, Will County Judge Richard Schoenstedt ordered a sex-offender evaluation of Rogge and set sentencing for July 26.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Once-rebel Newport priest quits as rector

NEWPORT BEACH (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By H.G. Reza, Times Staff Writer
April 26, 2007

A conservative Episcopal priest who helped lead a 2004 revolt against the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles over homosexuality has resigned as rector of a Newport Beach church after a female parishioner complained about unwanted attention from the married clergyman.

The Rev. Praveen Bunyan, who ministered at St. James Church, resigned last week after confessing to "inappropriate conduct" with the woman, said church spokeswoman Karen Bro. Church officials declined to identify the woman, but another priest said there was no sexual contact involved.

"He was taken by her, but thank goodness it didn't go any further than that," said the Rev. Canon David C. Anderson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Why so much attention to Cardinal Egan's unnamed critics?

NEW YORK
The Journal News

By MARK MCCABE

(Original publication: April 26, 2007)
The officers and members of Division 5 Ancient Order of Hibernians as Catholic laymen take offense at the continued defamation of the spiritual leader of our Catholic archdiocese, Cardinal Edward Egan, in The Journal News, particularly as expressed in the reporting of Gary Stern.

Three front-page articles based on an anonymous letter supposedly written by disaffected clergy was the basis for the slander this past fall. To date, several months later, no clergyman or individual has acknowledged authoring the charges. Would The Journal News have run these kinds of charges on any other religious leader in America? They never have and even serious moral lapses of religious leaders do not receive this kind of coverage.

Stern and The Journal News on April 2 ("Retirement watch begins as Egan hits 75") once again attack our archdiocesan spiritual leader. In this instance, the cover is a report on a routine administrative requirement that all bishops submit a retirement letter to the Vatican at age 75.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Rector of OC church resigns, cites "inappropriate" conduct

NEWPORT BEACH (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Thursday, April 26, 2007

(04-26) 01:54 PDT Newport Beach, Calif. (AP) --

An Episcopalian priest who broke with the national church over its views on homosexuality and faith resigned as head of a Newport Beach parish after admitting he engaged in "inappropriate conduct" with a woman parishioner.

The Rev. Praveen Bunyan stepped down as head rector of St. James Anglican Church last week, church officials said.

The married priest acknowledged "inappropriate conduct" with the woman, church spokeswoman Karen Bro said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Archdiocese cuts $2m from deficit

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff | April 26, 2007

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston still faces significant financial challenges five years after the sexual abuse crisis erupted, but has been making slow progress, in large part by selling real estate and cutting staff, church officials said yesterday.

The archdiocese, for the second year in a row, published on its website a raft of financial information, including annual financial reports for the archdiocesan administration, as well as for dozens of related Catholic organizations.

This year's disclosure was more extensive than last year's. Among the additions: The archdiocese released the salaries of its top employees, which range from $23,771 for Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley to $250,000 each to the archdiocese's top fund-raiser and chief financial officer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Former Minister's sex abuse

UNITED KINGDOM
Newham Recorder

26 April 2007
A FORMER Baptist minister faces years behind bars after he admitted abusing six schoolgirls while working at a church.

Nigel Westley, 44, a minister at the Harvest Rock Community Church in Bignold Road, Forest Gate, confessed to a senior colleague who turned him in.

All the children were between nine and 13 years old when they were abused between January 2002 and May 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Church accused of abuse cover-up

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The Church of England has been accused of covering up child sex abuse carried out by a former choirmaster.

Peter Halliday, 61, from Farnborough, was jailed for two-and-a-half years after pleading guilty to sexual abuse of boys in Hampshire in the late 1980s.

BBC News has learned he admitted to the offences 17 years ago but left the Church quietly on condition he had no more contact with children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Molester says he hid ties to victim from church brass

MINEOLA (NY)
WTNH

Posted Apr. 25, 2007
9:15 PM

(Mineola, N.Y.-AP)_A former Long Island youth minister testified today that he never told parish leaders about the close friendship he developed with the family of a teenager he was sexually seducing.

Matthew Maiello of Stamford, Connecticut, also testified that he seduced and raped his victims, despite an order from the pastor of St. Raphael's Roman Catholic Church in East Meadow, New York, to limit his physical contact with youths to a handshake.

Two former teenagers, a man and a woman, both 23, who were sexually abused by Maiello are suing him, St. Raphael's, its pastor, the Reverend Thomas Haggerty, and the Diocese of Rockville Centre for $150 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Witness Says Sex Offender Filled Role of a Father

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By BRUCE LAMBERT
Published: April 26, 2007
GARDEN CITY, N.Y., April 25 — The witness recalled his troubles as a shy teenager with an alcoholic father and few friends, who cut classes and drank. Then a church youth director, Matthew Maiello, came into his life and steered him on a righteous path, he testified, transforming him with a sense of purpose, achievement and self-worth.

“This was the guy that was kind of replacing my dad and guiding me through things,” the witness said in State Supreme Court here on Wednesday. “It was just overwhelmingly good. It was incredible.”

But when the witness resumes his testimony in a civil trial here on Monday, he is expected to tell the dark side of their relationship: sexual abuse. The young man and a young woman have said that Mr. Maiello induced them in the late 1990s to have sex with each other and with him, often videotaping their activities, and they are suing him, the Roman Catholic parish that employed him, its pastor and the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Judge has denies request to resume construction projects at several parishes

SAN DIEGO (CA)
North County Times

By: North County Times wire services

SAN DIEGO - A judge has denied an emergency request to resume construction projects at several parishes that were suspended after the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego filed for bankruptcy, it was reported Wednesday.

Attorneys for the Organization of Parishes, formed recently to represent the interests of the diocese's 98 parishes, filed the emergency motion Monday asking bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler to allow about $122,500 per day to be spent on seven projects between now and May 8, when a hearing is set on the matter.

The attorneys argued the projects had been "abruptly stopped ... causing damages which increase each day construction is suspended," The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

CofE 'was warned of choirmaster's abuse'

UNITED KINGDOM
Telegraph

By Natalie Paris and agencies
Last Updated: 11:20am BST 26/04/2007

A former choirmaster for the Church of England went on to abuse children for years despite his behaviour being brought to the attention of the church.

Peter Halliday, 61, was today jailed for two-and-a-half years at Winchester Crown Court after pleading guilty to abusing children between 1985 and 1990.

The CofE received a complaint about Halliday, the organist and choirmaster at St Peter's Church, Farnborough, Hampshire, from a boy's family in 1990.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Child protection is our priority, says Church of England

UNITED KINGDOM
ekklesia

By staff writers
26 Apr 2007
The Church of England has this morning stressed its practical commitment to the safeguarding, care and nurture of the children within the church community – following allegations in Bristol Crown Court that it failed to stop the alleged abuse of young boys after receiving complaints about a priest, and similar claims by the BBC in the case of a choirmaster.

The BBC Radio 4 Today programme says it has learned that Peter Halliday from Hampshire, who will be sentenced today after pleading guilty to abusing choirboys over a period of five years, admitted his offences 17 years ago.

A Church of England spokesperson told Ekklesia that “a fuller, statement on the Halliday case will follow later this morning from the Diocese of Guildford, after sentencing.”

The separate case against a Somerset vicar, being heard in Bristol, is still in process.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

April 25, 2007

Lawsuit alleges Omaha archdiocese covered up clergy abuse

OMAHA (NE)
Beatrice Daily Sun

By OSKAR GARCIA
Wednesday, April 25, 2007 7:48 PM CDT

OMAHA, Neb. - A former parishioner filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Archdiocese of Omaha, alleging the archdiocese allowed him to be abused as a teenager by a priest and tried to conceal it.

The lawsuit, brought by 41-year-old Cary Claar of Springfield, Ore., alleges Father Duane Lucas sexually abused Claar for several years starting around 1978, when Claar was 12 or 13 years old.

The archdiocese knew or should have known Lucas was a pedophile, and "made no meaningful effort" to restrict his access to children or monitor his behavior, said attorneys Maren Lynn Chaloupka and Kelly Clark in the complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 PM

Ex-priest at Ft. Lauderdale school

FLORIDA
Miami Herald

By JAY WEAVER
jweaver@MiamiHerald.com
A former priest who retired from a Fort Lauderdale Catholic high school in December amid questions about his alleged involvement in past sex-abuse incidents has been retained by the school as a consultant through the end of the academic year.

A group of St. Thomas Aquinas High School parents expressed ''tremendous concern'' about Ernest Durante, 68, of Hollywood in a letter sent Wednesday to the Archdiocese of Miami. The former guidance counselor has been training another school counselor on administering SAT, Advanced Placement and other exams on the campus.

The letter, unsigned by the parents, urged Archbishop John Favalora to remove Durante from the school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:37 PM

Farmersville Church Member Accused Of Sexual Abuse

FARMERSVILLE (TX)
CBS 11

Stephanie Lucero
Reporting

(CBS 11 News) FARMERSVILLE A Farmersville man may have used a local church to meet people he is accused of sexually abusing.

After allegations and an investigation a Collin County grand jury has indicted local businessman James Souder. The 42-year-old refused requests from CBS 11 News for an interview.

Souder has been in the Collin County Detention Center since his arrest in February and some Farmersville residents say they don't want him back in their town.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 PM

Baltimore: A Time of Mourning and Healing - Case of Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro

BALTIMORE (MD)
Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence Speak Out

by Vicki Polin, Executive Director
The Awareness Center, Inc.

Throughout the month of April, 2007 there has been a heightened awareness of child sexual abuse in the Baltimore Jewish Community.

On April 11th the Vaad Harabbonim's (Rabbinical Council of Greater Baltimore) published a letter that was sent to homes of many community members. Next came the Baltimore Jewish Times article exposing Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro's alleged past of being a serial child molester. Almost immediately after the publishing of the article, Rabbi Moshe Heinemann reacted by posting a sign in his synagogue banning the newspaper. The Awareness Center believes that The Baltimore Jewish Times is the only Jewish newspaper in Baltimore that has the courage to allow survivors of sex crimes an avenue to have their voices heard. The paper is helping to prevent any more children from being harmed.

With everything that has been happening in Baltimore, we cannot overlook the effect this is having on individuals who live in the community. The entire Jewish community of Baltimore has been put through a whirlwind of emotions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 PM

Memorial to survivors of abuse by priests dedicated in Grand Mound

GRAND MOUNT (IA)
The Observer

By Mary Rueter
Managing editor

A sense of peace descended over a tent in front of SS Philip and James Catholic Church in Grand Mound Sunday afternoon as a memorial to the survivors of sexual abuse by priests was dedicated and blessed.

For the men who were violated by those their families trusted most, the monument is a symbol of strength and courage.

"I'm just happy the survivors were able to come together and dedicate this monument -not only for ourselves, but also for others who have been unable to come forward yet," said survivor Michael Uhde of Davenport.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:56 PM

SEX MINISTER HAS 'AMNESIA'

MINEOLA (NY)
New York Post

By KIERAN CROWLEY
April 25, 2007 -- A smirking former Catholic church youth minister and admitted sex abuser yesterday took the stand at a $150 million civil trial on Long Island and repeatedly claimed he couldn't remember the answers to questions he was asked.

Matthew Maiello, who worked for the Diocese of Rockville Centre as a lay youth minister, pleaded guilty to abusing four teens, served two years and is now free.

The man and woman who brought the lawsuit against him and the diocese, refused to sit in the courtroom while he testified.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:19 PM

"I don't recall, I don't recall" a sure sign he's lying, whether it's a Bushie or a bishop

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

Reading a monsignor’s deposition in January his answer was “I don't recall, I don't recall,” to almost every question. At the same time, the US Attorney General was on the news testifying, “I don't recall, I don't recall” to almost every question in the US Senate.

Then last week a Bishop Brom deposition came up and to almost every question Brom replied, “I don't recall, I don't recall.” Again, as I was reading, there was Gonzales on the news saying “I don't recall, I don't recall.” Literally, the words “I don't recall, I don't recall” hit my head from the computer screen and the TV screen at the same time, both times.

It’s not a coincidence when you think about it, more like a clue. The "bad guys" in Washington and Texas, as well as in The Vatican and LA, have twisted the integrity that comes with power so much, they can say under oath I don't remember or I don't recall; because obviously who’s ever going to know you're lying? It’s the ultimate Teflon. No matter how obvious the crime, as long as you say, I don't remember, no one will ever know if you do or you don’t.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 PM

Senate passes bill to allow death penalty in some molestation cases

TEXAS
American-Statesman

By Mark Lisheron
AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that stiffens penalties for a variety of sex offenses against children, including the death penalty for offenders who commit a second serious sex crime.

House Bill 8, passed by a vote of 30-1, will now head back to the House for a review of the amended bill and may be considered in a conference committee of Senate and House members before final votes are cast.

The House on March 5 passed a version of the bill by a vote of 123-18 after prosecutors, defense attorneys and advocacy groups on both sides of the death penalty debate had voiced concerns.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:10 PM

Ex-church aide sleazeball

MINEOLA (NY)
New York Daily News

BY RICHARD WEIR
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Wednesday, April 25th 2007, 4:00 AM

A former youth minister at an East Meadow church admitted yesterday that he seduced a teenage girl and boy under his tutelage, and even videotaped them having group sex.

Matthew Maiello, now 33 and living in Stamford, Conn., confessed to repeatedly having intercourse with the then-15-year-old girl, first on a couch in his basement office in the convent at St. Raphael's Catholic Church in May 1999 and then, over the next three years, at his home, at the victim's home, in a Long Beach motel and on a boat.

On one occasion, he said, he rushed her out of the Broadway play "Jesus Christ Superstar" after the first act so they could have sex at his Lynbrook home and still drop her off at her parents' home in time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:07 PM

Church finances improve with property sales and higher donations

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

By Associated Press
Wednesday, April 25, 2007 - Updated: 01:28 PM EST

BOSTON - The financial condition of the Boston Archdiocese is steadily improving, thanks to a boost in donations and the sale of church property, but big challenges remain before the church can reach its goal of a balanced budget by 2008, according to the archdiocese’s annual report.

The archdiocese said in the report released Wednesday that it reduced the budget deficit for its central administration to $6.3 million for the fiscal year that ended last June 30, compared to a $8.3 million deficit the previous year.

Archdiocese officials said they were encouraged by the progress, but warned of several looming problems before the church can balance its budget. They include an underfunding of the clergy pension fund, the costs of deferred maintenance on church buildings and the financial struggles of individual parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Archdiocese asks state high court to dismiss assault suits

WISCONSIN
The Capital Times

Pat Schneider
The Capital Times

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee told the state Supreme Court that child sexual assault victims who believe they've also been deceived by a church coverup need to bring that claim to court within a few years of being assaulted.

Attorney John Rothstein, representing the archdiocese, said Tuesday that such victims have a "duty of inquiry. The plaintiffs can't wait around until the facts find them."

Rothstein was asking the court to uphold the dismissal in Milwaukee County Circuit Court of four lawsuits -- now consolidated in a single case -- seeking monetary damages from the archdiocese, which the plaintiffs claim fraudulently concealed priests' history of child molestation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:57 PM

Clergy witch hunt? – Due process for accused priests is a sham, critics say

UNITED STATES
Catholic Online

By Joe Feuerherd
4/25/2007
National Catholic Reporter -- (www.ncronline.org )

WASHINGTON (National Catholic Reporter) – Four years ago, an adult woman informed her local diocese that a recently ordained priest had groped her. No criminal or civil charges were filed, but the initial investigation showed that the accusation was plausible – that it could have happened, recalled Father Michael Sullivan, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn., a priest and canon lawyer who previously served as judicial vicar in the Crookston, Minn., Diocese.

A diocesan review board, said Father Sullivan, eventually determined that the accusation “was a trumped-up charge.” The priest, said Father Sullivan, had “spurned her affections,” informing her “that I’m a celibate and we’re not going there.”

Still, said Father Sullivan, the bishop rejected the review board’s determination and did not allow the priest to return to public ministry. The priest has appealed the bishop’s ruling, but the case, said Father Sullivan, is “swallowed up in Rome.” The priest currently receives no pay or medical benefits from the diocese, said Father Sullivan.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:44 PM

Bishop's house offer being questioned

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Dustin Lemmon | Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A local Realtor with clients interested in buying the bishop’s former home has raised questions about the Diocese of Davenport’s decision to sell the property to St. Ambrose University.

Jill Slyter said she called the listing agent for 2761 Scott St. the second day it was on the market and was told they already had a buyer willing to pay the full price of $175,000.

Slyter said she was upset to learn the diocese accepted an offer from the university for $170,100. The U.S. Bankruptcy court has yet to approve a motion authorizing the sale of the bishop’s home and a single-family house at 803 E. 39th St.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Protesters rally at diocesan office, criticize bishop

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE --Eight people representing victims of sexual abuse by priests rallied Tuesday outside the offices of the Belleville Diocese, protesting what they say is secrecy by Bishop Edward K. Braxton.

A spokesman for the diocese could not be reached for comment. Braxton was out of town on business.

"Bishop Braxton is the only bishop in America who has publicly said when the Vatican rules on an abusive priest, maybe he will tell you and maybe he won't," said Barbara Dorris, outreach director of the Survivor's Network of Those Abused by Priests based in St. Louis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:21 AM

Boy 'abused by vicar in vicarage'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A choir boy "feared for his life" after his parish priest sexually abused him at a vicarage, Bristol Crown Court has been told.

The Rev David Smith, 52, of St John's Road, Clevedon, told the boy he loved him and took him on holiday to Malta, the jury heard.

The boy, who cannot be named, said he was terrified of being branded a liar if he exposed the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

The Orthodox Reform Manifesto (1st Draft)

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

[Editor’s note: While we have not finished the articles of our manifesto, we feel it is in the best interest of community involvement that we publish an early outline of its contents. This is only a summary; the future manifesto will be comprehensive. Please let us know your comments!]

Summary
The Orthodox Reform Manifesto consists of policies and procedures, accountability, and ecclesiastical reform to overcome sexual misconduct, establish healing, and restore trust in the Church.

Preamble
We believe the Orthodox clergy are called to be holy and beyond reproach. We believe our Bishops are called to be more interdependent and less autocratic. The believe the Faithful are called to respect and be faithful to our Church Canons and Holy Tradition. Openness and dialog build trust; secrecy and apathy destroy the glue that holds us together.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

DNA TESTS CLEAR ANGELIKA LOVER & FATHER GERRY

SCOTLAND
Glasgow Daily Record

By Gordon Mciiwraith
NO DNA evidence was found to link Angelika Kluk's married lover or priest Gerry Nugent to her death, a court heard yesterday.

Jurors were told that DNA samples were taken from murder accused Peter Tobin and nine others.

Those swabbed included Father Nugent, the priest at St Patrick's Church in Anderston, Glasgow, where Angelika was staying and where her body was found.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

What’s happening to our priests?

UNITED STATES
National Catholic Reporter

It’s a fair question. No matter how much one might wish for a change in the ordained ministry to include married men or women or both, the fact is that at the moment the priesthood is exclusively celibate males, and many are serving under severe strain. Part of the strain, of course, is because of declining numbers and increased demands.

Not a small part of the strain for some results from the clergy abuse crisis.

NCR arguably has spent more ink and pages on the clergy sex abuse crisis than any other publication since we first broke the story in 1984. Yet nagging questions of justice continue to pester the community and perhaps none is more significant than the question of justice for priests. Joe Feuerherd explores some dimensions of the problem in a story on in today’s issue. ( See story) It is a difficult tale to tell because priests in the midst of canonical processes are reluctant to talk. Others are reluctant to criticize a system that too often appears arbitrary and even capricious and is made all the more difficult to assess because much of the deliberation occurs in secret.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Forum focuses on polygamy woes

ST. GEORGE (UT)
Deseret Morning News

By Ben Winslow
Deseret Morning News
ST. GEORGE — A town hall meeting brought politicians, polygamists, activists and community members together here to vent and share their feelings about reaching out to victims of abuse in closed polygamous communities.
Hundreds packed the Dixie Center to offer their opinions Tuesday night.
"Why is there a statute of limitations on rape and molestation?" a person identified as "victim" wrote in comments read to the audience. "How can the women and children get justice when the statute exists?"
Others pushed for decriminalization of polygamy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

Man avoids felony in plea

GLEN FALLS (NY)
Post Star

By DON LEHMAN
dlehman@poststar.com
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2007

GLENS FALLS -- Prosecutors have agreed to drop a felony sex abuse charge against a former probation officer who was accused of having improper sexual relations with three boys.

Bradford K. Overton, 30, of Glens Falls instead pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of forcible touching, agreeing to serve 6 months in Warren County Jail and 6 years on probation.

He is to be sentenced May 22 by Glens Falls Judge Richard Tarantino.

Overton pleaded guilty in connection with allegations he fondled the buttocks of two boys, ages 15 and 16, at his home last summer. He knew the boys through a Queensbury church where he was a youth group leader.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Lawyer stays -- for now

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Steve Bailey, Globe Columnist | April 25, 2007

Kevin Phelan has been a well-respected player in Boston's business and civic life for years. But he lasted only one week after being named to become chairman of Caritas Christi Health Care System, the Catholic Church's hospital chain. His sin: wanting to replace Wilson D. Rogers Jr., the hospital's controversial long time lawyer and his firm. ...

Rogers was a pivotal player in the church's darkest hour. As the archdiocese's chief lawyer, Rogers negotiated many settlements with the victims of sexual abuse by the clergy, confidential deals that helped mask the scandal and its magnitude for years. O'Malley eventually replaced Rogers as the lead attorney negotiating a broad settlement of claims after he was harshly criticized by victims and their lawyers for his hardball litigation tactics in some of the civil cases and accused of being not nearly so tough on the church's reluctant insurance carriers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

A path to healing

MISSOURI
News-Leader

Walter Molkenbur carries two letters around with him: one from a former pastor here in town, and the other from the bishop who now supervises this region.

The 48-year-old Springfield man says the pastor molested him when he was a child, and former Messiah Lutheran Church pastor Henry Wingard has written Molkenbur a letter of apology:

"I am writing this letter to express to you my deepest regrets for what I did in the past, in reference to sexual advances in the late sixties or early seventies," Wingard writes in longhand. "I surely did not realize then, the harm of my actions and what affect they would have on you. I want you to know that I apologize with my whole heart and I wish God's blessings upon you in the the days ahead. As I look upon the past, I ask for your forgiveness and hope that you will accept my my expressions of sorrow that I extend to you now."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Sexual Tormentor Testifies, but Victims Can’t Bear to Listen

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By BRUCE LAMBERT
Published: April 25, 2007
GARDEN CITY, N.Y., April 24 — A former church youth director who confessed in 2003 to the statutory rape of four teenagers took the witness stand on Tuesday in a civil trial, but the two victims who are suing him were not present. They had left the courtroom here earlier, saying they could not bear to see him again.

The witness, Matthew Maiello, 33, admitted many of the victims’ accusations but denied some of their claims. He said repeatedly during his testimony in State Supreme Court here that he could not remember important details, and a few times invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

Mr. Maiello was imprisoned for two years for his crimes as director of the rock Mass and youth ministry at St. Raphael’s Roman Catholic Church in East Meadow, N.Y. The lawsuit is against him, St. Raphael’s, its pastor and the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Parishes' request to resume construction denied

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer and Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS

April 25, 2007

Construction projects at several parishes that were suspended after the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego filed for bankruptcy cannot resume now, a federal judge ruled yesterday in response to an emergency request.

The Organization of Parishes, formed recently to represent the interests of the diocese's 98 parishes, had asked bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler to allow about $122,500 per day to be spent on seven projects between now and May 8, when a hearing is set on the matter.

Attorneys for the organization filed an emergency motion Monday to resume seven construction projects, arguing that they had been “abruptly stopped . . . causing damages which increase each day construction is suspended.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

NY church abuse trial of Stamford man continues with testimony of molester

MINEOLA (NY)
Stamford Times

MINEOLA, N.Y. [AP] — A former youth minister at a church testified that his parish pastor gave him a directive that included refraining from inappropriate touching of teenagers in his care. A handshake was to be the limit.

But Stamford resident Matthew Maiello, who raped and sodomized teenagers as the youth minister at St. Raphael's Roman Catholic Church in East Meadow, agreed when an attorney suggested: "You never for one second intended to follow that?"

Maiello also testified Tuesday that the parish pastor never asked about his employment history or educational background before he was hired for the $20,000-a-year position.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Bankruptcy judge confirms Spokane Diocese reorganization plan

SPOKANE (WA)
KGW

04/25/2007

By JOHN K. WILEY / Associated Press

A bankruptcy judge on Tuesday confirmed a Catholic Diocese of Spokane reorganization plan that includes $48 million for victims of clergy sexual abuse.

The order by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Patricia Williams will allow the Eastern Washington diocese to emerge from the Chapter 11 protection it entered in December 2004 in the face of numerous sex abuse lawsuits.

"This moment marks a beginning of healing for the Catholic church in Eastern Washington," said Spokane Bishop William Skylstad, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Statement on defrocked priest raises new secrecy questions for diocese

BELLEVILLE (IL)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Tim Townsend and Angie Leventis
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
04/25/2007

New questions about secrecy within the Diocese of Belleville arose Tuesday over a statement issued by the bishop on Monday in the case of its first defrocked priest.

In the same news release announcing that the Rev. Robert Vonnahmen had been "dismissed from the clerical state" by the Vatican, Bishop Edward Braxton said the diocese has no obligation to make public the Vatican's decisions about local priests whose penalties fall short of being laicized.

About a dozen members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests and their supporters rallied Tuesday in front of the Diocese of Belleville Chancery to call for greater transparency regarding sex abuse in the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Bishops say claims of sex abuse decline

PENNSYLVANIA
Intelligencer Journal

By Lori Van Ingen, Staff
Intelligencer Journal

Published: Apr 25, 2007 1:44 AM EST

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. - The number of clergy sexual-abuse allegations has declined for the second straight year, according to a survey of U.S. Roman Catholic bishops released earlier this month.

According to data collected by Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, the number of "credible" allegations has decreased from 1,092 in 2004 to 783 in 2005 and 714 in 2006.

More than 99 percent of the dioceses/eparchies responded to the voluntary survey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:48 AM

April 24, 2007

Nailed?

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

By GUSTAVO ARELLANO
Tuesday, April 24, 2007 - 6:00 pm
Orange County Catholicism hasn’t quite been the same ever since Bishop Tod D. Brown made like Martin Luther and hammered a document to the doors of Holy Family Cathedral in early 2004. That document, titled “The Covenant With the Faithful,” featured seven theses that Brown claimed represented a new era of transparency for a diocese long plagued by priestly pedophilia and its cover-up by Church and even county leaders. ...

But according to church records, that single nail seems to have caught Brown in a lie—or at least an inconsistency between his public pronouncements and the paper trail.

Documents obtained by the Weekly reveal that church officials have investigated an allegation of sexual abuse against Brown—yet Brown has never uttered a word on the matter.

On July 3, 1997, a man we’ll call Larry (the Weekly doesn’t disclose the name of alleged sexual-abuse victims without their permission) wrote to the Diocese of Fresno stating, “I was sexually molested by Father Todd [sic] Brown when I was 12 years old in 1965,” while the future bishop served at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Bakersfield. During psychological counseling, Larry claimed to realize that “the abuse perpetrated on me by Father Brown was not a fantasy, but a detailed memory.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 PM

Former Santa Clara law professor charged with possessing child porn

SAN JOSE (CA)
San Francisco Chronicle

Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

(04-24) 14:58 PDT SAN JOSE -- A New York attorney has been charged in federal court in San Jose with possessing child pornography on a computer while he served as a visiting professor at the Santa Clara University School of Law, court records show.

Murdaugh Stuart Madden Jr., 58, a former professor at Pace Law School in White Plains, N.Y., was charged today with one count of possessing child pornography. Madden was named in a document known as an information, which typically signifies that a defendant intends to plead guilty.

Reached by phone today, Madden hung up on a Chronicle reporter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 PM

When to start statute of limitations when victim represses memory of crime for decades and other topics at pre-trial hearings re LA Archdiocese

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

As Clergy Case hearings began this morning Judge Fromholz knocked back motions to strike by the church and at one point tempers got short. Tony DiMarco stepped up to say, “Your honor, we provided those certificates some time back and reprovided them again.” At the same time Plaintiffs “aren’t getting served when motions are filed.”

Lee Potts jumped in: “We did what's required.” Di Marco returned: “It wasn’t faxed, emailed, mailed, personally delivered.” Judge Fromholz literally threw his hands up in the air saying, “This is an argument for another day.”

He was about to grant a motion to strike and dismiss in another case when plaintiff attorney Tony Hale stepped up, “Your Honor, this is a case of clear repressed memory. Hightower is so off point in this case.” And the judge said, “Okay, we'll take it under submission.”

The hearings over, DiMarco bristled, and stayed in his seat. He was waiting for Donald Woods church attorney to show up. DiMarco had a deposition with Monsignor R the next day in Santa Barbara only now Woods is arguing he has to file a privacy claim on behalf of Monsignor R first.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 PM

Diocese's Bankruptcy Plan to Be Approved

SPOKANE (WA)
San Francisco Chronicle

By JOHN K. WILEY, Associated Press Writer

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

(04-24) 15:37 PDT Spokane, Wash. (AP) --

A plan to allow the Catholic Diocese of Spokane to emerge from bankruptcy and pay victims of sex abuse $48 million will be confirmed, a judge said Tuesday.

The settlement requires Spokane Bishop William Skylstad, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, to support an end to statutes of limitations for sex-abuse crimes and write letters of apology to victims and their families.

The order by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Patricia Williams will allow the Eastern Washington diocese to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy it entered in December 2005 in the face of numerous sex abuse lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 PM

Ex-youth minister testifies in civil lawsuit

MINEOLA (NY)
Newsday

BY ANN GIVENS
ann.givens@newsday.com

April 24, 2007, 8:47 PM EDT

From the moment a former youth minister at an East Meadow Catholic church kissed his 15-year-old student, he knew he was breaking the rules, he testified Tuesday.

Matthew Maiello, now 33, of Stamford, Conn., said he could not recall pulling the girl onto his lap or telling her that God's plan was for them to be together, as she testified Monday. He also could not recall losing his temper when she tried to end the relationship.

But he admitted that he initiated a sexual relationship with the girl eight years ago and that he pushed her to go further and further with him, until they were having sex several times a week on church property.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 PM

Confessed molester testifies at Long Island church abuse trial

MINEOLA (NY)
Newsday

By FRANK ELTMAN
Associated Press Writer

April 24, 2007, 7:36 PM EDT

MINEOLA, N.Y. -- A former youth minister who raped and sodomized teenagers at a church testified Tuesday that the parish pastor never asked about his employment history or educational background before he was hired for the $20,000-a-year position.

"It wasn't discussed," Matthew Maiello, the former youth minister at St. Raphael's Roman Catholic Church in East Meadow, told an attorney for two people who are suing him, the parish, its pastor and the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

The plaintiffs are seeking $150 million in damages, claiming church leaders failed to uncover or prevent the youth minister's sexual attacks on teenagers in his care.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 PM

Costa Rica Investigates Minor Rape

COSTA RICA
Prensa Latina

San Jose, Apr 24 (Prensa Latina) The Sexual Crime Section of the Judicial Investigation Committee investigates the alleged violation to a minor in Costa Rica by four priests.

Medical staff from Marcial Fallas clinic, in the place of Defenseless in the capital, denounced the case to the authorities after giving assistance to the young woman.

The mother of a four-month child arrived in to the hospital in an ambulance and told the doctors she has gone to the convent to ask the community priest for help but without money to eat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:41 PM

Vicar denies child sex offences

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A priest accused of sexually abusing young boys over 30 years encouraged a boy to "kiss and hug" him during visits to his flat, a court has been told.

The court heard how the alleged victim, now 40, realised later Rev David Smith, 52, of St John's Road, Clevedon had taken advantage of him.

The parish priest also allegedly indulged in "play fights" with the boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 PM

Vicar, accused of sexually abusing boys, brought victim to Malta

MALTA
Malta Star

maltastar.com team 24 April 2007

A vicar of the Church of England, Rev David Smith, who is in court proceedings charged with sexual abuse of young boys, had entertained one of his victims on holiday in Malta, the Bristol Crown Court was told.

One of the victims, was allegedly abused from the age of 12. When he tried to break off contact with Rev Smith after he took him on holiday to Malta, foreign press reported. The court was told that Reverend Smith pestered him with letters and phone calls begging to see him.

In Court, the Church of England was accused that the vicar continued to abuse boys because it failed to act effectively on two separate warnings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 PM

John Paul II and his Defenders: Vengeance Time

UNITED STATES
JPII Millstone

In the latest issue of Commonweal Magazine, a Dean of a School of Law, Mark Sargeant defends the Dioceses against SNAP (note that he singled out David Clohessy, a personal vendetta?) and victims who have "abused their moral authority" because of "the type of civil claims that have bankrupted Spokane and other dioceses" and that "Most dioceses do have some insurance available to help meet the settlements. But to assume that all dioceses will just be carving off fat, and not slicing into bone and muscle, violates common sense."

SNAP's President Barbara Blaine refuted him stating that:
--- No dioceses have been "bankrupted." Five (out of nearly 200) have sought bankruptcy protection. There's a huge difference. No diocese is "going under." They are merely reorganizing with the goal of keeping dirty secrets hidden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:31 PM

"It takes a village to raise a sexual predator" -- Vicki Polin

UNITED STATES
Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence Speak Out

Vicki Polin has said it a million times: "It takes a village to raise a sexual predator"

I think the rabbonim of New York, Baltimore, Chicago and Los Angeles need to be aware that the problem we have with sexual predators is on them. The warnings signs were there, yet they choose to lead our communities to ignore them. It's been much easier for them to blame survivors of sex crimes.

It's vitally important that all survivors and parents of survivors to make police reports on those who offend. It's not up to our rabbis to conduct investigations. It is also important that survivors of sex crimes file civil suits against those who offend and also those who enable them to continue to rape our men, women and children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Conference continued for Johnston

PINEVILLE (MO)
Neosho Daily News

PINEVILLE - A pre-trial conference has been continued for George Otis Johnston.

Johnston, 64, the pastor of Grandview Valley Baptist Church in Granby, faces one Class A felony count of first degree child molestation in McDonald County.

Johnston will appear for the hearing at 10 a.m. June 19 before Fortieth Circuit Court Judge Timothy Perigo.

Johnston also faces 17 felony charges of child sexual abuse in Newton County. Trial on eight of those charges will begin May 22. Jurors will be selected in Cass County, Mo., then transported to Neosho, where they will be sequestered for the duration of the trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

San Diego Diocese Seeks To Resume Projects

SAN DIEGO (CA)
10 News

SAN DIEGO -- Several parishes are seeking emergency court permission to resume construction projects at seven San Diego Catholic Diocese locations that have been halted due to the diocese's bankruptcy case, it was reported Tuesday.

The recently formed Organization of Parishes filed the emergency motion late Monday seeking the bankruptcy court's permission to continue the projects, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler halted funding for the projects earlier this month as the diocese proposed to settle some 150 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:24 PM

Recording Reveals Details Behind Fr. Katinas Suspension

DALLAS (TX)
Orthodox Reform

New details have surfaced on the Fr. Nicholas Katinas sexual misconduct allegations. Orthodox Reform has received a sound recording of the sermon where the GOA assistant chancellor Fr. Michael Kontogiorgis revealed to a stunned Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church that their long time priest was suspended due to confirmed allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor.

This 29 minute presentation was delivered after a Presanctified Liturgy on February 21st, 2007 at Holy Trinity in Dallas. News reporters from the local press as well as an estimated 400 parishioners filled the church at this meeting.

Three points jump out as troubling:

Instead of suspended him pending investigation, a priest accused of sexual misconduct with a minor is allowed to have continued access to children for many months while the archdiocese conducts a lengthy investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:17 PM

After success, Velure leaves bench

PORTLAND (OR)
The Register-Guard

By Bill Bishop
The Register-Guard
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2007

In the wake of his success helping to settle the most public and most complex litigation in state history - the lawsuits of hundreds of sexual abuse victims that triggered bankruptcy for the Archdiocese of Portland - Lane County Circuit Judge Lyle Velure announced Monday that he is retiring July 1.

Velure, 67, is nationally recognized as a mediator whose work has saved legal fees, delays and frustrations for parties involved in complex lawsuits. His work also has spared public courts the enormous expense of months or years of legal wrangling in complex cases, U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan said Monday.

"I consider him Exhibit A on why state judges in Oregon should have a salary increase," Hogan added. State judges make $95,800 annually.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:12 PM

O'Grady documentary to be available on DVD

LODI (CA)
Lodi News-Sentinel

"Deliver Us From Evil," the film documenting the sexual abuse of former St. Anne's Catholic Church Priest Oliver O'Grady, will be available on DVD on May 8.

O'Grady was a priest in Lodi from 1971 to 1978. He later served at parishes in Stockton, Turlock, Hughson and San Andreas until he was arrested in 1993. He pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual abuse with children under 14 in San Andreas.

O'Grady was paroled from Mule Creek State Prison in Ione in late 2000 and deported to his native Ireland a short time later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:50 AM

DNA test clears priest of link to body

SCOTLAND
Glasgow Evening Times

A PRIEST who admitted having sex with Angelika Kluk gave a DNA sample to detectives investigating her murder, a trial heard today.

But the High Court in Edinburgh heard no DNA evidence was found to link Father Gerry Nugent, 63, with the body of a Polish student found under his church.

The Angelika Kluk murder trial has been hearing for a second day from forensic scientist Carol Weston, 33.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Latest: Angelika priest DNA tested, court told

SCOTLAND
The Herald

A priest who admitted having sex with Angelika Kluk gave a DNA sample to detectives investigating her murder, a murder trial has heard.

But the High Court in Edinburgh heard that no DNA evidence was found to link Father Gerry Nugent, 63, with the body of a Polish student found under his church.

The Angelika Kluk murder trial has been hearing for a second day from forensic scientist Carol Weston, 33.

Mrs Weston was called in after the discovery of the Polish student's bound, gagged and blood-stained body under the floor of St Patrick's Church in Anderston, Glasgow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 AM

Letter to Editor: GOA Cannot Ignore Responsibility to Defrock Fr. Katinas

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

Editor’s note: Catherine Metropoulos has served on the GOA’s Clergy Sexual Misconduct Advisory Board for the last four years (click on image at right to view the Board’s announcement). Her report that “most of our Board’s work has been tabled or stifled” due to factors including “…a total lack of interest on part of our hierarchy” is very troubling — why do the Bishops not take this matter seriously?

Letter to the Editor of Orthodox Reform:

“THE GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE CANNOT IGNORE THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO DEFROCK FATHER NICHOLAS KATINAS!”

April 20, 2007

Even though a thorough investigation by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has proven that there was in fact, very serious sexual misconduct committed by Father Nicholas Katinas against children, it is my understanding that the Archdiocese is now refusing to defrock him. It is a disgrace and an embarrassment to our Church, as well as an insult to his victims, if Father Katinas is allowed to remain on an indefinite suspension and is not subsequently defrocked.

Clergy sexual misconduct, especially when those victimized are children, is a very serious offense unlike no other. How our Spiritual Leaders respond to these matters is of extreme importance. It is especially detrimental to the future of our Church if appropriate actions are not taken when these issues arise.

I have no doubt that Father Katinas was a good priest, had a wondrous ministry, and is loved by many; he would not have been able to commit such heinous crimes against children otherwise! Father Katinas, however, is not above the law. His culpable, despicable actions against children are inexcusable. He abused his sacred position of trust. He inflicted tremendous pain upon his innocent victims; who for them the affects of sexual abuse will never go away. He severely tainted the reputation of our beloved Greek Orthodox Church and that of our clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Church Stands by Baptist Youth Pastor Accused of Molesting Minor

LUBBOCK (TX)
Christian Post

By Audrey Barrick
Christian Post Reporter
Mon, Apr. 23 2007 05:24 PM ET

A youth pastor at Lakeridge Baptist Church in Lubbock, Texas, will stand trial next month for sexually assaulting a minor.

Blaine Miller was arrested for the sexual assault of a child younger than 17 that occurred in Kirbyville, Texas, in 2004. He was indicted on the charge in May 2005.

Lakeridge Senior Pastor Merle Fulmer says he believes Miller is innocent, according to KAMC28 local news.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Supreme Court refuses to hear former nun appeal

WASHINGTON (DC)
PennLive

4/23/2007, 2:40 p.m. EDT
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A former Catholic nun won't be allowed to revive a lawsuit in which she challenged her dismissal as college chaplain at Gannon University.

The Supreme Court on Monday denied an appeal by Lynette Petruska, the first woman chaplain at Gannon.

Petruska claimed in her lawsuit that she was demoted in 2002 and forced to resign because of her gender, and because she helped expose accusations of a cover-up involving a priest who took a leave of absence after an alleged affair with a woman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Court sets guidelines re mental exams & docs; church to produce files for in camera review, in civil cases re pedophile priests, Cardinal Mahony

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

Two court orders last week set precedents for the hundreds of cases to follow re mental exams and production of files, as the first jury trial approaches June 11 in LA civil cases against the Roman Catholic Church.

Judge Haley Fromholz granted the church’s motion for a mental examination of plaintiff Pepito in the April 18 hearing, saying his decision on this exam applies to the “numerous coordinated cases” defendant is litigating in California. The previous day in the same case, Fromholz ordered seminary files of Lynn Caffoe to be produced for in camera review in the Pepito & Uranga case set for jury trial August 6.

The church has to produce seminary files, in Pepito & Uranga and future cases, but for in camera review by the judge before being released to plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Remember:

(“Judge Haley Fromholz stared at Katherine Freberg and said, “I don't want to review anything I don't absolutely have to.” See April 17 post.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Franciscan friar arrested on child-porn charges

CANADA
Globe and Mail

OMAR EL AKKAD

A Franciscan friar faces multiple child-pornography charges after Toronto police raided a Roman Catholic church in Scarborough.

Brother Adley Lobo, 24, had been affiliated with both St. Francis Friary in Caledon and St. Lawrence Martyr Church in Toronto, according to police.

Brother Lobo became the subject of an undercover police investigation into individuals suspected of downloading child pornography from the Internet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Porn Charges

CANADA
CityNews

Monday April 23, 2007

As a Franciscan Brother, Adley Lobo was expected to adhere to a strict set of monastic vows. But police allege he strayed not only from the high standards set by the Catholic Church, but from the laws of the land as well.

On Monday, officers arrested Lobo, 24, and charged him with two counts of possession of child porn and one count each of making child porn, and making child porn available to others.

The arrest of Brother Lobo took place after police executed a search warrant at St. Lawrence Martyr Church, at 2210 Lawrence Avenue East.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Franciscan Friar Facing Child Pornography Charges

CANADA
AM640 Toronto Radio

TORONTO - A 24 year old Catholic friar is accused of making and possessing child pornography.
Toronto police say the suspect was the subject of an undercover police investigation involving people who were allegedly downloading child pornography online.
Adley Lobo, a Franciscan Brother, is charged with two counts of possession of child pornography.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Franciscan novice faces child porn charges

CANADA
Toronto Star

Apr 24, 2007 04:30 AM
A 24-year-old man studying to be a Franciscan priest was arrested on child pornography charges in Toronto yesterday.

Police, who had been investigating online child pornography, executed a search warrant at St. Lawrence Martyr Church, on Lawrence Ave. E. near Kennedy Rd., police said.

Adley Lobo, who was charged with possessing child pornography, and creating and making child porn available, has also been affiliated with St. Francis Friary in Caledon, police said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

I WAS CHURCH SEX PUPPET

MINEOLA (NY)
New York Post

By KIERAN CROWLEY
April 24, 2007 -- An alleged sex-abuse victim testified yesterday that she was a 15-year-old virgin when a 25-year-old Long Island Catholic youth minister seduced her, made her his "puppet" and had sex with her in church pews and a convent.

The woman, now 23, testified in the $150 million civil case against the church that for more than two years, Matthew Maiello forced her to have repeated kinky sex with a younger teen boy and that Maiello filmed the sex acts and joined in.

Maiello, she tearfully claimed, acted as film director and made the teens perform in an X-rated "game show" he called "Strip SAT Review" while he was supposed to be preparing the girl for her SATs.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

She escaped polygamy, and has a story to tell

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 04/24/2007 02:30:31 AM MDT

It has been three years since Fawn Broadbent and Fawn Holm - who became known as "The Fawns" - made a dramatic flight from their homes in the polygamous community at the Utah/Arizona state line.
Broadbent, 20, has told the story many times now, on Dr. Phil, Larry King Live (three times), in Teen Vogue and to media from Japan, Germany and, just last week, England.
But her story of life within the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the sect overseen by Warren Jeffs, remains compelling.
And so she keeps telling it, mostly because it allows her to spread another message, one about what teens experience - and need - once they leave the rigid lifestyle, where little emphasis is placed on education, where boys are funneled into work and girls into marriage.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Pope Defrocks Former Illinois Priest

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Washington Post

The Associated Press
Tuesday, April 24, 2007; 12:08 AM

BELLEVILLE, Ill. -- Pope Benedict XVI defrocked a priest accused of sexually molesting teenage boys decades ago while directing a Catholic youth camp, church officials said Monday.

Robert Vonnahmen, 76, was removed from the priesthood "for the good of the Church," Bishop Edward Braxton of the Diocese of Belleville said in a statement.

Vonnahmen was removed from priestly duties in 1993 by one of Braxton's predecessors after allegations surfaced that he had sexually abused minors. But Vonnahmen, who has denied the allegations, remained a priest because only the pope can defrock clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Vicar in Malta holiday with alleged abuse victim

MALTA
MaltaMedia News

By MaltaMedia News
Apr 24, 2007 - 1:05:18 PM

A British vicar, who allegedly sexually abused young boys over three decades, took one of the victims on holiday to Malta.

52-year-old Vicar David Smith vicar of St John the Evangelist Church at Clevedon, Somerset, is being charged with 14 counts of sexual assault and indecency against seven boys, between September 1976 and May 2005.

According to the Daily Express, the Church of England authorities failed to act despite two ­separate warnings about his alleged behaviour.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Youth Minister Facing Molestation Charges

DELAWARE (OH)
Ohio News Network

Apr 23 2007 7:07PM
DELAWARE, Ohio - A former youth pastor was in court Monday, facing charges that he molested two boys.

Robert Reeves (pictured, right) was charged with nine counts of gross sexual imposition after two boys said Reeves had sexual contact with them when he was their youth pastor.

"Mr. Reeves, it's commendable that you turned yourself in, but until you walked into the courtroom I doubt very much you realized the number of years you are facing," said Judge W. Duncan Whitney.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Church shaken by sex charges vs. ex-ass't pastor

SPRINGFIELD (PA)
Philadelphia Daily News

By WILLIAM BENDER
benderw@phillynews.com 215-854-5255

David McNulty once vouched for the then-Rev. Gerald Klever when Klever was seeking a promotion at the First Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Delaware County.

Ask McNulty today about his former associate pastor, and he'll quote a Bible verse warning that anyone who harms children should be cast into the sea with a millstone tied to his neck.

Klever, 75, was extradited this month from Arizona to Springfield on charges that he repeatedly raped and sexually assaulted girls in the youth group while serving at First Presbyterian from 1977 to 1983.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Abuse survivors dedicate monument

GRAND MOUND (IA)
WOI

GRAND MOUND, Iowa The eastern Iowa town of Grand Mound has dedicated a monument to victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests.

Seven abuse victims were among 100 people who attended yesterday's ceremony outside S-S Philip and James Catholic Church.

Parishioners and members of a group called Catholics for Spiritual Healing raised the four-thousand dollars for the monument.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Former Teen Church Abuse Victim Testifies at L.I. Trial

MINEOLA (NY)
1010 WINS

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) -- A young woman testified Monday that she no longer has faith in God and has trouble maintaining relationships with men after being sexually seduced over the course of several years by a youth minister.

" don't believe in God anymore,'' testified the 23-year-old, one of two plaintiffs in a civil suit against Matthew Maiello, a former minister at St. Raphael's Church in East Meadow, Long Island. Also named in the lawsuit are the church, its pastor and the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

The plaintiffs are seeking $150 million in damages, claiming church leadership was negligent in failing to uncover or prevent the youth minister's sexual attacks on teenagers in his care. They also allege that church leaders failed to properly screen the minister before he was hired.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Parishes ask court to allow construction

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

April 24, 2007

As the San Diego Catholic bankruptcy case nears its two-month anniversary, seven parishes are seeking emergency court permission to resume halted construction projects, and the bishop has sent a letter to parishioners lamenting “adversarial postures” in the proceedings.

In a “pastoral update” released at services over the weekend, Bishop Robert Brom said the San Diego Diocese's $95 million settlement offer to victims of sexual abuse “will stretch our financial capability to the limit.”

Under the settlement proposal, filed last month as part of its reorganization plan, the diocese would pay half of the $95 million, and its insurer would pay the other half.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

"Deliver Us From Evil" on DVD!

UNITED STATES
EDGE Boston

Featured on over 40 top 10 lists including the Wall Street Journal (Joe Morgenstern), Newsweek (Dave Ansen), and the Los Angeles Times (Kevin Crust), Lionsgate will release to DVD the 2007 Academy Award® nominee for Best Feature Documentary - Deliver Us From Evil. Winner of numerous awards including Best Documentary screenplay from the Writers Guild of America, Best Documentary from the Boston Society of Film Critics, Best Non-Fiction Film at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards and Best Documentary Feature at the IPA Satellite Awards and Los Angeles Film Festival, this critically-acclaimed documentary reveals the stunning history of sexual abuse perpetrated by a beloved catholic priest and the institution that protected him at the expense of its followers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Vicar denies 14 child sex abuse charges

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

Steven Morris
Tuesday April 24, 2007
The Guardian

A parish priest sexually abused boys over a period of nearly 30 years despite two separate claims by the church that it had "dealt with the matter", Bristol crown court heard yesterday.

The Rev David Smith, 52, groomed the youngsters during sleepovers at the vicarage and day trips to the seaside, the jury was told. He told them he loved them and later bombarded some of them with letters and phone calls when they attempted to break off contact, the court heard.

Concerns had been raised with the Church of England on two occasions about the vicar, in 1981 and again in 2001. Despite two complainants being reassured that the matter had been dealt with, Mr Smith was not stopped.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 AM

VICAR'S 'STRING OF SEX ATTACKS ON BOYS'

UNITED KINGDOM
Daily Express

April 24,2007
By Tom Price

A VICAR sexually abused young boys over three decades, a court heard yesterday.

And Church of England authorities failed to act despite two ­separate warnings about his alleged behaviour.
The Rev David Smith started abusing youngsters while an assistant housemaster at a prep school in 1976 and continued after becoming a parish priest in 1979, it was said.

The alarm was first raised in the 1980s by the mother of a 15-year-old boy. But church officials simply moved him to another parish, Bristol Crown Court was told.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Priests removed by the diocese

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

Priests removed by the diocese

The Belleville Diocese has removed 15 priests and one deacon since March 1993 for allegations of sexual abuse of a child or sexual misconduct. Robert J. Vonnahmen is the only one to be defrocked. One priest was cleared and another's status could not be determined Monday. These are the men who remain on administrative leave along with the dates they were removed and their assignments when removed:

March 5, 1993 -- The Rev. Jerome Ratermann, 75, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Belleville.

March 18, 1993 -- The Rev. James Calhoun, deceased, former pastor at St. Boniface Church in Germantown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Victim of abuse was brought on holiday to Malta, British Court hears

MALTA
di-ve

by di-ve news

UK/ Malta (di-ve news) -- April 24, 2007 -- 1045CEST -- A young boy who was allegedly abused by a Vicar of the Church of England tried to break off contact with the man after the latter brought him on holiday to Malta, a British Court has heard.

The Rev. David Smith, 52, is standing trial over 14 charges of sexual assault and indecency against seven boys between September 1976 to May 2005, but is denying the charges, the Daily Express has reported.

The Court heard how the alarm was first raised in the 1980s by the mother of a 15-year-old boy, but Church of England authorities failed to act and simply moved the vicar to another parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Vonnahmen defrocked by pope; was accused of sexual abuse of boys

BELLEVILLE (IL)
Belleville News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
gpawlaczyk@bnd.com

BELLEVILLE - More than 14 years after he was removed from active ministry following accusations that he sexually abused boys, Robert J. Vonnahmen, who once directed a Catholic youth camp, has been removed from the priesthood by Pope Benedict XVI.

Vonnahmen, 76, the former pastor at St. Joseph's Church in Elizabethtown, while never criminally charged, was prohibited in 1993 from performing priestly duties after the Diocese of Belleville conducted an investigation of him and other priests and a deacon in the diocese. Allegations of sexual abuse prompted the investigations, which resulted in 15 priests and the deacon being removed from active ministry.

Vonnahmen, who has denied allegations of sex abuse, was accused by victims of accosting them at Camp Ondessonk in Southern Illinois. He could not be reached for comment Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

April 23, 2007

Victim in diocese sex abuse case testifies

MINEOLA (NY)
Newsday

BY ANN GIVENS
ann.givens@newsday.com

April 23, 2007, 1:12 PM EDT

A young woman who was molested for years by her church youth minister took the stand in State Supreme Court in Mineola Monday morning to tell her gruelling tale.

The woman, whom Newsday is not naming because she is a victim of sexual abuse, told how an innocent crush on Matthew Maiello, a youth minister at St. Raphael's Catholic Church in East Meadow, turned into a nightmare, after Maiello began manipulating her into having sex with him, and later with a 15-year-old boy in her youth group.

The woman and the boy are now suing Maiello, the church, its priest, Rev. Thomas Haggerty and the Diocese of Rockville Centre in civil court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:46 PM

Preventing child sex assault focus of seminar

DENVER (CO)
Coloradoan

By Coloradoan staff

The Archdiocese of Denver is hosting a seminar about preventing child sexual assault from 9 to 11 a.m. April 28.

The seminar is open to the public and will be held in the parish center at Most Precious Blood Catholic Church, 2200 S. Harrison St. in Denver.

Leaders of the seminar will include a probation officer and a school principal and facilitators from National Catholic Risk Retention Group’s VIRTUS programs, which are designed to prevent and address wrongdoing in the faith community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:42 PM

Youth pastor found not guilty

HUNTINGTON (IN)
The Herald-Press

By MIKE PERKINS, Editor
Monday, April 23, 2007 12:17 PM EDT

In her closing argument, Huntington County Prosecutor Amy Richison called the child molestation case against Kevin Whitacre “a classic he said/she said.”

The Huntington Circuit Court jury believed what he said.

After less than 2 1/2 hours of deliberation, an jury of seven men and five women returned verdicts of not guilty in both felony child molesting charges against Whitacre, 33, a youth pastor at Good Shepherd United Brethren Church.

“We praise God that justice has finally been served in our case,” Whitacre said in a statement e-mailed to The Herald-Press Saturday afternoon. “My wife and I want to give Good Shepherd Church our extreme gratitude for their continual support, and for their countless prayers.

“We continue to pray for (Whitacre's accuser). We thank the jury for an unbiased decision in this emotion-filled case.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:39 PM

Priest to go on trial over sex abuse charges

UNITED KINGDOM
Scotsman

Somerset: A PARISH priest was set to go on trial today accused of sexually abusing children over nearly three decades.

The Rev David Smith, vicar of St John the Evangelist's in Clevedon, Somerset, is accused of 15 offences allegedly committed against seven boys aged under 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Sex abuse survivors dedicate monument

GRAND MOUND (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Dustin Lemmon | Monday, April 23, 2007

GRAND MOUND, Iowa — The monument unveiled outside SS Philip & James Catholic Church on Sunday afternoon symbolizes many things to survivors of sexual abuse, but most of all it’s a reminder for everyone not to forget what happened.

Abuse survivor Mike Hitch was among many who thanked an audience of about 100 people for its support over the years, even when it has not been popular among Catholics to speak up for victims of sexual abuse.

He noted that many people present Sunday sat through court trials with victims and showed their support through letters to the bishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Brethren man excluded from church

NEW ZEALAND
crime.co.nz

A member of the Exclusive Brethren who is under police investigation for alleged sexual abuse is being kept away from the church.

Brethren spokesman Tony McCorkell says an elderly man is at the centre of the claims and the church is co-operating fully with police. He is urging anyone with any other claims to come forward and talk with officers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Secretive church entitled to privacy

NEW ZEALAND
The Nelson Mail

As disturbing as sex crimes against children are, it is important to keep a cluster of allegations against an elderly Nelson member of the Exclusive Brethren church in perspective, the Nelson Mail said in an editorial on Monday.

The claims which recently came to light are historic, covering a period of 40 years, and for that reason alone the police investigation will be a long and drawn-out process. Clearly, it is at a very preliminary stage.

It is always important to presume innocence until guilt is proved - and it is difficult to establish a case such as this, with specific details often hazy and a likely lack of forensic evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Polygamist must register as sex offender

UTAH
The Daily News

By JIM SECKLER/The Daily News

Sunday, April 22, 2007 10:10 PM PDT

KINGMAN - The only issue a Mohave County Superior Court judge faced Friday was whether to order a Colorado City polygamist to register as a sex offender.

Vergel Bryce Jessop, 47, pleaded no contest Dec. 18 to child abuse. He had been charged with sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.

Jessop and seven other codefendants belong to a polygamist sect of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Colorado City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

At 75, a Battle-Tested but Unwavering Cardinal

NEW YORK
The New York Times

By MICHAEL POWELL
Published: April 23, 2007
He has shuttered half-empty churches, faced down disgruntled parishioners and retired an unsightly $20 million deficit, all in the name of putting the Archdiocese of New York on sturdy fiscal legs.

So the question for Cardinal Edward M. Egan arises: Will this white-haired prince of the Roman Catholic Church follow the lead of other large dioceses and release the archdiocese’s financial reports to the public?

Cardinal Egan considers the idea for a second or two, and offers a smile more suggestive of steel than humor. Wall Street titans sit on his finance council and study his ledgers. The cardinal sees no point in public inspection.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

Diocese making little progress in priest sex abuse cases

VERTMONT
Burlington Free Press

By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The state's Roman Catholic diocese has agreed to pay more than $1 million in the past 12 months to settle two cases alleging child molestation by former priests, but is the target of more child sex abuse cases today than it was a year ago.

Since April 20, 2006, when it paid Michael Gay of South Burlington $965,000 to settle his molestation claim, the diocese has settled one other case. During the period, it was the subject of 12 new lawsuits brought by people claiming that as children they were sexually assaulted by priests.

The slow court process is unlikely to pick up much speed in the foreseeable future, according to attorneys for both the diocese and the alleged victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Marker dedicated to abuse survivors

GRAND MOUND (IA)
Des Moines Register

BY DREW KERR
REGISTER CORRESPONDENT

Grand Mound, Ia. - Mike Hitch was silent for nearly four decades about the sexual abuse he endured as a boy in a Fort Madison church led by the Rev. James Janssen.

But Sunday he delivered an emotional speech in front of 100 people gathered at Sts. Philip & James Catholic Church in Grand Mound for the unveiling of a monument remembering the children Janssen allegedly sexually abused over decades as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church. The monument serves as a reminder, victims say, of the continuing struggle against abuse in all forms.

Finding the courage to talk publicly about the abuse "took a lot of soul searching," said Hitch, who now lives in Broken Arrow, Okla., and is no longer a practicing Catholic. "It's not just something you can come out and tell, but it's a step you have to take to heal."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

April 22, 2007

The Hundred-Million-Dollar Typo

SAN DIEGO (CA)
The Southern Cross

By Cyril Jones-Kellett

SAN DIEGO-When the Boston Globe broke the 2002 story that the Archdiocese of Boston had serious troubles with both sexual offender priests and inadequate supervision by bishops, it did a service for the Church, according to several Church leaders who spoke about the issue in later interviews.

But when lesser news organizations, expending far fewer resources and relying on lower levels of professionalism, became involved with the story, they often seemed to be trying to jump into the scandal frenzy.

The Dallas Morning News was among the most notable news organizations to fall into this temptation, printing poorly researched and often just ridiculous stories that shed a great deal more heat than light. ...

Sadly for San Diego, coverage in our local newspaper has tended to be close to the level of the sloppy Dallas Morning News.

In fact, the San Diego Union-Tribune's coverage raises serious questions about what happens when a city's primary news organization gets frustrated with an institution that it sees as inaccessible, and then takes out that frustration in print.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 PM

“I think we just must have had a typo”

SAN DIEGO (CA)
California Catholic Daily

The Southern Cross, newspaper of the Diocese of San Diego, has published a lengthy opinion piece by its editor, Cyril Jones-Kellet, accusing the San Diego Union-Tribune of, among other things, inaccurate reporting, unfairness -- and even “making things up.”

The editorial, entitled “The Hundred-Million-Dollar Typo,” and published March 29, was accompanied by a photo of the parish hall of Oceanside’s St. Mary, Star of the Sea, with the caption, “San Diego's daily newspaper seems to think this parish hall is a bank.”

Faced with mounting civil lawsuits over allegations of sexual misconduct by priests, the San Diego diocese filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 27. On both its news and editorial pages, the Union-Tribune has reported that the diocese owns “apartment buildings, condominium complexes, commercial developments and undeveloped land.”

That, said Jones-Kellet, is not true.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 PM

More on "Vengeance Time"

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Last Tuesday, April 17, 2007 we published a point by point response by SNAP President Barbara Blaine to "Vengeance Time" by Mark A. Sargent (Commonweal 4/20/07). Here, with the author's permission, is additional commentary by Lynette Frankovich on the Sargent SNAP hatchet job (a.k.a. an essay).

* * *
After reading "Vengeance Time" by Mark A. Sargent (Commonweal 4/20/07), one wonders whether or not his article was itself an act of vengeance. His references to SNAP and their advocates as being vigilantes, and his implication that their activism is what has created hostility toward the church, were misdirected at best.

As documents have proven time and again, the people repeatedly taking the law into their own hands, and blocking attempts for the American judicial system to determine guilt or innocence, and generating hostility by their own volitions, have been, and continue to be, church officials, not SNAP. In addition, as Dean of the Villanova University School of Law, Mark Sargent knows that statutes of limitation and bankruptcy laws were never intended to protect church officials from the evil they perpetrated, and thus are not an "appropriate" use of such "devices" as he states.

Furthermore, as a (presumed) Catholic, Mark Sargent is well aware the road to reconciliation requires complete and genuine honesty on the part of the offending parties. The hierarchy's continued unwillingness to accurately acknowledge their offenses and the impact of their behaviors remains a true reflection of who doesn't "care."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 PM

Clergy Sexual Abuse Bibliography

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

This bibliography of books on clergy sexual abuse was forwarded to me by Tom Doyle. If you're interested in an MS Word copy of it, e-mail me at frankdouglas62@yahoo.com.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 PM

Sex Offenders Use Pews for Healing, Hiding

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

By Audrey Barrick
Christian Post Reporter
Thu, Apr. 19 2007 01:47 PM ET

It is estimated that half of registered sex offenders are churchgoers. So when the convicted finish serving time in jail, they want to head back to the pews. A lot of churches, however, are not ready to open their doors to the former criminals.

"I believe churchgoers are fearful and confused. Most churchgoers would agree that Jesus saves all sinners including sex offenders, but fear the offenders attending their church," said Greg Sporer, co-founder of Keeping Kids Safe Ministries. "Churches are not prepared for offenders."

Sporer serves as a prison therapist working in sex offender treatment programs and studying research. His specialization: church sex offenders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 PM

Chancery worker begins new fight as abuse advocate

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Bronislaus B. Kush TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
bkush@telegram.com

WORCESTER— There were times that Frances J. Nugent had no choice but to remove an abused or neglected child from his or her home in the dead of night.

Unfortunately, because of the lateness of the hour, there was no place to take the youngster.

In those instances, Mrs. Nugent, who’s spent 50 years with state or social service agencies fighting to protect children from harm, would temporarily shelter the child in her own home.

“It’s always been my job to look out for these kids, no matter what,” Mrs. Nugent said.

Now, at 71, she’s taken on another fight.

As co-director of the Office of Healing and Prevention, Mrs. Nugent is likely to be the first person at the Diocese of Worcester’s chancery building on Elm Street that a victim of clergy abuse will meet. ...

“I would never recommend that a victim turn to the Office of Healing and Prevention, unless there was no other choice,” said David A. Lewcon, who was abused as a teenager by the Rev. Thomas Teczar, a priest assigned at the time to St. Mary’s Church in Uxbridge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 PM

Dunlop, Silmser contact would have been crux of questions

CANADA
SQLFusion

Cornwall Standard Freeholder

Friday, April 20, 2007 - 10:00

Terri Saunders

Local News - As expected, a significant portion of cross-examination of David Silmser at the Cornwall Public Inquiry by lawyers for the city police would have focused on the man's contact with former cop Perry Dunlop.

In attempting to show Comm. Normand Glaude Silmser had contact with Dunlop or members of his family on several occasions, John Callaghan pointed to documents which appear to contradict Silmser's own timeline of when he would have spoken with the former police officer.

Callaghan pointed to testimony Silmser gave earlier this year at the inquiry when he suggested he didn't believe he'd ever met Dunlop prior to an incident in August 1996 when the man showed up on his doorstep with Carson Chisholm, Dunlop's brother-in-law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 PM

BISHOP’S MEMORY FAILS IN SAN DIEGO CATHOLIC CHURCH BANKRUPTCY TRIAL

SAN DIEGO (CA)
California Progess Report

By Bill Cavala
A veteran of over 30 years in Sacramento

Over a hundred alleged victim’s of priestly sexual abuse filed suit against the Diocese of San Diego asking $200 million in damages. The Church countered with an offer of about $95 million which was rejected. Then, hours before the trial was to begin, the Diocese declared bankruptcy.

The value of the Church’s assets would play a large part in any distribution to the victims/creditors.

The Church claimed that its assets were valued at $96 million.

But in the Bankruptcy hearing Friday, the Bishop who heads the Diocese admitted he didn’t know the value of his assets.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 AM

Casey to get special Mass as tribute from Church

IRELAND
Irish Independent

THE Catholic Church in Ireland is to privately honour disgraced former Bishop of Galway Eamonn Casey on his 80th birthday, even though he has not yet been cleared by Rome of sexual abuse allegations.

The Irish Independent has learned that a special Mass for Bishop Casey will be held in University Church in St Stephen's Green, Dublin, at 5pm on May 8.

It is to be attended by a select number of invited guests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Channel 8 News: Church Leader Sacked After Speaking Out Over Suspended Priest

DALLAS (TX)
Orthodox Reform

On April 21st, WFAA featured the following news story on the Friday Ten O’Clock news broadcast in Dallas (view the video broadcast online):

“Church leader sacked after speaking out over suspended priest”

A high-ranking Dallas church leader has been dismissed from his duties. He says it’s for leading the charge for a harsher penalty against a suspended priest accused of molestation. Channel 8’s Craig Civale reports.

They gave the background on Fr. Katinas, the Greek Orthodox priest at Holy Trinity who “… sexually abused minors while a priest before coming to Dallas. He is also currently under investigation by the archdiocese for allegedy abusing a child at Holy Trinity.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Former priests named in abuse suits getting paid retirement

SPOKANE (WA)
KXLY

SPOKANE -- The Catholic Diocese of Spokane is spending millions of dollars to settle abuse claims lodged against former priests. Now it appears the diocese will also be spending money to pay for the retirement of three priests named in those abuse claims as well.

Court documents reveal defrocked priests James O'Malley, Theodore Bradley and Arthur Mertens will continue to receive diocese pensions while local Catholics are asked to raise millions to pay for their sex abuse lawsuits.

Bankruptcy documents say the diocese will continue to pay all priest retirement plans including three priests that the diocese announced were credibly accused of abuse and put the diocese into this situation in the first place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Clergy abuse cases decline

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Bronislaus B. Kush TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
bkush@telegram.com

Reported allegations of sexual abuse against minors by Roman Catholic clergy dropped appreciably last year from 2005 levels, but the expenses related to the charges continue to significantly affect the church, a study commissioned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops shows.

According to a survey of 99 percent of the country’s dioceses and eparchies, allegations of sexual misconduct against children and young people fell by 9 percent.

Church officials stressed that 70 percent of the reported incidents actually occurred between 1960 and 1984, and they said that 70 percent of the alleged offenders are deceased, had already been removed from the ministry or had left the priesthood or various religious orders. ...

In the Diocese of Worcester, $124,272 was earmarked for the Office of Healing and Prevention in fiscal 2006 to aid victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Victims, church still trying to pick up pieces

OHIO
Dayton Daily News

By Tom Beyerlein
Staff Writer

Sunday, April 22, 2007

For years, Christy Miller wanted the priest who sexually abused her as a girl to be punished. Now that Thomas Brunner has been defrocked, she finds that his banishment is "a double-edged sword."

"On the one hand, you want these men to be defrocked as punishment for what they've done," Miller of Cincinnati said Friday. "But if they're defrocked, the church can wash its hands of them. No one's watching him. He has no lawsuit against him. He has no criminal record. He's more of a danger to children now than he was as a priest."

Five years after the priest sexual abuse scandal exploded, victims and Roman Catholic church leaders alike are still trying to tally up its successes and failures. They're also still debating what the church community can do to recover from the deep wounds the scandal has inflicted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:17 AM

Accused priests remain on payroll

OHIO
Dayton Daily News

By Tom Beyerlein
Staff Writer

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Kenneth Schoettmer was convicted of a felony in 2003 and is on Ohio's sex offender registry. In 2004, Thomas Kuhn was convicted of 11 misdemeanor counts of public indecency and providing alcohol to minors. More than three dozen men sued David Kelley, alleging he sexually abused them as boys.

All three remain priests on the payroll of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

The national clergy child sexual abuse scandal of 2002 hit home five years this month, when Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk suspended Rev. Tom Hopp for molesting boys. Hopp has since been permanently removed from ministry.

But he's in the minority. Of 18 area priests credibly accused of abusing youth, 10 are still suspended with pay while they await possible defrocking by the Vatican and one, James Kiffmeyer, was reinstated because the accusers had turned 18 before the abuse occurred.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:12 AM

April 21, 2007

9 Hearings Next Week, As Civil Cases Against Roman Catholic Archdiocese / Cardinal Mahony Aproach Jury Trials

LOS ANGELES
City of Angels

Case Summary

Case Number: JCCP4286
THE CLERGY CASES I

Filing Date: 01/02/2003
Case Type: Judicial Council Coord Proceeding (General Jurisdiction)
Status: Pending

Coordinated Case(s): BC293650 on 07/24/2003
Coordinated Case(s): BC308528 on 01/03/2005
-----------------------------------------------
Future Hearings

04/24/2007 at 08:31 am in department 20 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Hearing on Demurrer (AND MOTION TO QUASH AND DISMISS(PAPERS FILED ON 3/07)RE: BC306507)

04/24/2007 at 08:31 am in department 20 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Hearing on Demurrer (AND MOTION TO QUASH AND DISMISS(PAPERS FILED ON 3/07)RE: BC308213)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 PM

Pastor acquitted of fondling girl

HUNTINGTON (IN)
The Journal Gazette

By Rebecca S. Green
The Journal Gazette
HUNTINGTON – A Huntington County jury, after more than two hours of deliberation, found a youth pastor not guilty Friday of fondling a 10-year-old girl.

Kevin Whitacre, 34, went on trial this week on two counts of child molesting, both felonies punishable by up to eight years in prison. He was accused of fondling a then-10-year-old girl when she visited his family’s apartment in Good Shepherd Church, 1280 Hitzfield St., in the summer of 2005. He was arrested in March 2006. Whitacre did not know the girl through his work at the church.

The jury returned the not-guilty verdict just before 9 p.m.

On Friday, Whitacre testified in his own defense, telling the jury of four women and eight men that he never fondled the girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

Abusive priest's past still poses big problems for courts, victims

NEW JERSEY
Star-Ledger

Saturday, April 21, 2007
BY JEFF DIAMANT
Star-Ledger Staff
A low point of James Hanley's six months in the Hudson County jail came last winter when a judge considered making it easier for the notorious and transient former priest to leave confinement before trial, as long as somebody -- anybody -- would agree to receive Hanley's court notices at home in the mail.

Calls went out fast. A nephew refused outright. So did the head of the Garfield rooming house where Hanley, 71, had recently lived. The judge kept Hanley in jail.

He has remained there since, awaiting trial for a 2006 assault charge that is unrelated to his admitted abuse of children decades ago as a Catholic priest.

"He had nobody," recalled Patricia Serrano, who watched the court hearing and whose son was among the dozen boys Hanley has admitted abusing. "But I can't feel for him. There are too many people suffering for what he did to them. And their lives have been destroyed. And he was manipulative."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Group Urges Catholics To Stop Giving To Orlando Diocese

ORLANDO (FL)
WFTV

POSTED: 4:47 pm EDT April 20, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. -- One group is urging Catholics to stop giving money to the Orlando Diocese immediately. The Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests, or SNAP, demonstrated outside the Diocese office in Orlando on Friday.

SNAP said Catholics should donate their money to charitable organizations that help children, instead of the Diocese. SNAP said the Diocese supports sex abuse suspects, like Bishop Carlos Bedoya.

"We believe that the bishop should be doing much more to help prosecutors locate other victims and evidence and he should be aggressively reaching out to victims urging them to come forward to police," said Mary Grant, SNAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Judge Cancels Upcoming Jeffs' Hearing

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
KUTV

SALT LAKE CITY The judge who was set to try polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs on charges of rape by accomplice has abruptly canceled an upcoming hearing.

Fifth District Judge James L. Shumate had been scheduled to hold the Monday hearing on whether evidence seized from Jeff’s sport utility vehicle when he was captured can be introduced into court.

Shumate issued a two-sentence order indefinitely canceling that hearing, without explanation. The judge earlier postponed a trial that was set to start this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Cousin of Sex Offender Tells of Complaint at Earlier Church

GARDEN CITY (NY)
The New York Times

By BRUCE LAMBERT
Published: April 21, 2007
GARDEN CITY, N.Y., April 20 — The cousin of a former youth minister who confessed to the statutory rape of four teenagers testified on Friday in a civil lawsuit against St. Raphael’s Roman Catholic Church in East Meadow, saying that years before those crimes, a mother in another parish had complained about the man having sex with her 16-year-old daughter.

The cousin, Frank Maiello, gave fresh ammunition to two of the minister’s victims who are now suing their abuser, Matthew Maiello, the parish, its pastor and the Diocese of Rockville Centre, in State Supreme Court here.

Frank Maiello, now a New York City police sergeant, testified that after working with Matthew, his second cousin, at another church where the woman complained, he recommended against Matthew’s hiring at St. Raphael’s, though he never told the pastor why.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Brethren co-operate with inquiry

NEW ZEALAND
TVNZ

Apr 21, 2007

A senior member of the Exclusive Brethren being investigated for allegedly molesting children has been given the cold shoulder by the secretive sect.

And the organisation's troubleshooter has delayed returning to Australia as he helps deal with the claims by former church members of sex abuse within the religious group.

The accused member will not be attending Sunday's gospel preachings after being accused by four former female members of sexual abuse when they were aged between five and 10.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Jeffs' attorneys ask justices to move his trial

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 04/21/2007 01:16:16 AM MDT

Attorneys for polygamist Warren S. Jeffs have asked the Utah Supreme Court to consider whether the sect leader can get a fair trial in St. George, arguing that the odds of a fair hearing in Washington County are unlikely.
Jeffs' attorneys filed the interlocutory appeal Wednesday, seeking the high court's review of three decisions made by 5th District Judge James Shumate before the case proceeds.
The state has until May 7 to respond.
In an April 3 hearing, Shumate refused to reconsider his decision to send the case to trial, to move it out of St. George or deem a section of Utah's rape statute overly vague.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Sect to help in abuse inquiry

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

By DAN EATON and IAN STEWARD - The Press | Saturday, 21 April 2007

The Exclusive Brethren church has pledged to co-operate with police in an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse of children.

Police said yesterday that they started an investigation five weeks ago into allegations of historical sex abuse filed by four women against a member of the secretive sect in the Nelson region.

Tasman police district commander Grant O'Fee called for people to come forward with information.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Brethren pledge no cover-up

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

By VANESSA PHILLIPS - The Nelson Mail | Saturday, 21 April 2007

Exclusive Brethren leaders in Nelson have been spoken to by church officials who are trying to find out more details about former members' claims of sexual abuse in Nelson, an Exclusive Brethren spokesman says.

The Exclusive Brethren's Australia and New Zealand spokesman, Tony McCorkell, said the church was not trying to cover up the situation, but needed more information about the sexual abuse alleged before it could act.

Nelson police have received complaints from three former Exclusive Brethren women, which involve allegations of historical molestation of children by one man over four decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Legal clash over church property

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By John Spano, Times Staff Writer
April 21, 2007

SAN DIEGO — In an unusual confrontation between church and state, San Diego Roman Catholic Bishop Robert H. Brom was grilled for hours Friday by a bankruptcy trustee, lawyers and seven victims of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy.

In a federal courthouse, Brom and church officials were clearly on the defensive as U.S. Trustee Steven Jay Katzman repeatedly questioned items in bankruptcy papers filed by the church in the face of 150 damage claims by sexual abuse victims.

Officials, led by Brom, answered "I don't know" dozens of times as they were questioned about the adequacy of the church's disclosures in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, where it is seeking to reorganize. The hearing was a bankruptcy procedure in which the debtor is confronted by creditors about the value of property involved in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Priests from across globe meet here

TAMPA (FL)
St. Petersburg Times

By SHERRI DAY
Published April 21, 2007

TAMPA - More than 200 Catholic priests from the United States, England, Wales and Africa are expected to convene in Tampa on Sunday for a five-day meeting that will focus on challenges facing priests in the American church.

The priests will take part in the 39th annual convention of the National Federation of Priests' Councils, a group that represents about 20,000 priests nationwide. The meeting marks the first time the group has met in Tampa since it formed in the late 1960s to give a voice to priests' concerns around the country. The organization last met in the bay area at its 1975 convention in St. Petersburg. ...

The meeting consists of a series of workshops with topics that include immigration reform, Christian-Muslim dialogue, risk management strategies and the implementation of the Dallas Charter, which was created to guide church leaders in recognizing and preventing clerical sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

SNAP, priest respond to Commonweal Magazine; The controversy over limbo

UNITED STATES
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
April 21, 2007

Commonweal Magazine has a featured article titled "Vengeance Time: When Abuse Victims Squander Their Moral Authority," by Mark A. Sargent.

Barbara Blaine, president of SNAP, has responded to Mr. Sargent's article in a point-by-point fashion. Because I have not sought permission to reprint the article in my column, readers will have to go to the magazine's Web site to read it. (Click on the link in the first paragraph.)

The following are many of Ms. Blaine's pointed responses to Mr. Sargent's article.

Note that Dudzinski's bishop "outed" him as a predator; SNAP didn't. Yet the author criticizes us, not the bishop. So apparently, according to Mr. Sargent, it's okay for a church official to publicly identify a predator, as long as no one tells that predator's neighbors that he lives nearby. (Often, in cases like this, the main reason the predator was not charged or convicted is because the church hierarchy shielded him from law enforcement.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Bishop says he doesn't know value of assets

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer and Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS

April 21, 2007

Bishop Robert Brom and other officials of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego admitted yesterday that they understated the value of church property by many millions of dollars in its bankruptcy filings.

But Brom, making a rare appearance in the four-year-old legal battle over allegations of child sexual abuse by clergy, bristled at plaintiffs' attorneys who implied he and other diocese officials were not being truthful.

“I don't know who knows what the net worth of the diocese is, but I don't know,” Brom said under questioning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Local priest barred

MARINE CITY (MI)
Times Herald

A former Roman Catholic priest from Marine City has been permanently barred from working as a priest, the Archdiocese of Detroit said Friday.

James Wysocki was removed from his position as pastor of Holy Cross Catholic Church more than three years ago after he was accused of sexually abusing minors.

Two other priests, Dennis Laesch and Ronald Williams, also were "permanently removed from ecclesiastical ministry," Msgr. Ricardo Bass, Cardinal Adam Maida's delegate for clergy matters, said Friday in a prepared statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Four barred from working as priests

DETROIT (MI)
The Oakland Press

Web-posted Apr 21, 2007

DETROIT - Three Roman Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing minors have been permanently barred from working as priests, and a fourth was removed from the ministry, the Archdiocese of Detroit said Friday.

Dennis Laesch, Ronald Williams and James Wysocki "have been permanently removed from ecclesiastical ministry, are prohibited from wearing clerical clothes and publicly representing themselves as priests," Msgr. Ricardo Bass, Cardinal Adam Maida's delegate for clergy matters, said in a statement.

Wysocki was ordained in 1967 and became associate pastor at St. Michael Parish in Pontiac.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

April 20, 2007

San Diego Bishop Answers Victims Face-to-Face

SAN DIEGO (CA)
KPBS

The bishop of San Diego's Roman Catholic Diocese was in federal court on Friday. He's answering questions about church finances. The diocese seeks bankruptcy protection amid allegations of sexual abuse. KPBS reporter Andrew Phelps has details.

More than 140 people have sued the diocese on claims of being sexually abused. Today was their first chance to confront the bishop himself, face to face.

Diana Williams says she was abused as a girl. She lost her faith, her virginity and her innocence. Williams asked the bishop to answer that accusation. He quietly refused. "How can you not respond?", she asked. "How in the name of God can you not?"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 PM

San Diego bishop grilled on abuse before bankruptcy committee

SAN DIEGO (CA)
The Press-Enterprise

By ALLISON HOFFMAN
The Associated Press

SAN DIEGO

The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego endured more than six hours of tense questioning Friday from people who claim they were sexually abused by priests.

Bishop Robert H. Brom sat silently as seven men and women who have sued the diocese, along with attorneys representing more than 140 plaintiffs, grilled him on subjects ranging from the accuracy of the diocese's asset disclosures to responsiveness to abuse claims.

The first plaintiff called to face Brom broke down in tears and invoked the name of God to make him answer to claims of abuse she said a priest inflicted on her as a girl. The bishop softly refused to answer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:27 PM

Vatican turns down 4 accused priests' appeals

DETROIT (MI)
Detroit Free Press

April 20, 2007

BY DAVID CRUMM
FREE PRESS RELIGION WRITER

After five years of controversy over the removal of priests accused of sexually abusing minors, Catholic leaders in Detroit announced Friday that the Vatican has closed all lingering cases by turning down the last four appeals by accused priests.

The Vatican gave Dennis Duggan its harshest penalty, laicization, which not only bans him from working as a priest but removes his clerical status and cuts formal ties with him.

Duggan was the first priest removed in Detroit when the scandal broke in March 2002. At the time, he was pastor of St. Suzanne and administrator of Our Lady Gate of Heaven, two Detroit parishes that later merged. The accusation against him was from years earlier in his ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:25 PM

San Diego bishop testifies before bankruptcy committee

SAN DIEGO (CA)
CBS 47

Last Update: Apr 20, 2007 2:41 PM

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A woman who sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego invoked the name of God today to make Bishop Robert Brom answer to claims of sexual abuse she said a priest inflicted on her when she was a girl. The bishop softly refused to answer.

Diana Williams responded by asking, "How can you not respond? How in the name of God can you not?"

She was one of more 140 people who sued the diocese on claims they were abused. Williams spoke at a hearing about the church's Chapter Eleven bankruptcy filing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 PM

Followers await self-styled ‘Antichrist’

GUATEMALA
MSNBC

GUATEMALA CITY - He calls himself the Antichrist, wears the number 666 tattooed on his arm and claims a following of 2 million people.

And Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda is coming to Guatemala whether it wants him or not.

The Central American country has banned the leader of the Florida-based Growing in Grace church, arguing he is a security risk because he provokes conflict with Roman Catholics and evangelicals. ...

He often takes aim at the Catholic Church — the most powerful faith in Latin America — calling all priests child molesters and saying chastity vows go against the Bible's teachings. Members of his church have torn up images of saints and other religious symbols in El Salvador, and marched in Guatemala and Honduras.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

Saintly Bad Behavior

Slate

By James Martin
Posted Friday, April 20, 2007, at 12:18 PM ET
Pope John Paul II
Recently, word came that the miracle required for Pope John Paul II's beatification may have happened: A French nun's Parkinson's disappeared after her religious community prayed to him to intercede. But amid the growing enthusiasm for the canonization of Pope John Paul II comes some dissent from a surprising place—within the Catholic Church. Not that the dissenters are airing their grievances publicly. Grumbling about someone's canonization is a little like complaining about a co-worker's promotion: It makes you look like a spoilsport.

The naysayers, mainly on the left, see John Paul not as one of the great religious figures of the age, but as a person with whom they often disagreed, particularly on issues of the ordination of women, the Vatican's response to the sexual-abuse crisis, and treatment of gays and lesbians. The most common arguments against his canonization can be boiled down to two: First, I disagreed with him. Second, he wasn't perfect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

Abuse suit settled

ST. LOUIS (MO)
The Grand Rapids Press

Friday, April 20, 2007
ST. LOUIS, MO. -- A priest who once taught at Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids was accused of sexual abuse in a civil lawsuit settled this week. James Thiel was one of four priests named in a 2004 suit in St. Louis Circuit Court by an unidentified Missouri man. He said Thiel abused him while serving a St. Louis area parish from 1978 to 1981.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

San Diego bishop testifies before bankruptcy committee

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Allison Hoffman
ASSOCIATED PRESS

1:18 p.m. April 20, 2007

SAN DIEGO – The bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego appeared in federal court Friday to answer questions about church finances amid accusations that the diocese is shielding assets in bankruptcy proceedings.

About 50 people, including some of the more than 140 people who have sued the diocese on claims they were sexually abused by priests, gathered to watch the sometimes testy exchange between Bishop Robert H. Brom and a federal trustee supervising the hearing.

U.S. trustee Steven Katzman grew impatient when asking Brom about properties and other assets listed in diocesan filings with the bankruptcy court.

“Just answer the question,” Katzman said at one point.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:15 PM

4 men accused of sexual abuse barred from working as priests

DETROIT (MI)
WOOD

DETROIT -- Three Roman Catholic priests accused of sexually abusing minors have been permanently barred from working as priests, and a fourth was removed from the ministry, the Archdiocese of Detroit said Friday.

Dennis Laesch, Ronald Williams and James Wysocki "have been permanently removed from ecclesiastical ministry, are prohibited from wearing clerical clothes and publicly representing themselves as priests," Msgr. Ricardo Bass, Cardinal Adam Maida's delegate for clergy matters, said in a statement.

Dennis Duggan has been laicized, that is, removed from priestly ministry and excused from the promise of celibacy and other priestly obligations. The other three men remain priests but are restricted in their public ministry, Bass said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 PM

Healing Old Wounds

CALIFORNIA
The Santa Barbara Independent

By Nick Welsh, April 19, 2007

It was almost 15 years ago that Ray Higgins discovered that his son Michael had been sexually molested by Father Robert Van Handel, a Franciscan monk and former teacher and choirmaster at St. Anthony’s Seminary. Since then, Van Handel was sentenced to eight years behind bars for sexual abuse and was removed from the priesthood. Michael Higgins, for his pain, received a $90,000 legal settlement from the Franciscans, underwent therapy, managed to get sober, got married, had two kids, and holds down a steady job as a probation officer somewhere back East.

But in all that time, Ray Higgins and his wife Anne — who used to consider themselves “cradle-to-grave Catholics” — have not been able to let go. In the early ’90s, when the St. Anthony’s scandal first surfaced, the Higginses helped lead the charge that forced the Franciscans to conduct an official inquiry into sexual abuse. They discovered that 25 percent of the priests and brothers assigned to St. Anthony’s over a 23-year period were sexual predators. Today, the Higginses are still reaching out to victims of clergy sexual abuse and offering them free therapy. Based on his family’s experience, Higgins said therapy provided his son the most valuable help he received. He added that none of the other organizations bird-dogging the Catholic Church was sufficiently focused and equipped to do the job.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

Sect to help in abuse inquiry

NEW ZEALAND
The Nelson Mail

By DAN EATON and IAN STEWARD - The Press | Saturday, 21 April 2007

The Exclusive Brethren church has pledged to co-operate with police in an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse of children.

Police said yesterday that they started an investigation five weeks ago into allegations of historical sex abuse filed by four women against a member of the secretive sect in the Nelson region.

Tasman police district commander Grant O'Fee called for people to come forward with information.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:17 PM

Brethren troubleshooter stays to deal with sex claims

NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Herald

By Mathew Dearnaley

Tony McCorkell has delayed his return to Australia in light of the new sex abuse claims.

Exclusive Brethren troubleshooter Tony McCorkell has delayed his return to Australia after revelations that New Zealand police are investigating claims that a member of the secretive religious sect had sexually abused children.

The Brisbane businessman, sent by the church to distance it from political activities of some New Zealand members, said last night that he would stay in this country to deal with the latest controversy.

Tasman police commander Superintendent Grant O'Fee confirmed yesterday that the police were investigating complaints by four women that they were abused as children by a man in Nelson at various times from about 20 to 40 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

Testimony of preacher's wife helped her, lawyers say

SELMER (TN)
CNN

SELMER, Tennessee (AP) -- During the 10 years she was married to a handsome young preacher, Mary Winkler said she never told anyone about the bruises and the sexual humiliation she endured.

But the preacher's wife accused of killing her husband took the witness stand this week and dredged up every embarrassing detail, talking about the abuse in front of TV cameras and family members.

That risky decision to testify, her lawyers said, had a powerful effect on the jury and probably explains why Winkler will not spend the rest of her life in prison. (Watch a subdued Mary Winkler describe what happened )

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Dedication set for monument for victims of Catholic clergy abuse

GRAND MOUND (IA)
Courier

DES MOINES (AP) --- A monument honoring the victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests will be dedicated Sunday in a small eastern Iowa town touched by the abuse.

Parishioners of the SS. Philip & James Catholic Church in Grand Mound will host a ceremony at 1 p.m. Sunday to unveil the granite monument. They and members of a group called Catholics for Spiritual Healing raised the $4,000 for the creation and placement of the 3.5-foot-high monument.

The torch and flame design also depicts an angel and a small boy carrying a Bible.

The verse is from Luke 12: "There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:10 PM

Former teacher accused of sexually assaulting private school student

TEXAS
San Antonio Express

Marvin Hurst
KENS 5 Eyewitness News

Police on Thursday arrested a former private school teacher accused of fondling and having sex with a student at El Sendero Christian Academy.

Matthew Aaron Hernandez, 26, is charged with sexual assault of child. The former private school teacher is out of jail on a $20,000 bond.

According to an arrest warrant, the mother of a 15-year-old student addressed her concerns about Hernandez giving her son expensive gifts with the school's superintendent, Robert R. Lara, on Jan. 23.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Sex charge vicar free

UNITED KINGDOM
Wigan Today

A former Wigan clergyman accused of sexually molesting two teenage girls has walked free from court.
The Reverend Russell Tague was found not guilty of six offences of indecent assault following a three-day trial.
Rev Tague was hugged and kissed by weeping friends and relatives as he left court.
It had been claimed that the 47-year-old repeatedly sexually molested one girl when she was aged between 11 and 16 and indecently assaulted the other girl when she was 15.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

2006 report issued on child abuse in the archdiocese

CINCINNATI (OH)
The Catholic Telegraph

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati continues to act on accusations of child sexual abuse by priests as they are received. In 2006, two new allegations of sexual abuse of a minor were made against two priests of the archdiocese.

Of the two priests, one was already suspended from active ministry pending final disposition of his case, and the second was placed on administrative leave. His case is also in process

With regard to the non-compliance determination made by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops, all priests, deacons, seminarians, employees and educators have been trained. However, there are still 3,047 volunteers in parishes, schools and institutions of the archdiocese for whom it cannot be established that the required training has been received. All have undergone background checks and none are permitted to work with children until the training is complete.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Drop in Number of Abuse Allegations, Rise in Costs

UNITED STATES
America Magazine

The number of people who said that as children they were victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy has dropped 34 percent since 2004, according to a national survey of dioceses and religious orders. The survey was conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University in conjunction with the 2006 audit of U.S. church compliance with child protection policies. The annual report on the survey and audit showed the same drop since 2004 in the number of credible allegations made and a 40 percent drop in the number of reported offenders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

Davenport Diocese Sells Properties

DAVENPORT (IA)
WHBF

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport has accepted offers on two properties it's selling to settle claims of sexual abuse by priests. The diocese, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall, has accepted offers on a duplex previously used as the bishop's house and single-family home not used by the diocese.

In all, the dioceses is selling four properties. They are part of nearly $13 million in total assets the diocese lists in court papers. All will be liquidated to pay creditors, including dozens of people who claim they were abused by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Holy Innocents' says priest misused $100,000

ATLANTA (GA)
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By CYNTHIA DANIELS, JENNIFER BRETT
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 04/20/07

There were Sundays when the Rev. David A. Galloway needed no notes to deliver his sermon at Holy Innocents' Episcopal Church. Instead, former congregants recall, his command of the Bible would flow easily into an extemporaneous message.

"He was a real scholar," said Jack Adams, a member since 1958.

What congregants may not have not known is that Galloway, the head of one of Atlanta's oldest Episcopal churches, misused more than $100,000 of parish funds, according to the church.

His preaching career may be over, but the church does not plan legal action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Honduran police arrest priest wanted on child abuse charges

HONDURAS
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: April 19, 2007

TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras: Honduran police arrested a Costa Rican priest who has been convicted of child abuse in his homeland, officials said.

Enrique Vasquez, 48, was arrested Wednesday during a routine stop in the Honduran capital, police spokesman Anibal Baca said Thursday.

Vasquez failed to present a passport and claimed to be a Venezuelan called Strauss, Baca said. However, after an "intense interrogation" he confessed to his true identity and it was found he was wanted by Interpol, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Former priest's victims able to move on

JERSEY CITY (NJ)
Daily Record

Friday, April 20, 2007

JERSEY CITY -- Lou and Pat Serrano spent Thursday in a courtroom waiting for a hearing featuring the former priest who molested their son. The date was important for other reasons, for something that happened five years ago, when victims got together in Mendham for the first time to talk about the pastor who abused them when they were children.

James T. Hanley, the former Catholic priest, has admitted to molesting at least a dozen children decades ago, but he never was charged with those crimes because the statute of limitations ran out. The Serranos got to see him in a prison uniform for the first time this past year on charges that he made terroristic threats against Secaucus hotel workers.

"It has been good to see him in shackles," Pat Serrano said on Thursday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Mormon family's sex secrets

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Christine Kellett | April 20, 2007 - 10:01AM

A Brisbane teenager was quoted religious scripture and banned from taking the sacrament as punishment for molesting a female relative after the girl's parents decided against reporting the offence to police, a court has been told.

The family instead left it to a church bishop to discipline the boy, but the strategy failed and the teenager went on to commit multiple sex offences against young girls over a 15-year period, ending with the stalking of his wife's 16 year-old sister last year.

Now aged 29, the man admitted at Brisbane's District Court yesterday to spying on his sister-in-law on eight separate occasions while she used the bathroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Brethren man faces sex claims

NEW ZEALAND
The Nelson Mail

By Vanessa Phillips - The Nelson Mail | Friday, 20 April 2007

Three former Exclusive Brethren women have laid complaints with police about allegedly being sexually abused by the same man as children in Nelson.

A fourth woman is understood to be in the process of laying a complaint in Auckland about the man.

Constable Sally McBride of the Nelson CIB confirmed that she had received complaints from three women who were former members of the Exclusive Brethren church.

She also confirmed that the complaints involved allegations of historical molestation of children by one man over four decades.

The women are understood to be aged between 29 and 61 and to be alleging offending in the Nelson area between the early 1950s and early 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Four women accuse Exclusive Brethren elder of sex assaults

NEW ZEALAND
Earthtimes

Wellington- Four New Zealand women have laid complaints with police alleging they were sexually abused by a senior member of the Exclusive Brethren sect when they were children more than 40 years ago, news reports said Friday. Police in the South Island city of Nelson confirmed they were investigating the complaints, and the church's Australian-based official spokesman Tony McCorkell told Radio New Zealand, "The church and its members will cooperate fully with law enforcement and any other authority to ensure the matter is dealt with transparently, openly and to the satisfaction of the law and the public."

Constable Sally McBride told the Nelson Evening Mail that the complaints were serious allegations of historical molestation of children by one man over four decades. One victim was reported to be under 10 at the time she was assaulted.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Brethren abuse claims investigated

NEW ZEALAND
TVNZ

Apr 20, 2007

Police have confirmed a senior member of the Exclusive Brethren church is under investigation after claims he has been sexually abusing children for decades, despite a spokesperson for the church denying all knowledge when the claims were publicised.

Following a six-month ONE News investigation, it was revealed on Thursday that four women, all former members of the church, laid complaints against the man, claiming they were abused when they were aged between five and 10.

The alleged abuse stretches back decades. The eldest complainant is now 61 years old, and the youngest in her mid 20s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

Persinger enters plea to two years in sexual assault case

CROSSVILLE (TN)
Crossville Chronicle

By Michael R. Moser / mmoser@crossville-chronicle.com

The senior pastor of the Bridge of Hope Church in Crossville pleaded guilty Monday to sexual battery by an authority figure and received the maximum two-year prison sentence allowed by law for the class A felony.

Benji Dale Persinger, 28, 438 S. Stone Rd., who is serving a four-month split sentence out of Fentress County on a similar charge, pleaded guilty to the single charge and now may be transferred to the Tennessee Department of Corrections to finish serving his jail time.

In both counties, victims in the case were teenage girls who were members of his church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Ex-pastor convicted of child sex abuse

NORTH CAROLINA
Wilmington Star-News

The former pastor of a Warsaw church was convicted Wednesday by a Duplin County Superior Court jury of two counts of first-degree rape of a child less than 13 years old and other sex offenses, prosecutors said.

Thomas Lindell Robinson, 57, also was convicted of two counts each of first-degree sexual offense on a child less than 13 years old and indecent liberties with a child. He was sentenced to a prison term of 26 to 33 years by Judge W. Allen Cobb Jr.

Robinson, former pastor of the New Life Christian Center, was charged in January 2006 after allegations were made about the sexual abuse of a girl who went to a day care center on church grounds that has since closed. The incidents occurred between 2004 and October 2005, according to Duplin County District Attorney G. Dewey Hudson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

San Diego bishop slated for questioning in bankruptcy

SAN DIEGO (CA)
The Press-Enterprise

By ALLISON HOFFMAN
The Associated Press

SAN DIEGO

More than 140 people who claim they were sexually abused by priests of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego have waited years for answers from church leaders.

Some will finally have their chance to ask questions on Friday, when Bishop Robert H. Brom testifies before a meeting of the creditors' committee in the diocese's bankruptcy proceedings.

The committee, which represents parties with financial claims against the diocese, includes a handful of the more than 140 plaintiffs who have filed civil suits against the church alleging abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Civil suit against 3 priests is settled

ST. LOUIS (MO)
The Kansas City Star

The Associated Press
ST. LOUIS | A Missouri man has settled a civil lawsuit against three priests in the St. Louis area who he claims molested him during the 1970s and 1980s.

One of the priests had Kansas City ties.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said the settlement involved three priests who had not previously been accused publicly of sexual abuse. The settlement for $140,000 was made final Monday, said SNAP’s director, David Clohessy. The lawsuit was filed in 2004 and the victim declined to be identified.

The lawsuit named four priests — Thaddeus Posey, Michael Barry, Chester Gaiter and James Theil. The settlement covers Barry, Gaiter and Theil, while the case against Posey is ongoing, Clohessy said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

St. Louis Archdiocese settles sex abuse lawsuit

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Belleville News-Democrat

BY GEORGE PAWLACZYK
News-Democrat
ST. LOUIS - The Archdiocese of St. Louis on Thursday announced a financial settlement involving a lawsuit naming three priests accused of sexual abuse of a child, including the Rev. Chester E. Gaiter, a former pastor in East St. Louis.

Gaiter, a retired Jesuit priest who served at St. Joseph's Church for a year beginning in 1993, was accused of molesting a boy who was attending a religious school in St. Louis in the mid 1980s. According to a spokesman at a Jesuit retirement home in St. Louis, Gaiter, who was assigned in St. Louis at the time of the abuse, is mentally incapacitated and cannot answer questions.

Pat Noaker, a St. Paul, Minn., attorney who represented the victim, who was not named, said the settlement totaled $140,000 and includes a written apology to the victim and his family from the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

April 19, 2007

Parish Council Member Expelled After Calling for Fr. Katinas To Be Deposed

DALLAS (TX)
Orthodox Reform

Dean Siotos, who less than a week ago mailed a letter to the Greek Hierarchs critical of their handling of a local priest accused of sexual misconduct with minors, has been expelled from the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church parish council, pending formal dismissal by Metropolitan Isaiah.

Why did the organization of this Dallas church seek to have Siotos removed from the council? Apparently his letter (reported in an earlier article) caused uproar among Fr. Katinas’s supporters both on and off of the parish council.

This letter was co-signed by 11 other parishioners. In it Siotos argued from canon law that known pedophiles such as Fr. Katinas should be deposed. The letter stated: “We request that Nicholas Katinas be defrocked immediately.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 PM

Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman to Star in Doubt Film

HOLLYWOOD (CA)
Playbill

By Zachary Pincus-Roth
19 Apr 2007

Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman will star in the film version of John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Doubt.

Variety also reports that Shanley will adapt the play and will direct the film for Miramax. Scott Rudin is producing the film, which begins production in New York on Dec. 1.

Streep will play the role of a nun who suspects a popular priest, played by Hoffman, of wrongdoing at a Bronx Catholic School in 1964. Cherry Jones won a Tony Award for playing the role of the nun on Broadway and Brían F. O'Byrne received a Tony nomination for playing the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 PM

Church settles suit accusing four priests of abuse.

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Christopher Leonard
ASSOCIATED PRESS
04/19/2007

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A Missouri man has settled a civil lawsuit against four priests in the St. Louis area he claims molested him during the 1970s and 1980s, an activist group announced today.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said the settlement involves three priests who have not previously been accused publicly of sexual abuse.

The settlement for $140,000 was finalized Monday, said SNAP Director David Clohessy. The lawsuit was filed in 2004 and the victim declined to be identified, Clohessy said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 PM

A sexual abuse settlement reached against former ESL priest and two others

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Belleville News-Democrat

News-Democrat
ST. LOUIS - The Archdiocese of St. Louis today announced that a financial settlement was reached involving a lawsuit naming three priests accused of sexual abuse of a child, including the Rev. Chester E. Gaiter, a former pastor in East St. Louis.

Gaiter, a retired Jesuit priest who served at St. Joseph's Church for a year beginning in 1993, was accused of molesting a boy who was attending a religious school in St. Louis in the mid 1980s. According to a spokesman at a Jesuit retirement home in St. Louis, Gaiter, who was assigned in St. Louis at the time of the abuse, is mentally incapacitated and cannot answer questions.

Pat Noaker, a St. Paul, Minn., attorney who represented the victim, who was not named, said the settlement totaled $140,000 and includes a written apology to the victim and his family from the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

Streep, Hoffman have 'Doubt'

HOLLYWOOD (CA)
Variety

By MICHAEL FLEMING, DAVE MCNARY

Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman will star in "Doubt," the screen adaptation of the John Patrick Shanley play for Miramax Films that begins production in New York on Dec. 1.

Shanley wrote the script and will direct. Scott Rudin is producing.

Deals are being negotiated with both thesps.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

AMUH Omagh priest embroiled in murder case

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Ulster Herald

AN Omagh-born priest has admitted to having sex with a Polish student before she was murdered and buried under the floorboards of his church in Glasgow.

Father Gerry Nugent, 63, was been giving evidence at the High Court in Edinburgh at the murder trial of Peter Tobin last week.

The victim, Angelika Kluk, had been living rent-free at St. Patrick's Church House, in Anderson, Glasgow. The court heard that Fr Gerry gave her a lap-top computer, paid for her to go on trips and even allowed her to use his credit card. He also said he had paid for her to fly to Poland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Prevention motivated victims to accuse priests

PORTLAND (OR)
The Register-Guard

By Bill Bishop
The Register-Guard
Published: Thursday, April 19, 2007

PORTLAND - The Archdiocese of Portland's pending release of previously secret documentation of child sexual abuse by priests - and what church leaders did or failed to do about it - is a good start toward demonstrating a commitment to preventing child abuse.

But it's just a start, according to two clergy abuse victims who settled their lawsuits years before the public spotlight focused on the problem in Oregon.

Church officials and lawyers for abuse victims announced the document disclosure Tuesday as part of a bankruptcy reorganization plan that will pay at least $50 million to about 175 people who sued the archdiocese over clergy sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 PM

Letter from Rabbi Moshe Heinemann

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Awareness Center

April 18, 2007

The Following letter was posted in Agudath Israel of Baltimore by Rabbi Moshe Heinemann as a reaction to the Baltimore Jewish Times publishing a story regarding Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro. During a meeting with Rabbi Heinemann he disclosed that his issue with the Jewish Times was with the fact that Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro had passed away and that he could not be offered the opportunity to defend himself. He also added that over the years the Baltimore Jewish Times has been repeatedly "Orthodox bashing". He went to on to say that this was not fair to the family members of Shapiro who did nothing wrong, and it would hurt family members chances of getting a good shiddach (marriage partner). Please note that Phil Jacobs, author of the series on sexual abuse in the Jewish community and is the senior editor of Baltimore Jewish Times is an orthodox Jew.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

Cornwall inquiry digs into testimony of 'victim'

CANADA
Ottawa Sun

Thu, April 19, 2007

By CP

CORNWALL — Lawyers at an inquiry probing the institutional response to allegations of systemic sexual abuse in the Cornwall area have found themselves in unfamiliar waters in recent days.

In an attempt to wrap up cross-examination of the evidence presented by witness David Silmser earlier this year, lawyers are being forced to go over his testimony in his absence.

Doctors determined in February that Silmser was unable to return to the inquiry for medical reasons.

Lawyer John Callaghan, who is representing Cornwall police, and other lawyers who didn’t have a chance to question Silmser on his testimony are now attempting to scrutinize his evidence before Commissioner Normand Glaude and offer some form of cross-examination through documents and statements as to whether Silmser’s take on the process was accurate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 AM

Treasurer charged with stealing $21K from Lambertville church

LAMBERTVILLE (NJ)
Courier News

By BRANDON LAUSCH
Staff Writer

LAMBERTVILLE -- A volunteer treasurer for a Presbyterian church in Lambertville has been charged with stealing more than $21,000 from the congregation's cemetery association, authorities said.

Russell Fleischmann, 54, of West Amwell was charged with one count of third-degree theft by unlawful taking after stealing the money from the Second English Presbyterian Church's cemetery association, Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office officials said in a statement Wednesday.

Detective Dan Hurley, a spokesman for the prosecutor's office, said authorities received a tip from the church and investigated for about six weeks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

Bishop Matano is asleep on the job

VERMONT
Times Argus

April 19, 2007

Another year has passed and still the Diocese of Burlington has not achieved compliance with the U.S. Bishops' 2002 "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People." After last year's failed audit, Bishop Matano suggested that the diocese would achieve compliance within a few short weeks.

How many lay people would still have their jobs if they promised a project would be finished within a few short weeks, but a year later they were still waving their arms and offering excuses?

This sexual abuse crisis in the church is not over. The vast majority of priests are obviously good men with no inclination toward the sexual abuse of children; however, common sense should tell us that the church has not found all of the molesters in the priesthood. It generally takes decades for survivors of sexual abuse to come to terms with what happened to them in childhood, and priests who have sexually abused children are not going to turn themselves in voluntarily just because a bishop asks them to.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Briefs: Archdiocese loses move to dismiss suits

COLORADO
Denver Post

By The Denver Post Staff
Article Last Updated: 04/19/2007 02:25:13 AM MDT

A dozen lawsuits filed against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver and the late Rev. Harold Robert White can go forward.

District Judge Robert Hyatt ruled Tuesday against an archdiocese motion to dismiss the claims.

Hyatt found that the plaintiffs' claims are not for the acts of abuse, which allegedly occurred between 1959 and 1978, "but rather for breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, negligent supervision, negligent retention, fraud, fraud-intentional nondisclosure, and conspiracy" by the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

CHURCH PERV PIMPED ME OUT: GAL

NEW YORK
New York Post

By KIERAN CROWLEY
April 19, 2007 -- A Long Island woman testified yesterday that a Catholic youth minister coerced her into sex when she was just 16 and convinced her to have one-night stands with strangers.

The 21-year-old broke down as she testified in a civil case against the Rockville Centre Diocese and Matthew Maiello, a lay youth minister who admitted to abusing four teens in 1999, two of whom filed the suit against him and the church.

"I was very afraid of him, Matthew," the tearful witness said. "And he had taken me away from my family and he abused me.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Southern Baptist Abuse Cases Garnering More Attention, Warnings

UNITED STATES
The Gospel Herald

Audrey Barrick
Correspondent

Monday, Apr. 16, 2007 Posted: 1:30:PM PST

Clergy sex scandals have widely been exposed in the Catholic Church, but recent media attention has gone toward Protestant churches, mainly the Southern Baptist Convention, which some fear may be developing a similar pattern to the Catholic Church.

A six-month investigation was unfolded Friday night on ABC's 20/20 which found "preacher predators" all over the country and shielding themselves in churches. While the investigation uncovered pastors and ministers convicted of some account of sexual abuse from every denomination, the focus was placed on several cases within the largest Protestant denomination in the United States – the Southern Baptists.

"I predict this program will be a shocker for many around the nation," stated Wade Burleson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Okla., in a Thursday blog post.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Snubbed native school survivors forgive Canada

CANADA
The Calgary Sun

By JORGE BARRERA

A major native residential school survivor group has sent a letter to Queen Elizabeth II that forgives Canada and the churches for wanting to "get rid of the Indian problem" through the residential school system.

The letter was sent to the Governor General's office yesterday to be forwarded to the Queen.

"In the spirit of our people and the integrity of our collective compassion, it would be prudent to offer forgiveness from the survivors of Indian residential schools to Canada, the Church entities and their descendants," says the letter, signed by Michael Cachagee, chairman of the National Residential School Survivor's Society.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Woman Testifies About Sexual Abuse by a Church’s Youth Ministry Leader

GARDEN CITY (NY)
The New York Times

By BRUCE LAMBERT
Published: April 19, 2007
GARDEN CITY, N.Y., April 18 — Justice R. Bruce Cozzens Jr. discreetly handed tissues to the witness on the stand Wednesday. She tried to stifle sobs and wiped away tears while she told of being sexually abused as a teenager by a Catholic youth ministry leader in the early 1990s.

As the witness repeatedly struggled to regain her composure, another young woman, in the back of the State Supreme Court room here, also cried. She said she had been victimized in the late 1990s by the same man, in another parish.

Later in the hallway, the two women — who had never met before this court session — cried again, this time together while hugging. “I’m sorry,” the witness, 31, said to the other woman, 23.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

Dad: Church was alerted of priest's threat

NEW YORK
Newsday

BY ANN GIVENS
ann.givens@newsday.com

April 19, 2007

Five years before Matthew Maiello ever set foot in the East Meadow church where he would molest four teenagers, a parent at a Syosset church told the priest there that Maiello was dangerous, and was ignored, according to court testimony Wednesday.

It was the first of several unheeded warning signs about Maiello, according to Michael Dowd, a lawyer who is suing the convicted molester, St. Raphael's Roman Catholic Church, the Rev. Thomas Haggerty -- the priest there -- and the Diocese of Rockville Centre for $150 million on behalf of two of Maiello's victims.

On Wednesday, a woman testified tearfully that she began a sexual relationship with Maiello in 1993, when she was 16 and he was an assistant youth minister at St. Edward the Confessor in Syosset. Over the next few years, court sources said, the woman said she was destroyed by the relationship and was eventually driven to self-mutilation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Diocese loses bid to chuck sex cases

DENVER (CO)
Rocky Mountain News

By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
April 19, 2007
The Archdiocese of Denver has lost its second attempt to have a group of sex abuse cases involving the late priest Harold Robert White dismissed in Denver district court.

Twelve lawsuits moved closer to trial Tuesday when Judge Robert Hyatt rejected the church's argument that the cases should be dismissed because they exceeded the statute of limitations.

That makes a total of 15 cases involving White that are now moving forward. Last month Judge John McMullen issued a similar ruling on three cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Hearing focuses on valuation of cases

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer and Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS

April 19, 2007

What is the monetary value of the psychological damage caused by being raped as a child by a priest? What about less egregious sexual abuse?

That issue is at the core of the bankruptcy case filed by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego. It was a subject that dominated a court hearing yesterday before federal Judge Louise DeCarl Adler.

Attorneys representing the more than 150 men and women who sued the diocese for alleged sexual abuse by priests and nuns said Adler should look at the 400 clergy-abuse cases already settled elsewhere in California, either through negotiation or jury trials. The plaintiffs' attorneys have placed the “range of value” for those cases at between $1.1 million and $1.6 million each.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Salem priest is target of lawsuit

PORTLAND (OR)
Statesman Journal

ALAN GUSTAFSON
Statesman Journal

April 19, 2007

Curtis Grecco received a $100,000 settlement from the Archdiocese of Portland, but he still wants a public airing of the sexual abuse that a Catholic priest allegedly inflicted on him and other juvenile inmates three decades ago at the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility.

Grecco, 49, says he was sexually abused six times in the 1970s by the Rev. Michael Sprauer, then MacLaren's chaplain. It happened, Grecco says, while he was locked up in a segregation cell. He was 14 or 15 at the time.

Now, Grecco seeks retribution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Abuse victims, parishes OK $48 million settlement

SPOKANE (WA)
The Olympian

JOHN K. WILEY
The Associated Press

SPOKANE - Victims of clergy sexual abuse and parishes that will foot part of the bill to pay them have voted to approve a $48 million settlement, setting the stage for the Spokane Catholic Diocese to emerge from bankruptcy.

In documents filed Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, 161 people who filed abuse claims, individual parishes and other creditors voted to accept payments outlined in a court-mediated settlement.

Although the vote was unanimous, many of the victims believe the diocese should do more, plaintiffs' lawyer Michael Pfau said Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

April 18, 2007

12 motions to strike denied today and Mahony's answers say "nothing" in civil cases against church re pedophile priests

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

"Nothing. They're doing nothing," a plaintiff attorney said to me last week and another one said it this morning, "Nothing." The church ignores interrogatories for months, makes empty excuses to delay discovery, is a no-show for depositions that plaintiffs need for trials this summer.

Roger Mahony, cardinal of Los Angeles, finally responds to interrogatories. . . and says nothing.

There were tears of relief in court this morning when the judge denied 12 motions to strike in cases concerning George Neville Rucker. One family of survivors was in court and heard their names read into the record twice by their attorney Alex Goldberg and by Judge Haley Fromholz.

On the left in the back is a church attorney who I keep seeing, I think he’s with Hennigan. He has a rubbery face; James Spader could play him. He looks like he might be a proud founding member of Young Republicans.

Then just to my left is church attorney Donald Woods, lips tight as he reads the judge’s tentative order and shakes his head. He’s this little leprechaun like guy who whenever I see him I think of my Irish relatives in Chicago. He looks up at me over his reading glasses as I’m typing into my laptop describing him. I smile and keep describing him. He smiles, sort of.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 PM

Youth pastor on trial in molesting

HUNTINGTON (IN)
The Journal Gazette

By Rebecca S. Green
The Journal Gazette
HUNTINGTON – The trial of a Huntington County youth pastor accused of child molesting began Wednesday, with a nearly daylong jury selection process.

Kevin Whitacre, 34, is on trial on two counts of child molesting, both Class C felonies punishable by up to eight years in prison. He is accused of fondling a then-10-year-old girl when she visited his family’s apartment in Good Shepherd Church, 1280 Hitzfield St., in the summer of 2005. He was arrested in March 2006.

Whitacre did not know the girl through his work at the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 PM

"Vengeance Time"

UNITED STATES
Whispers in the Loggia

The upcoming Commonweal leads with a brow-raiser of a piece from Villanova Law Dean Mark Sargent on the "moral capital" of victim-survivors, and what happens when it's diminished... dotCom says the mag's "already getting somewhat heated letters about it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

A Chilling effect

WASHINGTON
The Spokesman Review

Virginia De Leon and Sara Leaming
Staff writers
April 18, 2007

Changing times and a growing awareness of child abuse have led to greater distrust of adults who work with children, prompting stricter rules in churches, Boy Scouts and other organizations.

That means less one-on-one contact between children and adult mentors, so relationships that could steer at-risk kids away from trouble take longer to build. ...

He and others believe it's up to the faith community to bring about that healing and restore trust, the essential element that "holds us together as a community."

"The sexual abuse problems are bigger than the Catholic Church," said Robertson, who meets regularly with Catholic Bishop William Skylstad of Spokane. "It's time for us, as the entire faith community, to work on a combined solution."

In recent months, the roughly 33 pastors who belong to the Spokane Valley Ministerial Association have been discussing an initiative known as "Healing to Our Community."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Guarding against sexual abuse in the church

UNITED STATES
Florida Baptist Witness

By FRANK PAGE
Baptist Press
Published April 19, 2007

A short while ago, I was interviewed by ABC's "20/20" news for an April 13 program titled, "Preacher Predators." At the request of several, I agreed to this invitation so as to provide some kind of balance to a program which may well be overwhelmingly negative.

There has been a great deal of attention given to this subject in recent days. As I said to the reporter, we are willing and able to discuss this issue because even one instance of sexual abuse by a minister is too much. While I do not believe the problem is systemic and large-scale, there have been several reported cases of abuse by trusted members of staff in our churches. Let me help set a few matters clear for you.

Some persons have accused Southern Baptists of ignoring the issue and hiding behind our polity. Let me clearly state that we believe in the autonomy of the local church as a biblical mandate. We are not hiding behind anything, except the Bible. In fact, the local church is where accountability must be enforced. I call upon every local church to develop written policy guidelines for the care of children and youth. I call upon every church to have a system or policy in place to deal with any accusations made. We must protect children and youth, and the integrity of staff members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Priest facing $41M jury fine hires attorney

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at 3:24 pm
The Rev. Edward J. Smith, the Norbertine priest against whom a federal jury awarded $41 million in damages to an alleged victim of child sexual abuse last month, has hired Wilmington attorney Kathleen Jennings to represent him.

Attorneys for Navy Cmdr. Kenneth J. Whitwell, who said Smith abused him while he was a student at Archmere Academy, reported difficulty locating Smith earlier this month. Attorney Thomas S. Neuberger said his process server had not been able to locate the priest at the Norbertine priory in Middletown where order officials had said he lived, or at his late mother’s Philadelphia rowhome.

Eventually the papers were served on the order's superior, the Rev. James Bagnato.

Jennings said Tuesday she is in contact with Smith, 60, and has accepted legal documents on his behalf. She would not say where Smith is living.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 PM

Archdiocese loses another round in sex abuse cases

DENVER (CO)
Rocky Mountain News

By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
April 18, 2007
The Archdiocese of Denver has lost its second attempt to have a group of sex abuse cases involving the late priest, Harold Robert White, dismissed in Denver district court.

Twelve lawsuits moved closer to trial Tuesday when Judge Robert Hyatt rejected the church's argument that the cases should be dismissed because they exceeded the statute of limitations.

That makes a total of 15 cases involving White which are now moving forward. Last month Judge John McMullen issued a similar ruling on three cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

Victims Approve Spokane Abuse Settlement

SPOKANE (WA)
CBS News

SPOKANE, Wash., Apr. 18, 2007

(AP) Victims of clergy sexual abuse and parishes that will foot part of the bill to pay them have voted to approve a $48 million settlement, setting the stage for the Spokane Catholic Diocese to emerge from bankruptcy.

In documents filed Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, some 161 people who filed abuse claims, individual parishes and other creditors voted to accept payments outlined in a court-mediated settlement.

Although the vote was unanimous, many of the victims believe the diocese should do more, plaintiffs' lawyer Michael Pfau said Wednesday.

"I think the victims have accepted the reality of finite resources and understand that there's some benefit to putting an end to this, and to doing it sooner, rather than later," said Pfau, who represents about half of those who sued.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:54 PM

Silmser videotape played at inquiry

CANADA
SQL Fusion

Local News - CORNWALL (Staff) – David Silmser may never return to the stand at the Cornwall Public Inquiry, but his voice once again echoed throughout the hearings room today.

Commission officials, at the request of the Ontario Provincial Police, played a videotape of a statement Silmser gave to police in February 1994 during which he alleges he was sexually abused by both Rev. Charles MacDonald and now-deceased probation officer Ken Seguin.

Throughout the video, which was not broadcast on the inquiry’s website in order to comply with publication bans and confidentiality requests, Silmser is mostly calm and quiet, speaking in a controlled manner about the abuse he says he suffered as young boy and as a teenager.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:23 PM

Diocese to release documents as part of abuse settlement

PORTLAND (OR)
The Register-Guard

By Bill Bishop
The Register-Guard
Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2007

PORTLAND - Previously private personnel files of pedophile priests will be made public under a bankruptcy reorganization plan for the Archdiocese of Portland that was approved Tuesday.

The papers, to be released as early as next month, will include documents showing knowledge and cover-up of the priests' activities by Catholic Church leaders.

"There is plenty there to cause frustration and anger," said Portland lawyer Kelly Clark, who represented more than 100 people abused by priests over the years and who obtained confidential copies of church records in the course of preparing for trials.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:29 PM

DISRESPECT FOR CLERGY IS RESULT OF BOTH A SECULAR SOCIETY AND LACK OF DEVOTION

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Spirit Daily

There it was, on a front page, in cold print.

"There was a time when Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, leader of the largest Roman Catholic diocese in the United States, was a formidably influential political figure," reported The Los Angeles Times last week -- in what should be seen as a sign of our times. "A decade ago, he was a member of Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan's inner circle and the spiritual leader of a growing community with exponentially expanding power.

"Today, Mahony remains one of the region's most recognized leaders and a sought-after voice on certain issues. But time, scandal, and the shifting demographics of Los Angeles politics have diminished Mahony's might to the point that his recent remonstrations — in which he took to task Fabian Nuñez, the speaker of the California Assembly, for endorsing an assisted suicide bill — have served more to emphasize Mahony's weakness than to deter Nuñez."

Inside and outside the Church, a crisis has risen. It is a crisis of respect.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:22 PM

Rabbi Moshe Heinemann Bans The Baltimore Jewish Times

BALTIMORE (MD)
Jewish Survivors of Sexual Abuse Speak Out

The following handwritten letter was posted in the Agudah Israel of Baltimore

"Based on last week's vicious article (regarding rabbi Ephraim Shapiro) in the Baltimore Jewish Times and other articles of the past, it is my opinion that it is totally inappropriate for this publication to be found in any Jewish home." -- Rabbi Moshe Heinemann

I guess rabbi Moshe Heinemann better warn his congregants to also ban the Baltimore Examiner, because they also published a story on the alleged serial child molester. According to both articles Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro is believed to have raped hundreds of children during his rein of alleged terror. Why should rabbi Heinemann care if one of his buddies allegedly committed more crimes against humanity then most?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:03 PM

Papers detail church settlements

PORTLAND (OR)
Statesman Journal

ALAN GUSTAFSON
Statesman Journal

April 18, 2007

The Archdiocese of Portland agreed to pay settlements totaling $600,000 to 15 men who alleged they were molested by a Salem-area priest three decades ago at the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility, Salem attorney Daniel Gatti said Tuesday.

The settlements ranged from $7,500 to $100,000, said Gatti, who represents the men.

After a gag order was lifted by two judges, Gatti also spelled out settlements for about a dozen more people he represented in claims against other Catholic priests affiliated with the embattled archdiocese.

"Many of my cases settled for anywhere from hundreds of thousands of dollars to several (settlements) for more than a million and one for as many as two million," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Oregon Sex Abuse Victims in Catholic Church Scandal Awarded Over $50 Million

PORTLAND (OR)
Salem-News

Tim King Salem-News.com

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - A settlement in a Portland, Oregon court means victims of childhood sex abuse in the Catholic Church will be compensated with millions of dollars, and secret files relating to pedophile priests in the Portland Archdiocese that span half a century will be publicly disclosed.

More than 200 victims will share the amount that slightly tops $50 million.

More than 89 lawyers were involved in the case at one time or another. All had high remarks for the judges who worked tirelessly in bringing the case resolution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Priest in sex scandal urged to surface

PHILIPPINES
GMA News

04/18/2007 | 11:57 AM

Now that he has been named and charged for supposedly sexually harassing students at a confession last year, Cebu-based Fr. Benedicto Ejares must now end his hiding and face the music.

Sun-Star Cebu said the order came from no less than the Archdiocese of Cebu, which said Ejares must face the charges filed by the National Bureau of Investigation.

The NBI Central Visayas regional office earlier filed seven counts of acts of lasciviousness against Ejares before the Cebu City Prosecutor last week for allegedly harassing high school students whose confession he heard during a Life in the Spirit Seminar in November last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Metropolitan Isaiah’s Letter Questioned

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

By Paul Cromidas

(Writer’s Note: Like my fellow parishioners, I was saddened and in disbelief when I learned that our long-time pastor was suspended on charges of sexual misconduct. Nevertheless, after reading Metropolitan Isaiah’s letter to the parish, I felt that a response was called for. Ironically, I have been writing about the church misconduct issue for some time and that has included criticism of the Metropolitan. He has never responded to any of my articles or correspondence and neither has Archbishop Demetrios. A shorter version of this article appeared as a Letter to the Editor in The National Herald, the Greek-American newspaper, on April 13, 2007.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

PASTOR LIED ON STAND: SEX VICTIMS

NEW YORK
New York Post

By KIERAN CROWLEY
April 18, 2007 -- The two plaintiffs in a $150 million church sex-abuse lawsuit on Long Island angrily accused their former pastor of lying on the stand yesterday.

"How does it feel to lie under oath, like you just did?" the female victim asked Father Thomas Haggerty, former pastor of St. Raphael's Church in East Meadow, after court had recessed for the day.

The male victim accused Haggerty of fabricating a conversation in which they praised their admitted abuser.

Haggerty had testified that the victims never reported to him that they were sexually exploited by former youth minister Matthew Maiello, beginning in 1999, when they were both 15 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

St. Croix County will pay $3,000 for O'Connell suit research

WISCONSIN
River Towns

By Judy Wiff, Regional Editor

St. Croix County's Finance Committee agreed Thursday to allocate $3,000 for legal research for the judge who is presiding over the O'Connell family's civil lawsuit against Catholic bishops.

Last August the parents, sister and brothers of Daniel O'Connell filed a lawsuit against U.S. Catholic bishops asking for the names of an estimated 5,000 priests the American church has identified as sexual abusers and predators since the 1950s.

O'Connell and intern James Ellison were found shot to death at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson Feb. 5, 2002. The O'Connell family and their attorneys claim the murders occurred after Dan O'Connell confronted Father Ryan Erickson of St. Patrick's Church about alleged sexual abuse of boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Vengeance Time or Accountability Time?

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The April 20, 2007, Volume CXXXIV, Number 8, issue of Commonweal magazine contains an attack directed at the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). The writer is Mark A Sargent, dean of the Villanova University School of Law. Sargent's attack is deftly refuted by SNAP whose response is in provided in paragraphs preceded by four dashes (----) and presented in bold font. It's clear that Mr. Sargent is carrying water for the bishops and confuses vengeance with accountability and with the desire to protect kids from sexual predators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

"International Traffic in Catholic Priests Who Abuse"

UNITED STATES
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Richard Sipe and K.K. Murray

The problem of foreign born or educated priests who come to the United States and subsequently abuse minors is and has been a problem for the American church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Portland Archdiocese to release documents related to sex abuse claims

PORTLAND (OR)
Portland Tribune

By Ryan Geddes

LocalNewsDaily.com, Apr 17, 2007, Updated 11.8 hours ago

The Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon plans to release to the public internal documents about church personnel accused of child abuse over the last 50 years as part of its recently approved bankruptcy settlement, church officials and lawyers for sex abuse claimants announced Tuesday.

On Friday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris confirmed the Oregon Catholic Church's proposed Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan, which was filed in 2004 after a wave of child sex abuse claims filed against priests and other church employees. That agreement calls for the court to approve about $50 million in settlements and to establish a fund for future payouts of about $20 million.

Tuesday's announcement went a step further, approving the release of what claimants' lawyers say are previously secret documents detailing accused pedophile priests' activities. Initial releases will comprise "several dozen" documents on fewer than 12 priests, lawyers said, but in the future could become a "virtually comprehensive release of the archives of the past."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:58 AM

“THE JUST MAN JUSTICES”

UNITED STATES
Kingfishers, Dragonflies and Stones

Open Letter to BishopAccountability.org and Other Group Advocates for Victims:

We are a strange country, our America, struggling by, from one justification for our conduct to another, tagging our steps with phrases and slogans, as we go.

Sex offenders must be exposed to save our children.
Innocent until proven guilty.
Statutes of limitations must be abolished.
Justice cries out for accountability.
A country of laws, not of men.

Cover-ups are worse than sexual abuse.

Rebels who win revolutions become oppressors.

Who will guard the guardians?

Some of you know me from work I did with Paul Baier on the original database of priests accused of sexual abuse of minors, back in the early days, when Paul and his crew started literally from scratch. That work gives me some right to offer an opinion which has been growing, too slowly, within me. I am very frightened that we Americans have come to despise the Rule of Law and want our justice against those who commit crimes against humanity to be swift and merciless.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

“Fairness? Balance? Honest reporting?”

LOS ANGELES (CA)
California Catholic Daily

LA Times says Cardinal Mahony losing his political clout – but detractors say the newspaper is punishing the archbishop for his public criticism of its reporting

On April 14, the Los Angeles Times published a front-page story under the headline, “Mahony's influence is dwindling in L.A.” The story came just weeks after the cardinal twice took the Times to task for inaccurate and biased reporting. Was the latest Times story payback? Some critics seem to think so.

“Is the Times now retaliating against Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony for calling the paper out on its falsehoods?” asks Dave Pierre in an April 15 post on the web site NewsBusters.org. “Does the article cite any polls or studies to back up its claim of the Cardinal's supposed ‘dwindling influence’? No. Rather, it quotes a potpourri of various individuals, largely unknown, including a Cal State professor (big whoop), the leader of a ‘mainly Protestant’ activist group, and a minister ‘who spoke on the condition that his name not be used.’ Good grief.”

While the Boston Globe hounded Cardinal Bernard Law during the clergy molestation scandal, the Times has been fairly easy on Mahony -- until last month’s scathing criticism of his handling of the case of abuser priest, Lynn Caffoe -- an article that provoked a public archdiocesan reply. The response, also published in the archdiocesan newspaper the Tidings, said the Times had committed serious factual errors in its reporting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

Archbishop, priest accusers express hope that settlement will lead to reconciliation

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Posted by The Oregonian April 17, 2007 18:00PM

Key players in the months-long mediation among the Archdiocese of Portland, parishioners and priest accusers finally spoke out today about a $75 million settlement that will bring the archdiocese out of bankruptcy.

The settlement, signed this afternoon by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth L. Perris, will provide financial relief for about 175 people who say they were sexually abused by priests. The church agreed to release documents linked to the case, and priests will read a letter to parishioners Sunday.

Archbishop John G. Vlazny expressed relief that the process that began in 2004 when the church sought bankruptcy protection is now finally over.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Diocese withheld details of abuse, critics say

DES MOINES (IA)
Des Moines Register

By SHIRLEY RAGSDALE
REGISTER RELIGION EDITOR

April 18, 2007

Advocates for victims of priest abuse on Tuesday blasted the Catholic Diocese of Des Moines for failing to reveal important facts about allegations against the Rev. Phillip Hobt, a former teacher and priest at St. Albert Catholic Schools in Council Bluffs.

Bishop Joseph Charron, before he retired last week, asked the Vatican to remove Hobt, 42, from the priesthood, the diocese announced Tuesday.

The diocese received allegations against Hobt in January. He was suspended from ministry in February. After the charges were found to be credible by the diocesan allegation review board, Hobt agreed to submit himself to the Vatican process to remove him from the priesthood, according to Anne Marie Cox, a spokeswoman for the diocese.

However, the diocese declined to say where Hobt is now living or anything about the nature of the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

School must name employees in abuse case

SANTA ANA (CA)
The Orange County Register

By RACHANEE SRISAVASDI
The Orange County Register
SANTA ANA – Catholic diocese officials must identify some Mater Dei High School employees accused of sexual misconduct if asked by lawyers for a woman suing over alleged sexual abuse, an Orange County Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday.

The decision allows lawyers for 'Jane C. R. Doe,' as she is identified in court, to inquire about potential abusers who worked at the school from January 1988 to December 31, 2001.

Jane Doe, a 26-year-old woman and a former Mater Dei student, is suing church and school, alleging former assistant basketball coach Jeff Andrade sexually abused her for two years, starting in 1995.

Andrade admitted in a deposition that he had sex with the girl.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Secret files on abusive priests will be released

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Wednesday, April 18, 2007ASHBEL S. GREEN and STEVE WOODWARD
The Portland Archdiocese has agreed to release secret files on abusive priests as part of its $75 million plan to emerge from bankruptcy protection.

The files, which won't be made public until next month, will paint the most detailed picture to date of what archdiocese officials knew about sexually abusive priests in Oregon during the past 50 years and what they did about it.

Kelly Clark, a lawyer who represents dozens of men and women who have reached financial settlements with the archdiocese, said many of his clients could not be satisfied until the record of clergy sexual abuse in western Oregon was revealed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Prison chief stepping down

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Andrea Estes, Globe Staff | April 18, 2007

Correction Commissioner Kathleen M. Dennehy, who was appointed to overhaul the state's prison system after the slaying of incarcerated priest John Geoghan, has been asked to leave her post by the Patrick administration, according to administration sources.

Dennehy, who vowed to create "a more humane system" when she became the state's first woman prison chief three years ago, remains in the post, but in May will join the Bristol County Sheriff's Office, which has earned headlines for its prisoner chain gangs and television ban. The Patrick administration is conducting a search for her successor, the sources said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

April 17, 2007

Church attorneys stall again, still no Caffoe files from St. John's; will Roger Mahony testify in pedophile priest civil case hearings?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

It’s getting nasty. No, it’s getting OJ Simpsonian, as church attorneys throw obstructions in the face of plaintiffs and LA’s 500 plus civil cases against the archdiocese battle toward justice. A motion to compel Roger Mahony to answer interrogatories is on calendar for a May 16 hearing.

Mahony’s tactics seemed to leave the judge and others stunned today. After stalling since last summer, church attorneys now announce the only way they'll turn over St. John’s Seminary files on Lynn Caffoe is with the judge's review in camera first.

Judge Haley Fromholz stared at Katherine Freberg and said, “I don't want to review anything I don't absolutely have to.”

The Church Attorney held his fingers up in Freberg’s face and said “The Seminary file is that thick.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 PM

Priest, facing sex complaint, ‘must show himself’ to the cardinal

PHILIPPINES
Sun.Star

By Nancy R. Cudis
Sun.Star Correspondent

THE Archdiocese of Cebu also wants the priest accused of lascivious acts to show up.

Fr. Benedicto Ejares has been accused of committing lascivious acts on high school students while he was hearing their confession during a seminar in November last year.

National Bureau of Investigation 7 Director Medardo de Lemos filed seven counts of acts of lasciviousness and separate complaints of sexual harassment against Ejares before the Office of the Cebu City Prosecutor last week.

Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal said he cannot issue statements yet on the matter because he has not talked to Ejares.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Abuse allegations against Council Bluffs priest

DES MOINES (IA)
Des Moines Register

SHIRLEY RAGSDALE
REGISTER RELIGION EDITOR

The Diocese of Des Moines announced today that a priest serving at St. Albert Catholic Schools in Council Bluffs is being removed from the priesthood following credible allegations of child sexual abuse.

Father Phillip Hobt, of the Diocese of Des Moines, has begun the process to voluntarily ask the Vatican for permission to leave the priesthood.

At the same time, the diocesan Allegation Review Committee completed its investigation of an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor involving Father Hobt . The committee concluded the allegation was credible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Diocese Priest Volunteers To Leave Priesthood

DES MOINES (IA)
KETV

DES MOINES, Iowa -- A priest with the Des Moines Diocese has voluntarily taken steps to leave the priesthood.

The Rev. Phillip Hobt, who most recently served at St. Albert Catholic Schools in Council Bluffs, was put on leave Feb. 1 by Bishop Joseph L. Charron, according to a news release.

The move comes after allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. A Diocese committee found that the allegation was credible, the release said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:40 PM

Jewish Times: Rabbi was molester

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Examiner

Apr 17, 2007
by Luke Broadwater, The Examiner

BALTIMORE (Map, News) - Baltimore Jewish Times Editor Neil Rubin knew his paper’s Friday article detailing sexual abuse allegations against a deceased rabbi would be controversial. But running the article, he says, was the right thing to do.

In the April 13 article “Rabbi’s Abuse Victims Suffer Years Later,” Executive Editor Phil Jacobs recounted the stories of three people who say they were abused by Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro, the former principal of Talmudical Academy. Shapiro died in 1989.

According to some estimates, Shapiro molested hundreds, the article states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:34 PM

Confronting a Painful Reality

BALTIMORE (MD)
Congregation Shomrei Emunah

I want to talk with you this morning about the problem of sexual abuse in our community.

When I say “our community” I mean both the American Orthodox community and, specifically, the Baltimore Orthodox community.

I am sorry to have to speak about this topic at all and I am particularly sorry to have talk about it on Yom Tov. But I am doing so in advance of a letter that you should all be receiving later this week. The letter is a statement adopted by the Vaad HaRabbonim addressing the issue of abuse in our community.

As difficult as it may be, we feel it is important to address this topic openly and directly because ignorance and silence are two of the greatest allies of abusers. Hidden under the cloud of silence individual acts of abuse can become long-term abuse and small problems can grow into full-blown crisis. And the best antidote for a cloud is sunshine. ...

First, we must resist the instinct of denial – in all of its forms.

For many, I believe that this instinct comes from a “good place.” We believe that a life based on Torah is holy and ennobling. When confronted with allegations that people who appear to be dedicated to Torah may have engaged in dark and destructive behavior there is an instinct to deny that such a thing is even possible. There is a further instinct to deny – even if it is acknowledged that something may have happened somewhere, maybe, to someone – that this constitutes a “problem in the community.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 PM

New Orleans evacuee sues Catholic Charities

ALBANY (NY)
The Times-Picayune

Tuesday, April 17, 2007By Susan Finch
A 49-year-old woman who lived in New Orleans almost seven years before Hurricane Katrina sent her packing to her hometown of Albany, N.Y., sued Catholic Charities in federal court there Monday, claiming it broke a promise to provide her a safe place to live if she told her evacuation story to help the agency raise money for others left homeless by the 2005 storm.

According to Tina M. Zlotnick's petition, the Diocese of Albany and Catholic Charities are pressuring her to leave a rectory they moved her into after forcing her from a $2,700-a-month hotel suite she says they encouraged her to take, helped her pay for and enlisted her help in an allegedly fraudulent effort to get the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse the cost.

Zlotnick's lawsuit, whose defendants also include the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Albany and FEMA, claims that because she was housed in a $2,700-a-month apartment when she had a monthly budget of only $600, "the defendants are believed to have billed or obtained reimbursement from FEMA of $2,000 per month over budget for one year, or $25,200 per year for only one victim."

But Sister Maureen Joyce, head of Catholic Charities in Albany Diocese, called Zlotnick's claim "totally inaccurate."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Washington to star in 'Least of These'

HOLLYWOOD (CA)
Variety

By DAVE MCNARY

Isaiah Washington ("Grey's Anatomy") will topline indie thriller "The Least of These," written and directed by Nathan Scoggins.

Project is produced by James Duke and Number 3 Films in conjunction with producers Allison Calleri and Christina K.Y. Lee. "The Least of These" will begin production in Los Angeles in June.

Washington will portray a priest with a troubled past who's transferred to a Catholic boarding school after the mysterious disappearance of one of the priests. Thesp's feature credits include "Clockers," "Get on the Bus" and "Bulworth."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Jury Likely to Decide Long Island Church Sex Abuse Suit

MINEOLA (NY)
Washington Post

By Frank Eltman
Associated Press
Monday, April 16, 2007; 9:07 PM

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) -- The nation's sixth-largest Roman Catholic diocese went on trial Monday in a $150 million lawsuit accusing church officials of recklessness for employing a youth minister who raped and sodomized teenagers.

In his opening arguments, attorney Michael Dowd told jurors the focus of the trial was not Matthew Maiello, a priest who pleaded guilty to rape and sodomy in 2003, but his superiors.

"The question here is who let the beast loose? Who let him loose to run free through the flock of Rev. Thomas Haggerty, picking his victims at will?" Dowd said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Grey's Anatomy star to play priest in thriller

UNITED STATES
RTE News

'Grey's Anatomy' star Isaiah Washington is to play the lead role in a new thriller called 'The Least of These'.

Variety reports that the film tells the story of a priest with a troubled past who is transferred to a Catholic boarding school after one of the priests disappears.

The film will begin production in Los Angeles in June.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

DIOCESE ACCUSED IN 2 KIDS' RAPE HORROR

NEW YORK
New York Post

By KIERAN CROWLEY
April 17, 2007 -- A 15-year-old boy and girl were raped and sodomized in a Long Island parish by a predator allowed by the Catholic Church to prey on children, a lawyer for the alleged victims said in his opening yesterday.

Lawyer Michael Dowd told a Mineola jury that Matthew Maiello, a lay youth minister at St. Raphael's Church in East Meadow, ordered the teens to have sex with each other and himself and videotaped the acts - a shocking exhibit that will be shown to the jury.

The lawyer said the Rockville Centre Diocese was negligent in failing to investigate Maiello's background, which included molestations at another parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Lawsuit filed against priest

DENVER (CO)
Rocky Mountain News

By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
April 17, 2007
An Ohio man known as John Doe 10 on Monday became the first person to file a civil lawsuit against priest Timothy Evans, a convicted sex offender, and the Archdiocese of Denver.

Within the past three weeks, Evans has been convicted twice of sexual assault while serving as a priest. One of the cases involved a Fort Collins parish and a victim who now lives in Ohio.

Zachary Warzel, one of the attorneys for John Doe 10, said he could not comment on whether that was the same man who filed Monday's civil suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Washington making amends with pedophilia drama

NEW YORK
TV Guide

Tue Apr 17, 2:57 AM ET

NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - "Grey's Anatomy" star Isaiah Washington is set to star in the indie drama "The Least of These," playing a priest returning to the Catholic high school where he once was sexually abused.

His character replaces a missing teacher who molested several teenage boys and might have been killed by one of them.

It is the actor's first new role since derogatory comments he made about gays on the set of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy" and at the Golden Globes forced him into a much-publicized stint at a treatment center for psychological counseling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Lawyer: Church ignored signs of abuse

NEW YORK
am New York

BY ANN GIVENS
ann.givens@newsday.com

April 16, 2007, 10:20 PM EDT

A young woman who was molested by her Catholic church youth minister when she was a teenager choked back tears Monday morning as her lawyer told a jury that church leaders saw signs of abuse everywhere and did nothing about it.

The woman and a young man, both of whom were raped repeatedly over several years by Matthew Maiello beginning in 1999, are suing Maiello, the East Meadow church where he worked, the priest who supervised him and the Diocese of Rockville Centre for $150 million.

Newsday is withholding the names of the plaintiffs because they are victims of sexual abuse.

It is the first time the diocese has come face to face with its accusers in a sexual abuse case in court. Most cases have been settled or they have fallen outside the statute of limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

At Trial on Long Island, Priest Defends Hiring of Worker Who Later Abused Teenagers

GARDEN CITY (NY)
The New York Times

By BRUCE LAMBERT
Published: April 17, 2007
GARDEN CITY, N.Y., April 16 — As a civil trial over sexual abuse at a Roman Catholic church began on Monday, the lawyer for the two victims who filed the lawsuit accused the pastor of neglecting background checks in hiring the youth ministry director who committed the abuse.

The employee, Matthew Maiello, later served two years in prison for the statutory rape of the two victims and two other teenagers from the parish.

“Who let the beast loose to run free through the flock of Father Thomas Haggerty, picking his victims at will?” the lawyer, Michael G. Dowd, said in his opening statement in State Supreme Court here, referring to the pastor, whom he later called as his first witness.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Blame '60s for sex-abuse scandal, McCarrick says

NEW ZEALAND
Washington Times

By Julia Duin
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
April 17, 2007

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the recently retired archbishop of Washington, blamed the "loose morals" of the 1960s for the massive sex-abuse scandals that have rocked the Roman Catholic Church.
Speaking at a conference in Auckland, New Zealand, last weekend, he said the priestly sex abusers had been caught up in the sexually lax climate of the 1960s -- an era that he said was "when anything goes."
"It was Woodstock," he said, according to the New Zealand Herald. "People were smoking marijuana, and the sexual mores went down as all mores went down."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

April 16, 2007

Page says '20/20' segment one-sided

NASHVILLE (TN)
Baptist Press

Posted on Apr 16, 2007 | by Staff
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--Much is being done and more can be done to protect children from sexual predators within Southern Baptist churches, but an ABC News "20/20" segment on the issue April 13 amounted to "yellow journalism," SBC President Frank Page says.

The segment focused on child sexual predators within Protestant churches, focusing on 10-20 occurrences within Southern Baptists' 40,000 churches. In introducing the 16-minute segment, 20/20's Elizabeth Vargas said, "What surprised us ... is how little is being done to stop it." ABC's Jim Avila used the term "preacher predators." The segment spotlighted a youth pastor who sexually abused minors at a church in Kentucky, and then moved on to a Missouri church and did the same.

Avila interviewed Page for roughly two hours recently, but in the end used just a few seconds of the interview, and Page said, left out what the denomination is doing to address the problem.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 PM

"I Was Deceived by the Archdiocese of Denver"

COLORADO
Voice from the Desert

Monday, April 16, 2007

Here are April 16, 2007, press releases by John Doe 10, by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, and Jeb Barrett, Denver SNAP Leader

* * *

Statement of John Doe 10 – April 16, 2007

I take this action today not because I want to but because I have to in order to make sure that other children don’t have to go through what I did.

I was sexually molested by Father Tim Evans when I was a child. Father Tim came into my life because of my family’s faith in the Church. At first Father Tim was great to me. He talked to me and listened to my concerns. He tried to get me to do the right things. I looked up to and respected Father Tim a great deal. My parents were happy that I had such a great role model like a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 PM

On the Wane?

UNITED STATES
Whispers in the Loggia

Anyone who's kept a close eye on things Catholic here in the States in recent years would be hard-pressed to deny that the most perilous cost of the sexual abuse scandal hasn't come in the form of the massive settlements with victim-survivors, the diminished Mass attendance in many places, or even the increased shuttering of parishes and schools (as difficult as each of these has been), but the loss of credibility in the church's leadership, a sea change not so much wrought by the abuse itself, but by its cover-up, or even the perception thereof.

While a recent Zogby poll found that "support for Catholic religious leaders reached the 70 percent threshold" for the second year in a row, at the same time "results suggested that Catholic support for the bishops was directly related to whether those polled were aware of a publicly accused priest in their diocese." By several standards, among the toughest-hit US dioceses has been its largest, the 4.3 million-member archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Due to a 2002 California law which suspended the statute of limitations for one year in the wake of the clergy-abuse revelations, LA still faces in excess of 400 unsettled civil lawsuits, having already paid out over $60 million in settlements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 PM

Baltimore Rabbis Confront Sexual Abuse

ISRAEL
Arutz Sheva

(IsraelNN.com) The Rabbinical Council of Greater Baltimore, an organization of Baltimore’s Orthodox Rabbis, issued a letter to their community warning about the dangers of sexual abuse, encouraging parents to talk to their children about recognizing abuse, and instructing the community that the local authorities can be contacted in such an event.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 PM

Blanco Tragedy Showcases Need for Caution

BLANCO (TX)
Orthodox Reform

Hugh Fallon, one of five monks awaiting trial on charges of sexually abusing minors at a Blanco, TX monastery in the 1990s, has issued a disturbing report on the activities at the Christ of the Hills Monastery.

Fallon claims “its monks bilked worshipers, had sex with each other and used illegal drugs.”

It should be noted that this group was long ago given the boot from ROCOR, the Orthodox jurisdiction with which they had been affiliated (and most Orthodox jurisdictions in turn, are not in communion with ROCOR).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Vengeance Time

UNITED STATES
Commonweal

Mark A. Sargent

In November of last year, the Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware, released the names of twenty former priests about whom the diocese found “credible or substantial complaints of sexual abuse of minors.” Most of the twenty are dead. Edward M. Dudzinski, however, was still living-although he had not served as a priest since the 1980s-and resided in Herndon, Virginia.

When local members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) discovered Dudzinski’s location, they went door-to-door in his neighborhood distributing a file of documents with the title “Community Notification: Protect your children from a credibly accused serial sex offender,” which they believed established Dudzinski’s identity as a sex offender. Dudzinski, however, has never been convicted of, or even charged with, a sexual-abuse crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

L.I. Catholic Church Faces Sex Abuse Lawsuit

MINEOLA (NY)
WNBC

MINEOLA, N.Y. -- The leadership of a Long Island Catholic church was negligent in failing to uncover a youth minister's sexual attacks on teenagers in his care, an attorney for two of the victims argued Monday during opening statements in a rare lawsuit resulting from the nationwide sex abuse scandal to actually go to trial.

"The question here is not so much about Matthew Maiello -- the sex predator, the beast," attorney Michael Dowd told jurors. "The question here is who let the beast loose? Who let him loose to run free through the flock of Rev. Thomas Haggerty, picking his victims at will?"

Dowd represents a man and a woman who claimed that as teenagers they were repeatedly abused by Maiello, and that church officials failed to act when confronted by reports that the youth minister was acting inappropriately.

Maiello pleaded guilty to rape and sodomy in 2003 and served more than two years in prison. Although named as a defendant, Maiello's attorney, Lawrence Carra, said last week that his client would not contest the allegations in the lawsuit and would abide by any verdict.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:55 PM

New suits name ex-Lincoln priests

PEORIA (IL)
Lincoln Courier

BY MICHAEL MILLER
GATEHOUSE NEWS SERVICE
Published Monday, April 16, 2007

PEORIA - Former Lincoln monsignor Norman Goodman's name surfaced in court papers again last week when five people sued the Catholic Diocese of Peoria, accusing three priests of sexually abusing them when they were minors.

Another former Lincoln priest, the Rev. Louis Condon, 84, of Moline, is named in the new allegations.

Kenneth Logan, 62, claims Condon molested him in 1959 and 1960 when Logan was 14 to 16 years old while Condon was at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Lincoln.

Alan Dorsey, 54, alleges Condon sexually abused him during the 1960s while the priest was stationed at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Delavan, starting when Dorsey was 7 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Reformists: Diocese plan isn't enough

OREGON
The Register-Guard

By Bill Bishop
The Register-Guard
Published: Monday, April 16, 2007

With the approval of a bankruptcy reorganization for the Archdiocese of Portland expected as early as today, church reformers fear that the archdiocese has succeeded in avoiding public accountability for decades of child sexual abuse by priests.

The archdiocese will emerge virtually unscathed, at least financially. Payments to 175 claimants will be covered by $52 million from church insurers and a $40 million loan. No parish properties will be sold. No church leaders will be forced to testify publicly about their behind-the-scenes response to specific cases of child abuse by clergy.

Court records show that once the reorganization is in place, the archdiocese will have paid more than $104 million to settle sexual abuse claims since 1984.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Greek Newspaper Runs Ad in Search of Abuse Victims

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

The latest issue of The Orthodox Observer, the official newspaper of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, ran the following ad on page 32, highlighting the Greek Orthodox sexual misconduct policy and encouraging people to call in their complaints.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 PM

Long Island Diocese Faces Sex Abuse Suit

MINEOLA (NY)
Newsday

By FRANK ELTMAN
Associated Press Writer

April 15, 2007, 2:35 PM EDT

MINEOLA, N.Y. -- The nation's sixth-largest Roman Catholic diocese is headed to trial this week in a $150 million lawsuit accusing church officials of recklessness for employing a youth minister who raped and sodomized teenagers.

But despite its familiar scenario of youths abused by religious leaders, this case is unique: It could be one of the few decided by a jury, rather than a quiet, out-of-court settlement.

The U.S. Conference of Bishops estimates abuse-related costs from lawsuits have exceeded $1.5 billion, the majority out-of-court settlements. Many of the alleged acts took place so long ago their statutes of limitations have expired.

Many cases are settled out of court, in part to prevent details of the alleged abuse from going public, said Steve Rubino, a New Jersey lawyer who has handled hundreds of church sex abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

LI Catholic church faces sex abuse lawsuit

NEW YORK
Newsday

By FRANK ELTMAN
Associated Press Writer

April 13, 2007, 11:04 AM EDT

MINEOLA, N.Y. -- The nation's sixth-largest Roman Catholic diocese is headed to trial next week in a $150 million lawsuit related to a youth minister who raped and sodomized teenagers _ part of a wave of lawsuits against churches nationwide since the sex abuse scandal broke five years ago.

But this case is unique, despite its familiar scenario of youths abused by religious leaders: It could be one of the few decided by a jury, rather than a quiet, out-of-court settlement.

The U.S. Conference of Bishops estimates abuse-related costs from lawsuits have exceeded $1.5 billion, the majority out-of-court settlements. Many of the alleged acts took place long before statutes of limitations expired. On Long Island, a grand jury found nearly two dozen cases of abuse going back decades in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, the nation's sixth largest with 1.3 million Catholics in 134 parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

Juror picks under way in diocese suit

NEW YORK
Newsday

ANN GIVENS

April 11, 2007

Jury selection began yesterday in the civil case against a former Catholic youth minister convicted of molesting four teenagers and against the Diocese of Rockville Centre, which is accused of failing to protect his victims.

The suit, filed in State Supreme Court by two of Matthew Maiello's victims, names Maiello, the Rev. Thomas Haggerty, St. Raphael's Roman Catholic Church in East Meadow, and the diocese as defendants.

The suit seeks $150 million in damages.

Maiello, a former youth minister at St. Raphael, pleaded guilty to rape and sodomy of the two plaintiffs and two others in 2003, and served just more than 2 years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:34 AM

Sex scandal bishop tells of fleeing the media

IRELAND
Telegraph

The former Bishop of Galway has spoken for the first time about his years on the run after he was at the centre of a sex scandal that shocked the Roman Catholic Church.

Eamonn Casey broke his silence about the Catholic network that smuggled him across two continents after the exposure of his affair with Annie Murphy, an Irish-American divorcee with whom he had a child.

In his first interview since returning to Ireland last year, Fr Casey revealed that Pope John Paul II did not want him to resign as bishop when told that he had fathered a child.

He also spoke of the great lengths he went to and the huge distances he travelled to evade the media as he paid his penance in a North American monastery and with a South American mission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 AM

“Compulsive and addictive”

CALIFORNIA
California Catholic Daily

Father Jean-Michael Lastiri, removed by Fresno Bishop John Steinbock as pastor of St. Patrick’s in Merced in 2004 for soliciting liaisons on a homosexual website, once again is in parish work.

According to the April 8 edition of the diocesan newspaper Central California Catholic Life, Bishop Steinbock appointed Lastiri as administrator of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Fresno on March 7.

In 2004, parishioners discovered that Lastiri frequented a homosexual website. One Lastiri post read: “Want sex. CA bear visiting Orlando on Friday, 7/23... looking for fun in other bears/admirers...” After removing Lastiri from St. Patrick’s, Steinbock called Lastiri’s participation on the website “totally inappropriate” and said the priest “denied any inappropriate sexual activity on his part and declared he only entertained fantasies through this activity on the Internet.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Retaliation? After Diocese Criticizes Its Coverage, LA Times Slams Cardinal Mahony

LOS ANGELES (CA)
News Busters

Posted by Dave Pierre on April 15, 2007 - 21:30.
Two weeks ago, we reported (in this NB post) that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles publicly objected to coverage of the priest abuse scandal by the Los Angeles Times. Two articles by the Times in the second half of March contained false information, contended the Archdiocese. One of the articles was cited as being particularly "insulting to all Catholics." Rebuttals to the Times were printed in the archdiocese newspaper, The Tidings, the largest diocesan paper in the United States. (Here and here are the rebuttals.)

Is the Times now retaliating against Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony for calling the paper out on its falsehoods?

Yesterday's Times (Saturday, April 14, 2007) parades a front-page article that claims that "Mahony's influence is dwindling in L.A." It's a typical unflattering portrait of its subject. Many would call it a hit piece. The article seems to serve no other purpose except to take a cheap slap at Mahony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Church leader rebuts financial allegations

COLORADO
Casper Star Tribune

Monday, April 16, 2007

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) -- The leader of a breakaway Episcopal parish defended himself against allegations of financial misconduct Saturday, as a theological think tank that he oversees said it was distancing itself from him.

The Episcopal Diocese of Colorado moved in December to suspend the Rev. Donald Armstrong from Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish over the allegations.

Last month, Armstrong returned after the church vestry voted to leave the Episcopal Church, saying they were upset over the liberal theological direction of the national church, including its stance on gay relationships.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Former youth group leader accused of molestation

LOS OSOS (CA)
San Luis Obispo Tribune

By Leslie Parrilla

Read the court documents (Warning: Graphic or Sexually explicit information)

A former church youth-group volunteer in Los Osos is facing criminal charges for allegedly molesting a 15-year-old girl, and he was investigated a decade ago for a similar incident.

Ysidro “Sid” Arthur Jacquez, 35, of Morro Bay pleaded not guilty last week to committing a lewd act on a child and sexual penetration by a foreign object with a person under 16 years of age, according to court records. The felony crimes could carry a state prison sentence, if he is convicted.

Jacquez was arrested March 23 and released the next day on $50,000 bail, County Jail officials said. ...

In the alleged incident, the two met while he was working as a youth group leader at Coastal Presbyterian Church, according to a sheriff’s crime report and the victim. The Tribune is not identifying the woman because she is the alleged victim of a sex crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Action on child abuse

AUSTRALIA
Sydney Morning Herald

Linda Morris
April 16, 2007

A NATIONAL register of clergy and church workers has received the green light after the Anglican Church's highest legal tribunal ruled on laws to tackle sexual misconduct, including pedophilia.

But when the single centralised register opens this year it is likely to exclude allegations against clergy involving moral indiscretions and affairs between consenting adults. And plans to establish a "white pages" of biographical information on Anglican clergy are also set to be abandoned.

The church's parliament adopted plans for a database for screening and risk assessment in 2004, part of a strategy to prevent offenders escaping notice by moving from diocese to diocese.

Church authorities want the ability to check whether lay people or clergy members have been the subject of complaints of sexual misconduct or child abuse before it employed them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

In rare move, jury likely to decide New York church sex abuse lawsuit

MINEOLA (NY)
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: April 15, 2007

MINEOLA, New York: The United States' sixth-largest Roman Catholic diocese is headed to trial this week in a $150 million (€110.8 million) lawsuit accusing church officials of recklessness for employing a youth minister who raped and sodomized teenagers.

But despite its familiar scenario of youths abused by religious leaders, this case is rare: It could be one of the few decided by a jury, rather than a quiet, out-of-court settlement.

The U.S. Conference of Bishops estimates abuse-related costs from lawsuits have exceeded $1.5 billion (€1.1 billion), the majority out-of-court settlements.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Lawsuit Goes to Trial Against the Long Island Diocese Over Sexual Abuse of Teenagers

GARDEN CITY (NY)
The New York Times

By BRUCE LAMBERT
Published: April 16, 2007
GARDEN CITY, N.Y., April 15 — A rare civil trial involving sexual abuse and the Roman Catholic Church starts here on Monday, and jury selection last week gave a hint of what could come.

Some potential jurors said the case was too disturbing to hear. Others said they were too angry to serve impartially. One woman, Antoinette Valentino, said she was Catholic but was “enraged against the Catholic Church.” She was not chosen. Another woman said, “I’m Catholic and I’m not going against the diocese,” and also was excused.

And a few revealed that they or their relatives had been victims of sexual abuse, although they did not accuse the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

April 15, 2007

Southern Baptist Abuse Cases Garnering More Attention, Warnings

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

By Audrey Barrick
Christian Post Reporter

Clergy sex scandals have widely been exposed in the Catholic Church, but recent media attention has gone toward Protestant churches, mainly the Southern Baptist Convention, which some fear may be developing a similar pattern to the Catholic Church.

A six-month investigation was unfolded Friday night on ABC's 20/20 which found "preacher predators" all over the country and shielding themselves in churches. While the investigation uncovered pastors and ministers convicted of some account of sexual abuse from every denomination, the focus was placed on several cases within the largest Protestant denomination in the United States – the Southern Baptists.

"I predict this program will be a shocker for many around the nation," stated Wade Burleson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Okla., in a Thursday blog post.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:45 PM

Primate attacked on abuse deal

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Kevin Meade
April 16, 2007

THE leader of the Anglican Church in Australia has been accused of "doing a Pontius Pilate" and ignoring the needs of 41 people who say they were abused as children in a northern NSW orphanage.

Lawyers for former residents of the home, who claim they were sexually and physically abused by clergy and staff at the North Coast Children's Home in Lismore from the 1940s to the 1970s, have accused Archbishop Phillip Aspinall of failing to help them secure a fair compensation deal.

"He's doing a Pontius Pilate," one former resident, Richard Campion, 59, said yesterday. "He's washed his hands of us."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Controversial Award

EL PASO (TX)
KDBC

Cardinal Roger Mahony, head of the Archdiocese in Los Angeles, is known for his stance on immigration.

On Saturday he came to El Paso to take part in a mass and accept an award from immigrants rights group Annunciation House.

But in the midst of the mass...protesters standing quietly in the corner.

They represent victims abused by members of the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

No more shortcuts on Pope John Paul’s road to sainthood

ROME
Sunday Herald

From Philip Willan in Rome

THE DEATH of Pope John Paul II two years ago brought an unprecedented public outpouring of grief, with the millions of pilgrims who thronged St Peter's Square for his funeral calling for him to be recognised immediately as a saint.

"Santo subito" - "make him a saint straight away" - was the message on the placards waved above the crowd.

His successor, Benedict XVI, appears to be sympathetic. He has waived a church rule that requires a five-year pause after an individual's death before the canonisation process can begin. In the exceptional case of Pope John Paul II, that period was just three months. ...

Other critics cite the pope's imposition of secrecy on some of the gravest scandals of his reign: the Vatican bank's involvement in the financial shenanigans that led to the bankruptcy of the Banco Ambrosiano in 1982 and the scandal of sexual abuse by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Ex-Springfield minister facing rape charge

PENNSYLVANIA
Delco Times

By CINDY SCHARR, cscharr@delcotimes.com
04/15/2007

More than 23 years after leaving his post at the Springfield Presbyterian Church, a former associate pastor was brought back to town to face charges he raped several members of the church’s youth group in the 1970s and 80s.

Trembling and complaining about the cold, Gerald Leroy Klever, 75, stood before Magisterial District Judge Anthony Scanlon Saturday as the charges against him were read: Three counts each of rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, both charges felonies; corruption of minors; indecent assault and indecent exposure.

Klever, wearing jeans, Nike sneakers and a natty navy blue shirt, told the judge the charges against him "were perfectly clear."

Scanlon set bail at $250,000 cash.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:51 AM

City diocese reports no abuse in '06

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Patriot-News

Sunday, April 15, 2007BY JUDITH PATTON
Of The Patriot-News

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg said it received no credible allegations of sexual abuse by clerics against minors last year,

It was the second straight year no such allegations were reported, the diocese said.

However, the diocese paid $6,865 in 2006 to cover the cost of therapy for victims, spokesman Joseph Aponick said in a news release Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

More Hispanics in U.S. Abandon Religion

UNITED STATES
Herald-Tribune

LAURIE GOODSTEIN

RICHMOND, Va. — On Sunday afternoons, when the local Roman Catholic church holds Mass for Spanish-speaking Catholics, Edgar Chilín is playing soccer in a league with hundreds of Hispanic players.

As a child in Guatemala, Mr. Chilín attended Mass every Sunday. But after immigrating to the United States 25 years ago, he and his family lost the churchgoing habit. “We pray to God when we feel the need to,” he said, “but when we come here to America we don’t feel the need.”

A wave of research shows that increasing percentages of Hispanics are abandoning church, suggesting to researchers that along with assimilation comes a measure of secularization. ...

She said that some of her women friends had stopped going because they became disillusioned with the Catholic Church after the priest sexual abuse scandals.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:45 AM

Protesters Gather At Event For Roger Mahoney

TEXAS
KFOX

POSTED: 8:11 pm MDT April 14, 2007

-- Los Angeles Cardinal Archbishop Roger Mahoney received the Voice of the Voiceless Award in El Paso Saturday, but the event did not come without controversy.

"We feel it is totally inappropriate for a complicit bishop who has aided and abetted thousands of child sex crimes and continues to do so today," Mary Grant with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

25 protest way church handles sex-abuse cases

EL PASO (TX)
El Paso Times

By Darren Meritz / El Paso Times

A small group of protesters at Cardinal Roger Mahony's Mass on Saturday afternoon voiced their contempt of the Catholic Church for its handling of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy.

An estimated 25 members of the El Paso Chapter of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests protested at the Mass.

Dr. Jose Baca, president of the organization, said Saturday that the church's response -- in particular Mahony's -- to widespread sexual abuse by clergy damages the church's credibility on other issues.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Ulster duo's child abuse trial looms

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Sunday, April 15, 2007

By Stephen Gordon

A Fermanagh priest and a second Northern Ireland man are to go on trial in Liverpool next month facing a catalogue of horrific child sex charges.

Billy Adams, originally from Newtownabbey, is accused of 13 rapes and a string of other offences against a 12-year-old girl.

Fr Jeremiah McGrath, from Rosslea, will go on trial alongside Adams at Liverpool Crown Court to face four related charges.

The pair were arrested and charged back in December 2005 and the trial is set to be heard on May 8.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

‘God’s man for this time’

FORT WAYNE (IN)
The Journal Sentinel

By Rosa Salter Rodriguez
The Journal Gazette

Bishop John M. D’Arcy is sitting at a conference table, thumbing the pages of his well-worn black planner. ...

Garvey says it was D’Arcy’s outspokenness that led him to Fort Wayne. For years, he says, rumors have existed that D’Arcy was transferred from the Diocese of Boston, headed by then-Archbishop Bernard Law, because he had pointed out sexual abuse by priests.

“He called attention to the sexual abuse of minors while still in Boston,” says Scott Appleby, professor of church history at Notre Dame. “That was long before it was a national issue.”

D’Arcy for many years declined interviews on the issue, but as it has unfolded, the scope of his involvement has become more clear.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Windfalls Not Much Luck For Prisoners

CONNECTICUT
Hartford Courant

April 15, 2007
By ANN MARIE SOMMA, Courant Staff Writer

Bryant Wiseman died in 1999 while being restrained by guards at Garner Correctional Institution in Newtown, and his mother is suing the state, hoping to receive a significant sum to compensate her for her loss.

But if a Hartford jury, scheduled to convene next month, awards Elaine Wiseman any money, she'll have to settle a bill with the state: It wants $87,000 from her dead son's estate for the cost of housing and feeding him for two years in the prison.

The state Department of Administrative Services has collected incarceration costs from current and former inmates who come into what the state considers a "windfall" - money received through an inheritance, the lottery or a legal judgment - since 2001. ...

A man out of jail without money is going to eventually end up on state assistance, or worse, back in the system," Brignole said.

In 2001, Brignole represented former inmate Mark Strickland, who won a $250,000 settlement from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport over a sexual abuse claim against a priest in the 1970s. That shrank to $40,000 after the state seized $120,000 for his time at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center in Montville, and after his attorney's fees were paid.

The state also collected $12,660 from Strickland that the agency paid for public assistance given to his daughter.

Today Strickland, who served time for sexual assault and a string of burglaries, lives on the fringe of society in Florida, battling the pain of his abuse, his attorney said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Five more plaintiffs sue Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria

PEORIA (IL)
WQAD

PEORIA, Ill. Five more people have sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Peoria, accusing three priests of sexually abusing them when they were minors.

One of the lawsuits filed last week in Peoria County Circuit Court also names O-S-F Saint Francis Medical Center for an alleged sexual abuse incident there in 1957.

St. Francis spokesman Chris Lofgren declined to comment on the lawsuit, and diocesan spokeswoman Elizabeth Smarjesse said yesterday the diocese had not been notified of the lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

April 14, 2007

Mahony's influence is dwindling in L.A.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Jim Newton and Louis Sahagun, Times Staff Writers
April 14, 2007

There was a time when Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, leader of the largest Roman Catholic diocese in the United States, was a formidably influential political figure. A decade ago, he was a member of Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan's inner circle and the spiritual leader of a growing community with exponentially expanding power.

Today, Mahony remains one of the region's most recognized leaders and a sought-after voice on certain issues. But time, scandal and the shifting demographics of Los Angeles politics have diminished Mahony's might to the point that his recent remonstrations — in which he took to task Fabian Nuñez, the speaker of the California Assembly, for endorsing an assisted suicide bill — have served more to emphasize Mahony's weakness than to deter Nuñez. ...

If changing politics have diminished Mahony's influence, so too have the dispiriting controversy regarding pedophile priests and charges that the molestation of children was covered up by church officials. Even admirers of the cardinal acknowledge that it is far more difficult for church leaders to issue moral proclamations in the face of the withering allegations against their own leadership.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 PM

20/20 Airs “Preacher Predators”

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

On Friday, the ABC show “20/20″ aired a report on sex abuse by Protestant clergy.

Abuse of power by clergy is not just an Orthodox or Catholic issue; it appears in any large system where sinful people have means to exploit their power to fulfill their deviant lusts.

One account tells of a Southern Baptist pastor who molested over 40 boys:

Ken Ward is a Southern Baptist pastor and teacher in East Texas, who has admitted to molesting more than 40 boys. He said that being a teacher and minister is the perfect job for a child molester, because it puts the molester in direct contact with young people. “I [was] attracted to a certain child, and in my case, it was primarily prepubescent boys,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Court rejects appeal of ex-altar boy who claimed abuse

IOWA
Des Moines Register

ASSOCIATED PRESS

April 14, 2007

The Iowa Supreme Court on Friday rejected the appeal of a former altar boy who claimed he was abused by a priest during the 1960s.

The man filed the lawsuit against the Dubuque Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church claiming the now-deceased priest abused him on several occasions between 1966 and 1969 at the rectory and school at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Ryan.

His lawsuit was dismissed by a district judge in Dubuque County after it was found that the man failed to provide evidence to support his claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Church bankruptcy plan approved

OREGON
The Oregonian

Posted by The Oregonian April 13, 2007 14:31PM

As expected, a judge has approved a $75 million plan to bring the Portland Archdiocese out of bankruptcy.

The plan includes more than $50 million for about 175 people who claimed they were molested by priests or other Catholic officials during the past 50 years.

The only objection to the plan came from a family who sued over their son's expulsion from St. Thomas More School. They claimed that the $3.8 million set aside for their case might not be enough should a jury award them punitive damages.

The plan had the support of the archdiocese, groups representing about 400,000 western Oregon Catholics, insurance companies and 175 people who claimed they were sexually abused.

Although U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth L. Perris released her opinion this morning, she will not sign an order confirming the plan until Tuesday. As a result, a gag order preventing the parties from discussing the bankruptcy remains in effect until then.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:40 AM

Key players, moments in priest sex-abuse cases

OREGON
The Oregonian

Posted by mwalden April 13, 2007 17:26PM

Here are key players and developments in the priest sex-abuse cases against the Archdiocese of Portland:

1. Joe Elliott's lawsuit in December 1999 started a flood of priest sex-abuse litigation against the Portland Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

Relieved Catholics hope for healing, forgiveness

OREGON
The Oregonian

Saturday, April 14, 2007NANCY HAUGHT and AIMEE GREEN
"Thank God, it is settled."

That sentiment -- expressed by Thomas Davis, a member of St. Augustine Parish in Lincoln City -- reflects the feelings of many western Oregon Catholics who learned Friday that the Portland Archdiocese's two-year-old bankruptcy is over.

"We were worried that we might lose our new parish hall," said Davis, who is organist and a cantor at St. Augustine. "Bad things happened, but the archdiocese survived."

Many parishioners said they were relieved that their churches, schools or other parish property won't have to be sold to pay clergy abuse claims, but many of them want healing and forgiveness to be the next steps in the process.

"Perhaps now feelings can de-escalate and some healing can begin," said Joan O'Neill, a member of St. Andrew Parish in Portland. For a time, she was active in Voice of the Faithful, a national activist group organized in response to the clergy abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Sex-abuse victims push to suspend statue of limitations

ILLINOIS
Peoria Journal Star

Saturday, April 14, 2007

By MICHAEL MILLER
of the Journal Star

Advocates for sex-abuse victims who are now adults are still hoping to get a limited suspension of the Illinois statute of limitations on civil suits involving sexual assault.

An Illinois Senate bill introduced in February called for a two-year suspension of the statutes of limitation on sex-abuse lawsuits. That would mean allegations involving decades-old incidents could be brought in civil actions. Current law sets 10-year and five-year limits on such civil actions depending on when the abuse occurred or when memory of it is recovered.

The pending legislation has been reduced to a "shell bill" while sponsors look for a compromise between victims advocates and church representatives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Rector to address Episcopal charges of theft, fraud

COLORADO
Rocky Mountain News

By Todd Hartman, Rocky Mountain News
April 14, 2007
The Rev. Donald Armstrong today is scheduled to address accusations of theft and fraud outlined by the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado in a church version of an indictment.

The document, called a "presentment," outlines six counts against Armstrong, including allegations he used nearly $400,000 in church funds to cover family expenses, a grant to a friend, his own children's education and other, unknown, expenditures.

Armstrong, a rector of 20 years at the prominent Grace Church and St. Stephen's parish in Colorado Springs, has denied the charges, and plans to address the allegations this morning at what his spokesman called a "public forum" at the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Ex-priest in protective custody

NEW JERSEY
Daily Record

BY ABBOTT KOLOFF
DAILY RECORD
Saturday, April 14, 2007

A former Morris County priest has been placed in protective custody at the Hudson County jail because of fears he would be harmed by other inmates who learned he's admitted to sexually molesting children, Hudson County authorities said Friday.

James T. Hanley, a former pastor at St. Joseph's Church in Mendham, has been in the jail since October on charges that he made terroristic threats and was in possession of a weapon after allegedly waving a baseball bat at workers last year during a dispute at a Secaucus hotel.

The former priest has been isolated from the rest of the jail population "for his own safety," said Kelvin Roberts, deputy director of the Hudson County Department of Corrections.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

SNAP Calls On Metropolitan Isaiah To Apologize

DALLAS (TX)
Orthodox Reform

An article posted yesterday from the Dallas News Religion Blog takes Metropolitan Isaiah to task for his insensitive letter regarding the Fr. Nicholas Katinas sexual misconduct scandal. Leading members of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) say the “bishop showed no mercy to the survivors and their families” and use strong language to condemn his letter, saying it “seemed designed to intimidate others into remaining silent.” This support group for clergy sex abuse victims “is calling upon a Greek Orthodox church official to apologize for his insensitive remarks and to reach out to others who may have been hurt by an accused abusive priest.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:44 AM

Learning from Catholic Abuse Claims

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

USA Today reports several statistics from the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference latest annual report on sex-abuse claims. These findings are noteworthy for Orthodox Christians trying to understand the nature and magnitude of sex abuse issues within the Orthodox Church.

Only 17 of the 714 people who came forward with sexual misconduct complaints against the Roman Catholic church last year were under age 18. This means only 2% of reports came from minors, even though the majority of claims are for crimes against children. This showcases the fact that reports of pedophilia lag by decades, and children are afraid to report what has happened to them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:42 AM

Holy Trinity Parishioners Call For Katinas To Be Defrocked

DALLAS (TX)
Orthodox Reform

We request that Nicholas Katinas be defrocked immediately.”

Thus concludes this frank and compelling letter from Dean Siotos, Parish Council member, 2006-2007, of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas. Eleven other parishioners joined in signing this communication which went out recently to Patriarch Bartholomew, Archbishop Demetrios, Metropolitan Isaiah and Father Kontogiorgis.

The letter addresses the very terrible situation of Holy Trinity — home parish of Fr. Nicholas Katinas — in the wake of revelations of Katinas’ sexual abuse of minors, and the Greek Archdiocese refusal to defrock him.

Even more disturbing is this revelation from the letter:

Father Kontogiorgis informed the parish that the current suspension of Katinas is “permanent,” while conceding privately the small but existent possibility that the suspension may be reversed, that Katinas could be pardoned, and he could even be reinstated in the future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:40 AM

$1 million needed to save Marist building

TUCSON (AZ)
Arizona Daily Star

By Rob O'Dell
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 04.14.2007

The minimum price to save part of Tucson's history and something unique to Southern Arizona: $1 million.

That's the cost estimate, in a "Final Historic Structure Report" done by the city, to stabilize the more than 90-year-old Marist College Downtown, at the northwest corner of the St. Augustine Cathedral square, and just to make it structurally sound. ...

The diocese is coming out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy after paying more than $22 million to settle claims of child sexual abuse by priests. Shaheen said the diocese's priorities are buildings and churches in use, like the 88-year-old Santa Cruz Church on South Sixth Avenue, which requires a new ceiling and supporting trusses.
"Coming out of bankruptcy, we don't have the funds to put to that building," Shaheen said. "We're working with the city to see if there is something we can do cooperatively," he said, adding that the diocese would turn the building over to the city if the right use can be found.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 AM

Other diocesan bankruptcy proceedings moving along

UNITED STATES
The Oregonian

Posted by The Oregonian April 13, 2007 15:18PM

The bankruptcy case involving the the Portland Archdiocese is one of several such cases. Here's what's going on with other diocesan bankruptcy proceedings throughout the United States:

Spokane

Bishop William Skylstad has rejected calls from prominent Catholics to resign over a proposed $48 million settlement with about 150 priest accusers.

The settlement includes insurance money and the sale of church properties. Parishes also are expected to contribute $10 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:30 AM

Parish starts healing process after former priest convicted

FORT COLLINS (CO)
9News

written by: Brian Willie , Photojournalist created: 4/13/2007 3:52:28 PM

FORT COLLINS - Archbishop Charles Chaput spoke to parishioners at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish on Thursday to open a dialogue about a former priest convicted of sexual abuse on a child.

More than 200 people gathered in a meeting hall on Thursday to hear from representatives of the Archdiocese of Denver and voice their feelings and concerns.

Jeanette DeMelo, director of communications for the archdiocese, asked a reporter to leave the meeting shortly after it began, saying it was a closed meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:27 AM

Archbishop meets with parishioners after priest's sex conviction

FORT COLLINS (CO)
Summit Daily News

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
April 13, 2007

FORT COLLINS - Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput met privately with members of a parish whose former priest was convicted of sexually assaulting teenage boys.

About 200 people met with Chaput on Thursday night to discuss the case of Timothy Joseph Evans, a defrocked priest who was found guilty in separate trials of molesting teens while he was at churches in Fort Collins and Arvada.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Jeanette DeMelo said the meeting at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church in Fort Collins was intended to begin healing wounds the case has left and to help the archdiocese decide how to proceed.

A reporter for the Fort Collins Coloradoan was asked to leave the meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:24 AM

Cardinal says church's approach to sexual abuse is working

NEW ZEALAND
TV 3

A visiting cardinal says the Catholic Church in the US is going to extreme measures to protect children from sexual abuse.

One of America's most senior cardinals, Theodore McCarrick, says the church's zero tolerance approach to sexual abuse has virtually eliminated the problem.

The policy includes educating children to be on the alert for untoward behaviour by adults and the Church taking immediate action once a complaint is made.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:22 AM

Judge confirms $75M settlement

PORTLAND (OR)
Daily Bulletin

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 04/14/2007 12:00:00 AM PDT

PORTLAND, Ore. - A judge overseeing the bankruptcy filing of the Archdiocese of Portland will confirm a proposed $75-million deal for current and future sex abuse claims against priests and other church officials, according to court documents filed Friday.

The decision from U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris leaves intact the compensation proposed in a plan negotiated by the plaintiffs and the archdiocese, the first in the nation ever to declare bankruptcy.

The judge asked lawyers to make one change and draw up final documents for her approval.

About 175 people who claimed they were molested by priests or other church officials have agreed to settle their cases for about $52 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 AM

New Charge Filed Against Former Harrisville LDS Bishop

UTAH
KSL

April 13th, 2007 @ 12:04pm
Ashley Hayes Reporting

A former Harrisville LDS bishop was in court this afternoon in Ogden. In addition to a new charge, a judge raised Timothy McCleve's bail.

An additional felony charge of sexual abuse of a child has been filed in court for Timothy McCleve. A fourth victim has come forward outside of the original family.

As a result, the judge raised McCleve's bail from $60,000 to $100,000. He's accused of abusing three sisters between the ages of six and 12. The girls came forward after seeing media reports of sexual abuse involving school teacher Frank Lane Hall.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 AM

Blogger-activist pastors to press SBC to deal with sexual abuse

ARLINGTON (TX)
Church Executive

By Hannah Elliott

ARLINGTON, TX -- With increasing national attention on Baptist churches' problems with clergy sex abuse, two prominent pastors have said they intend to push for more comprehensive ways to address the problem in the 16-million member Southern Baptist Convention.

Oklahoma pastor Wade Burleson and Texas pastor Benjamin Cole intend to present a motion and resolution regarding the abuse problem at the annual SBC meeting, set for June 12 and 13 in San Antonio, Texas. The two have gained convention-wide attention in the past year for their blog-driven efforts to reform the denomination.

Burleson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Okla., will bring a motion calling for a study on the possibility of developing a database of Southern Baptist ministers convicted of sexual harassment and abuse. The motion will ask the SBC Executive Committee to report results from the study at the 2008 annual meeting, scheduled for Indianapolis.

Cole, who leads Parkview Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, will introduce a resolution titled "On Clergy Sexual Abuse."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:06 AM

PEORIA: More sex abuse charges levied against Peoria diocese

PEORIA (IL)
Peoria Journal Star

PEORIA - Five people sued the Catholic Diocese of Peoria on Thursday, accusing three priests of sexually abusing them when they were minors.

One of the lawsuits also names OSF Saint Francis Medical Center for an alleged incident there in 1957.

St. Francis spokesman Chris Lofgren declined to comment. Diocesan spokeswoman Elizabeth Smarjesse said on Friday that the diocese had not been notified of the lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 AM

April 13, 2007

ABC's 20/20 to investigate Southern Baptist sex abuse

NEW YORK
Church Executive

By Hannah Elliott

NEW YORK -- With awareness of sexual abuse by clergy in Southern Baptist churches on the increase, a well-known television newsmagazine is taking notice.

In show -- scheduled to air the evening of April 13 -- called "Preacher Predators," ABC's "20/20" will examine the problem of sexual predators in Baptist churches as well as those of other denominations. According to ABC producers, the show will also study the unique role that Baptist polity and autonomy can play in perpetuating or resolving the problem.

Producers said they decided to investigate sexual abuse because several Baptist ministers in states across the South have been prosecuted for sex crimes within the last year.

Frank Page, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, agreed to appear on the program. Page, in an open letter explaining why he chose to speak in a show he said may prove "overwhelmingly negative," said he spoke to ABC producers because "even one instance of sexual abuse is too much."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 PM

Preachers Accused of Sins, and Crimes

UNITED STATES
ABC News

By JIM AVILA, BONNIE VAN GILDER, and MATT LOPEZ

April 13, 2007 — Sanctuaries are designed to make us feel safe. They provide us peace and a place to pray. Bells call the good to worship and warn the evil to stay away.

This is the kind of American church that a young Christa Brown was drawn to. As a teenager in the 1960s, Brown learned to love music and her God. She grew up in the church, sang in the choir and played the piano.

But as Brown would find out, churches don't always protect the innocent. Sometimes these sanctuaries shield the guilty and even lure predators to a place where young people gather.

The Catholic Church has been widely criticized for how it handled instances of priests sexually abusing young people. And a six-month investigation by "20/20" found Protestant ministers, supposed men of God from every denomination, sexually abusing the children who trusted them. The investigation uncovered "preacher predators" in every corner of the country.

Watch the story on "20/20" Friday at 10 p.m. EDT

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 PM

Iowa Supreme Court rejects lawsuit against diocese

DES MOINES (IA)
KWQC

DES MOINES, Iowa The Iowa Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a former altar boy who claimed he was abused by a priest during the 1960s at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Ryan.

The lawsuit, filed in 2004, claimed the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque was responsible because it employed the Reverend Nicholas Cigrand. He died in 1976.

The diocese filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming Cigrand was never an employee of the diocese, but was an employee of the church, which was a separate legal entity.

A district judge in Dubuque County dismissed the case after it was found that the man failed to provide evidence to support his claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Activists assail bishop for handling of clergy misconduct

YAKIMA (WA)
Yakima Herald-Republic

By JANE GARGAS
YAKIMA HERALD-REPUBLIC

A national organization that monitors clergy abuse strongly criticized the Catholic Diocese of Yakima, asking Bishop Carlos Sevilla in a Thursday letter to apologize publicly for his handling of two cases of alleged misconduct by clergy.

Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, faxed the letter to the bishop, calling for a diocesan investigation and for more outreach to find victims of abuse.

"We are writing to you, Bishop Sevilla, because there is compelling evidence that the Diocese of Yakima is continuing a long and disturbing pattern of protecting errant clergy and failing to protect children and youth," the letter stated.

This is the first time that the group, headquartered in Chicago, has initiated criticism of the Yakima Diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 PM

Oregon archdiocese ends bankruptcy with abuse deal

PORTLAND (OR)
Reuters

PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland formally emerged from bankruptcy on Friday with a $75 million settlement plan after 2-1/2 years of court wrangling over how to pay victims of alleged sex abuse by priests.

The archdiocese, facing mounting potential financial claims from 175 people who accused clergy of sex abuse, filed for bankruptcy protection in July 2004, the first in the nation to do so.

Four other dioceses followed suit in the wake of the priest abuse scandal, which erupted in Boston in 2002 and has affected almost every Catholic diocese in the United States.

"All of the known child sexual abuse claims that precipitated the filing of the bankruptcy petition have either been disallowed or are settled and will be paid in full on the effective date of the plan," the opinion issued by Judge Elizabeth Perris of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Oregon said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Loyola College Removes Priest For Old Allegations

BALTIMORE (MD)
WJZ

(AP) BALTIMORE Loyola College removed a Jesuit clergy member from its Baltimore campus after learning he had been fired from a Jesuit high school in Dallas 13 years ago because of numerous allegations of sexual misconduct and because he acknowledged to serving alcohol to minors.

Claude Ory, 69, was removed from his position managing the Jesuits' Ignatius House residence last month at the request of Loyola's president, Rev. Brian Linnane, school officials told The Baltimore Examiner.

Loyola spokesman Mark Kelly said he believed Linnane learned of the allegations involving Ory when he became president in 2005. "The college felt, and the Jesuit Province agreed, that it did not want someone with any of those kind of allegations near campus," Kelly said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:49 PM

Cardinal blames the 60s for Catholic Church abuse

NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand Herald

5:00AM Saturday April 14, 2007
By Simon Collins

One of the United States' most senior cardinals says the Catholic Church has learned its lesson after paying out US$1.7 billion ($2.3 billion) in legal costs and settlements for sexual abuse by priests and other church officials.

Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who arrived in Auckland yesterday to speak at a eucharistic convention this weekend, said the Church in the US now had a policy of "zero tolerance" towards any priest found guilty of any sexual offence against achild.

"If there is one proven case of a priest or religious worker who has improperly dealt with a child, then that person is removed."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

Long Island Catholic church faces sex abuse lawsuit

MINEOLA (NY)
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press Published: April 13, 2007

MINEOLA, New York: America's sixth-largest Roman Catholic diocese is headed to trial next week in a $150 million (€110.85 million) lawsuit related to a youth minister who raped and sodomized teenagers — part of a wave of lawsuits against U.S. churches since the sex abuse scandal broke five years ago.

But this case is unique, despite its familiar scenario of youths abused by religious leaders: It could be one of the few decided by a jury, rather than a quiet, out-of-court settlement.

The U.S. Conference of Bishops estimates abuse-related costs from lawsuits have exceeded $1.5 billion (€1.11 billion), the majority out-of-court settlements. Many of the alleged acts took place long before statutes of limitations expired. On Long Island, a grand jury found nearly two dozen cases of abuse going back decades in the Diocese of Rockville Centre, America's sixth largest with 1.3 million Catholics in 134 parishes.

"It is rare" for such cases to go to a jury, said Steve Rubino, a New Jersey lawyer who has handled hundreds of other church sex abuse cases. He cited a variety of factors favoring a settlement, including the desire to prevent details of the alleged abuse from going public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 PM

Bishop tells parishioners Catholic community on hook for abuse

SPOKANE (WA)
KHQ

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Roman Catholic Bishop William Skylstad says today's church parishioners must atone for the actions of pedophile priests decades ago. In a letter in response to calls for his resignation over a proposed $48 million dollar settlement with victims of past clergy abuse, Skylstad says parishioners may not like it, "but that is the way it is."

The 82 parishes in the Eastern Washington diocese are on the hook for contributing $10 million dollars toward the settlement by the end of this year. The settlement could be approved later this month in U-S Bankruptcy Court in Spokane.

Four prominent Catholic businessmen wrote Skylstad saying they don't intend to contribute "a cent" to the settlement and urged him to step aside so another bishop could review the payouts. Skylstad replied that the settlement is necessary to bring the church out of the sex abuse crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

The no-name controversy in the Catholic Church

UNITED STATES
Spero News

By William Donohue

On April 11, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) released the 2006 report on clergy sex abuse. Catholic League president Bill Donohue said in response, “Rachel Zoll of Associated Press did her usual fine work, but because most of the news was good, her piece was either ignored or drastically reduced by most newspapers. Here are some of the key findings:

· Of the 635 credible accusations made in 2006, 71 percent of the alleged cases took place between 1960 and 1984. Only 2 percent occurred in 2006.

· Most—71 percent—of the accused are either dead or have been removed from ministry; some are missing.

· 80 percent of the alleged victims are male.

“In other words, the abuse flared during the sexual revolution of the 1960s and ended when AIDS was discovered in 1981.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:07 AM

Preacher Predators on 20/20

UNITED STATES
Deep Thoughts

Child sex abuse by Catholic priests has been headline news in recent years, but is the same abuse happening within Protestant churches?

In a six-month investigation, ABC News’ “20/20″ found preacher predators in every corner of the country, including several affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) — the largest Protestant denomination. Jim Avila’s exclusive report airs on “20/20,” FRIDAY, APRIL 13 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.

Avila’s reporting finds that the SBC, an organization of 43,000 independent churches and 16.3 million members – has an overall structure that makes it difficult to police preacher predators. One example includes a profile of a SBC pastor who abused kids in Kentucky and then moved on to do the same to eight boys in Missouri before he was finally sent to prison. In an interview with Avila, the SBC president concedes that there is a problem with tracking predators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Priest lied to friend over the day that Angelika died

SCOTLAND
Glasgow Evening Times

A PRIEST lied to one of his closest friends about where he was on the day Angelika Kluk is thought to have died, a murder trial heard.

Father Gerry Nugent, 63, who earlier told the court he had a sexual relationship with the 23-year-old Polish student, had been out for a meal with a church helper in Bishopbriggs.

Soon after he returned to his rooms at St Patrick's Church in Anderston, Glasgow, that Sunday, September 25, he was joined by civil servant Geraldine McGowan, 37.

Miss McGowan was revealed as the "mystery woman" in Father Nugent's sitting room when Angelika's sister and lover, and then police, searched the church for the girl the following evening.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:00 AM

Priest ousted 13 years after sex allegations

BALTIMORE (MD)
The Examiner

Apr 13, 2007
by Ron Cassie, The Examiner

BALTIMORE (Map, News) - Loyola College removed a Jesuit clergy member from campus last month who had been fired from a Dallas Jesuit high school 13 years ago because of numerous allegations of sexual misconduct and admittedly serving alcohol to minors, the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus and school officials acknowledged this week.

In 2002, the Rev. Philip Postell, president of Jesuit College Preparatory School in Dallas, admitted he fired maintenance supervisor Claude Ory, now 69, in 1994 after repeatedly hearing allegations of sexual impropriety, providing alcohol to minors and ultimately sexual assault, according to a story published in the Dallas Morning News.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:49 AM

Polygamist plea: One of two still facing trial accepts last-minute agreement

KINGMAN (UT)
The Daily News

By JIM SECKLER/The Daily News

Thursday, April 12, 2007 10:26 PM PDT

KINGMAN - The case of one of two remaining Colorado City polygamists charged with having sex with underage girls ended suddenly Wednesday with a last-minute plea agreement.

Dale Evans Barlow, 49, was charged with one count of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor. He pleaded no contest in Superior Court to conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor with the sexual conduct charge being dismissed.

Judge Steven Conn will sentence Barlow June 15 to supervised probation for up to three years. Conn can also designate the charge as a misdemeanor, felony or leave it as undesignated at Barlow's sentencing. ...

Barlow and seven other codefendants belong to a controversial polygamist sect of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Colorado City.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Ex-Priest Defrocked Amid Assault Claims

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Washington Post

By MARYCLAIRE DALE
The Associated Press
Friday, April 13, 2007; 9:28 AM

PHILADELPHIA -- The Vatican has defrocked a former priest accused of sexually assaulting and whipping boys participating in Passion plays, the Philadelphia archdiocese said.

The Rev. Thomas J. Smith was accused of putting pins in his mouth and pricking the boys until they bled, according to a 2005 grand jury report. He also was accused of whipping boys participating in dramatic representations of the trial, suffering and death of Jesus Christ until they had welts.

The grand jury called Smith's behavior "depraved and sadistic."

Smith's alleged actions took place in various parishes from 1973 through December 2004, when the archdiocese removed him from clerical duties after an investigation of sexual misconduct involving one minor was found credible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

$14 million loan to finish school cleared by judge

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer
and Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS
April 13, 2007

A federal judge yesterday approved an interest-free, $14 million loan for the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego to complete a Chula Vista high school. The ruling came in a contentious hearing that foreshadowed another battle in the diocese's bankruptcy.

The money at issue was the last part of $50 million provided by the nonprofit charity ALSAM Foundation of Utah, which represents the bulk of funding for the $61 million Mater Dei Catholic High School, scheduled to open in the fall.

Judge Louise DeCarl Adler left undecided the question of whether the $36 million in ALSAM funds already paid to contractors was originally a gift or a loan.

That was the key argument among attorneys representing more than 150 people suing the diocese over alleged sexual abuse by priests, and those representing the church and the ALSAM Foundation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Spokane Catholic bishop rejects call to resign

SPOKANE (WA)
The Columbian

Apr 12, 5:18 PM EDT
By JOHN K. WILEY
Associated Press Writer

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) -- Spokane Bishop William Skylstad has rejected calls from prominent Catholics to resign over a proposed plan to pay victims of clergy sex abuse $48 million.

In an exchange of letters with four wealthy businessmen and church contributors who called for him to step aside, Skylstad also rejected demands to scrap the proposed settlement that is contained in a bankruptcy plan.

The correspondence, obtained by The Spokesman-Review and published Thursday, reveals deep divisions among some parishioners over who should pay to settle claims by abuse victims, and how much.

In a disclosure statement released in February, individual parishes are expected to contribute $10 million toward the settlement by the end of this year. A fundraising effort has begun.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Archdiocese found in compliance on abuse prevention

BOSTON (MA)
The Pilot

By Christine Williams
Posted: 4/13/2007 BRIGHTON -- The Archdiocese of Boston announced April 10 its full compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

The Gavin Group conducted a full, independent audit that found the archdiocese in compliance with 12 of the 13 articles of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) charter, according to an archdiocesan statement. The 2006 audit year ended on June 30, 2006. By Dec. 31, 2006, the archdiocese was brought into full compliance in all categories.

Beginning in 2006 the audit no longer covered the calendar year but rather the 12-month period that began in July. The 2007 audit will include data from July 2006 to June 2007.

During an interview with The Pilot on April 10, Father John Connolly, special assistant to Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, said, “We have made considerable progress over the course of the last year.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Limited child protection audits find most dioceses in compliance

UNITED STATES
The Tidings

By Jerry Filteau

Twenty-seven of 29 Catholic dioceses and eparchies audited in 2006 complied with the church's national standards for child protection programs and the prevention of and response to sexual abuse, says a report released April 11.

However, four dioceses that were not found in compliance in 2005 refused to participate in the 2006 audit.

"The overall results of the 2006 audit are encouraging," said Patricia O'Donnell Ewers, chairwoman of the bishops' all-lay National Review Board. But she described the refusal of four dioceses to participate as "discouraging news."

Two --- the Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., and the Melkite Eparchy of Newton, Mass. --- had refused to participate in the 2005 audits as well and were supposed to undergo full audits. The Diocese of Baker, Ore., and the Eparchy of Our Lady of Deliverance of Newark (N.J.) for Syriacs refused partial audits that would have focused on those areas where they did not meet compliance standards in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

More Sex Abuse Cases Reported To Catholic Diocese In 2006

MANCHESTER (CT)
WMUR

MANCHESTER, N.H. -- A yearly audit of the Catholic Diocese of Manchester has revealed nine newly reported cases of sexual abuse by priests.

The reports came in 2006 but were from 1954 or earlier, thorough the year 1979.

Out of the nine cases, eight priests were named by accusers.

The diocese said that one priest was returned to the ministry after the allegations were deemed not probable. Seven of the accused are no longer priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Priest defrocked over abuse cases

PHILADELPIA (PA)
Philadelphia Inquirer

FROM STAFF REPORTS
A Catholic priest accused by the District Attorney's Office of engaging in "depraved and sadistic behavior with many boys" has been defrocked, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced yesterday.

The Vatican approved the Rev. Thomas J. Smith's request to be removed from the clerical state. Smith voluntarily left the active ministry in December 2004, while the archdiocese was investigating an allegation against him of sexual misconduct involving a minor. The allegation was subsequently found credible, and he sought removal from the clerical state, the archdiocese said.

Smith, whose service with the archdiocese began in 1973 and covered many parishes, was cited in a damning 2005 Philadelphia grand jury report investigating allegations of sexual abuse by local clergy. The report, released by the District Attorney's Office, accused the archdiocese of covering up abuse by at least 63 priests over several decades. Smith was one of the case studies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Church settles latest abuse case

VERMONT
Rutland Herald

April 13, 2007

By KEVIN O'CONNOR Herald Staff

Vermont's Catholic Church has agreed to settle the latest of more than two dozen lawsuits accusing its priests of child sexual abuse.

The statewide Diocese of Burlington will pay Neil Morrissette, 48, of St. Johnsbury, $115,000 in return for him dropping his civil court case against it.

Morrissette alleges he was 13 when the Rev. George Paulin, now 63, "sexually abused and sexually exploited" him while a parishioner at Newport's St. Mary Star of the Sea Church in the early 1970s.

Last April, the diocese paid a record $965,000 to settle a similar misconduct case against another priest. Morrissette's lawyer, Jerome O'Neill of Burlington, said Thursday's agreement wasn't as high because he couldn't prove the church had prior knowledge that Paulin, a former Ludlow pastor, had abused others and should have been stopped.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Diocese settles another priest sex abuse case

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Friday, April 13, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The state's Roman Catholic Diocese has agreed to a $135,000 settlement in a lawsuit brought by a St. Johnsbury man who said he was sexually molested as a boy by the Rev. George Paulin, lawyers connected with the case said Thursday.

Neil Morrissette, now 48, alleged that Paulin molested him in 1971 and 1972 at the Morrissette family's home in Newport and at the rectory of St. Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Newport. Paulin was the parish priest at St. Mary at the time.

Under the settlement terms, Morrissette will receive $120,000. The remaining $15,000 will be paid to settle a related legal dispute between lawyers for Morrissette and the diocese that flared up during the case last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Parish meeting starts healing dialogue

FORT COLLINS (CO)
The Coloradoan

By KELLI LACKETT
KelliLackett@coloradoan.com

Archbishop Charles Chaput spoke to parishioners at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish on Thursday to open a dialogue about a former parish priest convicted of child sexual abuse.

More than 200 people gathered in a meeting hall at the church to hear from representatives of the Archdiocese of Denver and voice their feelings and concerns.

Jeanette DeMelo, director of communications for the archdiocese, asked a reporter to leave the meeting shortly after it began, saying it was a closed meeting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Stall tactics, needless pleadings, as church tries to strike Rucker cases and avoid production of documents in pedophile priest civil hearings

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

Hearings next week reveal the ongoing battle as church attorneys try to get cases thrown out of court and set up roadblocks to cases in progress. Meanwhile plaintiff attorneys have to file motions over and over again to get the church to turn over documents that have already been ordered produced by this court.

This morning Judge Haley Fromholz declared more than 70 cases ready to be put on calendar for jury trial before December this year. Liaison attorneys from both sides met in chambers Thursday in a status conference that resulted in these 70 to 80 cases, where discovery has progressed since November, now being set for trial. Expect a judge’s order with details early next week.

Church attorneys are stalling in the “Pepito & Uranga” case which is set for jury trial August 6, 2007. In a hearing April 17 plaintiff attorney Katherine Freberg requests a court order “compelling the custodian of records of St. John’s Seminary, Monsignor Helmut Hefner, to produce documents requested of him at a deposition which documents the deponent failed to produce.”

Judge Fromholz ordered the entire St. Johns Seminary file turned over last year in cases regarding prolific pedophile priest Lynn Caffoe.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:50 AM

Alleged victims may not testify in abuse trial

PENNSYLVANIA
The Express-Times

Friday, April 13, 2007
By SARA K. SATULLO
The Express-Times
FLEMINGTON | A former Milford priest's upcoming sex assault trial may not include testimony from other alleged victims who aren't directly involved in the case, as his first trial did.

Hunterdon County Assistant Prosecutor Dawn Solari said Thursday she doesn't plan to ask the court to admit testimony regarding "prior bad acts" at the Rev. John Banko's second molestation trial.

A jury convicted the 60-year-old priest of sexually abusing an altar boy in 2002. He is serving a 15-year sentence at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel, N.J. and is awaiting trial in a second case.

Solari has been considering asking alleged victims to testify against Banko as they did in the 2002 trial. In that trial three men, besides the victim, testified that Banko plied them with fancy dinners and alcohol before trying to molest them. The same three men were not going to testify in the new case, Solari said

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 AM

More on Toledo Catholic diocese, abortion files

TOLEDO (OH)
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
April 12, 2007


In a Dec. 2006 column, I printed an excerpt from Toledo Blade religion editor David Yonke's book Sin, Shame and Secrets which stated that "privileged" diocesan files "contained reports of abortions paid for by the [Toledo] diocese."

Yonke's book is about the Father Gerald Robinson case in Toledo, Ohio. Robinson was convicted on May 11, 2006 of murdering Sister Margaret Ann Pahl in a hospital chapel in 1980. He is serving a sentence of 15 years to life.

To date, the diocese has not commented on Yonke's report of the abortion files.

And Yonke stands firmly behind his reporting.

Claudia Vercellotti, of the Toledo chapter of SNAP, shed more light on the matter in a recent e-mail to me:

"Here's what I know: The Toledo Police asked the diocese for everything on Father Gerald Robinson and received only three pages. After obtaining and executing two no-knock search warrants, they uncovered 145 more pages that had never been turned over to the police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 AM

April 12, 2007

Parents Warned About Accused Priest

PORTLAND (OR)
KOIN

PORTLAND - An abuse-victim group is appealing to parents at a local Catholic school where an alleged child molester used to work.

SNAP, the Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests, passed out fliers after school Wednesday at St. Pius in northwest Portland. They warned parents about Father Joseph Hoang, who worked at the school from 2002 to 2004.

Hoang, accused of molesting a child in Portland, is on administrative leave from his church. The 39-year-old has been the pastor at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Tillamook since September 2004. The allegations do not involve a church member.

"There may be a family here that has no idea that this priest has been accused of abuse and has unwittingly welcome Hoang into their home and put their children at risk," SNAP member Mary Grant told KOIN News 6.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:53 PM

'Whistleblower' Catholic Priest Writes to Top Baptists

WASHINGTON (DC)
Lawfuel

WASHINGTON, April 12 LAWFUEL - Lawsuit Newswire -- A priest and canon
lawyer who first warned of the Catholic sex scandal in the mid-1980s has
written to officials of the largest Protestant denomination urging them to act now to better protect kids.

Father Thomas Doyle of Vienna, Virginia is prodding Southern Baptist
officials to consider that, to make children safer, they may need to find
"a new way" to institute accountability for Baptist clergy.

A self-help group for victims of clergy sex abuse has been urging
Southern Baptists to do what Catholics and other faith groups have done by establishing a review board to hear molestation reports and instituting a 'zero-tolerance' policy.

The Chicago-based support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of
those Abused by Priests and other Clergy (SNAPnetwork.org), delivered those requests to Southern Baptist officials last September. They took no action on SNAP's requests, and said they have "no authority" over autonomous Baptist churches.

Doyle points out that the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops also
claimed to have "no direct authority" over any diocese, "each of which is
civilly and canonically independent." Yet in 2002, after hundreds of
victims spoke up and the scandal reached national proportions, an oversight mechanism was nevertheless finally created.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:48 PM

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Announces Appointment of Rev. Gerard McGlone, SJ, PhD, to Key Position

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Catholic Online

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA ADVISORY
Catholic PRWire

Philadelphia, PA., APRIL 12, 2007 - The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announces that Reverend Gerard J. McGlone, S.J., Ph.D., will serve as the Director of Clinical Services for Saint John Vianney Center, which is operated by Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Father McGlone begins the new position in early June 2007. "I am delighted, humbled and honored to be selected for this unique position," said Father McGlone. "Officials at the Saint John Vianney Center were seeking a psychologist who is a priest because they value the integration of psychological and spiritual issues. That kind of approach can have a very positive influence on the future direction of the Catholic Church."

Father McGlone, a native Philadelphian, is a priest of the Society of Jesus and is currently a member of the Saint Joseph’s University Jesuit Community. His academic credentials include a doctoral degree in clinical psychology as well as four master’s degrees in theology and psychology. His dissertation topic focused on Roman Catholic clerical sexual offenders and his past research at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has been on non-clerical sexual offenders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

Report faults dioceses training

CINCINNATI (OH)
Cincinnati Post

Staff and wire reports

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati was one of only two American dioceses not in compliance with the Roman Catholic Church's national standards for prevention of sexual abuse, a new report finds.

The report, issued Wednesday on behalf of the National Review Board, the lay group the bishops created to implement their standards, showed that in 2006, only the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the Diocese of Burlington in Vermont didn't fully comply with the standards.

Both dioceses needed to complete safe environment training for all volunteers who work with children, said William A. Gavin, president of the Massachusetts-based Gavin group, which did the audits.

Both dioceses had been very conscientious about working toward full compliance, Gavin said, and he expected they would reach that goal this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

Hunterdon priest won't take deal in sex abuse case

NEW JERSEY
The Star-Ledger

Posted by The Star-Ledger April 12, 2007 11:44AM
Categories: News
A former Hunterdon County priest maintains his innocence in the latest child sexual abuse allegations brought against him and will not accept a plea deal from prosecutors, his attorney said today.

However, the attorney for the Rev. John M. Banko requested that prosecutors prepare a plea offer for the record as a formality. In a pretrial conference before Superior Court Judge Roger Mahon in Flemington, public defender Peter Abatemarco said the former priest is not guilty of the charges he was indicted on in September.

Banko, 60, is currently serving a 15-year prison sentence stemming from his 2002 conviction for performing oral sex on a young boy in the sacristy of a Roman Catholic church's community center after two Sunday Masses in the 1990s. The latest charges allege he abused another young boy around the same time as the first. The September indictment claims the victim was younger than 16 when the abuse occurred, and that it took place while Banko was serving as a pastor at a Milford church on or around Sept. 1, 1994, and May 15, 1995.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 PM

Priest in sex rap asked: surface

PHILIPPINES
Sun.Star

FR. BENEDICTO Ejares was urged to surface and answer all charges against him, if only to clear his name.

Cebu City Councilor Gerardo Carillo believes the priest is still in the country anyway and will not be able to leave, after the Bureau of Immigration placed him in their watch list.

He also urged the Archdiocese of Cebu to have the priest come forward.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

CNN’s Roberts speaks about disclosure of sexual abuse as a teen

UNITED STATES
Boston Herald

By Mark A. Perigard
Boston Herald TV Critic

Thursday, April 12, 2007 - Updated: 12:39 PM EST

Last month, Thomas Roberts made the most difficult decision of his life.

The CNN Headline News Anchor revealed to millions of viewers that he had been sexually abused by a Catholic priest when he was a teenager.

Roberts feared the fallout. He worried about losing his career.

Since his admission on “Anderson Cooper 360,” Roberts says he’s been flooded with viewer response - nearly all positive.

“Since the special aired, the response has been overwhelming supportive and kind and compassionate. There have been some detractors - they will come out of the woodwork - but overall, it has been amazing,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:34 PM

Lawyer urges church to present Fr. Ben Ejares

PHILIPPINES
Philippine Star

By Fred P. Languido
The Freeman 04/13/2007

The legal counsel of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has urged the Archdiocese of Cebu to present Father Benedicto Ejares and let him answer the charges that the National Bureau of Investigation has filed over his alleged lascivious conduct towards several high school students who participated in a religious seminar five months ago.

Councilor Gerardo Carillo believes that the church officials are aware of the whereabouts of Ejares contrary to the claim of Msgr. Achilles Dakay that they do not know where the priest is.

"Dili ko motoo nga wa sila mahibawo kon hain ang pari, kahibawo gyud na sila sa whereabouts," Carillo said over radio station dyLA.

He added that instead of hiding the priest and let the controversy affect the church they should present him so he can answer the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:32 PM

Priest Involved in Abuse Scandal to Attend Annunciation House Event

TEXAS
Newspaper Tree

by Jeff Berg

So why would Annunciation select as this year’s recipient Los Angeles Archdiocese Cardinal Roger Mahony, who is deeply embroiled in the 550-plus cases of sexual abuse suffered by children at the hands of priests?

Posted on April 12, 2007

Annunciation House opened its doors in 1978. Run by well-meaning volunteers, their mission is exclusively to give voices to the voiceless- the poor, the bewildered, the immigrant, and the oppressed. The reward for these volunteers, in part, apparently is to ‘live the Good News of the Gospel’.

The need, being ever present and non-stop, has seen the expansion of their services to five houses, on both sides of the border, which provide temporary shelter, food, and services for those in want.

The volunteers who staff and live onsite at these refuges commit to a one-year assignment to assist anyone who comes to the doors.

And Annunciation is Gospel centered, as noted in their mission statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Search for Angelika was ‘shambolic’

SCOTLAND
The Herald

A lawyer yesterday accused police of embarking on a "shambolic" search for the Polish student Angelika Kluk, as a jury heard how the man accused of her murder disappeared soon after officers arrived at the church where her body was eventually found.

Defence QC Donald Findlay listed a catalogue of mistakes he claimed had been made during what was, at the time in September last year, a missing person inquiry.

The body of Angelika, 23, was discovered four days later under the floor of St Patrick's Church in Anderston, Glasgow. Chauffeur Martin Macaskill, 40 - the student's married lover - reported Angelika missing after failing to get any reply to phone or text messages or find her in her room.

Constable Barry Hendren, 27, who had been on the beat for five months, told the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday how he and constable Caroline Wilson were sent to St Patrick's about 11.30pm on September 25. The officer told the court he and his colleague were met by Mr Macaskill and parish priest Father Gerry Nugent, 63, who earlier told the trial that he too had a sexual relationship with Angelika.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

SNAP Comments on Drop in Clergy Abuse Cases

UNITED STATES
Voice from the Desert

Here is an April 10, 2007, press release from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) on an AP story that said clergy sexual abuse claims dropped last year. The AP story follows the SNAP press release. ...

Bishops will 'spin' these numbers to claim they've 'turned the corner,' ignoring the fact that the overwhelming majority of victims still haven't and probably won't ever speak up, but will instead continue to suffer in shame, secrecy and self-blame.

The sad truth is that this entire process is essentially a PR sham based on self-reported 'statistics' given by bishops themselves, the very same men who got us into this mess.

If the number of cases bishops hear is declining, it may be because more victims are now reporting child sex crimes to police officials, not church officials. But we fear it's because many victims refuse to speak up because they see bishops continuing to posture, stonewall and deceive. It's crucial that witnesses and victims keep speaking up. When victims and witnesses come forward, there's at least a chance for healing, prevention, justice and truth telling. When they stay silent, kids stay at risk and sex crimes stay hidden.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 AM

Bill would lift cap on prosecuting child sex crimes

SACRAMENTO (CA)
Ventura County Star

By Timm Herdt, therdt@VenturaCountyStar.com
April 11, 2007

SACRAMENTO — Lisa Kawai of Camarillo was 42 years old last year when she finally received a sense of justice for a crime that had tormented her since she was 5.

On Tuesday, she came to the state Capitol in an attempt to ensure that future generations in California will be able to find the same relief.

Kawai testified in support of a bill that would eliminate the statute of limitations for prosecuting sex crimes against a child. Because Florida has such a law, Kawai's uncle last year was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for molestations of family members that he committed decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Bishop Skylstad asked to resign

SPOKANE (WA)
Spokesman Review

John Stucke
Staff writer
April 12, 2007

Four prominent Spokane Catholics have asked Bishop William Skylstad to resign, saying the $48 million bankruptcy deal he struck to settle sex-abuse claims against the Spokane Catholic Diocese is a “complete disaster.”

The four men, Donald Herak, Thomas Tilford, James Workland, and Ronald Caferro, met with and wrote letters to Skylstad and vowed, “we will not contribute one dime to this unfortunate, costly and mistaken mediated settlement.”

The ultimatum to resign underscores fractures within the Catholic community about how best to handle the priest sex abuse crisis that persuaded the bishop to take the diocese into

“We detect a backlash in the parishes, which we believe will only become more active when the complete details of the settlement are disclosed to the parishioners,” they wrote, calling themselves The Committee Seeking the Resignation of the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Spokane.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Lincoln Diocese again opts out of sex abuse audit

LINCOLN (NE)
Lincoln Journal Star

By BOB REEVES / Lincoln Journal Star
Wednesday, Apr 11, 2007 - 05:15:34 pm CDT
Once again, the Lincoln Roman Catholic Diocese has been singled out as the country’s only diocese that refused to participate in an annual audit of sex abuse data.

More than 99 percent of dioceses and eparchies nationwide responded to the voluntary survey of sex abuse claims and compliance with bishops’ guidelines on protection of children and young people, according to a release from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Only the Lincoln Diocese and a small Melkite Catholic eparchy in Massachusetts refused to participate. “The Diocese of Lincoln is operating in full compliance with all civil and all laws of the Catholic Church concerning the abuse of minors,” Lincoln Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz said in a prepared statement.

“The Catholic Church teaches that all homosexual acts and any sexual abuse of minors or others are mortal sins. Such sins and heinous crimes should be appropriately punished by the authorities of the church and the state.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Priest accused of theft was obsessed, jealous, ex-worker's diary says

DELRAY BEACH (FL)
Palm Beach Post

By Larry Keller
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Not only is the Rev. John Skehan charged with misappropriating millions of dollars from St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach, but also he was a drunken, obsessed and jealous man, according to a former church employee.

Colleen Head, now 29, began working at the church in her teens and was married there in 2001. Her mother, Terese Duffey, also worked at the church.

Skehan, 79, paid for Head to visit him in his native Ireland in 1999, where he spent summers. In a diary she kept of the trip and turned over to prosecutors, Head described her love of Ireland and her revulsion for Skehan.

The priest was a drunken driver, obsessed with her and jealous of her relationship with his nephew, Sean Kennedy, Head wrote in the diary.

"Father Skehan has driven me crazy!" she wrote in one entry. "He is such an ass!"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

County will pay $3,000 for O’Connell suit research

WISCONSIN
Hudson Star-Observer

By Judy Wiff, Hudson Star-Observer
Published Thursday, April 12, 2007

St. Croix County’s Finance Committee agreed Thursday to allocate $3,000 for legal research for the judge who is presiding over the O’Connell family’s civil lawsuit against Catholic bishops.

Last August the parents, sister and brothers of Daniel O’Connell filed a lawsuit against U.S. Catholic bishops asking for the names of an estimated 5,000 priests the American church has identified as sexual abusers and predators since the 1950s.

O’Connell and intern James Ellison were found shot to death at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson Feb. 5, 2002. The O’Connell family and their attorneys claim the murders occurred after Dan O’Connell confronted Father Ryan Erickson of St. Patrick’s Church about alleged sexual abuse of boys.

The civil suit initially named 178 defendants. Nine have since been dismissed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Porn destruction pending

PENNSYLVANIA
The Republican and Herald

BY PETER BORTNER
STAFF WRITER
pbortner@republicanherald.com
04/11/2007

Tuesday's scheduled hearing on whether to destroy child pornography owned by a former associate pastor of a Schuylkill Haven church has been postponed until the cleric's appeal of his state prison sentence is resolved.

However, the Rev. Ronald J. Yarrosh, 59, of Orwigsburg, must open his wallet to keep the pornography while he appeals his sentence of four to 10 years behind bars, President Judge William E. Baldwin ruled in a one-page order made available Tuesday.

"Continued storage (of the pornography) must be at his expense since that material has not been admitted into evidence," Baldwin wrote.

Baldwin's latest decision vacated his earlier order allowing the destruction of the pornography, which Yarrosh had stored at a U-RENT-IT self-storage business in Hazle Township, Luzerne County, and a vacant house in Jim Thorpe. Yarrosh's attorney, Assistant Public Defender Christopher W. Hobbs, had objected to destruction of the material while he is appealing the sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Attorney won't be cited for contempt

TUCSON (AZ)
Arizona Daily Star

By Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 04.12.2007

A federal bankruptcy judge on Wednesday released Tucson attorney Susan G. Boswell from possible contempt of court, but ordered an external audit of the finances of her client, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.
Bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler also criticized diocese attorneys for what she described as a lack of transparency in presenting their finances to the court.
Boswell says a misunderstanding led to claims that she appeared to conspire with the diocese in an attempt to shift money to parishes without court approval.
In a response filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California, Boswell and officials with the Diocese of San Diego said they had no prior knowledge about a memo sent out by the newly formed Organization of Parishes that encouraged parishes to obtain new taxpayer-identification numbers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Federal judge orders audit of San Diego diocese funds

SAN DIEGO (CA)
The Desert Sun

Allison Hoffman
The Associated Press
April 12, 2007

SAN DIEGO - A federal bankruptcy judge Wednesday ordered an external audit of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego amid accusations church leaders are trying to hide assets to avoid payment to sex abuse victims.

Judge Louise DeCarl Adler had earlier threatened the diocese with contempt for misrepresenting facts and possibly violating bankruptcy laws. She criticized church attorneys for failing to include 770 parish accounts in bankruptcy documents.

"This is the most Byzantine accounting system I've ever seen," Adler said. "I am mystified."

The contempt threat Monday came six weeks after the diocese sought bankruptcy protection amid lawsuits by more than 140 people who accuse priests of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

NBI files raps vs. priest in ANS controversy

PHILIPPINES
Philippine Star

By Fred P. Languido and Wenna A. Berondo
The Freeman 04/12/2007

A priest earlier accused of sexually harassing several students from Abellana National School was formally charged with seven counts of acts of lasciviousness in relation to child abuse before the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office.

The National Bureau of Investigation yesterday filed seven counts for violation of Article 339 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Article 6, Section 10 (a) of the Republic Act 7610 otherwise known as the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Expoitation and Discrimination and Republic Act 7877 or the Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 against Fr. Benedicto Ejares.

The NBI found out that Fr. Ejares should be indicted of the above cases after seven of the more than 20 student participants of the Life in the Spirit Seminar at the Abellana National School in November last year accused him of inappropriately touching their private parts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Priest named, charged in sex scam in Cebu

PHILIPPINES
GMA News

Almost five months after the incident, the National Bureau of Investigation finally charged a priest accused of sexually harassing high school students during a Life in the Spirit seminar in Cebu City.

Sun-Star Cebu reported Thursday that the NBI sought charges against Fr. Benedicto Ejares before the city prosecutor’s office Wednesday afternoon.

The NBI recommended that Ejares be charged with seven counts of acts of lasciviousness in relation to the anti-child abuse law, and a separate complaint for sexual harassment.

In filing the complaint, NBI regional chief lawyer Medardo de Lemos finally revealed the identity of the priest, whom investigators said failed to answer repeated subpoenas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Judge considers archdiocese bankruptcy plan

PORTLAND (OR)
East Oregonian

By the Associated Press

PORTLAND (AP) - The judge overseeing the first bankruptcy in the nation filed by a Roman Catholic diocese said Tuesday she expects to decide whether to approve the plan by the end of the week.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris heard only one objection to the reorganization plan for the Archdiocese of Portland during final arguments over a proposed $75 million settlement for alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests.

Paul and Deborah DuFresne claim their son, Nathan, suffered emotional distress after being labeled a bully and expelled from St. Thomas More school in Portland.

But Thomas Stilley, an attorney for the archdiocese, noted the case does not involve sexual abuse. He also argued there is more than enough money set aside - at least $3.8 million - for unsettled lawsuits, and the DuFresne case is the only one left.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Diocese has not yet fully completed abuse training

VERMONT
Times Argus

April 12, 2007

By Kevin O'Connor Rutland Herald

Vermont's Catholic Church is one of only two dioceses in the nation that has not fully complied with a toughened policy to prevent sexual abuse by priests, an independent report said Wednesday.

Bishop Salvatore Matano said the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington is one article away from meeting the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" adopted by U.S. bishops five years ago at the height of a priest misconduct scandal.

Both the Vermont diocese and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati have yet to complete "safe environment training" of all volunteers who work with children, according to the Gavin Group, a private auditing firm hired by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Study: Vermont Catholic diocese lags behind in child sex abuse prevention training

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Thursday, April 12, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington lags behind nearly every other diocese in the country in setting up training programs to protect children from sexual abuse, a new study for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has found.

"It's a message to Burlington that they've got to work harder," said Sister Marie Ann Walsh, director of media relations for the national bishops' organization in Washington, D.C. "Most people were able to meet the requirements."

The study, a follow-up of a 2005 audit of 18 church dioceses that had failed to establish sex-abuse prevention programs as mandated by the church, said only the dioceses in Burlington and Cincinnati had not complied with the so-called Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Former Broward priest accused of paying boys for sex during counseling

MIAMI (FL)
Sun-Sentinel

By Madeline Baró Diaz
Miami Bureau
Posted April 12 2007

Three men have accused a former Broward County priest awaiting trial on sexual molestation charges of paying them for sex when they were boys and turning them into prostitutes.

The allegations in three lawsuits filed Wednesday in Miami-Dade Circuit Court against the Archdiocese of Miami are the latest naming the Rev. Neil Doherty, former pastor of St. Vincent's Catholic Church in Margate. Each suit seeks more than $25 million in damages.

The three men, now in their 30s, met Doherty in the 1980s when they were around 10 to 15 years old as part of church outreach programs in Miami, the lawsuits said. At the time, Doherty was serving as a priest in Miami-Dade County.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Portland diocese complying

PORTLAND (ME)
Portland Press Herald

Associated Press

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Diocese of Portland was one of 11 Roman Catholic dioceses across the country found to be in full compliance with protocols set in motion in 2002 to safeguard children as a clergy sex abuse crisis battered the church.
After falling short last year, the Portland diocese is 100 percent complaint in all 13 areas included in the Catholic Church's Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, known as the Dallas Charter, said Bishop Richard Malone.
According to the audit, which reviewed the period from mid-December 2005 to August, all 4,926 clergy, employees and volunteers in the diocese have undergone background checks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

D'Arcy looks back on 50 years as a priest

SOUTH BEND (IN)
South Bend Tribune

By LYN STEGEMILLER
Tribune Staff Writer

The Most Rev. John M. D'Arcy, bishop of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, finds he has something in common with Frank Sinatra.

Regrets? Yes, he's had a few but, then again, too few to mention.

A smiling D'Arcy cites the song lyrics as he talks about his five decades as a Roman Catholic priest. The diocese will mark the 50th anniversary of his ordination with a celebration in Fort Wayne on Sunday. ...

He arrived with the national priest sex abuse scandal rocking the Catholic Church and was lauded for having sent warning letters to his superiors about priests' misconduct.

Locally, D'Arcy reported in 2003 that 16 priests had sexually abused 33 children in the diocese since 1950, with the last credible complaint of physical sexual abuse being in 1987.

It was not hard to know what to do, he says of handling the local situation, but it was "awful" listening to the stories of the victims and their parents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

April 11, 2007

Fushek case heads to Court of Appeals

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
Apr. 11, 2007 04:56 PM

After an eight-month standstill, the case against a former Mesa priest headed to the Arizona Court of Appeals on Wednesday as attorneys debated whether registering as a sex offender is an "embarrassment" or a "life altering effect."

Prosecutors are appealing an August ruling by a Maricopa County Superior Court judge that suspended Monsignor Dale Fushek is entitled to a jury trial on a series of misdemeanor sex charges where he could be forced to register as a sex offender.

Judge Douglas Rayes ruled at that time that registering as a sex offender is "a modern day scarlet letter," but Deputy County Attorney Diane Gunnels Rowley said his ruling did not follow the law and set a bad precedent.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 PM

Judge orders external audit of San Diego diocese accounts

SAN DIEGO (CA)
San Luis Obispo Tribune

ALLISON HOFFMAN
Associated Press
SAN DIEGO - A federal bankruptcy judge Wednesday ordered an external audit of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, chastising church lawyers for a lack of transparency in court filings.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler grilled attorneys representing both the diocese and a parish organization, as well as two pastors who had sent letters the judge said misrepresented comments made from the bench during an earlier hearing.

Adler criticized church attorneys for failing to include 770 parish accounts in bankruptcy documents.

"This is the most Byzantine accounting system I've ever seen," Adler said. "I am mystified."

In a sternly worded order issued Monday, Adler said attorneys Susan Boswell, Jeffry Davis and Victor Vilaplana, as well as two priests, appeared to have "conspired with parishes" to create new bank accounts separate from the diocese. The judge wrote that the attorneys appeared to have misrepresented facts and may have violated court orders and bankruptcy laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 PM

Judge Orders Outside Expert to Assess Diocese Accounts

SAN DIEGO (CA)
The New York Times

By JENNIFER STEINHAUER and LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: April 12, 2007
SAN DIEGO, April 11 — In a move filled with admonishments and anger, a federal judge overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings of the Roman Catholic Diocese here on Wednesday ordered an outside accounting expert to sort through what she called “the most Byzantine accounting system I have ever seen,” and to report directly to her.

The order was issued in a contempt hearing in which diocese lawyers and priests were ordered to explain why they should not be sanctioned for trying to move church money without court authorization.

The judge, Louise DeCarl Adler of Federal Bankruptcy Court, also said that she had not “foreclosed” on the idea of appointing a trustee in the case, an extraordinary move if executed. Judge Adler said that the diocese would have to resubmit documents describing its assets, and have them signed by Bishop Robert H. Brom under penalty of perjury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 PM

Dioceses Compliant With Charter, 98 Percent of Volunteers Trained in Child Protection, Independent Audit Shows

WASHINGTON (DC)
PR-Inside

2007-04-11 15:54:13 -

WASHINGTON, April 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Virtually all U.S. dioceses are compliant with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, according to a report on the 2006 audits conducted by the Gavin Group, a Boston-based company that monitors diocesan adherence to the U.S. bishops' plan to address clergy sexual abuse of children.

The Gavin Group also reported that based on information provided auditors, "98 percent of the volunteers for whom training is required have been trained."

The audits examine compliance to the 17-point Charter drafted by the U.S. bishops
in 2002 to confront sexual abuse of children by clergy.

The Gavin Group undertook 11 full audits, most requested by the diocese or eparchy that was audited, and 18 focused audits based on unresolved required actions noted in a prior audit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 PM

Archdiocese plan for reorganization coming to close

PORTLAND (OR)
The Register-Guard

By Bill Bishop
The Register-Guard
Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2007

PORTLAND - Bankruptcy reorganization may be finalized on Monday for the Archdiocese of Portland, a federal bankruptcy judge indicated Tuesday after a 3 1/2 -hour hearing on the plan.

If approved, the plan will allow the church to pay 175 victims of sexual abuse by priests, while continuing to operate normally and without having to sell schools or properties of its 124 parishes.

Court records indicate that the church will end up paying $104 million to people who were sexually abused by priests of the archdiocese since 1984. Of that amount, $77 million will be paid under the reorganization plan to settle 175 claims that have been on hold since 2004, when the archdiocese became the first in the nation to declare bankruptcy on the eve of trials in multimillion dollar lawsuits over clergy sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 PM

NBI files raps against priest

PHILIPPINES
Sun.Star

By Karlon N. Rama
Sun.Star Staff Reporter

THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 has finally resolved to charge the priest earlier accused of lascivious conduct while hearing confession at a public high school in Cebu City.

Lawyer Medardo de Lemos, NBI regional chief, filed the complaint against Fr. Benedicto Zozobrado Ejares before the Office of the Cebu City Prosecutor yesterday afternoon.

Special Investigator Jed Hife said it took her about four months to close the investigation because she opted to wait as long as she could for the priest to answer the subpoena she had sent last Feb. 23.

Ejares never showed up.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 PM

Vt. diocese found 'not in compliance' in anti-abuse audit

MONTPELIER (VT)
WCAX

MONTPELIER, Vt. -- Vermont's Catholic Diocese has met most of the standards set by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to prevent sexual abuse by priests, but came up short in training volunteers, an audit has found.

Vermont and the Cincinnati diocese were the only two in the country where the training shortfall was reported. Four dioceses refused to participate in the audit by the Gavin Group, based in Winthrop, Mass., said its president, William Gavin, Wednesday.

It was the second year in a row the Vermont diocese was found not to have met the standard by training all volunteers who work with children to guard against abuse. Diocesan officials said in March of 2006 they would have the work done by June 30.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:40 PM

NBI files raps vs. priest in ANS controversy

PHILIPPINES
The Freeman

By Fred P. Languido and Wenna A. Berondo
The Freeman 04/12/2007

A priest earlier accused of sexually harassing several students from Abellana National School was formally charged with seven counts of acts of lasciviousness in relation to child abuse before the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office.

The National Bureau of Investigation yesterday filed seven counts for violation of Article 339 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Article 6, Section 10 (a) of the Republic Act 7610 otherwise known as the Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Expoitation and Discrimination and Republic Act 7877 or the Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 against Fr. Benedicto Ejares.

The NBI found out that Fr. Ejares should be indicted of the above cases after seven of the more than 20 student participants of the Life in the Spirit Seminar at the Abellana National School in November last year accused him of inappropriately touching their private parts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:38 PM

Rector charged with sexual assault

LAMPASAS (TX)
Killeen Daily Herald

By Kristine Favreau
Killeen Daily Herald

A preliminary trial date of May 11 has been set for a Lampasas rector charged with sexually assaulting a child.

According to Lampasas District Clerk Terri Cox, the Rev. Jim Carlton Wooldridge, 61, has been charged with two counts of sexual assault and a charge of indecency with a child who was 15 years old at the time of the alleged event. Wooldridge was indicted on March 14.

Cox said arraignment for Wooldridge has been waived. The rector was released on an $8,500 bond after his arrest on Jan. 11.

Also arrested in connection with the allegations was John Christian "J.C." Wood, 20, who was charged with sexual assault, indecency with a child and unlawful possession of a firearm. Wood's total bond was set at $13,000. He is scheduled to be arraigned on April 20.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Priest ‘was drunk’ night body found

SCOTLAND
Glasgow Evening Times

A PARISH priest was drunk and upset the night the body of Polish student Angelika Kluk was found in his church, a murder trial heard.

But parishioner Rita Bonner, 65, of Knightswood, Glasgow, denied to the court that Father Gerry Nugent was scared.

The 63-year-old priest, who earlier told the trial that he had sex with Angelika in the summer of 2005 when she was only 22, had been ordered by police to leave his home in the chapel house at St Patrick's, Anderston, Glasgow.

They had been searching for Angelika since she was reported missing four days earlier.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

CHURCH SEX-ABUSE CLAIMS DROP

UNITED STATES
New York Post

By DAREH GREGORIAN, Post Wires
April 11, 2007 -- The country's Roman Catholic bishops received 714 clergy sex-abuse claims in 2006 - the second consecutive year the number of allegations has dropped, according to a new report.

Costs related to abuse cases also decreased - by 15 percent over the last year - due to a decline in what dioceses paid to settle molestation cases.

The findings are part of an annual review that the bishops first commissioned in 2002 as they implemented reforms to better safeguard children at the height of the clergy sex-abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Church worker's diaries detail drunken, erratic behavior by Delray priest

FLORIDA
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

By Missy Diaz
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Posted April 11 2007

In her journal entries, Colleen Head, a former employee of St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church, details how the Rev. John Skehan's drinking and antics ruined her trip to Ireland in 1999.

Head, now 29, began working at the Delray Beach church at age 15. She was born and raised in St. Vincent's and married there in 2001. Her mother, Terese Roehm Duffey, also worked at the church.

Sworn testimony of both women has been taken as part of the criminal investigation into grand theft charges against former pastors Skehan and Francis Guinan. Mother and daughter have been granted use immunity by the state and are not being prosecuted, according to their attorney, Michael Salnick.

The priests are accused of misappropriating as much as $8.6 million from the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Judge considers archdiocese bankruptcy plan

PORTLAND (OR)
KGW

04/11/2007

Associated Press

The judge overseeing the first bankruptcy in the nation filed by a Roman Catholic diocese said Tuesday she expects to decide whether to approve the plan by the end of the week.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris heard only one objection to the reorganization plan for the Archdiocese of Portland during final arguments over a proposed $75 million settlement for alleged victims of sexual abuse by priests.

Paul and Deborah DuFresne claim their son, Nathan, suffered emotional distress after being labeled a bully and expelled from St. Thomas More school in Portland.

But Thomas Stilley, an attorney for the archdiocese, noted the case does not involve sexual abuse. He also argued there is more than enough money set aside — at least $3.8 million — for unsettled lawsuits, and the DuFresne case is the only one left.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Judge considering whether priests, attorneys are in contempt of court

SAN DIEGO (CA)
North County Times

By: SCOTT MARSHALL - Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO ---- Two Catholic priests and three attorneys have been ordered to appear in bankruptcy court this afternoon to explain to a judge why they should not be held in contempt of court.

The order from bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler is based on allegations that the priests and attorneys have tried improperly to transfer money between accounts while the bankruptcy of the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego is pending.

The diocese filed for bankruptcy Feb. 28, bringing a halt to sexual abuse litigation on the eve of the first trial of an abuse case in San Diego. The diocese has offered to pay $95 million to settle the more than 140 sexual abuse claims filed against it, but attorneys for those who have sued in connection with alleged abuse by priests have said a fair settlement would be closer to $200 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

Bishops say diocese meets safety standards

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By David Abel, Globe Staff | April 11, 2007

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has complied with national child protection safety standards, according to a report released yesterday.

The report, commissioned by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, found the archdiocese met all 13 conference standards, such as effective responses to allegations of sexual abuse; promoting healing and reconciliation with survivors of clergy sexual abuse; running criminal checks on priests, deacons, and other personnel; and training children to recognize inappropriate touching.

"While much has been achieved, I recognize that work must continue to be done in order to maintain safe environments in both our churches and schools," Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley said in a statement. "Protecting our children and preventing sexual abuse remains paramount."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Diocese settles sexual abuse lawsuit

KANSAS CITY (MO)
The Kansas City Star

By JOE LAMBE
The Kansas City Star
A Northland man has settled a lawsuit with the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph and two former priests for alleged sexual abuse in 1967.

The man, now in his 50s, contends that two priests molested him when he was 14 years old and that the diocese covered up sexual behavior by the priests for years.

The $60,000 settlement reached earlier this year after mediation with the Platte County man is among the first by the diocese in a local priest sex case.

The former priests, Thomas Reardon and Thomas O’Brien, are also named in several other pending sex abuse lawsuits for alleged acts decades ago. In all, about six former or active priests in the Kansas City area have been sued by more than two dozen plaintiffs in the last few years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Dioceses' attorney to defend herself

TUCSON (AZ)
Arizona Daily Star

By Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 04.11.2007

A Tucson attorney was scheduled to appear in federal court in San Diego today to defend herself against claims that her client, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, attempted to shift funds to parishes without court approval.
Susan G. Boswell is expected to appear before bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler at 2 p.m., along with lawyers for the San Diego Diocese's parishes and its newly formed Organization of Parishes, according to a court order.
Boswell also represented the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson during its bankruptcy proceedings.
Adler said Boswell must appear to "show cause why you should not be cited for contempt of court."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Revered DM bishop retires following illness

DES MOINES (IA)
Des Moines Register

BY TONY LEYS AND SHIRLEY RAGSDALE
REGISTER STAFF WRITERS

Des Moines Bishop Joseph Charron retired Tuesday, after a 13-year tenure in which he led the Roman Catholic diocese to stronger financial footing, acted decisively against priests accused of child sexual abuse, addressed the needs of a growing Latino population, emphasized adult faith formation, and encouraged laity to participate in planning.

The diocese covers the Des Moines area and southwest Iowa. It includes 82 parishes and almost 100,000 Catholics, making it the smallest of Iowa's four dioceses.

Charron, 67, said he loves his job, but could not continue because of the pain and fatigue from a chronic form of an inflammatory disease. The stress of overseeing the diocese made his condition worse, he said, so he asked for the pope's permission to retire early.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Diocese calls transfers mix-up

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer
and Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS
April 11, 2007

An apparent attempt to transfer church funds without a federal judge's permission was called a misunderstanding in declarations filed in bankruptcy court yesterday by attorneys representing the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego.

The lawyers were responding to federal Judge Louise DeCarl Adler's “order to show cause” why they and certain pastors should not be held in contempt and face sanctions.

The diocese sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Feb. 27 in the face of numerous lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests in the diocese dating back decades.

At issue is what the judge said was an apparent conspiracy by church officials and their attorneys to create new bank accounts, separate from diocese accounts, without her permission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Limited child protection audits find most U.S. dioceses in compliance

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic Online

By Jerry Filteau
4/11/2007

Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

WASHINGTON (CNS) – Twenty-seven of 29 Catholic dioceses and eparchies audited in 2006 complied with the church's national standards for child protection programs and the prevention of and response to sexual abuse, says a report released April 11.

However, four dioceses that were not found in compliance in 2005 refused to participate in the 2006 audit.

"The overall results of the 2006 audit are encouraging," said Patricia O'Donnell Ewers, chairwoman of the bishops' all-lay National Review Board. But she described the refusal of four dioceses to participate as "discouraging news."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Diocese attorneys threatened with contempt of court

SAN DIEGO (CA)
The Press-Enterprise

By ALLISON HOFFMAN
The Associated Press

SAN DIEGO

Six weeks after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, lawyers for the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego are accused of moving to improperly transfer funds to parishes in an attempt to shield assets from any potential settlements with victims of clergy sexual abuse.

Judge Louise DeCarl Adler ordered the lead attorney in the case to U.S. Bankruptcy Court Wednesday to explain why she and her colleagues should not be sanctioned for their alleged actions.

In a sternly worded order issued Monday, Adler said attorneys Susan Boswell, Jeffry Davis and Victor Vilaplana, as well as two priests, appear to have "conspired with parishes" to create new bank accounts separate from the diocese. The judge wrote that the attorneys appeared to have misrepresented facts and may have violated court orders and bankruptcy laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Chapel's namesake under fire

PALM SPRINGS (CA)
The Desert Sun

Mandy Zatynski
The Desert Sun
April 11, 2007

A Palm Springs pastor who may have a high school chapel named in his honor is one of three Coachella Valley priests the Diocese of San Diego says has been accused of sexual abuse.

The Rev. Malachy McGinn, who died in 1997 after serving at St. Theresa Church in Palm Springs since 1985, was one of 38 priests with "credible" allegations included on a list published on the diocese's Web site March 30.

Still, officials at Xavier College Preparatory High School in Palm Desert said they may stick with plans to name their soon-to-be chapel on the school's new campus, which opened at its permanent location last month.

"The placement of Monsignor McGinn's name on the Web site is the result of an allegation," said DoeDee Rover, president of the Xavier board. "At this point, it would be unfair or unjust to make any determination or alteration concerning the naming of the Xavier chapel."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Church Attorneys Threatened With Contempt Of Court

SAN DIEGO (CA)
CBS 2

(AP) SAN DIEGO, Calif. An attorney for the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego is due in court this afternoon to respond to a judge's threat to revoke her permit to practice.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler accuses the diocese and its attorney, Susan Boswell, of misrepresenting the court's order with regard to parish assets. She is demanding that Boswell show financial transfers to parishes were not attempts to shield assets from any potential settlement with victims of sexual abuse by priests.

Adler cited a March 29th letter sent by a diocese parish organization to pastors urging them to open new bank accounts and transfer any funds held in accounts under the diocese's taxpayer ID number.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

April 10, 2007

Archdiocese of New York is saved from parishioner's theft lawsuit

NEW YORK
Staten Island Advance

The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — The Archdiocese of New York has been removed as a defendant from a lawsuit that accuses a Roman Catholic priest of bilking a parishioner in her 80s out of nearly $500,000.

The state Supreme Court's Appellate Division on Tuesday rejected the argument that church officials were negligent in supervising Monsignor John Woolsey, confessed thief and former pastor of the St. John the Martyr Church on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

Woolsey, 69, is in prison after pleading guilty in September 2006 to grand larceny in exchange for a sentence of one to four years. He could have gotten up to 15 years in prison if he had been convicted at trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:18 PM

Three More Men Accuse Former Miami Priest Of Abuse

MIAMI (FL)
CBS 4

(CBS4) MIAMI A former South Florida priest gave CBS4 News a less than warm welcome after we confronted him regarding accusations of unholy acts against children.

This is not the first time that Father Neil Doherty is accused. He is currently on house arrest awaiting trial for allegedly abusing a young boy, but new victims have come forward this week and they plan on suing the Archdiocese of Miami for failing to protect them.

As CBS4's Tiffani Helberg asked him through a door that was cracked open if the allegations were true, Doherty gave her a curt "not at all", before slamming the door and shutters shut.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 PM

Church-linked abuse claims decline in '06

UNITED STATES
USA Today

The Associated Press
NEW YORK — The nation's Roman Catholic bishops and religious orders received 714 clergy sex-abuse claims in 2006, the second consecutive year that the number of allegations has dropped, according to a new report on the church's child-protection efforts.

Costs related to abuse cases also decreased — by about 15% over the last year — mainly because of a decline in what dioceses paid to settle molestation cases.

Dioceses and religious orders paid nearly $399 million in 2006 for settlements with victims, attorney fees and support for accusers and offenders. For 2005, that figure was $467 million, considered the highest for a single year.

The findings, set for release today, are part of an annual review that the bishops first commissioned in 2002 as they implemented changes to better safeguard children at the height of the clergy sex-abuse crisis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:09 PM

Church's gambit shakes our faith

SAN DIEGO (CA)
North County Times

By: North County Times Opinion staff Our view: Diocese of San Diego's bankruptcy bid angers judge and raises questions

Several years have passed since the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal came to light, but the men who run the organization founded by one of history's greatest communicators have yet to master public relations. That is the most charitable explanation for the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego's latest missteps in its bankruptcy trial.

On Tuesday, Judge Louise DeCarl Adler ordered church officials and their lawyers to appear before her to explain why they shouldn't be cited for contempt over an apparent misunderstanding that led to an attempt by the diocese to create new bank accounts for its 98 parishes.

Except Judge Adler didn't characterize it as a misunderstanding. Her word was "conspired."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 PM

Abuse Suit Against Former Priests Settled

KANSAS CITY (MO)
TheKansasCityChannel.com

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph will pay $60,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse by two of its priests -- one of whom has since been defrocked.

The settlement was reached in February after both sides agreed to mediation, the diocese said in a statement issued Tuesday. The settlement does not admit wrongdoing.

"It was a situation where my client really wanted to get on with his life," said Sam Wendt, the plaintiff's attorney. "I think that's probably the case with the diocese as well."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 PM

Clergy sex abuse victims blast gag order

OREGON
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Mary Grant of Long Beach CA,
SNAP Western Regional Director, (626) 419 2930

Tomorrow, Catholic church officials will likely crow at moving one step forward in their bankruptcy protection scam. But tonight, sex abuse victims are mourning.

We are members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). We applaud the dozens of Oregon men and women who have found the strength and courage to come forward and report horrific serial sex crimes and deceitful cover ups of those crimes.

But we mourn the fact that these brave individuals will never have the chance to expose corruption like some abuse victims have. We mourn the fact that church officials who deceived the police, public, press and parishioners about clergy sex crimes are essentially getting off ‘scott free.’ We mourn the fact that the same church officials who have operated and still operate above the law are basically getting by with it again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 PM

SNAP asks for apology from Greek Orthodox official

DALLAS (TX)
Dallas News Religion

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) has sent along along a press release and letter. It deals with the response by a Greek Orthodox church official to sex abuse accusations against Father Nicholas Katinas, former longtime pastor at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas.

Here's what SNAP sent:

A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is calling upon a Greek Orthodox church official to apologize for his insensitive remarks and to reach out to others who may have been hurt by an accused abusive priest.

In February, Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver sent a letter to parishioners of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox church. The letter was prompted by child sex abuse accusations against Fr. Nicholas Katinas, who was permanently suspended from active ministry in July. In the letter, the bishop claimed that “Satan never sleeps” and implied that those who spoke up about the alleged abuse were somehow to blame.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 PM

Charron Says He Feels Peace With Decision

DES MOINES (IA)
KCCI

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Bishop Joseph Charron announced Tuesday that he is retiring due to health reasons.

He has been bishop of the Des Moines Catholic Diocese for 13 years.

Charron faced some difficult issues during his tenure, include dealing with one of the biggest controversies in the Catholic Church of priests accused of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:53 PM

Archbishop Dolan carries message of hope

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Deirdre Cox Baker | Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A message of great hope for Roman Catholics worried about the future of their church will be delivered this week in the heart of the Davenport Diocese.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan of Milwaukee will speak at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the ballroom of the Rogalski Center, located at the corner of Ripley and Lombard streets on the St. Ambrose University campus in Davenport. Admission is free.

“Cast Out to the Deep: The Call for Confidence and Holiness in Today’s Church,” is a message Dolan delivers to Catholics across the United States, especially in the wake of the clergy sexual abuse scandal, said Jerry Topczewski, chief of staff for the archbishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 PM

Audit: Boston Archdiocese Met Child Protection Measures

BOSTON (MA)
TheBostonChannel.com

BOSTON -- An independent audit has determined that the Boston Archdiocese has met the child protection safety standards adopted by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the archdiocese announced Tuesday.

An audit by the Gavin Group found the archdiocese had complied with all 13 of the audited standards after addressing shortcomings in "safe environment training" for children.

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley said the archdiocese has made major progress in its efforts to protect children.

"While much has been achieved, I recognize that work must continue to be done in order to maintain safe environments in both our churches and schools," O'Malley said in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:42 PM

IN SAN DIEGO, EVEN THE CATHOLIC DIOCESE MAY BE CORRUPT

SAN DIEGO (CA)
California Progress Report

By Bill Cavala
A veteran of over 30 years in Sacramento

150 individuals are suing the Catholic Church in San Diego County alleging sexual abuse by its ordained priests.

The Church’s response was to declare bankruptcy--arguing, in effect, that it didn’t have the money to recompense victims even if held responsible by the courts.

Plaintiff attorney’s questioned this action arguing the Church did indeed have the resources needed to pay off.

Church attorneys, a crafty group, wrote to each parish in the diocese to instruct the priest to move the Church’s money to a new account. Such a move was not “hiding funds”, it was approved by the bankruptcy judge. Or so said the Church’s lawyers.

When the Judge found out about this effort, she hit the roof.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 PM

The Forum: Church scandal reflects ascetical breakdown, authors argue

UNITED STATES
Catholic World News

special to CWNews.com

Apr. 10, 2007 (CWNews.com) - The sex-abuse crisis within the Catholic Church was brought on in large part by a collapse in the traditions of ascetical discipline, especially among the clergy. That is the argument of an important book about the crisis, and after years of research on the topic, I find that argument persuasive.

Just over one year ago, the Linacre Institute released After Ascetism: Sex, Prayer, and Deviant Priests. Regrettably, the book has received little public attention-- certainly nowhere near the attention it deserves.

Perhaps this is understandable. The secular media, which have done so much to expose the failings of the Catholic clergy, have little interest in promoting traditional Catholic spirituality. So we couldn't expect the media to recognize the value of After Asceticism.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 PM

Judge Says Church Hid Money From Sex Lawsuits

SAN DIEGO (CA)
NBC Sandiego

SAN DIEGO -- A federal judge threatened to cite attorneys and church officials for contempt for allegedly trying to shelter money from the Dioceses of San Diego's bankruptcy, according to a published report.

Judge Louise DeCarl Adler ordered Susan Boswell, the lead bankruptcy lawyer for the diocese, and diocese officials to appear in court Wednesday. She ordered them to explain why they should not be sanctioned for allegedly conspiring to illegally create new bank accounts separate from the diocese, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Adler said church officials sent a memo to 98 parishes in San Diego and Imperial counties, which falsely stated that she authorized them to move their funds to the new accounts, the paper reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Congregation reacts to priest’s removal

MARYLAND
The View

Bryna Zumer
April 10, 2007

Robert Donadio wasn’t surprised to see an Archdiocese of Baltimore official as the celebrant when he went to Mass March 25. His parish, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, was used to prominent visitors.

“I just didn’t think anything of it,” Donadio said.

But at the close of the service, the officials announced a special meeting at 2 p.m. that day. When congregants gathered in the old parish center, they received the news that their pastor of 11 years, Monsignor Richard Smith, had been removed from ministry.

Smith was removed following reports of alleged abuse from two women when they were teenagers and Smith’s admission to some of the allegations, archdiocese spokesman Sean Caine said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:04 PM

KC priest abuse lawsuit settled

NORTHLAND (MO)
Kansas City Star

A Northland man has settled a lawsuit with the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St.Joseph and two former priests who allegedly abused him sexually.

The man, now in his 50s, contends the two priests molested him in 1967 when he was 14 years old. The former priests, Thomas Reardon and Thomas O’Brien, are also named in other pending lawsuits involving allegations of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Accused 'knew' about floor hatch

SCOTLAND
BBC News

A church handyman accused of murdering Polish student Angelika Kluk was aware of the floor hatch under which her body was found, a court has heard.

Marie Devine, 64, a helper at St Patrick's Church, in Anderston, Glasgow, said a man she had known as Pat McLaughlin saw the trapdoor in use. Mrs Devine said Peter Tobin, 60, was the man she knew as Pat McLaughlin.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Mr Tobin denies attacking Angelika between 24 September and 29 September, 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Murder accused ‘knew about church trapdoor’

SCOTLAND
Glasgow Evening Times

THE man accused of murdering Polish student Angelika Kluk knew about the church floor hatch where her body was found, a court heard today.

Marie Devine, 64, told the High Court in Edinburgh she was one of a group of women who helped priest Father Gerry Nugent in St Patrick's Church, Anderston, Glasgow.

She described how she cleaned the church and prepared snacks for the congregation after mass.

advertisementMrs Devine, a lollipop lady of St Vincent Terrace, Anderston, told how a tea urn had been stolen last July from a room off the main church, spilling water on a carpet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 AM

Priest seeks reduced sentence for child porn parole violation

PENNSYLVANIA
NEPA News

The Associated Press 04/10/2007

A Roman Catholic priest serving four to 10 years in state prison for violating parole in a child pornography case is seeking a reduced sentence.

The Rev. Ronald J. Yarrosh, 59, was sentenced in August 2005 to three to 23 months in Schuylkill County Prison for taking more than $23,000 from St. Ambrose Church in Schuylkill Haven, where he was an assistant pastor. The Diocese of Allentown relieved Yarrosh of his duties when he was charged in the embezzlement.

Yarrosh was sentenced to 10 years of probation because police investigating the embezzlement found hundreds of images of child pornography. Officials said he then bought child pornography, took a stripper's 7-year-old daughter to lunch, and drank alcohol, violating his probation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Judge warns San Diego Diocese of contempt in bankruptcy case

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
April 10, 2007

SAN DIEGO — A federal bankruptcy judge on Monday ordered three lawyers and two priests from the local Catholic diocese to explain why they should not be held in contempt for allegedly moving to transfer money as well as other actions that were prohibited while the diocese's bankruptcy case is pending.

Judge Louise DeCarl Adler ordered the lawyers and priests to appear in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Wednesday to explain their actions. The Diocese of San Diego filed for bankruptcy protection in late February in the face of lawsuits by more than 150 individuals who allege that they were sexually abused by priests.

In a bluntly worded five-page order, Adler wrote that the lawyers appear to have lied to the court and that the priests have apparently lied to the parishes about the Bankruptcy Court's orders.

Diocese and parish lawyers could not be reached for comment. The diocese office is closed for Easter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Sex Offenders Test Churches’ Core Beliefs

CARLSBAD (CA)
The New York Times

By NEELA BANERJEE
Published: April 10, 2007
CARLSBAD, Calif. — On a marquee outside and on a banner inside, Pilgrim United Church of Christ proclaims, “All are welcome.” Sustained by the belief that embracing all comers is a living example of Christ’s love, Pilgrim now faces a profound test of faith.

In late January, Mark Pliska, 53, told the congregation here that he had been in prison for molesting children but that he sought a place to worship and liked the atmosphere at Pilgrim.

Mr. Pliska’s request has plunged the close-knit congregation into a painful discussion about applying faith in a difficult real-world situation. Congregants now wonder, are all truly welcome? If they are, how do you ensure the safety of children and the healing of adult survivors of sexual abuse? Can an offender who accepts Christ truly change?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 AM

Evans found guilty again

GOLDEN (CO)
The Coloradoan

By Coloradoan staff and news services

GOLDEN - Tim Evans, a former Fort Collins Catholic priest convicted in Fort Collins last month of sexually assaulting a young parishioner, was convicted Monday in a similar case stemming from incidents at another parish.

Evans, 44, was convicted in Jefferson County District Court of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust. Prosecutors alleged he fondled a 16-year-old boy between 1995 and 1997 while assigned to the Spirit of Christ Parish in Arvada.

On March 26, Evans was convicted in Larimer County District Court in Fort Collins of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust and sexual assault on a child with a pattern of abuse. A man testified that as a teen, he was molested twice by Evans in 1999 in the rectory of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton church in Fort Collins, where Evans was a priest from 1998 to 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Victims group protests on eve of bankruptcy plan hearing

PORTLAND (OR)
KGW

04/10/2007

Associated Press

On the eve of what could be the final hearing for approving a bankruptcy reorganization plan for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland, a victims' rights group protested a gag order by two judges who presided over the settlement leading to the plan.

"My main concern is that after these past three years we didn't get the transparency we wanted," said Bill Crane, Oregon director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP.

Victims, attorneys and church officials have been prevented from talking about the proposed $75 million settlement contained in the reorganization plan that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth Perris will consider approving on Tuesday.

"We need to end the secrecy around these cases that keeps people trapped in guilt, shame and blame," said Mary Grant of Long Beach, Calif., the SNAP Western regional director.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Priest found guilty in 2nd sexual assault

GOLDEN (CO)
Denver Post

By Ann Schrader
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 04/10/2007 12:43:51 AM MDT

Golden - For the second time in two weeks, Catholic priest Timothy Evans has been found guilty of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.

Evans is the first priest in Colorado to be charged with sexual assault since the clergy-abuse crisis hit the U.S. Catholic Church in 2002.

After deliberating Friday, a Jefferson County jury reached its guilty verdict Monday morning.

Evans, 44, of Loveland, bowed his head as he was handcuffed. He smiled and nodded at his family and friends as he was taken to the Jefferson County Jail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

Jeffco jury convicts priest of sexual assault on teenager

COLORADO
Rocky Mountain News

By Sue Lindsay, Rocky Mountain News
April 10, 2007
For the second time in three weeks, a Catholic priest was convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage boy who came to him for counseling.

Timothy Evans, 44, was found guilty Monday of fondling a 17- year-old boy who entered counseling in 1996 after his Catholic parents found witchcraft books in his backpack.

At the time, Evans was a priest at Spirit of Christ Community Church in Arvada.

Evans was convicted March 26 in a similar case in Fort Collins while serving at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Judge rebukes San Diego Diocese

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer and Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS
April 10, 2007

In a highly unusual move, a federal judge yesterday ordered attorneys and pastors involved in the Diocese of San Diego's bankruptcy to explain why they should not be sanctioned for attempting to shift funds without authorization.

Judge Louise DeCarl Adler's sternly worded order states that Susan Boswell of Tucson, Ariz., lead bankruptcy attorney for the Roman Catholic diocese, and church officials appear to have “conspired with parishes” to illegally create new bank accounts separate from the diocese.

Adler also noted that the diocese's newly formed Organization of Parishes misrepresented in a memo that she had authorized the 98 San Diego and Imperial county parishes to move their funds to new accounts.

The judge ordered Boswell, the Rev. Bruce Orsborn, the Rev. Michael Gallagher and attorneys representing the Organization of Parishes to appear before her tomorrow to “show cause why you should not be cited for contempt of court.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Canonization cause commences for beloved Jesuit

SPRINGFIELD (IL)
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott

The earliest stage of the cause for beatification and canonization of the late Father John Hardon, S.J., is underway. (The lengthy process is described here.)

I have written about Hardon in recent times; he was a great priest, theologian, writer, and fighter of priestly corruption. ...

In the November 12, 2006 issue of the Catholic Times [newspaper of the Springfield, Ill., diocese], as well as on a local Catholic radio station, Bishop George Lucas suggested that Roman Catholic Faithful, Inc., has no right to oper-ate as a Catholic group without his permission. Using Lucas' reasoning, RCF would have never been allowed to expose Bishop Daniel Ryan's corruption and sexual abuse of teenage boys without Ryan's permission. Lucas seems to believe he is above reproach. How convenient for him, and all bishops, were that true.

Lucas has also said that 'no competent authority or pastor supervises' RCF's work. In fact, RCF worked under the direction of Father John Hardon, S.J., until his death [in 2000]. Hardon answered directly to the Vatican. Hardon helped RCF with the Ryan case and went to Rome in 1997 on our behalf. It was Hardon who directed RCF to use the services of Father Alfred Kunz, who was murdered in 1998. The murder is still unsolved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 AM

April 9, 2007

Lampasas priest indicted on sexual assault of a child charges

LAMPASAS (TX)
NBC 6

Updated: Apr 9, 2007 6:44pm
A Lampasas grand jury indicted an Episcopal priest on two counts of sexual assault of a child.

Police arrested Reverend Jim Wooldridge back in January.

Police began investigating Wooldridge last December after a 16-year old and one of his parents came forward with the abuse allegations.

Wooldridge had been the longtime director of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church before being placed on administrative leave with pay by the diocese before his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 PM

Former priest convicted of second sex assault

COLORADO
9News

posted by: Dan Boniface , Web Producer
written by: Erika Matich , Producer created: 4/9/2007 1:38:46 PM

JEFFERSON COUNTY – A former Catholic priest has been convicted of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.

The conviction is the second for Timothy Evans in the last month.

A jury in Jefferson County convicted Evans Monday for sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy brought to Evans for counseling by his parents in 1996.

The jury heard evidence of three similar incidents with other young men: two teens and a youth pastor at the parish in Arvada where Evans was assigned.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 PM

Former priest 'guilty' of second sexual assault on child

GOLDEN (CO)
Scripps News

By SUE LINDSAY
Monday, April 09, 2007

A Jefferson County, Colo., jury found former Catholic priest Timothy Evans guilty today of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.

During the trial, Evans, 43, denied he ever fondled a 17-year-old boy he was counseling while a priest at Spirit of Christ Catholic Community in Arvada.

He claimed to have only met the boy once, in June 1996, and that his close relationship with the boy's family continued after that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

Rolling out more of the red tape

DAVENPORT (IA)
Quad-City Times

By Barb Ickes | Sunday, April 08, 2007

Mark Powell is patiently limbering up to jump through the latest set of hoops laid out by his alma mater, St. Ambrose University.

As a teenager in Davenport, Powell was the victim of sexual abuse by priests, including Father Bill Wiebler, who served at Our Lady of Lourdes in Bettendorf and was defrocked by the church before his death last year. A former seminary student at St. Ambrose, Powell now is a Protestant minister who has faced his demons.

One especially painful part of his past is an understanding that has come with adulthood: It wasn’t just the priests who failed him. Powell, 47, mustered the courage all those years ago to report what was happening to him.

He went to Bishop Gerald O’Keefe of the Davenport Diocese and told. The bishop’s message was clear: Keep it to yourself.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

Church invades plaintiffs’ privacy, evades questions, ignores subpoenas, and keeps trying to have it both ways in Pedophile-Pederast Priest Rape Cases

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

Graphic words about plaintiffs' sex lives are now available online for anyone to read, thanks to defense exhibits filed by church attorneys in March. Showing flagrant disregard for privacy, church attorneys Hennigan Bennett & Dorman lifted graphic answers by plaintiffs and filed them as exhibits in a motion to strike against those very plaintiffs’ cases.

Attorneys for both sides meet in judge’s chambers twice this week, for status conferences on the civil cases as they “fast-track” to jury trials this summer.

Plaintiffs also request a Discovery Referee, and apparently one is badly needed. Here is what it’s like to try to get answers out of the church, from an attempt to depose Msgr. Arthur J. Lirette of Glendale CA a few months back:

TONY DEMARCO: Monsignor, in your experience in the archdiocese would it have been suspicious for improper sexual relations with a minor, among other things -- if a priest were to allow a minor to stay overnight with them in their living quarters in a rectory?

CHURCH ATTORNEY HABEL: I’m going to object.… calls for speculation lacks foundation incomplete hypothetical.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Ex-priest guilty in sex case

GOLDEN (CO)
Denver Post

By Ann Schrader
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Launched: 04/09/2007 12:09:03 PM MDT

Golden - A Jefferson County jury has found former priest Timothy Evans guilty of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.

After deliberating since late Thursday, the jury reached the verdict this morning. Evans bowed his hand as he was handcuffed, smiling and nodding at his family and friends as he was taken to the Jefferson County Jail.

He will be sentenced May 31.

"This is an important one," said prosecutor Zak Phillips. "People are a lot of safer."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:56 PM

‘Sin’ keeps dialogue going after curtain falls

PROVIDENCE (RI)
The Patriot Ledger

By JIM DORMAN
For The Patriot Ledger

Time does not heal all wounds, but it does add perspective. ‘‘Sin: A Cardinal Deposed,’’ Michael Murphy’s play based upon the depositions of Cardinal Bernard F. Law’s testimony during civil litigation in 2002 and 2003, was first produced in Chicago in 2004. Arlington’s Regent Theater presented it later that same year, while the subject was still painfully fresh in the minds of Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Now, nearly five years since the story became well known, the Sandra Feinstein Gamm Theater in Pawtucket, R.I., decided the time was right to put the show on stage again.

And he added something: In this run, the audience stays afterward and talks with actors, crew, advocates for the abused, and, most poignantly, the abused themselves.

‘‘This is something in our back yard, something that a lot of people are still dealing with, if not directly, then one or two degrees removed,’’ Tony Estrella, the theater’s artistic director, said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Sex claims rock Catholic Church murder trial

SCOTLAND
The New Zealand Herald

5:00AM Monday April 09, 2007
By Karin Goodwin

GLASGOW - The small church of St Simon's in Glasgow is always packed on a Sunday. Yesterday it was overflowing as the faithful celebrated the holiest day of the Catholic year.

Glasgow's growing Polish immigrant population favours St Simon's because Mass is said in their own language.

It is also where the congregation of nearby St Patrick's must now worship. That church has been closed since last September, when the body of a Polish student was discovered under the floor near the confessional.

Angelika Kluk, 23, was bound and gagged and she had been beaten.

It was a shocking discovery, but now Scotland is agog at the extraordinary revelations of illicit sex and alcoholism that have been made during the trial of her alleged killer, Peter Tobin, a handyman at the church. All the more so, since the man who admits sleeping with Kluk and to having a drink problem is Father Gerard Nugent, the priest at St Patrick's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Church treasurer seeks plea

VIERA (FL)
Florida Today

BY KEYONNA SUMMERS
FLORIDA TODAY

VIERA - The lawyer for a former Calvary Chapel treasurer, accused of spending $1.2 million of parishioners' money on lavish cross-country and overseas trips, hopes to work out a plea agreement today that would avoid a jury trial.

Rudolph Heide, 76, of Cocoa faces 30 years in prison if convicted of one count of first-degree felony grand theft. Brevard County Sheriff's investigators said he admitted he used tithes and offerings from the Merritt Island church to fund trips to Hawaii, Las Vegas and Europe.

Court records show Heide surrendered his passport to authorities before his release on $115,000 bond in January.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Catholic Diocese Creates Online Learning Community to Address Abuse

WINONA (MN)
PR Web

Winona, MN (PRWEB) April 9, 2007 -- The Diocese of Winona (www.dow.org) in partnership with Professional Learning Board (www.professionallearningboard.com) launched an interactive online learning community teaching members of the Catholic diocese about recognizing and reporting child abuse.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in its Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People mandates that every U.S. Catholic diocese provide "A 'safe environment' program (that) requires training of parents, ministers, educators, church personnel, volunteers and others regularly involved with minors as to the issue of abuse of children, to include sexual abuse."

PJ Thompson, Chancellor of the Diocese of Winona, led the effort to create the online safe environment education program. "We are committed through our faith and the USCCB Charter to protect all God's children. An online learning community is the best way we have found to reach virtually all of the people in our diocese that work with children in a religious, education or volunteer capacity."

The diocese tried reaching its rural audience of over 10,000 through traditional classroom seminars. Thompson added, "It was difficult to fulfill our mission to God and His children. Classroom seminars were inconvenient for our parishioners and comparatively (to online training) very expensive. We needed a better way."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Room for Doubt

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal

BY CHANNING GRAY
Journal Arts Writer

There was a time, said playwright John Patrick Shanley, when doubt was considered a sign of wisdom. Today it is perceived as weakness.

We live in partisan times, said Shanley, speaking from his home in New York. Television commentators spend their time shouting one another down, and pundits are not willing to admit they don’t know all the answers.

“If you go on Chris Matthews and express doubt,” said Shanley, “you’re going to come out like hamburger.”

Shanley is talking about his award-winning play Doubt, which this week comes to the Providence Performing Arts Center. The show was the toast of Broadway in 2005, winning both the Pulitzer Prize and several Tonys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Pope 'did not help girls abused by Florence priest'

ITALY
The Independent

By Peter Popham in Rome
Published: 09 April 2007
"How much suffering there is in the world!" Pope Benedict XVI lamented in his Easter sermon yesterday, naming Darfur, Iraq, Somalia, the Congo, Lebanon and other trouble spots around the globe.

But there was no space in his list for the abused women of the parish of Regina della Pace ("Queen of Peace") on the outskirts of Florence. For more than three years, these women have been trying to persuade the Church to take vigorous action against a parish priest whom they say persuaded them to have sex with him when they were minors, and continued to do so regularly for years.

Confronted by their testimony, the church authorities first transferred the priest to another parish, and then out of the diocese. But he remains a priest, and has received only token punishment. In the United States, failure to take firm action against abusive priests left the Church in Boston with a legacy of bitter mistrust and legal bills totalling more than $150m (£76m). In Italy, however, it would appear that the lessons have not been learnt.

Fr Lelio Cantini, now in his eighties, became the parish priest of Regina della Pace in the mid-Seventies. A self-styled "charismatic", he was accompanied by a clairvoyant woman who had visions of Jesus and drew up lists of those parishioners whom she said were the "elect of God".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

April 8, 2007

Ex-church secretary ordered to repay $73,256

MURFREESBORO (TN)
The Murfreesboro Post

By LISA MARCHESONI Senior Writer
A former church secretary was ordered to repay $73,256 she stole from First Cumberland Presbyterian Church.

Former secretary Zoya Zakqan, 37, of Fieldstone Drive pleaded guilty Feb. 12 to theft over $1,000. She was sentenced to two years in the Tennessee Department of Correction, but the sentence was suspended. She was ordered to pay restitution.

Circuit Court Judge Don Ash ordered Zakqan to repay the church after a hearing.

Church treasurer Richard Baines testified he reviewed the financial documents. He testified Zakqan alone had access to some credit cards and accounts. He found $123,256 missing from the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

Empire editorial: One-year window an opening for justice

ALASKA
Juneau Empire

It dims memories, erases evidence and brings the deaths of witnesses. It also used to trigger the statute of limitations, so that victims could no longer file criminal charges or civil suits against those who raped or abused them.

The Alaska Legislature, however, is trying to weaken that alliance between time and perpetrators. It is considering opening a one-year window to allow child victims of sex crimes before 2001 to sue their abusers. Lawmakers have already dropped the statute of limitations on charges and lawsuits for child sex crimes since 2001.

The Roman Catholic Church has put up the strongest fight against this legislation. An attorney for the Alaska Jesuits testified against the bill this week, arguing that judging a case fairly becomes more difficult over time

.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

Family's faith shaken by former pastor

LUMBERTON (NC)
Fayetteville Observer

By Venita Jenkins
Staff writer

LUMBERTON — While teenagers were in one room learning Bible verses at Vacation Bible School, the Rev. Ronald Lee Simpson was in his office making sexual advances toward one of his youth members.

The 14-year-old girl was called to Simpson’s office at St. Matthews Missionary Baptist Church for arguing with her cousin during Bible class. The boy apologized, then Simpson sent him out of the office. He told the girl to stay. He later asked for a hug.

“I didn’t think anything of it. I thought he was a pastor, and he just wanted a hug from one of his members,” said the girl, who is now 18. “When I hugged him, he grabbed my butt. I thought, ‘What is this man doing?’’’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Priest charged with sex attack

IRELAND
Irish Independent

AN 83-year-old priest was sent for trial yesterday on charges of indecently assaulting a young girl 30 years ago.

The Tipperary-based cleric, who cannot be named, is charged with three indecent assaults on the girl when she was aged 11 and 12 at a house in north Dublin in 1977and 1978.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:50 AM

Rabbi, Teacher, Molester - Ephraim Shapiro’s mark on the Baltimore Jewish community.

BALTIMORE (MD)
Unorthodox-Jew

Rabbi, Teacher, Molester
Ephraim Shapiro’s mark on the Baltimore Jewish community.

Phil Jacobs
Executive Editor
Baltimore Jewish times

(Part of a continuing series on child molestation within the Jewish community)

Photographer Murray Levin has looked through his camera lenses countless times, capturing Jewish weddings, bar mitzvahs and other joyous events.
The one “picture,” he however can’t stop focusing on isn’t in his camera, but in his 64-year-old memory.

It’s an image of a bar mitzvah lesson at the old Agudas Achim Synagogue. It’s the shame that came along with his teacher the now deceased Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro, placing his hand down the 12-year-old Murray Levin’s pants and fondling him.
With at least half a dozen maftir lessons, came the rabbi’s touch.

But it wasn’t just Murray Levin.

The former Talmudical Academy teacher, by one influential Baltimore rabbi’s estimates, molested hundreds of this area’s sons, grandsons and brothers.

Bob Glickstein, 65, another survivor of Rabbi Shapiro’s, figures it could be thousands.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 AM

Hearings start this week in Portland Archdiocese bankruptcy case

PORTLAND (OR)
KGW

04/07/2007

Associated Press

Hearings scheduled to begin Tuesday on the Archdiocese of Portland's bankruptcy reorganization plan could finally spell out just how much the archdiocese will have to pay to settle the 386 clergy sexual abuse claims that have been filed since 1986.

At least 169 of those claims have been resolved since the archdiocese became the first Roman Catholic diocese in the nation to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but those claims won't be paid unless the reorganization plan is approved, according to court records.

No participant in the litigation is allowed to discuss the case publicly because of a gag order imposed by U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan and Lane County Circuit Judge Lyle Velure, who mediated scores of settlements and helped craft the proposed bankruptcy reorganization plan late last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:26 AM

Diocese faces $104 million due

PORTLAND (OR)
The Register-Guard

By Bill Bishop
The Register-Guard
Published: Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Archdiocese of Portland will end up paying more than $104 million to settle 386 clergy sexual abuse claims filed since 1984 if its bankruptcy reorganization plan is approved after hearings that begin Tuesday in Portland.

The total includes at least 169 claims that have been resolved since the bankruptcy was filed in 2004, but won't be paid unless the reorganization plan is approved, according to court records.

No participant in the litigation is allowed to discuss the case publicly because of a gag order imposed by U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan and Lane County Circuit Judge Lyle Velure, who mediated scores of settlements and helped craft the proposed bankruptcy reorganization plan late last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:23 AM

The priest, his lovers, a handyman, and the savage murder of Angelika

SCOTLAND
The Independent

By Karin Goodwin
Published: 08 April 2007
The small church of St Simon's in Glasgow is always packed on a Sunday. Today, it will be overflowing as Catholics celebrate the holiest day of the year.

Glasgow's growing Polish immigrant population favours St Simon's because mass is said in their own language. It is also where the congregation of nearby St Patrick's must now worship. That church has been closed since September last year, when the body of a Polish student was discovered under the floor near the confession booth. Angelika Kluk, 23, was bound and gagged and she had been beaten.

It was a shocking discovery, but now Scotland is agog at the the extraordinary revelations of illicit sex and alcoholism that have been made during the trial of her alleged killer, Peter Tobin, a handyman at the church. All the more so, since the man who admits sleeping with her and to having a drink problem is Fr Gerard Nugent, the priest at St Patrick's.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 AM

Theater favorites take over Syracuse

SYRACUSE (NY)
The Post-Standard

By Joan E. Vadeboncoeur Entertainment columnist
The local theater scene heats up this weekend with the arrival of three works, including a Central New York premiere and an old favorite.

For the first time in several years, the BeVard Studio at the Civic Center plays host to a theatrical venture. Simply New Theatre introduces "Kiss of the Spider Woman" Friday at 8 p.m. to Central New York audiences. ...

The other new work is "Sin: A Cardinal Deposed," an off-Broadway hit by Michael Murphy that deals with the real-life story of Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law, who was accused of covering up child abuse. Told through the clergyman's testimony in response to victims' lawsuits, it cast Tom Minion as Law. Also prominent are Robert Fullenham as the prosecuting attorney and Keith Arlington as the defense attorney. Rounding out the cast are Brian Hensley, Andy Godwin and Judy Schmid.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:14 AM

April 7, 2007

War over Springs church escalates

COLORADO SPRINGS (CO)
Rocky Mountain News

By Betsy Lehndorff, Rocky Mountain News
April 7, 2007
The Rev. Donald Armstrong on Friday filed a claim for Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish, escalating the battle with Episcopal Bishop Rob O'Neill over control of the Colorado Springs church. Attorney J. Gregory Walta, representing Armstrong's leadership, filed a complaint in El Paso County District Court, asking a judge to declare that parish property at 601 N. Tejon St. belongs to the local church and not the Episcopal diocese.

The church property is insured for $17 million, said Armstrong spokesman Alan Crippen.

In December, Armstrong was banned by O'Neill from the parish while the diocese investigated allegations of what the bishop called "financial wrongdoing" by Armstrong.

Last month, Armstrong and a majority of the parish's governing board voted to secede from the Episcopal Church. A day later, on March 27, O'Neill wrote to parishioners, outlining some of the allegations against Armstrong. The letter cited an investigation by a church attorney that alleged theft and misuse of hundreds of thousands of dollars of parish funds during a 10-year period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Four Ont. women reach settlement for abuse by priest

CANADA
Canada.com

Monica Wolfson, CanWest News Service; Windsor Star
Published: Saturday, April 07, 2007 Article tools

WINDSOR, Ont. -- Four women who were sexually abused by a priest when they were children will receive an undisclosed sum of money in a settlement reached with the diocese of London in southwestern Ontario.

The four are among 59 women who have sued the diocese over the abuse committed by Charles Sylvestre, a convicted sex offender and priest. Sylvestre died in prison in January at the age of 84, only a few months into serving a three-year sentence.

"We are not disclosing the amounts because the women don't want them known and it complicates future settlements," said Robert Talach, who is representing 24 of the women.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Ex-minister sentenced in porn case

AKRON (OH)
Beacon Journal

By Carl Chancellor
Beacon Journal staff writer
A former West Akron Methodist minister is facing years in federal prison after being sentenced on child pornography charges Thursday.

Jerry Paull, 64, of Amherst, who had served as the minister at Christ United Methodist Church in Akron, pleaded guilty in January in U.S. District Court to charges of receiving and possessing child pornography. He admitted to having more than 3,700 pornographic images, many depicting children engaged in sexual acts.

Paull, his family and friends had hoped that more than two dozen letters of support and documentation of Paull's ill health, including heart and diabetic problems, would persuade U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent to be lenient. Several of those letters noted that since being charged Paull has been deeply involved with Sex Addicts Anonymous and other treatment programs. In addition, it was noted that Paull never sexually assaulted anyone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Case Of Former Priest Goes To Jefferson County Jury

GOLDEN (CO)
My Fox

Last Edited: Friday, 06 Apr 2007, 10:14 PM MDT
Created: Friday, 06 Apr 2007, 10:14 PM MDT
GOLDEN -- --
A Jefferson County jury has gone home for the weekend without reaching a decision in the case of a former Roman Catholic priest charged with sexually assaulting a teenager.

It's the second trial for 44-year-old Timothy Joseph Evans in two separate cases.

Evans is accused of fondling a 16-year-old boy between 1995 and 1997 while he was assigned to a parish in Arvada. Evans is charged with sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Member of church demands an apology

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

A member of a North Toledo parish is demanding an apology from his pastor and the bishop after police were called to stop him from handing out cards honoring slain Sister Margaret Ann Pahl.

"I feel I was being harassed, and the diocese owes me an apology," Mike Drabik, a parishioner since 1993, said yesterday. "I wasn't doing anything evil."

Mr. Drabik said he began handing out the cards "peacefully" in front of St. Hedwig's Catholic Church on Lagrange Street about 15 minutes before the start of the 7 p.m. Mass on Maundy Thursday, the 27th anniversary of Sister Margaret Ann's death.

The pastor, the Rev. Marek Ciesla, came out and asked him to stop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Church settles first abuse suits

CANADA
The Windsor Star

Monica Wolfson, Windsor Star
Published: Saturday, April 07, 2007
Windsor native Vivian Dobbs flew home to British Columbia Friday a "whole new person" after she accepted a settlement from the diocese of London for the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of a priest, said her lawyer.

Dobbs had triumphed over her childhood oppressor and felt free, said Robert Talach, a lawyer representing 24 of 59 women who have sued the diocese over the sexual abuse committed by convicted sex offender and pedophile priest Charles Sylvestre, who died in January.

Dobbs, 65, is one of four women who will receive an undisclosed sum of money in a settlement reached Thursday with the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Polygamist sect's 'Lost boys' win land, cash

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Brooke Adams
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 04/06/2007 08:15:48 AM MDT

Seven young men have partially settled lawsuits that led to the state's takeover of a property trust once overseen by polygamous sect leader Warren S. Jeffs.
The agreement resolves claims against the United Effort Plan Trust, which has been under court oversight since May 2005, in a deal that includes land, an assistance fund and attorney fees.
The settlements, which still need court approval, give each plaintiff title to a 3-acre, undeveloped lot near a community park in Maxwell Canyon. The canyon is located in Hildale, which along with Colorado City, Ariz., is home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The six men who sued alleged they were "systematically" driven out of the community by the church and Jeffs; the seventh alleged he was sexually abused by Jeffs about 20 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

College Paper Apologizes for Gay Cardinal Article

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
Associated Content

By Lila
Published April 06, 2007
The Catholic Church in the Philadelphia area is up in arms about a local Catholic University. As an April Fool's Day joke, editors of the St. Joseph's University student newspaper, The Hawk, put out a special annual edition of the paper called The Squawk. In it the students published an article in which the local Philadelphia Cardinal, Justin Regali, admitted he was gay.

The article, meant as satire, sent heads through the roof. Catholic officials and University administrators were so upset about the article, that the editor of the paper, David Spain, and three others were pressured into issuing an apology to the cardinal and the community. ...

The editor's apology was posted on the online version of The Hawk. Under the apology, in the area where readers may post comments on the article, one reader , John Petsinger, wrote, "How dare you call Cardinal Rigali gay? It's an insult to gay people everywhere." Another reader lamented that the Church, with its history of sexual abuse, did not deserve an apology for anything.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Priest in prison for having child porn appeals sentence

PENNSYLVANIA
The Morning Call

A Schuylkill County Catholic priest who is serving a four- to 10-year state prison sentence for having massive amounts of child pornography has appealed his sentence to the state Superior Court and wants to stop the county from destroying the material.

The Rev. Ronald Yarrosh, 59, former assistant pastor at St. Ambrose Church in Schuylkill Haven, has a hearing scheduled for Tuesday on whether he can stop the destruction of the magazines, pictures, books and videotapes he kept in a rented storage bin in Hazleton and in a vacant home in Jim Thorpe.

District Attorney James P. Goodman said Yarrosh wants to stop the material from being destroyed at least until his appeal is resolved.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

April 6, 2007

Angelika felt like she was ‘priest’s nice teddy bear’

SCOTLAND
Glasgow Evening Times

ANGELIKA KLUK claimed a priest thought of her as "a nice teddy bear", a murder trial heard today.

But Father Gerry Nugent was "incandescent with rage" when he discovered her affair with a married man - and Angelika became afraid of his mood swings.

The apparent change in attitude by Father Gerry - priest at St Patrick's Church in Anderston, Glasgow, where Angelika's body was found - was revealed in court today.

Church odd-job man Peter Tobin, 60, denies raping and murdering the 23-year-old Polish student and hiding her body under the floor at the church last September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

The Scum Always Rises

CLEVELAND (OH)
Cleveland Scene

By Bill Frogameni
Published: April 4, 2007

For Cleveland Catholics, it's getting harder to take the words of top priests on faith.

While a $17.5 million embezzlement scandal plays out in court, the fighting has reached the highest ranks of the diocese -- and appears to be closing in on former Bishop Anthony Pilla and the diocese's former chief accountant, Father John Wright.

It began in 1997, when ex-CFO Joseph Smith and Anton Zgoznik are alleged to have begun a massive kickback scheme. The U.S. Justice Department claims the two men steered $17.5 million in diocese funds to Zgoznik's companies, which in turn kicked $784,000 back to Smith for "consulting."

Since 2004, when the scandal forced Smith from his job, Pilla and Wright, the longtime head of the diocesan Financial Office, have generally invoked a "we trusted unscrupulous individuals" brand of defense. But lawyers for Smith and Zgoznik say their clients were merely following orders from the two priests.

Now the gloves are coming off.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 PM

U.S. Catholic Church in Need of Real Reform

UNITED STATES
Media Monitors Network

by Nicholas Vakkur
(Tuesday, March 27, 2007)

"In order to begin restoring public trust in the Catholic Church, all members of the clergy who contributed to the scandal, including Bishops and even Cardinals, must be removed from authority, and as required by law, prosecuted."

Sarbanes-Oxley is a U.S. federal law enacted in response to the rising incidence of corporate and accounting fraud at prominent corporations, as exemplified by Enron, whose annual revenues in 2001 decreased from over $100 billion to nearly zero in a matter of months. Enron''s market capitalization prior to its collapse was over $60 billion, while its ten year annual growth rate exceeded 50%. Enron collapsed primarily because its business-model was inextricably linked to the amount of trust customers placed in its financial integrity. Once this confidence withered, Enron''s clients became unwilling to trade long-term natural gas contracts due to a concern they may never be fulfilled. The underlying market dynamics are similar to those of a bank run, where panic-driven depositors race to withdraw their funds as quickly as possible. A mounting lack of trust quickly envelops into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Former Akron minister sentenced to 17.5 years on child porn charges

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Columbus Dispatch

Friday, April 6, 2007 8:12 AM

CLEVELAND (AP) — A former pastor who subscribed to numerous Internet sites that provide photos and videos of minors engaged in sex acts was sentenced to serve 17.5 years in prison after he tearfully told a judge he never sexually assaulted anyone.

Jerry Paull of Amherst pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Cleveland in January to receipt of visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct, receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography.

“When you feel sorry for yourself, you should think of those children,” Judge Donald Nugent said during the Thursday's sentencing hearing. “You should be disgusted.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

'I don't give a damn about her' - what priest said after Angelika vanished

SCOTLAND
Scotsman

JOHN ROBERTSON
LAW CORRESPONDENT
A PRIEST said he did not "give a damn" about the Polish student Angelika Kluk, hours after she was reported missing, a court heard yesterday.

Father Gerry Nugent, 63, made the comment at a time when friends and relatives of Ms Kluk, 23, were worried sick by her disappearance, and he explained it to a jury as something said in drink.

He denied the reason was that he had known by then that Ms Kluk was dead, and so there was no-one to give a damn about.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Removed priest diverted funds, says church

WASHINGTON
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By JOHN IWASAKI
P-I REPORTER

The priest at Sacred Heart of Jesus, the only Roman Catholic church in Washington served by a worldwide religious order known as the Redemptorists, has been removed for misappropriating parish funds.

The Rev. Ivan Dawson, 43, diverted money intended for parish operations to a church-remodeling project. Church officials declined to say how much money was involved and said an audit is continuing.

But the matter has fueled unfounded rumors in the 700- family Seattle parish about Dawson's departure March 23, Sacred Heart administrator Larry Pomada said, even after officials read a brief statement at services that explained Dawson was removed for diverting funds.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

PRIEST KNEW WHERE BODY WAS HIDDEN

SCOTLAND
Glasgow Daily Record

By Gordon Mcilwraith
FATHER Gerry Nugent knew where Angelika Kluk's body was hidden before the details were revealed, it was claimed yesterday.

Police told the priest to leave his house, saying only that there had been a "significant development". But later that night, he told friends the body of the 23-year-old Polish student was in the church confession box.

Church handyman Peter Tobin denies raping and murdering Angelika in September last year.

She vanished from St Patrick's Church in Anderston, Glasgow, on September 24 and was reported missing the following evening.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Priest admits lust drove him to sex with Angelika

SCOTLAND
Glasgow Evening Times

A GLASGOW priest admitted his "lustfulness" led him to have sex with Angelika Kluk.

Father Gerry Nugent told the High Court in Edinburgh he took full responsibility for his affair with the 23-year-old Polish student.

He said: "It was my weakness, my lustfulness."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Mother and daughter charged with stealing from their church

EL DORADO (AR)
Pine Bluff Commercial

Friday, April 6, 2007 5:43 AM CDT

EL DORADO, Ark. - A mother and her daughter are out on bond after their arrests on felony theft charges following a months-long investigation of the finances of the church the pair attended and worked for.

Carol Ann Thompson, 61, a former financial secretary with First United Methodist Church, and her daughter Wendy Thompson Morgan, 37, are accused of stealing thousands of dollars from the church where Morgan had once worked in the daycare center.

Police Capt. David Smith said Thompson agreed to surrender to authorities Thursday after a warrant for her arrest was issued. She arrived along with her lawyer, Eugene Bramlett of Camden, to face a charge of theft of property greater than $2,500.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Finding forgiveness

WASHINGTON
Spokesman-Review

Virginia De Leon • Staff writer
Published April 5, 2007

He didn't want to lie to his pastor.

So the man told him everything: The terms of his probation. The years in prison. The fact that he had molested a child.

He wanted to come to church, the sex offender told the Rev. Steve Nickodemus. He wanted to repent for his sins and seek the grace of God.

Nickodemus, pastor of Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Sandpoint, didn't quite know what to do at first. His church – home of the Little Lamb Preschool and Kindergarten – was full of vulnerable children. Some families also would certainly object to worshipping with a sex offender.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Parents Of Girls Allegedly Abused By Bishop Speak

UTAH
KUTV

(KUTV) SALT LAKE CITY Another potential victim has come forward in the case of a former LDS bishop accused of sexually abusing three girls.

The newest accuser of Timothy McCleve is now 21-years-old. She says the abuse happened years ago.

And today the parents of the three original accusers talked to 2 News. They say trust and friendship were the cornerstones of their relationship with Timothy McCleve, and the kids seemed to like McCleve’s many visits to their home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Settlement Reached in Polygamist Trust Lawsuits

SALT LAKE CITY (UT)
KTAR

April 5th, 2007 @ 9:17pm by Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY - Six young men who claim they were ousted from a polygamist church have reached a settlement agreement with a state-appointed accountant managing the church's assets, lawyers said Thursday.

A seventh man who filed a separate lawsuit accusing church leader Warren Jeffs of abuse is part of the settlement. ...

In August 2004, six of the men - who became known as the Lost Boys - collectively filed a lawsuit claiming they were tossed from the community, their families and their church by Jeffs.

Two months later, the seventh man, a nephew of Jeffs, filed a separate action, claiming he had been sexually assaulted by Jeffs. The Associated Press does not typically identify alleged victims of sexual assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Colorado City polygamist to be sentenced April 20

KINGMAN (UT)
The Daily News

By JIM SECKLER/The Daily News

Thursday, April 5, 2007 7:15 PM PDT

KINGMAN - A Superior Court judge will soon sentence one of three remaining Colorado City polygamists charged with having sex with underage girls.

Vergel Bryce Jessop, 47, will be sentenced April 20. He pleaded no contest Dec. 18 to an undesignated charge of child abuse. He had been charged with sexual conduct with a minor and conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor. His sentencing has been postponed several times.

Under the plea agreement, Judge Steven Conn will sentence Jessop to three years supervised probation and no additional jail time. Conn will also decide whether Jessop must register as a sex offender.

The trial for Dale Evans Barlow, 49, will now begin Wednesday after a one-day delay. He is charged with one count of sexual conduct with a minor and one count of conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

Diocese transferred funds to parishes, records show

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Jeff McDonald
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
April 6, 2007

In the months leading up to its historic bankruptcy filing in late February, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego moved at least $1.5 million from its own accounts to various schools and parishes, according to bankruptcy court records.

Listed as gifts, the transactions state the diocese has no relationship with the school or parish that collected the money – a declaration that seeks to remove the assets from those being considered by the federal bankruptcy judge.

The cash transfers were noted in a voluminous record filed March 29 by diocese attorneys. Lawyers representing alleged victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests uncovered the transactions over the past several days.

“Almost daily I have been discovering what appear to be wrongful transfers of assets,” said attorney Andrea Leavitt, who represents several of about 150 plaintiffs suing the Catholic diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 AM

Ste. Genevieve in 'shocked silence' over child abuse case

STE. GENEVIEVE (MO)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Todd C. Frankel
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
04/06/2007

STE. GENEVIEVE — His stomach churned thinking about the children. All those children.

Preparing for church services last weekend, the Rev. Jim Hanson considered talking about the children and what Billy Huck is said to have done to them — how Huck allegedly confessed to molesting 40 children over 30 years at the in-home day-care center run by his wife.

But the priest, like many people here, did not know quite what to say. Everyone knew the Hucks. Hundreds of parents had trusted them to baby-sit over the years. It seemed too much for this rural community of 4,400 to bear.

So the priest at St. Joseph Catholic Church decided to say nothing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Priest denies that he ever fondled boy he counseled

COLORADO
Rocky Mountain News

By Sue Lindsay, Rocky Mountain News
April 6, 2007
A former Catholic priest took the stand in his own defense in Jefferson County Thursday, flatly denying that he ever fondled a 17-year-old boy.

Timothy Evans, 43, on trial for sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust, said he met with the boy only once, in June 1996, and that his close relationship with the boy's devout family continued after that.

"Nobody ever raised an issue with me" regarding the boy, he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

April 5, 2007

Former pastor gets prison in porn case

OHIO
The Plain Dealer

Posted by Mike Tobin April 05, 2007 17:16PM

A former pastor will was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison Thursday after admitting he had nearly 4,000 images child pornography, including small children engaged in sadomasochistic sex.

Jerry Paull, 64, pleaded for mercy from U.S. District Judge Donald Nugent, but Nugent told Paull to instead focus on the lifetime of pain he's caused the children in the images.

"These people have life sentences and they're innocent," Nugent said. "You're guilty. You should be disgusted."

Paull was arrested in 2004 after investigators seized two computers from his home in Amherst. Paull downloaded several videos and computer images showing prepubescent minors involved in pornography, including children engaged in sadistic behavior, according to his plea agreement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 PM

Former leader Lyons, now parolled, rejected by National Baptist group

FORT LAUDERDALE (FL)
Associated Baptist Press

By Hannah Elliott
Published April 5, 2007

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (ABP) -- Henry Lyons, the disgraced pastor and convicted felon who campaigned to become president of the Florida General Baptist Convention, was rejected April 4 by delegates at the state convention’s annual meeting.

Attendees at the meeting instead elected James Sampson of Jacksonville, Fla., to lead Florida’s oldest predominantly African-American religious group, which is associated with the National Baptist Convention U.S.A. The national convention claims about 7.5 million members.

Lyons, 65, gained notoriety in 1999 when a Florida jury convicted him of state grand theft and racketeering charges. They also found that, while president of the National Baptist Convention, he stole millions of dollars from convention partners like the Anti-Defamation League. He ended up serving more than four years in state prison and will remain on federal probation until 2008.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 PM

Former chaplain gets probation in sex case

OREGON
News-Times

By Gunnar Olson

The Forest Grove News-Times, Apr 5, 2007

Rick Sacks, former chaplain of the Forest Grove police and fire departments and former pastor of Calvary Christian Fellowship, pleaded guilty April 4 to two counts of sexual harassment.

Appearing in Washington County Circuit Court in Hillsboro, Sacks apologized for what the police have described as the “offensive physical touching” of a 23-year-old “vulnerable” woman who was a member of his congregation.

Sacks, 54, of Forest Grove, also apologized for the “disrepute” he brought on the police and fire departments whose members he once counseled as chaplain.

“I deeply, deeply regret my actions,” he said with a somber demeanor. “I’m sorry to all the people, the young lady and her family, my wife and our family.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 PM

Former police, fire chaplain pleads guilty to sexual harassment

HILLSBORO (OR)
The Oregonian

Posted by The Oregonian April 05, 2007 15:35PM

HILLSBORO -- Richard E. Sacks, chaplain for the Forest Grove police and fire departments and pastor of Calvary Chapel Forest Grove, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of sexual harassment for allegedly having inappropriate contact with a woman from his congregation.

Sacks, 54, was charged in March with the two misdemeanor counts.

Megan Johnson, Washington County deputy district attorney, said Sacks kissed the woman in 2005 when she was 21 and told the woman's mother when she confronted him that he would not do it again. But in December, Johnson said, after regaining the family's trust, an acquaintance found Sacks in his apartment with his arms around the woman and his hands down her pants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 PM

Local volunteer charged with sexual assault

NEW JERSEY
Sentinel

BY JESSICA SMITH
Staff Writer

The president of the Jamesburg Historical Association has been jailed on charges he sexually assaulted a female family member when she was between the ages of 3 and 7.

Ronald Becker, a former priest, was arrested March 28 at his Raintree Court home in Helmetta following a monthlong investigation that began after the alleged victim reported to police that she had been fondled by Becker on numerous occasions starting 20 years ago, according to the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office.

Most of the incidents re-portedly took place at a family residence in Jamesburg. Now 26 years old, the victim resides in Florida.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 PM

Priest tells trial of 'weakness' that led to sex with murder victim

SCOTLAND
The Guardian

Kirsty Scott
Friday April 6, 2007
The Guardian

A Roman Catholic priest told a murder trial yesterday that weakness and "lustfulness" had led him into an affair with a young Polish student.

Father Gerard Nugent, 63, gave details at the high court in Edinburgh of how he and Angelika Kluk, 23, started a sexual relationship after she moved into the chapel house of St Patrick's church in Anderston in Glasgow.

The priest was giving evidence for a fourth day at the trial of Peter Tobin, 60, who is accused of raping and murdering Ms Kluk and hiding her body under the floor of the church in September last year. Mr Tobin denies the charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 PM

Church weakened by clergy abuse scandal, while support for leaders strong, poll finds

UNITED STATES
Catholic Online

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (Catholic Online) – The Catholic Church is weaker than it was five years ago before the clergy sex-abuse scandal broke, while support for the pope, the U.S. bishops and local priests is strong, according to the results of a nationwide poll of American Roman Catholics.

The March 2007 “Contemporary Catholic Trends” Zogby International survey, conducted in coordination with the Jesuit-run LeMoyne College here and released April 3, revealed that the gains in the approval rating of the U.S. bishops, which topped 70 percent last fall for the first time since 2002, remained statistically unchanged.

A significant majority of the 1,522 Catholics surveyed indicated that their religious faith is an important guide in their daily lives and should provide more influence on public life than it currently does. As well, a majority of those polled agreed with the U.S. bishops on the need for immigration reform and that the war in Iraq has increased the chances of a future terrorist attack in the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

It's The Media That's Hot For Teacher

UNITED STATES
KLTV

The headlines are sexy and the stories salacious. But is the spate of recent media reports about female teachers having sex with their students an honest reflection of the truth or just so much media hype? ...

Experts are divided over what exactly has caused the increase in reports. Those who spoke to ABC News offered a variety of theories to explain the increased attention, which ranged from fallout over Catholic priest sex-abuse scandals to greater emphasis on educating abused students to come forward to increased media attention.

"What accounts for what we're seeing is a side effect of the clergy abuse scandal starting in 2001, when the whole idea that large institutions could be financially libel if they swept this kind of thing under the rug," Finkelhor said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:42 PM

Grace under fire

COLORADO SPRINGS (CO)
Colorado Springs Independent

By Michael de Yoanna
The push to move Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish from the oversight of an American Episcopal bishop to one in Africa is either a battle over gay-embracing theology or an escape hatch for a priest accused of colossal theft and fraud.

Those are characterizations by Grace parishioners who were unexpectedly divided after the Colorado Springs church's lay leaders announced on March 26 a "unanimous" vote to leave the Episcopal Church of the United States.

Parishioners now face aligning with the Diocese of Nigeria, led by an outspoken archbishop who last year initially supported an anti-homosexuality law proposing five-year prison terms for gays and their supporters. Peter Akinola also has blasted the "permissive and satanic spirit" of the U.S. church.

The local schism left by the vote was evident on Palm Sunday as families, some who had for generations worshiped alongside each other, gathered in separate locations, unclear which side would finally inhabit the historic Grace building at 601 N. Tejon St.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

Angelika priest finishes evidence

SCOTLAND
BBC News

A priest who admitted having sex with a Polish student later found murdered in his church has finished giving evidence after four days in the witness box.

Father Gerry Nugent, 63, reiterated a denial he played any part in Angelika Kluk's murder.

The 23-year-old student's body was found under the floor of St Patrick's Church, Glasgow on 29 September, 2006.

Peter Tobin, 60, has denied raping and murdering Ms Kluk and concealing her body within the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Priest dubbed a ‘coward’ over Angelika affair lies

SCOTLAND
Glasgow Evening Times

A GLASGOW priest was today branded a "despicable coward" and a liar for claiming Angelika Kluk had seduced him.

Father Gerry Nugent, 63, faced a fourth day of questioning over his affair with the 23-year-old Polish student.

He was giving evidence at the trial of Peter Tobin, 60, who is accused of raping and murdering Angelika and hiding her body under the floor at St Patrick's Church in Anderston. He denies all the charges against him.

Earlier, Father Gerry told the High Court in Edinburgh of his shame and self-disgust over their sexual relationship and said the affair in the summer of 2005 was his responsibility.