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June 30, 2007

Davenport Diocese seeks review of insurance policies

DAVENPORT (IA)
Courier

DAVENPORT, Iowa - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport is seeking to review its insurance policies dating back more than a half century.

The diocese filed a joint motion with a creditor's committee asking a bankruptcy court to approve the review of the church's insurance back to 1950.

The motion filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court said Travelers Companies Inc. was providing a defense to some of the claims before the diocese filed for bankruptcy in October. It asks the court to subpoena all Travelers' documents regarding the diocese's insurance coverage from 1950 to 2007.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 PM

Ladies & gentlemen, the Commonweal podcast.

UNITED STATES
dotCommonweal

June 28, 2007, 3:58 pm
Posted by Grant Gallicho

A few weeks back, dotCommonweal contributor Paul Lauritzen generously offered to helm an experiment in podcasting for the site. His first effort is an interview with Fr. Donald Cozzens, author of Freeing Celibacy. The interview focuses on the sexual-abuse scandals--including due process for accused priests--and other happy subjects. You can listen to the 25-minute podcast below, or download it right here. If you want to subscribe to the podcast--and I know you do--drop the following URL into iTunes: http://commonweal.podbean.com/feed/

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:53 PM

The National Herald: Finally a decision on Katinas

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

The following editorial appeared in the recently released issue of The National Herald. Online subscribers can read the original article online.

Finally a decision on Katinas

After a long and disturbing refusal to do the right thing, Archbishop Demetrios finally decided, as we are reporting today, to defrock Fr. Nicholas Katinas, for allegedly sexually molesting young children over a period of decades.

Better late than never, as the proverb goes. But why the foot dragging from the Archbishop on a case that was clear cut from the beginning?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:39 PM

Father Nicholas Katinas To Be Defrocked

BOSTON (MA)
Orthodox Reform

The following article appeared in the recently released issue of The National Herald. Online subscribers can read the original article online.

Father Nicholas Katinas To Be Defrocked
By Theodore Kalmoukos

Decision made after recommendation of Archbishop Demetrios

BOSTON – Rev. Nicholas Katinas who has been accused of pedophilia while pastoring in Greek Orthodox parishes in Olympia Fields, Illinois and Dallas, Texas will be defrocked according to a recent decision by the First Degree Spiritual Court of the Direct Archdiocesan District of New York after the recommendation of Archbishop Demetrios. The decision was announced by Archbishop Demetrios last Tuesday in a special meeting of the Holy Eparchial Synod.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:37 PM

Paying the price

CANADA
The Observer

Editorial - Saturday, June 30, 2007 @ 16:00

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Just ask Mayor Mike Bradley. In a recent interview with CBC radio about the St. Peter's Church closure, the mayor said lawsuits launched by children who were sexually assaulted by the Catholic clergy had contributed, in part, to the demise of St. Peter's.

It's a logically-drawn conclusion and one no one can argue with, but it's one that local sexual abuse survivors took exception to.

A lawyer representing victims of the notorious Father Charles Sylvestre an area priest who stole the innocence of so many young girls has publicly chastised the mayor for his comments.

One of his victims told The Observer that the mayor made the victims feel guilty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:42 AM

Ex-priest opts for trial in sex case

FLEMINGTON (NJ)
Home News Tribune

By BRANDON LAUSCH
GANNETT NEW JERSEY
FLEMINGTON — — John M. Banko, the former Milford priest convicted in 2002 of molesting an altar boy, will let a jury decide whether he is guilty of similar charges during an upcoming trial set to begin Nov. 5.

Banko, 61, was indicted last year on one count of first-degree aggravated sexual assault and one count of second-degree endangering the welfare of a child.

Prosecutors claim Banko sexually assaulted a child younger than 16 from Sept. 1, 1994 to May 15, 1995. The indictment came after the Diocese of Metuchen referred allegations it had received to the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office. The diocese serves parishes in Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset and Warren counties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Judge sets bankruptcy settlement deadline

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer and Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS

June 30, 2007

Federal bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler set an Aug. 13 deadline for a mediation settlement. Should talks fail, Adler will decide on Aug. 23 whether to set trial dates in state court for an initial batch of abuse lawsuits, Adler ruled this week.

“She cannot mandate settlement, but she can strongly urge it,” said Fred Naffziger, a business law professor at Indiana University who has studied the five bankruptcies filed by U.S. dioceses. “As an attorney, you don't disregard that, you give it a try.”

Brom's lawyers, meanwhile, are again challenging the constitutionality of a state law that lifted the statute of limitations and opened a one-year window in 2003 to file lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by clergy dating back decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Ex-choir director arrested on sex charges

COSTA MESA (CA)
The Orange County Register

By KIMBERLY EDDS
The Orange County Register
COSTA MESA– The former director of St. Timothy Roman Catholic Church's youth choir was arrested by Costa Mesa detectives Thursday on suspicion of molesting one of his students more than a decade ago.

Authorities began investigating Albert Lee Schildknecht, 56, of Laguna Niguel in May after a 28-year-old woman complained to the Orange County Sheriff's Department that her former choir director forced her to have a sexual relationship with him when she was just 15.

Costa Mesa detectives took over the investigation after Sheriff's investigators said any potential abuse in their jurisdiction happened beyond the ten years prosecutors have to file charges in sexual abuse cases, a Sheriff's spokesman said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

In deal, McCormack to plead guilty

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

June 30, 2007
BY ERIC HERMAN Staff Reporter/eherman@suntimes.com
The Rev. Daniel McCormack, whose alleged abuse of boys rocked the Archdiocese of Chicago, is expected to plead guilty to five felonies Monday, sources said.

Under the terms of the deal, McCormack, 38, will plead guilty to five counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and likely receive a five-year prison term, the sources said. The plea agreement must be approved by Judge Thomas Sumner, who has indicated he will accept it, according to sources.

McCormack could have faced up to seven years in prison. With credit for good behavior, McCormack could serve as little as 2½ years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Liberia: Renegade Pastor Rapes 13 Yr-Old Girl

LIBERIA
allAfrica

The Analyst (Monrovia)

29 June 2007

A Pentecostal prelate, Rev. Samuel Gooding of the Devine Love Resurrection Bible Center Church in Shoes Factory, Gardnerville has been accused of raping a 13-year-old minor, who lives with him and his wife.

The incident was discovered by the project officer of the Woman In Peace Building Network (WIPNET), Madam Bernice Freeman, while she was on a regular awareness campaign on Gender Based Violence and Sexual Abuse.

The pastor reportedly had sexual interaction with the victim more than three times, but threatened her not to tell his wife. Madam Freeman said a formal report has been filed to the Women and Child Protection Unit of the Liberia National Police, after Pastor Gooding and his wife admitted to the act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Jury acquits E. Idaho youth pastor in sex abuse trial

POCATELLO (ID)
KIFI

Associated Press - June 29, 2007 4:44 PM ET

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) - An eastern Idaho youth pastor who faced two counts of lewd conduct with a minor and one count of sexually abusing a minor has been acquitted.

A jury found Joshua J- Robinson, a pastor at Gate City Christian Church, not guilty on all counts following a 2-day trial.

The 29-year-old Robinson was arrested in February.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Clan claims are crumbling

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Terri Saunders
Local News - Friday, June 29, 2007 @ 08:00

A list of names of area men purported to comprise a clan of pedophiles began to crumble like a falling house of cards at the Cornwall Public Inquiry Thursday.

Ron Leroux told the commission several of the names on a list of priests, police officers, lawyers and businessmen he has often claimed in the past he saw in a variety of locations in various groupings and whom he claimed to have witnessed sexually assaulting young boys don't belong there.

"That's why I'm here today - to set the record straight," said Leroux. "I'm taking the blame for some of this mess."

Outside the hearing, a lawyer for the Alexandria-Cornwall Roman Catholic Diocese said Leroux's testimony is proof many of the pillars upon which rumours of a clan of pedophiles having operated in the city for years have no foundation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

The church scandal that won't end

VIRGINIA
The Virginian-Pilot

June 30, 2007

Opinion / Roger Chesley

I JUST WISH it would stop.

I'm referring to the seemingly endless revelations involving Roman Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse. Since the scandal broke nationwide in 2002, the allegations, criminal charges and court settlements continue. They're sad chapters in a long-running tragedy; many of the allegations stem from decades earlier.

The latest incident occurred Sunday in Pennsylvania, where a longtime priest, the Rev. William A. Rosensteel, 64, committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. Rosensteel's death came two days after his diocesan bishop said he'd refer allegations of sex abuse against Rosensteel, dating to the 1970s, to local police.

Let me be clear: Of course these and similar allegations should be investigated, especially by law enforcement authorities. Church leaders aren't equipped - nor do they have the credibility because of past cover-ups - to probe such accusations. If charges and convictions are warranted, I have no pity for the priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

June 29, 2007

Access still denied to public documents; a CHALLENGE to Church Attorneys; plus priest psych records are private, plaintiffs' aren't

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Friday Roundup: If anyone thinks I’m not being fair and only portraying Church Attorneys doing stupid things, I want to make it clear. I’m reporting on what they are doing. If there were any legitimate logical legal arguments in any of their documents, I’d report it. Although this afternoon the ArcScanWeb was down once again so I wasn't able to look at anything. Once again as everyone else in Room 106 merrily viewed their screens, mine were all blank white or "access denied."

The blank white screens are the creepy ones. First time one of those came up was May 31st when I was trying to find a copy of Mahony’s subpoena or something briefed about it. I clicked a promising document, Java opened and -- a blank white screen. I felt a chill like Mahony's ethereal footprint. The entire month of June I'd say 80 percent of the times I went to the JCCP Documents it was Access Denied, and I’ve been document diving since January. Everything was seamless until ArcScanWeb, a private contractor hired to maintain the Clergy Cases documents did an upgrade May 31st, a week after Mahony’s subpoena.

Plus lately even when Church Attorneys do file documents, even the title does not show up in the public access database. In every hearing last week, the "papers filed by defendant" that created the hearing just were not in the database at all. The Calendar says Hearing based on papers filed by Defendant June 6 and when you go to look from June 4 to 9 there’s nothing there at all filed by defendant for that case.

So proud is the LA Archdiocese of the work of its 15 or so legal firms.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 PM

God, Incorporated

SAN DIEGO (CA)
San Diego Magazine

By Ron Donoho

The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego stared into the face of big payouts——for the sins of pedophile priests it long harbored——and declared bankruptcy. The diocese has clearly erred in reporting its finances. But how does it fairly compensate victims and not break the bank at local parishes?

IT'S AN UNUSUALLY gloomy April afternoon. A stiff breeze shoots rain pellets into your cold face. You step into the vast jury-pool room at the Federal Court Building on Front Street, after passing through the metal detector and handing over a tape recorder and camera-equipped cell phone. No recording devices are permitted inside. But there is plenty to see and hear, and there are heart-wrenching stories to consider.

An ungodly battle is buffeting through this bankruptcy court. The debtor is the San Diego Roman Catholic Diocese. Back on February 27—the day before the first of a slew of pedophile-priest cases was going to state court—the diocese filed for Chapter 11. That halted the trials. Now alleged victims—grown men and women who say their youthful innocence was tainted or stolen—are here by the dozens. In this 341 hearing, often referred to as a “first meeting of the creditors,” the people who say priests fondled, abused and raped them are not technically “victims.” They are “creditors.”

After a lengthy hail of legal questions and answers from diocese officials, here comes a creditor to sit at the U-shaped table at the front of the jury-pool room. Dianna Williams trembles as she slips on reading glasses. Directly across the table is Bishop Robert Brom. His hair is white, and he wears a clerical collar and black robe. A foot-tall cross hangs on a chain around his neck. He sits flanked by lawyers and a small coterie of church officials. In church hierarchy, Bishop Brom reports only to the Vatican. He is the highest-ranking Roman Catholic in San Diego. He is also the sole proprietor of the corporation that is the local diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 PM

Denial and the BGCT (part 1)

UNITED STATES
Stop Baptist Predators

“DENIAL is a defense mechanism in which a person is faced with a fact that is too painful to accept and rejects it instead….The subject may deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether, admit the fact but deny its seriousness (minimization), or admit both the fact and seriousness but deny responsibility.”

Mr. X, a long-time attorney for the Baptist General Convention of Texas, recently posted some online comments that, I believe, illustrate denial on the subject of clergy sex abuse. (His comments were originally posted on the Spiritual Samurai blog, and I reposted them here.)

Why should anyone care what Mr. X says? Because Mr. X has been advising the BGCT about clergy sex abuse for over a decade. He’s one of their main go-to-guys.

So imagine this….if these are the sorts of things he writes publicly, what does he say when he talks about clergy abuse behind closed doors?

Consider just one example: Mr. X pointed out that Christa Brown sued “the church and an individual within the church whose only involvement was to receive limited information from Ms. Brown about the minister’s conduct.”

Did you get that? “Limited information.”

Here’s what that so-called “limited information” actually was. In court-filed documents, the church expressly stated that its “music minister” had “knowledge about Gilmore’s sexual contact with Brown as a minor” (¶ 16) and that a “church leader” was able “to substantiate that sexual contact with Brown as a minor occurred.” The music minister also swore that Gilmore himself had told him “that some other member of the congregation may have seen him in a compromising position with Christa Brown.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 PM

Marianists Settle In Osborne Civil Suit

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Webster-Kirwood Times

by Don Corrigan
Columnist

June 29, 2007
Despite a court settlement this week in a civil lawsuit involving sex abuse allegations against the Rev. Robert Osborne, the former head of Vianney High School, acrimony over the court case continues.

The Marianists Roman Catholic order settled the suit involving an 18-year-old boy, who accused Osborne, 74, of molesting him two years ago when he was a student there. Osborne left the school after the allegations of abuse became public.

"This is not an admission of guilt on the part of Father Osborne," said Diane Guerra, a spokesperson for the Marianist Province of the United States, regarding the settlement. "Criminal charges were dropped.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

No Wafer for Rudy

NEW YORK
The Village Voice

by Wayne Barrett
June 26th, 2007 5:24 PM

When Pope Benedict XVI attacked Catholic politicians in Mexico who supported abortion rights last month, Rudy Giuliani was asked for his opinion. The presidential candidate replied in the language of the church: "Issues like that are for me and my confessor. I'm a Catholic, and that's the way I resolve those issues, personally and privately."

Giuliani has invoked his Catholic heritage on Larry King; he's been described by The Washington Post as a "devout Catholic"; he's appeared on Fox News with the label "Catholic" floating on-screen; and he's handled a CNN debate question about a bishop who denounced him with a declaration unfamiliar to those who covered him as mayor. "I respect the opinion of Catholic and religious leaders of all kinds," he said. "Religion is very important to me. It's a very important part of my life." ...

Alan Placa is not just a major figure in Giuliani's marital life: He baptized both of Giuliani's children, and though already stripped of his priestly powers, he was given special dispensation from his bishop in Long Island to preside at Helen Giuliani's September 2002 funeral. A month earlier—despite still-pending allegations that he'd groped four minors in Long Island's Diocese of Rockville Center—he was hired as a three-day-a-week consultant at Giuliani Partners, where he remains today. Michael Hess, the managing partner of Giuliani's firm and the city's former top lawyer, represents Placa in the ongoing cases. When first reached by a reporter at Giuliani Partners, Placa claimed that he was only visiting—a falsehood quickly reversed by a firm spokeswoman.

Giuliani's friends cite the awkward hiring as an example of his loyalty, though he has long been known to jettison people close to him. His best-selling memoir, Leadership, included his dog Goalie in the acknowledgement list of the major people in his life, but not the mother of his two children. He forced out Police Commissioner Bill Bratton for appearing on the cover of Time, and also his dear friend and schools chancellor, Rudy Crew, because Crew tried to hold him to his word to never fund a voucher program. And he trashed them on their way out the door, smearing Crew the day he eulogized his ex-wife. On the other hand, in Giuliani's categorical mind, Placa is forever a good guy, no matter the facts.

Indeed, even if one assumes that America won't be offended by the contradiction between Giuliani's marital choices and his professed Catholicism, that will almost certainly change as the country learns more about his best friend, business associate, and lifelong link to the church. New York papers have reported some devastating details, drawn largely from a Suffolk County grand jury report issued in 2003. One of his accusers, Richard Tollner, a mortgage broker who claims he was repeatedly groped by Placa while in high school, says the priest stopped only after Placa approached him at his father's funeral and Tollner threatened him. Tollner and two others testified against Placa before the grand jury, though the statute of limitations had run out on their decades-old allegations, making prosecution impossible. Placa was described in the report as "cautious but relentless in pursuing his victims," groping the boys under cover of a newspaper, book, or poster. One victim testified that he was fondled behind a banner made for a march protesting the Roe v. Wade decision.

But the grand jury found Placa's decade of systemic cover-up far more disturbing than his alleged abuse. Often the first person contacted by a victim because of his role as the bishop's top attorney and head of a three-member "intervention team," Placa wrote a memo to other diocesan officials asking them not to identify him as an attorney. "Priests who were civil attorneys," the report found, clearly referring to Placa, "portrayed themselves as interested in the concerns of victims and pretended to be acting for their benefit while they only acted to protect the diocese. These officials boldly bragged about their success." Victims were "ignored, belittled, and re-victimized," with Placa and his colleagues procrastinating "for the purpose of making sure that the civil and criminal statutes of limitation were no longer applicable."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

Catholic League and Pedophile Priests

UNITED STATES
Dispatches from the Culture Wars

Oh boy, the Catholic League is on the warpath again. Their target this time: Robin Williams, who apparently told jokes about Catholic priests and pedophilia on the Tonight Show recently.

Kiera McCaffrey, director of communications with the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, says Williams would never bring up the fact that most priests involved in sex scandals were homosexuals.

"You don't hear anything about that," she states. "You don't hear comments about homosexuals from these comedians [because homosexuals are] pretty much a protected class ...." And that, she says, poses a problem. "They say, 'it's off-limits to mock gays, [but] it's perfectly okay to go after priests.' Now, what about gay priests? That's a tricky situation. You know the answer -- let's just label them all pedophiles."

Wow, where do you even begin? First of all, pedophilia is not typically associated with either homosexuality or heterosexuality; most pedophiles will happily go back and forth from boys to girls as long as they are pre-pubescent. That is the nature of pedophilia, a unique form of sexual dysfunction that is independent of sexual orientation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:06 AM

Bradley chided for comments; Mayor says abuse issue one reason for church closing

CANADA
The Observer

By JACK POIRIER / The Observer
Local News - Friday, June 29, 2007 @ 16:00

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley is under fire from the sexual assault victims of disgraced Catholic priest Charles Sylvestre.

In an interview this week with CBC radio, Bradley said in addition to declining numbers, a shortage of priests and building costs, that civil litigation against the church was a factor in the closing of three dozen churches within the London diocese, including St. Peter's in Sarnia.

In response, a local victim said Bradley's comments inadvertently placed blame for the closing of churches on sexual abuse victims who have sought compensation for the injustices they suffered.

"I find it offensive," said Sarnia's Dianne Gauthier, one of 47 women sexually abused as a child by Sylvestre.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

RETIRED PRIEST ADMITS ABUSE

SYRACUSE (NY)
The Post-Standard

Friday, June 29, 2007By Jim O'Hara Staff writer
A retired Catholic priest who moved to Syracuse after being dismissed from public ministry in Delaware admitted Thursday in Syracuse City Court he sexually molested a teenage boy here over a four-year period.

He will receive no jail time.

Francis G. DeLuca, 77, pleaded guilty before Judge Kate Rosenthal to one count of second-degree sexual abuse and two counts each of third-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

Rosenthal promised DeLuca a sentence of probation and set sentencing for Aug. 27.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Former Russell County Church Employee Face Sexual Abuse Charges

RUSSELL COUNTY (AL)
WTVM

Atlanta Bishop Christopher Bennett who recently served as a local church employee faces second degree sodomy charges. Sheriff's deputies brought Bennett back to the Russell County jail late Thursday evening.

Bennett is featured on several websites detailing his ministry. He was an employee at Higher Power Outreach in Phenix City at the time the alleged incident happened in 2004. An allegation that has many of them in shock. "Initially when I heard this I was outraged because we hired him and trusted him as a man of God," said Pastor Johnnie Robinson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

Former priest pleads guilty to child sexual priest—

DELAWARE
WMDT

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) -

A retired Delaware priest pleaded guilty in a New York court yesterday to sexually abusing a Syracuse teen over several years.

Reverend Francis DeLuca pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual abuse and two counts each of third-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

DeLuca was a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington for 35 years. He was dismissed from public ministry in 1993 after being accused of sexually abusing a minor in the 1960s while he was a priest in Delaware.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 AM

June 28, 2007

I forgive you - priest asks court to show mercy on his accuser

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Tomas Mac Ruairi
Thursday June 28 2007

A PRIEST falsely accused of child sexual abuse yesterday publicly forgave his accuser - and asked a court to show mercy when sentencing him.

Paul Anderson (34) claimed the priest had buggered him while giving him First Holy Communion prayer tuition more than 25 years ago.

The allegations, made four years ago, were untrue, but the priest was instantly and publicly suspended from ministry while the claims were investigated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 PM

Retired priest pleads guilty in sex abuse case

SYRACUSE (NY)
The Post-Standard

Posted by Jim O'Hara June 28, 2007 2:59PM

Retired Catholic priest Francis G. DeLuca pleaded guilty in Syracuse City Court this afternoon to charges he sexually molested a teenage boy over a period of four years.

Although the District Attorney's Office was seeking a sentence of probation and six months in jail, Judge Kate Rosenthal promised the 77-year-old DeLuca a sentence of straight probation with no jail time. Sentencing is set for Aug. 27.

DeLuca pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree sexual abuse and two counts each of third-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child for incidents that occurred in 2002, 2004 and 2005 when the same victim was 13, 15 and 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 PM

Former Delaware priest pleads guilty to sexual abuse of child

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

Posted Thursday, June 28, 2007 at 4:47 pm

The Rev. Francis G. DeLuca, who served as a priest in the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington for 35 years, pleaded guilty today to sexually abusing a Syracuse, N.Y., boy over a four- to five-year period.

DeLuca, 77, could face a maximum of two years in prison when he is sentenced Aug. 27 by Syracuse City Court Judge Kate Rosenthal, Assistant District Attorney Kari Armstrong said. He pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree sexual abuse, two counts of third-degree sexual abuse, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child -- all of the charges prosecutors had made against him.

Armstrong said prosecutors recommended “shock probation” of 45 days in the county jail, but Rosenthal told DeLuca he probably would get no worse than probation. Armstrong said probation would be six years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:48 PM

Anti sex-abuse group defends its actions

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Thursday June 28 2007

THE One-in-Four anti sex-abuse charity said it would be failing in "the most basic level in our collective responsibility to protect children" by not reporting a credible child abuse allegation.

The priest falsely accused of child sexual abuse was suspended from ministry after a complaint from the man involved and the One-in-Four group to the Archbishop of Dublin.

Last night, a spokesperson from the group said that the body's standard practice was to pass on credible allegations to the appropriate authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:42 PM

Former nun invokes Title IX in bias battle against Gannon U.

ERIE (PA)
PhillyBurbs

The Associated Press

ERIE, Pa. - A former Catholic nun whose discrimination claim against Gannon University was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court is trying revive it by invoking a law best known for requiring schools to provide equal athletic opportunities for men and women.

The Supreme Court in April denied an appeal by Lynette Petruska, the first woman chaplain at Gannon. Petruska on Tuesday asked a judge to allow her to file an amended lawsuit invoking Title IX, a federal law that requires schools that receive federal funding to offer equal opportunities to both genders.

Petruska, who is now an attorney in St. Louis, claims she was demoted in 2002 and forced to resign because of her gender and because she helped expose accusations of a cover-up over a priest who allegedly had an affair.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:33 AM

Vicar admits child porn charges

UNITED KINGDOM
Hereford Times

By Anna Nalborczyk

A HEREFORDSHIRE vicar had hundreds of images of children involved in sexual acts stored on his two computers.

The Rev James Morrish, of Kingstone, admitted 13 child pornography charges when he appeared before Worcester Crown Court on Tuesday.

Tariq Shakoor, prosecuting, told the court that Morrish had sourced 612 pornographic images on his computer during a 45- minute period in the early hours of October 23, 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:27 AM

Child rapist and priest lover share jail cell

UNITED KINGDOM
ic Liverpool

Jun 28 2007

by Adrian Butler, Liverpool Echo

A NOTORIOUS paedophile who raped a 12-year-old Liverpool girl shared a prison cell with his Catholic priest lover.

William Adams and Father Jeremiah McGrath shared the cell on Walton Jail’s vulnerable prisoners’ wing for more than a week.

It is understood the men, who were on the special wing to protect them from other prisoners, tricked staff by pretending to strike up a friendship.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Hearing for accused priest expected today

SYRACUSE (NY)
WTSM

Associated Press - June 28, 2007 6:45 AM ET

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) - A former Delaware priest is expected to appear in court today in central New York to face child sexual abuse charges.

Reverend Francis DeLuca was arrested in October and charged with sexually abusing a Syracuse teen over a period of 5 or six years. Syracuse police say 77-year-old DeLuca confessed after they arrested him.

The case has been postponed several times, but DeLuca's attorney, Emil Rossi, expects today's hearing to go forward. He'll appear in Syracuse City Court before Judge Kate Rosenthal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Catholic order settles lawsuit

KIRKWOOD (MO)
News-Leader

The Associated Press

Kirkwood — The Roman Catholic order that operates Vianney High School in suburban St. Louis settled a lawsuit with a teenager who accused the school's former president of molesting him two years ago when he was a student.

The religious order said the settlement was not an admission of guilt on the part of the man accused.

The school's former president, the Rev. Robert Osborne, 74, resigned in August from Vianney High School in Kirkwood. He wrote in the school's September newsletter that he stepped down a year before he planned to retire due to "unresolved legal matters."

In October, St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch said there was no evidence of any criminal conduct, and no charges were filed against Osborne.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 AM

Holy Eparchial Synod Decided to Defrock Suspended Priest

NEW YORK
World Faith News

New York - The Holy Eparchial Synod of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America convened on June 26, 2007 as a Spiritual Court of the Second Instance to hear the pending case of the suspended priest, Nicholas Katinas.

The Holy Eparchial Synod, after careful examination of the recommendation of the Spiritual Court of the First Instance of the Direct Archdiocesan District, decided in accordance with the Holy Canons of the Church, to propose the defrocking of the aforementioned clergyman.

This decision, according to canonical procedure, will be submitted to the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate which has the final authority to decide on the matter and issue a decree of defrocking.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 AM

Church Attorneys request more psychiatry records, more discovery, and use other stall tactics; most motions denied, tension high at hearings June 27.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
I started out the day stunned to read about the Vermont clergy case mistrial as a result of a Church Attorney grilling a plaintiff on the stand about his psychiatric records. Then in LA Superior Court Wednesday morning there were rancorous hearings, with Church Attorneys pushing for more access to plaintiffs’ psychiatric records in the Hagenbach cases. Even though discovery has been going on for years, all of a sudden the archdiocese needs more addresses, more names, dates. In the Miani case hearing, the Church Attorney acted like she had no idea there was more than one perpetrator in the Salesians, and now that she knew, the cases had to be severed.

Two hearings Wednesday could have resulted in trials slipping to later dates if the archdiocese had its way. Instead, the judge muddled through obstructionist motions filed by the church and served up compromises. The truth is, Church Attorneys keep delivering lines and logic right out of Alice in Wonderland.

It’s getting nasty. I find myself glaring darts at Sean Kneafsey, for the defendant archdiocese, when my mouth isn’t hanging opened astonished. Today’s debate was a blatant stall tactic, the church demanding backwards steps in six Hagenbach cases (Jury trial July 9th), because plaintiffs in interrogatories couldn't say for sure if they’d need psychiatric care in the future. This hearing has been on calendar several times since June 16th and over and over again the judge has ordered attorneys to meet and confer and resolve the issue.

Throughout the pursuit of more psychiatric records, I couldn't help thinking there’s a connection between the mistrial in Vermont yesterday and the hearing this morning about psychiatrist notes about Hagenbach victims two weeks before trial. However, plaintiff attorneys I spoke to later said no it’s just more of the same archdiocese stall tactics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 AM

June 27, 2007

Americans' confidence in the church reaching all-time low

UNITED STATES
Church Executive

Americans' confidence in organized religion and other institutions is down across the board compared to last year, a recent Gallup poll found.

Only 46 percent of Americans have a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in church/organized religion which is one percentage point of being the lowest in Gallup's history since 1973.

Confidence in the church dropped in the wake of the television evangelism scandals of the late 1980s and early 1990s. It then fell significantly in the wake of revelations surrounding the Catholic priest abuse scandal in 2002.

The Gallup poll found that Protestants are more likely to express confidence in the church compared to Catholics. Confidence in the church or organized religion has dropped from 53 percent in 2004 to 39 percent today among Catholics. Among Protestants, confidence increased from 60 percent in 2004 to 63 percent in 2006 and then dropped to 57 percent today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 PM

Priest pleas for mercy for rape accuser

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

A priest who was falsely accused of rape pleaded for leniency for the Dublin city man who claimed he had abused him as a child.

Paul Anderson (aged 34), of Crumlin Park, Crumlin and formerly of Fatima Mansions and Iveagh Trust Flats, New Bride Street has been jailed for four years for falsely claiming he was buggered by a priest when he six years old.

The accused priest forgave the defendant but admitted: “I would have honestly preferred had the perpetrator shot me through the head rather than have put me and my family through the pangs of anxiety and the profound sufferings we endured over the past four years."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 PM

Abuse suits settled against ex-Broward priest

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

By AMY SHERMAN
asherman@MiamiHerald.com

A man who sued the Archdiocese of Miami alleging that the former Rev. Neil Doherty drugged and raped him in the 1990s has settled his case.

The civil suit prompted Broward prosecutors to file criminal charges against the now 64-year-old former priest from St. Vincent Catholic Church in Margate. The criminal case has not yet gone to trial.

This week, attorney Jeffrey Herman also settled another Broward case against the Archdiocese alleging abuse by Doherty. Herman said the terms of both settlements were confidential.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:18 PM

2 in Broward settle sex-abuse suits against retired Catholic priest

FORT LAUDERDALE (FL)
Sun-Sentinel

By Tonya Alanez
Sun-Sentinel.com
Posted June 27 2007, 3:18 PM EDT

FORT LAUDERDALE -- Two Broward men who sued the Archdiocese of Miami after accusing a retired Catholic priest of sexually abusing them when they were boys settled their civil cases this week.

Neil Doherty, 64, a former priest at St. Vincent's Catholic Church in Margate, faces multiple counts of sexual battery, lewd and lascivious acts and molestation in a pending criminal case stemming from one of the victim's allegations.

The amounts of the settlement are confidential, said the plaintiffs' Miami-based attorney Jeffrey Herman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:13 PM

Vianney Settles Abuse Claim

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOX

A teenager who accused the former president of Vianney High School of sexual misconduct reaches an out-of-court settlement.

KMOX's Kevin Killeen reports.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

North Bay priest faces sex charges

CANADA
North Bay Nugget

Local News - Wednesday, June 27, 2007 @ 08:00

A 65-year-old Roman Catholic priest, now serving in North Bay, has been charged by Greater Sudbury Police in connection with alleged sexual assaults in this city 25 years ago.

Father Bernard Cloutier was arrested in North Bay and taken to Sudbury where he appeared in bail court Tuesday, before being released.

Cloutier faces six charges stemming from complaints by two individuals who allege the priest assaulted them over an extended period that began in mid-1979.

A court-imposed ban prohibits publication of evidence given at the hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:16 AM

Priest pleas for mercy for rape accuser

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

A priest who was falsely accused of rape pleaded for leniency for the Dublin city man who claimed he had abused him as a child.

Paul Anderson (aged 34), of Crumlin Park, Crumlin and formerly of Fatima Mansions and Iveagh Trust Flats, New Bride Street has been jailed for four years for falsely claiming he was buggered by the priest when he six years old.

Anderson was convicted in June by a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury of falsely claiming the priest sexually abused him while allegedly giving him First Holy Communion tuition over 25 years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:02 AM

Diocese case ends in mistrial

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Tuesday, June 26, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

Judge Ben Joseph declared a mistrial Monday in the lawsuit brought by James Turner, a Virginia man who claimed the state's Roman Catholic diocese was to blame for his 1977 molestation at the hands of the Rev. Alfred Willis.

"We're back to the very beginning and I'm sorry for all that's gone on here," Joseph told a stunned courtroom shortly before 2 p.m.

Moments after Joseph's announcement, a dejected Turner left the courtroom and slipped into a small room nearby. He then stood in a corner, hands on his hips and head faced downward before being joined by his wife, who embraced him.

"This is just another example of them continuing to victimize me," he told reporters as he departed the courthouse minutes later. "For however long it takes, we'll be back to court. I have to do this for me."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Abbreviated trial revealed details on inner workings of diocese

BURLINGTON (VT)
Burlington Free Press

Published: Wednesday, June 27, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

Leaders for two national groups monitoring clergy abuse cases said Tuesday that the lawsuit filed by James Turner against Vermont's Roman Catholic diocese helped shed light on the church's inner workings, even if the case ended in a mistrial.

"Without a trial, it is so tempting to view claims like Turner's as isolated crimes by isolated criminals," said David Clohessy of St. Louis, national director of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

Terrence McKiernan of the Waltham, Mass.-based group BishopAccountability.org, agreed. "This trial opened another door on the Vermont situation," McKiernan said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Jurors Wanted To Finish Diocese Negligence Trial

BURLINGTON (VT)
WCAX

Burlington, Vermont -- June 26, 2007

It looks like a mistrial MAY have been a big break for the Vermont Catholic Diocese. Jurors in the Church Sex abuse trial said Tuesday that the evidence indicated the Diocese was negligent in failing to protect a teenager from a predatory priest.

Channel 3 spoke by phone with six of the jurors on condition we would not identify them.

But one day after Judge Ben Joseph declared a mistrial, they all agreed the plaintiff was winning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Priest faces child sex charges

AUSTRALIA
Courier Mail

June 27, 2007 04:55pm

A SENIOR member of the Anglican church has appeared briefly in the Brisbane Magistrates Court charged with nine sex offences against children.

Barry John Greaves, 70, an Anglican canon, has been charged with indecent dealing and indecent treatment of children between 1981 and 1985 in Boonah, west of Brisbane.

Court documents reveal there are two complainants.

Two of the charges relate to a child under 14 years of age, while the remaining seven charges relate to a child under 17.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Financial Accountability Problems in the Cleveland Diocese

CLEVELAND (OH)
BishopAccountability.org

In June 2007, U.S. District Court Judge Ann Aldrich ordered the Diocese of Cleveland to turn over financial records to Joseph Smith and Anton Zgoznik, two former diocesan employees accused of stealing $784,000 from the church. Smith and Zgoznik maintain the money they are accused of stealing was actually additional pay authorized by former Bishop Pilla and the Rev. John Wright, the church's former financial and legal secretary. Smith and Zgoznik claim the diocese had hundreds of off-the-book accounts that church leaders used to make secret payments to scores of people. See Judge Orders Catholic Diocese to Turn over Financial Records, by Mike Tobin, Cleveland Plain Dealer (June 15, 2007) and The Judge's Order, Cleveland Plain Dealer (June 16, 2007).

Below we provide documents already available in the case United States of America v. Joseph H. Smith and Anton Zgoznik, as well as documents from a precursor civil suit, Rosie Andujar et al. v. Bishop Anthony Pilla et al. We also offer links to background articles and reporting.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:02 AM

Sexual Abuse Cases That Have Gone to Trial

UNITED STATES
BishopAccountability.org

Thousands of civil suits have been filed in the United States relating to alleged sexual abuse by Catholic priests, but very few have gone to trial. BishopAccountability.org has reviewed the evidence and documented 31 civil suits that have been tried since the mid-1980s.

The small number of trials reflects the bishops' fear that juries might award significant compensatory or punitive damages, as in the landmark 1997 Kos trial, and even more, their abiding concern that information might become public in a trial, either by release of documents or through testimony by the bishop himself or his managers. Whenever dioceses have filed for bankruptcy, upcoming civil trials have been a factor in the decision, and one case was settled after weeks of trial, shortly before a retired bishop was to take the stand (cf. the Freitas case). Legal scholar Marci Hamilton suggests that a trial offers survivors a chance for vindication within their community and places the responsibility for the abuse "exactly where it belongs." This outcome is one that the bishops have avoided wherever possible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 AM

The Power of All of Our Voices!

UNITED STATES
Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence Speak Out

Below you will find two different video's. The reason I'm posting them is because I want every survivors and individual who supports survivors to realize how powerful their voices can be when they unite and speak out.

Many of us are afraid to come out and say "I was abused". Yet, if at least a quarter of us used our voices we could make the laws in the United States, Canada, Israel (and beyond) that much better.

What I think is important about these two video's is that it can show survivors what it's like to provide testimony at a legislative hearing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:58 AM

Sex-case rabbis to lose title

ISRAEL
YNet

Chaim Levinson Published: 06.26.07, 16:34 / Israel Jewish Scene

The Chief Rabbinate will discuss a proposal to strip rabbis found guilty of sexual offenses of their title, Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The matter arose following an ongoing investigation against a Nahariya rabbi for raping minors.

Safed Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu came up with the proposal, according to which a committee will be set up to examine accusations against rabbis accused of sexual offenses and will hear all parties before revoking the rabbi's title.

In a letter sent to the members of the Chief Rabbinate, Eliyahu wrote, "Someone in the position of a rabbi should be a man of values, moral and conscience, an impeccable man, and certainly innocent of forbidden sexual relations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:55 AM

Mistrial declared in Va. man's claim against diocese

VERMONT
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, national director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790 cell, 314 645 5915 home)

We are deeply saddened that James' brave efforts to expose the Vermont Catholic hierarchy's corruption has been delayed and deeply outraged that, once again, church defense lawyers bend and break the rules to protect unscrupulous church officials.

Time and time again, all across the country, the same pattern emerges: Catholic figures will do almost anything to prevent being questioned in open court about clergy sex crimes cover ups. Today's travesty proves again that church authorities care only about themselves, their reputations and their comfort, not about victims, Catholics, or the truth.

We believe what the Bible said, that 'the truth will set you free' and what Martin Luther King said, that 'no lie lives forever.' So we are confident that James' couragous struggle to shed light on decades of duplicity will prevail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:52 AM

Archdiocese tries to “sever” cases re Titian Miani, Mahony’s colleague from Stockton; as well as exclude critical evidence. 9 hearings Wednesday 6.27

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Aka City of Angels Lady

Hearing Wednesday June 27th to “sever and reschedule trial” in cases BC308301 and BC308555, cases concerning Titian Miani aka Father Jim. At this point the jury trial in the Miani cases is September 24.

Defendant Roman Catholic Archdiocese filed this document May 30th but their actual “motion to sever and reschedule” is nowhere to be found in the public documents. Too bad. I would have given equal time to their case. You can however look at the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Church Attorneys 6.18.07 for those two cases as well as BC308363, another Miani case, where the church denies all charges.

Then there are several declarations supporting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment written by:

Reverend Ralph Murphy SDB
Father Maurizio Girolami
Michael J. Alvarez
The Salesian Society and Bosco High School itself
Reverend Ralph Murphy
Jeffrey S. Koenig

Let’s give them a hand for going down in infamy as swearing their support for a pedophile priest over his victims. Clap-clap-Clap-clap-clap.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:49 AM

Diocese reports new abuse claims

AUSTIN (TX)
Statesman

A former St. Stephen's Episcopal School chaplain accused of molesting students in the 1960s may have also sexually assaulted minors at a church and school he later served in Houston, according to a letter sent last week from the Episcopal Diocese of Texas.

The Rev. James L. Tucker, who retired in 1992, worked at St. Stephen's just west of Austin for a decade before becoming rector of St. James Church in Houston in 1970. The Rt. Rev. Don Wimberly, bishop of the Houston-based diocese, last month informed St. Stephen's alumni of the allegations.

Wimberly sent another letter last week to people affiliated with St. James Church and School saying he thought that the abuse claims had substance. Diocesan officials said they are investigating the matter and have alerted authorities in Austin and Houston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:45 AM

New Information: Minister Charged With Sex Crimes

WINSTON-SALEM (NC)
WFMY

Winston-Salem, NC -- Rodney Boothe, a former minister from Winston-Salem, was scheduled appear in court at 2:00 pm Monday. However, the appearance may be postponed until Tuesday.

Police arrested Boothe Friday afternoon in Raleigh.

He spent the weekend in the Forsyth County jail on a $10-million bond.

Boothe faces 12 counts of statutory rape, six counts of sexual offense, four counts of taking indecent liberites with a child, one count attempted first degree sex offense and one count of third degree sexual exploitation of a child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:39 AM

Trial Begins For Chubbuck Youth Pastor

POCATELLO (ID)
KIFI

A 17-year-old-girl is willing to go to court and try to prove that her minister abused his position and broke the ultimate trust. A jury trial for a youth pastor is now underway in Pocatello.

The trial of youth pastor Joshua Robinson began on Tuesday. The day began with choosing 12 jurors and one alternate.

29-year-old Joshua Robinson is a youth pastor at Gate City Christian Church in Chubbuck and back in February he was arrested and charged with two counts of lewd conduct with a minor under 16 and one count of sexual abuse of a minor 16 years old.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:35 AM

Church abuse case ends in a mistrial

VERMONT
Times Argus

June 26, 2007

By Kevin O'Connor Rutland Herald

BURLINGTON — A judge declared a mistrial Monday in the first of a recent series of priest sexual misconduct cases to reach a Vermont jury.

Chittenden Superior Court Judge Ben Joseph stunned a full courtroom gathered to hear the fourth day of testimony in a civil lawsuit brought by James Turner against the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.

Turner, a 46-year-old Northeast Kingdom native, tearfully testified Monday that the former Rev. Alfred Willis performed oral sex on him when he was 16 and staying at a Latham, N.Y., hotel the night Turner's brother, Bernard, became a deacon in 1977.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 AM

A Clearer Explanation

NORWICH (CT)
The Day

Roman Catholics in the Diocese of Norwich should be relieved to know that the hard-earned money they drop into collection baskets does not pay for settlements to victims of priest sexual abuse.

For years diocesan explanations of where the settlement money came from have been murky. On May 13 The Day published a story that explored how former Bishop Daniel P. Reilly handled allegations of sexual abuse by priests. Included were statements from a diocesan attorney that some settlement money came from weekly Mass collections.

Now the diocese has corrected the attorney's statements.

The diocese has paid out $4.4 million to victims. The diocese directly paid about $1 million of that amount, while $3.4 million came from insurance. The money paid directly came from interest earnings generated by a special “insurance reserve account,” as did the money for the insurance premiums.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:29 AM

Veteran Priest Takes His Life After Sex Charges Made Public

PENNSYLVANIA
State College News

A veteran priest from the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese is dead after charges of sexual misconduct are alleged against him.

The diocese says Father William Rosensteel took his own life Sunday night by jumping off the McNally Bridge on State Route 219 on the Cambria-Somerset County line. According to the Catholic Register, the diocesan newspaper, the 65-year-old Rosensteel was facing sex charges after someone came forward and filed a complaint with the diocese’s sexual allegation review board. The incident, which dated back to the 1970’s, was made public over the weekend.

The complainant had alleged that Rosensteel engaged in inappropriate behavior with a minor. He had been on medical leave from Holy Rosary Parish in the Juniata section of Altoona, since earlier this year.

In a statement released late Monday, Diocese Bishop Joseph Adamec said he was saddened over what happened and he went on to say the allegations were being processed through the appropriate channels consistent with the church policies. Adamec said a silent termination agreement was in the works that would have allowed Rosensteel to retire with some type of ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:25 AM

Priest TV Show Vows Respect

NEW YORK
National Catholic Register

BY IRENE LAGAN
REGISTER CORRESPONDENT

July 1-7, 2007 Issue | Posted 6/26/07 at 8:00 AM

NEW YORK — The fall television lineup will include a show about Catholic priests. But it won’t be a tale about corrupt or dysfunctional priests, as some shows in the past have been.

Rather, “Vows” — now in production for the American Movie Channel — is about a priest who is faithful and is in love with the Church.

The innovative drama, whose protagonist is a Jesuit, will be aired as part of AMC’s first efforts to produce original episodic dramas. ...

Hall believes that part of the reason for the keen interest in the show is a fascination in mainstream American culture with the priesthood. Since the beginning of the Church’s sexual abuse scandal in 2002, Hall said that public scrutiny and curiosity about the priesthood is a phenomenon, especially in Hollywood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:20 AM

June 26, 2007

Accused priest jumps to death

PENNSYLVANIA
Altoona Mirror

By Phil Ray, pray@altoonamirror.com

A 64-year-old priest under investigation by the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown for child sexual abuse dating back 36 years jumped to his death off the McNally Bridge in Richland Township, Cambria County.

William A. Rosensteel died from multiple injuries caused by the 190-foot drop from the bridge on Route 219 over Stonycreek River, Cambria County Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski said.

Rosensteel was not dressed as a priest at the time of his death at 7:43 p.m. Sunday, Kwiatkowski said.

Although Rosensteel, whose last station was at Holy Rosary Parish at 900 Fourth St., Juniata, Altoona, did not leave a note, Kwiatkowski said he believed the suicide “has to do with what he was experiencing.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 AM

Priest accused of sexual abuse jumps from bridge to his death

PENNSYLVANIA
The Tribune-Democrat

By SUSAN EVANS
The Tribune-Democrat

The Rev. William A. Rosensteel, a veteran priest who once served in Gallitzin and Johnstown, killed himself Sunday on the eve of an announcement that sex abuse allegations against him would be referred to law enforcement.

The 64-year-old priest jumped from the McNally Bridge on Route 219 in Richland Township late Sunday afternoon.

He died of blunt force trauma, said Cambria County Coroner Dennis Kwiatkowski.

Rosensteel, an Ebensburg native who at various times during his 38-year career had served at the former St. Patrick parish in Gallitzin and St. Patrick’s in Johnstown, had been on administrative leave since March.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 AM

Convictions of priests 'elusive,' many released by Stogner decision so public interest in personnel files 'may be even stronger' Privacy Order 6/18/07

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By City of Angels Lady
Aka Kay Ebeling

It’s fun to hear a church attorney put his foot in his mouth. At the June 7 hearing that may lead to the opening of some accused priest personnel files came this dialogue:

JUDGE LICHTMAN: What about the need of the state in this instance to protect children from further molestation?

CHURCH ATTORNEY HELDT: We have institutions for that and they're not in this courtroom. They get this information under Megan’s Law or under the Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act.

JUDGE LICHTMAN: The argument then is these priests are not convicted, not registered, so there’s all the more reason to find out information about them. If they're registered with Megan’s law, we don’t need further information. There are other individuals out there still in the shadows of society and they still pose a danger to society.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:40 AM

June 25, 2007

Vermont's First Priest Sex Abuse Lawsuit Ends in Mistrial

VERMONT
WCAX

Burlington, Vermont - June 25, 2007

Vermont's first civil trial alleging that the Roman Catholic Diocese negligently protected pedophile priests ended abruptly and unexpectedly Monday in a mistrial.

The judge explained that the lawyers for Vermont's Roman Catholic Diocese broke the rules when they cross-examined the man who is suing the church for millions.

The plaintiff claims the Diocese failed to protect him from a pedophile priest thirty years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:14 PM

Cancer claims life of retired priest

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

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

WORCESTER— The Rev. James J. Aquino Jr., who stepped down as pastor of Our Lady of Loreto parish after being accused in 2004 by Las Vegas police of sexual misconduct, died Tuesday night in Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

The Rev. Aquino, a former superintendent of the area’s Catholic schools, had been suffering from cancer, according to officials with the Diocese of Worcester. He was 68.

Bishop Robert J. McManus last year accepted Rev. Aquino’s resignation from the pastorship after allegations that the priest had engaged in inappropriate behavior with an adult.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 PM

Mistrial declared in priest sex case

BURLINGTON (VT)
Boston Herald

By Associated Press
Monday, June 25, 2007 - Updated: 06:38 PM EST

BURLINGTON, Vt.- A mistrial was declared Monday in a priest sex case accusing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington of negligence when a diocesan lawyer overstepped the bounds established by a judge in questioning the alleged victim.

Chittenden County Superior Court Judge Ben Joseph declared the mistrial at the request of lawyers for James Turner, 46, of Virginia Beach, Va., saying Diocesan lawyer David Cleary violated the pretrial ruling.

Turner sued former Rev. Alfred Willis and the Diocese over a 1977 incident in which he said Willis performed a sex act on him and another incident in which Willis allegedly tried to do so again. Willis settled out of court and was removed as a defendant in the case, which was the first naming the Diocese to go to trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

Plaintiff testifies in sex abuse trial against Diocese of Burlington

BURLINGTON (VT)
WCAX

Associated Press - June 25, 2007 1:25 PM ET

BURLINGTON (AP) - The victim in a priest sex abuse case being heard in a Burlington courtroom took the stand today, describing how he says a priest abused him 30 years ago in a hotel room.

Forty-6-year-old James Turner fought back tears at times as he recalled the 1977 encounter, when he says former priest Alfred Willis performed a sex act on him.

Turner settled out of court with Willis but is still suing the Diocese of Burlington for at least a million dollars.

1 of the Diocese's lawyers, David Cleary, sought to undermine Turner's credibility, questioning him about why he didn't report the incident until 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:05 PM

Norwich Diocese Clarifies Sexual Abuse Settlement Funding

NORWICH (CT)
The Day

By Joe Wojtas , Published on 6/25/2007

The Diocese of Norwich has further explained the way it funds its share of settlements with victims of sexual abuse by priests, stressing that none of the money comes from the weekly collections in diocesan churches.

Instead, officials said last week that the more than $1 million paid out by the diocese for portions of settlements not covered by its insurance policy comes from a savings account the diocese has been amassing since its founding in 1953. Funds in this “insurance reserve account” also include gifts from people who have not placed any restrictions on how their money can be spent.

William J. Russell, the diocesan finance officer, said the payments made to victims from the fund have come from investment earnings by the diocese and not from the principal. He declined to say how much is in the account and could not say where all the money in the account has come from as it has accumulated over the past 54 years. Some of it, he said, was the result of investments made by the diocese. The diocese's insurance company has paid an additional $3.4 million to the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Ex-minister has sex-abuse claim dropped by DA

WILTON (ME)
Morning Sentinel

By BETTY JESPERSEN
Staff Writer

Monday, June 25, 2007

WILTON -- Sex-abuse charges against an 81-year old former minister from Wilton who was scheduled to go to trial today have been dropped for lack of evidence, the Franklin County assistant district attorney said Friday.

Alton Walston was charged with attempted unlawful sexual contact, a felony, in June 2006 and was indicted by a Franklin County grand jury in November.

"During the final investigation whn we were preparing for trial, new information came to life," said Assistant District Attorney Andrew Robinson.

He said as a result of the new evidence, the state was no longer confident Walston could be prosecuted beyond a reasonable doubt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Did Robin Williams go too far?

UNITED STATES
MSNBC

June 22: While on "The Tonight Show," the comedian made fun of Catholic priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Pastor scandals erode trust in pulpit

FLORIDA
Daytona Beach News-Journal

By JIM HAUG
Staff Writer
HOLLY HILL -- Lori Lewis' pastor let her family stay in a church apartment when her husband went to jail.

Five months later, the pastor joined her husband behind bars. He was not there for inmate ministry. The Rev. Robert N. Riddle was charged in April with swindling an elderly widow out of more than $100,000.

While not personally affected by the scandal, the disappointment stung Lewis. "If you can't trust your pastor, who you can trust?" she said.

Churches are learning that the preacher in the pulpit should not be accepted on his word alone. Scandalous stories of bad pastors floating from one church to the next have also made some wonder whether denominations where there is little oversight over congregations are even more vulnerable to clergy abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Child sex abuse victims protest

CANADA
London Free Press

By JOE BELANGER, SUN MEDIA

Male victims of child sexual abuse are outraged over funding and attention being given to female victims of a Chatham priest.

"I'd say their anger is closer to rage," said John Field, a London counsellor who specializes in male victims of childhood sexual assault.

"It's a re-injuring of them at a core level."

Last month, Ontario's Victim Services Secretariat approved $80,000 for a program in support of the 47 female victims of Charles Sylvestre when he was a priest in the Roman Catholic church's London diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:31 AM

Paedophile priests in US treated with libido suppressing drugs

UNITED STATES
Clerical Whispers

As the debate on so called 'chemical castration' for sex offenders ignites, it has been acknowledged that a programme of treatment for paedophile priests in the US uses chemical libido suppressants in combination with counselling.

The programme in the St Luke Institute, Suitland in Maryland, has been running since 1985.

According to Fr Hugh Connolly, Professor of Moral Theology at Maynooth, this is evidence that the treatment, unhelpfully known as “chemical castration” for sex offenders, has been approved and used in the Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 AM

Local Baptist Church Cracking Down On Sex Offenders

KENTUCKY
WKYT

Posted: 11:23 PM Jun 24, 2007
Last Updated: 11:23 PM Jun 24, 2007

With allegations of child sexual abuse surrounding the Catholic Church, one Kentucky Southern Baptist pastor wants to make sure the same scrutiny doesn't befall the 24 hundred Baptist churches in Kentucky.

Pastor Bill Henard is creating a packet including information on all convicted sex offenders.

He wants to be sure the church employees and volunteers that work with kids are not on any list.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 AM

John Paul II Pedophile Monsignor Alan Placa in New York

NEW YORK
JPIIPPA John Paul II Pedophile Priests Army

Here is one of John Paul II Pedophile Priest Army foot soldier in New York. Last May 13 an article entitled "Giuliani Spins Name in Gold" mentioned that one of his partners was "a former Roman Catholic priest accused of covering up sexual abuse in the church". After a research, that undisclosed name is former Monsignor Alan Placa.

A grand jury investigation { not an imdictment }report released Feb. 10 charged the diocese of Rockville Centre, N.Y., with protecting 58 sexually abusive priests through what it called a “sham” policy designed to protect the church’s reputation and minimize payouts to victims.

The 180-page report from the Suffolk County grand jury was written after more than 30 priests and more than 40 victims of abuse testified. The grand jury also examined thousands of church records over a nine-month period.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:05 AM

June 24, 2007

Bishop Casey Returns....More or less....

IRELAND
Clerical Whispers

Bishop Eamonn Casey (pic'd here) has now returned to his home in Shanaglish in County Galway after a bad fall he suffered back in April of this year. ...

However, like many others in this country, he is frustrated at the slow pace of the Vatican giving him the clearance to return to the pulpit where he rightly belongs, and this despite his having being cleared by the investigating authorities in Ireland.

One has now to start wondering what the hell is going on and why the Vatican are dragging their heels on this....they permitted him back to Ireland with the intention of giving him duties and yet are obfuscating such a return and basically deeming him to be guilty of a sex charge which has been proven to be without foundation.....

And then they wonder why so many did not believe they acted properly when dealing with the allegations of CSA down through the years......

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 PM

Critics Press Italy, Church on Clergy Abuse

ROME
Clerical Whispers

In the last decade, clerical abuse scandals involving Roman Catholic priests erupted in the United States and several European and Latin American countries.

Yet in Italy — a bastion of Catholicism — the issue never came to the surface and never made headlines.

Now, in the Vatican's backyard, the veil of secrecy is beginning to lift.

Friday, in St. Peter's Square, outside Pope Benedict XVI's apartments, about 30 people gathered to demand justice for victims of clerical sex abuse. Some held a banner proclaiming "Stop the Vatican Cover-Up."

This was the final event of a day-long symposium on clerical sex abuse organized by the Radical Party on the premises of the Italian parliament.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:24 PM

Manifestazione su: "Basta con le omertà vaticane sulla repressione e le violenze sessuali"

ROME
Radio Radicale

This is the link to various interviews conducted during a demonstration Friday just outside of the Vatican. Interviewees include Houston, Texas, lawyer Daniel J. Shea; Umberto Lenzi of Movimento Preti Sposati; Paul Cultrera, survivor of abuse by the late Rev. Joseph Birmingham and subject of his brother's film "Hand of God"; Maurizio Turco, member of the Italian parliament and officer of Anticlericale.net; Matteo Mecacci, representative of del Partito Radicale; Michele De Lucia; Mario Staderini, a Roman city official; Paolo Falcone, vice president of dell"Associazione Chiesa in cammino.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Intervista a Joe Cultrera

ROME
Radio Radicale

American film maker Joe Cultrera was interviewed in English after showing his film "Hand of God" to the Chamber of Deputies in parliament. He tells the story of his brother Paul and abuse he sustained as a youngster by the late Rev. Joseph Birmingham in Salem, Mass., and how his devout Catholic family rallied around Paul after they were told what happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:43 PM

Critics Press Italy, Church on Clergy Abuse

ROME
NPR

by Sylvia Poggioli

Sunday, June 24, 2007 · In the last decade, clerical abuse scandals involving Roman Catholic priests erupted in the United States and several European and Latin American countries.

Yet in Italy — a bastion of Catholicism — the issue never came to the surface and never made headlines.

Now, in the Vatican's backyard, the veil of secrecy is beginning to lift.

Friday, in St. Peter's Square, outside Pope Benedict XVI's apartments, about 30 people gathered to demand justice for victims of clerical sex abuse. Some held a banner proclaiming "Stop the Vatican Cover-Up."

This was the final event of a day-long symposium on clerical sex abuse organized by the Radical Party on the premises of the Italian parliament.

The day began with the screening of an American documentary, broadcast in January on PBS, by filmmaker Joe Cultrera about his brother Paul, a victim of clerical sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:40 PM

Daniel J. Shea's speech to the Chamber of Deputies, Italian Parliament.

ROME

JUNE 22, 2007
Good afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen:
I appreciate the kind introduction and admit that I do not stand here in Rome, arguably the center of Western civilization, without a certain sense of trepidation. Nevertheless I turn to the
two subjects I have been asked to address. First, a brief synopsis of the lawsuit that brought then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before the bar of American justice as a civil defendant – before, during, and after the time of his election to the papacy. Then secondly, what are the lessons that, from my limited personal perspective, believe we can learn from this painful experience.
First the story of Cardinal Ratzinger. In 2001, I had heard Cardinal Law in Boston state publicly that, “We only thought it was a sin we didn’t know it was a crime.” I will spare you the
expletives I uttered on hearing that statement from an official of the very institution whose intellectual acumen had made those very significant distinctions the foundation of Western criminal jurisprudence. Needless to say, the so-called “clergy abuse crisis” then had my undivided atttention.

Thus, in late 2001, I had heard that some type of instruction had been issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.Being no stranger to the Vatican website www.vatican.va, I found a Latin-only document dated May 18, 2001, known by its first
two words in Latin, “Ad exequandam. . . . ,” signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone. With my very rusty Latin that at its best only recognizes clear cognates, I was still able to understand a reference to a document called “Crimen
sollicitationis,” clearly a reference to the crime of sollicitation,” crime, of course, being a concept that Cardinal Law professed to know nothing about. “Ad exequandam” itself was shockingly disturbing, owing to its conflation of the “grave moral delict” of a priest concelebrating mass with a “minister of an ecclesial community that does not have the dignity of apostolic succession” under the same heading with the grave moral delict of a priest
committing a sexual crime WITH, not against, contra, but WITH a minor under the age of 18. The May 18, 2001 letter also imposed pontifical secrecy on internal church proceedings and
ordered all the Acts or transcripts of those proceedings sent to the Vatican. I could elaborate at length about the May 18, 2001 letter. Suffice it to say, an attorney within the Office of Public
Corruption of the FBI who reviewed the letter, characterized it as “nothing less than an international conspiracy to obstruct justice.”

Then of course, there was the reference in the May 18, 2001 letter to Crimen sollicitationis, a 1962 document of the same Congregation, bearing the signature of Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani,
and purportedly having the approval of Pope John XXIII. Knowing this history of those two, I do not believe for an instant that Papa Giovanni ever knew of the issuance of that document
under his name – but that is another story for another day. In any event, crimen appeared in a footnote as having been printed in 1962 by the Vatican Polyglot Press but it had no reference to
having ever been published in the Acta Apostolice Sedis. Thus, the hunt was on for a copy of crimen, led chiefly by my good friend, the journalist, Kathy Shaw. It simply arrived in my office
one day in a plain brown envelope, no return address, Latin original and English translation.
Crimen itself, I’m sure you have all read. The BBC certainly did a magnificent job of bringing it to public attention. For purposes of brevity let me say only this. When the bishops
attempted initially to limit it to matters of the confessional, I had to point out to them that article 74’s reference to sex with brute animals certainly went far beyond any confessional I have ever
been in -- and I’ve been in a lot of them! Otherwise the document speaks for itself.

How I then became involved in lawsuits on behalf of victims is another story in itself and I omit it here, other than to move forward to the 1994 lawsuit in Houston against the Diocese of
Galveston-Houston. The perpetrator in that case was a seminarian acting as a deacon. He had come to the US from Colombia and after the abuse was discovered, the suit alleges he was spirited out of the country by the diocese. How many times have we heard that story! Ultimately, the Harris County District Attorney issued an arrest warrant for the perpetrator and he became a fugitive from Texas justice. This was the salient fact that caused us to add Joseph Ratzinger as a defendant in the Texas lawsuit in December 2004. It took two months to engage him, but in February 2005, two months before his election, we legally forced him to answer the lawsuit and he chose to do so by removing = remissione the case from Texas state court to the United States District Court in Houston, Hon. Lee Rosenthal, presiding. (Ironically, a female federal judge of Jewish ancestry). We all know the history after that. Pope John Paul II died, a conclave was called, and the senior cardinal in the conclave was Joseph Ratzinger. Since every Cardinal in that conclave had arguably been his subordinate and, as such, had been a recipient of the May 18, 2001 letter, “Ad exequandam,” my co-counsel Tahira Merritt and I were giving odds on his election.

For the first time in my life I felt in a better place than Nick the Greek = sicuro al 100%! Ratzinger, of course, was elected and took the name Benedict XVI. Meantime, he was still a defendant before Judge Rosenthal. The case then moved forward under our federal rules of civil
procedure that call for an early CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE. Thus, in May 2005, we appeared before Judge Rosenthal. Counsel for the diocese and Joseph Ratzinger were all
atwitter that their man was was now Pope Benedict XVI, not Joseph Ratzinger. Judge Rosenthal simply smlied and remarked, “For now, let’s just call him the ‘Vatican defendant.’” However, thereafter, she simply referred to him in her written orders as Joseph Ratzinger. (Parenthetically, to paraphrase the pundits, the Pope learned that the only difference between God and a federal judge, is that God’s not a federal judge. ) In any case, at the May 2005 case management conference, defendant Ratzinger’s lawyers indicated that there might be some
activity at the US Department of State. Therefore, Judge Rosenthal entered a written order = ordinanza that put the case on hold and ordered Joseph Ratzinger to file a status report every
thirty days.

Ultimately, he reported that the Vatican Nunciature in Washington had sent a diplomatic note to the US Department of State asking the United States Government to intervene in the
lawsuit since Joseph Ratzinger, n/k/a Pope Benedict XVI was now a head-of-state and, as such, enjoyed “Head of State Immunity.”The Bush Administration complied and Joseph Ratzinger was dismissed from the lawsuit. The suit is still pending.

Mr. Shea ended with a Power Point presentation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:26 PM

Key 1979 meeting detailed in priest abuse trial

BURLINGTON (VT)
Burlington Free Press

Published: Friday, June 22, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

A meeting 28 years ago between the bishop of the state's Roman Catholic diocese and Chittenden County prosecutors became a focus of attention Thursday during the second day of a priest-child molestation trial in Burlington.

Susan Via, a former deputy prosecutor, testified by videotape that Bishop John Marshall met with then Chittenden County State's Attorney Mark Keller, herself and two other deputy prosecutors in 1979 after parents of several altar boys in Milton complained that their sons had been molested by the Rev. Alfred Willis.

"The bishop tried to assure Mark that either he or people from his diocese had spoken to the families involved," Via said in a 2006 deposition taped at her home in Tucson, Ariz. "He told Mark that all of them felt it would not be in their children's interest to have them testify or participate in a criminal investigation and prosecution."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 AM

Paedophilia in Britain: the victim's story

UNITED KINGDOM
The Independent

Published: 24 June 2007
Peter Saunders was seven when it started, and he weighed just four stone. Even today, it is the memory of his abuser's body pressing down on his slight frame that makes him shudder most.

His abuser was a male relative, and he would get Peter to babysit and then pounce on him after returning home with his wife. As she slumbered upstairs, her husband would assault him in the living room.

So why didn't Peter tell someone, anyone?

Even four decades on, he finds it difficult to explain. "I was too frightened to tell anyone, and he said they would not believe me if I did," he said. "He abused me emotionally and psychologically, which I think, in the long term, has had a far worse effect on me."

Only when he reached the age of 13 did Peter find the courage to tell his abuser to stop. His respite was short-lived: as soon as that ordeal ended, another began: a paedophile priest at his school turned his unwelcome attentions on him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:52 AM

Former minister arrested on sex-abuse charges

NORTH CAROLINA
Winston-Salem Journal

By Patrick Wilson
JOURNAL REPORTER

A former Winston-Salem minister was arrested in Wake County on Friday on charges that he had sexual relationships with two boys.

The Rev. Rodney Keith Boothe, 39, was affiliated with the Greater Church of Deliverance on North Cherry Street when he was involved in sexual relationships with the boys, court papers said.

Boothe has been charged with numerous counts of statutory rape, indecent liberties and related charges. He was moved from Raleigh to Winston-Salem yesterday and was being held in the Forsyth County Jail with bond set at $10 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 AM

June 23, 2007

Catholic Lay Group Tests a Strategy Change

BOSTON (MA)
The New York Times

By PAM BELLUCK
Published: June 24, 2007
BOSTON, June 23 — Voice of the Faithful, the lay group formed in response to the sexual abuse scandal in the Roman Catholic Church, is calling for the Vatican to review the requirement that priests be celibate, saying the policy may have played a role in the scandal.

The position represents a shift in the approach of the organization, which has avoided raising such controversial issues. It comes as Voice of the Faithful faces a budget deficit from a drop-off in large donations and finds itself at a crossroads in direction.

“It’s tough to keep momentum going over a long period of time,” said Bill Casey, the group’s chairman, “and I think what we need to do is to refocus our organization’s leadership and energy. What we have to do is convince the average Catholic that there is a strong continuing need for an independent lay voice in the governance of the Catholic Church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 PM

Church official acknowledges secrecy policy

BURLINGTON (VT)
Burlington Free Press

Published: Saturday, June 23, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

An official for the state's Roman Catholic diocese admitted Friday the diocese hid information about priests who had molested children until a national bishops' group mandated it end such secrecy.

"Did this diocese find it difficult to comply with those mandates?" attorney Jerome O'Neill asked Monsignor Wendell Searles, a longtime diocesan official and its onetime vicar general, in a tense exchange during the third day of a priest-child molestation trial.

"In some areas, yes," Searles answered. The mandates were issued by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in the 1990s.

Searles, under questioning by O'Neill, also acknowledged the diocese chose to protect the Rev. Alfred Willis' privacy, rather than report him to the police, after it had received multiple claims that he had molested boys in Milton and Burlington in the late 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:56 AM

Advocates for victims of priest abuse target Giuliani pal

LONG ISLAND (NY)
WCAX

Associated Press - June 23, 2007 9:45 AM ET

GARDEN CITY, Long Island (AP) - A spokeswoman for Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani says he has no plans to fire a priest on his payroll who has been accused of abusing children.

Monsignor Alan Placa has denied wrongdoing. He's been suspended from the clergy since 2002, amid abuse allegations.

Giuliani's security consulting business has hired Placa, who's also a lawyer and a childhood friend of the former New York City mayor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:10 AM

Background checks studied by Baptists

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

By Peter Smith
psmith@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

Even as the Southern Baptist Convention studies the feasibility of creating a database of sex offenders in the ministry, its Kentucky counterpart is considering ways to help its churches do background checks on potential staff and volunteers.

"We're going to provide resources to churches so that they can find help in making sure they do excellent background checks on any staff or pastors or anyone that is going to be employed in their church," said Bill Henard, pastor of Porter Memorial Baptist Church in Lexington and chairman of a Kentucky Baptist Convention subcommittee looking into the issue.

The studies come as Baptists and other Protestant churches are drawing closer scrutiny over their handling of sexual abuse, an issue that has led to a widespread scandal in the Roman Catholic Church and prompted that church to bar all abusers from ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

Judge dismisses sex suits against priests

PEORIA (IL)
Journal Star

Saturday, June 23, 2007

By MICHAEL MILLER
of the Journal Star

PEORIA - Lawsuits against three Roman Catholic priests and the Catholic Diocese of Peoria alleging sexual abuse were dismissed Monday in Peoria County Circuit Court.

Judge Joe Vespa ruled the plaintiffs had waited too long after the alleged incidents to sue under Illinois law.

The two lawsuits were brought by:

- Jean Anderson of Peoria, who accused Edward Bush of molesting her in the early 1960s at St. Thomas Grade School in Peoria Heights. Bush has been removed from public ministry and now lives in Rock Island.

- Mary Krusz, who accused both Louis Condon, now of Moline, of molesting her in the late 1950s at a church in Lincoln and Norman Goodman, now of Pekin, in the 1960s or early 1970s, also in Lincoln. Both men also have been removed from public ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Abuse Charter Not Cut And Dried

NEWARK (NJ)
The Ledger

By JEFF DIAMANT
Religion News Service

NEWARK, N.J. - In 2004, the Rev. Gerald Sudol believed he would be kicked out of the Catholic priesthood after a man accused him of sexual abuse two decades ago and the Archdiocese of Newark signed a five-figure settlement with the man's family.

Fast-forward two years.

A canonical trial acquitted Sudol, and he was reassigned to work at a hospice. Last February, "Fr. Gerry" was honored at a festive, church-sponsored jubilee for the 25th anniversary of his ordination.

The case highlights the complexities facing the Catholic Church since it adopted the so-called "Dallas Charter" five years ago in the wake of damning revelations that church leaders for decades covered up child sex abuse by priests. The charter, hashed out by Catholic bishops meeting in Dallas, mandated all accusations be investigated and certain steps be taken to prevent future abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Coin dealer 'preyed' on 'millions-con' Irish priest

DELRAY BEACH (FL)
Irish Independent

By Jason O'Brien
Saturday June 23 2007

ONE of the two Irish priests accused of conning a church in Florida out of $8.6m (€6.5) may have himself been conned by a coin dealer who preyed on elderly investors.

Fr John Skehan, originally from Johnstown, Co Kilkenny, paid at least $300,000 between 2001 and 2003 to a dealer based in Texas, according to court documents relating to his grand theft charge.

Now the coin dealer - First Fidelity Reserve - is facing a separate lawsuit claiming it used high-pressure tactics to push elderly customers into making bad investments. The 79-year-old priest is among possible victims.

In a deposition, Colleen Head, an employee at the Catholic Church in Delray Beach in Florida, told investigators that Fr Skehan had once inadvertently charged a large sum to his American Express card for coins from a Texas dealer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Rudy won't ax scandal priest

NEW YORK
New York Daily News

Saturday, June 23rd 2007, 4:00 AM

Rudy Giuliani plans to keep a priest, suspended by the church in a child sex scandal, on his payroll, his spokeswoman said yesterday.

The Republican presidential candidate's show of loyalty to his childhood friend came in the face of a call from the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests for Giuliani to fire Msgr. Alan Placa from his security consulting business.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

Priest abuse trial takes a lurid twist

BURLINGTON (VT)
Rutland Herald

June 23, 2007

By KEVIN O'CONNOR Herald Staff

BURLINGTON — Everyone associated with it assumed the priest sexual misconduct trial would be explicit. But spectators in Chittenden Superior Court on Friday were surprised when a Vermont Catholic official stopped reading aloud personnel records as instructed because he felt they were too lurid.

The Rev. Wendell Searles, former second-in-command at the diocese, sat on the witness stand in the case of James Turner, a 46-year-old Derby native who charges the Rev. Alfred Willis performed oral sex on him when he was 16 and staying at a Latham, N.Y., hotel in 1977.

Turner's lawyer, Jerome O'Neill, alleges the diocese knew Willis was just one of several priests who had questionable sexual histories but were still assigned to Vermont churches where they went on to molest children. To prove his point, O'Neill asked the 78-year-old Searles to read aloud confidential church paperwork. ...

"I'm sorry," the priest said. "I have to read this aloud? Do I have to?

Judge Ben Joseph apologized but said yes, only to have O'Neill offer to read the paragraph himself. The lawyer then read about someone else testifying of Willis: "'On Good Friday,' he said, 'I just love to see the people come up and kiss the Cross and I put the crotch ... where they can kiss the ... Lord's crotch.' Now, if that isn't sick, I ... I ... I said, 'There's something wrong with you, Al.'"


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Alleged victim in priest sex trial expected to testify

BURLINGTON (VT)
WCAX

Associated Press - June 22, 2007 4:55 PM ET

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - The man suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington over priest sex abuse he claims to have suffered in the 1970s isn't going to take the stand until Monday.

James Turner had been expected to testify today.

Turner claims he was molested by the Reverend Alfred Willis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 AM

Rudy stands by friend accused of abuse

WASHINGTON (DC)
Newsday

BY TOM BRUNE
tom.brune@newsday.com

June 23, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Rudolph Giuliani will stand by his longtime friend Msgr. Alan Placa despite a new call by an advocacy group for priest-abuse victims to fire the suspended priest from his consulting firm, a Giuliani aide said Friday.

The GOP presidential front-runner was urged to ax Placa by David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors

Network of Those Abused by Priests, after Salon Web-magazine ran a story Friday about the 5-year-old allegations of molesting students against Placa and his job at Giuliani Partners.

But Giuliani will not fire Placa, who is also an attorney, from his consulting job, said Giuliani Partners spokeswoman Sunny Mindel.

"The mayor believes Alan Placa has been unjustly accused," she said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:14 AM

Suffering

ST. LOUIS (MO)
The Pueblo Chieftain

By PATRICK MALONE
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
ST. LOUIS - The results of Brother Bill's twisted psychological experiments are in.

The boys who said William Mueller abused them in their teens contend they've been cheated out of many of life's simple pleasures, and are haunted by Mueller's actions.

In adulthood, life's most intimate moments, those times that husbands and wives cherish, are awkward at best for some of Mueller's accusers. Some have said their faith was rattled or lost. Others are short-tempered with the people who love them most. They've said it's difficult for them to trust anyone, particularly authority figures.

“I don't question my faith in Jesus Christ,” said Matt Giegling, who has filed a lawsuit accusing Mueller of abusing him while he attended St. Mary's High School in St. Louis during the early 1980s. “But I question my faith in priests and the Catholic Church.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 AM

Are Muslims and teachers special?

DELAWARE
Spero News

By William Donohue

“In Delaware, a bill was passed yesterday that eliminates the two-year statute of limitations in cases involving the sexual molestation of minors. But the law does not apply equally to the public sector. Sen. Karen Peterson, the principal sponsor of the bill, took umbrage at our charge that unequal justice is at work. Yet today she is quoted as saying that the bill allows victims to sue the state if they can meet the high standard of ‘gross negligence.’ How sweet. She further admits that the state has the right to claim sovereign immunity, and that it is up to the courts to decide whether it should apply. Thus did she verify our charge that there are two standards in play.

“Yesterday, Rep. Greg Lavelle, who is sponsoring a bill that would mandate an equal playing field, called our office requesting data on public school teachers who abuse kids. Today he is quoted as saying our response ‘offended’ him. Indeed, he even went so far as to commend his colleagues for taking ‘all necessary steps to be sure that all children in Delaware are protected regardless of where they go to school….’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:09 AM

Date set for minister's sex-abuse trial

BLOOMINGTON (IL)
Pantagraph

By Edith Brady-Lunny
eblunny@pantagraph.com

BLOOMINGTON — A July 16 jury trial date was set Friday for a James Love, a substitute teacher in Twin City schools and minister who is charged with sedating and sexually abusing four teenage boys.

Love, 37, faces four counts of aggravated battery and four counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. The accusations involve alleged incidents at Love’s home earlier this year.

Assistant State’s Attorney Michelle Brooks filed a motion Friday seeking hair and saliva samples from Love for DNA testing. The defense agreed to comply with that request.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:07 AM

Testimony Reveals More Diocese Protection For Pedophile Priests

BURLINGTON (VT)
WCAX

Burlington, Vermont -- June 22, 2007

There was more testimony Friday indicating Vermont's Roman Catholic Diocese had a longtime policy of protecting pedophile priests from prosecution and protecting itself from lawsuits.

The testimony came from a retired priest who worked with four bishops on church policy including new policies aimed at preventing priest sex abuse. ...

During his testimony, Father Searles acknowledged that for decades the Diocese did not notify police when they received complaints about pedophile priests. Searles testified that the Diocese also concealed the predators' personnel records.

"Alfred Willis was a man whom the files of the Diocese sitting in front of you demonstrated had molested boys in the numbers that had been demonstrated. Nonetheless, this Diocese wanted to protect his privacy. Is that right, sir?," asked Jerry O'Neill, Turner's lawyer.

"I don't know how to answer that,"answered Rev. Searles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:58 AM

Plaintiff breaks down as priest reads letter describing attacks

VERMONT
WVEC

06/22/2007

By JOHN CURRAN / Associated Press

A man who says he was molested by a priest 30 years ago broke down in tears Friday as a former church official read aloud in court a letter he wrote to the church, describing the incidents.

James Turner, 46, of Virginia Beach, Va., who is suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington for negligent supervision, hung his head and sobbed into a handkerchief as former Vicar General Rev. Wendell Searles read the letter on the witness stand.

In it, Turner said former Rev. Alfred Willis performed a sex act on him as he slept in a Latham, N.Y., hotel room where six other people were also spending the night after attending the 1977 ordination of Turner's brother. According to Turner, Willis — who has since been defrocked — molested him as he slept.

"I remember feeling very dirty all the next day," he said in the letter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:55 AM

June 22, 2007

Becker to plead not guilty

JAMESBURG (NJ)
The Cranbury Press

JAMESBURG — A 62-year-old Helmetta man who has served as president of the Jamesburg Historical Society will be arraigned today (Friday) in state Superior Court in Middlesex County on one count of second-degree sexual assault.

Ronald Becker, of Raintree Court, could face between five and 10 years in prison if convicted, according to Nicole Albert, an assistant prosecutor at the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office who is handling the case. Mr. Becker was indicted May 16. ...

Mr. Becker was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1973, with his last assignment being in the Diocese of Trenton. In 2002, the diocese removed his faculties, prohibiting him from functioning as a priest, according to a March statement from the diocese. He had not had a church assignment since 1989, and neither the victim nor her immediate family were parishioners of a church that Mr. Becker was assigned to during his tenure, according to the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 PM

From NBC’s Domenico Montanaro and Chuck Todd

NEW YORK
MSNBC

Posted: Friday, June 22, 2007 3:32 PM by Domenico Montanaro

From NBC’s Domenico Montanaro and Chuck Todd
Has Giuliani's personal loyalty gotten him another skeleton for the press to go chasing after? Salon details Giuliani keeping a priest -- who is a life-long friend -- on the payroll of his consulting firm despite being accused of covering up more than 60 incidents of molestation and being involved in some cases.

Monsignor Alan Placa was suspended by his diocese and that “a 2003 Suffolk County, N.Y., grand jury report that accuses Placa of sexually abusing children, as well as helping cover up the sexual abuse of children by other priests,” Salon writes.

Priest F, who Salon identifies as Placa, was “cautious, but relentless in his pursuit of victims,” according to the grand jury report. (The report then goes into detail about Priest F's relationship with at least three young men.) "Everyone in the school knew to stay away from Priest F."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:07 PM

Advocates for victims of priest abuse target Giuliani friend

LONG ISLAND (NY)
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: June 22, 2007

GARDEN CITY, New York: Advocates for victims of priest sexual abuse called on U.S. Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani on Friday to fire a childhood friend and priest who was hired by Giuliani's security consulting business after being suspended from the clergy amid allegations he abused children.

A spokeswoman for Giuliani said the firm had no plans to fire Msgr. Alan Placa.

"There's ample evidence showing that Placa consistently protected predators, shrewdly deceived victims, and covered up horrific clergy sex crimes," said a statement from David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. SNAP also contends that Placa abused children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:04 PM

Davenport diocese wants to hire private investigator

DAVENPORT (IA)
WHO

Associated Press - June 22, 2007 9:24 AM ET

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - The Davenport Diocese is asking for court permission to hire a private investigator to review new reports of alleged sexual abuse by priests.

The diocese filed for chapter eleven bankruptcy in October after facing mounting litigation from people who claim they were sexually abused by priests.

Since then, the diocese says more reports of abuse have been reported, but it doesn't have the personnel to look into the claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 AM

Giuliani Remains Loyal To A Priest Accused Of Molesting Boys And A Cover-Up

NEW YORK
The Atlantic

Rudy Giuliani's consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, has for years employed a Catholic priest who was accused by a grand jury of orchestrating the over-up of nearly 60 separate molestations allegations -- a priest who allegedly partook of the activities himself. The priest, Alan Placa, is one of Giuliani's oldest friends; in turn, Giuliani has become Placa's highest-profile defender.

This is a remarkable story about how, for Giuliani, the bonds of friendship can survive even the highest levels of moral radioactivity. If the court documents are accurate, if the allegations are true, even in part, it's also the story of a very troubled priest who abused the trust of his young charges.

I first learned about this story earlier this year, when Giuliani opponents circulated a Newsday article at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Today, Salon fills in some of the blanks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Decisions awaited in former priest's case

SHEPHERDSVILLE (KY)
WAVE 3

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A former Roman Catholic priest is out of prison and back in jail, but Daniel Clark may be free on bond soon.

Clark's sexual-abuse conviction was overturned by Kentucky's highest court and he was released from state prison yesterday and returned to the Bullitt County Jail.

Bullitt County Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Mann says a decision on whether he will be tried again should be made in the coming days. If the 59-year-old Clark gets a new trial, he's expected to be released on bond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

Trial Delayed For Former Vianney Teacher

Michelle Wirth Reporting

St. Louis (KMOX News) -- An abuse trial involving a former Vianney educator, has been postponed...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 AM

Giuliani's loyalty to an accused priest

NEW YORK
Salon

By Alex Koppelman and Joe Strupp

June 22, 2007 | NEW YORK -- Anyone who has followed the career of Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani knows the value he places on personal loyalty. Loyalty is what inspired the former mayor of New York to make Bernard Kerik, once his personal driver, the commissioner of the New York Police Department, and then a partner in his consulting firm, and then to suggest him to President Bush as a potential head of the Department of Homeland Security.

After revelations about Kerik's personal history derailed his bid for the federal post, Giuliani demonstrated that there were limits to loyalty. He has distanced himself from Kerik, who resigned from Giuliani's firm and later pleaded guilty to corruption charges. Giuliani has not, however, sought to distance himself from another, much closer friend whose personal baggage is also inconvenient, and would send most would-be presidents running.

Giuliani employs his childhood friend Monsignor Alan Placa as a consultant at Giuliani Partners despite a 2003 Suffolk County, N.Y., grand jury report that accuses Placa of sexually abusing children, as well as helping cover up the sexual abuse of children by other priests. Placa, who was part of a three-person team that handled allegations of abuse by clergy for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, is referred to as Priest F in the grand jury report. The report summarizes the testimony of multiple alleged victims of Priest F, and then notes, "Ironically, Priest F would later become instrumental in the development of Diocesan policy in response to allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests."

Five years after he was suspended from his duties because of the abuse allegations, Placa is currently listed as "priest in residence" at St. Aloysius Church in Great Neck, N.Y., where close friend Brendan Riordan serves as pastor, and officially lives at the rectory there with Riordan. In addition, Placa co-owns a penthouse apartment in Manhattan with Riordan, the latest in a half-dozen properties the two men have owned in common at various times since the late 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Lawyer: Bishop intimidated prosecutors

VERMONT
Rutland Herald

June 22, 2007

By KEVIN O'CONNOR Herald Staff

BURLINGTON — Did Vermont's Catholic Church try to stop a state's attorney from prosecuting a priest who's now the center of a sex abuse trial?

Lawyers for a man suing the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington charged Thursday that the late Vermont Bishop John Marshall tried to intimidate prosecutors investigating the Rev. Alfred Willis before the priest was defrocked in 1985 for molesting boys.

Church leaders are defending themselves in Chittenden Superior Court in a case brought by James Turner, a 46-year-old Derby native who alleges Willis performed oral sex on him when he was 16 and staying at a Latham, N.Y., hotel in 1977.

But three decades ago, according to Turner's attorney, the diocese was able to keep other abuse allegations from being heard by a judge and jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:20 AM

Chabad Motto? If At First You Don't Succeed, Sue the Victim

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Failed Messiah

A Chabad man serves as the hazzan of a Chabad synagogue. Several years ago, outside another synagogue after a community event, the Chabad hazzan sexually assaults a woman who is a member of the Chabad synagogue. He is eventually arrested and pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of lewd conduct. He is sentenced, serves a very brief time, is given probation and community service.

Meanwhile, the victim civilly sues Chabad, in part because she claims Chabad sheltered the hazzan. Now Chabad has sought a judgment against the victim for more than $175,000 in attorneys' fees, and a judge is about to grant that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:23 AM

Late Bishop Allegedly Tried to Block Pedophile Priest Prosecution

BURLINGTON (VT)
WCAX

Burlington, Vermont - June 21, 2007

Did a former Catholic Bishop threaten prosecutors with committing a sin if they arrested a pedophile priest?

That charge was made Thursday in a Burlington court where a Virginia man is seeking damages from the Burlington Roman Catholic Diocese. He claims he was abused by a former priest -- and Diocese leaders could have prevented it.

Thursday's testimony at the Superior Court in Burlington focused on the late Bishop John Marshall and his alleged personal intervention with prosecutors to protect a predatory priest.

One of those prosecutors was the key witness. ...

Via says when Keller rejected the Bishop's offer, Marshall appeared to become angry, sat back stiffly in his chair, and threatened Keller and the Roman Catholic prosecutors in the room with divine retribution.

He said, "that this could be viewed by the church as Mark committing the crime of the sin of scandal," said Via.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:20 AM

COPCA releases fifth child protection report

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Catholic News

The Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults (COPCA) presented its Fifth Annual Report today.

The Report shows that the Catholic Church in England and Wales continues to make progress in the work of safeguarding children and young people.

It contains a wide range of statistics drawn from the work of child protection in the Church.

Behind these figures lies a huge amount of work which involves thousands of people who freely give their time to contribute to achieving the aims set out by Lord Nolan in his report A Programme for Action (2001).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:11 AM

Former Church Greeter Arrested on Child Sex Charges

WOODLANDS (TX)
Woodlands Online

By WOL Staff
The Woodlands, TX -- A former volunteer church greeter at Fellowship of The Woodlands has been arrested and charged with four to six counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor.

Jamie (James) Vau, 52, of Spring, TX was released on $100,000 bond after being arrested in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Vau is reportedly heading back to Houston.

Investigators are reporting that the victim was a female between the age of 8 to 14, and that Vau may have targeted multiple youngsters during several marriages and had access to young children during those relationships.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:09 AM

CARDINAL LAW ADVISER TO POPE

ROME
New York Post

Cindy Adams

June 21, 2007 -- I now reprise an old news story. There's a point. So, read on and pay attention.

Five years ago a widening scandal - 450 claims of priests accused of sexually abusing children - caused Boston Catholics to nearly drop their prayer books. Allegations were the reigning cardinal took no action to stop the abuse. Massachusetts' attorney general claimed the archdiocese engaged in "an elaborate scheme" to stifle the issue. Of this reigning cardinal, CNN reported Dec. 13, 2002, that one victim said: "I'm speechless. He's hurt a lot of people. He's deceived a lot of people." Despite repeat stories of sexual misconduct by clergy to youngsters over decades, it took months of pressure before His Eminence resigned.

Pope John Paul II, described as "deeply saddened," accepted the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law. Vatican sources stated Cardinal Law's future, due to this "monumental tragedy of abuse of children by priests," is he "will most likely be in retirement status."

Well, he's not. He's living in The Vatican. His own apartment inside the hallowed halls. His position is that of adviser to the pope. Sort of a papal consigliere. Those who just saw him and actually spoke with him say they summoned the nerve to mention the subject of his Boston diocese. They say he put his head in his hands. He would not comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:05 AM

June 21, 2007

Bulgarian Priest Sentenced for Sexual Abuse of 2 Underage Girls, Left in Prison

BULGARIA
Sofia News Agency

21 June 2007, Thursday

The Regional Court in Bulgaria's city of Plovdiv decided to leave behind bars the clergyman, arrested April 27 for sexually abusing two underage girls.

The 55-year-old Emil Miliyonov was the parish priest of three villages around the town of Parvomai. The parents of one of the victims, both at the age of 13 lodged a complaint against the priest in the local court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:52 PM

Former priest moved from state prison pending new trial

SHEPERDSVILLE (KY)
Kentucky.com

The Associated Press

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. --A former Roman Catholic priest whose conviction on sexual abuse charges was overturned by the Kentucky Supreme Court was transferred from state prison to a county jail on Thursday and could soon be free on bond.

Daniel Clark, 59, was moved to Bullitt County Jail a month after the Kentucky Supreme Court overturned his 2003 convictions on first-degree sexual abuse for molesting two boys between 1999 and 2002.

David Lambertus, Clark's attorney, argued that the Bullitt County jury that convicted Clark was not instructed properly by the trial judge. Lambertus said the trial judge also erred by allowing prosecutors to introduce evidence that Clark pleaded guilty in 1988 to sexual abuse and sodomy. The court overturned the conviction based on those two arguments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:36 PM

Pedophile Priests Lose Privacy Rights

CALIFORNIA
Santa Barbara Independent

Thursday, June 21, 2007
By Nick Welsh (Contact)
In what may become a landmark legal decision involving the privacy of workers’ personnel files, a Los Angeles County judge ruled the state’s interest in protecting minors from pedophile priests trumped the laws safeguarding the confidentiality of employee records. The ruling emerged out of a dispute over a key provision in a $28-million settlement deal between the Franciscan friars of California and 25 of their molestation victims, most of whom were preyed upon while they were students at St. Anthony’s Seminary in Santa Barbara.

As part of the deal — hammered out last year between attorneys for the Franciscans and Tim Hale, who represented the victims — the Franciscans agreed to publicly release the personnel files of nine pedophile priests, six of whom are still living. The intent of this provision, said Hale, was to warn the community about the extent to which the Franciscans turned a blind eye to sexual abuse that occurred at St. Anthony’s and elsewhere in Santa Barbara. But that provision was challenged in court by the six surviving Franciscans, who argued that they had the exclusive right to release the contents of their personnel records. Because they were never party to the settlement deal, they argued their records should remain closed. In a 22-page legal ruling, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Peter Lichtman disagreed, concluding in plain English, “The rights of privacy must give way to the State’s interest in protecting children from sexual abuse.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:52 PM

Bulgarian Priest Sentenced for Sexual Abuse of 2 Underage Girls, Left in Prison

BULGARIA
Novinite

21 June 2007, Thursday

The Regional Court in Bulgaria's city of Plovdiv decided to leave behind bars the clergyman, arrested April 27 for sexually abusing two underage girls.

The 55-year-old Emil Miliyonov was the parish priest of three villages around the town of Parvomai. The parents of one of the victims, both at the age of 13 lodged a complaint against the priest in the local court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:45 PM

Witness says he ferried men to homes of alleged abusers; But at least one says the allegations are 'crazy'

CANADA
Standard-Freeholder

Terri Saunders / Standard-Freeholder
Local News - Thursday, June 21, 2007 @ 08:00

A number of prominent Cornwall men spent time at homes owned by a probation officer fingered as a child molester and a Crown attorney charged with sexual assault in the 1990s, a witness told the Cornwall Public Inquiry Wednesday.

Gerald Renshaw said he personally observed priests, businessmen and police officers at the home of Ken Seguin in Summerstown and at Malcolm MacDonald's cottage on Stanley Island in the 1980s and 1990s. Seguin was a probation officer at the time who has been identified by a number of witnesses at the inquiry as a perpetrator of sexual abuse against young boys.

MacDonald was charged with a number of sex-related offences in March 1999 by officers with Project Truth, an OPP investigation into child sexual abuse in the Cornwall area. MacDonald died in Florida in December 1999 before his matter could go to trial and Seguin committed suicide in 1994 before he was charged with any crime.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Now church wants to exclude what happened in the rectories from trials; and Mahony is still evading Interrogatories 1 - 8; plus quotes from Tom Doyle.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

I went to court yesterday as a hearing on Cardinal Majony’s answers to Interrogatories 1-8 was on calendar again. On the taped sheet outside the door the hearing on Mahony’s answers was again off calendar but the clerk had apparently penned it back in. Then during a different hearing, Church Attorney Lee Potts said, “Your Honor, there’s a hearing on the calendar and it’s not supposed to be” referring to BC307225 re Interrogatories 1 through 8.

After the hearings I went down to Room 106 to document dive and again found “arcscanweb is having difficulty please try later.” I went back upstairs to get a copy of an order, and lo and behold there was a hearing going on.

Church Attorney Sean Kneafsey had been in the hallway pacing on his cell phone earlier, a look on his face like twin towers were tumbling down inside his head. He was now in court against Tony DeMarco and Patrick Laurence for the plaintiffs. Apparently an ex parte in the jury room had gone so bad it was brought now before the judge unexpectedly. It was the hearing on Interrogatories 1 through 8, that elusive hearing that keeps going off calendar and on and off and on again.

I didn't have my laptop out so didn't get accurate quotes. But Kneafsey said Church Attorneys did everything they could to locate priests to be deposed about their memories of Clinton Hagenbach. Kneafsey said they’d sent letters to the parishes, something like, “the parishes are the structure we have for contacting priests.”

Tony DeMarco spoke up: It’s our understanding the archdiocese continues to provide health insurance and other benefits to these priests, Your Honor. So they have a current address on these men.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:20 PM

LA Catholic Church Sued for Sex Abuse

CALIFORNIA
Prensa Latina

Washington, Jun 18 (Prensa Latina) The largest Catholic archdiocese in the United States will face a marathon legal process over the next six months, when the Los Angeles Superior Court will hear 15 cases involving 172 alleged victims of sexual abuse.

These cases, out of 500 people who are suing church members for sexual abuse will begin July 9, and includes calling Cardinal Roger Mahony as a witness in one of the trials, La Opinion daily reported Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Vatican reverses Kennedy ruling

MASSACHUSETTS
Boston Globe

By Andrea Estes, Globe Staff | June 21, 2007

The former wife of Joseph P. Kennedy II has won a decade-old appeal to the Vatican to reverse the decision that voided their 12-year marriage in the eyes of the church.

Sheila Rauch Kennedy, whose book about the congressman's aggressive pursuit of the annulment helped to end his political career, said yesterday that she feels vindicated by the reversal, which means that the Roman Catholic Church considers the couple still married -- despite the civil dissolution of their marriage 16 years ago. In 1993, Kennedy was remarried, to his former aide, Beth Kelly, in a civil ceremony.

"When you try to defend your marriage, the army that comes after you is pretty brutal," Rauch Kennedy said yesterday from her Cambridge home. "You're accused of being a vindictive ex-wife, an alcoholic bigot, an idiot."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:01 AM

Cleric now advises couples on untying knot

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Herald

By Laura Crimaldi
Thursday, June 21, 2007 - Updated: 01:21 AM EST

The high-ranking church judge who granted an annulment to Joseph P. Kennedy II in 1993 became embroiled in the archdiocese’s sex abuse scandal in 2002 and has since moved to Florida, where he advises couples on annulments.

Monsignor Michael Smith Foster, now 52, a trained canonist and one-time judicial vicar for the archdiocese’s Metropolitan Tribunal, formed Annulment Consultants LLC in Osprey, Fla., on Jan. 26, according to records kept by the Florida secretary of state.

Foster left the Archdiocese of Boston not long after he was accused of sexual abuse by Paul R. Edwards of Winchendon, charges he vehemently denied. A church review board dismissed the allegations against Foster but Edwards was awarded settlement money for accusations against another priest, the late Rev. William Cummings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 AM

Suit Filed Against Popular Minister

GEORGIA
11 Alive

Mona Brewer filed her first lawsuit against Bishop Earl Paulk in 2005. She alleged that the leader of the Chapel Hill Harvester Church in DeKalb County sexually abused and exploited her for 14 years, saying God condoned his actions.

She also alleged that he made her have sex with other ministers, including his own son Don Paulk, who was also named in the lawsuit.

Bishop Earl Paulk acknowledged he had a sexual relationship with Brewer but said it was consensual.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 AM

Opening arguments in abuse case

VERMONT
Rutland Herald

June 21, 2007

By KEVIN O'CONNOR Herald Staff

BURLINGTON — The plaintiff says it's about priest sexual misconduct. The defendant says it's about an accuser's desire to collect more than $1 million.

James Turner and the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington told conflicting stories Wednesday in Chittenden Superior Court at the start of the first recent abuse trial of its kind to reach a Vermont jury.

Turner, 46, of Virginia Beach, Va., says the former Rev. Alfred Willis — a priest in Burlington, Montpelier and Milton before being defrocked in 1985 — performed oral sex on him when he was 16 and staying at a Latham, N.Y., hotel in 1977 and tried to molest him again at the teenager's Derby home later that year.

Turner's lawyer, Jerome O'Neill of Burlington, charged Wednesday that the diocese knew Willis and at least three other priests dating back to 1963 had questionable sexual histories but were assigned to Vermont churches where they molested school-age boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:38 AM

George Johnston hearing reset for August

MISSOURI
Neosho Daily News

By John Ford / Daily News Managing Editor
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2007 12:54 PM CDT

A preliminary hearing for a Granby pastor facing 17 counts of child sexual abuse has been postponed until August.

George Otis Johnston, pastor of the Grandview Valley Baptist Church, will be back in court Aug. 6 for the proceeding. The hearing will be held in Judge Greg Stremel's Division II Associate Circuit courtroom in Neosho.

On June 14, defense attorney Andy Wood filed for a motion to continue the hearing, originally set for Monday. On Monday, the continuance was apparently granted, and the hearing reset.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:18 AM

Landmark sexual abuse bill heads to governor's office

DELAWARE
The News Journal

Posted Wednesday, June 20, 2007 at 4:45 pm
A bill eliminating Delaware’s two-year statute of limitations is on its way to Gov. Ruth Ann Minner’s office for signing, after being unanimously approved by the Senate today.

The state House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 29, which one law professor called "the strongest bill for child sexual abuse victims in the country," by a 41-0 vote Tuesday. The bill had to return to the Senate today for approval of a minor amendment attached Tuesday night by co-sponsor Rep. Deborah Hudson, R-Hockessin.

Lawmakers had noted in the bill it would cost the state a maximum of $200,000 or, possibly, nothing. Hudson’s amendment said the law will take effect when the money is appropriated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 AM

Landmark sexual abuse bill heads to governor's office

DOVER (DE)
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

Updated Wednesday, June 20, 2007 at 7:09 pm
DOVER — The Delaware Senate gave its unanimous approval today to a slightly amended bill that eliminates the two-year civil statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse. Gov. Ruth Ann Minner said she would sign the bill when it reaches her desk.

The vote was 15-0 (with six senators absent) for Senate Bill 29, which has been described as the strongest in the nation, providing a two-year period during which victims of abuse whose cases had been previously barred by the time limit would be able to revive their claims. Institutions that allowed the abuse to occur through gross negligence also could be sued.

"It means our children are very lucky to be protected," Minner said. "Some states have practically no law at all."

The House passed the bill 41-0 Tuesday night after amending it to note that it would take effect when money was appropriated for it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 AM

Church sex abuse trial under way in Burlington

BURLINGTON (VT)
Burlington Free Press

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2007
The lawyer for a Virginia man who claims he was molested by a priest as a teenager in 1977 told a Chittenden Superior Court jury he will be seeking damages “well into the seven figures” as the trial in the case got under way today.

Jerome O’Neill said the diocese looked the other way when confronted with allegations that priests were molesting children and that his client, James Turner, has struggled with the consequences of being abused by a priest when he was 16.

“The diocese acted in complete disregard for the life of Jim Turner and who knows how many other children,” attorney Jerome O’Neill told jurors during his opening remarks. “This action was intentional and deliberate.”

Turner claims he was molested by Alfred Willis, a Vermont diocesan priest, at a Latham, N.Y., motel in June of 1977 and that Willis attempted to molest him a second time three months later.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 AM

June 20, 2007

Formerly Confidential Church Records Highlight Sex Abuse Trial

VERMONT
WCAX

Burlington, Vermont - June 20, 2007

Vermont's Catholic Church went on trial Wednesday, accused of failing to protect children from sexually abusive priests.

Taking center stage on day one -- 50 years of the diocese's own records detailing how church leaders protected pedophile priests and covered up their crimes.

A man who claims he was molested by a former Roman Catholic deacon is suing the diocese for at least $1 million. He says the diocese must pay because for decades it has protected deviant priests and knowingly placed other kids in harms way.

To prove the pattern, his lawyers obtained 50 years of confidential church records which Wednesday for the first time are becoming public. We want to warn you that some of the testimony may be offensive to some viewers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 PM

Victim's lawyer: Church looked after priests _ not children

BURLINGTON (VT)
Newsday

By JOHN CURRAN
Associated Press Writer

June 20, 2007, 5:20 PM EDT

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- The first priest sex abuse case against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington to go to trial got under way Wednesday, with a man's lawyer telling jurors the Diocese is more concerned with shielding itself from liability and protecting predatory priests than in looking out for their child victims.

Jerome O'Neill told jurors he is seeking a seven-figure award to compensate alleged victim James Turner, 46, of Virginia Beach, Va., who says he was molested by a priest in 1977 _ in one case in a New York hotel room.

The emotional fallout has plagued him ever since, leading to two failed marriages and trouble with jobs and trust, according to his lawyer, who said the Diocese set the stage for the alleged abuse and actively sought to block the prosecution of former Rev. Alfred Willis.

"This will haunt him throughout his life," said O'Neill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Hillary, Hollywood and the Vatican

UNITED STATES
The First Post

PHILIP DELVES BROUGHTON on the potential scandal that links a young Hollywood actress with Bill and Hillary Clinton

Just about the last thing the Clintons need now is a financial scandal. Last week, they liquidated as much as $25m worth of stocks in blue chip American companies to protect Hillary from accusations of corporate favoritism during her campaign for the presidency.

Now, the investment fund Bill is involved in is suing a property firm with close ties to the Vatican, accusing its chief executive of frittering away the company's money on his movie star girlfriend.

The Follieri Group was set up in 2003 by a wealthy Italian businessman, Pasquale Follieri, and his son Raffaello, with a unique business plan. It would take advantage of its special ties to the Vatican to buy up property from Catholic dioceses in the United States. Many of these dioceses were financially devastated after having to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements for child abuse cases and seeing their congregations dwindle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:14 PM

Abuse group turns up focus on ex-Marianist brother

PUEBLO (CO)
The Denver Post

By The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 06/18/2007 12:34:24 AM MDT

Pueblo - A group that tracks sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy considers a former Pueblo Marianist brother among the 10 child abusers with the most victims, based on recent accusations.

At least 40 complaints have been filed against William Mueller in Colorado, Texas and Missouri, The Pueblo Chieftain reported Sunday.

"We've only known about this guy for less than three years, and already 40 people have come forward," said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP. "Once all is known, and I'm estimating conservatively, I'd guess that the victims number at least in the 60s. He will probably end up being one of the top 10 worst abusers we've ever seen in terms of sheer numbers."

The Society of Mary religious order has been contacted by at least a dozen more alleged victims whose cases are still being studied. They allege that while pretending to be pursuing a master's degree in psychology, Mueller asked them to submit to experiments involving ether, heavy breathing, blindfolding and touching, The Chieftain reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

Roslea Priest sentenced to five years for aiding rape

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Fermanagh Herald

Former Roslea Parish Priest, Father Jeremiah McGrath, who had earlier been convicted of assisting a dangerous convicted pedophile, groom and abuse a young girl was jailed this week for five years.

McGrath, Liverpool Crown Court heard, was 'obsessed' with William Adams, with whom he had had a sexual relationship, and, when Adams repeatedly raped the child, McGrath bankrolled the abuse.

Jailing Adams for life, Judge Brian Lewis said that there was a significant risk of him committing similar offences for the foreseeable future.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 AM

Belfast-based priest calls for independent audit of dioceses

NORTHERN IRELAND
The Fermanagh Herald

Belfast based Priest, Father Patrick McCafferty, an outspoken critic of the Church's dealing of sexual abuse cases, has said as a result of Father Jeremiah McGrath's conviction, there is a heightened need for an independent audit and inquiry of the Catholic dioceses in the North.

In a letter which appeared this week in the ' Irish News', Fr McCafferty said the 'wicked acts' of William Adams and Jeremiah McGrath were possessed of a 'unique dimension of evil'.

In McGrath's case, he said, there was a clear and callous disregard for the child victim of Adam's perverted attentions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Reports of Sexual Abuse Involving Priest May be Made Public

CALIFORNIA
KEYT

Confidential church files of Roman Catholic priests accused of sexual abuse may be made public. Even if the clerics were never charged criminally and lawsuits over the alleged abuse were settled out of court, reports could become public knowledge.
A judge rules that the state's interest in protecting children from abuse outweighs a priest's right to privacy. Attorney Tim Hale represented many of the 25 children who accused nine Franciscan priest of molesting them at the now defunct St. Anthony's seminary in Santa Barbara.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Victim Speaks Out Against Sexual Against Catholic Priests

CALIFORNIA
KEYT

A victim is speaking exclusively to KEY NEWS about the latest developments in the case. Just Monday a Los Angeles Judge ruled that the personnel files of Catholic Priests who abused two dozen local children will be made public.
Bob Eckert was in a boys choir when he was sexually assaulted during a trip to Europe. Eckert told his story to KEY NEWS several years ago and now he's sharing it again because some survivors say going public helps prevent this sort of thing from happening again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Personnel records of local priests, convicted of molestation, open to public

CALIFORNIA
KSBY

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Reported by: Leana Orsua

SANTA BARBARA

The personnel records for a group of Santa Barbara priests convicted of sexual molestation will become open to the public.

Here is the latest.

Monday, a Los Angeles judge ordered portions of the personnel files of 10 priests be disclosed to the public.
The ruling is the second component of a $28 million settlement reached a year ago.
It has been in court since last August.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Diocese Settles Sex Suits for More Than $300K

MEMPHIS (TN)
The Daily News

BILL DRIES | The Daily News

The Catholic Diocese of Memphis has settled three lawsuits alleging child sexual abuse by a priest assigned to minister to the city's Vietnamese Catholic community.

The settlements, announced last week, are the first in any of the nine civil lawsuits filed beginning in August 2004 against the Memphis Diocese and five priests. All nine allege child sexual abuse and a cover-up by the Diocese.

The Rev. Joseph Nguyen, also referred to as Edward Nguyen, was named in three Jane Doe lawsuits filed in September and November in Shelby County Circuit Court. The lawsuits named the Catholic Diocese as defendant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

No safe haven

LOS ANGELES (CA)
California Catholic Daily

The ruling does not immediately affect the Los Angeles archdiocese, but it may in the future.

On June 18, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Peter Lichtman ruled that confidential personnel files of priests accused of molesting minors may be released to the public, even if the priests in question have never been formally charged of a crime or had claims made against them proven in court.

The case involves ten Franciscans who have been accused of molesting boys and girls for a 30-year period, beginning in the 1950s. Most of the incidents are said to have occurred at St. Anthony’s Seminary in Santa Barbara, which has been closed since 1987. Last year, the archdiocese and the Order of Friars Minor settled with alleged victims of the accused Franciscans for $28 million.

The victims asked Lichtman to release to the public the accused priests’ personnel files. The judge, however, in 2005 ruled that he could not force the release of files of eight priests and teachers of the Orange diocese because lawsuits against them had been settled and the allegations against them not proven. The Franciscans have argued that the case against their members demanded the same restraint.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Church child molestation case goes to trial today

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

Opening arguments begin today in the case of a Virginia man who has sued the state's Roman Catholic diocese alleging it failed to supervise a priest who molested him as a teenager in 1977.

James Turner, 46 of Virginia Beach, Va., claims Alfred Willis performed a sex act on him at a Latham, N.Y., motel in June 1977 and later attempted to molest him again at the Turner family home in Derby.

Willis also has been accused of molesting altar boys in Burlington, Milton and Montpelier, where he was a diocesan parish priest. One case involving claims against Willis was settled for $170,000 in 2004. Willis was suspended from priestly duties in 1980 by then-Bishop John Marshall and was later defrocked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:21 AM

Church pays heavy price as America takes note of a scandal

UNITED STATES
The Times

Tom Bawden in New York
America’s 70 million Roman Catholics, the largest denomination in the United States, significantly scaled down their donations to the Church after a sexual abuse crisis erupted in the Archdiocese of Boston in early 2002.

Yet this loss of financial heart, during which only 2 per cent of American Catholics stepped up their contributions in 2002, proved to be only temporary. As the scandals have drifted from the headlines, donations are now back up to their previous level, of about $7.5 billion (£3.8 billion) a year, according to Charles Zech, the author of a study into Catholic church finances and director for the Centre for the Study of Church Management at Villanova.

“Donations to the local parish only dipped a little bit because donors think of their own priest when making them. Donations to the diocese fell a bit more, because the distance was greater, while national contributions took the biggest hit because the various scandals turned people against bishops as a group.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

House passes landmark child abuse bill, 41-0

DOVER (DE)
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

Posted Wednesday, June 20, 2007

DOVER -- Delaware's House of Representatives passed what one law professor called "the strongest bill for child sexual abuse victims in the country" by a 41-0 vote Tuesday.

Senate Bill 29 eliminates the two-year civil statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse. It also provides a two-year window during which claims previously barred by statute could be filed -- opening the courthouse door to victims unable to seek justice because the statute of limitations had expired. Institutions that allowed the abuse to occur through gross negligence also could be sued.

The bill passed by unanimous vote when it was introduced in the Senate by its prime sponsor, Sen. Karen Peterson, D-Stanton.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

June 19, 2007

Lawsuits Continue To Make News Locally In Clergy Sex Abuse Cases

MISSOURI
Webster-Kirkwood Times

June 01, 2007
The clergy sexual abuse scandal continues to touch the local area, with new lawsuits and news stories being filed throughout 2007.

Earlier this month, a St. Louis County court heard arguments in the case of Bryan Bacon, a graduate of Vianney High School who claims that in 1985 he was molested by a teacher, Marianist Brother William Mueller.

Bacon, a Kirkwood resident, filed a lawsuit against Mueller, Vianney and the Marianist Order. Bacon's lawsuit is one of several that have been filed across the country involving Mueller, who has taught students in Pueblo, Colo.; San Antonio, Tex.; and St. Mary's High School in St. Louis, where he served as the principal from 1981 to 1983.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Priest faces more sex charges

AUSTRALIA
ABC

A Victorian court has been told that a Catholic priest charged with the rape and assault of a girl 30 years ago will now face three additional charges.

Most of the 16 counts against 77-year-old Adelrick D'Cruz relate to offences against a girl between 1969 and 1978.

D'Cruz was the assistant priest at Yarrawonga's Sacred Heart Church in the late 1970s.

He has also worked in parishes at Bendigo, Benalla, Corryong and Cohuna.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Why Mahony Has To Testify: Even though he wasn't cardinal during some of the criminal activity -- from the attorney who authored the subpoena

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
aka City of Angels Lady

Some blogs and even the Los Angeles Times have shown confusion as to why Cardinal Mahony has to testify in the Kreutzer Cases jury trial. Those incidents took place in the 1970s and Mahony didn't become Archbishop of Los Angeles until 1985.

Steven Brady, San Francisco attorney, issued the subpoena because Mahony signed as author, The Report to the People of God, February 17, 2004, even posted it on the archdiocese website. He outlined how the church handled reports of pedophilia in the priesthood in the previous decades.

“Plaintiff has subpoenaed the person whose signature appears on the document, Cardinal Roger Mahony, with notice to produce the original of the document,” writes Brady in his opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Quash Subpoena. “The document details not only the current Church policy regarding the handling of alleged pedophiles, it also states the historical policy of the Church regarding same and covers the period of time relevant to the instant case. Aside from authenticating this document, this witness who is the head of the defendant corporation sole can testify as to information and sources of information in that document.”

Mahony Can Testify As To "Motive, Plan, and Knowledge"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Former Priest Abuse Victims Urge Others To Come Forward

ARIZONA
KPHO

Video presentation from KPHO.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

The judge's order

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

U.S. District Judge Ann Aldrich ordered the diocese to produce documents about the following transactions and entities:

The Anthony M. Pilla Charitable Account, a $500,000 account that church officials said was Pilla's savings.

Payments of $79,000 to remodel and furnish a 5,000-square-foot home in Geauga County that was to be used as a retreat house for church officials.

Payments of $27,800 to Renee Bals, the wife of former Deacon Jerry Bals, who lost his teaching license after being charged with sexually assaulting students while he worked at Lake Catholic High School. The payments were made between 2000 and 2003, and Jerry Bals lived in the house while his wife received the church money.

A $63,000 loan of church money that the Rev. John Wright, then the diocese's financial and legal secretary, made to his secretary. Joseph Smith says Wright made the loan without approval from the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Insider calls for controversial Catholic order to be shut

NEW ZEALAND
The Press

By YVONNE MARTIN - The Press | Tuesday, 19 June 2007

A controversial Catholic order has a culture of sexual abuse within its ranks and should be shut down, says its former complaints manager Michelle Mulvihill.

The psychologist and former nun has blown the whistle on the St John of God Order's crisis, after quitting as head of its professional standards committee for nine years.

Mulvihill said the brotherhood was in such a state of denial it was impossible to get the gravity of its abuse problem recognised.

"My impression is that there is a culture of collusion inside the province which is deeply ingrained, and which makes it almost impossible for the truth about these matters to be dealt with."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Creditors may add parishes to bankruptcy

DAVENPORT (IA)
Des Moines Register

By SHIRLEY RAGSDALE
REGISTER RELIGION EDITOR

June 19, 2007

If a bankruptcy judge approves creditors' request to hire accounting experts to examine the Diocese of Davenport's financial dealings and records, it may give abuse survivors a chance to expand the money pool to cover their financial claims, according to legal experts.

The legal move, which may draw parishes into the bankruptcy, leaves a bad taste in the mouths of some lay Catholics.

"The abuse victims kept saying the lawsuits (against the diocese) weren't about the money," said Stephen Slobodnik of Mount Pleasant, a member of St. Alphonsus parish. "Obviously, it is about the money."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Ruling opens door to release of Franciscan friars personnel files

SANTA BARBARA (CA)
The Mercury News

The Associated Press
Article Launched: 06/18/2007 04:43:23 PM PDT

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—A judge on Monday ruled that privacy is not enough to conceal the personnel files of six Franciscan priests and brothers accused of sexual abuse, the first step in what could be the release of the secret documents.

Franciscan friars last year reached a $28 million settlement with 25 people who claimed they were sexually abused at a Santa Barbara seminary and mission. The plaintiffs also sought the release of personnel files of six priests and brothers who invoked their privacy rights.

"The rights of privacy must give way to the state's interest in protecting its children from sexual abuse," wrote Superior Court Judge Peter Lichtman.

The Franciscan Friars, Province of Saint Barbara, had no immediate comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Roncalli

PUEBLO (CO)
The Pueblo Chieftain

By PATRICK MALONE
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
Maybe it was the miles between the Marianist headquarters in St. Louis and 30-year-old William Mueller's new assignment at Roncalli High School in Pueblo.

Whatever the reason, it has been alleged in two dozen lawsuits that Mueller's behavior shifted gears in the fall of 1966 from the unusual to the bizarre.

Leaders in the Society of Mary religious order already were aware of at least one indiscretion involving Mueller and a student while he was in training to join the order in 1958 in St. Louis.

And a principal allegedly had learned that Mueller was conducting experiments involving ether on at least one student at St. John Vianney High School in St. Louis during the spring of 1966. The student involved has testified in a deposition that he believes the report precipitated Mueller's move to Pueblo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

Court allows release of clergy personnel files

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By John Spano and Greg Krikorian, Times Staff Writers
June 19, 2007

A judge ruled Monday that confidential personnel files on Roman Catholic clergy accused of molesting children can be made public even if the clerics were never charged with a crime and legal claims against them were not proven.

"The rights of privacy must give way to the state's interest in protecting its children from sexual abuse," Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Peter D. Lichtman said in his 22-page ruling.

The decision concerns a small number of Franciscan friars, who will have an opportunity to object to disclosure of specific documents before the files are opened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 AM

Jury picked for priest abuse trial

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

A jury of six men and six women was picked Monday to hear the case of a Virginia man who has sued the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington in connection with claims that as a teenager in 1977 he was molested by a Vermont priest.

"This is fortunate for many reasons," Judge Ben Joseph told the jury members at the end of a daylong selection process at Chittenden Superior Court. "The process moved more quickly than we anticipated.

Opening arguments in the case are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday. The trial is expected to last six or seven days.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

June 18, 2007

Burlington Catholic Diocese Jury Selection Begins

VERMONT
WCAX

Burlington, Vermont -- June 18, 2007

Jury selection is nearly complete for Vermont's second civil trial accusing the Roman Catholic Diocese of failing to protect a boy from a pedophile priest.

The Vermont Diocese has already paid more than one and a half million dollars to settle four lawsuits filed by men who claimed church leaders coddled and covered up for predatory priests.

This Wednesday the Catholic Diocese will go on trial again. But, this time the church is claiming IT is the victim of a man who is making up a story hoping to collect millions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 PM

First Amendment Free Exercise Clause warped to mean priests can rape children; plus 6 priests molest 55 kids and church has more questions for victims

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling, aka City of Angels Lady

I’m still reeling. In a document I read this morning was a Church Newspeak Creation: "Ecclesiastical Cognizance:" where the right of priests to rape children is guaranteed by First Amendment Free Exercise Clause.

Archdiocese Attorneys make such a joke of the First Amendment -- not only do I want these lawyers to lose their cases, I want them deported, their very citizenship revoked.

In: “Answer of Defendant Doe 1 to the Complaint of Plaintiff” re a case with a hearing tomorrow, Bonne Bridges et all declare: “The complaint is barred by the Doctrine of Church Autonomy derived from the Free Exercise and Establishment Clauses of the First Amendment.”

Right. When the Founding Fathers crafted religious freedom into the Bill of Rights it was so pedophile priests could use the sacraments to rape children. Church Attorneys argue that the archdiocese can keep secret what happens with its children, even when it amounts to learning to talk dirty and give oral sex, because of its free exercise of the First Amendment?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Tom O'Connell: Church, lawmakers fail victims of child molestation

MADISON (WI)
The Capital Times

Tom O'Connell, guest columnist — 6/18/2007 12:38 pm

Recently the Diocese of Madison has taken action against Kenneth Klubertanz, a priest who has been accused by the church itself as a child molester. Among the steps being taken, he can no longer present himself publicly as a priest, conduct Mass, or administer sacraments. He must also stay away from children under 18 years of age.

The diocese refuses to give information regarding his whereabouts, counseling received or other information.

While this is a small step by the church in addressing the problem of child molestation, it is not nearly enough. Not only did this current action against Klubertanz take years, the church continues to blanket itself in secrecy as to the actions being taken to address the vast problem of child molestation and the lack of support for victims of such awful crimes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:15 PM

1 man continues abuse suit against diocese

PROVIDENCE (RI)
WPRI

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- One man is pressing forward with his sexual abuse lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence five years after church officials reached a $14 million settlement with 36 other people who claimed they were molested by priests.

At issue is exactly when the alleged abuse took place, and whether the statute of limitations has expired on the case. Christopher Young, 28, of Lincoln alleges that he was sexually abused by a parish priest on a number of occasions during the 1980s, beginning when Young was in elementary school.

Young sued former priest John Petrocelli, who was then serving at Holy Family Church in Woonsocket, and the bishop on March 13, 2003, right before his 24th birthday. Young claimed in an interview with the diocese's investigator that the first incidence of abuse occurred in 1988 or 1989, but said he was uncertain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:09 PM

St. Joseph’s turns away the abused

MENDHAM (NJ)
Observer-Tribune

By PHIL GARBER, Managing Editor
Wednesday, June 13, 2007 5:12 PM EDT

MENDHAM – The church that was at the center of the nationwide clergy sex abuse scandal no longer will accommodate meetings to help victims of such abuse.

The church pastor, Monsignor Joseph T. Anginoli, notified members of the New Jersey chapter of Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP) on June 6 that they no longer may meet at the church.

A spokeswoman for the Catholic Diocese of Paterson said room in the Pax Christie House adjacent to the church is needed for a new pre-kindergarten program and that numerous church groups will be affected by the squeeze, in addition to SNAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

2002 charter continues to protect God’s children

UNITED STATES
Pittsburgh Catholic

by: By C.T. Maier and Robert P. Lockwood

Five years ago, the U.S. Catholic bishops responded to the clergy sexual abuse crisis by approving the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” and a broad-based effort to address the problem of child sexual abuse in the church and society as a whole.

At the heart of the charter is the bishops’ promise to “work to our utmost for the protection of children and youth.” The charter backs up their pledge with 17 guidelines that promote healing and reconciliation, guarantee an effective response to abuse cases, ensure accountability and protect the faithful by screening those who work with children and youth.

Yet, many Catholics are unaware of what the church has been doing. A recent survey by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University found that as many as 80 percent of American Catholics didn’t know that the church had done anything at all.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:46 PM

Leaving a legacy

CANADA
Chatham Daily News

Editorial - Monday, June 18, 2007 @ 09:00

Bishops before him can easily be accused of creating a culture of secrecy in terms of sweeping the misconduct of London diocese priests - notably Father Charles Sylvestre - under the rug. But Bishop Ronald Fabbro appears committed to leaving a legacy as the man who took great strides to help Sylvestre's 47 victims heal, to admit to the Church's wrongdoing, and now to work to prevent such deeds from recurring.

Fabbro took a strong stance against Sylvestre's actions immediately following the 47 guilty pleas in August 2006. He publicly apologized for Sylvestre's actions - as well as the inaction of the Catholic Church - and moved to have Sylvestre defrocked.

The release of the Code of Conduct for the Roman Catholic Diocese of London last week only further illustrates how strongly Fabbro is committed to eradicating the possibility of future sexual abuse at the hands of an area priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:57 AM

Experiments

ST. LOUIS (MO)
The Pueblo Chieftain

By PATRICK MALONE
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
ST. LOUIS - Harry Suda Jr. wasn't yet a student at St. John Vianney High School when he met Brother William Mueller in 1963.

Suda, now 56, was a seventh-grader but was familiar with most of the Marianist Brothers at Vianney because one of his older brothers was a student-athlete there, and another was in the novitiate on his way to becoming a Marianist.

Suda's first impressions of Mueller were favorable.

“(Mueller) was always looking out for the little guys ... protecting the freshmen because (he) didn't want the juniors, seniors picking on them. That was always kind of his role,” Suda said during a deposition in one of the lawsuits accusing Mueller of abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Collaring the Clergy

ST. PAUL (MN)
ABA Journal

By Terry Carter

From his 10th-floor office in St. Paul, Minn.—low-lit, with dark wooden blinds shutting out the view of a bridge across the Mississippi—Jeffrey An­derson is soothing, cajoling, strategizing, plan­ning and implement­ing in phone call after phone call.

He seems as much air traffic controller as lawyer, and con­­trol is very much his thing.

Sometimes over the speakerphone, sometimes on the handset to preserve client privilege, Anderson eases from one persona to another.

For journalists, there is clever repartee along with bits of information and encouraging compliments.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Priest faces more sex allegations

UNITED KINGDOM
Lancashire Evening Post

Police are investigating more complaints against a Catholic priest who has already admitted indecently assaulting a young girl.

Fr Edmund Cotter was due to be sentenced on Friday after he had previously admitted indecently assaulting a young girl over a three-year period.

But the hearing, scheduled to be heard at Preston Crown Court, was delayed after more people approached police with allegations against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Another Priest Sex Abuse Case Begins

VERMONT
WCAX

Burlington, Vermont - June 18, 2007

Jury selection begins Monday for another civil suit involving a former priest with the Vermont Catholic Diocese.

The lawsuit claims that former priest Alfred Willis sexually molested a teenage boy in the late seventies.

The church lost a legal battle last week when a judge ruled the plaintiff can present evidence at the trial indicating that the church was aware of pedophile priests and covered up their actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Sex Abuse Fliers Handed Out at Valley Churches

ARIZONA
MyFox Phoenix

Church-goers learned this morning about what happened to one of their former leaders. Father Jorge Cordova was captured in Spain last week. Father Cordova was wanted in a sexual abuse case here in the Valley. SNAP handed out fliers at 2 churches Sunday where Father Cordova was employed, hoping to have more people come forward who were abused. Fox 10's Tammy Vo has more...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Ex-Pueblo Catholic brother listed among worst child abusers

PUEBLO (CO)
KJCT

Associated Press - June 17, 2007 12:44 PM ET

PUEBLO, Colo. (AP) - A former Pueblo Marianist brother is listed among the 10 child abusers with the most victims, according to a group that tracks sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy.

The Pueblo Chieftain reported today that at least 40 complaints have been filed against William Mueller in Colorado, Texas and Missouri.

David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Mueller's actions are almost unparalled in the history of abuse by clery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Former St. Louis Brother Listed Among Worst Child Abusers

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KTVI

(KTVI - myFOXstl.com) --
A former St. Louis Marianist brother is listed among the 10 child abusers with the most victims, according to a group that tracks sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy.

At least 40 complaints have been filed against William Mueller in Colorado, Texas and Missouri, the Pueblo Chieftain reported Sunday.

"We've only known about this guy for less than three years, and already 40 people have come forward," said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, better known as SNAP. "Once all is known, and I'm estimating conservatively, I'd guess that the victims number at least in the 60s. He will probably end up being one of the top 10 worst abusers we've ever seen in terms of sheer numbers."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Meetings on Delmarva

BETHANY BEACH (MD)
The Daily Times

Coastal Delmarva Chapter of Voice of the Faithful will meet Thursday at 7 p.m. at the South Coastal Library in Bethany Beach. The principal speaker is Dr. Robert West of the Center for the study of Church Management at Villanova University. His topic will be "Internal Financial Controls in the U.S. Catholic Church: Policies for Transparency and Accountability.'' VOTF was formed in response to the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. It has three goals: to support those who have been abused; to support priests of integrity, and to shape structural change within the Church. For more information, call 302-541-0254.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Church organist says he was abused, fired

BALTIMORE
The Examiner

Jun 18, 2007 3:00 AM (5 hrs ago)
by Luke Broadwater, The Examiner

BALTIMORE (Map, News) - A church organist who says he was fired after he brought forward allegations of sexual abuse can pursue job discrimination claims against the Archdiocese of Washington, Maryland’s highest court has ruled.

In a 4-3 decision, the Maryland Court of Appeals found Thursday that a church organist’s job is not “ministerial” in nature and therefore the church cannot invoke a “ministerial exemption” — a legal exception to discrimination claims that precludes government interference in the employment decisions of religious organizations.

William Moersen was employed as an organist at St. Catherine Labouré Parish in Wheaton from 1958 to 1976 and again from 1991 to 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Memphis Diocese settles 3 sexual abuse lawsuits

MEMPHIS (TN)
Commercial Appeal

By James Dowd

June 18, 2007

Three civil lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by a former Memphis priest have been settled, but an investigation to determine his future in parish ministry is ongoing.

Last week the Catholic Diocese of Memphis reached financial settlements in three cases against Father Joseph Nguyen. The lawsuits, each filed in 2006 by three Vietnamese-American women listed as Jane Doe Nos. 1, 2 and 3, claimed multiple counts of sexual abuse by Nguyen from 1994 to 1999.

The alleged abuse occurred when the women were minors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Limits on sex abuse suits set for debate

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By BETH MILLER, The News Journal

Posted Monday, June 18, 2007

The debate about how long -- and under what circumstances -- a victim of child sexual abuse can sue in Delaware returns to Legislative Hall this week.

Senate Bill 29 would eliminate the civil statute of limitations and open a two-year window during which cases previously barred by the state could be filed.

The bill is scheduled to go before the full state House on Tuesday afternoon with several amendments pending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Viewpoint: Lessons to be learned

NORTHERN IRELAND
Belfast Telegraph

Monday, June 18, 2007

At the weekend, parishioners in the Fermanagh village of Rosslea heard from their bishop on the difficult subject of Fr Jeremiah McGrath.

McGrath was jailed last week for helping paedophile Billy Adams groom a 12-year-old girl for prolonged sexual abuse.

In a statement read at Vigil Mass, the Bishop of Clogher, Joseph Duffy, said McGrath's future in his order will be decided after the conclusion of all current and potential legal proceedings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Unequal justice under law

COLORADO
The Coloradoan

Neil McCaffrey

Item: A Fort Collins pastor faces charges that on more than one occasion he fondled a teenage boy and gave him alcohol. He then called the young man during the police investigation. Convicted of the crimes, the since defrocked priest received a minimum 14-year prison sentence.

Item: A Brighton public school teacher admits to fondling and kissing a teenage boy and giving him alcohol. Then, in violation of her bond, she calls the young man during the investigation. The young man involved says the two once exchanged 76 text messages in a single day. While calling the teacher's actions a "serious criminal offense," the judge, nonetheless, accepted her plea bargain and imposed a 45-day jail sentence, plus a five-year probation and four-year deferred sentence.

Both the priest and the teacher proclaim their innocence, though the teacher pleaded guilty.

Both cases occurred in Larimer County. Both occurred after the advent of tough sexual predator laws.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

June 17, 2007

Bishops condemn Arroyo for favouring child rapist

PHILIPPINES
The Peninsula

Web posted at: 6/18/2007 0:48:4

manila • Influential Roman Catholic bishops in the Philippines yesterday hit out at President Gloria Arroyo for shortening the jail time of a convicted child rapist, allegedly for political considerations.

The Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines' (CBCP) commission on prison pastoral care said commuting Romeo Jalosjos' two life terms to only 16 years showed government was biased in favour of political allies.

Jalosjos, 66 and a former House of Representatives member, was convicted in 1996 for raping an 11-year-old girl. He was sentenced to two life terms and has so far served 10 years in jail.

The conviction was hailed by human rights advocates in this majority Catholic country where powerful political clans often skirt the law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 PM

Abuse suit against diocese lingers on

PROVIDENCE (RI)
Providence Journal

01:00 AM EDT on Monday, June 18, 2007

By Scott MacKay
Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE — In 2002, the Most Rev. Robert E. Mulvee, then bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence, reached a $14-million settlement in 36 sexual-abuse lawsuits against parish priests, ending what was believed at the time to be the longest stretch of legal action over clergy misconduct in the United States.

As part of that settlement, the diocese agreed to a mediation and arbitration system that handled remaining clergy abuse lawsuits short of trial, by paying settlements of $25,000 to $50,000 to victims and offering them pastoral help and therapy.

That system has worked fairly well, say lawyers for both victims and the diocese; about 50 sexual-abuse claims have been settled for a total of about $2 million under mediation and arbitration.

Yet, one from the 1980s involving former priest John Petrocelli, of Holy Family Church in Woonsocket, has eluded settlement. Christopher Young, of Lincoln, who is now 28, alleges that Petrocelli sexually abused him in a series of incidents that began when Young was in elementary school and flunked his altar boy test. At that time the bishop was the Most Rev. Louis E. Gelineau.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 PM

Open Letter to US Bishops

UNITED STATES
Father Lasch

Saturday June 16, 2007
The following letter was addressed to the bishops of the United States and hand delivered on Thursday, June 13th by Buddy Cotton to Archbishop Harry Flynn, Chair of the bishops’ draft committee on the policy for dealing with the abuse crisis. To date, no acknowledgment has been forthcoming.

Dear Fellow Servants:

I hope you will not be offended by this egalitarian salutation. Although you enjoy a higher rank in our Church and surely a greater canonical authority than I among our Catholic brothers and sisters ‘in the pew,’ I do believe that we enjoy a mutual mission through our common baptism as do all Catholics.

I am just an ordinary priest. I am not a ‘celebrity’ priest. I have written no books. I have never taught at a university. I am writing as a pastor on behalf of many of my sisters and brothers ‘in the pew,’ as it were, a title which I hope you will accept as referring to mainstream Roman Catholics. As you know, despite how many people of other religious traditions and even those of no religious tradition view our church, we are a very mixed breed. I believe it is through God’s favor that we have maintained external unity and even a high degree of internal unity through the years, despite the revolutionary changes stimulated by Vatican II almost forty years ago.

Although the current crisis is certain to effect significant change in the governance of our Church in the future, I hope that you do not limit your response to a change in policy dealing with sexual misconduct. Most of us believe that your draft proposal is an honest attempt to respond to the horrors of the past by adopting preventative measures that will reduce the possibility of these offenses happening ever again in the future. Despite this noble goal, we know that guarantees are impossible. As you listen to the stories of victims and reflect on the insights of experts of every persuasion, please do not limit your deliberations to a political, legal and yes, even morally correct measures to prevent sexual abuse. Assure us that you are courageous enough to accept responsibility for the failures of the past by naming them. Be brave enough to challenge those among you who out of culpable ignorance or worse, allowed and in some cases, sanctioned the public and private ministry of pedophiles, ephebofiles and other sexually dysfunctional persons, to step down from office as a sign of true compunction and compassion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:43 PM

There’s a lot more to the story.

UNITED STATES
Father Lasch

In order to get the gist of Nathan’s words to David, we need to read the entire story of David’s misdeed and subsequent cover-up in the Second Book of Samuel, chapters eleven and twelve. It’s a sordid tale of David’s lust after Bathsheba and his sinister conspiracy to do away with Uriah her faithful husband and heroic commander of David’s army.

The first reading hardly does justice to David’s sin and in effect almost sweeps his crime under the rug. Not so fast, Nathan. Tell us the whole story.

Actually, Nathan’s encounter with David climaxed with a parable about a rich man and a poor man.

The rich man had flocks and herds in great numbers. But the poor man had nothing at all except one little ewe lamb that he had bought. He nourished her, and she grew up with him and his children. She was like a daughter to him. Now, the rich man received a visitor, but he took the poor man’s ewe lamb instead of his own and made a meal of it for his visitor.’”

David exclaimed to Nathan: “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this merits death! He shall restore the ewe lamb fourfold because he has done this and has had no pity.”

But Nathan said to David: “You’re are the man!” and continued with the harsh sentence of retribution. “You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.”

The story continues this morning with David’s deep remorse and confession of guilt followed by Nathan’s absolution on behalf of God.

It’s a dramatic narrative of how even the greatest can succumb to the most heinous of sins. Those in the highest places are not exempt from the greatest falls. But Jesus was born in the line of David and it was Jesus’ willingness to dine and die with the greatest sinners that resulted in the justification and redemption of all from the least to the greatest.

It is five years this week since the bishops of the United States met in Dallas to hear the heartrending stories of a lifetime and more—the stories of young and old, victims of abuse by men and women of the cloth, victims whose only weakness was their innocence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:40 PM

“Before Dallas ”

UNITED STATES
The Catholic World

Nicholas P. Cafardi, J.D., J.C.D.

Many informed American Catholics are familiar with the actions that the bishops took at their Dallas meeting in 2002, when they adopted the zero tolerance policy for priests who had sexually abused children, a policy that, with the approval of the Apostolic See, became canon law for the United States. This was a drastic measure, meant to deal with drastic facts. It resulted in the removal of over 700 priests from ministry. However, very few people are aware of what led up to Dallas. What did the bishops do before 2002 while the disaster was building?

In the middle of the 1980’s a crisis of historic proportions exploded in the Church in the United States. In 1984, in the small diocese of Lafayette, Louisiana, a parish priest, Father Gilbert Gauthe, was arrested and charged with multiple counts of child sexual abuse. The first victims’ parents to come forward had not originally gone to the civil authorities, but rather to the Lafayette diocesan chancery. Only when diocesan officials failed to act did the victims’ parents turn to the police.

Lafayette is “ground zero” in the priest-child sexual abuse crisis that dominated the history of the American church in the last two decades of the twentieth century. Soon after Gauthe’s arrest, two other priests of the diocese were charged with similar sexual crimes against children. Once the dam of silence was broken in Lafayette, more victims in more dioceses across the country came forward, and more priests were indicted or sued in civil court (together with their bishops) for the sexual abuse of children. Lafayette became a national epidemic, and Lafayette’s handling of its abusive priests proved to be ...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 PM

Looming trials could bring settlement in LA clergy abuse cases

LOS ANGELES (CA)
San Luis Obispo Tribune

By GILLIAN FLACCUS - Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES --After years of legal wrangling, the nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese may finally move to settle hundreds of clergy sex abuse claims against it following several legal setbacks and the prospect of jury trials in the months ahead.

Fifteen trials involving 172 of the more than 500 alleged victims will be heard by juries in a six-month courthouse marathon that begins July 9. A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge overseeing the cases recently ruled that Cardinal Roger Mahony can be called to testify in one of those cases, and attorneys for plaintiffs want to call him as a witness in many more.

The same judge also cleared the way for four alleged victims to seek punitive damages from the archdiocese - something that could open the church to tens of millions of dollars in payouts if the ruling is expanded to other cases.

Legal experts said the archdiocese's financial exposure and the stress of preparing for so many trials at once could mean a settlement before jury selection.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 PM

Judge orders Cleveland Diocese to turn over financial records

CLEVELAND (OH)
WKYC

Julie Ocepek

CLEVELAND (AP) -- A federal judge is ruling that the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland must turn over financial records.

The records include information about a bank account controlled by former Bishop Anthony Pilla.

The ruling came at the request of lawyers for two former diocesan employees accused of diverting 784 thousand dollars in church funds.

The diocese is expected to appeal the ruling which could delay the start of the August trial for Joseph Smith and Anton Zgoznik.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:01 AM

Bishop speaks over jailed priest

NORTHERN IRELAND
BBC News

The Catholic Church is considering the future of a priest jailed for five years for helping a known paedophile groom a 12-year-old girl for sex.

Kerry priest, Fr Jeremiah McGrath, 63, who also worked in Fermanagh, gave thousands to paedophile William Adams.

He was sentenced last week. On Saturday, the bishop of Clogher said the priest's order woud decide his future when the judicial process ended.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Ex-Roncalli brother listed among worst child abusers

COLORADO
The Pueblo Chieftain

By PATRICK MALONE
THE PUEBLO CHIEFTAIN
An organization that tracks sexual abuse by clergy considers William Mueller one of the 10 most prolific accused abusers of children in the history of the Catholic Church in America.

Mueller's known accusers in Colorado, Texas and Missouri number 40. That many have been identified in lawsuits and police reports.

At least a dozen more have contacted leaders of the Society of Mary religious order to report that Mueller used the guise of pursuing a master's degree in psychology in order to get them to submit to experiments involving ether, heavy breathing, blindfolding and touching.

“We've only known about this guy for less than three years, and already 40 people have come forward,” said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, better known as SNAP. “Once all is known, and I'm estimating conservatively, I'd guess that the victims number at least in the 60s. He will probably end up being one of the top 10 worst abusers we've ever seen in terms of sheer numbers.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:48 AM

Delaware should be held to the same standard on child abuse

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By GREGORY F. LAVELLE

Posted Sunday, June 17, 2007
DELAWARE VOICE

The current two-year civil statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse is unacceptable and needs to be changed. Senate Bill 29 is an effort to do just that. The bill creates a two-year window for past cases of sexual abuse to be brought into court and before a jury for consideration. The alleged abuser and the institution the individual worked for could be held liable for damages. The bill also completely eliminates the statute of limitations for future cases of abuse against children. Again, the alleged abuser and the institution the individual works for could be held liable for damages.

This is a strong bill to address a very serious issue. Understandably, few things shock us more than the sexual abuse of a child. The ability of a victim to face his or her abuser in court is important. To hold institutions accountable for their actions, or failed actions, past, present and future, is also important. For the institution, the possibility of being found liable in such a case should be more than enough to institute policies and procedures to ensure that corrective actions are taken immediately at the first hint that such an offense could be taking place.

Shut your eyes for a moment and then open them. Imagine that before you stand two victims of childhood sexual abuse who are seeking access to the courts. Their stories of abuse at the hands of individuals are the same. The institutions charged with each child's care have also failed to adequately protect them and end the abuse. You would assume that they would both have equal access to the courts to tell their stories and state their facts. The accused would have an opportunity to defend themselves, as would the institutions who may not have acted adequately to stop or prevent the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Should we put a time limit on justice?

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By KAREN PETERSON

Posted Sunday, June 17, 2007
PERSPECTIVE

In recent weeks, the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington has published a number of articles, letters and editorials purporting to support the objectives of Senate Bill 29, The Child Victims Act, while urging the Legislature to pass amendments that would actually "gut" the bill. The church's claims about the legislation range from misleading to downright false. The purpose of this article is to set the record straight.

First, some facts about the problem:

• 1 in 5 children is sexually abused. It's an epidemic.

• The average age of a child-abuse victim is 9.

• 85 percent of victims are molested by family members or family acquaintances.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:41 AM

Extend, don't eliminate, the statute of limitations on crimes from the past

DELAWARE
The News Journal

By ROBERT G. KREBS

Posted Sunday, June 17, 2007
PERSPECTIVE

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington supports changing Delaware's statute of limitations for lawsuits by victims of child sex abuse. Victims of child abuse are uniquely damaged, and typically require a very long time, many years into their adulthood, to come to grips with their abuse. Last year, the General Assembly agreed that the statute of limitations should be extended, from two years from the date of the abuse to 25 years after a victim turns 18, and the Diocese of Wilmington supported that change. The Diocese of Wilmington also supports the extension of the statute for future claims contained in S.B. 29 even though there are logical and legal reasons not to abolish the statute of limitations completely.

But Senate Bill 29 not only abolishes the statute of limitations, it also opens a window allowing lawsuits to be filed at any time, regardless of when the abuse occurred. Under S.B. 29, lawsuits could be brought concerning events that occurred decades ago.

There is no precedent, in Delaware or in any other state, for completely eliminating the statute of limitations, forward and backward. Statutes of limitations are designed to enable claims to be investigated and decided fairly, while facts are fresh, memories are vivid, and relevant evidence is still available. Limitations periods also guarantee that judges and juries will not be so far removed in time from the circumstances surrounding a case that they cannot interpret the evidence in light of those circumstances. S.B. 29 completely undermines these essential purposes of statutes of limitations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:37 AM

PRIVATE LINE: Clerical can of worms!

BARBADOS
The Nation Newspaper

BY JEANNETTE LAYNE-CLARK

SEX AND THE CLERGY. That's a sizzling topic that has been popping in and out of the news from time to time. Now, it's making headlines again.

Just when memories were beginning to blur over the scandals erupting in the Catholic Church during the last decade, another clergyman has sidled into the international spotlight.

Jeremiah McGrath, an Irish priest from County Kerry, has been sentenced to five years in prison for aiding the rape of a 12-year-old girl from Liverpool in 2005. The 63-year-old, who reportedly gave thousands of pounds to one William Adams "to help groom the girl for sex", was found guilty of facilitating the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Group wants to help those sexually abused by Valley priest

ARIZONA
azcentral

Chelsea Schneider
Jun. 16, 2007 10:09 PM

Members of a national support group for victims of sexual abuse by priests, plan to hand out leaflets Sunday at two West Valley churches where they say a priest arrested last month in Spain once worked.

The group said in a press release tonight that they want parishioners at St. Augustine in west Phoenix and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Glendale to press for open discussions about abuse.

Jorge Washington Cordova, 51, served at the two churches in the early 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Vermont diocese faces sex abuse trial this week

VERMONT
Times Argus

June 17, 2007

By KEVIN O'CONNOR Staff Writer

James Turner isn't the first person to charge the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington with priest misconduct. But the 46-year-old may soon be the first of more than 30 recent accusers to tell their story to a jury.

Turner and Vermont Catholic Church officials are scheduled to appear in Chittenden Superior Court in Burlington this week to begin what could be a long and lurid child sexual abuse trial.

At least six people have resolved similar civil lawsuits against the diocese by accepting a financial settlement from the church before their cases went to a jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

New archbishop expected to start recruitment drive

KENTUCKY
The News-Enterprise

By JOHN FRIEDLEIN
Saturday, June 16, 2007 8:13 PM CDT

HARDIN COUNTY — The Rev. Dick Sullivan praised his new boss for being compassionate to the sick and poor.

The son of a coal miner, Joseph Kurtz, who’s the new head of the Louisville archdiocese, understands hard-working people, Sullivan said. Kurtz also cared for his invalid brother, another act that impressed Sullivan, who is pastor of St. James Catholic Church in Elizabethtown. ...

In addition to consolidating parishes, the archdiocese has reduced staff and raised parish assessments to help it pay a $25.7 million settlement to more than 240 victims of sexual abuse by priests or other church workers.

Kelly became archbishop in 1982, after most of the alleged molestation occurred.

Sullivan believes Kurtz will continue to reach out to abuse victims and he will enforce preventative policies already in place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Incoming archbishop brings humor, patience, faith

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

By Deborah Yetter
dyetter@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

He loves playing golf and basketball, and runs or works out regularly. Fiercely competitive, he "takes no prisoners" on the racquetball court, according to a friend.

The Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz, 60, showed similar energy as Roman Catholic bishop of Knoxville, driving hundreds of miles to visit parishes in his East Tennessee diocese, attending festivals, fundraisers and community events, even learning to hold services in Spanish. ...

Kurtz's chief critics are members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests who say he didn't do enough to repudiate the bishop he replaced in Knoxville, Anthony J. O'Connell.

O'Connell became bishop in Palm Beach, Fla., but resigned in 2002 amid allegations he abused students in the 1970s at a Missouri seminary where he taught.

Kurtz said he has tried to address the organization's concerns but acknowledged they haven't always agreed.

Some advocates in Louisville argue the church needs to do more to help victims -- including some they believe never came forward or filed lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Sins of the father unforgivable

NORTHERN IRELAND
Sunday Life

Sunday, June 17, 2007

"My faith has been completely shattered," said the grandmother of Ulster child rapist Billy Adams' victim.

Mary, a feisty, working-class Scouser, raised as a God-fearing Catholic, was almost shaking with rage as she told how Fermanagh priest Fr Jeremiah McGrath (64) lulled her family into believing Billy Adams - who he knew was a serial paedophile - could be trusted to babysit her little grand-daughter and her younger brother.

"I was 'made up' when Fr Jerry came to my house for Sunday dinner. I was over the moon. It was an honour to serve a priest. I made such a fuss," she recalled.

"I'd no idea what he was up to. How could I? Why would I think such a thing? I was brought up to believe priests told the truth. I had faith in the Cloth."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Order to decide Priest's future

NORTHERN IRELAND
U.TV

By:Press Association

Parishioners of a priest convicted of helping a paedophile groom a 12-year-old girl for sex have been told his future will be decided by his religious order.

In a statement read at Vigil Mass in the Co Fermanagh village of Roslea yesterday, the Bishop of Clogher, Joseph Duffy, said everyone felt let down by 63-year-old Fr Jeremiah McGrath who was jailed on Thursday for five years after being convicted at Liverpool Crown Court of facilitating the abuse of the girl.

The abuser Billy Adams, 38, originally from Belfast, was given a life sentence last week after pleading guilty to rape and abuse of the child.

The judge ordered that he serve a minimum of seven years and six months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

June 16, 2007

Happy Anniversary U.S. Catholic Bishops!

CALIFORNIA
OpEd News

by Debby Bodkin

http://www.opednews.com

As a Catholic wife and mother in Southern California, Kate Williams' "Happy Anniversary, Padre," brought back many frustrating and painful memories this time last year. "Happy Anniversary, Padre" says it exactly like it is - as a society, are we paying attention to the Enablers of the past that are continuing as Enablers of today?

The sudden disappearance of Father Ochoa, a priest in Sonoma County, under the supervison of Bishop Daniel Walsh last year, was shocking to say the least. Afterall, how many times will a sex abuse crime get lost in political and religious interference? Bishop Walsh's failed memory enabled another sexual predator to escape from accountability in the United States?

Public opinions will differ regarding the events surrounding Bishop Walsh's delay in reporting a sex crime, as mandated by law, and the Sonoma County District Attorney's office decision not to formally charge Bishop Walsh with a crime. However, one has to wonder exactly who and what Enabler intefered this time around?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 PM

Priest abuse victims seek accountability, healing

COLORADO
The Coloradoan

BY JP EICHMILLER
JPEichmiller@coloradoan.com

Tim Evans is behind bars, but his victims want more.

In interviews with the Coloradoan, Nick Gerber, 26, and Dana Rotkovich, 33, two of the four victims who testified against Evans at his trial earlier this year, say redemption will only come when the Catholic Archdiocese of Denver opens up about what the victims believe the church knew and did to protect Evans.

“I think Nick and I realize (Evans’ conviction) is only half the battle,” Rotkovich said. “If the issue is not brought to people’s attention, it is likely to occur again. I really believe there are others out there who have yet to come out.”

A spokeswoman denied claims that the archdiocese was less than cooperative with authorities investigating Evans.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:46 PM

Archdiocese of St. Louis Drops Suit Against Law Firm

ST. LOUIS (MO)
Insurance Journal

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has dropped a lawsuit against a law firm that represents clients in clergy sexual abuse cases.

The archdiocese had filed suit against Chackes, Carlson, Spritzer and Ghio last month seeking relief against disclosure of archdiocesan personnel and medical records to third parties.

The suit alleged that one of those parties was the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. An editor for the Post-Dispatch previously noted the newspaper was not a party in the lawsuit, and the newspaper did not indicate if it had received documents.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Tackling sexual abuse

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Huntsville Times

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Southern Baptists consider background checks on clergy

The Southern Baptist Convention took an important step this week to deal with the very disturbing problem of sexual abuse. Its members passed a resolution that said churches should perform criminal background checks on clergy and employees.

Because Southern Baptist churches are independent, self-governing entities, the convention couldn't mandate that they do the background checks. Nevertheless, the convention, by expressing its will and commitment to this issue, may mean that affiliated churches that aren't doing the checks will feel compelled to do so.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Man alleging abuse by priest seeks more than $10 million

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

The Associated Press

MIAMI -- A man sued the Archdiocese of Miami on Friday alleging he was sexually abused as a child by one of its priests, who has had prior sexual abuse complaints against him.

The unnamed plaintiff is seeking more than $10 million in compensation, according to the lawsuit filed in Circuit Court.

The lawsuit alleges that the man was sexually abused by the Rev. Gustavo Miyares, whom he met when he was a minor attending a summer camp owned an operated by the archdiocese.

Miyares is on leave following sexual abuse allegations that came to the attention of the archdiocese in the fall of last year, archdiocese spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Order called to account

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

The Press | Saturday, 16 June 2007

After nine years as complaints manager for a deeply troubled Catholic order, psychologist Michelle Mulvihill has quit in disgust. YVONNE MARTIN reports.

Consultant psychologist, former nun and corporate shaker Michelle Mulvihill is the most unlikely whistleblower.

For nine years she worked behind the scenes advising the beleaguered Catholic Order of St John of God on how to deal with an avalanche of serious sexual complaints against its brotherhood. ....

She has never spoken publicly about those meetings and how the order responded to the complaints, until now. Today, Mulvihill tells of a pervasive culture of sexual abuse within the order, the denials among the brotherhood of any problem and the "pastoral offers" grudgingly handed out to the men, while millions of dollars were paid in legal fees to defend accused brothers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Wrentham priest retires - sort of

WRENTHAM (MA)
Sun Chronicle

BY GLORIA LaBOUNTY / SUN CHRONICLE STAFF

Saturday, June 16, 2007 12:30 AM EDT

WRENTHAM - Back in the 1950s when the Rev. John Connolly was wondering if he should enter the priesthood, he decided to take the advice of someone he trusted.

"A great priest told me what to do, to knock at the seminary door, to give it a whack," he said.

Connolly did just that, and not only became a student, but kept studying until he was ordained in 1963. ...

Then came the sexual abuse scandal that erupted in 2002 in the Archdiocese of Boston, which includes the Wrentham parish. Connolly took the same approach, listening and responding to parishioners, and sharing their pain.

"We were all hurting," he said. "People are still hurting."

While some people left the church, many stayed, and Connolly today is heartened by the thousands of converts across the country who become Roman Catholics each year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Court: Priest accused of sexual abuse not entitled to jury trial

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

Jim Walsh
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 16, 2007 12:00 AM

A Roman Catholic priest facing misdemeanor sex charges suffered a legal setback Thursday when the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled he is not entitled by law to a jury trial, even though he could be ordered to register as a sex offender if convicted.

The court ruled in favor of the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, saying it's discretionary whether a judge would order suspended Monsignor Dale Fushek, 54, to register as a sex offender if found guilty.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

June 15, 2007

Metropolitan Isaiah Supports Fr. Katinas Unequivocally

BOSTON (MA)
Orthodox Reform

The National Herald

By Theodore Kalmoukos

BOSTON – Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver took a stand in support of Rev. Nicholas Katinas, who has been accused of being a pedophile by former alter boys while serving as priest at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox parish in Dallas, Texas for 28 years.

Metropolitan Isaiah visited the Holy Trinity parish on its feast day of Pentecost, on Sunday, May 27, for the first time since rumors of this scandal began surfacing in June 2006.

Metropolitan Isaiah surprised Holy Trinity’s congregation when he said in his sermon that “I was very troubled because of what happened here in regard to my friend, and I will always call him my friend, the fallen priest. The fallen, that has fallen away. If he did, I don’t know, I have no information. And all of us fall in other ways.”

This contradicts Rev. Michael Kontogiorgis, Assistant Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese who paid an official visit to the Holy Trinity Parish in Dallas on Wednesday February 21, 2007, and said during his sermon to the congregation of about 400 that “there is no doubt that Fr. Nicholas (Katinas) engaged in serious moral transgressions.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 PM

Judge orders Catholic Diocese to turn over financial records

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Posted by Mike Tobin June 15, 2007 14:39PM
Categories: Breaking News
A federal judge ordered the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland to turn over reams of financial records, including information on payments to former Bishop Anthony Pilla and on an account he controlled.

U.S. District Judge Ann Aldrich's ruling this week comes at the request of lawyers for Joseph Smith and Anton Zgoznik, two former diocesan employees accused of stealing $784,000 from the church.

Aldrich ruled the documents, expected to be thousands of pages, can be used only by lawyers associated with the case. But much of the information will likely be aired during a the trial, scheduled to begin in August, in which Pilla is expected to testify.

"This is unprecedented," said Robert Rotatori, Zgoznik's lawyer. "The diocese has never allowed the parishoners to have insight into its finances. This is the first time we will have access to the financial records."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Ex-priest stipped trust of $31,713

AUSTRALIA
Brisbane Times

Christine Kellett | June 16, 2007 - 5:00AM

A former Catholic priest who stripped a Brisbane hospital trust fund of more than $30,000 will spend at least five months behind bars.

John Michael Hills, 49, was the co-ordinator of the Royal Children's Hospital's Parent Aid Program - a volunteer scheme designed to help abused and neglected children - when he began dipping into several hospital trust accounts in January 2005.

Over a 12 month period, he pilfered $31,713, purchasing household electrical goods for his family, as well as groceries, study materials for himself and his wife, and even food for the re-enactment of their wedding.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Suit against Vermont Diocese goes to trial Wednesday

VERMONT
Newsday

By JOHN CURRAN
Associated Press Writer

June 15, 2007, 4:21 PM EDT

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- A civil suit accusing the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington of negligence in its handling of priest sex cases goes to trial Wednesday, the first of its kind to reach a Vermont jury.

The victim, a 46-year-old Virginia Beach, Va., man, says former Rev. Alfred Willis sexually abused him in 1977 at a Latham, N.Y., motel and at his childhood home in Derby and that the Diocese actively tried to block Willis' criminal prosecution.

Jury selection is slated for Monday and Tuesday in Chittenden Superior Court.

The man filed suit in 2004, accusing Willis of performing a sex act on him as he slept in a motel while in New York state to attend his brother's deaconate ceremony. He was 16 at the time. Six months later, Willis _ a friend of the man's parents _ visited the family in Derby and attempted a sex act on the man but was rebuffed, according to the suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:45 PM

Clergy sex suit settled

ST. LOUIS (MO)
St. Louis American

By Alvin A. Reid Of the St. Louis American

Charles Spearman anonymously sued four Catholic priests from the St. Louis area on the grounds that they sexually molested him while attending parochial schools as a child.

Spearman alleged that Father James Theil, Father Michael O. Barry, Father Chester “Chet” Gaiter and Father Thaddeus Posey, all formerly of Cardinal Ritter College Prep High School, sexually abused him.

In late April, Gaiter, Barry and Theil settled for $140,000. Parties to the settlement included the Jesuits of Missouri Province, the Redemptorists Denver Province and the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Spearman’s federal case against Posey is still pending.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:42 PM

Nun Accused Of Sexual Assault May Reach Deal Before Trial

MILWAUKEE (WI)
TheMilwaukeeChannel.com

MILWAUKEE -- A nun accused of sexually assaulting two boys at a Milwaukee school in the 1960s is scheduled to go to trial in August, but one of her attorneys said Friday they may be getting close to a plea deal.

Sister Norma Giannini, 78, appeared for a pre-trial hearing Friday, but it was delayed because one of her lawyers is out of town.

Her two alleged victims said she took sexual advantage of them when they were only 12 and 13 years old at St. Patrick's Church on Milwaukee's south side.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:00 PM

Metropolitan Isaiah Questions Fr. Katinas’ Guilt

DALLAS (TX)
Orthodox Reform

Metropolitan Isaiah (Fr. Katinas’s Bishop up until Fr. Katinas was suspended) visited Holy Trinity (Fr. Katinas’s home parish) and gave a sermon on Sunday May 27, 2007 that made several troubling statements. Highlights from Metropolitan Isaiah’s comments included:

Calling into question if Katinas was in fact a fallen priest and if there really are any victims

Dismissing any alleged victims because of their age

Saying the real victims are those that must endure the scandal (Holy Trinity, Fr. Katinas’ wife, etc.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

Fourth Fr. Katinas Victim Brings New Allegations

DALLAS (TX)
Orthodox Reform

New allegations are being made as a fourth victim joins the lawsuit against Fr. Katinas, Holy Trinity, and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. Referred to as “Doe III”, these new charges bring to four the total number of people in the lawsuit who have gone on record to allege sexual abuse at the hands of Fr. Nicholas Katinas.

Doe III claims abuse not as an altar boy, but as a Roman Catholic friend of the family who happened to be having a sleepover at Katinas’ house after Halloween trick-or-treating. The suit says of Fr. Katinas:

His sexual abuse of his sons’ boyhood friend, John Doe III, demonstrated he was, indeed, not just a menace but a predator.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:28 PM

Judge: Priest's probation will not be revoked

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

By Jason Riley
jriley@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

Probation will not be revoked for an 81-year-old Roman Catholic priest who was convicted of abusing four boys but failed to complete sex-offender treatment, a judge has ruled.

Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Susan Schultz Gibson ruled yesterday that the Rev. Edwin Scherzer, a priest in the Archdiocese of Louisville, is technically not deemed a “sexual offender” because he wasn’t convicted of a sex crime under current state law. Therefore, he isn’t required to enter or complete the program, she said.

Gibson also said she could order Scherzer to complete the program because it was a condition of his probation set by the previous judge. But Gibson said Scherzer is in poor health and living in an assisted-living facility and “poses little risk to others.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:19 PM

'Hand Of God' screens in Rome next week; Cardinal Mahony adds more attorneys; and more subpoenas to come, with first of 15 jury trials so far July 9

UNITED STATES
City of Angels

By City of Angels Lady

Friday Roundup: The documentary "Hand Of God" goes to Rome next week to be seen first time by an Italian audience. Joey Cultrera’s film about the sexual abuse of his brother Paul by the late Rev. Joseph Birmingham when they were growing up in Salem, Mass. screens June 22 for the Italian Parliament.

Traveling from the Boston area to present the film are Kathy Shaw of Barre, Mass., who produces the daily Clergy Abuse Tracker, and Robert Costello and John Harris of A Matter of Truth, as well as attorney Daniel J. Shea of Houston, Texas, and Massachusetts. A coalition of groups including Anticlericale.net, the Italian Radical Party and the Transnational Radical Party arranged this screening.

Cultrera made the film after he learned his older brother Paul had been abused by a Catholic priest when he was 14 years old, and after the Church his parents helped finance and build (Saint Mary’s Italian) was being forced to close by the Archdiocese of Boston. The closing of this church was due in part to offset financial losses the diocese had incurred in the settling of hordes of clergy abuse cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Catholic diocese in Memphis settles sex abuse cases

MEMPHIS (TN)
The Jackson Sun

The Diocese of Memphis announced Thursday three cases of alleged sexual abuse against Father Joseph Nguyen have been settled.

A consent order and settlement agreement has been entered into among the diocese and three alleged victims of abuse.

The agreement brings closure to the litigation of three separate complaints filed as Jane Does against the diocese.

The agreement said the settlement is neither an admission of liability or an admission of the validity of any claims made against the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:49 AM

LA Times Admits To False Reporting On Cardinal Mahony

LOS ANGELES (CA)
NewsBusters

Posted by Dave Pierre on June 15, 2007 - 08:25.

Check out the very first line from this June 7, 2007, article in the Los Angeles Times (emphasis mine):

A judge Wednesday ordered Cardinal Roger M. Mahony to testify in a lawsuit alleging that he failed to protect parishioners from a pedophile teacher, but then granted the Los Angeles cleric's request for a trial delay.

Now check out this whopper of a correction from the Times on June 13, 2007 (emphasis mine again):

For the Record
Clergy abuse: An article in Thursday's California section about Cardinal Roger M. Mahony being ordered to testify in a lawsuit said the suit alleged that he failed to protect parishioners from Paul Kreutzer, a pedophile teacher. In fact, the suit accuses the Archdiocese of Los Angeles of failing to protect parishioners from abuse by Kreutzer between 1974 and 1976. Mahony did not become archbishop until September 1985 and is not named in the suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Sex abuse policy released; local victim of priest praises work of london diocese of catholic church

CANADA
The Sarnia Observer

By JACK POIRIER / The Observer
Local News - Friday, June 15, 2007 @ 16:00

A woman sexually assaulted as a child by a Catholic priest says she has faith in a draft sexual abuse policy made public by the London diocese Thursday.

Sarnia's Irene Jeannette Williams, one of 47 women sexually abused as children at the hands of Father Charles Sylvestre, praised the report, which contains a 10-point code of conduct for priests.

"I've been holding my breath for 45 years and this has finally allowed me to exhale," she said after reading the policy made public on the London diocese website.

"I'm very pleased with this document."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:05 AM

Diocese policy praised; Draft sexual misconduct policy released Thursday

CANADA
Chatham Daily News

ERICA BAJER
Local News - Friday, June 15, 2007 @ 09:00

Victims of the late pedophile priest Charles Sylvestre praised the diocese of London's draft sexual misconduct policy released Thursday.

"This is what we wanted," said Lou-Ann Soontiens. "If we can stop this from happening again, it's great."

Soontiens said many of Sylvestre's more than 47 victims - who have joined together to create an advocacy group called From Isolation to Action - have called for change to protect children in the church.

Carol Ann Mieras, of Kingston, said while the policy isn't perfect, it's a good first step in shedding the secrecy surrounding sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:03 AM

Priest who assisted child rape to appeal sentence

UNITED KINGDOM
Irish Independent

By Fergus Black
Friday June 15 2007

AN IRISH priest sentenced to five years in prison for aiding the rape of a young girl is to appeal his sentence.

Kerry-born parish priest Fr Jeremiah McGrath (64) gave stg£20,000 (€30,000) to convicted child rapist William Adams to help groom the 12-year-old for sex.

Having bought her silence and trust, Adams (38), originally from Belfast but latterly of Bootle, Merseyside, England, raped her repeatedly over a six-month period in 2005. Adams was given a life sentence after pleading guilty to rape and abuse of the child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Why was paedophile free to strike again?

UNITED KINGDOM
ic Liverpool

Jun 15 2007

by Jessica Shaughnessy, Liverpool Daily Post

A MERSEYSIDE MP last night led the calls for an inquiry into how a child rapist was allowed to move to Liverpool to strike again.

After being released from prison in Northern Ireland, where he served six years for raping an eight-year-old girl, William Adams moved to Bootle where he set about grooming his next victim.

Yesterday, he was jailed for life at Liverpool Crown Court for raping the 12-year-old girl five times.

Catholic priest Jeremiah McGrath, who bankrolled Adams over three months, was given five years for facilitating a sex offence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Parishioners' outrage at actions of shamed cleric

IRELAND
News Letter

By gemma murray
FORMER parishioners of Fr Jeremiah McGrath last night told of their outrage that the cleric had brought a convicted paedophile into their community.

Billy Adams surfaced in Rosslea in May 2004 after his release from serving a prison sentence for the rape of an eight-year-old girl.

Locals in Rosslea told of their disgust that McGrath brought him to the local primary school, where McGrath had been chairman of the Board of Governors.

In a statement last night, the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools said at no time had McGrath and Billy Adams been left alone in the presence of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

On group's wish list to cardinal: Database of pedophile priests

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Daily Herald

By Stacy St. Clair
sstclair@dailyherald.com
Posted Friday, June 15, 2007

As U.S. Catholic bishops prepare to gather in New Mexico next week, local lay people are imploring Cardinal Francis George to use the meeting to re-examine the church's policy on handling sex abuse cases.

Chicagoland Voices of the Faithful has asked George to create a national database of pedophile priests, among other things. The database would include all church personnel with credible accusations against them and offer the dates and places of their service, as well as their current whereabouts.

In letters sent to the cardinal this week, the group also encouraged him to support a law that would briefly relax the statute of limitations on civil lawsuits involving allegation of long-ago abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Happy anniversary, Padre

CALIFORNIA
Sonoma Valley Sun

Kate Williams

Without our unique ability to selectively employ amnesia, we - as a species - might stumble, fall, and be crushed by the weight of the many sad and bad things that happen over the course of an average lifetime. We’re naturally resilient creatures, capable of bearing up and carrying on despite ugly divorces, lost friends, heartbreak. From earliest childhood we are programmed to forgive and forget, and we’ve gotten exceptionally good at doing so. Look how quickly we collectively moved past tragedies like Columbine, the DC sniper, even 9/11. Almost as though if it’s not on the front page or the six o’clock news, on some level it stops being real.
But some grudges deserve to be remembered, nurtured and tended until they bear fruit. Certain crimes have no shelf life, no “use by” date. Some things are simply unforgivable. Take Father Ochoa, for one.
In his position of authority as a sanctified mouthpiece for the St. Francis Solano Catholic Church, he managed to fly under the radar for a good long while, though there was evidence of impropriety from the start. He wooed his Spanish-speaking parishioners under cover of priestly benediction, hearing their confessions, blessing their weddings and births while hungrily eyeing their sons. His fluent Spanish and authentic community ties made infiltration into the Latino community easy: he became their trusted confessor, their wise counselor, their very own holy man. Despite the gossip that followed him from parish to parish, for the believers who trusted him, his motives were assumed pure. Even when he brought a Mexican boy home from vacation and installed him in his Santa Rosa house. Even when he stopped by a parishioner’s home and forcibly took her young son. Even when the whispers had turned to shouts, Father Ochoa’s motives were uncontested. That is, after all, the very nature of faith.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 AM

Ex-priest won't attend upcoming abuse trial

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Friday, June 15, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

A former priest accused of molesting a teenage boy in New York and Vermont in 1977 will not appear at an upcoming trial in a case brought by the alleged victim against the state's Roman Catholic diocese.

Alfred Willis, who lives in Leesburg, Va., said in a Monday letter to diocesan attorney David Cleary that the allegations against him are untrue but he cannot afford the cost of traveling to Vermont for the trial. The trial is scheduled to begin Wednesday.

"The claims against me are extremely upsetting and ... to the best of my memory, unfounded," Willis said in the letter on file at Chittenden Superior Court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Ex-priest won't attend trial of suit against Diocese

VERMONT
WCAX

Associated Press - June 15, 2007 7:05 AM ET

BURLINGTON (AP) - A former priest whose alleged molestation of a teenage boy in the 1970s is at the center of a civil suit that comes to trial next week won't be there in court when it does.

Alfred Willis, who now lives in Leesburg, Virginia, has told Diocese of Burlington lawyers he won't travel to Vermont for the trial of a suit brought his alleged victim against the Diocese.

The victim says Willis performed a sex act on him at a Latham, New York motel in 1977, when Willis was a church deacon, and that Willis tried to molest him at the boy's home in Derby later that year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Judges reject jury trial for Mesa monsignor

ARIZONA
East Valley Tribune

Jill Redhage, Gary Grado, Tribune
The Arizona Court of Appeals decided Thursday that the former priest of St. Timothy’s Catholic Community in Mesa is not entitled to a jury trial when facing the possibly sexually motivated misdemeanor charges against him.

The court found that jury trials are reserved for “serious” offenses, such as those punishable by at least six months in jail, and for offenses that historically have been promised a jury trial.

The case against Monsignor Dale Fushek didn’t qualify in either situation, wrote presiding Judge Lawrence Winthrop.

The case has been sent back to the San Tan Justice Court for a decision.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Group seeks diocese's data on finances

DAVENPORT (IA)
Des Moines Register

By SHIRLEY RAGSDALE
REGISTER RELIGION EDITOR

June 15, 2007

A creditors committee has asked a bankruptcy judge to authorize hiring financial advisers to review Davenport Catholic Diocese records.

The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2006. Then-Bishop William Franklin said settlement demands by people alleging they were sexually abused by priests exceeded the diocese's ability to pay current and future claims.

Attorneys for the creditors committee filed an application this week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Davenport to hire Aurora Management Partners Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., according to court filings.

The creditors want the company to conduct a financial review of 48,000 pages of church documents to help maximize the amount of money they receive.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

260 abuse reports in Protestant churches

NASHVILLE (TN)
Chicago Tribune

By Rose French
Associated Press
Published June 15, 2007

NASHVILLE -- Three companies that insure the majority of Protestant churches in America say they typically receive upward of 260 reports each year of people under 18 being sexually abused by clergy, church staff, volunteers or congregation members.

The figures released to The Associated Press offer a glimpse into what has long been an extremely difficult phenomenon to pin down -- the frequency of sex abuse in Protestant congregations.

The Roman Catholic Church has said there have been 13,000 credible accusations against Catholic clerics since 1950. But Protestant numbers have been harder to come by and sketchier because the denominations are less centralized than the Catholic church.

Some of the numbers come from Church Mutual Insurance Co. of Merrill, Wis.; GuideOne Insurance Co. of West Des Moines, Iowa; and Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co. of Ft. Wayne, Ind.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Memphis Diocese Announces Settlement in Sex Abuse Cases

MEMPHIS (TN)
Eyewitness News

Eyewitness News Everywhere received the following news release on Thursday, June 14, 2007:
"The Diocese of Memphis announced today that three cases of alleged sexual abuse against Father Joseph Nguyen had been settled.

A Consent Order and Settlement Agreement has been entered into among the Catholic Diocese of Memphis and three alleged victims of abuse. The agreement brings closure to the litigation of three separate complaints filed as Jane Does against the Diocese.

The agreement notes that the settlement is neither an admission of liability or an admission of the validity of any claims made against the Diocese, but is, instead, a compromise of disputed claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 AM

Who will pay, parishes or the diocese?

SAN DIEGO (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Could the San Diego diocese’s 98 parish properties be considered diocesan assets and so part of the pool of money available for settlement with alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse? The diocese has argued no, saying that properties belong to the parishes, not the diocese. But on June 7, a U.S. bankruptcy court judge ruled that creditors in a diocesan bankruptcy case may challenge transactions and property transfers approved by diocesan officials before bankruptcy proceeding began last February.

Faced with claims by more than 150 alleged victims of sexual abuse and the imminent opening of four civil trials, the diocese on Feb. 27 filed for bankruptcy protection. The filing put the civil cases on hold.

In a report filed with the court, the diocese valued its assets at $97 million -- which did not include parish holdings. Plaintiffs, however, have challenged this reckoning, citing a series of transactions in which properties throughout the diocese were removed as diocesan assets. For instance, according to the June 8 San Diego Union-Tribune, the diocese was in the midst of a sale of the former University of San Diego High School to William Lyon Homes. According to the Union-Tribune, the developer agreed to pay $65 million for the property, but a Feb. 27 amendment to the sale deferred for several years $40 million of the sale price.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Archdiocese of Portland releases personnel, sex-abuse documents

PORTLAND (OR)
Catholic Sentinel

06/14/2007
To help in healing and reconciliation for victims of clergy sexual abuse, the Archdiocese of Portland last week released scores of decades-old private personnel documents.

The letters, formal depositions and memos posted on the Internet show that church officials at the highest levels often knew about abusive priests, but operated under the standards of the times and attempted to handle matters internally.

More documents may be released in the future.

In the 1970s and 80s, institutions were coming of age on what the old documents often call “indiscretions.” In 1983, at about the same time Father Thomas Laughlin of Portland was getting national attention as one of the first pedophile priests to be charged publicly with a crime, a local physician was accused of abusing youths. The medical group addressed the issue at about the same speed as the archdiocese. Public schools began dealing with cases of abuse by teachers and coaches, going public only reluctantly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Thinking About New Orleans #9: Jason Berry

NEW ORLEANS
The Huffington Post

Jane Ciabattari

This is the ninth in our occasional series about New Orleans writers. It's hard to judge how many writers have been displaced, dislocated and disoriented by Katrina and aftermath. A New Orleans native, Jason Berry went to Jesuit High School and Georgetown University. His first book, published with an assist from Walker Percy, was Amazing Grace: With Charles Evers in Mississippi, based on his time as a volunteer in Evers' gubernatorial campaign. After a stretch in Europe, he moved into a $75-a-month apartment in the Irish Channel in 1973 and began freelancing. He has spent most of the time since then in New Orleans, writing about local politics and culture. In 1992 his third book, Lead Us Not into Temptation (Doubleday), an investigation of clergy child sexual abuse, generated national attention.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Judge Okays Evidence Bishop Protected Pedophile Priests

VERMONT
WCAX

Burlington, Vermont -- June 14, 2007

A judge Thursday cleared the way for use of trial evidence indicating Vermont Catholic leaders covered up sex abuse by priests.

A jury could hear that evidence next week in the case of a man who claims he was molested by a priest 30 years ago.

More than 30 lawsuits have been filed against Vermont's Roman Catholic Diocese claiming church leaders protected pedophile priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

New church rules to protect kids

CANADA
CNews

By JANE SIMS, SUN MEDIA

Priests would not be allowed alone in their homes with a child under long-awaited guidelines aimed at protecting young Roman Catholics from sexual abuse by clergy.

The diocese of London's sexual abuse policy and code of conduct was published on its website yesterday and the diocese encouraged public comment before the new rules are finalized.

"We're seeking the wisdom of the public and especially those who are closer to these issues," said diocese of London spokesperson Ron Pickersgill.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Report urges strict rules for Catholic priests

CANADA
Ottawa Citizen

Craig Pearson, The Windsor Star
Published: Friday, June 15, 2007

Priests in London, Ont., must never be alone in their residences or vehicles with children and should have another adult present when counselling young or vulnerable people, suggests a draft report released today by the Roman Catholic Diocese of London.

The report, called A Safe Environment Policy for the Diocese of London, also calls for the creation of a victims' assistance committee, suggests parishes affected by sexual misconduct should have assistance, and provides a code of conduct for anyone associated with the church, from priests to volunteers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

Priest in scandal has Wooster church ties

WOOSTER (OH)
The Beacon Journal

WOOSTER - A Euclid priest placed on administrative leave because of a child sexual abuse allegation was once assigned to a Wooster church.

The Rev. Patrick Henry worked at St. Mary's in Wooster from August 2002 to May 2003, according to the Diocese of Cleveland.

Henry, pastor of St. Christine parish in Euclid, recently was placed on leave because of a newly reported allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. The person claims the incident happened in the mid-1970s outside of the diocese and before Henry became a priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

St. Ambrose U. to buy Davenport bishop's house

DAVENPORT (IA)
Des Moines Register

ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Davenport Diocese is selling its former bishop's house to St. Ambrose University, ending a bidding process on three properties the diocese put on sale to pay off settlements in sex abuse cases against priests.

The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October after facing mounting litigation from victims of sexual abuse.

St. Ambrose University will buy the house for $175,100 and will use it as a residence for its president.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

June 14, 2007

Pastor to appear before grand jury

HAMILTON (OH)
Journal News

By Michael D. Pitman
Staff Writer

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The 53-year-old Hamilton pastor who allegedly "inappropriately touched" a 17-year-old female member of his congregation will appear before the Butler County Grand Jury.

Fairfield Municipal Court Thursday bound over the case of the Rev. Bruce Alvin Curtis, a religious leader at Community Friendship Church of God in Christ, 2011 Pleasant Ave., Hamilton, who allegedly touched the girl "at a residence in Fairfield" on Feb. 21, according to Fairfield police.

Curtis was arraigned on April 19 for attempted sexual battery, a fourth-degree felony, and sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor. He was released after the arraignment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 PM

Steven Moore, Former Ringgold Pastor, Case Set For July 19

CHATTANOOGA (TN)
The Chattanoogan

by Judy Frank
posted June 14, 2007

The former pastor of the Ringgold United Methodist Church – one of nine men arrested in April during a Chattanooga prostitution sting – will go before Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck on July 19.

Pastor Steven Andrew Moore, who resigned from his position in May, is charged with patronizing prostitution within a mile and a half of a church or a school.

Moore served as senior pastor at the Ringgold church for eight years, and was also chaplain for the Catoosa County Fire Department at the time he was cited. Police reportedly found a fire chaplain’s uniform in the back of his vehicle.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 PM

Davenport Diocese to sell house to St. Ambrose University

DAVENPORT (IA)
KGAN

June 14, 2007 19:17 EDT

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) -- The Davenport Diocese is selling its former bishop's house to St. Ambrose University.

It ends a bidding process on three properties the diocese put on sale to pay off settlements in sex abuse cases against priests.

The diocese filed for Chapter eleven bankruptcy in October after facing mounting litigation from victims of sexual abuse.

St. Ambrose University will buy the house for about 175 thousand dollars and use it as a residence for its president.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 PM

Creditors request financial advisers to review Davenport diocese

DAVENPORT (IA)
WOI

Associated Press - June 14, 2007 12:14 PM ET

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) - A creditors committee in the bankruptcy case of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport wants to hire a financial adviser to help review 48,000 pages of church documents.

The diocese filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall in the wake of claims by people who said they were sexually abused by its priests. The creditors committee is made up of those alleged victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:22 PM

Father Richard Bennett lawsuit dismissed

JOLIET (IL)
Catholic Explorer

JOLIET—Bishop J. Peter Sartain has announced the dismissal of a lawsuit against Father Richard Bennett, pastor of Holy Spirit Catholic Community Parish in Naperville, and the Diocese of Joliet. The lawsuit had alleged that Father Bennett engaged in one incident of sexual misconduct with a minor in 1975.

The accuser filed a lawsuit in April 2006, naming Father Bennett and another diocesan priest, Father Philip Dedera, accusing both of sexual misconduct with him when he was 11 years old. He originally made known his accusation about Father Bennett to the Diocese of Joliet in 2004. His claim was examined by the Diocesan Review Committee, which determined the allegation was not credible. He later filed a lawsuit. In October 2006, the Circuit Court of DuPage County dismissed the suit against Father Bennett, but the plaintiff was allowed an appeal. After he did not file an appeal during the time period granted by the court, the appellate court entered a dismissal order terminating the legal process.

The Diocese of Joliet settled the claim involving Father Dedera, but that settlement clearly states that Father Bennett was not part of the settlement, as he always maintained his innocence in this matter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:18 PM

St. Luke’s parishioner allegedly molested

BROOKLYN (NY)
Queens Courier

BY TRACY SOREN

Thursday, June 14, 2007 9:28 AM CDT

It was revealed at an open meeting that the monsignor accused of violating minors at a Brooklyn church 30 years ago also allegedly abused at least one parishioner during his years at St. Luke’s in Whitestone.

The community forum was held at St. Luke’s School on Clintonville Street on Wednesday, June 6. Attendees shaken up by the sex abuse accusations against retired Monsignor Nicholas J. Capua expressed outrage at the allegations and at the media coverage that ensued.

Some parishioners said that although they sympathize with those who brought the charges, they are having trouble believing the beloved priest could commit such acts. Others were more willing to accept the news. Throughout the room, there was a feeling of betrayal and sadness.

“This parish is devastated,” said one parishioner.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:10 PM

Family trauma over 'evil' priest

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The family of a young girl whose rape was aided by a County Kerry priest have said they were left "deeply "traumatised" by the affair.

Jeremiah McGrath, 63, who also worked in Fermanagh, gave thousands to paedophile William Adams to help groom the 12-year-old for sex.

McGrath got a five-year sentence for what relatives called "heinous" crimes.

The family said their trust had been broken by the "evil" priest, who was a friend and visitor to their home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

Mahony still evading Interrogatories 1-8; Church Attorneys can’t help but help plaintiffs, as slowly the truth comes out in pretrial hearings

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By City of Angels Lady

The more Church Attorneys have to talk in court, the better things go for plaintiffs, as even in today’s slow grind of justice, the truth inevitably comes out. At a June 6 hearing, the judge denied plaintiff’s request for a protective order, and in the same case, denied the church’s attempt to prevent deposition of a witness, and no matter what defendants argued, the plaintiffs’ cases kept shining through.

To show how compassionate a man Clinton Hagenbach really is, a Church Attorney told the judge, “A letter was sent to all the members of the parish” about the same time period as the calendar entry about which plaintiffs want to question this witness. The female Church Attorney beside him chimed in, “He (Hagenbach) was upset to be leaving because he had so many dear friends in the families at that parish.”

Plaintiff liaison Tony DeMarco jumped up and said, “Your Honor that letter is something we’d like to see.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Man wants former Lodi pastor on offender registry

MADISON (WI)
The Capital Times

Samara Kalk Derby — 6/14/2007 11:23 am

Chris Leonard, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse by the Rev. Kenneth Klubertanz, has a number of questions for Bishop Robert Morlino after the Diocese of Madison permanently removed Klubertanz from the priesthood Tuesday, finding him guilty in an ecclesiastical judicial trial of sexually abusing a minor.

After Klubertanz, former pastor of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Lodi, was accused of abuse in 2002, the diocese placed him on administrative leave.

The diocese conducted the trial and just received official notification from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding a final decision on Klubertanz.

In a letter scheduled to be delivered to Morlino today, Leonard, now 45 and living in Patton, Mo., asks the diocese to place Klubertanz and all other sex offenders in the church on the state sex offender registry immediately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:57 PM

Critic Slams Archdiocese Land Sale As Betrayal

BOSTON (MA)
BishopAccountability.org

By Michael Paulson
Boston Globe
June 13, 2007

http://www.boston.com/news/local/articles/2007/06/13/
critic_slams_archdiocese_land_sale_as_betrayal/

[See below for the text of Farren's report and letter.]

On his way out the door, the departing rector of St. John's Seminary sent a pair of blistering letters to church officials, alleging that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston is endangering the future training of priests by letting theological liberals move in next door.

'There could be nothing but shame . . . if we appear to forsake our own mandate, mission and values.' (St. John's Seminary)

The Rev. John A. Farren, a conservative and occasionally controversial Dominican friar, warned in the letters last month that the "doctrinal integrity" of St. John's is at risk because of increased proximity to two Jesuit-run Catholic institutions, Boston College and Weston Jesuit School of Theology, which are expected to move into buildings currently held by the seminary.

Farren did not cite specific issues, saying only that Weston Jesuit employs "self-professed gays or lesbians" as faculty members and that several faculty members there have been questioned by the Vatican.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:31 AM

Priest's plea deal: 4 years for stealing nearly $200k

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

June 14, 2007
By ERIC HERMAN AND SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH Staff Reporters
The Rev. Mark Sorvillo — who lived to shop at Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale's — could soon be shopping at the prison commissary.

Sorvillo, a Catholic priest, plans to plead guilty next month to stealing nearly $200,000 from St. Margaret Mary Church, the West Rogers Park parish where he was pastor for nearly 12 years.

"He could have been stealing for a lot longer than we know," said parishioner Dan McGuire. "It went on a lot of years undetected."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Croatian priest detained on pedophile charges

CROATIA
PR-Inside

2007-06-14 12:51:58 -

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) - A priest from a small Croatian island has been detained on suspicion of abusing five boys aged between 10 and 12 _ the second such case in recent years in the predominantly Roman Catholic Croatia, police said Thursday.
Drago Ljubicic, 63, who served on the northern island of Rab, was detained
Wednesday evening on charges of performing «lecherous acts» on five children, police said in a statement.
The case has shocked Croatia, where nearly 90 percent of the country's 4.5 million people consider themselves Catholics and the church enjoys wide government and popular support.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Priest who financed rapist jailed

UNITED KINGDOM
Banbury Today

A priest who financed the grooming of a young girl for sex has been jailed for five years.

Father Jeremiah McGrath, 64, gave more than £20,000 to his friend, convicted child rapist Billy Adams, who used the cash to shower a 12-year-old with treats and gifts.

Having bought her silence and trust, 38-year-old Adams, originally from Belfast but latterly of Bootle, Merseyside, raped her repeatedly over a six-month period in 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

Pastor on leave after allegations

EUCLID (OH)
The News-Herald

By: Jason Lea
JLea@News-Herald.com

06/13/2007

Pastor of St. Christine's Catholic Church in Euclid accused of sexual misconduct with a minor in the mid-1970s

The Rev. Patrick Henry, pastor of St. Christine's Catholic Church in Euclid, has been placed on administrative leave after being accused of sexual misconduct with a minor in the mid-1970s.
The alleged incident occurred before Henry was a member of the Diocese of Cleveland, said Bob Tayek, a diocesan spokesman.

Tayek would not say the age or gender of the victim. He also would not indicate the nature of the incident or specifically where it allegedly occurred, saying only it was "out of state."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Croatian priest held over child molestation

CROATIA
Earthtimes

Zagreb - A Croatian priest was detained by police under suspicion that he had sexually molested several boys from his parish, the Vecernji List daily said Thursday. The 63-year-old priest, identified only by initials, allegedly abused five boys aged between 10 and 12 years, during preparations for their first communion on the Adriatic island of Rab.

Prosecutors would decide Thursday on possible charges against the priest, the report said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Baptists adopt sex-abuse statement

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
The Birmingham News

Thursday, June 14, 2007
GREG GARRISON
News staff writer

SAN ANTONIO - After repeated calls for a stand on sexual abuse, the Southern Baptist Convention on Wednesday adopted a resolution urging churches to perform criminal background checks on clergy and employees. The statement also renounced child abusers and those who cover up their actions.

"That shows it's an issue of broad concern," said the Rev. C.B. Scott, pastor of Westmont Baptist Church in Birmingham, a foster parent who had submitted one of several proposals to take a stand against sexual abuse.

"The abuse of children is widespread; it's bad," he said. "They need help. I urge pastors and churches to support the Alabama Baptist Children's Home. They provide compassionate care for children."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Euclid priest suspended over sex claim

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Posted by David Briggs, Religion Reporter June 13, 2007 20:19PM

The pastor of St. Christine Catholic Church in Euclid has been suspended because of an allegation he sexually abused a minor in the mid-1970s.

The Cleveland Catholic Diocese said it recently received a complaint that the Rev. Patrick Henry, 65, "engaged in sexual misconduct with a minor" before he was ordained and outside of the eight-county diocese.

Henry was placed on leave after the Diocesan Review Board concluded the allegation was credible. The diocese said Henry's case has been sent to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican for "its review and determination."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

Priest sentenced for aiding rape

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A priest from County Kerry has been sentenced to five years imprisonment for aiding the rape of a young girl from Liverpool in 2005.

Jeremiah McGrath, 63, who also worked in County Fermanagh, gave thousands of pounds to a paedophile, William Adams, to help groom the 12-year-old for sex.

Adams, 38, originally from Belfast, was given a life sentence after pleading guilty to rape and abuse of the child.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

STILL STANDING

WEST LINN (OR)
The West Linn Tidings

By Nicole DeCosta
The West Linn Tidings, Jun 14, 2007

Daniel Gatti could have been a typical tragic tale.

He was molested as a child, and a car crash in college kept him immobile for nearly two years. But he chose not to be a helpless victim.

He became a fighter.

He became empowered.

And now he fights for others.

At 61, Gatti – a lawyer who specializes in serious personal injury cases, cases of sexual abuse and class-action insurance cases – often has his mind running a million miles a minute. Through his own personal experiences with insurance companies and sex abuse cases, Gatti molded a career he can be proud of – helping people in need by giving them a voice.

Gatti, a West Linn resident, is a founding partner of Gatti, Gatti, Maier, Krueger, Sayer and Associates with his brother; a dedicated worker and passionate man who’s not afraid to shed a tear in front of a judge while rejoicing in an outcome.

Just out of the courtroom from a three-week, high-profile court case Gatti tried and won the first Catholic clergy-abuse case in Oregon, according to Gatti.

“(This job) is not for the weak or the meek. I don’t usually let cases get to me like this. But, when you wake up at two in the morning and throw up, that’s sort of an unusual experience for me,” Gatti said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 AM

Priest indicted in abuse of girl in early 1990s

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

Chelsea Schneider
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 14, 2007 12:00 AM

A grand jury indicted a Roman Catholic priest of two counts of sexually abusing a 13-year-old Phoenix girl about 14 or 15 years ago, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office announced Wednesday.

The charges were filed nearly a year after a Yuma County grand jury indicted Jorge Washington Cordova on 10 counts of sexually abusing a minor.

Cordova fled the country in 2006 before he could be arrested. He was arrested in Spain earlier this month and is facing extradition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Portland archbishop apologizes

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Thursday, June 14, 2007

MARK LARABEE
During a special Wednesday evening prayer service, Portland's Catholic Archbishop John Vlazny issued a formal apology to the victims of sexual abuse by priests, both for the abuse itself and for the "inadequacy in which the church responded to the crimes."

About 200 people attended the service at St. Mary's Cathedral in Northwest Portland. They sang hymns, said prayers and lit candles for victims. They asked God for forgiveness and emboldened one another to seek the truth and to bring forth healing for both the church and for victims and their families.

"The victims of sexual abuse have carried many burdens," Vlazny said. "I take this opportunity to express my sincerest apology."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

Fermanagh priest jailed for 5 years

UNITED KINGDOM
U.TV

A priest from Co Fermanagh who financed the grooming of a young girl for sex was jailed for five years today.

Father Jeremiah McGrath, 64, gave more than £20,000 to his friend, convicted child rapist Billy Adams, who used the cash to shower a 12-year-old with treats and gifts.

Having bought her silence and trust, 38-year-old Adams, originally from Belfast but latterly of Bootle, Merseyside, raped her repeatedly over a six-month period in 2005.

During a trial at Liverpool Crown Court, McGrath, from Rosslea, Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, insisted he had no idea that Adams was abusing the girl and claimed the money was linked to his gambling habit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Fermanagh priest to face sentencing

UNITED KINGDOM
4ni

A Fermanagh priest who gave thousands of pounds to a County Antrim man to finance the grooming of a young girl, is due to be sentenced today.

Jeremiah McGrath, 63, originally from Rosslea gave more than £20,000 to convicted paedophile William Adams to shower a 12-year-old Liverpool girl with gifts.

Adams, 38, originally from Belfast, raped the girl repeatedly over a six-month period in 2005.

It is understood the priest met Adams in a homeless hostel in Dublin in 1988. They subsequently developed a sexual relationship.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Provincial : New Sexual Abuse Policy for Catholic Church

CANADA
CD 98.9

Posted by Kate Buick on 2007/6/14

It's been months in the making, and today people will get the first look at a full draft of the Roman Catholic Diocese of London's new sexual abuse policy.
Victims of Father Charles Sylvester, a former Port Dover Priest, got to see the draft a few weeks ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Pastor urges predator database

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
The Oklahoman

By Carla Hinton
Religion Editor
SAN ANTONIO — Southern Baptist women and children must be protected from predatory ministers, an Oklahoma pastor said Tuesday at the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting.

The Rev. Wade Burleson of Enid asked the convention's executive committee to study the development of a database identifying sexual predators within the nation's largest Protestant denomination.

That way, such predators cannot be easily passed from church to church — and victim to victim, he said.

"Our convention ought to be able to say, ‘This is what we know,'” Burleson said at the meeting in San Antonio.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 AM

Second young woman accuses former youth minister of abuse

REDMOND (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By AMY ROLPH
P-I REPORTER

Another young woman has come forward, saying she was raped by Brent Krum, a former youth minister with the now-defunct Summit View Community Church in Redmond.

The additional charges were filed Wednesday. Krum, 37, is now facing three counts of third-degree child rape and three counts of third-degree child molestation.

At his arraignment Wednesday morning, Krum pleaded not guilty and was released on his own recognizance.

"Mr. Krum maintains his innocence," said his attorney, Gene Piculell. "We are going to proceed from here."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:54 AM

Madison diocese: Retired priest found guilty of abusing minor

MADISON (WI)
Winona Daily News

By The Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. — A retired Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing boys in the 1960s and 1970s has been found guilty by a church panel and ordered to never again celebrate Mass, the Diocese of Madison said Wednesday.

The decision comes five years after the Rev. Kenneth Klubertanz was placed on administrative leave as pastor of a church in Lodi, about 30 miles north of Madison, after a man said he was abused by him as a 13-year-old in the 1970s.

At the time, Catholic churches across the country were confronting allegations of widespread sexual abuse of boys by priests and that leaders covered up problems for decades by transferring priests to new parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 AM

Fugitive priest now faces charges in Maricopa County

ARIZONA
azfamily

04:27 PM Mountain Standard Time on Wednesday, June 13, 2007

By Kirsten Joyce / 3TV

A Roman Catholic priest who fled the country after being indicted on sexual abuse charges out of Yuma is now looking at charges out of Maricopa County.

Just this week a Maricopa County grand jury indicted Father Jorge Washington Cordova on two counts of sexual abuse.The alleged incidents occurred 15 years ago when he was assigned to the Charismatic Renewal Ministry in Phoenix.

“Criminal fugitives who flee Maricopa County are learning that the arm of the law is longer than they thought,” County Attorney Andrew Thomas said.

Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas responded today to the sexual abuse charges, shown in the indictment against Father Jorge Washington Cordova, 51.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:43 AM

Priest accused of molesting female disciples

TAIWAN
Khaleej Times

(DPA)

14 June 2007

TAIPEI - Taiwan police on Thursday questioned a priest of a Christian church accused of molesting 11 female disciples, under the auspices of sex counselling.

Tang Tai-sheng, 58, founder of the Christian Disciples’ Church in Taoyuan near Taipei, was detained on Wednesday night but interrogation began Thursday as under Taiwanese law, a suspect can refuse to be questioned at night.

Tang, who previously was jailed for a sex crime, has been accused by one disciple, named Lin, of molesting 11 female church members, mostly high school and university students, and raping one of them. Lin claims to be one of the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:35 AM

June 13, 2007

SBC messengers raise questions about IMB finances, trustees

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Associated Baptist Press

By Grace Thornton
Published June 13, 2007

SAN ANTONIO (ABP) -- International Mission Board President Jerry Rankin presented an upbeat report June 12 to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting, but he was unable to escape concerns from messengers at the San Antonio, Texas, meeting.

A concern about embezzlement resurfaced when messenger Ron McGowin of Fairfield, Texas, questioned the outcome of a motion he introduced at last year’s annual meeting. McGowin’s motion had called for an external audit of the Central Asia region’s monetary dealings between 1999-2005.

A note in the book of reports said a 2004 audit and “supplemental procedures” on the issue led to “appropriate action” taken by the board. But McGowin, pastor of First Baptist Church in Fairfield, asked why the IMB trustees had decided against the use of external audits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 PM

Two More Civil Suits Filed Against Trinity

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
First Coast News

By Jeannie Blaylock
First Coast News

JACKSONVILLE, FL -- More legal action is being taken against Trinity Baptist. Two more civil suits have been filed.

They stem from the alleged sexual abuse by former pastor, Bob Gray.

Dr. Gray is scheduled for his criminal trial in November. He's accused of capital sexual battery on several girls and one boy. Those children are now adults.

The two new civil suits bring the total to five filed now against Trinity. The civil suits allege Trinity knew Dr. Gray was a child abuser and did not tell authorities and did not protect the children or warn their families.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 PM

Resolution Passed to Prevent Clergy Sex Abuse in SBC Churches

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
The Christian Post

By Audrey Barrick
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Jun. 13 2007 07:13 PM ET

The Southern Baptist Convention unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday to protect children from sexual abuse in the church.

In approving the resolution, SBC messengers - representatives from churches around the country - said they express their "deep level or moral outrage and concern at any instance of child victimization."

"We implore Southern Baptist churches to utilize materials from LifeWay Christian Resources and state conventions and other relevant research that help churches prevent child abuse," say messengers in the resolution.

The resolution also strongly recommends that Southern Baptist churches and convention entities respond to any suspicions or allegations of child abuse in a timely and forthright manner and to perform criminal background checks on all ministers, employees and volunteers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 PM

Priest to plead guilty to theft

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Azam Ahmed
Tribune staff reporter
Published June 13, 2007, 5:29 PM CDT
A former pastor of a North Side parish accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the church intends to accept a plea deal calling for a 4-year prison sentence, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Rev. Mark Sorvillo, a former pastor at St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, expects to plead guilty in late July, his lawyer, Brian Collins, told Circuit Judge Diane Cannon.

While St. Margaret Mary was struggling to keep its school open, Sorvillo stole from weekly collections and donations from baptisms and weddings, and also misused parish credit cards, taking more than $190,000 in nearly eight years as pastor, prosecutors have said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 PM

Priest to plead guilty to stealing nearly $200,000

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

June 13, 2007
BY ERIC HERMAN Staff Reporter/eherman@suntimes.com
A Catholic priest accused of stealing nearly $200,000 from a North Side parish plans to plead guilty and take a four-year prison sentence, his lawyer said today.

Mark Sorvillo, the former pastor of St. Margaret Mary Church in West Rogers Park, will enter the plea on July 20 before Judge Diane Gordon Cannon, lawyers said. In the meantime, the priest's lawyer is gathering evidence about Sorvillo's health to present to the court.

"He suffers from a myriad of medical problems," said Sorvillo's lawyer, Brian Collins.

The Archdiocese of Chicago ousted Sorvillo from St. Margaret Mary in February 2006 after financial irregularities at the parish came to light. Founded in 1921, the church counts Cook County State's Attorney Dick Devine among its parishioners. Former U.S. Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.) and personal injury lawyer Philip Corboy grew up in the parish, which today counts 700 to 800 families among its flock.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:58 PM

Former Lodi priest guilty of abuse

MADISON (WI)
The Capital Times

Samara Kalk Derby — 6/13/2007 11:52 am

The Rev. Kenneth Klubertanz, former pastor of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Lodi, was permanently removed from any "priestly ministry" Tuesday after being found guilty in an ecclesiastical judicial trial of sexually abusing a minor.

The Diocese of Madison conducted the trial and just received official notification from the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith regarding a final decision on Klubertanz.

After Klubertanz was accused of abuse in 2002, the Madison Diocese requested that he take administrative leave.

The Diocesan Review Board found the allegations against Klubertanz to be credible and then-Bishop William Bullock referred the matter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which handles matters of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Judge: Spokane Catholic bankruptcy documents to remain secret

SPOKANE (WA)
The Daily News

SPOKANE, Wash. - Agreements to keep the names of clergy sex abuse victims confidential are not public record, so documents naming their abusers and amounts the victims will be paid to settle the Spokane Catholic Diocese bankruptcy will remain secret, a judge has ruled.

In an oral ruling Tuesday, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Patricia Williams denied The Spokesman-Review's request to open sealed documents in the case.

The mediated settlement approved in April calls for the diocese to pay $48 million to about 150 victims of past clergy abuse at the discretion of an independent reviewer. The newspaper sought details of individual payments and the names of priests accused of abuse, some of whom may still be active in the ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Judge Refuses To Open Records of Spokane Priests Sex Abuse

SPOKANE (WA)
Editor & Publisher

Published: June 13, 2007 11:19 AM ET

NEW YORK A federal bankruptcy judge has denied the Spokesman-Review's request for records detailing payouts to sexual abuse victims of Catholic priests in Spokane.

The judge says the records are protected by confidentiality agreements with the Spokane Catholic Diocese.

A lawyer for the newspaper says they prevent the public from knowing which priests were perpetrators of the worst abuse and whether they are still in the ministry.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Madison diocese: Retired priest found guilty of abusing minor

MADISON (WI)
The Daily News

By RYAN J. FOLEY

MADISON, Wis. - A retired Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing boys in the 1960s and 1970s has been found guilty by a church panel and ordered to never again celebrate Mass, the Diocese of Madison said Wednesday.

The decision comes five years after the Rev. Kenneth Klubertanz was placed on administrative leave as pastor of a church in Lodi, about 30 miles north of Madison, after a man said he was abused by him as a 13-year-old in the 1970s.

At the time, Catholic churches across the country were confronting allegations of widespread sexual abuse of boys by priests and that leaders covered up problems for decades by transferring priests to new parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 PM

Church convicts priest of abuse

JANESVILLE (WI)
Gazette

(Published Wednesday, June 13, 2007 03:13:03 PM CST)

By Marcia Nelesen
Gazette staff

A former Janesville priest has been found guilty in a church trial of sexually abusing a minor.

The Rev. Kenneth Klubertanz, a former priest at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, remains a priest but cannot have a ministry. The three canonists who served as judges also restricted him from being alone with anyone younger than 18.

Klubertanz has been on a leave of absence since 2002, when a former Janesville man, Christopher Leonard, filed an affidavit with Catholic Church officials in Madison describing a 1975 incident at a northern Wisconsin lake.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:06 PM

Archdiocese of St. Louis drops lawsuit

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

06/13/2007

The Archdiocese of St. Louis dropped a lawsuit Monday against a St. Louis law firm that has represented the majority of clergy sexual abuse cases against the archdiocese.

The archdiocese had filed suit against Chackes, Carlson, Spritzer and Ghio last month seeking relief against what it called the firm's "past disclosure and anticipated future disclosure" of archdiocesan personnel and medical records to "third parties." The suit and the church lawyers alleged that one of those parties was the Post-Dispatch.

The church withdrew the lawsuit Monday before a hearing called to discuss whether Archbishop Raymond Burke would have to testify under oath in a deposition for the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

For the Record

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

June 13, 2007

Clergy abuse: An article in Thursday's California section about Cardinal Roger M. Mahony being ordered to testify in a lawsuit said the suit alleged that he failed to protect parishioners from Paul Kreutzer, a pedophile teacher. In fact, the suit accuses the Archdiocese of Los Angeles of failing to protect parishioners from abuse by Kreutzer between 1974 and 1976. Mahony did not become archbishop until September 1985 and is not named in the suit.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 AM

Priest "breached trust"

UNITED KINGDOM
Harrow Times

A CATHOLIC priest who indecently assaulted a boy who went to him for advice about his sexuality has been jailed for his "gross breach of trust".

Father Peter Grant had been working at Our Lady of the Annunciation church, in Thirleby Road, Burnt Oak, for six weeks when the allegations came to light in April. He then took an overdose of whisky and tablets in an attempt to commit suicide, St Albans Crown Court heard on Friday.

He was jailed for three years and four months after pleading guilty to four offences of sexual activity with a child under 16.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 AM

Denial, Rationalizations and the case of Rabbi Alan Horowitz

UNITED STATES
Jewish Survivors of Sexual Violence Speak Out

There's some days it's difficult to be proud that I'm Jewish. The reasoning has to do with the way our rabbinic leaders have been handling sex crimes through the ages. Their rationalizations, ignorance and denial is enough to make anyone atheist.

Today is one of those dark days. I received an e-mail from a friend which contained part of a letter from a rabbi who some consider being an advocate for survivors. The comments are regarding The Awareness Center's call to action regarding "defrocking" rabbi Alan Horowitz.

Why don’t you just "decide" that he is not really a rabbi – no rabbi will ever admitted to giving him ordination – assume that it is bogus – YOU remove his ordination – and challenge him and whoever supposedly gave him smicha to stand up and “take credit”. This will force his hand to say who his supposed smicha is from.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

Former minister awaits sentence

OKLAHOMA
Muskogee Phoenix

By D. E. Smoot
Phoenix Staff Writer

A former Tahlequah minister awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to one count of using an interactive computer service to transmit an obscene and lewd picture.

The federal charge to which Charles Barry Shaffer, 45, pleaded was alleged in superseding information filed in the U.S. District Court of Western Oklahoma as part of a plea deal.

Shaffer originally was indicted for using the Internet “to persuade, induce, and entice, a person who he believed to be under 18 years of age to engage in sexual activity.” He pleaded guilty to the amended charge Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Debates, New Plan to Boost Baptisms on Southern Baptist Agenda

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
The Christian Post

By Audrey Barrick
Christian Post Reporter

Southern Baptist head Frank Page has hope that the nation's largest evangelical denomination can move beyond the divisive issues and seek revival around compassion. ...

Another issue drawing increased concern in the denomination is clergy sexual abuse. A recent ABC 20/20 report revealed several child abuse cases in local Southern Baptist churches where ministers went from church to church sexually abusing kids.

Among others, Burleson expressed deep concern and made a motion Tuesday morning that the Executive Committee examine the feasibility of launching a database of “credibly accused” sexual predators as a resource to churches.

As the controversial issues are likely to come forward during the meeting, SBC’s Page still hopes to find common ground around the mission of the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:09 AM

Former minister charged with child sexual abuse

KIEFER (OK)
Herald

John Swails
Herald Staff Writer

A former Kiefer minister is scheduled to appear in court for a hearing Wednesday in connection with child sexual abuse charges.

Stephen D. Shorey, 40, was arrested in April on a complaint of child sexual abuse.

The hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m., and will be heard at the Creek County Courthouse before Special District Judge Richard Woolery.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Southern Baptists weigh defining what it means to be a Baptist

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Houston Chronicle

By ERIC GORSKI AP Religion Writer
The Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO — Southern Baptist Convention president Frank Page said Tuesday the denomination needs to set aside internal differences and be both "right and relevant" to revive languishing membership trends. ...

Also Tuesday, the Rev. Wade Burleson of Enid, Okla., proposed a feasibility study into developing a national database of Southern Baptist ministers who have been "credibly accused of, personally confessed to, or legally been convicted of sexual harassment or abuse." A convention committee referred Burleson's motion to the SBC executive committee, which will report back with findings and a recommendation at next year's meeting in Indianapolis.

Some Baptists believe a database would be redundant to background checks most churches already carry out, and also wonder how an accusation will be deemed credible. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, which has been passing out leaflets outside the convention center, supports forming an independent review board to make that determination.

Bill Leonard, dean of the Wake Forest University Divinity School in North Carolina and longtime observer of Southern Baptist life, said the convention is in a precarious position because if it acknowledges an oversight role on curbing abuse, it exposes itself to lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

SBC messengers re-elect Page, hear motions on agency policies, clergy sex abuse

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Associated Baptist Press

By Greg Warner and Charlie Warren
Published June 12, 2007

SAN ANTONIO (ABP) -- Frank Page was re-elected without opposition to the traditional second one-year term as president of the Southern Baptist Convention during the first day of the denomination's annual meeting, which also featured efforts to curb clergy sexual abuse and to prevent hiring criteria that are more restrictive than the SBC's official doctrinal statement. ...

Another motion, offered by Oklahoma pastor Wade Burleson, asks the SBC Executive Committee to study the establishment of a national registry of "clergy and staff who have been credibly accused of, personally confessed to, or legally been convicted of sexual harassment or abuse."

The motion, which follows months of revelations about sex abuse in Baptist churches, was referred to the Executive Committee for action.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Southern Baptists' vote may be reformist victory

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

12:25 AM CDT on Wednesday, June 13, 2007

By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News
samhodges@dallasnews.com

SAN ANTONIO – "Messengers" to the Southern Baptist Convention's annual meeting here took a vote Tuesday night that could lead to greater acceptance within the denomination of those who have a private prayer language, a form of speaking in tongues.

But the results weren't to be announced until Wednesday morning. ...

In other business, Mr. Burleson moved that the SBC study the feasibility of creating a database listing pastors and staff known to have engaged in sexual misconduct.

Mr. Burleson said such a database, if made available to churches investigating job candidates, could help stop sexual predators moving from church to church.

The motion was referred to a committee. But the mere fact that the SBC would take up the issue cheered Christa Brown, who leads the Baptist wing of the group SNAP, which advocates for victims of clergy abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Baptists eye sex-offender database

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
The Courier-Journal

By Peter Smith
psmith@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

SAN ANTONIO -- The Southern Baptist Convention took a step yesterday that could lead to the creation of a database of pastors who have committed sexual misconduct.

The convention overwhelmingly voted without debate to ask its Executive Committee to study the feasibility of creating such a database. The committee is required to report back to next year's convention.

The database would include names of those "credibly accused of, personally confessed to, or legally been convicted of sexual harassment or abuse," according to the motion approved by the convention on the first day of its two-day meeting.

The aim would be to prevent a minister who offends in one church from finding a job in another where the minister's history is unknown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

St. Paul diocese opposes tort reform in sexual abuse cases

MINNESOTA
Pulse of the Twin Cities

by DENNIS GEISINGER

“That’s right,” said Dennis McGrath, director of communications for the St. Paul diocese of the Catholic Church, in a phone interview with Pulse yesterday. “We are opposed to extending the statute of limitations for prosecuting crimes of sexual abuse. We feel that there’s no need to fix the system that’s already in place,” he said.

McGrath was reacting to questions about a full-page advertisement in last Thursday’s Star and Tribune from a Pennsylvania group called The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP). Titled, “Is It Fair That the Innocent Pay for the Guilty?” the ad predicted “additional 67 million victims of sexual abuse scandals on the horizon.”

“State legislatures across the nation are now being pressured to lift or extend retroactively their civil statutes of limitations related to sexual abuse,” according to the ad. The ad’s sponsors said the Catholic Church and its followers are being “pillaged” by financial awards made to those who have been sexually abused by Catholic clergy, comparing the current perceived assault on the church to historical examples of church persecution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Comiskey is 'more than happy' to testify on clerical abuse

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Dearbhail McDonald
Wednesday June 13 2007

RETIRED Bishop Brendan Comiskey, the first member of the Church hierarchy to give evidence in an abuse case, has told the High Court he is "more than happy" to appear as a witness.

Lawyers acting for the bishop have informed High Court Judge John Quirke that Bishop Comiskey, a key witness in an abuse action taken by three men from Wexford, that he will co-operate in any way he can in a case taken by the men who allege they were abused by a Ferns priest.

Bishop Comiskey, who has made one public appearance in Wexford since he stepped down as Bishop of Ferns, is one of a number of senior Church figures subpoenaed to appear in the case before the High Court.

Yesterday, on day 12 of the first civil diocesan abuse case to go to full trial, lawyers for the former bishop said he had been out of the country as most of his spiritual work had been in America but that he was currently in Ireland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Area native selected as archbishop

PENNSYLVANIA
The Republican & Herald

BY STEPHEN J. PYTAK
STAFF WRITER
spytak@republicanherald.com

06/13/2007
The Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz, a Mahanoy City native, was named the ninth Archbishop of Louisville, Ky., on Tuesday.

Kurtz, 60, has served as bishop of Knoxville, Tenn., since October 1999.

As bishop, he guided approximately 46,000 Catholics in 45 parishes that made up 36 eastern Tennessee counties, from the Cumberland plateau to the North Carolina border. ...

Kurtz said he has taken a “proactive” approach to “seek a wholesome and a healthy environment within our parishes, our schools and every institution.”

Kurtz said he thought his approach to responding to any controversy from the abuse scandal was a “healthy one.” “It’s built on a transparency — a desire not only to cooperate with public authorities when a problem occurs but to be able to have the confidence of the faithful and the average citizen that we are cooperating,” he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

Kelly's successor met with praise

KENTUCKY
The Courier-Journal

By Deborah Yetter
dyetter@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

Joseph E. Kurtz was invited to come to town the night before he was to be introduced as Louisville's new archbishop -- but he was busy.

He'd promised to visit a Tennessee prison. ...

He also touched on the subject of clergy sexual abuse, which affected his diocese in Knoxville as well, calling it a "crime and sin of sexual misconduct and sexual abuse."

Kurtz said that in Louisville he will strive to "gain the confidence of the faithful" by being open and honest and working to prevent abuse.

Advocates for victims of clergy sexual abuse in Louisville said they would like to see Kurtz do more to help those affected by past abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Kurtz urged to meet with abuse victims

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

By Peter Smith
psmith@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

A leader of the Louisville chapter of a group that serves as an advocate for victims of sexual abuse called on the new archbishop to meet with people abused by priests and others connected with the church.

Vince Grenough, of Voice of the Faithful, said, "The Louisville archdiocese has done some very good things in regards to the sexual-abuse crisis, but there's still a lot of unfinished business."

He encouraged the Most Rev. Joseph Kurtz to meet with abuse victims at a place of their choosing and to add a lay victim of abuse to the archdiocese's board that reviews abuse complaints.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Church Attorneys try to get Report to People of God thrown out as well as quash Mahony’s testimony. “Motion is denied” -- quotes from Judge's order

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

That his testimony might be inflammatory appears to be unavoidable. -- Judge Fromholz

By City of Angels Lady

Here are quotes from Judge Haley Fromholz’ order denying the church’s “Motion of Defendant Does 1 and 2 for an Order Quashing Civil Subpoena” dated June 6. . . issued to Cardinal Roger Michael Mahony.

“Plaintiff has issued a Civil Subpoena (Duces Tecum) for the personal appearance and production of documents and things to Cardinal Mahony. Defendants argue that good cause exists to quash the subpoena”

"Motion is denied"

"Defendants first argue that the subpoena is oppressive because Plaintiff has not conducted Cardinal Mahony’s deposition and there is therefore “no way of knowing what areas of inquiry or line of questioning Plaintiff’s counsel will delve into in order to determine whether it is admissible.” [Motion 2:12-14]. Defendants predict that it will consequently be necessary to object to every question that is asked, and that this will prejudice defense counsel in the eyes of the jury. [Id. 2:13-16]. . . . .

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

June 12, 2007

Narrow Bridge

A trailer to a new film by Izzy Moskovitz called "Narrow Bridge" can be seen at this link.

Vicki Polin, executive director of The Awareness Center, said she has read one of the original scripts and believes the film is well done.

The story is about a young Jewish college student who was sexually abused by his rabbi as a child and the numerous struggles he encounters as he attempts to heal himself and seek closure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:05 PM

Attorneys Want Archbishop to Testify

ST. LOUIS (MO)
KMOX

Kevin Killeen Reporting

ST. LOUIS (KMOX News) -- Should St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke be forced to take the witness stand in a civil suit the diocese filed to prevent the release of information on six accused priests? That's the subject of a pretrial hearing scheduled for this afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:36 PM

Diocese facing new allegations it hired priests who molested boys

VERMONT
Rutland Herald

10:44 a.m.
June 12, 2007

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) - Vermont’s Roman Catholic diocese is facing new allegations that two priests hired in the 1960s and 1970s remained with the Diocese even after allegations of sexual misconduct involving children were received by church officials.

The allegations are contained in documents filed in Chittenden Superior Court last week as part of a separate molestation case.

Attorney Jerome O’Neill is using the information as part of the case of a Virginia Beach, Va., man who alleges that former Rev. Alfred Willis molested him in 1977. The case is due to go to trial next week.

The Diocese is asking the court to prevent O’Neill from bringing up evidence about how the diocese handled other child molestation claims. It says church officials had no prior knowledge of child molestation misconduct by Willis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Portland Archdiocese Releases Accused Priests' Personnel Files

PORTLAND (OR)
Public NewsRoom

By Colin Fogarty

PORTLAND, OR 2007-06-07 The Archdiocese of Portland released a series of documents today Wednesday from the personnel files of priests accused of molesting children. Church officials agreed to release the papers when they settled a massive bankruptcy case in April involving about 150 claimants. Colin Fogarty reports.

The documents range from the innocuous to legalistic to deeply anguished.

This is only a portion of all the papers the church has agreed to release. Some are waiting for attorneys to notify those who might be identified in the documents. Others are in dispute and a mediator will decide whether to release them.

In reading the papers, one observation becomes quickly obvious: Church officials knew of accusations of sexual misconduct against their priests and struggled over what to do about it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:28 PM

Vatican names former Allentown priest new Louisville archbishop

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Morning Call

By Bruce Schreiner The Associated Press
LOUISVILLE, Ky. | -- Roman Catholic Bishop Joseph Kurtz was named archbishop of Louisville by Pope Benedict XVI, succeeding Thomas C. Kelly, who guided the archdiocese through one of its most tumultuous times amid a clergy sex abuse scandal.

Kurtz, 60, has served as bishop of the 50,000-member diocese of Knoxville, Tenn., since 1999. Before that, he was a priest for 27 years in the Diocese of Allentown in Pennsylvania.

"I look forward to the opportunity to serve all the people of our archdiocese," Kurtz said Tuesday at a news conference at the archdiocese main office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:16 PM

Abuse victims group holds vigil backing protections

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By Jim Jones
Special to the Star-Telegram
SAN ANTONIO -- Leaders of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests -- which now has a Baptist unit -- staged a prayer vigil here Monday, urging members of the Southern Baptist Convention to expose pastors and other church employees who are guilty of sexual abuse.

"It's way too easy for perpetrators of sexual abuse to hide in the Southern Baptist Convention," said Christa Brown of Austin, coordinator of the Baptist unit of the Survivors Network.

She and David Clohessy, executive director of the organization, which is based in St. Louis, conducted the vigil outside the San Antonio Convention Center, where the Southern Baptist Convention opens its two-day annual meeting today.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Prosecutors seek to revoke priest's probation

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

By Jason Riley
jriley@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

An 81-year-old Roman Catholic priest sentenced last year to five years of probation for abusing four boys between 1956 and 1966 has violated conditions of his release by failing to complete sex-offender treatment, according to court records.

The Rev. Edwin Scherzer, a priest in the Archdiocese of Louisville, was kicked out of the state's Sex Offender Treatment Program in November for violating his treatment contract by refusing to admit he abused three of the four boys, according to a supervision report.

The Jefferson commonwealth's attorney's office and state Division of Probation and Parole have asked Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Susan Schultz Gibson to send Scherzer to prison for the remainder of his five-year sentence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Vatican clears former pastor of sex charges

NEW JERSEY
NorthJersey.com

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

By JOHN CHADWICK
STAFF WRITER

The Rev. William J. Dowd, a popular Bergen County priest who was accused in 2002 of sexual misconduct with minors, has been cleared by church officials in Rome.

The decision means the 67-year-old Dowd can wear clerical garb, celebrate Mass and represent himself as a Catholic priest for the first time in more than five years. But he won't be reassigned to St. Luke's in Ho-Ho-Kus, where he had been pastor and where some parishioners had rallied to his defense.

Jim Goodness, a spokesman for the Newark Archdiocese, said Dowd may seek an assignment that doesn't involve working in a church, given the "notoriety" of the accusations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Former priest pleads guilty to sex assault

CANADA
The Chronicle Herald

SYDNEY — A former Roman Catholic priest in Cape Breton has admitted to another sex-related offence.

A sentencing hearing for Claude Richard, 71, will be held in September.

He pleaded guilty to a single count of sexual assault that dates back to 1987 in Glace Bay involving a male.

A charge of gross indecency was withdrawn.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:51 AM

Allan man alleges abuse by priest

CANADA
Leader-Post

Heather Polischuk, Leader-Post
Published: Tuesday, June 12, 2007
An Allan, Sask., man is suing the Archiepiscopal Corporation of Regina, or the Roman Catholic Archdiocese, alleging he was sexually abused by a priest as a youth.

In his statement of claim filed in March, Albert Laval claims he was abused in or around November 1963 when he spent two nights at the Cantal, Sask., parish rectory.

Laval alleges the now-deceased Pius Finnin, then the parish priest in Wauchope, Sask., abused him knowing Laval was neither consenting, nor of an age where consent was relevant.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:38 AM

Lawyer: Diocese hired priests suspected of molesting boys

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Tuesday, June 12, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

The state's Roman Catholic diocese is facing new allegations that it hired two priests in the 1960s and 1970s suspected of molesting boys, then kept them employed after receiving reports of their sexual misconduct while working in Vermont.

The allegations are contained in a document filed late last week in Chittenden Superior Court by Jerome O'Neill, the attorney for a Virginia Beach, Va., man who claims that former Rev. Alfred Willis molested him in 1977.

The document, titled "Plaintiff's statement of disputed material facts," was filed with the court Friday with the stated purpose of combating efforts by the diocese to have the pending case dismissed. The case is set to go to trial next week.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 AM

Church-run trial clears priest on sex abuses

NEWARK (NJ)
Star-Leder

Tuesday, June 12, 2007
BY JEFF DIAMANT
Star-Ledger Staff
After five years on leave from Catholic ministry, a priest from the Newark Archdiocese who was once team chaplain for the New York Giants has been acquitted in a church-run trial on charges that he sexually abused minors.

The Rev. William Dowd, 67, will return to ministry soon, possibly at a hospital or college but probably not at a parish, said James Goodness, spokesman for the Newark Archdiocese.

Dowd spoke Friday with Archbishop John J. Myers and was told of the decision, Goodness said.

Dowd stepped down as pastor of St. Luke's Roman Catholic Church in Ho-Ho-Kus, in Bergen County, in April 2002, after a man from Mississippi came forward with an allegation that Dowd molested him repeatedly while he was a teenager living in New Jersey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:14 AM

Former priest's probation may be revoked

LOUISVILLE (KY)
Kentucky.com

The Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. --Prosecutors are asking a judge to send an 81-year-old former priest to prison for failing to complete sex-offender treatment, court records show.

The Rev. Edwin Scherzer was sentenced last year to five years of house arrest for sexually abusing four boys between 1956 and 1966.

But the Jefferson Commonwealth Attorney's office and state Division of Probation and Parole have asked Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Susan Schultz Gibson to force Scherzer to finish his sentence in jail after Scherzer was kicked out of the state's Sex Offender Treatment Program last November.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:11 AM

Seattle woman files sex-abuse claim against pastor, church

SEATTLE (WA)
KGW

06/12/2007

By MELANTHIA MITCHELL / Associated Press

A church with congregations nationwide was sued Monday by a Seattle woman who claims she was sexually abused as a child by one of its pastors here.

The pastor, now 79, denied the accusations.

Court documents filed in King County Superior Court allege that the Church of God in Christ, based in Memphis, Tenn., failed to protect the woman from Pastor Charles E. Smith.

The church failed to properly investigate Smith's background, knew or should have known he was a pedophile, and failed to adequately supervise him, the lawsuit contends.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:56 AM

June 11, 2007

Vatican clears priest in abuse case

NEW JERSEY
NorthJersey.com

Monday, June 11, 2007

By JOHN CHADWICK
STAFF WRITER

The Rev. William J. Dowd, a popular Bergen County priest who was accused in 2002 of sexual misconduct with minors, has been cleared by church officials in Rome.

“Father Dowd is entitled to the restoration of his reputation and the opportunity to return to ministry,” Jim Goodness, a spokesman for the Newark Archdiocese, said Monday.

The decision means the 67-year-old priest can wear clerical garb, celebrate Mass and represent himself as a priest for the first time in more than five years.

But he won’t be reassigned to St. Luke’s in Ho-Ho-Kus, where he served as pastor for five years before his removal, because the archdiocese installed a new pastor several years ago. Dowd may seek a position outside of a parish ministry given the “notoriety” of the accusations, Goodness said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:00 PM

Seattle woman files sex-abuse claim against COGIC

SEATTLE (WA)
WMC

Associated Press - June 11, 2007 3:25 PM ET

SEATTLE (AP) - The Memphis-based Church of God in Christ was sued today by a Seattle woman who claims she was sexually abused as a child by 1 of its pastors.

Court documents filed in Seattle allege that the Church of God in Christ failed to protect the woman from Pastor Charles E. Smith.

The lawsuit contends that the church failed to properly investigate Smith's background, knew or should have known he was a pedophile, and failed to adequately supervise him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Seattle woman files sex-abuse claim against church

SEATTLE (WA)
KNDO/KNDU

Associated Press - June 11, 2007 3:55 PM ET

SEATTLE (AP) - A 53-year-old Seattle woman who says she was sexually abused 40 years ago by a pastor has filed a lawsuit against the Church of God in Christ.

Documents filed in King County Superior Court allege that the church failed to protect her from the pastor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Judge confirms Va. Beach pastor misused church funds

VIRGINIA BEACH (VA)
WVEC

The case against a Virginia Beach pastor went to court Monday.

Ken Montgomery, former pastor of what was called Praise 3 Ministries church, was accused of misusing more than $130,000 in church funds.

Monday, a judge confirmed a court investigator's findings that Montgomery wrote checks using the church money for his and his wife's personal expenses.

The judgment means Ken and Tammy Montgomery have to pay that money back.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Former priest will be sentenced in September on a charge of sexual assault

CANADA
The Cape Breton Post

SYDNEY – A retired Cape Breton priest will be sentenced in September on a count of sexual assault involving a male.

Claude Joseph Richard, 71, pleaded guilty to the charge in Supreme Court. The incident occurred in Glace Bay in 1987.

Richard, who is now living in Halifax, has been released on conditions pending his sentencing, Sept. 5.

Richard, along with his twin brother, Clair, also a priest, had previously spent time in jail for sex offences. Richard was given a two-year sentence in 1994 after pleading guilty to sexually abusing three boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:50 PM

Prosecutors want to revoke 81-year-old priest's parole

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

By Jason Riley
jriley@courier-journal.com
The Courier-Journal

An 81-year-old Roman Catholic priest sentenced last year to five years of probation for abusing four boys between 1956 and 1966 has violated the conditions of his release by failing to register as a sex offender, according to prosecutors.

The Rev. Edwin Scherzer, a Roman Catholic priest in the Archdiocese of Louisville, also was kicked out of the state’s Sex Offender Treatment Program for violating his treatment contract by refusing to admit he abused three of the four boys, according to court records.

A Jefferson Circuit Court judge did not decide the issue today.

In November 2005, Scherzer pleaded guilty to four felony counts of indecent or immoral practices with a child under 15, the equivalent of what would be called sexual abuse under current Kentucky law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:41 PM

Church’s response to sex abuse began long before crisis of 2002

UNITED STATES
Pittsburgh Catholic

by: C.T. MAIER and ROBERT P. LOCKWOOD

First of a two-part series.

This month, five years have passed since the U.S. Catholic bishops responded to the clergy sexual abuse crisis by approving the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” During that time, the Catholic Church in the United States has done more than perhaps any other institution in the world to confront the problem of child sexual abuse.

Yet, many Catholics are unaware of what the church has been doing on the issue. In fact, a recent survey by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University found that as many as 80 percent of American Catholics didn’t know that the church had done anything at all.

Even a casual look at the church’s response, though, reveals a dedicated and long-standing effort to protect children and youth.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:38 PM

Sister Maureen's Update on Delaware SB 29

DELAWARE
Voice from the Desert

Here's a recent e-mail from Sister Maureen Paul Turlish of New Castle, Delaware, updating us on the latest news about Delaware Senate Bill 29.

By the way, Delaware’s Separation Day was celebrated on Saturday, June 9, 2007 in historic New Castle, Delaware. Separation Day celebrates Delaware’s “separation” from the British Crown and the governance of the Penn Family in 1776. The event is sponsored by the State of Delaware through the Separation Day Committee.

Happy Separation Day 2007!

After reading the Delaware News Journal online this morning, where there are two more "letters" supporting Senate Bill 29, I added a long commentary on what untruths were writtten in this week's catholic newspaper, The Dialog.

Both the letters and commentary can be found at: http://forums.delawareonline.com/viewtopic.php?t=41389

I went down to Old New Castle for my walk today because it's Separation Day.

While sitting waiting for the parade to begin, looked around noticing all the families with children
and remembered I still had about 300 flyers supporting Senate Bill 29 and our coalition, ChildVictimsVoice.com, still in the car.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

June 10, 2007

Demonstrators protest pedophile priest

SEAL BEACH (CA)
Orange County Register

By KATHERINE NGUYEN
The Orange County Register
SEAL BEACH – Demonstrators picketed in front of Leisure World in Seal Beach this morning to warn residents that a convicted pedophile priest was living amongst them.

Holding up signs resembling red stop signs, four members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) informed drivers coming in and out of the gated community that Michael Wempe, a former Roman Catholic priest on parole after serving a three year prison sentence for molesting a boy, had quietly moved back into his condo earlier this year inside the private residential community.

Wempe, 67, has admitted to molesting 13 victims throughout his 36 years as a priest with the Los Angeles Archdiocese but was convicted for molesting one boy. The other alleged reports of abuse were too old by the time of his trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 PM

Principal indicted in theft of school funds

BY KAREN SUDOL
FREEHOLD BUREAU
FREEHOLD (NJ)
Ashbury Park Press

FREEHOLD — A former principal of a Burlington County Roman Catholic high school who resides in Wall has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of stealing $415,848 from the school.

Between June 1, 2003, and Nov. 30, 2006, Joseph R. Lemme, 50, of the Allenwood section transferred funds from Holy Cross High School in Delran into a personal savings account that he tapped for his own use, according to an indictment handed up Monday.

Specifically, he is accused of embezzling funds generated from various school functions, school contracts and book and uniform sales, First Assistant Monmouth County Prosecutor Peter E. Warshaw Jr. said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Activists: Catholic School Principal Fired Over Criticism Of Sex Abuse Cases

CHICAGO (IL)
WBBM

Bob Roberts & Jennifer O'Neill Reporting

Anti-abuse activists claim that the principal of West Side Catholic school was fired because she criticized the Archdiocese of Chicago's handling of sexual abuse allegations at her school. The Archdiocese denies the accusation and says overall performance was the reason.

The Survivors Nework for Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and a small group of parents contended Friday that Barbara Westrick was singled out when she failed to heed warnings about repercussions in the wake of the arrest of Father Daniel McCormack.

Westrick learned of her dismissal in a meeting Thursday with St. Agatha's Roman Catholic Church pastor Fr. Larry Dowling.

Westrick had been doing a "splendid'' job, said Rufus Sims, whose four children are enrolled at Our Lady of the Westside Schools.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 AM

Church's five-year battle vs. sex abuse

NEWARK (NJ)
Star-Ledger

Sunday, June 10, 2007
BY JEFF DIAMANT
Star-Ledger Staff
In 2004, the Rev. Gerald Sudol believed he would be kicked out of the Catholic priesthood.

A man had accused Sudol of molesting him nearly two decades ago, and the Archdiocese of Newark, after investigating, settled with the man's family in the high five figures. Sudol was on administrative leave.

Fast-forward two years.

A canonical trial acquitted Sudol and he was reassigned to work, at a hospice. This February, an archdiocese church even threw a festive jubilee for the 25th anniversary of his ordination, publicizing the party for "Fr. Gerry" on the Web.

The case highlights the complexities facing the Catholic Church since it adopted the so-called "Dallas Charter" in the wake of damning revelations that church leaders for decades covered up child sex abuse by priests. The charter, hashed out at the U.S. Catholic Bishop's Conference meeting in Dallas five years ago this week, mandated all accusations be investigated and certain steps be taken to prevent future abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

June 9, 2007

So who did kill Calvi?

ROME
Sunday Herald

ONE OF the defence lawyers, Pierpaolo Dell'Anno, kissed his mobile phone, looking nervous. It was a superstitious gesture, auguring good luck. Moments later, the verdict was read out: all five defendants on trial for the murder of Roberto Calvi had been acquitted.

Dell'Anno's client, Ernesto Diotallevi, let out a cry of delight as he punched the air and turned to embrace his sons and his lawyer. A thick-set man wearing a blue suit and open-necked shirt, it was the first time that Diotallevi had shown his face in court since the trial began 20 months ago. It was the kind of face you wouldn't want to argue with, and there were tears in the eyes. ...

Calvi had joined the P2 masonic lodge in August 1975 and found himself at the heart of a corrupt power structure that constituted a "state within the state". In return for political favours - such as help in getting round restrictions on the export of currency - P2 expected him to finance friendly political parties, buy control of the country's leading newspaper and fund a global campaign against communism.

The Vatican bank, headed by Archbishop Paul Marcinkus, was a natural ally in the anti-communist struggle. Calvi's Banco Ambrosiano had been founded by a priest and was Italy's premier "Catholic" bank. The partnership between Calvi and Marcinkus enabled both to evade regulatory oversight and funnel money into offshore companies where it became available for discreet political operations, such as funding the anti-communist Solidarity trade union in Poland. Calvi's ties to the Vatican would earn him the sobriquet "God's banker".

Tescaroli painted a grim portrait of Calvi's Italy in his summing up speech. It was a country in the grip of terrorist and mafia violence and characterised by collusion between political power and organised crime. The pope had recently been shot, and on the wider stage, Solidarity had been outlawed in Poland.

Against this backdrop Calvi fled Italy, on a mission to save his bank from imminent bankruptcy. Documents found later in his briefcase showed he was attempting to blackmail the Vatican, among others, in his bid to relieve the financial pressure on the Ambrosiano.

A letter addressed to Pope John Paul II, dated June 5, 1982, warned that he might be induced to reveal his sensitive activities on behalf of the church. "Many would like to know from me whether I supplied arms and other equipment to certain South American regimes to help them fight our common enemies, and whether I supplied funds to Solidarity or arms and funds to other organisations of Eastern countries."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

Church evicts a group of clergy-abuse victims

MENDHAM (NJ)
The Star-Ledger

Saturday, June 09, 2007
BY JEFF DIAMANT
Star-Ledger Staff
A Catholic church in Mendham has rescinded permission for a group of victims of clergy sex abuse to meet on its property, after letting the group gather there for five years.

The pastor says St. Joseph's needs the meeting space for its new pre-kindergarten and that the state chapter of Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests can no longer meet on church grounds.

But SNAP members say the decision to evict is troubling given the abuse some members suffered there decades ago when James Hanley was the pastor. They say there is ample space on campus for SNAP to meet one night a month.

Hanley, the worst known perpetrator of clergy sex abuse in New Jersey, was a priest at five churches, including St. Joseph, from 1962 through 1986. At least one parishioner from four of those churches has accused him of abuse. In 2005, the Paterson Diocese settled with 21 of Hanley's accusers for nearly $5 million.

After several victims came forward with allegations in 2002, the church, under its former pastor, Msgr. Kenneth Lasch, let victims meet at its Pax Christi Center. In 2004, the church let them establish a small memorial to sex-abuse victims, just 150 feet from the rectory where they were abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:30 AM

St. Joseph's ousts priest sex abuse victims group

MENDHAM (NJ)
Daily Record

BY ABBOTT KOLOFF
DAILY RECORD
Saturday, June 9, 2007

MENDHAM -- A support group for victims of sexual abuse by priests has been told it no longer will be allowed to meet at St. Joseph's parish, where it has been holding meetings for the past five years.

Monsignor Joseph Anginoli, pastor of the parish, said in a letter to the local chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, that the building where it meets is being renovated to accommodate a pre-kindergarten program.

"This is effective immediately,"Anginoli said in the letter.

Church officials say the move was made solely because of space restrictions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:19 AM

Priest Investigated For Sexual Abuse

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Long Island Press

By John Abraham 06/08/2007 3:46 pm
A Long Island priest is facing recent accusations regarding alleged sexual misconduct involving a 10-year-old boy. The abuse allegedly took place in the years 1994 to 1995. Reverend Gerald Twomey, 53, however, will not face criminal charges because the five-year statute of limitations for the alleged crimes has elapsed, according to Robert Clifford, a spokesperson for the Suffolk County District Attorney.

The alleged abuse was brought to the attention of authorities by a letter received on May 31 from the Diocese of Rockville Centre attorney stating that the Twomey, pastor of Our Lady of Fatima in Manorhaven, had sexually abused a 10-year-old boy in the years 1994-95. At the time of the suspected abuse, the boy had been at home recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident and Twomey was co-pastor of St. Anne’s Church in Brentwood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Pickets to target paroled pedophile's home

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

From Times Staff and Wire Reports
June 9, 2007

Demonstrators plan to picket Leisure World on Sunday to notify neighbors of the residency of Michael Wempe, a former Roman Catholic priest paroled after serving a three-year sentence for molesting a boy.

Wempe, 67, was paroled in February, with little publicity, said Mary Grant, director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Innocent priest prays for accuser

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Breda Heffernan
Saturday June 09 2007

THE innocent priest who was at the centre of false allegations that he sexually abused a young boy has prayed for mercy for his accuser.

Friends of the priest, who works in a Dublin parish, say he was left "totally devastated" by the allegation, and criticised the four-year wait before his name was cleared.

Paul Anderson (34) from Crumlin Park, Crumlin, Dublin, and formerly of the Iveagh Trust Flats, New Bride Street, Dublin, was convicted earlier this week of making false allegations against the priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Bishop offers apology to sex assault victims

FAIRBANKS (AK)
News-Miner

By Mary Beth Smetzer
Staff Writer
Published June 9, 2007

In a dramatic ceremony prior to a healing Mass on Friday, Bishop Donald Kettler apologized and asked for forgiveness from those hurt by sexual abuse throughout the Fairbanks Catholic Diocese.

“I stand before all of you this evening to say that I, we, and all of us in the Church, past and present, are deeply sorry,” Kettler said. “Words are often cheap, especially when many are without much meaning. I promise that mine will be few, but please note that they are spoken from the heart.”

The leader of the far-flung diocese, which stretches north from the Alaska Range to the Arctic Ocean, bounded on the east by the Canadian border and on the west by the Bering Sea, said his remarks were especially directed to Alaska’s first people. He made them a pledge.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:28 AM

Man abused by priests urges blacks to speak out

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

By Sylvester Brown Jr.
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
06/10/2007

Charles Spearman felt a sense of warmth after bumping into an old friend outside Cardinal Ritter College Prep last week. It was an unexpected feeling because there was nothing warm about his visit.

Spearman, 38, took part in a sidewalk news conference with members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP. In April, the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Jesuit and Redemptorist orders settled a lawsuit filed by Spearman in 2004. He accused four priests, three of whom taught at Cardinal Ritter, of molesting him during the 1970s and 1980s.

He went to the high school Thursday, he told me, to speak publicly about the abuse he endured, to encourage any "past or present victims" to speak up and to urge the Archdiocese to confront the issue of pedophile priests.

He also wanted to send a special message to African-Americans like him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Bungling alleged in case of pedophile

INDIA
Toronto Star

Jun 09, 2007 04:30 AM

Matt McClure
SPECIAL TO THE STAR

NEW DELHI–Federal authorities allowed a twice-convicted pedophile to bring a young boy from India to Canada, where he now says he was subjected to repeated sexual abuse.

It appears immigration officials with Canada's mission in New Delhi gave the 15-year-old a visa without checking the criminal background of Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh, who was sponsoring his visit.

Court documents show that when MacIntosh went with the boy to apply for the visa in 1990, the bachelor was a known sex offender in Canada because of a 1984 conviction for sexual assault of a young boy in Nova Scotia. The file also mentions an earlier sex-related offence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

MCC nun may have molested student

MELBOURNE (FL)
Florida Today

BY JEFF SCHWEERS
FLORIDA TODAY ADVERTISEMENT

A Franciscan nun accused of molesting a Melbourne Central Catholic School student sometime between 1962 and 1971 has lost her job at a church in Seminole, but likely won't face prosecution because the allegation is so old.

The now-adult female victim, who was not identified, recently came forward with the claim that Sister Kathleen Francis Honc sexually abused her as a teen, said Carol Brinati, a spokeswoman for the Diocese of Orlando. The victim informed the Franciscan Sisters of Allegheny, N.Y.

The sisters investigated the allegation and determined it to be credible, Brinati said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Attorney for LI Pastor Denies Sex Abuse Allegations

MELVILLE (NY)
1010 WINS

MELVILLE, Long Island (1010 WINS) -- The attorney for a pastor of a Roman Catholic parish is denying allegations that his client sexually abused a ten-year-old boy more than a decade ago.

The Suffolk district attorney's office has said that it is investigating allegations that the Reverend Gerald Twomey abused the boy between 1994 and 1995 while at a parish in Brentwood.

Twomey has been put on administrative leave from his duties as pastor of Our Lady of Fatima in Manorhaven since the allegations surface. The Diocese of Rockville Center says it received notice of the allegations May 31.

Twomey's attorney says the allegation is "utterly false.'' Attorney Christopher J. Cassar of Huntington says they would fight to clear his name.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

June 8, 2007

Prince used cash in BAE-linked account for palace

UNITED KINGDOM
The Guardian

David Leigh and Rob Evans
Saturday June 9, 2007
The Guardian

Lawyers for Prince Bandar, the Saudi royal who received £1bn from BAE, accepted last night that he had spent $17m (£8.6m) on refurbishing one of his palaces, using cash from the US accounts concerned.

But his lawyers, Herbert Smith, said that as the palace in Riyadh was an official residence, there was nothing illegal or untoward spending money out of a Saudi official defence ministry account held at Riggs Banks in Washington DC. ...

Prince Bandar has spoken himself of his unorthodox methods with cash. He is quoted in a recent biography saying that he personally flew $10m in a suitcase to Rome and gave it to a priest at the Vatican Bank, in order to covertly fund the Christian Democrats against the Communists in the 1983 Italian elections.

He is quoted saying he did this at the request of the Pope, Lady Thatcher and then head of the CIA, Bill Casey. They wanted him to shift the cash so no western fingerprints would be on it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:25 PM

Southern Baptists Meeting Shows Tension

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Guardian

Friday June 8, 2007 9:31 PM

By ERIC GORSKI
AP Religion Writer

Southern Baptists head into their annual national meeting next week at odds over whether they've become too conservative and wed to partisan politics, or whether a harder line is necessary to give the denomination a clear identity.

Beginning Tuesday in San Antonio, proposals over everything from political involvement to clergy sexual abuse to speaking in tongues should provide a glimpse at where the 16.3 million-member denomination is headed, 28 years after the ``conservative resurgence'' swept liberals out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 PM

Southern Baptists Meeting Shows Tension

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Guardian

Friday June 8, 2007 9:31 PM

By ERIC GORSKI
AP Religion Writer

Southern Baptists head into their annual national meeting next week at odds over whether they've become too conservative and wed to partisan politics, or whether a harder line is necessary to give the denomination a clear identity.

Beginning Tuesday in San Antonio, proposals over everything from political involvement to clergy sexual abuse to speaking in tongues should provide a glimpse at where the 16.3 million-member denomination is headed, 28 years after the ``conservative resurgence'' swept liberals out.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 PM

Ministers not immune from sexual addiction

TEXAS
The Baptist Standard

By Rick Owen
BGCT Counseling and Psychological Services Center

With few exceptions, the men and women who fill the pulpits and ministry positions of our Texas Baptist churches at one time occupied the pews. The churches from which our ministers came have not been immune to the aftermath of the sexual revolution and the presence of cable TV and the internet.

As a result, those among our memberships and in ministry who suffer with sexual concerns, sexual compulsivity or addiction are many. There are both ministers and church members who struggle with impure sexual thoughts; inappropriate, compulsive, offensive, or illegal sexual behavior; internet pornography addiction; or compulsive sexual-acting-out behaviors of various kinds.

Almost all of us have heard of or know a minister who has had an affair, an emotional affair, became sexually involved with a minor, or whose computer was found to have a history of visits to pornographic websites.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 PM

The recycle of clergy abuse

UNITED STATES
The Baptist Standard

By Greg Warner
Associated Baptist Press

Secrecy about clergy sexual abuse may protect an abuser’s current church from embarrassment but often at the expense of his next church—and its children.

Like many small, rural congregations that find themselves without a pastor, East Bonne Femme Baptist Church had a small budget and few options. So when church members heard there was a new preacher in the area who was seeking a pulpit, it looked like God’s timing.

“When somebody comes along who has experience, can talk the language of love and is a good preacher, it’s easy for them to believe God has called him to be their pastor,” recalled Randy Black, a member of the Missouri church.

The preacher was “a smooth talker” who impressed the congregation as “a godly man,” Black said. When his references checked out, the man was hired. One day before he was to preach his first sermon, however, the church received a tip. Their new pastor was a convicted child molester.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 PM

What to do if a minister is accused of sexual misconduct

UNITED STATES
The Baptist Standard

By Jim White
Virginia Religious Herald

Most pastors and staff members are aware that ministry sometimes puts them in unique circumstances with all kinds of people. Most also are aware that a rumor of wrongdoing often is enough to end an otherwise fruitful ministry. For this reason, wisdom requires taking precautions to protect one’s reputation and ministry.

Occasionally, however, the unthinkable will occur. Someone will accuse a minister of sexual misconduct. Because church members are trusting people, and because such allegations are rare, most never have considered what they would do if such charges were made against one of their ministers.

Although we all pray that no church will ever have to go through such pain, those who have are unanimous in advising others to plan ahead. Policies outlining a specific course of action in the event of such charges are invaluable because the process can be determined ahead of time without regard for personalities involved. Professionals heading children’s and youth ministries in denominational offices can offer helpful guidelines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 PM

Sexual predators often fly under the radar at church

NEW YORK
The Baptist Standard

By Hannah Elliott
Associated Baptist Press

NEW YORK (ABP)—Most people think they can spot a sexual predator. He’s the pale loner with greasy hair and quivering lips or the grinning lech who hugs too long and slowly rubs the backs of female co-workers—or church members.

Could be. But for every overt pervert, there are plenty more who go unnoticed—and unsuspected.

Predators gravitate to vulnerable people. They move into places where they are the highest authority and where that authority remains unquestioned. In some cases, that place is the local church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 PM

Breaking the cycle

JACKSONVILLE (FL)
The Baptist Standard

By Greg Warner
Associated Baptist Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.(ABP)—What can churches do to prevent clergy sex abuse and break the pattern of recycling abusers? Even among activists and experts, there is no consensus—and sometimes loud disagreement—about the steps to be taken.

• A ministerial code of ethics. Doctors, lawyers and counselors have it. And so do most ministers, but not most Baptists, although the Baptist General Convention of Texas Christian Life Commission worked with a clergy ethics committee to develop a “covenant of trust” into which minsters and congregations could enter. Without the ability to withdraw ordination, participation is voluntary and enforcement impossible. But it’s a start.

• Seminary training. Condition Baptist ministers early to avoid moral compromise. But “ministerial ethics is rarely taught in our seminaries, although this area has become a major issue in church life,” said Joe Trull of Denton, who previously taught at an SBC seminary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 PM

Sex-abuse victims speak up to help others & find healing themselves

NEW YORK
The Baptist Standard

By Hannah Elliott
Associated Baptist Press

NEW YORK (ABP)—Debbie Vasquez was 14 when her pastor started touching her inappropriately. She was 15 when he raped her and 19 when she had his baby.

Tina Boyd first was molested at age 11. Later, she was raped by her church bus driver. The rapist, whom she eventually married and divorced, has been arrested for dabbling in child pornography.

Vasquez told members in her church about the abuse but was disbelieved and accused of lying. Both women ultimately clammed up, refusing to acknowledge the molestation and living with their pain for years. Now, they’re using that pain to alert others to the danger of clergy sex abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:02 PM

Stepping over the line: Should sexually straying clergy be restored to ministry?

DALLAS (TX)
The Baptist Standard

By Ken Camp
Managing Editor

DALLAS—Some Baptists consider sexual misconduct by clergy the unpardonable sin when it comes to hiring church staff, and many survivors of abuse agree. But others say it depends on which scarlet letter the minister wears—“W” for “wanderer” or a “P” for “predator.”

Ethicist Joe Trull accepts the distinction between wanderers and predators. He explained the difference between the two types of offenders in a book he and James Carter, former director of church-minister relations with the Louisiana Baptist Convention, wrote on ministerial ethics.

Building on categories first proposed by Marie Fortune—a pioneer in re-search related to sexual exploitation by clergy—Trull said predators are people who actively seek opportunities to sexually abuse their prey. The predator often is a dynamic figure with a charismatic personality who may play the part of a loving and concerned pastor, but he abuses his power and position to manipulate vulnerable people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 PM

Hold churches accountable for abuse

UNITED STATES
The Baptist Standard

We need another directory to document clergy sexual abuse. When we learn churches knowingly allow—or force—an abusing minister to move on without doing something to warn others, let’s publish their names.

This sounds harsh. But it’s nothing compared to the pain and anguish victims go through when their ministers violate their trust and abuse them sexually. So, churches that know about it but don’t help stop it should be shamed as if they actually aided and abetted this heinous act. They did.

Because of our polity, Baptists have struggled with deciding how to report sexual abuse by their ministers. We don’t have an ecclesiastical hierarchy to enforce rules and regulations, no bishop to render justice or warn other congregations. We don’t require ordination for service, so we can’t pull a clergy’s credentials to block a job with a church after violating trust with another congregation. And, of course, we don’t tell churches what to do, so we can’t require them to report abuse, just as we can’t tell them who or who not to hire as ministers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 PM

Church shaken after questions surface over pastor's spending

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

Lynh Bui and Lisa Nicita
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 8, 2007 10:42 AM

The San Tan Christian Center started four years ago with about 30 members. That number leaped to 300 at its peak as the congregation expanded with the rapidly growing population in Pinal County and Queen Creek.

But when questions surfaced about how former pastor Jon Bagley was spending the church's money, membership plummeted by almost half.

Now some church members, former and remaining, say their faith in the Assemblies of God has shriveled as much as the congregation's size.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 PM

Church releases sex abuse documents

PORTLAND (OR)
The Register-Guard

By Bill Bishop
The Register-Guard
Published: Friday, June 8, 2007

The Archdiocese of Portland has released the first installment of documents concerning priests who sexually abused children, an unprecedented move that church officials hope will help victims heal and be reconciled with the faith.

But lawyers for abuse victims question whether the archdiocese will provide a full accounting of what church leaders knew, when they knew it and what they did or didn't do to prevent it.

The document release was made unilaterally, without public notice and without any index or guide to help the public understand the content, said Portland lawyer Kelly Clark, who represented more than 100 abuse victims in lawsuits against the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

Read the opinion: Richmond diocese not liable in priest abuse case

RICHMOND (VA)
WVEC

12:40 PM EDT on Friday, June 8, 2007

Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) -- A man's attempt to hold the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond financially liable for his alleged childhood abuse by two priests was rejected by the Virginia Supreme Court on Friday.

The unanimous decision affirmed a lower court's ruling that only individuals -- not their employers -- can be sued for child sexual abuse.

Steve Kopalchick of Hopewell sued the diocese for $5 million in 2003. He claimed two priests at Saint James Catholic Church in Hopewell molested him while he served as an altar boy there in the 1960s.

A 1994 state constitutional amendment extended the statute of limitations for child abuse victims to file lawsuits, but also said such civil suits can only be filed against a "natural person." The Supreme Court said the diocese clearly is not a "natural person," which other courts have defined as "a human being."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:36 PM

Court rules Catholic Diocese can't be sued in abuse case

RICHMOND (VA)
WDBJ

Associated Press - June 8, 2007 1:05 PM ET

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Supreme Court today rejected a man's attempt to hold the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond financially liable for his alleged abuse by two priests.

The unanimous ruling affirmed a lower court's finding that only individuals -- NOT their employers -- can be sued for child sexual abuse.

Steve Kopalchick of Hopewell sued the diocese for five million dollars in 2003. He claimed two priests at Saint James Catholic Church in Hopewell molested him while he served as an altar boy there in the 1960s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 PM

Parent suspicious of Catholic school principal firing

CHICAGO (IL)
WJBC

06/08/2007 13:29:15

CHICAGO (AP) At least one parent isn't buying the Archdiocese of Chicago's explanation that a Roman Catholic school principal was fired for her performance.
Rufus Sims says Barbara Westrick lost her job because she criticized the archdiocese for its handling of sexual abuse
allegations against the school's former parish priest. Sims has four kids enrolled at Our Lady of the Westside. He says
they love Westrick because she's fair and treats students like they are her own children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 PM

Judge allows challenges to church property in abuse suits

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Mercury News

The Associated Press

SAN DIEGO—A federal bankruptcy judge has ruled that plaintiffs suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego on sex abuse claims will be permitted to challenge property deals and other financial transactions between the diocese and parishes.

Thursday's ruling by Judge Louise DeCarl Adler could add millions in real estate assets to the diocese estate, expanding the pool of money available to settle more than 140 claims from people who say the church did nothing to stop priests from sexually abusing them as children.

Those lawsuits were suspended after the diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in February.

Church officials reiterated in parish bulletins on Sunday their claim that they have not been hiding or illegally transferring assets.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 PM

Catholic priest denies abusing 10-year-old

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

BY BART JONES
bart.jones@newsday.com

June 8, 2007, 4:53 PM EDT

The Rev. Gerald Twomey's attorney Friday vehemently denied allegations that the pastor sexually abused a 10-year-old boy more than a decade ago, while friends and parishioners expressed shock and disbelief that a priest many see as a star in the diocese was involved in wrongdoing.

The Suffolk district attorney's office said late Thursday that it was investigating claims that Twomey abused the boy in 1994 and 1995 while he was stationed at St. Anne's in Brentwood. The allegations were forwarded to it by the diocese.

"I don't believe a word of it," said Greg Florentino, a parishioner a St. Anne's, where Twomey worked for a decade. "He's just not that type of guy."

Tom St. Pierre, a former priest who was Twomey's long-time co-pastor at St. Anne's, also dismissed the possibility. "I would really doubt it," he said. "I've known Gerry Twomey for over 26 years. I lived in the room next door to him for 11 years. We always had our doors open and were yelling, joking and working together until after 11 each night."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 PM

The Council of the District of Columbia

WASHINGTON (DC)
The Awareness Center

The testimony of Vicki Polin, executive director of The Awareness Center, before the Washington, D.C., City Council can be found at this link. The center is concerned with clergy sexual abuse in the Jewish community. The hearing dealt with proposed legislation in the District of Columbia to end the criminal statute of limitations for crimes of childhood sexual abuse and to eliminate the civil statute of limitations for recovery of damages arising out of childhood sex abuse claims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:41 AM

Man found guilty of false abuse claims against priest

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Tomas Mac Ruairi
Friday June 08 2007

A MAN has been convicted of falsely alleging he was buggered by a priest he claimed was giving him First Holy Communion tuition more than 25 years ago.

Paul Anderson (34) had denied making a false statement that he was abused by the priest.

Anderson, of Crumlin Park, Crumlin, Dublin, and formerly of Iveagh Trust Flats, New Bride Street, Dublin, has been remanded in custody for sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

He had denied making a false statement to Det-Gda Brian Kavanagh on June 18, 2003 that acts of indecent assault and buggery were committed on him by the priest in the period February to May 1981.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:18 AM

Diocese of Spokane emerges from clergy sex-abuse bankruptcy

SPOKANE (WA)
Orthodox Reform

Highlighting the severe legal liability of not adequately dealing with sexual abuse issues, recent developments reveal childhood victims of abuse by priests in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane will be receiving $48 million:

The Diocese of Spokane emerged from bankruptcy May 31, two-and-a-half years after it entered Chapter 11 federal bankruptcy proceedings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:06 AM

Accused Pastor Placed On Leave

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Hartford Courant

June 8, 2007
Associated Press

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. -- The pastor of a Roman Catholic parish has been placed on administrative leave amid allegations he sexually abused a 10-year-old boy when he served at a different parish more than a decade ago, a spokesman for the Diocese of Rockville Centre confirmed Thursday.

The diocese has referred the allegations to the Suffolk County district attorney's office and intends to conduct its own investigation, spokesman Sean Dolan said.

A spokesman for District Attorney Thomas Spota confirmed the prosecutors had received a letter from the diocese about the allegations - a procedure that was enacted in the wake of the nationwide church sex abuse scandal five years ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Durham priest receives counseling

DURHAM (NC)
News & Observer

Yonat Shimron, Staff Writer
A Jesuit priest who was removed as pastor of Holy Cross Roman Catholic Church in Durham will continue to receive counseling at an East Coast residential treatment facility for priests.
The priest, the Rev. Stephen M. Garrity, was "recalled" by officials of the Jesuit order, a religious community within the Catholic church.

According to the order, Garrity confessed to sexual relations with five adults 25 years ago while serving in Baltimore and Philadelphia. One of those sexual partners recently contacted the Maryland province of the Society of Jesuits about the relationship, which constituted a violation of Garrity's vow of celibacy.

The order acted quickly and removed Garrity from the Durham church in April. He is not suspected of pedophilia or other criminal activity.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:55 AM

Catholic-bashing merits no encore

NEW YORK
Newsday

BY PAT McDONOUGH
Pat McDonough is a Catholic educator and psychologist from Westbury.

June 8, 2007

The Tony Awards are just days away. Among the nominations for best musical is "Curtains," a play based on a book by Rupert Holmes and Peter Stone. The critics called it blissful, witty and thoroughly entertaining. One went as far as to say it was a "gust of giddy good fun."

Well, I wasn't laughing when actor Edward Hibbert walked on stage announcing that "those --- Catholics really know how to put on a show." He went on to disparage the Eucharist in the first of many ill-fated attempts at humor, all of which held the audience hostage for two of the most boring hours on Broadway.

Anti-Catholicism is deeply rooted in the Colonial history of our country, compounded by centuries of immigration and aggravated by the sensationalized coverage of the clergy crisis in recent years. The Center for Media and Public Affairs examined the anti-Catholic bias in the United States and found the church's marginalization of women and its professed sexual mores to be the topics most often addressed by America's media.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Charged pastor's principal fired

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear
Tribune religion reporter
Published June 8, 2007
The principal of the Roman Catholic school where Rev. Daniel McCormack taught algebra and coached basketball before he was charged with sexually abusing five boys lost her job Thursday.

Barbara Westrick, principal of Our Lady of the Westside school for the last four years, said she has suspected for several months that the Chicago Archdiocese would terminate her after church officials criticized her actions in the McCormack case at the end of last year.

Ever since McCormack was arrested in January 2006, Westrick has insisted she was not to blame for the mishandling of his case and chastised the archdiocese and Cardinal Francis George for allowing him to continue to serve in her school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:44 AM

Creditors get OK to challenge transfers

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Jeff McDonald
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

June 8, 2007

Creditors suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego will be permitted to challenge property deals and other transactions that church officials approved in the months and years leading up to the February bankruptcy filing, a federal judge ruled yesterday.

But for the time being, those challenges will be limited to a handful of properties whose ownership is already being formally disputed.

The decision from Judge Louise DeCarl Adler represents a significant victory for more than 150 people suing the diocese for alleged sexual abuse committed by San Diego area Catholic priests in cases dating back decades.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Principal who criticized archdiocese loses job

CHICAGO (IL)
WQAD

Associated Press - June 8, 2007 5:34 AM ET

CHICAGO (AP) - A Catholic school principal who criticized the Archdiocese of Chicago for its handling of sexual abuse allegations against the school's former parish priest has been fired.

Barbara Westrick has accused the archdiocese of trying to make her a scapegoat for its reaction to accusations against the Reverend Daniel McCormack, who is charged with criminal sexual abuse.

Yesterday Westrick lost her job as principal of Our Lady of the Westside school.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:29 AM

June 7, 2007

Long Island diocese removes pastor after sex abuse claim surfaces

LONG ISLAND (NY)
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: June 7, 2007

GARDEN CITY, New York: The pastor of a Roman Catholic parish has been placed on administrative leave following accusations he sexually abused a 10-year-old boy at a different parish more than a decade ago, a spokesman for the local diocese said Thursday.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre on Long Island has referred the allegations to the Suffolk County district attorney's office and intends to conduct its own investigation, spokesman Sean Dolan said. The diocese is the country's sixth largest with 1.3 million Catholics in 134 parishes across Long Island.

A spokesman for District Attorney Thomas Spota confirmed prosecutors had been informed of the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:23 PM

Priest who urged healing in sex scandal probed

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

BY JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER
jennifer.kelleher@newsday.com

June 7, 2007, 9:58 PM EDT

A Long Island priest who has been vocal in urging a healing of divisions in the church over the sex abuse scandal is himself being investigated for an allegation that he sexually abused a 10-year-old boy more than a decade ago, officials said Thursday night.

The Suffolk district attorney's office said it received a May 31 letter from the Diocese of Rockville Centre attorney saying there had been an allegation that the Rev. Gerald Twomey abused the the boy "in the period of 1994-95."

At the time, the boy was recuperating at home from a car accident and Twomey was co-pastor of St. Anne's Church in Brentwood, said Bob Clifford, spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Thomas Spota.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 PM

Trial date set for Lamberts

MISSOURI
Neosho Daily News

By John Ford / Daily News Managing Editor
Published: Thursday, June 7, 2007 2:55 PM CDT

A trial date was set Tuesday for an area pastor and his wife, both of whom face child sexual abuse charges.

Raymond and Patty Lambert will go to trial on Nov. 13 in McDonald County Circuit Court. Judge Timothy Perigo will preside.

The trial setting took place during a pre-trial conference Tuesday morning. A pre-trial conference has been set for Sept. 18 for Raymond Lambert, according to electronic court documents filed on Case.Net.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:11 PM

Whitestone parish shocked by news of priest sex abuse

WHITESTONE (NY)
Queens Courier

BY PETE DAVIS

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 5:38 PM CDT

A week after a retired Monsignor at St. Luke’s parish in Whitestone was put on administrative leave after a Diocesan review board found evidence tying him to sexual abuse of minors more than 30 years ago, the aftershocks are being felt within the community.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn announced the decision to remove Monsignor Nicholas Capua of his priestly duties in a letter read aloud to the parishioners by Monsignor Sean G. Ogle, Territorial Vicar for the Queens Vicariate, during masses on the weekend of May 26-27.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 PM

Crisis hotline is deemed lifesaver for priests

ROMEOVILLE (IL)
Catholic Explorer

By ANN PIASECKI

ROMEOVILLE—Franciscan Sister Mary Frances Seeley, a counselor and certified suicidologist, is heading up a plan to establish a crisis hotline specifically to address the needs of priests and religious brothers in the grips of the often depressive effects of today’s skeptical society. Called the Upper Room Crisis Hotline, the program is blessed by the National Federation of Priests’ Councils and is slated for connection in late summer or early fall.

As a national hotline, it is intended to alleviate the emotional toll paid by the overwhelming majority of clergy in the post-scandal era, she said. Citing the demonization of priests by a growing number of faithful in the aftermath of embarrassing revelations concerning the sexual abuse of minors in the church, she was called upon in 2000 by the Chicago-based NFPC to fashion an easily accessible interventional buoy for clergymen seeking safe haven and a place to vent frustration without fear of reprisal. The leaders of the priests’ organization relied on the nun’s noted expertise in the realm of counseling, specifically her success as the mastermind of The Crisis Line of Will County, which has operated continuously since 1976.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

Punitive Damages Allowed Against Archdiocese

LA CANADA (CA)
Valley Sun

By Mary O'Keefe

In a first of its kind ruling, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge has handed down a decision that four people who allege sex abuse by a former associate pastor at St. Bede the Venerable Catholic Church in La Cañada will be allowed to seek punitive damages against the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

Judge Haley J. Fomholz ruled May 23 that punitive damages can be sought against the Archdiocese for failing to protect the four from the accused predator.

The case concerns Father Lynn Caffoe, 61, who has been accused of molesting children from 1975 to 1991. He served as associate pastor at St. Bede from July 1982 to September 1986. Before he arrived at St. Bede there was a complaint on record, made by parents of altar boys who said there had been a "boundary violation" while he served at St. Callistus in Garden Grove. While at St. Bede there was another complaint against Caffoe of boundary violation, made by a nun. The complaints of sexual misconduct continued. According to Archdiocese records, the last complaint was recorded in 2002, when a male reported that Caffoe sexually abused him from 1968 to 1972.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 PM

Principal who criticized archdiocese fired

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC 7

By Karen Jordan
June 7, 2007 - A Catholic school principal who spoke out against the Chicago archdiocese's handling of a priest abuse case has been fired from her job.

Barbara Westrick was dismissed Thursday as head of Our Lady of the Westside School.

Father Daniel McCormack is accused of fondling boys at that school and its parish, St. Agatha's on Chicago's West Side. Westrick said she did not heed the warnings about repercussions for criticizing the Chicago archdiocese in the way it handled the Father Daniel McCormack alleged abuse scandal. A few months ago, a deadline to renew her contract passed and no action was taken.

She said there was no question that the Archdiocese was waiting for the right time to fire her.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 PM

More Orders Re Mahony’s Testimony Coming Monday; Kreutzer Jury Trial Continued to August 6th, PLUS, Hundreds of Documents Disappear from Public Access

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By City of Angels Lady

Judge Haley Fromholz cleared a hurdle for Cardinal Roger Mahony’s testimony in upcoming civil trials in LA, by denying the church’s Motion for Order Quashing Civil Subpoena filed for a Kreutzer case. Then half hour later, Fromholz granted the church’s request to postpone the first jury trial where Mahony is to testify, from June 11th to August 6th. The judge emphasized this is not the first ruling regarding the archbishop.

JUDGE: My rulings here were all tentative. I intend to rule on them, uh, un-tentatively on Monday. (leans forward and asserts) I will rule with fervor and authority on Monday on particular documents, questions to be asked, whether a proffer is needed.

Steven J. Brady, Plaintiff Attorney from San Francisco who subpoenaed the archbishop sat at the table while three church attorneys Phil Baker, Bob Baker, and Michael Hennigan, stood for the defendants at his left. Brady’s voice emitted surprising authority:

BRADY: I still expect him to appear at trial.

The three church attorneys each shift weight on their feet. Two of them button their suitcoats.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:18 PM

Pedophilia suspect deported to Canada

INDIA
Toronto Star

Jun 07, 2007 04:30 AM
Matt McClure
Special to the Star

NEW DELHI–After nearly 11 years of delay and government fumbles, a Canadian man charged with sexually abusing young boys is finally being extradited to face trial.

Escorted by a trio of RCMP officers, Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh boarded a flight from India late yesterday and was expected to arrive in Canada today. A police spokesperson says the 63-year-old could make a court appearance in Nova Scotia as early as tomorrow."Once he's back on Canadian soil we'll read him his rights and handcuff him," said RCMP Cpl. Al Affleck.

MacIntosh's forced journey is the latest stage in a decade-long saga in which Canadian authorities dragged their feet, leaving the accused pedophile free to roam overseas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:36 AM

Catholic priest in pay dispute

MARYLAND
Baltimore Sun

By Liz F. Kay
sun reporter
Originally published June 7, 2007
The pastor of a Roman Catholic parish in northern Anne Arundel County has stepped down after church officials concluded that he persuaded lay leaders to pay him more money than the Archdiocese Of Baltimore allows.

The Rev. Domenic L. Cieri, who led St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Severn for nearly 15 years, received salary and Mass stipends above the scales approved by the archdiocese, according to an audit conducted in October. Archdiocese spokesman Sean Caine said Cieri also received a housing allowance to live in northern Baltimore County, although his parish has a rectory.

"What he was receiving was an amount that was too generous and was outside the accepted policies and practices of the archdiocese," Caine said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:26 AM

Clergy who are convicted sex offenders will now be posted on a website

TEXAS
KCEN

Updated: Jun 6, 2007 10:30pm
The Baptist church took a bold step to put an end to sexual misconduct Wednesday.

The Baptist General Convention of Texas is posting the names of clergy who are convicted sex offenders, making the list available to anyone.

So far, there are just eight names on the web site. The majority is from the Houston or Dallas area, but one local church affiliate said this is only the beginning step in the right direction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Baptists post offender list

TEXAS
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By MARK AGEE
Star-Telegram Staff Writer
The Baptist General Convention of Texas has begun posting on its Web site the names of convicted sex offenders who've worked as Baptist ministers. The stated goal is to help churches prevent abuse, but critics say it's not enough.

A section of the organization's site labeled "Broken Trust" has nine names and links to information on the state's sex offender registry. The section also has information on how to conduct interviews and background checks.

"We've found that our church members and churches didn't know what a big problem this is," said Emily Prevost, a convention employee who worked on the project. "They don't know how to access information. We decided to be more proactive and put more information in front of them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:15 AM

Information sought on ex-Yuma priest arrested in Spain

ARIZONA
Tucson Citizen

SHERYL KORNMAN
Tucson Citizen
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson on Wednesday renewed its request that anyone with information about the Rev. Jorge Washington Cordova Hernandez contact the Yuma police, diocesan spokesman Fred Allison said.

Cordova faces 10 counts of child sexual abuse in Yuma.

The 51-year-old priest, who is employed by a Catholic diocese in Ecuador, was arrested Sunday near Madrid by Spanish police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Bishop to sell NCRd property

IRELAND
Limerick Post

THE most important land sale ever in Limerick, is how one local auctioneer described Bishop Donal Murray’s NCRd. residence, comprising over six acres, and to be sold by tender on July 4.With developers and builders queueing for suitable landbanks, it is expected that the guide price of 20m euro for Kilmoyle, in one of Limerick’s most fashionable areas, will be easily surpassed.

A four bed house on half-an-acre, close to the Bishop’s Palace, was sold by Rooneys last year for 4.5m euro.

Kilmoyle, a stylish Victorian residence, set in landscaped gardens occupies 6.5 acres, and a spokesperson for the bishop has confirmed a guide price of 20million euro had been set.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Church opens part of secret abuse files

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Thursday, June 07, 2007ASHBEL S. GREEN and STEVE WOODWARD
Decades after the priest sex abuse scandal first surfaced in Oregon, the Portland Archdiocese released hundreds of secret documents showing how church officials repeatedly sought to keep the crisis quiet and failed to remove clergy who faced credible accusations.

The documents released online late Wednesday represent only a portion of a trove of personnel files, letters and depositions that have been kept from public view since the 1983 conviction of the Rev. Thomas Laughlin, the notorious pedophile accused of abusing dozens of boys over more than 20 years.

The documents fill in the details of a broad outline of sexual abuse exposed by a flood of civil lawsuits that eventually drove the archdiocese into bankruptcy in 2004.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Archdiocese releases documents on priest abuses

PORTLAND (OR)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

PORTLAND -- The Archdiocese of Portland released 30 previously secret documents Wednesday detailing sexual abuse of boys by priests.

They included psychological evaluations, allegations by victims and some candid detail of what went on between some priests and their young parishioners over several years. The documents make clear that church officials had been aware of abuse problems for years and refused to acknowledge them.

The archdiocese released the papers as part of a settlement agreed to in April. Portland lawyer Kelly Clark, who represented more than 40 abuse victims, said he was blindsided by the release of the documents on Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 AM

Mahony ordered to testify in abuse case

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By John Spano, Times Staff Writer
June 7, 2007

A judge Wednesday ordered Cardinal Roger M. Mahony to testify in a lawsuit alleging that he failed to protect parishioners from a pedophile teacher, but then granted the Los Angeles cleric's request for a trial delay.

The lawsuit had been scheduled for trial Monday; Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholtz agreed to a two-month delay.

Mary Grant, Western regional director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, called the delay "a shame on the church."

"It's just another tactic used to keep the crimes covered up," she said.

The case involves Paul Kreutzer, a former Catholic teacher who is serving a prison sentence for molesting students. One person who was repeatedly sexually abused at a church in the San Fernando Valley alleged that church officials knew of Kreutzer's behavior but failed to act.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

U.S Marshals & Yuma Police Department Announce the Arrest of Jorge Hernandez-Cordova

SPAIN
U.S. Marshals

On June 3, 2007, Father Jorge Cordova was arrested in Spain via authority of a provisional arrest warrant. He is awaiting extradition back to the United States.

Cordova was wanted for ten counts of Sexual Abuse in Yuma County. An investigation by the Yuma Police Department led to his indictment in Yuma County Superior Court on August 30, 2006. Cordova is accused of sexually abusing two minors during his assignment to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma from 1988 to 1991. Cordova fled to his home diocese in Ecuador before the warrant was issued.

The Yuma Police Department contacted the United States Marshals Service (USMS) Mexican Investigative Liaison Unit (MIL) requesting assistance in locating Cordova. During the joint investigation, information was developed that he was traveling to Spain. The USMS MIL unit coordinated efforts to obtain a provisional warrant to arrest Cordova in Spain and return him to the United States.

United States Marshal David Gonzales praised the work of deputies and agents, “This type of coordination between the USMS MIL Unit, Yuma Police Department and Law Enforcement authorities in Spain proves to be an effective tool in locating fugitives who leave the U.S. to avoid prosecution.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

US Marshals Announce the Arrest of Catholic Priest Father Hernandez-Cordova

SPAIN
The Conservative Voice

June 07, 2007 05:31 AM EST

by Jim Kouri - On June 3, 2007, Father Jorge Cordova was arrested in Spain via authority of a provisional arrest warrant. He is awaiting extradition back to the United States.

Cordova was wanted for ten counts of Sexual Abuse in Yuma County. An investigation by the Yuma Police Department led to his indictment in Yuma County Superior Court on August 30, 2006. Cordova is accused of sexually abusing two minors during his assignment to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma from 1988 to 1991. Cordova fled to his home diocese in Ecuador before the warrant was issued.

The Yuma Police Department contacted the United States Marshals Service (USMS) Mexican Investigative Liaison Unit (MIL) requesting assistance in locating Cordova. During the joint investigation, information was developed that he was traveling to Spain. The USMS MIL unit coordinated efforts to obtain a provisional warrant to arrest Cordova in Spain and return him to the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

No retrial for priest who funded rapist

UNITED KINGDOM
ic Westseftonandwestlancs

Jun 7 2007

by Sarah Chapman, Bootle Times

A CATHOLIC priest convicted of enabling a predatory paedophile to groom and sexually abuse a Liverpool schoolgirl will not face a retrial.

Father Jeremiah McGrath, 63, bankrolled convicted sex offender William Adams during a period of three months in which he repeatedly raped a 12-year-old girl.

McGrath, of Rosslea, County Fermanagh, was convicted by a Liverpool Crown Court jury of one charge of arranging or facilitating the commission of a child sex offence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Principal who criticized archdiocese expects to lose post

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By F.N. D'ALESSIO
Associated Press Writer
Published June 6, 2007, 6:14 PM CDT
CHICAGO -- A Roman Catholic school principal who has criticized Archdiocese of Chicago officials for their handling of sexual abuse allegations against the school's former parish priest said Wednesday she expects to lose her post.

"It breaks my heart, but I just don't see any way out of it," Barbara Westrick, principal of Our Lady of the Westside School, said in a telephone interview.

Westrick sent a letter May 29 to parents of the 200 preschool through eighth-grade students at the school's two campuses, telling them that officials had not yet renewed her contract as principal, a post she has held for four years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

June 6, 2007

Former Newark minister sentenced for ordering child pornography

COLUMBUS (OH)
The Columbus Dispatch

Wednesday, June 6, 2007 4:36 PM

A former Newark minister was sentenced to 10 years in prison today for ordering and receiving 11 videotapes containing child pornography.

David Waser, 58, had faced a maximum of 20 years in prison from U.S. District Court Judge George C. Smith of Columbus.

He pleaded guilty on March 21 to one count of receiving child pornography.

Waser was pastor of Second Church of Christ in Newark until he was removed in August. His wife, Judy, 54, is awaiting trial on child pornography charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 PM

Pastor Accused of Child Molestation

RAYMOND (MS)
WLBT

A Raymond pastor is facing child molestation charges for allegedly having sexual relations with a teenage relative. Pastor Samuel L. Demby is charged with 2 counts of sexual battery and 2 counts of gratification of lust, according to the Hinds County Sheriff's Office.

The 50 year-old minister was arrested May 24th. He's out on a $50,000 bond. In response, Demby told WLBT news, that is the "worst lie that's ever been told."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:06 PM

Waser sentenced to 10 years in prison

COLUMBUS (OH)
The Advocate

By KIMBERLY DICK
Advocate Reporter

COLUMBUS — A federal judge sentenced a former Newark minister to 10 years in prison on child pornography charges Wednesday.

David Waser, 58, a former minister at Newark’s Second Church of Christ, remains in federal custody after being sentenced by Judge George C. Smith in U.S. District Court. He faced a maximum sentence of 20 years for buying 11 videotapes featuring sexual scenes with children.

Waser pleaded guilty in March to receiving child pornography. Smith also ordered him to undergo sexual addiction treatment.

As part of a plea agreement, Waser pleaded guilty to one of his two felony charges and agreed to forfeit 11 videotapes and his computer. The judge dismissed the second count Wednesday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:02 PM

Former pastor gets 10 years in prison in child porn case

COLUMBUS (OH)
The Beacon Journal

Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio - A former pastor was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for receiving child pornography videos he bought over the Internet, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

David Waser, 58, former pastor of Newark's Second Church of Christ, ordered 11 child pornography videos in 2006 by sending a $130 money order to an address listed on an Internet advertisement, authorities said. The ad had been posted by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service as part of an investigation into trafficking of child pornography.

A postal inspector who posed as a letter carrier delivered the videos to Waser's home in Newark, about 30 miles east of Columbus, and obtained a search warrant immediately afterward. The inspector found the package opened and one of the videos inserted into a VCR, the government said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:00 PM

Baptist Churches Crack Down On Sex Offenders

TEXAS
KTEN

Law enforcement agencies are constantly trying to track sex offenders. Now, some Texas churches are joining the effort. KTEN's Jhen Kordela has more.

The Baptist General Convention of Texas has started posting the names of convicted sex offenders who have worked in its churches on a Web site.

Although names of sex offenders are already considered public information, church officials say listing offenders on a central Web site will help keep them out of places where children are present. That way, church members seeking to hire within the church can use the web site as a safety tool.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 PM

Statement of Archbishop John G. Vlazny on Documents Released from Personnel and Other Records

PORTLAND (OR)
Archdiocese of Portland

Newly released documents on accused clergy in the Portland archdiocese can be found at this site.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 PM

Archdiocese releases secret documents on priest sexual abuse

PORTLAND (OR)
The Oregonian

Posted by The Oregonian June 06, 2007 15:30PM

The Archdiocese of Portland has made available previously secret documents involving priest sexual abuse in Oregon.

The documents are being released as part of the bankrutpcy settlement plan that paid more than $50 million to about 175 victims of clergy sexual abuse.

In 2004, Portland became the first archdiocese in the country to seek bankruptcy protection from sexual abuse litigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 PM

Principal who criticized archdiocese expects to lose post

CHICAGO (IL)
ABC 7

June 6, 2007 - A Roman Catholic school principal who has criticized Archdiocese of Chicago officials for their handling of sexual abuse allegations against the school's former parish priest said Wednesday she expects to lose her post.

"It breaks my heart, but I just don't see any way out of it," Barbara Westrick, principal of Our Lady of the Westside School, said in a telephone interview.

Westrick sent a letter May 29 to parents of the 200 preschool through eighth-grade students at the school's two campuses, telling them that officials had not yet renewed her contract as principal, a post she has held for four years.

In her letter, Westrick said archdiocesan policy calls for principals' contracts to be renewed by March 1, but said the Rev. Larry Dowling told her in February that he was too unfamiliar with St. Agatha's Church and the parish's school to meet that deadline. She said that on April 17, Dowling told her he would delay his decision until after students left for summer vacation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 PM

Tucson Diocese offers aid even though priest in sex case never worked here

ARIZONA
Tucson Citizen

SHERYL KORNMAN
Tucson Citizen
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson on Wednesday renewed its request that anyone with information about the Rev. Jorge Washington Cordova Hernandez contact Yuma and Phoenix police, diocesan spokesman Fred Allison said.
Cordova faces 10 counts of child sexual abuse in Yuma.
The 51-year-old priest, now employed by a Catholic diocese in Ecuador, was arrested near Madrid by Spanish police Sunday.
Authorities there are cooperating in efforts to extradite Cordova to Arizona.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:33 PM

Man in false sexual-abuse claims is remanded

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

A south inner city man who falsely alleged he was buggered by a priest giving him prayer tuition for his First Holy Communion has been remanded in custody for sentence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court.

The 34-year-old man was found guilty by a jury of making a false statement to Detective Garda Brian Kavanagh at Kevin Street Garda Station, Dublin on June 18, 2003 that acts of indecent assault and buggery were committed on him by the priest in the period February to May 1981.

Judge Patricia Ryan made an order prohibiting publication of his name after defence counsel, Mr Damian Colgan BL, objected to his client being identified when the priest wasn’t being named.

Judge Ryan had been told by prosecuting counsel, Mr Dominic McGinn BL, that the priest had no objection to the convicted man’s name being published but didn’t want his own name published.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Bishop Places Retired Pastor from Queens on an Administrative Leave

BROOKLYN (NY)
The Tablet

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn has placed a retired Queens pastor on administrative leave from exercising priestly ministry after accepting a finding from the Diocesan Review Board that sufficient evidence existed of sexual abuse of minors three decades ago.

The bishop announced his decision on the status of Msgr. Nicholas J. Capua, who was the pastor of St. Luke’s Church, Whitestone, from 1983 until 2005, in a letter read to parishioners there by Msgr. Sean G. Ogle, the Territorial Vicar for the Queens North Vicariate, at Masses on the weekend of May 26-27.

As a priest on administrative leave, Msgr. Capua may not present himself as a priest, celebrate Mass publicly or administer the sacraments, the letter said. He is permitted to offer Mass privately.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

Resources for Orthodox Safe Environment Programs

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

We are pleased to offer for download an excellent resource to aid Orthodox Parishes in implementing a Safe Environment program. This “Policy & Procedures on Sexual Misconduct” document contains many items that were suggested by the speaker at the Fall 2006 SCOBA Bishop’s workshop. This document was produced by Fr. J. Gregory Waynick, serving at Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Florence, SC. Fr. Gregory developed this policy while at St. Mark Greek Orthodox Church in Boca Raton, FL. Many of the ideas in the Policy came from Fr. Gregory’s research of documents from other Christian groups.

This document can serve as an excellent starting point for parishes constructing their own Safe Environment program to protect our children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

The Council of the District of Columbia Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary Public Hearing

WASHINGTON (DC)
District of Columbia Cable Television & Communications

The Council of the District of Columbia
Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary
Public Hearing
B17-146 - Childhood Sexual Abuse Prevention Act of 2007
(To eliminate the statute of limitations on cases of childhood sexual abuse)

To watch video of the entire six-hour hearing go to this link and then scroll down to where it says:

6/1/2007
PUBLIC HEARING, COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY AND THE JUDICIARY, Phil Mendelson, Chairman

click on View Meeting

Testimony was supplied by:
Steven Abrams - Survivor of child sexual abuse by a psychiatrist.
Barbara Blaine - Executive Director - SNAP.
David Clohessy - National Director, SNAP.
Christine Courtois, PhD - The Center at the Psychiatric Institute of Washington.
Professor Marci Hamilton - Attorney, specialist in Constitutional law, First Amendment, Law & Religion.
Tim Healy - Survivor of clergy sexual abuse.
Mary Lou Lerry - Executive Director, National Center for Victims of Crime.
Murray Levin - Survivor of clergy sexual abuse.
Vicki Polin - Executive Director, The Awareness Center.
Ted Thompson - Executive Director, Sexual Abuse Prevention Network
Jeffrey Dion - Deputy Director for the National Crime Victims Bar Association
Representatives of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

Trenton Diocese principal indicted

NEW JERSEY
Courier Post

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

A suspended Holy Cross High School principal was indicted by a Monmouth County Grand Jury on theft by deception charges, according to a letter the high school community received Monday.

Joseph Lemme, who was suspended without pay in November, is accused of stealing more than $400,000 from book sales and student activities. Lemme, a Wall Township resident, is also accused of falsifying school records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:59 PM

Hearing today on Mahony’s subpoena, access still denied to public records, church still fighting depositions.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By City of Angels Lady

I had a weird day yesterday in and around Superior Court. Judge Fromholz granted a key Kreutzer case’s amended complaint, allowing her case against the church’s handling of sex criminal employee Paul Kreutzer to go into financial discovery as plaintiffs have shown they will “likely prevail,” as happens in California civil lawsuits.

However, Church Attorneys did succeed in getting the Los Angeles Archdiocese Health and Welfare Corporation removed as defendant in Case BC308065. Even after the judge had issued his tentative ruling, Phillip Baker argued that Sister Frances Catherine, principal of Our Lady of Peace Elementary School, had nothing to do with corporate policy.

John Spano from the LA Times was behind me so I switched to 26 point bold type and put on my screen: "Trying to keep Sister Catherine the real culprit here out of the story” and I coughed and waved my hands around trying to subtly gesture, “read this, read this” but I don't think he saw it. Soon I was scrolled down past it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 AM

Mexican cardinal faces grilling on priest abuse

MEXICO
Reuters

By Frank Jack Daniel

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Mexico's most senior Roman Catholic clergyman, will be questioned by lawyers and may have to appear in a U.S. court over accusations he protected a priest wanted for sexually abusing children, Rivera's spokesman said on Tuesday.

Rivera, who was considered an outsider candidate to succeed Pope John Paul II, will be questioned in Mexico City in coming weeks, spokesman Hugo Valdemar said.

Rivera may have to appear in a Los Angeles court to defend himself against accusations he conspired to protect the priest, who is wanted for raping dozens of children in the United States and Mexico.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Convicted Ministers

TEXAS
Baptist General Convention of Texas

According to public records, the following persons are included in The Texas Department of Public Safety Sex Offender Registry at https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/DPS_WEB/Portal/index.aspx or have been convicted of a sexual offense. Baptist General Convention of Texas records indicate that these persons may have been ministers in a BGCT-affiliated church.

Additional names will be posted as the BGCT is provided with accurate information about clergy who are convicted of a sexual offense. This page should not be considered exhaustive or complete as the BGCT does not have the resources to make private investigations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Texas Baptists cracking down on clergy sex abuse

TEXAS
The Dallas Morning News

11:18 PM CDT on Tuesday, June 5, 2007
By SAM HODGES / The Dallas Morning News
samhodges@dallasnews.com

The Baptist General Convention of Texas says it's stepping up the fight against clergy sexual misconduct, including posting on its Web site the names of convicted sex offenders known to have worked in Texas Baptist churches.

The Dallas-based group also is making it easier for its 5,600 affiliated congregations to report sexual misconduct by a pastor, and is considering starting a hotline for individuals who want to report allegations directly to the BGCT.

"The BGCT is concerned about the problem of clergy sexual misconduct, and we care deeply about its victims," said Emily Prevost, a staff member who has helped implement the changes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Evidence shows Sinton kids as victims of child pornography

SAN PATRICIO (TX)
KRIS

SAN PATRICIO - A San Patricio County youth minister was arrested over the weekend for alleged possession of child pornography. Stephen Douglas Livingston, 65, was arrested early Saturday morning after Sinton police said they found hundreds of pictures of child pornography on his personal computer.

According to police, those pornographic photos were of local children - taken with Livingston's own camera. But what's even worse, according to his arrest affidavit, is that Livingston is the youth minister for the First Baptist Church in Sinton.

Police said their investigation of Livingston began back on May 25, when a local mother filed a police report, alleging that Livingston had molested her young daughter.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

The St. Ignatius College Prep scandal

ILLINOIS
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
June 5, 2007

My high school alma mater, St. Ignatius College Prep, is in the news.

According to a June 4, 2007 story in the Chicago Sun-Times:

'For the last 40 years, James Connelly won accolades as a running coach and praise as a tough but passionate teacher at St. Ignatius College Prep. But Connelly hasn't been to his classroom on the city's Near West Side since January, when a female student's accusations led to an investigation for sexual assault.

'Even after the allegations were deemed unfounded by police and state investigators — and the student's family asked that the case be dropped — the school balked at reinstating him. They said he could return only if he agreed not to be alone with students while at the school, to tutor students only in public areas and not to talk about the case. He refused — and has spent the semester at his Villa Park home wondering if he'll be allowed back....'

Like so many other Catholic schools in this day and age, St. Ignatius College Prep has become increasingly modernistic. Mr. Connelly, who was teaching the years I attended (1990-1994), is not known for being a proponent of heterodoxy. Could that be a reason why the administration is not overly eager to have to him return to the classroom? I can't help but wonder...

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Ex-Sally Army captain jailed for sex offences

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

NZPA | Wednesday, 6 June 2007

A former Salvation Army captain was described today as "opportunistic and predatory" after he abused a position of trust to commit sexual offences against four women.

Standing in the dock in the High Court in Hamilton supported by a crutch under his right arm, Maxwell Lawrence Trimble showed little emotion as he was jailed for nine years, with a minimum non-parole period of five years.

Trimble, 64, of Waihi, had earlier been found guilty by a jury on seven charges of sexually and indecently assaulting four women between December 2003 and February 2005.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Texas Baptists Bolster Efforts Against Abuse

DALLAS (TX)
The Christian Post

By The Associated Press
Wed, Jun. 06 2007 08:16 AM ET

DALLAS (AP) - The Baptist General Convention of Texas has begun posting on its Web site the names of convicted sex offenders who've worked as ministers in affiliated churches as part of new efforts to stop clergy sexual misconduct.

The convention posted the names of eight convicted sex offenders last week.

"The BGCT is concerned about the problem of clergy sexual misconduct, and we care deeply about its victims," said Emily Prevost, a staff member of the Dallas-based convention.

While some of the listed offenders are in prison, the convention doesn't have information on those who are free and it can't guarantee they're not working at a church, Prevost said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Alleged Abuse Victims Want Compensation

SAN DIEGO (CA)
10News

SAN DIEGO -- 10News has obtained court documents from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court detailing the financial compensation made to victims of abuse from dioceses outside of San Diego.

The documents showed the Diocese of Orange settled 87 cases for $100 million. The Diocese of Oakland settled 56 cases for about $56 million.

Other documents showed the San Diego Catholic Diocese wants to settle its 160 cases for $95 million.

Victims said they are frustrated that there has been no closure for them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Naperville church savors end of suit against priest

NAPERVILLE (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear
Tribune religion reporter
Published June 6, 2007
Parishioners at a Roman Catholic church in Naperville are celebrating this week after hearing that a sexual abuse lawsuit against their pastor has been dismissed.

Meanwhile, the man who accused the priest blames the state's statute of limitations for quashing his claim.

Rev. Richard Bennett, pastor of Holy Spirit Catholic Community Church, was accused of fondling an 11-year-old altar boy after mass when he served at St. Pius X parish in Lombard in 1975.

Tim Greco, now 44, told the Catholic Diocese of Joliet in 2004 that Bennett caught another priest abusing him. Greco said Bennett not only did not report it, but also abused him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

June 5, 2007

How the Catholic Church is Handling Clergy Sex Abuse

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

Angelo J. Loumbas, a practicing attorney, former prosecutor of child abuse and neglect cases in Illinois, and former altar boy for Father Katinas, had this to say in The National Herald regarding recent sexual misconduct allegations:

As a former altar boy for Father Katinas when he served as the priest of Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Olympia Fields, Illinois in the 1970’ (though fortunately not a victim of his alleged misconduct) I, along with others from that parish, have struggled to grasp how a priest of such talent, ability and popularity, who was also a married father of five children himself, could have been committing such moral transgressions.

Loumbas asks questions regarding our responsibility as stewards of our children:

We have also been asking ourselves the classic “who knew what, and when did he know it” question. What information the Church had received about Father Katinas apparent problem in the 1970’s is unclear. What is clear is that the Church’s inability to deal with and recognize clergy who posed such a risk to minors during those years, whether negligent or intentional, appears to have resulted in more victims of such behavior.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 PM

Woman tells court about sexual relationship with pastor

DENVER (CO)
Rocky Mountain News

By Sue Lindsay, Rocky Mountain News
June 5, 2007
Pastor Michael Peters began a sexually explicit relationship on the Internet with a 17-year-old girl that led to sexual encounters when she babysat at his home for his three children, the girl told a Denver jury today.

"It was kinda weird, but also exciting," the girl, now 21, said of the graphic sexual descriptions o the Internet that began a relationship with her youth pastor and counselor at the Second Baptist Church in Boulder.

She said she had a crush on Peters, who directed the youth choir at the church. After the first "cyber sex" exchange, she said he told her to keep it secret.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 PM

Priest jailed for sex with boy

UNITED KINGDOM
Watford Observer

A Catholic priest who indecently assaulted a boy who went to him for advice about his sexuality has been jailed.

Peter Grant, of Balfour Mews, Bovingdon, was imprisoned for three years and four months at St Albans Crown Court on Friday after pleading guilty to four offences of sexual activity with a child under 16.

The court heard the 59-year-old took advantage of the "confused" 15-year-old on three occasions between January and March this year.

Grant was the parish priest at Berkhamsted's Sacred Heart church at the time the teenager went to him for advice. He later took up a position in Burnt Oak.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:44 PM

Priest arrested in Spain

ARIZONA
East Valley Tribune

Mike Sakal, Tribune
A former Valley priest who mostly served with the Tucson diocese was arrested in Spain on Sunday on suspicion of sex abuse involving a minor.

The Rev. Jorge Washington Cordova Hernandez, 51, was arrested by the Spanish National Police in Guadarrama, Spain, while he was attending a seminar near Madrid. He had eluded authorities for more than two years.

In 2005, Hernandez was accused of sexually abusing two minors during his assignment to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma from 1988 to 1991, according to information released by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. He was indicted on 10 counts of sexual abuse and a warrant was issued for his arrest. He initially fled to Ecuador, where his home diocese is located.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:18 PM

Priest arrested for 'abusing children' for 3 years

SPAIN
Expatica

5 June 2007

MADRID - A priest accused of sexually abusing two minors was arrested while attending a seminar near Madrid, Spain, authorities said Monday.

Father Jorge Washington Cordova Hernandez, 51, faces 10 criminal counts for allegedly abusing two children while on assignment at the St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma, Arizona, U.S. from 1988 to 1991.

The Arizona Attorney General's Office said that Cordova had fled to his home diocese in Ecuador. But authorities caught up to him in Spain, while he was attending a seminar at the Fray Luis of Leon cultural residential complex in Guadarrama, Spain.

Authorities lured Cordova out of the facility by telling him that a local television crew wanted an interview. The Attorney General's Office said Spanish authorities will hold Cordova until his extradition process is completed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Bankruptcy judge lifts stay on lawsuit against minister

FORT WORTH (TX)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By MELODY McDONALD
Star-Telegram Staff Writer
FORT WORTH -- A bankruptcy court judge has lifted a stay that temporarily stopped civil litigation against the Rev. Sherman Clifton Allen, a minister accused of paddling and sexually abusing women.

In January, Davina Kelly, a former member of Allen's church, filed a lawsuit against him; his church, Shiloh Institutional Church of God in Christ; and the national Church of God in Christ, seeking unspecified damages for physical and psychological pain.

Kelly has said she went to Allen for counseling. She accuses him of paddling her, first with her clothes on and later with them off. The physical abuse eventually turned sexual and led to rape, according to Kelly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

San Pat man faces indecency accusations

TEXAS
Caller-Times

By Adriana Garza (Contact)
Originally published 01:00 a.m., June 5, 2007
Updated 03:57 a.m., June 5, 2007

A 65-year-old San Patricio County man is out on bond after he was arrested Saturday on charges of indecency with a child and possession of child pornography.

Sinton Police Detective Eric Blanchard said the investigation into Stephen Douglas Livingston began on May 25 when a girl younger than 10 accused the man of sexual abuse. Police would not release the girl's exact age.

Blanchard said Livingston, 65, spent time around children at First Baptist Church of Sinton, where Livingston is a member. Police would not say if the girl also attended the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 AM

Former pastor sentenced for child sexual abuse

NEW YORK
News 10 Now

Updated: 6/4/2007 6:19 PM
By: Kat De Maria

The former Steuben County pastor who admitted to sexually abusing three young boys has been sentenced. David Troup will serve 12 years in prison for molesting twin boys and another boy over several months in 2005 and 2006.

The judge acknowledged Troup has been working to rehabilitate himself following a guilty plea earlier this year. But, she said those actions came too late to mitigate the boys' pain and restore their lives and futures. Still, both lawyers said Troup's sentence was less than they expected.

The former Steuben County pastor who admitted to sexually abusing three young boys has been sentenced. David Troup will serve 12 years in prison for molesting twin boys and another boy over several months in 2005 and 2006.

"His liability here was 32 years total. I think the judge recognized at sentencing all of the things that he has done to try and rehabilitate himself," said Troup's lawyer, William Kelly.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

Ex-Yuma priest nabbed on sex abuse charges

YUMA (AZ)
Yuma Sun

BY NICOLE E. SQUIBBS, SUN STAFF WRITER
June 4, 2007 - 11:09PM
A former Yuma priest wanted on suspicion of sexual abuse of two minors is in custody in Spain while the Arizona Attorney General's Office seeks his extradition to face prosecution. Spanish National Police arrested Father Jorge Washington Cordova Hernandez on Sunday in Guadarrama, Spain, on sex abuse charges. He was attending a seminar there, according to Attorney General Terry Goddard.

In 2005, Cordova, 51, was charged with sexually abusing two teenage girls during his assignment at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma from 1988 to 1991. He was indicted on 10 counts of sexual abuse, and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Cordova fled to Ecuador, where his home diocese is located, according to a news release from Goddard's office.

"In this case, he actually had a Web site to advertise he was going to hold a seminar in Spain," AG spokeswoman Andrea Esquer told The Sun. "Spanish police did surveillance, and then were able to arrest him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

Diocese may close up to 48 churches

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Tuesday, June 05, 2007
David Briggs
Plain Dealer Religion Reporter

The Cleveland Catholic Diocese could close about 20 percent of its parishes, or up to 48 churches, nearly twice the number originally estimated.

The City of Cleveland will take the hardest hit with a potential loss of up to 25 churches. Among the 69 regional clusters in the diocese, other closings will occur in Akron, Lorain and inner-ring suburbs such as Lakewood and Euclid. ...

Ward 11 Councilman Michael Polensek is urging council leaders to request a meeting with Lennon. In a letter to City Council President Martin Sweeney, Polensek said the diocese is embarking on "a suburban strategy" that will lead to a greater migration out of the city "and an increase in disinvestment."

"Many Catholics, including myself, are angry," Polensek said. "We have seen the church spend millions of dollars to settle claims of sexual abuse within the diocese, while at the same time churches and schools, which we need for our spiritual and educational well-being, are now being considered for closure."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

Naperville pastor cleared of sex abuse allegations

NAPERVILLE (IL)
Naperville Sun

June 5, 2007
By Paige Winfield Staff Writer
After spending months under a dark cloud of a sexual abuse charge, the Rev. Richard Bennett is in the clear.

The pastor of Holy Spirit Catholic Community in Naperville was accused 13 months ago of sexually abusing an 11-year-old on one occasion in 1975.

In April 2006, Arizona resident Tim Greco, 43, filed a civil lawsuit claiming Bennett, now 60, had molested him once after discovering him in the shower with a priest in the rectory of St. Pius X Church in Lombard.

After a DuPage County Circuit Court judge dismissed the charges last October, Greco appealed the ruling but failed to follow through. The appeal's statute of limitations has since ended. The diocese freed Bennett two weeks ago from supervision. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet had immediately placed him under supervision after the lawsuit was filed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

1962 Holy Office doctrine shows Church Policy was aiding and abetting, coverup, and secrecy, from the Vatican to Bishops, re sex crimes among priests

CALIFORNIA
City of Angels

By City of Angels lady

(This is a double length post:) Since so many sex crimes that will come up in jury trials the next months in civil cases against the LA Archdiocese took place from 1962 to 2001, plaintiff attorneys may want to enter the 1962 document Crimen Sollicitationis, the hierarchical blueprint written in Latin from the Pope to all bishops.

Directly underneath the title are instructions to hide the document in secret places and tell no one of its contents.

American Catholic bishops handled Sex Crimes in the American Catholic Church for the next decades as laid out in the 1962 Crimen Solicitationes document. The document makes it clear that the Catholics' mishandling of sex crimes was official policy and the result in Southern California was a network of pedophiles that operated free and unfettered within church confines. These 1962 “instructions” to bishops are at the heart of the Catholic Church’s nationwide mishandling of sex crimes among its priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:17 AM

June 4, 2007

Former Arizona priest arrested in Spain, charged with sexual abuse

ARIZONA
The Arizona Republic

Jordan LaPier
The Arizona Republic
Jun. 4, 2007 05:42 PM

Spanish National Police arrested former Arzona priest Father Jorge Washington Cordova Hernandez in Guadarrama, Spain, on charges of sexual abuse, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard announced Monday.

The 51-year-old priest was accused in 2005 of sexually abusing two minors between 1988 and 1991, when he was assigned to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 PM

Former Arizona priest arrested in Spain on sex abuse charges

ARIZONA
Fox 11

07:40 PM MST on Monday, June 4, 2007

By Alicia Barrón, Fox 11 News

A former Arizona member of the clergy has been detained by authorities in Spain.

A news release from Attorney General Terry Goddard indicates the Spanish National Police arrested Father Jorge Washington Cordova Hernandez June 3 in Guadarrama, Spain near Madrid.

Cordova, 51, was assigned to St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Yuma, part of the Tucson Catholic Diocese, where he remained from 1988 to 1991. In 2005 he was accused of sexually abusing two minors during his time in Yuma and was indicted on 10 counts of sexual abuse.

According to the news release, authorities obtained a warrant for Cordova’s arrest but he fled to Ecuador to his home diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 PM

We're in a crisis!

AUSTRALIA
Catholica Australia

Dear friends,

Whichever way you look at it the Holy Roman Catholic Church is in the midst of an enormous crisis. This morning's front page story in the Sydney Morning Herald regarding Cardinal Pell's call for all Catholic School Principals, Deputy Principals and Religious Education Co-ordinators to take an Oath of Allegiance to Church teachings underlines the crisis from one side. One hardly needs to be Methuselah to appreciate the crisis where 85% of the baptised faithful across the Western world have now vamoosed out the door has now reached the point where, privately, even principals, deputy principals and religious education co-ordinators have serious misgivings of what the institutional leaders believe is "the truth". ,,,

The crisis is not all one-sided though. In news overnight from the United States, one of the principal activist groups in the Church disenchanted with the present direction being forged by the Church's ecclesial leaders is itself in crisis. 38 newspapers across the United States yesterday carried an Associated Press story about the financial and membership crisis facing Voice of the Faithful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:45 PM

Pastor Sentenced

BATH (NY)
WETM

Last Update: Jun 4, 2007 5:40 PM

Posted By: Naveen Dhaliwal

BATH - A Southern Tier pastor who pled guilty to sexually abusing three kids was sentenced Monday afternoon.

David Troup, 40, will spend more than a decade in prison. His family was visibly upset after Steuben County Court Judge Marianne Furfure ruled.

Troup's attorney, William Kelley, and his social worker both spoke to the court indicating how motivated Troup was during his treatment sessions in the last couple of months.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 PM

Laity Speaks Out Against Alleged Clergy Sex Abuse

UNITED STATES
Orthodox Reform

June 4, 2007 |
Several leading Greek Orthodox laity speak out on the issue of clergy sex abuse:

George Behrakis, a member of the Archdiocesan Council’s Executive Committee and Chairman of the Archbishop Iakovos Leadership 100 Endowment Fund – a not-for-profit religious corporation which supports the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America’s ministries and programs – openly questioned why Father Katinas has not already been removed from the ranks of the clergy, citing Archbishop Demetrios of America and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople as the responsible decision makers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:00 PM

Catholic group still focusing on finances, Darien church

DARIEN (CT)
The Darien Times

Voice of the Faithful continues its emphasis on financial accountability in the Catholic Church at its meeting on Thursday, June 7, at 7:30 at the First Congregational Church on the Green in Norwalk. All are welcome.

Financial scandals at St. John Parish in Darien and St. Michael Parish in Greenwich are just two examples of the misappropriation of parish funds throughout the United States and the lack of any sense of financial accountability to the parishioners, according to Voice of the Faithful press release. “If the faithful are to trust that their financial contributions to the parish and the diocese are being used wisely, VOTF believes that essential reforms in fiscal practice on both levels are necessary,” the release said.

Members of the group will be asked to bring their questions about the most recent diocesan financial report to the meeting. In addition to ongoing study of this issue, members will also be asked to consider other projects for study, for example, the status of nursing homes formerly owned by the diocese; the ownership of church property; the status of priests, their compensation, benefits, and retirement plans; and outreach to young Catholics.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:52 AM

Sentencing delayed for spiritual leader

PENNSYLVANIA
PennLive

Friday, June 01, 2007
BY PETE SHELLEM
Of The Patriot-News
Sentencing for a Susquehanna Twp. spiritual leader who was convicted of soliciting sex over the Internet from what he believed were 12-year-old girls was postponed yesterday because of his medical condition.

Dauphin County Judge Bruce S. Bratton granted a continuance to Steven Jacob Mojecki to Aug. 28 after Mojecki's attorney, Sanford Krevsky, said his client was undergoing chemotherapy for non-Hodgkins lymphoma and his immune system had been affected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Ex-Oneonta priest charged with child porn

ONEONTA (NY)
The Daily Star

By Jake Palmateer
Staff Writer

ONEONTA _ A Catholic priest from Columbia County charged last week with possessing child pornography was an associate pastor at St. Mary’s Church in Oneonta for five years in the 1990s.

Raymond Ethier, 50, of Hudson, was charged Tuesday with possessing child pornography downloaded from a popular Internet file-sharing program, a felony under federal law punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years and maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, as well as up to a $250,000 fine.

There is no indication Ethier was involved in molestation of children since he became a priest, said officials with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Reconciling the truth

CANADA
Edmonton Journal

Catherine Rolfsen, Vancouver Sun
Published: Sunday, June 03, 2007
It's hard to picture Robert Joseph, hereditary chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation and special adviser at West Vancouver's Indian Residential School Survivors Society, at age six. But his grey crewcut and boyish grin hint at the child who was shipped off to St. Michael's residential school in Alert Bay decades ago.

He didn't know why he was taken from his community, or why he wasn't allowed to speak the only language he knew. He is still struggling to figure out why, 10 years later, he "staggered out of St. Mike's already a full-blown alcoholic."

A lot remains unclear for survivors of Indian residential schools. Although the institutions are now closed -- the last shut its doors in 1996 -- much of their legacy remains unresolved.

Much of his hope rests on a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) planned as part of the landmark $4-billion residential schools settlement agreement negotiated between the federal government, churches involved in running the schools and the Assembly of First Nations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

4.8 milion in Italy view BBC documentary on sex abuse

ROME
Catholic World News

Rome, Jun. 4, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Close to 5 million Italian viewers watched the May 31 airing of a BBC television documentary on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, broadcast on the Italian state-run RAI network despite strenuous protests by Catholic leaders.

The documentary, entitled “Sex Crimes and the Vatican,” was “clearly biased” and “gravely unfair,” complained Father Federico Lombardi, the director of the Vatican press office.

The program, which had aired in Great Britain last October, focused on the 1961 document Crimen Sollicitationis, dealing with disciplinary action against priests who solicit immoral activity through the confessional. The BBC report argued that by insisting on secrecy in these cases, the Vatican was setting a policy of covering up sex-abuse crimes. Church officials reply that the emphasis on secrecy was designed to protect the confessional seal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

June 3, 2007

Early returns are generally good

WORCESTER (MA)
Telegram & Gazette

By Shaun Sutner TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
ssutner@telegram.com

Just over a week ago, District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. faced down a swarm of television crews after the arraignment in Gardner District Court of a 32-year-old woman and her boyfriend charged with beating their 2-year-old daughter, who had died in the hospital a few days earlier.

The May 24 press conference was at least the fourth time that Mr. Early, who has been in office for five months since becoming Worcester County’s first new district attorney in 30 years, had made himself available to the media after a violent crime. ...

Not all of the reviews are as positive.

Daniel Dick, victim support coordinator for the Worcester chapter of Voice of the Faithful, said that while Mr. Early assured him that he would look into cases of suspended or retired priests alleged to have committed sex crimes, but who have not been criminally charged, he has seen little action.

“I hear the words, but I don’t see any follow-through,” Mr. Dick said. “These are credible allegations, but these people have not been tried.”

While Mr. Early was viewed suspiciously by some clergy abuse victim advocates because he defended a Worcester priest, the Rev. Joseph A. Coonan, when he was in private practice last year, he is not seen as quite as close to the church hierarchy as Mr. Conte. The former district attorney donated as much as $500 a year to the diocesan Bishop’s Fund.

Mr. Early, through his campaign committee, has given smaller amounts.

One clergy abuse case that is in the courts, involving the Rev. John Szantyr, 76, of Waterbury, Conn., has languished since the retired priest was first charged in 2003 with sexually assaulting a child in the mid-1980s, when he was assigned to a Worcester parish.

Mr. Early said that he recently told the assistant district attorney who Mr. Conte assigned to prosecute the case, Joseph J. Reilly III, to pick up the pace. The DA promised that it would go to trial by August.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:27 PM

Wempe quietly released and living in Leisure World. Cardinal Mahony Hearing Wednesday as Church tries to Quash his Subpoena.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By City of Angels Lady

Call me Scoop. Thursday I interviewed Tony DeMarco on tape then thought the tape did not record. I could not make it play back. This morning I went to find out what happened and the tape played back. So it’s confirmed. Cardinal Roger Mahony was subpoenaed to testify in the Kreutzer Cases trial, and convicted pedophile priest Michael Edwin Wempe, was quietly released recently and is living in Leisure World.

DeMarco said plaintiff “wants to have Cardinal Mahony testify at the June 11th jury trial, re the Kreutzer Cases." He added: "Church lawyers don’t want the Cardinal to testify at trial so they filed a Motion to Quash the Trial Subpoena of the Cardinal.”

In fact the night before May 30th hearing on the Cardinal’s interrogatory answers, plaintiffs "filed an opposition because the Church lawyers filed a Motion to Quash Mr. Brady’s trial subpoena of Cardinal Mahony.” That may explain why church attorneys were distracted and didn't show up for the May 30th hearing.

Plaintiff Attorney Steve J. Brady of San Francisco filed the civil subpoena May 22, arguing "it’s important for the cardinal to be testifying at trial,” DeMarco said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:25 PM

Alleged pedophile ran free

INDIA
The Star

Jun 03, 2007 04:30 AM
Matt McClure
Special to the Star

NEW DELHI–For nearly 11 years, a Canadian charged with sexually abusing young boys was free to prey on children overseas while Canadian authorities dragged their feet on his extradition from India.

Now, after being banned from two Indian schools, and more than three decades after allegedly committing his first offences in Canada, the accused pedophile may finally be on the verge of extradition from India.

But Ernest Fenwick MacIntosh's case raises serious questions about Canada's commitment to pursuing fugitives who hide on foreign soil, wreaking havoc with the lives of possible victims. Officials with the federal justice department and the Nova Scotia prosecution service blame one another for the decade-long delay, but can provide no clear explanation for why this case fell through the cracks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:57 AM

Perv's web of lies exposed by net

UNITED KINGDOM
Sunday Life

Sunday, June 03, 2007

By Stephen Gordan

The internet led to the lies of Ulster child rapist Billy Adams and his money bags priest lover Fr Jeremiah McGrath's being exposed in Liverpool, Sunday Life can reveal.

Online detective work by an uncle of Adams' latest young victim led to the pair being caught and saved his 11-year-old niece from further abuse.

The uncle uncovered newspaper reports revealing the sickening truth about the Irishman who had charmed his Merseyside family, particularly his vulnerable niece who Adams spoilt with gifts paid for by Fr McGrath.

Adams' sister Sonia Erwin has revealed how the worried uncle also tracked her down via the internet and she has remained in close contact with the devastated family ever since.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:53 AM

Adams 'master of manipulating the system'

UNITED KINGDOM
Sunday Life

Sunday, June 03, 2007

By Stephen Gordon

The sister of Ulster child rapist Billy Adams has warned the authorities not to make the same mistake twice.

Sonia Erwin fears her brother - currently awaiting sentence in Liverpool for the multiple rapes of a girl when she was aged just 11 and 12 - will again swing a transfer to a jail in Northern Ireland.

"If there is a loophole which allows Billy to take advantage of the 50 per cent remission rule here he'll take it, he's a master at manipulating the system," said Sonia.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

EXCLUSIVE: SHAMED PRIEST BANNED BY BARNARDO'S

SCOTLAND
Sunday Mail

By Norman Silvester
A CHILDREN'S charity have banned the shamed priest in the Angelika Kluk murder trial from doing his community service in their shops.

Social workers hoped Father Gerry Nugent, who claims he had a sexual relationship with Polish student Angelika, could serve his sentence in a Barnardo's shop in Glasgow.

But Susan Dodds, manager of the charity's Queen's Park branch, refused to allow him to work there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

O'Malley invites pope to Boston next year

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff | June 3, 2007

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley has invited Pope Benedict XVI to come to Boston next year, saying a visit to the city that was at the heart of the clergy abuse scandal would send a positive message to Catholics.

O'Malley said he is hopeful that the pope will accept the invitation because 2008 is both the bicentennial of the Archdiocese of Boston and because Benedict is already expected to come to the country to visit the United Nations.

"Given everything Boston has been through, having the Holy Father come, I think, would be a great joy and a sense of affirmation to us as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of our church," O'Malley, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Boston, said in re sponse to a question from the Globe. "I've invited him, and I'm hoping that he will come to Boston."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

A kiss is not just a kiss when it could be abuse

San Francisco Chronicle

Reviewed by Dan Zigmond

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Be Near Me

By Andrew O'Hagan

HARCOURT; 305 PAGES; $24

"Troubles like mine begin, as they end, in a thousand places," the English Catholic priest David Anderton explains near the opening of Andrew O'Hagan's new novel, an affecting meditation on faith and disgrace, "but my year in that Scottish parish would serve to unlock everything."

O'Hagan's Father David lives in the rectory in rural Dalgarnock, Scotland, officiates at Sunday Mass and teaches world religions at the local school, pleading with the usual assortment of fidgeting teenagers that "Civilisation takes many forms, and, as Christians, we must use our faith to bring peace to the lives of those people who have none." With so many stories of disgraced priests in recent years, it will come as no surprise that those students are at the center of O'Hagan's sympathetic portrayal of Father David's own fall.

Perhaps inevitably, abuse and sexual misconduct are near-constant undercurrents in "Be Near Me." Father David reports that "there is said to have been abuse" at the boarding school he himself attended as a child, that "the newspapers can now produce individuals who recognise the gleam of lust on every friendly face from the past." But his own memory is far more ambiguous and ambivalent; while "some of the monks were troubled or troubling in that particular way ... 'abuse' didn't have the currency in our minds -- perhaps in anybody's mind -- that it now enjoys on a worldwide scale."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

MINISTRY FOR THE SUBURBS: A diocese's journey

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

BY BART JONES
bart.jones@newsday.com

June 3, 2007

POLICE ON MOTORCYCLES accompanied Walter P. Kellenberg as he made his way in a convertible through the streets of Nassau County to St. Agnes Cathedral in Rockville Centre, where cheers rose from a throng of 10,000. It was May 26, 1957.

Lining the road was a guard of honor formed by Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus. They wore feathered helmets, and their swords glinted in the sun and pointed to the sky.

The 20-car motorcade came to a halt in front of the cathedral. The new bishop climbed out and strode to the rectory to present his credentials in the form of a "papal bull" empowering him to take canonical possession of the newly formed Diocese of Rockville Centre. ...

He feels he has done a lot to involve more lay people in church affairs, though he remains criticized for not doing enough. And in a recent, 45-minute interview, Murphy says he is a man haunted by the cases of children sexually abused by priests.

"I don't think they ever recover from the horrors," Murphy said of the victims. He added that he regrets not listening enough to and meeting with critics such as Voice of the Faithful, a local chapter of a national group that pushes for more involvement of lay people in the church and advocates for victims of priest sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Waiting decades to break the silence

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

June 3, 2007

It took Cheryl Outhier nearly 50 years to come forward with her account of being sexually abused by the late Rev. Franz Robier at Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church in San Diego.

She is among more than 150 people who have sued the Diocese of San Diego since 2002 for sexual-abuse incidents dating back decades.

But psychologists and researchers say most people who were sexually abused as children never reveal what happened, much less file a lawsuit and risk reliving the experience in open court.

Rodrigo Valdivia, chancellor of the San Diego diocese, said: “Victims of sexual abuse, both in the church and in all of society, do not come forward until many years after they have been abused. Professionals tell us this is a common trait.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

June 2, 2007

Holy Trinity denies everything; demands trial by jury

DALLAS (TX)
Orthodox Reform

June 2, 2007 |
The National Herald gives an update on the Fr. Katinas lawsuit:

Holy Trinity Church in Dallas, which is at the center of the pedophile scandal allegedly involving Rev. Nicholas Katinas, its former pastor of 28 years, has replied to the lawsuit launched by two of his alleged victims against the parish; the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver and Metropolitan Isaiah; the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and Archbishop Demetrios; and Father Katinas personally.

The parish, through its attorneys Douglas D. Fletcher and Richard G. Miller, has stated that “Defendant (Holy Trinity Church) denies each and every, and all singular, material allegations contained within Plaintiffs’ pleadings and demand strict proof thereof.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:30 PM

Coincidence or ? - Public Access to Clergy Case Files Denied Friday. Hearings on Motion to Quash and Motion to Comply with Subpoenas June 6th

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By City of Angels Lady

It could have been a coincidence, but yesterday it was impossible to go document diving in the JCCP network provided for free access to the public in Room 106 of Superior Court Los Angeles. Two days earlier I’d written in this blog about reading the documents in descending order -- and yesterday every other function was working in Room 106 except “sort by descending order” in the clergy case documents. I watched people come in and out accessing their civil cases. The only thing the computers would not open was the only way a person can access the thousands of documents for the 500-plus cases working their way through court this year.

So as much as I tried to find out more about Roger Mahony’s possible testimony June 11th, the public access computer would not let me go there. You could get as far as “sort by ascending order” where the documents begin with 2002. Normally one more click and you are looking at the most recently filed documents. There are literally thousands of screens between the first and last documents, so technically the public still has access. I’d just have to scroll through about 30,000 screens until I got to the motions filed in 2007.

At 12:20 PM, the first time the click would not work, I shivered. Two weeks to the day earlier, Friday May 18th in that very room, a guy had stood over my shoulder, indeed was breathing down my neck, as I showed him, “See you click here and it goes to the first document filed, click again and it takes you to the ones from a few days ago.” This kinda creepy guy had barreled into Room 106 a few minutes earlier announcing that no one respected him for trying to be his own lawyer. He struck up a conversation with me and soon was telling me his own experience with a pederast priest and looking over my shoulders to see how I accessed the documents. Now that function I showed him is just the function that won’t work in Room 106 the public access room for civil cases filed in Los Angeles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:15 PM

Episcopal bishop says Jesus bound by ancient myths

UNITED STATES
Toledo Blade

Retired Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong doesn't flinch at being called a heretic, but asserts he is trying to make people rethink and, hopefully, save Christianity.

"I believe that I am witnessing the death of Christianity, as it has been historically understood," Bishop Spong writes in his provocative new book, Jesus for the Non-Religious (Harper San Francisco, $24.95). ...

Bishop Spong, 75, said he felt compelled to write Jesus for the Non-Religious because Christianity needs an extreme makeover or it will become the casualty of "an expanded worldview."

"I've gotten to the place where I'm embarrassed by most of the public expressions of religion," he said. "When religion makes the news in America, it's because a priest abused a child or someone is suing over abuse, or because the male hierarchy is pontificating about what a woman should do with her body.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:55 AM

Group upset after sex-abuse charge dropped

DELTONA (FL)
News-Journal

By NICOLE SERVICE
Staff Writer

The fact that no criminal charges will be filed against a Deltona Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing a man doesn't surprise the national director of a support group for victims of abuse by the clergy.

David Clohessy, director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said there was so much secrecy surrounding the case that it makes sense the State Attorney Office didn't have enough evidence to charge the Rev. Carlos Bedoya and a seminarian, David Estrada.

"We are disappointed, especially because no church leader has acted responsible and prodded victims and witness to call the police," Clohessy said.

Bedoya, a former pastor of St. Clare Catholic Church, was under investigation since October. He was removed from his post and placed on administrative leave from duties in the local diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

SNAP says bishop needs to step up

MEMPHIS (TN)
Commercial Appeal

An advocacy group for victims of sex abuse pressed Catholic officials Wednesday to publicly acknowledge known child molesters.

David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), said Bishop J. Terry Steib has not publicly acknowledged that former Memphis priest Father Daniel Dupree admitted to the diocese that he molested 15 male youths between 1985 and 1992.

Last September, a local man identified as John Doe claimed in a lawsuit that he was sexually molested as a teen by Dupree at the Church of the Resurrection in Memphis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:48 AM

US Catholic diocese emerges from bankruptcy, must raise $48M for sex abuse victims

SPOKANE (WA)
International Herald Tribune

The Associated PressPublished: June 2, 2007

SPOKANE, Washington: The Catholic Diocese of Spokane in this western state has emerged from bankruptcy 2 1/2 years after filing because of sex abuse cases. Now, Bishop William Skylstad and parishioners must raise $48 million (€36 million) to settle victims' claims.

"This is the end of a difficult chapter for the diocese and the start of a new day for it," diocese bankruptcy lawyer Greg Arpin said Friday. "We're very pleased to come out of this tragic and difficult period, and looking forward to a new life for the Catholic Church in Eastern Washington."

Skylstad, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, had no immediate comment, said the Rev. Steven Dublinski, a diocesan spokesman.

Paperwork certifying that the 95,000-member diocese had complied with requirements set forth in a bankruptcy reorganization plan was e-mailed to lawyers Thursday, effectively marking the end of bankruptcy, Arpin said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

Man sentenced to 15 years for abuse

VIRGINIA
Roanoke Times

By Mike Allen
981-3236

A former Bedford County church youth leader was sentenced to serve more than 15 years in prison Friday for molesting a 13-year-old boy in August 2005.

Joseph Steven Shrewsbury, 30, pleaded guilty in November to 12 counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor, two counts of aggravated sexual battery and one count of carnal knowledge

The boy attended Shady Grove Baptist Church in Thaxton, where Shrewsbury was a part-time employee. According to evidence, the boy confided in Shrewsbury in spring 2005 that he was disturbed by sexual thoughts, which he believed came from demons.

Shrewsbury told the boy he was in fact possessed by a demon and could only be cured by acting out the sexual thoughts with Shrewsbury, according to evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Process used in abuse bill is upheld

OHIO
Toledo Blade

BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU

COLUMBUS - Critics of a new law on child sexual abuse failed to prove that the Republican majority of a House committee illegally conspired behind closed doors last year to kill language that could have reopened litigation for abuse that occurred decades ago.

Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Pat Sheeran recently ruled that Claudia Vercellotti of Toledo and other plaintiffs failed to prove that a majority of the House Judiciary Committee worked privately to gut the portion of the bill they supported before the full House passed an alternative version.

The bill was rubber-stamped by the Senate, signed by then-Gov. Bob Taft, and became law nearly a year ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Diocese wants its conduct in molestation cases suppressed

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Saturday, June 2, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

A lawyer for the state's Roman Catholic diocese appealed to the presiding judge in an upcoming priest sex abuse trial to suppress evidence about how the church handled other child molestation claims against priests over the years.

"A 50-year smear is just going to confuse the issues," diocesan attorney Tom McCormick told Chittenden County Superior Court Judge Ben Joseph on Friday. "It's going to be a tremendous waste of judicial time and it will be unjust."

McCormick made the remark during a pre-trial hearing in the case of a Virginia Beach, Va., man who claims that former Rev. Alfred Willis performed a sex act on him in a Latham, N.Y., motel room when he was a teenager in 1977 and tried to molest him a second time at a home in Milton later that year. ...

"As late as 2002, this diocese's policy was that people like Alfred Willis have to be treated with kid gloves," O'Neill said. "There's a letter from (former) Bishop Angell in May of 2002 apologizing to him for having to report him to the Attorney General's Office." Bishop Kenneth Angell retired in 2005.

At another point, the two lawyers locked horns over the relevance of a meeting in 1978 or 1979 between then-Bishop John Marshall and Chittenden County prosecutors about allegations Willis had molested altar boys.


Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Effort is on to jail monk for prior rap

BLANCO (TX)
Express-News

Zeke MacCormack
Express-News

Claiming Samuel A. Greene Jr. violated his probation on a prior indecency rap, prosecutors now want the founder of Christ of the Hills Monastery imprisoned for that crime.

Blanco County Assistant District Attorney Cheryl Nelson said Thursday that she'll file a motion today in state district court in Johnson City to revoke probation.

Greene, now 62, pleaded guilty in 2000 to nine counts of indecency with a novice monk in 1997 and was sentenced to 10 years probation and a $10,000 fine. Nelson now plans to seek the maximum sentence of 20 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:30 AM

Priest rejects deal on abuse charges

FLEMINGTON (PA)
The Express-Times

Saturday, June 02, 2007
By ANDREA EILENBERGER
The Express-Times
FLEMINGTON | A former Milford priest already serving time for molesting an altar boy isn't willing to accept a plea agreement for the latest abuse charges he's facing.

The Rev. John Banko is accused of sexually assaulting a boy younger than 13.

Defense attorney Peter Abatemarco said after a court proceeding Friday that Banko isn't interested in a deal.

"He wants to go trial," Abatemarco said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:27 AM

Spokane diocese emerges from Chapter 11 bankruptcy

SPOKANE (WA)
The Bellingham Herald

By JOHN K. WILEY
AP State

The Catholic Diocese of Spokane has emerged from bankruptcy 30 months after filing for Chapter 11 protection from lawsuits over past clergy sex abuse. Now, Bishop William Skylstad and parishioners must raise $48 million to settle victims' claims.

"This is the end of a difficult chapter for the diocese and the start of a new day for it," diocese bankruptcy lawyer Greg Arpin said Friday. "We're very pleased to come out of this tragic and difficult period, and looking forward to a new life for the Catholic Church in Eastern Washington."

Skylstad, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, had no immediate comment, diocesan spokesman the Rev. Steven Dublinski said Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:24 AM

Bill Would Repeal Time Limit on Cases

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post

By Henri E. Cauvin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, June 2, 2007; Page B06

In the District, murder is the only crime that never dies.

With no statute of limitations, murder charges can be brought even decades later.

Now, sex abuse victims, crime victim advocates and law enforcement officials are urging the D.C. Council to put child sex abuse in the same category.

A bill that would repeal the statute of limitations on criminal charges and civil claims stemming from child sex abuse has been introduced by several council members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 AM

Church: Ladenburger had history of abuse, was asked to leave ministry

SPOKANE (WA)
KXLY

KXLY.com Staff
Last updated: Friday, June 01st, 2007 06:54:33 PM

SPOKANE -- The Franciscan Friars previously commented earlier this week they had no record of past abuse by former Catholic Priest Louis Ladenburger, arrested earlier this week on three counts of sexual battery. On Friday they set the record straight.

Ladenburger is in custody in Bonner County, where he is being held on a $100,000 bond on three counts of sexual battery. The charges allege that he performed acts of a sexual nature on several minors while he was a counselor at the Elk Mountain Academy near Clark Fork.

An investigation was initiated by the Bonner County Special Victims Unit after the abuse was reported by one of the teens to the school’s director.

Louis Ladenburger was a Franciscan Friar and Priest for more than 30 years and served in parishes across the western United States including, as it turns out, St. Anne’s School and Parish in Spokane and Mary Queen of Heaven Parish in Sprague during the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 AM

Maverick bishop defends out-of-step diocese

NEBRASKA
Beatrice Daily Sun

By OSKAR GARCIA
Friday, June 1, 2007 6:47 PM CDT

OMAHA, Neb. - A Catholic bishop in Lincoln on Friday called the church's annual collection of clergy sex abuse data pointless, and said he won't assume wrongdoing by the diocese and its priests.

Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz's refusal to take part in the survey from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is odds with the vast majority of the nation's Catholic churches, and has brought criticism from a national group that has questioned his practices.

"We assume the other way _ that our people are decent and good, and that they don't have to be continually monitored, checked and audited because they are not under suspicion," Bruskewitz said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 AM

Diocese's deal precluded appeal in sex case

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

BY ANN GIVENS
ann.givens@newsday.com

June 1, 2007, 10:10 PM EDT

There's a reason the Diocese of Rockville Centre decided not to appeal the first verdict ever against it in a sex abuse case: It couldn't.

On the day last month when the $11.45 million verdict was announced, a diocese spokesman said the church would consider an appeal. Then, the following day, he said the church had decided to let the verdict stand, as a gesture toward healing and moving forward.

But that decision had been made long before the jury foreman ever announced the verdict. Sometime during the trial, the plaintiffs had made a deal with the diocese limiting the amount the church would pay to $5 million on the condition that the diocese would not challenge it, sources close to the case said.

The "high-low" agreement -- not an uncommon kind of deal in civil cases -- also provided an insurance policy of sorts for the plaintiffs. Even if the jury decided not to award them any money, they still would get $1.5 million, a source close to the case said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 AM

Plaintiff Claims Bishop Protected Pedophile Priest

BURLINGTON (VT)
WCAX

Burlington, Vermont -- June 1, 2007

Vermont's Roman Catholic Diocese wants a judge to suppress evidence indicating prominent church leaders protected a pedophile priest.

It's part of the potentially explosive evidence that could be introduced when the Diocese goes on trial next month accused of failing to protect a young parishioner from a predatory priest.

The Diocese is being sued by more than 30 men who claim they were sexually abused as young men by priests in Vermont. ...

Lawyer Jerry O'Neill says there's lots of evidence and it shows that Willis's boss at the time, Bishop John Marshall, knew that Willis was a pedophile priest and covered it up.

"We certainly intend as part of our proof to show that what Bishop Marshall was doing he was trying to prevent the state's attorney from prosecuting this individual," said O'Neill at a Friday pre-trial hearing in Burlington.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:02 AM

June 1, 2007

Protest Of Bishop's Policy Brings Out People - But No Cops

LINCOLN (NE)
Nebraska State Paper

June 01, 2007

Some Catholics who are members of Call to Action wanted to present church officials in Lincoln with a petition Friday, complaining about Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz refusing to participate in a nationwide audit of sex abuse cases.

They gave up the idea of a personal presentation after Bruskewitz said he would have them arrested if they came onto church property.

They decided to stand outside the cathedral and hold a news conference.

Supporters of Bruskewitz showed up and sang Ave Maria. The protesters joined them for awhile, too.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

Murphy admits mistakes, promises reform

LONG ISLAND (NY)
Newsday

BY MELANIE LEFKOWITZ
melanie.lefkowitz@newsday.com

June 3, 2007
Nestled into Bishop William Murphy's prayer book is a photograph of an alter boy dressed for church. Murphy says the boy's mother sent him the picture after her son, abused at the hands of a priest, killed himself at age 22.

"I see that every single time I open my breviary to pray. And I do that purposely, to remind myself of how seriously tragic and horrific this has been," Murphy said. "The last picture I see before I go to bed is that young man. And please God, I'll have that in there with me until my dying day."

Like the photograph, a portrait of betrayal pressed against pages imprinted with Catholic text, many things associated with the church has become melded with the priest sex abuse scandal that engulfed it. And so it has gone for Murphy. His tumultuous 51/2-year tenure as leader of Long Island's 1.4 million Catholics has been seared with the anger arising from decades of hidden abuse and secrets kept.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:08 PM

Archdiocese to sell Brighton campus to BC

BRIGHTON (MA)
The Pilot

By Christine Williams
Posted: 6/1/2007

BRIGHTON -- In a letter to priests dated May 31, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley said that the agreements to sell the chancery buildings and Bishop Peterson Hall to Boston College and relocate the central administration to Braintree is part of a strategic, long-term plan to strengthen the archdiocese.

“We must have a strong foundation, including our finances and operations, in order to provide the many good works that are essential to our mission,” he said. “The financial and administrative factors necessitating these decisions are well known, the response to them requires an understanding of the pastoral, educational and social obligations the Church in Boston must fulfill in the short and long term.”

In the letter, the cardinal also reiterated his dedication to St. John’s Seminary in Brighton and the formation of priests there. In disagreement with the archdiocese’s plans to sell the adjacent Bishop Peterson Hall, Father John Farren, OP, resigned as rector of the seminary a month before his scheduled departure.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 PM

Cardinal’s letter to priests on property sale

BOSTON (MA)
The Pilot

Dear Monsignor/Father,

One of my greatest joys as your bishop is ordaining men as priests for our Archdiocese. This past Saturday seven men joined our ranks as they responded to God’s call to service in the presence of their families, friends and the community of the Church. As each of the concelebrating priests at the Cathedral laid hands on the newly ordained, the bond that we share in the priesthood of Jesus Christ was strengthened and affirmed.

The priests who were ordained last week spent years preparing for that day, as each one of us did in preparing for our own ordination. We know that the spiritual, academic, pastoral and human formation necessary to prepare for priesthood is a significant and serious undertaking. In the Archdiocese of Boston we are blessed that both St. John’s Seminary and Blessed John XXIII Seminary provide men from our Archdiocese and beyond with the training needed to be faithful servants of God’s people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 PM

Money crunch hits Catholic group

BOSTON (MA)
Houston Chronicle

By JAY LINDSAY Associated Press Writer
The Associated Press

BOSTON — The lay group created to give anguished Roman Catholics a voice as the clergy sex abuse crisis unfolded five years ago is now in a crisis of its own, dealing with a budget deficit and infighting among its leaders.

Voice of the Faithful is projecting a $100,000 deficit in the next fiscal year following a drop in the number of major donors, according to an account of a group leaders' meeting which is posted on Voice's Web site.

Board chairman William Casey said that the group has had trouble adjusting to a long-term strategy as the short-term anger over the scandal has subsided.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

Vatican decries sex abuse documentary

VATICAN CITY
United Press International

VATICAN CITY, June 1 (UPI) -- Vatican officials called a British documentary on sexual abuse of children by Roman Catholic priests "biased" and "unfair" after it aired on Italian television.

After a decision to air "Sex Crimes and the Vatican" prompted debate for weeks, the documentary was watched Thursday by nearly 4.8 million people, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Friday.

"The documentary deals with dramatic material from a clearly biased viewpoint," Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said. "It becomes seriously unfair when it makes criticisms of the motivations behind church documents, whose nature and goals are misrepresented, and when it focuses on the figure of Cardinal Ratzinger, today Pope Benedict XVI."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Puerto Rican priest sentenced to probation for abusing teen

SAN JUAN (PR)
Union-Tribune

ASSOCIATED PRESS

12:15 p.m. June 1, 2007

SAN JUAN, Puerto – A judge in Puerto Rico sentenced a Roman Catholic priest Friday to three years probation for sexually abusing a 15-year-old boy he had counseled for depression.

The judge also ordered the Rev. Anibal Torres Ortiz to undergo counseling for sexual offenders and prohibited him from being in the company of minors without the supervision of another adult. He also must register as a sexual offender in the U.S. island territory.

Advertisement Torres, who was convicted of exposing himself and sexual abuse, could have received up to 3 1/2 years in prison. Authorities said the incident occurred in 2005, when the priest served in a church in Rio Piedras, a suburb of the capital.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Defrocked priest’s death prevents closure: Hull resident was facing trial in June on child-rape charge

HULL (MA)
The Patriot Ledger

By SUE REINERT
The Patriot Ledger

Defrocked priest Anthony Laurano of Hull faced a trial on child-rape charges when he died Sunday, but three of his alleged victims will continue their civil lawsuit, their attorney said.

Prosecutors said Laurano, 82, raped an 8-year-old boy 16 years ago while he was pastor at St. Mary’s Church in North Plymouth. The two alleged rapes occurred in the week before the child’s First Communion.

While Laurano awaited trial on the child-rape indictment in 2005, he was charged with molesting a retarded neighbor in Hull. He pleaded innocent to both sets of charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Priest's Death Leaves Victim Feeling Robbed Of Justice

MASSACHUSETTS
TheBostonChannel.com

BOSTON -- The death of a defrocked priest who was about to go to trial on child rape charges has left his alleged victim feeling robbed of a chance for justice, the man said Friday.

Anthony Laurano, 82, the former pastor of St. Mary's Church in Plymouth, died Sunday.

He was charged in 2005 in the 1991 rape of an 8-year-old boy. While he was awaiting trial, he was charged with molesting his mentally disabled neighbor in Hull, outraging members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, who criticized the decision to allow him to remain free on bail on the earlier charges.

Laurano's alleged victim in the 1991 case said he went to the police in 2005 after recovering repressed memories of being raped. Since then, he has been waiting for Laurano's trial to tell his story.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:58 PM

Lincoln Catholic diocese threatens arrest of petitioners

LINCOLN (NE)
World-Herald

BY ASHLEY HASSEBROEK
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

Officials from the Lincoln's Catholic diocese have asked the Lincoln Police Department to arrest members of Call to Action Nebraska if they follow through on their plan to deliver a petition against Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz today.

The petition criticizes Bruskewitz for his refusal to participate in the church's annual nationwide audit to determine whether dioceses are compliant with church policies on sexual abuse. The Lincoln diocese is the only one in the nation that declines to participate.

Some 1,000 Catholics nationwide signed the petition, Call to Action members say. Bruskewitz has said that anyone who belongs to Call to Action, a group that favors such changes in the church as allowing married priests and women priests, is excommunicated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

Defrocked priest accused of abuse dies before trial

HULL (MA)
The Hull Times

By Christopher Haraden 31.MAY.07

The 82-year-old defrocked priest facing multiple sexual abuse accusations died this weekend at his Hull home, just days before a judge was expected to schedule trial on charges he raped an eight-year-old altar boy in Plymouth in 1991.

Hull police and fire crews were called to the Manomet Ave. home of Anthony J. Laurano at 11:52 a.m. Sunday, after his sister, Gloria, dialed 911 and said her brother was not breathing.

Laurano’s funeral was held in East Boston this morning [Thursday], the same day he was scheduled to appear in Brockton Superior Court for another pretrial conference on the rape charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:14 PM

Spokane Catholic Diocese emerges from bankruptcy

SPOKANE (WA)
KING 5

SPOKANE - The Spokane Catholic Diocese has emerged from the brink of bankruptcy, thanks to millions of dollars in donations from Seattle.

The Shaun Cross, the attorney representing the Diocese throughout the case, says he filed the final paperwork in court late Thursday afternoon in order to emerge successfully from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Diocese filed for Chapter 11 protection back in December 2004.

The Diocese has received donations from all over the country to help contribute to the $48 million settlement fund for victims of priest sex abuse. As of Thursday night, $20 million was wired to the fund, organized out of Seattle. Most of that money came from insurance settlements. More will be transferred next week from other sources.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:37 PM

Closing statements in 'false sex abuse asccusations' trial

IRELAND
Irish Examiner

The closing stages have been reached in the trial of a man for falsely claiming a priest buggered him when allegedly helping with prayers for his First Holy Communion almost 30 years ago.

The 34-year-old south inner city accused denies making a false statement to Detective Garda Brian Kavanagh at Kevin Street Garda Station, Dublin on June 18, 2003 that acts of indecent assault and buggery were committed on him by the priest in the period February to May 1981.

The jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court has heard closing speeches on day-15 of the trial from prosecuting counsel, Mr Dominic McGinn BL, and defence counsel, Mr Damian Colgan BL.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:33 PM

Priest jailed for abusing boy, 15

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

A Catholic priest has been jailed for more than three years for sexually abusing a boy who had asked for advice as he was confused about his sexuality.

Father Peter Grant, 58, of Balfour Mews, Bovingdon, Hertfordshire, pleaded guilty to four charges of sexual activity with a child.

Grant was arrested after the teenager, 15, told another priest what had happened in a confession.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:31 PM

Former school counselor facing three sexual battery charges

SANDPOINT (WA)
Bonner County Daily Bee

By KEITH KINNAIRD
News editor

SANDPOINT -- Bail is set at $100,000 for a former boarding school counselor who is accused of engaging in lewd conduct with at least two students at Elk Mountain Academy near Clark Fork.

Louis W. Ladenburger, 70, is charged with three counts of sexual battery of a minor between the ages of 16 and 17, a felony punishable by up to 25 years in state prison.

Ladenburger declined the services of a court-appointed public defender when he went before Judge Barbara Buchanan on Thursday. ...

Robinson also told the court that Ladenburger admitted to struggling with sexually inappropriate desires while he was a priest, a fact that he concealed when he was hired on at Elk Mountain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:27 PM

BBC documentary on priest child abuse aired in Italy draws 5 million viewers

ITALY
PR-Inside

2007-06-01 16:35:49 -

ROME (AP) - Almost 5 million Italians watched a BBC documentary on sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church aired by the state-run TV after days of controversy, officials said Friday.

The RAI program featuring the 2006 BBC documentary «Sex, Crimes and the Vatican» offered a rare chance to this overwhelmingly Catholic nation to deal
publicly with the issue of priest abuse. The broadcaster said those watching was a record for the weekly show, called «Anno Zero.»

The show Thursday night featured long excerpts of the BBC documentary exposing abuse, including interviews with alleged victims. It also invited Bishop Rino Fisichella, the rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, to defend the church.

The show examined a Vatican document written in 1962 regarding secrecy in church investigations of some sex abuse claims. The document has been revised _ in the late 1960s, in 1983 when the Vatican updated the whole Code of Canon Law, and again when new procedures were put in place in 2001, in the wake of the sex abuse scandal in the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:11 PM

Mahony on witness stand June 11 sparks outbreak of objections; more Church Attorney Potts vs Judge transcript in LA cases re predator priests

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By City of Angels Lady

Cardinal Roger Mahony is Number 17 on the Plaintiff’s Witness List filed May 25th for the Paul Kreutzer Cases going to jury trial June 11th. Defendants have Kreutzer as Witness Number 4, then 9 through 21 are monsignors and sisters, so just reading Defendants’ Witness List can be triggering for a survivor.

Mahony’s name as a witness caused some of the disarray in LA Superior Court last week, re the hearing that vanished from the May 30th calendar. Right up to the time court went into session plaintiffs still thought the hearing re Interrogatories 1 through 8 was to go forward. It had been “penned” onto the printed sheet of paper that is taped outside the courtroom listing the order of hearings that day.

Then Plaintiff Attorney Steven J. Brady of San Francisco subpoenaed the cardinal last week to testify on the witness stand in the Kreutzer Cases trial June 11th. While the Cardinal was wondering how to avoid answering written questions in Interrogatories 1 through 8, which he’d been avoiding since August, the man in robes got served.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:06 PM

Diocese Bankruptcy Hearing

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Fox 6

Victims of clergy sexual abuse are blasting San Diego's Bishop after a bankruptcy hearing that attempted to disclose the church's finances and assets.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Arbitration suggested to set value on lawsuits

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer
and Jeff McDonald
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS

June 1, 2007

A federal judge wants to borrow an idea from Major League Baseball to settle the key issue of how to put monetary values on cases of child sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests.

Judge Louise DeCarl Adler outlined a plan yesterday in which attorneys for the Diocese of San Diego and those representing about 150 abuse victims would each submit a dollar amount for a specific case and an arbitrator would choose one of the two figures.

Under the plan offered by Adler: A victim's attorney might argue an egregious case involving the long-ago rape of a child by a priest is worth $1.6 million based on the facts of the abuse and on settlements or verdicts elsewhere in similar clergy cases. The diocese might argue that case is worth half that amount, or $800,000.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

No sex assault charges filed against Deltona pastor

DELTONA (FL)
News Journal

A Deltona pastor and a priest-in-training will not face formal charges in an alleged sexual battery case, the State Attorney's Office said Thursday.

Spokeswoman Linda Pruitt cited insufficient evidence as the reason not to file charges.

According to a complaint filed in October with the Volusia County Sheriff's Office, the Rev. Carlos Bedoya, 44, of St. Clare Catholic Church, invited a 35-year-old man to his home on church grounds to have lunch and "cocktails." He proceeded to restrain the man while David Estrada, a 24-year-old priest-in-training, performed oral sex on the man, the complaint states.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Bishop Testifies During Diocese Bankruptcy Hearing

SAN DIEGO (CA)
NBC Sandiego

SAN DIEGO -- The bishop for the Catholic Diocese of San Diego was on the stand again Thursday during another federal bankruptcy hearing, NBC 7/39 reported.

At a hearing last month, Bishop Robert Brom was questioned by people who said they were sexually abused by priests.

They packed the courtroom on Thursday, NBC 7/39 reported.

Attorneys for some of the alleged abuse victims questioned Brom about the finances of the diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Spokane Catholic diocese emerging from bankruptcy

SPOKANE (WA)
MSNBC

KHQ-TV
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Catholic diocese emerged from bankruptcy at 4:10 Thursday afternoon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:04 AM

Judgement reserved in church abuse case

NEW ZEALAND
Stuff

NZPA | Friday, 1 June 2007

A judge is considering whether boys who allegedly suffered historical abuse by two Catholic clergymen at Christchurch's St John of God School will have to give evidence in court at a depositions hearing.

Judge Michael Crosbie reserved his decision after hearing legal argument at a pre-depositions session in Christchurch District Court this morning.

He expects to release his decision next week, in the case of Brother Roger Moloney, 71, and Father Raymond Garchow, 59, who were extradited from Australia last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

SBC meeting likely to include debate over resolutions, mission boards

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Associated Baptist Press

By Robert Marus and Charlie Warren

Published May 31, 2007

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ABP) -- The upcoming Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting may not, like last year's, feature a contested and unpredictable presidential election -- but it is likely to air other contentious issues, according to those who track such things.

Nonetheless, SBC President Frank Page said prayer for revival and spiritual awakening is the intended emphasis for the June 12-13 SBC annual meeting, scheduled for San Antonio's Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center. ...

In response to recent exposure the SBC has received concerning clergy sexual abuse, Oklahoma pastor Wade Burleson and Texas pastor Benjamin Cole intend to ask the denomination to address the issue.

"Southern Baptists must be proactive when it comes to protecting children under our ministerial care. Our convention cannot retreat behind claims of ecclesiastic polity, and we are encouraged by SBC President Frank Page's tough stance on clergy sexual abuse," Cole said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

Ohio judge named to chair U.S. bishops’ sexual-abuse review board

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic Online

5/31/2007
Catholic News Service (www.catholicnews.com)

WASHINGTON (CNS) – Judge Michael R. Merz of Dayton, Ohio, has been named chairman of the National Review Board. The board oversees the U.S. bishops' compliance with the national sexual abuse and child protection policies they adopted in June 2002.

Merz has been a magistrate judge of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of Ohio since 1984 and the district's chief magistrate judge since 2004. A member of the review board since October 2004, as chairman he succeeds Patricia O'Donnell Ewers, head of the board since June 2005.

Bishop William S. Skylstad of Spokane, Wash., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, announced Merz's appointment and named four new board members May 29.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Time for healing and reconciliation

OREGON
Catholic Sentinel

05/31/2007 Archbishop John Vlazny

When June rolls around, understandably our parish and school communities shift into low gear. Folks take vacations. Many of us literally stop to smell the roses. It’s a time for family, friends and all those leisure activities we dreamed about during the winter rain and chill.

But here in the Archdiocese of Portland we still must address some unfinished business before we allow the magic of summertime to ease our pressures and lighten our hearts. As I announced in my letter of April 17 to all our people, I am asking you to observe a day of prayer and fasting, an extraordinary Ember Day, for the healing of the victims of child sexual abuse and for their reconciliation with the church. I designated June 13, the feast of St. Anthony, for that purpose here in the Archdiocese of Portland. I shall preside at an archdiocesan service of healing and reconciliation at 7:30 p.m. in St. Mary’s Cathedral. I encourage similar services in other parts of the diocese so that the people can come together in prayer. Through our prayer and fasting we ask our God to heal all the hurts and to help us move forward with compassion and care for all victims of this scandal.

As you know, I have not addressed the matter of child sexual abuse litigation in this column for many months. The mediators who were working very hard to help us achieve financial settlements with plaintiffs requested that all parties refrain from making public comments in this regard. Even the Catholic Sentinel was asked to withhold any news reports about the matter in its weekly issues. I have great respect for the mediators and I wanted to comply with their demands since the success they were experiencing in mediating our many claims and our disputes with the insurance carriers seemed to be progressing very well. But it was difficult in my role as your pastor and the leader of this church to refrain from communicating with you about these matters. I do hope you understand.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:52 AM

Ex-priest who molested boys will stand trial on assault charge

NEW JERSEY
Star-Ledger

Friday, June 01, 2007
BY JEFF DIAMANT
Star-Ledger Staff
James Hanley, a former Catholic priest who admitted molesting about a dozen boys over several decades, lost his appeal yesterday to enter a pretrial intervention program in an unrelated assault case.

He then rejected a Hudson County assistant prosecutor's offer to let him plead guilty to reduced charges in the assault case, which prosecutors say involves an incident with a softball bat 15 months ago at the Extended Stay Hotel in Secaucus.

He is now expected to go on trial in September or October on counts of unlawful weapons possession and making terrorist threats.

Authorities say that, on March 10, 2006, Hanley swung a bat he had been using as a cane at three employees of the hotel after a dispute over payment for a room. The employees called police.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Group targets actions of Lincoln's Bishop Bruskewitz

LINCOLN (NE)
Sioux City Journal

LINCOLN (AP) -- More than 1,000 Catholics from around the country have signed a petition protesting decisions by Lincoln Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz.

The petition, which will given to the Lincoln Diocese on Friday, criticizes his refusal to participate in the U.S. bishops' annual audit of sex abuse data -- the only diocese in the country to opt out. It also criticizes his barring girls from serving at the altar and his 1996 excommunication of Call to Action Nebraska members.

"We are not happy with the way Bishop Bruskewitz has been handling things in the diocese and wanted to draw attention to that," said Rachel Pokora, president of Call to Action Nebraska.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Church adopts sex abuse policy

CANADA
London Free Press

By JANE SIMS, SUN MEDIA

It appears the Roman Catholic diocese of London is listening to Rev. Charles Sylvestre's victims.

This week, letters were sent to the women abused as children by the disgraced priest announcing the church will adopt some of their ideas in a new, long-awaited sexual abuse policy.

The suggestions came from a meeting of survivors in Chatham last month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Catholics in London set new conduct code for priests

CANADA
Leader-Post

Windsor Star
Published: Friday, June 01, 2007
LONDON, Ont. -- The London Catholic diocese no longer will allow priests to be alone with children, according to a letter sent this week to victims of pedophile priest Charles Sylvestre.

A 'two-deep rule' will be included in the new code of conduct, requiring another adult to be present during interactions between priests and children, Rev. John Sharp wrote in the letter dated May 29 .

"The two-deep rule is something the survivors specifically asked for," said Chatham-Kent Crown attorney Paul Bailey, who prosecuted Sylvestre's case. "So if someone sees a priest in a little room, alone with a child, they will know that's a breach of sexual abuse policy."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Sex case against priest is dropped

DELTONA (FL)
Orlando Sentinel

Kristen Reed | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted June 1, 2007

Prosecutors are not pursuing criminal charges against a Deltona priest accused of participating in sexual battery on a man, officials said Thursday.

There was "insufficient evidence" to proceed with a case against the Rev. Carlos Bedoya, State Attorney's Office spokeswoman Linda Pruitt said.

The pastor of St. Clare Catholic Church has been under investigation since October and was removed from his post the following month. Volusia County sheriff's investigators forwarded a complaint in December to the State Attorney's Office, which has been re-interviewing witnesses and collecting additional evidence since then.

According to the criminal report, Bedoya was accused of helping David Estrada commit a sex act on a 35-year-old man at the priest's home. Estrada, 24, also is not being charged in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Judge lengthens Evans' sentence

GOLDEN (CO)
Denver Post

By Ann Schrader
Denver Post Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 06/01/2007 04:09:20 AM MDT

Golden - Saying a "sacrosanct" relationship was violated, a Jefferson County judge on Thursday ordered Catholic priest Timothy Evans to serve four years in prison on top of the 14-year-to-life sentence handed down Wednesday in Larimer County.

Evans, who could have been sentenced to two to six years in prison, is accused in both cases of sexually assaulting teenage boys sent to him for counseling.

"I can't envision a more egregious breach of trust," said Jefferson County District Judge Margie Enquist.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM