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July 31, 2007

Bishop sex abuser changed the law in Canada

CANADA
John McKiggan’s Abuse Claims Blog

A disgraced former Roman Catholic Bishop convicted of sexual abuse has died. Hubert O’Connor was convicted of sexually abusing children at the Cariboo Indian Residential School in British Columbia.

During his trial O’Connor’s lawyers sought access to the victims’ psychological records. The right of an accused to make an application for a court order to receive copies of a victim’s therapeutic records was eventually upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada; a procedure that became known as an “O’Connor application”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 PM

Bristol pastor, Christian radio station employee charged with indecent exposure

TENNESSEE
Kingsport Times-News

Published 07/30/2007
By Kacie Dingus Breeding

A Christian radio station employee and Bristol pastor has been charged with indecent exposure as well as DUI and violation of the open container law.

WZAP-AM 690's owner, Al Morris has issued a brief statement Monday afternoon saying, "As many of you are aware Tommy Tester, an employee of WZAP was recently arrested in Washington County, Tenn.

"The allegations, as reported by the news media, are serious and are in no way condoned or accepted by the ownership and management of WZAP.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 PM

During Dark Hours in L.A., Catholics Move Forward

LOS ANGELES (CA)
National Catholic Register

BY SUE ELLIN BROWDER
REGISTER CORRESPONDENT

August 5-11, 2007 Issue | Posted 7/31/07 at 11:11 AM

LOS ANGELES — As the Archdiocese of Los Angeles prepares to sell off property and slash expenses to pay its share of the $660 million sexual-abuse settlement reached with more than 500 claimants, faithful Catholics here report a sense of “sadness” but also of moving forward.

This latest settlement will cost the Church $250 million. About 100 cases against religious orders that work within the archdiocese remain outstanding.

Shortly after the settlement, Pope Benedict XVI expressed his pain and concern over the “devastating scale” of clerical sexual abuse in Los Angeles, according to Catholic News Service.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:34 PM

The way forward to reconciliation

National Catholic Reporter

When people cry out for justice, no one can maintain the suppression of information at the expense of human rights -- whether it’s in Guatemala or the Los Angeles archdiocese.

But is truth enough? We say it’s not. The next step is reconciliation.

In No Future Without Forgiveness, Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu tells us that negotiations, peace talks, forgiveness and reconciliation happen most frequently not between those who like one another. They happen precisely because people are at loggerheads and detest one another as only enemies can.

In Guatemala, researchers are now uncovering secret police archives that document the torture and killing of the country’s citizens for more than a century. In Los Angeles, the release of confidential priest personnel files is an important part of the recent settlement agreement. These files document pain and unimaginable suffering, but simply releasing their contents to a judge is not by itself a comforting action. For many victims and their loved ones, the future has become unimaginable because the present is held captive by past grievances and offenses. They struggle with feelings of guilt, anger and resentment. And while anger and hurt are fitting and proper, unlike fine wine, they do not improve with age. Lewis Smedes once said that one of God’s better jokes was to give us the power to remember the past without the power to undo it.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:32 PM

With perpetrators like Mark Falvey and Paul Shanley, there have to be more victims in LA of predator priests. Settlement not the end of the story

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
How many people believe there was only one person in Riverside diocese, then part of the LA Archdiocese, raped and sexually demeaned for life by the Rev. Paul Shanley while he was living in Palm Springs in the 1990s? Anyone? Anyone? What about victims of Father Mark Falvey who preyed on children at Blessed Sacrament School in the 1960s and 70s? Do you really think the nine people who quietly settled for $14 million dollars last May were the only victims of Mark Falvey on that Hollywood elementary school playground?

The LA Archdiocese got off so easy with the recent settlement because the stories of 500-plus plaintiffs’ experience with priests -- the details of how these demonic men mixed religious sacraments with mind-control while raping children over and over again -- will now not be told in open court as so many of us were anticipating.

Plus I’m certain there are numerous damaged humans wandering around Los Angeles today who are untreated victims of this crime, with no legal recourse. Many of them are probably a few blocks away from me right now on Santa Monica Boulevard selling their bodies for another night’s survival. In all the interviews I’ve seen about LA plaintiffs, I’ve never seen one with a homeless prostitute drug addict, which in my observation, is a state many pedophile priest rape crime victims end up living their lives.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:28 PM

Bristol Minister Arrested

JOHNSON CITY (TN)
WSLS

Associated Press
Jul 31, 2007

Police in Johnson City, Tennessee arrested a Bristol, Virginia, minister for driving under the influence and indecent exposure.

Police say 58-year-old Tommy Tester urinated in front of children at a car wash while wearing a skirt. He will remain free on bond until an October court hearing.

He is also charged with having an open container of alcohol in his vehicle.

Tester is a minister of Gospel Baptist Church and works for Christian radio station WZAP. The owner of the radio station, Al Morris, is asking for people to pray for Tester.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:09 PM

MINNESOTA: DIOCESE WELCOMES ADMITTED, CONVICTED AND REGISTERED SEX OFFENDER AS RETREAT LEADER

MINNESOTA
Virtue Online

By David W. Virtue
www.episcopalian.org
7/31/2007

The Diocese of Minnesota's Episcopal House of Prayer has welcomed back a defrocked clergyman who is an admitted, convicted and registered sex offender as a diocesan retreat leader.

A special board meeting, called in mid-March, that included Bishop James Jelinek reviewed prior decisions and arrangements concerning long-time retreat facilitator Lynn Bauman's work with the House of Prayer. As a result, the full board, with the Bishop's approval allowed the sex offender to be a facilitator at the retreat center.

They passed the following resolution:

"Resolved: Having listened carefully to concerns expressed by others, and supporting healing and reconciliation at all levels, and wanting to be as helpful to retreatants as possible, the Board of Directors of the Episcopal House of Prayer, after prayerful consideration, ratifies previous decisions to permit Lynn Bauman to serve as a retreat facilitator at the Episcopal House of Prayer and reaffirms the Episcopal House of Prayer's relationship with Lynn Bauman as a retreat facilitator, subject to existing terms and conditions established for his participation in retreats, and subject to the further requirement that all who register for retreats with Lynn Bauman will be informed in writing of his background as part of the registration process."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

The Catholic Diocese of Spokane Retains Keen Realty to Auction 20 +/- Total Acres of Residential Land in Washington State!

GREAT NECK (NY)
Business Wire

GREAT NECK, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Keen Realty, LLC has been designated to market and sell another property for The Catholic Diocese of Spokane. The property is 20+/- total acres of residential land located in Spokane, Washington. Keen Realty, LLC was retained pursuant to a Bankruptcy Court Order dated April 13, 2006.

The property, a portion of The Immaculate Heart Retreat Center, is located between South Ben Burr Road and East Jamieson Road in Spokane, WA, and consists of two contiguous parcels of residential land, each 10+/- acres in size. The parcels are zoned Rural Traditional, which allows for large lot residential uses and resource-based industries including ranching, farming and wood lot operations. Additionally, the property is located less than 5 miles from Interstate 90, 10 miles east of Spokane International Airport, and just 6 miles southeast of The City Center, Downtown, Spokane.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:31 PM

Priest Under Investigation Served in Bremerton

MERCER ISLAND (WA)
Kitsap Sun

By Associated Press and Kitsap Sun Staff
Monday, July 30, 2007

MERCER ISLAND

A priest who once headed a Bremerton parish is under investigation for his conduct with a minor and has accepted voluntary administrative leave, the Archdiocese of Seattle has announced.

The action involving the Rev. Dennis Kemp, pastor of St. Monica Roman Catholic Church on Mercer Island, was announced at weekend Masses and follows a police investigation, said Greg Magnoni, a spokesman for the archdiocese.

The current allegations are unrelated to Kemp's tenure in Bremerton, Magnoni said. Bremerton police detectives said Monday they'd received no complaints involving Kemp.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Episcopals may revoke Armstrong’s ordination

DENVER (CO)
The Gazette

By ED SEALOVER
THE GAZETTE
July 31, 2007 - 6:16AM

DENVER - An ecclesiastical court made up of Episcopal Church leaders could revoke the ordination of the Rev. Donald Armstrong today in the messy split between the former Grace Church and Saint Stephen’s pastor and the denomination he left.

Armstrong seems unconcerned with the outcome of the rare proceeding scheduled for 9 a.m. in Denver: A spokesman for the reorganized Grace CANA Church said the pastor will spend the day mountain biking.

Armstrong and Episcopal Church leaders have battled publicly since the church inhibited him — essentially putting him on administrative leave — in December while investigating allegations of theft and fraud.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Priest Kills Self After Bishop’s Letter

PENNSYLVANIA
BishopAccountability.org

By Paul Likoudis
The Wanderer
July 12, 2007

http://usweb06v.newsmemory.com/ee/wandererpress/#

A well-liked, highly-regarded priest of the Diocese of Altoona­Johnstown killed himself by jumping off the highest bridge in Cambria County after Bishop Joseph Adamec informed the 80,000 Catholics under his jurisdiction that an investigation of the priest was underway for a 36-year-old allegation of sexual molestation.

Fr. William A. Rosensteel, 64, jumped 190 feet to his death at 7: 43 p.m. on Sunday, June 24, after Bishop Adamec issued a letter saying the priest had been accused of abusing an altar boy in 1971 while he was pastor of St. Patrick’s Church in Johnstown, and had been placed on administrative leave in March of this year. Bishop Adamec published the letter in the June 25 issue of the diocesan newspaper, the Catholic Register, and asked all priests serving in parishes where Fr. Rosensteel had served throughout his priesthood to read the letter during Sunday Mass, reported the Altoona Mirror. ...

In 1996, The Wanderer published a six-week series on Bishop Adamec’s “reign of terror” in the diocese, his persecution of priests and his malicious treatment of concerned laity who objected to his lavish personal lifestyle, his tolerance of liturgical abuses, the cultivation of his cult of personality and the dubious selection of seminarians.

In the course of the series of articles, allegations were made that Bishop Adamec had purchased his bishopric, with a multi-million dollar donation to the building of the U.S. bishops’ new headquarters in Washington, D.C. near the campus of the Catholic University of America. Allegedly, Adamec obtained the funds through the Slovak Federation. The allegations published by The Wanderer received no official response, but at that year’s meeting of the conference of bishops, the bishops spent most of their executive session discussing punitive actions against The Wanderer for publishing the expose on Adamec.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Convicted sex abuser set for release

MOBILE (AL)
My Fox Gulf Coast

By Bob Grip

MOBILE, Ala. --
Brother Victor Bendillo worked at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School for almost 40 years, coming in contact with thousands of students.

During this interview in 2003, Mobile Archbishop Oscar Lipscomb told me he first heard allegations about Brother Victor's sexual contact with teenage boys around 1997. He said,

But in 1998, the Archbishop says he received a more specific complaint, which led him to contact the head of Brother Vic's religious order: "I called his provincial that day. The following day, the provincial and I met with him, and that afternoon, the provincial took him back to New Orleans," said the Archbishop.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Ex-LDS leader booked in sex-offender case

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Nate Carlisle
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 07/31/2007 12:14:21 AM MDT

George P. Lee, a former member of the LDS Church's First Quorum of the Seventy and candidate for Navajo Nation president, was arrested Friday in southwest Utah on suspicion of failing to register as a sex offender.
A spokesman for the Utah Department of Corrections on Monday said it had been three years since keepers of the state's sex offender registry knew Lee's whereabouts.
For a sex offender to fail to update his contact information is a felony punishable by as much as five years in prison, though Lee has not been formally charged. Lee, 64, was released Friday from the Washington County jail on $5,000 bond.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Clinton pastor charged with sex abuse

CLINTON (NY)
Utica Observer Dispatch

July 31, 2007
By Rocco LaDuca

CLINTON — The pastor at Resurrection Assembly of God recently resigned prior to being indicted last week for allegedly touching a 7-year-old girl at his residence.

The Rev. William Procanick, 53, is due to be arraigned Aug. 7 on charges of felony first-degree sexual abuse and misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.

The charges stem from an incident that prosecutors say occurred at his Kirkland Avenue residence in March, according to Oneida County court records.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Stacy Hanna: Take care that we not excuse the sin

MICHIGAN
The Enquirer

Stacy Hanna
The Enquirer

As a loyal member of a local congregation, I understand and admire the members of Chapel Hill United Methodist Church for coming together in public support of their youth pastor, a man who recently was charged with using a computer to solicit a minor for sex.

We are taught, as citizens of the United States, that every person charged with a crime is innocent until proved guilty. And many of us learn in church or at home that we should love the sinner, not the sin.

While I agree with both of those sentiments, I think we should be careful that while forgiving the sinner we not excuse the sin.

In Monday's Enquirer, a handful of Chapel Hill parishioners shared their reactions regarding youth pastor Troy Deal's alleged indiscretions and, frankly, I found some of them to be dismissive of the fact that Deal has been arraigned on 11 counts of soliciting a minor for sex via a computer and accosting a child for immoral purposes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Kirkland pastor charged with sex abuse

KIRKLAND (NY)
WCAX

Associated Press - July 31, 2007 3:15 AM ET

KIRKLAND, N.Y. (AP) - A pastor at a Kirkland church has been indicted after police say he touched a 7-year-old girl.

That's according to Oneida County Court records.

The Reverend William Procanick, 53, is due to be arraigned August 7th on charges of first-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child. The charges stem from an incident that prosecutors say occurred at his home in March.

Procanick is the pastor at Resurrection Assembly of God in Kirkland.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 AM

Former choir director pleads not guilty

LAGUNA NIGUEL (CA)
The Orange County Register

By KIMBERLY EDDS
The Orange County Register

The former music director of St. Timothy Roman Catholic Church in Laguna Niguel pleaded not guilty Monday to sexually assaulting one of his teenage choir members - more than a decade after the alleged abuse occurred.

Albert Lee Schildknecht, 56, of Laguna Niguel was charged Friday with two counts of oral copulation and one count of digital penetration of a minor in alleged attacks on a 16-year-old singer in his parish in 1995 and 1996.

His female accuser, now 28, sued Schildknecht and the Diocese of Orange three weeks ago, blaming the church leadership for orchestrating a "conspiracy of silence" to protect pedophiles within the church. Authorities are withholding her name because of the sexual-abuse allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

Financial Report

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

A copy of the report made by the court-appointed financial expert on finances of the San Diego diocese can be found at this link.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Report shows diocese's accounting system lacking

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Sandi Dolbee and Mark Sauer
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS

1:13 a.m. July 31, 2007

The Diocese of San Diego's key contention in bankruptcy court that it does not own or control tens of millions of dollars worth of parish assets is at odds with pledges it made to its auditors, banks and investors, according to a financial expert's report filed late Monday night.
The parish-ownership issue has been at the center of the contentious legal stand-off between the Roman Catholic diocese and attorneys representing about 150 victims of child sexual abuse by priests.

The 175-page report, filed by court-appointed financial expert R. Todd Neilson, found no overall system of accounting. “As a result (church officials) are often woefully unaware of the specific financial operations of the individual parishes,” it said.

Among key findings in the report, which is not yet complete, is that financial statements filed by Bishop Robert Brom and other church officers make “no disclosure of a trust relationship” between the diocese and its 98 parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:05 AM

Audit Finds Parishes Mishandled Money

SAN DIEGO (CA)
The Washington Post

By ALLISON HOFFMAN
The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 31, 2007; 7:36 AM

SAN DIEGO -- A handful of parishes in the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego deliberately concealed or inappropriately handled about $500,000 in funds in sometimes "purposeful attempts" to circumvent federal bankruptcy proceedings, according to an auditor's report.

The San Diego diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Feb. 27, just hours before going to trial in more than 140 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests. The filing automatically halted court proceedings in the lawsuits.

Church finances, specifically the question of how much the diocese is worth, has been hotly contested since the bankruptcy petition, which came after four years of unsuccessful settlement negotiations.

The "openly questionable activities" appear to be limited to a small number of parishes, and most pastors and lay personnel demonstrate a good faith effort to comply with church financial procedures, the report said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Delaware leads the way on sex abuse

DELAWARE
The Philadelphia Inquirer

By Maureen Paul Turlish
On July 10, a history-making event took place in Delaware when Gov. Ruth Ann Minner signed into law what is believed to be the most comprehensive civil legislation concerning the sexual abuse of minors.

Delaware residents, over a period of two years, worked very hard to make the Child Victims Act (Senate Bill 29) a law. It provides for a two-year moratorium on the statute of limitations on lawsuits for sexual abuse. Victims have until July 10, 2009, to seek damages regardless of when the assaults occurred.

There is no question that the signing of this bill will provide the necessary impetus for states such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland, and the District of Columbia, to pursue this type of legislation. Victims whose lawsuits previously were barred due to time limits will now have their day of justice in a court of law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Massive PR machine?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Over the past year, Cardinal Roger Mahony has met individually with 70 victims of clergy sexual abuse. Archdiocesan spokesman Tod Tamberg told the July 30 Los Angeles Times that Mahony has scheduled more meetings with sexual abuse victims and that “he has said he will meet with any victim who wants to meet with him.”

But Lee Bashworth, 37, who claims abuse by former priest Michael Wempe, told the Times, that, though he would “relish an opportunity to tell Mahony one-on-one what I think of him,” such a meeting would “mean playing into [the cardinal’s] massive P.R. machine, and I refuse to do that.”

Survivors’ Network of Those Abused by Priests, said the Times, has “cautioned members against meeting with Mahony” because “such discussions could cause them further harm.”

What harm?

“Oftentimes people think they’ll get a very sympathetic, compassionate response, and sometimes they don’t,” Survivors’ Network spokesman David Clohessy told California Catholic Daily. “Or sometimes they’ll expect that a bishop will be more forthcoming, especially, for example, “where there’s no dispute about the veracity of their claim. And yet they still walk away, feeling disappointed and hurt that they haven’t sort of gotten more.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:46 AM

July 30, 2007

Mercer Island pastor placed on leave

MERCER ISLAND (WA)
KOMO

By Molly Shen
MERCER ISLAND - Sunday Masses at St. Monica Catholic Church on Mercer Island brought two surprises.

The first: the presence of Archbishop Alex Brunett to deliver mass.

And second, his announcement that their pastor is on leave because of allegations of inappropriate behavior with a 12-year-old boy, who is a church member.

"The Archbishop was very concerned about the effect on the parish of this announcement," said Seattle Archdiocese spokesman Greg Magnoni. "Clearly it was a very difficult liturgy for the parishioners here at St Monica. He wanted to be here and present with them himself."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 PM

Former LA priest accused of sex abuse eying plea deal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KSBY

Associated Press - July 30, 2007 7:54 PM ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A Los Angeles court commissioner has acknowledged talks are under way for a possible plea for a former LA Cathlic priest accused of child molestation.

Court Commissioner James Bianco ordered both sides to return to court on September seventh to disclose whether a deal is near for Michael Stephen Baker.

Meanwhile, a 34-year-old man who claims his life was ruined when he was sexually abused by Baker in a separate case made an obscene gesture when Baker entered the courtroom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 PM

Former L.A. priest accused of sex abuse eying plea deal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Andrew Glazer
ASSOCIATED PRESS

4:29 p.m. July 30, 2007

LOS ANGELES – A man who claims his life was ruined when he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest raised his middle fingers in court Monday during a hearing where a judge said a plea deal was being discussed for the now-defrocked defendant in a separate case.

Superior Court Commissioner James Bianco acknowledged the talks and ordered both sides to return to court on Sept. 7 to disclose whether a deal was near for Michael Stephen Baker.

Baker, 60, has pleaded not guilty to one count each of oral copulation of a minor and sexual penetration of an unconscious person with a foreign object, and three counts of sodomy of a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 PM

WWJS? (Who) Would Jesus Sue?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
TortDeform

This L.A. Times article discusses the massive lawsuit against the L.A. Roman Catholic Church for the sexual abuse that has gone on for decades without much response from the church, despite countless reports of child molestation and sexual assault. An injury like this one is so personal, lasting, and sensitive that no court can ever fully make a victim whole. But one thing that taking their injuries to court has done for these particular victims is it has given them an opportunity to sit down and speak with the man who was charged with protecting the church and with listening to parishoners concerns. As settlement agreement details get ironed out, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, who has headed the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles since 1985, has invited plaintiffs to sit down and talk with him about what happened.

At least two victims took that opportunity to ask the Cardinal whether he thought he handled their reports of abuse as Jesus would have—in other words, whether he believed he fulfilled his obligation to the church. This is essentially the same as the fiduciary duty concept—the idea that if you’re charged with a special duty to protect but fail in that duty and directly cause another person’s harm, then you are legally responsible for that harm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

Ursuline teacher accused of sexual contact with student

DALLAS (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

04:21 PM CDT on Monday, July 30, 2007
From Staff Reports

An Ursuline Academy of Dallas teacher has been arrested on an accusation of inappropriate relationship with a student, Dallas police said.

David B. Novinski, 35, turned himself into police Monday at Lew Sterrett Justice Center and has since posted bond, said his attorney David Finn.

Police received a report that a teacher had engaged in sexual contact with a 17-year-old student at the private Catholic all-girls school. A relationship allegedly began Feb. 10 and an offense report was filed last week, Dallas police said.

School administrators said they received a report of improper conduct in June and contacted the state child abuse hotline.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Seattle suit claims churrch abuse

SEATTLE (WA)
NorthJersey

Sunday, July 29, 2007
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SEATTLE -- Eight men, including five brothers from two families, have sued Seattle University and the Jesuit order, alleging sexual abuse by a Catholic priest who was named in a lawsuit that was settled last fall.

The latest case centering on the Rev. Michael Toulouse, a Jesuit priest who taught philosophy at the university from about 1950 until his death in 1976, was filed in King County Superior Court.

Plaintiffs allege that some senior priests in the order, including some who had worked at the school, knew Toulouse had molested minors. The plaintiffs contend the priests sometimes informed their superiors but did not act effectively to stop him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:08 PM

Why I hate writing about clergy abuse

TUCSON (AZ)
Arizona Daily Star

2007-07-30
Stephanie Innes
After the local diocese emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2005 I thought it was all over.

It nearly was.

Last week I reported on a criminal investigation that had opened, looking into alleged abuse by the Rev. Kevin Barmasse, and that led to today’s story about the monitoring of suspended priests like Barmasse who were never criminally convicted.

Why is it hard to write such stories? No one likes them and I struggle with the fact that our stories sometimes come across as being hard on the local diocese, which does great things each day.

In fact, our diocese was one of the first in the country to make public a list of clergy with credible accusations of sexual misconduct with a minor against them.

The problem really stems from practices more than 30 years ago that would never be accepted today – abusers moving around from diocese to diocese and leaders thinking they could be ‘cured.’

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:05 PM

Church would benefit from better bishop selections

Daily Southtown

July 27, 2007
The Rev. Andrew Greeley Columnist

"How can the Pope say that the other denominations are defective when American Catholicism had to pay $2 billion because of predator priests?"

-- From an angry e-mail writer

Good question.

The media did not accurately convey what the Vatican was trying to say. Like everyone else in the curia, the media relations people simply do not make mistakes. Got it?

If American Catholics are embarrassed by these non-mistakes, the reasons are weak faith, secularism, materialism, consumerism, etc.

However, there is an aspect of the contretemps that is worth noting. One of the weaknesses of the other denominations, the Pope observes, is that they don't have apostolic succession -- they can't trace their leaders back to the apostles.

This continuity with the past indeed is important to Catholicism. Many bishops are proud of the link. I often wonder, however, if they realize with what kind of men they are claiming continuity?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Swami Cleared Of Rape Charge

TRINIDAD
Hardbeatnews

Hardbeatnews, PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Mon. July 30, 2007: A rape charge against an 85-year-old Hindu religious leader has been dismissed by a Trinidad court after police claimed they could find no evidence to support the allegation.

Swami Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj of India had been accused and charged with the rape of a 22-year-old Guyanese woman in May. The charge made international headlines because of the popularity of the priest.

But on Friday, the charges were dismissed after police said the case was false.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Catholic pastor put on leave

MERCER ISLAND (WA)
Seattle Times

By Janet I. Tu
Seattle Times staff reporter

The Rev. Dennis Kemp, pastor of St. Monica Roman Catholic Church on Mercer Island, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations of inappropriate conduct with a minor.

The announcement was made during weekend Masses at St. Monica.

The allegations were reported earlier this month to the Seattle Archdiocese, which immediately contacted Mercer Island police, said archdiocese spokesman Greg Magnoni.

After a police investigation, the King County Prosecutor's Office determined no criminal charges would be filed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

Mercer Island priest on leave for investigation into conduct with minor

MERCER ISLAND (WA)
The Bellingham Herald

AP State

MERCER ISLAND, Wash. -- A Roman Catholic priest on Mercer Island is on voluntary leave pending an investigation into his conduct with a minor. The action involving the Reverend Dennis Kemp, pastor of St. Monica Roman Catholic Church, was announced at weekend Masses. A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Seattle, Greg Magnoni, says church officials learned of the issue this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Abuse victims turned to Mahony in anger, pain

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Rebecca Trounson, Tami Abdollah and John Spano, Times Staff Writers
July 30, 2007

They arrived at the civil courthouse in downtown Los Angeles with their spouses, their parents, girlfriends or siblings. One group of childhood friends, now in their 50s, came together; as girls, they had been molested by the same priest.

Some sought an apology, others reconciliation. And some just hoped to vent their outrage and be heard, directly, by Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, who has headed the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles since 1985.

"I wanted to speak on behalf of myself and others who couldn't do it for themselves," said Mark Gauer, 47, who said in a lawsuit he was sexually abused by a priest at his Catholic school, Los Angeles' Daniel Murphy High School.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Bishop guilty of sex offences dead of a heart attack

CANADA
The Vancouver Sun

CanWest News Service
Published: Monday, July 30, 2007
Funeral services will be held in Vancouver Tuesday for former Prince George Catholic Bishop Hubert O'Connor.

O'Connor, who was convicted in 1996 of raping one native teenage girl and indecently assaulting another, died of a heart attack last week in Toronto. He was 79.

The funeral will be at St. Augustines's Parish. He will be buried in the Oblates of Mary Immaculate Cemetery in Mission, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said in a news release.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

Commonweal's take on 'Catholic polemicist Matt Abbott'

UNITED STATES
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
July 29, 2007

I must say, I got a bit of a kick out of a recent post on the blog of Commonweal:

'The Los Angeles abuse settlement continues to reverberate to a degree that surprises me. There were several powerful letters to the New York Times after their news story and editorial, including one from Anne & Ed Wilson of the VOTF chapter here in Brooklyn, and one from the venerable Msgr. Harry Byrne, who now has his own blog. But there was also a truly brilliant parody that apparently sought to find humor in this dark saga, and at the same time puncture many of the silly contentions and connections made by some advocates of a liturgical silver bullet for the crisis. The letter is from, of all people, the 'rite-wing' Catholic polemicist Matt Abbott. In full it reads:

'To the Editor:

'I am pleased that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has settled with more than 500 survivors of sexual abuse. The settlement is long overdue.

'Despite the moral corruption that has permeated the church in the United States over the last few decades, I still believe in the truths of the faith, and I applaud Pope Benedict XVI for loosening the restrictions on use of the traditional Latin Mass and for reiterating the church's central role in salvation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:12 AM

Suspect priests not monitored

ARIZONA
Arizona Daily Star

By Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 07.30.2007

Recent news about a decades-old local case of sexual abuse by a priest has victims' rights advocates asking why no one is monitoring clerics, including the Rev. Kevin Barmasse, who have been suspended but never prosecuted over child-abuse accusations.

Barmasse is one of 34 clerics and other church personnel, dating back to the 1950s, whom the local diocese has identified as having "credible allegations of sexual misconduct involving a minor" against them.

He is also one of 15 clerics and other church personnel on the list who are still believed to be alive and are living freely without any monitoring by diocese or civil authorities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

July 29, 2007

For the record

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

July 29, 2007

Catholic church: Two articles in the July 22 Opinion section about the recent settlement of abuse cases by the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles stated that Cardinal Roger M. Mahony is of Irish heritage. Mahony is of German and Italian heritage. His father was adopted as a boy by an Irish American family with the last name of Mahony. One of the articles, which focused on the role of the church in L.A. politics, also stated that the archdiocese was founded in 1840. A distinct archdiocese for the Los Angeles area was established in 1936.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:46 PM

Re Christ: Don’t Trust Anything Written after 100 AD; plus New Group to Meet in September to Produce Something Creative About Pedophile Priest Crime

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Been thinking a lot about the origin of this “sex problem” in the church with the priests. Going back to the actual definition and origin of the words: priest, secret, and sacred.

Someone told me recently that one of the most revolutionary ideas delivered by Christ was: “We are all priests.” Instead of having to go through layers of human hierarchy and sacramental rites as in times BC, through Christ you just open your heart and talk directly to God. That democratization of religion was the main reason they crucified him.

So how did the Catholic Church end up with a structure that is almost the opposite of what it says to do in the New Testament?

The answer is: Don’t trust anything written about Christ after 100 AD.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:31 PM

'Difficulties' with church's abuse guidelines noted

IRELAND
One in Four

The Irish Times

A Government-commissioned review of the Catholic Church's Our Children, Our Church child protection guidelines, published in December 2005, has identified "some difficulties" with it.

These included "a certain lack of integration between Our Children, Our Church and the guidelines produced by different State organisations." It also said "the area dealing with abuse by persons outside the church requires some further development to bring it more in line with State guidelines". The review was prepared by Dr Helen Buckley of TCD's social studies department, who was also a member of the Ferns inquiry team.

She was appointed to review Our Children, Our Church by the then minister of State for children Brian Lenihan in March last year when it emerged the guidelines were not being implemented in Northern Ireland after it was established that it did not comply with child protection legislation there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Bishop discusses abuse cases

JOLIET (IL)
The Herald News

July 29, 2007
By Ken O'Brien STAFF WRITER
JOLIET -- When he was introduced last year to replace Bishop Joseph Imesch, Bishop J. Peter Sartain talked about healing the wounds of people who said that they had been sexually abused by priests.

Two months before Sartain moved to Joliet, the Diocese of Joliet released the names of 22 priests accused of sexually abusing children. Of those, six of the men were criminally convicted, 11 have been named in civil lawsuits and the others were announced in 2002 when they were removed from ministry.

Imesch became a lightning rod for how he handled the cases. Critics charged that he protected priests at the expense of children.

In the last year, Sartain said he has met with victims of priest sexual abuse in the diocese. He said those meetings "were gut-wrenching" and resulted in him praying for them "for healing in whatever way they need it."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

St. Agatha making itself over

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Defender

by Shurley Sterling
July 27, 2007

The historic 114-year-old Our Lady of the Westside will enter into the 2007-2008 school year with a new name and principal. The announcement was made during Sunday services, July 22. The Catholic powerhouse has been an anchor in the African-American community on the West side since the 1960s, and the new pastor, Rev. Larry Dowling, said he felt it was time for the school to move into a new direction. The new name of the school is St. Agatha Catholic Academy with two locations, 3151 W. Douglas Blvd., and 3900 W. Lexington St. the new principal is Charlemeine Zemelko, long time administrator over Edison Longwood Charter School. Dowling, 54, has been at the church for five months and replaced previous pastor Rev. Daniel Mccormac who left due to charges of child sexual abuse. He pleaded guilty in July and was sentenced four years in prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

Deacon Charged With Child Sex Abuse

MARYLAND
ABC 2

Posted By: yianis fournelis

The deacon of a church in Edgewood, Harford County has been charged with sexually abusing two teen-age girls.

Investigators say Kevin Rondell Glenn made sexual advances toward the young women, and touched them inappropriately.

Glenn served as a deacon with the “Fountain of Life Fellowship Church” since it was founded eight years ago. The church helps at-risk children and provides services for a number of low-income people in the community. The church’s pastor, Tony McDonald, said he hopes the arrest of a trusted deacon won't end that mission.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Case against diocese, Bishop Marshall unproven

VERMONT
Times Argus

July 29, 2007

By DENNIS O'BRIEN

The headlines in the July 1 edition of the Sunday Rutland Herald and Times Argus in connection with the sexual abuse cases involving the Catholic Diocese of Burlington were at best incomplete, if not misleading. "Records show Vermont church knew of sexual abuse cases." Given the current legal situation of the Diocese, one could well conclude "they knew about sexual abuse and did nothing." The case being discussed was that of Alfred Willis. If one read the full article, the charge of "doing nothing" was not, it seemed to me, well substantiated. A great deal was done from psychological counseling to suspension to final dismissal from the priesthood.

Lest there be any doubt about the failure of the diocese in his case, the editorial that appeared shortly afterwards in the Rutland Herald and The Times Argus spelled out the faults in then-Bishop Marshall's actions. The editorial reads as a brief for the prosecution, well-salted with the wisdom of hindsight. It is not the only construction of the events, and it omits several crucial facts that could be noted in defense of the bishop's actions.

The editorial paints a picture in which church officials knew of Willis' misconduct for years "since his days in the seminary" starting in 1972. According to the newspaper's own story, there were "allegations" against Willis of "homosexual conduct." The allegations from the seminary "failed to reveal substance." Was the diocese acting improperly in putting aside unsubstantiated allegations of homosexuality? In hindsight, one can trace a problem, but at the time, presumed innocence could well be seen as the right decision. (It is worth pointing out that "homosexual conduct" and "pedophilia" are by no means the same.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

July 28, 2007

Ncube pictures 'concocted' ' lawyer

ZIMBABWE
The Zimbabwean

Bulawayo
The authenticity of images purporting to show sex romps between Archbishop Pius Ncube and Rosemary Sibanda shown repeatedly on national television and in government newspapers last week is being questioned.
Ncube's lawyers believe the pictures were computer generated, as modern technology makes this simple and effective. Doctored pictures of Mugabe himself, such as the one above, have been doing the rounds on the internet for years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:04 PM

Zimbabwe: Coalition Set Up to Back Ncube

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

27 July 2007
Posted to the web 27 July 2007

CIVIC society organisations and human rights groups in Bulawayo this week joined hands with political parties to launch a coalition that will mobilise resources for Archbishop Pius Ncube who has been sued for adultery.

The civic groups convened a meeting in Bulawayo on Monday and committed themselves to defending and standing in solidarity with the archbishop until the conclusion of his $20 billion adultery case in the courts.

On Tuesday over 200 people who included leaders of 30 civic organisations thronged the City Hall in Bulawayo to launch the Archbishop Pius Ncube Solidarity Coalition.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:59 PM

Zimbabwe: Archbishop's Case - Court Furnished With Further Particulars of Claim

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald (Harare)

28 July 2007
Posted to the web 28 July 2007

Bulawayo

Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo, the head of the Church in Bulawayo facing a $20 billion lawsuit for alleged adultery, this week inched closer to a dramatic court battle.

Mr Munyaradzi Nzarayapenga, a lawyer representing Mr Onesimus Sibanda -- the Bulawayo man suing Archbishop Ncube -- on Thursday furnished the High Court with specific details pertaining to the allegations levelled against the archbishop.

This was in response to last Wednesday's formal request by the archbishop's lawyer, Advocate Nicholas Mathonsi, for further particulars of the claim.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:56 PM

Sex abuse divides, unites best friends

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Jordan Falls News

By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES - They were best friends, the kind who shared everything but their darkest secret: sexual abuse at the hands of the same Roman Catholic priest.

Yet that money will never undo the guilt that comes with silence. It will never replace the innocence the three teens shared before a new and terrible bond brought them even closer together.

The Associated Press does not normally identify victims of sexual abuse, but in this case the three men agreed to have their names released.

When the Rev. Kevin Barmasse first showed up at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Tucson in 1985, the kids loved him. Barmasse was "on loan" from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, but he seemed to fit right into their world.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Brothers Molested by Church Janitor

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Washington Post

By GILLIAN FLACCUS
The Associated Press
Saturday, July 28, 2007; 2:02 PM

SAN DIEGO -- The maintenance trailer outside St. Joachim's Elementary School in Costa Mesa looked harmless from the outside, but once the door slammed shut it was hell on earth for Joe and Paul Livingston.

Lured with doughnuts, candy and games of checkers, the boys were repeatedly molested over several years by the church janitor who lived inside.

The Livingstons, now in their early 40s, are among a handful of the 508 sexual abuse victims who reached a $660 million settlement with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles last week who were not assaulted by Roman Catholic priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:49 PM

Parishioners file legal claims in San Diego diocese bankruptcy

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Mercury News

By ALLISON HOFFMAN Associated Press Writer
Article Launched: 07/26/2007 03:24:32 PM PDT

SAN DIEGO—A parishioners' group claiming to represent more than 1 million Catholics asked a federal bankruptcy judge Thursday to prevent churches, schools and charitable missions from being closed or sold to settle sex-abuse allegations against the San Diego diocese.

"We believe sincerely and deeply in our hearts, as Catholics, that if a settlement reduced the ability of the church to educate its children or to do its charitable work, that would be unjust," said Patrick Hazel, president of Parishioners for Churches and Schools. "The parishioners who provided donations had no knowledge of the abuse, didn't condone it, didn't authorize it. They are innocent."

The group wants to join a trial set for this fall in bankruptcy court that will determine whether parish properties can be seized or liquidated through the diocese in any settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:46 PM

Reviewing parish financial practices

DAVENPORT (IA)
The Catholic Messenger

A series of recommendations on parish financial governance have been reviewed and supported as “best practices” by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Budget and Finance.
The bishops’ Accounting Practices Committee made the recommendations following widely publicized financial scandals in the Catholic Church and a national study that concluded a need for tighter internal controls over finances. The Accounting Practices Committee, a group of lay financial experts, represents the Catholic Church before regulatory bodies in the formulation of accounting principles and reporting standards that would affect the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:40 PM

Editorial: Light at the end of the tunnel?

DAVENPORT (IA)
The Catholic Messenger

By Frank Wessling

The scandal of sex abuse by priests hasn’t made American Catholics abandon the church. We’ve been shocked, shaken and stirred to pity for victims, but few of us think that bad behavior by some priests and questionable action by some bishops completely ruin our spiritual home. Our faith and hope are still fed here. New surveys confirm this.
But how long must we live half-focused on the past?
As a community we’ve lived with this scandal in the background of our awareness for more than five years now, ever since it exploded with revelations in the Boston Archdiocese. Stories of abuse had come up now and then in earlier years, but after Boston in 2002 a rolling horror of stories surfaced across the country, followed by a rush to reform in the church and to the courts by victims. Here in the Davenport Diocese the pressure from victims and their lawyers for monetary compensation became so intense and open-ended that the bishop felt he had to declare bankruptcy before all Catholic physical assets were in jeopardy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:35 PM

Diocese editorial decries lawsuits alleging sex abuse

DAVENPORT (IA)
Gazette

By Gregg Hennigan
The Gazette
gregg.hennigan@gazettecommunications.com

The official newspaper of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport said in an editorial published Thursday that its sympathy for people abused by priests was "strained'' by the lawsuits filed by those alleged victims.

"Repairing the past is essential work, but if it comes at a cost of depleting resources for the future, we the people of the church and our local communities are the ones hurt,'' the editorial in The Catholic Messenger states.

Bishop Martin Amos is the publisher of the weekly newspaper, and its editorials are intended to reflect the views of the diocese, editor Barb Arland-Fye said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:32 PM

Battle fatigue

UNITED STATES
U.S. Catholic

Robert J. McClory

The priest sex abuse crisis is the U.S. Catholic Church’s Iraq War. The comparisons are hard to miss: the mounting list of casualties, the ever-increasing cost, the reluctance of leadership to admit mistakes, the ill-advised strategic moves, the obsession to conceal documents lest the truth come out, the loss of confidence by the public in the top decision-makers, the powerlessness of ordinary citizens to have their voice heard, and the growing conviction on the part of many that it will never end.

It was in the spring of 2003 when President George W. Bush landed on an aircraft carrier and under a banner proclaiming “Mission Accomplished,” announced, “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” Nine months later Bishop Wilton Gregory, then president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, held up two volumes on the history and proposed solution to the abuse crisis, and told reporters, “The terrible history recorded here is history.” He assured everyone that no stone had been left unturned to stop that scandal and that no known offenders were still at large.

But the fog of war has enshrouded both these campaigns. It has been five years since the bishops met in Dallas and agreed on a Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the National Review Board to monitor the effort, and an office to assess progress. Still the battle occupies the news almost daily with new revelations and accusations, new court filings, new charges of deceit and cover-up, new TV specials. Catholics look on with a wide spectrum of attitudes including outrage, patient endurance, despair, and even confident hope.

Joseph Lynaugh, a retired HMO executive from New Jersey, says this sort of crisis is inevitable in a closed society. “The big problem here is a complete lack of accountability and transparency. And I don’t think anything significant is going to happen. When I look to the prospects for the next generation of Catholics, my prognosis is grim.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:19 PM

Pastor sentenced to 15 years

MARYLAND
Baltimore Sun

By Rona Marech | sun reporter
July 27, 2007

A convicted pastor's tearful plea for leniency, impassioned testimony about his character and a courtroom jammed with supporters failed to sway a Howard County Circuit Court judge, who sentenced the religious leader yesterday to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing a teenage boy who said he once viewed the man as a father figure.

As Gerald Fitroy Griffith, 41, was led away in handcuffs, some supporters from Redemption Christian Fellowship Church in Woodlawn who had been quietly crying and sniffling broke into wails and sobs, and one thrashing man was restrained by companions. The screaming and crying continued as the pastor's supporters, who had filled two buses and could not all fit into the courtroom, filed out of the courthouse and onto the parking lot.

Under the terms of the sentence imposed by Judge Diane O. Leasure, Griffith also is to serve five years of supervised probation upon his release, register as a child sexual offender and undergo a psychosexual evaluation and follow-up treatment. He cannot have contact with the victim or spend unsupervised time with any child younger than 18.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:13 AM

Solicitors win overcharging case on abuse victim fees

IRELAND
Irish Independent

By Ann O'Loughlin
Saturday July 28 2007

A FIRM of solicitors has won its legal bid to overturn a Law Society committee's determination that it overcharged two abuse victims.

The Law Society said the firm had overcharged when it processed their claims before the Residential Institutions Redress Board.

High Court judge Mr Justice Liam McKechnie yesterday upheld the Cork firm's claim that Consumer Affairs director Carmel Foley's remarks about the complaints in October 2005 gave an appearance of bias.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 AM

Victims' advocate to make plea to new archbishop

LOUISVILLE (KY)
The Courier-Journal

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

An advocate for victims of sexual abuse is calling on new Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz to urge those who may have been sexually abused by priests to come forward for help.

Ann Brentwood, southeast regional director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), will hold a press conference today outside the archdiocese’s headquarters asking Kurtz to help prosecutors in the upcoming retrial of Daniel C. Clark, a former priest whose sexual-abuse conviction in Bullitt County was overturned earlier this year by the Supreme Court of Kentucky.

She plans to deliver a letter calling on the archbishop to release the names of all offending clergy — those from the Archdiocese of Louisville and those from other dioceses who have spent time here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Witness describes abuse by counselor

NEW LEXINGTON (OH)
The Columbus Dispatch

Friday, July 27, 2007 3:37 AM

DISPATCH STATE SERVICE
NEW LEXINGTON, Ohio -- A Perry County church-camp counselor testified in court yesterday that he walked into a cabin to find another counselor, Timothy Stephen Keil, lying on a bunk bed caressing a young boy who was face to face on top of him.

The boy's shirt was up and his shorts were down, and Keil was caressing his back and buttocks, counselor John Gornall testified in Perry County Court.

"I removed the child. I told Tim to get his stuff, get out and don't come back," Gornall said. The boy was "petrified," he said.

A short time later, he said, the staff at Scioto Youth Camp called the county sheriff and Children Services.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Attorney-client relations examined

BRIDGEPORT (CT)
The Connecticut Post

MICHAEL P. MAYKO mmayko@ctpost.com

BRIDGEPORT — A judge's ruling in a case involving a prominent Fairfield County defense lawyer accused of destroying a client's computer containing child pornography could affect the way lawyers deal with their clients in the future.
At least that's what several dozen members of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyer's Association believe.

So on Friday, they packed Senior U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas' courtroom in a show of support for a motion to dismiss an obstruction of justice and destruction of evidence charge against Philip D. Russell, 48, of Stamford Road, Stamford.

After hearing nearly two hours of argument, Nevas reserved decision on the motion, choosing, instead, to set a Sept. 6 jury selection date for Russell's trial.

Michael Fitzpatrick, a past president of the Connecticut Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, said the issue before Nevas "transcends this case."

"What happens here will affect the way all lawyers handle client problems," he said. "If the judge resolves this case in favor of the government, it means from that day forward lawyers are going to be walking around on pins and needles." Russell is accused of destroying the child-pornography-filled computer belonging to the music director of Christ Church in Greenwich, where President George H.W. Bush and members of his family worshipped.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Deacon Faces Sexual Abuse Allegations

HARFORD COUNTY (MD)
WJZ

Mike Hellgren
Reporting

(WJZ) HARFORD COUNTY, Md. A Harford County deacon faces serious charges as he is facing sexual abuse allegations.

Kevin Glenn, 50, was arrested Thursday morning. Prosecutors claim he sexually abused two teenage girls for more than two years.

Glenn is a deacon at the Fountain of Life Fellowship Church in Edgewood.

Prosecutors say Glenn inappropriately touched the girls, ages 13 and 17, and made other sexual advances towards them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Pastor sentenced for sexual abuse of teen—

ELLICOTT CITY (MD)
WMDT

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) -

The pastor of a Woodlawn church has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing a boy.

Forty-one-year-old Gerald Griffith of Bowie was convicted in May of two counts of child sexual abuse and was sentenced yesterday in Howard County Circuit Court.

Griffith was a pastor at Redemption Christian Fellowship Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Ex-pastor pleads guilty to sex charges

NORTH CAROLINA
Winston-Salem Journal

By Dan Galindo
JOURNAL REPORTER

The former pastor of a High Point church pleaded guilty yesterday to charges that he tried to get a teenage boy in his congregation to make a video of bondage and sex acts.

Todd Turner Brock, 42, admitted sending Internet-chat messages to the 17-year-old, who lives in Kernersville, about a video in which Brock would pretend to use chloroform to knock the boy out, then tie him up, paint his nails and put Goth-style makeup on him.

Brock admitted to charges of solicitation to commit first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, participating in the prostitution of a minor, and disseminating obscenity. Under the charges that Brock faced, anyone under 18 is considered a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:54 AM

Disgraced B.C. bishop

CANADA
Montreal Gazette

KIM COVERT, CanWest News Service

Former Roman Catholic bishop Hubert O'Connor, convicted in 1996 of raping one native teenage girl and indecently assaulting another, has died of a heart attack.

O'Connor died in Toronto on Tuesday at age 79, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops said.

O'Connor resigned as bishop of the diocese of Prince George, B.C., when he first faced sex charges in 1991. When he was convicted in 1996, he was then the highest-ranking Catholic in the world to be found guilty of sex offences.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:45 AM

Disgraced priest left legacy of pain

CANADA
The Globe and Mail

TOM HAWTHORN
Special to The Globe and Mail

July 28, 2007

Hubert O'Connor, who has died at 79, was a priest and an educator whose predatory sexual practices were revealed only long after he had become a bishop.

The disgraced church official resigned as bishop of the British Columbia diocese of Prince George after being charged with sex crimes in 1991.

He was convicted in 1996 of committing rape and indecent assault on two young aboriginal women during the 1960s when he was a priest. He was sentenced to 2½ years in prison by Mr. Justice Wally Oppal, who is now British Columbia's Attorney-General. After serving six months, the bishop was released on $1,000 bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

July 27, 2007

Pima opens criminal probe of priest

TUCSON (AZ)
Fox 11

In light of new details, the Pima County Attorney's Office has opened a criminal investigation of the Rev. Kevin Barmasse, a priest accused in civil suits of sexually abusing five former Tucson-area Catholic youth group members in the 1980s.

The case is getting another look slightly more than a week after a $7.5 million payout from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to the five former youth group members, all now men in their late 30s. After the settlement, the men and their lawyers criticized the fact that Barmasse has never been prosecuted and is living free of monitoring.

All five men say Barmasse molested them while they were teenagers attending Tucson-area churches in the 1980s. They have received a total of nearly $2 million apiece in settlement money from the Los Angeles and Tucson dioceses, but they want to see a criminal conviction, too.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:56 PM

Disgraced B.C. bishop dead of heart attack

CANADA
Globe and Mail

TOM HAWTHORN

July 27, 2007 at 3:13 PM EDT

Hubert O'Connor, the disgraced Roman Catholic bishop, has died of a heart attack in Toronto. He was 79.

His death was announced by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops.

He resigned as bishop of the British Columbia diocese of Prince George after being charged with sex crimes in 1991.

He was convicted in 1996 of committing rape and indecent assault on two young aboriginal women during the 1960s when he was a priest. He was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison by Mr. Justice Wally Oppal, who is now British Columbia's attorney general. After serving six months, the disgraced clergyman was released on $1,000 bail.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:53 PM

ALMOST INFAMOUS

CALIFORNIA
the District Weekly

By Will Swaim

Regard the weird simultaneity of loss that appears alongside your own good fortune, the fact that as you take a deep in-breath of ocean-scented air outside your front door, someone somewhere is likely choking to death on the smoke ballooning from a fire presently consuming her living-room corner group. Imagine the everyday image of blood-basted terror amidst heart-rending beauty—a flaming car, its doors and windows missing and trunk yawning open, in the foreground, a stand of palm trees reaching skyward in back. Consider the wasting deaths of pie-faced children. Remember Augustine of Hippo denouncing astrology as an obvious fraud because two people, born at precisely the same moment can and often do run along parallel paths, one leading to hell and the other to something like heaven. Recall that moment when your unimpeachable faith in a merciful God was first impeached precisely because it seemed unlikely that love and hate could co-exist under the same sacred canopy.

One such moment came to me in the mid 1970s at St. Killian church in Mission Viejo just before the end of a Sunday morning Mass—in late October, probably: high clouds shredded across a cerulean sky, the air hardening in anticipation of winter.

My friend Roger and I had set up a card table outside the church, our church, hoping to sell candy bars to all the good Catholics. We taped a sign to the table—HELP SUPPORT THE OLD MISSION SCHOOL—and waited for the end of Mass and the release of our customers.

It was fall, as I say, and so we were wearing our red Old Mission San Juan Capistrano cardigans; hair gelled over to one side, little white shirts buttoned to the top, scuffed black dress shoes. Bracing against the cold, we had plunged our hands deep into the pockets of our salt-and-pepper cords.

“You guys masturbating?”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:12 PM

Teacher Fired After Student Alleges Sexual Relationship

DALLAS (TX)
NBC5i

DALLAS -- Officials at a Dallas private school said they are investigating allegations that a student had an inappropriate relationship with a teacher.

A 17-year-old girl told police in June that she had a sexual relationship with one of her male teachers at the Ursuline Academy of Dallas all-girl Catholic prep school on Walnut Hill Lane near Inwood Road.

“We took action immediately,” school President Margaret Ann Moser said. “We suspended the individual and he is no longer in our employment."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Dallas Prep School Investigates Sexual Misconduct

DALLAS (TX)
CBS 11

Jack Fink
Reporting

(CBS 11 News) DALLAS Disturbing allegations are being leveled against a teacher at a private school in Dallas. Police are investigating an alleged sexual relationship between a student and a teacher at the Ursuline Academy.

Administrators, at the catholic college prep school for 9th-12th grade girls, say the allegations are very upsetting.

Dallas police say the male teacher began having a sexual relationship with the 17-year-old student in February. The teacher allegedly had sexual contact with the teen numerous times, until last month when the allegations were brought to administrators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

Dallas private school under investigation for teacher-student sexual misconduct

DALLAS (TX)
Pegasus News

By Pegasus News wire

On July 25, school officials from Ursuline Academy of Dallas issued a letter to parents and students regarding recent allegations that an unnamed school official has had inappropriate sexual contact with a student. The full letter is as follows:

Dear Parents, Guardians, Students, and Graduates:

This is to inform you of an urgent matter that recently came to the attention of the Ursuline Academy community. We were shocked to learn of allegations regarding inappropriate sexual contact between a faculty member and one or more Ursuline students. The allegations were promptly reported to the appropriate state authorities. Further, the faculty member was immediately suspended and is no longer employed by the Academy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:58 AM

Former Teacher Accused of Sexual Relationship With Student

DALLAS (TX)
My Fox Dallas

A former teacher at an all-girl’s Catholic school is accused of having a sexual relationship with one of his students.

Dallas police said the parents of a 17-year-old girl from Ursuline Academy reported the relationship after they found out about it.

The teacher was not arrested, but he could still face charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Teacher Fired After Student Alleges Sexual Relationship

DALLAS (TX)
KXAS-TV

Updated: 36 minutes ago
DALLAS - Officials at a Dallas private school said they are investigating allegations that a student had an inappropriate relationship with a teacher. A 17-year-old girl told police in June that she had a sexual relationship with one of her male teachers at the Ursuline Academy of Dallas all-girl Catholic prep school on Walnut Hill Lane near Inwood Road.

"We took action immediately," school President Margaret Ann Moser said. "We suspended the individual and he is no longer in our employment."

Dallas police are investigating the incident to see if criminal charges should be filed. A 17-year-old is old enough to consent to sex with an adult, but Texas law criminalizes sex between students and teachers regardless of age.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:51 AM

Ursuline teacher accused of sexual contact with student

DALLAS (TX)
The Dallas Morning News

By HOLLY YAN / The Dallas Morning News
hyan@dallasnews.com

An Ursuline Academy of Dallas teacher has been accused of inappropriate sexual contact with a student, school officials and police said Thursday.

School administrators said they received a report about improper conduct in mid-June and called a state child abuse hotline.

Dallas police said the man is suspected of having an improper relationship with a 17-year-old student that allegedly began with an incident Feb. 10. The offense report was filed with police Thursday, Dallas police Senior Cpl. Janice Crowther said.

"The allegation is that this teacher became involved in improper sexual relations with the student," Cpl. Crowther said. "The teacher has not been arrested yet, but detectives have been investigating."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:34 AM

Former local priest won't face charges

CALIFORNIA
Lompoc Record

Samantha Yale/Staff writer

A priest who taught at St. Joseph High School will not face charges stemming from an allegation that in June 2006 he sexually assaulted an 18-year-old woman who had just graduated from the high school.

Father Timothy Lane was investigated by Santa Barbara County sheriff's detectives on suspicion of one incident of sexual battery that reportedly happened at Lane's residence at the St. Joseph seminary in the 100 block of Patterson Road in Orcutt.

However, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office chose not to file charges due to insufficient evidence. The decision was formalized in Santa Barbara County Superior Court on July 12.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 AM

Surgery delays priest's sentencing in abuse case

JOLIET (IL)
Chicago Tribune

Tribune staff report
July 27, 2007

JOLIET - The sentencing of a 77-year-old Carmelite priest for sexual abuse was delayed Thursday after his attorney, Cynthia Giacchetti, told a Will County judge her client likely has lung cancer and was undergoing surgery to confirm the diagnosis.

Rev. Louis Rogge of Joliet pleaded guilty in April to two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse for molesting two brothers in the 1990s when they were young teenagers.

Under a plea deal, he was expected to be sentenced Thursday to 30 days in jail and four years' probation. Rogge also must register as a sex offender.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 AM

Church blocks production of documents, hearing August 14th. Crime victims on sidewalk outside cathedral. Haven't we done this before?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
Dejà vu all over again. There was a demonstration today in front of the “cathedral” in LA and a handful of pedophile priest crime victims made demands of Cardinal Mahony. Weren’t these same people standing in this same place two years ago, three years ago, last year? Weren’t the settlements supposed to be a sign of change? Now here are many of the same demonstrators as the last five years, standing on the sidewalk in front of the cathedral making demands of the Cardinal who’s nowhere to be seen or heard.

July 16th there was a media event disguised as a hearing in LA Superior Court. The LA Clergy Cases, estimated in 2004 to be worth 1.4 billion dollars, settled for 660 million and plaintiffs assured themselves it wasn’t about money in the first place. Plaintiffs agreed to settle after the church said it would turn over documents about their perpetrators for review.

Now days after the settlement Church Attorneys are already objecting to production of documents over and over again. Indeed, hours after the settlement hearing, church attorneys filed objections to production of documents on several predator priests. Document diving today I discovered from July 20th:

“The subpoenaed entities will not produce these records without a court order,” writes Plaintiff Attorney Katherine Freberg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 AM

Ncube's lawyers seek claim dismissal

ZIMBABWE
New Zimbabwe

By Torby Chimhashu
Last updated: 07/26/2007 19:09:46
LAWYERS representing Archbishop Pius Ncube, who is fighting a $20 billion suit filed by a man who claims he slept with his wife, will seek to get the claim thrown out before trial, legal experts said.

Archbishop Ncube, who was sworn to celibacy, has not denied that he slept with his secretary Rosemary Sibanda, but wants Onesimus Sibanda to prove the woman is his wife among a series of other demands made by his lawyers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:58 AM

Question of the Week

CALIFORNIA
Daily Breeze

"In the wake of the $660 million legal settlement in the priest sexual-abuse cases, do you think Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Los Angeles Archdiocese should resign?"
From Daily Breeze readers

No, Cardinal Roger Mahony should not resign. The cardinal was not bishop/cardinal when most of the abuses occurred. For those which happened under his term, he was guided by the "expert" psychiatrists who advised him that the perpetrators were cured after treatment. Many (or most) of these priests have died.

- DOLORES HICKS, Manhattan Beach

He should resign, and the names of those priests involved should be listed publicly.

- MARY THOMAS, Los Angeles

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

S.D. Catholics Ask Judge to Intervene

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Guardian Unlimited

Friday July 27, 2007 1:16 AM

By ALLISON HOFFMAN
Associated Press Writer

SAN DIEGO (AP) - A group claiming to represent more than 1 million Roman Catholics asked a bankruptcy judge Thursday to prevent the San Diego diocese from closing or selling churches, schools and charities to settle sex-abuse cases.

The group, Parishioners for Churches and Schools, wants to join a trial set for this fall in federal bankruptcy court that will determine whether parish properties can be seized or liquidated through the Catholic Diocese of San Diego in any settlement.

Patrick Hazel, the group's president, said it would be unjust if a settlement in the cases reduced the church's ability to educate its children or perform charitable work.

``The parishioners who provided donations had no knowledge of the abuse, didn't condone it, didn't authorize it. They are innocent,'' Hazel said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Parishioners want their voices heard

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Mark Sauer and Sandi Dolbee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS

July 27, 2007

After four years of a legal stalemate between lawyers representing victims of sexual abuse by priests and those representing Roman Catholic Bishop Robert Brom, new voices are asking to be heard – those of parishioners.

The newly formed Parishioners for the Churches and Schools has filed a motion in federal court to intervene in the San Diego diocese's ongoing bankruptcy.

Bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler said at a hearing yesterday that she would not grant the group standing in the case now but would keep an open mind regarding its request.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:43 AM

Keeping kids safe: Screening adults with access to children

UNITED STATES
The Tidings

By Erika Tyner Allen, J.D., M.A.

The Protecting God's Children™ program asks adults in the faith community to take five steps toward keeping kids safe from sexual abuse. The second step, "control access" reminds you to create mechanisms that allow the church to select carefully the adults who have contact with children.

But, as a supervisor or director, how will you explain these screening mechanisms to the adults who are subject to them? Consider the following guidelines for generating support for your screening tools.

Explain the context to the long-term staff members and volunteers. Make sure the adults in your parish or program understand that any new or additional screening criteria are part of the sweeping changes reflecting how the church will operate. You do not want an employee or volunteer to worry that he or she has been singled out as appearing to be a threat to children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:35 AM

Camp counselor describes alleged sex abuse

NEW LEXINGTON (OH)
Times Recorder

By KATHY THOMPSON
Staff Writer

NEW LEXINGTON - Perry County Prosecutor Joseph Flautt was happy as he left a courtroom Thursday afternoon after a judge bound over a church camp volunteer counselor to the grand jury on one count of gross sexual imposition on a child under the age of 13.

Timmy S. Keil, 43, of Lancaster, sat quietly through the 30-minute preliminary hearing in Judge Dean Wilson's courtroom as another counselor from the Scioto Youth Camp outside Junction City testified he saw Keil caressing the back and buttocks of a young camper on July 19.

"I would call what I saw more than a kind, gentle pat and it made me feel very, very uncomfortable," John Gornall told Wilson.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:29 AM

Pastor Gets 15 Years For Sexually Abusing Child

ELLICOTT CITY (MD)
WJZ

Peggy Lee
Reporting

(WJZ) ELLICOTT CITY, Md. A sentence was handed down for a local pastor after being convicted of molesting a teenage parishioner.

Peggy Lee reports dozens of parishioners came out to support the pastor. When the judge handed down the sentence of 15 years in prison, they erupted in hysterics.

Somber-faced parishioners from the Redemption Christian Fellowship Church in Baltimore County filed out of the Howard County Circuit Court moments after learning their pastor's fate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Pastor gets 15 years in child sex abuse case

MARYLAND
Baltimore Sun

By Rona Marech | Sun Reporter
8:50 PM EDT, July 26, 2007

A convicted pastor's tearful plea for leniency, impassioned testimony about his character and a courtroom jammed with supporters failed to sway a Howard County Circuit Court judge, who sentenced the religious leader Thursday to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing a teenage boy who said he once viewed the man as a father figure.

As Gerald Fitroy Griffith, 41, was led away in handcuffs, some supporters from Redemption Christian Fellowship Church in Woodlawn who had been quietly crying and sniffling broke into wails and sobs and one thrashing man was restrained by companions. The screaming and crying continued as the pastor's supporters, who had filled two buses and could not all fit into the courtroom, filed out of the courthouse and onto the parking lot.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:24 AM

Seattle psychologist suspected of voyeurism takes his own life

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By CLAUDIA ROWE
P-I REPORTER

A career that spanned more than 25 years and brought Stuart Greenberg national renown as a forensic psychologist ended abruptly Wednesday when the Seattle therapist, recently under criminal investigation for voyeurism, committed suicide in a Renton motel.

Investigators have yet to confirm reports that Greenberg, who left two notes, overdosed on pills -- though friends and colleagues believe the true cause was shame.

"There was nobody whose professional reputation was more important to them than Stu -- it was everything to him," said Marsha Hedrick, a colleague. "So to have such stature in the field and then to lose that, it was horrifying to him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Canberra college ex-principal under fire over failure to act

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

A former principal of Canberra's Daramalan College has been accused of failing to act after three teachers warned him over the practice of a teacher who took boys home for weekend visits.

The Australian reports that the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart are considering whether its head of education should stand down following controversy over his former role as principal of a school that is now reeling from a pedophile scandal.

Fr Denis Uhr was principal of Canberra's Daramalan College from the late 1980s to the late 1990s, a period during which teacher Paul John Lyons later confessed to have indecently assaulted one boy and is now alleged to have abused others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 AM

Pima opens criminal probe of priest

TUCSON (AZ)
Arizona Daily Star

By Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 07.27.2007

In light of new details, the Pima County Attorney's Office has opened a criminal investigation of the Rev. Kevin Barmasse, a priest accused in civil suits of sexually abusing five former Tucson-area Catholic youth group members in the 1980s.
The case is getting another look slightly more than a week after a $7.5 million payout from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to the five former youth group members, all now men in their late 30s. After the settlement, the men and their lawyers criticized the fact that Barmasse has never been prosecuted and is living free of monitoring.
All five men say Barmasse molested them while they were teenagers attending Tucson-area churches in the 1980s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Therapist's suicide could trigger challenges in legal cases

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Times

By Jennifer Sullivan and Maureen O'Hagan
Seattle Times staff reporters

The arrest and suicide of a prominent Seattle psychologist who was often an expert witness in sexual-abuse and child-custody cases could raise questions about his recommendations, and some could be challenged, judges say.

Renton police on Wednesday found Stuart Greenberg's body after employees at the Clarion hotel entered his room and found a note on the floor that read, "medical personnel, do not resuscitate. Let me die," according to a Renton police report.

Officers later found Greenberg in a bathtub. He had cuts on both wrists, and police found a variety of medications in the bathroom. The case is being investigated as an overdose.

Greenberg, 59, was well-known as an expert witness in sexual-abuse cases. He had worked as a consultant to the Archdiocese of Seattle, which was defending itself in priest-abuse cases. He also had served as an expert witness on behalf of sex-abuse victims in other cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 AM

Priests' Files to Shed Light on Abuse Scandal in L.A.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
NPR

by Rob Schmitz

Morning Edition, July 27, 2007 · Now that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has reached a record settlement with alleged victims of clergy sex abuse, the next legal battle is heating up.

Under the settlement, the archdiocese is preparing to release personnel files of the accused priests. Plaintiffs' lawyers say these files could implicate Cardinal Roger Mahony in a widespread cover-up.

For Lee Bashforth, last week's settlement was a small price to pay for a cardinal he accuses of covering up years of sexual abuse. Immediately following the settlement, Bashforth held up an old photo of his first communion. Father Michael Wempe has his arm around Bashforth, who wears a proud smile.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

L.A. -- the city of sectarian angels

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

FOR THE RECORD:
Catholic Church: An essay in the July 22 Opinion section about the role of the Catholic Church in Los Angeles politics stated that Cardinal Roger M. Mahony is of Irish heritage. Mahony is of German and Italian heritage. His father was adopted as a boy by an Irish American family with the last name Mahony. The essay also stated that the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles was founded in 1840. A distinct archdiocese for Los Angeles was established in 1936.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

The Teflon cardinal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

FOR THE RECORD:
Catholic Church: An essay in the July 22 Opinion section about Cardinal Roger M. Mahony referred to him as an Irish immigrant. Mahony is of German and Italian heritage. His father was adopted as a boy by an Irish American family with the last name Mahony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

July 26, 2007

Seattle psychologist suspected of voyeurism takes own life

SEATTLE (WA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By CLAUDIA ROWE
P-I REPORTER

A prominent Seattle psychologist who had been under investigation for voyeurism has committed suicide in a Renton motel, a family friend said Thursday.

Stuart Greenberg, 59, who'd made a lucrative career advising the courts in child-custody disputes, in addition to working with the Seattle Archdiocese on priest sexual abuse cases, was found Wednesday afternoon at a Kent motel, according to Douglas Mooney, the family friend.

"It's my understanding, although they're doing an autopsy, that it was some sort of overdose," Mooney said. "The whole context is awful. This is such a sad ending."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 PM

Zimbabwe: State Media Should Not Turn Masses Into 'Peeping Toms'

ZIMBABEWE
allAfrica

Financial Gazette (Harare)

Posted to the web 26 July 2007

Mavis Makuni
Harare

A CRUDE and unethical attempt was made to turn Zimbabwe into a depraved nation of voyeurs or "peeping Toms" when explicit images touted as depicting an alleged sexual scandal involving the Archbishop of Matabeleland, Pius Ncube and a woman identified as Rosemary Sibanda, were splashed on television and in the official press over the past 10 days.

The images, which were reported by the official media to be the result of private surveillance undertaken over a two-year period by a private investigator hired by Onesimus Sibanda, were obscene in every sense of the word and should not have been shown on public television and reproduced in publications regarded as family newspapers. Moreover, if Sibanda genuinely undertook the operation to prove his wife's infidelity so as to deal with his marital problems, there is no earthly reason why the whole sordid affair should be foisted on the public as a national issue requiring everyone's attention and input.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:49 PM

Lawyer-Priest Named ‘Promoter of Justice’

BROOKLYN (NY)
Brooklyn Daily Eagle

by Brooklyn Eagle (edit@brooklyneagle.net), published online 07-26-2007

BROOKLYN — The Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn has named Monsignor Edward Scharfenberger as a Promoter of Justice. Msgr. Scharfenberger is a familiar figure to the Brooklyn legal community as the moderator for the Catholic Lawyers Guild of Kings County. He has for several years celebrated the Red Mass at St. Charles Borromeo in Brooklyn Heights. ...

Msgr. Scharfenberger is the former head of the Diocesan Tribunal and was one of eight members of a Diocesan Review Board on sexual abuse of a minor by a clergyman. The board was established in 2002 as a confidential consultative body to the bishop after the clergy sexual abuse scandal in Boston, and has examined more than two dozen cases in Brooklyn and Queens.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

St. James vigilers mark their 1,000th day

WELLESLEY (MA)
The Wellesley Townsman

By Brad Reed , Townsman staff
GateHouse News Service
Thu Jul 26, 2007, 01:46 PM EDT

Wellesley -

For nearly 1,000 days, a group of parishioners from St. James the Great parish have held a vigil in hopes of striking a deal to save their Route 9 church.

Since St. James closed in October 2004, more than 100 parishioners have taken turns living inside the church and maintaining vigil for 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In that time, they have also made several appeals to both secular and canon law to keep their parish open and prevent the Archdiocese of Boston from selling the 8-acre parcel where it rests. The most recent court decision on the parish came in May, when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the archdiocese owned the deed to the St. James parish property in Wellesley, and would be within its legal rights to sell it. Yet as the 1,000th day of vigil approached, some parishioners expressed hope this week that they would ultimately get their parish back. ...

Some parishioners also criticized the archdiocese for closing local parishes without considering any alternatives. In particular, they cited the example of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, which recently reached a $660 million settlement with victims who were sexually abused by church clergy, and which vowed not to close any parishes in order to save money. With some creative thinking, they said, the archdiocese could find a way to pay off its legal expenses and still keep all of its parishes open.

“Both the Spokane and Los Angeles archdioceses solved their problems without closing any parishes,” said Daly. “What has happened here is that … certain parishes are asked to sacrifice everything.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 PM

The L.A. Catholic Archdiocese Settlement of Sexual Abuse Cases

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CNN

CNN LARRY KING LIVE

The L.A. Catholic Archdiocese Settlement of Sexual Abuse Cases

Aired July 16, 2007 - 21:00 ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight in Los Angeles, America's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese agrees to the biggest U.S. priest sex abuse settlement ever.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For $660 million, he bought himself out of testifying in our case.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Now, in their first national TV interview, some of the alleged victims speak out on why it will take more than millions to heal their scars.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Hundreds pray for scandal-hit Ncube

ZIMBABWE
IOL

July 25 2007 at 06:59PM

Bulawayo - Hundreds of residents in Zimbabwe's second city thronged the cathedral on Wednesday for prayers in support of outspoken Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube who is being sued for alleged adultery.

"The purpose of the prayer was mobilising and giving moral, spiritual, mental and physical support to Archbishop Ncube," said Effie Ncube - no relation to the cleric - who is chairperson of The Pius Ncube Solidarity Coalition, a clutch of non-governmental organisations, church groups and political parties.

"We also want to ensure he gets a fair hearing consistent with international human rights and judicial standards as well as countering state propaganda regarding the lawsuit," he added after attending the prayer service.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Former Catholic Priest In Court, Accused of Molesting Boy

CALIFORNIA
ABC 7

SAN FERNANDO, July 25, 2007 (CNS) - A former Catholic priest charged with molesting a boy while he was assigned to a Pacoima church nearly 20 years ago made his initial court appearance today on felony charges.

But George Miller, who is jailed in lieu of $600,000 bail, did not enter a plea. His arraignment was postponed to Aug. 7, court officials said.

Miller, 69, of Oxnard, was arrested yesterday in connection with a felony complaint charging him with three felony counts of lewd acts on a child and three counts of sodomy of a person under 14.

The alleged molestations took place between March 1988 and March 1991, while Miller was serving at Guardian Angel Church in Pacoima, prosecutors said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:19 AM

The fear of God

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Pasadena Weekly

By André Coleman

Pope Benedict XVI recently proclaimed the Roman Catholic Church to be the One True Church and the only way to achieve eternal salvation.

But for thousands of people who claim that they were sexually abused by leaders of that Church, both spiritual salvation and any hope for true justice in relation to those crimes seem to be in very short supply.

On July 16, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles settled with more than 500 people who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic clerics for $660 million, an amount that won't bankrupt the sprawling and well-endowed archdiocese, as similar settlements in other major cities have done. But the Church will be forced to sell some of its land holdings and borrow to pay off its civil court debt.

However, some believe that is still a small price to pay for decades of sexual abuse, and victims are still not happy with the outcome of their legal crusades for closure, which some believe can only be achieved with the prosecution and conviction of Archbishop Cardinal Roger Mahony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Caged priest

UNITED STATES
The Free Press

by Robert C. Koehler
July 26, 2007

Probably few people this side of Gitmo are more profoundly outcast from society and human sympathy than convicted child molester priests. How tempting, then, to allow ourselves to feel a terrible spark of collective pride in our dysfunctional penal system at their sentencing — in anticipation of the “prison justice” they likely face.

“He is also at higher risk of sexual violence, though the notion that McCormack deserves protection from the very type of crime he committed offends some,” the Chicago Tribune writes of ex-priest Daniel McCormack, who was recently convicted of molesting five boys while assigned to a parish on Chicago’s West Side, and was sentenced to five years at Illinois’ Jacksonville Correctional Center.

“I just don’t think a priest has been equipped in his life to go through what he’s probably going to go through,” a union rep for prison guards told the Tribune. “Inmates tend to have their own code of justice. It’s a different world inside the prison fence or wall.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:07 AM

Marc Carlisle: Will $660 million pay for a trip to heaven?

CALIFORNIA
Summit Daily News

BY MARC CARLISLE
On the Marc
July 25, 2007

This week, the Catholic Church in Los Angeles agreed to pay $660 million to settle 500-plus claims of sexual abuse of children by its priests. The $660 million dwarfs the $85 million recently agreed to by the Catholic Church to settle similar claims in the Boston area.

The church plans to sell a part of its $4 billion in real estate in the Los Angeles area to raise money, but parishioners will shoulder most of the burden. A third of the money will come from insurance whose claims adjusters will also decide the amounts awarded to each victim.

I’d never heard of a sexual predator rider as an insurance option. My business’s insurance policy covers accidents, loss of property and income, but provides no protection from claims of sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Prosecutor to query church officials in molestation trial

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By John Spano, Times Staff Writer
July 26, 2007

A prosecutor said Wednesday that he planned to seek testimony from several officials in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles on how they handled sexual abuse allegations against a former priest charged this week with molesting a Pacoima boy.

The former priest, George Miller, 69, appeared briefly in court Wednesday, but his arraignment was postponed so that he could get a lawyer. Prosecutors said Miller met the alleged victim at Guardian Angel Church in Pacoima, befriended his mother, and later sodomized and molested him from 1988 to 1991.

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley has been investigating clergy abuse and a potential church coverup for more than four years. Miller was originally charged in 2002 with molesting three other people, including the current alleged victim's older brother. But the case was dismissed when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California law that extended the statute of limitations for decades-old sexual abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Settlement does not erase the scars

FLORIDA
Sun-Sentinel

July 26, 2007
A Catholic who grew up around the altar, I'm always hurt and embarrassed each time I hear about alleged sex abuses by those entrusted to teach us against evil and to avoid temptation. A case in point is the $660 million sex-abuse settlement by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

I'm concerned because my heart always has been close to the Catholic church. Back home in the Haitian town of Mirebalais, where I grew up, my parents donated land and used their own money to build a chapel.

As a young man, I was actively involved with a youth Catholic group known as JTC — Jeune Temoins du Christ or Young Witnesses of Christ. I even considered becoming a priest, but that didn't work out because my parents couldn't afford to enroll me in the seminary. Maybe it wasn't my calling.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:58 AM

Patrick picks SJC judge

BOSTON (MA)
Berkshire Eagle

By Glen Johnson, Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 07/26/2007 02:57:18 AM EDT

Thursday, July 26
BOSTON — Gov. Deval L. Patrick has decided to appoint Suffolk Superior Court Judge Margot Botsford to the Supreme Judicial Court, replacing the late Martha Sosman, according to a top Democrat familiar with the appointment process.

Deliberations behind the appointment to the state's highest court have been extremely secretive, with Patrick conducting his final face-to-face interviews on Tuesday at a location away from the Statehouse, a move intended to avoid media scrutiny or political gossip. He was set to unveil his pick at a news conference scheduled for 10 a.m. today at the Statehouse, said the Democrat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in advance of the formal announcement. ...

Conservative talk show host Bill O'Reilly has labeled Botsford a liberal and criticized her in 2005 after she sentenced a former Catholic priest to 8 to 11 years, with 10 years' probation, after he pleaded guilty to felony sexual abuse, including crimes on five boys. The former priest, Robert Burns, had previously been convicted of child molestation in New Hampshire.

Botsford, who could have imprisoned Burns for life, said that while he had "permanently and very profoundly" damaged the boys, he had shown contrition and psychological progress after spending three years in a New Hampshire prison.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

Priest's arraignment in sex case is delayed

CALIFORNIA
LA Daily News

City News Service
Article Last Updated: 07/25/2007 10:18:08 PM PDT

SAN FERNANDO - A former Catholic priest charged with molesting a boy while he was assigned to a Pacoima church nearly 20 years ago made his initial court appearance Wednesday on felony charges.

But George Miller, who is jailed in lieu of $600,000 bail, did not enter a plea. His arraignment was postponed to Aug. 7, court officials said.

Miller, 69, of Oxnard was arrested Tuesday in connection with a felony complaint charging him with three felony counts of lewd acts on a child and three counts of sodomy of a person under 14.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

Priest sex abuse trial

AUSTRALIA
ABC

Posted July 26, 2007 18:25:00

A former Burnie priest has been accused of using his popularity with students to sexually assault three youths.

71 year old Roger Michael Bellemore has pleaded not guilty to three counts of maintaining a sexual relationship with a young person under the age of 17.

The offences are alleged to have taken place while Bellemore was working as a priest at Burnie's Marist College in the late 1960s and early 70s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Zimbabwe: Catholics Must Rethink Celibacy

ZIMBABEWE
allAfrica

The Herald (Harare)

OPINION
27 July 2007
Posted to the web 26 July 2007

Martin Kadzere
Harare

THE Catholic Church has been rocked by sexual scandal after scandal over the years, which is why some say this particular church is "awash with sex fiends".

While much of the abuse has been traced to the refusal by the church to revoke its insistence on celibacy vows, some attribute it to individual failures.

But the frequency with which the Catholic Church finds itself under the spotlight for sexual impropriety has raised considerable debate over the necessity of celibacy when other denominations like the Anglican Church allow their bishops and priests to marry if they so wish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Claims of sexual abuse flood Davenport Diocese

DAVENPORT (IA)
Des Moines Register

ASSOCIATED PRESS

July 26, 2007

A flood of claims from people who said they were sexually abused by priests of the bankrupt Davenport Diocese surprised even members of the creditors committee.

The committee, made up of people who have similar abuse claims against the diocese, said Tuesday that 153 people filed claims by last week's deadline.

The Roman Catholic diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall and is selling some of its property to settle claims. A federal bankruptcy judge set a July 16 deadline to file claims of abuse by priests.

Michl Uhde, who leads the committee, said Tuesday that the number of claims is about double what he expected.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 AM

July 25, 2007

Does the Catholic Church attract sexual abusers…or create them?

John McKiggan’s Abuse Claims Blog

Published July 25th, 2007
In the wake of the $660 million settlement for sexual abuse by priests in the RC Archdiocese of Los Angeles I have seen dozens of articles and blogs asking the question of whether the Catholic vow of celibacy plays any part in what seems to be the disproportionate number of Catholic priests accused or convicted of sexual abuse.

I believe that the institutional structure of the Catholic Church provides an opportunity for pedophile priests to attract, groom, manipulate and abuse their victims (see also the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Doe v. Bennett).

I had not considered that there was something about the Roman Catholic Church that might actually contribute to the creation of sexual abusers.

Until I read an article in the American Chronicle by Dr. Richard Cravatts. He suggests that: ” the very process of accepting celibacy and entering the priesthood at an emotionally immature age level predispose priests to conflicting notions about human sexuality…”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Victims of the Church

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KCET

Reporter's Notes
Toni Guinyard
After the settlement was reached, we were invited to a get-together with members of a victim’s support group. I noticed a woman erecting a display of photographs printed on cloth and sewn into quilts.

That woman was Erin Brady. I asked her about quilts because I had seen them in the background at press conferences—but I hadn’t heard anyone refer to them.

It turns out, she made them. The photos were of clergy abuse victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Former St. Stan's Priest Accused Of Misconduct

MICHIGAN CITY (IN)
The News-Dispatch

Deborah Sederberg
The News-Dispatch

MICHIGAN CITY - A priest who once served at St. Stanislaus has been accused of sexual misconduct.

The Rev. Stanley Stanizewskii, who was ordained in Warsaw, Poland, served in the Diocese of Gary from 1974 to 1983.

Deacon Mark Plaiss, a diocesan spokesman, said Staniszewski also served parishes in Porter and Lake counties, at Nativity of our Savior in Portage, at St. Casimir in Hammond and at St. Michael in Schererville.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 PM

Churches Need to Do More to Prevent Financial Fraud

UNITED STATES
The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Church officials need to do more to make sure that priests and other employees are properly taking care of the money they collect from their followers, says Dan Prives, a charity finance expert. In addition, they should disclose more information to the public about their finances, he says.

Mr. Prives, on his blog, Where Most Needed points to a recent case involving the Rev. Rodney Lee Rodis, a priest in Virginia who is accused of diverting money from his congregation to support his wife and three children.

The lawyer defending Father Rodis has filed a motion to dismiss the case, saying that the issue is a private church matter.

Mr. Prives, however, says that the case should continue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:26 PM

Zimbabwe: Archbishop Ncube Requests Further Particulars of Claim

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald (Harare)

25 July 2007
Posted to the web 25 July 2007

Bulawayo

THE head of the Roman Catholic Church in Bulawayo, Archbishop Pius Ncube, who is facing a $20 billion lawsuit for adultery, is arguing that the case against him is vague and has demanded specific details.

He has filed papers in the High Court requesting further particulars of the claim against him.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:29 PM

Priest facing charges suspended

GLENDALE (OH)
Cincinnati Enquirer

BY JANICE MORSE | JMORSE@ENQUIRER.COM

GLENDALE - A 63-year-old Episcopal priest is being temporarily barred from his official duties while he faces charges including public indecency and drunken driving.

The suspension of Robert A. Hufford, chaplain to the Convent of the Transfiguration, takes effect as soon as he receives it, said Richelle Thompson, spokeswoman for the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio in Cincinnati.

Hufford's lawyer, Brad Kraemer, declined to comment Tuesday except to say his client has pleaded not guilty to the four charges against him: failure to drive within marked lanes, operating a vehicle while impaired, public indecency and abusing harmful intoxicants. Hufford is set to appear in Butler County Area II Court in Hamilton on Sept. 5.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:26 PM

153 file claims against IA diocese

DAVENPORT (IA)
Des Moines Register

ASSOCIATED PRESS

July 25, 2007

More than 150 people filed sexual abuse claims in bankruptcy court against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport by last week's deadline, the chairman of a creditor's committee said.

A federal bankruptcy judge set a July 16 deadline to file claims of abuse by priests. The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last fall and is selling some of its property to settle claims.

Michl Uhde, who leads the committee, said Tuesday the 153 claims is about double what he expected.

"It takes a lot of guts for them to come forward and ask for help," said Uhde, who won a $1.5 million jury verdict against the diocese for abuse he suffered at the hands of a now-dead priest. "It's the first step in the healing process for them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:54 PM

Former Priest To Be Arraigned On Molestation Charges

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KTLA

A former Catholic priest is scheduled to be arraigned Wedsneday morning on charges of molesting a boy while he was assigned to a Pacoima church.

George Miller, 69, of Oxnard, is charged with three felony counts of lewd acts on a child and three counts of sodomy of a person under 14. He was arrested Tuesday, and is being held on $600,000 bail.

The alleged molestation took place between March 1988 and March 1991, while Miller was serving at Guardian Angel Church in Pacoima, prosecutors said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:12 AM

Glendale Priest Facing Public Indecency, Drunk Driving Charges

GLENDALE (OH)
WCPO

An Episcopal priest at a church in Glendale has been suspended while he's facing criminal charges.

Robert Hufford, 63, is the chaplain to the Convent of the Transfiguration.

The Enquirer reports that he is facing charges of public indecency and drunk driving, among others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Group objects to hiring of firm by diocese

DAVENPORT (IA)
Des Moines Register

Creditors are objecting to a request by the Diocese of Davenport to hire a company specializing is tracking down insurance coverage, according to documents filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Iowa.

The creditors group, made up of abuse victims who have claims against the diocese, wants to be assured that the cost does not exceed $23,000 and that the money doesn't come out of the money pool that eventually will be paid to creditors.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Marist scandal: more accused

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

Kate Hannon

Two more former teachers at Marist College Canberra have been implicated in the widening scandal over the alleged sexual abuse of students.

One, a lay teacher, and the other, a Marist brother, have been accused by former students who have flooded a Canberra law firm with complaints since the weekend.

Neither former teacher has been named but the complaints are in response to a report in The Canberra Times on Saturday in which two former Marist College students expressed concern that former teacher Paul John Lyons could have sexually abused students at the school.

Lyons taught at Marist College Canberra in Pearce between 1975 and 1987.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 AM

New molest charges against former L.A. Roman Catholic priest

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Jacob Adelman
ASSOCIATED PRESS

6:35 p.m. July 24, 2007

LOS ANGELES – A former Roman Catholic priest was arrested on child molestation charges Tuesday, five years after earlier sex abuse allegations were thrown out because of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidating a California extension of the statute of limitations in such cases, prosecutors said.

George Miller, 69, of Oxnard is accused of molesting a boy between March 1988 and March 1991 while he was assigned to Guardian Angel Church in Pacoima, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said in statement.

The arrest came about a week after the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles reached a $660 million civil settlement of claims by more than 500 alleged victims of clergy abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:08 AM

Former Catholic priest in L.A. held on child molestation charges

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By John Spano, Times Staff Writer
July 25, 2007

A former Roman Catholic priest was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of sexually molesting a child from Guardian Angel parish in Pacoima between 1988 and 1991.

Prosecutors said George Miller, 69, met the boy when he was 5, befriended his mother and allegedly molested him before he turned 14, during overnight trips. Miller was taken into custody at his Oxnard home and is being held in lieu of $600,000 bail.

Four people who accused Miller of molesting them were among more than 500 who joined in a record $660-million settlement earlier this month between the Los Angeles Archdiocese and parishioners who contended church officials had failed to shield them from pedophile priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 AM

Former priest accused again of molestation

PACOIMA (CA)
LA Daily News

BY ERIC LEACH, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 07/24/2007 11:32:44 PM PDT

PACOIMA - A retired priest against whom child molestation charges were thrown out in 2002 was arrested again Tuesday on new sex abuse charges, officials said.

The accusations against George Miller, 69, are the latest in the clerical abuse scandal that swept the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, culminating last week with a record $660 million settlement involving 508 victims.

As part of the settlement, Cardinal Roger Mahony agreed to release confidential church documents about the cases.

District Attorney Steve Cooley said he had not yet received those documents, but was able to proceed with the case against Miller based on other evidence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:00 AM

Bishop Blair knew of priest's sexual sin

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

In a meeting earlier this month with members of St. Rose Parish, Bishop Leonard Blair of Toledo did not acknowledge awareness of their new pastor's sexual sins because doing so would violate the confessional's holy seal, a diocesan spokesman said last night.

"He knew about it, but he treated it as you would treat a sin in a confessional manner," said Sally Oberski, director of communications for the Toledo Catholic Diocese. "We don't publish people's sins."

Catholic canon law forbids clerics from disclosing anything told to them during confession, with violations punishable by excommunication.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:52 AM

July 24, 2007

Fontanans sound off on Roman Catholic Church sex-abuse scandal and settlement

FONTANA (CA)
Fontana Herald News

The Herald News sent reporter Bob Otto out into the street to ask people their thoughts on a topic on the minds of many people -- the Roman Catholic Church sex-abuse settlement.

We asked local residents: What do you think about the settlement that awarded $660 million to the victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy of the Los Angeles Archdiocese?

Joe Feld: I think the whole thing is so wrong. You end up losing respect for the church, which disrespected its fellow human beings. I'm ashamed that the church was allowed to get away with shuffling priests around. (The settlement) is an admission of guilt. At least the church had to pay a penalty. If people can be helped out from it, good. I'm a Catholic. I pray every night, but I don't go to church anymore. The child molestation got me to the point where I didn't want to go.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 PM

Priest charged with sexually abusing boy in wake of $800m settlement

LOS ANGELES (CA)
New Zealand Herald

10:38AM Wednesday July 25, 2007
By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES - Just over a week after the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles reached a record $US660 million ($831.86 million) deal to settle clergy abuse cases, a former priest has been arrested charges of molesting a young boy.

George Miller, who served in the Los Angeles neighbourhood of Pacoima, is the first current or former Catholic priest to be charged with sex abuse in the city since the nation's largest Roman Catholic diocese finalized the settlement with 508 plaintiffs on July 16.

That settlement covered only civil cases pending against the church and does not affect criminal cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 PM

Pastoral Letter to Catholic Faithful in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Tidings

As you have heard, this past week our Archdiocese settled 508 civil cases involving clergy and lay persons accused of sexual abuse. The emotional pain of the victims of this abuse remains intense, and I invite each of you to join with me in praying for them on their difficult journey toward healing.

I again apologize personally, and on behalf of those who led the church in past decades, to all those who were abused, regardless of how long ago the abuse took place.

As much as we might wish that the past could be reversed and the harm undone, it cannot be. But we can work to ensure that our parish ministries are as safe as we can humanly make them for all of our parishioners, especially our children and young people.

Throughout our Archdiocese, in our parishes and schools, our priests and lay people have worked hard over the past several years to create safe environments for our children. At this important moment in our Local Church's history, as we remember our past failings, it is also appropriate to reflect on what has been accomplished so far:

---There is no priest or lay person currently in ministry in the Archdiocese who has been found to have abused a young person.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:25 PM

Statement Of The Archdiocese Of Los Angeles Regarding The Arrest Of George Miller

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Archdiocese of Los Angeles

In 2005, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles released a summary of information related to priests who had been accused of sexual abuse in civil lawsuits.

The information regarding George Miller indicates that despite written allegations of abuse in 1977, a firm denial of misconduct by Father Miller resulted in the decision of Cardinal Timothy Manning to retain Father Miller in ministry.

There were no further reports of problems to the Archdiocese regarding Father Miller for 12 years. In September of 1989, a priest reported that he felt uncomfortable with Father Miller’s friendliness toward boys. But no abuse was reported. Father Miller again denied any wrongdoing.

On May 16, 1996, a complaint of sexual abuse against Father Miller was made to the Archdiocese’s Vicar for Clergy. The Vicar for Clergy interviewed Father Miller, and on May 20, 1996, Cardinal Roger Mahony placed Father Miller on sick leave and sent him for psychiatric evaluation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 PM

Former Priest Arrested, Charged with Sexual Molestation

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office

LOS ANGELES – A former priest with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was arrested today on a felony complaint charging him with multiple counts of sexual molestation of a child under the age of 14, the District Attorney’s office announced.

George Miller, 69 (dob 3-12-38), was arrested at his residence in Oxnard by investigators with the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation. He is charged in case No. PA059590 with three counts of lewd act on a child and three counts of sodomy of a person under 14 – all felonies. He is being held on $600,000 bail.

“As promised, investigations are ongoing into alleged sexual abuse of minors by priests,” Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said today. “As evidence is developed to sustain criminal filings, we will do so.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

D.A. Statement on Archdiocese Settlement

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles District Attorney's Office

LOS ANGELES – District Attorney Steve Cooley issued the following statement today on the archdiocese settlement:

“Today’s massive civil settlement highlights the institutional moral failure of the archdiocese to supervise predatory priests who operated for years under its jurisdiction.

“Our office worked for five years to obtain archdiocese records regarding the alleged criminal acts committed by these priests. The archdiocese resisted our efforts. We successfully obtained these records through the California Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in our favor last year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 PM

Ex-L.A. priest charged with sexually abusing boy

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Reuters

By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Just over a week after the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles reached a record $660 million deal to settle clergy abuse cases, a former priest was arrested on Tuesday on charges of molesting a young boy.

George Miller, who served in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Pacoima, is the first current or former Catholic priest to be charged with sex abuse in the city since the nation's largest Roman Catholic diocese finalized the settlement with 508 plaintiffs on July 16.

That settlement covered only civil cases pending against the church and does not affect criminal cases.

Miller, who is 69 and left active ministry in 1996, was taken into custody at his home in California on a felony complaint charging him with three counts of committing lewd acts on a child and three counts of sodomy on a minor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:34 PM

Ex-Priest Arrested On Molestation Charges

CALIFORNIA
CBS 2

(CBS) SAN FERNANDO, Calif. A former Catholic priest who was originally charged in 2002 with child molestation but had his case dismissed was arrested again Tuesday on new charges of molesting a boy while he was assigned to a Pacoima church, prosecutors said.

George Miller, 69, of Oxnard, is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in San Fernando Superior Court. He is charged with three felony counts of lewd acts on a child and three counts of sodomy of a person under 14. He is being held on $600,000 bail.

The alleged molestation took place between March 1988 and March 1991, while Miller was serving at Guardian Angel Church in Pacoima, prosecutors said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 PM

Ex-priest jailed in child molestation case

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By John Spano, Times Staff Writer
1:17 PM PDT, July 24, 2007

A former Los Angeles priest was arrested on suspicion of sexually molesting a child, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley announced today.

George Miller, 69, was arrested at his Oxnard home and is being held on $600,000 bail.

."As promised, investigations are ongoing into alleged sexual abuse of minors by priests," Cooley said today. "As evidence is developed to sustain criminal filings, we will do so."

Miller reportedly met the victim, who was then age 5, while he was assigned to the Guardian Angel Church in Pacoima. Miller befriended the victim's mother and became a frequent guest in her home, prosecutors said. He began taking the child on overnight trips, during which he initiated the molestation, they said. Miller served at the church from 1981 to 1984. He is accused of abusing the victim from March 1988 to March 1991

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Diocese spent $10 million on fees

SPOKANE (WA)
The Bellingham Herald

SPOKANE, Wash. -- The bankruptcy filing by the Catholic Diocese of Spokane has cost it more than $10 million in attorney and professional fees so far.

The $10.1 million in fees for attorneys, accountants, real estate brokers and other professionals will come from the $48 million settlement deal for all claims arising from the priest sex abuse scandal that sent the diocese into bankruptcy.

The most money will be paid to the Paine Hamblen Coffin Brooke & Miller law firm of Spokane. The firm has submitted a $3.7 million bill for the work of its lawyers, led by Shaun Cross, Greg Arpin and Michael Paukert.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

Attempted murder, sex assault trial delayed for Las Vegas priest

LAS VEGAS (NV)
Las Vegas Sun

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Trial has been postponed until January for a Roman Catholic priest who could face life in prison if convicted of sexually attacking and trying to kill a church soloist.

Lawyers cited scheduling conflicts Tuesday in pushing back from July 31 to Jan. 8 the start of the Rev. George Chaanine's trial in Clark County District Court on charges including attempted murder with a deadly weapon, battery with substantial bodily harm, sexual assault with a deadly weapon and kidnapping.

Chaanine, 53, remains held at the Clark County jail on $1 million bail after pleading not guilty to allegations he attacked the woman last Jan. 26 in an Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic Church office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

EDITORIAL: Catholic Church abuse settlement, appropriate or unjustified?

EDMOND (OK)
Insurance News Net

The Vista via U-WIRE
Source: Comtex Business

EDMOND, Okla., Jul 23, 2007 (The Vista, U-WIRE via COMTEX) -- Since before the Reformation, the Catholic Church has always been a target to society. Many can't deny the overall improved sentiment toward the Catholic Church as years surpass, but pragmatism will still keep the denomination in sight of media coverage.

Every so often, history will repeat itself. In the 1990s, the Catholic Church was accused of sexual abuse occurring within its dioceses. The detection of priests committing these heinous acts generated a stereotype associated with Catholicism. Since word got out that priests are child-molesters first and religious figures second, the world once again formed a biased opinion on Catholics.

Child abuse in any form is absolutely intolerable, but what most people don't realize is that child abuse is not limited to one religious sect. Organized religion has downgraded the potential means of upholding Christian values. Not only does it take place in the Catholic Church, but the Baptist, the Methodist, the Lutheran, and the Presbyterian. They all share the same human qualities that may erupt in immoral behavior against children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:58 PM

Zimbabwe: Support Prayers Planned As Rights Groups Defend Ncube

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

Catholic Information Service for Africa (Nairobi)

24 July 2007
Posted to the web 24 July 2007

Bulwayo

Catholics and other Christians will tomorrow hold an ecumenical prayer service in support of Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo who has been sued for alleged adultery.

"There [will be] an interdenominational prayer service for His Grace at 1pm tomorrow at St Mary's Cathedral," Archbishop Ncube's secretary, Rita Normanton, confirmed to CISA.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:53 PM

Church expresses sadness at abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
ABC

Posted Tue Jul 24, 2007 7:49am AEST

The Catholic Church has appealed to the community not to be judgemental of two Canberra colleges embroiled in student abuse scandals.

Several legal claims have been made by former Daramalan College students, alleging sexual abuse by a teacher Paul Lyons.

Lyons committed suicide in 2000 after being chared with indecent assault of a student.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Sequitur, et Non

LOS ANGELES (CA)
dotCommonweal

July 24, 2007, 11:05 am
Posted by David Gibson

The Los Angeles abuse settlement continues to reverberate to a degree that surprises me. There were several powerful letters to the New York Times after their news story and editorial, including one from Anne & Ed Wilson of the VOTF chapter here in Brooklyn, and one from the venerable Msgr. Harry Byrne, who now has his own blog. But there was also a truly brilliant parody that apparently sought to find humor in this dark saga, and at the same time puncture many of the silly contentions and connections made by some advocates of a liturgical silver bullet for the crisis. The letter is from, of all people, the "rite-wing" Catholic polemicist Matt Abbott. In full it reads:

To the Editor:

I am pleased that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has settled with more than 500 survivors of sexual abuse. The settlement is long overdue.

Despite the moral corruption that has permeated the church in the United States over the last few decades, I still believe in the truths of the faith, and I applaud Pope Benedict XVI for loosening the restrictions on use of the traditional Latin Mass and for reiterating the church’s central role in salvation.

Matt C. Abbott
Chicago, July 17, 2007

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:47 PM

Unsettled: Following the international spin

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
No time to go document diving most this week but future posts will cover these topics: SHANLEY in Riverside? SUTPHIN roommates with Mahony? We'll also be looking at Exhibit Lists and Witness Lists for cases that were about to go to trial and check into what happened with cases that were dismissed right before July 18th. And most important of all, how did long time church attorney Donald Steier slip past sanctions in that late June hearing?

City of Angels Blog is not going to join the harangue for Cardinal Mahony to step down. If he gets fired he’ll end up being a fall guy, much like the few priests who now sit in jail. The media will trounce on him, there’ll be about a month of attention spent on him and his life, and the real criminals will once again slip like Teflon off a designer kitchen full of pans.

I’m paranoid enough to think firing Mahony would be the Vatican’s way to try again to make the sex crimes “crisis” go away. About as effective as trying to turn back time and give us back our lives as the physics-challenged Mahony claimed he’d do if he could in his “apology.” If Mahony the individual suffers, the criminal structure remains in place, to continue to corrupt everything else it touches in the Catholic hierarchy. Firing Mahony will not accomplish a thing, it will only be symbolic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

Police: Ex-Church Employee Has Admitted To Taking Money

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS (FL)
First Coast News

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FL (AP) -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orlando is seeking restitution from a former church employee who told police he stole thousands of dollars from church coffers.

Police say the former employee admitted to stealing 18-thousand dollars from last year's fall festival at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church in Altamonte Springs. A police spokesman says church officials told them more than six hundred thousand dollars was taken from money the congregation donated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

Prison bad priest is headed to 'like a college campus'

ILLINOIS
Chicago Sun-Times

July 24, 2007
BY ABDON M. PALLASCH Legal Affairs Reporter apallasch@suntimes.com
The prison in Downstate Jacksonville where the Rev. Daniel McCormack is serving an expected two- to five-year sentence "looks like a college campus," one prison expert said.

"There are a lot of programs, a lot of freedom," said Charlie Fasano, director of the Prisons and Jails Program for the John Howard Association, a nonprofit prison watchdog group. "Most [offenders there] are nonviolent, doing short bits."

It's the kind of place where prison officials hope McCormack -- who pleaded guilty this month to fondling five boys at a West Side Catholic parish and school -- will be safe, even though prison inmates sometimes target convicted child molesters for attacks.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:56 AM

Zimbabwe: People Have Stake in Pius' Saga

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald (Harare)

OPINION
25 July 2007
Posted to the web 24 July 2007

Caesar Zvayi
Harare

IT'S like punishing the innocent while letting Barabas go scot-free, at least that's how the Pius Ncube adultery and sex scandal is playing out in the so-called "independent" media and its coterie of civil society bedfellows.

In their wisdom or lack of it, these organisations have taken it upon themselves to play God or judge by absolving Pius of wrongdoing over allegations that he had a two-year affair with his married parishioner, Rosemary Sibanda, whose husband - Onesimus - is suing the beleaguered Archbishop for $20 billion in damages.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 AM

Zimbabwe: Manhanga Blasts Pius Ncube

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald (Harare)

25 July 2007
Posted to the web 24 July 2007

Caesar Zvayi
Harare

PRESIDING Bishop of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Zimbabwe, Bishop Trevor Manhanga yesterday blasted Roman Catholic Archbishop for Bulawayo Diocese, Pius Ncube for seeking earthly and not heavenly repentance following his notice to oppose the $20 billion adultery lawsuit filed by a man accusing him of having an adulterous relationship with his wife.

Bishop Manhanga urged errant church leaders to repent to God for their sins and not seek repentance in courts of law.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Priest arrested in sex sting

CALIFORNIA
California Catholic Daily

An undercover San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputy last week arrested the Rev. Geronimo Enrique Cuevas, 52, for lewd conduct near a secluded beach that attracts nude bathers.

Undercover deputies were stationed at Pirate’s Cove, south of San Luis Obispo, because the area has a history of sexual solicitation problems. Last Wednesday, Cuevas allegedly grabbed the crotch area of a male undercover officer. The priest was arrested and booked on two misdemeanor charges: suspicion of sexual battery and soliciting a lewd act.

When arrested, Cuevas told deputies that he was from Las Vegas and unemployed. Though he owns an apartment in Las Vegas, Cuevas was associate pastor at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Nipomo and previously was pastor of St. Mary of the Nativity Church in East Salinas. (A July 23 report published by The Californian.com quoted a St. Mary’s parishioner who said Cuevas was there until he moved to Las Vegas two years ago.)

The Diocese of Monterey issued a statement on July 20 saying that Bishop Richard Garcia has placed Cuevas on administrative leave and has removed his faculties “pending outcome of the criminal investigation.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Elderly man appears on sex abuse charges

NEW ZEALAND
Radio New Zealand

Posted at 2:27pm on 24 Jul 2007

An elderly man has appeared in Nelson District Court over sexual abuse complaints between 1951 and 1985 by four former female members of the Exclusive Brethren church.

The offences are alleged to have happened in Nelson while the girls were aged between five and 10.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:19 AM

Man faces naming by court

NEW ZEALAND
The Nelson Mail
Name suppression for a former Nelson Exclusive Brethren man facing seven sexual offending charges will be lifted on Wednesday unless his lawyer successfully appeals a judge's order.

The 72-year-old entered no plea when he appeared in the Nelson District Court on Tuesday morning on the charges, which date from 1951 to 1982, and involve four complainants from Nelson.

He faces six charges of indecent assault and one of inducing a girl to do an indecent act.

The man's lawyer, Hamish Riddoch, told the court it was likely he would apply for a stay (discharge) of the charges because of the age and nature of the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Former Neerkol abuse victim to write to Pope

AUSTRALIA
ABC

Posted July 24, 2007 12:49:00

A former resident of the Neerkol Orphanage near Rockhampton, in central Queensland, is planning to write to the Pope over the Catholic Church's handling of the sexual abuse issue.

Garnett Williams says he was abused by a priest at Neerkol in the 1940s.

He says the Catholic Church's payout of about $1 million each to abuse victims in the United States is a slap in the face to Australian victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:07 AM

Abuse victim speaks publicly

CALIFORNIA
The Orange County Register

YVETTE CABRERA
Register columnist
ycabrera@ocregister.com
Looking back on his life, there are certain things that Richard L.Gomez would have done differently.

Had he spoken up as a young boy about the abuse he alleges he suffered at the hands of a Placentia Catholic priest, maybe he could have sought help. Maybe his life would have turned out differently in so many ways.

The "what ifs" haunt him today and it's one reason why he's speaking out publicly for the first time about the sexual abuse he says he endured as a young altar boy at the hands of a Saint Joseph Church priest, the late Father Eleuterio Ramos.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:42 AM

Tearful Apology From Woman Who Stole From Church

TONAWANDA (NY)
WGRZ

Posted by: Lynne Dixon, Reporter

The Tonawanda woman who stole nearly half a million dollars from the parish where she worked was sentenced today to 6 months behind bars. Maureen Durrell offered a tearful apology before her sentencing.

"I'm fully aware of what I've done. And I'm very sorry..." said a tearful Durrell. "I will always continue to seek forgiveness and apologize to everyone I've hurt, most importantly the people of St. Christopher."

Durrell admits stealing close to 500-thousand dollars from church coffers at St. Christopher in Tonawanda from 1998 to 2005. She'd been church secretary there since 1992.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 AM

Area man tells of abuse

WINSLOW (AZ)
Independent

Part Two of a two-part series

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Staff Writer

WINSLOW, Ariz. — One of the plaintiffs in a civil lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Diocese of Gallup has remained intensely private since coming forward with his allegations against former Diocese of Gallup priest James Burns.

He has declined requests for personal interviews and has only communicated with The Independent through e-mails. As a victim of sexual abuse, he has requested that his identity be protected.

However, he has been very dogged in his pursuit of Burns through the legal system. In addition to filing the civil lawsuit in California in 2003, he filed a criminal complaint against Burns with the Winslow Police Department. As a result, Navajo Country prosecutors filed charges against Burns in May 2004, which led to a plea agreement and a short Arizona prison stint. When Burns failed to show up on the Arizona Department of Public Safety's sex offender Web site, the victim requested The Independent look into the situation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

Don’t let adultery charge divert attention from Zimbabwe crisis, region’s Catholic bishops urge

SOUTH AFRICA
Catholic Online

7/23/2007
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

PRETORIA, South Africa (Catholic Online) – Allegations of adultery against an archbishop who has been an outspoken critic against the Zimbabwean government should not divert attention about the political and economic crisis gripping the African nation, said the region’s Catholic bishops.

In a letter published July 20, president of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg, expressed “sadness and concern” about the suit filed against Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe's second largest city, by a state worker who charged the church leader had sexual relations with the man's wife who worked for the archdiocese.

It has been suggested that the charge of adultery may be a part of a campaign to silence the church's leading voice against bad governance in the country.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

State, men settle priest abuse suit

OREGON
The Oregonian

Tuesday, July 24, 2007
ASHBEL S. GREEN The Oregonian Staff
The Oregon Department of Justice has reached a $1 million settlement with more than a dozen men who say a Catholic priest sexually abused them at a state reform school in the 1970s.

The agreement settles all legal claims against the Rev. Michael Sprauer, a pastor at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility from 1972 to 1975.

The state additionally has paid more than $1.4 million in outside legal fees to defend Sprauer, who has repeatedly denied molesting boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Pastor gets 9 months in abuse of girl

YUBA CITY (CA)
Appeal Democrat

July 24, 2007 - 12:00AM

The devil did not make him do it, said a Yuba City pastor convicted of lewd and lascivious conduct with a 12-year-old girl.

But the devil does prey on people who have just completed fasting and taken communion – and those were the circumstances in April when he kissed the girl twice on the cheek and put his tongue in her mouth, Andres Garcia told detectives.

Garcia, 71, was sentenced Monday in Sutter County Superior Court to 270 days in jail, with credit for time served since his arrest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

July 23, 2007

Local bishop vows to prevent repeat of sex-crime arrest

CALIFORNIA
SanLuisObispo

By Sona Patel
spatel@thetribunenews.com

Acknowledging that the behavior of a Nipomo priest accused of committing sexual crimes near a San Luis Obispo County nude beach was inappropriate for clergymen, Bishop Richard Garcia said he would offer the man support and monitor his actions as much as possible.

“I will do everything I can to prevent this from happening again,” Garcia told The Tribune after a groundbreaking ceremony at Mission San Miguel on Saturday.

Tepidly pledging his commitment to halt this kind of behavior, the bishop added that his support would extend to the entire clergy if needed. Garcia said he believes parishioners’ strong

faith in the Catholic Church would not be diminished by last week’s arrest of the Rev. Geronimo Enrique Cuevas.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:23 PM

Boy-Molesting Priest Also Giuliani Consultant

NEW YORK
Wonkette

Cross-dressing thrice-married abortionist Rudy Giuliani is building a “dream team” of consultants that so far includes a diaper-wearing hooker-fucker in New Orleans and a coke-dealing state treasurer in South Carolina. He seems to be lacking a pedophile on his team. Any possibilities out there?

How about a “Catholic priest accused of sexually molesting boys and who also was the lawyer for a now-closed Whitinsville counseling house for troubled priests that has been described as the center of a pedophile sex ring,” would that work for Rudy? Why yes, yes it would!

Monsignor Alan J. Placa works for Giuliani Partners, annulled Giuliani’s first marriage, baptized two of Rudy’s kids (and we hope that’s all he did to Rudy’s poor kids) and was even the priest at the funeral for Rudy’s mom.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:17 PM

Father Nuss scandal

TOLEDO (OH)
13 ABC

WTVG--July 23, 2007 - A priest admits he had sex with a woman and now parishioners wonder why the diocese waited to announce it. A spokesperson for the diocese says they wanted to clear up the rumors about Father David Nuss so they sent a letter to the media.

Fr. David Nuss was chosen to replace Father Thomas Leyland after Leylands controversial departure. Father Nuss turned down the job. Now 13abc has learned that in January the priest told Bishop Blair he had a consensual, but inappropriate sexual relationship with a woman.

The bishop still felt Father Nuss was a perfect fit for the church and that his sin was personal. Parishioners uncovered Father Nuss' sin after an email was sent to Bishop Blair. It is from a close friend of the woman who had the relationship with Father Nuss. She expressed her concerns about his failure as a priest with her good friend.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 PM

Priest ‘asked me into his bedroom’

AUSTRALIA
The West Australian

24th July 2007, 6:15 WST

A 31-year-old woman broke down in tears yesterday as she told a District Court jury how a Catholic priest sexually abused her at his holiday home in Moore River more than 20 years ago.

With a public gallery of about 50 people including Perth Archbishop Barry Hickey watching, the woman said Father Richard Joseph Doyle invited her family to holiday at his two-bedroom “beach shack” when she was seven years old.

She said that while her parents were asleep early one morning in one bedroom, Father Doyle asked her to come into his bed in the home’s other bedroom to scratch his back and then put his hand inside her underpants and placed her hand on his penis.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:09 PM

State Settles MacLaren Sex Abuse Cases

OREGON
Public NewsRoom

By Colin Fogarty

PORTLAND, OR 2007-07-23 The state of Oregon has reached a settlement with 13 men who say they were sexually abused as teens by Father Michael Sprauer.

The Salem priest was the chaplain at the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn in the 1970s. Colin Fogarty reports.

In May, a Multnomah County jury delivered $1.4 million verdict against Sprauer. A 12-member jury sided with two accusers suing the priest.

The jury cleared Sprauer in a lawsuit by another man. The three cases were the only lawsuits against a Catholic priest in Oregon to reach a trial.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 PM

Ex-Catholic priest from Utah to stay in prison for molesting boy

SALT LAKE CITY (UT
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Pamela Manson
The Salt Lake Tribune

Article Last Updated: 07/23/2007 05:18:46 PM MDT

Posted: 2:48 PM- Defrocked Catholic priest James F. Rapp - who was accused by two Salt Lake County brothers of sexually abusing them more than 30 years ago - will remain incarcerated for the molestation of an Oklahoma boy, that state's parole board has decided.
The Oklahoma Board of Pardon and Parole reviewed Rapp's case last week and announced its decision on Monday. The former Utahn pleaded no contest in 1999 to lewd molestation of a Duncan boy and was sentenced to 40 years in prison.
Within the next few weeks, the board will schedule another parole review for Rapp, who taught at Judge Memorial Catholic High School in Salt Lake City for about five years. The then-priest, now 67, left the school in the mid-1970s and later worked in Michigan and Oklahoma parishes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:54 PM

The priest, the gay stripper and the missing money

CHICAGO (IL)
USA Today

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that a Chicago priest pleaded guilty Friday to stealing nearly $200,000 from parishioners so that he could give cash and gifts to a gay stripper.

Investigators say the Rev. Mark Sorvillo helped his friend, James Sosnicki, buy cars, a motorcycle, clothing and a computer.

"For about a year or so, Mark would give me about $1,000 a month," Sosnicki told police, according to the paper. "He gave me the money for spending time with him."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:16 PM

Local Abuse Network Accuses Catholic Church of Sheltering Molester

SAN FRANCISCO (CA)
KCBS

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) -- Local members of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, are accusing the San Francisco Salesians order of Catholic priests of sheltering an alleged serial child molester. This, just one week after the Los Angeles Archdiocese settled with sex-abuse victims for $660 million.

SNAP members handed out leaflets outside Saints Peter and Paul Church Sunday, warning parishioners of Father Richard Presenti, who they say is the subject of a new abuse lawsuit.

"We believe the priest is living here in San Francisco," said Joey Piscitelli, who told KCBS’ Chris Filippi he was molested by another priest who worked at the same church. "Salesians has a track record of sheltering accused molesters."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:04 PM

Penance: $660 million

LOS ANGELES (CA)
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

07/21/2007

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles this week agreed to pay $660 million to 508 people who say they were victims of sexual abuse by priests. Most of the incidents occurred when the victims were children.

Victims will be compensated according to the severity of their abuse, but the average settlement will be $1.3 million per case — considerably more than victims of similar outrages in St. Louis receive. Here, the church quietly has settled about 75 of roughly 100 abuse cases, according to David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Most victims settled for between $12,000 and $70,000, he said, with only about half a dozen plaintiffs receiving more than $100,000. The Archdiocese of St. Louis says it has paid $6.8 million in settlements over 10 years.

The disparity lies partly in differences in the law. Statutes of limitations in Missouri and Illinois restrict civil suits based on acts that occurred many years ago. Abuse plaintiffs know that their cases might be dismissed, so they settle for lower amounts. California suspended its statute of limitations for one year in 2003, prompting a flood of lawsuits. The Los Angeles cases accused more than 200 priests and went back nearly 70 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Zimbabwe: Ncube Case a State Security Job - Analysts

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

20 July 2007
Posted to the web 20 July 2007

Loughty Dube

THE alleged adultery case involving Archbishop Pius Ncube, a fierce critic of President Robert Mugabe, which has been sensationally playing out in the media, has a new twist to it after it emerged that the saga is a state security hatchet job to discredit the vocal cleric.

Analysts said events in the past week were reminiscent of the Cain Nkala and Ari Ben-Menashe issues and will collapse due to too many holes.

Archbishop Ncube is being sued for $20 billion by a Bulawayo man, Onesimus Sibanda, who alleges that he had an adulterous affair with his wife, Rosemary Sibanda.

Ncube's lawyer Nicholas Mathonsi, in a lengthy interview yesterday, said his client was not guilty and that it was for that reason he was contesting the case in court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:45 AM

Priest admits stealing $200K

CHICAGO (IL)
The Herald News

July 23, 2007
By Eric Herman sun-times news group
The Rev. Mark Sorvillo loved taking his parish's money and spending it on himself. Trips to Rome, Venice, Paris. And $900 meals at New York restaurants.

In 1999, Sorvillo found someone else to lavish his parishioners' collection-plate donations on--a male stripper.

Sorvillo--who pleaded guilty Friday to stealing nearly $200,000 from St. Margaret Mary parish on the North Side--gave cars, plane tickets and thousands of dollars in cash to James Sosnicki, a married Louisville man who stripped frequently at gay clubs in Chicago, law enforcement sources said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:04 AM

Pay sought after mistrial

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Monday, July 23, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

Attorneys for James Turner, who sued the state’s Roman Catholic diocese alleging he was molested by a priest as a teen in the 1970s, want a judge to award them $107,985 in legal costs after a trial in the case ended in a mistrial last month.

“Unfortunately, this is what it takes to get a major case ready for trial,” Jerome O’Neill, Turner’s lead lawyer in the case, said of the legal bill Friday after filing his reimbursement request at Chittenden County Superior Court.

O’Neill and a law partner, John Evers, said in the court papers that together they had spent 287.5 hours in pre-trial and trial time working on the case when Judge Ben Joseph declared a mistrial in the case June 25.

Diocesan attorney David Cleary, in an interview, scoffed at the amount O’Neill was seeking.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:01 AM

Plaintiff Wants Church To Pay Court Costs In Sex Abuse Trial

VERMONT
WPTZ

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- The lawyers for a man who sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington in a priest sex case that ended in a mistrial last month now want the church to pay their legal tab.

Jerome O'Neill and law partner John Evers said they ran up more than $100,000 in legal costs preparing and trying the case of James Turner, and that the Diocese should be ordered to pay the bill.

Judge Ben Joseph, who declared a mistrial in the case June 25 after four days of testimony, blamed it on church attorney David Cleary, saying Cleary violated pre-trial rulings on what Turner could be asked about the relationship between the priest he accused and Turner's brother.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:56 AM

Better a discredited Archbishop than a murderous despot

ZIMBABWE
Nehanda Radio

23 July 2007

By Cosmas Desmond
Cape Town

EVEN the prospect of a senior Roman Catholic clergyman being exposed as an adulterer is enough to occasion an orgy of schadenfreude. This could be considered a back-handed compliment in that it reflects the high esteem in which the clergy are held.

On the other hand, it is true that throughout history priests, bishops and even popes have succumbed to the weaknesses of the flesh. Contrary to popular perceptions, however, there is no evidence that Catholic priests are more prone to this than anybody else. They just get more publicity and people tend to take more delight in their downfall.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the Zimbabwean state media has had a field day in publishing what have been described as "lurid, grainy photographs they claim is Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube allegedly taken inside his bedroom with a naked woman".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:54 AM

Former pastor arrested

CALIFORNIA
The Californian

Staff and wire reports

A Roman Catholic priest who formerly served as pastor at a Salinas church has been arrested after he allegedly groped an undercover sheriff's deputy near a private beach in San Luis Obispo County, authorities said.

The Rev. Geronimo Enrique Cuevas, 52, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of sexual battery and soliciting a lewd act from an adult in a public place, San Luis Obispo County sheriff's Sgt. Brian Hascall said Friday. Cuevas was released on $2,000 bail.

At the time of his arrest, Cuevas was working as an assistant pastor at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Nipomo, part of the Diocese of Monterey. He was placed on administrative leave after the arrest, the diocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

Ore. paid one 1 million to firm in priest-abuse case

SALEM (OR)
KTVZ

Associated Press - July 23, 2007 9:05 AM ET

SALEM, Ore. (AP) - Oregon paid a little more than one million dollars to a law firm to defend the state in lawsuits by 14 men who claimed they were abused by a priest at the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility during the 1970s.

The state hired the Idaho-based firm of Greener, Banducci and Shoemaker. The payments totaled 1.oh-four million dollars, according to documents obtained by the Statesman Journal newspaper through a public records request.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:50 AM

Children should learn that it's OK to tell any adult, 'Don't touch me'

NEW YORK
Democrat & Chronicle

(July 23, 2007) — In the wake of the million-dollar settlements that the Catholic Church is required to pay out to all the victims of sexual abuse who have been brave enough to come forward, I find it stunning that no one is talking about the reasons for this history of abuse.

Pope Benedict XVI has found a handy scapegoat and has made a statement against gay men entering the priesthood. That may sound good, and it is certainly in line with the church's belief system, but unfortunately that reasoning is statistically inaccurate. Gay men are no more likely than heterosexual men to victimize children. People who victimize children are not heterosexual, they are not homosexual, they are pedophiles. They prey on children. Why? Because children are powerless and pedophilia is all about power and control.

So why is the incidence of sexual abuse so very high among Catholic priests? Could it be that requiring people to remain celibate and then putting them in positions of power is an incredibly bad idea? Perhaps celibacy is the root cause of this plague — in conjunction with the church's propensity for expecting blind obedience even from its adult congregants.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

SA Jewry gives ‘philandering’ rabbi the boot

SOUTH AFRICA
The Times

Julian Rademeyer Published:Jul 15, 2007

Secrecy surrounds the sacking of a prominent South African rabbi who was allegedly caught having an affair with a married woman.

Amid a growing scandal, Rabbi Lewis Furman of Johannesburg, who was also a family counsellor and international speaker , is believed to have left South Africa for Israel where he is undergoing “rehabilitation”.

Furman — who is alleged by congregants to have been a “serial philanderer” — was forced to resign his position in South Africa and will not practise as a rabbi in this country again.

South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein said: “These events have caused much pain and anguish, which has been exacerbated by much unfounded speculation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 AM

Will abuser be abused?

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear | Tribune religion reporter
July 23, 2007

Despite concerns expressed by Rev. Daniel McCormack's defense lawyers that their high-profile client is in danger of attack behind bars, the Illinois Department of Corrections has not placed the priest in protective custody.

Instead, the convicted sex offender is one of more than 1,400 inmates working, dining and bunking together inside Jacksonville Correctional Center, an overcrowded minimum-security prison in central Illinois that does not offer segregated quarters for at-risk prisoners.

Experts say McCormack's role as a priest, his status as a first-time offender, the nature of his crime against children and his race combine to put his life in jeopardy. He is also at higher risk of sexual violence, though the notion that McCormack deserves protection from the very type of crime he committed offends some.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:28 AM

Cardinal Mahony's actions deserve to be investigated

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Vindy

HOW WE SEE IT

What did Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles know about the sexual abuse of minors by priests and religious, when did he know it and what did he do about it?

Those questions should form the basis of an independent investigation of the archbishop's role in this despicable scandal now that the archdiocese has agreed to pay a record $660 million to over 500 victims of sexual abuse. The court-ordered agreement, which brings to an end more than five years of negotiations, means that Mahony will not have to testify in a trial about his actions in what victims groups have said was concealment and cover-up of criminal and sinful acts by priests, deacons and others.

But that does not mean he should be given a pass by the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

Bishop reacts to local priest's arrest

SAN MIGUEL (CA)
KSBY

July 22, 2007

Reported by: Stacy Daniel

SAN MIGUEL

A high ranking church official addresses the issue of one of their own being arrested during a sting operation.

Here are the facts first:

The undercover operation netted three men for allegedly committing sexual offenses at a local nude beach.
It was conducted by the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department.
One of the men arrested was an associate pastor at a Catholic church in Nipomo.
He has since been placed on administrative leave.
Spirits are high at Sunday's mass at Mission San Miguel despite a scandal brewing within the Central Coast's Catholic community.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

Diocese: Local priest had ‘inappropriate’ contact with woman

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By ROBIN ERB
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A Toledo priest who was to take over St. Rose Parish in Perrysburg — but then abruptly stepped away from the new post — has been placed on a sabbatical after a “consensual but inappropriate” relationship with a woman, the Toledo diocese said.

The Rev. David Nuss alerted the diocese in January about the relationship and has “expressed his sincere sorrow” for his actions, according to a release yesterday by the diocesan office.

But just why the diocese revealed the information yesterday is baffling and frustrating, said Joan Foster, a longtime St. Rose parishioner.

Bishop Leonard Blair “knew this in January and now he pretends this is brand new news? Aren’t we Christians? Isn’t truth one of our most important things?” she asked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Born-again in Christ and proud to be so

UGANDA
Monitor

Martin Etwop
After reading Fr Larry Kanyike’s Opinion Article, “Is Jesus for sale” (SM, July 22).I thought I should respond. I am a born-again Ugandan Christian, working as a missionary in California. I feel so ashamed about what has been going on within the Balokole church in Uganda.

I have long admired Fr Kanyike since my Makerere University days because I respected him as a person who speaks out against political and social injustices. But I never knew that he was a very intolerant, religious segregationist.

True, some pastors of some of the Balokole churches have been crooked. They ought to be sent to Luzira prison for a minimum of 14 years. Jesus said, “many will come in my name saying we drove out demons, spoke in tongues, etc, but I will say unto them, I never knew you, away from me you workers of iniquity.” ...

Just a week ago, Cardinal Maloney of the Los Angeles Catholic Diocese(Los Angeles, California), the biggest and richest diocese in the United States, presided over the biggest payout compensation for people who had been sexually molested by priests. It was more than S600 million. But can that buy back the dignity of a little boy who has been raped.

I wonder whether Fr Kanyike read Pope Benedict XIV’s apostolic constitution Sacramentum Poenitentiae of 1741. That is how far back the recorded issue of priests molesting altar boys goes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:05 AM

Police: Ex-employee stole from church

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS (FL)
Orlando Sentinel

Susan Jacobson and Josh Robbins | Sentinel Staff Writers
July 23, 2007

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS - Parishioners at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church were saddened Sunday to learn that a former church employee is suspected of stealing an estimated $675,000 from church coffers and is under police investigation.

At the end of the noon Mass, the Rev. Charlie Mitchell read a letter from Bishop Thomas Wenski of the Catholic Diocese of Orlando that said the former employee admitted to the embezzlement but contested the amount of money taken.

"As pastor of St. Mary Magdalen, I don't think there is anything that I can recall that's harder for me to say to you than what I'm about to say now," Mitchell told about 350 people assembled. He made similar announcements Saturday night and at earlier services Sunday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Abuse allegations surface at second Canberra college

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

Marist College Canberra headmaster Richard Sidorko yesterday moved to reassure parents that all possible measures are in place to prevent abuse after reports emerged that several former students are planning legal action over abuse claims dating back to the 1970s and 80s.

ABC News reports that the school hit the headlines yesterday after newspaper reports claimed several men had raised concerns about the conduct of a former male teacher.

Lyons, who committed suicide in 2000 after he was charged with the indecent assault of a 15-year-old male student at Daramalan College in 1989, taught at Marist College for about 12 years until he left for Daramalan in 1989.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Retired bishop backed priests' shelter

RENO (NV)
Reno Gazette-Journal

MARTHA BELLISLE
RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL
Posted: 7/22/2007

Reno's former Roman Catholic bishop, Phillip Straling, supported building a facility for priests accused of molesting children when he was bishop in San Bernardino, Calif., and used some of the priests held there to work in his diocese, according to testimony from a priest who led the group that ran the center.

The Rev. Joseph McNamara revealed Straling's involvement in the creation of the Servants of the Paraclete facility in Cherry Valley, Calif., during his June 21 testimony in the massive legal case against Los Angeles-area priests accused of sexually abusing children.

The Diocese of Los Angeles settled that case last week for a record $660 million.

The Southern California facility, built in Straling's San Bernardino diocese in 1980, was used as "a clerical prison for holding known child sex offenders from all over the country instead of turning them over to the police," said Patrick Wall, a consultant with a Southern California law firm handling hundreds of cases against priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

LA abuse settlement includes area man

GALLUP (NM)
Independent

First of a two-part series

By Elizabeth Hardin-Burrola
Staff Writer

GALLUP — The actions of a former Diocese of Gallup priest and convicted sex offender just cost the Archdiocese of Los Angeles a substantial settlement for the sexual abuse of a Winslow, Ariz., teenage boy in the 1980s.

It's also possible the actions of James Burns will be costing the Diocese of Gallup and its insurers some more money in the future.

Burns, a former Catholic priest living in Wickenburg, Ariz., is one of more than 160 priests, members of religious orders, and church lay workers who were accused of child molestation by more than 500 plaintiffs in civil lawsuits filed against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Burns, who had his priestly faculties removed in June 1993, was included because of allegations that he had abused the Winslow boy during trips to California.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

July 22, 2007

Editorial: Just tell the truth

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Daily News Tribune

That huge pre-trial settlement of alleged priest abuse cases in Los Angeles, though at long last putting money in the hands of 508 wounded families, is grossly unsatisfactory for both the church and its members.

It leaves unanswered the question, what did Cardinal Roger Mahony know about priests who were molesting young people and what did he do about it? Knowing the truth is absolutely essential, and more important than money, for any hope of rebuilding crippled lives and needed trust.

Cardinal Mahony has admitted that he left five priests in the ministry despite complaints. The Los Angeles Times counted 16 instances. If experience elsewhere is any guide, this is likely the tip of the iceberg.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

Priest In Chicago Financed Male Stripper Using Stolen Funds From Church

CHICAGO (IL)
All Headline News

July 22, 2007 2:44 p.m. EST

Kathy Henry - AHN News Writer
Chicago, Illinois (AHN) - A Catholic priest who pleaded guilty Friday to stealing almost $200,000 from a church on the North Side of Chicago gave lavish gifts such as cars, plane tickets and thousands of dollars to a male stripper who worked at gay clubs in Chicago, according to law enforcement sources.

The Rev. Mark Sorvillo was forced to resign from St. Margaret Mary Church in February 2006 after he was caught stealing from collection bags and in October 2006, he was charged with felony theft by state prosecutors.

An investigation showed that he stole more than $40,000 from collection bags, wrote checks to himself and his creditors using church funds and charged more than $62,000 in purchases at ritzy department stores to the parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:29 PM

Diocese of Buffalo hardly touched by clergy sexual abuse settlements

BUFFALO (NY)
Buffalo News

By Jay Tokasz NEWS STAFF REPORTER
Updated: 07/22/07 10:09 AM

Catholic dioceses across the country have paid in excess of $2 billion in settlements to victims of clergy sexual abuse, but little of that amount has come from the Diocese of Buffalo.

Diocesan officials have reported spending $1.02 million on settlements, legal fees and therapy for victims and offenders between 1950 and 2005, a period when 53 clergy were accused in 105 incidents of sexual abuse.

They did not provide numbers for 2006 and the first half of 2007.

So far, the Buffalo diocese’s financial losses due to the clergy abuse scandal pale in comparison to places such as Los Angeles, where the archdiocese last week reached a settlement with more than 500 abuse victims for $660 million; the Archdiocese of Boston, which is paying $129.6 million in settlements; and the Archdiocese of Portland, Ore., which declared bankruptcy after settling for $53 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:14 AM

St. Bernard Lapse Part Of Larger Problem

MONTVILLE (CT)
The Day

Montville — Since authorities charged a former St. Bernard School employee this month with embezzling nearly $850,000, officials from the Catholic institution have largely rebuffed efforts to learn more about the school's financial controls, and why it took nearly four years to catch on to the scheme.

While Diocese of Norwich officials, including Bishop Michael R. Cote and spokesman Michael Strammiello, have said that new accounting controls are in place to prevent future embezzlements, they have refused to say what changes have been made in the wake of former bus coordinator Salvatore R. Licitra's arrest, or to open up the school's books to scrutiny by parishioners or the public.

Yet, amid lingering questions among some of the faithful about church management and in the wake of studies showing a surprising level of financial mismanagement in parishes across the country, a movement toward transparency and accountability may be on the horizon anyway.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:06 AM

Man petitions Vatican about adultery claim

ZIMBABWE
IOL

July 22 2007 at 02:51PM

A Zimbabwean man who has sued the Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo Diocese Pius Ncube for adultery, has notified the local papal representative of the case, state media reported on Sunday.

Ncube, one of President Robert Mugabe's arch-critics, sued last Monday for adultery, has denied any wrong doing.

"Our client is a devout Catholic and indeed his entire family is within your church," the lawyers of Onesimus Sibanda, said in a letter to the Vatican representative in Harare, Archbishop Adams, the Sunday Mail reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:03 AM

Giuliani has connection with accused priest

MASSACHUSETTS
Worcester Telegram & Gazette

By Shaun Sutner TELEGRAM & GAZETTE STAFF
ssutner@telegram.com

Republican presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani has close ties to a Catholic priest accused of sexually molesting boys and who also was the lawyer for a now-closed Whitinsville counseling house for troubled priests that has been described as the center of a pedophile sex ring.

Monsignor Alan J. Placa, who works for Mr. Giuliani’s consulting firm, Giuliani Partners, was legal adviser in the 1980s to the House of Affirmation, where priests accused of sexual abuse were sent for psychotherapy and other counseling services. The center closed in 1987 amid a financial scandal.

Monsignor Placa, who while an active priest arranged the annulment of Mr. Giuliani’s first marriage, baptized his two children and officiated at the funeral of his mother, is a childhood friend of Mr. Giuliani and they both attended Manhattanville College.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 AM

Catholic Church Sex Scandal Settlement Verdict! Victim Talks

LOS ANGELES (CA)
YouTube

Esther Miller discusses the recent $660 million settlement in Los Angeles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Cardinal Roger Mahony's Apology

LOS ANGELES (CA)
YouTube

Video of Cardinal Roger Mahony's apology regarding the recent $660 million settlement of lawsuits involving sexual abuse by some priests of the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:30 AM

Phil Saviano - Fr. David Holley, Catholic clergy abuse case

WORCESTER (MA)
YouTube

Phil Saviano discusses sexual abuse of children in the Worcester diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:27 AM

The Teflon cardinal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By David Rieff
July 22, 2007

At first glance, it seems difficult to imagine how Cardinal Roger M. Mahony can survive the pedophile scandal. Far from putting the matter to rest, the $660-million settlement that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay the victims of the abuse -- child rape, alas, is often the more accurate term -- can only lead to further wonder, and worry, about the cardinal's conduct throughout the course of the scandal.

By his own admission, Mahony decided not to inform the police when he learned what was going on, and, indeed, he allowed the most predatory of the priests to return to their ministries after treatment programs the cardinal himself now concedes were ineffective. Saying, as he now does, that he wishes that the victims' lives were like "VHS tapes" that could be rewound to a point before the crimes were committed seems like an extraordinarily self-exculpating way of describing what went on. And skeptics can surely be forgiven for wondering why the archdiocese decided to settle only a few days before Mahony would have been obliged to testify in open court.

And yet, however grotesque it may appear to those who are understandably unwilling to forgive Mahony for what he now concedes were grievous errors, my guess is that he will survive relatively unscathed in his position -- unlike, say, his counterpart Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston, a prince of the church who had to be removed from office by the Vatican and transferred to virtual exile in Rome. Indeed, Mahony is not only likely to remain in office but can be expected to do so with his power and his moral authority among the overwhelming majority of his parishioners largely intact.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 AM

3 newsy topics: Where the new bishop stands

PENNSYLVANIA
Beaver County Times

By: Michael Pound - Times Staff
07/21/2007

Once the homecoming is done, the work for Bishop David Zubik will just be getting started.

Economy native Zubik, 57, will return to Pittsburgh in about 10 weeks to take over as the newly appointed bishop of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese. It's easy to think of Zubik as a known quantity, especially to Beaver County's Catholics - his work at Quigley Catholic High School and the Sisters of St. Joseph in the 1980s and his frequent appearances here even while serving as a diocesan administrator through the 1990s until his appointment as bishop in Green Bay, Wis. ...

The issue: The widespread reports of sexual abuse by priests continues to rock the Catholic church in the United States, with the Catholic Diocese of Los Angeles just announcing days ago a $660 million settlement for victims of abuse there.

Neither Green Bay nor Pittsburgh was immune to the scandal. The John Jay College study, released in 2004, showed that 95 people in the Pittsburgh diocese had been abused between 1950 and 2002; those victims accused 51 members of the clergy of misconduct. In Green Bay, 59 victims made accusations against 35 clergy.

Zubik's response: On Wednesday, Zubik declined to comment on the Los Angeles settlement, saying he didn't know its details. But, he said, he worked to ensure that the church in Green Bay rebuilt the trust it had lost in the scandal and would do the same here.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:20 AM

Broadcaster: No malice in airing archbishop's alleged sex pictures

ZIMBABWE
Monsters and Critics

Jul 20, 2007, 13:55 GMT

Harare - Zimbabwe's state broadcaster Friday protested that there was no malice behind its airing of footage of Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube's alleged sexual encounters.

Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) head Henry Muradzikwa said ZBC TV fiercely defended the decision to repeatedly air video footage of the archbishop, an outspoken government critic.

'Archbishop Pius Ncube is a public figure and he is expected by society to abide by certain moral ethics,' Muradzikwa said.

'What ZBC did is fair comment, with no malice and for the benefit of the public,' the chief executive was quoted as saying.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:17 AM

Zimbabwe: Flagrante Delicto

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

Zimbabwe Independent (Harare)

Darlington Majonga

THIS week the state media unleashed hardcore images and stories of a man they said was Archbishop Pius Ncube secretly filmed in flagrante delicto with suspected female members of his diocese.

The pornography -- needless to say in family papers and on national television -- was said to be irrefutable evidence that the man of cloth was involved in sexual intercourse against his Catholic vow of celibacy.

The exposé came after a Bulawayo man filed a $20 billion adultery civil suit against the cleric for allegedly bonking his wife, Rosemary Sibanda.

There is no doubt the Ncube scandal has come as a godsend -- if it was not by design -- to an establishment desperate for anything that might divert the attention of abused and impoverished citizens from the daily depravations of life under the great one.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

Southern Africa's Catholic Bishops Rally To Embattled Zimbabwe Prelate

ZIMBABWE
Voice of America

By Carole Gombakomba and Fazila Mahomed
Washington and Harare
20 July 2007

The Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference has dismissed the allegations of adultery lodged against Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo this week, saying that the Z$20 billion (US$125,000) dollar civil suit is meant to cast “doubt on his credibility.”

Conference President Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg Diocese appealed to the public not to pass judgement on Ncube as to his alleged adulterous relationship with Bulawayo parish secretary Rosemary Sibanda, whose estranged husband filed the complaint. Tlhagale said Ncube’s guilt or innocence "has yet to be proved.”

Tlhagale could not be reached for further comment; he was said to be traveling to Angola for a regional meeting of Southern African bishops beginning late Friday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:14 AM

L.A. cardinal's apology may not suffice

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Kentucky.com

By Rachel Zoll
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony approved a record clergy abuse payout, opened the files of the Roman Catholic priests involved and looked into the cameras and apologized last week for the victims' treatment. And it still might not be enough to satisfy some.

To fund the archdiocese's share of the $660 million settlement, the cardinal will have to sell property, liquidate investments and cut spending, dismantling part of what he built in more than two decades as the city's archbishop.

Even so, critics question whether the cardinal should have done more to rein in predatory priests in the nation's largest archdiocese. Bishops answer only to the Vatican, which had to sign off on some funding of the settlement, but every church leader needs the trust of the parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:11 AM

Sex claims spread to Marist

AUSTRALIA
The Canberra Times

Kate Hannon

Allegations of sexual abuse of students by a former teacher at Daramalan College have spread to another Canberra Catholic school, Marist College, where the accused teacher had earlier worked for more than a decade.

Two former students of Marist College in Pearce have called on the school to acknowledge alleged sexual abuse of former students by two former teachers, one a Marist Brother, during the 1970s and 1980s.

A third former Marist student has in the past week contacted Porters Lawyers, which is representing former Daramalan College students in their action over alleged sexual abuse by former teacher Paul John Lyons.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:09 AM

Zimbabwe: Ncube coverage "an affront to ethical journalism" - Misa

ZIMBABWE
African Path

July 21, 2007 08:57 AM

By Dennis Rekayi

HARARE - A media watchdog in Zimbabwe says the coverage of the alleged adultery case involving Archbishop Pius Ncube of the Bulawayo Archdiocese by the State media is an affront to ethical journalism.

The Zimbabwe Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) said the reportage was unfair and unbalanced.

"The coverage of the purported revelations and 'scoop' by the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC), The Chronicle and The Herald are an affront to ethical journalism and the principle of fair and balanced reporting especially as the matter is before the courts and therefore subjudice," said Loughty Dube, Misa-Zimbabwe chairman in a statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:06 AM

Child abuser avoids prison

AUSTRALIA
Adelaide Now

A FORMER Seventh Day Adventist Church official has avoided jail after pleading guilty to the sexual abuse of a seven-year-old girl.

Keith Phillip Langton, 79, of Moonta on Yorke Peninsula, pleaded guilty to one count of indecent assault, which occurred 27 years ago.

A similar charge was dropped by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions as part of the plea bargain deal.

Langton, who was a school superintendent with the church at the time of the offending, was arrested by Pedophile Task Force detectives in September 2005 following a long investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:03 AM

Abuse cost Harrisburg diocese $2.4 million

HARRISBURG (PA)
The Patriot-News

Sunday, July 22, 2007

BY MARY WARNER
Of The Patriot-News
Since the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles' $660 million settlement with clergy sex-abuse victims, the Harrisburg Diocese has updated its own -- much smaller -- costs.

It has spent $2.4 million on legal fees, settlements and victims' therapy during the five-year scandal that has roiled the church nationwide, the diocese said.

"The types of behavior that have affected a few other dioceses and other public institutions and schools have been addressed promptly and effectively whenever they have become known to this diocese," a written statement from the Harrisburg Diocese said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 AM

Mahony and the Catholic Church must institute some serious reforms

CALIFORNIA
The Record

By The Record
July 22, 2007 6:00 AM
Actions speak louder than words.

A week ago today, Cardinal Roger Michael Mahony presided at Mass in the $189.7 million Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles and then held a press conference.

He apologized to victims of alleged sex abuse by priests who are part of a $660 million settlement to which Mahony and his diocese have agreed.

Here's what Mahony didn't say but should have:

I, too, have sinned. For too long, I withheld the truth. I worried more about legal issues than moral ones. I worked harder at protecting the church's image - and assets - than protecting vulnerable young people from Stockton to Los Angeles. I'm not qualified to lead. I resign.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:57 AM

Church counselor charged with abusing boys

NEW LEXINGTON (OH)
Times Recorder

By KATHY THOMPSON
Staff Writer

NEW LEXINGTON - A Lancaster man was arrested on five counts of gross sexual imposition Friday and is incarcerated at the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail in Nelsonville waiting to make his first appearance in a Perry County court Tuesday morning.

Timmy S. Keil, 43, was a counselor at the Scioto Youth Camp in Junction City when the Perry County Sheriff's Office received a report on July 19 that an alleged sexual abuse had taken place with one of the young campers.

Lt. Paul Drake said Keil, who volunteers at the camp, was questioned regarding the incident and denied any wrongdoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:55 AM

Huge abuse settlement another blow to church

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The News Tribune

THE NEWS TRIBUNE Published: July 22nd, 2007 01:00 AM

The $660 million settlement for 508 victims of sexual abuse by priests in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles was stunning because of its scope.

The payout – the victims each will receive $1.3 million – is five times larger than any previous deal struck by a diocese in the 5-year-old scandal that has plagued the church in America for five years.

But the settlement is hardly absolution for the church or for Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahoney, accused of transferring known molesters from parish to parish like so many other American Catholic church authorities have done.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:48 AM

Oklahoma: Priest stripped of status as cleric

TULSA (OK)
The Joplin Globe

The Associated Press

TULSA, Okla. — A Catholic priest in Tulsa has been stripped of his clerical duties following an ecclesiastical trial over allegations of sexual abuse.

Ken Lewis, 49, is the only priest in the history of the Diocese of Tulsa to be “laicized,” or dismissed from the clerical state. Lewis worked at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and Holy Family Cathedral in Tulsa and other churches around the state before he resigned in 2002.

The decision of the ecclesiastical trial, the first ever held by the diocese, to strip Lewis of his status as a cleric was not official until the pope affirmed it. The Rev. Michael Knipe, canon lawyer and spokesman for the diocese, said word was received from Rome on July 5.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 AM

Some answers in sex-abuse scandal

UNITED STATES
Union-Tribune

By Sandi Dolbee and Mark Sauer
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITERS

July 22, 2007

It began as a national scandal in 2002, a wildfire sweeping across the nation fueled by terrible secrets that had gone untended for decades.

Thousands of lawsuits were filed against dioceses around the country by people who say they were abused by Roman Catholic priests when they were minors. Included in this tally were about 150 cases involving San Diego priests and other church personnel dating to the 1930s.
On Feb. 27, the day before the first of those lawsuits was set to go to trial, San Diego became the fifth – and largest – diocese to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

“Early trial judgments in favor of some victims could so deplete diocesan and insurance resources that there would be nothing left for other victims,” Bishop Robert Brom wrote in a letter to parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

'Very even-keeled' Zubik prepares for new role

GREEN BAY (WI)
Appleton Post Crescent

By Ann Rodgers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

GREEN BAY — Dwarfed by nearby paper mills, the Mill Town Cafe draws a blue-collar crowd — and a Catholic bishop who relishes its liver and onions.

The first time Bonnie Homan saw David Zubik enter her establishment, she was amazed.

"I thought, oh, the bishop, he must be high and mighty. But he never made you feel he was higher than you. He made you feel like he was regular people," she said. ...

He has faced criticism. A religious order priest sued after Zubik removed him as pastor following parishioner complaints about management style and liturgical practices. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests castigated him for not publishing names of former diocesan priests against whom there had been sexual abuse allegations, but no criminal charges or lawsuits.

That criticism rankles his staffers, who say he meets with victims of sexual abuse and that preventing abuse was the first priority on which he laid down the law after he arrived.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:40 AM

Legal bills top $1 million in priest abuse case

OREGON
Statesman Journal

ALAN GUSTAFSON
Statesman Journal

July 22, 2007

Oregon has shelled out more than $1 million to a Boise, Idaho, law firm hired to defend the state in sexual-abuse lawsuits brought against the Rev. Michael Sprauer of Salem.

State payments to the firm of Greener, Banducci and Shoemaker totaled $1,036,317 from October 2005 through May 2007, according to documents obtained by the Statesman Journal through a public records request with the state Department of Justice.

Leading the state-hired defense team is William Tharp, a former Oregon assistant attorney general who left the Department of Justice in 2005 to join the Boise firm.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 AM

July 21, 2007

More on Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Coming Oout in Mid-Life in Red America

I received a comment from Bishop Accountability http://www.bishopaccountability.org/ today on the Los Angeles Archdiocese sexual abuse settlement. This group has a wealth of information and documentation that shows the extent of the sex abuse scandal and, even more damning, the legths that the hierarchy went to cover it up. Here's the comment:

1. The final total of $660 million is lower than many expected. Predicted totals had ranged as high as $1.6 billion.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 PM

The Sin of Solicitation

UNITED STATES
Weapon of Mass Destruction

July 21st, 2007 ·
William Kennedy mentioned a Vatican document called “The Sin of Solicitation” during our interview about pedophile priests on The Eagle 93.9 yesterday. As a faithful Roman Catholic (like Bill Kennedy), my producer, Justin, was upset by the topic — and I have to admit that I was skeptical about the existence of a document directly from the Vatican that ordered bishops to cover up sex crimes by priests.

Bill just sent me the links, and he’s right.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 PM

Church leader faces charges in sex assault

OKLAHOMA
KSWO

Associated Press - July 21, 2007 10:55 AM ET

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (AP) - An arrest warrant has been issued for a church deacon accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old church member.

Orlando Javier Wynn faces five counts of second-degree rape, six counts of forcible oral sodomy and one count of lewd acts with a child.

Wynn is a deacon at Divine Wisdom Worship Center. The pastor, the Reverend Theodis Manning, spearheads a ministry to former gang members.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 PM

Accused church deacon turns himself in

OKLAHOMA
Tulsa World

7/21/2007 1:59 PM
Last Modified: 7/21/2007 7:07 PM

MIDWEST CITY -- A church deacon accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old church member has turned himself in to Midwest City police.

Orlando Javier Wynn, a deacon at Divine Wisdom Worship Center, faces five counts of second-degree rape, six counts of forcible oral sodomy and one count of lewd acts with a child.

Midwest City police say Wynn, 39, turned himself in about 3:40 p.m. CDT on Saturday. Wynn's bail is set at $580,000, according to Oklahoma County District Court records.

The pastor at Divine Wisdom Worship Center, the Rev. Theodis Manning, spearheads a ministry to former gang members. In June, Manning teamed with Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater to host a "Stop the Violence Community Rally."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 PM

Questions linger about L.A. cardinal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

By RACHEL ZOLL
AP RELIGION WRITER

Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony approved a record clergy abuse payout, opened the files of the Roman Catholic priests involved and looked into the cameras and apologized last week for the victims' treatment. And it still might not be enough to satisfy some.

To fund the archdiocese's share of the $660 million settlement, the cardinal will have to sell property, liquidate investments and cut spending, dismantling part of what he built in more than two decades as the city's archbishop.

Even so, critics question whether the cardinal should have done more to rein in predatory priests in the nation's largest archdiocese. Bishops answer only to the Vatican, which had to sign off on some funding of the settlement, but every church leader needs the trust of the parishioners.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:02 PM

Lawyer says Oregon to settle suit over priest abuse at juvenile prison

SALEM (OR)
KXLY

Associated Press
Last updated: Saturday, July 21st, 2007 11:38:54 AM

SALEM, ORE. -- A lawyer says the state of Oregon has agreed to settle the cases of 14 men who accused a priest at a juvenile correctional facility of sexually abusing them in the 1970s.

Salem lawyer Daniel Gatti says the state has agreed to pay his clients a little more than $1 million.

A state spokeswoman confirms that a settlement is on the way but says it hasn't been made final.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:01 PM

Priest stripped of status as cleric

TULSA (OK)
KSWO

Associated Press - July 21, 2007 2:05 PM ET

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A Catholic priest in Tulsa has been stripped of his clerical duties following an ecclesiastical trial over allegations of sexual abuse.

Ken Lewis is the only priest in the history of the Diocese of Tulsa to be "laicized," or dismissed from the clerical state.

Lewis worked at St. Mary's Catholic Church and Holy Family Cathedral in Tulsa and other churches around the state before he resigned in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:53 PM

Putting A Price On Innocence

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Canyon News

Posted by Monica Davis on Jul 22, 2007 - 10:24:06 PM

The $660 million settlement reached this week, between the Los Angeles Archdiocese and the 508 plaintiffs, is the largest in the history for the Catholic Church. The LA archdiocese, the largest in the US with landholdings estimated to nearly 1,600 and worth $1.4 billion, will pay $250 million; insurance carriers will cover $227 million, leaving several religious orders to pay the remaining $60 million.

Despite popular belief, the settlement will not be split evenly, [THIS DOESN'T MAKE SENSE ---> and grant each victim $1.4 million. Instead, the settlement will be divided amongst the plaintiffs and according to the duration and severity of abuse inflicted by the clergymen.

The settlement was reached on the day the case was to go to trial, leaving some victims’ let down. Steven Sanchez, a victim who was ready for trial, said “No matter how much money you give me, I can’t cash that check and take it somewhere where I’m ten years old again.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:50 PM

L.A. abuse-case settlement must give Catholics pause

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Morning Call

Donald P. Russo
July 21, 2007

Tradition is powerful in our lives. We continue following certain behaviors and routines because they are what we were taught to do. Catholics continue going to Mass on Sunday, despite overwhelming evidence that the church has been involved in some monstrous misdeeds. Last week, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay $660 million to 500 victims of sexual abuse dating back as far as the 1940s. It was the largest compensation of its kind ever recorded. The settlement means victims will receive more than $1 million each.

We are getting used to hearing about financial compensation being paid by the church to those who have been abused by priests. The case that led to the huge settlement was scheduled to go to trial last week in Los Angeles Superior Court. The suit was filed by 12 plaintiffs who accused former priest Clinton Hagenbach of molesting them. Hagenbach died in the 1980s. Had the case gone to trial, lawyers would have been able to place Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop of Los Angeles, in the untenable position of having to testify about the church's cover-up of abuses dating from the 1940s to the 1990s. The Los Angeles Times has estimated that the Los Angeles Archdiocese has real estate holdings worth more than $4 billion. The archdiocese in Boston has also been involved in large settlement payouts for victims of sexual abuse. "Though it has always been the position of the Archdiocese that the insurance companies must honor their responsibility to fund a major share of future settlements, the Archdiocese must also be prepared to fund its share of these coming settlements," Cardinal Mahony said in a May statement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Sister Therese Guerin Sullivan named first woman chancellor of Cleveland diocese

CLEVELAND (OH)
The Plain Dealer

Saturday, July 21, 2007

An expert on church law who served on the Diocesan Review Board monitoring allegations of sexual abuse against minors will be the new chancellor of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.

Sister Therese Guerin Sullivan, 65, will take over the position responsible for the daily administration of the diocese on Aug. 1, Bishop Richard Lennon announced.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Central Coast pastor arrested for investigation of sexual battery

CALIFORNIA
Monterey Herald

The Associated Press
Article Last Updated: 07/20/2007 08:56:21 PM PDT

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif.—An assistant pastor at a Catholic church was arrested for investigation of sexual battery after he allegedly groped an undercover sheriff's deputy near a private beach, authorities said Friday.

The Rev. Geronimo Enrique Cuevas, 52, who was arrested on Wednesday, also was booked on suspicion of soliciting a lewd act from an adult in a public place, said San Luis Obispo County sheriff's Sgt. Brian Hascall.

The pastor was released on $2,000 bail.

Cuevas allegedly "grabbed the crotch area" of a sheriff's deputy working undercover on foot trails leading to Pirate's Cove, a secluded private beach known for nude sunbathing several miles south of San Luis Obispo, Hascall said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

He is found not guilty of charges that he harassed female co-worker

BROCKPORT (NY)
Democrat & Chronicle

Ernst Lamothe Jr.
Staff writer

(July 21, 2007) — The Rev. Peter Enyan-Boadu, a Roman Catholic priest who served as pastor of the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Brockport, was found not guilty Friday of three counts of second-degree harassment and one count each of forcible touching and attempted forcible touching.

The charges, all misdemeanors, were filed by a female co-worker on Nov. 5, 2006. The verdict was returned in Sweden Town Court.

"It's very important to stress that he was found not guilty on all charges," said Cathy Cerame, temporary pastoral administrator for the church. "He is expected to return to (the church) as pastor."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 AM

Priest abuse cases to settle for $1 million

OREGON
Statesman Journal

ALAN GUSTAFSON
Statesman Journal

July 21, 2007

The state has agreed to pay $1,050,000 to 14 men who sued the Rev. Michael Sprauer, alleging that he sexually abused them in the 1970s at the MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility in Woodburn, said Salem attorney Daniel Gatti, who represents the men.

A state Department of Justice official confirmed Friday that a settlement was nearing completion.

"From the state's perspective, I can confirm that we are in the midst of reaching a settlement," said Stephanie Soden, a DOJ spokeswoman. "But I don't believe that everything has been finalized."

An out-of-court settlement would cap a legal battle that erupted several years ago, when the former MacLaren inmates filed a series of sex-abuse suits against the Salem priest.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

KETCHUM: Reputation of Church lost in abuse scandal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Port Huron Times-Herald

So why didn't the Archdiocese of Los Angeles put a stop to clergy sex abuse long ago?

I can think of 660 million reasons why the clerics should have.

That's how many dollars it's going to cost to set things as right as they can get in a legal settlement of abuse claims, some of which are more than half a century old.

The settlement, ratified Monday by a judge, involves more than 500 victims of abuse and is the largest payout since the church's dirty linen began being washed in public in 2002. That's when abuse charges emerged in a scandal in Boston.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:33 AM

Priest's sex tape aired 'in public interest'

ZIMBABWE
Weekend Argus

July 21, 2007 Edition 1

Zimbabwe's state broadcaster yesterday protested that there was no malice behind its airing of footage of Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube's alleged sexual encounters.

Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) head Henry Muradzikwa said ZBC TV fiercely defended the decision to repeatedly air video footage of the archbishop, an outspoken government critic.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Church sex abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Jeremy Roberts | July 21, 2007
AN Anglican Church leader escaped sanction over sex abuse complaints, despite an independent investigator finding that the evidence against him was credible and consistent with a pattern of preying on vulnerable women.

In one case, a woman gave church investigators a sworn statement that she had attempted to commit suicide after, she alleged, Archdeacon Peter Coote let himself into her Adelaide home, stripped naked and had sex with her.

Two other women provided the church with graphic accounts of how the married priest and father of five had made uninvited sexual advances towards them, also following visits to their homes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:28 AM

Judge rules Jeffs' jailhouse statements to remain sealed

UTAH
Deseret Morning News

By Nancy Perkins
Deseret Morning News
ST. GEORGE — Recorded jailhouse statements made by polygamist leader Warren Jeffs will remain under seal, a 5th District Court judge ruled on Tuesday.
"Those statements are of such a nature that to disseminate them in any way, shape or form would not only impair the right of the defendant to a fair trial, but would place such a cloud over this litigation that I would not feel confident in picking a jury anywhere in the state of Utah," Judge James L. Shumate said after reviewing the statements in his chamber with attorneys.
Defense attorney Walter Bugden called Jeffs' jailhouse statements potentially "very, very inflammatory." The Deseret Morning News reported earlier that Jeffs told a brother during a jailhouse visit that he was not a prophet and had never been a prophet.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:26 AM

Religion beat became a test of faith

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By William Lobdell, Times Staff Writer
July 21, 2007

WHEN Times editors assigned me to the religion beat, I believed God had answered my prayers.

As a serious Christian, I had cringed at some of the coverage in the mainstream media. Faith frequently was treated like a circus, even a freak show.

I wanted to report objectively and respectfully about how belief shapes people's lives. Along the way, I believed, my own faith would grow deeper and sturdier. ...

IN early 2002, I was assigned to work on the Catholic sex scandal story as it erupted across the nation. I also continued to attend Sunday Mass and conversion classes on Sunday mornings and Tuesday nights.

Father Vincent Gilmore — the young, intellectually sharp priest teaching the class — spoke about the sex scandal and warned us Catholics-to-be not to be poisoned by a relatively few bad clerics. Otherwise, we'd be committing "spiritual suicide."

As I began my reporting, I kept that in mind. I also thought that the victims — people usually in their 30s, 40s and up — should have just gotten over what had happened to them decades before. To me, many of them were needlessly stuck in the past.

But then I began going over the documents. And interviewing the victims, scores of them. I discovered that the term "sexual abuse" is a euphemism. Most of these children were raped and sodomized by someone they and their family believed was Christ's representative on Earth. That's not something an 8-year-old's mind can process; it forever warps a person's sexuality and spirituality.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

Abuser punished two decades later

UNITED KINGDOM
Ledbury Reporter

A CHRISTIAN'S sexual abuse of a 10-year-old Brownie was hushed up' by the church for over 24 years, a court has been told.

Victor Steynor, 64, who twice put his hand up the girl's top when her Brownie pack visited the home he hired out for adventure weekends, was reported by the girl.

However, her parents and their church dealt with the matter in house' instead of calling police.

advertisementIt was only by chance when a former deacon of Ledbury Baptist Church spoke to a teacher who had links to the family that the events of 1983 emerged, magistrates in Cheltenham were told.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:15 AM

SPECIAL: Pedophilia and the Priesthood

ROME
Catholic Online

ROME, JULY 21, 2007 (Zenit) - Here is the text of a pamphlet on "Pedophilia and the Priesthood" written by Monsignor Raffaello Martinelli, an official of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and member of the editorial commission of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Q: How does the Church evaluate cases of pedophilia committed by priests?

These crimes of pedophilia have been labeled as "a crime against the most weak," "a horrendous sin in the eyes of God," a crime "that damages the Church's credibility," characterized as "filth" by Cardinal Ratzinger in the memorable Via Crucis on Good Friday 2005, just a few days before being elected Pope. That filth is created by "many cases of sexual abuse of minors that break one's heart, and are particularly tragic when the one committing the abuse is a priest." To the bishops of Ireland, Benedict XVI in October 2006 stated once more that these are crimes that "break one's heart."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:13 AM

Another cardinal, same questions

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Boston Herald

By Boston Herald editorial staff
Saturday, July 21, 2007

That huge pre-trial settlement of alleged priest abuse cases in Los Angeles, though at long last putting money in the hands of 508 wounded families, is grossly unsatisfactory for both the church and its members.

It leaves unanswered the question, what did Cardinal Roger Mahony know about priests who were molesting young people and what did he do about it? Knowing the truth is absolutely essential, and more important than money, for any hope of rebuilding crippled lives and needed trust.

Cardinal Mahony has admitted that he left five priests in the ministry despite complaints. The Los Angeles Times counted 16 such instances. If experience elsewhere is any guide, this is likely the tip of the iceberg.

Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston had to resign in 2002 after revelations that he had shifted scores of offending parish priests to different parishes (sometimes after often-futile treatment for pedophilia). This was reprehensible because parents who accepted legal settlements in return for silence were promised that the priest would have no further contact with young people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

What is the cost of a sexual abuse victim’s well-being?

The Citizen

TERRI MCCORMICK
The Amherst Citizen

A judge in Los Angeles recently approved a $660-million deal to settle 508 lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy.

The settlement seems to have come just in time, reached the day before Archbishop Cardinal Roger Mahony was to appear in court. As one commentator pointed out, this turn of events saves victims from being cross-examined, but it also keeps church officials off the stand and somewhat off the hook. It's one thing for the Catholic church to write a cheque and offer a carefully spun apology, but it would be much more satisfying to see those who were directly responsible, being grilled by prosecutors and forced to answer for their role in all of this.

Statistics do show that the amount of sex abuse cases linked to the Catholic Church are no higher than those of other religious orders, but they do seem to gain much more media exposure. Regardless, this settlement is worthy of the attention it has generated not just because of the amount, but because it validates that these awful things happened to these people, instead of having the experiences swept under the rug yet again.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Baptist morality activist arrested on sex-for-hire charges in N.C.

RALEIGH (NC)
Associated Baptist Press

By Norman Jameson
Published July 20, 2007

RALEIGH, N.C. (ABP) -- Coy Privette, the president of a Christian morality group and a former state legislator and Southern Baptist Convention leader, has been arrested on prostitution-related charges in North Carolina.

Privette, the president of the Christian Action League in North Carolina, was charged July 19 with six counts of aiding and abetting prostitution.

According to arrest documents secured by the Biblical Recorder, Privette's alleged actions took place in a Rowan County hotel between May 4 and June 25. Tiffany Denise Summers, 32, of Salisbury, N.C., was charged with six counts of prostitution in connection with the investigation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Nipomo priest is suspected of sex crimes

CALIFORNIA
San Luis Obispo

By Sarah Arnquist
sarnquist@thetribunenews.com

Geronimo Enrique CuevasA priest at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Nipomo was among three men arrested Wednesday near Pirates Cove, and he was suspected of groping an undercover male deputy.

The Rev. Geronimo Enrique Cuevas, 52, was arrested on suspicion of sexual battery and soliciting a lewd act in a public place, the Sheriff’s Department reported.

The charges are misdemeanors.

St. Joseph’s, like all Catholic churches in San Luis Obispo County, is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Monterey.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:56 AM

July 20, 2007

Pastor Arrested for Lewd Acts in Public

PISMO BEACH (CA)
KEYT

Three men including an Assistant Pastor at Saint Joseph's Catholic Church in Nipomo are under arrest for allegedly having sex in public.
Undercover Officers made the arrests Thursday morning after getting complaints from residents about people having sex near Pirates Cove.
Revered Geronimo Enrique Cuevas is charged with committing lewd acts in a public place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 PM

Nipomo Catholic pastor charged with sex crimes in Pirate's Cove undercover operation

PISMO BEACH (CA)
KSBY

Friday, July 20, 2007

Reported by: Stacy Daniel

PISMO BEACH

We are learning new and disturbing details about one of the three men arrested in an undercover operation at a privately owned local beach.

It happened on Tuesday afternoon, around 3:00 p.m. in the parking lot of Pirate's Cove, a nude beach, located off Cave Landing Road in Avila Beach.

It turns out one of the three men arrested is a pastor at Saint Joseph Catholic Church in Nipomo.

The Sheriff's Department set up the sting because they had been receiving complaints from local residents about people engaging in sexual behavior in the trails and bushes that lead to the nude beach. ...

Sheriff's deputies said 52-year-old, Geronimo Cuevas was standing in the bushes off the trail that leads down to the beach at Pirate's Cove, masturbating.

When he was approached by an undercover agent, investigators said he grabbed the deputy's crotch.

People who knew Cuevas as a man of the cloth are shocked by the allegations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 PM

How secret camera in archbishop's 'love nest' silenced vocal Mugabe critic

ZIMBABWE
The Guardian

Chris McGreal, Africa correspondent
Saturday July 21, 2007
The Guardian

The pictures are as grainy and blurry as you might expect from a tiny camera hidden in the ceiling of what Zimbabwe's government press is calling "the archbishop's love nest". But there is little doubt that the man perched on the edge of the bed is Pius Ncube, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo and furious opponent of Robert Mugabe. Behind the cleric, as he takes his shirt off, is a shape that a worker on Zimbabwe railways, Onesimus Sibanda, says is his wife, Rosemary, a secretary in the cathedral.

The video, showing a full frontal shot of a naked man who appears to be the archbishop as he climbs on to a woman whose breasts are also visible, is the basis of a lawsuit against the archbishop that is ostensibly about Mr Sibanda's honour but which the government has seized on - and almost certainly engineered - to silence one of Mr Mugabe's most persistent and effective critics.

Archbishop Ncube has denounced Zimbabwe's president as a murderer, mobilised the country's Catholic bishops to issue a pastoral letter likening the struggle against the present regime to the liberation war against white rule, and even called on Christians to pray for Mr Mugabe's death.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 PM

Far North Side priest gets 4 years for theft

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Karoun Demirjian | Tribune staff reporter
11:24 AM CDT, July 20, 2007

A Roman Catholic priest accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars from his Far North Side parish accepted a plea deal today that is sending him to prison for 4 years.

At a time when St. Margaret Mary parish was struggling to keep the doors of its schools open, Rev. Mark Sorvillo was raiding the weekly collection basket so greedily that the 2005 Christmas collection was bare, prosecutors had said.

Sorvillo, a Catholic priest for 28 years, also raided donations from baptisms and weddings, stealing more than $190,000 during the course of his nearly eight years as pastor of the North Side parish, according to the charges against him. Using secret money market accounts and credit cards issued to the parish, Sorvillo financed trips to Europe, purchased pricey meals and bought tickets to Notre Dame football games and to the Lyric Opera.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:00 PM

Clergy sex scandal a lesson for all

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Catholic Online

By Dr. Chris Anthony
Butterworth, Malaysia
Op/Ed
Catholic Online

The recent revelation of the sex scandal of our clergy in the United States has dealt a serious blow to our Catholic Church and is source of worry and embarrassment for all Catholics. The international media left no stone unturned to inflict the greatest degree of insult on the Catholic Church.

In a quick vote conducted by CNN’s Larry King Live on 17th.July 2007, revealed that 79% of the more than 4,000 respondents said they have lost confidence in the Catholic Church. This is very distressing and I dread to imagine the state of our Church in the future.

Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles must be praised for his courage to offer a public apology to the victims of the scandal. The $660 Million paid to the victim as compensation is indeed a very large sum, which may surpass the national budget for basic amenities of some countries.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:08 PM

Sex Abuse Settlement

LOS ANGELES (CA)
WKRG

Jul 16 2007, 11:06 PM
A Gulf Coast woman will receive more than a million dollars from the Roman Catholic Church as part of a settlement to people who say they were sexually abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:03 PM

Settlement covers suit against former Darien priest

DARIEN (IL)
Darien Suburban Life

By Lane Kelley
Darien Suburban Life
Fri Jul 20, 2007, 11:14 AM CDT

Darien, IL -
The largest payout made by the Catholic Church so far to victims of sexual abuse by priests includes the settlement of a suit filed last year against a former Darien priest.

The suit against the Rev. Robert Boley, former parochial vicar at Darien’s Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, was among the cases settled this week by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for a record $660 million.

The suit states Boley accosted the unnamed woman — now 25 but then a young elementary student — while he was teaching at a Los Angeles parish in the 1980s.

“The church has accepted its responsibility and negligence for the actions of Father Boley,” said Patrick Wall, a former canon lawyer who works for the Orange County firm representing the victim who sued Boley.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:56 PM

Clergy Rebuke SBC Head for 'Harsh Rhetoric' Over Sex Abuse Cases

UNITED STATES
Christian Post

By Audrey Barrick
Christian Post Reporter
Fri, Jul. 20 2007 09:56 AM ET

Clergy from various denominations are urging the head of the Southern Baptist Convention to reconsider the "harsh rhetoric" he has expressed toward a group of clergy abuse victims who have pushed for more response against sexual abuse.

In a letter sent to Dr. Frank Page, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, on Thursday, 10 clergy members from the Catholic, Presbyterian, United Methodist and Southern Baptist churches said survivor groups such as SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) are not out to attack the church.

"Survivor groups like SNAP would not need to exist if church and denominational leaders responded in truth and acted with wisdom and compassion to address this great challenge of clergy sexual abuse," the letter stated.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:53 PM

Thursday Hotsheet at 3 a.m.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Mayor Sam's Sister City

MayorSam is in the shade of the quiet redwoods that sequester the NoCal coast for the next few days, and your most uncalibrated scribe will try to keep the hotsheet going in his absence. This is a little like Tim Leary filling in for Walter Cronkite I realize, but if you'll indulge me a little, I just might get you angry enough to click back later when real content is here.

Hell, if you read MayorSam, you probably already know what's going on better than I. But this item caught my eye this morning: Times to Church: Drop Dead. In case you missed it, the Church has been bad in recent years. High hypocrisy marks to the LA Times and media in general continuing to ride the molestation juggernaut even on days when there's no news. I've e-talked to an erstwhile news ed there about this recently, but he only seems proud of the track record to date. This story has been going on for over five years, even when there's no news to report, which there often isn't, like today; you'd think that at this point they'd at least wait for more real news, rather than run with news fragments. A priest once told me, "If you want to leave the Church, just pick up a newspaper; they publish something that'll help you along every day." I see that.

That's not to say that the Times isn't above making news where there is none at the expense of other religions too. If you can believe it, this article on Valley Village suggests that the fact that the Neighborhood Council is heavily Orthodox Jewish has something to do with the passion of the debate over McMansionization there. The article uses the word "mansionization" though, likely so as not to offend the Irish, who may be the only folks drinking enough to still subscribe to the Times.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:51 PM

Archdiocese reaches agreement with more than 500 abuse claimants

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Tidings

By Catholic News Service

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced July 15 the largest church settlement of sexual abuse lawsuits to date, agreeing to pay more than 500 alleged victims a total of $660 million.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholz approved the settlement the next day, calling it "the right result." He said settling the cases was "the right thing to do."

Cardinal Roger Mahony again offered his personal apology to every victim of sexual abuse by a priest, religious, deacon or layperson in the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

Church 'ignored' sex abuse claims

AUSTRALIA
The Australian

Jeremy Roberts | July 21, 2007
AN Anglican Church leader escaped sanction over sex abuse complaints, despite an independent investigator finding that the evidence against him was credible and consistent with a pattern of preying on vulnerable women.

In one case, a woman gave church investigators a sworn statement that she had attempted to commit suicide after, she alleged, Archdeacon Peter Coote let himself into her Adelaide home, stripped naked and had sex with her.

Two other women provided the church with graphic accounts of how the married priest and father of five had made uninvited sexual advances towards them, also following visits to their homes.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:15 PM

Claims of Innocence By Accused Priests Missing In Coverage of LA Abuse Cases?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
News Busters

By Dave Pierre | July 20, 2007 - 08:49 ET
After a Los Angeles judge agreed on Monday (7/16/07) to the $660 million settlement between 508 individuals and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, several plaintiffs stood outside the courthouse in front of a throng of television and newspaper reporters. Many told incredibly sad and horrific stories of the immense suffering they've endured over the years as a result of the despicable abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy.

But what about the priests who have adamantly denied the charges made against them and whose cases may never have had any evidence against them? This past week the Los Angeles Times and others have been largely silent in this regard.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:07 PM

Despite Sex Scandals, Catholic Allegiance Remains

UNITED STATES
BeyondChron

by Tommi Avicolli-Mecca‚ Jul. 20‚ 2007

Believe it or not: The Catholic Church in America hasn’t lost any popularity among the faithful since major priest sex scandals first hit the headlines five years ago.

According to a study by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate at Georgetown University, Catholics haven’t left the church in droves nor have they stopped contributing their hard-earned dollars to Sunday collection plates across the country. Even Catholic Charities hasn’t suffered any loss of revenue.

In fact, surveys show that 74% of Catholics still think their bishops are doing a bang-up job, despite the fact that many in the hierarchy have been forced to apologize for covering up for priests they knew were having sex with young people.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:58 AM

Youth pastor arrested for alleged rape

AZTEC (NM)
The Daily Times

— By Cory Frolik — The Daily Times
Article Launched: 07/20/2007 12:00:00 AM MDT

AZTEC — A part-time youth pastor from Aztec Bible Baptist Church was arrested Thursday on charges that he had sex with a 14-year-old girl from his congregation.

Wendel Nix, 29, of Aztec, was taken into police custody at the San Juan County Detention Center on Thursday after San Juan Sheriff's Office deputies said they gathered convincing evidence that a crime was committed and obtained an arrest warrant, Detective Lt. Tyler Truby said.

Since last weekend, sheriff's deputies and Detective Marlyn Wyatt have investigated a claim made by a teenage girl that she and Nix had a sexual relationship, states a media release from the sheriff's office.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

Church shocked at youth pastor's charges

BATTLE CREEK (MI)
WOOD

BATTLE CREEK - A church community expressed shock Thursday night after learning the youth minister was charged with soliciting online to who he thought was a minor.

Pastor Jim Gysel of the Chapel Hill United Methodist Church said Troy Deal, the man facing the allegations, is not the man he and the community have known for the past five years.

Troy Deal was arrested Wednesday at his Battle Creek home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

NIAGARA FALLS: Pastor charged with stealing

NIAGARA FALLS (NY)
Niagara Gazette

By Jill Terreri/terrerij@gnnewspaper.com
Niagara Gazette

The former pastor of a Niagara Falls church has been arrested on charges of stealing about $18,000 from the church.

Peter Del Rio, 49, who was pastor of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church before it closed, was charged with grand larceny in the third degree after an eight-month investigation by Niagara Falls Police.

The case will be presented to a grand jury later this month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:51 AM

Nuncio in Spain says Catholic Church’s cases of clerical sexual abuse rank among the lowest

SPAIN
Catholic News Agency

Madrid, Jul 19, 2007 / 10:10 am (CNA).- The Apostolic Nuncio in Spain, Archbishop Manuel Monteiro, said this week data from international organizations shows that priests are responsible for the smallest percentage of sexual abuse.

In a reference to the accusations of clerical abuse, in both real and fabricated cases, the archbishop said, “Why should the Church pay and other entities not?” He decried that news of clerical abuse appears “every day on the front pages of certain media,” which he called a form of “discrimination” against the Church “with evil intentions.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:36 AM

$660 million - but still no justice (Contribution)

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Clerical Whispers

It is hard to know how to react to the $660 million settlement reached between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Los Angeles and more than 500 people who had filed sex abuse charges against that city's priests.

On one hand, the more than $1 million per victim seems to suggest justice has been done. Nothing can undo the harm of such depraved behavior, but as financial consequences go, this is pretty steep.

It is part of more than $2 billion paid out by the church in the United States to victims of such abuse and their families. That also seems to smack of true repentance.

But there is something missing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

Catholic church apologies over sex abuse

SWEDEN
Sveriges Radio International

The Catholic church of Sweden has apologised for sex abuse against a child committed by a priest 50 years ago.

The abuse was said to have taken place over a period of two years at the end of the 1950s.

When the victim tried to draw attention to what was happening,the church protected the priest and kept the case quiet. The time period in which the Swedish priest could have been prosecuted has long since expired.

The victim, who has requested complete anonymity, reported the crime to the Catholic diocese in Stockholm at the end of 2005 and demanded a public apology from the church. The apology was printed in an advertisement in the newspapers Göteborgs-Posten and Dagen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Amid bad news, a hymn for priest with new ways

STOCKTON (CA)
Stockton Record

By Michael Fitzgerald
Record Columnist
July 20, 2007 6:00 AM
This week has not been a PR bonanza for the Roman Catholic Church. The disgraced Archdiocese of Los Angeles settled with abuse victims for $660 million.

I am sick of that story. Considering the church has 1.1 billion members, one-sixth of the word's population, there ought to be one or two positive stories out there.

OK, here's one: Father Lawrence McGovern, pastor of Presentation Church, has become a monsignor.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Swedish Catholic Church apologizes publicly for sexual abuse

SWEDEN
The Times of India

STOCKHOLM: Sweden's Catholic Church, which has 150,000 members in a country of nine million, on Friday apologized publicly to a Swede who was sexually abused by a Catholic priest in the 1950s.

The Church took out an advertisement in the Gothenburg regional daily Goeteborgs-Posten and the Christian daily Dagen where it apologized to the victim. The text was signed by the current bishop of Stockholm Anders Arborelius.

"It is deeply regrettable that one of our priests could have subjected a child to abuse. As the bishop of the diocese I apologize for what has happened and hope that the various measures the diocese has taken in recent years can prevent abuse in the future," he wrote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:50 AM

Priest on $8.6m theft charge takes trip

BOSTON (MA)
Irish Independent

By Jason O'Brien
Friday July 20 2007

ONE of the two Irish priests accused of misappropriating $8.6m (€6.2m) from a church in Florida started a two-week break in Boston yesterday, on a bond of $400,000 (€290,000).

Fr John Skehan, originally from Johnstown in Kilkenny, was allowed to make the trip for a "family gathering" after applying to a circuit court in Florida.

The 80-year-old is charged with felony grand theft for allegedly stealing money while a priest at St Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Rodis attorney says the matter is a church issue

LOUISA (VA)
The Free Lance-Star

Date published: 7/20/2007

BY ELLEN BILTZ

An attorney for a Catholic priest indicted on 13 counts of embezzlement asked yesterday that the charges be dismissed, saying the case is a church issue.

Rodney Lee Rodis, 51, is accused of taking up to $1 million from St. Jude and Immaculate Conception Catholic churches in Louisa County, where he was a priest for 13 years.

Rodis' attorney, John Maus, filed a motion last week, saying the state exceeded its authority by involving itself in a church matter. He cited Virginia law, saying the state is "prohibited from entangling itself in internal church matters. Specifically with regard to church finances."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:45 AM

SA Catholic bishops dismiss Ncube's sex scandal

ZIMBABWE
SABC

July 20, 2007, 10:45

The Southern African Catholic Bishop Conference (SACBC), says allegations of adultery against Pius Ncube, Zimbabwe's catholic bishop, are aimed at casting doubt on his credibility.

Buti Tlhagale, the president of the SACBC, says in a statement that the Archbishop's guilt or innocence has yet to be proved. He has appealed for everyone not to pass premature judgement on Ncube.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:39 AM

Abuse lawsuit involving Gozitan priest settled

MALTA
MaltaMedia News

By MaltaMedia News
Jul 19, 2007 - 6:45:37 PM

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami has settled a lawsuit in which a former altar boy claimed he was sexually abused by the same priest accused by former United States Congressman Mark Foley, reported the Associated Press.

The settlement was announced on Wednesday in a lawsuit unrelated to the case concerning Mark Foley. In the lawsuit a man identified only as John Doe No.26, claimed he was molested by Gozitan Fr Anthony Mercieca when he was around 13 years old and serving as an alter boy at St. James Church in North Miami.

The incident allegedly took place in the 1970s and a lawsuit was filed on the 25th October 2006, approximately one month after Florida Republican Mark Foley resigned from Congress after sexually explicit computer messages to young male pages surfaced. Subsequent to his resignation, Mark Foley’s lawyer said that he had been molested by a clergyman when he was aged between 12 and 13.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:31 AM

Religious Pedophiles Go Free

LOS ANGELES (CA)
American Chronicle

Michelle Malsbury, BSBM, MM
July 19, 2007
Religion can mean differing things to different people, but two common threads appear to be key factors. The role religion has in any individuals life supposed to help them to feel better about themselves or perhaps more empowered than going it alone. Secondly, religion uses the fear factor in helping to keep people in line. Regardless of what people say, fear about not getting into heaven, fear about going to hell, fear about not meeting up with 40 virgins, or whatever ones religion is about in the end can and does modify how one acts or reacts to a variety of situations that life dolls out.

I am not a religious person, but feel compelled to speak out about the recent settlement that I regard as payoffs or hush monies by the Archdiocese of the Roman Catholic Church and their insurers in Los Angeles, California to hundreds of persons who have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of those entrusted with providing moral and ethical instruction in the name of religion. These priests preyed upon young unsuspecting children and imposed their sexual deviations upon them and remain free to continue to do so. If these priests had not the benefit of hiding behind their religions they would be in jail locked far away from the impressionable minds they have abused with their sexual misdoings.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Miami church settles Fr Mercieca sexual abuse lawsuit

MALTA
Malta Star

Alfred Grixti, Kurt Farrugia, david vella Thu, 19 July 2007

Fr Anthony Mercieca, the 72-year-old Gozitan priest, has once again made headlines after one of the alleged victims of the priest obtained an out of court settlement on a sexual abuse lawsuit against the church in Miami.

Fr Mercieca, who spent years working in a Miami parish, was involved in the scandal of former US congressman Mark Foley, revealed in October 2006. The Republican politician was being investigated for sending sexually explicit e-mails to teenage males working at the Congress House. Foley’s lawyer had defended his client by claiming that Fr Mercieca had abused him when he was an altar boy at his same parish.

Victim claimed Lm3.1 million in damages

A month after Foley’s revelations, another American man, who was also an altar boy at St James Church in North Miami, filed a lawsuit, requesting $10 million (Lm3.1 million/Euro 7.2 million) in compensation for sexual abuse in a church. The victim, whose identity was not revealed, claimed that in the 1970s, when he was 13 years old, Mr Mercieca took him “on a bicycle ride, and afterwards molested him in the church’s bell tower”.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 AM

'For me, it's not over': Abuse victim not satisfied with archdiocese settlement

FORT WALTON BEACH (FL)
Northwest Florida Daily News

Andrew Gant
Thursday July 19th, 2007

FORT WALTON BEACH — A local plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Church isn’t satisfied with its recent settlement and public apology.

“For me, it’s not over,” said Cynthia Falter of Fort Walton Beach. “It’s only just begun.”

Falter, now 49, was in the third grade when she says she was repeatedly abused by the Rev. George Neville Rucker, a priest at St. Anthony School in El Segundo, Calif.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

New Priests Discuss Abuse Scandal's Impact on Church

CALIFORNIA
KPCC

Kitty Felde
July 20, 2007

This week, the L.A. Catholic Archdiocese settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit with victims who were sexually abused by priests. News of the scandal first broke five years ago ... just as a new class of seminarians began studying to become priests. Unlike their brother priests, their entire religious training has been under a cloud. KPCC's Special Correspondent Kitty Felde sat down with two of those new priests to talk about how the sexual abuse has affected their faith.

Kitty Felde: Father Paul Griesgraber says the sexual abuse scandal has changed a lot about the Catholic Church ... and not just for priests. Father Paul is an associate pastor at Saint Andrew Catholic Church in Pasadena. He says a grandfatherly parishioner was supposed to teach a Saturday class to prepare new altar boys.

Fr. Paul Griesgraber: However, he didn't do his Virtus training, he hasn't been fingerprinted, and the person in the parish who's in charge of that pointed that out, so the altar serving training is postponed to September.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:19 AM

After Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling, woman sues church for fraud

WISCONSIN
Winona Daily News

By The Associated Press
.
MILWAUKEE — After a state Supreme Court ruling cleared the way, a woman who alleges a priest molested her as a girl filed suit Thursday accusing the Milwaukee Roman Catholic Archdiocese and the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D., of fraud for covering up the man’s history of sexual abuse.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court held in a decision only last week that the church could be sued for fraud in such cases.

The lawsuit filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court details the alleged fraudulent coverups when the priest abused girls while being moved among parishes in his South Dakota diocese, in the Milwaukee archdiocese and back in South Dakota in the 1960s and 1970s.

The priest, Bruce MacArthur, later was sent to Texas and served prison time there after being convicted of trying to rape a woman in a nursing home.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:17 AM

Archdiocese sued over alleged priest abuse

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Attorneys for a Milwaukee-area woman who alleges she was molested as a girl by a Catholic priest with an admitted history of sexual abuse have filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D., the first since the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled last week that the church could be sued for fraud in such cases.

Filed Thursday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, the suit lays out a detailed allegation of fraudulent coverups as the priest continued to abuse girls in several parishes while being moved within his home diocese in South Dakota, to the Milwaukee area, and back, in the 1960s and '70s.

The now-retired priest, Bruce MacArthur, later was sent to Texas, where he was convicted of attempting to rape a woman in a nursing home and served prison time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:13 AM

Settlement keeps cardinal from fray

LOS ANGELES (CA)
St. Petersburg Times

By A TIMES EDITORIAL
Published July 20, 2007

Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Los Angeles Archdiocese offered an apology to 508 victims of childhood sexual abuse by Catholic priests under his authority, but he stopped short of confessing his own sins. Although Mahony agreed to a record $660-million settlement to get the victims to drop their suits against the church, it appears his motive was as much to protect himself as to bring relief to the priests' victims.

After all, it was Mahony who for years fought to keep church records of child molestation and rape sealed. In doing so, he delayed justice and wasted millions of dollars meant for charitable work by fighting the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where he lost. In a sense, Mahony's assent to the settlement is just another way for him to manipulate the ugly truth.

While some church records of priests' illegal activities could now be available to prosecutors in a criminal investigation, each document has to be vetted by a judge in a time-consuming process before release. Again, Mahony's pattern is one of denial and delay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:10 AM

Church gives millions, but little justice, to victims

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Detroit Free Press

July 20, 2007

BY ROCHELLE RILEY
FREE PRESS COLUMNIST

How do you negotiate horror? How do you say, "I'm sorry, here's a check" to people whose lives you've ruined?

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles was never more like Paris Hilton than when it agreed to pay $660 million to 508 people whom its priests sexually abused -- like the money was a big deal.

When Hilton was sent to jail for a minor term in a drunken driving case, you would have thought she'd gotten the death penalty. But the L.A. archdiocese describing in detail how it had to pull funds from insurance and some religious orders it had to convince to help, like it was a hardship, was an insult to God.

And what kind of insurance covers sexual abuse?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:05 AM

Sexual abuse claims involving Gozitan priest settled

MALTA
The Times of Malta

Herman Grech

The Archdiocese of Miami has settled a lawsuit that named a Gozitan priest who allegedly sexually abused a 13-year-old altar boy in the 1970s.

The man, identified only as John Doe 26, claimed Fr Anthony Mercieca molested him in the church's bell tower in North Miami after a bicycle ride together.

The lawsuit had sought more than $10 million (€7.3 million) in damages but the terms of the settlement were confidential, the man's attorney, Jeffrey Herman, was reported as saying in the US press.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:57 AM

July 19, 2007

What's next? Same pattern repeated in city after city round the country for decades, why? Attempted murders? The investigation continues.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling
The result of the news media reporting just the surface of this story is all over the world people are getting the wrong message. Forget about the money, it’s not even about molestation. It’s about finding out those so called holy men in robes and giant crosses are real genuine criminals, accessories to the crimes. It’s finding out that as a five year old I was disposable once I’d provided gratification for a sexually troubled priest.

Plus while the archdiocese assures locals that no more than a few mill will come from the parishes, who has been paying the sex lawsuit insurance premiums the last ten years? How much went out for the 18 and counting law firms, and the one PR firm we know of, Sitrick and Company in Century City, who signed the archdiocese as a client in 2004. How many millions went out so the archdiocese could battle against its own member families, plaintiffs who were on the receiving end of the church’s decades of aiding and abetting crime?

The second time I saw Deliver Us From Evil it hit me, sitting in the back row I started climbing up the wall behind me, squirming in my chair. Because from the time I recovered the memory in 1994 of what happened to me in 1954 I walked around in a kind of giddy euphoria: “Now I understand. No wonder I did all those things.” I was giddily discovering I was not born an out of control slut, but it was penetrated into me. Finally it all made sense, so for a good 10 years I walked around with this spacey grin on my face.

Then in the back row of the preview house it slammed me back.

This Did Not Need To Happen.

This Could Have Been Prevented.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:17 PM

HOUSE COMMITTEE OKAYS RESOLUTION:NEW YORK ARCHDIOCESE HONORED

WASHINGTON (DC)
Catholic League

A few hours ago, the Catholic League issued a news release criticizing efforts to delete Cardinal Edward M. Egan’s name from a resolution commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Archdiocese of New York; we contacted hundreds of media outlets and thousands of our supporters. We have now learned that the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee, chaired by Rep. Henry Waxman, has passed the resolution as it was initially introduced by Rep. Vito Fossella; Waxman called Fossella to tell him the news. The resolution now goes before the entire House for a vote.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:31 PM

LA Catholic Church to sell properties

LOS ANGELES (CA)
ImediNews

LOS ANGELES, July 19 (UPI) — The Roman Catholic Los Angeles Archdiocese will liquidate investments and sell properties to cover $660 million in sexual abuse settlements.

Cardinal Roger Mahony is coordinating with the Vatican on what to dispose of to cover the pay-out agreement that was announced Monday in Los Angeles, The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

The church's insurers will pay $227 million, other religious orders will pay $60 million and the archdiocese will sell up to 50 non-parish properties and sell off investments, the report said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

Vatican official: Pope pained by clerical sex abuse in Los Angeles

ITALY
Catholic News Service

By Catholic News Service

PIEVE DI CADORE, Italy (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI's closest aide said the pope was pained and concerned by the "devastating scale" of clerical sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, held a wide-ranging press conference July 18 in Pieve di Cadore, near where Pope Benedict is vacationing in the northern Italian Alps.

Even if the percentage of priests who have sexually abused children "is a minority," he said, just one instance "clashes with the identity and mission we are called to undertake."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 PM

Doing penance

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Economist

Jul 19th 2007 | LOS ANGELES
From The Economist print edition

AMONG Catholic commentators it has become known as the “long Lent”. In 2002 the Boston Globe revealed that priests who were suspected of sexually abusing children had been quietly reassigned to other parishes, where they continued to prey upon the young. Since then revelations of clerical cover-ups have multiplied, together with lawsuits. This week the church performed its biggest act of penance yet, paying $660m to settle claims of sexual abuse by more than 500 people in the archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The large sum partly reflects Los Angeles's size and wealth, but it is mostly the result of a change in the law. In 2003 California temporarily lifted the statute of limitations on civil claims, unleashing a flood of accusations dating back to the 1960s and 1970s. Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles has said that the church can meet its share of the settlement—some $250m—largely by selling buildings. The rest will be met by insurers and religious orders. But poorer, less well-insured dioceses are in a fix. Facing a costly and embarrassing court battle, the diocese of San Diego went bankrupt earlier this year.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:40 PM

Chronology: Statements on settlement of civil lawsuits

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Tidings

Editor's note: Earlier this week, a series of statements, several from Cardinal Roger Mahony, were issued in connection with developments in the settlement of claims of clergy sexual abuse. They are presented in their entirety, in chronological order.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 PM

Financial Settlement for Priest Abuse Victims Still Leaves Some Unanswered Questions

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Conservative Voice

July 19, 2007 01:16 PM EST

by Richard L. Cravatts

While the recent $660 million settlement overseen by Cardinal Roger Mahoney, archbishop of the Los Angeles diocese, to some 500 abuse victims has brought closure to one aspect of the Catholic Church’s far-reaching child abuse scandal, it still leaves unanswered—and troubling—questions about the psychology of the perpetrators and those Church leaders who ignored and enabled their criminal actions.

What is it about the Church that attracted the many priests who would go on to sexually abuse hundreds of pre- and post-pubescent children?

What moral machinations, specific to the Church, could allow the serial complicity of the church hierarchy who ignored wrongdoing and shuffled offending priests from parish to parish—often over decades and frequently well after their sexual transgressions were widely known?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:24 PM

The Public Eye Chat With ... Sandra Hughes

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CBS News

It's Thursday, and that means it's time for the Public Eye Chat. This week's subject is CBS News Los Angeles Correspondent Sandra Hughes, who reported on this week’s story of the $660 million settlement between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and hundreds of alleged victims of clergy abuse.

Matthew Felling: You try to keep a cool remove from most stories as a journalist, but in a story like this … is that even possible?

Sandra Hughes: What hit me the hardest in reporting this story is the raw emotion you see in the victims in these sexual abuse cases. These are now grown men and women, many are married and have families. It doesn’t take them but just a few minutes if not a few seconds to start talking about their stories – something that happened to them 10, 20 years ago. And their emotions are still so raw, they’re right there.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:18 PM

Reaction: Zubik's 'heart is in Pittsburgh'

GREEN BAY (WI)
Appleton Post-Crescent

By Kelly McBride
Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers

Green Bay's loss is Pittsburgh's gain, according to many area clergy and laypeople reacting Wednesday to the impending departure of Bishop David Zubik of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.

It was announced early Wednesday that Zubik has been named the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, an appointment that will take him home. He'll begin his new job on Sept. 28. ...

Still, not everyone is pleased with how Zubik handled hot-button issues during his time in Green Bay.

The woman whose then-14-year-old son was molested by a Norbertine priest in 1988 says she's looking forward to a new bishop with a new perspective.

Alice Hodek is the Green Bay representative of SNAP — the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. She thinks Zubik has taken steps in the fight against clergy sex abuse, but she wishes she'd seen more.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:52 AM

Bishops meet, no formal say on Pius

ZIMBABWE
The Financial Gazette

Nkululeko Sibanda Staff Reporter

THE Zimbabwe Catholic Bishops Conference (ZCBC) met in Harare yesterday but said it had not adopted a formal position on an alleged sex scandal involving Bulawayo Archbishop Pius Ncube.

A formal response on the allegations leveled against the cleric, which have embarrassed the Catholic Church, will only be made next week, a spokesman for the bishops said.

Onesimus Sibanda accuses the Archbishop of having a two-year adulterous relationship with his wife, Rosemary, in a case that has tainted Ncube’s image locally and abroad.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 AM

Churches offer aid to abuse victims

MENDHAM TOWNSHIP (NJ)
Observer-Tribune

By PHIL GARBER, Managing Editor
Wednesday, July 18, 2007 5:29 PM EDT

MENDHAM TWP. - A group that provides support for people who were sexually abused by Catholic priests has lost its original home but it won’t be homeless for long.

Three area non-Catholic churches have offered to provide space for meetings of the group known as Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

SNAP had been holding support meetings for the last three years at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Mendham. But the church pastor, Monsignor Joseph T. Anginoli notified SNAP members last month that the space was needed for a new pre-kindergarten program. SNAP had been meeting in the Pax Christie House adjacent to the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:32 AM

Catholic educator cleared in sex case

MILWAUKEE (WI)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

By DERRICK NUNNALLY
dnunnally@journalsentinel.com
Posted: July 17, 2007
Authorities thought they had an airtight case against David Sanders when he was accused of sexually assaulting a boy in the mid-1980s at a south side Catholic school.

Buy a link hereInstead, the 60-year-old Sanders has been freed after serving five months of a 15-year sentence because a second man's confession gave weight to the claim that Sanders was not the "Brother David" who committed the assaults.

With a quick "good luck, sir," the same judge who sentenced Sanders in January set him free June 22.

"It's the first time I've ever had it happen in 20 years of doing this," said Assistant District Attorney Miriam Falk, who persuaded a jury to find Sanders guilty in December. "We try to be pretty careful."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

Priests' Privacy Rights Cannot Override Protection of Children

LOS ANGELES (CA)
BishopAccountability.org

By John Manly
Los Angeles Daily Journal
July 6, 2007

[See Judge Lichtman's order. On the Franciscans at St. Anthony's Seminary, see also 11 Friars Molested Seminary Students, Church Inquiry Says, by Seth Mydans, New York Times (December 1, 1993); Sex 'Vibes' Permeated Seminary, Victim Says, by Seth Mydans, New York Times (December 1, 1993); The St. Anthony's Seminary Report, by Geoffrey B. Stearns et al., commissioned by the Franciscans (November 1993); and Deal Reached in Franciscan Sex Abuse Suits, by Jean Guccione, Los Angeles Times (March 14, 2006).]

On June 18, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Peter Lichtman issued a sweeping decision that overruled the privacy objections of the Santa Barbara Franciscan Order and some of its priests who were accused of serial acts of molestation upon children. The ruling arose out of a huge settlement paid by the Santa Barbara province of the Franciscan order to compensate literally dozens of victims of sexual abuse by members of the province for more than 30 years.

The acts of abuse at issue included anal sodomy, oral and digital penetration of children and grotesque sadomasochistic acts. Many of the abusers used their position as priests to initially access the children sexually. At no time did the province undertake to report the abusers to the police or child protective services on its own. Further, none of the religious superiors in charge at the time took action that could have prevented further abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:49 AM

HOUSE SNUBS EGAN

WASHINGTON (DC)
New York Post

July 19, 2007 -- WASHINGTON - Congress is trying to "excommunicate" Edward Cardinal Egan by refusing to pass a routine resolution honoring the New York Archdiocese simply because it mentions the archbishop's name, The Post has learned.

In a stunning personal slap at the leader of 2.5 million Catholics in New York, a powerful Democrat-controlled House committee has demanded that Egan's name be stricken from the commemoration of the archdiocese's 200th anniversary.

Rep. Vito Fossella (R-S.I.), the resolution's chief sponsor, said it appears the committee wants the cardinal's name deleted because of the Catholic Church's sexual-abuse scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 AM

Voice of Faithful names executive director

BOSTON (MA)
Boston Globe

The Roman Catholic lay group Voice of the Faithful has appointed a communications specialist and longtime volunteer as its new executive director, the group announced yesterday. Donna Doucette joined the group in its early days and later led its Voice of Renewal/Lay Education National Working Group. She also served as a national representative for New England and as a member of the national steering committee. Doucette, a Harvard graduate, most recently worked as director of technical communications for Needham software developer B&L Associates Inc. (AP)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:42 AM

How a prosecutor's crime destroys victims' trust

AUSTRALIA
ninemsn

By Hetty Johnston
Bravehearts executive director

Beads of sweat nestle in his brow — a lifetime of wrinkles nurtured by anxiety, fear and guilt. Today he will tell the police what his priest did to him all those years ago. Today he will trust the legal system and finally expose his truth.

He will tell a stranger, in meticulous detail, about his memories of being sexually assaulted as a child. He will endure this painful time warp to protect others.

But he knows that his truth will now be a matter for others to judge. The legal system will take control and he now has no option but to trust it. There is nowhere else to go — no other option but silence and inaction.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:39 AM

Priest accused of biting GRO’s lip

PHILIPPINES
Tempo

By BINGO CADABONA

BAMBANG, Nueva Vizcaya – A young Catholic priest here is the subject of complaints of acts of lasciviousness after allegedly biting the lip of a lady guest relations officer inside Estrella’s Videoke Bar in Barangay San Antonio, here, the other day, police said yesterday.

Inspector Avelino Cuntapay, chief of police here, identified the priest as Fr. Elmer Saludares, parish priest of Saint Anne’s Parish of nearby Dupax Del Norte town, who was the subject of the complaint of one Jenelyn Abello, who claimed her lip was bitten by the priest while they were allegedly kissing inside the bar.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 AM

Priest allowed to go to Boston for event, circuit judge decides

FLORIDA
Palm Beach Post

By SUSAN SPENCER-WENDEL and LONA O'CONNOR
Palm Beach Post Staff Writers

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Rev. John Skehan, accused of misappropriating $8.7 million in church money, is scheduled to leave today on a two-week trip to Boston. Circuit Judge Sandra McSorley agreed to allow Skehan to travel there for a "family gathering," a court order says.

Skehan, 80, is charged with felony grand theft for allegedly stealing money while pastor at St. Vincent Ferrer Catholic Church in Delray Beach. The grand theft charge is punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison. Under state sentencing guidelines, though, Skehan likely faces a few years as charged.

He is free on a steep bond - $400,000 - and required to regularly check in with a program monitoring his whereabouts.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:31 AM

Child porn vicar avoids prison

UNITED KINGDOM
Hereford Times

A HEREFORDSHIRE vicar has been given a three-year community order and told to complete a sex offenders group work programme after sourcing more than 600 child pornography images.

The Rev James Morrish, formerly of Kingstone, pleaded guilty to 13 charges of sourcing 612 images on October 23, 2005.

He had originally denied the charges but pleaded guilty at the last minute during his trial at Worcester Crown Court last month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:22 AM

The BBC Doc the Catholic Church Doesn't Want Seen

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LAist

A culture of secrecy that led bishops to place the interest of the Catholic Church ahead of the safety of the children. Sound familiar? That was one of the conclusions of The Ferns Report, which was a study that found 24 priests in a tiny enclave in Ireland that was responsible for the sexual abuse of over 100 boys and girls.

Another conclusion was that the Catholic Church knew of their dirty little secret as far back as 1962 and instead of fixing the problem, created a proceedure to cover it up.

Here in Los Angeles some are alleging that our very own Cardinal Mahoney acted very similarly to the way things were handled in Ireland in that he moved abusive perverts from one church to another when they were discovered diddling the young. Instead of removing the sexual predators from their positions of power, or having them arrested for breaking the law, Mahoney re-established that culture of secrecy, protecting the evil-doers, at the expense of the unsuspecting parishioners who literally handed over their kids to the church for summer camps, Sunday school trips, and other situations where they would be alone with men who the Catholic Church knew were child molesters.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:16 AM

Editorial Comment: Professional help needed

UNITED KINGDOM
Community Care

writes Mike Broad

Sex abuse scandals have rocked the major churches in recent years.

All are struggling to rebuild public confidence amid accusations that they are still not doing enough to protect children and vulnerable adults.

This week a report recommends 70 steps the Catholic Church needs to take to combat sexual abuse.

Things have got better with the creation of internal protection agencies, improved reporting of allegations to police and more victim support, but standards vary markedly between dioceses.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:12 AM

9.50AM - BROWNIE ABUSE 'HUSHED UP' BY THE CHURCH

UNITED KINGDOM
This is Gloucestershire

A man's sexual abuse of a 10-year-old Brownie was 'hushed up' by the church for over 24 years, a court has been told.

Victor Steynor, 64, who twice put his hand up the girl's top when her Brownie Pack visted the home he hired out for adventure weekends, was reported by the girl - but her parents and their church dealt with the matter 'in house' instead of calling police.

It was only by chance when a former Deacon of Ledbury Baptist Church, in Herefordshire, finally spilled the beans to a teacher who had links to the family that the dark events of 1983 emerged, magistrates in Cheltenham were told.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 AM

Archbishop in Zimbabwe Is Accused of Adultery

ZIMBABWE
The New York Times

By MICHAEL WINES
Published: July 19, 2007
JOHANNESBURG, July 18 — Zimbabwe’s state-controlled television broadcast photographs on Tuesday that it said showed President Robert G. Mugabe’s fiercest critic, Archbishop Pius Ncube, in bed with a married woman.

Archbishop Pius Ncube is a leading critic of President Robert G. Mugabe of Zimbabwe.
The sometimes explicit photographs, apparently from a camera concealed in the Roman Catholic archbishop’s bedroom in Bulawayo, were a direct hit on Zimbabwe’s clergy, which has taken the lead this year in demanding that Mr. Mugabe relax his oppressive rule.

But the extent of the damage to Archbishop Ncube, the leader of clerical opposition to Mr. Mugabe, was not immediately clear. The archbishop’s supporters denounced the photographs as a government smear, noting that Mr. Mugabe, himself a Catholic, had fathered two children with his secretary while his first wife was dying. He is now married to the secretary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Prevent future tragedies

Our position: L.A. archdiocese should have to reveal more details on its abusive priests.

July 19, 2007

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Orlando Sentinel

The Catholic Church finally is paying for decades of failing to protect children from sexual abuse by priests. Last week the Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced the largest settlement yet, agreeing to pay $660 million to 508 people who claimed abuse by priests and other church employees dating back as far as 70 years.

The next largest settlement, in Boston, paid victims $157 million. Across the country, claims of abuse by priests have led five Catholic dioceses to file for bankruptcy protection.

Yet the church's pattern of covering up its response to abuse by priests persists in the Los Angeles settlement. It was reached on the eve of the first of 15 scheduled civil trials to adjudicate abuse claims against the archdiocese and individual priests. The leader of the archdiocese, Cardinal Roger Mahony, was expected to testify.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:01 AM

Churches could be easy target for sexual predators

MISSOURI
South Missourian News

Erma Harris Managing Editor

He who walks with integrity walks securely, But he who perverts his ways will become known. – Proverbs 10:9

Sunday school, church camp, vacation Bible school – all a part of a child’s growing up years. Each of these events can have a positive influence on a child’s character. Most times, the teachers and leaders of these events are people you know and see on a weekly basis – they are people you and your children trust.

Now, consider this story: “Ed begins attending First Church. After a few weeks he volunteers to work with the youth group. Church staff members do not know Ed but they are delighted to have another worker. He is put to work immediately. The youth group has an overnight activity a few months later. Following the activity, two minors report they were sexually molested by Ed. The parents of one of the minors contact an attorney and a $3 million lawsuit is brought against Ed, the church and the church board. The parents claim the church acted negligently by not properly screening and supervising Ed.”

This story is found in a handbook developed by Salem resident Buzz Busby. A handbook that church leaders are now using to help keep young people in their congregation safe from sexual predators.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:59 AM

Famed yogi visits Malibu

MALIBU (CA)
The Malibu Times

By Melonie Magruder / Special to The Malibu Times

On Thursday, Malibu will have the opportunity to see a performance of "The Jewel in the Lotus," a play by Swami Kriyananda, a world renown and controversial Hindu spiritual guide who has been absent from the Los Angeles area for 40 years.

Kriyananda (named J. Donald Walters at birth) is a direct disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda, the Indian yogi arguably responsible for bringing the practice of yoga to America with the 1946 publication of his seminal work, "The Autobiography of a Yogi." ...

During this time, a bigger problem was brewing. In 1994, a former member of the Ananda community, Anne-Marie Bertolucci, accused Kriyananda and another pastor of sexual harassment, and the church of allowing brainwashing and sexual abuse of female followers. The trial judge found Kriyananda and the Ananda church culpable on all claims and awarded more than one million dollars to Bertolucci (subsequently reduced substantially), forcing Ananda to file Chapter 11 in bankruptcy court.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:54 AM

Just how saintly was John Paul II?

Daily Southtown

July 19, 2007
David McGrath Columnist

No offense, but Pope John Paul II does not seem quite like a saint to me.

Though lately making news for going retro -- by calling for a return to using Latin at Mass and by reiterating that other religions cannot lead to salvation -- the Catholic Church has accelerated the process of conferring sainthood upon Pope John Paul II. ...

Yet the former pope failed a much more telling test of compassion and holiness, by having never apologized for the church's hundreds of sex criminals.

Truly, even though John Paul believed that expressions of remorse for the church's misdeeds were very important, having apologized officially in its behalf, for everything from the Crusades to the persecution of Galileo, he offered no such contrition for victims of sexual abuse by his priests.

While formal reports of cases in which priests molested multiple children in America were made to the Vatican as early as 1985, Pope John Paul II remained mostly silent until 2002, when he finally condemned clergy abuse as a crime against society and an "appalling sin." He also convened a college of cardinals at the Vatican to formulate a uniform policy for dealing with accused priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:51 AM

No Salvation

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA City Beat

These are dark times for the Catholic Church in Los Angeles, where Cardinal Roger M. Mahony has finally agreed to an astonishing $600 million settlement with 508 childhood victims of sexual abuse by clergy. That’s a big number, and it represents an official and legal admission to a series of terrible crimes, committed over and again through the decades.

No doubt, that money will be life-changing to many victims, some of them well into middle-age and beyond now. But what was truly striking about the announcement this week were the comments that followed from victims of these crimes. For them, the dollar amount hadn’t seemed to offer much comfort or resolution. Instead, there were tears and recriminations. Many brought childhood photographs of themselves as graphic evidence of exactly who and what had been victimized. In one picture, a young boy even shared the frame with his abuser: a smiling priest. Over and again, these victims called for justice beyond the financial settlement

An investigation by District Attorney Steve Cooley apparently rolls onward. He called Mahony’s role in the ongoing legal struggle between the church and its victims an “incredible moral failure to the people of Los Angeles.” Specifically, that failure was in not acting to protect children from known “problem priests.” It is now understood that Mahony allowed 16 priests to remain in the church even after being accused by parishioners. Unfortunately, this was a common response in the church nationwide, and most notoriously in Boston, Dallas, and Phoenix. Like there, the Los Angeles Archdiocese’s delayed release of confidential files has been an additional source of conflict and pain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:47 AM

Mahony's Tainted Legacy

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Weekly

By JEFFREY ANDERSON
Wednesday, July 18, 2007 - 6:00 pm
RAY BOUCHER, THE EMBATTLED plaintiffs’ attorney for more than 300 victims of Catholic-priest molestation, emerged from a small conference room at the Biltmore Hotel and wanted a hug.

After five years of bitter litigation against an obstinate religious institution with an unrelenting will to keep its secrets hidden, who could blame him?

Hours earlier, Cardinal Roger Mahony had slipped in and out of court through a side door, having just inked an eye-popping $660 million settlement of more than 500 cases alleging the most heinous act imaginable: the sexual abuse of children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:43 AM

Bishop Zubik: Welcome home

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Tribune-Review

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Western Pennsylvania native David A. Zubik, bishop of Green Bay, Wis., will become the new bishop of the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese in September. Welcome back, sir.

And how sweet a homecoming it must be. What an honor it is to replace Donald W. Wuerl, who last year became the archbishop of Washington, D.C.

Bishop Zubik, 57, born in Sewickley and reared in Ambridge, became a priest in Pittsburgh. Until 2003, when called to Green Bay, he served as Pittsburgh's auxiliary bishop. ...

Bishop Zubik, true to his faith, has shown great compassion for the victims of sexual abuse by the clergy and great zeal for promoting vocations. He is regarded as a man in touch with people and has strong leadership skills.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:38 AM

Diocese gets a 'prayerful, spiritual leader'

PITTSBURGH (PA)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Thursday, July 19, 2007

By Ann Rodgers, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Bishop David Zubik, newly appointed to the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, is a longtime trouble-shooter for the diocese who volunteered to fill in at parishes until the pope dispatched him to become bishop of Green Bay, Wis., in 2003.

He is widely hailed as a holy man, to whom prayer comes as naturally as breath. His years in Green Bay, where he undertook parish mergers similar to those of Pittsburgh in the 1990s, may have given him new skills in overseeing parishes without resident priests and a growing ministry among Hispanics. ...

The Green Bay diocese had been traumatized by the sex abuse scandal before he arrived. There had been abusive priests in the diocese, though recent criminal trials involved men who were removed from ministry in the 1980s.

But his predecessor, retired Bishop Robert Banks, had been an auxiliary in the Archdiocese of Boston, where a grand jury said he had impeded criminal investigations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:33 AM

Abuse payout plan is taking shape

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Rebecca Trounson and John Spano, Times Staff Writers
July 19, 2007

The Los Angeles Archdiocese plans to pay its share of a record clergy sexual abuse settlement by liquidating investments, taking out bank loans and selling up to 50 non-parish properties, including its administrative headquarters, according to diocesan representatives.

Many details of the complex financial arrangements were still being worked out, officials said, with the $660-million settlement having been formalized just Monday in a Los Angeles courtroom.

But some elements have emerged, as the archdiocese readies itself to pay at least $250 million and up to $373 million — its portion of the bill.

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and others have said the archdiocese, which drained its litigation reserve fund in payouts for a partial clergy-abuse settlement in December, will try to avoid harming "essential ministries" and does not plan to sell any parish or school properties.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:30 AM

A 'window' for victims of abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Marci A. Hamilton, MARCI A. HAMILTON is a law professor at Yeshiva University and author of the forthcoming book "How to Deliver Us From Evil: What America Must Do to Protect Its Children." hamilton02@aol.com
July 19, 2007

WITHOUT question, the bravest souls involved in Los Angeles' $660-million clergy abuse settlement are the victims who came forward to sue the archdiocese. By now they have traversed more levels of Dante's inferno than anyone should have to experience.

But another heroic group has gone largely unrecognized — the Legislature. It is only because that body passed historic childhood sexual abuse legislation in 2002 that these lawsuits and settlement happened. That law created a one-year "window" into the legal system for claims that had been shut down by overly short statutes of limitations — as little as three years for some victims.

Indeed, in 2003, any California childhood sexual abuse victim could go to the courthouse and find that the statute-of-limitations lock had been taken off the courtroom door. And in they went — about 850 Catholic clergy abuse victims and 150 others who sued churches, the Boy Scouts and other institutions for employing known molesters. Even as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down California's window for criminal prosecutions, the window has been held open for civil lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:27 AM

Six priests face sex abuse suits

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

BY OSCAR CORRAL
ocorral@MiamiHerald.com

A sexual abuse case involving the same Catholic priest who admitted having an inappropriate relationship with former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley was settled by the Archdiocese of Miami, the victim's lawyer announced Wednesday.

Miami lawyer Jeffrey Herman would not disclose the amount of the settlement between the church and the victim, described only as John Doe 26, although the original lawsuit had sought more than $10 million.

The priest in the case, Father Anthony Mercieca, allegedly took the boy, then a 13-year-old altar boy at St. James Church in North Miami, on a bicycle ride and afterward molested him in the church's bell tower in the 1970s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 AM

Sin and expiation

LOS ANGELES (CA)
National Post

Father Raymond J. De Souza, National Post
Published: Thursday, July 19, 2007
The mammoth scale of Monday's sexual abuse settlement in Los Angeles drew worldwide attention. At the cost of some US$660-million, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and its insurers have settled some 500-plus cases stretching back to the 1950s.

Part of that attention is because almost everyone outside of North America finds the excesses of the American legal system rather startling. Settlements in no other country reach that level, and the idea of lawyers getting up to US$250-million dollars, as they will in this case, is simply inconceivable elsewhere. The Los Angeles case is so enormous largely because the State of California repealed, temporarily, the statute of limitations in 2002 in order to encourage more lawsuits against the Catholic Church. Retroactively changing the rules is generally thought to offend against natural justice, but it proved quite popular in California.

Notwithstanding the excesses, the sexual abuse settlements are a welcome development. In the first place, the prospect of civil damages on a significant scale has served to encourage victims to come forward; if such large settlements were possible in other countries, there would be more cases there, too. The settlement process has allowed many victims to be released from the pain and shame they suffered for too long at the hands of those who should have helped them. Without the settlements, many victims would have continued to suffer, often in silence, often alone.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:22 AM

Miami archdiocese settles abuse lawsuit that named Foley priest

MIAMI (FL)
TCPalm

By JENNIFER KAY
The Associated Press
Posted at 1:43 p.m.
July 18, 2007
MIAMI — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami has settled a sexual abuse lawsuit that named a priest who acknowledged having inappropriate encounters with former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley.

The settlement was announced Wednesday in the lawsuit unrelated to the Foley case. A man who was an altar boy at St. James Church in North Miami alleged the Rev. Anthony Mercieca sexually abused him in the 1970s when he was about 13 years old.

The man, identified only as John Doe 26, claimed Mercieca molested him in the church's bell tower after a bicycle ride together.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:18 AM

Settlement and the ‘areglo’ mentality

PHILIPPINES
Manila Standard Today

Connie Veneracion

Last Tuesday, I wrote about the $660 million that will be paid by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to 500 victims of sexual abuses committed by priests. Let me continue the discussion but, this time, let me talk about why out-of-court settlements should have no part in any legal system that purports to be just.

Let me start by going back to the 1980s when then President Ferdinand Marcos signed Presidential Decree 1508 which created a system for amicably settling disputes in the barangay level. My Criminal Law professor was one of those who had an active part in the creation of PD 1508 and he was very proud to enumerate the many benefits that it offered, one of which was the declogging of court dockets.

In a way, it made sense. And, in a way, it was pragmatic too. Nobody wants to be embroiled in litigation. It is financially and emotionally draining. And since no damage can be undone in the real sense of the word and the only “realistic” way of compensating the aggrieved party is through the payment of a sum of money that “approximates” his grief, why not opt for settlement? It sounds callous, I know, but that’s really how our justice system works. In fact, that’s how most “modern” justice systems work.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:14 AM

Man sues SSC, claims he was sexually abused as youth

BAY ST. LOUIS (MO)
Sun Herald

By J.R. WELSH
baybureau@aol.com

BAY ST. LOUIS --A Wyoming man has filed a federal lawsuit against St. Stanislaus College claiming he was repeatedly sexually abused by a staff member 24 years ago, leading to a lifetime of torment and drug abuse that still continues.

The suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Gulfport last Friday by attorneys for Michael D. Stevenson and his father and co-plaintiff, O. Dara Stevenson. Michael Stevenson, 39, lives in Wyoming and his father is a Louisiana resident, according to court documents.

The eight-count lawsuit claims Michael Stevenson attended the Catholic boys' school in 1983-84, beginning when he was 15. There, he was repeatedly sexually and mentally abused by a staff member who was in the religious order the Brothers of the Sacred Heart. A lawsuit represents only one side of a civil dispute.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:11 AM

'His Heart is in Pittsburgh,' mayor says of Zubik

GREEN BAY (WI)
Press-Gazette

By Kelly McBride
kmcbride@greenbaypressgazette.com

Green Bay's loss is Pittsburgh's gain, according to many area clergy and laypeople reacting Wednesday to the impending departure of Bishop David Zubik of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.

It was announced early Wednesday that Zubik has been named the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, an appointment that will take him home. He'll begin his new job on Sept. 28.

Zubik's relatively brief Green Bay tenure — he was installed here in December 2003 — has at times been marked by controversy, including outcry over the closing and consolidation of some area Catholic schools in 2006.

In addition, he's served as Green Bay bishop during a time of turmoil for the Catholic Church worldwide, including clergy sex abuse scandals and other controversies.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:08 AM

July 18, 2007

Mutambara MDC move to shield Archbishop Ncube

ZIMBABWE
Nehanda Radio

18 July 2007

By Never Kadungure

Officials from the faction of the opposition MDC led by Arthur Mutambara gathered in Bulawayo on Wednesday to discuss the crisis engulfing Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube. The meeting was attended by church leaders and former Defence Minister Enos Nkala, now a member of the Patriotic Union of Matabeleland (PUMA).

The Archbishop is facing allegations that he had an affair with 'married' secretary Rosemary Sibanda and 'husband' Onesimus has filed a Z$20 billion lawsuit claiming among other things loss of companionship and contumelia. Confusing matters is that he had already remarried during the time of the alleged affair.

Ncube's lawyer Nicholas Matonsi has already warned the state media to stop using pictures allegedly showing the Archbishop in a compromising position with various women. Matonsi warned that if they persisted he would seek an injuction in the Bulawayo High Court blocking the continued use of the pictures and film. On Wednesday evening the state broadcaster (ZBC) continued to use the images despite the threat.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

More punishment needed for abusive priests

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Daily O'Collegian

Carla Beckmann
Opinion Columnist

Church is supposed to be a place of worship, a place to revere a higher power. Those with the church are typically trusted.

But for some, the church was a place of torment.

On July 16 the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Church paid for its lack of clergy oversight. The archdiocese reached an out-of-court settlement with about 508 abuse victims. Some of the cases go back decades. The victims will receive more than $1 million each, but damages are to be awarded “according to the severity and duration of the abuse.”

I have issues here. On one hand, reparations, damages, hush money — whatever you call it — won’t bring back stolen innocence. These people will never have their lives back the way they were, and they have to live with what has been done to them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:25 PM

San Jose man sues Santa Rosa Diocese over priest abuse claim

SANTA ROSA (CA)
CBS 47

SANTA ROSA, Calif. (AP) - A San Jose man claiming he was sexually abused at a Lake County summer camp in the 1970s has sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa and a 74-year-old priest previously accused in several similar Bay Area lawsuits.

The unidentified plaintiff says the Reverend Richard Presenti molested him in 1973 or 1974 at a camp in Middletown.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:20 PM

Questions on a Scandal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Huffington Post

Peter Mehlman

Roughly a third of the $660 million dollar sexual abuse settlement being paid out the L.A. Archdiocese is being picked up by insurance. Not being that up on this segment of the economy, the whole concept of being insured for a civil action in retribution for a felony is a new one on me. What insurance company do they use?

("Prudential for Auto, home, fire, theft, penetrating a 10-year-old, with deductibles as low as $44 million." )

("At Aetna, we offer wrap-around coverage for everything from sodomy to fondling...")

("I accidently penetrated a red-haired six-year old girl and my State Farm Agent was on the scene within minutes." [I'm State Farm agent Adrian Goodlove and this is a true story...])

From my years at ABC sports, I know that the NFL Players Association has pretty comprehensive insurance. In addition, 80 percent of all married NFL players get divorced within five years of retiring. Taking into account the parallels of inevitability between the NFL and the Catholic church, shouldn't OJ Simpson have been covered for 11 million of the $33 million he owes the Goldmans and Browns?

Amazing how Cardinal Mahoney apparently got no performance tips before his mea culpa. (Catholic University has one of the best acting schools in the country...they couldn't have hired some sophomore to issue the apology?) Mahoney sounded like he was copping to rolling a stop sign. He actually apologized to everyone who was "offended." Then he said that the whole society must be vigilant about child sexual abuse because the church is not the only guilty party. He managed to come up just shy of saying "But mom, everyone's into it!"

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:33 PM

Vatican Pledges to Fight Pedophilia - Why Don't I Believe This?

VATICAN
Coming Out in Mid-Life in Red America

The Washington Post has a story in which the Vatican is quoted as saying "it would lead the fight against pedohilia (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/17/AR2007071700810.html?hpid=sec-religion ...

If the Vatican wanted to be taken seriously on this issue, both Benedict and his predecessor, John Paul II have had ample opportunity to show they were serious by requiring the mass resignation of every bishop and cardinal involved in the cover ups. In the USA, the Dallas Morning News several years ago estimated that roughly 2/3 of the U. S. bishops had particiapted at some level in cover up activities.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:13 PM

Zimbabwe: Mugabe takes a jibe at Bishop Pius Ncube

ZIMBABWE
ZimDaily

Wed, 18 Jul 2007 01:07:00

HARARE – President Robert Mugabe took a jibe at the Bulawayo Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube today, slamming him for snatching another man’s wife and engaging in illicit and unholy behaviour.

Mugabe, who was speaking at the burial of the late Brigadier General Fakazi Muleya at the National Heroes Acre midday, seemed to celebrate the damaging scandal involving Archbishop Ncube and a married woman that many here see as a creation of Mugabe secret service, the Central Intelligence Organisation.

Mugabe, who was speaking mainly in his vernacular zezuru, said it was despicable that Ncube, who took a vow of celibacy, had thrown his promise out of the window and snatched another man’s wife.

Ncube, who has been paraded on national television and on the front page of State dailies here, denies the allegations saying they are aimed at assassinating his character for his outspokenness against Mugabe’s misrule.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:06 PM

Achbishop spy a former policeman

ZIMBABWE
Citizen

HARARE – It emerged in Zimbabwe Wednesday that the private investigator who claims to have taken incriminating photos of the Catholic archbishop at the centre of a sex scandal, is a former member of President Robert Mugabe’s police force.
The outspoken Archbishop of Bulawayo, Pius Ncube has been accused of having affairs with women from his diocese. The husband of one of his alleged mistresses, is suing Ncube.
Private investigator Ernest Tekere worked in the Criminal Investigations Department of the Zimbabwe Republic Police for 20 years, the official Herald newspaper revealed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:03 PM

Zimbabwean archbishop's lawyer calls adultery charges 'orchestrated'

ZIMBABWE
Catholic News Service

By Bronwen Dachs
Catholic News Service

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNS) -- The lawyer for Zimbabwean Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo said his client will deny in court allegations of adultery that are part of a "well-orchestrated campaign" to discredit him.

The lawyer, Nicholas Mathonsi, said the fact that at least 12 people -- including state newspaper reporters and television crews from the capital, Harare -- accompanied court officials to serve the charges against the archbishop July 16 indicates "a big operation that involves the state."

Charges in Zimbabwe "are never served like this, in the presence of the media," Mathonsi told Catholic News Service in a July 18 telephone interview from Bulawayo.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:01 PM

Vatican officials comment on Los Angeles settlement

ITALY
Catholic World News

Lorenzago di Cadore, Jul. 18, 2007 (CWNews.com) - The $660-million legal settlement of sex-abuse cases against the Los Angeles archdiocese shows that the problem was "devastating in scale," the Vatican Secretary of State has said.

Speaking to reporters in Lorenzago di Cadore, Italy-- where he is staying with the vacationing Pope Benedict XVI (bio - news)-- Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (bio - news) conceded that he was shocked by the number of priests involved in the sex-abuse scandal.

Nevertheless, he said that the problem must be kept in perspective, noting that while the absolute number of priests involved was alarming, the perpetrators represented only "a very small minority" of the Catholic clergy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

Victim of Church Abuse Shares His Story

LOS ANGELES (CA)
NPR

Day to Day, July 16, 2007 · Tony Almeida, one of the plaintiffs in the recently settled lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, claims a priest in a Los Angeles parish began abusing him when he was an altar boy in 1974 at the age of 11.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Should the Vatican Pay for Abuse?

ROME
Time

By JEFF ISRAELY/ROME

Depending on the subject at hand, the day-to-day running of the worldwide Catholic Church can resemble either a sort of centralized sacred politburo or a loose confederation of autonomous dioceses. If you prefer a business model, it's top-down management vs. franchising. Though imperfect, these analogies can help address a lingering question in the wake of the Los Angles archdiocese's record $660 million settlement with victims of clergy sex abuse: What is the Vatican's responsibility?

In Los Angeles, as in previous cases in the U.S. and elsewhere, the local diocese has essentially shouldered all of the administrative blame — and taken the financial hit — for the priest perpetrators and the bishops who failed to prevent their crimes, with no reference or responsibility assigned to the hierarchy in Rome. Still, victims' lawsuits frequently cite the Holy See, the Vatican-based juridical headquarters of the 1.1 billion-strong Catholic Church, and the Pope himself.

Since the issue exploded in 2002 with the scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston, it has been difficult to force the Vatican to respond directly to the innumerable court cases that have arisen, since, according to the U.S. Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act, the Holy See is outside the jurisdiction of U.S. courts. But two recent cases, in Oregon and Kentucky, have cracked open the door for the first time to the possibility that the Vatican could one day be held financially responsible and officials in Rome could be forced to testify. Lawyers are trying to prove in both cases that the abusive priests can be considered employees of the Holy See. A final decision on whether the Vatican is liable for any monetary damages is probably years away. However, victims' advocates are encouraged that judges in both the Portland and Louisville lawsuits have not tossed out the cases on immunity grounds as had happened in the past.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:55 PM

Suit involving Foley priest is settled

MIAMI (FL)
Miami Herald

The Associated Press

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Miami has settled a sexual abuse lawsuit that named a priest who acknowledged having inappropriate encounters with former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley.

The settlement was announced Wednesday in the lawsuit unrelated to the Foley case. A man who was an altar boy at St. James Church in North Miami alleged the Rev. Anthony Mercieca sexually abused him in the 1970s when he was about 13 years old.

The man, identified only as John Doe 26, claimed Mercieca molested him in the church's bell tower after a bicycle ride together.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:52 PM

Response to Vatican remarks

VATICAN
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Vatican spokesman Fr. Frederico Lombardi, apparently following a well-rehearsed script used by many American Catholic bishops, insensitively tried to divert attention away from the church sex abuse and cover up scandal. In doing so, he displayed the same defensive, arrogant, and insensitive attitude which helped caused this crisis in the first place.

The papal spokesman left many US Catholics and victims shaking their heads in dismay when he claimed that nameless "other institutions" should take nameless "measures" to protect kids. The AP quoted him as stressing that pedophilia was not specific to the Catholic church.

Everyone knows that most child molesters aren't clergy, almost every organization can do more to stop abuse, and many decision-makers try to hide wrong-doing in their organizations.

But everyone also knows that

- the most long-standing, far-reaching devastating, and widely documented cover up of thousands of child sex crimes has and is taking place within Catholic circles. Instead of admitting this, Lombardi pointed fingers elsewhere and suggested other institutions also hide abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:48 PM

L.A. roundup.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
dotCommonweal

July 17, 2007, 8:31 pm
Posted by Grant Gallicho

Some notable items in the L.A. abuse scandal story:

Reuters reports that Latinos in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (half the city) continue to support Cardinal Mahony. Shocker.
The civil suits may have been settled, but there remains the possibility of criminal prosecution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:10 PM

Jaime Castillo: 'One true church' should start by cleaning its own dark closet

SAN ANTONIO (TX)
Express-News

Web Posted: 07/18/2007 06:00 AM CDT

Thankfully, my early experiences with the Catholic Church were less painful than the 500-plus victims who will share in a $660 million settlement over clergy sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The worst my two older brothers and I had it was being ferried across El Paso by my mother to attend Mass in my grandmother's parish: Our Lady of Guadalupe Church.

It was there that I had probably my most memorable encounter with a priest.

I was about 7 years old and studying for my First Holy Communion.

After catechism class let out, I did what I always did: I waited in the courtyard for my family to emerge from Sunday Mass.

One day, the parish priest came walking up to me.

He was a distinguished figure; a balding man, who was blessed with a booming "voice of God" that most people, oddly enough, typically ascribe to radio and TV newscasters.

"Are you going to go home and fight with your big brothers?" the priest intoned.

"No, father," I stammered.

"Chicken," he said playfully.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:53 AM

The LA Archdiocese sex abuse case settlement

UNITED STATES
Tom Faranda's Folly

The two book-end coastal Cardinals, Egan in NY and Mahony in LA. Do we Catholics in the U.S. really deserve these two guys?

Egan is over 75 and should retire. Mahony should resign.

After stonewalling for years, the LA archdiocese agreed to a 660 million dollar settlement with 508 victims of clergy sex abuse. (This is on top of the 114 million already paid out.) So the 508 people will get about $1.3 million each BUT their lawyers will get close to 40% of that.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 AM

No Signs of Let-Up in Priest Shortage

IOWA
WHO

July 18, 2007 - The sex abuse scandal may be hurting the effort to encourage young Iowans to enter the priesthood.

Recruiters in the Des Moines Diocese are hoping to turn around some troubling numbers. The number of priests has been in constant decline in the United States, down almost a third since 1970.

The number of active priests in the Des Moines Diocese was 87 in 1987. Ten years ago, it was at 84. Today, the number of active priests in the diocese is down to 59. This, at a time when parish sizes are larger than ever, and help is not on the way.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:31 AM

Priest convicted of sex offences

AUSTRALIA
Herald Sun

July 19, 2007 12:00am
A CATHOLIC priest has been convicted of child sex offences dating back to the 1970s.

Terrence Melville Pidoto, 62, of Bacchus Marsh, was found guilty of 11 charges, including one count of rape, one count of buggery and seven counts of indecent assault.

Pidoto was ordained into the priesthood in 1971 and worked in Heidelberg, Box Hill North and Kilmore during the 1970s and early '80s.

Seven people made allegations against Pidoto resulting in 22 charges.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:28 AM

John Paul II and Cardinal Mahony: Masters of Cunning and Deceit

LOS ANGELES (CA)
John Paul II Millstone

John Paul II's clone Cardinal Mahony got a bargain deal -- instead of the 1.5 Billion asking price in 2004 (see article below), he paid only 500 Million, that is a third of the asking price. Actually the insurance companies and religious orders will pay most of it, so really Mahony doesn't feel a dent in his bank account.

Mahony is laughing at SNAP and the victims right now -- celebrating his victory with his Opus Dei strategy masterminds.

OD Opus Dei PROOF? John Paul II's press secretary was an Opus Dei member who controlled everything the Pope did. He was the go-between for the Pope and the outside world. "No one goes to John Paul II except through me." And most of all "The Pope will say nothing except through me". Or in more positive terms, "The Pope will only speak through me".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:23 AM

Saint Paul the blind

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Daily Telegraph

By Paul Kent

July 19, 2007 12:00am

THE image is a woman standing on steps. She is holding her hands to her head, anguished, as tears roll down her face.

She was young once, and whole, until she put her faith in the one place where it was supposed to be safest. She was never the same again.

She is Esther Miller, an American woman who with some 507 others this week was awarded $756 million following a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic Diocese of LA.

The millions are compensation for the sick acts child-molesting priests performed in their role as God's servants.

The payout was a landmark, not only because it has rattled the Catholic Church all the way to its crumbling foundations, but because it took four years to come and is more than six times any previous deal struck by the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Sources: Pastor Asked To Resign Over Audit

CHICAGO (IL)
NBC 5

CHICAGO -- A controversy is brewing at one of the richest parishes in the Chicago archdiocese. The pastor denies it, but others tell NBC 5 he's been asked to resign over a financial audit.

The issue is at a crossroads, awaiting a final decision while sources said a new pastor is ready to move in and take over at Faith Hope And Charity in Winnetka.

But the current pastor, Kevin Spiess, said he's not leaving.

Spiess, once a member of Cardinal Bernardin's cabinet, came to Faith Hope after the former pastor was removed after a sexual misconduct claim.

While Spiess would not speak on camera, when asked if he was leaving, he said "no" and suggested he may ask for a canonical trial since he says there has been no wrongdoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:11 AM

Imperfect apology

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Daily Bulletin

The settlement of some 500 abuse cases against the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles ought to be a time of reckoning, of healing. This should be an opportunity to move beyond the sordid scandal of priestly abuse.

It should be, but it isn't, and that's because lacking is a key ingredient: contrition.

Although Cardinal Roger Mahony apologized to the victims of the abuse, he carefully dodged personal responsibility. He made it clear that he is apologizing for the Catholic Church as an institution, but not for his own actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:08 AM

Priest abuses need owning up by all

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Pasadena Star-News

THE settlement of about 500 abuse cases against the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles ought to be a time of reckoning, of healing. This should be an opportunity to move beyond the sordid scandal of priestly abuse.

It should be, but it isn't, and that's because lacking is a key ingredient: contrition.

Although Cardinal Roger Mahony has apologized to the victims of the abuse, he has carefully dodged personal responsibility. He has made it clear that he is apologizing for the Catholic Church as an institution, but not for his own actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:06 AM

Settlement in L.A.: It's not enough

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It happened on the eve of a civil trial in which Cardinal Roger Mahony might have been compelled to testify about how he allegedly covered up sexual abuse of children by priests:
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles settled sex abuse claims by 508 victims for $660 million. Previous Los Angeles settlements total $114 million.

Cardinal Mahony, who apologized, should emulate the example of Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law. He resigned in late 2002 in the wake of a priest sex scandal.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:04 AM

What the Priest Didn't Say at Mass

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Salt Lake Tribune

By Carl Marziali
Special to the Los Angeles Times
Article Last Updated: 07/17/2007 07:22:40 PM MDT

I went to Mass on Sunday morning with mixed feelings. The news had just come out that the Los Angeles Archdiocese had agreed to the largest settlement in the Catholic Church's child molestation scandal. My wife and I wondered what to do: Should we stay away in anger at our leaders, as some of our churchgoing friends were doing? And what, if anything, should we put in the collection basket - a comically symbolic question when viewed against a $660-million payout.
We decided to go so we could hear our pastor's homily about the news. The parish is one of the most active and engaged we have ever known. Its connection to the scandal is minimal - one accusation 40 years ago against a priest who stayed one year. It is a measure of how naive we still are that it did not occur to us that the subject might not be discussed in the homily.
It was not. In fact, the pastor was not even there. He was replaced by the associate pastor, a friendly man known for his frank and self-critical homilies. This priest, I was confident, would mention the settlement. Instead, he only inadvertently drew attention to the issue by leaving it off a list of "serious issues" facing the church, such as global warming, the war in Iraq and the possible return of the Latin Mass.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:02 AM

Mahony needs to restore his credibility

CALIFORNIA
Daily Breeze

Daily Breeze editorial

The settlement of some 500 abuse cases against the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles ought to be a time of reckoning, of healing. This should be an opportunity to move beyond the sordid scandal of priestly abuse.

It should be, but it isn't, and that's because lacking is a key ingredient: contrition.

Although Cardinal Roger Mahony has apologized to the victims of the abuse, he has carefully dodged personal responsibility. He has made it clear that he is apologizing for the Catholic Church as an institution - but not for his own actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:53 AM

Clergy wounds still not healed

CALIFORNIA
Press-Telegram

Tom Hennessey

Now and then, I think of Theodore Llanos. A Catholic priest who had been assigned to several area churches, he once faced 38 felony criminal counts for sexually abusing children under his spiritual care.

The charges were dropped in 1996 because the statute of limitations had run out. A year later, Llanos took his life.

In 2004, nearly three decades after being victimized by Llanos, Michael Patrick Falls, formerly of Covina, compared the Los Angles archdiocese to the Mafia.

"The Catholic church is participating in organized crime, and it is not gambling, and it's not the numbers game. It's the molestation of children, and it is the protection of priests who molest them."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:46 AM

Zimbabwe: Ncube Set for Court Battle

ZIMBABWE
allAFrica

The Herald (Harare)

18 July 2007
Posted to the web 18 July 2007

Bulawayo Bureau
Harare

THE head of the Roman Catholic Church in Bulawayo, Archbishop Pius Ncube, who is embroiled in sensational allegations of adultery, has indicated his intention to defend the $20 billion lawsuit filed against him by a city man.

The lawsuit was filed at the High Court on Monday.

In the suit, case number HC 1585/07, the clergyman is accused of having an adulterous relationship with Mrs Rosemary Sibanda, the wife of Mr Onesimus Sibanda, for the past two years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:30 AM

Zimbabwe: Ncube Sparks Outrage

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald (Harare)

18 July 2007
Posted to the web 18 July 2007

Harare

ZIMBABWEANS from all walks of life have roundly condemned Roman Catholic Archbishop for Bulawayo Diocese Pius Ncube for "immoral" behaviour unbecoming of a man of the cloth in the wake of sensational allegations that he had a two-year affair with a married parishioner.

The Herald newsroom was yesterday inundated with calls from people demanding the archbishop's immediate resignation, saying failing that the Vatican should relieve him of his duties.

A Bulawayo man, Mr Onesimus Sibanda, filed a $20 billion lawsuit against the archbishop at the Bulawayo High Court on Monday accusing him of having an adulterous relationship with his wife, Rosemary, charges that the wife publicly confessed to.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 AM

Zimbabwe: More Sexual Relationships Exposed

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

The Herald (Harare)

18 July 2007
Posted to the web 18 July 2007

Bulawayo Bureau
Harare

THE alleged affair between the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Bulawayo, Archbishop Pius Ncube, and a married woman, Mrs Rosemary Sibanda, was just the tip of the iceberg.

Investigations into the controversial clergyman revealed yesterday that he has had multiple sexual partners.

Catholic priests are sworn to an oath of celibacy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

Mugabe says he is praying for archbishop

ZIMBABWE
New Zimbabwe

By Torby Chimhashu
Last updated: 07/18/2007 08:54:51
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe has cheekily declared that he will pray for Archbishop Pius Ncube who is at the centre of a sex storm involving a married woman and possibly up to ten other women, he said in a televised speech on Wednesday.

Mugabe said he would pray for the Roman Catholic bishop to be be redeemed by God for his “sins”.

Ncube has been a thorn on Mugabe's side and is respected worldwide for his stand against human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. Ncube has said he prayed for Mugabe's death and is amiable to a foreign military invasion of the country to oust the 83-year-old leader.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:16 AM

I'll pray for 'fallen archbishop' - Mugabe

ZIMBABWE
IOL

July 18 2007 at 02:37PM

Harare - Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe on Wednesday rebuked Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube for breaking his vow of celibacy after state media ran pictures of his arch critic in bed with a married woman.

"Since you are my archbishop, Pius, and you swore to celibacy, keep your vows," Mugabe said at the burial of a national hero and former army chief in the capital.

"Snatching other people's wives is not fair play."

Mugabe described himself an ordinary Catholic who knew God and urged Church leaders to be exemplary.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:14 AM

Priest's sentence called 'not enough'

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Tribune

By Manya A. Brachear
Tribune religion reporter
Published July 18, 2007
The mothers of two boys abused by Rev. Daniel McCormack said Tuesday that they are relieved the priest is behind bars but that a 5-year sentence does not do justice to the crimes he committed against their sons.

"If I could just put this man to rest and not get any time for this I would," said the mother of a 10-year-old boy whom McCormack repeatedly fondled in St. Agatha church rectory, a block from his family's West Side home.

"My son is going to hurt for the rest of his life," she said. "He might not show it on the outside but it's on his inside. I understand what he's going through but I don't know how he feels because it wasn't me."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

Diocese sex abuse case slow going

GARY (IN)
Post-Tribune

July 17, 2007
By Teresa Auch Post-Tribune staff writer

A sexual abuse lawsuit involving the Diocese of Gary continues to move on as a similar one in Los Angeles reached a settlement Monday.

Lawyers for both sides of the lawsuit, filed in January 2005, say they continue to gather facts with no trial date in the near future.

An unidentified man sued Rev. Richard Emerson, formerly with the Diocese of Gary, claiming Emerson sexually abused him as a minor in the 1980s when Emerson was working in Orlando, Fla.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:05 AM

Regulating born again churches is the way to go

UGANDA
Daily Monitor

CROSSFIRE
Trouble has been brewing in the nation's born-again churches, with every day bringing fresh headlines proclaiming sexual and physical abuse and financial mismanagement. Some Ugandans are calling for more government oversight into these churches, which are currently classified as NGOs. Agnes Nandutu and David Herbert talked to the State Minister of Ethics and Integrity Mr James Nsaba Buturo and Pastor Joseph Sserwada.
In the wake of scandals ranging from sodomy, the use of electric gadgets and fraud among the pastors in the country, do you think government should regulate these churches?

Buturo: As government, there is already a draft policy on that. It's called religious guidelines policy. There should be guidelines on religious activities. We are consulting with stakeholders, and we are about to introduce it to cabinet and finally to Parliament for debate. Not that we want to have control over the born again churches but they should be organised and work under certain guidelines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:03 AM

Judge seals records in Open Door abuse suit

ELYRIA (OH)
The Chronicle-Telegram

Brad Dicken | The Chronicle-Telegram
ELYRIA — A county judge has taken the rare step of sealing the file of a lawsuit accusing the Church of the Open Door and the private school it operates of ignoring complaints of sexual abuse against a teacher who later was convicted and served six months in jail.
Common Pleas Judge Christopher Rothgery said he sealed the file earlier this month to protect the identity of the victim in the case, who filed the lawsuit against the church, school, Superintendent Michael Bova and former teacher Travis Mulanax in March.
“There was certainly no intent to protect the church, but to protect a young person who is the alleged victim of sexual abuse,” Rothgery said.
But the decision effectively removed any public record of the case. The county clerk of courts office removed a block preventing the public from accessing the case docket on Tuesday, but that’s all anyone can see — specific paperwork in the case remains under seal because it includes the girl’s name.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

U.S. Catholic Church steady despite scandals

UNITED STATES
Reuters

By Michael Conlon, Religion Writer

CHICAGO (Reuters) - The sexual abuse scandal in the U.S. Roman Catholic Church that rocked Boston six years ago and rippled across the country before the latest after-shock in Los Angeles does not appear to have markedly thinned the church's ranks or the money it takes in.

"The church is much bigger than any one parish or any one diocese. It's not about the bishops. I attend because I believe," said Mike, 41, as he left a lunchtime Mass at Saint Francis Xavier church in downtown Cincinnati on Tuesday.

Declining to give his last name, he described himself as a lifelong Catholic who still contributes money because "it's part of being in the church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:56 AM

L.A. Diocese Settlement Pressures San Diego to Settle its Sex Abuse Lawsuits

SAN DIEGO (CA)
KPBS

Tom Fudge: Yesterday marked a historic moment in the sad story of victims suing the Catholic Church for sexual abuse by priests. And this event happened just two hours up the freeway from San Diego. A judge approved a settlement between the Los Angeles Diocese and more than 500 people who say they were sexually abused. The total payout, 660 million dollars, was a record.

Here in San Diego, the Catholic Diocese is still in legal conflict with victims. The local diocese has filed for bankruptcy, saying that it couldn't bear the financial burden of what's being demanded by plaintiffs. The interesting thing about the L.A. settlement is it offers about 1.3 million dollars per victim. So far, San Diego Catholic officials have offered to settle for only about half that amount.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Five Tucson Victims Share Los Angeles Diocese Payout

TUCSON (AZ)
KOLD

Written by Bud Foster KOLD News 13

"Money never brings back your lost innocence or your faith in God, which these young men lost," says Lynne Cadigan, the attorney for five Tucson men who will share in a $660 million payout by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The five were abused when they were young boys by Father Kevin Barmasse, a Tucson priest from 1983 to 1991.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:51 AM

CENTRAL NEW YORK: EPISCOPAL ECCLESIASTICAL COURT VINDICATES ORTHODOX PRIEST

OWEGO (NY)
Virtue Online

By David W. Virtue
www.virtueonline.org
7/17/2007

OWEGO, NY: Fr. David Bollinger, 52, the former rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church was cleared of allegations that he financially mismanaged his parish by a diocesan ecclesiastical court and was restored to "good standing."

"I am elated by the decision and vindicated by a group of my peers," he told VirtueOnline.

By canon law, the right to celebrate the Eucharist and perform the other functions of a clergyman have been restored to Bollinger. The bishop took them away a year and a half ago when he inhibited Bollinger.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 AM

PRIEST 'USED DARK PERSONALITY TO ABUSE BOYS'

UNITED KINGDOM
This is South Devon

11:00 - 17 July 2007

A roman Catholic priest abused his position of power and trust to prey on pupils at a Devon school, a court heard.

Exeter Crown Court heard yesterday how Paul Couch, 61, of Wyndham Street West, Plymouth, harboured a 'dark and secret sexual personality' which he allegedly used to sexually abuse young boys attending a Catholic school more than 30 years ago.It's alleged Couch committed a string of sexual offences against boys at the school between 1972 and 1993.

The priest and former Royal Navy chaplain has pleaded not guilty to two serious sex charges and 15 of indecent assault.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Should Mahony resign?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Long Beach Press-Telegram

No amount of money, it seems, and no number of apologies will placate the victims of the Los Angeles Archdiocese's sexual abuse scandals. The call now is for Cardinal Roger Mahony's head.

But wait a minute: Mahony is neither an elected official nor a political appointee. His diocese, the biggest in the country, is not funded with taxpayer money (if you don't count the property tax breaks). So what is this outcry over whether he should resign all about? And who are we to demand it?

We human beings are big on accountability. If you read your Bible, you are aware that if your ox gores my cow, you need to pay me the value of my beloved bovine. If you harm someone, you have to be punished, or pay the victim for the harm you've done.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 AM

A shameful day for justice and Catholics

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Idaho Mountain Express

With an unctuous, pompous apology and a check for $660 million, Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony told parishioners it's time to move on from the most notorious of the Catholic Church's predatory priest sex scandals. Forgive and forget, Cardinal Mahony seemed to be saying.

Forgive and forget? This pompous prelate is guilty of criminal behavior and should be in prison.

Mahony covered up sexual assaults on children by diocesan priests for years, transferred them from parish to parish, and for five years blocked financial settlements with victims because he was afraid to open files on priests and lurid details of assaults on children.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:41 AM

Church at crossroads

LOS ANGELES (CA)
North County Times

By: North County Times Opinion staff

Our view: San Diego diocese in spotlight after L.A. settles its priest abuse claims

Following the Los Angeles diocese's decision to pay people sexually abused by priests $660 million, the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego, specifically Bishop Robert Brom, is on the hot seat. It's not for us to say whether the San Diego victims deserve the amounts they seek -- who can put a price on suffering such unmistakable evil? But it's clear that the embattled Catholic Church is closer today to a conclusion that will change its destiny.

Thus far, the San Diego diocese has offered victims a pittance compared to the Los Angeles and Orange County dioceses' settlements, which have, for better or for worse, established a going rate.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:39 AM

A cardinal's shameless struggle for survival

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Boston Globe

By Jason Berry | July 18, 2007

NEW ORLEANS

THE RECORD $660 million settlement that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay victims of clergy sex abuse marks the denouement of a strange legal drama. The litigation turned into a survival struggle for Cardinal Roger Mahony.

Mahony waged an expensive fight, which he lost at every rung of the ladder, to prevent release of clergy personnel files. The documents have still not been released. In 2002, church lawyers blocked the Los Angeles district attorney's subpoenas for files of priests targeted for criminal investigation.

As the clock ticked on statutes of limitations, several cases died. Meanwhile, as civil cases mounted, release of the disputed clergy personnel files became a core issue for survivors, who wanted the truth revealed. What is Mahony hiding?

Mahony's personal judgment has long been suspect. Consider Father Carl Sutphin, who shared living quarters with Mahony in two cathedrals over seven years until a 2002 Los Angeles police investigation of charges that Sutphin molested two sets of brothers. Only then did the cardinal force his retirement. In 1991, Mahony had sidelined Sutphin, a classmate of his in seminary, when a Phoenix man informed the cardinal that the priest had abused him and his twin brother years earlier. Sutphin went to St. Luke Institute in Suitland, Md., for treatment after which he became chaplain in a retirement home. At the time of his suspension, Sutphin was a resident with Mahony at Our Lady of Angels Cathedral.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:36 AM

Why abuse settlements vary among the victims

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Jessica Garrison, Times Staff Writer
July 18, 2007

It's not something many survivors of priest sexual abuse talk about, even with each other.

But behind the record $660-million settlement announced this week lurks an uncomfortable reality: Some people's pain is worth more than others'.

Divided by the 508 plaintiffs, the largest settlement in the nationwide abuse scandal amounts to an average of $1.3 million per person. But the actual payouts will fluctuate considerably, with some victims receiving more than $3 million and some as little as $100,000. And that's before lawyers take their cut.

Determining who gets what amount was a wrenching process, one that involved hundreds of victims producing videotapes in which they recounted in detail the abuse and how it shadowed their lives. Some videos included footage from the rectories where the abuse took place.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:34 AM

Paying for abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Baltimore Sun

July 18, 2007

The agreement by the Los Angeles Archdiocese to pay $660 million to more than 500 sexual abuse victims is a record amount that pushes the total that the American Roman Catholic Church has paid as a result of clergy sex abuse to more than $2 billion. But from the tearful acceptances by some of the victims, it's clear that money alone cannot ease the pain and suffering they have endured. The church must continue to confront this issue and come clean - not only with past victims, but with itself - in order to prevent more abuse.

It's been five years since the terrible revelations came to light about prolonged sexual abuse of children by American priests who were shielded from exposure by bishops and other members of the church hierarchy. Since then, the church required the nation's nearly 200 dioceses to have policies and procedures in place to protect children.

Baltimore has been considered a leader in that regard, creating a "safe environment" program that trained pastors, principals and youth leaders on preventing child abuse. Nevertheless, there are abuse victims in Maryland who are beyond the age of 24, the top limit for filing a civil claim - a rule that the General Assembly needs to change.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:32 AM

Boys' moms rip priest, church

CHICAGO (IL)
Chicago Sun-Times

July 18, 2007
BY SUSAN HOGAN/ALBACH Religion Reporter / shogan@suntimes.com
One mother was in the courtroom the day the Rev. Daniel McCormack was sentenced for molesting her son. The other mother couldn't bear to come.

And for two weeks, neither felt ready to talk publicly. But Tuesday, each woman offered a glimpse into their nightmare.

Both have moved their children away from the West Side neighborhood where McCormack led St. Agatha Catholic Church, taught at Our Lady of the Westside elementary school and coached basketball.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:30 AM

No Absolution Yet

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Daily Iowan

Earlier this year, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wrote that "the church pays an immeasurable price for failures to protect children." But in one sense, the cost of the church's past sins of omission and commission is all too easily measured. For the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the price tag of a "global settlement" with victims of sexual abuse is $660 million.

In this case, money does talk - and what it says is the American church in general and this archdiocese in particular were scandalously slow to acknowledge that, for decades, wolves in shepherds' clothing took advantage of the most innocent members of their flock. They were enabled by bishops who looked the other way or na'vely trusted that sexual predators could be rehabilitated or given "safe" assignments.

In announcing the settlement, Cardinal Roger Mahony offered "my personal apology to every victim who has suffered sexual abuse by a priest, religious, deacon, or layperson in this archdiocese." We have no doubt whether the apology was a heartfelt one. But the cardinal also bears responsibility for his excessively defensive legal strategy. As recently as last year, the LA Archdiocese was asking the U.S. Supreme Court - unsuccessfully - to rule that it had a First Amendment right not to provide the personnel files of two accused priests to a grand jury.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:21 AM

July 17, 2007

An arrogant church announces there’s pedophiles in other religions the day after the settlement. Even if there are, I mean, the audacity!

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Pretrial reorganization started today in the very merry un-jury trial of the Hagenbach cases which will take place here at city of angels blog in the next weeks. Instead of jury selection we're rounding up witness and exhibit lists for the trials that were on calendar to start in the next weeks. Sorry, Sitrick Public Relations, you forgot to factor in the city of angels blog in that PR Plan you sold to the LA Archdiocese back in 2004.

As announced yesterday, we are going to go ahead and report on the cases as if they did go to trial, describe the exhibits, interview the witnesses that were lined up to testify. Church Attorney J. Michael Hennigan will alternately appear in the online trials as the King of Hearts and the lead defendants’ advocate, and if he’s the King of Hearts, who is the queen?

Please don’t think this online trial will be a witch hunt or an aberration of justice. We're just pulling the rug out from under them the way they did us. Church attorneys played hardball with plaintiffs’ lives for the last five years, trampling their rights, obstructing justice in the most outrageous ways, and the story needs to be published where anyone can read it. What better place than this blog?

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 PM

To Restore Credibility, Cardinal Mahony Should Resign Says Catholic News Editor

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LifeSite

by Phil Lawler

Jul. 17, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Five years ago Cardinal Roger Mahony was reportedly encouraging Vatican officials to ask for the resignation of Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law. Using the same logical arguments that the American prelate presented in 2002, the Vatican should now ask Cardinal Mahony himself to step down.

The sensational cost of the sex-abuse scandal for the Los Angeles archdiocese far exceeds the devastation in Boston. The $660-million legal settlement announced on July 16 is nearly five times the total of the financial damages in Boston. Combining that settlement with previous agreements, lawyers' fees, and other associated costs, the overall price to be paid by the faithful Catholics of Los Angeles will approach $1 billion.

Yet the monetary costs, grave as they are, still do not reflect the most serious damage to the Catholic faith. Only rarely do I agree with an editorial in the Boston Globe, particularly when the topic is the Catholic faith. But today's Globe editorial is on target:

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:44 PM

Keeping Secrets: The Laity, the Latin Mass and the LA Settlement

On Faith

Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite
President, Chicago Theological Seminary

The timing of the re-introduction of the Latin Mass at this time is very instructive, especially in regard to the U.S. Catholic Church. At a time when the Catholic Church in the U.S. needs to be working on becoming more open and more accountable to its laity to prevent more child sexual abuse, the re-introduction of the Latin Mass signals that the Catholic Church as a whole is moving in a reactionary direction, becoming more closed rather than more open.

The Latin Mass was developed during one of the most reactionary periods in the history of the Catholic Church, the “Counter-Reformation”. This was a time in the 16th century when the Church, perceiving itself to be besieged by criticism from within and without by both laity and clergy about its practices, circled the wagons and roundly rejected engaging the new ideas about human autonomy and reason of the European Enlightenment. The so-called “Latin Mass” developed in this period was designed to standardize the form and prevent the introduction of new ideas into the liturgy, especially in the wake of the Protestant Reformation. This is a worship practice where the ordinary people could not understand the language and the clergy become remote figures, conducting mysteries in secret on the altar.

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of the Los Angeles archdiocese of the Catholic Church announced Sunday that a record $660-million settlement would be awarded to 508 claimants who alleged clergy sexual abuse by priests. Once again the Catholic Church is besieged by criticism and is circling the wagons. This large financial settlement, and especially its timing, is not an effort to achieve some modicum of justice for victims, but an attempt to keep the cover-up from coming out in court. After 4 ½ years of protracted negotiations, the settlement was announced just as the Cardinal was slated to testify in the first trial. “He avoided the No. 1 thing he fears, which is disclosing under oath how much he knew and how little he did about predatory priests,” said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of those abused by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 PM

Compensating a broken spirit

ARIZONA
Arizona Daily Star

2007-07-17
Stephanie Innes
I still remember meeting clergy abuse victim Jim O’Brien two years ago, before he received any settlement money for the sexual abuse he endured while a shy high school student in Marana during the 1980s.

Like other victims of Catholic clergy abuse, O’Brien had private, tortuous personal struggles throughout much of his life. He’d admired and loved the priest he said would later abuse him.

So much did he revere the Rev. Kevin Barmasse that the first year they met, O’Brien dressed as a priest for Halloween. O’Brien said less than a year later, Barmasse sexually molested him during private prayers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:39 PM

U.S. lawyers to grill Mexican cardinal in abuse case

MEXICO
Reuters

By Noel Randewich

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - U.S. lawyers for a former altar boy plan to grill Mexico's top Roman Catholic clergyman next month as part of an effort to sue him in a California court over claims he protected a suspected pedophile priest.

Cardinal Norberto Rivera faces an August 8 deposition in Mexico City, one of the world's largest Catholic dioceses, Jeffrey Anderson, the plaintiff's lawyer, said on Tuesday.

Rivera and Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony are named in a U.S. civil suit filed by Joaquin Aguilar Mendez in Los Angeles. Mendez says a priest named Nicolas Aguilar raped him in Mexico in 1994 when he was 13 years old.

"We want to get the information out of Rivera about what he knew about this predator," Anderson said. "We're going to try to get answers from Cardinal Rivera about why he covered this up."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:33 PM

An archdiocese and 508 victims

CALIFORNIA
San Francisco Chronicle

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

FACING a no-win trial and a humiliating turn in the witness chair, Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony took the only way out. He agreed to a record $660 million payout to settle a priest sex-abuse scandal.

His action should buy legal peace for the country's largest archdiocese. But it won't end a disgraceful chapter in church history or doubts about Mahony's role in the long-delayed resolution.

For more than four years, some 508 sex-abuse victims had pressed their complaints. It was a familiar story: Pedophile priests were transferred from parish to parish to parish whenever complaints arise. Some were sent to treatment programs and then returned to their duties where abusive behavior began again. Only rarely were the offenders prosecuted or defrocked.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:20 PM

Did Mugabe's regime fake pictures of the Archbishop 'caught in flagrante'?

ZIMBABWE
The Times

Jan Raath in Harare
Zimbabwe’s opposition was in shock yesterday after the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bulawayo, the Most Rev Pius Ncube, one of President Mugabe’s most outspoken opponents, was pictured by state media apparently naked and with a woman.

In what appeared to be a carefully orchestrated sting, the cleric was shown undressing with the woman, in photographs presumed to have been taken by a secret camera installed in his bedroom.

Nine pictures were spread across a page in The Chronicle, the Government’s mouthpiece in the western city of Bulawayo, where Archbishop Ncube is based.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:43 PM

URGENT: Zimbabwe Archbishop Charged with Adultery

ZIMBABWE
Christian Broadcasting Network

July 17, 2007

Sarah Pollock

While on my lunch break, I was checking out headlines on my cell phone when I saw this story about Zimbabwe's Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube being named in an adultery case.

This is particularly disconcerting since I've been closely following Ncube's bold stand against the tyrannical regime of President Robert Mugabe.

Ncube has been one of the men leading the charge for change in Zimbabwe. He has even said in the past that he was willing to die to see his country free of persecution.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 PM

Archbishop 'had affair with married aide'

ZIMBABWE
The Austrialian

From correspondents in Harare | July 18, 2007
ZIMBABWE'S state-run media published pictures overnight it claimed showed the head of the country's Roman Catholic church, one of President Robert Mugabe's arch critics, romping with a married woman.

Pius Ncube, archbishop of Bulawayo, was unavailable for comment about the pictures published in Bulawayo-based Chronicle newspaper which appeared to show him stark naked, on a bed with one of his aides.

The grainy pictures were plastered over several pages under the headline "The Pius Act".

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 PM

Zimbabwe Archbishop Disputes Allegations Of Adulterous Relationship

ZIMBABWE
Voice of America

A lawyer for Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, who has been accused engaging in an adulterous relationship with a parish secretary, says he has filed papers in high court disputing the accusations against his eminent client.

Ncube, one of President Robert Mugabe’s bitterest critics - Ncube once said he was praying for Mr. Mugabe to die - is being sued for Z$20 billion dollars (US$125,000) by Onesimus Sibanda of Bulawayo, the husband of Rosemary Sibanda, the woman with whom Ncube is alleged to have been sexually involved since January 2006.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 PM

Zimbabwe: Pius Ncube - Mugabe's Distraction of the Year

ZIMBABWE
allAfrica

OPINION
17 July 2007
Posted to the web 17 July 2007

Violet Gonda

Once again Robert Mugabe, the master of propaganda and dirty tricks, has the whole country talking about allegations that have been brought against Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube, rather than the price controls that threaten to destroy the country.

Zimbabwe is awash with stories that Archbishop Ncube is being sued for adultery. According to reports in the state controlled media, the cleric, who is Robert Mugabe harshest critic, allegedly had a two-year affair with a married parishioner who is also an official in his church. The Archbishop's lawyer Nicholas Mathonsi described the allegations as an orchestrated attempt to discredit his client. He said: "I think a line must be drawn between someone who has been found guilty by a court of law and somebody who is being tried in public for political expedience."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:24 PM

Ncube says adultery claims "politically motivated"

ZIMBABWE
CathNews

Zimbabwe's Archbishop Pius Ncube, an outspoken critic of President Robert Mugabe, has been accused of an adulterous affair with a former secretary but his lawyers say the claims are politically motivated.

But Archbishop Ncube declined to explicitly deny the affair, according to an Age report.

In legal papers served on the archbishop in Bulawayo, Onesisums Sibanda is demanding $Z20 billion ($A185,000) in damages from the cleric for the alleged adultery with his wife, Rosemary. The state-run Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation said Ms Sibanda, who worked at St Mary's Cathedral, admitted the affair in an interview.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:22 PM

'Ncube bonked 10 other women' - TV report

ZIMBABWE
New Zimbabwe

By Staff Reporter
Last updated: 07/17/2007 19:31:47
A ZIMBABWEAN cleric accused of having an adulterous affair with his married secretary bedded at least TEN different women during the period when he was being trailed by a private investigator, state-run television reported Tuesday night.

The Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation’s flagship Newsnight programme made the damning claims, accompanied by a video of Archbishop Pius Ncube apparently sitting on a bed with Rosemary Sibanda, whose husband, Onesimus, is claiming $20 billion (about £80 000) from the cleric.

Another clip apparently showed Archbishop Ncube with another unidentified woman getting under the bed cover. Shortly after, two figures appear to be coming together under the blankets followed by uncoordinated sideways movement. They had sex, the ZBC claimed.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:19 PM

Archbishop allegedly pictured in an adulterous act

ZIMBABWE
The Southern African

Tuesday, 17 July 2007
ZIMBABWE'S state-run media on Tuesday published what it said were photos of Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube in bed with a woman, a day after the outspoken critic of President Robert Mugabe was sued for adultery.

The scandal has dominated radio and television news on Zimbabwe's state-owned stations, beginning on Monday when a state TV crew filmed Ncube being served with the lawsuit.

On Tuesday, the government-owned Herald and Chronicle newspapers ran the photos under the headlines "Pius Ncube Shamed" and "Pius in Sex Scandal." Several photos showed a man identified by newspapers as Ncube removing his clothes and lying in bed with a woman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:15 PM

Pius Ncube in sex scandal

ZIMBABWE
Chronicle

By Reason Mpofu

THE head of the Roman Catholic Church archdiocese in Bulawayo, Archbishop Pius Ncube, is allegedly having a sexual relationship with a member of his congregation and is now being sued by the woman’s husband for damages, it emerged yesterday.
Roman Catholic Church priests are sworn to a vow of celibacy, meaning that they must never marry and must never engage in sexual intercourse.
The woman’s husband, Mr Onesimus Sibanda, is demanding $20 billion from Archbishop Ncube (60) for allegedly having an adulterous affair with his wife, Mrs Rosemary Sibanda (44).
The couple stays at Iminyela Flats in Mpopoma suburb.
This came to light yesterday morning at the High Court in Bulawayo when Mr Sibanda, a Radio Communications Technician attached to the National Railways of Zimbabwe, filed a lawsuit against Archbishop Ncube.
Mrs Sibanda is the secretary of St Anne’s Association of St Pius Church in Njube.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:09 PM

Anti - Mugabe Cleric Ensnared In Alleged Sex Scandal

ZIMBABWE
Reuters

Published: July 17, 2007
Filed at 11:29 a.m. ET

HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's state-run media has published what it said were photos of Roman Catholic Archbishop Pius Ncube in bed with a woman, a day after the outspoken critic of President Robert Mugabe was sued for adultery.

The scandal has dominated radio and television news on Zimbabwe's state-owned stations, beginning on Monday when a state TV crew filmed Ncube being served with the lawsuit.

On Tuesday, the government-owned Herald and Chronicle newspapers ran the photos under the headlines "Pius Ncube Shamed" and "Pius in Sex Scandal." Several photos showed a man identified by newspapers as Ncube removing his clothes and lying in bed with a woman.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:03 PM

Zimbabwe Airs Photos of Accused Cleric

ZIMBABWE
The New York Times

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: July 17, 2007
Filed at 2:44 p.m. ET

HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) -- State media published photographs Tuesday allegedly taken by a camera hidden in a Roman Catholic archbishop's bedroom, claiming they show the outspoken government critic undressing beside a woman he is accused of having an affair with.

Archbishop Pius Ncube's lawyer has called an adultery case filed Monday against the cleric an ''orchestrated attempt'' to embarrass him and said Ncube would deny the allegations in court when the case begins.

Ncube has repeatedly accused President Robert Mugabe of human rights violations and called for him to step down. The cleric has also urged Zimbabweans to take to the streets to demonstrate against the government amid the nation's worst economic crisis since independence.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 PM

Cathedral City man says he was a victim of Roman Catholic Archdiocese' clergy abuse

CATHEDRAL CITY (CA)
The Desert Sun

RaNeeka J. Claxton
The Desert Sun
July 17, 2007

David Price, a 42-year-old Cathedral City man, said he was one of the victims of the Roman Catholic archdiocese clergy abuse.

Price said this is the first time he's speaking publicly about his abuse because "victims deserve a voice."

Price said he will receive a "large amount of money" from the $660 million settlement issued by the archdiose to the more than 500 alleged victims.

"To the general public, it sounds like an enormous amount of money," Price said. "That doesn’t compensate for anything. My childhood, my innocence was taken from me under the disguise of God."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

A Settlement in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELS (CA)
Alalam

In announcing a $660 million settlement for more than 500 victims of sexual abuse by clergy members, Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles tried to soothe the turbulent waters with conciliatory oil.

“Once again, I apologize to anyone who has been offended, to anyone who has been abused,” he said.

It is up to the survivors to judge what those words are worth, but it helps to know the context in which they were spoken.

They came just before the first trial would have started, at which Cardinal Mahony would have been required to testify.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:44 PM

Sins of the Fathers

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Slate

By Christopher Beam
Posted Tuesday, July 17, 2007, at 5:47 PM ET
Bloggers frown at the clergy-abuse settlement in Los Angeles, vet the new National Intelligence Estimate, and wax skeptical about President Bush's new Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

Sins of the fathers: The Los Angeles Archdiocese reached a $660 million settlement with 508 claimants who had alleged abuse at the hands of priests. The settlement brings the American Catholic Church's clergy abuse-related settlements to more than $2 billion. Most bloggers don't think it goes far enough.

"[W]here are these men that are nothing less than pedophiles and WHY haven't they been turned over to the police for prosecution?" asks conservative Little Ole Lady. "The very fact that the Catholic Church has a history of and continues to hide these men leaves me in serious doubt of this Church."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:41 PM

By Catholic News Service

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Catholic Explorer

LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- The Los Angeles Archdiocese July 15 announced the largest church settlement of sexual abuse lawsuits to date, agreeing to pay more than 500 alleged victims a total of $660 million.

Before noon the next day, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholz had approved the settlement, calling it "the right result." He said settling the cases was "the right thing to do."

Los Angeles Cardinal Roger M. Mahony again offered his personal apology to every victim of sexual abuse by a priest, religious, deacon or layperson in the archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:37 PM

Is it Either/Or for Roman Catholics?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Weedpatch Gazette

In 1957 Walt Kelly gave his opinion of writing for TV. Albert reads something Bear has written and tells him “Stuff like that on the TEEVY will make you a million.” To which Bear replies, “NO! NO! I can always rob graves.” ...

As the magnitude of perversion in the Roman Church in Los Angeles continues to unfold, I’m reminded of the friendly relationship and correspondence I used to enjoy with a prominent L.A. Times columnist until I brought up the subject of priests molesting children. At the time the problem was getting a lot of press due to exposing this back east, but I cautioned this man that in all probability it would be discovered his own Cardinal Mahony would also be exposed in due course. Having been so deeply involved with the research into cases of molested children for years, and knowing the Roman Church so well personally by experience I knew the L.A. Archdiocese had to be harboring a large number of molesting priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:35 PM

Latino support aids cardinal in abuse storm

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Reuters

By Mary Milliken

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles faces a firestorm after a $660 million settlement with victims of priest abuse, but he is considered unlikely to resign as legions of Latinos stand behind him.

In the most Latino of the big U.S. cities, Mahony's support for equality and immigration reform have earned him a following that may help him avoid the fate of other U.S. Roman Catholic leaders forced out in abuse scandals.

"I have a lot of confidence in the political and religious capital he has to survive this," said Clara Irazabal, a professor of urban planning at University of Southern California who works with Latino organizations.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:24 PM

Vatican pledges to fight pedophilia

VATICAN CITY
Dunton Springs Evening Post

Staff and agencies
17 July, 2007

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer 16 minutes ago

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican said Tuesday it would lead the fight against pedophilia, but said the problem was not limited to the Catholic Church and that other institutions should take responsibility.

Lombardi said the agreement "closed a painful page" and allowed the church to focus on creating a secure environment for young Catholics.

However, he said, other institutions should also take similar responsibility.

Regardless, Lombardi said the church would lead "the fight against pedophilia, which today involves growing sectors of society in many countries of the world."

In an October 2006 meeting with bishops from Ireland — an overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country where all but one seminary closed following repeated sex scandals — Benedict urged them to rebuild confidence and trust among the faithful.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:08 PM

The Catholic Church’s Ongoing Scandal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Moderate Voice

By Shaun Mullen

In the interests of full disclosure, I inherited some fairly heavy baggage when it comes to the Roman Catholic Church.

My father attended a parochial school for 12 years and dutifully returned the favor as an altar boy when he was younger and as a star football player when he was older. But when it came time to get hitched, he had the temerity to want to marry a woman whose father was a Jew in a church ceremony and the local diocese said “No way, Jose.”

So my parents were married in an assistant parish priest’s office on a weekday afternoon to the unwelcome accompaniment of a Hopalong Cassidy record being played at full volume in the adjoining office of an elderly priest who was nearly deaf.

Although my siblings and I were given a religious upbringing and required to attend church and Sunday school, my father would have rather walked on hot coals than exposed us to the Catholic Church, which when we were old enough to understand he would refer to as “that enormous guilt machine.”

And so I come to the ongoing pedophile priest scandal with enormous sympathy for the victims and none whatsoever for the church.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 AM

The Forum: To restore credibility, Cardinal Mahony should resign

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Catholic World News

by Phil Lawler
special to CWNews.com

Jul. 17, 2007 (CWNews.com) - Five years ago Cardinal Roger Mahony was reportedly encouraging Vatican officials to ask for the resignation of Boston's Cardinal Bernard Law. Using the same logical arguments that the American prelate presented in 2002, the Vatican should now ask Cardinal Mahony himself to step down.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:47 AM

Alaskan attorney reacts to church settlement

ALASKA
KTUU

by Jill Burke
Monday, July 16, 2007

ANCHORAGE, Alaska -- A $660 million settlement between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and more than 500 alleged victims of clergy abuse has been approved by a California judge.

It's the largest payout by any diocese since the clergy abuse scandal emerged five years ago.

Channel 2 News was told the California cases are unrelated to any cases in Alaska in the sense that they do not share any victims or abusers. An attorney who is heavily involved in seeking justice for Alaska's victims of clergy abuse said the California settlement is a good sign about the church's overall approach to victims and to healing.

Attorney Ken Roosa has represented dozens of victims of childhood sexual abuse who said their abuser was either a catholic priest or a deacon.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:19 AM

Legal and moral cloud still shadows Mahony

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Richard Winton and Steve Chawkins, Times Staff Writers
July 17, 2007

Calling Cardinal Roger M. Mahony's actions a "moral failure," Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley said Monday that his five-year investigation of how top church officials handled sex-abuse accusations hinges on whether he can obtain confidential church files under a record settlement.

"Cardinal Mahony and many others are going to have to live with their conscience and live with their incredible moral failure to the people of Los Angeles," Cooley said. "We've done everything we can under the constraints of the laws of California."

J. Michael Hennigan, attorney for the Los Angeles Archdiocese, said he is "generally a big fan of Steve Cooley," but that the district attorney's remarks were "irresponsible."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:16 AM

In Los Angeles, still a scandal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Boston Globe

July 17, 2007

THE $660 MILLION settlement of lawsuits over sexual abuse by priests in Los Angeles breaks a dubious record for the Catholic Church in the United States. The agreement keeps Cardinal Roger Mahony from testifying at a trial -- but ought to prompt him to consider whether the needs of the Los Angeles Archdiocese would be best served by his resignation.

Mahony is a contemporary of Cardinal Bernard Law, who was forced into comfortable exile in Rome 4 1/2 years ago by the exploding scandal in Boston. Law's resignation came because of public outrage over his cover-up of sexual abuse by priests, as detailed by articles in the Globe and backed up by confidential church personnel files that a court forced the Boston Archdiocese to make public. Once a California court ruled last month that the Catholic Church in the state had to release its confidential files about any priest accused of abuse, a settlement in the Los Angeles lawsuits became inevitable.

Mahony has managed to survive in office even though evidence has dribbled out in lawsuits to suggest that he, like Law, shifted priests quietly into different parishes after people had come forward to accuse them. Because not all the files are available yet, the full extent of his involvement is not known.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:55 AM

About $67 per Catholic, more than $1 million per parish

LOS ANGELES (CA)
California Catholic Daily

On Monday morning, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholz approved a $660 million settlement reached over the weekend between the Los Angeles archdiocese and more than 500 alleged victims of clergy sex abuse. According to the settlement, the archdiocese will pay $250 million, its insurers, $227 million, and religious orders, $60 million. The remaining $123 million is up for negotiation between plaintiffs and religious orders.

Last December, the archdiocese settled 46 clergy abuse cases for $60 million, of which the archdiocese would pay $40 million, and insurers the remainder.

In a statement released on Sunday, Cardinal Roger Mahony acknowledged that “these settlements will have very serious and painful consequences for the Archdiocese,” which will require the archdiocese “to reevaluate all of our ministries and services since we will not be able to offer them at the same levels as in the past.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:47 AM

L.A. Diocese Settles Abuse Claims

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

This site contains a gallery of photos related to the Los Angeles archdiocese settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:43 AM

Protecting Mahony was church's cardinal objective

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

July 17, 2007

Steve Lopez

So, on the eve of being called to testify in the first L.A. clergy abuse trial, Cardinal Roger M. Mahony settled with 508 claimants for a staggering $660 million, the largest such settlement in the entire country.

Was anyone surprised?

If so, God help you.

All along, the Los Angeles Archdiocese — which was once compared to La Cosa Nostra by the head of a Catholic review board — had one primary objective.

The truth? Not a chance.

Justice? Forget about it.

The top priority?

Keep Mahony off the stand.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:50 AM

Staying celibate

PHILIPPINES
Manila Standard Today

By Antonio C. Abaya

If everything goes according to plan, some 108 individuals will get an average of $1.3 million each from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the largest archdiocese in the US, as settlement of a $660-million law suit over allegations of sexual abuse by priests serving in LA.

According to The Associated Press, this settlement pushes the total amount paid out by the US Church since 1950 to more than $2 billion. The LA archdiocese has so far paid more than $114 million to settle 86 claims so far.

This is the biggest settlement ever since the clergy sexual abuse scandal in Boston erupted in 2002. The largest payout so far has been by the Archdiocese of Orange, California in 2004, for $100 million.

Several religious orders in California have also reached multi-million-dollar settlements in recent months, including the Carmelites, the Franciscans and the Jesuits. Facing a flood of claims, five dioceses—Tucson (Arizona), Spokane (Washington), Portland (Oregon), Davenport (Iowa), and San Diego (California)—have sought bankruptcy protection.

These million-dollar settlements promise to become a new cottage industry in litigious America. If one were to do some digging, one can come up with the names of the errant priests during which years in which diocese, and then manufacture stories about how one was abused by Fr. So-and-So in the confessional box, or in the sacristy after serving mass at five in the morning.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:47 AM

Clergy sex abuse victims still scarred

CALIFORNIA
LA Daily News

BY TONY CASTRO and SUSAN ABRAM Staff Writers
Article Last Updated: 07/17/2007 01:53:26 AM PDT

The Valley girl innocence that accompanied Esther Miller through childhood and adolescence in Reseda came to an end on a day she wishes she could erase from her memory.

It was the day her own father began lessons to convert to Catholicism - the day she met the deacon who she says soon went on to molest her over a period of two years.

"He told me that if I didn't do the things that he asked of me that my father wouldn't be allowed to be converted," said Miller, 48. "He also told me that if I ever said anything about this, that he would make sure that my father was damned to burn in hell forever."

Among other things, she said he forced her to simulate sex acts with an Easter vigil candle and other religious objects.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:42 AM

Swami freed of rape

TRINIDAD and TOBAGO
Newsday

THE STATE conceded yesterday there was no evidence to make out a prima facie case for rape against 85-year-old international Swami (Hindu priest), Jagadguru Ram Tripathi Maharaj.

As a result, Deputy Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Roger Gaspard, informed the court that the DPP’s department was discontinuing the matter against the Swami.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington, presiding in the San Fernando First Magistrate’s Court, then informed the Swami that he was free to go.

This order brought cries of jubilation from the crowd which had gathered in and outside the courtroom, and exchanges of hugs between devotees of the Swami.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:38 AM

Wichitan Relates With Catholic Settlement

WICHITA (KS)
KWCH

by Cliff Judy

A Wichita man says he can relate to sex abuse victims in Los Angeles. The largest archdiocese in the world announced Saturday it had settled out of court with 508 sex abuse victims, giving them $660 million.

Gene asked that Eyewitness News protect his identity by keeping his last name confidential.

Gene says he's happy the victims in Los Angeles got some type of compensation, but it doesn't change what happened for them.

Gene and his siblings grew up in a Catholic orphanage in El Dorado, where he says he was molested by a priest at the age of 14. He says his brothers and sisters were also sexually abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:34 AM

Sex abuse not just Catholics, says Vatican

VATICAN CITY
Daily Telegraph

By Philip Pullella in Vatican City

July 17, 2007 10:35pm

SEXUAL abuse of children is not just a Catholic Church problem and other institutions should take steps to acknowledge and deal with such "wickedness" within their own ranks, the Vatican said.

The Vatican's chief spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, also said the record $750 million settlement between the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and victims of sexual abuse was an attempt to “close a painful chapter and look forward”.

“The Church is above all clearly pained by the suffering of the victims and their families, by the deep wounds caused by the grave and inexcusable behaviour of some of its members,” Father Lombardi said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:27 AM

Local Archdiocese pained with LA abuse scandal

TRINIDAD and TOBAGO
Newsday

By Joan Rampersad Tuesday, July 17 2007

Vicar for Communications of the Catholic Archdiocese, Monsignor Cuthbert Alexander, was reluctant to comment on the landmark US$660m settlement between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and more than 500 alleged victims of clergy sex abuse.

With pain in his voice the Vicar said: “I don’t know what more can be said at this time. There seems that nothing more could be said by us as a Church in this country. It has concerned us all.

Clearly with the scandal and the repercussions of it we would have to expect the wounds have gone so deep that it has affected the church, and it will affect it for another couple of years.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:23 AM

Mspi Catholic boarding school sued in alleged sex abuse

MISSISSIPPI
WMC

Associated Press - July 17, 2007 9:04 AM ET

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - A federal lawsuit alleges officials with a Catholic boarding school in Bay Saint Louis concealed the sexual abuse of a then-15 year-old in 1983 and 1984.

The lawsuit was filed yesterday (Monday) in US District Court in Gulfport against Saint Stanislaus College/Saint Stanislaus (STAN-ah-slaws) High School. The lawsuit seeks an unspecified amount of damages.

The Saint Stanislaus school, for grades six to 12, is independent of the Catholic Diocese.

It's operated by the Brothers of Sacred Heart, which operates 10 schools in the United States and one in Great Britain.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:12 AM

Record church payout caps series of child abuse scandals

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Philippine Star

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 11:31 AM
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The 660 million dollar pay-out agreed Monday for people sexually abused by clergy of the Roman Catholic in Los Angeles wrapped up just one in a damaging and ruinously expensive stream of abuse claims against priests in the United States.

More than 500 victims were granted compensation under the Los Angeles deal for claims of abuse spanning decades -- but thousands more people have filed abuse complaints against the church in recent years, eroding its finances as well as its reputation.

Some 3,000 individual priests have been the subject of complaints of abusing mostly children linked to their parishes, according to the organization "Bishop Accountability" which archives such cases in the United States.

At the time, the victims stayed largely silent. The rare complaints were hushed up, and priests implicated in abuse were discreetly shunted around from parish to parish.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:04 AM

Celibacy and the story of Eve

PHILIPPINES
Manila Standard Today

Connie Veneracion

Yesterday, this paper ran an Associated Press story on the largest payout made by the Roman Catholic Church in history to sexual abuse complainants. The $660 million dollars will be split among some 500 complainants and the average amount that each will receive is $1.3 million.

The story said that the settlement included the release of confidential priest personnel files.

Allegations of sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests are not new in the Philippines. There is no documentation of the number of instances of sexual abuse committed by priests during the past 150 years but considering that Jose Rizal was executed for writing a novel with a sexually abusive Padre Damaso as one of the main characters, the fiction must have hit too close to home.

In 2003, scandal after scandal rocked the Roman Catholic Church of the Philippines. The backlash led to the resignation of a bishop after his exposure as the father of a parishioner’s two children. The scandals were not even limited to acts of adultery per se. There were allegations of homosexual misconduct as well.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:01 AM

Clergy cleanup

TEXAS
The Batt

By: Rick Rojas
Issue date: 7/17/07 Section: Opinion

Standing before a cluster of microphones and cameras, Cardinal Roger Mahoney apologized to those sexually abused by members of the Catholic clergy, calling the actions of those priests a "horrible sin and crime." But Cardinal Mahoney and his colleagues owe another apology just as grand to the ecclesia that was also deeply hurt.

In a Catholic parish, the priest is supposed to be more than just the man standing on the altar each Sunday morning. He is a mentor, a teacher, a counselor, almost a member of the family with advice intoned with the teachings of the church. He christened you and welcomed you into the church as an infant. He was the voice of solace during times of sorrow. And, by hearing your sins in a confessional, he probably knows more about your personal life than anyone else. The priest is respected for dedicating his life to serving God and His people - one of the highest of callings.

But around the turn of the century, that all changed. The news was full of reports of sexual deviants hiding behind the collar. There were young men coming forward with lewd tales of their visits with a priest behind closed doors. There were cover-ups by the church. The pay-offs. The reassignments. Parish priests were no longer thought of as men who answered the call from God; they were reduced to pedophiles hoping to get a hold of an altar boy.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:57 AM

Money, apology cannot replace victims' innocence

LOUISIANA
LSU La Reveille

by Geoff Whiting
Issue date: 7/17/07 Section: Opinion

On Sunday, Cardinal Roger Mahony, leader of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, apologized to more than 500 victims of sexual abuse by archdiocese priests.

This apology came the day before jury selection in the lawsuit filed by those victims was set to begin.

It makes you wonder - why settle and apologize now? Were they not sorry enough before to accept responsibility and at least attempt to compensate for the damage they have caused?
It seems like there is some criteria that has to be met before they admit to any wrongdoing.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Cardinal ignores role in scandal, says attorney in sex-abuse case

STOCKTON (CA)
Stockton Record

By Rick Brewer
Record Staff Writer
July 17, 2007 6:00 AM
STOCKTON - The Stockton lawyer who helped litigate the largest settlement against the Roman Catholic Church for priestly sexual abuse of children said Monday that he still awaits an apology from Cardinal Roger Mahony, archbishop of the Los Angeles Diocese, for his role in the long-standing scandal.

Mahony, who served as bishop of the Stockton Diocese from 1980 to 1985, asked forgiveness Sunday from the hundreds of people abused by church personnel in the Los Angeles area.

"I again offer my personal apology to every victim who has suffered sexual abuse by a priest, religious, deacon or layperson in this archdiocese. It is the shared hope of everyone in our local church that these victims, many of whom suffered in silence for decades, may find a measure of healing and some sense of closure," Mahony said.

But Larry Drivon, who took a deposition from Mahony in 1997 and questioned him on the witness stand in 1998 concerning the statutory abuse by former Stockton priest Oliver O'Grady, said that apology didn't go far enough to absolve Mahony of his actions that, Drivon said, helped escalate the abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:50 AM

San Diego victims weigh in

SAN DIEGO (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Tony Perry and John Spano, Times Staff Writers
July 17, 2007

SAN DIEGO — Supporters of people who have been sexually abused by local priests said Monday they hoped the Los Angeles Archdiocese settlement would prompt Bishop Robert Brom to settle 150 lawsuits here and release decades' worth of documents about pedophile priests in the San Diego Diocese.

Release of the documents, they said in a news conference on the steps of St. Joseph Cathedral, is key to preventing future molestations.

"I don't think we'll see an end to this until we see a bishop behind bars," said Paul Livingston, who lives in San Diego but is one of 508 claimants in the $660-million settlement with the Los Angeles Archdiocese.

Richard Sipe, a former Benedictine monk who has written extensively about sexual aberrations in the church, said the Los Angeles and San Diego documents detailing how church officials shielded pedophile priests would be "the most explosive documents to come to light in the Catholic Church in the last 500 years."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Among victims, tears, relief, bitterness

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Tami Abdollah, Francisco Vara-Orta and Rebecca Trounson, Times Staff Writers
July 17, 2007

Inside a tense, packed Los Angeles courtroom Monday, more than a dozen men and women rose slowly and stood, some weeping softly, as they were publicly recognized by the court and others as victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic clergy.

The moment, which came just after the Los Angeles Archdiocese and plaintiffs' attorneys reached formal agreement on a $660-million settlement in hundreds of clergy abuse cases, provided a dramatic denouement to five years of litigation — and to what many victims have described as decades of personal anguish.

When plaintiffs' lead attorney Raymond Boucher asked the victims in the downtown courtroom to rise, some did so timidly, and he had to ask again. Once all were standing, the only sound was that of crying, which seemed to become more intense as the moment went on. A few feet away at a table with church attorneys sat Cardinal Roger M. Mahony, his expression somber.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

Inland diocese has 19 abuse cases awaiting action

SAN BERNARDINO (CA)
The Press-Enterprise

10:00 PM PDT on Monday, July 16, 2007

By DAVID OLSON
The Press-Enterprise

The decision by the Los Angeles archdiocese to settle with more than 500 victims of clergy sexual abuse could speed up resolution of pending cases involving the Diocese of San Bernardino.

"We believe it may create an opportunity for us to finalize our cases," said The Rev. Howard Lincoln, spokesman for the diocese that serves Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Lincoln declined to elaborate.

Currently, there are 19 cases pending against the San Bernardino Diocese for alleged abuse involving priests and lay employees, Lincoln said.

"We're doing everything possible to settle the cases that our diocese is currently facing," he said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Clergy abuse victims here to get $7.5M

TUCSON (AZ)
Arizona Daily Star

By Stephanie Innes
Arizona Daily Star
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 07.17.2007

Five former altar boys from Tucson will each receive $1.5 million as part of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles' $660 million clergy abuse settlement.
The five men, all now in their late 30s, say they were abused by the Rev. Kevin Barmasse while he was a visiting priest from Los Angeles serving in two Tucson-area churches during the 1980s.
Barmasse, now living in the Los Angeles area, is no longer allowed to minister as a priest but was never criminally prosecuted for the abuse allegations. He could not be reached for comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:27 AM

Church payout puts cloud over L.A.'s cardinal

CALIFORNIA
Daily Breeze

By Tony Castro
Staff Writer

With the historic $660 million settlement Monday ending the clergy sexual-abuse scandal against the Los Angeles Roman Catholic Archdiocese, attention turned to the future of the central figure in the case - a man who never molested children and wasn't charged with a crime.

But Cardinal Roger Mahony may forever be linked to the scandal, which he tried to cover up by first transferring known molesters from parish to parish then fighting prosecutors - all the way to the Supreme Court - to keep church records of the abuse a secret.

For several years, Los Angeles businessman Armando Soto Mayor has kept a watchful eye over the church's pedophile-priest revelations for deep personal reasons. He was an altar boy and considered becoming a priest. Now, the man whose family has been part of the Catholic Church for centuries refuses to have his 1-year-old son baptized.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Allianz, Munich Re among insurers to pay for US priest abuse settlement - report

GERMANY
Hemscott

FRANKFURT (Thomson Financial) - Allianz SE and Muenchener Rueckversicherungs AG are among more than 10 insurers paying a total of 227 mln usd to cover claims by a California archdiocese that settled a class-action lawsuit against priests suspected of sexually abusing members of their congregations, Financial Times Deutschland reported.

Munich Re will likely have to pay more than 10 mln eur, the newspaper cited a spokesman for the company as saying, while adding the sum may still shrink.

Allianz does not yet have an estimate of its exposure to the case, it said.

The archdiocese agreed to a 660 mln usd settlement, of which it is paying 250 mln usd itself, the newspaper said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Lawyers: Settlement in Vermont clergy abuse cases unlikely

VERMONT
Burlington Free Press

Published: Tuesday, July 17, 2007
By Sam Hemingway
Free Press Staff Writer

Lawyers for the state's Roman Catholic diocese and 26 alleged victims of clergy abuse said Monday it's unlikely a settlement similar to the one reached with the Los Angeles diocese will happen anytime soon in Vermont.

"This diocese, it appears, is not willing to pay out what a jury would," said Jerome O'Neill, lawyer for the 26 claimants with lawsuits pending in Chittenden County Superior Court. "Until that time comes, there is no reasonable likelihood that these cases will be resolved."

David Cleary, a diocesan attorney, said the diocese would like to put the clergy abuse cases to rest but is not willing to approve settlements that are not responsible.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:17 AM

Cash won't heal abuse wounds

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Reuters

Jul 17, 2007 04:30 AM
Kemp Powers
REUTERS NEWS AGENCY

LOS ANGELES–As plaintiffs sobbed and Cardinal Roger Mahony sat silently in court, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and victims of clergy sex abuse yesterday finalized their record $660 million (U.S.) settlement.

Although Mahony publicly apologized after mass on Sunday to the 508 plaintiffs, several victims voiced frustration that the leader of the largest U.S. Roman Catholic diocese won't have to testify in court.

"For $660 million, he bought himself out of testifying in our case," said Steve Sanchez, 47.

The settlement reached Saturday after 4 1/2 years of negotiations came before the first trial was to begin yesterday. Victims' attorneys would have called Mahony –who has led the archdiocese since 1985 and has been accused of attempting to conceal abuse cases – to testify about the church hierarchy's protection of abusive priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:10 AM

Victim of former Freedom priest among recipients in California settlement

WISCONSIN
Appleton Post-Crescent

By Dan Wilson
Post-Crescent staff writer

A sexual abuse victim of convicted Wisconsin priest John Patrick Feeney is among those receiving part of a $660 million payout from the Los Angeles archdiocese.

Feeney, 80, is serving a 15-year sentence at Fox Lake Correctional Facility. He was convicted in 2004 in Outagamie County on four sexual abuse charges arising from assaults on two brothers, ages 12 and 14, when he was parish priest at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Freedom in 1978.

Since his conviction, Feeney was defrocked by the Catholic church.

The Los Angeles settlement payout goes to a Nevada man, now in his 50s, who was victimized by Feeney during Feeney's many visits to California between 1967 and 1972.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Victims bitter at Cardinal Mahony

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Matt Krasnowski
COPLEY NEWS SERVICE

July 17, 2007

A judge approved a record $660 million settlement between the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and 508 victims of clergy sexual abuse during an emotional hearing yesterday punctuated by sobs, jeers and a moment of silence.

The deal, averaging about $1.3 million per plaintiff, is by far the largest payout by any diocese in the nation since the Roman Catholic sexual abuse scandal broke five years ago.

“This is the right result,” said Los Angeles Judge Haley Fromholz, who credited lawyers and two other judges for their hard work during settlement talks.

But it was clear that bitter feelings remained as victims in Superior Court heckled a church lawyer and taunted Cardinal Roger Mahony.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Q&A ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE OF LOS ANGELES

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Fort Worth Star-Telegram

By GILLIAN FLACCUS
The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has reached a $660 million settlement with more than 500 alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse, by far the largest settlement since the scandal emerged in Boston in 2002.

The deal, approved Monday by a California judge, has pushed the price of settlements beyond $2 billion nationwide.

In the Los Angeles deal -- easily the largest in the crisis -- the archdiocese will pay $250 million, insurers $227 million and religious orders $60 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Former Altar Boys To Receive Compensation In Clergy Abuse

TUCSON (AZ)
MyFox Kansas City

By The Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. -- As part of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles' $660 million clergy abuse settlement, five former altar boys from Tucson will each receive $1.5 million.

The five, all men in their 30's, said they were abused by the Rev. Kevin Barmasse while he served as a visiting priest from Los Angeles during the 1980's.

Barmasse led youth groups at St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Sierra Vista and at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church on the Northwest Side of Tucson after he'd been accused of child molestation in Los Angeles. Barmasse's name is on a list of 34 priests, deacons and other church personnel who have served in the local diocese since the 1950s and who have what the diocese deems "credible" accusations of sexual abuse against them.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:51 AM

Sex scandal costs church $2 billion

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Buffalo News

By Rachel Zoll - ASSOCIATED PRESS
Updated: 07/17/07 7:01 AM

LOS ANGELES — The cost of clergy sex abuse for America’s Catholic Church has hit a breathtaking new benchmark: The massive settlement approved Monday in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has pushed the price beyond $2 billion nationwide.

Yet predictions of massive parish closings and Catholic charities being shut down were wrong. Even in the five dioceses that took the unprecedented step of seeking bankruptcy protection from abuse claims, church leaders have found a way to fund the payouts and survive.

“No diocese has closed up shop,” said Russell Shaw, a former spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and a writer on Catholic issues. “No chancery offices have ceased operations.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Judge OKs $660M clergy abuse deal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Daily Bulletin

By Gillian Flaccus, The Associated Press
Article Launched: 07/17/2007 12:00:00 AM PDT

LOS ANGELES - Sobs and a moment of silence for those who died during years of negotiations punctuated a Monday hearing at which a judge accepted a $660 million settlement between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and alleged victims of clergy sex abuse.

"This is the right result," said Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholz.

The settlement is by far the largest payout by any diocese since the clergy abuse scandal emerged in Boston in 2002. Individual payouts, to be made by Dec. 1, will vary according to the severity of each case.

Cardinal Roger Mahony, whose archdiocese counts 4.3 million Catholics, sat through the hearing but did not speak. He issued an apology Sunday after the settlement was announced and said Monday in a statement that he would spend the rest of the day praying for those who claimed abuse.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:35 AM

Settlements are just the beginning of the story. Mahony is already lying to the press.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

Note to Roger Mahony: Settling with this relative handful of victims is not going to make this story go away. The jury trial begins this week here on this blog. We'll go through the Hagenbach cases and then the Kreutzer cases and report the plaintiffs’ stories right here as though each crime victim were testifying on the stand, only there’ll be no church attorneys to holler out objections.

Mahony has made much of meetings he had with plaintiffs in the last weeks, so after the settlement hearing I sought out crime victims who had sat in that room with Mahony to see what it was like. One woman said he was surprisingly charismatic and she seemed to still be in some kind of trance. Another plaintiff who sat in the room with Mahony said he was hostile from the moment she walked in.

“There are angels everywhere,” another plaintiff quoted Mahony as telling her, “all around me there are angels,” and she imitated how he’d fluffed his arms around to demonstrate angels flapping wings around his head.

(Maybe that's why he apologized to a roomful of cameras yesterday, I guess those are his angels.)

This is only the beginning of an amazing tale of second and third generation pedophiles running seminaries in Southern California, the “rural” dumping ground for problem priests of America and sometimes Ireland and countries to our south. If Mahony thinks the details of corruption and organized crime in the archdiocese of Los Angeles are all going to slide under a pile of soil in the next earthquake, sorry, Card, you did not slip off the frying pan this time.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:06 AM

Aussie victims less likely to sue, Church officials say

AUSTRALIA
CathNews

As the State's court approves Los Angeles archdiocese's record $760 million payout to sex abuse victims, Australian church officials say that the American experience is less likely to be repeated in Australia.

The Age reports that according to the Australian Church's professional standards committee, Australian victims of pedophile priests are less likely to resort to court cases than Americans.

The most important aspect for victims was to have their accounts taken seriously followed by the knowledge that the perpetrator would not be in a position to abuse others, says Sr Angela Ryan, the committee's prevention officer.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:04 AM

July 16, 2007

Trials Of The Church: "He's Sorry He Got Caught"

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CBS News

(CBS)Sandra Hughes is a CBS News correspondent based in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Superior Courtroom was so full, not all of the victims were allowed inside. They gathered to witness the announcement of the largest settlement in Catholic Church history, $660 million to be paid by the Los Angeles archdiocese to 508 victims of sexual abuse by clergy. There where so many lawyers, some had to sit in the jury box.

Despite a sometimes dry legal proceeding, emotions were raw in the courtroom. At one point, Ray Boucher, the main plaintiffs' lawyer was given the opportunity to speak and as he did some broke down and sobbed out loud. When Michael Hennigan, the archdiocese's attorney stood and faced the victims to say how much the church regretted the long wait to resolve the case, one angry man shouted “not accepted.”

Many of the victims who were inside the courtroom had been headed to trial today in the case against Father Clinton Hagenback, who is now dead.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:59 PM

‘A Celebration of Justice’

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Newsweek

WEB EXCLUSIVE
By Andrew Murr
Newsweek
Updated: 7:24 p.m. ET July 16, 2007
July 16, 2007 - The record $660 million settlement approved today by a Los Angeles judge ends a five-year legal battle between victims of abuse by Catholic priests and the nation’s largest Roman Catholic Archdiocese. The agreement came on the eve of civil trials that could have led to embarrassing public revelations—and put Cardinal Roger Mahony in the witness stand to explain personnel decisions in which pedophile priests were promoted, moved and protected for decades. Together with earlier settlements, the L.A. Archdiocese has now agreed to pay $764 million, far in excess of the $157 million paid in Boston in 2003.

Under the terms of the agreement, the settlement is divided among the 508 victims according to the severity of their cases. The church will pay $250 million, its insurance carriers $227 million, and religious orders who employed some of the priests will pay out $60 million. The source of the $123 million remains to be determined. It may come from the religious orders—who continue to negotiate with the victims' lawyers. If not, the archdiocese has agreed to pay.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:55 PM

Cardinal George: 'Abuse Is Abuse'

CHICAGO (IL)
NBC 5

CHICAGO -- Chicago's Cardinal Francis George reacted Monday to the landmark clergy abuse settlement in Los Angeles and to the recent plea agreement of the Chicago priest who admitted to sexually abusing five boys.

George was out of town on vacation during the court proceedings for Chicago priest Daniel McCormack.

In Los Angeles and Chicago, many of the abuse cases date back years or decades, but the McCormack case is much more recent, NBC5's Mary Ann Ahern reported.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:48 PM

District attorney: Book open on clergy abuse case despite settlement

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KIFI

Associated Press - July 16, 2007 9:53 PM ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles District Attorney's office says it's still investigating clergy sex abuse despite a $660 million settlement between alleged victims and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The big settlement involves more than 500 plaintiffs and is the largest since clergy abuse scandal in Boston in 2002.

District Attorney Steve Cooley has issued a statement indicating there could still be a criminal case despite a US Supreme Court ruling on statutes of limitations in molestation cases.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:46 PM

Landmark settlement reached with victims of clergy abuse

CALIFORNIA
KGET

Posted 7/16/07
BAKERSFIELD - After more than five years of negotiations, a landmark settlement was reached between the Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles and more than 500 alleged victims of clergy abuse.

The multimillion dollar settlement is the largest of its kind, but does the big payout mean big changes in the Catholic Church?

“I think everyone can move beyond this and get back to doing what the church should be doing,” said St. Phillip the Apostle Church Monsignor Ronald Swett, “and hopefully victims can go on and build their lives.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:43 PM

DA says "book not closed" on church abuse investigation

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KGET

Last Update: Jul 16, 2007 7:18 PM

LOS ANGELES (AP) - L-A District Attorney Steve Cooley says the "book is not closed" on prosecutors' investigation into sex abuse allegations connected to the Roman Catholic church.

He says the 660 (m) million-dollar settlement between the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and more than 500 alleged victims of clergy abuse highlights "moral failure" of the church officials to supervise predatory priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:40 PM

Payout Is Bittersweet for Victims of Abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The New York Times

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: July 17, 2007
As abuse victims sobbed in the courtroom, a judge approved a $660 million settlement yesterday between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and 508 people who had filed suit over sexual abuse by clergy members.

“Settling the cases was the right thing to do,” said Judge Haley J. Fromholz of Los Angeles County Superior Court.

The settlement in the nation’s largest Roman Catholic diocese is considered a landmark because the legal battle endured for more than four years, and because the sum is more than six times larger than any previous deal struck by a diocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:35 PM

A Settlement in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The New York Times

Published: July 17, 2007
In announcing a $660 million settlement for more than 500 victims of sexual abuse by clergy members, Cardinal Roger Mahony of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles tried to soothe the turbulent waters with conciliatory oil. “Once again, I apologize to anyone who has been offended, to anyone who has been abused,” he said.

It is up to the survivors to judge what those words are worth, but it helps to know the context in which they were spoken. They came just before the first trial would have started, at which Cardinal Mahony would have been required to testify. They followed four years of stonewalling and legalistic warfare by the archdiocese, the nation’s largest, that needlessly delayed this outcome and prolonged the suffering of hundreds of plaintiffs. And they came, of course, far too late for the children and adults whose innocence and trust were violated by priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:32 PM

Priest molestation victims vindicated by payouts

LOS ANGELES (CA)
USA Today

By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA TODAY
Monday's $660 million settlement in the clergy abuse case in Los Angeles means each victim may wind up with nearly $1 million after attorneys' fees of 40%.
But how much difference can a sudden fortune make in an unfortunate life?

It can't undo the trauma of being sexually abused by a trusted priest. It can't restore a damaged childhood or repair relationships derailed as an adult.

But it can be vindication. And it can underwrite steps toward a better life.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:30 PM

'I'm blessed. I'm happy it's over'

CALIFORNIA
The Orange County Register

By GWENDOLYN DRISCOLL
THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
Jim Dunlap says he was 12 years old in 1972 when Theodore Llanos, a deacon at St. Barbara's Church in Santa Ana, began making sexual advances toward him.

Dunlap says his "relationship" with Llanos, who was ordained as a priest in 1974, endured until 1976. The alleged abuse left Dunlap feeling despondent and abandoned by family and friends who he says refused to believe him.

In 1994, Dunlap and other plaintiffs who alleged similar abuse by Llanos sued the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. In 1997, Llanos committed suicide. On Monday, Dunlap's claim of sex abuse was one of 508 to be settled for a record-setting $660 million.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:22 PM

The Cardinal Speaks

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Friendly Fire

Just got off the phone with Cardinal Roger Mahony. Below are my notes from the conversation:

On what he means when he says he's taking responsibility:

I found in visiting with victims that unless you accepted responsibility in the name of the Church for what happened to them, you cannot authentically offer them an apology. And as I met with many victims, most of whose cases, practically all, took place long before I came here .... (I saw the) need to take responsibility in the name the Church so that I can personally take responsibility.

I pressed him further: What is he taking responsibility for? What specifically did he do wrong?

That's not the issue ... for victims, they just need the official voice of the archbishop to say whatever happened to you shouldn't have happened. It's sinful, it's wrong, and I apologize.... I'm sorry what happened to you in the life of the church, and I apologize....

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:22 PM

LA clergy abuse settlement finalized in court

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Reuters

By Kemp Powers

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - As plaintiffs sobbed but Cardinal Roger Mahony sat silently in court, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and victims of clergy sex abuse on Monday finalized their record $660 million settlement.

Although Mahony publicly apologized after Mass on Sunday to the 508 plaintiffs, several victims voiced frustration that the leader of the largest U.S. Roman Catholic diocese will not have to testify in court.

"For $660 million, he bought himself out of testifying in our case," said Steve Sanchez, 47.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:17 PM

Q&A: LA archdiocese reaches $660M settlement on clergy sex abuse allegations

LOS ANGELES (CA)
International Herald Tribune

The Associated Press
Published: July 16, 2007

LOS ANGELES: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has reached a $660 million (€478.92 million) settlement with more than 500 alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse, by far the largest settlement since the scandal emerged in Boston in 2002.

Here are some common questions about the settlement, and their answers:

Q: How much money will the plaintiffs get?

A: The settlement is for $660 million, but different people will get different amounts depending on how badly they were abused and how long the abuse lasted. Also, lawyers for the plaintiffs will take a cut of the payout, ranging from 33 percent to 40 percent — anywhere between $218 million (€158.19 million) and $264 million (€191.57 million).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:13 PM

LA Archdiocese Sex Abuse Settlement: The OC Connection

CALIFORNIA
Orange County Weekly

Posted by Gustavo Arellano
July 16, 2007 5:15 PM

The Los Angeles Times is rightfully concentrating on LA-area victims in its coverage of the LA Archdiocese's record-breaking Catholic Church sex-abuse settlement. What's not being covered, however, is the Orange County connection. Named in the settlement are 14 priests whom the Diocese of Orange doesn't list as local predators since they sinned while Orange County was part of the LA Archdiocese (the OC Diocese wasn't founded until 1976).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:08 PM

Insurance for Sex Abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Slate

By Michelle Tsai
Posted Monday, July 16, 2007, at 6:43 PM ET

Over the weekend the Archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay $660 million to settle lawsuits from hundreds of sex-abuse victims. About $250 million will come out of the diocese bank account; $60 million will come from other religious orders and another $123 million from litigation with orders that chose to sit out the deal. Insurance companies will pay the remaining $227 million. Hold on—can churches buy insurance for sex abuse?

Yes. Like any business, churches, synagogues, and other religious organizations purchase insurance to protect themselves from lawsuits, like discrimination claims or negligence charges against officers. Since the spike in sex-abuse lawsuits in the mid-1980s, churches have also had the option to take out extra liability policies for damages related to sexual misconduct. These policies don't come cheap, and they protect just the institutions, for the most part. Insurers will mount a legal defense for accused individuals, but the support extends only so far: Perpetrators are on their own if they're found guilty or choose to settle out of court.

But insurance companies created these abuse-specific policies only after the lawsuits of the mid-80s forced them to make large payouts. Until then, general liability policies didn't specifically rule out sex abuse, so churches that needed to pay damages argued that insurers should pay. Thus, even though sex-abuse insurance is available today, many of the big payouts actually come from the churches' general policies, since the abuse happened decades ago. (The Los Angeles settlement probably came out of these general policies.)

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 PM

Local Abuse Victims React to Church Settlement

ALBANY (NY)
Fox 23

Last Update: Jul 16, 2007 5:09 PM

Posted By: Jeff Saperstone

Several plaintiffs of the record $660 million settlement between alleged victims of clergy sex abuse and the L.A. Roman Catholic Archdiocese sobbed in court as the judge approved the payout Monday. Some here in the Capital Region say it's time to take California’s lead and lift the statute of limitations in New York to allow for a similar situation.

It's the largest payout to date for victims of clergy sex abuse.

Mark Lyman said, “The announcement of the 660 million dollar settlement with 500 victims in L.A. Is a major victory, for victims.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:45 PM

L.A. Catholic Church apologizes for 'terrible sin and crime'; pays record amount to victims

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Church Executive Magazine

The leader of the largest U.S. Roman Catholic archdiocese has apologized for what he called a "terrible sin and crime" as the church confirmed it would pay a record $660 million to people who were sexually abused.

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles, led by Cardinal Roger Mahony, agreed to pay 508 victims the largest-ever group settlement.

“I have come to understand far more deeply than I ever could the impact of this terrible sin and crime that has affected their lives,” Mahony said.

"There really is no way to go back and give them that innocence that was taken from them. Once again, I apologize to anyone who has been offended, who has been abused. It should not have happened, and it will not happen again.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:43 PM

Record 660 mln dlr US clergy sex abuse payout approved

LOS ANGELES (CA)
France 24

by Rob Woollard
Send by e-mail Save Print A record 660 million dollar payout to hundreds of people sexually abused by clergy from the Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles was approved Monday, ending a bitter five-year legal battle.

Lawyers representing the largest US archdiocese and 508 victims of abuse appeared at Los Angeles Superior Court to confirm the settlement, the biggest since the Catholic clergy sex scandals erupted in 2002.

The settlement was hammered out at the weekend during marathon negotiations, heading off the prospect of a potentially explosive civil trial that had been due to start Monday.

Ray Boucher, the lead lawyer for the victims, said the money would be paid to victims by December 1 this year, telling reporters the deal would help those abused cope with feelings of guilt and shame.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:38 PM

Joint Statement Of Ray Boucher And Michael Hennigan, Lead Attorneys For The Settlement Of Outstanding Civil Lawsuits

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Archdiocese of Los Angeles

Ray Boucher, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs and Michael Hennigan, the lead lawyer representing the Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced that they have reached an agreement in principle that would result in the settlement of the remaining 508 claims of clergy abuse filed against the Archdiocese.

Ray Boucher, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs and Michael Hennigan, the lead lawyer representing the Archdiocese of Los Angeles announced that they have reached an agreement in principle that would result in the settlement of the remaining 508 claims of clergy abuse filed against the Archdiocese.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:37 PM

Statement Of Cardinal Roger Mahony Following Superior Court Settlement Meeting

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Archdiocese of Los Angeles

I wish to express my gratitude to all those who participated in today’s settlement meeting in Judge Haley Fromholtz’s courtroom. I again extend my personal apology to victims who suffered sexual abuse by clergy and repeat again my steadfast commitment to continuing all of the abuse prevention programs and policies currently in force in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. As Chief Shepherd of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I will also continue to meet with any victim of abuse who wishes to meet privately with me.

I wish to express my gratitude to all those who participated in today’s settlement meeting in Judge Haley Fromholtz’s courtroom. I again extend my personal apology to victims who suffered sexual abuse by clergy and repeat again my steadfast commitment to continuing all of the abuse prevention programs and policies currently in force in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. As Chief Shepherd of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I will also continue to meet with any victim of abuse who wishes to meet privately with me.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:34 PM

To Settle Over Church Sex Abuse or Not

PEORIA (IL)
Central Illinois Proud

Reported by: Steve Trainor WMBD/WYZZ-TV
Monday, Jul 16, 2007 @04:23pm

WMBD/WYZZ-TV -- PEORIA - Hours before going to trial, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay 660-million dollars to alleged victims of sexual abuse. The settlement puts the touchy issue back in the headlines and begs the question...What about similar cases in the Peoria Diocese ?

St. Joe's is where Joe Jones still attends mass. But he hasn't forgotten the priest here years ago who allegedly abused him & his brother. He says it's ironic that yesterday's Gospel, was about the Good Samaritan:

Joe Jones, an alleged victim saus "I would think Bishop Jenky, being a passerby, would stop and help but apparently not."

He claims the Bishop has been "rigid" about not settling, and has never made contact with them, much less offer an apology. A Monsignor came once to take written statements and the Diocese paid for some counseling. The victims believes the Bishop is hiding behind the statute of limitations, hoping they run out before a potential trial could force a settlement:

"He's never called and said 'What can I do for ya? "

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:23 PM

Local Victim Finds Hope In L.A. Archdiocese Case

PHILADELPHIA (PA)
KYW

(CBS 3) PHILADELPHIA Monday was a monumental day for than 500 victims of sexual abuse by a priest in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

A formal agreement was reached for a settlement of $660 million dollars owed to victims in the nation’s largest Catholic Archdiocese.

A judge approved the settlement to split among 550 victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests after five years of negotiations.

“No matter how much money you give me, I can’t cash that check and take it somewhere where I’m ten years old again,” said L.A. victim, Steven Sanchez.

John Salveson, who is the victim of abuse, has become a Philadelphia advocate for changing the civil law in Pennsylvania. Salveson wants to make the Philadelphia Archdiocese accountable for their actions.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:10 PM

Judge finalizes $660 million church abuse settlement

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Daily News

BY TONY CASTRO and SUSAN ABRAM Staff Writers
Article Last Updated: 07/16/2007 11:16:35 AM PDT

In a historic day for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and hundreds of sexual-abuse victims, a judge finalized a $660 million settlement this morning.

In an emotional scene, victims of the clergy-abuse scandal said they can finally begin finding closure.

"$660 million is an admission of guilt and now maybe they can start referring to us not as alleged victims but as victims," said a teary-eyed Steven Sanchez of Glendale as he stepped out of a courtroom at Los Angeles County Superior Court moments after the settlement was finalized by attorneys for both sides.

"I can finally start getting on with my life. I'm a lapsed Catholic. I believe in God. I'm just leaving out the middle man."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:00 PM

American Catholic dioceses survive despite more than $2 billion in abuse-related costs

UNITED STATES
KGW

07/16/2007

By RACHEL ZOLL / Associated Press

The cost of clergy sex abuse for America's Roman Catholic Church has hit a breathtaking new benchmark: The massive settlement approved Monday in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has pushed the price beyond $2 billion nationwide.

Yet predictions of massive parish closings and Catholic charities being shut down were wrong. Even in the five dioceses that took the unprecedented step of seeking bankruptcy protection from abuse claims, church leaders have found a way to fund the payouts and survive.

"No diocese has closed up shop," said Russell Shaw, a former spokesman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and a writer on Catholic issues. "No chancery offices have ceased operations."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 6:46 PM

Some plaintiffs still not accepting apology from Mahony

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KOLD

Associated Press - July 16, 2007 3:33 PM ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Some of the plaintiffs who stand to see money from a $660 million settlement from the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles aren't ready to accept an apology from the head of the archdiocese.

One man who held up a photo of himself as a young boy with the priest he says abused him says yesterday's apology from Cardinal Roger Mahony didn't ring true. He also said the settlement only saved the church from having to face questions before a jury.

Another said he hoped that the massive payout would keep him and others from being referred to as "an 'alleged' victim."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:08 PM

Price for priestly sins of the flesh

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Standard

Rob Woollard

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Attorneys for the Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles and hundreds of people sexually abused by priests were due to appear in court in the city yesterday to file a US$660-million (HK$5.14 billion) settlement, the biggest in US history.

Lawyers for the Los Angeles archdiocese and 508 victims of abuse dating back to the 1940s thrashed out the massive deal on the eve of a potentially explosive court case. However, it must be approved by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge.

The deal is the largest settlement by any Roman Catholic archdiocese to sex abuse victims in the United States.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:58 PM

74-year-old sentenced to 210 years for child sexual assault

DENVER (CO)
KJCT

Associated Press - July 16, 2007 4:04 PM ET

DENVER (AP) - A former foster parent who briefly served as an Episcopalian priest will spend the rest of his life behind bars for sexually assaulting children.

A judge today sentenced 74-year-old Donald Shissler to 210 years in prison. He'd been convicted Friday on 15 counts, including assault on a child and sexual exploitation of a child.

He was accused of assaulting three boys between 1997 and 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:55 PM

Judge approves LA archdiocese clergy sex abuse settlement

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Press-Telegram

By Gillian Flaccus, Associated Press Writer
Article Launched: 07/16/2007 11:50:19 AM PDT

LOS ANGELES - A judge on Monday approved a landmark $660 million settlement between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and more than 500 alleged victims of clergy abuse.

The deal was formally approved in a dramatic hearing marked by the sobs of victims and their attorneys, and a moment of silence for those victims who died during the years of negotiations.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholz said, "This is the right result."

"Settling the cases was the right thing to do and it was done by dint of a number of extremely talented and dedicated people putting in an awful lot of time."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:51 PM

Judge approves $660-million clerical abuse settlement

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Tami Abdollah and John Spano, Times Staff Writers
12:56 PM PDT, July 16, 2007

In a tense courtroom today, the Los Angeles Archdiocese ended years of litigation with a $660-million settlement of hundreds of clerical abuse cases.

The formal unveiling of the agreement followed a weekend of conflicting reports on whether the Catholic Church had agreed to the nation's largest abuse settlement.

"It was impossible this weekend to not come to a conclusion that there might be a settlement," Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Haley J. Fromholz said today on what he had termed D-Day — the day trials were scheduled to begin for more than 500 people who said they had been abused.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:43 PM

Catholic Church settles sex-abuse allegations for $660M

LOS ANGELES (CA)
USA Today

A local judge has finalized a $660 million settlement with the Catholic Church in Los Angeles over allegations of sexual abuse that date as far back as the 1940s.

Steve Sanchez, a victim, tells reporters he hopes the settlement will remove the word "alleged" from media accounts about the abuse that children suffered at the hands of priest and other church officials.

"Cardinal Mahony got off cheap today. For $660 million he bought himself out of testifying in our case. That's a lot of money," Sanchez says.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:57 PM

BREAKING NEWS LA archdiocese settles more than 500 abuse cases before trial

LOS ANGELES (CA)
California Catholic Daily

Just days before the first of 13 clergy abuse trials against it was to begin, the Los Angeles archdiocese announced it had agreed to a settlement of $660 million with alleged victims of clergy sexual abuse. This morning, a judge approved the settlement agreement.

But one lawyer representing more than 100 plaintiffs says the fight is not over.

Under the agreement, the archdiocese will pay $250 million, its insurers, $227 million, and religious orders, $60 million. A remaining $123 million is up for negotiation between plaintiffs and the religious orders, though the archdiocese said it would cover what the orders do not provide.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:54 PM

Judge Approves $660M Church Sex Abuse Settlement

LOS ANGELES (CA)
CBS 2

(AP) LOS ANGELES A judge has approved a landmark $660 million settlement between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and more than 500 alleged victims of clergy abuse.

The deal was formally approved Monday in a dramatic hearing marked by the sobs of victims and their attorneys, and a moment of silence for those victims who died during the years of negotiations.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholz called the settlement "the right result."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:51 PM

Court Approves $660 Million Los Angeles Priest-Abuse Accord

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Bloomberg

By Bob Van Voris and Danny King

July 16 (Bloomberg) -- A California judge approved the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles's agreement to pay $660 million to people who claim they were abused by priests, in the biggest clergy-abuse settlement ever, a plaintiffs lawyer said.

The accord is intended to resolve 508 claims, some decades old, and avoid a trial that was scheduled to begin today, said Raymond Boucher, a Beverly Hills lawyer who represents 245 plaintiffs. The deal was completed July 13, Boucher said.

``We have a number of victims who've suffered in shame so many years,'' Boucher said today. ``The resolution was an acknowledgement to them by the Catholic Church that they did nothing wrong.''

The archdiocese will pay $250 million in cash and insurance companies including Allianz SE and Chubb Corp. will pay $220 million by Dec. 1, the lawyer said. Mark Greenberg, a spokesman for Warren, New Jersey-based Chubb Corp., declined to comment, and Petra Kruell, a spokeswoman for Munich-based Allianz, declined to immediately comment.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:48 PM

Record Catholic sex-abuse settlement unleashes anguish by victims

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Earthtimes

Los Angeles - A Los Angeles judge on Monday approved the record-setting sex-abuse settlement under which the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Los Angeles will pay 508 sexual abuse victims some 660 million dollars. "This is the right result," Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholz said a day after the settlement was announced. "Settling the cases was the right thing to do and it was done by dint of a number of extremely talented and dedicated people putting in an awful lot of time."

Many of the victims were in court to hear the judge's decision, which ends five years of often bitter negotiations between the archdiocese and the victims of abuse by priests.

After the court session, victims gathered outside the courthouse in a display of tears and anger over their suffering and the settlement, which they said would never compensate them for their exploitation and hurt.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:44 PM

Settlement Will Not Cure Sufferings For Clergy Abuse Victims

LOS ANGELES (CA)
KTHV

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The national director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests says the settlement does not end the suffering for clergy abuse victims.

But David Clohessy, who was in Los Angeles for the settlement of abuse lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, did say the suit which led to the settlement did result in the identification and removal of "predator priests" and the protection of children in the future.

Clohessy says the apology by Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony is not enough and that he must show by future actions that he has the interests of victims and potential victims at heart.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 1:05 PM

SD Diocese Now Largest In Nation In Outstanding Claims

SAN DIEGO (CA)
10 News

SAN DIEGO -- A $660 million settlement to be filed Monday for 508 victims of sexual abuse by clergy in the Los Angeles Archdiocese would leave the San Diego Diocese with the largest number of outstanding similar claims in the country.

Cardinal Roger Mahony, who apologized Sunday to hundreds of victims, said he hopes San Diego Bishop Robert Brom will soon settle the 150 or so lawsuits he is facing, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

"I told Bishop Brom recently, I said, `It is my hope that both us and you have this over with by Labor Day,"' Mahony said, according to the newspaper. "Of course, we were able to do it and I hope they will soon."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:48 PM

Times reporting on LA Archdiocese's Sex Scandal Settlement

LOS ANGELES (CA)
ProfessorBainbridge.com

A plague on both their houses. I have no great love for LA Archbishop Roger Cardinal Mahoney (see, e.g., Mahony Must Go). His mishandling of sex abuse by priests is a true scandal.

At the same time, I have no great love for the LA Times. The Times' reporting on the recent $660 million settlement between the Archdiocese and 508 alleged victims is a classic example of the shoddy way the Times has covered this whole tragedy. For example, the Times claims each victim will receive an average of $1.3 million, which is what you get if you divide $660 million by 508. But what about attorney's fees? Plaintiffs lawyers typically walk away with 40% of a settlement as their contingent fee, plus they get reimbursed for all of their expenses out of the settlement. It'd be very surprising if the victims saw 50% of the settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:45 PM

Mahony apologizes at news conference

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Observed

"There really is no way to go back and give them that innocence that was taken from them," Cardinal Roger Mahony said after Mass Sunday. "The one thing I wish I could give the victims ... I cannot. Once again, I apologize to anyone who has been offended, who has been abused. It should not have happened and it will not happen again." He added, "I made mistakes. I wish I had known when we sent priests to treatment programs, they (those programs) didn't work." Replied David Clohessy, national director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests: "It's hard to take his apology seriously....He avoided the No. 1 thing he fears, which is disclosing under oath how much he knew and how little he did about predatory priests." LAT, DN
Pox on both their houses
UCLA law professor Stephen Bainbridge has no great love for Mahony, but he thinks the Times could have covered the settlement better.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:41 PM

Shut Up, Cardinal Mahony!

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Conservative Voice

by John Lillpop

July 16, 2007 12:00 PM EST

Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, should be the subject of an epic Hollywood biomovie to document his uncanny ability to triangulate moral decadence, spiritual fraud, and craven greed into anti-American political activism.

Indeed, this meddling old man who fancies himself spiritually and morally superior to the unwashed masses, rarely misses an opportunity to outrage those who believe in homeland security, fortified borders, rule of law, and preservation of American sovereignty, language, and culture. ...

That obsession intensified dramatically with the recent disclosure that the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay the tidy sum of $660 million dollars in order to settle sex abuse law suits filed by victims/parishioners.

MYWAY:

Turns out that hundreds of people were allegedly abused by priests whose crimes were then covered up by powerful church officials.

Therefore, Cardinal Mahony and his minions will have to write a check for nearly two thirds of a billion dollars to cover the scandals wrought by corrupt "Fathers," acting in the name of God, and their gutless and immoral leaders.

The total amount paid out by the U.S. church since 1950 is more than $2 billion, with about a quarter of that coming from the Los Angeles archdiocese.

As a result, intelligent American parishioners are leaving the church to escape the clutches of pedophiles and perverts who prey on the young and defenseless. Illegal aliens are desperately needed to replace those departing parishioners, and to bolster the church's dwindling cash flow.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 12:36 PM

Archdiocese to begin abuse trial

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Insurance News Net

Source: TheDeal.com

In Los Angeles, no one is mentioning the "b" word in any sentence involving the city's archdiocese — at least not yet.

Bankruptcy remains an improbable, but certainly not impossible, option for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, now in the grips of sexual abuse-related litigation.

After years of legal wrangling, the archdiocese is scheduled to go on trial for the first time for its role in the decades of sexual abuse of children by dozens of priests. The usual brinkmanship prevails. Lawyers are preparing for trial, even as settlement talks continue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:15 AM

Disagreements persist despite abuse settlement

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Joe Mozingo, Times Staff Writer
July 16, 2007

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony said Sunday that he decided to settle with hundreds of clergy abuse victims after talking with many of them individually over the last year and realizing how deeply they had been hurt by predatory priests.

Mahony, in his first public statement since the Los Angeles Archdiocese's record $660-million settlement was reached with 508 claimants, said he told the victims, "Your life, I wish were like a VHS tape, we could put the tape in … and delete these years of difficulty and misery."

But attorneys and advocates for the victims said they were skeptical of Mahony's timing for the settlement, noting that the pact announced Saturday, after 4 1/2 years of negotiations, came just before the first case was set to go to trial, with the cardinal slated to testify. And they said they fear they will never learn the full truth about the accused and those who may have shielded them, including Mahony.

"He avoided the No. 1 thing he fears, which is disclosing under oath how much he knew and how little he did about predatory priests," said David Clohessy, national director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:13 AM

Catholics ‘must do more to stop sex abuse’

UNITED KINGDOM
The Times

Fiona Hamilton
Five years after the introduction of sweeping reforms to try to stop sexual abuse, the Roman Catholic Church has been told that it needs to do more.

Bishops and congregational leaders have displayed a “patchy will” to drive through reform and there is a view held by some within the Church that the implementation of protection policies had been “tolerated rather than embraced”, an independent report said.

The Cumberlege Commission said that if existing tensions within the Church in Britain over how to tackle the issue of abuse were not confronted, they would result in a step backwards. It expressed concern that leaders could be “minimising” the anguish that followed child abuse and that “complacency” surrounds the issue.

The commission assessed the progress of the Church in the five years since the Nolan report, which recommended an overhaul of procedures following a series of sex abuse scandals involving Catholic priests.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:10 AM

Conference of Religious welcomes Cumberlege report

UNITED KINGDOM
Independent Catholic News

The Conference of Religious of England and Wales today warmly welcomed the publication of the Cumberlege Commission's findings into the Catholic Church's progress in implementing recommendations laid out by the late Lord Nolan in 2001 for the protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults.

The Conference of Religious is grateful to Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor for establishing the Review and inviting Baroness Cumberlege to chair the Review Committee. The Conference, as co-sponsors, would like to express their thanks to the members of the Commission for their far-reaching, sensitive listening & dedicated exploration of how we, as a whole Church community, have responded to the challenge of being an example of good practice in the prevention of and response to abuse of children and vulnerable adults.

Sr Jane Bertelsen, on behalf of the Conference of Religious, said: "The Cumberlege Commission, through their independent, thorough and painstaking examination of the current reality within the whole church, presents us today with the opportunity to acknowledge the extensive progress made over the past five years and to be challenged to move forward wholeheartedly with the work which still needs to be done.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:08 AM

Church 'better at tackling abuse'

UNITED KINGDOM
BBC News

The way sex abuse in the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales is tackled has improved but reforms have alienated some clergy, an inquiry has found.

The Cumberlege Commission said much had been achieved in the five years since the Nolan report told the Church to root out child abuse in its parishes.

But some clergy still felt vulnerable to false complaints, it said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:06 AM

Catholic abuse review calls for central commission

UNITED KINGDOM
inthenews

Monday, 16 Jul 2007 08:24

The Catholic church should set up a new commission to protect children and vulnerable adults at parish and church level, an independent commission has said.

Baroness Cumberlege's review of measures tackling abuse calls for agreement on a national set of policies, accepted and implemented by all dealing with the problem within the Catholic church.

A new national safeguarding commission would oversee this process while the existing Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, to be renamed the Catholic Safeguard Advisory Service, should concentrate on sharing good practice.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:00 AM

More to do to tackle child abuse, church told

UNITED KINGDOM
ic Wales

Jul 16 2007

by Sally Williams, Western Mail

THE CATHOLIC Church must do more to tackle sex abuse, according to a report released today.

The Cumberlege Commission report warns the Catholic Church in England and Wales that there is still “room for improvement”, five years after a landmark report recommended sweeping reforms to the way it tackled child sex abuse.

The report says a “great deal” has been achieved in a “remarkably short time” since the publication of the Nolan report which was aimed at improving child protection within the Church.

But the commission warns that the Church risks a “serious reversal” of some of the gains it has made in tackling child abuse if it fails to deal with tensions within its own ranks over the issue.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 AM

Los Angeles Court to Rule on Church Sex Abuse Settlement

LOS ANGELES (CA)
NPR

NPR.org, July 16, 2007 · The head of the nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese apologized for "a terrible sin and crime" against people sexually abused by the Catholic clergy, as attorneys prepared to finalize a $660 million settlement with 500 victims in a Los Angeles court on Monday.

Cardinal Roger Mahony and attorneys from both sides are expected to enter a formal settlement agreement with Judge Haley Fromholtz. The deal marks the end of more than five years of negotiations and is by far the largest payout by any diocese since the clergy abuse scandal emerged in Boston in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:52 AM

The Babylonian Captivity of the Catholic Church

LOS ANGELES (CA)
U.S. Politics Today

By Tracy Dove, Ph.D
Editor, The Russia News Service
July 16, 2007

After years of scandalous publicity and tasteless priest jokes, the Catholic Church is settling out of court for a record $650 million in disbursements to victims of sexual abuse that occurred as far back as the 1940's. Hoping to launch a new beginning in Los Angeles, the American Cardinal Roger Mahoney apologized to the plaintiffs, and regretted he could not turn back the clocks of time and repair their childhood.

In other words, the Church had sinned, and was seeking forgiveness. This is certainly not the gravest crisis within the Catholic Church, but the connection of bail out money, homosexuality and a costly apology is reminiscent of a darker period of the Church's history when money was the root of a religious scandal that eventually brought about the Protestant Reformation in 1517.

In the Middle Ages, the Popes were, ultimately, businessmen- the administration of Church property and the distant geographies of Europe's Catholics meant that a great deal of power and money changed hands quickly. It is ironic that the French Pope Clement V moved the entire seat of the Catholic Church to the French city of Avignon in 1307 as a direct result of the French king Philip's oppression of the Knights Templars, who were suspected of homosexual activity. Ostensibly, the so-called "Babylonian Captivity" of the Papal office in Avignon for 70 years was aimed at cleansing the Church of its avarice- witness the suppression of the Templars- but it achieved little along these lines.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:48 AM

Money can't buy absolution for clerics' sins

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Age

Barney Zwartz
July 17, 2007

NO DOUBT $760 million buys a lot of dry-cleaning. But no sum, however vast, can clean the stain of clerical priestly abuse from the Catholic Church.

Even as the Los Angeles archdiocese agrees to the church's largest payout — $US660 million ($A763 million) to 508 victims — the suspicion remains that the church was dragged there because it feared the alternative was worse. A court case was due to begin yesterday that might have sparked a chain of events more expensive still.

That the abuse happened is bad enough — especially by people in a position of trust and charged with pastoral care — but most of us would not be amazed to find the odd rotten apple in such a large barrel as the several hundred thousand Catholic priests around the world. What is truly appalling is the way the church hierarchy connived and concealed and covered up, apparently much more concerned for the perpetrators and the church's own standing than for the victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:44 AM

LA Church Settlement Goes to Courtroom

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Central Florida News 13

LOS ANGELES(AP)

After a whirlwind weekend, the negotiations that produced a landmark $660 million settlement between the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles and more than 500 alleged victims of clergy abuse are heading toward a conclusion.

Attorneys from both sides, as well as Cardinal Roger Mahony, are expected in court Monday to enter a formal settlement agreement with Judge Haley Fromholtz. The deal marks the end of more than five years of negotiations and is by far the largest payout by any diocese since the clergy abuse scandal emerged in Boston in 2002.

Mahony, leader of the nation's largest archdiocese, apologized Sunday to the hundreds of clergy sex abuse victims who will receive a share of the settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:41 AM

Cardinal Mahony -- what's in your wallet?

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Renew America

Matt C. Abbott
July 15, 2007

In case you haven't heard, the Los Angeles archdiocese has finally settled its numerous clergy abuse cases — to the tune of 666, er, $660 million.

Oh, and Cardinal Roger Mahony has apologized to the clergy abuse survivors, too.

I can't take credit for the title of this column, though. That goes to Angelqueen.org forum member "Dionysius."

Good one, Dionysius!

On the same forum thread, "Ave Maria" posted the following (slightly edited):

'We knew this was coming; it was only a matter of time. In the secular world the one in charge of being a part of such an incredible scandal and fiasco would be dismissed immediately in shame. And in the Church?

'It has been a long time since I read the Screwtape Letters, but I know that is a plan of the devil to gain souls. 'What can be done to destroy the Church in southern California?' might the devil have asked along that line of thinking. Hmm. Let's refuse to teach the truths of the faith. Let's take the focus off Christ and put it on man. Let's all be concerned for the things of this world only. Let's give such concern good and innocuous names. Let's allow innocents to be destroyed and cover it up so that souls will be lost, and then all this sits, simmers, festers and blows up so the most possible souls can be scandalized. Let's persecute and get rid of orthodox clergy and religious. Let's wreck the churches and marginalize those who remain faithful. Hmm. Sounds like a plan.'

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:59 AM

Roger the Dodger rides again

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Beliefnet

Rod Dreher

LA's Roger Cardinal Mahony is going to cough $660 million of the faithful's money to settle sex abuse suits against his archdiocese. Oh, he's sorry:

Cardinal Roger M. Mahony today apologized to victims of sexual abuse by priests in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, saying he wished he could do more to erase the pain they had suffered since they were molested as children.

"Once again I apologize to anyone who has been offended and to anyone who has been abused in the Catholic Church. It should not have happened, and it should not ever happen again," Mahony said during a news conference at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels in downtown Los Angeles.

If this brings the victims closer to closure, then good. But I am sorry that Mahony will not have to take the stand. Mahony is, in my view, a profoundly banal but evil man (see here for the tiniest taste of his character; the Bishop Accountability site has much, much more, if you can stomach it). He is probably the greatest episcopal villain in a scandal that has no lack of them. And unlike Cardinal Law, he has slipped the noose entirely. Roger has overcome.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:53 AM

Transcript of a bland apology: Mahony stood there in his robes with his big cross round his neck and said in a dry voice:

LOS ANGELES (CA)
City of Angels

By Kay Ebeling

I just happen to make my living as a video transcriber, so here is Mahony’s apology, delivered in a dry tone in front of a bare wall to a roomful of cameras:

Good morning everyone

We gather today because this long journey has now come to an end and a new chapter of that journey is beginning. During the past year over a year it has been my privilege and grace to meet with many, many victims one by one together with Judge McCoy. And during this time I have come to understand far more deeply than I ever could the impact of this terrible sin and crime that has affected their lives. I said to most of the victims who I met with, I used this example. I said, your life I wish were life a VHS tape, where we could put the cassette in, press rewind, delete these years of misery, and difficulty and start over when you were young and just before this happened.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:37 AM

Mahony `sorry'

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Press-Telegram

By Susan Abram, Staff writer
Article Launched: 07/15/2007 10:12:38 PM PDT

Calling sexual abuse by clergy a "terrible sin and crime," Cardinal Roger Mahony apologized Sunday to hundreds of people who claim they were molested by priests in the nation's largest archdiocese.

The apology came during a news conference following Sunday Mass and a day after the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay a record $660 million in a settlement with 508 victims.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:29 AM

Mahony's mea culpa

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Daily News

BY SUSAN ABRAM, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 07/15/2007 10:55:05 PM PDT

Calling sexual abuse by clergy a "terrible sin and crime," Cardinal Roger Mahony apologized Sunday to hundreds of people who claim they were molested by priests in the nation's largest archdiocese.

The apology came during a news conference following Sunday Mass and a day after the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay a record $660 million in a settlement with 508 victims.

"There really is no way to go back and give them that innocence that was taken from them," Mahony said. "The one thing I wish I could give the victims ... I cannot.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Lawyers release papers detailing alleged abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Daily News

BY SUSAN ABRAM, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 07/15/2007 10:19:03 PM PDT

Lawyers representing victims of sexual abuse released new information Sunday detailing alleged misconduct by a handful of clergy members, including a nun who slapped a girl after she accused a priest of molesting her.

The document, designed to serve as an example of priest abuse within the Los Angeles Archdiocese, listed old and new information on eight priests. Seven of them had worked in the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Antelope valleys, as well as in Ventura County. All worked in Los Angeles County at one point.

"This is a snapshot of the stories victims told and why the diocese wants to settle," said Katherine Freberg, an attorney whose law offices are representing 109 of the more than 500 people who say they were abused by priests and clergy.

"This is just a smattering of the information we could include," because the details were graphic, Freberg said.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:14 AM

US Cardinal apologizes to sex victims

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Press TV

Mon, 16 Jul 2007 09:55:33

The Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles has apologized to people abused by priests in the last 70 years confirming compensation deals.

Just before reaching the pay-out deal worth $660 million with the 508 sex victims, Cardinal Roger Mahony, the church leader, issued an apology and confirmed the compensation deal, BBC reported.

"Once again, I apologize to anyone who has been offended, who has been abused. It should not have happened, and it will not happen again. I have come to understand far more deeply than I ever could the impact of this terrible sin and crime that has affected their lives," Cardinal told a news conference.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:11 AM

LA cardinal apologies, offers record abuse deal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Thanh Nien News

Facing trial on Monday over abuse allegations dating as far back as the 1940s, the Archdiocese led by Cardinal Roger Mahony agreed to pay 508 victims the largest-ever group settlement.

"I have come to understand far more deeply that I ever could the impact of this terrible sin and crime that has affected their lives," said Mahony.

"There really is no way to go back and give them that innocence that was taken from them," he said. "Once again, I apologize to anyone who has been offended, who has been abused. It should not have happened, and it will not happen again."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:07 AM

Payout has huge implications for the O'Grady case

IRELAND
Irish Independent

Monday July 16 2007

A MULTIMILLION euro payout by the Catholic Church in the United States to sex abuse victims is likely to have huge implications in the dispute involving Irish paedophile ex-priest Oliver O'Grady.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay $660m (€478m) to 500 victims of sexual abuse dating back as far as the 1940s, in the largest compensation deal of its kind. Last night it emerged that the settlement could affect a compensation case involving the notorious Irish priest.

Los Angeles attorney John Manly is pursuing a high-profile case against O'Grady, even though a Californian court recently dismissed a suit against the archdiocese of Cashel and Emly for ordaining O'Grady 36 years ago.

The court in San Joaquin, Orange County, ruled that there was no admissible evidence that the Irish archdiocese knew that Limerick-born O'Grady had a propensity to molest children when he was ordained at St Patrick's College, Thurles.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:04 AM

Church to pay $660m to abuse victims

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Pretoria News

July 16, 2007 Edition 1

Sapa-AFP

The Roman Catholic Church in the United States is to pay a record $660 million settlement (nearly R5 billion) to more than 500 victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

This was confirmed by lawyers involved in the case yesterday.

A statement announcing the deal between lawyers representing 508 victims and the Los Angeles archdiocese was expected to be released last night, heading off a potentially explosive court case due to start today.

"Some of the victims have waited more than five decades for a chance at reconciliation and resolution," said Ray Boucher, the lead attorney for victims in the case.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:01 AM

CHURCH PAYS £330M TO ABUSED KIDS

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Glasgow Daily Record

THE Roman Catholic Church is to pay £330million to more than 500 victims of a sexual abuse scandal.

The payout is by far the largest the church has made to settle sex abuse charges.

The cash is to be handed over by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles to victims who were abused by clergy during the past 70 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:59 AM

Church set to pay millions to abuse victims

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Irish Independent

By Chris Ayres
Monday July 16 2007

THE Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles is to pay $1.3m (€948,350) to each of about 500 alleged victims of sexual abuse dating back to the 1940s in the largest compensation deal of its kind.

The $660m (€478m) settlement, announced by the victims' lawyers, finally resolves accusations against 221 Los Angeles priests, brothers, lay teachers, and other church employees.

It came 48 hours before a case was scheduled to go to trial in Los Angeles Superior Court focusing on 12 people who accused Clinton Hagenbach, a former priest, of molesting them.

Although Hagenbach died 20 years ago, the trial would have forced the Archbishop of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony, to testify about the Church's response to abuse cases dating back 60 years.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:54 AM

LA cardinal offers abuse apology

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Kazinform

LONDON. July 16. KAZINFORM - The Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles has apologised to hundreds of people abused by priests after agreeing to a record-breaking settlement.

The apology by Cardinal Roger Mahony, the Church's leader, comes after the 508 victims reached a pay-out deal with the church worth $660m.

Attorneys for both sides will appear in court on Monday to finalise the deal.

The deal was reached just before a series of trials into sex claims dating back to the 1940s were to begin.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:50 AM

Parishioners support payout, but some take Mahony to task

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Teresa Watanabe, Rebecca Trounson and Jeffrey L. Rabin, Times Staff Writers
July 16, 2007

Parishioners across the sprawling Los Angeles Archdiocese responded with relief, support and a measure of worry Sunday to news that the church will pay $660 million to victims of clergy sexual abuse, the largest payout to date in the nationwide Roman Catholic molestation crisis.

But some also angrily blamed Cardinal Roger M. Mahony for failing to reach a settlement in the local cases years earlier.

"I'm furious," said Robert Sotelo, a retired West Covina electrician, after hearing Mahony celebrate Mass at the downtown Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. "Why did he take so long?"

Mahony, who made a public apology to victims in a news conference Sunday afternoon, did not directly address the legal settlement during the 10 a.m. Mass. A lay church member did, however, offer a brief prayer for victims of clergy abuse, as well as the homeless, prisoners on death row and others.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:47 AM

Cardinal apologises to clergy sex abuse victims

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Evening Echo

16/07/2007 - 10:48:57 AM

Cardinal Roger Mahony, leader of America’s largest Roman Catholic archdiocese, apologised to the hundreds of people who will get a share of a €488m settlement over allegations of clergy sex abuse.

“There really is no way to go back and give them that innocence that was taken from them. The one thing I wish I could give the victims ... I cannot,” he said yesterday.

“Once again, I apologise to anyone who has been offended, who has been abused. It should not have happened, and it will not happen again.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:41 AM

Mahony apologizes, hopes S.D. settles

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Union-Tribune

By Sandi Dolbee and Mark Sauer
STAFF WRITERS
and Matt Krasnowski
COPLEY NEWS SERVICE

July 16, 2007

Cardinal Roger Mahony said yesterday that he has met with dozens of plaintiffs who were victims of sexual abuse by clergy in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Cardinal Roger Mahony apologized yesterday to hundreds of victims who will share a $660 million settlement, admitting he made mistakes in his handling of the clergy sex abuse scandal in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

Mahony also said he hopes San Diego Bishop Robert Brom will soon settle some 150 lawsuits.

“Once again, I apologize to anyone who has been offended, who has been abused,” Mahony said. “It should not have happened and should not ever happen again.”

The Diocese of San Diego now has the largest number of outstanding sexual-abuse claims in the nation.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 7:32 AM

July 15, 2007

Cardinal Gives Apology for Abuse Cases in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The New York Times

By LAURIE GOODSTEIN
Published: July 16, 2007
A day after agreeing to a record-breaking $660 million settlement with 508 people who said they were sexually abused by clergy members in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Cardinal Roger Mahony apologized this afternoon for “this horrible sin and crime” and said he hoped the settlement would bring a “final resolution.”

Four years of legal combat ended in a settlement agreement late Saturday night — just two days before the Monday start of a trial in which Cardinal Mahony would have been forced to testify.

The settlement is the largest yet in any Catholic diocese — amounting to about $1.3 million per person involved. The Roman Catholic Church in the United States has paid more than $2 billion in settlements and legal judgments to victims of sexual abuse and their families.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:49 PM

Catholic church in LA to pay £325m compensation to child abuse victims

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Scotsman

RICHARD LUSCOMBE

CHURCH leaders in America's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese are to pay a record $660 million (£325 million) to compensate hundreds of children who were molested by paedophile priests.

The Los Angeles settlement is the largest since a national sex abuse scandal erupted in Boston five years ago, forcing some dioceses to close parishes and sell property to meet the claims and driving others into bankruptcy.

Each of the 508 claimants will receive about $1.3 million if a judge in Los Angeles this morning approves a deal that will also halt legal proceedings against 15 accused priests and spare senior church officials from taking the stand.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 PM

Settlement apparently finalized, sex abuse victim reacts

CALIFORNIA
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

Statement by Steve Sanchez, director of the Glendale chapter of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (818 262 6540)

My case was set for trial on Monday and I was really looking forward to finally forcing Mahony and other top church officials to face hard questions under oath about their role in Fr. Hagenbach's devastating crimes. On the other hand, hundreds of hurting men and women desperately need intense therapy, addictions counseling, drug rehab, in-patient treatment and medical help. They need and deserve some healing and closure, especially after years of public relations posturing and hardball legal maneuvering by this archdiocese.

My worry is that many victims won't adequately appreciate the huge achievements they've made - in their own healing, in protecting others, in prodding law enforcement and in alerting citizens about pedophile clergy and corrupt bishops. I also worry that Catholics may become somewhat complacent, when in fact, they should become even more diligent, so that more children don't suffer as we have suffered and are still suffering.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:21 PM

LA cardinal apologizes to plaintiffs

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Yahoo! News

By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writer

LOS ANGELES - Cardinal Roger Mahony, leader of the nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese, apologized Sunday to the hundreds of people who will get a share of a $660 million settlement over allegations of clergy sex abuse.

"There really is no way to go back and give them that innocence that was taken from them. The one thing I wish I could give the victims ... I cannot," he said.

"Once again, I apologize to anyone who has been offended, who has been abused. It should not have happened, and it will not happen again."

Mahony said that he has met in the past 14 months with dozens of people alleging clergy abuse and that those meetings helped him understand the importance of a quick resolution to the lawsuits.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 5:18 PM

Record 660 mln dlr deal in LA clergy abuse cases: lawyers

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Raw Story

The Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles will pay a record 660 million dollar settlement to more than 500 victims of sexual abuse by clergy, lawyers involved with the case said Sunday.

A statement announcing the deal between lawyers representing 508 victims and the Los Angeles archdiocese was expected later Sunday, heading off a potentially explosive court case due to open Monday.

"Some of the victims have waited more than five decades for a chance at reconciliation and resolution," said Ray Boucher, the lead attorney for victims in the case. "This is a down payment on that debt long overdue."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:47 PM

Catholic Church avoids abuse trial with LA deal

CALIFORNIA
Reuters

By Adam Tanner

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The Archdiocese of Los Angeles said on Sunday it would pay people who were sexually abused by priests as children a record $660 million, although some victims regretted it meant church leaders would not face questioning in court.

Facing trial on Monday over abuse allegations dating as far back as the 1940s, the Archdiocese agreed to pay 508 victims the largest-ever group settlement. ...

Tod Tamberg, a spokesman for the Los Angeles archdiocese, said Cardinal Roger Mahony would be in court on Monday as attorneys seek the judges' approval of the settlement.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 4:40 PM

LA Catholics call $660M abuse deal fair

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Houston Chronicle

By GILLIAN FLACCUS Associated Press Writer
2007 The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Roman Catholics attending Mass at the city's cathedral Sunday, a day after the archdiocese agreed to a landmark $660 million clergy abuse settlement, expressed sympathy for victims and disappointment in the church.

Some even said the scandal has made them question some of the church's basic tenets.

Vivian Viscarra, 50, who attends Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels three times a month, said the victims deserve the payout even though it could hurt the church's ability to deliver important services. The amount would average a little more than $1.3 million per plaintiff.

"I am disappointed," Viscarra said. "And it's making me reevaluate my views of whether people in the ministry should be married. People do have needs."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:06 PM

Boston Catholic Archdiocese facing priest shortage

BOSTON (MA)
Seacoast Online

By Associated Press
July 15, 2007 12:34 PM
BOSTON -- The Boston Catholic Archdiocese is facing a sharp decline in the number of active priests in the next several years, a shift that could force another painful round of church closings and lead to other dramatic changes in parish life.

That's one of the conclusions of a new 13-page report recently delivered to priests in the archdiocese.

The report says the number of active priests will drop from around 500 to under 300 in the next eight years, in large part because nearly 30 percent of priests now working in local parishes are over age 65.

"If no proactive archdiocesan-wide approach to future staffing, guided by the archbishop, is undertaken, the archdiocese faces hard results: a series of parish closings due to staff limitations and financial problems, and the accompanying hurt and anger," the report said.

Under Cardinal Sean O'Malley, the archdiocese closed 62 parishes since 2004, as the church struggled in the wake of the clergy sexual abuse scandal. O'Malley's predecessor Cardinal Bernard F. Law closed 42 parishes between 1994 and 2003.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 3:00 PM

Can money heal sex-abuse wounds? U.S. Catholics ask

BOSTON (MA)
Reuters

By Jason Szep

BOSTON (Reuters) - Roman Catholics in Boston, where an American pedophile priest scandal erupted in 2002, applauded a $660 million settlement with sexual-abuse victims in Los Angeles but said no amount of money can heal the wounds.

A day after more than 500 people who say they were abused by clergy members agreed to settle lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for about $1 million each, many U.S. Catholics expressed concern over the church's struggle to restore confidence.

"I wish it would go away. Really, I do wish it would go away," said Claire Hogan, 64, as she emerged from Sunday Mass at 136-year-old Saint Columbkille's Church in Boston's Brighton neighborhood.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 2:54 PM

Pope Hopes to Visit U.S., France in 2008

ROME
Javno

Pope Benedict hopes to visit the United States and France next year, his spokesman said on Sunday.

Father Federico Lombardi told reporters in northern Italy, where the Pope is on a private mountain holiday, that planning for both trips was in the initial stages.

The Pope has been invited to visit the United Nations but Vatican sources said he would most likely extend the trip to include several other American cities besides New York. ...

There has been speculation that he would visit Boston, the city which was at the centre of a priestly sexual abuse scandal that forced its archbishop, Cardinal Bernard Law, to resign in disgrace in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:54 AM

Sexually abused to get $760m from church, lawyers say

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Sydney Morning Herald

Laurie Goodstein in New York
July 16, 2007

LAWYERS for more than 500 people who say they were victims of sexual abuse by members of the Catholic clergy say they have settled their lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for $US660 million ($760 million).

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 11:38 AM

L.A. abuse settlement: $660 million.

LOS ANGELES (CA)
dotCommonweal

July 15, 2007, 8:58 am
Posted by Grant Gallicho

The figure is astonishing--over half a billion dollars in abuse settlements involving 508 victims. And that is not including the $114 million the L.A. Archdiocese paid out earlier this year. No wonder Cardinal Mahony announced he was selling the chancery in May. But that building won't come close to covering the payout. The archdiocese will pay $250 million in cash. How much will insurance kick in? The religious orders? What else will have to be sold?

The terms of the settlement require the archdiocese to release information from files relating to clergy-abuse allegations.

Cardinal Mahony was supposed to testify on Monday. If this settlement is approved, that won't happen.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:57 AM

Catholic Church to pay $660 million for abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
The Times

Philippe Naughton and agencies
Hundreds of people who claim they were abused by clergy affiliated with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles can expect to be paid more than $1 million each in a $660 million (£325 million) settlement of their lawsuits.

The deal, by far the largest settlement in the Church’s sexual abuse scandal, was reached yesterday, said Ray Boucher, a lawyer representing the lead plaintiff, and pushes the amount paid out in compensation for abuse since 1950 to more than $2 billion.

Around 500 victims of sexual abuse, some of it dating back as far as the 1940s, will receive over $1.3 million each.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 10:12 AM

HONDO'S TEX. MESSAGE

LOS ANGELES (CA)
New York Post

The Los Angeles archdiocese reportedly will pay more than $600 million to settle with 500 victims of sexual abuse by clergy members. L.A. parishioners must be thrilled to know they've been loading up the collection basket for a cause such as pedophilia pay offs. Coming soon to L.A.'s Catholic churches: The third collection.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:21 AM

Sins of the fathers to cost church $660 million

LOS ANGELES (CA)
LA Daily News

BY TONY CASTRO, Staff Writer
Article Last Updated: 07/14/2007 11:56:57 PM PDT

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles will pay a historic $660 million to more than 500 victims who were abused by clergy during the past 70 years, sources said late Saturday.

In what would be the largest payout in the church's sex-abuse scandal, sources close to the archdiocese and a lawyer for the victims said Saturday that terms of a settlement are being worked out this weekend. If the agreement holds, each victim would receive between $1.2 million and $1.3 million.

The news came just two days before the first of more than 500 clergy abuse cases is scheduled for trial jury selection Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:18 AM

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese Of Los Angeles Will Settle Sexual Abuse Cases For $600 Million

LOS ANGELES (CA)
AHN

July 15, 2007 8:18 a.m. EST

Kathy Henry - AHN News Writer
Los Angeles, California (AHN) - In what could be the largest payout in the Catholic Church's sexual abuse scandal, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles will settle its sexual abuse case for at least $600 million.

The deal is set to be announced on Monday, the day that more than 500 clergy abuse cases was scheduled for jury selection, according to two individuals who have prior knowledge of the agreement and spoke anonymously because the settlement had not been made public.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 9:10 AM

CHURCH BINS SHAMED PRIEST'S WORLDY GOODS

SCOTLAND
The Sunday Mail

ITEMS belonging to a disgraced priest are piled high in a skip at the church where Polish student Angelika Kluk was brutally murdered.

Soon Father Gerry Nugent's name will also disappear from the boards outside St Patrick's Church in Glasgow.

Workmen have gutted the parish house in the city's Anderston in preparation for its reopening next month.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:47 AM

Plaintiff's attorney confirms settlement

LOS ANGELES (CA)
WREG

Associated Press - July 14, 2007 11:33 PM ET

LOS ANGELES (AP) - An attorney is confirming a settlement in a church sex abuse case -- one that reportedly involves the biggest payout from among those cases.

The main plaintiff's attorney says the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles reached a settlement Saturday with more than 500 people who say they were sexually abused by clergy. A joint statement is supposed to be released in the morning -- with a news conference set for Monday.

According to a source, the deal calls for the church to pay $660 million. It's by far the biggest payout in the sexual abuse scandal, and represents more than $1.3 million per plaintiff.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:44 AM

LA Church 'in record abuse deal'

LOS ANGELES (CA)
BBC News

The Catholic Church in Los Angeles has reached a financial deal with more than 500 people alleging sexual abuse by priests, the plaintiffs' lawyer says.

The deal, said to be for $660m (£324m), has yet to be approved by a judge.

It would be the biggest compensation payment the Church has made since the sexual abuse scandal exploded into public view in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:42 AM

Catholic Church reaches settlement deal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Malaysia Sun

Sunday 15th July, 2007

The Catholic Church in Los Angeles has reached a financial deal with more than 500 people who have alleged sexual abuse by priests.

The plaintiffs' lawyer says the deal, if approved by the court, should be worth US$660m.

It would be the biggest compensation payment the Church has made since the sexual abuse scandal erupted in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:40 AM

Catholic Church to Pay $660 Million Settlement in Abuse Cases

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Voice of America

By VOA News
15 July 2007

Lawyers in Los Angeles say the Roman Catholic Church there has agreed to pay $660 million to some 500 victims of sexual abuse by priests between the 1940s and 1990s.

The settlement is by far the largest ever reached with a Roman Catholic diocese since the clergy abuse scandal erupted in Boston in 2002.

Ray Boucher, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the landmark case confirmed the settlement late Saturday. He said the plaintiffs and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will make a joint statement about the case Sunday, and will hold a news conference Monday.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:38 AM

A rocky road to healing: Diocese enacts new policies, programs, but victims demand more accountability

TOLEDO (OH)
Toledo Blade

By DAVID YONKE
BLADE RELIGION EDITOR

Minnesota attorney Jeff Anderson stood before reporters on the lush green lawn of the Lucas County Courthouse five years ago today and announced he was suing the Toledo Catholic Diocese and former priest Leo Welch.

The high-profile court action by the nation's top attorney for victims of clerical sexual abuse brought to Toledo the national scandal that erupted in Boston in January, 2002, and spread like a dark cloud across the country.

It has been a tumultuous five years for church leaders and lay persons as more than two dozen people sued the Toledo diocese, alleging they were sexually molested as children by priests, deacons, or other church leaders.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:35 AM

Timeline: US Church sex scandal

UNITED STATES
BBC News

The main events in the ongoing sex abuse scandal involving the US Roman Catholic Church and in particular the Boston Archdiocese, which has been at the centre of many of the highest-profile accusations.

Cardinal Law resigned, accused of covering up sex abuse by priests
1984: Bernard Law is appointed archbishop of Boston, and elevated to cardinal a year later.

1985: Sex abuse by priests becomes a national issue in the US for the first time, as Louisiana priest Gilbert Gauthe pleads guilty to 11 counts of molestation of boys.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:26 AM

'LA clergy abuse case settlement premature'

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Khaleej Times

15 July 2007

LOS ANGELES - Victims of sexual abuse by Roman Catholic priests in Los Angeles could reach a settlement on damages claims but reports of a 600-million-dollar deal are premature, the victims’ lawyer said Saturday.

Ray Boucher, who represents hundreds of people who allege abuse by members of the clergy, said a deal may be reached before the case goes to court Monday but figures were still being thrashed out.

He described reports putting the settlement at 600 million dollars — meaning around 500 victims would receive an average damages payment of around 1.2 to 1.3 million dollars — as “way off.”

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:25 AM

Summary Box: LA church to pay $660M over clergy abuse

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Fresno Bee

07/14/07 20:51:05

THE DEAL: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has settled more than 500 clergy abuse cases for at least $660 million, according to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity. Plaintiff's lawyer Ray Boucher confirmed that a deal was made on Saturday.

THE MAGNITUDE: It would be by far the largest payout in the church's sexual abuse scandal, which erupted in Boston in 2002.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:23 AM

Los Angeles Catholic Church in record abuse deal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay $660 million to 500 victims of sexual abuse dating back as far as the 1940s in the largest compensation deal of its kind, the plaintiffs' lawyers said on Saturday.

The settlement, which means victims will receive more than $1 million each, is the largest from the Catholic Church in recent years following many cases in which victims sought financial compensation for suffering abuse from priests.

Ray Boucher, lead plaintiff attorney in the case, said he would issue a joint announcement with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles on Sunday of the settlement.

The case was scheduled to go to trial on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, focusing on 12 plaintiffs who accused former priest Clinton Hagenbach of molesting them. Hagenbach died two decades ago.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:20 AM

Money not the answer for Catholic church

UNITED STATES
Musings of the Independent Mind

The Associated Press has learned that the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles will settle some 500 clergy abuse cases for more than $600 million, according to two sources familiar with the settlement. A formal announcement will be made Monday. It is unclear how the money will be split - or whether the judge will sign off on it. This would be the largest settlement since the sex abuse scandal began in Boston in 2002.

To date, the largest settlements have been from Orange, California, who settled 90 claims for about $100 million in 2004, and Covington, KY, who settled 552 cases for $84 million last year, according to the AP.

I remember going to Sunday Mass at my church shortly after those revelations were uncovered, and one of the priests there spoke very passionately about his livelihood. He essentially said, “The few who have engaged in these immoral acts are not an example of all priests.” He pleaded for patience, with God’s help of course, and he promised the congregation that we all would move on from this low point.

Even though last year Americans gave $13 million to the church, and the number of complaints has gone down for the second consecutive year, the problem is still out there. The folks in LA can give these people millions of dollars but they don’t address the main problem. Priests have to take a vow of celibacy before they are ordained. I realize that the thinking here is that the priest is pure in God’s eyes but here’s the thing: It is impossible to regulate human behavior. What convicted priests did to those little boys and girls is wrong, and it should never happen. If you take away the celibacy pledge, you’d see priests engaging in appropriate behavior in their own relationships instead of inappropriate behavior on their followers.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:18 AM

US Catholic Church in record abuse deal

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Radio New Zealand

Posted at 5:34pm on 15 Jul 2007

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles has agreed to pay $US660 million to 500 victims of sexual abuse dating back as far as the 1940s in the largest compensation deal of its kind in the United States, the plaintiffs' lawyers said.

The settlement, which means victims will receive more than $US1 million each, is the largest from the Catholic Church in recent years, following many cases in which victims sought financial compensation for suffering abuse from priests.

The case was scheduled to go to trial on Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, focusing on 12 plaintiffs who accused former priest Clinton Hagenbach of molesting them. Mr Hagenbach died 20 years ago.

Had the case gone to trial, lawyers had sought to put Cardinal Roger Mahony, Archbishop of Los Angeles, in the uncomfortable position of testifying about the Church's response to abuses dating from the 1940s until the 1990s.

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:16 AM

$660-million settlement in priest abuses

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Joe Mozingo and John Spano, Times Staff Writers
July 15, 2007

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed Saturday to a $660-million settlement with 508 people who have accused priests of sexual abuse, by far the biggest payout in the child molestation scandal that has rocked the Roman Catholic Church nationwide.

"Some of the victims have waited more than five decades for a chance at reconciliation and resolution," said Raymond Boucher, the main attorney for the plaintiffs. "This is a down payment on that debt long overdue."

The agreement will end all of the pending abuse litigation against the most populous archdiocese in the U.S.

"It's been a long, hard slog," said church attorney J. Michael Hennigan. "I'm delighted to see it's come to a conclusion."

Posted by Kathy Shaw at 8:13 AM

Victim says he hopes settlement will bring him peace

LOS ANGELES (CA)
Los Angeles Times

By Joe Mozingo, Times Staff Writer
July 15, 2007

Ten years ago, Anthony Almeida sat on his bed, loaded a single bullet into a Glock .45 and put the barrel in his mouth — exhausted by the storm of anger, distrust and isolation his life had become.

Almeida was a strong, barrel-chested Los Angeles firefighter. But he couldn't relate to people. He was jealous of his wife, combative at work, distant with his children.

Watching his daughter and son turn the age he was when Father Cli